Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Go Pope Francis, go!

When I visited my good friends in Vermont last month, we talked a lot about the abysmal political climate, polarization of American society, and the possibility of class warfare. In this crowd, I was the optimist, arguing that the pendulum was moving backwards, with the same voters who made the last Congressional elections essentially a referendum on the president might be so fed-up, post-shutdown, that they might actually try to help other people -- you know, the ones outside their social media circles. My friends, less optimistic, urged me to look into growing my own food.

But there have been some happy signs, of late:

Americans might be as compassionate as the Danes, if stories surrounding social safety nets reflect realistic employment conditions. Which requires two sentences.

The New York Times ran a fascinating article on the inherent conflicts between Christian dogma (especially anti-abortion rhetoric) and meat-eating.

And then, today, Pope Francis, critic of capitalism, champion of the poor and downtrodden was chosen Time's Person of the Year. I am not a Catholic, but goodness, he makes me almost want to convert. Especially if I could keep my birth control.

Well, how did I get so political all-of-the-sudden? Well, I found my mantra when the president of the Mississippi ACLU told my NEH seminar group last summer: "I might be just to the right of Mao Zedong, but I learned my politics in Sunday school."

What I don't understand is why more people DON'T.

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