A frequent complaint about the Catholic Church has long been that it was not "Christian" enough, that it was too "strict." Many believe Jesus Christ would not approve of that degree of strictness. They believe that Jesus would be more accepting of casual sex, abortion, frivolous remarriage and homosexuality than Catholic leadership has publicly yielded. Never mind that Catholics don't put the name of Christ in many titles.
The Catholic Church has certainly often defended rules where several other churches and organizations, though not all, failed even to speak. Many people more readily recognize and remember the Catholic role, successful or otherwise, of rule enforcers. It is a much larger, wealthier and widespread organization than other defenders of the rules.
Saint Francis of Assisi, even in his very brief military career, was a different sort. His life more fit the notion of "Christian" quite widely held today. He depended more on charity and less on marketable skills than so many other "leaders" seem to prefer.
It might be then that people expect Catholics now to be more of that sort of Christian.
By recognizing the saint whom the past leadership successfully avoided for centuries, the new Pope might warm relations with those lately more numerous "Christians."
That might include many atheists too. Their numbers in the recent past have risen markedly as also their public presence.
Although the support for "freedom" in the United States is significant, much like the support for the rules, is does suffer from lack of coherence. It appears more "undefined" than free. How "free" is a debtor nation? How "free" is a nation that embraces totalitarian regulations of trivial details?
It remains true that many middle school children in the United States can draw some reasonable lines on freedom. The story they often tell is that your freedom to swing your fist stops at another's nose.
Why then such confusion, disarray and contention in politics? Why can't two parties so fond of "freedom" succeed at it? Who lost the recipe?
One point of disagreement might require a more mature examination of definitions. There is disagreement whether freedom includes sex. It has till recently been well understood that freedom does not; that sex, for better or worse, really requires relinquishing some freedom.
It should be remarkable then that today many people fail to recognize rules might be necessary that limit freedom on people who have sex; that they must remain faithful to one partner; that they must limit play with sexual overtones or so on.
The problems confronting Francis of Assisi were not the same.
The new Pope's answers to problems might not be the same either.
Some will disapprove of the way Catholics air problems, others will disapprove of the way Catholics punish problems, some both, some neither. The emergence of consensus in the United States might not get further than it has in politics, and not for some time.
With so much noise about which practices are most Christian, whether the Catholic Church at last becomes more Christian depends who you put in charge of the definition. That is unless Jesus gets a website and puts the definition there.
Disagreements between Christians and other Christians can be more frequent and troublesome than between Christians and Jews. Perhaps the Synagogues will take the weary to that Father they read in their books..
Bad girl Bynes
Amanda Bynes was arrested after throwing a bong out a window.More crazy antics