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Are Sunday Wire Service Editors Working Hard or Hardly Working?
August 20, 2006 7:14 PM   Subscribe

Pope Benedict XVI makes his usual Sunday address during Italy's National August Holiday and about two-thirds in points out that "excessive activity" can lead to "hardness of heart", specifically recommending taking time out for prayer. It becomes the highlight of the speech, gets picked up all over, by Reuters and AP, and suddenly he's the Patron Saint of Slackers. Huh? Maybe that's why it's called The Protestant Work Ethic. Meanwhile, Americans are 'giving up' on vacations (voluntarily?) and in parts of Turkey a Muslim Protestant Work Ethic is emerging. And whatever happened to the Hacker Ethic?
posted by wendell (22 comments total)

 
Maybe that's why it's called The Protestant Work Ethic.

Catholics aren't Protestant and Protestants don't care for the pope, who is catholic.
posted by furtive at 7:21 PM on August 20, 2006


I think that was the OP's point - implying that Cathloics have no work ethic.
posted by GuyZero at 7:25 PM on August 20, 2006


Thank you GuyZero. Yes, that's the point.
posted by wendell at 7:27 PM on August 20, 2006


Oh, and good post. Nice elaboration on a minor news item. Thanks.
posted by GuyZero at 7:29 PM on August 20, 2006


I'm too lazy to read the links. I must have a soft heart.
posted by Balisong at 7:45 PM on August 20, 2006


And while this pope happens to be very catholic, he is also Catholic.
posted by hue at 8:06 PM on August 20, 2006



Y'know something? His Holiness is 100% right.

He sounds like a very righteous dude.

Is there any way I could become an atheist Catholic?
posted by jason's_planet at 8:09 PM on August 20, 2006


How about a catholic Atheist instead?
posted by mischief at 8:20 PM on August 20, 2006


As I was putting this post together, I asked myself "am I working too hard on this?" and my irony level went beyond critical and my head asploded. Fortunately, long-time MeFites are capable of functioning for long periods without our heads (which is how DenBeste returned... RIMSHOT! - you see? if I still had my head, I would've thought better than to do that cheapshot). Now, if you'll excuse me, I gotta take a break. But not for prayer.
posted by wendell at 8:30 PM on August 20, 2006


oy vey
posted by mischief at 8:38 PM on August 20, 2006


So a clergyman says people need to pray more and you have a Max Weber-gasm?

I've been to black baptist church services here in Chicago where they said the very same thing as the pope - and then some!

Tell me, wendell, what you think of them? Is that proof that blacks are pre-disposed to laziness? Why is proof of your main point not also proof of that also?
posted by Jos Bleau at 8:43 PM on August 20, 2006


I've read through this, and I've read other things about the Pope, and there was a cool comic book many years ago about the life of Pope John Paul the 2nd who was really a polish guy named Karl... and I've heard people talk about the Pope... I still don't understand it all. What's the big deal? How come some religious people care about what this guy says over any other human on the planet? As if he's got a cellphone in his pocket that vibrates only by the Big Guy. He doesn't, any more than any of the rest of us.

I just... someone explain it to me. And use small words cuz I'm stupid. Thank you.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:53 PM on August 20, 2006


Sounds like the Pope is gettin' Buddhist...
posted by twsf at 9:04 PM on August 20, 2006


Zach, my main point of this whole post was "look, some news people needed some filler on a Sunday so they took the Pope's weekly statement out of context!" (And isn't it interesting that His Popeness' weekly thing happens on the slowest news day of the week... That's not a direct line to God, just to a good PR operation) But this time he declares that people should take a break from work to pray and Reuters turns it into "Pope says don't work too hard".

Jos, I am certainly not saying that Catholics are lazy. The Protestant Work Ethic reference was just too obvious a joke for me to overlook. (you know... me... wendell...) And the links about Americans losing vacations and a Muslim work ethic in Turkey were just barely related and I used them to confuse stupid MeFites. I guess I succeeded. Now let me rest.
posted by wendell at 9:16 PM on August 20, 2006


But if I slack off and take a vacation I may not be able to buy another fancy expensive gadget that I can only use on the way to work because work is all my life amounts too.
posted by cmacleod at 9:27 PM on August 20, 2006


So Papa warns that excessive activity begets hardness. Am I the only one whose nasty, adolescent mind went in another direction entirely (even though I knew it was a bit late for Palm Sunday)?
posted by rob511 at 9:49 PM on August 20, 2006


And isn't it interesting that His Popeness' weekly thing happens on the slowest news day of the week.

Um, that's because Sunday is a traditional day for religious stuff, dude. He's a priest. Sunday's the usual day for sermons and things.
posted by unreason at 4:02 AM on August 21, 2006


Catholics are too busy having massive families to work! Good Lord, it takes a fair bit of effort to impregnate your wife on a 10 month rotation and now you want them to go to work as well?
posted by longbaugh at 6:23 AM on August 21, 2006


Is there any way I could become an atheist Catholic?

I dunno. How guilty can you feel?
posted by jonmc at 6:31 AM on August 21, 2006


How come some religious people care about what this guy says over any other human on the planet?

how come other people care more what george bush or oprah says than anyone else on the planet? people like leaders.
I would say for the pope these reasons would be among them:
a - he is symbolic of their entire church (ie, a unified voice for all members)
b - he has spent his whole life studying and thinking about theological philosophy in keeping with catholic beliefs
c - he has a cellphone in his pocket with a direct line to god*

* - not true

Tell me, wendell, what you think of them? Is that proof that blacks are pre-disposed to laziness? Why is proof of your main point not also proof of that also?

I think you missed the whole point of the post. The fact that the media edited it that way is evidence of the pervasiveness of the 'protestant work ethic' that is so esteemed by americans - time to think, meditate or pray is seen as simply time wasted, despite the fact that in the modern world, so much of what counts as work seems more like time wasted (it's not the kind of directly productive work, like making shoes or hoeing the field, that you can see the results of; often it's all based around being able to convince people to spend money...).
posted by mdn at 7:02 AM on August 21, 2006


c - he has a cellphone in his pocket with a direct line to god*

* - not true

That's correct. It's actually a BlackBerry.
posted by jonmc at 7:17 AM on August 21, 2006


It's actually a BlackBerry.

I was always taught it was a shortwave radio, kept in that giant hat of his. (Status in the Catholic church, like with cowboys, is determined by hat size.) They must have modernized.
posted by fidelity at 8:10 AM on August 21, 2006


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