Integrity- A Devalued Currency


So. I sit here on a glorious Sunday morning in Enchantedland, heavy of heart and soaring in spirit. I never in a million years would have thought that I would find myself enjoying a self-comparison between my veryownself and the Pope of all Catholics, but, and none the less, here I sit in precisely that seat. And having just evaluated all the selfnesses contained in those first two sentences, I find that my thoughts at this moment aren’t really all about me. OK, maybe my thoughts aren’t all about myself.

I’m growing to like this Pope Frankie. His recent firings of 400 abusive priests have pushed me over the line and into his court. My admiration for this humble man started when I heard that he sneaks out to tend the untended of Rome and grew greatly when he took a hard stand for the actual words of Jesus and against unbridled greed. I have a promise with myself that until the Holy Roman Catholic Church takes real steps to end its terrible culture of sexual abuse, I will use every opportunity to take cold, hard shots at it.

But for the first time in 2,000 years, a Pope seems Hell-bent to the leather to both preach the teachings of grace that his beloved Saviour left as the legacy for all Christians, and then follow through in his actions. The integrity that this Pope has so far exhibited is remarkable to me. That he continues to hold this sacred ground in the face of scathing opposition from every corner of the Earth is cause of my admiration.

To tell the world that you have values and represent that you will hold true to those values is easy. History is littered with the skeletons of powerful men and women who have promised personal integrity for advancement, and we live every day with the stench of the decay many of them left when their promises were broken. Unlike this Pope (to-date), most powerful people lose their integrity with the gain of that same power.

Integrity is a tough mantle to maintain. Like lies. How small must a lie be to not be a lie? I remember my college philosophy class back to what must have been 1968, when our professor opened an hour-long discussion on just that question.

“Is it possible to tell a lie without debiting your credibility?” she asked.

Me, having already taken Accounting 101, knew what the fuck she was asking, but most of the class was confused. “OK,” she continued to the questioning faces, “let me ask a different way. Is it possible to tell a lie that is not a lie?”

Now me, and once again I’m speaking only for myself, I saw the logic trap just set by the pretty professor. I forget her name, but she was one of those liberated Sixties college women with a fertile mind who reveled in her work. She covered her unfettered breasts with the billowing, flowery peasant dresses of the Hippies times, and I spent countless hours in my attempts to imagine with accuracies the definitions of the fertile female body beneath the loose fabrics.

Having already spent an inordinate amount of time in heavy discussions on the “chicken/egg” and “tree falling” philosophical questions that occurred while under the influence of any variety of mood-altering substances, I knew that I needed to be careful before entering this particular scholarly fray. Net result of the discussion was this: A lie is always a lie regardless if it is good intentioned or if it results in a positive outcome. And my conclusion is “egg”, and “yes”.

Have I ever told you that I have the dreaded ADHD?

For a public person or celebrity or business person in a position of authority to have and maintain personal integrity is an absolute bitch to do. Many times integrity must be compromised to get into those lofty positions, a conundrum all into itself. How can you maintain integrity that has no history, no foundation? Integrity has become a devalued currency because so many stake their claims without mining the ore.

I’m not a public person, not a powerful person nor do I enjoy celebrity. I now lead a rather simple life, choosing to only interact routinely with people I like and trust. With age, I’ve grown to understand that I should surround myself with people I trust and allow the others to go fuck themselves. I’ve grown to know that people you trust are far less likely to hurt you in unkind ways. And I’ve also grown to learn that I might not be as good a judge of those trustworthy traits as previously believed.

Which reminds me. One of the things I most liked about the Sixties was how we “Hippies” used to make up new words and phrases and how we added new layers of meaning to the existing. Like when I used “heavy” up there when discussing the chicken/eggie discussions. Groovy, doobie, spliff, don’t Bogart that joint, sock it to me, far out, wow!, ‘ere, gay pride, heavy.

God, I love those words. With a heart made heavy by the pain that can only be caused by someone you trust, I have the sense of self pride that can only come from holding firm to your values in the face of personal harm or loss. I find myself feeling a kindred spirit with the Pope.

Holy shit! Who would have thought I would ever say that?

Fuck Walmart, the Koch brothers, and fuck those first 400 priest rapists! Manana, y’all, and I mean it.

