Pharyngula

Many people have been sending me links to the latest comments by our charming Catholic pontiff, and I don’t know, I’m just finding the old boy increasingly irrelevant as he continues his reactionary slide into medieval thinking. More and more it’s like hearing reports of what some random homeless man in a Philadelphia subway station ranted about — it’s amusing and appalling, but it’s hard to work up the outrage to care any more. Yes, you can argue that the Pope is influential, but even there, how many self-identified Catholics pay any attention at all to what he says about contraception, for instance? But alright, once more unto the breach, etc.

So here’s what the pope babbled recently.

Pope Benedict warned Monday of the “seductive” powers of science that overpower man’s spirituality, reviving the science-versus-religion debate which recently forced him to cancel a speech after student protests.

“In an age when scientific developments attract and seduce with the possibilities they offer, it’s more important than ever to educate our contemporaries’ consciences so that science does not become the criterion for goodness,” he told scientists.

Yeah, this pope has a history of saying blithering nonsense about science, so I’m glad to see student protests at the waste of university resources in bringing this bozo to campus (random homeless men in Philadelphia subway stations are available, are less expensive, will be far more appreciative of the honorarium, and will be just as cogent.)

I don’t think anyone is arguing that science is a criterion for “goodness”. Many of us are adamant that religion is not a criterion for “goodness,” either, and that science is at least a criterion for accuracy. This is not a moral debate, although one could say that there is moral value in having some respect for the truth … not that the Catholic church has any interest at all in that, favoring instead the perpetuation of institutionalized nonsense.

Scientific investigation should be accompanied by “research into anthropology, philosophy and theology” to give insight into “man’s own mystery, because no science can say who man is, where he comes from or where he is going”, the Pope said.

“Man is not the fruit of chance or a bundle of convergences, determinisms or physical and chemical reactions,” he told a meeting of academics of different disciplines sponsored by the Paris Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Leave theology off the list of disciplines that are useful in this endeavor.

Science does say who man is; it’s pretty damn specific about what we are, an odd sub-branch of the primate clade in the chordate family tree, and it is full of specifics on anatomy, physiology, behavior, culture, etc. It also explains with considerable detail where we came from — that long lineage of 4 billion years of evolution — and also gives mechanisms. On where we’re going … well, he does have us there. Science isn’t soothsaying. Of course, theology doesn’t help there, either. Theology makes claims about where we’re going, but it’s always wrong and it always seems to be just pulling predictions out of its great hairy abstraction of a butt.

As for that last comment … show me what else Man is. I love how these faith-imbued gomers always belittle “mere” physical and chemical reactions, when there is nothing more grand and majestic than the natural processes that drive our universe. Yes, life is a great big elaborate chemical reaction — isn’t that wonderful? Why act as if this is a shameful possibility? Personally, I’ve long found the petty deified tyrant of the Christian religion to be an unsatisfyingly trivial explanation, with van der Waals forces alone being far more potent and glorious.

I won’t suggest that this silly old man ought to be consigned to a life of cadging handouts from commuters in Suburban Station in Philadelphia, but I really think he deserves to be shuffled off to a nice retirement home. He can still have fancy gold stitchwork done on his slippers and bathrobe, but really … his authority should be nonexistent.

Comments

  1. #1 Daldianus
    January 30, 2008

    What credentials does this man have to judge these things except for claiming to speak with his invisible friend?

  2. #2 danley
    January 30, 2008

    Reminds me of the drunk and brain-damaged Moses.

  3. #3 Diego
    January 30, 2008

    My girlfriend is always pleased when this Pope goes on one of his medieval diatribes. She says she thinks that the leader of the Catholics should be an anachronistic dinosaur–a kind of theological timecapsule. She was always dissapointed when the last Pope would make some “progressive” moves away from the 13th century. It’s all about the entertainment value for her. And I’ve told her again and again that the Catholic Church is not here for her personal amusement. I just can’t decide what else it IS good for.

  4. #4 marcia
    January 30, 2008

    “Nowadays men lead lives of noisy desperation.”
    —————–James Thurber

    “half-empty churches, a certain ‘tiredness’ in our communities, some Catholic schools fast-losing their identity, absence of young adults in our churches .”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/court_and_social/article3260539.ece

  5. #5 Armchair Dissident
    January 30, 2008

    Funnily enough, I commented on this yesterday; I find it rather amusing that after 2,000 years (give or take) theology still can’t work out what man is, where he came from, or where he’s going, when I managed to work them all out it 10 minutes or so.

    But, then, maybe the Pope doesn’t know where he came from because he’s never done the thing required to make people come from somewhere. Theoretically.

  6. #6 Archaeopteryx
    January 30, 2008

    If “pulling predictions out of its great hairy abstraction of a butt” is original with you, then I hereby award you with the First Annual Metaphor of the Year Award.

  7. #7 maxi
    January 30, 2008

    Right on! Now the university is facing a backlash from the Italian public! And the physicists who co-signed the protest letter are being denied funding. You can also read about that here.

    Teh stupid, it burns!

  8. #8 maxi
    January 30, 2008

    Ach, i’m still new with this html malarky. The link I wanted to post is here?

  9. #9 Cuttlefish, OM
    January 30, 2008

    The Pope bemoans the world’s reliance
    On, not his word, but that of science;
    If I might guess, what really irks
    Is: Even he knows… science works.

  10. #10 Geoffrey Alexander
    January 30, 2008

    “Everywhere, men lead lives of quiet desperation” is from Thoreau. Alhough Thurber said some other fun things, such as, “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers”. Apropos as well, I think.

  11. #11 Armchair Dissident
    January 30, 2008

    From that article, maxi, maybe the people complaining about free expression should have noted that the university did not ban the pope, and did not cancel the visit. The pope cancelled the visit. If they should be complaining to anyone, they should be complaining to the damned pope.

  12. #12 Richard Harris
    January 30, 2008

    I think that we should be concerned about the comments of this pope, because it takes away some of the support for evolution that Xians need to accept it. This could result in less support on school boards for teaching evolution by natural selection, not just in the Catholic schools, but in all the others too.

    Religion is such utter stupidity. I despair of how so many people, even intelligent people, can suspend rational judgement so easily to indulge in wishful thinking. Fuck the pope.

