Specifically, let us not talk about the Pope as a nice guy.
I get it. I know that there’s this reputation amongst people like me – white dudes on the internet in their early thirties – to act as if the existence of a pope is a personal affront. I know, there are plenty of religious people who would really like if people would just not bother them about it, or maybe even extend their beliefs some respect, and for the most part I operate in a fairly easy truce about this – where my friends generally understand my position, and generally don’t make an issue of their positions. It makes me feel a bit of a coward when I watch my friends talk about atheism or atheists but I make it generally clear, to myself, that I am not the person they’re talking about, or RTing about.
The Pope is this dude who’s part of a religious institution. It can be very hard to talk about him without at least partially glancing at the power that religious institution affords him.
He’s also a member of what is, to some people, a moral and religious component of their lives.
Today the Pope said, again, that trans people should just miraculously not be trans. This continues with his existing stance that gay people should stop ‘doing gay’ but then mollified it with saying that you should love them anyway – a familiar dodge to me. This pope is still in a position to exert enormous power over people’s lives and the lives of the children of the people who follow him. And a lot of those people are going to do bad things anyway, and a lot of those people are going to do good things anyway, but there is a percentage of population between those two groups who will listen to what the Pope says and try to live by it. Who will try to tell their daughters and sons that they’re sons and daughters, or who will deny their enby children identity, who will – full of love and good intentions – tell their gay children that they are wrong, and sinful, and evil but I love you anyway.
Don’t tell me this guy’s a nice guy.
It’s super easy to be nice when your day job is ‘be nice, in a palace.’
So please, at least for a while, until the ash in my mouth of yet again, a powerful man with whom I have deep reactions has faded, don’t talk to me about what a nice person he is, or how much better he is than the last one.
Just… don’t, okay?