As the (or should it be “a”) poet once wrote, “hope springs eternal in the human breast”, and it is that human foible which perhaps best explains the eagerness with which Americans of a not right wing persuasion have rushed to embrace he who is Pope only because his predecessor resigned to avoid exposure. Some of us voices in the wilderness have warned that Pope Frank is all hat and no cattle, but no one listens.
Now we learn that the Pontiff met with Kim Davis, in so doing giving her his imprimatur. So, let’s examine this.
The argument that she somehow has the right to refuse to do her job as a matter of religious right has always been intellectually bankrupt, at least if one accepts the principal of separation of Church and State, which I believe the Catholic Church has done, albeit somewhat grudgingly, at some point since the Enlightenment. Not for a minute would I believe that he would support her if she had used the same argument to refuse to marry an interracial couple, yet the principal would have been exactly the same. As has been endlessly pointed out, she had a perfect right to oppose gay marriage; she simply had no right to refuse to do the job she was elected to do, and had even less right to instruct her underlings to abide by her own religious beliefs. He supports her not because he believes that a public functionary has a right to impose the religion of his or her choice on the public, but because she is attempting to impose a religious doctrine of which he approves.
I give Francis credit for understanding the issues involved here.Only a Republican could fail to understand, and that takes an effort of will even for them. So by meeting with Davis, he knowingly strikes at the heart of the major advance the West made by pushing religion out of politics. Like his predecessors, he looks back with fondness to the golden days of the 13th century. He’s more dangerous than his predecessors because he’s more adept at PR.
It’s rapidly becoming clear, by the way, that Davis is just another grifter. Sure she had to spend a few days in jail, but she’s coining money now. There’s nothing more profitable in today’s USA than entering the pantheon of right wing victimhood.