Readers!

Please enjoy these blogposts, written between 2011 and 2015. Find newer posts soon at my forthcoming blog, Revolutionary Time.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A comforting, though dumb, idea

Last Thursday, after the pope addressed the U.S. Congress, I wrote on my Facebook page, "Pope Francis is definitely not a shit head. May the rest of us rise above shit-headedness as well." What I meant was, maybe we can lower the walls a little, take a few rows of bricks off the top. Maybe we can stop pointing our megaphones at the people on the other side, who may share none of our views but may also be members of our families, or our neighbors, or that woman at the drive-up window who doesn't disappear for ten minutes into the bowels of the bank when all you want to do is make a deposit. Maybe we can all take a deep breath, and just, you know, try to listen to each other. Maybe if we don't yell at him so much, Senator James Inhofe, for example, will read the IPCC report--just out of curiosity, just to see what all the fuss is about climate change.

Mike Huckabee at left, not the pope
Then the Pope met with Kim Price. Reportedly, he gave her a rosary and told her to "be strong." Price is not Catholic, so I wonder about the rosary. I wonder why he kept this appointment at all. Maybe he was given bad information by his staff, or (as some are already saying) by the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops. It doesn't really matter. He met with her, and now he's over for a lot of us. I feel like crying.

Gay marriage is no longer a matter of religious conscience. It's the law. (For the record, my religious conscience led me to participate in church-sponsored LGBT sacred unions 15 years ago.) But isn't obeying your superior officer on the battlefield also the law? Yet once in a while a soldier says nope, I've had enough, I'm not going to shoot at even one more person. The result is that many of us welcome her home and take up a collection for her defense. What's the difference between Kim Price and this soldier? For me the difference is that the soldier is choosing not to take a life, or royally mess one up, while Price is choosing the opposite course. She says she gets to mess up two lives because God tells her to.

For a few months I thought that some of the fair and generous people of the world had found a sort of leader in Pope Francis. It was a comforting, though dumb, idea. The Roman Catholic hierarchy is never going to prioritize ending poverty over freaking out about sex. James Inhofe and friends are never going to change their minds about climate change. The wall between us and them will still be standing when all of us are dead from heat and hunger and endless arguing. And blogging. Endless blogging. Truly a waste of time.