The new guy.

Long-time readers may remember that a decade ago (argh) I spent a year at the University of Michigan on a sabbatical journalism fellowship, and part of that experience was a week in Argentina. Buenos Aires, specifically.

Relax. I didn’t meet the Pope or anything.

But we did have one seminar, as a group, with the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, the mothers of the men and women who were disappeared during the Dirty War of the 1970s. It was a difficult session, what with the awful personal stories and the long translations; a couple of our group were leaking tears by the end of it. During the question period, I asked whether any of them had gone to the church for help. They sat up. The church was a part of it!, they said. The military leaders considered themselves quite humane and sophisticated, because they offered their victims final absolution before they were taken up in the planes to be pushed out over the River Plate.

So when you tell me the new pope is an Argentine and a septuagenarian, my first question is, what did you do in the Dirty War, father?

As frequently happens, the answer isn’t simple or easy. Well, it’s not my church anymore. And I do wish him well. He sounds like he has a lot going for him.

I’m working on not caring about things I’m not required to care about. This is a start.

Not much bloggage today. Google Reader, adios.

I can’t wait to not see “Spring Breakers.” I hope Kate feels the same way.

Charlie LeDuff in a spot of bother. I predict it will blow over like a 20-minute shower.

This week feels 10 days long already. I hope yours is going swimmingly.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events |

71 responses to “The new guy.”

  1. beb said on March 14, 2013 at 4:02 am

    Insomnia struck right after boasting I haven’t been bothered with it a few years. So… Google Reader I never even heard of it and now it’s gone. Wonder what it did?

    Spring Breakers sounds like a movie that ought to have starred such natural train wrecks as Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes and Britney Spears. Woman who really know what sex, drugs and rock and roll is really like.

    But I really wanted to link to this incredible news story
    It’s a bill that would allow student counselor in Tennessee colleges to “opt out” of helping their fellow students if they are gay, sexually active or morally offensive. Seriously, why go into counseling if you are going to pick and chose who you think deserves help. They all deserve help! I’m reminded of our own Jeff (TMMO) whose efforts to help people who needs (lots) of help has never been stinted because these people are the wrong kind of people.

    984 chars

  2. basset said on March 14, 2013 at 6:19 am

    When I was at IU spring break was a chance to get more hours at work because everyone else was gone.

    And given some of the legislators we have down here, I wouldn’t be surprised if that counseling bill passes. That and keeping us from buying wine in grocery stores should ensure a brighter future.

    301 chars

  3. Prospero said on March 14, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Father was likely to get shot in the dirty war, like Bishop Medeiros. And all of the Amurrcan Raygunistas are likely henchmen, and how is Oliver North not in jail.

    And beb, if they included drinking caffeine, and holding hands in public, they’d have the BYU honor code. How the hell did Jim McMahon go to BYU?

    Spring Breakers has that odious James Franco in it, right? Wrong.

    381 chars

  4. Suzanne said on March 14, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Since the election of the Pope from Argentina, I can’t get show tunes from “Evita” out of my head.

    It was pretty fun to listen to the radio or watch tv yesterday afternoon. Apparently, nobody saw this Pope as in contention and newscasters were scrambling to find out something about him.

    292 chars

  5. Suzanne said on March 14, 2013 at 8:04 am

    I also admit to being skeptical about the new Pope’s humility and seeming shunning of the power of the office. You don’t get to be top dog of anything by simply being a really nice, humble, non-ambitious guy.

    209 chars

  6. Prospero said on March 14, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Suzanne, that is exactly what John XXIII did. And why do non-Catholics get so exercised about this nonsense. Catholics don’t, at least in America.

    Slightly more intelligent design than hanging them out in a scrotal sac, where Justin Verlander can hit ’em with a fastball. Second best blog on the nets.

    389 chars

  7. coozledad said on March 14, 2013 at 8:50 am

    That lefties are accusing the new pope of handing over lefties to the right wing junta for execution makes me adore the new pope.
    -Erik “Scharnhorst-Gniessenau-Grosserscheissen” Ericksson(sonnescheint).

    Aww. They’re so cute when they bring the armbands out.

    268 chars

  8. Dorothy said on March 14, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I don’t recall reading anything (in less than 24 hours) about the new Pope being “non-ambitious.” I think you can be humble and shun the powers of office and yet still be ambitious.

    The Archbishop of Washington is quoted in the NYT article Nancy linked to near the end of the article. That gentleman is a former bishop of Pittsburgh, and he confirmed my daughter in 1995 or so. My son was an altar server at the time and got to serve Mass with then Bishop Wuerl. In our house we were hoping he might be chosen to be the new Pope since we have pictures of him in our family album. And he’s a native Pittsburgher.

