The latest Pope Video, Indigenous Peoples, was released today. In it, Pope Francis asks us to "respect indigenous peoples, threatened in their identity and even their existence."
The bespectacled Argentinian white man appears a few seconds after we are shown clips of diverse "indigenous" men and women, including our gross lipped friend.
By the way, the lips, or what's inside them, are officially called "lip plates" and they are perhaps most famously worn by members of the Kayapo tribe in the Amazon.
Let's just say it. Lip plates are grotesque, horrific and disgusting. If any indigenous tradition deserves not to be respected, it's that one. Okay, maybe cannibalism too, but you get the idea.
I'm not just saying that from my own Western point of view. I am confident that an unbiased referee from, say, the Andromeda galaxy would heartily agree.
And, yes, white people do gross things too.
But I want to make a serious point. The Pope claims that he "wants to be a spokesman for the deepest longings of the indigenous people," which as far as the video implies seem to be made up of not much more than body mortification and wearing colorful hats.
The greatest longing that all of have - whatever continent or culture we are from - is to come home to our Father. And I'm not just talking about Catholics or Christians. Every man, woman and child since Adam has had such a longing. It's built in. And it's racist to imply that, say, South American Indians are in any way different.
Of course all of us also have another built in condition, one which is in direct conflict with that longing and has the potential to permanently frustrate it--the disposition to sin.
The job of the Church - in one sense the only job of the Church - is to help us satisfy the first and combat the second.
The Pope seems to think the job of the Church is to relentlessly promote liberal political causes. Ot at least that's the charitable interpretation. And in the Pope Videos (now numbering seven) he ticks them off one by one.
The Kayapos deserve better.