1.  The Roman Catholic Church did not officially acknowledge that the Earth revolves around the sun until the mid 1990s.  Isn’t that just mind-boggling?

2.  Pastor Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS has conducted “over 40,089 peaceful demonstrations (to date) opposing the fag lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth”.  What a prick.  He’s probably a closet fag himself.

3.  The Southern Baptist Convention asserts that “[a] wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ”.  Blah blah blah.

4. Latter-day prophets strongly discourage the tattooing of the body.  Those who disregard this counsel show a lack of respect for themselves and for God”.  Yeah, try getting away with that line of bullshit in your neighborhood biker bar.

5.  L. Ron Hubbard, the science-fiction author turned founder of Scientology, once said: “Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion.”  Well, at least, as scoundrels go, he’s honest.

6.  Once… there were these bunch of Muslims, and they, like, decided to hijack some airplanes and they, like, killed all these people and totally made a mess of downtown NYC, because they, like, thought they’d get some virgins and olives in heaven and shit like that.

7.  The Catholics believe that Jesus was born to a woman who had never engaged in sexual intercourse.  We seem to take this one for granted, but it still never ceases to astound me.

8.  If I drive a Mazda, does that make me a Zoroastrian?


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South Carolina Roman Catholic priest Jay Scott Newman is stomping all over the line between church and state by telling those among his parishioners who voted for Obama that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion for doing so.  Why, do you ask?  Because Obama is pro-choice, and any good Catholic should know that voting for a pro-choice candidate “constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil”, as Newman put it.

Are you kidding me?  So, if you are a Catholic living in Greenville, South Carolina, and you voted for Obama, you don’t get to stand in line at church and have the dirty old man in the robe and big hat stick a stale cracker in your mouth – which is apparently some huge spiritual honor?  Honestly, I don’t get these people.

Isn’t this Newman guy stepping out of bounds here?  Overstepping his authority?  Making a very pointedly political statement from what is supposed to be a politically neutral post?  Isn’t this precisely why we don’t tax religion, so that we can have this clear separation?

TAX RELIGION! TAX RELIGION! TAX RELIGION! TAX RELIGION!

(Sorry, couldn’t help myself there…)

The Associated Press reported that “[d]uring the 2008 presidential campaign, many bishops spoke out on abortion more boldly than four years earlier, telling Catholic politicians and voters that the issue should be the most important consideration in setting policy and deciding which candidate to back. A few church leaders said parishioners risked their immortal soul [emphasis added] by voting for candidates who support abortion rights.”

So, let me get this straight – abortion, a private and legal medical procedure, is more important than the state of the economy, or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or education, or the environment?  What planet are these people living on?

What I’d like to know is this – if Newman thinks that voting for the black guy puts your immortal soul at risk (because you know, coming from the South, this probably has a lot to do with all of this) because the black guy happens to support the idea of, for instance, gang-raped teenagers ridding themselves of unwanted pregnancies, then where do you draw the line?  What if you are really good friends with some guy at work, and then somehow over the course of your friendship you find out that he knocked up a girlfriend in college and they had an abortion?  Does that mean you can’t be friends with the guy anymore?  I mean, by your own dogmatic definition, didn’t this man take part in something “intrinsically evil”?  What if you find out that the doctor who performed the hysterectomy on your mother that saved her life also performed an abortion on some woman who didn’t want to give birth to a Down syndrome baby?  Does that mean you and your mother took part, by association, in something evil, by supporting the work of a doctor who was involved in evil, naughty stuff?

I’ll tell you what the real evil is – it’s the mind control, mind control, mind control practiced by the leaders in the Catholic church.  Think this, do that, eat this, drink that, avoid this, uphold that.  On and on rambles the list of arbirtrary rules – and as long as people will tolerate it – namely, the moderates, who don’t dare rock the boat or point the finger or *GASP!* question their faith – the sheep will nod their heads, and the tax free money that subsidizes the lives of assholes like Newman will just keep rolling in.

Same old song and dance.

November 8, 2008

A friend was recently at a memorial service in a Catholic church, and happened upon a stack of memos next to the piano which read as follows (a copy of which she gleefully stole for me!):

On August 8, 2008, Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, announced a new Vatican directive regarding the use of the name of God in the sacred liturgy.  Specifically, the word “Yahweh” may no longer be “used or pronounced” in songs and prayers during liturgical celebrations.

This directive affects the following songs currently included in OCP’s various missal programs:

“I Lift Up My Soul” by Tim Manion
“Let the King of Glory Come” by Michael Joncas
“Me Alegre” by Carlos Rosas
“Sing a New Song” by Dan Schutte
“The Lord is King” by Rory Cooney
“You Are Near” by Dan Schutte
“Yahweh” by Gregory Norbet/Weston Priory

Unfortunately, at the time the directive was announced, the 2009 editions of these books had already been printed and, in many cases, shipped.  The 2010 editions will include revised versions of the songs with updated texts.

The memo went on to include links to PDF versions of the updated songs that could be downloaded and reproduced, etc. etc.

OK, it sounds to me like there’s some real bullshit going on here.

First of all, talk about inefficiency.  Couldn’t the clowns in big hats at the Vatican make these decisions before they went to press on the songbooks?

So, the gripe is with the word “Yahweh”.   According to Catholic Culture, “[t]he Vatican has ruled that the Name of God, commonly rendered as ‘Yahweh,’ should not be pronounced in the Catholic liturgy.”

What’s the deal?  According to Wikipedia, “Yahweh is the English rendering of יַהְוֶה, a proposed vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יהוה as it appears in the Hebrew Bible. It is commonly subordinated into the title ‘God’ in popular bibles, or the Tetragrammaton translated as ‘JHVH’‘ Jehovah’ both of which remain commonly disputed.”

