Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Holy Simp and His Showdown at the Communion Rail

"For the first time in my own life, I find myself unable to go to Mass. During the most heated bouts of rhetoric coming from the Vatican this summer, I felt tears of grief and anger welling up where once I had been able to contain them. Faith beyond resentment began to seem unreachable ... Perhaps a new pope will change things. But the odds are that hostility will get even worse. I revere those who can keep up the struggle within the channels of the Church. I respect those who have left. But I am somewhere in between now.

There are moments in a spiritual life when the heart simply breaks. Some time in the last year, mine did. I can only pray that in some distant future, some other gay people not yet born will be able to come back to the church, to sing in the choir, and know that the only true scandal in the world is the scandal of God's love for his creation, all of it, all of us, in a church that may one day, finally, become home to us all."
- Pope Andrew the Heretic, Losing a Church, Keeping the Faith, October 2003

"Life is a job. You get $14.50 a day, but after you die, you have to pay for your sins. Stealing a hub cap is around 100 dollars. Masturbation is 35 cents ... it doesn't seem like much, but it adds up. If there's money left when you subtract what you owe from what you've earned, you can go to heaven. If not, you have to go back to work. Sort of like reincarnation - many nuns are Mafia guys working it off."
- Father Guido Sarducci, gossip columnist and rock critic for the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano

Trapped in the never-ending pontification of the religious coverage that became borish - say, after the eleventh hour - and then, just as the nation was forced to watch that frightful self-fulfilling replay of Keith Olbermann interviewing Chris Matthews on MSNBC just because he's Catholic, it became abundantly clear who the next Pope should be.

Pope Andrew the Heretic of Provincetown. And why not?

The main noise in the aftermath of The Pope's passing in the media has been an unlikely and unholy alliance between John Paul II and good old Ronnie Reagan with some maniacal passion they shared in bringing down the Iron Curtain, but nobody in Washington really cares anymore about the Russians - or the Poles, for that matter - despite their sudden and obvious ignorance that World War III is already in the catalyst and countdown stages with the rest of the Islamic world.

Not to jump on anyone else's parade here, but the rational mind could not do anything but agree with Billmon's simple assessment of the Pope and his place in the pantheon of christian victories and its laundry list of charlatans and false prophets and grotesque efforts to subjugate the masses. But so what? John Paul II led the Catholic world for a little less than 27 years, which is longer than almost anyone else in the currently active political sphere of influence except Fidel Castro in Cuba, Moammar Khadafy of Libya and the grandsons of King Abd Al Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia - none of whom would be considered harbors of global democratization and general good will.

Twenty six years is a very long time in the Big Chair or for this century, no matter how you slice it. Dubya has the look of a crazed baboon who traded the taste for ripe bananas for gushy warm hyena blood a long time ago, and he's been wearing the preznut sportscoat for a little more than four years. Gerald Ford only got three years before they snatched him out by the collar, and South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu only held power for ten years because the U.S. military was stubborn enough to replenish an endless supply of body bags.

Let's just agree that political tenure is mighty brief in the passing lane. Brutus did in Julius Caesar after five years at the top of the food chain and Lee Harvey Oswald whacked John F. Kennedy before he even finished three, while that freakish little degenerate Caligula was tossed out like the trash in only four years, his reign even shorter than Jimmy Carter's was at the helm of a modern superpower.

Only Franklin Delano Roosevelt came close to Pope John Paul II in terms of American longevity, and he only lasted that long because the camera shot missed the wheelchair and the world was at the brink of complete disaster. As a people we tend to measure the world in four year cycles, while the rest of the planet cannot resist the urge to calibrate political power in terms of lifetimes and monarchies. And in the curious case of Khadafy, he will probably outlive the next Pope and certainly Dubya, whose regime is apparently more stable and slightly less prosperous than half of the European Union and Central America combined.

He is clearly smarter than Dubya and dumber than the Saudi Royal Family, but Moammar has never lost the absolute genius nor the capacity to wreak destruction and massive retaliation in one fell swoop. Not even the Israelis want to fuck with him, regardless of how many people he's vaporized along the way.

The Colonel might be a ruthless and insane and barbaric plague on the Arab world, as Reagan once regarded him, but even some of our closest allies in the War on Terror still enjoy doing a little business with him, and while the rest of world society marches along on its Papal reunion tour, Khadafy is busy polluting the airwaves with his evening thoughts on Islamic fate and incoherent ramblings on the idea of recognizing the Jewish state.

Which brings us back to His Holy Simp, Andrew Sullivan, who is also prone to polluting the airwaves with his ideas. Many of these range from not knowing if he agrees more with the Rethugs or Democrats to whining about not being welcome in any of the red states because he is openly gay to connecting everything from Abu Ghraib and Terri Schiavo to debating the rate of HIV infection and demanding gay marriage all in the space of one discordant and stammering blog entry. Truth be told: you want to agree with this pinhead right up to the point where he gets too emotionally draining and sermonizing, but he's so damned annoying that even a prolonged view of his written word makes you wish that he could be expatriated to the Vatican City Order of Interior Decorators. And word has it that Brother Andrew from the Jesuit Society of The Conflicted can perform wonders with a roll of velvet, and his concepts with lace curtains are to die for.

For those less-steeped in the strange and bizarre life and times of Andrew Sullivan, his biography reads straight (no pun intended) out of a Catholic high school yearbook. Almost all of his readers are the type of conservatives who could go over the edge at any moment or kill or maim or destroy or burn down your house with your family still in it, or imprison thousands of stray felines in their summer condos while worshipping yellowed photographs of Ray Sharkey and Liberace. They are almost always from Miami or Key West or living a repressive existence in places like Austin, Texas or Santa Fe - and they are all connected to the festival of political schizophrenia that is, from the fish-headed wingnuts to the deviant Jesus freaks and closet Nazis who wear the uniform only on "special occassions" at Kate O'Beirne's pad.

He is also - according to a young Peruvian houseboy who goes by the name "Zorro" in West Hollywood, California - a hopeful and wannabee disgraced priest of some form or another, who can slide into a long winded evangelical mode reminiscent of Oral Roberts or Billy Graham. This probably accounts for his terribly huge and devoted following in many of the blue states, where his constant doomsday-like warnings of an impending gay persecution has elevated him to virutal sainthood amongst the male Edith Bunkers of this world, a quasi-Messenger of God for the Adam and Steve division of the Christian faith. More homosexual males have abandoned their sublets and variable rate mortgages and began scrambling around like cranked up rats on Andrew's good word than ever ran blindly into the streets screaching their girlish outrage once the Bryman School of Cosmetology lost its authority to issue Pell Grants.

All Andrew really does in the end is scare homosexuals to death and tell them to flee God's wrath. But the serious truth of the matter is that any mildly educated buffoon with a skill for accessorizing and a reasonable vocabulary and a contract with The New York Times could do Andrew Sullivan's gig, and the same vacillating collection of homosexuals - latent or otherwise - will just so happen to be selecting a new Pope in the coming days, the exact Catholic church that was quick to rescue Cardinal Bernard Law of the Boston Archdiocese from hundreds of lawsuits alleging that he allowed pedophile priests to molest children, by appointing him Archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome and giving him a vote that should determine John Paul II's successor.

In the end, one man's Holy Calling is another man's ecclesiastical kink in the Year of Our Lord 2005. Somebody - just anybody - at least make Andrew Sullivan our Holy Simp of paternal matrimony, so he'll crawl back under the rock from whence he came.


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