  13. #13 CalGeorge
    January 30, 2008

    Does the Pope truly think that he is an arbiter of goodness?

    Ha. Ha. Ha.

    Good people don’t spend their lives conning the entire world with a bunch of lies.

    Good people don’t discriminate against women and gays.

    Good people don’t wear pointy hats and robes and carry big staffs in an effort to demonstrate that they are exalted and important.

    Good people don’t found their ethics upon a bullshit fairy tale.

    Good people don’t make up crap about limbo and actively con children into believing that crap.

    Good people don’t deliberately try to turn people away from science – perhaps the best foothold we have on reality.

    Fuck the Pope. Forever.

  14. #14 James
    January 30, 2008

    (Apologies in advance if I’ve rehashed old topics)

    I’m disappointed, especially after the Pope affirmed that evolution can coexist with faith (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19956961/). In modern times, the Roman Catholic Church has basically taken Stephen Jay Gould’s nonoverlapping magisteria view. With the exception of a reactionary minority, YECs aren’t Catholic; Biblical literalist fundamentalists, especially the theocratic Religious Right, are the problem.

    Religions that indoctrinate against evolution frame the problem as a “Christianity vs. Atheism” struggle for survival; I would argue that support of evolution by religious leaders is a boon to all scientists, atheists and people of faith alike. I would love to see more support for the Clergy Letter Project (http://www.butler.edu/clergyproject) and more public pronouncements like this one, from the United Church of Christ: http://www.ucc.org/not-mutually-exclusive/ I’m sure I’d get a smackdown from Christopher Hitchens, but that’s my take on it.

  15. #15 PZ Myers
    January 30, 2008

    You know, this Pope is so deluded that he would probably find the idea that his sole purpose in life is to keep Diego’s girlfriend entertained demeaning…when it is actually a grand and noble goal, and he should be gratified that he actually has such a lofty purpose. It sure beats the job he thinks he’s got now.

  16. #16 katie
    January 30, 2008

    Hooray for a Globe and Mail link!

    Personally, I’m rather confused by the exhortation to study more anthropology. As my anthro grad student friends tell me, it is a legitimate science…yet so many people consign it to this weird limbo between psychology and sociology.

    So…the pope is saying we should divert attention away from science to… science?

    Is it wrong of me to think there’s potential there? If the pope is admitting that theology won’t tell us everything about people and we need to study them using scientific methods… that can’t be all bad?

  17. #17 Joanna
    January 30, 2008

    I just wish this pope still wasn’t so influential in many other countries. In Spain right now, the convervative clergy has been emboldened to take a very heavy-handed role in the upcoming elections. It remains to be seen whether this will mobilize enough anti-clerical sentiment to return the socialists to power, or whether it will tip the scales in the direction of the ever more hard-line Partido Popular in the March elections. The pope has targeted Spain as a battle-ground against “secularism.”

  18. #18 maxi
    January 30, 2008

    Armchair Dissident:

    I completely agree. The students and staff were exercising their right to free speech by protesting. The pope could have easily gone along with his original plans but chose not to. Since when is this an example of censorship???

    Now the Italian parliament is getting its knickers in a twist and 200,000 people show up for Sunday Mass.

    -sigh-

  19. #19 Zensunni
    January 30, 2008

    Here in Cincinnati there was an article in the local paper about the Cincy archbishop denouncing the ‘Bodies’ Exhibit currently in the CMC. All the comments in the online section seemed to be from us excatholics questioning the moral authority of a pedophile abettor.

  20. #20 Milo Johnson
    January 30, 2008

    Amen.

    …I mean, uh, er, ummm…

    …right on!

  21. #21 RickD
    January 30, 2008

    Let’s face it: the Catholic Church took a big PR hit when the moved from “guy who fought Communism and won” to “member of the Hitler Youth”. Ratzinger has very little broad appeal or charisma. This is not the Catholic Church of days past. Church attendance is miniscule in Europe and overrated in North America, where the Catholic Church still carries the stain of the unaddressed sex scandals.

  22. #22 nobody
    January 30, 2008

    An asshole.

    With a bunch of asshole followers.

    Am I talking about the Pope?

    Or PZ?

  23. #23 holbach
    January 30, 2008

    We don’t give a crap what the head moron says about
    anything, let alone his rantings on our Science,which he
    has the freaking nerve to defile with his wreaking breath.
    Shame on the Paris Academy of Sciences for even appearing
    with that pontifical academy of sciences. What a dumb
    oxymoron, analagous to creation science. To watch the
    insane rabble in Rome grovel in the prescence of this
    insane fraud is the epitomy human degradation. Good grief,
    will we ever be rid of this insanity?

  24. #24 Dan
    January 30, 2008

    That Pope’s a hell of a head-scratcher. I wonder how much more outrageous his statements will be once he realizes just how irrelevant he truly is.

    The fact that the Pope was not wanted at a school in Italy is a pretty big step for humanity, and maybe it’s a great sign that we are finally stepping out from beneath the crushing burden of mythology.

    I think it’ll be fun to watch the Catholic Church reduce itself to smoldering embers in a blaze of scandal and ignorance. Then again, it may turn into the theological equivalent of Mike Tyson trying to win a fight by gnawing on the ears of his fellow human being as a result of being overwhelmed with desperation to remain relevant.

  25. #25 Guido
    January 30, 2008

    Let’s not forget that this pope has allowed Archbishop Chimoio, the one who said that Europeans manufacture HIV virus and put it in condoms and retroviral drugs for Africans, keep his post, but has thrown away a gay priest: http://globallyconnected.blogspot.com/2007/10/vatican-keep-good-work-guys.html

    #16: Socialists are in power in Spain now. They approved same sex marriage among other things. The Popular Party (Right wing) promises to set a “Ministry fro Family” if they win.

  26. #26 manni
    January 30, 2008

    pope: “research into anthropology, philosophy and theology”

    pz: “Leave theology off the list…”

    me: How about a little psychology?

  27. #27 Enkidu
    January 30, 2008

    “Scientific investigation should be accompanied by ‘research into anthropology, philosophy and theology’ to give insight into ‘man’s own mystery, because no science can say who man is, where he comes from or where he is going’, the Pope said.”

