Wednesday, April 20, 2005


It's very easy (and fun) for me to criticize the Catholic Church: oh boy, I might say. Another regresive white guy as Pope! One might've hoped they could at least have chosen a regressive African or Latino--okay, sure, it probably wouldn't really have substantially changed anything, but it would've been symbolic. It would have suggested, in some minor way, that the church was at least vaguely aware that it is no longer 1582. But they didn't. Whaddaya want. I mean, okay: the church is anti-war and anti-capital punishment. Good on them. But. Given their totally appalling stances on other things, it's hard to accept that these laudable positions are the result of anything other than random chance--a stopped clock that's right twice a day (especially considering their support for Republicans--apparently, their stance against abortion is SO IMPORTANT that it's just fine and dandy for bush to send fuckloads of people to their deaths for no goddamn reason, as long as he's ALSO against letting women control their own bodies). One cringes to imagine just how much worse have they made Africa's horrific AIDS epidemic with their insane anti-prophylactics ("condoms don't prevent aids") position. How many hundreds of thousands--if not millions--of deaths have they been responsible for because of this? This ain't just fucking nutty--it's downright evil, with all the religious connotations that word brings with it. And of course, their position vis-à-vis homosexuality, identical to and every bit as enlightened as the views of a drunken, testosterone-addled fratboy, do them no credit. And let's not even TALK about their wink-and-nod attitude towards child molestation by their own. That's just too awful, and besides, you get the picture. If it's really as incapable of dragging its ass into the twenty-first century as it seems, it's hard to formulate a convincing argument as to why it shouldn't just be disbanded.


This isn't a sensical ARGUMENT or anything, but nonetheless, seeing the new pope's unveiling, I have to admit to having felt something very like awe. An unbroken string of two hundred sixty-five popes (a few less if we dismiss a few of the early ones as apocryphal), enduring for almost two thousand years, fraught with all kinds of violent political upheaval. It's...impressive. The combined weight of all this history is immense. Probably, this is in great part why the church has lasted as long as it has: I know I'm not the only one who's easily-impressed; in fact, I'm probably less so than most. And you need that kind of reverence to create a lasting religious institution. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the new pope is going by "Benedict" (so do they have some kind of computerized papal name generator, or what?)--there's a name redolent of all kinds of Medieval history.

So, yes, in a very limited, purely aesthetic sense, I appreciate the Catholic Church. Doesn't mean I don't think, all things being equal, it wouldn't be better if it were disbanded (DEATH TO SAINT AJORA). Still, it could be worse. It could've been founded by L. Ron Hubbard, for instance. What a trip that would be.


Post a Comment

<< Home