Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ratzinger Is the Perfect Pope, Benedict Should Not Resign?

     Yesterday, I posted  why Pope Benedict XVI should resign (not that I think that he will).  It is only fair that I present opposing opinions, such as the view of the Vatican's official spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi, hot off the press at the Washington Post:
     Lombardi said still relatively isolated suggestions that the pope himself should resign were "obviously coming from those who do not understand the Catholic Church.  This is not some multinational company where the chief executive is expected to take responsibility," Lombardi said. "The pope is not personally directing the actions of priests around the world. He is their spiritual leader, and he is one who has acted very clearly to confront this problem."  Describing the attacks on the pope as unfair, Lombardi said Benedict has "in fact acted swiftly" to address allegations of sex abuse.  
     All I will say is that you can delegate power but not responsibility, and did I not use arguments from Catholic theology for why the pope should resign.  Lombardi doesn't understand logic.  In fact, the pope did not "act swiftly" to address allegations of sexual abuse.  The proof is in the documents.

     Here is another argument for why Pope Benny should not resign, proposed by  Richard Dawkins' in the Washington Post:

     "Should the pope resign?"
     No. As the College of Cardinals must have recognized when they elected him, he is perfectly - ideally - qualified to lead the Roman Catholic Church. A leering old villain in a frock, who spent decades conspiring behind closed doors for the position he now holds; a man who believes he is infallible and acts the part; a man whose preaching of scientific falsehood is responsible for the deaths of countless AIDS victims in Africa; a man whose first instinct when his priests are caught with their pants down is to cover up the scandal and damn the young victims to silence: in short, exactly the right man for the job. He should not resign, moreover, because he is perfectly positioned to accelerate the downfall of the evil, corrupt organization whose character he fits like a glove, and of which he is the absolute and historically appropriate monarch.
     No, Pope Ratzinger should not resign. He should remain in charge of the whole rotten edifice - the whole profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gorging, truth-hating, child-raping institution - while it tumbles, amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and preposterously crowned virgins, about his ears.
     Dawkins has changed my mind.  The pope should not resign.  Benno should be a real captain and go down with the ship.  Of course, as he does, Ben will continue to lock innocent children in steerage, while he offers the lifeboats to his pedophile-priests and company-line-toting bishops.  H.M.S. Benedict is going down faster than the Titanic.
Picture via Pam's House Blend

Passover vs. Easter

     Last night at class, a student complained that the department has events scheduled this weekend on Friday and Saturday nights.  The student was angry because these nights are holy days for Christians, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.  

     All of this was preached to the professors, who team-teach the large lecture, except for the one professor, who was absent because she was celebrating Passover, which had started a hour earlier at sunset.  There were also about ten Jewish students who chose to miss class due to their religious observance.

     For the angry Christian student, having a mandatory class on Passover is okay, but having optional events on Good Friday and Holy Saturday is an attack on Christianity.  

     Sometimes Christians are so dumb!

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Ricky Martin Stops Listening to the Lies, Hate, and Fear and Comes Out

     Yesterday, Ricky Martin posted a heartfelt letter on his website in which he stated, "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man."

     In the letter he admits and takes responsibility for the silence and duplicity that he lived for years in the spotlight.  He discusses the difficulty that he had coming to a place where he could be honest about who he is.

     I found his description of what others were telling him over the years very similar to the closeted voices of priests and seminarians that I heard back in the days when I wanted to come out.
     Many people told me: "Ricky it's not important", "it's not worth it", "all the years you've worked and everything you've built will collapse", "many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature". Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided to move on with my life not sharing with the world my entire truth. Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage. Today I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions.
     Those voices, those people that claim to love but tell someone to lie about who they are, those are the voices of the Gospel According to Hate.

     Ricky, I'm proud of you.  You broke through the shame and fear.  Welcome to the other side.  Much peace and joy to you, my brother.

Christian Militia Busted by FBI for Plotting Insurrection against Government

     As the old hymn goes: "We are one in the Spirit [sic], we are one in the Lord [sic].  We pray that all unity may one day be restored and they'll know we are Christians by our guns, by our guns.  Yes, they'll know we are Christian by our love (of guns)."
Photo from Hutaree.com.

     Last week, self-proclaimed new-Isaiah Sarah Palin wrote on Twitter: "Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: 'Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!' Pls see my Facebook page."  This week a group of right-wing Christians heeded her advice, and they are the ones going to jail.

     A right-wing Christian group named the Hutaree (a word the group's founder David B. Stone Sr. made up that means "Christian warriors"), says Jesus would lock and load and fire at the U.S. government.

     The Hutaree Web site features the motto “Preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive” and a video showing rifle-toting men in camouflage running through woods and firing weapons. “Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment,” the Web site says, adding, “The Hutaree will one day see its enemy and meet him on the battlefield if so God wills it.”
     Jesus wanted the Hutaree to use "equipment" to incite violence.  I don't remember that word being in the bible, just like stem cell research, abortion, global warming, evolution, etc., you know, the things right-wing groups claim the bible explicitly says are immoral or fake.  Proof-texting hypocrites!

     Thankfully, the FBI busted the Hutaree before they could start their parousia-inducing attack on the government.  (Palin also believes the apocalypse is near.)  The Times:
     In an indictment against the nine [Hutaree] unsealed on Monday, the Justice Department said they were part of a group of apocalyptic Christian militants who were plotting to kill law enforcement officers in hopes of inciting an antigovernment uprising, the latest in a recent surge in right-wing militia activity.  
     The court filing said the group, which called itself the Hutaree, planned to kill an unidentified law enforcement officer and then bomb the funeral caravan using improvised explosive devices based on designs used against American troops by insurgents in Iraq.  
    Why is it that if people of color or Muslims insight violence against the government it's call terrorism, but if a group of white Christians do it's called a militia?

     Eight defendants were arrested over the weekend in raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, the Justice Department said. The authorities arrested the Stones’ eldest son, Joshua M. Stone, 21, shortly before 9 p.m. Monday in Pittsford, Mich., about 20 miles west of his family’s home, an F.B.I. spokeswoman, Sandra Berchtold, said.
     I say lock them up and load 'em into the maximum security loony bin (especially for the mullet).