    Well, scientific investigation does include anthropology. Universities do offer philosophy. As for theology, finding Theo so we can study him has slowed progress considerably.

    As for “man’s own mystery”, anthropology and biology tell me where we came from, and GPS tells me where I’m going, so I think science has already covered popey’s concerns.

  28. #28 CalGeorge
    January 30, 2008

    Fuck all the people who respectfully report on whatever the Pope does.

    Pope enablers can go fuck themselves.

  29. #29 Clare
    January 30, 2008

    Like Katie (#15) I was puzzled by the inclusion of anthropology as a subject the Pope deems worthy of study. True, a large part of anthropology has always been devoted to the dispassionate description of religious belief and practice, but this has primarily been in marginalized or small-scale societies, and demystifying voodoo – for example – hardly sounds like the kind of endeavor that would endear itself to our current Pope. And there’s also anthropology’s long-standing wariness, if not downright hostility, towards missionaries. To top it off, even the most humanities-inclined anthropologists dissect religion in ways that aren’t exactly designed to magnify faith; as a quote in one of my old undergraduate final exams put it (it was a sociology exam, but the point holds for anthropology as well): “if you don’t wish to take religion seriously, study it sociologically.” (I’d be grateful to know whose quote this is; I’ve often wondered….)

  30. #30 tyaddow
    January 30, 2008

    #21-

    Ooh! I know! It’s a trick question: the pope is an appointed ‘leader’ while PZ is simply an interested party engaging other interested parties. Only leaders have followers. You seem to have a cogent understanding of the ‘asshole’ part though, ‘nobody’.

  31. #31 holbach
    January 30, 2008

    Isn’t it ironic and so blatantly realistic that if this
    current head moron is shot, they will rush him to a
    hospital where all of science will be used to save his life. How about if there was a closer “hospital” where just
    prayers were used to save his life and absolutely none of
    the powers of science, and they plopped him on a pallet
    and just prayed over the moron to prove the efficacy of
    insane rantings. Would he be taken there? Would he agree
    to be taken there and thereby prove to his deranged masses
    that he believes in the mumbo-jumbo idiocy? You can bet
    that he would not. To test his insane faith is one thing,
    to lose his life insanely is another. What a phony fraud
    and gutless shit mongerer!

  32. #32 Jsn
    January 30, 2008

    Perhaps this Pope’s backwardness will bring more cognative dissonance to the fore of his followers. Maybe his legacy will be to create more Ex-Catholics; yet frustratingly, there will always be sheeple who blindly follow no matter how ridiculous the views of the Pope are – ANY Pope, or any Evangelical minister for the Fundy Protestant set. (sigh)

    As my dear old mum used to say,”You can lead a whore to culture – but you can’t make her think…”

  33. #33 Rick
    January 30, 2008

    The Pope is infallible because he was chosen by the cardinals, who themselves are infallible, right? And the cardinals are chosen by an infallible Pope.

  34. #34 Rebecca H.
    January 30, 2008

    I wonder sometimes if one of the cultural gaps between the devoutly religious folks (especially those who’ve never stepped out of the orthodox*) and the not is that some devoutly religious expect one philosophy & cosmology package to solve anything, and think everyone else thinks that as well. So, when they hear people using science as part of their view of ‘how the world works’, they assume that science is all there is for these people — which isn’t true, given that I’ve met humanists, selfish *explicative of choice*s, theists and non-theists, and shade of in-between, all of whom take a mostly scientific view of the universe. Because science doesn’t do much for morals — it wasn’t designed to. It focuses much more on what is true and observable than what is right. It’s like complaining that my laptop is a wonderful computer, but cannot cook my microwave pizza very well. (The same thing could be said for atheism — the part about morals, though it likewise cannot give me hot pizza, unless Richard Dawkins is opening a delivery service that I haven’t found out about. A lot of the religious folks PZ rants about seem to conflate ‘atheism has no set morals’ with ‘atheists have no set morals’.)

    * Most of the unorthodox religious people at least have a better chance of exposure to the idea that how they view the world isn’t how everyone does.

  35. #35 Michael Barrett
    January 30, 2008

    Really odd that he would promote anthropology class along with theology. I remember my anthro classes to be both pretty heavy on the evolutionary theory. (we even played with skull casts of fossil hominids). That would seem counter-productive to his stated goals.

  36. #36 AJS
    January 30, 2008

    @Archaeopteryx,
    “First Annual Metaphor of the Year Award” — will that be presented in the same ceremony as the “Annual Tautology of the Year Award for Needlessly Saying the Same Thing Multiple Times in the Same Sentence Award” ?

    Anyway, he’s the Pope. He’s got to talk bollocks. That’s his job. If the Pope started talking sense, the Roman Catholics might stop complaining about him and go off and fight the proddies or something!

  37. #37 Enkidu
    January 30, 2008

    “Isn’t it ironic and so blatantly realistic that if this
    current head moron is shot, they will rush him to a
    hospital where all of science will be used to save his life. How about if there was a closer “hospital” where just
    prayers were used to save his life and absolutely none of
    the powers of science, and they plopped him on a pallet
    and just prayed over the moron to prove the efficacy of
    insane rantings. Would he be taken there?”

    Holbach, we’ve already seen the result of this experiment. Mother Teresa was never called to assist an ailing church leader, nor anyone of any religion who could afford modern medical care. They left the pain, the pallets and the prayers for the poor.

  38. #38 Larry
    January 30, 2008

    I’m sure there are more than a few altar boys out there that learned “goodness” on the knee of their local catholic priest. Maybe the pope-monster would care to address that rather than sweeping it under the rug and lecturing the world on his fucking distorted views about what is good.

  39. #39 Monkey's Uncle
    January 30, 2008

    It’s sad that this man of great authority,
    Is such a stranger to the laboratory,
    His whole purpose in the religious order,
    To hide his head and preach us ordure.

    But a question I think we all must ask,
    to take this branch of lunacy to task,
    Is a Catholic still relevant to Mankind’s position?
    “Oh No! I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition!”

    (with grovelling apologies to Cuttlefish, whose poetry boots I am not fit to clean…)

  40. #40 Michelle
    January 30, 2008

    Pope, how many pills do you take that are the work of science?

    Thought the bible said that to be healed you just had to pray.

