Don’t Diss The Pope! Feelings could get hurt.

Pope Innocent with St. John of Matha

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about Harry Knox and his comments against Pope Benedict. He said “The pope is hurting people in the name of Jesus” (something along those lines), mainly because of the pope’s declaration against condom use in Africa. (and I agree with Knox whole heartedly)

I guess what is getting to me about all this, is that people feel that this is an opportunity to “Stand up for Christianity” because there’s this notion that christianity is a threatened religion on the global scene.

Now I do know first hand that in many nations, being a christian (or anything else besides the majority religion) will make a person an object of violence and discrimination, but christianity is hardly the only religion that has or is experiencing these attacks… but on the whole christianity has been, is, and will continue to be the most powerful religion on the planet. And when i say powerful, i mean in terms of political, social and economic power (when it comes to spiritual power, that’s a whole other topic). The evangelical church alone is the religious powerhouse of the USA, and we’re the most powerful country on the planet.

Now what boggles my mind is, that, while large Christian groups and churches contribute to economic and humanitarian aid all over the world in the form of hospitals, food programs, rehabilitation, etc… it does not discount the fact that the church has and continues to make mistakes. Sometimes huge mistakes… As soon as someone criticizes the behavior of the church, people go up in arms because it becomes this big offense to even question the decisions, statements and behavior of a human run organization.

Good works does not equate to immunity. And just because good has been done by someone, or people, or a church, it doesn’t mean they’re perfect and are above scrutiny. We have a tendency as humans, to either worship or vilify, and no human being or group is worthy of either. While we’ve seen people come close to being completely evil and vile, I don’t know or have ever heard of one who’s been close to perfect, and if you know of any, send me their official biography because I’d love to read it.

I believe the pope’s statements are dead wrong, and so does Harry Knox…. and so do the majority of educated people in the realm of public health and science.

Maybe the criticism against the church is an opportunity for the church to take a look at itself and say “Are we doing everything right? Are we really representing the Jesus we are holding on our banners?” But really, in 2,000 years, we’ve only seen progress when people are willing to exam themselves, and we’ve only seen tyranny rise out of human immunity. Read a history book.

I have seen some despicable things done to human beings in the name of Jesus and in the name of Christianity. It happens, and it continues to happen. Turning a blind eye doesn’t really do good for your cause, in fact it starts to discredit it. And when you’re as powerful as the pope, and you have the ears of 1 billion people, you better have your stuff together, because people WILL listen to you and react. The AIDS epidemic in Africa is a way different issue than AIDS in western countries. Blanket moral statements are not responsible.

At the end of the day, I believe this whole thing is a reaction to the power shift in government and a great opportunity for the conservatives in washington to make noise against the administration (which also is not perfect).

But hey, I could be wrong.

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