miércoles, abril 06, 2005

The Pope

First, let me say that although I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school and went through communion and confirmation, I now just call myself spiritual, because as soon as I was old enough to realize that the Catholic Church is a group of hypocrites, and most times without so much as an apology, I rejected all forms of organized religion and embraced God in my own way. This decision was also influenced by the fact that Catholics, or their representatives, if you so choose, have, throughout history, gone around forcefully converting people to Catholicism, and torturing and/or killing them if they refused. The best examples are the Spanish Inquisition and the conquest of America. Did anyone see the movie "The Magdalene Sisters"? Well, it wasn't fiction, and yes the atrocities committed there were by Irish Catholic nuns and parents, and the last of those "laundries" did not close until 1996. When my dad was a kid, he witnessed several of his classmates get smacked in school. By who? Catholic nuns so frustrated that they couldn't find another way to instill discipline in their charges. And let's not even tough the sodomy subject. Then these people say that their actions were so sanctioned by God or were done in His name. That's the biggest load of crap I've ever heard. God is benevolent and perfect, so we are taught, so how can a being so benevolent and so perfect sanction such things? It is that benevolence and that perfection that I'm choosing to go with. If I went with what the Catholic church and school taught me about who or what God is, I would be one messed up and fearful little woman. Besides that, it is necessary for me, in cases where I need lots of help, to put my destiny in the hands of God and trust the He knows what is best for me, and that will be the outcome. This has been working just fine for the past few years, so I really have to believe that God is benevolent and perfect and has my best interests at heart, even though I am a sinner. But when I sin, sometimes those sins come back and bite me in the ass, so maybe God figures we're even......

As for the Papalcy, let's say that the Catholic church is a corporation. That corporation appoints a PR person. The official name for the position is The Pope. He is a guru, if you will, and he could use his powers for manipulation if he felt it necessary, because most Catholics argue catholic doctrines by saying "the Pope says so." This position can also be akin to that of Colin Powell when he came to the UN to beg for the their blessing for Iraq. So the Pope's job can sometimes be an unlucky one. But John Paul II distinguished himself in his position by influencing global politics. Some of us (the ones who are right) argue for the separation of church and state. Technically speaking, this could only avoid problems like the Terri Schiavo case and the Government wanting to get inside women's privates and ban abortion in the name of religion. But sometimes it is necessary to remind world leaders that there are such things as morals and ethics and God, and Pope John Paul II did just that. A lot of people will say that he turned a blind eye to many things, and I won't deny that he did. But something is better than nothing. Pope John Paul the II was not your garden-variety Pope, or Big Boss, as it were, and for that the world is thankful.

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