Speaking of God, it's hard to imagine that the Vatican was once the world's highest governmental authority. In an era of warring kings & conquerors, it seemed like no monarch could rule without the blessing of The Almighty - without kissing the ring of the Pope, and paying respect to ole' Saint Peter. In an time of superstition where only clergy could own a Bible, I suppose a papal government made sense, and more often than not kept the fighting to a minimum. People were vicious back then. They were cruel & self-serving, with little respect for human rights. So if the fear of excommunication kept warlords from publicly sawing their enemies and/or mistresses in half, then having a Pope was probably a good idea - his holiest of police commissioners. As a recovering Catholic myself, there is no greater behavioral monitoring system than the shame of Catholic guilt.
The last hundred years might not have seen as much visible corruption as the early days, but that's because the Vatican has lost its power - and has been fighting to stay relevant within the modern world. I wonder what (Borgia) Pope Alexander might be like today had be been our current pontiff - with pronouncements broadcast live on the Internet. I bet he'd have more followers than Jessica Marbles or Honest Movie Trailers. Move over ISIS, because here comes Pope Borgia! You think beheadings are bad? Imagine being buried in a coffin full of shit. Or being made into a human gargoyle, allowed to decompose on top of the highest roofs of the church. Serious stuff. Straight from The Old Testament. Or the Survivor TV series
As an agnostic, I might just embrace Catholicism again if we had another Borgia Pope. I don't believe in all the Bible stories of course, but I'd enjoy having a Pope who says "we," while negotiating turf wars/terms like Tony Soprano. I'd like to watch him tackle the issues of the day, from healthcare and the Keystone pipeline, to running a Christian crusade through North Korea. I'd like to see him cut off the hands of his enemies, so they can't write pamphlets or blog on FaceBook...and I'd really like him to cast Nancy Pelosi into the street, naked & penniless, stripped of vineyards & brothels. And lobbyists. And Botox doctors.
It's hard not to analyze the past six years of US policy, and to wonder if the current French situation is foreshadowing of what might happen in America. After Eric Snowden, we clearly have a more elaborate surveillance network in place to anticipate these things than we had in the Bush era. But Obama's foreign policy has been weak and indecisive, and America is not as respected as we were just a decade ago. I suspect that all of us (when talking quietly amongst friends) have been surprised that the US homeland has not endured a major attack since 9/11. I mean, Biden even joked about that. Between Russia, China, North Korea, and many smaller countries, nobody takes America seriously anymore...and what's happening in Paris could happen anytime right here. Even during endless pasta month at the Olive Garden.
But our new Borgia Pope won't stop there. His crusades will soldier on, through the middle east and China. Beijing will be chastised for propping up North Korea. Japan will be punished for giving the world Godzilla. Hong Kong will be whipped for casting Remington Steele in Noble House. And Putin will be subjected to the ole' "choke pear" for being a head of state and never wearing a shirt. When the papal armies finally reach the US mainland, things will certainly change for the better. Al Sharpton will be forced into hiding. The Academy will be made to acknowledge the success of Christian films. Obama will get replaced by Monica from Touched By An Angel, and she'll glow that nifty orange color with each bill she signs into law.
And I for one would like to nominate THIS guy: