Friday, July 29, 2005

Pope Speaks, No One Listens 

If there's such a thing as a lame duck pope, I think Ratzo I is it. Whenever John Paul II opened his yap about anything, it made the national news. Pope Ratzo isn't quite having that luck, unless he's bitching about Harry Potter. But, his words actually bring hope to the rationalists of the world:
Pope Benedict XVI lamented the seemingly "dying" church in Europe and the United States and raised questions about the soaring number of priests in Asia and Africa in a lengthy, off-the-cuff speech to Italian priests.
He was also shrewd -- or stupid -- enough to mention that some of the priests in third world nations might be taking on the jobs so they could basically have high status and perqs. Well, duh. And that's part of the point. In the modern world, there's really no benefit to being a priest. Hell, they've even taken away the "molest young boys for free" card in the US, Australia and Europe. So, what's left? A life of poverty and celibacy? No thanks.

Once upon a time, the church was a refuge for the younger children of big Catholic families who realized they weren't like the others, but could have an excuse for never marrying if they went into the priesthood or nunnery. Thanks to the western world pulling their heads out of their asses (mostly) on that issue, an entire generation of Catholics has grown up realizing they don't have to go into a religious life just because they like the same sex. And I think they've also realized they can do more good for the world not serving an institution that still supports superstition or bigotry. Hey, like it or not, Ratzo, the thing that the western world has given up is fear of invisible beings in the sky. Notwithstanding crazed religious bigots in America, while a majority of Americans claim to be Christian, I'm sure that some deeper quizzing would reveal that their beliefs extend as far as thinking that Jesus really was resurrected, maybe, and if they're good, and think pure thoughts, and think that Jesus is god, they'll get into heaven.

And believing in Santa will get you presents on December 25th...

Of course, from what I read online, people in Asia and Africa are still deeply superstitious. Major media in Asia reported the case of a girl who suddenly became a boy when she was 21 -- an event that would probably break down in an instant were it put to the scrutiny of Western Science. Can you say "late puberty", "tiny dick", "big clit", or "hermaphrodite"? And, in Africa, people are still killed by mobs because enough people believe that a witch doctor can toss a spell and steal a penis. This kind of thinking is made for devout Catholicism -- or any other devout belief in the ridiculous.

So, to recap... it's no surprise that people become priests in large numbers in Asia and Africa, either for economic gain or because they're just more likely to believe bullshit. And it's no surprise that people in Europe, the US and Australia don't fall for that crap as much anymore. And it's less than no surprise that Pope Ratzo can spew off about it and get hardly any coverage.

I give the Catholic Church about two more generations before they get shuffled off into the margains, and are regarded with the same condescending head tilt as Scientology. And that's a good thing. The less infected the west is by religion, the better.

Way wrong, man.
Which part, and would you like to argue the contrary, instead of just disagreeing?
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