A usually good journalist at the National Post, Kelly McParland, demonstrates the limits of his knowledge and common sense in an article about Pope Francis today.
Let me just take one quote. He refers to the Church's "medieval treatment of nuns, its wholly unchristian attitude to gays..." and he praises the pope's lambasting of the Vatican's bureaucrats, and wonders whether it will deal with its dirty priest problem.
Let me comment on each in turn.
|Poster-girl of repression.|
2) Unchristian attitude toward gays. He refers later in the article to the Church's prejudice against gays. Does he know what the New Testament teaches about homosexuality and other aspects of sexuality? So, by Christian he must not mean, Christian according to the New Testament, but according to the 21st century liberal know-it-all sense of Christian, I guess. Prejudice means to pre-judge, usually in a negative sense. I guess that makes me prejudiced against a lot of people, like rapists, murderers, etc. But according to McParland even Pope Francis must have an unchristian attitude toward adultery, because he doesn't like it. How unchristian of him.
|With friends like this, who needs enemies?|
3) Lambasting papal bureaucrats. We have all imagined doing this. There isn't an 80s movie that doesn't have a speech in it about stuffy shirted bureaucrats. But let's just see how far Francis gets with the curia now that he has them all feeling like crap. Even the good ones. Back to McParland - does he think that Canadian bureaucrats are any better than Vatican bureaucrats? Are the grey suits at IBM and General Electric any more virtuous than those at the Vatican? Would he want a CEO of those companies to conduct himself in the manner that Pope Francis has? Would he invest his money in such a company? How about a school superintendent, or the editor-in-chief at the National Post? I bet McParland would be quite resentful were it directed at him.
4) Dirty priest problem. What does McParland think should be done about the dirty teacher problem? Probably nothing - because McParland is a bigot. And dirty doctors? Anything? Dirty politicians? Dirty lawyers? Nothing? The dirty black people problem? There's lots of them too. But that is a horrible thing to say - so should it be, epitomizing the priesthood as exceptionally dirty. Disgusting.
I don't know McParland other than as a generally decent journalist, definitely one well above average. But reading something like this makes me wonder whether this is old-fashioned Protestant anti-Catholicism (it still exists) hiding itself as generalized secularist anti-Catholicism. The only reason I ask is because McParland strikes me as fairly conservative in some ways. Please, set me straight here, readers.
Surely McParland would simply like the Catholic Church to simply disappear. That's really open-minded and tolerant. Is it 'christian' of him? Does he feel the same about Islam, Hinduism, feminism, socialism, environmentalism? Should everyone he doesn't agree with just disappear? He's welcome to his opinion, of course, but it is annoying to read over and over again the tired prejudices against the priesthood. He has no statistics to back up his claims. Do priests actually treat gays poorly? Is there a higher incidence of pedophiles in the priesthood? He assumes so, just like all bigots do. But where is his proof? In lieu of proof, bigotry.
But he likes the pope. What a surprise. Doesn't have much to say for Benedict. What a surprise.
A liberal journalist likes the non-Christian parts of a pope. That's news.
I will ask my readers to think how much of their views are actually formed by Christian ideas.
There was an interesting story about a woman in Florida destroying a Satanic display. The obvious thing here is that this is not very open-minded and egalitarian. We all know that there is a breaking point for the assimilation of classical liberal and Christian values, but the question is, where is it and when will the entente snap? Classical liberalism is a live and let live idea which many soft centrist Christians (me too) are more than happy to support, but the fact is it won't last, it isn't lasting. Liberalism has all but morphed into left wing ideology and no entente with that is possible. Gay marriage was presented as a live and let live thing and now has morphed into a series of demands on one and all.
You always have to wonder about someone who takes it upon himself to comment on something that is none of his business. Yeah, he's a journalist, but I doubt that he was ordered to write about the pope. Maybe he is Catholic - that'd be even more indicting. Have I ever said anything about the Dali Lama? Nope. I haven't the least bit of interest in him. I certainly don't want him to become 'more christian.' I would be happy if he got baptized and began to believe in Christ, but no happier than I would be were any other gentile to do so. (I don't care for 'trophies,' though. I find talk like that in poor taste.) Maybe McParlane is writing the obligatory religious article he has to write every December 20-something? Well, write about 'turkeys for tots' or something. I don't want Muslims to become more Christian. I want them to either be Christian or not. I find it kind of shameful for someone to become like someone else simply to oblige them. I want full-bore conscience-abiders, even if they are horribly wrong like believers in the Koran are. I don't want scheming politicians giving lip-service to the Bible. That's one thing to be said for Obama compared to Bill Clinton: Obama can scarcely conceal his disdain for Christianity. I actually appreciate that. I don't hate those celebrity atheists because they don't believe in God. I hate them because they misrepresent the truth and play games just for money. But don't lie to me about 'real Christianity,' Mr. McParlane. That is the most disgraceful thing of all. And don't live to turn people into homogenous, palatable, nothings, whether it's the pope, the Dali Lama, or Billy Graham. We need to be challenged by people's sharp edges.
McParland, a soft middler too, no doubt, fails to realize what a tool of repression he has become by equating Christianity's strong moral rigor as prejudice.