    I am a practicing Catholic but I am also ambivalent about much of the hierarchy and such. I haven’t been to confession in years; I am pro gay marriage and pro choice. I went to Catholic school for 8 years and even though I find fault with some of the policies of the church, I still feel drawn to the Mass. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite, I don’t know. I follow what my heart feels and I get comfort going to Mass and would rather be there than explore a new religious environment. There are contradictions in most religions, in my opinion. I try not to judge others and act as Jesus would. Isn’t that what most Christian religions teach? Am I lazy for not exploring other religions? I don’t know. And I don’t apologize for anything to do with the church. I find abhorrent every single revelation about priests abusing children, and the organization that looked the other way or refused to stop more abusive behavior. It is the thing I struggle with the most; I try to think of the priest I knew as a Godly man when I was growing up, and our current priest is very good, too. Blaming the entire institution for the sins of a number of them seems very wrong to me – much like I try not to think of all Republicans as having their heads up their asses. (What a non-Christian thing to say!!). So there you have it – my summary of my Catholic faith. I probably did a piss-poor job of it but I’m laying it out there.

    2044 chars

  9. BigHank53 said on March 14, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Spring Breakers looks to be just as good as Showgirls. Only without any inadvertent humor. (Try to find the VIP edition of the Showgirls DVD with the David Schmader commentary track on it. I got to listen to him comment live on the film once, and it’s hilarious.)

    Tennessee probably will pass their latest anti-gay bill. I guess they figure if they kick the homosexuals hard enough Jesus won’t notice what they’ve done to the poor and the sick.

    468 chars

  10. brian stouder said on March 14, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Thread-win for Dorothy!

    Made me laugh out louad, and people are asking what I’m smiling about

    96 chars

  11. paddyo' said on March 14, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Though I no longer practice, I grew up with deep Catholic roots and indelible memories of the vigil we all kept during John XXIII’s deathbed days/weeks. My mom had the news radio station going at practically all hours, and his condition was the lead story every hour (this was in L.A., mid-1963, and I was not quite 11). So papal transitions resonate, culturally if nothing else.

    But since Roncalli’s passing and the fading of his earthshaking (for the church) Vatican II into the mists, the church of my youth has pretty much been a Who’s Next institution, even as I grew to spend the rest of the ’60s heading into the seminary. I exited the novitiate in 1971, about two months before that great Who album came out. For me now, its finale song says it all about the papacy:

    Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss

    There may still be great comfort in that fact for many — but nope, pope, I won’t get fooled again. No-no . . .

    950 chars

  12. Kim said on March 14, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Dorothy, that summary sounds like my sister-in-law wrote it and I adore her. I was married in the Catholic church by a priest who soon after left to marry a parishioner. Before he married us, though, we had to go through that pre-marriage counseling where he explained that we were required to sign the official church document promising all children to the church, but that it was really our decision as we matured. The important part, he said, was that we committed to doing our best to look out for any kids to come and their spiritual and physical well-being.

    I wish that message would have gotten through to the priest who abandoned my very devout Catholic in-laws during several years of their Alzheimer’s adventure.

    725 chars

  13. Julie Robinson said on March 14, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Dorothy, you’ve described my approach to church. Anything that doesn’t meet the standard of the new covenant of the New Testament, which is God’s love for all, is burned away. You have identified the pure center of the church, the true church.

    243 chars

  14. Bitter Scribe said on March 14, 2013 at 10:07 am

    The RCC’s record in dealing with fascism is thoroughly undistinguished. As far as I can tell, this guy does nothing to break that streak.

    137 chars

  15. Peter said on March 14, 2013 at 10:19 am

    The fact that stunned me yesterday was when the Washington Post noted that the Catholic Church, including schools and hospitals, employs OVER one million people – more than the Postal Service! Although no wonder the USPS is losing money – do you really need that many people to deliver mail these days…

    No wonder they’re making a big stink about mandatory health insurance and availability to contraception.

    Although, I should have known better – a journalist told me once that the only thing he needed to remember in his job was to follow the money.

    559 chars

  16. adrianne said on March 14, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Dorothy, very thoughtful comments about your relationship with the Catholic Church. I share many of your views, but finally stopped going even to Mass after the cumulative weight of the sex abuse scandal and some personal experiences with the worst examples of Catholic priests I can cite made me finally say, “Enough.” Hope springs eternal, however, and although I don’t think Pope Francis will be the reformer that the Catholic Church needs right now, he does have many appealing qualities.

    492 chars

  17. nancy said on March 14, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Dorothy’s position was also my mother’s, who once said, “I figure in the end, it’s all between me and Jesus.”

