Pope Francis has left the building. His first trip to the United States created news at every turn.
Let's not forget reports that he met with Kim Davis, the meaning of which I have not a clue. Perhaps he wanted to see what a "real" 'Murcan was like?
My brother, at the height of the Vietnam War, staged a one-man protest at the Catholic University he was attending, which had a mandatory ROTC program. He made simple cardboard signs reading: "Do you pray to Christ the soldier?" and "Do you worship the God of War?" and sat on the parade grounds during Sunday morning drill. The cadre ordered the cadets to spit on him as they passed and he was given an ultimatum by the Dean to either submit or leave.
It made the papers of course, and on a following Sunday during the sermon by our Pastor - that so-called representative of Christ - while my family including mother and father sat in the pews, with great hatred and ferocity, called my brother a disgrace, a coward, and embarrassment, and an enemy of the United States. About that same time, while in "religion" class at the local Catholic HS the Brother teaching the class remarked that the heathens that have never heard the word of Christ could never attain the kingdom of heaven. I raised my hand and told this fine fellow that this did not sound like a just God to me. That, and I'm sure my brother's action soon had the school administration telling my parents that my presence was no longer welcome in their hallowed halls.
I despise the Catholic Church, Francis notwithstanding.
edit: That same Franciscan Brother by the way was later defrocked for having an affair with a female student and getting her pregnant. I wonder if he looks for mercy and forgiveness from his fierce god.
It is a significant sea change when a Pope stands up against war! By granting Merton homage, Pope Francis did just that:
"Merton began engaging with the issues of the world, especially the Cold War, the arms race, nuclear weapons, racism, the Vietnam War. His own Trappist order censored him and wouldn’t allow him to publish on those topics for some years. ... He said, ‘I want my whole life to be a protest against war and political tyranny. No to everything that destroys life. Yes to everything that affirms it.’”
I also am DEEPLY gratified that he spoke openly about the MIC's penchant for making war under the guise of stopping it... or protecting against it. Just as a society that truly opposed drug use would make ALL drugs unavailable, it's now known that the CIA brought crack cocaine into inner city neighborhoods. And many more than suspect that covert military operators still use drug money to fund their black ops plans and dark agendas.
In parallel, ensuring that an unstable world is awash in armaments is a virtual guarantee of future wars and bloody tribal/internecine conflicts.
This is superb:
"He also called for an end to the international arms trade, saying, “Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood.”
Years ago I dated a construction worker who noted that geniuses create the architectural blueprint, but pretty unsophisticated laborers must build from those plans.
The analogy is that MASTERS come to our difficult planet with the hope of leaving behind the ideological blueprints of a higher way... and related understanding. What's happened in each instance is that a cabal of ego-driven individuals took possession of said teachings and commoditized it into an INSTITUTION. Once the institution is in place, people are taught to obey it; and the further the institution departs from the original blueprints, the greater its use of force, deception, and coercion (moral, social, cultural, financial, muscular, and otherwise) to force compliance.
The Catholic Church is a prime example.
There ARE natural laws. For instance, water freezes at thirty-two degrees, and the sun rises each morning. There are also cycles built into all aspects of human life, along with those made apparent in Nature. And what this shows is that whenever times allot too much power into too few hands, the pendulum swings in the opposite direction.
This Pope could well be making amends for much that is disturbing in the history of the Roman Catholic Church. It has LOTS of blood and sin on its hands. That is the nature, I believe, of almost any entity once it becomes its own institution.
Where your issue is your brother, mine is both the carnage done onto the Native Peoples across the Americas (under the blessing of the church), and also, the grave torture done unto thousands of women in a campaign that lasted several centuries and was aimed at forcing women to totally submit to the rule and control of men. THAT is the oldest sin on the church's hands and it predates the Slave trade which is another sin that the church countenanced.
The pendulum is swinging back toward the light, the fair, the just, and the True... and this Pope is a blessing and a beginning in that regard.
I almost omitted my one-line statement of my regard for the Church. My parents were devout Catholics and their influence on my, and my siblings lives, are probably the reason we are all progressive in various degrees, if there is any agreement on what that really means. I admire Francis for his courage in speaking out for the common chorus that is rising all over the world.