  41. #41 steppen wolf
    January 30, 2008

    The problem is that this man who makes this “babble” is actually very powerful in economic terms. He is basically holding Italy’s politicians by their..ahem, genitals – if you allow me to use such terminology.

    I wish people who are decision-makers actually had the guts (guts, not balls, because there are quite a few confounded women on this old bats’ side too!) to stand up to him. What happened to the “free Church in a free State” agreement between the Italian Republic and the Catholic Church?

    If ever there were a God, he should have saved us from this Church a long time ago. Forgive my anger.

  42. #42 DrFrank
    January 30, 2008

    @AJS

    “First Annual Metaphor of the Year Award” — will that be presented in the same ceremony as the “Annual Tautology of the Year Award for Needlessly Saying the Same Thing Multiple Times in the Same Sentence Award” ?
    Hey, that sounds like a truly fantastic and great award :D

  43. #43 Rob Vary
    January 30, 2008

    Geoffrey Alexander: Thoreau did say the bit about leading lives of quiet desperation, but what maria was quoting was Thurber’s revision that people now lead lives of noisy desperation. Not to go off-topic or anything.

  44. #44 Chupacabras
    January 30, 2008

    Yo vi la papa.

  45. #45 Mena
    January 30, 2008

    Daldianus @ #1:
    What credentials does this man have to judge these things except for claiming to speak with his invisible friend?

    Well, he also has to be totally out of touch with most of the 19th and a bit of the 18th centuries. The 20th and 21st centuries are just a dream…

  46. #46 Tea
    January 30, 2008

    Michael Barrett (#34): the catholic church has accepted the theory of evolution a long time ago.

    Anyway, I only wish that the pope were as irrelevant as some of you guys seem to think he is. I mean, I don’t care what he says or thinks per se, but I am concerned with the impact his words have in so called catholic countries.

    Just a few days ago, the pope has proclaimed that Slovenia is violating *basic human rights* by being the only country “in this part of Europe” that doesn’t allow religion to be taught in schools. Where is Amnesty International when pope needs it?

  47. #47 MikeM
    January 30, 2008

    He can still have fancy gold stitchwork done on his slippers and bathrobe, but really … his authority should be nonexistent.

    Well, in my life, his authority is nonexistent. He really adds nothing meaningful, especially with comments like these.

    What probably should concern the Pope more, though, is that there are fewer and fewer Catholics, and it seems like a smaller percentage of those who remain are agreeing with him. It’s getting to be a less relevant religion, and the leader is less relevant within the less-relevant religion.

    I call that progress. In that regard, I hope we in America are able to follow Europe’s footsteps. More and more churches are empty there.

    I call this an age of enlightenment. I hope it picks up steam, and more and more of us are able to consider things like ID to be the background noise an ever-decreasing group of lunatics.

    Religious leaders are simply not relevant in my life; nor are myths about god, or gods, or virgin births, or resurrections.

    By the way, the fact that science makes no predictions about where our species is going makes it MORE credible, not less. I’d hate to see us coming off like a bunch of Pat Robertsons.

  48. #48 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    January 30, 2008

    he’s never done the thing required to make people come from somewhere

    Yet he wants to pontificate on sexual behavior. What a wanker.

    But, uh oh, another biological gap! What say the creationists?

  49. #49 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    January 30, 2008

    he’s never done the thing required to make people come from somewhere

    Yet he wants to pontificate on sexual behavior. What a wanker.

    But, uh oh, another biological gap! What say the creationists?

  50. #50 Armchair Dissident
    January 30, 2008

    Tea:

    Michael Barrett (#34): the catholic church has accepted the theory of evolution a long time ago.

    Not Pope Benny. There’s strong suggestions that the Pope is an ID-iot. When he sacked his astronomer a year or so ago, there was credible suggestions that it was because the astronomer was a supporter of evolution. When the pope’s endorsed evolution, it’s always been with the caveat that god must be included.

  51. #51 Guido
    January 30, 2008

    #43: You just said: [i]I saw the potato[/i]. “el papa” it’s the pope, “la papa” it’s the potato.

  52. #52 Armchair Dissident
    January 30, 2008

    Torbjörn Larsson:

    What a wanker.

    No, I’m fairly sure he’s not allowed to do that, either. ;-)

  53. #53 Rich
    January 30, 2008
  54. #54 dead santa
    January 30, 2008

    #21. Kids, this is what happens when you fill your rhetorical toolbox with silly putty.

  55. #55 Richard Harris
    January 30, 2008

    What a wanker.

    The Pope woke up early one morning with a huge erection. Thinking that it wasn’t very Catholic, he tried to get rid of it. Unfortunately, walking around the room, thinking about the Bible and even getting some fresh air on the balcony all failed to soften him up. With only one option left, he sat down on the balcony and did what needed to be done.

    Later, he was walking around Rome when a man with a camera approached him. “Hello, Mr Pope,” the man said. “Six o’clock this morning, on the balcony, I think you know what I’m talking about.”

    “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean,” the Pope replied.

    “Oh, I think you do,” the man retorted, “and 50 thousand will buy you the camera.”

    Worried and confused, the Pope paid up and took the camera.

    Back in the Vatican, one of the Pope’s aides asked about the camera. “A chap in town sold it to me for 50 thousand,” the Pope explained.

    “50 thousand?!” exclaimed the aide. “Wow, he must have seen you coming.”

  56. #56 CalGeorge
    January 30, 2008

    The sheeple speak:

    I love what Our Papa has to say! Science needs philosophy & theology. Often, out of hatred for religion, science has overstepped it’s bounds & actually become religion. Example: It takes more blind faith to believe in evolution than most doctrines of our Faith. Many follow recomendations of scientists & Drs with a surity I wish more Catholics would have in the Church teaching. Then in a few years the scientists say “woops we were wrong”. On Faith&morals the Church never says such because…VOX CHRISTI!
    http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=56245

    Dumb. Shit.

  57. #57 Bill M.
    January 30, 2008

    I think it’s very open-minded of the Catholic Chirch to have selected a former Nazi (and serving member of the Wehrmacht, I believe). What next – a penitent member of the Khmer Rouge? Backsliders from the Stasi? Mike Huckabee?

