When it comes to the nuts in the Republican Party, the GOP has given up its asylum.
As Representative Peter King of New York put it regarding Boehner’s bowing out,
“I think it signals that crazies have taken over the party. Taken over the party that you can remove a Speaker of the House who’s second in line to be president, a constitutional officer, in the middle of his term with no allegations of impropriety, a person who’s honest and doing his job.
This has never happened before in our country.”
And so, instead of the natural relationship of the elephant to the peanut, the natural order has been abandoned, and the nuts have taken over the party.
He was THAT close.
I watched Pope Francis’s speech to both Houses of Congress, listened to his speech to the United, Nations (I was in my car), and tuned in and out of the other appearances for the rest of the time.
Although some of his critics found his speech in D.C a little dull in the delivery category, I just figured he had his speech translated into English, perhaps some of it phonetically so he could pronounce some of the words right, and that could excuse some of the lack luster delivery. After all, when he spoke to the United Nations in his native tongue, he sounded more alive.
As I wrote a few days ago, I was hoping that there might be something in what he said that would give me some idea that I would be allowed to get my church club membership card back.
But, he fell a bit short.
Although he told he UN,
“Economic and social exclusion is a complete denial of human fraternity and a grave offense against human rights and the environment” ,
“To enable these real men and women to escape from extreme poverty, we must allow them to be dignified agents of their own destiny. Integral human development and the full exercise of human dignity cannot be imposed. They must be built up and allowed to unfold for each individual, for every family, in communion with others, and in a right relationship with all those areas in which human social life develops – friends, communities, towns and cities, schools, businesses and unions, provinces, nations, etc”,
As well as,
” to cite the classic definition of justice, means that no human individual or group can consider itself absolute, permitted to bypass the dignity and the rights of other individuals or their social groupings”,
he went immediately against it when in a less than veiled reference to Transgender people he said,
“Without the recognition of certain incontestable natural ethical limits and without the immediate implementation of those pillars of integral human development, the ideal of ‘saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war’, and ‘promoting social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom’, risks becoming an unattainable illusion, or, even worse, idle chatter which serves as a cover for all kinds of abuse and corruption, or for carrying out an ideological colonization by the imposition of anomalous models and lifestyles which are alien to people’s identity and, in the end, irresponsible”.
So much for, “we must allow them to be dignified agents of their own destiny “.
Then he spoke Sunday morning to bishops gathered at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, bishops who have spoken against the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, telling them that there were “unprecedented changes” having “social, cultural and, unfortunately, now juridical effects on family bonds”.
As he flew home, the pope told reporters that government workers have a “human right” to refuse to carry out a duty if they have a “conscientious objection”, a statement that would seem to support Kim Davis.
He had been asked.
“Do you … support those individuals, including government officials, who say they cannot in good conscience, their own personal conscience, abide by some laws or discharge their duties as government officials, for example when issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples?”
“I can’t have in mind all the cases that can exist about conscientious objection … but yes, I can say that conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right. Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying, ‘this right that has merit, this one does not.'”
Asked if this principle applied to government officials carrying out their duties, he replied:
“It is a human right and if a government official is a human person, he has that right. It is a human right.”
So I find I am still in the category of God’s creatures who are “anomalous models and lifestyles which are alien to people’s identity and, in the end, irresponsible” ,not equal to others and not permitted “the dignity and the rights of other individuals or their social groupings”, and whose rights with which we have been endowed by our Creator are subject to the right of someone who is paid to do a taxpayer funded job equally to all citizens to deprive me of those rights.
Maybe the next guy.
In the Reagan years, the trinity of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II worked together to bring down the Soviet Union.
Conservatives were enthralled by the pope, as were many Republicans. He used his position as head of the Catholic Church to help bring the Cold War and the Soviet Union to an end.
What a great man of religion.
Even though he had told catholic clergy that they were to end any involvement in politics, which resulted in Massachusetts losing Father Robert Drinan, S.J. as a Representative, a liberal one, John Paul II had no problem getting involved in them himself.
Reagan loved John Paul II.
Margaret Thatcher loved John Paul II.
Republicans loved John Paul II.
Conservatives loved John Paul II.
This was a man of action that was bringing the teachings of Christ into the public square.
Too bad all popes didn’t get as involved in the world as he did.
Oh, but wait.
Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie claimed at the beginning of Pope Francis’s visit to the United States that the pope should stay out of politics entirely because his infallibility only pertains to religious matters.
But, although the pope is only infallible in matters of faith and morals, it does not mean he cannot have opinions in other areas.
They are just as fallible as anyone else’s.
You see, the business of infallibility does not cover everything, but only some very specific things that have to be pronounce “ex Cathedra”, from the throne, in a very formal manner.
It has been rarely used.
John Paul II helped bring down the Iron Curtain and unite what were the satellites of the Soviet Union with the rest of the world, including the United States.
Pope Francis wants to support relations between Cuba and the United States.
Regarding the opening of Cuba he said:
“For some months now, we have witnessed an event which fills us with hope: the process of normalizing relations between two peoples following years of estrangement.
