The recent Papal elections convinced me that American Catholics and the media that they bow to would have a very unique way of choosing a Pope. The dissidence of American Catholics is clearly shown by the fact that feminist journalist Anna Quindlen recently stated that whoever was Pope would be "irrelevant" to American Catholics. It is clear that American Catholics have a very unique and clear notion of what they both want in a Pope and how that Pope should be chosen. This is so regardless of the centuries of tradition in how this process takes place since, after all, as Americans like to think anyway, much of this was before there even was a United States anyway and is therefore suspect merely based on that defect alone!
I am also quite certain that they would think that their way is both the best and the only really fair way to make this choice. In fact, I am sure that American Catholics would argue that this is exactly the way God would want a Pope chosen. I am likewise sure that the American media would argue that this is the only fair, tolerant, inclusive, pluralistic, diverse, progressive, and enlightened way to make that choice. Given that every fool in every corner saw fit to post a list of ideas that the new Pope should consult, I decided to likewise propose a number of things that I am sure American Catholics and the American media would favor.
1. Let All American Catholics Vote for The Pope
Just as all Americans are invited to vote for President, American Catholics would likely favor having a direct say in who the next Pope is. Since nobody wants another Florida controversy, a direct popular vote would be most favored. I originally thought that the voting age should likewise be 18, but after seeing the media interview a 12-year-old on how a Pope should be chosen, I imagine that many would like children to be included given the media's fascination with their profound insight. I also thought about limiting voting to American Catholics who actually knew or practiced their faith correctly, but banning most American Catholics and practically all American clergy and religious would result! In the end, I decided to let anyone who called him - or herself a Catholic vote as an American Catholic since the label has increasingly become a joke.
2. Give Non-Catholics Input as Well
In the spirit of ecumenism - you know to please all the ecumaniacs - maybe non-Catholics could be given some sort of input as well. Since every atheist, feminist, sodomite, secular liberal, and pompous media type felt obliged to spew his or her opinion on this process, we might as well give them some input in this as well. I mean, would it not be as offensive to exclude non-Catholics from this process as it is to include Catholic symbols in non-Catholic situations? Perhaps if no candidate received a certain percent of the American Catholic vote, non-Catholics could decide the winner. I mean, since when do American Catholics have a clear idea of what they are doing anyway or since when do they mostly agree on any one issue? Besides, it is not easy to be a Cafeteria Catholic and precise in one's moral views anyway. After all, didn't the last presidential elections show that American Catholics care less about issues that directly impact their faith than non-Catholics do? Just think, the media could report on which candidate received the Jewish vote, the Muslim vote, the feminist vote, the sodomite vote, etc. How interesting and inclusive!
3. Have Papal Parties
Just as Americans have political parties, American Catholics and the media would love Papal Parties as well. We could have The Feminist Party, The Sodomite Party, The Modernist Party, The Abortion Party, The Cafeteria Party, The Traditional Party, and The Kerry Party. That last party would simply include any Candidate who included the agendas of all the other parties except the Traditional one. Each party could have its own symbol. The Feminists would have a goddess, The Sodomites would have two men or two women holding hands, the Modernists a computer, the Abortionists a headless fetus, the Cafeterias a cup of coffee, and The Kerry Party could have a photo of their namesake. The Traditional Party would have a Crucifix. Of course that would be out of place in today's society and surely incur the wrath of the ACLU. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
Each party would choose its Cardinal Candidate. Perhaps we could simplify all this by having just three parties…The Cafeteria Party, The Dissident Party, and The Traditional Party. Carried even further, a two party system would have The New Order Party and The Traditional Party. I am afraid I know who would win all of the elections on that two party setup.
4. Have Slogans
Any observer of American political history knows that slogans are critical components of any successful campaign. "I Like Ike" and images of Camelot suffice to remind us of how powerful these slogans and propaganda can be. Slogans such as The Cafeterias are Americans' Cup of Coffee or Jesus Would Vote New Order would be sure to ring in voters' ears. What might not ring in their ears or hearts today, because hearts have been so hardened and minds dumbed-down are such sayings as "Unless you take up your cross and follow Me, you cannot be My disciple" or "What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his soul?"
