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The Pope's visit to the United States

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I've been listening to the Pope's visit to Washington and New York over the last couple of days, thanks to internet radio. There are always crowds of people following the Pope around, and in New York a WINS reporter interviewed a group from Laredo, Texas.

If the Pope came to Houston, would you try to see him? Would you attend a Papal mass at the Astrodome?

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I wouldn't go see him and I'm perplexed by the media attention he draws. It seems like popes weren't such big stars when I was a kid, or Catholics were more closeted or something.

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When I was in college, I saw JP2 in San Antonio on the big '87 world tour. It was ablsolute madness; many Mexican nationals were up for the tour, and the whole city was nuts. I did it just to say I did, I guess. I was raised Catholic; (don't practice any religion as an adult). I've gone to papal masses in Rome, but I suppose it's really for the spectacle as much as anything.

It was like a big outdoor concert, except for the subject matter and the fact that there were something like 250,000 people. Just madness. After the events, there were probably 40,000 people in the street along his route--just when he drove to the AFB to leave.

My boyfriend was there in another capacity. He was in the National Guard and got stuck with crowd control duty. He was working one of the entrances, and just like a concert, he spent most of his time confiscating coolers full of beer and food that people were trying ot bring in. The guys in his unit had a party with all the spoils, afterward. Just cases and cases of beer. To see the pope!!

I don't think I would do that again, but sports championships pale in comparison to what happens when the pope comes to town, especially anywhere within spitting distance of Mexico.

Edited by crunchtastic

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Yeah, I think Catholics pretty much miss the point of Christianity when they make such a big deal out of this guy. Not that he's a bad guy or anything, but just a guy. My opinion, whatever.

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Yeah, I think Catholics pretty much miss the point of Christianity when they make such a big deal out of this guy.

Or, more accurately, you fail to understand Catholicism.

Assuming you're making a comparison to other Christian denominations, a big part of it is numbers.

For all the varying flavors of Protestants and such there are dozens, hundreds, even thousands of leaders of those faiths. Sometimes it's individual persons. Sometimes it's committees.

For Catholics it doesn't work like that -- Catholics have one guy who is ultimately in charge of the whole thing.

So what you have is a situation where millions of non-Catholics are led by thousands of different people.

For Catholics, however, there is just ONE GUY leading over a BILLION people. That's one (of several) reasons why it's a big deal.

The president of the United States leads 300 million people, so what he says is front page news.

The Pope leads more than three times as many people, so that's why what he does is front page news.

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No I get what they believe, I'm just saying they're focusing on the wrong guy. They view him as holy and pretty much above other people, that he is the direct link to God on earth. It's supposed to be about Jesus according to the same Bible they share with the rest of the Christians. I do understand why it is a big deal, to them, however. Whatever floats their boat.

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No I get what they believe, I'm just saying they're focusing on the wrong guy. They view him as holy and pretty much above other people, that he is the direct link to God on earth. It's supposed to be about Jesus according to the same Bible they share with the rest of the Christians. I do understand why it is a big deal, to them, however. Whatever floats their boat.

This is the sort of things that wars have been fought over. I don't think we'll end up settling it to everyone's satisfaction on HAIF.

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Would you attend a Papal mass at the Astrodome?

Surely the Pope would merit an upgrade to Reliant Stadium! :D

I might go, but I wouldn't expect to have a spiritual experience.

It would be kind of like going to a barbecue cooking demonstration and observing other people cooking and eating the food and maybe just getting a small sample yourself. If you really wanted to experience what barbecue was like, you'd be much better off staying at home or going to a restaurant and having the real thing!

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This is the sort of things that wars have been fought over. I don't think we'll end up settling it to everyone's satisfaction on HAIF.

Definitely not trying to start any wars. I'm happy all the catholics are excited that their leader is here, and he does represent one of the largest do-gooding (new term) organizations in the world.

Honestly I'm just trying to graduate from strip mall to single family home. Success!

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Honestly I'm just trying to graduate from strip mall to single family home. Success!

You live in a strip mall? Maybe you should just set your sights on an apartment for now! :D

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Back in the day popes did not travel as much. To see the pope you had to actually go to Italy. Now that they are going around all over the place, it is somewhat newsworthy.