  58. #58 windy
    January 30, 2008

    (slightly OT) Hey, Torbjörn, I’m reading Ingemar Hedenius on religion now, as per your recommendation. Proving once again that ‘New Atheism’ is not new. At some points he makes the God Delusion look like Sunday school reading material…

  59. #59 Moggie
    January 30, 2008

    Guido@#49: you say pope, I say potato. Let’s call the whole thing off.

  60. #60 Sergeant Zim
    January 30, 2008

    I think it’s very appropriate that when the current pope makes a written declaration of doctrine, it’s called a Papal BULL…

  61. #61 Rey Fox
    January 30, 2008

    “Personally, I’ve long found the petty deified tyrant of the Christian religion to be an unsatisfyingly trivial explanation”

    But PZ! God is so BIG! SO ENORMOUSLY HUGE! Aren’t you impressed?

    I’ve always thought that it would be pretty easy to design some sort of web-crawler that would archive stupid things said by Count Popula and then make an automatic blog post about it every month or so. Might free up PZ’s time a little bit. Then maybe alter it slightly for Mike Huckabee and have that one post about every week.

  62. #62 Olorin
    January 30, 2008

    The Globe & Mail article closes with: “The Vatican said the protesters misunderstood that speech, made about 17 years ago when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.”

    So the Vatican is borrowing a tactic from the Dishonesty Institute: “You always distort what we say!”

    As to the Italians, Italy is one of the least religious countires in Europe—yet that have a sort of home-team loyalty when outsiders attack the Vatican. Strange.

  63. #63 MAJeff
    January 30, 2008

    I’ll give Nazinger credit for one thing: he was smart enough to avoid Boston on the upcoming trip to the States. I guess the thought of being confronted by people who were raped by Priests who were protected by his criminal racket. Bernard Law should be in prison, not a cushy job in Rome.

  64. #64 Sarah in Chicago
    January 30, 2008

    I have to say I totally love this Pope; Ratzy is doing more to destroy his religion than any of us could possibly hope or dream that we might be able to do ourselves. I say continue to let him dig his own grave … rant away Ratzy!

    It’s interesting, but I became an atheist thanks to studying the physical sciences back in high school, going all the way through to a college degree in such, which only made me even more solidly atheist. But what really made me not just atheist, but anti-religion, was when I went on and studied Sociology (which I am now finishing my PhD in).

    If there is anything that will turn you off religion, it’s studying how it actually operates and functions, which Sociology solidly does (and hence, Anthropology, which really isn’t that far removed from Sociology these days, both solid sciences) … hence, I don’t think the Pope really thought through too much what he was saying in this latest screed, as what he is advocating is more likely to wake people up to how truly awful organised religion is.

  65. #65 Fatboy
    January 30, 2008

    Yes, you can argue that the Pope is influential, but even there, how many self-identified Catholics pay any attention at all to what he says about contraception, for instance?

    Well, speaking from personal experience (and yes, I know, plural anecdotes don’t make data), growing up as a Catholic in Pennsylvania and Maryland, the people in my churches didn’t really consider the Pope infallible – he was just the leader of the Church elected by a bunch of cardinals. However, down here in Texas where I’ve gotten to know quite a few Mexican immigrants, they do seem to put a lot more stock in what the Pope says. I even remember having a conversation the other day where that was the exact topic, and about a quarter of the people there did believe in the Pope’s infallibility.

  66. #66 Brownian, OM
    January 30, 2008

    The Pope oughta be more careful. Anthropology was the death blow for the last vestiges of my religiosity.

    Nothing like studying the bizarre beliefs of people around the world to make one wonder whether their own are equally bizarre.

  67. #67 Brownian, OM
    January 30, 2008

    Uh, I meant What Sarah in Chicago said.

  68. #68 BadAunt
    January 30, 2008

    I’m still stuck on the “Pontifical Academy of Sciences” bit. It actually exists! I’d never heard of it, and thought the reporter had snuck in a little joke.

    The Pontiff pontificated at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

  69. #69 Bob
    January 30, 2008

    “…because no science can say who man is…”

    “Man is not…”

    Via negativa will get you nowhere.

  70. #70 MAJeff
    January 30, 2008

    Nothing like studying the bizarre beliefs of people around the world to make one wonder whether their own are equally bizarre.

    Yup. I use the book “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” in my Race and Ethnicity classes. When students start to think that the presences of dabs that steal your soul and make you sick is irrational, I point to transubstantiation. It’s social distance, not content, that makes it weird.

  71. #71 Bradley Bolin
    January 30, 2008

    This may be the understatement of our young century (or at least in the running): “The conservative German-born Pope’s public stand on issues such as abortion and embryonic stem-cell research has led critics to accuse him of holding antiquated views on science.”

  72. #72 cm
    January 30, 2008

    It’s just weird we all tend to agree to call this one old man, Joseph Ratzinger, “The Pope”.

    Just think about that sound, that word, and we are all just calling him The Pope. Repeat it enough and it becomes bizarre sounding. Pope. Pope. Pope. Huh?

    Pope. The Pope. The Pope. “Look, everyone, it’s The Pope.”

    “I’m Tom Brokaw. Today in Rome, THE POPE issued one of his papal bulls from the Office of the Holy See…what? waitaminute, Joanne, what is this crap? Get me a scotch.”

  73. #73 Midwestern Gent
    January 30, 2008

    FYI — I just came from Suburban Station in Philadelphia, and the homeless guy is currently talking about how delicious soft pretzels are. Which is much more helpful than anything Papa Ratzi has to say.

  74. #74 Uber
    January 30, 2008

    Seriously read this below. How messed up does a human being have to be to believe something like this? The reformation happened for a reason and was primarily a rational reformation. The RCC and it’s stalwart followers are as out to lunch as the scientologists.

    Catholic theology, the highest of all sciences, gives us the answers. Human souls are created by God in His image & likeness, and after a short time on earth go to heaven or hell for all eternity depending on whether they die in mortal sin.

    Non-theological scientists have a duty to use their skills consistent with the higher theological Truths. Yet many today, it seems, labor to prove lies and promote evils.

  75. #75 Steven E. Schonfeld
    January 30, 2008

    What do you have against Philadelphia?

  76. #76 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2008

    You just said: I saw the potato

    So Ratzi’s a potato, much like JFK was a jellyroll.
    Ha!

