|Sadly, THIS is my idea of a compelling theology.|
The Pope is visiting America right now, and all the TV channels are covering it, which means that when I make my daily phone call to my dad, I have to talk about it for a few minutes. The truth is that I haven't been a practicing Catholic in over a decade, and I haven't been a believer... ever. I went along with it for the first few decades (!) of my life to humor my parents, but I'm done now. Way done. You know what they say: "You can take the boy out of the church... and, all things considered, you probably should. Quickly." No, seriously, this current Pope seems like a nice guy, way nicer than the last couple of Popes, especially that one who looked like the Emperor from Star Wars. But, to me, he's still just a guy in a pointy hat. Hopefully, he can use his (unearned) position of (imaginary) power to do good in the world and inspire others to do good in the world. That's the best you can hope for with something as silly as the Papacy. Non-Catholics often think of the faith as a weird, bizarre cult with all kinds of spooky rituals, but the truth is that growing up Catholic was extremely boring. John Waters has written with as much humor and honesty as anyone about the "Catholic kid" experience. He can remember sitting through mass and fantasizing about the roof of the church caving in. That still makes me laugh, because I had very similar thoughts as a kid. Our church, in fact,had these big ceiling fans hovering over the congregation, and I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if one came plummeting to the floor. That's how boring Catholic church really is.