TBT: Got Any More of Them Indulgences?

The 95 Theses.

No . . . Theses should not rhyme with Jesus.

But it does sorta rhyme with feces.

With that soft "TH" sound . . . like in thistle.

Anway . . . the 95 Theses . . . or the declaration of protest against the purity of indulgences.

Or better yet . . . the  paper Martin Luther nailed to the church. He got into a lot of trouble for that, but unlike Galileo, Martin didn't give a flying @#$%. He burned the church's letters telling him to chill out, practically started the Protestant Reclamation, and today in 1519, publicly debated theologist John Ech and claimed that the Divine Right of The Pope was sheer poppycock.

I'm not sure poppycock is the kinda word he used, we're still talking another 70 years before Shakespeare gets rolling, but I like to think of Martin Luther as sort of a fussbudget who changes the world by being a total crank.

Cranks should shoulder more civic responsibility.

Anyway . . . he was all cranky because the Pope needed some cash to refurbish St. Peter's Basilica so Rome started selling indulgences.

Memorabilia from the bible. Straw from the manger, cups from the last supper.

Blessed tchotchkes that will ease your suffering in purgatory.

Is it weird that there are only two vowels in tchotchke?

Anyway . . . Martin Luther didn't like that idea. The Pope shouldn't be selling god's love. And the Pope was like . . . "Dude chill . . . I just need an extra sink in the bathroom for those moments when me and my mistress want to brush our teeth at the same time."

And then Luther was like "I will not chill . . . in fact now that you mention it . . . I got 94 other things I wanna bitch about . . . in fact . . . after I've nailed those to your door . . . I'm gonna go out and tell everyone that you're just a skinny poo-poo head and we don't have to listen to you anymore . . . and tell the bishop of canturberry to get off my lawn!"

The was exactly 494 years ago.

Sorta. There was a whole calendar transformation right around Shakespeare's time, so we really don'tknow  when anything happened exactly. Scholars do . . . but let's asuume the rest of us are american and we ain't got that kinda time.

So the church splits and all hell breaks loose.

Did you know that there's never been a single religion that hasn't splintered?

Is it possible that God is THAT indecisive?

Food for thought.

Anyway . . .I was thinking about indulgences and our new Pope. Pope Frankie.

(It's actually Pope Francis . . . but Pope Frankie sounds awesomer.)

Do you think the bishops knew what they were getting into when they elevated him? Were they thinking that "It's cool, he's all quiet and pious and since he's mexican he's probably not smart enough to notice all the shit we've been up to."

For the record, Pope Frankie is actually Argentinian, and before beginning seminary school he worked as a chemical engineer . . . and no shit . . . a bouncer at a night club.

I do not think they knew what they were doing.

I wonder what history will make of Pope Frankie. Within minutes of the white smoke billowing out of the vatican, he did a complete 180 from the nazi rumblings of Pope BeneDickHead, and dragged the entire Catholic Church so far to the left he makes Hillary Clinton look like Anne Coultier.

It's like he said to himself that first morning . . . "Hey . . . I've got like ten to twenty years where over fifty million people are going to be hanging on to my every word. What would happen if I just cut through all the serious bullshit and tried to change the world for the better?"

Better in a Catholic sorta way. You still gotta confess your sins. You still have to accept the blood and body of christ. And you really shouldn't keep that roserie in the junk drawer. But recognizing that all religions have something to say, gays are cool, pollution is bad, prison systems are badder, and who needs that extra sink when it's just you in the guest house?

Pope Frankie doesn't sleep in the Pope's house. He sleeps in the guest quarters. He probably uses the hand towels more than once to reduce the laundry bills.  

I think cranky old Martin Luther would have liked him.

He might have been a bit peeved about all the trinkets at the vatican gift shop . . . but . . . we all need our little indulgences.

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