    Philadelphia has a subway?
    huh.

    Sociology is a “solid science”?
    huh. Or ha.

  77. #77 coathangrrr
    January 30, 2008

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that science is a criterion for “goodness”.

    I think there are some Evo-psych people who are bordering on that with their attempts to naturalize ethics.

  78. #78 Samnell
    January 30, 2008

    “The reformation happened for a reason and was primarily a rational reformation.”

    Martin Luther was at least as loopy as Ratzinger or any of his other contemporaries. The man called reason the Devil’s bride.

    They’re all completely cracked.

  79. #79 Ube
    January 30, 2008

    Martin Luther was at least as loopy as Ratzinger or any of his other contemporaries. The man called reason the Devil’s bride

    That may be true in part but the reformation moved Christianity away from woo-woo to just woo. It was a rational response.

  80. #80 Enkidu
    January 30, 2008

    “That may be true in part but the reformation moved Christianity away from woo-woo to just woo. It was a rational response.”

    Huh? Huckabee, the Mormons, Jim Jones, are only “woo” to the Catholic Church’s “woo-woo”?

    Face it: When your world view begins with evil magic talking walking snakes feeding magic fruit to the mother of us all (who was created from the rib of the father of us all), you’ve left any claim to rationality far behind.

  81. #81 MAJeff
    January 30, 2008

    What do you have against Philadelphia?

    It was a crappy movie.

  82. #82 Sven DiMilo
    January 30, 2008

    PZ knows Philly–as I recall he used to teach at Temple. It’s an informed opinion. Like WC Fields’s.
    MAJeff, you’re not biting at my sociologist-bait? I’m disappointed.

  83. #83 Uber
    January 30, 2008

    Huh? Huckabee, the Mormons, Jim Jones, are only “woo” to the Catholic Church’s “woo-woo”?

    Yes. That would be correct.

    When your world view begins with evil magic talking walking snakes feeding magic fruit to the mother of us all (who was created from the rib of the father of us all), you’ve left any claim to rationality far behind.

    I wouldn’t argue otherwise but it doesn’t change the fact that the reformation itself was rational in it’s principles as opposed to catholism.

  84. #84 PZ Myers
    January 30, 2008

    I have nothing against Philadelphia. I am just familiar with the homeless hordes that are disgracefully displaced to living minute-by-minute in subway stations.

  85. #85 MAJeff
    January 30, 2008

    MAJeff, you’re not biting at my sociologist-bait? I’m disappointed.

    Don’t be. Just not feeling like it. Too busy playing with my new TV (Thanks, dead grandma!) and doing laundry.

  86. #86 False Prophet
    January 30, 2008

    #30:

    Isn’t it ironic and so blatantly realistic that if this current head moron is shot, they will rush him to a hospital where all of science will be used to save his life. How about if there was a closer “hospital” where just prayers were used to save his life and absolutely none of the powers of science, and they plopped him on a pallet and just prayed over the moron to prove the efficacy of insane rantings. Would he be taken there?

    “I love the Pope, I love seeing him in his Pope-Mobile, his three feet of bullet proof plexi-glass. That’s faith in action folks! You know he’s got God on his side.”

    -Bill Hicks

    #40

    I wish people who are decision-makers actually had the guts (guts, not balls, because there are quite a few confounded women on this old bats’ side too!) to stand up to him. What happened to the “free Church in a free State” agreement between the Italian Republic and the Catholic Church?

    That would require the Italian government to actually, y’know, function.

  87. #87 Evolved
    January 30, 2008

    Why should we care what the Pope thinks about science? We do not ask gardeners to oversee building plans, do we?

  88. #88 Tulse
    January 30, 2008

    the reformation itself was rational in it’s principles as opposed to catholism.

    That bald assertion seems silly to me — care to offer an argument?

  89. #89 Enkidu
    January 30, 2008

    . . . the reformation itself was rational in it’s principles as opposed to catholism.

    You’re claiming that Martin Luther was rational? That he was “more rational” (whatever that might mean) than Catholicism? Can you support that whacky claim?

  90. #90 Azkyroth
    January 30, 2008

    #21. Kids, this is what happens when you fill your rhetorical toolbox with silly putty.

    I’m stealing that line. :3

  91. #91 Uber
    January 30, 2008

    Good grief folks, this isn’t just me that states this. Robert Price in his reason driven life uses the same line.

    The RCC is a very superstitous organization. You can say all religions are so and you would be correct but the RCC takes it to new levels. Protestants dumped(for the most part) alot of the ‘superstition’ in favor of a more simplified, rational outlook on the religion.

    No saints, fewer sacraments, fewer rules and regs.

    Compare any RCC sect with say a methodist sect and the differences become obvious. Now some Protestant sects have moved back into woo-woo land but the majority have not and it doesn’t change the fact that the reformation was an attempt to restore reason to the religion on some level.

    You’re claiming that Martin Luther was rational? That he was “more rational” (whatever that might mean) than Catholicism?

    He was certainly more rational than the RCC leadership. And yes Protestantism is less superstitous than catholism.

  92. #92 Lago
    January 30, 2008

    Would you buy a used care from a guy named, “Joe the Rat?”

    So why would you buy his views on life?

  93. #93 Tulse
    January 30, 2008

    The RCC is a very superstitous organization. You can say all religions are so and you would be correct but the RCC takes it to new levels. Protestants dumped(for the most part) alot of the ‘superstition’ in favor of a more simplified, rational outlook on the religion.

    It depends greatly on your definition of “rational”. I don’t see how a religion that focusses strictly on the Bible is necessarily more “rational” than one that incorporated much philosophical thought about the nature of reality and creation. “Simplicity” is only a rational virtue to the degree that such simplification is correct.

    In the broader sense, the Catholic Church had a long tradition of scholarship and inquiry about the natural world which for the most part was dumped by Protestantism. While the Church was not (and is not) always the best friend to science, much good science was done under its auspices, and much foundational work in philosophy. By contrast, Protestantism has a deep undercurrent of suspicion of rationality, starting with Luther himself.

    Even if we back up to the most superficial reading of the claim, I am not clear how believing in saints and sacraments stacks up as more “irrational” than believing in just one big Sky Daddy who does miracles. What metric are you using? How is this not simply a matter of personal taste in varieties of irrationality?