I urge political leaders to persevere on this path and to develop all its potentialities as a proof of the high service which they are called to carry out on behalf of the peace and well-being of their peoples, of all America, and as an example of reconciliation for the entire world”.
So while John Paul II is considered a hero because he worked with Reagan, Republican Catholics, like Christie, find fault with Pope Francis because, while doing the same thing, he is doing it with the wrong president.
If Francis is wrong now, wouldn’t John Paul II have been wrong and out of place then?
But get a conservative Catholic Republican to admit that.
So the differences?
A republican president and a conservative pope, good
A liberal president and a liberal pope, anathema and un-Catholic.
For those who do not know me, or who know me during certain stages in my life, having been born in Boston in 1950, I was of the last generation of Catholics who lived under the Old Church.
That would include Latin; priests saying Mass with their backs to the people while everyone in the church, except the altar boys, of which I was one, who had a close up view of things, had no idea what was really going on up there; Parochial schools taught by Nuns who wore medieval habits and hit us in school with what appeared, at times, a little too much relish; and thinking we were one curse word or evil thought away from eternal damnation.
All this until Vatican II.
Then I went to a seminary, took my vows after novitiate, and lived in a religious community until I realized it was just not for me; came home and taught CCD, Sunday School on a week night for those who only know actual Sunday school; sang in and directed a church choir; taught at a parochial high school; and was really into all that until one day, when all the various pieces fell into place, and I connected all the dots and realized I was Gay, and after assuming that if I could live with that others who knew me for who I was would be just as easy with it, found out the president of the club, the pope, and all his minions threw me out of it.
I was still the same guy, but there was just something about me that had always been there just below the surface, and had never interfered with anything, that suddenly made me unacceptable.
All the good works I had done, like feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, clothing the naked, giving of my time for the benefit of others, became nothing because of this one bit of information.
I lived under Pius XII, was hopeful under John XXIII, saw some things go backward under Paul VI, got real suspicious with the sudden death of John Paul I, saw the second John Paul as another conservative and one of the trinity with Reagan and Thatcher, had heard a lot about Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger who became Benedict XVI during my seminary days from people who were watching his rise and not liking it.
Now along comes the new guy, Pope Francis, named after Francis Xavier the founder of the Jesuits, and not Francis the guy who liked animals and started the Franciscans, although most people seem to ignore that or won’t accept it, and maybe one of John XXIII’s windows might be re-opened to let some fresh air in.
Although I have not met them, I know those who oppose his “modern” ideas, as they are of the same ilk that went nuts with Vatican II, and had since done whatever they could to cancel it.
They were pretty successful under Paul, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI.
I’m hoping this pope not only gets to pull things forward, but grows to accept things that are not quite accepted now, or will make it easier for the next one to do it.
Today, while waiting for my visitors to come to my new apartment, I watched the pope arrive in his toy car at the White House. I wasn’t so interested in what he had to say as with what the commentators had to say about what he said. And it was predictable.
Most stations just related events without much comment, but Fox perseverated on one or two sentences, and practically predicted the end of civilization as we know it.
On Face Book and in the comments sections after various articles about his arrival at the White house and the United States the day before, as was to be expected, there were a lot of comments, some unending from the same people stating that they had no interest in the pope while commenting before, during, and after the White House ceremony, and others who admitted they were not Catholic, but had their opinions about how the pope had ruined their lives.
By proxy maybe.
Some Face Bookers were holding running commentary that repeated their lack of interest before going off all about the pope they had no interest in and their actual lack of knowledge about the Catholic Church.
I got the feeling that some just felt left out and needed to find inclusion.
I have no interest in Football, so I do not watch and post.
Award show participants seem so needy to me, so I do not watch and post.
Reality shows strike me as only meaningful to those who have no lives of their own, but must live vicariously through others, so I neither watch nor post.
I have an interest in the pope. I watched and made a few posts.
I don’t expect the guy to change everything all at once. I don’t even expect that I will get my membership card back anytime soon.
But I started with Pius XII, and have to admit that there has been some progress in my lifetime, and relative to the 1,950 years before I showed up, I would be disingenuous if I claimed there hasn’t been any.
“Coming Out” is a difficult process for many Gay men, especially older ones.
There is the fear of total rejection by those closest to them, and by those who have an image of who they are.
So when it happens, the person must be sure he is ready.
The process is as individual as the person.
It could be as subtle as working certain hints into conversions, allowing others to pick up on them. It could be a quiet conversation with parents or siblings. Some come out to close friends to gauge the reaction before moving out from there. Sometimes it can be a very public announcement to a crowd, or, like Ellen Degeneres, blurting it out on a TV show.
Apparently, that moment has arrived for him, and Ted Nugent has come out of the closet in a spectacular way, through tweeting to thousands of followers.
Among a series of tweets Nugent sent out recently that dealt with the government, Obama, and Planned Parenthood, he worked one in that simply stated,
“Obama is a Christian and I’m a Gay vegetarian pirate”.
He put an end to any speculation about whether President Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, and any about his own sexual orientation.
He is brave, especially as many of the people who adore him as a conservative hero and a star of the N.R.A. may have a problem with this.
But he did not let it stop him.
Welcome out of the closet, Ted.
You are free now.