Tuesday, August 23, 2011

He goes and spoils it all

Well, that didn’t last long: Only three days ago, I praised the pope for comments he made on business and economics. It was, I noted, probably the first time I’ve ever praised him. Now it’s again time for my more common response: Criticism.

In a speech he intended to give in Spain, the pope again declared marriage is only for men and women—and also said marriages can never be dissolved. Now, quite frankly, I couldn’t care less what he or his church thinks about marriage or divorce. I’m not a member of the Roman church or even in any way religious, so his words on matters pertaining to his particular religion are completely irrelevant and meaningless to me—and for hundreds of millions of other people, for that matter. If his organisation chooses to refuse to solemnise or recognise same-sex marriages, or if they refuse to recognise a divorce of an opposite-sex couple, that’s their thing—as long as they keep it solely in their church.

The problem, as I mentioned last time, is that the Roman church is engaging in political interference in the affairs of sovereign nations, and they have no right to do that—preach, sure, interfere, no. Whatever particular religions do or don’t do regarding marriage and divorce is of no concern to the state, and what the state does is none of religions’ business. Just as the state has no right to tell a church whose wedding it must perform, neither does a church have the right to dictate to a state who can and cannot be married.

The Roman church has strongly condemned Spain for enacting marriage equality, and its US branch has actively campaigned and raised money for referenda to ban marriage equality. Among other things.

I said his remarks were in a speech he intended to give: The pope’s remarks weren’t actually fully delivered because only partway into his speech, a powerful rainstorm struck the Spanish airbase where his rally was being held. It shook the stage, knocked over a tent and blew the pope’s skullcap off his head.

Here’s my question: Isn’t that storm god’s judgement on the pope’s antique views? Whenever a hurricane, earthquake, tornado, flood, fishkill, bird die-off or some other unexpected event happens, some fool somewhere will declare that their god is passing judgement because of something they personally don’t like. Therefore, that storm must be god’s judgement on the pope’s words.

Yes, I’m joking. But, unlike the pope, I at least have a fair point.

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