Cults: March 2005 Archives


I heard earlier today that Karol Wojtyla is receiving food via a feeding tube and that he has effectively expressed his will that he be kept alive by artificial means even if he were to fall into a coma or a persistent vegetative state. At this point, especially since he has hand-picked the members of the college of electors which would choose his successor, presumably a man pretty much in his own dark political image and likeness, it occurs to me that almost nothing could be healthier for the world than to be without a governing pope for as long as possible.

Although I would really enjoy the pageantry which would inevitably surround the placement of a new CEO, even in the twenty-first century (what kind of hat will he pick, and will they bring back the ostrich-feather fans?), were it up to me I would gladly forego those pleasures in the interest of bringing about a better world. It is thus with only the best graces that I extend to him, to his firm and to the entire planet my best wishes for years, and hopefully decades, of a successful relationship between the man called John Paul II and any unnatural life-sustaining mechanisms available.

Still, it does seem pretty weird to me that a man who has so often in the past condemned any artificial means of controlling birth (even if the extraordinarily-simple device also stops the transmission of a deadly AIDS virus) should be such a strong advocate against natural death. But surely the god has her reasons.

[scary image from GodBlogging]

spotted tonight in the 23rd Street 1/9 subway station

My first thought was, this is Chelsea, and some of our neighbors have interesting ways of showing affection, but then it occurred to me that the message could have been meant literally, a la Valerie Solanas. Gulp.

And oh yeah, for those who collect such details, or just for the record, the sign seems to have been re-constructed from one of the MTA's advisories about service disruptions.

Opal Petty 1918-2005

She was 16 when her family had her committed to a mental hospital.

"Being fundamentalist Baptists her family didn't approve of her wanting to go out dancing and such things. A church exorcism didn't work, so the family made the decision to commit her."
The quote is from the director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, Jim Harrington, the man who fought successfully for Opal Petty's right to return to society after 51 years.

She died one week ago at the age of 86, damaged by an "institutional syndrome," but having lived nearly twenty years with people who loved and cared for her, and who were responsible for her resurrection.

Petty's story should strike a painful chord in the hearts of most girls and women, and certainly queers of any age, who as little children were chastised by their families, to any degree, for behaving inapproriately. Some of us make it through.

[1994 image by Larry Kolvoord/The Austin American-Statesman via the NYTimes]

This page is an archive of entries in the Cults category from March 2005.

previous archive: Cults: December 2004

next archiveCults: April 2005