Rule Number One: Have a sense of humor. Lighten up, and this goes for everyone. And that means perspective, Jeeves. Perspective. Perspective irrespective. As for me, some of the ideas that were presented to me as a kid and even to this day make absolutely no sense. They’re beyond preposterous. Fantastic. Wildly impossible and obviously untrue. The fabulist’s handiwork and craft. But so what?
Don’t act like the poster child for snark, Bill Maher, or even the more academically astute yet criminally pedantic, Richard Dawkins, who spend far too much time trying to convince the devout that their belief is pointless. They’re themselves affected by others’ devoutness. I submit in part due to envy, perhaps jealousy. And their wrath has invariably the Christian in their crosshairs. And especially Catholics. But Jews? Muslims?! Are you kidding? Nary a peep from these brave critics.
So, hear me. Lighten up, you morons. Every religion that’s not yours seems, to put it mildly, a tad off. How could it not? Clothing, hats, diet, chants, rants and incantations. Catholics as a kid from a kid’s worldview were beyond great and I say that sincerely and with love. It was all über great, très great theater of the soul, ritualized reverence and I never believed a single word of any of it for a second. But so what?
The messages were at times apt and spot on. Mention anything if Jesus and the directives were perfect, viz. judge not lest you be judged, do unto others and my favorite — it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a 1%er to slip into Heaven. Matthew 19:24, baby. Imagine the convenient Christians on the Fox Bidness Channel digging that one. So, suffice it to say, my little heathen, the Bible is awash and replete in great imagery and messaging. As are others.
And the Ted Baxter mainstream media love to think they’ve figured out Pope Francis. They think he’s a cool guy who’s the anti-Pope, the un-homophobe, the Pope who’ll make women priests and … . Wrong! What, are they nuts? They just don’t understand the history and house rules of the Papacy. I mean, who do you think Frank is? Pope Hilarius (my favorite, by the by). His position as is the Church’s position on abortion is consistent: He’s agin it. And there’s no budging. Look, personally, the idea that chicks can’t be padres makes no sense. But so what? I’m not rectory-bound. It’s a house rule. They used to tell us young’ns at Jesuit High that priests had to be male because they were the Pope’s army and had to. E ready to travel. So, what, women can’t travel? Like I said, it’s a house rule. Based perhaps on misogyny, historical antecedents and anachronisms, but so what? What do you expect from a religion that doesn’t bat an eye at the fascinating concept of theophagy. (Try that one on for size?)
And while we’re on the subject, while I remain steadfastly pro-choice we’ve marginalized human worth to such an extent that it’s nice to be reminded that human life means something. We employ capital punishment, war, collateral damage, cloning, IVF, stem cell research — there’s nothing that we won’t do so long as we know the code words. That’s why we need Pope Francis and the Church and religion. We need it because it’s a logical counterbalance to the sick and soulless and vapid and vile world that we live in. There may indeed be a God gene. It may be as atavistic and hardwired and reflexive as the fear of falling and loud noises (our only two inherent, inborn reflexes). All I know is that it would behoove us all to respect religion. No matter how utterly preposterous it may seem. To you.
The relativistic truth of doxy and the necessity of knowing what the hell you’re talking about. As you might have figured, I love the topic of religion. It fascinates me in every aspect and area. From the First Amendment to judicial interpretations to the intellectual intransigence of those who can’t see its position and place and relevance. And now, my sermons commence. The disquisitions. The exegeses.