    I once shared this with a stick-up-the-butt Lutheran, who offered the gracious opinion that she would not go to heaven, because she had stopped attending Mass once it became too physically difficult for her to do so. Rules are rules, etc.

    Fortunately, we imperfect Catholics can still hope for a few millennia in Purgatory, working our debt off.

    463 chars

  18. Dorothy said on March 14, 2013 at 10:31 am

    My 90 year old mom has certainly become much more open minded and relaxed about church, etc. over the years. She told me a long time ago that when her nephew (on my dad’s side) was getting married to a non-Catholic (around 1963 maybe), she asked her priest whether she should go to the ceremony or not. He advised her not to, and she said she always regretted following his advice. In 1985, a month or two after I had my second child (and I had two miscarriages intermingled with the two babies), I had to ask her to babysit for the kids while I drove Mike to the hospital to have the vasectomy we decided he would have, and I CRIED. I was 27 but I cried because I felt guilty admitting to my mother that we decided to break church rules about birth control. But she was so sweet and I was so relieved. Ever since then I’ve known she was always going to be okay with whatever any of us decided about our own personal situation with religion. I like to think it’s not a coincidence that her name is Mary – she makes all of us think of the mother of Jesus with the way she comports herself.

    1095 chars

  19. nancy said on March 14, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Dorothy, I’ve been Netflixing through the early seasons of “Mad Men,” in preparation for the new season. I’ve been fascinated anew by the second-season arc of Peggy, her mother and sister, along with the young priest played by Colin Hanks. It absolutely rang true as a reflection of my recollections of early-’60s Catholicism — the invoking of the church as an iron truth, the feminine capering when the priest comes to visit, the lace chapel caps, all of it. I thought the writing was excellent in how it showed Peggy falling away, and the reaction among her circle: You better come back or you’ll be sorry.

    I don’t recall any specific incidents among my family of people being advised not to attend non-Catholic weddings or funerals, but I know it happened, and was even routine. No wonder, in a rapidly diversifying American culture, so many people said, essentially, I am through with this.

    When I was in Chicago, having a beer with Eric Zorn and Neil Steinberg, we got to talking about people we know who’ve become more devout in adulthood, the pendulum swinging the other way than it did in the ’60s. I have Jewish friends who were raised on bacon sandwiches who now keep kosher kitchens and have stopped going out to non-kosher restaurants, etc. Neil said something like, “You know the point of keeping kosher? So you only socialize with other Jews. So your kid will marry my kid.” That, I think, was what that pre-V2 era of Catholicism was, too — live in a neighborhood where the butchers close on Friday, go to a separate school, date only Catholic kids, marry as soon as your hormones tell you you can’t live without another person, etc. It was an unsustainable model in the modern world, and still is.

    I know lots of Catholics want the “smaller, purer church” B16 promised. They can have it.

    1823 chars

  20. Heather said on March 14, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Dorothy, my mother felt the same way about the Church, I think. She didn’t buy into it literally but because she had grown up with it, she found comfort in it. My motto is, whatever works! I’m a confirmed agnostic but understand the important role that religion plays in many people’s lives. I have some friends who occasionally make knee-jerk anti-Christian comments, and I always have to speak up for the many intelligent Catholics and Christians I have known, loved and/or respected who are not unreasonable fanatics about their beliefs.

    540 chars

  21. Dorothy said on March 14, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Those Mad Men eps showing Peggy at home used to make my stomach churn, they were just too real to me. I’m so glad my mother grew more open minded as time went on. She is a realist and I think I’m that way, too. When my sister Diane was engaged (this was 1985 too), her intended was in the National Guard and it seemed he was going to be sent to Germany on short notice. They’d been engaged for 6 or 7 months already, and our priest knew our family very well. They decided to move up the wedding date so she could go to Germany with them, but the priest was intractable – he refused to let them skip the pre-Cana classes. So they got married on Pitt’s campus at non-denominational Heinz Chapel. My father refused to go; my mother did go, and it caused a rift for a long time between my sister and our dad. Eventually they got their marriage blessed by a priest in South Carolina (they never did go to Germany), and then my dad would speak to Diane again. But the effects lingered, and Diane never went back to the Catholic church again. I love her dearly, but she has vastly different attitudes towards religion, politics, etc. from me now. I try hard not to hold it against her that she likes Sarah Palin. It’s a topic we just don’t discuss. It’s odd, the many ways that religion and it’s practices can insinuate themselves into your family and relationships.

