Thursday, September 24, 2015


PAPA PONCHO Stories of the Pope have taken over the news. Everyone is enthralled by his presence and newscasters seem to want to treat him with both respect and familiarity. That being the case, what has surprised me is that no one has reported to using the Spanish name Poncho, the more endearing and familiar form of the name Francisco, or Francis for a first as well as a surname. It is true the name can be not too flattering name about a Spanish person. In some countries, the name Poncho might even mean stupid. However, for millions of people it is a nickname used in families and among friends. I listened to his speech to Congress. It was fascinating in many ways. I agreed with most of it by far. He seemed a bit frustrated apparently because to want to give deeper meaning to his words than he could convey in English. The loudest applause came with the line of life at any stage being sacred, which is as I expected. I would have liked to point out that life is precocious but not sacred when we allow family and friends or even the person or persons involved to suffer just to preserve medical signs of life. I believe there is such a thing as an appropriate and merciful end. Such phrase means to me that we have much soul searching to do when it comes to some of the most provocative questions we have to face as it relates to morality. Some are very superficial, such as we are all aware of our propensity to eat mean and where that meat comes from, which is why some of us are vegetarians. What do we do about killing to defend our families or in war? What do we do about capital punishment? How so we handle abortion to save the life of the mother, or rape, or incest. I am sure the Pope is aware of several books loaded with statistics that refute what he said about increasing violence. It is demonstrable decreasing around the world. The circle of our humanity is spreading from our bestial selves to our families, our tribes, and our nations. It is also becoming more inclusive with cruelty to animals being more and more include in our thinking. Almost everyone in the world abhors slavery of any kind. Some men treat their wives and women treat their children like animals in ancient times. Papa Poncho, you are wrong in your assessment of the course humanity is on. We are on an inborn path of biological morality related to self-preservation. Bestial survival of individuals is slowly becoming survival of humankind. I think you are mistaken in thinking religion is contributing to the trend in a positive way. I see various churches, Including the Catholic Church, as forming moral groups for the express purpose of excluding other people. You must belong to this or that church to go to heaven. Everyone knows it is a sin punishable by excommunication if a Catholic boy marries a Jewish girl or Jew boy marries a Catholic girl. It is not that long ago that stoning to death would have been appropriate. Papa Poncho, you are willing to sacrifice quality of life because you teach life is sacred without understanding that life is precious, but it is not an end in its self. URL: Comments Invited and not moderated

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