The International Writers Magazine: REALITY CHECK
OFF THE CATHOLICS
Photo: Cardinals gather to chose the new Pope
My favorite thing
about this 24-hour harangue of televised and radio-addled news commentary
and coverage is the hyping and lauding over an event until the marrow
is sucked dry and then were left with the inevitable backlash.
Were experiencing this now with the passing of Pope John Paul
II. Im pretty sure the funeral is finally over. I could be wrong.
It might still be going. Like Reagans interminable send off these
things seem to take on a life of their own like David Blaine living
in a box for weeks.
But assuming they finally buried the Pope, after weeks and reams of
praise and plaudits and tributes, we get the "The Pope Was A
Misogynist!" "The Pope Turned A Blind Eye to Aids In Africa!"
"The Catholic Church Is Atavistic Voodoo!" "The
Catholic Hierarchy Excuses And Harbors Known Pedophiles!"
All predictable, and, I might add, asinine. Not nearly as asinine as
claiming the Pope or Ronald Reagans lunatic arms race or kids
holding hands in a quilt or some such bullshit ended communism in eastern
All together now...
COMMUNISM IMPLODED BECAUSE THERE IS NO MONEY IN IT.
I have written that in this space more times than the "F"
word, and man, that aint a little.
You see what people dont get is that religion, specifically organized
religion, and in the case of the Vatican, a major league powerful, billion-dollar
world altering religion has to have strict - balls to the wall - dogma
to exist. Some of it acts as a sound guideline. Some of it stinks with
antiquity. Some of it is wacky. Some of it borders on sacred. The Catholics
are silly with this stuff. Believe me, I was one. But it is not for
us to deride. It is their deal, and the Pope, although this one was
quite the traveler and commentator on world events and as progressive
as Popes go, was the infallible mouthpiece for the churchs dogma.
I dug this Pope, for the most part. His written apology stuck in Jerusalems
Western Wall for eons of anti-Semitic actions, murders, and other mayhem
at the hands of the Roman Catholic charges is one of the most humbly
sympathetic and mind-altering gestures performed by any human in the
20th century. And when he was shot by that crazy Turk, and then healed
up and came back and hugged him. That was downright Jesus stuff. Not
the "Jesus Christ" Jesus, but you know, the Jewish ascetic
from Nazareth. Forget it.
Anyway, as far as Popes go, this one was brilliant, charismatic, and
widely influential. But hes the friggin Pope. The Catholic
Church is NEVER going to allow women priests or advocate birth control
or lean a little on the abortion issue, or sell their own priesthood
- the backbone of the religion - down the river for a few deviant scum.
Its like the mafia or the NYPD. They take care of their own.
I dont like to see a cardinal who shielded known pedophiles preside
over a tribute mass for the Pope anymore than I like to see a murderer
like Ted Kennedy as an acting senator or ex-cons like Ollie North hosting
debate shows on cable. But, hey, its their gig. I wash my hands
of it, and whatever they want to do is fine with me.
This tidbit of angst came up last year when I got a ton of mail telling
me I was being flippant about this gay Episcopal bishop issue. Remember
that craziness? So I repeat: you want to be gay, use condoms, be a woman
with equal rights to perform ceremonies, or get a pound of flesh for
people diddling your kids, then go somewhere else. Youre not Catholic
then. Find a new thing. People do it all the time. There are tons of
faiths out there, and mostly, theyre pretty much the same crap.
This is not like politics where you can have a pro-choice Republican
or a pro-war Democrat. Its not likely theyll be invited
to the monthly weenie roast, but why not? Its fun, keeps the democracy
thing on its toes. But this just in: Catholicism is a theocracy.
When I read or hear these outcries against certain religious tenets
I cannot help but consider the source for the 9/11 disaster. It was
the failure of this countrys leaders to see the lunacy of fundamentalism,
in this case Islamic. This is not unlike the voting public failing to
see that their president is a religious fanatic if he really
believes this nonsense, of which Im not totally convinced. But
lets just say George W. Bush really believes Jesus Christ told
him that God wants us to free Iraq. Im pretty sure hes said
this in major magazines, but maybe I was drunk. What now, tootie?
You see, we are so anesthetized to the rhythmic din of faith as mania
we hardly notice when people leaping around in burkas in the middle
of nowhere leads to crashing planes into our buildings. But its
real. And thats when things must be debated or, in some sober
cases, bombed into oblivion. With the Catholics, its basically;
they dont go in for the gay/condom/woman deacon thing. I blame
the Pope for none of it, especially John Paul II. He was The Man. Jeez,
he had the two names that reek of Christianity St. John, the
guy responsible for all those signs at football games, and St. Paul,
the guy responsible, lets face it, for the football games. The
Pope represented the dogma to the end. He did his job, for which you
cannot make the same assessment on about two-thirds of this abysmal
government of ours.
You dont like it, dont join, or get out! Suck it up! Its
a religion. How would Major League Baseball like it if the commissioner
one day decided that everyone should use tennis rackets and head directly
to third base upon hitting safely? Or how do think the NRA would react
if the new director made some kind of statement to the effect of "Guns
are bad" on national television tomorrow? Hey, how about if the
immigration department just let thousands of illegal aliens march over
the border daily and the federal government granted them drivers
licenses? Yeah, howd you... Oh, right.
© James Campion 04.18.05
(Is that white smoke I see?)
See also Politics
of the Brain Dead
James Campion on the Schiavo story
Posey stole my car
Political Comment in Hackwriters
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