Aping the attitudes of American evangelicals, the American Church concerns itself far too much with politics, including abortion politics and gay marriage politics, for the current Pope’s taste.
This Pope has always wanted Catholics to be nicer, which is not the historical position of the Church, which has usually favored banning, excommunicating, torturing, and occasionally burning its perceived enemies at the stake. Not this Pope, though. This is the Pope that let atheists into Heaven, much to our surprise, so we rationalists have a soft spot for him, or at least, we nice ones do.
The Pope let gays into Heaven, too, although he still doesn’t let them get married in the Church. He’s in favor of civil unions for gays. So, if you’re a gay Catholic, you can get civilly unionized, do gay stuff with your gay partner until you die, and, as long as you confess it all before your number is up, you skip right up to St. Peter.
This is a complicated route to the Pearlies. The suggestion here is that you peeps just become atheists. It’s a much more direct path to our section of Heaven, which is a huge nightclub where we party all eternity and laugh at the schmucks who have to hosanna 24-7.
Conservatives on the American Catholic scene are especially browned off at the Pope for letting divorced Catholics back in the Church. You, a Catholic, get divorced, thinking you are escaping hell, but Catholic doctrine used to be you were automatically being consigned to Hell. You have to stay married for life, according to the Church, even to someone you bitterly hate, even if you never have sex again, or at least, sex with your spouse. The hatred and cheating that inevitably follows results in a build-up in the sin industry, which corresponds to an increase in the confessional index, which is what traditional Catholics want. They want you to hate yourself as much as they hate you. The whole point of the Church, and most other faiths, is to loathe yourself into Heaven.
For those of you who think this is just silly, I’ll have you know dated a woman for several years that was a divorced Catholic and had been excommunicated from her parish. Still, her religious impulses lingered. At one point she asked if we should start going to Episcopal church together. “No!” I exclaimed, spitting out bits of breakfast egg. “Are you out of your fucking mind?”
Now, my woman is Jewish. One of the many reasons I love her is she never asks questions like that.
While this Pope preaches niceness and tolerance, American bishops gnash their teeth in the darkness, believing that the Church is straying from its mission, which is to find excuses to despise the rest of humanity, including atheists, agnostics, Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Bahai’s, unaffiliated people who claim to be spiritual, and, most importantly, the vast majority of other Catholics as well.
What a waste of effort. You don’t have to believe in anything to despise other people. Trust me on that.