Saturday, April 09, 2005

Pope of personality

When one looks at the last elections, it seems pretty clear that people care more about who is leading them than what that person stands for. We all live in cults of personality. No one who voted for Kerry voted for his policy, because he obviously had none, but they voted against Bush.

We recently had occasion to see the biggest proof of this: Look at the Pope. Most Catholics have no love whatsoever for Catholic doctrine. Most favor divorce and remarriage. Most have no problem masturbating, using birth control, and think that the Church ought to have female priests. American Catholics were not particularly staunch anti-Communists, like the Pope was. Nor were they particularly philosemetic, like the pope.

The Pope spent his whole career fighting this, yet all these same people were totally enamored of him – at least if the reaction to his death is at all telling. The Pope’s doctrine seems to suck, but people have no problem thinking he is great anyway.

Sad world we live in.


Gothamimage said...

The Pope had Charisma. Chatism is Greek for gift. It's the same word as Charis in "Eucharist." So it's a funny word with double meanings, both secular and religious. The problem with charisma is that people who have it are allowed to be a certain way, but those in their wake, can never be so. For example, President Kennedy was given slack on much, because people loved him. For years, Dems without his charisma were doomed to his memory, but without the benefit of his personal "gifts." Same with JP2.

Gothamimage said...

Maybe the next Pope, lacking JP2's charisma will not try to ban mast., but will offer a more realistic goal-say a 30 percent reduction over 10 years.