Yankee Stadium Is Hallowed Ground For Papal Visit
I can’t think for a more appropriate place for that authoritarian enabler of pedophiles to preach than a big sports stadium. A place where rules are followed for the sake of the game, not for any higher purpose (despite proclamations to the contrary by hacks) but to entertain, to keep people focused not on anything real, but on something else, anything else other than brutal war, a brutal prison industrial complex, a brutal economic system that steals from the poor to elevate the rich. No, play ball, drop to your knees and pray, look away from your problems and gaze drop-jawed at the expensive vestments and ruby slippers.
America’s favorite sport isn’t baseball, or football, or basketball or BMX racing or NASCAR. America’s favorite sport is the wagging of fingers, interventionist scolding, hypocritical moralizing. America loves to tell you what to do, while reserving the right for those giving the instructions to do as they please.
Whether he’s meeting with just five of the thousands of victims raped by Priests, or standing side-by-side with our war criminal President, Pope Nazinger just loves to tell us that many of us are wrong, while he and his friends are right, are champions of Truth, the Way and the Light:
In the wake of the French Revolution, in contrast, many European nations developed what Benedict calls a ‘’conflictual’’ separation of church and state. A godless state sees its role as chasing the vestiges of Christianity from the public square. As it has succeeded, Europe has been robbed of its civilizational vigor. ‘’Europe seems hollow,’’ Benedict has said, ‘’as if it were internally paralyzed by a failure of its circulatory system.’’
If Benedict reflects the Catholic Church’s new attitude toward America, evangelicals in turn have warmed to the church. It’s not the ‘’Whore of Babylon’’ of yore, but an ally in a deep-seated cultural struggle. As Benedict himself has said of evangelicals, ‘’They have come to see Catholicism as a defender against the pressures of secularization and an upholder of the same ethical values that they themselves profess.’’
He might as well have been speaking of President Bush, a man famous for his impatience for pomp and circumstance who went all out - from a 21-gun salute to a four-tiered, lemon-flavored birthday cake - for the pontiff. Bush told Benedict, ‘’In a world where some no longer believe that we can distinguish between simple right and wrong, we need your message to reject this ‘dictatorship of relativism.’ ‘’
The phrase is one of Benedict’s signature lines. It was featured in his homily at the 2005 Mass for the papal conclave that so impressed his fellow cardinals before they selected him as pope. Benedict’s point was that if relativists consider any claims of moral truth as inherently oppressive, they feel justified in attempting to muzzle those who make them. In Benedict’s words, they ‘’seek to subordinate all religions to the super-dogma of relativism.’’
Relativism (I guess “secular humanism” doesn’t have the same scary ring that it used to) ... oh that terrible relativism. A straw devil that Papa likes to erect and then ritually exorcize, that ole’ devil relativism.
Pope Benedict XVI waves to the crowd as he joins President Bush
The old fraud, and others like him on the Protestant Christian right, like to insist that relativism means that anything goes, that any system of values, or no values, is as good as any other. Of course, there is no acknowledgement of the arrogance inherent in the idea that the believer/preacher/minister is able to discern “truth” where others can’t, that imperfect human beings would even know it if Truth sat on their face and wiggled around.
Relativism, in real practice, is the idea that robust debate, the conflict of ideas, is the path toward finding BETTER solutions to our problems, BETTER ways of living our lives. It is the recognition that Truth is a boundary we can not reach, but rather a horizon that we can try to approach, and if we reject other points of view, other beliefs, we might miss a critical insight, a new solution that our own limited beliefs and experiences blinded us to.
Of course, such a society would make it a little harder to fleece the sheep, to keep the collection plates full, to provide fresh-faced altar boys and girls to diddle, to lie into evil wars and unsustainable exploitation of our world and of each other. Debate, discussion, interaction with the other must be quashed, stamped down, kept at bay, which is what Bush and Ratzinger have in common. It’s the motivation for so much of how our society runs, and thus its expression on a playing field for a children’s game played by adults and paid for by taxpayers is the perfect place for the Pope to sell his wares.
Thanks Madman, a truly good post. Seeing Ratzy and Bush give each other cover this week and the NY press 24/7 coverage of said cover has been a very depressing time.
Thank goodness James Carrol’s Constantine’s Sword opened here exposing alot of the history.Posted by on 04/20 at 08:31 PM