Friday, February 06, 2009

When I needed sunshine I got rain

So, hanging on to the ole “faith-based initiatives,” are we, Obama?

Convinced that they are “a force for good greater than government”?

I’m not so sure.

Obama’s calling his the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and he’s appointed a 26-year-old Pentecostal Minister to head the thing. The minister, Joshua DuBois, said "We're also going to make sure we have a keener eye toward the separation of church and state."

Putting a Pentecostal Minister in charge of maintaining the separation of church and state? Isn’t that a little bit like putting Dick Cheney in charge of upholding the Constitution?

Oh, wait.

Seriously, though, at this point, my honest reaction was that I was glad that it wasn’t a Catholic in charge, because, ah…they’re not really at the peak of their credibility right now.

Yeah, who could have predicted that when the College of Cardinals elected an ex-Nazi to be Pope, he would end up having a little problem with the Jews? He also had a little problem with the Muslims a while back, but that mishegas was clearly just practice for the shitstorm he is weathering these days.

The Pope claims that he was unaware of Williamson’s background as a Holocaust denier when he reinstated him after his 1988 excommunication. I’m not really buying that, but the Pope is sticking to his story, oh, and asking Williamson to, basically, you know, take it back.

And I’m sure that as soon as the Pope finds out that Williamson says that women should not wear pants or go to college or hold a job, he will ask him to take that back, too.

So far, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany and impromptu GWB backrub victim, is the only one who’s trying to hold the Pope’s feet to the fire. Of course, she’s a Lutheran, so there might be just a teeny conflict of interest there. Sarkozy, President of France and actual Catholic, has, in keeping with his nation’s reputation for general weaseliness, criticized Williamson but not the Pope.

I keep waiting for the great outcry, at least amongst U.S. Bishops and Cardinals, but the Bishops are apparently none too eager to criticize the Pope publicly, and the Cardinals...just lost the Superbowl. And I can’t really blame them for being reticent. Criticizing the Pope can get you excommunicated. Whereas, denying that Hitler had a plan to kill the Jews can bring about a Papal reaction more along the lines of “oops!”

But back to Obama, he who actually gave a shout to atheists during his inaugural speech. A first! Okay, so I’m not crazy about being called a “non-believer,” but compared to what I usually get called, it’s not so bad.

His ideas about creating some sort of nation-wide interfaith camp is an ambitious one. I only hope that those of us whose faith rests solely upon humanity’s shoulders don’t get forgotten in the process, like we have since, well, ever. Yeah, my hopes are not high. Woody Allen once joked that he spent two weeks at Interfaith Camp, where he was “sadistically beaten by boys of all races and creeds.” I can identify.

I live in fear that one day, all the religions of the world will wake up and realize how much they have in common: namely, their hatred of people like me.


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Once again you have written a brilliant post. For my money you are the best writer among everyone I read. But don't tell the others I said that.

SJ said...

Can't there ever be someone in office who just IGNORES religion, completely? Shit, I feel violated.

Anonymous said...

About the Pope, you know you don't have a leg to stand on when the Chancellor of Germany calls you out for supporting someone who has denied the Holocaust.