Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Musings 25--The Pope and Jane Fonda

The Pope is dead. If you live under a rock, you might not know that. Cable tv has run story after story about the Polish Pope. It has been exhaustive and overkilled.

I am not a Catholic. If you are--good for you. I do think that the Pope was a very good man. He was very consistent in his doctrine and was as narrow-minded as any other religious leader when it comes to science. Let's face it, this is the Pope who finally agreed that the earth was not the center of the known universe. I feel quite sure that many people died because of this, but that was centuries ago. We all make mistakes. I guess God spoke clearer to this Pope than he did to the other Popes.

The Pope is against birth control and stem cell research. I'm for both. I think we need less idiots in the world and severe injuries need to be treated anyway possible. The Pope believes that life is precious. I believe that quality of life is precious. The Pope is against capital punishment--I'm for it. I don't think capital punishment hinders or helps law enforcement, but it gets these killers and rapists off my planet. (I suppose if there was a penal institution on the moon I would be for letting them live.)

The Pope is against the war in Iraq. On this point, I totally agree. Most wars are pointless...unless you are attacked. Defense is never pointless. Howsoever, setting an example by overkill never works. (Note: I have used the word overkill twice in one column.) I also have a huge problem with preemptive war. It lends itself to what one side thinks another side might do. Scary stuff!

The Pope is very big on forgiveness. I mostly concur with that philosophy. I don't understand why many of the Popes disciples don't hold to his doctrine. Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity come quickly to mind.

Jane Fonda was against the Viet Nam war. She even went to Hanoi to protest. There is a famous photograph of her sitting on an anti-aircraft gun. Lots of the vets from my generation can't seem to get past the fact that she did that. The Pope, who is against all war, would have forgiven her. I therefore, by deduction, would conclude that all catholic vets would have forgiven her--and I'd be wrong. They still hate her, as do most of the protestant, Jewish and atheistic vets. They have long memories which are sometimes faulty. Some of them actually think we could have won that war.

I just got through listening to Bill O'Reilly on the radio. He said he would have tried Fonda for treason...such a forgiving soul. He's a Catholic. The Pope is a Catholic too. Hmmm.

Jane Fonda had a belief that the war in Viet Nam was wrong. She took action to try and stop it. It didn't help and it might have hindered, but she took a stand. You have to admire that. While she was doing that, I was trying to dodge the draft and ended up in the Marine Corps. Go figure.

The Pope was a good leader, but his views are not infallible. Past history of the papistry is evidence of this. Jane Fonda has apologized to vets many times. She realizes that she made a mistake, not in being against the war, but in going to Hanoi. Maybe it is time that the vets, review their unrelenting hate. Nobody should hold a grudge that long. I think the Pope would have agreed with that too.

Hey, Jane, I don't have the big pointy hat, but I forgive you. I also know of another fellow who would forgive you. "Neither do I accuse thee. Go and sin no more."--Jesus of Nazareth.


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