It's Sunday - Some Intelligent Hope to Scheer me Up ...
This is an interview that Robert Scheer (editor in chief of truthdig) conducted with film maker Wim Wenders covering his new documentary about Pope Francis.
I liked Scheer's questions a lot and Wim Wenders answers as well. There is lot in that interview that spoke to me. Scheer's roots and Wender's roots grew out of German soil. I found myself in it a bit. Asking myself some of the questions raised in the interview myself during my lifetime, just vaguely, and never searching in earnest to answer them. But they didn't leave me alone either and tickled me lately.
The interview made me understand why I had similar feelings about that specific Pope. I have no religious education or a specific affiliation to a church, just the very basics of the German Lutheran Protestant teachings, which were presented to me as a 13 year old by a pastor that unfortunately had a speech disability and so most of the time I couldn't wait for his lessons be over, as I didn't understand much of what he tried to say.
From the transcript:
And I’m really excited to be discussing this current film, 'Pope Francis – A Man of His Word'. And it’s a documentary about the current Pope Francis, but it begins with Francis of Assisi, and the whole idea of the vow of poverty and reforming, a commandment from Christ to reform one’s one house. And you begin the movie really talking about this image, and one wonders, does the Catholic Church have this pope at just the right moment; is it the house that requires reforming, or are you referring to the world as requiring, as the house that requires reforming and saving and changing. So why don’t you just introduce that, the subject of [the] current pope. Who I have to say, this film appeals to my own feelings about this pope,
This summarizes what many with German roots of my generation (post wwII) may feel or may have felt.
Robert Scheer: My own family, my father’s side, came from a Protestant background in Germany. And a half-brother of mine in this country actually was in the American Army Air Force, he actually bombed the area, and then he visited. And he was so alienated by the role of the Church in our home community, Mackenbach, near Kaiserslautern, small village. Because the church, the Protestant church, it’s certainly been compromised by its relation to power, to Hitler. And so had the Catholic Church. And I just, and a lot of the feeling I found in my own relatives in Germany was they wanted nothing more to do with religion; their religion had failed them. And–
Wilhelm Wenders: They were not alone.
Right, as Wenders said to Scheer, "they were certainly not alone".
Yes, I think that's the reason why in my family religion and church were not a subject we discussed or talked about for more than a minute. We were all raised "with an invisible religion", though both my parents did not leave the protestant church, they just were not inclined to have much to do with it aside from using the church for ceremonial festivities that they believed they had to adhere to adjust to social customs.
This makes it clear to me:
Wilhelm Wenders: Yeah. And I don’t know any of his predecessors who would have said, who am I to judge, as long as somebody is a good person, who am I to judge. And that “Who am I to judge” is a huge turn from other ways of treating any of these subjects. It’s true, he says God loves us all, and he even goes that far and says, God loves you even if you’re an atheist, and if you reject his love he has the same love for you, and that’s the only bond that we have as humans. And we are really, really brothers, and we have to take that seriously, and we cannot pretend we are anything else. We need to face that fraternity, and that we are a common family on this planet. So who am I to judge anybody who’s thinking differently from me?
Robert Scheer: Which is incredible coming from the pope.
Wilhelm Wenders: Yeah. It is.
Robert Scheer: And we should remind people of this history. I mean, I talked about half of my family being Protestant; the other half were Jewish. And I remember growing up as a kid in New York, and every once in a while somebody would punch me in the nose and say, “You killed our Lord.” And I didn’t even know what they were talking about, “You killed our Lord”; well, that was a position the Catholic Church supported up until recent history, right? It was, I think, under Pope John where it was officially declared, you know, that this basic anti-Semitic canard had to be rejected forcefully. But this is true of all religions—people claim to be Muslims, Hindus, you know, Buddhists, and they kill other people in the name of a lord. So they say they have the right to judge, they’ve been encouraged to judge, right, by their religion. And here’s a pope—and as I say, he’s just the right pope for that church for this moment, and for the world for this moment, because he is saying, you know—. We have to take seriously the complexity of this situation, and of the human experience, and then return to some basics. And so, is this guy the real deal?
If you have time and are so inclined this is just a suggestion to listen to. (there is a transcript with it, thank you truthdig).
Listen to the end of it. There are nuggets I like a lot. For artists ... too.
And this Robert Scheer summarizes wonderfully and it explains why he managed to give me some 'Intelligent Hope' this morning:
“Go and restore my house”—by that house, though, it means all the people in this house, whether the house is the world, or it’s the universe, or it’s the Church. But it’s all of them, and it means somebody stuck in a prison; it’s somebody who did something wrong and was punished; it’s somebody who’s poor; it’s somebody who lives in a country you don’t understand their language. That is what this movie really is about, and what you’re saying this man is all about.
In the words of NCTIM's signature:
Jesus GOD loves you. Everybody else is an asshole.
In any case that interview and that movie haven't been made by assholes. And that is all I have to add. Have a good one.