People are pretty excited about Pope Francis being here in the United States. Heck, people get excited wherever His Holiness an his bulletproof chariot go—throngs of hysterically screaming and sobbing and straight up freaking out fans who have devoted their lives to his mythology unable to contain their emotional outpourings at his very presence. But here’s the thing: Swap out the pope and insert the Beatles, or for you youngsters One Direction, or, hell, any pop star du jour, and you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference in the crowd’s reaction.
Sure, one group will have beaded necklaces and one will have Day-Glo faux leather jackets. But, swag aside, when you boil it down to a chemical response, there appears to be little to differentiate one mob of frothing fans from another. They’re all overcome with emotion, and they’re all piously hanging onto their chosen oracle’s every word. Seems that, at the end of the day, religion is where you find it—whether it’s a in a bible or a band. Everyone needs something to believe in, right?