On my website
, I try to keep up to date with Pat Condell's videos. He's got 60 videos, so far, and I have the first 58 of them on my Videos page. His latest 2, on YouTube, are only available from the Pat Condell channel for now -- there's no embed code yet. His video #59 (The Arrogance of Clergy
) is the best one so far, in my opinion. He really knocks this one out of the park.
I saw, under his YouTube video, the following statement:
"You can also translate the videos into any language and post the translated version on your own site if you wish to.
So I've translated it from spoken English to written English :-). Here's the translation.
Although I’m an atheist and a secularist and about as anti-religion as it’s possible to be, I have no problem with anyone believing in God if that’s how they want to live their lives. In fact, for some people, believing in a false God – and this one is false, because they all are – can be quite therapeutic in the way that, say, artificial daylight can help with the winter blues.
But personal faith and public religion are completely different things. When religion goes public, it stops being spiritual and it becomes political; usually running on the moral hypocrisy ticket. And because it claims divine authority, demanding unconditional submission and obedience from outside the bounds of reason, it despises democracy as much as it despises women and homosexuals (so, quite a lot then). And, therefor, it’s always working toward theocracy; toward strengthening the power and status of clergy. Public religion exists for the sole benefit of clergy and clergy exists for the sole benefit of clergy: and this is a pivotal point to understand. Personal faith – spirituality – whatever you want to call it, doesn’t need to be administered and policed by a privileged class of clerical fascists. Whereas public religion not only depends on clergy: they
depend on it
. Neither can exist without the other and neither is, actually, necessary. And they know this, of course, which is why their proxy religion is all about guilt and submission and obedience – NOT enlightenment – are you kidding? That’s the last thing they want: because enlightened people don’t need clergy.
Why do you think the Pope tells Catholics obedience to the doctrine of the church is the foundation of your faith? Not the sermon on the mount . . . not loving your neighbor . . . obedience is YOUR foundation. Of course it is. It has to be: because the alternative is for you to looking into your own heart -- and that the last place these parasites want you looking because that’s where the bullshit detector is.
Now, I’ve heard clergy referred to as many things: sky pilots and dog-collared vampires . . . humanity’s headlights is one of my favorites but I don’t think those epithets do justice to the true inequity of the clerical profession, which I believe is engaged in the willful misdirection of the human race. Like alchemists who specialize in turning gold into lead, clergy seek to eliminate as much creativity and pleasure as possible to effectively neutralize the human experience and persuade us that this life isn’t good enough. They claim moral authority when their track record shows that words, religion and moral, don’t even belong in same sentence, any more than the words, creation and science, or Islamic and education, or biblical and sense. In fact, the only moral that any sane person takes from religion is “don’t believe everything you read in books”.
Whenever some senior clergyman is quoted in the media, he goes out of his way to portray secular opinion as a form of extremism: when it’s they, themselves, that are the extremists, insisting that we deny the evidence of our own senses, not only to prove a raft of unprovable absurdities, but to let them dictate many aspects of our lives. How much more extreme do you want it?
There are no depths to which these people won’t sink to reinforce their crappy dogma. Condoms, for example. We all know that the Catholic Church doesn’t like birth control, which is a little odd, as it favors just about every other form of control. But to knowingly give false information, about life and death issues, to people who are compelled to obey, as the Pope did a few months ago, and as Catholic clergy do quite routinely in Africa, is cynical and inhuman and should be treated as attempted murder.
Every public utterance from a senior clergyman is designed to disempower us and to disconnect us from the planet that gives us life; because they don’t want us grounded in any way. So they tell us that we don’t even belong in this world. We’re far too good for this sinful place because we’re sacred and special. Yeah. Right. We’re so special we’ve got to spend our whole lives on our knees, apologizing for stuff that we have nothing to do with.
