I’ve been deciding how to respond to the latest from Pope Francis on climate change, air conditioning, sex-change and abortion. I haven’t because then I’d have to read it.
Thank God for Colby Cosh (whom we used to cite here years ago):
Whoever is in charge of @Pontifex started dishing tweets like some layabout ex-journalist tweaking on Red Bull. And come to think of it, that is probably exactly the sort of person who was handling the task. “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth,” the Holy Father’s social-media personification rapped. “We have to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”
Russell Brand or Supreme Pontiff?
As an atheist, I’m afraid my instinctive reaction to the pope’s zingers is that an awful lot of the places on Earth where people live literally on piles of filth happen, by some tragic coincidence, to be predominantly Catholic. Still, I wanted to give the full encyclical a chance. Laudato Si’, when not chopped up into theology McNuggets, creates a very different impression, alternating between personal observations and dreary, committee-written boilerplate.
The tenets of faith on Twitter. Really? It would have made Moses’s job a lot easier to just whip out his iPhone 6 than schlep those stone tablets down Mt. Sinai. But…
Thou shalt not murder
Honor thy father and they mother <3
Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s wife lol 😉
[B]efore you know it he is weighing in on drinking water. “…in some places there is a growing tendency, despite its scarcity, to privatize this resource, turning it into a commodity subject to the laws of the market.” It turns out this is bad, even though almost any economist alive would instantly apply a red pencil and several question marks to that “despite.”
Before long Francis is going off on “Decline in the Quality of Human Life and the Breakdown of Society.” Hilariously, there’s a warning about new digital media, presumably in forms like … er, Twitter?
There is a lot more of this, and I must confess that by the time I got some way into the chapter on “The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis,” the encyclical was no longer reminding me of Russell Brand: it was reminding me of the Unabomber Manifesto. That is, of course, a little unfair. Ted Kaczynski is responsible for nowhere near as much injury to human welfare as the Catholic Church inflicts every 15 minutes, and, besides, he’s a better writer.
“The idea of promoting a different cultural paradigm and employing technology as a mere instrument is nowadays inconceivable. The technological paradigm has become so dominant that it would be difficult to do without its resources and even more difficult to utilize them without being dominated by their internal logic. It has become countercultural to choose a lifestyle whose goals are even partly independent of technology, of its costs and its power to globalize and make us all the same.”
Pure Kaczynski, yeah? The next sentence could easily be “So that’s why I moved to a cabin in the woods and started mailing bombs to scientists.” Let me give you another: Unabomber or Unapapa?
That’s okay, we’ll pass. But we are grateful the the bullet he took on our behalf. The last time a Pope weighed in on “science”, Galileo was put under house arrest for the rest of his life for heresy.