Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Waiting for Superman

How can you not love a Pope in a rubber nose?

Despite the right wing outrage over Pope Francis' critiques of capitalism, this is absolutely spot-on:

From the beginning, neither group was really inclined to give Benedict the benefit of the doubt. At the height of the church’s child-abuse scandal, the Vatican chose as its leader a former member of the Hitler youth who had been on the conservative side of every internal debate on social policy, made dubious scientific claims, and seemed to take full advantage of the perks of the job. Francis, to say the least, has shown a defter touch.

But a lot of the coverage of the new pope seems to be overlooking the fact that the critiques of unbridled capitalism were there under Benedict and even under Cold Warrior John Paul II, who said that it “agrees with Marxism, in the sense that it totally reduces man to the sphere of economics and the satisfaction of material needs.”

Francis is, without a doubt, a far better global salesman for his cause. But it does seem like some of the pope’s new non-Catholic fans are both deluding themselves into thinking that the things they don’t like about Catholicism are going to go away, and ignoring the fact that the things they do like aren’t all that new. 

The "deluding" part is a bit strong, I think.  But overall this raises Chomsky's question:  is the messenger more important than the message?

Probably; but should it be?

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