    1368 chars

  22. MichaelG said on March 14, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Wow! It’s been ten years?

    I woke up today and thought it was Friday. Doesn’t matter this week anyway. I have a job in Fullerton and will have to spend Sat, Sun and Mon at the job site. That’s what you call a lost weekend.

    I saw two young women working corners on Broadway this AM. First ones I’ve seen in months.

    Altar servers? Is that what they are calling them now? Sheesh. When I was a kid I was an altar boy. I left the Church years ago.

    Francis the talking pope is not going to be a reformer. All the current cardinals were appointed by JPII or Benedict. All the ones appointed by JPII were vetted and approved by Benedict when he sat at JP’s right hand. They were all carefully chosen as conservatives who would not bring any reformist nonsense to the party. Francis is also 76. The average of the cardinals is, I think, 72. They don’t even have a young guy.

    Has anyone noticed that fax machines have gone the way of the 8-track and the Beta Video?

    984 chars

  23. Connie said on March 14, 2013 at 11:53 am

    MichaelG, we fax with our copy machine and can also scan to email on it. The only thing I fax though is timesheets to the payroll office every two weeks. The only faxes we receive any more are the typical sales junk. Oh, I remember how excited we were with our first fax machine and its rolls of shiny thermal paper.

    318 chars

  24. Prospero said on March 14, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    I might have left the church, but I came across Jebbies and Teilhard. I thought J2P2 was pretty much a Basshole, and XXIII was heroic, and saintly. Some people think Michael Jordan was heroic, though he shot a career 42.7, and that was Donaghy assisted:

    376 chars

  25. Basset said on March 14, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Aside from medical insurance paperwork I hardly use a fax any more… someone sent me a WordPerfect file yesterday, hadn’t seen one of those in years.

    150 chars

  26. alex said on March 14, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Has anyone noticed that fax machines have gone the way of the 8-track and the Beta Video?

    Really? In our office they get quite a workout. For a lot of institutions, hospitals and clinics in particular, this seems to be the preferred method of sending invoices, billing statements, etc. Other businesses seem to be sending things as .pdf e-mail attachments these days, but for some reason the hospitals don’t want to to that when it’s suggested.

    Dorothy, your outlook sounds very much like that of many Catholics of my acquaintance. In fact, I’m “married” into a Catholic family to an ex-seminarian who found himself at odds with the church. His mother was raised in Germany and wasn’t born Catholic but had been raised in a Catholic orphanage during WWII and has been a lifelong member of the church out of gratitude for the wonderful care she received from the nuns who raised her. But she also told her kids, from a very young age, to come to her if the priests ever happened to get frisky with them; the child sexual abuse thing is nothing new and certainly nothing unique to America, and people can and do remain devoted to the church despite the prevalence of this sort of thing.

    I’ve known atheists who are Catholic to the core and still love the church. They’ve told me that Catholicism is so much more than a church affiliation; it’s a set of folkways and a family structure that teaches cooperation and unselfishness and an outlook that is altruistic. My partner gets particularly incensed when the church hierarchy doesn’t practice those values.

    He’s still willing to be an organist for them on an emergency basis, but the last time he attended Mass was on Mother’s Day several years ago, the one day of the year he would attend and only for the benefit of his mother. On that particular day the lecturn was turned over to someone who talked up the homosexual menace and asked people to sign some sort of petition afterward. My partner got up and walked out and clapped his shoes at the door, and his family gave the priest what for and the church hasn’t allowed that sort of thing since. This is at St. Anthony Padua in Angola.

    2159 chars

  27. Bitter Scribe said on March 14, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Some people think Michael Jordan was heroic, though he shot a career 42.7, and that was Donaghy assisted:

    What the fuck is that supposed to mean?

    162 chars

  28. beb said on March 14, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Blaming the entire institution for the sins of a number of them seems very wrong to me

    That all depends to what extent the institution is complicit in the misdeeds of individual members. Yesterday the Senate Armed Forces committee took testimony from a number of soldiers male and female who have been raped by their fellow troops or superiors and how often their crimes were buried by the decision of their commanding officer. It’s bad enough that fellow soldiers would rape their comrades but to have their superiors then cover up the crime that makes the whole armed forces a partner in the original crime. What we keep hearing about the Catholic hierarchy is how often the cardinals and bishops would just move predator priests around rather then send them over to the police like the common felon they are.

    823 chars

  29. Dexter said on March 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    My mother was raised in the faith of the Evangelical United Brethren Church. She had Catholic friends, and as a young girl attended Catholic mass with them a few times.
    Mom told me many times of her hatred for that religion, as she was convinced that as a guest, she was forced to enter the church first so the Catholic friends could pray for this lost soul who had just entered. She would become enraged when the pope would appear on television, yelling to get “that old pope off my TV screen!”. I never got it, that kind of hatred.

