Saturday, April 2, 2005

It's Popeless! Popeless, I Tell You!

Pope John Paul II is dead. I'm disappointed. I was enjoying how he'd bless everything in sight, and I was hoping he'd wind up in a persistent vegetative state; he'd have had a more karmically appropriate end that way.

It sort of surprises and disgusts me that I think this way: the Pope still is (was) a human being, albeit one who promulgates ignorance and intolerance. According to the liberal media, "the world mourns" tonight and throngs of the faithful a.k.a. mindless have converged on the Vatican to offer their condolences for a guy who is, unfortunately, too dead to accept them. What might have hit me initially is that, according to news reports, I'm apparently the only non-Muslim extremist who couldn't really care less that all is popeless (and also probably the only person who still thinks that pun is funny), but now I'm just depressed over what folks are actually mourning. I mean, thousands of people around the world die every day, and most of them don't pre-empt the ABC Saturday Evening Family Movie.

Thing is, Death — someone's no longer being on the planet — is a totally personal experience. They say there's six billion people in the world, but I'm only aware of maybe a hundred or so of them. I only like about ten or fifteen. The rest of those folks, when they disappear, I'll go on without missing a beat.

And I imagine theoretically empathizing with the mourners — the genuine mourners, with a bile-filled hole in their soul where the deceased once took hold — but I'm not aware of their existences either. Despite my cynicism, or maybe because of it, I honestly believe that God has no excuse for making people grieve who don't deserve having to grieve. And I know, intellectually, that, nevertheless, God's doing just that and there's nothing I can do about it besides speaking out against the Republican party. But I can't, you can't, a benevolent and loving God wouldn't want you to spend all your time feeling bad with the mourners of the world.

The people crowding in Saint Peter's Square, like the "millions around the world" supposedly praying for Terri Schiavo, aren't mourning anybody. The Pope, because he is, as Peter Griffin said, the freakin' Pope, isn't being mourned as a dude with a personality, with fashion sense, with hopes and dreams. The people outside the basilica are mourning the end of a symbol, the Church as Interpreted by JP Instead of JC. It's kind of sad, really. He had acolytes, but I don't think anybody could ever really call themselves the Pope's "friend."


Mousqueton said...

I am amazed that you are not getting death threats for this posting.
After spending countless years reading about many religions such as Shintuism, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Islam and even some quasi-religions such as Gurdjief and Ouspenski (The Third Path) and Scientology, just to mention a few, I can not help but be in awe at how important religion is to most people everywhere in the planet. This is true even in societies where there is no Republican party or similar.
I am more amazed at the fact that even for a truth seeker like me; religion seems to be important as well.
I will miss John Paul II not because of what he represented but because I really think he was a good guy that authentically cared for the weak.
I have this crazy idea that the ideal society would be one that is based on solidarity, meaning, a society where the strong take care of the weak.
It is not easy to believe this if you read the papers, watch TV and surf the net. As a matter of fact, with this kind of input it is easier to believe that we are doomed and that we deserve it.
Once in a while though, I guy like JP comes along and makes you feel that maybe there is still hope.
By the way, he is not the only one I will miss. I already miss a number of John Does' who share the same goodness but not the celebrity status.
It is not easy to be good at heart.
As for the church itself I can only say that it is a human congregation of people as any other congregation (Army, political party, religious group, school class, etc.) and therefore bound to include in its ranks the good, the bad and the ugly.
We need to learn how to separate faith, church and individual human beings.
I love your sarcasm even when it gets a little caustic. Don’t let it out of control though; you might end up becoming a skeptic and that, my friend, is the end of the road.