Sunday, April 03, 2005

JP Deux

Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
It's just that it happened so suddenly. I mean, boy, it really makes you think.

I've been saying that to everyone I've seen for about sixteen hours, but now that it's in writing, I'll let it go.

I tend not to care much for religious leaders. I think it began with "Smilin' Gene the Preachin' Machine" in Topeka, our local Southern Baptist televangelist. He was just so smarmy. And that smarminess seems to multiply based on the size of one's "flock." Smilin' Gene was a joke next to Bakker and Swaggert, who had nothing on Robertson and Fallwell. And of course, on the left we're graced with Reverends Al and Jesse, both of whom say things I agree with relative regularity, only to get hooked on their crazy pills again shortly thereafter.

But Pope John Paul II was a rock. Yes, I frequently disagreed with his positions on certain issues (condoms not helping to stop AIDS was probably a low point, and his silence on the priest abuse in the States was more than a disappointment), but you can't say that there was a lack of consistency or a modicum of hypocrisy. His staunch positions against the death penalty and the Iraq War warmed my heart and probably had more influence worldwide than we know.

Now if we could just get the next pope to recognize that using condoms really does make a difference and that keeping abortion safe and legal is actually a life-saving measure, I might just become a Catholic.

But in the meantime, to JP, who was pretty much the pope of my lifetime (I sure can't remember any others), I say this: the world would indeed be a better place if more religious leaders were like you. Thanks, mister.



At 2:38 PM , Blogger Ali said...



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