Saturday, April 3, 2010

How Can the Vatican Be This Dumb?

Well, I think Pastor Mike has taken enough heat for one day, so let's now go onto another set of religious fools and derelicts- the Vatican. And the pope!

As I watched events this past week I sat in stunned silence as:

1. Benedict, approached by an ABC reporter for a comment- reached out his right hand and slapped the reporter's hands and wrists daintily- reminding me of a nun (Sr. Francesca) I once had in Catholic grammar school. (I thought then if Benedict was ever forced to resign, he'd definitely make a good nun!)

2. A cardinal in the U.S. defended Il Papa Benedict by asserting that the world media's slings and arrows have tortured Benedict like Jesus was tortured in his passion.


3. A senior Vatican priest (Raniero Catalamessa) - speaking on Good Friday- compared the world's outrage at the sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church to the persecution of the Jews.

The last has to be especially choice. Especially as it was none other than the Vatican which assisted known Nazis and SS murderers, butchers to escape along the infamous "rat lines" to South America, after World War II. The sub-cabal charged with this was called Intermarium and it was Intermarium, in collusion with the U.S. (which needed Nazi espionage insights for its newly launched O.S.S.- later CIA) responsible for smuggling Nazis out of Europe- to the USA and South America.

All of these points have since been confirmed and extended in Aarons and Loftus book: 'Unholy Trinity: The Vatican, The Nazis and The Swiss Banks' . Interested readers may also want to go here:

What amazes me is that with all this history, which evidently the Vatican thinks the rank and file of people are too stupid to dig up - they can make such outrageous comments. This particular odious remark by Catalamessa is barely worse than one I heard from a Fundie appearing on the Phil Donahue show (MSNBC) in 2002, who opined - after Phil asked what will become of the Jews after they offer their homeland to the Christians for "Armageddon" purposes:

"Well, they are all gonna go to Hell, except for a chosen 144,000 who will get saved by the Lord and Savior Jesus"

The Vatican and Benedict are not only tone deaf on this issue of the massive worldwide abuse, but also morally "deaf" and bankrupt. They have used their pulpits and offices to make gratuitous inferences and attack the victims- rather than practice humility as their purported Savior admonished. The latest shtick from Catholic League bloviator Bill Donohue (also responsible for launching the attacks on the Golden Compass movie in 2008) is that the Church has been "singled out" for world wide opprobrium while equally massive abuse cases have occurred in other organizations, such as the Boy Scouts USA.

The problem with that is that it is the Roman Catholic Church which has always made the biggest deal out of sexual sins, whether masturbation, or "marital mutual masturbation" (the Church's cute term for married couples who have intercourse while using artificial birth control) to abortion and homosexuality. Thus, by attacking the victims, or trying to make specious excuses such as the priests are responsible- not the pope- they've disclosed themselves as moral cowards whose authority can and should be repudiated.

They are all worthless, certainly as arbiters of morality, and I'd warrant of fountains of truth as well- including any claims to "infallibility". Contrary to recent spin that "critics are trying to ensnare Church teachings on sexual morality in a contradictory dilemma" - the true fact is that the Church never had any authentically valid teachings in this sphere. Nearly all have been predicated on "natural law" teachings that don't hold up to scrutiny, and in addition the spurious equalization of gravity (in terms of "sin") of numerous sexual behaviors vis-a-vis mass murders, say) discloses an inherent logical incoherence that weakens the entire moral foundation. Thus, the Church has historically insisted (from "natural law") that a teen will go to "Hell" (in the state of mortal) sin, the exact same way that a mass murderer (like Jeffrey Dahmer) would - if the teen even commits one act of masturbation. This is irredeemable hogwash and tripe, and if this current abuse scandal causes the Church to back down and recant this idiocy, well and good! It was not all for nought.

What the ongoing Vatican and Papal nonsense shows more than anything is that people around the world need to grow up and have done with religions fully and finally. They don't need them, and so long as one has a brain to fill up the space between the ears, he or she can find their own way to a deity (if they need a deity- many of us don't require this crutch to inhabit reality). Indeed, as Philosopher Joseph Campbell once put it:[1]

"The psychologist Jung has a relevant saying: 'Religion is a defense against the experience of God.' The mystery has been reduced to a set of concepts and ideas, and emphasizing these concepts and ideas can short-circuit the transcendent, connoted experience."

In effect, IF people are really and truly looking for God, and not merely a crutch to salve their uncertainty and afterlife fears, then religion is about the worst way to do it. Religions, nearly all of them, interject a "middleman" or pseudo-authority between the god-seeker and the object of his quest, whether that be merely a brain morphism or transient spike in the temporal lobes, or what the seeker believes to be the "real McCoy".

Indeed, in so many religions, the search for deity is always contaminated and distracted by needless fears sown by those who would cling to their power as middle men at any cost. Of course, I am writing of the "Hell" bogey, which is a mere control device and nothing else (along with "Satan"). Both are used to keep the insecure in mental bondage, to prevent them from striking out on their own paths of spirtual exploration and self-knowledge.

Am I writing this to entice people to become atheists? Well, some would say so, but the truth is I am not. All I want is for people to loosen and break the chains holding them to spurious, detrimental religions - which stunt growth rather than advance it. I don't give a damn if a person wants to be an atheist or not. Truth be told, it's not for everyone, and I'd advise against it, until you go through a long, laborious period of searching first, like I did. (Alas, some - like my bro, appear to simplemindedly believe I just awakened one morning and decided to be an atheist. Not so, it was a decision made only after many decades of searching and finally realizing there is nothing there- no "god" who will save anyone from anything, since once you're dead that's it. There are no tomorrows, no harps, no heavenly clouds or ....for that matter, hells. It's finito)

Atheism is only for the toughest minded minority at the end of the day. Those who are prepared to be orphans in a purposeless cosmos, with no "Daddy Goddie" to hold their widdo hands. Those not intimidated by the religious bloviators in their midst, in the media or the larger culture. Those prepared to tell a "Pastor Mike", or Rev. Jim Jones, or Pope or any other pseudo-authority who presumes to speak for God, to stick it where the Sun don't shine.

[1] Joseph Campbell, in Masks of Eternity, in The Power of Myth, 1989 (Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers), Anchor Books, New York, p.261.:

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