Friday, 11 May 2007
Kiss my... ring
A long time ago in a universe far, far away I received a "ministerial visit." Big Jack brought along a taciturn deacon named Neville whose sole role was to nod occasionally, but he did all the speaking. He informed me that by asking stroppy questions I had "in effect" disfellowshipped myself. This was news to me, and a nifty strategy to shift whatever blame there might be completely to my side of the court.
I was reminded of that encounter today when I read about Papa Ratzinger's current tour of Latin America. Pope Joe has been slapping liberal Latin lawmakers around - especially those who deviate from Roman dogma on fertility issues - and threatening them with excommunication (LA Times report.) A Vatican spin doctor tried to tone down the Beaded Wonder's fulminations by explaining that such politicians had already, in fact, "excommunicated themselves."
I don't want to enter the vexed issue of abortion. I'm against it as much as any bloke who can never give birth ever can be, but I'm also against the narrow view that forbids abortion at any cost. I also firmly believe any woman has the total right to manage her own fertility without some religious cross dresser telling her otherwise. But that's beside the point. Papa Joe's minder and the Herbal apostates have this much in common - they are slippery manipulators par excellence.