  94. #94 inkadu
    January 30, 2008

    I think PZ has suggested an excellent lecture series:

    We Couldn’t Get the Pope, but a Hobo Will Speak in His Stead.

    I assure you, if you can find a paranoid schizophrenic having a lucid day, he will make a more entertaining speaker and the talk will have all the validity of a speech by the Pope.

    I wish the Pope was less relevant. The fact is, though, that the non-stop, uncritical and fauning coverage of the agonizingly long death of the last Pope is still irritatingly lodged in my mind.

    * Correcting: Fawning coverage. Not fauning. Though, the idea of goat-hooved coverage is somewhat consonant with what I am trying to get across…

  95. #95 Constance Reader
    January 30, 2008

    As a devout Catholic I’ve always been sad that, just as the best guy for the POTUS job is busy doing a hard day’s work elsewhere, the best guy for the pope’s job is busy running an unaffluent parish in the U.S. or somewhere in the 3rd World. You know, the kind of parish that forces a priest to live in the reality of the here and now. I’ve been blessed to know several priests like that. They’re too smart, dedicated and spiritual to run for the red hat, much less the pointy white one.

  96. #96 Uber
    January 30, 2008

    the Catholic Church had a long tradition of scholarship and inquiry about the natural world which for the most part was dumped by Protestantism.

    This is simply false. You are equating one branch of Protestantism with all of it.

    Protestantism has a deep undercurrent of suspicion of rationality, starting with Luther himself.

    No it doesn’t. The RCC pays lip service to rationality but it is in name only. Virtually all of their doctrines are in their entirety irrational. They start from the premise that their church doctrine is infallible and proceed from there.

    Luther responded to a series of doctrines in the church he found untenable for various reasons. Whether he himself was rational is rather beside the point as he pointed the religion in a less superstitious direction, a more rational one.

    Even if we back up to the most superficial reading of the claim, I am not clear how believing in saints and sacraments stacks up as more “irrational” than believing in just one big Sky Daddy who does miracles.

    Well it seems to me believing one woo idea is better than believing 2-5 woo ideas. Protestantism stripped away much of the extremely superstitous ideology that is catholism.

    How is this not simply a matter of personal taste in varieties of irrationality?

    In some regards you may be correct here. But believing less woo is preferable to more woo. The less woo one is consumed by the more reason they are likely to accept.

    I know from my personal experience the catholics I know are much more often superstious than the protestants. Although this isn’t always the case as the RCC education/indoctrination machine mirrors the rest of the church, dying. The Protestants still are revving along.

  97. #97 Logicel
    January 30, 2008

    The Office of the Pope is a sham, and its present occupant at present makes a gob of silly putty seem both moral and intellectual.

    Living in Godless France, I am sometimes startled while listening to TV coverage of French people visiting the Vatican to hear them say, while clutching a kid or two, “It is so wonderful to see Our Holy Father, so good to see him well.” Their eyes then become groveling pits of filial devotion.

    Isn’t having one father enough, you need more? For some of us, even one father is one too much!

  98. #98 Peter Ashby
    January 30, 2008

    Great, another reason to like Slovenia: they don’t teach the kids superstitious nonsense. I recommend Ljubjana in December, lots of cheap mulled wine, red and white along with ‘hot honey brandy’ which dispels the cold just wonderfully. They enclose the fountains in the little squares for the winter, then they wrap them up in shiny paper and put big bows on them. There are lights all through the trees along the river (where the booths selling mulled and honeyed liquors are) and light up the bijou castle on the hill above.

    The people are relaxed and very friendly and their English is very good (along with their French, Italian and German too). The cuisine is good and hearty, though the patroness of one place was most concerned that I knew what ‘tripes’ were before she would bring me my plateful of delight. YMMV on the tripes but the rest is lovely too. Nice cakes as you would expect too.

    We fully intend to go back in the Summer too, but winter was just wonderful.

  99. #99 Marcus Ranum
    January 30, 2008

    The Pope? How many divisions has he got?

  100. #100 David Polish
    January 30, 2008

    PZ,

    Long time listener first time caller. I commute to Philadelphia every day and have to walk the gauntlet of homeless/panhandlers as I traverse Suburban Station to get to my building. Your remarks about the Pope are on target by saying that what the homeless have to say is as cogent as the pontif’s pronouncements. In fact, there’s this one gentleman who makes his living by saying to everyone who walks by – “Have a nice day”. The Pope could learn something from him, namely about all a stranger has a right to tell someone is “Have a nice day”. Simple, to the point and it doesn’t infringe on anyones way of life.

  101. #101 Julian
    January 30, 2008

    I particularly like how the Vatican’s reaction to the protest was to say that those were statements he made 17 years ago when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. As Vader was once Anakin Skywalker, he is no longer that reactionary German prelate; He’s Benedictus the pope. Totally different guy, doesn’t matter what that bum Joe said 17 years ago.

  102. #102 The Pope's Mum
    January 30, 2008

    I care

  103. #103 MAJeff
    January 30, 2008

    I commute to Philadelphia every day and have to walk the gauntlet of homeless/panhandlers as I traverse Suburban Station to get to my building. Your remarks about the Pope are on target by saying that what the homeless have to say is as cogent as the pontif’s pronouncements. In fact, there’s this one gentleman who makes his living by saying to everyone who walks by – “Have a nice day”.

    There’s a particularly aggressive mentally ill man who hangs around the Davis/Powderhouse Square areas of Somerville. The only things I’ve been able to make out so far are “God and St. Theresa and the Peach Tree and Sadam Hussein” usually recited in that order.

    He’s probably harmless, but he’s so damned aggressive and belligerent that I’ll actually cross the street. He always asks “do you have some time,” and if you don’t, there’s a stream of obscenities that come flying at you.

  104. #104 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 30, 2008

    The Pope is infallible because he was chosen by the cardinals, who themselves are infallible, right?

    Not at all. That’s why they don’t normally all vote for the same candidate. Instead, the Holy Spirit — didn’t you know? — works through the majority and leads their hands when they write down the name of the candidate.

    Which leads us straight back to the question why popes aren’t elected with 100 % of the votes in the very first round…

    I wouldn’t argue otherwise but it doesn’t change the fact that the reformation itself was rational in it’s principles as opposed to catholism.