OK, so it’s just a fucking word.  Right?  Oh no.  “Modern observant Jews no longer voice the name יַהְוֶה aloud. It is believed to be too sacred to be uttered and is often referred to as the ‘Ineffable’, ‘Unutterable’ or ‘Distinctive Name’.”

What?  So there are some words that shouldn’t be said aloud?  Like “Fire!” in a crowded theatre?

So, what does this strange, superstitious Jewish tradition have to do with Catholic liturgy?  Well, apparently, the practice of pronouncing the Tetragrammaton has “crept in”, somehow to Catholic worship.  They make it sound like some nasty viral infection or something.  (Catholic Culture won’t tell me, but I’ll bet you anything it was those damned freethinkers among the Catholics who introduced this practice.)

Once again, religion and all of its paranoia and superstition has descended upon language – which is just the utterance of certain syllables – and, this time, taken aim at its own.  It’s bad enough when the devout are always saying things like “Jeezum Crow!” or “Holy cow!” and inviting us secular heathens to do the same, lest we might offend someone or – gasp! – take the lord’s name in vain!!!! – but it’s even funnier when, within their own ranks, there is all of this dispute about how, specifically, to sing praises to their invisible daddy.

My question is – does it really matter whether or not Catholics sing Yahweh at Mass?  I mean, what is this really about?  I suspect it has to do with reverence or honor of Biblical “history” (if you can call it that) and even more to do with just another way to exert some sense of authority and control over the devout.  All of these little directives only serve to erode the individual’s sense of autonomy and sovereignty, little by little, and mold each individual into the homogenous lump of servile Catholic humanity.   I know that sounds big and scary – but then, so is the Catholic religion.

Nuns on parade.

August 26, 2008

Boy, them Catholics sure know their way around perversion, don’t they?  Can’t they even play by their own rules?  Take this latest stunning example (thanks, BBC):

Priest to hold nun beauty pageant

An Italian priest says he is organising the world’s first beauty pageant for nuns to erase a stereotype of them as being old and dour.

  • And who better to do it than a man who is (probably) sexually aroused by young boys?

Antonio Rungi says The Miss Sister Italy online contest will start on his blog in September.

“Nuns are – above all – women, and beauty is a gift from God,” he told Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper.

  • Yes – a gift that you especially, as a celibate man, have no business exploiting!

He is asking nuns to send their photos to him, saying that internet users will then choose the winner.

  • Oh, I see – you are ENCOURAGING the rest of us heathens to objectify these nuns?

Father Rungi stressed that nuns were not being invited to parade in bathing suits, saying it will be up to them whether they pose with the traditional veil or with their heads uncovered.

  • Showing a little too much forehead there, you fucking whore!

“This contest will be a way to show there isn’t just the beauty we see on television but also a more discreet charm,” the priest, who lives near the southern city of Naples, told the Corriere della Sera.

  • Discreet charm = ugly.

“You really think all nuns are old, stunted and sad? This isn’t the case anymore,” he said, pointing out that many young nuns had arrived to Italy from around the world.

  • Yeah – many of them are former hookers, junkies and other assorted misfits who have resorted to the nun’s life because they either can’t go home or they have, in desperation, bought into religion’s big lies about redemption and all that crap.

He added that the idea of staging such a contest had been suggested by nuns themselves.

  • Probably because they are feeling horny and unfulfilled.

Recovering Catholics.

June 3, 2008

You’ve heard the old joke, “I’m a recovering Catholic”, but the joke is turning sour – especially in this day and age of uncovering deceits and lies that have kept hidden the horrors and abuses committed by the hands of pious, “celibate” Catholic priests.

I’m not about to tell you anything you don’t already know – that the Catholic church’s choice to move known abusers to other parishes is the most egregious abuse of trust and power that can be imagined; that millions of tax-free dollars have been spent in order to make this all happen; that even more millions of dollars have been shelled out in legal settlements, which will never fully help these poor victims fully heal from their scars and traumas.

What I want to address is the core of the matter, that which you will not soon hear anyone in the mainstream media even dare to mention – why does there seem to be such an epidemic of child sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests? Why is it that one is not surprised to hear about another scandal when they so frequently appear?

I think it’s rather obvious and simple: religion, particularly Catholicism, has an obsessive need to control and, in the case of the clergy, suppress the sexual instinct. Catholic priests are asked to unnaturally bury their very healthy and natural sexual urges and desires in order to be more “pure”, to have a closer communion with god. However, the experiment has so obviously backfired – the more fervently you try to hide or deny the sex drive, the uglier it will be when it finally manifests.

Why do we not hear of Buddhist monks sexual molesting young children? Perhaps it happens; I’ve not yet found any account of such. The Buddhist “faith” (if you can really call it that, but that’s another matter) doesn’t seek to deny any feeling or instinct; rather, the aim, through mindful meditation, is to fully acknowledge and then transform that sexual energy to be used in another way.

The Catholic church would be wise to face the reality of human sexuality sooner rather than later – before more young lives are irrevocably scarred.

Let me get this straight – the Catholics, who have fought like hell for centuries to beat back the magic of the Wiccans and the Pagans and the like, believe that a glass of Merlot and a pita pocket actually become the body and blood of some dead dude?

Where does one begin to tear this apart?

First of all, how arrogant of these clergy to believe that they embody some sort of mystical power by which they can create this “miracle”! Second, isn’t this a little bit creepy? Seems a bit like divine cannibalism to me.

Someone who is Catholic remarked to me that belief in transubstantiation “requires a certain philosophical framework”. Um… try psychological framework – what it absolutely requires is a complete and willful abandonment of logic, reason and critical thought. Come to think of it, it’s much like what is required in order to properly adhere to any one religious faith.