what do they pray for, exactly? Do they pray that he will die, and die soon, to end his great physical suffering? Or do they pray that he will miraculously recover, as they insisted Terri Schiavo could recover, though that recovery would be, to such an ailing man, hell on earth? Do they hope politicians will grandstand in front of the Vatican to put him on life support? Or do they look to his next of kin to make medical decisions for him? Do they hope his successor sees the error of keeping women out of the priesthood, of perpetuating the stigmatizing of gay men and lesbians, of turning a blind eye to birth control in the face of poverty and despair? Or do they hope for a successor who will help the church preach the second-class citizenship of women, the pathology of gay men and lesbians, the necessity of rigid and unyielding positions around abortion and birth control, endangering the lives and futures of millions of women and their already extant children? Do they really pray for the future, or do they hope for a new pope who will help them and their evangelical cronies usher in another dark era of barbarian ignorance?
I only ask because this man is the Clinton of popes, the guy who seemed progressive but proved hell-bent on rolling back hard-won reforms, such as Vatican II, rather than looking to the deep spiritual yearning of millions for a better, kinder, more just world. This pope was popular because he could get liberals to make excuses for his conservatism, much as Clinton did. Salon magazine simply prints a story that the pope's end is near, and that the Bushes are praying for him. Please. In the wake of the Schiavo debacle, this hands-off journalism seems timid at best. I want the nitty gritty details. If Bush is praying for the pope, I want to know what exactly he's praying FOR. ANd what about Laura? Is she praying for the same thing as W? Why? Why not?
In its efforts to be respectful, Salon has gotten spineless. Let's not forget that the pope is a political figure, and that the Vatican is officially a state. He may have been a man of his convictions, a man who tried to live up to his beliefs and those of his followers, but he was a conservative who denied a woman's right to choose, a gay person's right to sexual and emotional dignity, and a mother's or father's right to feed the children they have without fear of starving the whole family with more dependents than they can possibly care for, or provide a future.
I wanna know what the Bushes are praying for. I wanna know the text, the exact terms, of their prayers. Because I think THAT would be real news, Salon.
Bush: Even though the pope is Catholic, and I'm not much for Catholics, I do believe that men are better than women, and I see the pope as an ally in our continuing fight as Christians to keep women quiet, compliant, and useful to men. Also, he's against gay marriage, and that makes him real important in the fight to keep marriage as a sexist institution with benefits to those who slave away, men and women, at meaningless jobs in order to bring the next generation of workers into being. So I'm praying for him right now, praying that he lives to fight another day, or if not, that he dies peacefully and another man as patriarchal and backwards as he is takes his place.
Laura: I don't think the Catholic church's stand on women is so great, but I'm not Catholic, so hey, who cares? I'm praying for the pope because I long ago gave up any integrity or individuality as the price of my husband's sobriety. He's successful now, so I take my valium and read books: lots of long, lovely books. Sometimes I masturbate, but the valium makes me tired, so I forget why it is I should care about the reasons why I'm masturbating in the first place. Mostly I'm praying for the pope because he's a nice man who like mothers, and I'm a mother, right? Those ARE my kids, aren't they? I didn't make that up, or read it in a novel, right?
Come on Salon. Tell us what the Bushes are praying for. Inquiring minds want to know.