Friday, August 2, 2013

Sympathy for the Theocrat

 The Pope's visit to Brazil has enjoyed worshipful media coverage. He has been lauded for 'attacking' "inequality on visit to Brazilian slum" and 'calling' "for social change." Even supposedly progressive papers like the guardian wrote that "Pope Francis' social reform message is exactly what Brazil needs to hear."

Newspapers ignore what the Pope actually represents. Inquisitors operated in Brazil from the early modern period until 1834. At least forty thousand Jews were persecuted, people were still burned alive in the  nineteenth century. The pope's silence speaks loudly about his character, a man of conscience would take the chance to apologize for crimes in Brazil.

For Frank to talk about equality is staggering hypocrisy since he believes god chose him to rule over millions in a ceremonial feudal system. How interesting that holy systems are no different from man-made forms of government, what a coinky dink. Frank's little vacay is going to cost Brazil at least 40 million dollars at a time of financial crisis therefore creating additional poverty. The trip is an attempt to halt secularism, far from a simple tour to greet the faithful.

Frank's stunts receive more attention than the fact that his condom policy contributes directly to AIDS deaths. Papal homophobia could severely impact life for sexual minorities in Brazil who face attempts to make 'gay cures' legal and endemic homophobic violence. The Pope was hailed for saying "who am I" to judge on homosexuals. Time magazine said gays "have most to gain from" Frank's latest comments. Time magazine reduced homosexuals to objects of pity who need  theocrats to state that sexual minorities are kinda sorta human.

The Pope was quoted out of context he actually said "when I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized." Frank's comment are nothing progressive; its the same 'love the sinner hate the sin' routine which inevitably leads to anti-LGBT hatred. Frank's opinion is worse; he promotes the fantasy of a gay conspiracy or "lobby" influenced by anti-Semitism. Francis hails from a country where nearly 90% hate Jews.

Frank's opinions sharply contradict coverage lauding him as a less conservative reformer. He stated that "on the ordination of women, the church has spoken and said no. John Paul II, in a definitive formulation, said that door is closed." Female clerics exist in many Christian denominations which means that the Vatican's policy is based in misogyny not theology (though the line between the two is usually thin). If the Papal office can come up with something as ridiculous as reduced time purgatory for twitter followers there is no obstacle to female priests save misogyny.

No one should be shocked that Frank is illiberal, once the Vatican is no longer an obstacle to condoms for AIDS the Church will be as irrelevant as scientology. Though it is shocking that people bought into hype and acted as if Jon Stewart became Pope. Unctuous media coverage is the real sin; the relics of the past must be scrutinized, to praise them betrays modern values.

No comments:

Post a Comment