The Divine Artist and Human Diversity

In his Wednesday General Audience this week, Pope Benedict XVI spoke to 20,000 Christmas pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square. Beginning with reflections on Psalm 138, the Pope expounded on the frequent scriptural image of God as the potter and sculptor Who brings life to each unique human person formed from clay by the Divine hand. Although the purpose of the Pope’s remarks was to focus on the sacredness of human life, especially on the weakest among us (including the unborn), the clear image of the uniquess of each human “work of art” cannot be missed.

The image of God as Artist is very beautiful, and tells us something, I think, about the importance of diversity in our world. Although some human artists might seek the financial reward that comes from having their works reproduced in mass quantities, most shrink from such commercialism and strive to create each work of art as different and unique, a true “original.” The true artist does not create art by assembly line, using photocopying or other technical tools to replicate an original. Rather, the artist is constantly creating new, different, unique works of art over the course of a lifetime of creativity and art-making.

Over time, when the artist’s body of work is seen as a whole, one would see the diversity that is inherent in that corpus. Each work, though similar to others, is nonetheless unique and contributes its part to the diversity of the whole. If such diversity, as evidenced by the uniqueness of every human person, is so much at the heart of the human family, why is it so difficult for some to recognize the diversity of human sexuality as intended by the Divine Artist’s plan? It seems to me that those who think that God could not or would not create human persons with diverse sexual orientations are either placing limits on God, or are saying that they (i.e. the created) know better than the Creator.

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