A Pope is a Pope, of Course, of Course

April 21, 2008

I’ve enjoyed reading PFB’s blog since we all started this little adventure back in January.  Not that I don’t enjoy reading other people’s blogs (I do, really!), but I especially enjoy PFB’s wit – So a big buzz blog going around currently (oh daaaaaamnnnn, did you feel that alliteration? Awwww yeah) – and his ability to get a whole post out of topics such as Ballston –In a year, I’ve seen a lot from my 6th-floor window and my conclusion is that Ballston is weird.  I was not surprised to find a recent post equally enjoyable (and relateable).  In it, PFB talks about how the Pope was in town (I hope I don’t have to link to this) and how even though he’s not the best Catholic, he still would have liked to have seen him ride by.

The post reminded me of a recent conversation I had with my friend, also not the best or most practicing of Catholics.  My mom told me that I should go see the Pope.  I explained that it was pretty hard to actually see the Pope, unless you stood in the street and caught a drive-by, and she seemed concerned I hadn’t put more effort into chasing him down.  It was a little surprising, considering she’s more liberal than I am (and I pretty much called the POTUS a draft-dodging cokemonkey in an earlier post) and wasn’t particularly pleased in Benedict’s succession because she thought it would delay the Church’s much-needed modernizing.

Anyway, considering my friend was technically Catholic and was super excited to partake of the bizarre spectacles that are Congressional Baseball games, I thought that an equally bizarre chance to see an 80-year-old man in a big hat and red possibly-Prada loafers drive down the street in a modified Mercedes-Benz ML 350 would provide ample motivation for his accompaniment.

Yet, he had no interest in seeing the Pope, who he said was a propagator of dangerous ideas (using less elegant language…this isn’t “Dawson’s Creek”).  I pointed out that despite the Church’s completely misguided positions on condoms in HIV-ravaged Africa and gay-marriage, and its complete bungling of the U.S. sexual abuse scandal, the Church still stood against the Iraq war, capital punishment and was a general source of spiritual and material comfort for 1/6th of the World’s entire population.  His response was that while Hitler had some good ideas (Volkswagen, the Autobahn), he wouldn’t go to see him, either.

Seeing the world in black-and-white is the hobby of people like Dick Cheney, people who decide an entire segment of the World’s population hates America “for its freedoms” and from that conclusion refuse to take into account any other thoughts or ideas that might lead to a more intelligent, appropriate and developed response to that population.   I personally think George W. Bush is dumber than a box of rocks and is quite possibly the worst president in American history, but I still shudder when someone compares the draft-dodging cokemonkey (there, I said it) to Hitler, and I likewise shudder when I hear someone compare the Pope to a madman who slaughtered six-million people.

It is perfectly fine to disagree with some, most or all of a person’s positions.  It’s also perfectly fine to just plain dislike someone.  But in an information age such as this, it’s sort of dim to just dismiss someone with whom you disagree, someone who is likely, as most are, a mere combination of good and evil.

While my friend’s Hilter statement was mostly in jest, it still made me think.  First, about how great an idea Volkswagen really was (seriously, only Hitler could approve of charging $30,000 for a completely unreliable car with “leatherette” seats), but also about why in a world where modern technology makes so much information available to so many more people than at any other time in World history, we all, at some point, still come to black-and-white decisions about people or places or events that so beg to be seen through a Technicolor lens that’s now available to anyone who just cares to look through it.

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One Response to “A Pope is a Pope, of Course, of Course”

  1. rosiethethird said

    Life through a Technicolor lens: Well said, and don’t we wish.

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