Monday, July 10, 2006
The Pope's Shameful Visit to Spain
I see the (former) Nazi Pope has ended a quickie visit to Spain, where he spent his time pining for the good old days and attacking that country's liberal and secular values. In the usual way: by attacking gay families.
Too bad for him not too many Spaniards seemed to be paying attention. They had to fly in the faithful from all over the world to make it look like he could attract a crowd. I mean checkout the photograph. Even his entourage looked bored.
But the part I liked best was the slap in the face he got from Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. Good for him. I only wish we had a Prime Minister who could stand up for our secular values like that
But then Zapatero has a lot of history going for him. The long dark years of the Franco regime when the fascists and the Catholic Church ruled the country with a bloody hand. And millions were killed, or jailed and tortured, or driven into exile. And contraception, divorce, abortion, and homosexuality were outlawed. The fearful times that the old inquisitor Benedict calls the good old days.
So many victims. So much blood and suffering. But for me the horror of those years hit home when I visited a ravine near Spain's Sierra Nevada mountains where the fascists murdered Federico Garcia Lorca
They shot him once for being a left-wing poet and playwright who frequently criticized the Catholic Church. And then shot him twice in the ass for being a "maricon" or queer.
In the months and weeks before his death Garcia Lorca was tormented by a recurring deathly dream. Dark veiled women would threaten him with black crucifixes. He was wrong about the women. But his killers, who were never punished, wore black shirts. And had crosses dangling from their necks.
His young lover Rafael Rodriguez Rapun, for whom Lorca wrote these sonnets, died fighting for the doomed Republic one year to the day later. When fascist planes strafed his position and he refused to take cover. Just stood there and fired away.
At least Rafael has his own grave. Federico doesn't
Not that it really matters. Although it would be nice to reunite them again. But it's a beautiful place. He's in good company. And his spirit lives in the hearts of the Spanish people who treasure him. Who have come out of the darkness and into the light. And don't want to go back to the so-called good old days.
How this Pope fails to understand that is almost beyond belief. How he could call for a return to those evil bloody times is simply unforgivable.A shameful and disgusting thing.
But then the Catholic Church has declared war on liberal democracies everywhere, including Canada. So we shouldn't be surprised. We should just be prepared to fight back. And never let those religious fanatics tell us how to live our lives. Or try to silence us.
As Garcia Lorca once wrote:
"To keep still when we are on fire.
Is the worst punishment we can inflict on ourselves."
I think that message was directed at oppressed gays and lesbians. But it applies to everyone else as well.
Gays and lesbians may burn first. But if these crazy religious fanatics have their way we'll all burn later.
As I sat in the shade of a few olive trees, on a brutally hot day, and thought of the gentle,dreamy, gay poet and playwright who was killed for what he wrote and who he was....and all the other victims of fascism.... I felt dizzy.
Maybe it was the heat or the horror. Or maybe it was because it was all so blindingly clear.
Either we destroy the religious extremists who are torching the planet in the name of their crazy gods.
Or they'll destroy us...