Just wrapped up St. Patrick's Day festivities (by wrapping up I mean finally tossing out all the bottles). My oldest is sick with what appears to be a case of far too many chocolate gold coins from the Leprechauns, so home sick with the kids today.
Was thinking quite a bit about Easter this morning, mostly because it is going to be in March again this year, and I seem to recall it being in April a lot more when I was a kid. Less than two weeks now, and I had to scramble to get it off from work. I digress.
So Easter made me think of Catholicism, which in turn made me think of the new Pope. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, or Francis I seems like he's a pretty genuine guy. I like that he is visibly less preoccupied with the pomp of the office, and more in touch with his constituents. Good luck to him. However, I can't help but feel very strongly that this was another missed opportunity for the Vatican. Francis is another conservative Pope, and with the church in such trouble and turmoil lately, this feels like a selection that will promote further disconnect. Maybe I'm mistaken.
In science fiction, frequently the church is portrayed as the bad guy, and although I feel that one of the main reasons for that is because it is such an easy target I also think that a lot of people, writers included, feel a strong sense of alienation from an organization which, in theory, is supposed to be welcoming and inclusive. I can't think offhand of any good examples of the church portrayed in SF as a primarily benevolent organization dedicated to goodwill and promoting positive aspects of human nature.
By "the church" I don't necessarily mean Catholicism, but rather any large state religion with significant similarities. It just seems like the church is forever seen as antagonistic in this genre of literature, and I don't think it's because all SF writers hate God. I think, as mentioned earlier, that it is just a symptom of the Vatican continuing to move backwards rather than forwards with the modern times.
Anyway, Happy Easter to anyone who celebrates it, and to anyone who doesn't have a nice Sunday, March 31st.