    I don’t know anything, but I feel this man was chosen as pope because of his austere lifestyle, his commitment to alleviating the pain of the poor, his honesty, and his separation from Rome; being an outsider riding in on a white horse tends to shake up the situation, and we all know Rome need a good shaking. Oh, I hear he’s a real smart fellow as well. I feel it, don’t you? Pope Francis I being in the Chair of Peter…doesn’t that make you feel better that Ratso is done forever?

    1030 chars

  30. Dorothy said on March 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Fax machines: Our cool copier/printer is also a fax machine and scans documents so you can send them as email. We’ve had it for a few years but somehow this scanning feature slipped by us during instruction. Someone in my office recently tried it and we love it! So much better than the old crappy scanner back in the kitchen. And I don’t believe anyone who says fax machines have become irrelevant. Ours is used nearly daily. Guess it all depends on what you’re doing with them.

    Alex I applaud your partner’s family!!! And beb, I agree wholeheartedly with what you said @28.

    585 chars

  31. Jessica said on March 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    The new pope is even more homophobic than the last one, if that is possible. He lost no time announcing that “the Father of Lies” was behind all this gay marriage nonsense.

    173 chars

  32. Jessica said on March 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Oh, and don’t miss the Onion fake TV news report about how the new pope has already announced his resignation, effective next month.

    132 chars

  33. brian stouder said on March 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Aside from Francis, at lunchtime I got much enjoyment from seeing Andrea Mitchell as she replayed the video of Senator Ted Cruz (R-MF) getting his ass handed to him by Senator Feinstein, after he tried condescension on the 20+ year veteran of the United States Senate.

    Watch for it; you’ll like it

    300 chars

  34. Danny said on March 14, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I’m not Catholic and don’t care a great deal about who gets to be Pope, but I did see a headline that summarizes what most of the sentiment would be around these here parts. “Pope Francis: A Disappointment for Catholics Who Don’t Like Being Catholic”

    251 chars

  35. brian stouder said on March 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Just as President Obama is a disappointment to Americans who don’t like being American

    86 chars

  36. Basset said on March 14, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    “clapped his shoes…”
    This is a practice of which I was not aware. Do you mean literally taking his shoes off and…?

    120 chars

  37. coozledad said on March 14, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I motion Stouder for win.

    25 chars

  38. Julie Robinson said on March 14, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them. Luke 9:5

    117 chars

  39. Jeff Borden said on March 14, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I second Cooz’s motion. Brian wins.

    It’s probably a good thing the new pope is a Jesuit, an order which has often been out of favor in Rome, and that he comes from a place far away from the ornate self-imposed prison of the Vatican, so he might actually be more attentive to those in need over all the clerical hooey. The homophobia of the One True remains quite pronounced, so it was probably folly to think a new pope would change that thinking, but perhaps Francis will surprise us. I doubt it, but I’m willing to give him a chance.

    If nothing else, maybe Pope Francis will someday be a guest speaker at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) meeting. The number of homophobes on the panels there is mighty impressive –take a bow, Marco Rubio, you slack-jawed loser, you– and no one who is out has been invited in. The Republican gay groups were denied an opportunity to participate, but c’mon down blood-drenched spawn of satan Wayne LaPierre.

    967 chars

  40. Dorothy said on March 14, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Damn. And Brian had already signaled I was thread winner @ 10. I never won before and now lil’ Brian Stouder has one upped me!

    128 chars

  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    I just enjoy the thought of Jack Chick, if he’s still with us, going into full freak out over a Jesuit as pope.

    Can’t imagine how that works, wanting to be a counselor but only of problems you approve of. There are situations where you are working with a juvenile who’s wanting to come out as homosexual, and there are juveniles who are wanting to upset and anger their parents in any way they can. Those two groups can overlap, and they can be entirely separate, and the point is: you don’t know up front, you can’t know until you’ve gotten a chance to hear more and understand a little. Assumptions are a great way to do damage. So if a kid starts out by saying “Well, first off, I’m gay and my dad’s furious, and that’s why I’m skipping school,” then you deal with the choices, and safety, and their own sense of self and plans for their own future (esp. when 18 is getting close). You don’t argue with or about “are you sure?” or “how do you know?” It’s a given, and you work with that.

