Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015



For the thousands of folks who packed into the Vatican's Basilica di Santa Maria last week, it was supposed to be a magical night. First, the Pope would give a special mass. Then, the crowd would exit to the piazza to the new Nativity scene. Finally, the holiday lights and decorations would suddenly brighten to every one's delight. Talk about a special moment! However, things are different this year. There's a new pope in town and he had a trick up his sleeve.

Rather than deliver the usual, humdrum...Blessed are those...type of sermon, Pope Francis changed the script. "The whole world is at war." the pontiff began "So this year, Christmas is just a charade." What? Maybe we lost something in translation. The Italian word in question is truccato. Which has a variety of meanings, like 'rigged' and 'falsify.' "There will be lights, parties, bright trees all decked out. Meanwhile, the world continues to wage war. The holiday is meaningless." Alright, it's true: The Pope just cancelled Christmas!

After the NOVEMBER OF DEATH, the Pope has reason to be angry. Let's review the tally. As everyone knows, 130 innocent people were murdered in Paris on November 13. The next day, 43 others were slaughtered in Beirut by suicide bombers. Not to forget the 224 dead in the bombed Russian passenger plane. An of course the 21 people shot by machine guns in the lobby of a luxury hotel in Mali. Let's face it: Francis is right: This is truly the most hateful month in a long time!

So should everyone really "not cover everything with tinsel and garlands and decorations" like the Pope said? Well, perhaps Francis' orders are a bit strict. But it certainly is time to look outside the box this holiday season. In addition to the above mentioned death toll, there are military conflicts being waged in retaliation. Whatever is left in Syria and Iraq is being destroyed. Migrants are flooding out, causing a humanitarian crisis.

Fortunately for all Christians, a Papal order has not been binding for 500 years or so. So, feel free to celebrate the Birth of Christ as you normally would. Just try to be more aware of the 'American Burden.' Our combination of crazy liberal rights with insane corporate greed results in wrath from other nations. Anyone who has traveled overseas knows this feeling. You never play Mortal Kombat video games, view hardcore porn or watch gory slasher movies. But...as an American...this is how the rest of the world defines you.

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