Imagine what it's like to be in an abusive relationship. You're miserable, you've been told incessantly that you're worthless, that nothing you ever do is good enough. But you stay in this relationship for years because it's all you know and after a while you start to believe you deserve this, that this is just the way life is. Then, one day, you encounter someone who treats you differently and you immediately are drawn to this person because this relationship is so, well, different.
But you'll notice I never said "better." This person isn't treating you better, just different. Maybe this person beats you, but you believe it's because they love you so much that they express their love this way. This is where the phrase "lesser of two evils" likely got its origin. Both people are detrimental to you and your life, but because you were so oppressed for so long, you choose the new one in your life who feels like the lesser of two evils. These days, that phrase has unique meaning in the world of religion.
With his recent tour of the Eastern United States, Pope Francis has been ubiquitous on media outlets and I'm already tired of the hero hyperbole. Why do you think so many people feel this guy is a great man? Well, I already gave you the answer.
When someone as horrible as Pope Benedict (and every pope before him) is replaced, his successor can only be seen as an improvement. But if you put on your rational glasses, you'll see him for what he really is, a deceptive wolf is sheep's clothing.
People call him progressive, but if you dig deeper, you'll learn he's still spewing the same insulting, repulsive, archaic doctrines the Vatican and Catholic Church have pushed for centuries.
He still supports the rejection of gay marriage because he can't free himself from Old Testament thinking, believing in a "traditional" marriage/family. Don't be fooled by his words from Rio when he said, "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?" This doesn't mean he accepts and promotes the gay lifestyle; it means he's saying, "Feel free to bring your tithes to my church, gay people, because we need your money for our power and in the end god will judge you and send you to hell, not me."
Don't believe me? Here are his remarks just a few months later regarding gay adoption: “Every person needs a male father and a female mother that can help them shape their identity."
Explaining further, he said, “It is often argued that a child would be better cared for by a same-sex couple rather than in an orphanage or an institution. Those two situations are not optimal. The problem is that the state does not do what it has to do."
Translation: Gay people should not be allowed to raise children, and governments that allow this aren't doing the "right" thing by passing legislation to stop this from happening. Does that sound progressive?
How about birth control? Certainly in the 21st century the Catholic Church could elect a leader who understands the importance of contraceptives, especially as it pertains to world health. But no, despite there being dozens of AIDS-ravaged countries that would benefit exponentially from having condoms, Pope "Frankie" is vehemently against safe sex. Again I ask, does that sound like someone who is progressive?
And don't get me started on his views regarding the transgender community. When someone compares trans persons to nuclear weapons because they would wreak havoc on the “natural order of creation," it's perfectly clear he is not progressive. To paraphrase the Who, "Meet the new bigot, same as the old bigot."
UPDATE: A couple of days after I published this, it surfaced that the pope met secretly with Kentucky bigot Kim Davis and he basically told her to keep up the good work. Any doubts about his true feelings toward gay people?