Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

OK, some Pope stuff

I have been doing my best to ignore the Pope-la over the last week. I thought CNN may have hit a new low midday yesterday (that'd be March 13). In the hours and minutes leading up to The Announcement, they had a constant screen of the Sistine Chapel chimney doing nothing, with all the rest of the world's news reduced to a crawl underneath this still life with roof tile.

What do I think? The only thing of value in the religion is the subcultures centred on the religion that grew up amongst various nationalities. Everything about it that is top-down is a carnival, a magic show, and the Pope is Magician in Chief.

It does not matter a damn who the Pope is.  Francis is the anointed of a group of ageing reactionaries, chiefly white, with some token Uncle Toms here and there. The media have fallen all over themselves babbling about having a Pope from Latin America. Big whoop. This church is growing in Latin America and Africa because it requires a population steeped in ignorance and fear to sell its goods. Isn't it thrilling that Francis is concerned about the poor? Concerned yes: concerned the way Mother Teresa has recently been shown to have been, I bet. Concerned to keep the poor offering up their suffering to the Lord, and very concerned not to let them get educated enough, and acquire enough economic opportunity, to start questioning the magic show and drifting away. After all, look what happened in Europe when people got education.

Francis must also be concerned that there is competition in both of these growth markets. Christian evangelism is making serious inroads on Catholicism, and Islam has become much more aggressive throughout Africa. It's tough to keep an audience when there are three medicine shows in town.

I do love the humility of powerful (and often wealthy) religious leaders. Benjamin Franklin wrote that the trap of seeking humility can be that one becomes proud of one's humility. Does that apply to Frannie? Time will tell. However, humility has other traps for leaders. I recall reading that in connection with Jimmy Carter, who carried his own luggage, opened his own doors, et al. People seem to like leaders to act like leaders, even if they cannot actually lead. We'll see whether Frannie gets that memo.

Meantime, perhaps the world's media can take a deep breath and say a thing or two about other topics. They can leave Rome, too: presumably they had round-trip tickets.


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