Category Archives: Roman Catholic Church

Religious FB posts

Hi!

Glad to be back writing. Work had eaten up almost all my spare time, so I didn’t have the time to write. But now that I’m on pre-retirement training leave (that’s for another post) I hope to get back into a regular schedule.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

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I’ve been noticing that many of my FaceBook friends are posting heavily mystical visuals about god. This started after the American elections in early November. Perhaps the results made them think the deity had his/her hand in our politics. Of course, it’s nonsense to think that. How would the alleged supreme being choose sides in an election like ours? We had the first black president running for a second term (an historical first) against a true blue Mormon who, I don’t doubt, believes that his religion is absolutely correct. I can’t see how a god could choose sides and still remain the same lovable, caring, sadistic, incompetent being he is described to be in the so-called holy scriptures.

But of course, that’s a silly statement because god simply doesn’t exist. If one finally has the balls to accept that premise, all the other claptrap, ritual, rules, and writings of all religions simply slips away. Amazingly freeing thing to do, you know.

Some FB friends continue to forward posts like one that shows a radiant figure in white and blue robes apparently standing effortlessly among gorgeous clouds against a blue sky. Hard to say how big he is, but you have to look carefully to find him because his colors blend into the sky. The message is from an entity called “Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior” and the substance of the communication is “Like in 2 seconds if you believe”. My dear FB friend ‘liked’ that message. I’m sorry to see that, because it suggests she is buying into all the bullshit religion is built on. I doubt she ever saw some heavenly being in the clouds, and if she did see that, she needs to see some professional for help.

Once again, religion feeds us what we’d like to believe, not what is. I’d like to own a Rolls Royce. Do I expect to get a post showing a picture of a Rolls resplendently alone on a lonely road in an American desert? Should I ‘like’ that image in 2 seconds if I believe in Rolls Royce? Such nonsense.

Rolls-Royce

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Filed under Bible, Book of Mormon, Evangelicals, God, Quran, Religion, Roman Catholic Church

The Devil is the Catholic Church

His Emptiness, Pope Benedict XVI, has named a new archbishop for San Francisco, Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone. What makes this an unerringly unfit appointment is Cordileone’s militant homophobia. He was instrumental in orchestrating the Catholic Church’s opposition to gay marriage in California, and he is also one of only 18 prelates who have signed something called the Manhattan Declaration, a pledge to protect “the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty,” even if doing so means violating the law.

English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition

English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So what has Benedict done? Installed one of the most prominent anti-gay Catholic officials in the United States in one of the gayest cities in the 50 states. If that isn’t a slap in the fact to gays and lesbians, then it is one of the most ignorant actions a pope has taken in some time. It is clear the Church intends to continue to make life more difficult–if it can, and that’s questionable–for gays who still believe in the pablum the Church calls its magisterium, its teaching authority.

The Church hierarchy has, for centuries, declaimed same sex attraction as a sin. That is true even though homosexuality was rampant in the religious orders of both genders. They still cling to the damnable lie that gay sex is wrong. But they have let go of the other sins in the Old Testament, like killing witches (“A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.” Leviticus 20:27) or trimming your beard (“Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.” Leviticus 19:27).

The Catholic Church pursues this issue even though nothing in the New Testament indicates that Jesus had anything to say against gay men and women. That might be because the whole concept of sexuality was different in those times. The term ‘homosexuality’ was not even coined until the late 19th century. And still they persist.

While the Church avers that homosexual acts are the devil’s work, the truth is just the opposite. It is the Church that is the devil, pursuing what may be its final quarry because they have lost so much ground on the tenets of their faith. Very few Catholics in the US pay attention to the Church’s pronouncements. And why should they? The rantings of the old men in the Curia and an octogenarian pope who have never had sex (at least, that’s what they tell us!) have no relevance to the rest of us.

If you think about the issue of religion long and hard, and especially about Christianity, you will reach the point where you stop believing in god. And if there is no god, then all of the other crap churches, mosques, and synagogues have been broadcasting means absolutely nothing. The Catholic Church is now one of the enemies of progress, but unlike in the Middle Ages, when it had real power, it is a shadow of its former self. Benedict himself has proposed a smaller church with more hardcore believers, and the smaller the better.