Just like many things, the church is not all one thing or another. On the local level here I see it as a glorified clique. I was involved in youth soccer for many years and when that same Catholic HS decided to build a new soccer field a friend heavily involved in the church and school approached me to do the design and layout for the new facility. I contributed at least $1500 in time and computer design and field layout (probably more.) I only asked one thing in return: to be a part of the officiating crew at the first game (was a FIFA and OHSAA soccer referee.) What I got was a homemade bottle of wine that had turned to vinegar (how fitting!) and constant abuse by Catholic parents every time I deigned to step onto their field to officiate their little darling's games. It has never been forgotten in this little corner of decay that I rejected the Church and refused all their subsequent offers of "redemption."
The point of relating that further story is that no-one of the faithful broke ranks to come to my defense or support. For me it is very personal.
A Pope that follows the liberal Jesus. But if he shared the Catholic Church's vast riches with the poor, like in "The Shoes of the Fisherman", isn't it likely that along with its riches, the Church would lose its power in the world?
Well said SR!
When he had a meeting with Kim Davis and told her to "hang in there" he lost me. That wiped out all of his good words before that.
Years ago I teamed up with a talented Key West cartoonist. She had the artistic capacity to bring the concepts I'd dream up... to life.
In any case, one of my favorite collaborations with Judi B was the image of a woman being burned as a witch in the center of town. Back in that era, THAT was "reality T.V." And those spectacles attracted the usual crowds; you know, the same after-church bunch that enjoyed all those hangings and lynching enterprises out back.
In any case, the cartoon's caption reads: "Do you think she had a problem with self-esteem?"
For anyone who doesn't get my humor, what I sought to pillory was the mainstream media pop psychology reflex to blame victims for what societal distortions produce.
The church, like any patriarchal authority or authoritarian entity, uses its bully power to shame people into conformity and conformist rituals.
When I was in 2nd grade, I used to bully back the bullies because it infuriated me how they'd pick on fat kids, or poor kids, or the girl who wasn't all that pretty, etc.
This cruelty is learned! And since it's very painful to become the target--or individual placed at the center of the town square and burned (literally or symbolically)--most people just go along. They don't want to bear the slings and arrows of social ostracism.
In fact, Shirley Jackson satirized this very behavior in her short story masterpiece, "The Lottery." It is a pretty powerful literary exploration into why good people go along with "the banality of evil."
Without the old fiery spectacles, the church-state is still fixated on punishing heretics: that is, anyone who deviates too widely from the official stories and state-stamped narratives.
What I like best about Lincoln: ''government of, by and for the people."
What I like least: He should have let the South secede, then declared safe-haven
and freedom in the North for runaway slaves.
This would have avoided a bloody civil war, brought the South to its knees
economically, and perhaps two nations instead of one would have resulted
in less U.S. imperialism which currently plagues the world.
The basic message: fight, fight, fight!
"What I like least: He should have let the South secede, then declared safe-haven and freedom in the North for runaway slaves."
I think the only thing that this would have accomplished would have been Lincoln's assassination occurring in 1861, at the hands of a Northerner, instead of in 1865, as it happened, at the hands of a Southerner.
Dorothy Day was one of the greatest American women of the 20th Century. Thomas Merton was an enigmatic spiritual type, but he was on our side, I believe. Interesting to read his writings.
I don't believe that it is true that the Church countenanced slavery. At least since medieval times. The institutional operation of slavery has been done by Islamic people, at least since then. Poor starving peasant children from France were sold to the Ottoman Empire in the middle ages, but the sellers used Jewish intermediaries, since no Christian would dare to participate, (though these ventures were highly profitable) for fear of ex-communication. The Crimean Tatars, Islamic Turks, remnants of Genghis Kahn's Mongol hordes, raided up into the territories of what is now Ukraine and Russia, and sold at least 2 million slavs (hence the name) to the Ottoman Turks, for two centuries, until conquered by Catherine the Great in 1769. The slave dealers in 19th century Africa, who raided the interior to capture primitive African tribespeople, which they sold to British noble entrepreneurs, who transported them and sold them to American colonists (they certainly were not members of the "Church", they were protestant apostates), were all Muslims. The slave trade continued in the Ottoman Empire well into the end of the 19th century. For instance, on July 31, 1877, a Turkish army invaded Start Zagora, a city in central Bulgaria, and sadistically murdered all of the men and boys, about 15,000. They captured over 10,000 young women and girls, and sold them in the slave markets of the Ottoman Empire, then flourishing in Istanbul. This practice is continuing to the present day. For instance, at this very moment, a Jihadist Islamic State warrior is raping his young female Iraqi slave. Allah wills it
Mmmmm-No mention of Daniel and Philip Berrigan?