Friday, March 15, 2013

Catching the same disease

A couple of months ago I wrote about the complete lack of principles and standards within the "right" in the USA and it's adoption of progressive liberal agenda and modus operandi as long as it is directed towards "the other". For truth's sake, I sadly have to note that a similar problem is rearing it's ugly head within the national patriotic public opinion among Serbs.

The most glaring recent example is some of the news surrounding  the election of the new head of the Roman Catholic church,  Pope Francis I. His Argentinian origins and the fact that he held the office of archbishop of Buenos Aires during the military junta immediately prompted articles questioning his supposed "dark past", along with the obligatory pejorative epithet of "conservative" routinely attached to his name. Other articles seeking to discredit the new Pope also cited his "political meddling" in his native land and opposition to president Kristina Kirchner, without going into specific details, and for a good reason that will be revealed later in this entry.

These stories have unfortunately been swallowed hook, line and sinker by the Serbian patriotic portals whether in syndicated columns or in comments and discussion forums. Bit by bit a conspiracy theory based on the half-truths noted above was born, one that said that the new Pope is an American puppet, set up to take down the socialist governements of Latin America. Just how does the Roman Catholic church's declining influence in South America that's been going on for decades and Nicholas Maduro's claim that the late president Chavez appealed to God in Heaven to give the world a Latin American pope fit into this is naturally not explained. Pope Francis' reputation of being a modest person and actually helping the poor and the needy, hardly virtues of a caricature the left-liberal media depinct as "conservative", is also barely mentioned.

The conspiracy theories now developing would look even more grotesque and off-the-wall if one actually dug a bit deeper for details of the new Pope's supposed "political meddling". It turns out that the only documented case of his political activism against president Kirchner is his opposition to the bill legalizing gay marriage and adoption. Not only is this an issue where Cardinal Bergoglio would simply have to take the stance he did by the virtue of his very membership among the clergy of the Roman Catholic church, not to mention the postition he occupied at the time, and indeed by the virtue of his very catholicism, it is also an issue where the overwhelming majority of those among the Serbian public which have subscribed to the  distorted portrait of the new pope is actually in agreement with him. 

Imagine a situation where the governement of Serbia introduces a bill legalizing gay marriage and adoption and the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox church vigorously opposing the bill by lobbying with the lawmakers. All those in Serbia that now eagerly want to believe any bad thing they read about Pope Francis would not only enthusiastically applaud the Patriarch but would also chide him for not going far enough in his opposition. At the same time, the very same press which now seeks to dig up any possible dirt it might against the Pope, would label our Patriarch as, you guessed it, "a conservative". Yet, when a Roman Catholic cardinal does the same in a Roman Catholic country we are eager to revile him as an "American agent" and fully believe any smear coming from the left-liberal press. The whole thing becomes even more surreal when one takes into account the official American position of support, even aggressive,  for the so-called gay rights. 

It is not the way it goes, people, you can not have it both ways. If gay marriage is bad for Serbia it is bad for Argentina as well. If it is bad for the Orthodox it is also bad for the Roman Catholics. And I, for one, am not taking up an inconsistent position on this issue. If this is the only time Pope Francis openly opposed his country's governement I'll readily and unashamedly say that he was right to do so. And president Kirchner has by legalizing gay marriage and adoption sown the seeds of destruction of everything positive she may have achieved so far.

And to return from the concrete example to the general principle: make no mistake, this kind of inconsistency when it comes to values one supposedly holds dear is doubly self-defeating. It not only alienates many neutrals and potential allies but also gives a propaganda weapon to the transnational progressive left and ultimately leads to it's victory in the long run. Careful before jumping the gun and learn from the mistakes of others. 


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Gray Falcon said...

Given the history involved, I can see why the Serbs might want to believe the worst about the Vatican. Still, this is a very important point - might want to make it on the other blog as well.