Tommy Mischke is a Minnesota legend and a treasure, though you’ve probably not heard of him if you’re not from here. He’s a singer-songwriter, but he’s mainly known as a long-time radio host, known for weird gags, drunk callers, and long periods of silence. Rumor has it that he may be returning to Twin Cities radio (and on a clear channel station, so that many of you around the country will be able to hear him from 10-midnight Central Time on 830 AM — plus, of course, online).
Recently, Mischke has also been penning a column for the Twin Cities alt weekly, City Pages. In this week’s installment, he writes about growing up Catholic, and how he saw even then the origins of what would become the present pedophilia scandal:
As a grade-school kid, the Jesus I was taught to embrace was unlike any adult I’d ever encountered. He was dirt poor, humble, and a bit shabby in appearance. He hung out with the poor, the sick, the outcasts, and pariahs, but he didn’t lament their company. I didn’t know a single adult like him in my parish.
The Jesus the nuns taught me to cherish did something no adult I knew could pull off with conviction: He didn’t lecture the sinners or avoid them, but embraced them with breathtaking compassion. He seemed to genuinely treasure them, without judgment. As a child it was the most startling thing I’d ever encountered.
Too bad they had to temper it by shifting my attention to Rome.
To this day I remain stunned the church doesn’t see what even a young boy could see the first time he was given the chance. A church that holds up a poor carpenter’s kid as its ideal presents a leader who, symbolically anyway, seems to emulate the Roman emperors instead.
Doesn’t the church find it incongruent that the world of the Vatican is so royal and opulent? Everything about it drips with abundance and authority. Where’d that broke Jewish guy go?