I heard a great explanation for the stunning deafness of the Vatican about the clergy sexual abuse crisis in Europe. A priest, a Jesuit (which means a well educated cleric) thought it came down to a culture that has no outside input. Made up of men, celibate men, all clerics, they all see exactly the world exactly the same.
They make the infamous epistemological error of solipsism, assuming they see the world in the only way it can be seen. Without the voices of women, non clerics, even non Catholics around them, they live in a philosophical hall of mirrors.
What strikes me about this closed culture of the Vatican is that I see the same thing in the current Republican Party.
The big fight now is about who shall replace Justice Stevens on the Supreme Court, and the Republican senate is already warning against nominating a liberal, as though it were a threat to the nation.
That’s because, in the Vaticapublican Party, liberal is un-American. As the Roman church once defined atheism as not believing in their definition of God (making Protestants and Jews and Muslims atheists) so the Vaticapublican Party defines liberals as American atheists, people who do not believe in America because they do not believe in America the same way they do. Such people cannot serve on the Supreme Court because their values are essentially non American.
The logical end of this argument is that we should not have elections or legislatures because that would risk electing liberals. Or maybe we could have elections but they should be limited to Republican candidates, who are the only real Americans. But that is how ther commies did it, for maybe we should have some new electoral college where notable Republicans get together to choose the president. They would meet in Washington, in private of course, and when they vote the paper slips would be burnt, sending black smoke into the Washington DC sky, until someone was chosen.
Habemus Presidentum. Reagan XVI!
Oops. Got carried away.