Hated the Red Shoes, but Pink Sneakers are to Die For!

When Pope Benedict XVI abdicated his papacy and was succeeded by Pope Francis, one particular fact seemed to delight the press — and Benedict-haters — more than any other: Francis was not wearing the red shoes!

Google his red shoes (once incorrectly reported and forever incorrectly misunderstood to be Prada-made) and it feels like more was written about them than Benedict’s encyclicals, his books, his travel, his kissed babies. Those red shoes drove secularists, and some Catholics crazy, and the throwing up of hands in grateful hallelujah to see them gone was evidence of one of the strangest fixations we’ve seen by press members, secular or sacred.

Over the past few days, however, we have watched the press and various pundits go into a state of ecstatic fervor over the footwear of another public person: the pink sneakers worn by Texas State Senator Wendy Davis during her pro-abortion filibuster are the new must-haves, and some media folk are nearly orgasmic. So besotted are they with Wendy’s pink that the legendary Washington Post — and er, TIME Magazine — filed stories about…wait for it…the comments on the shoes, left by Amazon customers. Seriously.

Mizuno Sneakers worn by Wendy Davis Eric Gay, AP

And reading those comments, it seems that while it’s fine to just #standwithWendy but if you’re a true believer — if, like Nancy Pelosi, you believe banning abortion at 23 weeks gestation is “ending all abortion”, even though you cannot make a moral distinction between said abortions and Gosnellian infanticide, and if you do not think that “women’s health clinics” should be required to meet the same standards of cleanliness and equipage as ambulatory surgery outlets — then you have to #standwithWendy in pink, actually “rouge red”, sneakers.

Well, I agree; I think it’s perfectly sound; footwear can be instructive and meaningful, and golly, even inspiring.

A pope choosing to wear red shoes reminds us that Peter, in every iteration, proceeds through the blood of those who have gone before him — the martyrs who have been slain and are still being slain for the sake of Christ.

Likewise, a pro-abortion flame-fanner choosing to wear #standwithWendy pink — “rouge red” — sneakers reminds us that she proceeds through the red blood and shredded pink tissue, sucked out brains, collapsed skulls and snipped necks of those who will never be — human beings who have been slain, and are being slain, martyrs for the sake of…well…not Christ?

You can tell a lot about people by the kind of shoes they mock and sneer at, and the kind they celebrate and gush over.

Fascinating to consider, as well, which person you would trust with your life, or the life of your child, or the life of your elderly mother.

The distraction of the shoes. If you talk about the shoes, and get other people talking about the shoes, you don’t actually have to talk about what the wearers are saying.

Who knew shoes could be so instructive? Lessons worth absorbing.

Are Pro-Lifers as Committed to Life as Pro-Aborts are to Abortion?

Melinda Henneberger: Wendy Davis: Tough, Cool and Wrong

Yelling a bill to death

Related I: It’s linked in the text but don’t miss this piece by Mollie Hemingway

Related II:
More abortion fashion ideas

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Sherry

    So for Pope Benedict, these boots were made for talking?

  • MeanLizzie

    Apparently they all are! :-)

  • Melody

    I was amazed at the traction that little tidbit about her shoes was able to get, and how much people grabbed onto it. All I can think is, “How can you rally behind her? Do you realize what the bill contained?” I guess it’s hard to argue against safer conditions for women undergoing these “procedures” and for killing babies at an age where it has been proven that they can feel pain. This stand the least sympathetic I can think of for the general public to promote. I guess that’s where distraction comes in. Sorry pro choice promoters, we are not all toddlers.

  • katieokeefe

    Love it! Thank you, Elizabeth. That is a superb comparison.

  • MeanLizzie

    The distraction of the shoes. Get ppl talking about the shoes, they’re no longer hearing what the wearer is saying.

  • Dominican Nuns

    Believe it or not, the Church HAS talked through shoes! During the time of St. Dominic when he was preaching against the Albigensian’s in Southern France and trying to bring them back to the truth the Council of Montpelier decreed that orthodox preachers, as a sign of their being with the Church and not the heretics were to wear SHOES. Not sandals, not barefoot but SHOES. So, Dominican friars and nuns wore SHOES never sandals up until about the ’60′s.

    The reasoning behind this decree was that the heretics accused Catholic preachers of not following the Gospel radically as they did because Jesus tells the disciples when they go out to preach, “No sandals on your feet”. By wearing SHOES the Catholic preachers were saying that it is the CHURCH that interprets the Scriptures and how we are to live them.

  • Patty

    Good God I own those shoes and I will never again be able to look at them the same way.

  • JenniB

    I was just thinking the same thing, Patty. Maybe I’ll spray paint them?

  • Chesire11

    Spot on.

  • cminor

    The sneakers are eye-catching and look about new. Why do I have the feeling they were selected for the occasion with just such a reaction in mind? This was a great p.r. move for Ms. Davis–it will not surprise me if she tries to parlay it into national office.

  • oregon catholic

    The walking through blood comparison is shocking. I’ll not be forgetting that any time soon. I hope that it gets spread far and wide.

  • fondatorey

    I see this as the use of the media to reward a person who performed a service for the ruling class in our country. In return for her standing up for the right of abortion clinics to be filthy and unprofessional t (as an aside, lets face it what kind of doc is going to go into the abortion business business but a quack or headcase) she gets national media face time and even gets treated like a trendsetter/fashion model for a day. Many sell themselves for less.

  • Billiamo

    Devastating. And so very true.

  • Dbom


  • Sarah

    Funny thing is, the owner of the company that makes those shoes is a republican. He donated a bunch of money to the Romney campaign.

  • Pablo

    Likewise, a pro-abortion flame-fanner choosing to wear #standwithWendy pink — “rouge red” — sneakers reminds us that she proceeds through the red blood and shredded pink tissue, sucked out brains, collapsed skulls
    and snipped necks of those who will never be — human beings who have
    been slain, and are being slain, martyrs for the sake of…well…not Christ?

    Not Christ = Moloch. And yes, they’re worshiping him though they’re largely unaware of it.

  • Patty

    I don’t want to give anyone the impression I am following her lead, that’s for sure. I tend to think some people can take the idea of giving scandal to extremes, but in this case I can see a problem I don’t want any part of.

  • alwr

    Oh, calm down and wear your shoes. They are just cute sneakers. They do not have deep meaning. This is a blogger searching too hard for an analogy.

  • yodacat

    Maybe Wendy just likes pin.

  • Gail Finke

    I like the red shoes. I don’t care what shoes that Wendy person wears.

  • Gail Finke

    I think Elizabeth is spot on in the analogy but I agree with the first part — just wear the shoes. After a couple of days no one is going to remember them.

  • Skay

    I now understand the meaning of the red shoes that the Pope wore. Thank you for this post Elizabeth.

  • Eolia

    oh how I loved Benedict’s red shoes. I love red and they were so beautifully made. The press and some Catholics obsession on making fun of them, well that is one way to distract people from listening to a great teacher.

  • Ian Pryce jr

    Thank you for the great article. I did not know the history of the papal red shoes. We have so much wonderful history…

  • Erik

    They’re just shoes. Relax.