Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Pope's Business...

I Love That Hat!
I find a lot of the names given to children in our society to be utterly stupid – although this story concerns British society (it is, after all, the UK Telegraph). The complaint is too many people are naming their children after celebrities or consumer products instead of going to Scripture to find inspiration for names.

The Pope’s point is a legitimate one; although what was reported was something the Pope never actually said, although it may well be something with which Benedict would agree: giving one’s own children trendy or product names betrays a thick narcissism on the part of the adults. They see children as merely extensions of themselves and their egos rather than unique individuals made in the image and likeness of God. There is no real regard for how those individual children will handle being named ‘Pepsi’, ‘ESPN’, or ‘Apple’ – since it is all about the parents anyway.

As with so many things, these trends are really just symptoms of the disease rather than the disease itself in our culture.

I am just amused at how frequently the Pope is considered to be "railing" against this, that, or something else.  Benedict is not a "railing" type of man; he is very professorial and measured in his comments.

Turning eastward, Pakistan wants Benedict to "butt out". Some of the leaders there are upset because the Pope has called them out over their blasphemy laws. I say – good, they need it. What is sort of “amusing” (and I use this loosely, because, well, it isn’t really all that amusing) about the whole instance is that the Pakistanis want Benedict to stick to a “modern” philosophy of relativism while allowing them to maintain their own one-way philosophy of stoning heretics. 

The irony, of course, is that Benedict was the one who "railed" (there's that term again!) against the “Dictatorship of Relativism”, so he probably isn’t the right one for the Pakistanis to insist that outsiders ought to treat all cultures as equals and let them stone anyone they want for whatever reason.  I guess they see him as a threat, although he has no way of bringing an army in and forcing them to do what he wants.  However, shame and embarrassment can be powerful tools.  No one likes to have their shortcomings broadcasted to the world, but sometimes it is completely necessary, and Papa Ratzi is just the man to do it.

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