Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Pope's Visit to the US

I've sworn off following the exploits of the Catholic Church many times, but I keep falling off the wagon. It's hard to ignore something like Benedict's visit to the US when it takes over the news. It's equally hard to fathom why this is such a media event. No other religion gets so much favorable press for so little substance. Except maybe the Republican party.

I fear that people are taken in by the spectacle and shiny objects. Or maybe people are just confused by a statement like this:

“What does it mean to speak of child protection when pornography and violence can be viewed in so many homes through media widely available today?” the pontiff asked on the first full day of his US visit.

I think he's saying that parents are responsible for the sexual abuse scandal by watching porn on the Internet with the kids. I do admire his ability to string words together in a way that mimics, but doesn't actually make, sense.

For a much better and infinitely funnier take on the Pope, see the inestimable World o' Crap. Best comments:

So if the priest acts as Christ and the head of the Church is male, doesn’t that make the Eucharist a gay wedding?

Hysterical Woman

Well, they *are* dressed for it…

D. Sidhe

What's in Bloom

Clivia miniata

I'll try to get some pictures of what's blooming outdoors soon - spring is sprung!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Martin Luther King

I was only 14 and not very politically savvy when King was killed. In the many years since, I have come to admire him as a great American and activist for civil rights. He advocated non-violence, but never advocated accommodation or surrender. He was in it for the fight.

The sins of white America are many, going back to the beginnings of slavery and on to its awful offspring: Jim Crow, de facto segregation, and racial discrimination in so many areas of life. What is not understood by racists is that by trying to diminish others, they only diminish themselves. Slaveholders fought for freedom for themselves but bondage for others. The cruelties of slavery and Jim Crow only revealed the shriveled souls of the perpetrators.

We have made strides toward equality since the 60s; some have been large - it is illegal to proclaim discrimination; some have been smaller - young people today are much more comfortable in mixed-ethnic groups than my generation. Or that may be actually the other way around. It's easier to pass a nice sounding law than to actually effect change in society, but they are linked.

There is a place for white guilt - white America has been guilty. White America should be proclaiming: Forgive us, we know what we have done wrong, and we are trying to make amends.