5. Have Conventions
Just as American political parties have their conventions wherein their propaganda spin and image is created, the parties involved in the race for Pope could likewise have their gatherings to officially start their campaigns. Can't you just hear a delegate from New York excitedly proclaim their favorite son Edward Egan, "New York the state of tolerance and diversity and home of the new post office where once the traditional St. Anne's Church stood near Harlem, gives all of its votes to the man who made this all possible, the next Pope, Cardinal Egan!" Wouldn't the American media simply eat up all those speeches and colored hats? Maybe the party's Candidate Cardinal could bring up all of his old buddies from his parish days so that they could all hold hands, hug, and proclaim their Cardinal buddy the most decent man in The Church. Of course, the hugging might send another message these very cardinals have been trying to cover up! But then, caught up in all the hoopla - and those who have taken the course "John Paul II, We Love You! 101" know how to create hoopla - can work the crowd for all its worth. Can't you just see waves of people chanting the name of their man? Imagine the emotion as the chosen Candidate brings up his family as balloons fall amid the sounds of "We are Family" or the more progressive candidates employ "We will rock you!" Maybe Eminem could weigh in with a new rap ditty to reach the growing ebonics mentality. Short of that they could bring Sinéad O'Connor to rip up a picture of one of the opponents.
6. Have Campaigns
Imagine two or three men running around the country stumping and kissing babies (except at Planned Parenthood facilities). Imagine television ads highlighting each man's attributes ("has several homosexual friends") and accomplishments ("never got feminists angry with him"). Unfortunately, I am sure that the heat of the campaign would result in the expected trash talk and dirty ads ("He still thinks American Catholics dance to the Rhythm Method"). You cannot get more American than a good old campaign!
But think of it, Roger Mahony in his flowing robes, throwing out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium to a mixture of boos and cheers; Theodore McCarrick joining in karaoke at the neighborhood Georgetown bar in trying to win over some undecided nihilists; Bernie Law flying in from Rome to trump William Keeler's campaign as pay-back for not exposing the "Pink Palace" in Baltimore; Adam Maida promising a "Benedict XVI" center to be built near the "John Paul II Center" while newly-named cardinals Raymond Burke and Charles Chaput cram to bone up on the traditional platform to try to convince voters they are truly traditional, while taking crib notes from "How To Convince Conservatives You're Not Liberal When You Really Are, But Give the Impression to Liberals You Are Conservative So You Can Keep Them Guessing" by Joseph Ratzinger.
7. Have Debates
In the spirit of Kennedy-Nixon, we could have the two or three Cardinals debate each other on the issues, with the required media bias both in questions to media favorites such as "define love" and non-favorites like "why do you hate women and homosexuals?" What a great opportunity to expand on the phrase, "It depends on what the meaning of is is and its relevance to what is and what isn't unless it subsists in." Pure Vatican Two-speak Of course, the typical media bias would extend to the pre- and post-debate analysis as media types would ignore their favorite's blunders and harp endlessly about their non-favorite's birthmark or huge nose. Who knows, maybe these debates could be held at a Cathedral given the fact that churches are now almost meeting halls anyway...or the set of Hardball, The O'Reilly Factor, Meet The Press, Nightline or Sixty Minutes since these are the modern altars of public opinion.
8. Have Contributions and Endorsements
What would an American Pope Campaign be without contributions and endorsements to create greater opportunities for corruption and vice? I am sure one of the Candidates would promise Planned Parenthood or NOW certain favors in return for their endorsement. Serving so-called Catholic politicians could endorse and support their favorite Cardinal as well, but I guess the Traditional candidate would never see such politicians near his door unless Mel Gibson signed on, but since no one has seen hide nor hair of him lately, who knows! Maybe one of the candidates could promise salvation to all Catholic politicians who support him in return for their efforts. Oh, but wait, isn't that Simony? Yet, in the spirit of compromise and novelty, they already have the built-in vehicle of the collection plate and the pulpit. The New Order has no problems with anyone speaking at their pulpits or being in their sanctuaries so what's a few more politicians - especially if they're clergy themselves. The only problem could be sorting campaign money from hush money.
