I take it for granted if you go stand on a bridge and hold up a sign as tens of thousands of vehicles pass by you’re looking to engage a public response.  When you get a reply you don’t like I think it’s fair to ask why were you expecting everyone would applaud you?

Yesterday a left-leaning local newspaper published a big, bold story about a woman standing on a bridge holding aloft a sign welcoming refugees and identifying herself as a spokeswoman for her entire church.  I commented about her effort on-air and about how she was used by the local paper to further its own agenda.  Within a few minutes I started getting e-mails from her friends telling me I was mean because she home schools her children and is therefore a hero of the religious right.  Oh, and had she known she’d be used by the paper for nefarious ends then she would’ve refused the interview.

It doesn’t end there.  Today some woman who has appointed herself Pope claimed I was giving Roman Catholics a bad name.  When I see those kind of comments I usually have my own impressions.  She wants to “gay-up” the Church and conflates being good with rampant socialism.  Then I’ve got to check my thoughts and seek forgiveness because I don’t know her and her motivations and can’t pass judgment.  What she really means is, “You criticized my friend and you can’t do that.  You can criticize people I don’t know and that’s O.K. but my friend simply can never be wrong so you’re mean, insensitive, an idiot and God and the Church are going to condemn you to hell.”  Once more, anyone standing on a bridge and waving a sign at passing motorists is eliciting a response.  As a talk show host let me explain something.  Not everyone is going to agree with your viewpoint.  Just because they don’t doesn’t make them villains.  Some may well be nasty people but you may need more evidence.

Now I don’t know what church the woman featured in the newspaper attends.  As for the Roman Church, of which I’m a member but contemplating a change to Eastern Orthodox, the Pope has suggested westerners give shelter to the refugees and mostly migrants pouring into Europe.  As the Argentine isn’t an economist he probably hasn’t considered how teetering Western nations are going to pay for all of this but I’m sure the Vatican will house a few thousand migrants in hopes of a mass conversion.  Perhaps in the lavish apartment set aside for the Pope which he has refused to call home.  Instead he settles for something much smaller.  I guess it also means he and his predecessor have no use for Castel Gandolfo and other lavish retreats set aside for the Princes of the Church.

We’ve got just one priest in the city of Twin Falls and he lives in a very big house behind the church.  I’m sure there are some spare rooms at rectories all over the world.  There’s likely even more room in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia and the like.  Oh, that’s right.  They won’t take people who are closely associated culturally due to terrorist fears but, hey, what would they know about terrorism?

The streets aren't paved with gold. Courtesy, Bill Colley
The streets aren't paved with gold. Courtesy, Bill Colley
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I’ve only lived in Idaho for not quite 9 months but I can tell you if there are concerns we need to help the downtrodden you needn’t look far.  Take a drive through neighboring downtown Filer, Jerome and Shoshone and it’s just heartbreaking.  My fellow human beings are living in some deplorable conditions right here at home.  Judging by the vast swaths of empty shops and lack of paint for homes you get the impression poverty is more the norm here than prosperity, although.  I guess it must be their fault.  They got poor on their own as factories moved overseas, Mexicans came and took the only available jobs (low paying work we might also say) and some local parish priests offered they should concentrate on the afterlife instead of heat, food and an earthly future.  Oh, and can he borrow your teenage sons?

Are there no needs in our own communities? Courtesy, Bill Colley
Are there no needs in our own communities? Courtesy, Bill Colley
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No, I’m not immune to criticism and surely my neighbors and the Church aren’t immune from it as well.