Wait. Let me say that again.
THERE’S A NEW POPE!
I know … I know. Too often I come off as anti-organized religion. That might be because, with rare exception, I am anti-organized religion. The sheep-like adherence to nonsense. The mindless insistence that something has to be true because “it’s in the Bible.” The slavishness to ritual based upon the mangled idea that, “If people have been doing it for thousands of years, it must be true.” The unspoken motivation for so many—death; horrible, lingering, looming; inevitable death. Why believe in nothingness, when following organized religion promises an eternity of espressos with Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Uncle Mu (he was a caveman, and because tongues and speech were not fully developed, he was known, simply, as Mu. He also ate rocks, but, hey, eternity with him will be blissful).
I know this won’t go over well, but was I the only person here who found the whole pope selection process absolutely inane? To recap:
1. The old pope decides he wants to retire. Retire? You’re the pope. You don’t retire. You’re the head of the Catholic Church; the most holy man on earth; the very identity of Catholicism. There’s such a thing as (and this, admittedly, is from Wikipedia) “a proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility for rare occasions when the pope speaks ex cathedra—literally “from the chair (of St. Peter)”—to issue a formal definition of faith or morals.” You can’t retire! You. Can’t. Retire. To do what? Play shuffleboard and watch Chips re-runs?
2. OK, the old pope retires. So the Cardinals (starring Garry Templeton at shortstop) gather in Rome to pick the next pope. There are 140 of these guys from around the world. They all, with rare exception, very, very old men in crazy outfits who have never gotten laid. Not once. They are (surely) want to be the next Pope, but can’t admit as such. It’s sorta like being eliminated from American Idol while pretending you’re happy for the winner.
3. The news media speculates what they’re looking for—forgetting that, these 140 old virgins—could care less what the news media thinks. Or, it seems, anyone thinks. Hell, the one thing the church couldn’t do—absolutely could not do—was select a really old dude who never uttered a meaningful peeps about the whole molestation thing. I mean, as the media wisely suggested—you’d have to be a bunch of fucking morons to pick a really old dude with no guts. Who the heck would even think of …
4. The white smoke, which looked sorta charcoal, rose from the chimney. New pope! New pope! Exciting! Will he be 50? And cool? A bold man? A breath of fresh air?
5. Uh … no. He’s 76. Like so many others, he keep quiet on the whole molestation thing. But he’s the pope. Kiss his ring! Hug his feet! Give him a big hat!
Here’s what I don’t get—what I really don’t get. How do people continue to take this shit seriously? Thousands and thousands gather outside the Vatican. People cry and weep. White smokes! Here he is! Yesterday, just a dude. Today—the pope! He’s a leader. He’s the man. He lives in a lavish home (even, ahem, as Jesus walked with the sinners). There are no women involved. Gays are sinners. No sex before marriage. No condoms. On and on and on.
When are folks going to say, “Gosh, this is really inane”?