04/03/2005: A Modest Proposal....
My source for this claims that this ulitmately derives from Daily Kos, which I've not been following the past few days (press o'work and all that). I've scoped the dKos site and can't seem to find this, but it's probably a diary entry that's not been brought to the main page by any of the dKos admins. Still, it's fairly funny:
R.I.P. Karol Jozef Wojtyla, aka Pope John Paul II
As it becomes evident that the Catholic Church now needs a new Pope, I have a modest proposal. The College of Cardinals should elect George W. Bush as Supreme Pontiff. While this proposal might seem a bit startling at first, it makes perfect sense, a real win-win situation.
First, every Catholic knows that God appoints the Pope as his representative in this world and every good Republican knows that God has appointed George W. Bush to lead the United States on its messianic mission to remake the world. So wouldn't it be more efficient just to combine the offices into one God Appointee? Surely it would facilitate the workings of the Divine Plan on this poor earth.
Second, it would help the United States. Since the invasion of Iraq, the United States has suffered a dearth of moral authority in this world. What better way to boost the spiritual superiority of the United States than making the President the world's arbiter of faith and morals, a role in which George W. seems already comfortable. At a time when the CIA appears hopelessly inept, what would be better than expanding the power of the President by giving him "eyes and ears" through the world in the form of the Church hierarchy and clergy? If Pope-President George I wants to get his message out to the world, he could have it read from every Catholic pulpit in the world on the same Sunday. Talk about a public relations coup.
Third, this would be good for the Catholic Church. George W. Bush might be conservative but he's not as conservative as the last Renaissance monarchy on earth. The Vatican bureaucracy might have some difficulty adjusting to Laura and the Twins romping through the halls of the Vatican Palace, but it would also end the question of a married clergy. George W. Bush also seems to like appointing women to office. Imagine a couple of female Cardinals demanding equality for women in the Church. Having a Methodist Pope would also do wonders for the ecumenical movement. How better can the Catholic Church say that it is open to new ideas, change and toleration?
Finally, the might of the U.S. military would make the world take the pronouncements of the Vatican a little more seriously.
There might be some small problems securing the election of W. as Pope but surely they can be overcome. If the College of Cardinals fails to elect him, W. can call upon the principle of spreading democracy in invading the Vatican, an easy matter given the state of the Swiss Guard. All practicing (with emphasis on rigidly practicing) Catholics could then vote. Given W.'s popularity with Mass-going Catholics in the U.S. and Poland, plus a little tweaking of the voter rolls (and excluding hanging chads), W. ought to be a shoo-in. Thus the Voice of God and the Voice of the People would be in perfect harmony.
Some people might have trouble with the concept of a warrior Pope. Since the Republicans seem to be intent on turning back a century by getting rid of the safety-net of the New Deal and the regulatory enactments of the Progressive movement, why not turn back a couple of more centuries. Envision the Renaissance when Popes were not only a political but military force in Italy. Warrior Popes once existed and, just like the Gilded Age of American history, might well exist again.
I can see it now. Pope-President George I dressed in his military flight suit, crosier in hand, standing in front of St. Peter's, a "Mission Accomplished" sign draped from the dome, red/ white/ blue smoke coming from the chimney, a joyful Archbishop Burke kneeling to kiss his ring...
What could be better?!
Len on 04.03.05 @ 09:24 PM CST