Sunday, August 13, 2006
The Popiate of the masses
I can't express how very much I adore this picture of Pope Benedict in his red Prada loafers. I mean, they totally don't go with his gown, but still, you have to love a pope in Prada. His election as pope was even more fascinating than his justification for kicking out gay priests while demonstrating that some day they too could trot around the Vatican in designer shoes. That was some Pope Fever! I haven’t been so entranced by a man in a dress on television since Culture Club debuted on MTV. I have to tell you, though, it was so disappointing to learn that I had been overlooked in the pope election…I actually won the swimsuit competition, but blew the onstage interview question.
I would have done well as pope if John Paul’s reign were any indication. We had a lot in common. Last year, he went off on Jennifer Aniston for wearing crucifix jewelry as objects of fashion rather than faith. Who knew the Holy Father was such a fan of Must See TV? It is like we were separated at birth!
Still, it is probably a good thing I wasn’t elected. How do you top a pope as popular as J.P.? I was concerned about how conservative Pope Weiner Schnitzel might be when my Catholic co-worker pointed out that he is a Rebound Pope, the sort of pope you get after a pope you really like. No reason to get concerned about a ‘Tweener.
Catholics as a general rule are pretty okay with me. What’s not to love about a religion that celebrates Lent for several weeks each year with a weekly big ass fish fry, and you don’t even have to go to listen to a sermon in order to eat? There are few things more fantastic in life than a cheap fish dinner, beer, and a cakewalk. That doesn’t mean that I will sacrifice reproductive rights for some cole slaw, but at least they don’t usually try to take over the government or annoy anyone other than the occasional alter boy.
I’ll take some catfish with a side of pedophilia any day in lieu of some of these “Earth-based” religions. I’m speaking of some of my dearest friends when I say many of those folks are just plain nuts. Lexington drag legend Natalie Gaye once attended a Wicca lesbian funeral in Mt. Sterling, and reported to me that the widow got naked at the grave site and danced around it while people beat on drums. Being the sensible person that she is, Natalie and her sidekick quietly tried to slip away and go antiquing. I was relieved she got away before the patchouli smell soaked in too deeply.
Now Jehovah’s Witnesses, those are some annoying people. For those of you who don't know, Craiggers was raised a JW, and even though he’s been away from it for many years, I still feel the urge at times to slam a door in his face. JWs are the mimes of the spiritual realm, an entire religion based on the concept of its members making a public nuisance of themselves.
Their redeeming quality is that while they don’t mind waking you up from a hangover to push their beliefs on you, they do believe in steering clear of forcing those beliefs on government. No, JWs and Wicca’s don’t go after government. That seems to be the province of the churches of my raising, the sort of churches that involve rolling in the pews, red-faced preacher men with too much Bryl-cream, and a whole lot of warnings not to do anything fun.
I suppose the hot mess in the Middle East is making my thoughts turn to religion, particularly religions that want to make their particular religion part of the rule of law. I'm not talking so much about the Muslim extremists, though they are quite terrible. It is our own government that scares me. When I hear Dubya talking his fundamentalist bullshit, all I can think is, "This stupid motherf'er really thinks he is an instrument of God to bring about the second coming!" He does seem to believe every word of the Book of Revelations, and some days I wonder if he's not stirring things up hoping to cause armageddon in the place his people believe it will happen.
If Dubya wore a dress and some red Prada loafers, I know I would sleep better at night.