Saturday, October 3, 2015

Integrity or Bigotry? Pope Francis Meets with Kim Davis

What does it say about our culture that people become famous for being bigots? Cue the Trumpster but I’m not going to write about him. It’s enough already. I’m talking about Kim Davis.

Who's now achieved global exposure for her bigotry courtesy the man everybody is hailing as a walking, talking saint. Talking a lot, saying what he wants to say where he wants to say it, politics in the Vatican and in the countries he visits be damned.

Who wouldn’t admire this man? Even the most hardened against popes and the Catholic Church are moved by him. Myself included. But here’s the problem. We all long for a hero, and if somebody isn’t truly heroic it’s easy to put the blinkers on those aspects that don’t qualify and just focus on the ones that do. It’s a quick step dance from there to creating fantasy qualities.

I hadn’t graduated to making the Pope my hero. I think it’s weird the way so many people worship him. People who live by the Commandments, one of which mentions something about worshiping false idols. Hallo. Still, I have been admiring him and revisiting my original skepticism of him—you know, considering he’s the leader of one of the most morally and materially corrupt organizations in the world. Then I read the headline that he met with Kim Davis on the QT. And all the skepticism I’ve thought was dissipating came into clear focus again, a hot sun rising above the mists of hopeful fantasy, burning them away.

Here’s the thing about integrity. You either have it or you don’t. You can’t have it in some areas of your life, or in some ideas that you support, but not in others. If you do, then sometimes you’re honest and sometimes you’re not. But you don’t have integrity. It’s the same with order versus chaos. By definition there’s either one or the other.

Being controlled by politics is another of those absolutes. I've come to think that maybe this Pope isn't a puppet of the politics of the powers within the Vatican. He's spoken out and is taking action against pedophilia, corruption, material obscenity within the entire Catholic church. But he's obedient on the subject of  gay marriage. Ergo he's controlled by politics end of story. His compassion that he says is there for all is in reality only for a select few. Because of Vatican politics.

If you’re a supporter of human rights you support them all; you can’t pick and choose. If you don’t support them all you may be a person who sometimes or even often behaves with courage, compassion and honesty towards others but you’re governed by double standards. That makes you a bigot. Whether you’re a clerk or a pope. 

Il Papa’s visit to Kim Davis was underhanded, done on the sly, and neither he nor his spokespeople will talk about it. Why? One thing we’re sure of; this Pope isn’t afraid to speak his mind, no matter where he is. So what’s up Doc? Did you do something you didn’t want the world to know about? Did you think the world wouldn’t find out? Are you that naive? The last two are rhetorical, especially number two.

Kim Davis has the right to not support gay marriage. She has the right to say that God tells her not to. She has the right to believe the Bible is the Word of God and to interpret the words in any way she fancies. She has the right to not make friends with gays who are married. As morally repugnant as some or all of these things might seem to many, she has the right. She has the legal right, too. 

But she doesn’t have the right to impose her beliefs on others. She may have the capacity but not the God-given right; none of us do. Nor does she have the legal right, as a clerk, to refuse to fill out gay marriage licenses in a State that has legalized gay marriage. It’s against the law.

To say that these distinctions are unclear to Francis would be to say that he’s muddle-headed. And he’s not, we know that for a fact. The man is as sharp as a tack. So he comes to the US with grandiloquent gestures and magnificent words about human rights for all. Then of all the people he could have met in private he meets ‘in secret’ with Ms Davis and tells her that he supports her right to deny the rights of others. He even gives it a name—conscientious objection.

Can you hide bigotry behind a cloak of seeming integrity? For a while, yes. But bigotry will out one way or another. Cloaks are all very well but the emperor’s new clothes comes to mind. More than that though, bigotry will out because it wants to be heard. It wants to control. More than anything it wants to punish.

Can anybody really rout out the double standards, the moral degradation, that lies at the core of the Catholic Church, an organization whose foundation is built of disrespecting so many human rights it boggles the mind? I doubt it. Should we get into the marital, infidelity and divorce history of the woman elevated in this underhanded way by the Pope? 

Not today folks. It’s enough now. I need to go and wash my hands.