Pope-Pourri

So we’ve gone from a Pope who collaborated with the Nazis to one with ties to a military dictatorship. At best, Pope Francis and his church acquiesced to high crimes and murders by the junta (as noted at the link, other clerics in other Latin American countries spoke out); at worst he has active ties to them.
Former Reagan White House speechwriter turned pundit Peggy Noonan, however, would have you know it’s religious discrimination to criticize the church: ” wouldn’t presume to tell Baptists or Lutherans or Orthodox Jews how they should interpret their own theology, what traditions to discard and what new ones to adopt, what root understandings are no longer pertinent. It would be presumptuous, and also deeply impolite in a civic sense.”
Except, of course, her church does that all the time. Pope Francis, the Catholic Bishops of New York and countless other church officials actively oppose gay marriage—which amounts to telling people “We don’t care if your theology accepts gay marriage, we’re not going to let you do it.”
Noonan’s lumping discussion of priestly abuse in there, as a matter of theology and tradition, is utter bullshit. The issue isn’t what the church teaches or believes (and I don’t recall it officially sanctioning pedophilia at any point in my lifetime), it’s that upon learning some of its priests were abusing their power to rape children and teens, the church did everything it could to protect them from prosecution, whether by calling on Catholics in local law enforcement to cover it up or just shipping the priests somewhere else (without keeping them away from future victims). That’s not a question of religion, it’s unethical (and at least in some cases) illegal conduct, plain and simple.
I do admit to questioning the theological reasoning by which Cardinal Roger Mahoney feels the important thing about his allegedly shielding pedophiles is that he can forgive the people who criticize his actions.
•And then there’s right-winger Erick Ericson, who says he likes the Pope more because he’s being criticized for handing left-wingers in Argentina over to the government for execution.
•In other news, Glenn Greenwald rips into an NYT article that explains the execution of American citizen Anwar Alwaki for allegedly being an al Qaeda master planner consists of quoting lots of anonymous sources who insist that their legal rationale for executing people without trial is totally different from when W. did things without due process! And they really had the goods on him! And they’re awfully sorry about accidentally (allegedly) blowing up his kid with another drone strike (it spoiled the “moral clarity” of killing people with drones) and lying about how old he was.
Greenwald pokes a number of holes in both the reporting and the underlying arguments (as to whether Alwaki was, in fact, a plotter, and whether the government wasn’t trying to kill him for anti-American propaganda sooner than claimed). Marcy Wheeler chops the legal rationales further, and the NYT version of the facts.
•In other cheery news, Chrysler has fired a union activist because he’s in conflict with “the interests of the company.”
•LGM argues that the issue with drone warfare is the policy that drives it, not the use of drones per se. Though I do believe that drones, being unmanned and thereby making it safer to kill, do pose added problems (but hey, if you fly one, you can get a medal!)

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