More brainless praise for JPII
A good example of the ignorant sentimentality that keeps gushing forth from conservatives and swirling around the late Pope is Kathleen Parker’s embarrassing column in which she lauds John Paul II as the “quintessential father figure … leader, teacher, disciplinarian, protector of hearth and home,” who “satisfied the profound human hunger for affirmation from a male authority figure that, historically, fathers—now increasingly absent or marginalized—have provided,” who “lay down the law” through his strict adherence to “orthodoxy,” disregarding the “foot stomping, wailing and gnashing of teeth from the little darlings.” Well, at least we know what Parker herself longs for, and it’s a legitimate desire. But is it true of this Pope?
What Parker is really praising the Pope for, of course, comes down to his stand on those same four or five hot button sex issues that liberals (and conservatives, following them) seem to think is the entire content of the Christian religion. The parallel with President Bush is striking. Just as Bush’s enemies on the left have been so extreme in their attacks on him over the war that conservatives in reaction embrace Bush as a great conservative leader on the basis of the war alone and ignore his actual liberalism on many other fronts, the late Pope’s critics are so virulent in their attacks on him over the lifestyle issues that his conservative defenders think that he’s a great conservative solely on the basis of those issues, ignoring his actual liberalism on many other fronts. On the questions of discipline and orthodoxy, for example, is Parker remotely aware of JPII’s historic failure as a disciplinarian, as seen in his tolerance of the rampant leftist heresies in the American Church? Is she aware of his radical re-working of Catholic doctrine and liturgy as a participant and leading exponent of Vatican II and the subsequent reforms? Is she aware that he said that all religions are true and kissed the Koran? Has it occurred to her that, even though the Pope upheld traditional sexual morality (as it was his duty to do), he simultaneously undermined Catholic tradition and European culture with his universalist ecumenism, his cult of “the human person,” and his demand for open immigration from the Third World, and thus helped undermine the traditional cultural environment that traditional morality needs in order to flourish? No. She knows nothing about that. She doesn’t have to know anything about that. All she does is read other columnists and reporters who endlessly repeat the same clichés about what a staunch conservative the Pope was, and she repeats the same herself. What someone recently said of journalists could be said of all too many columnists as well: they are people who write and talk but don’t think.