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For Catholics, however, there is just ONE GUY leading over a BILLION people. That's one (of several) reasons why it's a big deal.

I think this is where many people, including myself, become concerned.

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If the Pope came to Houston, would you try to see him? Would you attend a Papal mass at the Astrodome?

I would try, but it would be very difficult considering that I'd have to leave about three days ahead of time just to get there.

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When I was in college, I saw JP2 in San Antonio on the big '87 world tour. It was ablsolute madness; many Mexican nationals were up for the tour, and the whole city was nuts. I did it just to say I did, I guess. I was raised Catholic; (don't practice any religion as an adult). I've gone to papal masses in Rome, but I suppose it's really for the spectacle as much as anything.

It was like a big outdoor concert, except for the subject matter and the fact that there were something like 250,000 people. Just madness. After the events, there were probably 40,000 people in the street along his route--just when he drove to the AFB to leave.

My boyfriend was there in another capacity. He was in the National Guard and got stuck with crowd control duty. He was working one of the entrances, and just like a concert, he spent most of his time confiscating coolers full of beer and food that people were trying ot bring in. The guys in his unit had a party with all the spoils, afterward. Just cases and cases of beer. To see the pope!!

I don't think I would do that again, but sports championships pale in comparison to what happens when the pope comes to town, especially anywhere within spitting distance of Mexico.

I was there that weekend with my wife. We were staying on the riverwalk. Our 3 year old daughter kept asking who the "white dressed man" on the television was. A storm blew through the night before and knocked over the stage that had been erected out at the mass site (the future Sea World). Catholic churches in San Antonio cancelled mass that sunday because all the priests and alter boys were participating at the mass site. We stayed downtown after my aunt, who lives there, told us what a mess it was going to be getting there and back. We saw him later as a parade brought him downtown. We stood on a street for an hour, watching the crowd gather. As the pope mobile got closer, helicopters circled overhead, while security vehicles blocked people from crossing the street. Guys in black suites openned manhole covers and looked inside, while others checked under parked cars with mirrors and sniffing dogs. It was all quite impressive, and then.... he drove by, waving (and blessing) from inside the glass enclosed vehicle. And then it was over...........kind of like "Well that's that, let's load up and head for home".

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No I get what they believe, I'm just saying they're focusing on the wrong guy. They view him as holy and pretty much above other people, that he is the direct link to God on earth. It's supposed to be about Jesus according to the same Bible they share with the rest of the Christians. I do understand why it is a big deal, to them, however. Whatever floats their boat.

It is about Jesus. Jesus set up Peter as the head of his church. The pope is the successor to Peter.

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Hmmm, after reading all "editor's" posts about the pope on this thread, I now understand why he locked the California gay marriage thread after I called Benedict 16's comment about noncatholic churchs not being real churchs "dogma." Kind of speaks to the paradox created by picking active participants of an internet discussion board to also be moderators. Hard to have credibility as a impartial referee when you're also a partisan contributor.

Anyhoo.....Would I go see the Pope? Not really. I was raised Catholic, though I'm not one of those exCatholics who hate the church now. I just found a different nonChristian path that was better for me. For anyone who finds Catholicism to be the best path for him, I think that's great. I think any religion or other path is a good one if it encourages you, in the words of Micah "to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" Back when I was a little Catholic kid, I thought John Paul II was pretty hot stuff (and I still think he was a very admirable person), so I understand why Catholics tend to like their popes. I don't see anything wrong with the papacy, or with being excited to see the pope. It's just not my thing - not just the pope, but seeing famous people. This past weekend, I was at Discovery Green, and this guy came up to me and asked if there was a burger restaurant in the park - I directed him to the one by the boat pond. My wife said "the guy next to him looked just like Sean Penn." When we got to the Grove, the hostess said "Did you see that Sean Penn is here?!?!" Apparently he came in for some conference on wind power. I had given Sean Penn directions to a restaurant. Didn't really phase me. I'm just not the star-struck type, I guess.

I did actually see John Paul II when I was in high school. We were in Rome, and went to the Vatican, where he was having some kind of audience. We and several thousand other people in St. Peter's Square got to look up and see him up in a balcony. He waved his hand over us, some kind of mass blessing, so I've got that going for me, which is nice.

Edited by Reefmonkey

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Hard to have credibility as a impartial referee when you're also a partisan contributor.

