Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Did Pope Francis's meeting with Kim Davis undermine the rest of his message?

Pope Francis had a fairly brief meeting with Kim Davis, the county clerk who refused to sign gay marriage licenses. He still holds onto what I consider some outdated concepts about sex and family. At the same time, he usually tends to put these things in the background while speaking quite strongly about fairness and income distribution. I wouldn't agree with everything he stands for, of course, but there are some things in his bag of ideas that are cogent remarks on the condition of today's society.

On the plane headed back to Rome, Francis talked about the concept of conscientious objection. "Without referring to Kim Davis, the pope said conscientious objection is a right that is part of every human right." I can understand some of that thinking. Who wants to be forced to do something against their convictions, but I guess Kim Davis could, of course, resign from her position. Solders in war, who often have conscientious objection to a particular war, have a harder time getting out of the military. Back in the days of the draft, people were sometimes forced into military service against their will.

Job descriptions do change as society evolves. County clerks now have to follow the broader definition of marriage, people who join the military, during peace time, often face changes in the job when a war starts.

Still, the pope does say many good things about compassion and income distribution even though his less than ideal opinions on sexuality threaten to undermine his stance among us liberals. This pope has also spoken out about global warming, but those views are definitely undermined by this world's continuing explosion in population growth. Now passing the 7 billion mark. We may not be able to address global warming without a significant slowdown in population growth. Old ideas on sex and family certainly undermine that.

1 comment:

Robert Ashworth said...

Update.

Clarification on NPR about Pope meeting with Davis. Wasn't an endorsement of her stance and Pope most likely wasn't aware of the issues. She was slipped into a larger lineup greeting the pope by lower officials in the church. http://www.npr.org/2015/10/02/445247082/vatican-responds-to-clarify-popes-meeting-with-kentucky-clerk