"As I watched the pope’s helicopter sail off from Vatican City with an escort of angels taking him to some forlorn monastery, I wished the fuckin’ thing would crash! No bull. Hey, I’m a nice guy. Did I really write that? I sure did, underscored and I’ll put in bold print.
"I’m a proponent of chaos theory. The flap of a butterfly’s wing can cause cataclysmic changes given time and distance. A seemingly insignificant event can change the world and the course of history. A good example is Archduke Ferdinand’s chauffeur checking a map after getting lost in Sarajevo and taking the exact street which would lead him directly in front of the café where Gavrito Princip was enjoying coffee after a hectic day. We all know what happened. In less than five years, 137 million people were either killed or wounded, a half million in this country and we were in it only one year.
"That’s chaos theory. If the chauffeur had gotten discouraged and given up, even World War II might not have happened. In fact, all our lives have been changed by a lowly chauffeur 99 years ago.
"When the moron was running against Senator Kerry in 2004, some staff member got the bright idea of soliciting Pope John Paul II’s support. Bush was losing only slightly and an extra nudge might push him over the victory line. As it turned out, he won by a slim majority.
"The idea was to use the abortion issue as a carrot to bait the pope into using his power as a world leader to exhort and solicit votes for the incumbent president. John Paul II referred the request for support to a cryptic Vatican society called Opus Dei whose director at the time happened to be a Cardinal Ratzinger. Dutifully, the cardinal saw the political “writing on the wall” and mailed out letters to all American bishops. The instruction was to use their religious and political influence to get their parishioners to vote for W. I can see it in my mind, these righteous scum bags haranguing and berating church-goers about abortion. “Abortion is abomination,” right? Therefore God demands you vote for Bush.
"The sermons were so galvanizing and stimulating that thousands of Catholics jumped on the Bush bandwagon. It was more than enough to determine the outcome. W. Bush was the 43rd president due to Ratzinger’s power and interference. The direction of the world was emphatically determined—the path toward more war and more corporate profits for the military and defense industries. Since Bush was elected the country and the world have suffered immeasurable adversities, including thousands of American kids killed, maimed or psychologically traumatized—not to mention trillions of dollars in destroyed materiel.
"It’s the underhandedness and secrecy that pisses me off. Same thing in the California Proposition 8 issue last year, the gay right to marry bill. The pope had his long pious fingers pulling strings in that one also. We all know what happened.
"To sprinkle salt on the wound and twist the knife, Pope John Paul II died the next year and who should miraculously become pope? Ratzinger.
"Are you ready? Pope Benedict XVI capriciously decided to visit the U.S. as his predecessor was a world traveler. As soon as he landed in Dulles International Airport, President George Walker Bush, the 43rd president of the United State, all smiles and gooey gratitude, came running out, and would have kissed the holy father on the lips (French style) if given the chance. In doing so, Bush broke all historical protocol; an American president never has left the White House purposely to greet somebody.
"Here’s the whopper. See if you still admire and respect the Pope Emeritus after this one:
"THERE ARE NO PRIESTS OR OTHER CLERGY LISTED ON THE NATIONAL LIST OF SEX OFFENDERS."
I believe the ex-pope should be arrested for giving aid and comfort to and hiding criminals!
Something to consider:
Mother Teresa was exposed by Christopher Hitchens in his book, The Missionary Position, as well as by his shorter though no less scathing piece he wrote for Slate.com. I suggest that The Same Be Done with Joseph Ratzinger and EVERY SUBSEQUENT POPE!!! The blunt end of the stick is that these supposed leaders of peace carry with them a balance sheet as skewed as Ma. Teresa, and they deserve to be vetted and exposed as much as the Hitch did the same to her.
Catholics venerate these bastards because they are trained to. Non-catholics do the same for very similar reasons, though they shouldn't feel in any way compelled to do so. It's time to put the facts of the case of the RC church before the public and let it judge how to treat this misbegotten organization. When Hitchens and his cohort, Stephen Fry, posited that the catholic church is NOT a force for good in the world in the Intelligence-Squared debate of 2009, their arguments utterly crushed their ill-prepared opponents. It's time those arguments got a wider airing and that people came to understand both sides of the RC church.
I'll be honest, Joan, I haven't watched either Archbishop Onaiyekan or Ms. Widdecombe, mostly because I had no desire to be constantly cringing and shouting at the screen as they blathered on, failing to recognize the failure of the institution they were tasked with defending. It's like trying to listen to William Lane Craig, though I'm not certain whether he is worse for the long-since-dismantled arguments he continues to spout or the hapless and hopeless rhetoric of Onaiyekan and Widdecombe.
I just know I don't like to listen to it and if I don't have to, I don't.
Loren, good for you. You must not have as much curiosity as I do. I watched that Craig fellow for just a few minutes and his whine got to me.
OK folks, go with Loren's link and add on the one with Fry. He is good. Except, you will miss the responses of Hitchens and Fry; they speak volumes with their eyes.
I want to be more militant than I am and I respect the right of others to be more polite. I like the blood and guts of Emma Goldman and Madalyn Murray O'Hair and Christopher Hitchens and Fry. Is there a militant group on Atheist Nexus?
I am not aware of Emma Goldman, and the only real exposure I have had to Madalyn Murray was in her Playboy interview back in the 60s, and I was not positively impressed by her appearance there. Hitchens, by comparison, was mild-mannered when compared to that particular encounter, though I will grant you that Hitch had his moments as well, particularly in saying "fuck you" to those who would suggest the goodness of threatening to gut one's kid to prove their faith.
Frankly, I am not certain that "blood and guts" is needed to be a convincing proponent. Inarguable and unremitting facts, delivered firmly and without apology in a style the brooks no quarter, may do just as well. Of course, we all have our own personal styles and comfort zones. Far be it from me to suggest there is only one valid approach.
Loren, as usual, your voice of reason makes good sense. I will confess I never heard a speech by either woman, I did respect their taking a strong stand on atheism and I like that and I agreed with their principles.
Hitchens made me very nervous at first, but I never found him to be dishonest. I found nothing he said to be incorrect. I didn't like him then; I read what others had learned, and talked to people who worked with Mother Teresa who were disillusioned; she had a very large number of enemies. They confirmed Hitchens.
So, I guess I can calm down, take a deep breath and go have lunch.
The Intelligence Squared Debate - Catholic church is a force for good
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kuzYwzGoXw part 1 Archbishop John Onaiyekan & Hitchens
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AloG_pu1zmc part 2 Hitchens & Ann Widdencombe MP
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRpuFfGvEIc part 3 Ann Widdencombe MP & Stephen Fry
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnBq-pFrACU part 4 Stephen Fry
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ghdt7Qv3u_Q part 5 audience * result of debate.
I bet there are some clergy on lists of sex offenders. I don't have the ambition to find out, but given there are arrests and in some cases convictions, I don't see how it could be otherwise.
Wow! I had no idea that Opus Dei had a hand in the Bush dynasty.