Serena Freewomyn

Pope Brings His Pradas to the US

Filed By Serena Freewomyn | April 15, 2008 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Margaret Cho, pope, Vatican

Pope Benedict XVI is making his first tour of the US this week. He will only be stopping in Washington, DC and New York, but he is hoping the visit will rally Catholics around the US. According to NPR:

At the outset of his papacy, Benedict's focus was on reawakening Europe's Christian roots. He hoped the old continent would become the spearhead of a battle against what he calls the "dictatorship of relativism." But much of Europe rebuffed Benedict. The European Union constitution leaves out any reference to God, and same-sex marriage has been legalized in several countries.

Vatican expert Sandro Magister says that today, Pope Benedict looks to the United States as a beacon for more positive relations between religion and politics.

"Benedict sees the state of religion in America as healthier," Magister says through a translator. "There is separation between church and state there, but the public space allows religion to play an important role."

Jesus H. Christ! You know things in the US are bad when this former Hitler Judge thinks that things look rosy!

OK, first of all . . . what business does the Pope have commenting on the role religion should play in the US? He's not American, he's a former Nazi. Secondly, the First Amendment still exists in theory and is supposed to keep the church and the state separate. The fact that he thinks the church is playing an adequate role in the US (while those heathens in Europe have abandoned it) is really just scary. More scary than the fact that the Pope looks like the Emperor from Star Wars.

And while we're on the topic, can I just mention how I think it's bullshit that the Pope is saying they're going to root out the pedophiles from the clergy?

"We will absolutely exclude pedophiles from the sacred ministry," he told reporters on his flight to Washington.

The Church will do everything possible in screening candidates for the priesthood, he said, "so that only really sound persons can be admitted."

"It is more important to have good priests than to have many priests," said Benedict, who will be welcomed by U.S. President George W. Bush on arrival at Andrews Air Force Base.

How are they going to do that if they don't allow gays to be ordained? Statistically, heterosexual males are the majority of child molesters. So if they root out the pedophiles, they are basically making it impossible to have any priests since gays aren't allowed to be ordained. Sounds like a mathematical impossibility if you ask me.

Anyhoo hoo, here's Margaret Cho's take on the Vatican.

iPhone users: Click to watch

Queen, please! Indeed!

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Jesus H. Christ! You know things in the US are bad when this former Hitler Judge thinks that things look rosy!

Indeed! The self ordained "God's Rottweiler" should keep his claws out of our political system. The last thing we need is the Dick Cheney of religion telling us our country is on the right track...

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | April 15, 2008 4:16 PM

Today Ratzi claimed to be ashamed about pedophile priests but what really upset him is the estimated $3,000,000,000.00 his cult is paying out to survivors of the epidemic of child rape by priests like him.

Considering his history in the HitlerJugend and his reactionary politics Ratzinger makes an excellent spokesmodel for all the Roman cult stands for. The catholic cult is based on an amalgam of the superstitious ‘mystery’ cults that emerged feom the degenerate period of Roman culture. During the Dark Ages they morphed into a rapacious, bloodthirsty organization hell bent on accumulating wealth and power. Catholic cult leaders were the mainstay of the retrograde and devolutionary trends of feudalism. They organized the mass murders of jews, muslims, cathars, ‘schismatics’, ‘heretics’, GLBT folks, midwives, the poor, rebels and anyone who got in their way.

Have they changed? Not significantly. They are still the same organization governed by the same howling superstitions. However the liberal use of the guillotine as a cure for clerical treason during the French Revolution and similar efforts in other nations since then has taught them to be circumspect.

But not always. While little Ratzinger was goosestepping his way into the HitlerJugend and industriously trying to shoot down Allied aircraft as a Luftwaffe flak gunner his papal predecessor Eugene Pacelli, aka Pius XII, was praising Hitler’s war on ‘communism’ and pigheadedly refusing to speak out about the Holocaust. (They like to give themselves names like Pius, for the same reason that George would like to be called Bush the Smart.) Later Pacelli’s Vatican government played a central role in the escape of large numbers of Nazi war criminals, and were no doubt well paid for it.

We are born gay, lesbian, transgendered. We are not born superstitious. That’s a lifestyle choice, a learned behavior. Catholic and other cultists ought to think long and hard about the political and historic reality of their cult and do what they can to wean themselves from it. You can change, they won’t change.

Bill, while I agree with what you're saying about religion being a lifestyle choice, I didn't mean for my post to be an attack on Catholics. I have many dear friends who are liberal Catholics and their faith means a lot to them. My personal experience with the Newman Center in Tempe has been overwhelmingly positive. Father Fred is an amazing guy. The Catholic Workers that I interacted with in Phoenix when I was part of Food Not Bombs was also totally chill. So I don't think it's fair to paint all Catholics with such a broad brush.

A few months ago, I posted about my experience growing up in the Mormon Church. The Church's leadership is very much against homosexuality, and many members struggle to rectify their own sexuality or that of a family member with the Mormon Church's official doctrine. The Mormon Church also has some unsavory parts of its history that I'm not going to get into in the comment section of this post. But let's just say that I don't dislike Mormons as a group, even though my experience with the Church has been very unhealthy. I think most Mormons are good people who try to do right by their families and their neighbors. If the Church leadership ever decides to change its position on homosexuality, I think most members of the Church will go along with the decision.

So yes . . . While I'm opposed to the current Pope, I don't want my personal opinion to be misconstrued as being against Catholics as a whole.