9. Media Wall-to-Wall 24-7
There is no doubt that the American media would salivate and delight at such a campaign. Not only could they bash the views they clearly hate while praising any views that fit their agenda, but they could spin and skew their coverage toward their favorites as well. In addition, they could create their own conflicts and controversies when things became slow. For example, ABC could broadcast a documentary entitled " Why is The Host Round?" attempting to show that even Communion discriminates against certain shapes and is therefore not tolerant of diverse shapes and offensive to those who might favor triangles or squares. They could then ask the various candidates which shape they favor and why they do so, hoping to trap them into tricky comments. How about feminist journalists Maureen Dowd or Anna Quindlen tearing into the candidates? I can see it now, "CBS News: The Road To Rome" or Shepherd Smith proclaiming "You are looking live at possibly the next pope." Details could be provided in the G-Block!
10. Patronize, Mock, and/or Ignore the Rest of the World
Notwithstanding the little detail that American Catholics only represent 6 % of the world's Catholic population, I am sure that the media could help this whole thing completely ignore, diminish, or patronize the role or importance of the 94% of Catholics who actually live in other nations. After having been asked 1,000 times "how will American Catholics deal with this new Pope?" or "How can this new Pope win over Americans?" or even "How can this new Pope win over women, homosexuals, and disenchanted Catholics?", I am getting the feeling that the American media is way ahead of me on this one. I mean, who cares what Catholics in South America or Africa think about each Candidate when what matters is how each candidate will impact American Catholics and Americans in general? Doesn't the media practically tell us that what matters is how a Pope plays in The USA?
Maybe the rest of the world could be given a vote to decide who becomes Pope only if American Catholics do not give any candidate a majority and only if non-Catholics, feminists, atheists, homosexuals, modernists, and seculars likewise cannot decide on a favorite or are offended by one or the other candidate.
After injecting all that is American about American political campaigns, who could resist or endure the excitement of Election Night? Just think, the modern Vatican is already in sync with this thinking since they called the installation of a new pope - an Inaugural! Pardon me, but wasn't it called the Papal Coronation for nearly 2000 years?!? Big difference between a Theocracy and a Democracy! But evidently modern Rome wants to continue to get with the times, tradition and truth be damned. I almost expected there was going to be an Inaugural Ball and all sorts of parties after Benedict XVI was inducted, or inaugurated, or whatever they call it today! After all, they had enough participants present - millions celebrating and waving flags. Of course, considering the Novus Ordo mentality, most were not dressed for the occasion so black tie formal would be out, save for a few who bothered to dress accordingly or even a few Spanish aristocrat ladies who wore mantillas. The rest? Ball caps and sweat shirts, and for the gals pants, definitely pants. Ah, yes, the perfect apparel. But I digress for I've been describing the election of the most recent pope. I need to return to "what if."
In that mind mode,
I can just see the various networks making predictions, posting exit polls, and declaring a winner only to be forced to backtrack on that prediction due to a voting problem in Ohio or Florida. Maybe a candidate could concede and then take back his concession when a controversy erupts in Arizona. When a winner was finally chosen, either the media could smoke cigarettes to symbolize the arrival of a new pope or smoke of many colors could be released to announce this decision. Many colors would be used so as not to offend anyone favoring smoke of any particular color. Nobody wants to be called a smoke racist, after all! When all is said and done, if there is still some huge voting problem, the U.S. Supreme Court could decide the winner just as they decided that all innocent unborn children not favored by their mother could be murdered many years ago. Of course, they could refuse to hear it and let it die like they did Terri Schiavo. After all, I doubt red-robed ones would like being judged by black-robed ones; especially since the red hats have remained so passive and silent over the bench masters' decisions.
Finally, one way or another American ingenuity would find a way and we could have a huge ceremony with parades as the new Pope is sworn in by the Chief Justice and declares that all Catholics should "not ask what your church can do for your soul, but rather ask what you can do to get your church to validate and rationalize and accept all of your vices and sinful practices." Ah, democracy. Modernism lives and thrives in this land of the free. This is all so American. It brings a tear to my eye and a wrenching pain in my heart and soul.