POLARIZING POPE & OTHER NEWS:With the world media coverage having shifted from Terri Schiavo to the death of the Pope, it's been interesting reading the various reactions to his passing. Of course the essay in the previous post (scroll down) sums up much of my feelings for the Pope and his virulent opposition to homosexuality (he called it evil...it's hard to respect someone for denouncing an entire segment of the world population), not to mention putting women at the back of the church bus, refusing to end the ridiculous ban on condoms, and his slow reaction to the sexual abuse scandals. However, to give the Pope proper credit, he did stand against the war in Iraq and encouraged countries to cancel its debts against developing nations. It's truly a shame that the Pope couldn't have moved the Catholic Church into the 20th century (and the21st) with more compassion and understanding, rather than spreading more ignorance and hate.

I hosted the monthly Georgia Poetry Society Open Mic & Reading Series on Friday night at Barnes & Noble at Georgia Tech. While I don't like to look a gift horse in the mouth, the store's lack of support is beginning to disturb me. For the last two months, I've arrived at the store to find nothing set up. That means a last minute panic and rush by the obviously understaffed store to get the podium, chairs, etc. I can usually be laid back about this, but since Friday night was one of the Poets & Writers co-sponsored events, I wanted it to be perfect. Luckily, it went off well. Stephen Bluestone was an excellent feature and praised the open mic as "the best he'd ever been to." If I'm being really honest, I've received very little support from GPS members. They rarely attend (if ever), so it's the other poets in town who continually attend, read their work and offer much needed support. We had 10 excellent poets read their work during the event, including Rupert Fike and Theresa Davis. Thanks to all those who came out and made this a success.

After spending Sunday afternoon packing up my loft for the move at the end of May, I guest hosted for Kodac Harrison at Java Monkey Speaks in Decatur. We had a great night of poetry and good weather. Alice Lovelace blew the roof off the joint with her new work. She's such a dynamic force of nature and art in this community. The Georgia Writers Association is going to give her a Lifetime Achievement Award this summer. It's about time Alice got some recognition.


Bookfraud said…
as someone who isn't christian, much less catholic, i am reticent to assess (and judge) JP2's legacy, but i will say anti-gay rhetoric was disturbing in the least.

barnes & noble isn't known for their service. it doesn't surprise me in the least.
Anonymous said…
you and all your KoolAid Kerry drinking friends are going to hell.
Teamaster said…
Though I'm not Catholic, I have some interest in PJP2. Not only is his biography impressive, but he seemed a sincere man if anything.

Forgiving and meeting the man who tried to assassinate you is a major, major action.

And to stand against police-state communism is also laudable (despite the current dilution and "coolness" of quasi-communist fantasies).

The official (albeit late) apology to the Jews is decent enough. Symbolism usually helps humans cope/find closure, I guess. Granted, the Catholic Church was only one of the many compromised/frightened/coerced institutions and folks to deal with Nazism...but...whatever.

His anti-death stance was a beacon against the death penalty. Being one who questions and opposes the death penalty, I dig that. And I'm with the anti-abortion thing, too. (Though not on a religious basis. I think it's a matter of bad law and judicial manipulation and a premise of non-personization that's the same as blacks once faced.)

I think his refusal to incorporate gays into the system is mainly based on this ultra-life policy: an encouragement for potential procreation, fertility, multiplication (and, of course, a traditional family situation).

They think I'M wrong for having premarital sex - and dozens of other things. Oh well.

I think we get risky when we start saying it's wrong to say something's wrong. Doesn't make sense. Because saying THAT would be wrong, too. :)

Groups/religions call all Americans "evil," but many of us believe they have a right to (and some even think it's deserved). In fact, THEY call for our deaths and liquidation from the earth. Official Vatican policy does nothing of the sort.

Though we may not agree with certain hardcore policies of a given religion/sect/church, I say it's basically none of our bees' wax. If we go by the live and let live approach, then...let the Catholic Church make its choices about who "gets in" or whatever.

Me? I'd start my own church if it mattered that badly. :)

(Of course, if the Vatican held beheadings of gays, then legal measures are in order.)

Yes, the homosexual pedophile priests scandal certainly WASN'T handled as quickly and thoroughly and severely as it should have been. Inexcusable - no matter how explosive it is for organizations.

This issue might be extra sensitive because of the fundamental stance on homosexuality. Folks wonder: Why do these bastards molest/rape juvenile MALES? Bitterly ironic, to say the least. (And weird that such behavior was once commonplace and accepted by Greeks and even Romans.)

I think your specific observations on the Pope are honest and somewhat humble, Collin. Many folks wouldn't be able to see past the sexuality difference - which squelches genuine discussion and argument.

Oh. And condoms are good. :)

Teamaster said…
Looking back at my earlier comments, I must add that I've BIG problems with the Church - and religious systems in general. And I'm wary of them all - as I'm wary of all governments and fanatical atheist groups.

I just don't want my points/guesses to be cheapened by a notion that I'm some religi-cheerleader. Generally, I like to play devil's advocate - er - in this case...umm...I don't know what to call it. :)

The bad points ARE important, I must specify. If I can point to the facts that the "father of Kwanzaa" (formerly known as Ron Karenga) was a brutal criminal back in the 1960s, then I must point to the folly and sins of others who've "done good," too.


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