Friday, September 25, 2015

Nauseating hypocrisy abounds at Pope's Francis' Speech

By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

How nauseating is this. Capitalism has beaten down so many of us that some people are so desperate for a savior, so needing a knight in shining armor to put an end to this madness, that they turn out in the thousands to genuflect and bow to this leader of one of the most corrupt capitalist institutions on earth.

This pope, whose activities are shaky at least during the years when the Junta in Argentina were torturing dissenters and some were getting free trips over the Atlantic where they would be thrown out of planes, has no problem having his picture taken with these people whose activities and policies literally condemn millions of people to death.

But the Vatican announced its displeasure at some of the guests being invited to the ceremony at the White House, like uppity nuns, people in gay marriages and LGBT activists.  Being in a photo with such people might give the impression that the pope supports their causes.

John Boehner, the hypocritical character crying his eyes out here is in the pocket of lobbyists as they all are. He once gave out checks on the House floor, checks from the tobacco companies for work done. Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, R.J. Reynolds, Miller, Coors and UPS are some of his sponsors.

Boehner also said that the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act was “one of our highest legislative priorities.” The pope will like that.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers are in the pocket of the 1% and the corporations, they cannot serve the interests of working people or the middle class through these political institutions.

I was thinking about this whole religion thing. It costs the pope nothing to accept global warming and climate change. You’d have to be a moron like Sarah Palin or Trump not to do so the evidence is so stark.  And all the nice phrases about the poor and how we must love each other and treat each other right etc.. This is the philosophy behind religion, the wishing well field of thought.

I can’t fault people for wishing these things away, but the world doesn’t work that way. Every nice wish the pope has for us can come to fruition if the people he spoke to in the video acted differently, but they will not, they cannot.

We live in the material world. Our social conditions determine out consciousness. The people the pope is talking to here are representatives of capital, of capitalism and the corporations. And just like the slaves’ material conditions and material interests are different from the slave owner, the feudal serf from the lord of the manor, the prostitute from the pimp, so it is with the political representatives of the bankers and 1% versus the vast majority of the people who are wage earners or small community business owners dependent on the wage earners in their community.

We are watching a charade here. Organized religion is used to defend the interests of the ruling classes and their wealth. The Catholic Church was once the religion of the European feudal aristocracy and owned most of Europe. It opposed business and mercantilism. For the rising capitalist class, this was a problem.  How could their interests be advanced by a religion like this. Both feudalism and its Catholic religion had to go.  A new religion arose with the help of Martin Luther and a new day was born with the Protestant Reformation.

The Catholic religion has now become the dominant religion of the capitalist class. But it’s archaic misogyny and backward ideas are bringing it into conflict with the times. It is losing in the battle for souls and dollars to the Mormons and the Evangelicals. Like any business, it must adapt or die.

It is hard to imagine why women especially or gays would remain in an institution that thought them lesser humans. In the case of gays and Lesbians, an abomination. I know most Catholics are decent people like most Muslims. But surely, accepting in one’s own mind that there is a supernatural force that created all humanity and the universe need not need organizational expression. It is a con game this.

A good friend, a Christian who is one of the best fighters I ever knew for workers and people in general no matter who they were, once said to me that “Jesus was union”. I don’t know if he prays and I don’t as there’s no one listening, but if he does I know prayers from people like this are prayers that give them the courage and strength to act to make the world a better place, a more humane place.  It gives them the strength to fight and act. That’s good praying with good results.

As for the pope and his organization I have written an opening line for his next speech.

“Comrades, sisters and brothers.: I must first apologize on behalf of my organization for centuries of brutality, murder, misogyny and Jew hating it has waged against the poor people of the world on behalf of the powerful. I apologize for all the wealth it stole supporting colonialism and the raping of nations and cultures. I apologize for the role it played in the transportation and sale of Africans. I urge all people that do not live off the profit of capital like a pimp does from the prostitute’s sale, to rise up and change the conditions under which we live, work and produce the necessities of life for all. I will pledge my life to lead such a movement.”

If he wanted to say “Amen” that would be OK.

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