All heil the new pope!

Somewhere in the summer on an Internet message board (easily findable by careful reading of this blog), I ran into a sort of Bill O’Reilly-esque Conservatoid. I say “Bill O’Reilly-esque” in the sense that he claims Independence and obviously thinks of himself as “Independent” (heck, he voted for Gore! And he listens to all sides… defined by him as both right wing radio talk and NPR!!!). But his big halla-balos: stark hawkism with regards to war matters (at first defending the Abu Gharib Torture scandal, then realizing it was basically an untenable spot and calling them “a case of a few bad apples” — beyond which these were “the worst of the batch” they were torturing, and then at the same time trying to justify Torture as an effective means to an end — which goes back to defending the Abu Gharib Torture scandal. News items saying that these weren’t the “worst of the batch” apparently the “liberal media”.)

A screed against “Politically Incorrectness”, this weird item of concern that I am never sure what is being debating. (Take, for instance, the attacks against Christmas that I was completely unaware was happening sans Bill O’Reilly and Fox News last Christmas. And in the end, all I can really tell you is that it’s a good thing that White Americans are no longer going around using the “n” word. [And I have a certain Bill Cosby-esque discomfort in Black Youth using the word, too.])

And… the Republican Talking Points on John Kerry and his “flip-flopping” ways. In the end Kerry striked me as a politician who doesn’t flip-flop any more or any less than any other politician, and some of them made sense. But I was going to take a few of them apart. I got through one of them, for me the most important and flawed objection on the list. (I would have gotten to a sort of half-way point on the War Resolution Vote a little later, half way in that I don’t find Kerry’s positioning kosher, but at the same time his statement “I actually voted for the $87 Billion before I voted against it”, as asinine as it is, makes sense in that: IF SENATORS AND HOUSE MEMBERS DON’T VOTE FOR BILLS BEFORE THEY VOTE AGAINST THEM AS OBJECTIONABLE CHANGES ARE BEING MADE AND VITAL CHANGES ARE VOTED DOWN, THEY’RE NOT DOING THEIR JOB.)

What you had here was a person who described himself as a “hardcore Agnostic” (a term that striked me as an oxymoron, and he left before I had the opportunity to throw only the cursory jab at the term), and was — upon discussion – “pro-choice” saying he was a flip-flopper because voices within the Catholic Church were saying not to give Communion to pro-choice Catholics. He used the phrase “His own church says…”

And thus it went from there, to my pointing out that half of Catholics consider themselves “pro-choice”, for good or for ill to the Catholic Church I don’t particularly care. From there the comment is made that “I don’t care how they justify and rationalize their faith, but John Kerry…” To which I said, “Why should I expect John Kerry to be any holier and up on Church Doctrine than any other Catholic lay-person?” At which point, I pretty much won that argument hands-down, the other more unabashed Bush-supporter chiming in with a “yes, but it doesn’t matter. The rest of Kerry’s flip-flopping is naseating.”

I bring this up by way of getting to the new Pope. The new Pope, as it turns out, was the Catholic Bishop who started the whole “Communion-Gate” by issuing the suggestion that perhaps Catholic pro-choice politicians shouldn’t receive Communion.

A curious selection as a pope. I should have written down my prediction as to who the new pope would be. My prediction had been: (1) an arch-conservative. (2) A man of advanced age to the point where he will probably die within a half dozen years. As it turns out, he may be in poor health right this minute.

The last factor is kind of similar to the final decades of the Soviet Union, where the leader was an aged man who was not going to make any waves within the government.

Not that anyone is expecting the new pope to favour contraceptions, legalized abortion, favouring porn… Anyone who wanted that would be sorely disappointed, and will forever be sorely disappointed (I hope.)

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