    But more often, the issue of orientation doesn’t come up until well into the conversation and/or narrative about how 911 got called, or what led to the unruly filing, or how we all got here to 23 days unexcused. And I would be first to say that gaydar is a myth, and you don’t often see it coming when “I’m a lesbian, and that’s part of what’s made life weird at home” gets put on the table. So how do you engage in a counseling conversation for 45 minutes and when orientation comes up at minute 46 say “Whoops, this is teh gaything, I’m out!” without being an ethical cripple? I’m not a Christian counselor, but I’m a Christian who does mediation and counseling, and I have to assert, vehemently, that you simply can’t say there are failings I don’t deal with. You’re not there to smite sins, but to care for sinners of which I as counselor am foremost. If you want to say “I do one-on-one prophetic ministry, putting the OT smackdown on sinners for their own good,” fine, but don’t call it counseling. You start with people where they are, and help them find safe places where they can flourish, that are accessible from where they now stand. If your primary goal is converting people to Christ, go get a pulpit. They’re not that hard to find. If you propose to call yourself a counselor of any sort to people, Terence’s aphorism is drolly apt here: ” “Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.”

    I am a man, and nothing human is alien to me.

    2444 chars

  42. Suzanne said on March 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    “They’ve told me that Catholicism is so much more than a church affiliation; it’s a set of folkways and a family structure that teaches cooperation and unselfishness and an outlook that is altruistic.”
    I think, deep down, that is what all religions are supposed to do. Some do it very well, some are a joke. Unfortunately, the ones that are a joke made it bad for all the others.

    Ah, the CPAC! The fact that they snubbed Chris Christie is making me like him.

    467 chars

  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 14, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    (That said, I do drive home some days wondering “was I actually TOO blasé and accepting when I just nodded as mom said, when asked what she did, that she did phone sex from home, through a service, but never took calls when the kids were at home, except when the sitter calls off, and then they stay at the other end of the house with the TV up” — should I wince even a little, or am I doing the right thing to nod sagely and ask “so that’s the family’s primary income?” It was.)

    481 chars

  44. Danny said on March 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Jeff B. I’m not in any way an apologist for Roman Catholicism, but I do disagree with your labeling of what is essentially thousands of years of Judeo-Christian doctrine as “homophobia.” Jesus taught the same in this regard and even many non-Christians consider him an enlightened teacher. Some reports indicate that the new Pope is very much a “love the sinner, hate the sin” sort of fellow, so maybe he will be an adequate Vicar of Christ for the millions of Catholics worldwide.

    483 chars

  45. Charlotte said on March 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    I miss the Mass but I lost my faith in that room at the Franzen Davis funeral home where my beloved younger brother lay dead on a gurney. There was no one there. Not him, not God, not anyone. That my mother’s priest was a dick about the funeral didn’t help either. I remember sitting in the front row of the funeral listening to that priest yammer on about how God’s ways were not our ways and all I could think was “this is the logic of the abuser.” Haven’t been back since.

    The BBC was speculating that he didn’t name himself after Francis Assisi, but Francis Xavier, which makes more sense.

    And I got the insommnia bug last night – awake from 3am onward. Having to offload responsibility for my mother’s financial affairs now that she’s inherited some money from the mother she didn’t speak to for 25 years. It’s been so ugly. The sheer greed. I got her a financial advisor — here’s hoping he can convince her not to fritter it away in 2 years. Oh, and she’s drinking again. Fun fun fun …

    1001 chars

  46. alex said on March 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I do disagree with your labeling of what is essentially thousands of years of Judeo-Christian doctrine as “homophobia.”

    I disagree with your apparent assent to what is essentially thousands of years of Judeo-Christian doctrine that the world is flat and southpaws are the spawn of demons.

    302 chars

  47. Jolene said on March 14, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    The BBC’s speculations are wrong. The Vatican has said he chose the name in honor of Francis of Assisi.

    103 chars

  48. coozledad said on March 14, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Best spit out that shirmp, motherfucker, or you’s gone to hay-ul!

    65 chars

  49. alex said on March 14, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    And, no, Jesus never said squat about homosexuality, but that never stopped people from putting words in his mouth the way you just did.

    136 chars

  50. coozledad said on March 14, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Did too! Did too!
    “I will make you fishers of men.”


    62 chars

  51. beb said on March 14, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    If Jesus had been Greek we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    62 chars

  52. maryinIN said on March 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    My gosh. I think a deep breath is in order as we wait for clarity on what it means to have the new pope we now have. I think until more is known about this individual and more unfolds as a result of his actions and words, the only labels that can be fairly applied are Jesuit, Argentinian, etc.

    I for one am encouraged about his choice of name, eschewing the red velvet, the fact that he studied and is degreed in science, is not European therefore not the traditional choice, that he is reported to be operating out in the streets and not locked away in a mansion, that his first words addressing the crowd were “Brothers and Sisters” (lingo that evokes Francis of Assisi who was a radical), and that he broke with ritual by asking for prayers from strangers first rather than merely bestowing blessings upon them.

