lately i've been noticing stories in the news that aren't necessarily headlines but strike a chord with me.
the vatican has come up with program for finding and dealing with sex-abusing priests. You'd think that the church's obsession with sex might have caused them to act on this phenomenon long ago, but presumably child rape isn't as serious an offense as consenting sex between adults.
it is, however, as bad as some other things. it's even as bad as...well, i hate to bring up something really nasty-- but, presumably to emphasize how terrible raping children is, they compared it to an equally horrible sin: ordaining women bishops. this is very bad, because all 12 of jesus's apostles were men, which means he didn't want women getting in on the act. i admire their theological purity, but i do wonder why it doesn't go further: it seems clear to me that since jesus chose only 12 apostles, the church should have only 12 priests--preferably fishermen. anyway, i'm glad they have finally decided that child rape is at least as bad as female ordination, and next time i'm walking down the street and see some woman being ordained, i'm calling the cops.
next in my little pile of clippings is mel gibson. and here i'm actually reacting to earlier gibson news. he's a batterer and should be imprisoned like any other batterer would be. but the earlier news was about his crumbling marriage and his adultery. and that is none of the public's business. the combination of salaciousness and naivete around the sex lives of celebraties has gotten way out of hand i felt lucky being in europe last winter, when i was able to escape most of the fuss about tiger woods. but even there, cnn international kept me up to date on the mistress-list. clearly, along with global warming, the international economy slump, and various international wars, a golf player's sex life was a major global concern.
i always find these things embarrassing--like i'd inadvertently walked in on someone's bedroom at a particularly awkward moment. it's so very much none of my business. if tiger woods is interesting, it's because of his tennis skills. if mel gibson is interesting, it's because of his acting skills [he was a surprisingly good hamlet]. i really hated all the fuss about bill clinton: he was voted on for his poliitics, not his sex life. why were we all barraged by the details of an ordinary and fairly tawdry affair? that was hilary's concern, not the public's. my life has been singularly unenriched by the fact that i've seen my president's semen on tv. and if i wanted him impeached, it would have been for nafta, not monica. his forced apology to the american people made me cringe.there's much to be said for the privacy of the confessional.
the only exceptions are the obvious ones. i do delight in the public humiliation of someone who's made a career of telling the rest of us how to conduct our love lives, and then run off to their mistresses or try to pick up men in public toilets. they DO owe us apologies, not for their affairs but for their hypocracy. and i remain angry at john edwards. again, not because of his escapades. not even for the shabbiness of using his image of stalwart husband to a cancer-stricken wife. but with the lewinsky mess, he must have seen that the 'gentlemen's agreement' between the press and major politicians, which for years had made such personal details taboo topics, was gone. he had to have known that the press was bound find out and exploit every aspect of a politician's life. the american public was very lucky that the edwards affair came out only after the presidential elections. many of us wanted him to be the democratic candidate. suppose he had been, and his affair came to light before the election? he was willing to take the chance that he'd be found out sooner rather than later, and we'd have ended up with mccain and palin in the white house. that his ambition and libido together mattered more to him than his political beliefs IS the legitimate concern of the people who might as a result be deeply affected.
not surprisingly, i've gone on more than i expected on these two stories, and the next two are a little more complex and interesting. but i'll have to wait. it's time to get dressed and go out looking for sinners. if i'm lucky, i might catch a woman in the act of ordination.