I know what you're thinking. The end of the title should read, "the horse on which he rode." Sorry, syntax was never my forte.
As Ed Schultz likes to say, "Let's get to work."
On an airplane somewhere over the Pacific Ocean yesterday, Pope Francis told journalists that he would punch a man-specifically, his friend, Dr. Gasparri- if this Gasparri guy said a curse word against his (the Pope's) mother. And he isn't even Italian.
I don't know where to start with that one, but this pope is no Prince of Peace. He's not turning his cheek for anyone. It sounds like he's more down with the Old Testament eye-for-an-eye stuff than any of that love-thine-enemy mumbo jumbo.
He sounded, in fact like Sean Connery in The Untouchables, when he told Kevin Costner, "He puts one of yours in the hospital, you put one of his in the morgue."
So, the Pope is tough guy, good for him. It makes him all the more human. Unfortunately, he is now also an influential member of the But Brigade.
Six months into his papacy, Pope Francis said that the Church was obsessed with abortion, gays and contraception. All that stuff down there that people do with their nasty parts. He said he wasn't going to talk about those issues. Again, good for him.
He should have avoiding talking about all body parts, fists and mouths notwithstanding.
In yesterday's support of pugilism, though Pope Frances crossed a dangerous line. He implied-strongly, I might add-that those journalist gunned down by Muslim mad men share responsibility for their own demise.
That sounds a lot like the ISIL party line, blaming victims for their own beheadings.
Preceding the Pope slugging it out with Dr. Gasparri, he said, ‘There are so many people who speak badly about religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others. They are provocateurs.’
That is true. Bill Maher's movie, Religulous poked fun at religion in general, while the play, The Book of Mormon...well, you know.
I'm guessing Pope Frances never saw Religulous, as was his right. I caught it On Demand, which was mine. What's the problem?
The problem isn't people making fun of religion. As Maher noted in his movie, religion does a good enough job making fun of itself.
The problem-problems actually-are two-fold. First, you have people walking among us who hear God telling them to go out and kill people for real or imagined affronts to their religious beliefs.
Second-and this is, surprisingly, the bad one-you have the But Brigade who who tell us out of one side of their mouths that they support freedom of speech, but out of the other side of their mouths they tell you exactly where that freedom ends.
It would be great if not talking about Muhammad would buy us some peace, but that would be like giving Poland to the Nazis. They will want more, they always do.
The good news is that if this restraint of expression is going to be part of the Pope's much awaited encyclical, it's only going to apply to Catholics. The rest of us are free to use our body parts as we see fit.
Je suis provacateur.
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