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15 Responses to “Integrity- A Devalued Currency”

  1. bj says:

    I know you have a very personal pov concerning child rape; much more personal than most, but imma hold off on stating a favorable opinion of this pope until i have one. I think that 400 you mentioned were defrocked over the last two years, mostly by benny the rat. I wonder how many of that 400 were prosecuted … and how many are just hidden away somewhere and still practicing their craft. Frankie knew he and his cohorts were in a werld of shit when he took the job … he mighta been the only taker, seein’ how he’s a jesuit and catholics are as bigoted as anyone else and they mostly think the jesuits should stick to counting beans and pushing pencils and leave the heavy werk of god farming to the pros. Benny may be like a certain nj governor who is just biding his time waiting for the polls to turn back in his favor so he can start yelling at people again. Integrity isn’t a short term endeavor, and though yer frankie may have a bunch? he’s helping to perpetuate the greatest act of fraud ever committed against humanity.
    Then again ….. give me a pope with”unfettered breasts wearing a billowing, flowery peasant dress” …. and i might start attending services.
    Great write my brother … keep ’em coming

  2. Squatlo says:

    I guess BJ beat me to the punch, but Pope Benny did the defrocking before he resigned/retired or whatever the hell you call it when a Pope doesn’t die before he quits.

    Waiting for the Catholic Church to stop the systemic child abuse of its entire history is like waiting for gravity to stop pulling the jelly side down when you drop a piece of toast in the kitchen. The mafia will forego crime as a profit making enterprise first. And putting the mafia and the Vatican in the same paragraph makes sense, to me. Never get involved in a land war in Asia, and never debate a Sicilian when death is on the line.

    Still, I like the tone and tenor of this new Papal Doll. He’s my kind of priest; fun, sincere, devout (and yet no so pious that he can’t laugh at the world).

    I give him about a year before the Bishops poison him or crash Pope One into the ocean.

  3. bj says:

    I’m not saying that reform CAN’T happen or that Francis won’t make it happen … fer shure he’s on the right track. But … let’s start with the real truth. Answer me this …. does god speak to you, frank? keeping in mind the old adage “if YOU speak to god it’s called praying, but if god speaks to YOU ……
    he seems like a good egg but imo the jury’s still out
    How does that werk, Squat? If they off Il Papa … is the still living infallible see required to re-assume the big hat? Or do we wait for them to blow more smoke? so to speak ….

  4. Katy Anders says:

    I can’t believe he’s made it this long. Pope John Paul I planned reforms -mostly of the Vatican Bank – and died 30 days into his papacy under circumstances no one has ever quite been able to explain.

    Still, I really hope it continues.

  5. Squatlo says:

    Beej, I have no idea how the Popester is decided, especially if they off one of them while another one is still jerking off in the Vatican. I’d be surprised if we ever have a chance to see or hear one as progressive as the current Funny Hatter, though. Maybe he’s just playing “cool” for the youngsters? You know, there’s a real shortage of priests and nuns these days. Hard to talk ’em into joining the convent or becoming priests once they’ve had unlimited porn on the internet and heard all the horror stories about child abusing church authorities.
    Katy’s right… this guy’s probably already lived past his “sell by” date in the eyes of some of the Cardinals.

  6. Squatlo says:

    Jesus Mother Fucking Christ, Mooner… your CAPCHA made me type in some code because I used the word “porn” in my last comment. Can’t you fix that fucking thing? Doesn’t mind fuck, but throws up a condom if you write “porn”?

  7. Mooner Johnson needs sexing says:

    One, and all. It seems as though my local paper missed a few key facts re: Pope Frankie. Like Beej, I still recognize that the Number One Abuser of Human Rights in the History of the World is the Catholic Church. But I am more than willing to cheer any positive change that doesn’t come with a negative edict in balance.

    Squat. My CAPTCHA dealio seems to have a bias toward the wearers of shitty orange-colored college wear. What can I say?

  8. Mooner Johnson needs sexing says:

    Katy. Thanks for proving my point. Tennessee’s orange is so ugly even the circuits can’t stand it.

  9. Mooner Johnson needs sexing says:

    To the Universe: My CAPTCHA just made me type “maKe$meWAntToPUKE” for simple saying “Tennessee Orange”.

  10. Mooner Johnson needs sexing says:

    Fucking CAPTCHA made me do it again.

  11. Squatlo says:

    You’re a funny asshole, you know that? And it’s not my fault your favorite college team bastardized a beautiful shade of orange when they copied our color scheme AND university initials.

    Like I keep saying, if not for Tennessee there never would have been a Texas. And we’re damn sorry about that, too. Dark part of our state’s glorious history.

  12. mel says:

    First of all, hi.

    Second of all, Pope Frankie. I love it. I do agree with you, I am digging what he’s doing more and more. Let us hope it continues. I do still think of you whenever I pass the abortion protesters at the corner. Just so you know.

    As far as liars go, I am in the process of trying to be ok with cutting one out of my life. As you know, mothers can be challenging, and mine seems to have created a whole other universe that she lives in where she is the only right person and everyone else is a liar, confused or misunderstood. I’m the compulsive liar. Never mind that her story changes to suit the moment.

    OK, I’m done. As you can see, this has been weighing on me lately. A LOT. And since you mentioned lying, well, you see what happens.

    Happy New Year, buddy!

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