Thursday, February 21, 2019

Gay piety

There are some intriguing facets to Marian piety. Take the specter of sexless priests venerating the sexless Madonna. In traditional Marian iconography, Mary is frequently or usually depicted as a beautiful woman. That's not surprising. Most Catholic artists are straight males. There may be the notion that physical perfection symbolizes spiritual perfection. There may be the notion that Mary represents idealized womanhood, and idealized feminine beauty is emblematic of her exalted status. 

Be that as it may, it gives the artist an excuse to paint or sculpt a gorgeous woman under pretext of religious art. Male artists like to paint or sculpt beautiful women. Who can blame them? And these are typically drawn from life, using live models. 

It's pretty arbitrary what figure she represents. She could represent a Greek goddess or the Madonna. Botticelli is an example of a painter who used the same woman in Classical and Catholic art. In so much Marian iconography, she could just as well be a love goddess. Only the setting and attire (or lack thereof) makes the difference.

That raises some interesting questions about the psychology of Marian devotion, especially at a concrete level when visual representations function as an aid to veneration. When a normal man views a beautiful woman, there's bound to be a sexual undercurrent. So there's something artificial about Marian piety in that regard. 

So what lies behind the higher flights of Marian adoration? On the one hand, conventual inspiration is probably a factor. The piety of nuns. Normally, there's no sexual undercurrent when another woman views a beautiful woman. Mind you, there's the issue of what percentage of nuns are lesbian. But bracketing that question, conventual piety would be free of any sensual tension or dynamism. 

In addition, Marian piety is a safe outlet for homosexual monks and priests. That's "chaste" because they lack normal feelings for beautiful women. Adoration for eunuchs. 

So the upper altitudes of Marian devotion are likely the product of nuns and homosexual monks. Vestal piety or gay piety. But when that's grafted onto normal male piety, there's a clash between charged hormones and chaste sentiment. 


  1. Our Lady of Libido!

    There's also some irony in normal Catholic men praying to Mary, saying hail Marys, kissing a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary to beg her for strength not to fall into temptation, and so on in order to combat their lust.

    By contrast, it seems to me Catholic female piety often regards Jesus as their boyfriend or husband.

    1. "By contrast, it seems to me Catholic female piety often regards Jesus as their boyfriend or husband."

      To be fair, that's likewise true in evangelical circles, but the difference is the Bible doesn't foster that kind of piety, whereas Catholicism does seem to.

  2. Fascinating question.

    JP2 after he was shot, said Mary saved him. I remember thinking at the time - how could he believe that?

    A lot of homosexual men have an Oedipus complex.

  3. The Devotion/worship of a woman implies submission, subordination, which is an inversion of the natural order established in the Bible with man being the head of the woman. For the apostles worshiping a female figure would be an unthinkable thing.

    It is in itself an act "contra natura".