For my brothers and sisters who still cling to the fantasy that is religion and are willing to suffer abuse and discrimination in this life in the hope of having an eternity of joy in heaven, I have two words for you: Stop It! It is bunk!

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Filed under Gay rights, Hatred, Homophobia, Human rights, Hypocrisy, LGBT, Religion, Roman Catholic Church

Dog Days of Summer Starting Earlier?

John Roberts - Caricature

John Roberts – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Here it is, June 22, and the days are starting to get shorter again. The heat is up in the east, and it’s settling in nicely in the west for its long summer run. Normally, things slow down come August, but it appears the dog days are starting earlier this year, especially for us bloggers.

Look at politics. Chief Justice John Roberts has signaled, by actually saying nothing, that the SCOTUS will probably go into overtime on finalizing its opinion on the Health Care law. If it’s another 5-4 decision split exactly according to the politics of the appointing president (i.e.: the 5 votes belong to justices appointed by Republican presidents, etc.), then summer could start heating up pretty quickly. It might be that an issue that affects all of us, and which almost half of us oppose (the bill in general) but less than 40% support it, being decided by a single vote could truly put many noses out of joint. It would be to the country’s advantage if the justices were able to decide 6-3 or 7-2. But as of today it’s all quiet on the Potomac.

Mitt Robme is said to be softening his views on immigration. That is, he’s willing to consider granting green cards to immigrants who serve in the military. That’s sweet, but it is like Caligula deciding to spare a Christian in the Coliseum because the emperor felt he’d do well in the Pretorian guard. Robme’s thinking simply excludes any immigrants who won’t serve. So the Republican grand plan to deal with the 11 million Hispanics in the country without documents is to allow those who can join the military to become citizens.

Mittster

Mittster (Photo credit: DoubleSpeak Media)

Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s a step, but even smaller than a baby step. Yes, it’s true that, based on the Social Security Administrations analysis of the age groups of undocumented immigrants, most are below thirty. So the question becomes, just how many of those young people can and will enlist? And that’s where we left the Mittster, trying to score points with Hispanics by softening his originally razor-sharp opposition to those people he assumed would “self-deport” when they couldn’t get jobs here.

The Roman Catholic Church is quiet today, too. No more scandals about child abuse have been reported, no chants of Catholic-bashing, and no Vatican tongue-lashings for nuns are evident. We must thank God for that. I’m sure She’s taking a breather, too.

For a blogger, this is slim pickings. There’s no really juicy story to respond to or to explain. Maybe it’s good that it comes at the end of the work week, when I can recharge my batteries with two days off.

Let’s hope for more scandal and false pieties next week!

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Filed under Barack Obama, Congress, Hispanic, Hypocrisy, Immigration, Immigration reform, Politics, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Supreme Court

Move On, Sister, Move On!

In a wonderfully written op-ed piece in today’s New York Times, Bill Keller finally agrees with the head of the Catholic League, Bill Donahue. This is a major event, because, clearly, according to many arch-conservative Catholics,  Keller is a liberal, anti-Catholic bigot (he does work for the NYT, you know) while every evening, Donahue gets down on his knees and asks God if He’s got any questions. Calling Donahue the Rottweiler’s Rottweiler because he is more doctrinaire that the original Rottweiler, the current pope, Keller acknowledges the simple truth that, like the Republican party, the Roman Catholic Church has moved to the extreme right. For those people who are hoping to open windows in the Church and let in fresh ideas and modern thinking,  making it a more inclusive institution, it’s time to wake up and smell the incense.

To those American nuns expecting  a dialogue in Rome regarding whether they are rogue, Keller’s advice is not to hold their breath. As he writes, nothing is going to change this century.

I gained this insight years ago. When I was a teenager, I harbored thoughts of becoming a priest. Luckily, my parents never fanned those flames by letting me become an altar boy or sending me to Catholic school. In my first semester at college I took a course called Judaeo-Christian tradition, and it involved actually reading sections of the Bible. Thinking back to all the masses I went to as a youth, I realized we never really read those books in the Bible, but had them spoon fed to us by priests. Once I actually read the text, doubt began to grow about the truth of this book. I began to listen more carefully to the sermons given in Sunday mass. One day, the gospel reading was about the devil going about “as a roaring lion.” The old pastor giving the sermon stared out at the congregation and thundered, “Make no mistake about it. The devil is real, and he’s out there.” It was at that point I realized I couldn’t go back to mass again. What was said was nonsense.

