September 27, 2015

Maureen Dowd can write

It's stylish among many liberals to make fun of Maureen Dowd. I understand this, given that her columns often include descriptions of reality that sound like they were written by someone still in junior high school. But she can knock out a great column now and then -- and the woman can write.

Dowd has a column in the NYT today. It's called "Francis, the Perfect 19th Century Pope". It's terrific. Here's a bit, but I suggest you read the whole thing:
Francis preaches against the elites while keeping the church an elite boys’ club.

As he arrived to say Mass on an altar designed by students outside the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the pope was surrounded by hundreds of white-robed male bishops, male priests and a sea of seminarians as he nonsensically canonized Father Juníipero Serra, a missionary agent for the Spanish empire in California, a man who flogged Native Americans who broke the rules of Catholic teachings.
And she notes a very strange thing about Francis (though admittedly she's quoting someone else):
As the noted religion writer Kenneth Briggs told me: “People here are ardently projecting a lot of things onto this pope, including a liberal new day for the church. But there hasn’t been any change in the moral teachings. It’s to Francis’ credit, I guess, that he gets credit for things he hasn’t done.”
Remind you of anyone, perhaps a certain president and his unearned Nobel Peace Prize? Francis still has work to do. But to be fair, I think he knows this. It's just that he works for a misogynistic church and he leans this way himself. This causes him to be unable to see women clearly -- and it also prevents him from confirming the rights of gays and transgender people. It's all about looking down on women, and on femaleness itself. Why would a man choose to be a woman?! Or even to be like one? Horrors. That's the official Catholic viewpoint, as far as I can tell. It verges on disgust toward all things female. But hey, that's just how I see it. Read the article and if you have the energy, drop a comment. How do you see this guy?

PS: Of course, the pope's intention of making this the Hate Gays Tour for the Ages was sidetracked by the migrant crisis. And more power to the pope for putting aside his personal bias and doing something by speaking up forcefully for kindness and for seeing the migrants as valuable, decent people who are simply avoiding danger -- just as any of us would. They are us.  

The pope is not a bad man. I just wish he'd work on the sexual issues. Straight men are not the only people on the planet -- and we are all equal and worthy. You'd think a guy like Francis would understand this simple concept...Oh, wait a minute. I just remembered that he works for an evil, misogynistic, death-worshipping cult. Okay, never mind. It's hopeless.

But I'm still glad he's speaking up for migrants and telling the world that it must address the threat of climate change. No one's perfect.

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