    Dorothy, I liked your comments at #8 very much. And realized how long it would have taken me to compose my thoughts of a similar nature.

    964 chars

  53. Danny said on March 14, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    I disagree with your apparent assent to what is essentially thousands of years of Judeo-Christian doctrine that the world is flat and southpaws are the spawn of demons.

    Alex, how could you possibly assume that I was assenting to some superfluous non-biblical teaching on geography or predilection to handedness when it was obvious that my comment was specifically with regard to the confluence, in many instances, of Catholic teaching with orthodox Biblical doctrine? Odd how you read things sometimes.

    Regarding your other “argument,” not only is Jesus quoted several times at some length about marriage being between a man and a woman, for those of us who believe He is God incarnate, the OT proscriptions against homosexuality would be His as well. And since Christian orthodoxy also recognizes the Pauline epistles as God-breathed and authoritative.. and since we all know what Paul said… you haven’t a leg to stand upon.

    Now in anticipation of your (or someone else’s) next straw man argument, no one is saying that Christians should discriminate against people based upon their actions and behaviors. We are all sinners and we need to love the sinner and hate the sin, understanding humbly that we are ourselves sinful wretches who are only saved by God’s mercy. But that doesn’t mean that we are to go quietly into the night, discarding our faith, not speaking up for what we hold as right and demurring to the latest cultural phenomena. We are not here in order to garner popularity or to keep from getting shouted down by the increasingly intolerant and belligerent masses or to feel good because of some personal penchant any of us might have towards a “social gospel” of convenience.

    Speaking the truth in love… that is part of our calling too.

    1779 chars

  54. Deborah said on March 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Uh oh, I can see that this thread is going the way most conversations go when you discuss religion.

    99 chars

  55. Bitter Scribe said on March 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    JTMMO, even by your standards, that was truly a thoughtful and incisive post. Thanks.

    Danny, you need to understand that people who repeatedly say “love the sinner, hate the sin” are never going to be taken seriously here.

    225 chars

  56. brian stouder said on March 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Let me just say regarding today’s thread-honors, black smoke for me, and billowing white plumes for Dorothy! (it would be an honor just to be the sea gull on Dorothy’s smoke stack)

    180 chars

  57. Danny said on March 14, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Deborah, now worries, I’ve said all I have to say on this subject today.

    72 chars

  58. Danny said on March 14, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    er.. no worries

    15 chars

  59. Sherri said on March 14, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Danny, you keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

    Counselors being allowed to opt out of counseling teh gay students seems to me to be of a piece with pharmacists being allowed to opt of dispensing certain medications. You knew the job was dangerous when you took it; if you don’t want to do the hard parts, then just go away.

    365 chars

  60. coozledad said on March 14, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    They’re always mistranslating that Koine Greek: It’s not “No Curtis outside of marriage”, folks.

    96 chars

  61. alex said on March 14, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Danny, if you believe the writings of men are the divine word of God, and by extension that they’re the words of Jesus because you believe Jesus is God, that’s your right but to me and most of humanity it’s a bunch of gibberish and totally arbitrary. You want to cloak your bigotry in that rat’s maze of disingenuity be my guest, but I’ll still call it out for what it is.

    372 chars

  62. Jakash said on March 14, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Ah, yes, the “OT proscriptions against homosexuality”. Such a fine basis for 21st-Century behavior. I’m not gonna bother with the laundry list of other “OT proscriptions”, but I think we’ve all seen such lists before. Uh, here’s a clue — lots of them are outdated. Few are followed by Christians. Some of them are contradictory. Regardless, they’re based on a several-thousand-year-old worldview.

    The idea that the Earth revolved around the Sun took awhile for the Church to catch up with. The same with evolution. To its credit, though, the Church did eventually get on board with those ideas, given that the ideas ARE, how you say, FACTS.

    Here’s my problem with the Church’s age-old attitude toward homosexuality. The attitude is based on a false understanding of what causes homosexuality and whether a person is to “blame” for it. That’s evident from the “hate the sin, love the sinner” formulation. The Church teaching is as out of date today as its view of an Earth-centered universe used to be, but, alas, it hasn’t had hundreds of years to get used to the idea that gays are not going to be ostracized and marginalized in the future the way that they always have been.