Why do you think all the good stuff about religion happens in the future, and not in the present: not at the only point of actual contact that you have with reality, and therefor, the only point you have any power? That’s reserved for prayer and penance, and despising the human condition. Far better than for you to focus on that glorious future and, while you’re waiting for it to arrive: indeed, while you’re waiting for you life to end, so that it CAN arrive, what better moment than the present to get down on your knees and say some prayers and do some penance (you can never do enough, you know that). And while you’re down there, apologizing for your existence, as usual, why not take a second to ask yourself a pretty obvious question to me, who benefits from your faith, in the here and now, where it actually counts? Who reaps the earthly rewards, as opposed to the less tangible heavenly ones in the happily-ever-after-land that you’ve been promised?
Let me ask you something . . . How many people do you know of who live in a palace? A handful, right? How many of those people are Christian clergyman and what the bloody hell do you suppose they think they’re doing there? Surely, any clergyman who lives in a palace, has missed the point and the message of Jesus by a country mile. You don’t need to be a theologian to know this: a child could point out that this man hasn’t even begun to understand the lesson he’s supposed to be teaching others. He is merely acting out a role, like a trained monkey. He isn’t remotely qualified to hold the position he does and, in holding it as he does, he debases it and renders it meaningless.
The Archbishop of Canterbury . . . now, you remember him, of course. He’s the unprincipled quisling, who wants Sharia law implemented in Britain because it’s religious law and because, for him, religion comes first and people come second. And, here, in Britain, we’ve come quite used to being lectured by this man about selflessness and nonmaterialism from the comfort of one of his two magnificent palaces. That’s right, two palaces, conveniently situated about an hour’s drive from each other. I’ve actually mentioned this before but I’m having to do it again because I still can’t quite believe it myself. His colleague, the Archbishop of York – another media moralist with plenty to say for himself – lives, guess where? In a palace. Of course he does. Where else would he live? Anything less would be an insult to Jesus. Isn’t that right? And as for the rest of them: the bishops, the archbishops and the cardinals – none of those bastards would dirty their feet on anything less than a mansion. Of course, we all know about the Pope and his massive palace . . . in fact he presides over an entire city that doubles as a sovereign state, over which he is sole ruler. Nice work, if you can get it.
Meanwhile, where are you? Still on your knees, praying for salvation, by any chance? Well, if so, keep it up, because your favorite televangelist needs to buy himself a new private jet – with your money – in Jesus’ name, of course. That Jesus, he’s going to be a very wealthy young man if he comes back, isn’t he? With all that stuff that’s been bought in his name, all that crude, extravagant, unnecessary, luxury. I wonder what he’ll think when he realizes that the image of his grisly death on the cross has been turned into the most lucrative money-grubbing logo in human history. And that 2000 years on, it’s still raking in mountains of cold hard cash, mostly from poor people. I wonder if Jesus will allow himself a twinge of conscience, and reflect that perhaps he is the one who should be repenting and not us. And that it’s he who should be ask our forgiveness for allowing his name to be hijacked and exploited by these cynical, life-sucking, criminals. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
In the meantime, turn to religion if you really have to for comfort if its all you’ve got to lean on but whatever you do, don’t turn to religion for the truth. Religion doesn’t know the truth. And these men are living proof of that. If by some miracle they were to stumble upon the truth, they would hide it to protect their stinking dogma in the way that it protects them. How obvious does it have to be that these are not men of humility and wisdom, which is kind of the Jesus model and really what we were looking for. But career politicians, petty, small-minded, status obsessed, ego-bound, men; what a humiliating state for anyone claiming to be a spiritual teacher. The very Pharisees, in fact, that Jesus himself resisted. The ones obsessed with their own importance, their own grandiosity, with the status quo at any cost. With dogma over compassion every single time. The ones who behave as if people exist for the benefit of religion and not the other way around.
You know, I found out recently that the word, heretic, comes from the Greek word, hereticos, meaning, “able to choose” – which pretty much says it all. Don’t you think?
Peace. And God bless atheism.