Tuesday, April 05, 2005


The Pope is dead. And alas, I am not the winner of the office "Death Watch" pool (but I did take second prize for Hunter S. Thompson).

The mass media has been scrambling recently to fill the airwaves and column-inches in lieu of the repeatedly delayed and eagerly awaited Michael Jackson verdict. Thank g-d for the Pope. If you are the mass media, this whole Pope thing could not have come along at a better time.

There is no shortage of gushing for this man.

The NYT writes: "His embrace of each person's innate dignity was his touchstone"

That is, each person excepting in the case that said person is a homosexual.

The Pope mantra has by now coalesced. The Pope:

1. Brought down the Communist Bloc.
2. Promoted unwavering humanity.
3. Met a lot of people around the world.

While no one disputes His Popeliness has qualified for a lot of Business Class upgrades on Alitalia, the former two points are a bit troublesome.

First, someone needs to set this whole "end of Communism" debate straight once and for all. Not that I'm going to achieve this rhetorical score here alone. We heard the same claims when Ronnie left us last year and went to that big red scare in the sky. Either Communism fell because of the system sowed the seeds of its own destruction with restrictions on freedoms and inefficiencies, or it was (is?) a viable alternative to capitalism that was defeated by its imperial rival. If the latter is true, Ronnie and JPII are vindicated, but it also means that statist economic policies can work. This would be a dangerous thing for right-wingers to admit.

Second, glorifiction of the Pope's humanity does grave disservice to the droves of people afflicted by the hate he fomented against homosexuals, the women he subjugated in the Catholic Church hierarchy, the minions of young boys molested at the hands of the Church that the Pope neglected to address, and the millions he condemned to death from the AIDS pandemic by railing against condom use. You might think that this Pope, given his years spent under the Nazi regime in Poland, might have finally apologized for the Vatican's role in the Holocaust.

In death as in life, the Pope and others need to be judged by their deeds.


At 11:34 PM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Ask and you shall receive...



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