Oh, the Pope. Of course he doesn't like the separation of church and state - he wants us to go back to the days when the Church could excommunicate world leaders. It's a nice power to have.

Although the last Pope did oppose the war in Iraq. Would have been nice if our supposedly Christian president had at least listened to what the pope had to say on the matter instead of that other Star Wars emperor look-alike, Dick Cheney.

ok little weird for a Heathen to be defending the Pope but here goes.He was a member of the Hitler Youth not a judge he severed in the army then acorrding to him deserted first chance he got.Also Bill since you act like you know your history remember this at the time the Pope was a kid you joined the HJ or else! You wanted a job you joined the Nazi Party or else. Get the idea yes we here in America never have had to join or else dumped on us. So listen to what he has to say when hes here and not just close your ears and scream and yell hes a Nazi many of you have never had to deal with Nazi's in my own religion many who claim to be folkish ASATRU are realy Nazi wannabes. Yes you have to learn how to put them in there place so think before you rant as your words do mean something.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | April 15, 2008 7:54 PM

Love your title, Serena!!!

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | April 15, 2008 9:19 PM

Serena, I live in Las Vegas so I know a lot of LDS people and agree with you that they can be good people. I’ve worked with a lot of Catholic Worker people on antiwar and anti-nuke actions and admire their dedication. I know that lots and lots of catholics and mormons reject this or that wrong headed policy like bigotry or opposition to abortion, but that’s immaterial. If they buy into the irrationality and superstition which are at the core of religion then it often makes them prone to accept their cult leader’s other reactionary ideas about sexuality, culture, science and politics.

That’s why we should condemn these cults and their leaders in no uncertain terms and why I think it’s important to tell them that they "ought to think long and hard about the political and historic reality of their cult and do what they can to wean themselves from it.“

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 16, 2008 2:33 AM

Serena, yours was the absolute first posting I visited this afternoon in Buddhist Thailand. I was raised Catholic, known scores of Gay Catholic priests and even a couple of Gay Catholic bishops. They deal with the conflict in their lives in a variety of ways. Prayer, booze, affairs, and self destructive behaviors too numerous to mention are among them. All this while having the veneer of respectability. "The Queen of Mean" Leona Helmsley used to say: "Only the poor people pay taxes." Well she was wrong, as the greatest slum landlords in the history of Mankind the church has a substantial tax bill and any amount she could pay now is only interest on the principle.

Straight priests have girlfriends and Gay priests, well, in my experience one in three priests are Gay, and it was once a place to go if a traditional "family" life was out of the question. Of course a Gay priest does not equate a child molester, but most people are too stupid to find or understand the difference.

Bill Perdue's analysis of the Roman church is spot on in a number of points, but from the vantage point I once had, when I was innocent, when God sat on my shoulder and divine mystery was possible, the beauty I beheld was palpable. Is that the definition of a cult or the opening of a window into the possibility of becoming our best selves? I think the latter if you are prepared to painfully self examine.

Now, why do priests not marry? They used to, but the church ended the practice when the priests left their money to their families. The inability of the church to justify or reconcile her many mysteries has been the stuff of writing since before Voltaire's "Candide" where in the wonderings of the hero he found "El Dorado" where to his amazement he found no priests or churches.

"Where do you keep God?" he asked,
"In ourselves" was their answer.
"But, where are your priests?"
"We are each our own priests."

All organized Christian religions are corrupt. The Vatican takes the lead in corruption as in Western Europe she was once a city state and acts as though her pope is a king and her bishops princes. Many of her bishops used to BE princes by birth. There is no way to wash away two thousand years of error in Christianity. Both the Roman and Orthodox traditions are founded upon falsehoods. Their foundations are in sand and their purpose was to underpin the organization of government in controlling people.

During the inquisition, when papal armies killed whole populations of people the attitude was that if an innocent was killed. "Don't worry, God will recognize his own."

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | April 16, 2008 5:20 AM

Robert, glad to hear from antoher relapsee. Regarding the term cult if it walks like a cult and it talks like a cult then it’s a cult. That’s the definition that seems to fit best. I can’t see that it matters at all if they’re a little cult or the world’s biggest cult.

Certainly there are exceptions but by and large the catholic priesthood and hierarchy are reactionaries, and in many parts of the world they promote vicious totalitarian doctrines, from theocracy to fascism. I’ve only known one priest well. He quit after his bf, another priest, died during the early years of the plague. He was the bitterest person I’ve ever met – he felt that he’d literally wasted his life.

I didn’t have the same experience as you did growing up catholic. I never found beauty in their rituals or beliefs, just comedy. As I learned more about them and was able to translate more Latin I began to feel a little silly about believing all that crap.

Luckily, right after puberty they corralled me for the archdiocesan Golden Gloves team and there I discovered real heavenly glory - sex with another boy. Hallelujah! I knew what the priests and nuns would do to me if they found out so I didn’t even bother to confess. I walked away from all that and I’ve never looked back. (I did become a bit of an anti-catholic. On many Fridays until I graduated it was my habit to buy double cheese and bacon grease burgers and take them back to the lunch room where I noisily munched on them, making a big show of it by smacking my lips and sighing contentedly. If I hadn't been a boxer I would've been lynched by all those lost souls gagging on their fishsticks.)

What kills me is that Americans still don't realize how deeply entrenched in religion our political system actually is - separation of church and state notwithstanding.

The proof is in the pudding. There's a reason why the Pope is coming to America to rally the faithful instead of Europe. Gotta go where the people are. It's why he visits Africa so much too.