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Sunday, Apr. 03, 2005 at 11:09 PM
From women’s rights to abortion to contraception to gay rights to pedophilia, this Pope has been a champion of the most conservative, the most reactionary forces in society
With Pope John Paul II having departed at long last to meet his maker, the question of his legacy is not hard to answer: it is disastrous and bloody.
Having been enthroned relatively young, Karol Wojtyla had 27 years to spout the most evil bile from the world’s post powerful bully pulpit.
“People who renounce desires often turn, suddenly, into hypocrites!” said the immortal Jelaluddin Rumi. And while this Pope never found himself in a position of obvious hypocrisy, like so many odious conservatives in this country that preach one thing in public and do another in private, the list of which is very long, this Pope has been very diligent in cultivating a friendly image for himself full of goodwill toward all people and religions. It’s only upon close examination that the goodwill turns into hypocrisy and evil reeking to high heavens.
Take for instance his much ballyhooed opposition to the culture of death. You’d think that capital punishment would be high on the list, yet his cardinals in the United States have hardly been active campaigning against it. Unlike abortion, where some have refused to give Communion to politicians that support a woman’s right to control her own body. None of those Catholic clergymen refused to give Communion to politicians that support the death penalty or a Middle East war that the Pope allegedly opposed.
Does this make sense? Well, actually it does.
While the Pope liked to wax lyrical about such lofty issues as social justice, the sanctity of life, and world peace, he did very little to advance such causes in practice. He could have single-handedly stopped the bombing of Iraq by taking up residence in Baghdad but he didn’t. And when Archbishop Romero went to Rome to plead for help in his fight against the excesses of the murderous right-wing regime in El Salvador, the Pope gave him a cold shoulder. Preach social justice, but only in the abstract; that was his motto. God forbid some of those murderous right-wing regimes get overthrown, they’ve been so good to the church.
And so have the US neocons and religious fanatics that are as reactionary as the Pope himself and crusade against the same “evils:” namely the sexual revolution, abortion, science, feminism, gay rights, godless communism, and such. That’s why the Catholic Church in the United States came out in support of Bush for president in 2004, despite the fact that he had killed 155 death row inmates and more then 100,000 Iraqis, most of them innocent civilians, and against John Kerry (who’s a Catholic, ironically). So much for the vaunted sanctity of life. Birds of a feather flock together, in this case hypocrites extraordinaire who preach life but kill people en masse.
And kill people en masse, both Bush and Pope John Paul II did.
It’s perhaps in developing countries that the deeds of Pope John Paul II are most nefarious and where his vile legacy will be most disastrously felt, not in Europe or North America. Few people at the end of the twentieth century, the Taliban included, have done more to harm the cause of women worldwide than this Pope. From his opposition to women priests (read: women are second class beings) to his traditional view of the family (read: “go back to the kitchen, you uppity witches”) to his opposition to contraception, millions of women suffer. Europeans have learned to respect the Pope for his stance on social issues (however hypocritical) and ignore his reactionary preaching on matters they consider private. For instance in Italy, home of the Pope, abortion is legal and nobody’s firebombing clinics or shooting doctors. And the use of contraceptive measures is widespread.
But as Marx teaches us, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature.” And it is in developing countries that the Catholic Church is the most powerful and where the Pope’s reactionary doctrine on contraception has been most devastating. It is safe to say that millions of people have been infected with the AIDS virus because the Pope would rather see people die than use a condom, that sinful enabler of promiscuous sex. Like people are going to quit having sex just because the church has made sure that no condoms are available.
And since people infected with AIDS invariably die in Africa where access to anti-retroviral drugs is prohibitively expensive, those deaths are the direct results of the Pope’s reactionary preaching. Oh sure, he’s come out against the excesses of capitalism (which are responsible for high drug prices in the developing world, among other things), but he has done little to combat those excesses. Unlike the excesses of communism against which he has crusaded personally all his adult life.
Then there’s the issue of gay rights. Love the sinner but hate the sin? Well, Pope John Paul II certainly hated the sin. But he didn’t display much love for the sinner, either. For him gay people, when fighting for their most basic human rights, are promoting a “new ideology of evil.” Homosexuality is still a crime in more than 70 countries thanks to the efforts of religious fanatics, chief among them Pope John Paul II. And when gay people get killed, as it happens every day all over the world, it’s thanks to the flames of hatred and homophobia that the Pope helped fan personally.
But when closeted gay men put on a frock and go molesting young boys by the tens of thousands, that’s an internal affair of the Church, best kept secret, and certainly not a crime under the law. The current church sex scandal is the result of legal lawsuits and not any action on the part of the Catholic Church to purge its ranks from pedophiles, despite the Pope’s platitude on the subject. Hypocrisy as always. We are still to discover the full extent of this criminal abuse of children in countries where the victims do not have recourse to courts, i.e. in the developing world where the Catholic Church is most powerful and where nobody dares report or investigate their crimes.
It is customary not to speak evil of deceased people. So the obituaries will laud this pope as a compassionate clergyman who fought communism in his native Poland and inspired millions of faithfuls around the world. Inspire he did, that much is true. But the people he inspired the most are the reactionary religious zealots that would like nothing better than to turn the clock back to the 16th century.
So unless you happen to believe that God created the Earth 6000 years ago and it’s flat with the sun orbiting around it, the passing of this pope is very good news indeed. After all, Friedrich Nietzsche said it best, “I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct for revenge for which no expedient is sufficiently poisonous, secret, subterranean, petty – I call it the one immortal blemish of mankind.” Pope John Paul II has elevated that intrinsic depravity to new heights.
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|.. and How He Got to Be Pope..
||Monday, Apr. 04, 2005 at 3:15 PM
|here come the loons....
||Pope John Appalled
||Monday, Apr. 04, 2005 at 4:43 PM
|Bravo! Bravo my friend
||Monday, Apr. 04, 2005 at 5:50 PM
||Tuesday, Apr. 05, 2005 at 8:00 AM
|were they involed in his death?
||Tuesday, Apr. 05, 2005 at 9:06 AM
|Hypocrisy at work?
||Tuesday, Apr. 05, 2005 at 11:10 PM
|The papacy has a long history of assassination of popes
||The new pope will be even worse
||Thursday, Apr. 07, 2005 at 4:29 PM
|John Paul to Be Tried for War Crimes and Genocide
||Thursday, Apr. 07, 2005 at 4:59 PM
|The Pope is Dead
||Friday, Apr. 08, 2005 at 4:15 PM
||Saturday, Apr. 09, 2005 at 8:17 AM
|are you serious frank?
||Saturday, Apr. 09, 2005 at 9:20 AM
||Saturday, Apr. 09, 2005 at 3:40 PM
||Friday, Apr. 15, 2005 at 10:25 AM
||Friday, Apr. 15, 2005 at 1:05 PM
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