This article provides a critical discourse analysis of Dutch perceptions of, and responses to, papal utterances that were perceived to be (primarily) about homosexuality. It looks not only at secular conceptions of religion, in which the Pope’s views on homosexuality are taken as exemplary of the irrationality and libido dominandi of religion, but also at certain postsecular uses of religion to rebuke the Pope. It explains Pope Benedict’s (perceived) obsession with homosexuality by locating it in the context of a Vatican discourse against ‘gender ideology’, whereas it explains the Dutch media’s preoccupation with homosexuality by explaining that the papal pronouncements are seen as a threat to the international role of the Netherlands as a moral guide and, more precisely, a threat to what the Dutch see as their moral ‘export product’: ‘gay marriage’.
- Pope Benedict XVI
- the Netherlands