Laura G Owens ~ Writer

Humanity. Health. Happiness.

Month: September 2015

This Pope is dope

Of the people, for the people

Of the people, for the people

dope  adj. cool, nice, awesome

 

Title too flip for the highest Catholic?

Just wait, some hip-hopper will pen a positive rap about Pope Francis.  He’s street. He’s of the people, all people. At least in tone, because when I stop swooning and take a look, his policies on church law haven’t changed.

The Pope hasn’t reversed a single issue, birth control, abortion, same-sex marriage, women in the priesthood or divorce (minus his recent change to the annulment process to make it more convenient and less costly) but his soft radically loving tone almost convinces me he has — or that the church will one day.

The Pope even has a receptive audience with some who think God is a hoax.  (“15 Surprising Things Atheists Are Saying about Pope Francis”). 

As an atheist (not speaking for all of them), I’m a huge fan of this pope. I think people need to find their own reason to be good to others. For some, it is god (whichever flavor he/she/it may be). Others find that they want to be good for other reasons. I’m just glad that the big C found a leader willing to try his best to not just preach to his crowd, but try to show them how. ~ Anonymous

Religion skeptics read this Pope as an empathetic listener rather than a sanctimonious hand-slapper.  He says come one come all, embrace each other especially the least among us and in a Christian Nation, atheists are by the denomination pie, one of the least among us.

His language is careful and loving. He doesn’t ask how dare you dis the Vatican?  His focus is instead on workable solutions for the poor, the uneducated, the disenfranchised, the ostracized, the misunderstood.

If he scolds it’s to ask, why we ignore so many poor?

Pope Francis

In other words, he sounds like Jesus.

Every Pope has a big following but this one has a gift of gently coaxing people into self-reflection, into relying on one’s conscience to guide our actions.

This is as impressive as walking on water.

The world likes Pope Francis.  And when we like someone to show respect, we consider their point of view, even as we vote against it.

Pope Francis is making unlikely friendships. 

I don’t agree with many of the Catholic laws (I was Methodist now I’m Unitarian Universalist) but I admire Pope Francis for cutting through the pomp and hierarchy and for avoiding divisive language.

He reminds us he’s human, and so he’s not closer to God than you or me or the atheist (should he/she ever want God proximity).

On gay priests Pope Francis said, “Who am I to judge?” Seems a few religion cynics might be saying the same thing about him.

If we get down to it, Pope Francis hasn’t changed his stand on church laws. “The pope has often delivered popular comments on unpopular church policies that sound like realized reforms. But so far no alterations of doctrine have taken place; widespread impressions that the rules have changed haven’t matched reality.” New York Times, Op-Ed. “The Pope, Catholics and Birth Control.”

He is, though, changing how people talk about views in opposition to church doctrine so I listen, and then I hold out hope for future reform.

The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians–when they are sombre and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths – Sheldon Vanauken 

Pope Francis

 

 
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Kim Davis: At least we have this in common

I sickened myself as I cheered, celebrating this Christian being thrown to the lions. I watched the one minute coverage below and rooted the mob who piled on in front of Kim Davis’s desk, a woman who three-times divorced with two kids out-of-wedlock (not judging pointing out hypocrisy) refuses to grant marriage certificates to same-sex couples.

 

This was bound to happen. Kim Davis just happens to be the first face of rebellion.

After SCOTUS ruled, people warned priests would be hauled off to jail if they refused to marry same-sex couples, but religious institutions have legal protection, a public servant or private citizen doesn’t.

I want to dig out some grace with this lady, do unto others; I want to step into Ms. Davis shoes as she’s hauled off for contempt of court. She had to be terrified.

I want to dig up some grace for this lady, who I genuinely believe feels it’s spiritually impossible to break her contract with God.

I want to try to feel her pain, to know the crowd catcalls are unnerving and that the media attention is undoubtedly upsetting her family. I want to know that all the pressure is nothing compared to her very real, very felt fear she’ll go to Hell if she goes against God.

I want to try to momentarily move into her place of such deeply wholly, holy, heartfelt God obedience that she risks jail and losing her job.

Ms Davis says this isn’t about hating gays and lesbians, the default “I promise I’m not a meanie” disclaimer for disguised discrimination, but the fact is refusing to grant a law-abiding adult a marriage license is hateful.

I wan’t to find some pity but I can’t.

Because the day I concur that what Ms Davis stands for in the name of religion is right by God is the day my soul dies, is the day I live with the Hell of my own earthly making.

In that Ms. Davis and I have much in common. I too would go to jail and risk my job over my beliefs.

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