Saturday, June 08, 2013

Post hoc procrastination roundup

I haven't had much time to write lately, as you might surmise. I'd try to jot down a few thoughts at work while on break, to e-mail myself later, but I never seemed to get around to checking my e-mail for this account and cleaning the prose up.  I'm taking some time now, though, and what with it being so far after the fact on some of these issues, I'm just going to take some pot shots at several of them at once.

Pope Francis: I like his style.  I think Benedict was more my speed, I think we would have benefited from having someone in charge who made a point of focusing on things like orthodoxy and liturgy, but God knows better than I do and it's not like I really have a problem with the preferential option for the poor. My only worry would have been if people would see Francis give an inch on social justice and then take a mile in the direction we're already headed.  But, maybe someone who doesn't give the first impression of "Oh, he's that kind of Catholic because he's politically conservative," which tended to be the [mis]understanding by modern pundits of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, would seem less threatening to people who....aren't politically conservative.  Apparently it's the right time to show that you can help the needy and still stand for something more foundational than the endless advance of novel civil rights.  Plus, it gives the old Jesuit conspiracy theorists lots of fodder to play with it, and we're one step closer to being done with the silliness of the alleged prophecy of Malachy.  Also, it was interesting to see early and frequent criticism from people who are ignorant of the College of Cardinals or at least ignorant of the limits of their understanding of the Church; after hearing and reading comments from both Catholics and non-Catholics like “There was no one of intellectual stature after Ratzinger,” “John Paul packed the College full of yes-men,” "The only thing we have to look forward to is a papacy of mediocrity, because there is no one to choose from other than lousy bureaucrats” and “I don’t like him; it was a political move, he’s just the first pope from Latin America,” I know I can sleep easily knowing he's already made all the right enemies.

The IRS scandal: Sure, maybe Republicans did much the same under Dubya. I don't know why it wouldn't have gotten more press; I'm still inclined to believe that reporting is more honest during Republican administrations because reporters are happier to air the GOP's dirty laundry, but whether it was just covered up better or they just focused more on warrentless wiretaps, it's happening now; as Mark Shea says, Obama voters, own this.

The Boy Scout decision to accept openly gay boys:  I don't think it was a mistake to be accepting, but I think getting drawn into the debate to where they felt they had to say something one way or the other was a mistake.  I don't know how much has changed since I was active in Scouts, but no, we didn't really talk about girls or sex much at all, what with busy doing boy stuff and camping and learning about good citizenship and character.  There was one boy I know of who came out of the closet in college, and I don't know if he was hiding it the whole time or hadn't quite figured it out for himself yet (my tangential knowledge suggests this was common, especially so before homosexuality got normalized), but it just didn't matter, and while most of the guys in my patrol probably would have been more scandalized if he'd said something to us when he was SPL, we still would have been a bit off-put if other guys just started talking about what he liked about girls.  It's just not the place for it, and that is the whole pitfall. If there's someone who can help a confused kid, great; I think that's why the national council ruled the way it did. But it introduces sexuality explicitly where it should never have been in the first place. On top of that, how are they going to handle all the gay Eagle Scouts when they hit their 18th birthday? It's one thing when all the concerned parties in a scandal are minors, but how long is the fear of gay ephebophilia going to withstand the pressure of youths who want to have their sexuality approved--and behind them, the pressure of real gay predators who have just been waiting for this target-rich environment to expose itself?  And I'm kind of surprised the LDS Church didn't kick up more of a fuss, what with Scouting being a huge component in its youth program for boys; for years, the Mormons provided the backbone in resisting encroachment by the gay agenda.  Again, just to summarize, I don't think gay boys should be kicked out of Scouting--a concrete, masculine but otherwise asexual environment is probably the most healthful place for a confused youth; but Scouting should never have gone down this road.  There's no way to answer "Have you stopped beating your wife?" without sounding guilty, and there's no way to address the issue without introducing it into Scouting culture.

Meh, I thought this was going to be brief, but it's late and I'm tired and I have to work today, so if I think of anything else worth going over old ground for, you'll be the first to know.

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