On the Papal Visit
I suppose the pope's passing should get some merit - as I think this is one of those insane spectacles I'd never really thought I'd live to see. 4 million people descended on Rome, which never had any preparation for such an onslaught. The fervor that pulled people in is the same fervor that I find charming in a mosiac-your-house-in-a-religious-theme-but-entirely-with-dried-macaroni-kind-of-way, interesting, but something I'd never really do. I'm not religious and I tend to be more agnostic in my thoughts about spirituality (you can't define it in testements, torahs or stone tablets), but I can see and understand why people either love or hate him. He preached peace and then in the same breath condemned gays and unmarried women seeking abortions. He's part of a corporate lineage of religious business, inlfuencing millions and policies that still impact a woman's right to choose, safe-sex education and gay marriage, yet have not been elected by the same body of people (it just happens after much politcking). Don't even get me started in the creepy way it dealt with it's peodophilia problem (sweep it under the rug and transfer the offending priests to some other parish where they're free to do it all again. Rinse, repeat, repent).
I guess though as raised a Lutheran, I'm ambivelent. I have no grudge because the way history went down in the 13th century, Martin Luther saw the same ridiculous structure and posted his famous resignation letter to the catholic church. That's why I can't understand why people drag their dogme around with them like rabid knights on crusades still. Although - someone the other day at work said that anger brings you closer to godliness (because it's what makes you true to your emotion and sense of morality). Given that most moral compasses these days point to alot of self-justification, I don't agree. I 'd like to think that compassion, either within or outside of religion is what trancends us.