Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Friar Trek!

The points upon which the conservative arm of the Catholic Church and I reliably agree are two:

1) Poverty = bad
2) Renaissance polyphony = good

Other than that, the Pope and I don't have much in common. I do occasionally admire his ability to pass silly hats off as solemn ceremonial garb, but most of the positions espoused by the pontiff and other conservative Catholics scare me at best and anger me at worst. The misogyny! The authoritarianism! The disregarding of empirical evidence in matters of national and international public health!

So the last thing I expected was to be moved by this article about friars. An acquaintance posted the link on Facebook, and since I was trying to avoid cleaning the toilet, I clicked through. According to the Washington Post, six Franciscan friars, young and old, walked the 300 miles from Roanoke to DC, stopping along the way to talk to anyone who wanted to talk, but generally trudging single file along secondary highways and county roads.

The Franciscans were making the trek to commemorate the wanderings of the founder of their order. They saw themselves as participating in a spiritual pilgrimage, an expression of their faith in God. I see them as six men doing the most basic, sacred, life affirming thing a human being can do: walk.

So, to my list, I humbly append:

3) Walking = awesome

In every sense of that term. Godspeed, men. Maybe next time you'll let the women walk, too.

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