You have not been on HAIF long enough or participated in HAIF enough to judge my credibility.

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Ever since I can remember, the Pope draws a crowd. The Popemobile was cronstructed in the 80's, but before that he would be in an open air car to wave to the masses as he drove down what appeared to be a "parade route" for everyone to see him. I don't know WHAT country meme, grew up in that he doesn't remember that. I think he is just a little older than me.

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You have not been on HAIF long enough or participated in HAIF enough to judge my credibility.

As I said in the other thread:

It's not a criticism of HAIF, specifically, it is a general observation about forums such as these where the moderators participate in discussions as well. It's not just me, there is an ongoing discussion in the internet ether about the phenomenon. It doesn't necessarily mean the moderators can't be fair or aren't being fair, the practice does however make them more vulnerable to the charge of being partisan than moderators who are silent until there is a dispute.

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As I said in the other thread:

It's not a criticism of HAIF, specifically, it is a general observation about forums such as these where the moderators participate in discussions as well. It's not just me, there is an ongoing discussion in the internet ether about the phenomenon. It doesn't necessarily mean the moderators can't be fair or aren't being fair, the practice does however make them more vulnerable to the charge of being partisan than moderators who are silent until there is a dispute.

Thank God I don't give a crap about the "internet ether."

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Thank God I don't give a crap about the "internet ether."

A mature response to gently stated criticism.

I got some interesting PMs last night from contributors who have been on HAIF long enough to criticize, who told me my analysis of your partiality was spot-on. Lucky guess for me, I suppose. I'm sure you'll believe whatever you have convinced yourself is the reality, but I'm not the only one who sees through that.

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A mature response to gently stated criticism.

I got some interesting PMs last night from contributors who have been on HAIF long enough to criticize, who told me my analysis of your partiality was spot-on. Lucky guess for me, I suppose. I'm sure you'll believe whatever you have convinced yourself is the reality, but I'm not the only one who sees through that.

Again, I'm not all that concerned about groupthink whether it's some fictional internet ether or a bunch of anonymous PMer, which also happen to be fictional. According to the system logs you've gotten exactly ONE personal message since January so your claim that you got "some interesting PMs" doesn't hold water. Here's a bit of free advice: Don't lie in public to someone with root access.

The members of HAIF know by now that if they have a problem they can PM me or a moderator and we will take their concerns seriously. As a n00b you haven't picked up on that yet and instead decide to publicly air your imagined grievances rather than participate in substantive discussions with the rest of us.

Further, based on your posting history to date you for some reason have convinced yourself of two things:

  1. You believe I should be impartial in all things and if I'm not it's bad.
  2. You are the final judge of what is and is not impartial.

Neither of those things are true.

I am not a government employee, and this is not a government web site. I am under no obligation to be fair or impartial to you or anyone else. That said, I try to stay out of most discussions because I know it's better for HAIF and its participants if I let people speak their minds. If I were to crack down on people the way you think I do there would be no HAIF. The fact of the matter is that I give everyone here, including you, a lot more leeway than they would get elsewhere.

I spent 20 years of my life and hundreds of thousands of dollars championing the causes of free speech. Your implications that I am in favor of censorship flies in the face of the facts of my personal life and the explosive growth of HAIF. As I have stated before, you are not in a position to judge me or anyone else on this forum.

In the last week or so you've ruffled more than a few feathers on HAIF. You try to come off all cocky and cool and in the know of all things internet like you're Drew Curtis or CmdrTaco. You try to tell other people that their beliefs and viewpoints are intolerant or wrong. And you fail to respect many of the members of HAIF who have contributed many years of reading and thousands of posts to help make this the strong community it is.

I don't know your background, but where I'm from people who are guests in another person's home don't hurl accusations at their hosts. This is my property and if I see someone making a mess I will contain and clean that mess up.

You're not the worst troll we've ever had on HAIF. That title still belongs to HoustonJack. But it is clear that you are very dissatisfied with the forum. Since that is the case, I invite you to surf elsewhere. The internet is a big place. Maybe there's a virtual home for you out there somewhere where you fit in better.

Unless you decide to treat me and the other members of HAIF with a little more respect please go away.

And since you've decided to derail yet another thread, this one is also now closed.

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