Pope Benedict XVI, speaking in Portugal, attacked gay marriage and abortion as “among the most insidious and dangerous challenges” to society. Even though I disagree, I give the Pope a pass on the abortion issue. If you really believe that even a fertilized egg qualifies as a human being with a right to life superior to the mother's rights, I can understand taking a hard line against abortion. And if you truly believe that abortion represents some sort of ongoing holocaust, it's certainly reasonable to see it as a major danger to society. But gay marriage is another thing entirely.
The idea that government legalization of marriage contracts between two adults, who happen to be of the same sex, is some sort of monstrous threat to society is ludicrous. There are a couple of responses to the Pope's words in the article. This one says it best.
"It is one thing to oppose gay marriage from religious convictions and another to make such a claim about it when you look at issues such as teenage pregnancy, sexual disease, drug abuse, world poverty and war. This is an appalling, unfounded and unjust claim. I do not really see on what basis he can say gay marriage is among the most dangerous challenges to society. It ignores real social evils the Church and others should be addressing with far greater urgency."That pretty much nails it. No one expects the Pope to abandon his religious convictions and support gay marriage, or even approve of homosexuality. I see no reason why he should tolerate gay marriage for Catholics, since it violates Catholic doctrine. And unlike some, I think he has every right to speak out on the issue and try to influence the passage of laws. But those who disagree have the same right to point out that his attacks on gay marriage are a hysterical overreaction. Gay people are a small minority of the population, and those who wish to get married are likely a minority of a minority. They aren't going to destroy traditional marriage, and they aren't some sort of dire threat to civilization.