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The Pope and Mary Jane

Pope Francis has come out against the legalization of pot and other generally illegal drugs. There hasn't been a tremendous amount of reaction to that yet. Why?

No doubt in part because the issue just isn't seen as particularly important these days. Marijuana usage has become so common that no one sees it as truly harmful. Maybe so, maybe no; that's more than we know and, quite frankly, probably more than most of the supporters of legalizing it know. When 'everyone' does 'it' it isn't so bad, you know?

But enough of this nonsense. We were going to say more; we were going to offer a couple more helpful analogies to help lay the background to understanding what we want to say. Instead, let's cut to the chase. The point isn't actually about marijuana. The real question is about how the media and, by extension, the world treats the Holy Father and anyone else who might actually be trying to see the world without the rose colored glasses, without drinking the Kool Aid. The point is that the world wants what it wants. In the case of Pope Francis, it wants to hear what it wants to hear from him, and nothing else matters.

If he even vaguely suggests something which sounds un-Catholic (and, by extension, 'this worldly'), the story is front page news. When he speaks compassionately about homosexuals and vaguely appears to support their lifestyle his words are all over the place. Yet when he reaffirms traditional doctrine, no one in the press says much. Can you imagine why?

We can. It's because the media (and, by extension, the world) doesn't like to be told what to do when such advice especially is against what they want. The world wants affirmation; it is seduced by any hint that it may be right, that it is its own judge, and revels in anything which champions that attitude. The world does not want introspection. Individuals do not want their consciences examined. And the main trouble with good and serious religion is that it demands exactly that.

This isn't to say that Pope Francis is correct on marijuana and drug usage. Contrary to popular belief, the Roman Pontiff isn't seen as entirely infallible. He is only that when he speaks as the Head of the Church. He might be wrong about recreational drug usage. But the media and the social networks don't want to hear that. They only want to hear the nice old man tell them that they're really okay and, from that, that whatever they do is okay too. Anything else just isn't newsworthy.