Over the years I explored different faiths, but always came back to my own and wondered why it acted so in opposition to what it preached. I finally came to the conclusion that I didn’t need the Catholic church any more, because it clearly did not need or have room for me. And I’m here to say that I’m fine, at peace, and more content than I ever thought possible.

My advice to Catholics disappointed with their Church is leave. Don’t waste any more energy trying to change the institutional church. It’s not going to happen. And when you think about it, as Keller points out, there have been rifts and schisms in the Church for thousands of years. Go find something better for you, where you feel accepted and at home. I know for people in the religious life this sounds horrible, but you don’t want to stay in a religion because of fear. There is a Zen saying to remember: “Jump, and the net will appear.”

The Church can fend for itself, but if significant numbers of Catholics walked away from its ignorance, sexism, homophobia, and downright rigidity, it would be a good day.

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Catholic Church: Abusive clergy, WTF; Rogue nuns, HERETICS!

Pope Benedictus XVI

Pope Benedictus XVI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The New York Times reports today that the Roman Catholic hierarchy in this country is moving heaven and hell to prevent states from loosening their statute of limitations laws regarding child molestation charges. After all, as Patrick Brannigan, executive director of the New Jersey Catholic Conference put it, “How can an institution successfully defend itself against a claim that is 40, 50, or 60 years old?” The point, Mr. Brannigan, is that it can’t even defend itself against a 5 year old claim. The church turned a blind eye on its abusive priests because they were priests, called by God, and apparently protected by the Vatican. The hypocrisy is mind-blowing, especially when you compare it to the campaign being waged against American nuns for not being doctrinal enough to speak out against abortion and same-sex marriage. This the bishops and cardinals feel comfortable speaking up about in public, yet they block investigations and litigation of child abuse charges against priests any way they can.

Of course Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League for the Preservation of Religious and Civil Rights in the United States (such a lofty title for such an empty-headed individual) will scream bloody murder that the NYT is engaging in Catholic-bashing once again. He has no grounds. His bishops and cardinals provide the proof. It is looking more likely that the old Kraut, Benedict XVI, was right in suggesting a ‘pruning of the church’, making it smaller but more orthodox. For the Donahues of this world, that would be great, and it would relieve the rest of us of the nonsensical postures assumed by the princes and barons of the church. Each year the Roman Catholic Church becomes less and less relevant to living human beings. I urge the church to hurry it up.

In the meanwhile, it would be well to focus in on two of the more egregious examples of the Church’s mendacity. Here is Bernard Cardinal Law, whisked out of Boston to a see in Rome so that he wouldn’t face the ignominy of a trial for hiding sexual offenders in his clergy. And Timothy Cardinal Dolan, a big blowhard, with such a forced bonhomie that is truly difficult to digest, even simply listening to him on the radio. He is, apparently, even more conservative that the pope, but His Emptiness was not above paying off abusive priests to get them to resign. It is getting more and more difficult to even write about the doings of my former church without recoiling in disgust.

Some legislators have offered plans to provide a limited time period-a window, so to speak-so other potential victims could come forward. As the NYT article noted this morning, “Joan Fitz-Gerald, former president of the Colorado Senate, who proposed the window legislation, was an active Catholic who said she was stunned to find in church one Sunday in 2006 that the archdiocese had asked priests to raise the issue during a Mass and distribute lobbying postcards.

“It was the most brutal thing I’ve ever been through,” she said of the church campaign. “The politics, the deception, the lack of concern for not only the children in the past, but for children today.” She has since left the church.”

Amen.

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 18:  Former a...

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN – FEBRUARY 18: Former archbishop of Boston, Bernard Law, (R) reads while newly appointed cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan (C), archbishop of New York, receives congratulations from cardinals at the Saint Peter’s Basilica on February 18, 2012 in Vatican City, Vatican. The 84-year-old Pontiff installed 22 new cardinals during the ceremony, who will be responsible for choosing his sucessor. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

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Filed under Hypocrisy, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Sex offenders