FARLEY, FOUCAULT AND MAUREEN
Catalyst July/August Issue 2012
The Vatican recently issued a statement criticizing the book, Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics, by Sister Margaret Farley. After this broke, we decided to shed some light on the nun.
No one who ever heard of Farley and stumbled across Just Love in a bookstore would consider her a nun. Nor would anyone think she was a nun by viewing her official Yale biography. That’s because she does not identify herself as a nun. But Maureen Dowd called Farley a nun, and, alas, she was right. More than that, Farley was in the news for writing a book that contradicts Catholic teachings on sexuality. She was also in the news in 1984: she signed a statement paid for by the anti-Catholic organization, Catholics for a Free Choice, that said it was okay to be Catholic and pro-abortion.
In Just Love, Farley makes it clear that she thinks very highly of Michel Foucault. She likes the way he taught that sexuality was nothing but a social construct, having no roots in nature. Foucault also taught that AIDS was a social construct, not a disease. He died of this “social construct” in 1984 at the age of 57.
In Bill Donohue’s new book, Why Catholicism Matters, he recounts Foucault’s lifestyle as an example of what happens when the virtue of temperance is condemned. “The French Nietzsche,” as he was called, declared God, and man, to be “dead.” This drug-addicted philosopher had sex with males of all ages, cruised the San Francisco gay scene with abandon, indulged in sadomasochism, intentionally infected as many boys as he could, and even justified rape. This is Farley’s hero.
It would be instructive to know if Foucault is also Maureen’s hero.