MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow interviewed bisexual radical folksinger Sinead O’Connor on her Friday night show. Maddow treated O’Connor like a dignitary, letting her spill out answers/speeches – two lasted almost two minutes. Maddow just let O’Connor spout bizarre theories about how Pope Benedict doesn’t believe in God, with no “excuse me?” requests for elaboration.
When Maddow asked a softball question about how the Vatican was "sort of a country," but it was important for child sexual abuse to be handled by secular authorities, she uncorked O’Connor’s smash-the-hierarchy lecture:
And yes, the thing is I think that, you know, the Vatican is – it’s a 15th century organization. It’s a medieval organization. And what we`re seeing is the battle between medieval thinking and 21st century thinking.
If they want to survive into the 21st century, they’re going to have to become a 21st century business, which means that they are, first of all, those who have brought the Holy Spirit and Catholicism into total disrepute should be fired.
Whoever was involved in the cover-up of child abuse and therefore endangering children should be fired. The pope should be fired or should stand down. There should be a criminal investigation of the Vatican and of the pope.
They should all get out and let us in the 21st century choose who we think is fit to run our church because it is ours. It’s not theirs. It shouldn’t be any more of this black smoke-white smoke nonsense, you know, it’s them and us. It’s our church. We need to reclaim it and we need to have it run by people who actually believe in God.
Sinead O’Connor had just proclaimed herself holier than the Pope, and proclaimed that the whole papacy model should be overthrown in favor of an elected president. In other words, she's a Protestant. (No pope, no Catholicism.) But Maddow, who supposedly prides herself on research and intellectual discourse, could only ask O’Connor to “reflect” on how someone who wanted to fire the pope in a religious revolution could suggest she was not a Catholic:
MADDOW: When you have allowed yourself as an artist to be such a lightning rod on this issue, just by putting yourself up publicly and talking about it, not only in personal terms, but in very political terms, it was always interesting to me that people took that to mean that you were no longer Catholic or that you were an atheist or that you - people essentially took it as an opportunity to question your faith. I wonder if you still encounter that, if you have any reflections on that.
O`CONNOR: Well, no. I mean I think anyone that really knows me or whatever would know that in fact I would have taken that action and still continue to take all of this action because I believe passionately in the Holy Spirit, and I’m in love passionately with the Holy Spirit.
I feel the Holy Spirit is being held hostage by the people who are presently running the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is full of beautiful people, men and women, you know, who have given up their whole lives, who serve human beings. They do nothing but love.
But those people also are being betrayed by the people who are running the church. Now, I would say I passionately believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe all of us who believe in the Holy Spirit should be standing up now and defend that spirit and rescue it from these people.
And sometimes, I’m not asked, do I believe in God? But I’m asked, am I anti-Catholic? My answer to that is no but the people who are running the Vatican actually are. They brought Catholicism into a disgraceful state of disrepute.
Now, when people hear the word "Catholic," they think - they shudder. They think of nothing but abuse. So it’s, you know - that would be the only question that people ask me, am I anti-Catholic? I would say absolutely not but those in charge are.
O’Connor wouldn’t ask “Is the Pope Catholic?” She insists the Pope is anti-Catholic. She’s turned the whole religion upside down in her brain. But MSNBC couldn't ask her a tougher question than to "reflect" on her critics.