    The problem is that there IS a 2000-year tradition of the Church teaching that homosexuality is wrong. The OT DOES have its proscriptions. Paul DID write some unfortunate stuff. This must be dealt with, somehow, and it will require a truly remarkable Pope, Council, or whatever, to figure out how to get the Church teaching on homosexuality out of the wrong-headed box it’s been in for 2 millenia. It won’t be simple and will be unpopular with many. But the Popes and Cardinals of our time are not seeking to figure out this conundrum. They don’t seem to be trying to find a theological avenue through which they can accept homosexuals as equal members of the Church, which would require a way to recognize their committed relationships. Instead, they’re doubling down on the old prejudices and misunderstandings. Whether or not they eventually solve this problem, it seems to me, will go a long way toward deciding whether the Church can flourish in the future or will, as Nancy mentioned above, become the “smaller, purer” Church that the previous Pope seemed to think would be preferable.

    2302 chars

  63. Bitter Scribe said on March 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Oh, Nancy, I can’t wait to read your take on the Detroit bankruptcy takeover. This can’t be just Snyder being an asshole, right? I mean, with KK and all, I can believe no one was driving when the bus plunged.

    208 chars

  64. Sherri said on March 14, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Pros, you’ll appreciate this: an interview with Sally Jenkins about her new book with Pat Summitt.

    173 chars

  65. brian stouder said on March 14, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Good God, I just read Nancy’s link to the horrible spring-break/exploitation movie.

    Being one, I like boobs (so to speak) as much as the next guy, but – ay yi yi! That thing sounds worse than one of those hillbillies-rasslin’-gators-in-the-swampy-bottoms tv shows.

    267 chars

  66. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 14, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Hey, we figured out how to work around the whole geocentric model thing, and we’ll work past some of the complications of shellfish and kosher and who gets to dance with whom. As someone once said, Holy Mother Church doesn’t think in terms of years, but in terms of centuries . . . usually the sixteenth century.

    Well, most of us worked around it.

    395 chars

  67. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 14, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Here’s a sample of Bob at his “best” –

    128 chars

  68. basset said on March 14, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    That’s… impenetrable.

    Meanwhile… heard this on Sirius yesterday and it has been stuck in my head, at least partly because I’m old enough to remember it when it was new:

    221 chars

  69. Sherri said on March 14, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    That is hilarious, Jeff(tmmo)!

    The surest way to detect a physics crank is when they declare that Einstein was wrong, but to find someone who denies Michaelson-Morley and Galileo and Newton, that’s something else!

    216 chars

  70. brian stouder said on March 14, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Jeff – I followed a few of your links, and was pleasantly surprised to see that the dastardly anti-Semite apparently got a (well deserved) public smack-down from Kevin Rhodes, the current Bishop of the Fort Wayne/South Bend diocese

    231 chars

  71. beb said on March 14, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Ed Schultz is being bumped for weeknights at 8 to Saturday and Sunday at 5pm. He’ll have 2 hour each day. He’s making way for Chris Hayes. While I’m happy for Hayes I think it’s a bad idea bumping Ed into weekend dead zone. Booman at the Booman Tribune makes the case why Ed was important
    The cliffnotes is that Hayes, Maddow, etc are Ivy League progressives while Ed was a working man’s friend.

    On the Detroit EM. I’m only a tourist, having lived here for 30 years. The chief take away is one Rachel Maddow has made, which is that none of the other cities or school districts placed under the Emergency Manager law have actually improved. “The operation was a success but the patient died.”

    Detroit’s problems are intractable. Over the last 50 years 3/4 of a million people have moved out of Detroit — black *and* white. With them have gone all the revenue from an employed middle class. The people remaining in Detroit are largely the retired, the disabled and people on welfare.

    The Big 3 car makers have almost no factories in Detroit. In fact there is almost no manufacturing in Detroit. No jobs means no money.

    Detroit is about 85% black. Racism is very much real. There is no love for Detroit from the white, rural Republicans who control both houses of the legislature. Maddow points out that the handful of cities under EM contain about half the entire black population of the state.

    I have no idea whether corruption is worse in Detroit than in any other large city. The larger issue is that the city has been strapped for cash for decades and has been issuing bond issues to finance it debt. Like anyone who starts using their credit cards to pay their bills, it’s a pit you can never dig your way out of.

    Snyder says that if the city cooperates with the EM then the legislature might cough some money to help the city out. This is classic bait-and-switch, much the way that Snyder said that “right-to-work” was not part of his agenda but signed the law the minute it crossed his desk. Snyder can say he’ll put a chicken in every pot but he’ll will have to have the legislature pass a law in regards to that, and that will never happen. What will likely happen is that the EM will sell of the DIA’s art collection, the Detroit Zoo, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, none of which will pay the bills but once the city has been stripped of those then the Republicans will abandon the city. They’ll do it because Republicans hate the N——s and are, by nature, looters.

    2568 chars