Archbishop Cordeleone of San Francisco, who pushes for laws against LGTBQs, gay marriage and abortion, has banned Nancy Pelosi from taking Holy Communion in San Francisco churches. Since, unlike the Archbishop, she refuses to politicize her faith, the good Archbishop has saved God the trouble of punishing her by taking it upon himself to condemn her to eternal damnation.
Christianity’s main appeal is that any sinner, unless they are excommunicated, can get back into the Lord’s good graces, but Cordeleone dubbed himself Jesus’s bouncer. Nancy wound up out on the sidewalk.
Not to worry. After she got up and brushed herself off, Nancy brushed Cordleone off as well. She takes seriously the vow she swore before God to represent all Americans. Not just Christians and, certainly, not the Church. God bless her for keeping that vow.
Since when did the sins of abortion and of politicians not legislating against it become unforgivable?
Now Cordeleone wants to talk about sin, so how about we talk about sin?
For starters, what about the Church’s delusion that Christianity is the only true religion and that it must be imposed on everyone by any means necessary.
The Church plundered the Middle East in the name of “holy” war. Up until the last century they carried out pogroms, raping and murdering Jews all over Europe. On our continent fundamentalist Christian settlers, carrying out “the will of God,” employed torture and genocide to force their religion on and, not coincidentally, to rob indigenous peoples of their lands. Also in God’s name, they supported and furthered the institution of slavery. Today White Christian Nationalist fuel the flames of racial intolerance and injustice, the legacy of that enslavement. Is that enough sin for you? But why stop there?
How about stigmatizing whole groups of brothers and sisters because they happen not to share your definition of normal sexuality while, at the same time, your clergy commonly engage in the same behavior?
How about Church officials, all the way up to the Pope, covering up the sexual predations promulgated by their clergy for decades?
What about high ranking clerics plundering the collection plate to finance their sumptuous earthly lifestyles?
What about the Church’s complicity with the holocaust and, more recently, its failure to directly condemn Putin?
Regarding abortion, you may be surprised to learn that the designation of abortion as a sin was, for most of Church history, not based on viewing it as murder nor on the idea that a fetus is a person. Originally, and for a long time, the sinfulness of abortion was less based on disposing of the fetus than on disposing of the evidence of “fornication.” Heaven forbid anyone should engage in sex because it is pleasurable.
One might reasonably suppose the Communion ban would worry Nancy. Her Church says we are all doomed to Hell because Adam and Eve ate the apple and passed the “Original Sin” (of enjoying sex, perhaps?) onward forever. If you don’t become a Christian in good standing you can’t receive Communion, or, as my evangelical childhood buddy called it, “swallow the leader.” Denied of this sacrament, Nancy would be the winner of an all expense paid trip to Hell.
But what has she to fear from Hell? Given the indignities and abuse she’s been subjected to during her political career, including having to deal with the likes of Donald Trump, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mitch McConnell and the right wing news media, handling Satan would be child’s play.
That’s neither here nor there, though, because, in order for someone to go to Hell, Hell has to exist. Until Christianity invented it, it didn’t. Not the otherworldly version of it anyway.
The modern concept of Hell originated from a valley located in ancient Israel where Canaanites burned children alive as sacrifices to their god, Moloch. The smoke and stench that filled the valley of Hinnom created a hellish environment. That formed the basis for the early Christian concept of Hell.
In one of history’s greatest membership drive scams, Paul helped promulgate the story that the place really exists and, thanks to Adam and Eve, we are all headed there. Everyone except Christians, that is.
Even if Nancy really believes there’s a hell, she knows Corleone can’t send her there. She’s as principled and upright a person as someone in her profession can be and a Christian in the best sense of the word. Fortunately there are many places other than San Francisco where the Eucharist is available from broad minded and reasonable clergy.
She can take heart from the fact that, if there is a Heaven, not only will she surely get there, but her stay will be greatly enhanced by the absence of MAGA Republicans, White Christian Nationalists, Fox News anchors and reactionary religious leaders.