    Martin Luther quotes from the Pharyngula quote folder:

    Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom … Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism… She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.

    A large number of deaf, crippled and blind people are afflicted solely through the malice of the demon. And one must in no wise doubt that plagues, fevers and every sort of evil come from him.

    …two devils rose from the water, and flew off through the air, crying, ‘Oh, oh, oh!’ and turning one over another, in sportive mockery…

    Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees must be put out of sight and … know nothing but the word of God.

    As for the demented, I hold it certain that all beings deprived of reason are thus afflicted only by the Devil.

    At Poltersberg, there is a lake similarly cursed. If you throw a stone into it, a dreadful storm immediately arises, and the whole neighboring district quakes to its centre. ‘Tis the devils kept prisoner there.

    Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but — more frequently than not — struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.

    At Sussen, the Devil carried off, last Good Friday, three grooms who had devoted themselves to him.

    Reason should be destroyed in all Christians.

    Idiots, the lame, the blind, the dumb, are men in whom the devils have established themselves: and all the physicians who heal these infirmities, as though they proceeded from natural causes, are ignorant blockheads…

    To be a Christian, you must “pluck out the eye” of reason.

    All our experience with history should teach us, when we look back, how badly human wisdom is betrayed when it relies on itself.

    And remember that Luther defended transubstantiation against… was it Calvin or Zwingli…

    “Rational”? You’re insulting him. He’s going to get his holy wrath and throw a barrel of ink at you as he did with the Devil.

    I also wouldn’t say that Catholicism is even more irrational. It has the tradition of “truth cannot contradict truth”: when faith and reason appear to contradict each other, it must be possible to twist one or both in such a way as to make them compatible. Enter John Paul “soul created, body evolved” II and whichever pope said “one Galileo in 2000 years is enough”. Is sola Scriptura really more rational than that?

  105. #105 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 30, 2008

    The Pope is infallible because he was chosen by the cardinals, who themselves are infallible, right?

    Not at all. That’s why they don’t normally all vote for the same candidate. Instead, the Holy Spirit — didn’t you know? — works through the majority and leads their hands when they write down the name of the candidate.

    Which leads us straight back to the question why popes aren’t elected with 100 % of the votes in the very first round…

    I wouldn’t argue otherwise but it doesn’t change the fact that the reformation itself was rational in it’s principles as opposed to catholism.

    Martin Luther quotes from the Pharyngula quote folder:

    Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom … Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism… She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.

    A large number of deaf, crippled and blind people are afflicted solely through the malice of the demon. And one must in no wise doubt that plagues, fevers and every sort of evil come from him.

    …two devils rose from the water, and flew off through the air, crying, ‘Oh, oh, oh!’ and turning one over another, in sportive mockery…

    Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees must be put out of sight and … know nothing but the word of God.

    As for the demented, I hold it certain that all beings deprived of reason are thus afflicted only by the Devil.

    At Poltersberg, there is a lake similarly cursed. If you throw a stone into it, a dreadful storm immediately arises, and the whole neighboring district quakes to its centre. ‘Tis the devils kept prisoner there.

    Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but — more frequently than not — struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.

    At Sussen, the Devil carried off, last Good Friday, three grooms who had devoted themselves to him.

    Reason should be destroyed in all Christians.

    Idiots, the lame, the blind, the dumb, are men in whom the devils have established themselves: and all the physicians who heal these infirmities, as though they proceeded from natural causes, are ignorant blockheads…

    To be a Christian, you must “pluck out the eye” of reason.

    All our experience with history should teach us, when we look back, how badly human wisdom is betrayed when it relies on itself.

    And remember that Luther defended transubstantiation against… was it Calvin or Zwingli…

    “Rational”? You’re insulting him. He’s going to get his holy wrath and throw a barrel of ink at you as he did with the Devil.

    I also wouldn’t say that Catholicism is even more irrational. It has the tradition of “truth cannot contradict truth”: when faith and reason appear to contradict each other, it must be possible to twist one or both in such a way as to make them compatible. Enter John Paul “soul created, body evolved” II and whichever pope said “one Galileo in 2000 years is enough”. Is sola Scriptura really more rational than that?

  106. #106 the great and powerful oz
    January 30, 2008

    He might be an irrelevant buffoon, but the Australian govt is happy to spend over $90M of taxpayers’ money on him for “World Youth Day”

    Presumably for all the choirboys and viagra.

  107. #107 PoxyHowzes
    January 30, 2008

    Andrew Greeley has written a couple of books called “The Making of The Pope…” In the latest one (2005) he points out that the hierarchy (bishops on up) is totally out of touch with the priests and laity, and therefore unable to claim any authority except “from above.” (I distort Greeley’s argument mightily by shortening it.)

    The RCC at times in history has elected Bishops democratically, and the Episcopal church today requires votes by bishops, priests, and laity before a bishop can be installed. As a result, the Episcopal church has women and gay priests and bishops. Anglicans elsewhere in the world object strenuously on “from above” grounds.

  108. #108 Uber
    January 30, 2008

    It has the tradition of “truth cannot contradict truth”: when faith and reason appear to contradict each other, it must be possible to twist one or both in such a way as to make them compatible. Enter John Paul “soul created, body evolved” II and whichever pope said “one Galileo in 2000 years is enough”. Is sola Scriptura really more rational than that?

    The truth cannot contradict truth is simply meaningless when one is only pretending to have a truth in the first place.

    Your only angling the one avenue. Nor is this about Martin Luther. The simple fact is Protestantism is far less infected by woo than catholism. Free of woo, certainly not.

    But there are no saints, hail mary’s, prayers to virgin women, rosaries, exorcists, the good sense to know communion is symbolic, and on and on. So yes IMHO sola scritura is much more rational simply as it eliminates so many vices and so much woo woo.

  109. #109 Heather Kuhn
    January 31, 2008

    #72: He went school there. Temple IIRC.

    #73: Yes, Philadelphia has a subway, two of them actually although one is an el for part of its length. Then there’s the Subway-Surface lines which are actually trolley routes that run underground for part of their length.

  110. #110 thalarctos
    January 31, 2008

    Ahh, the Philly transit system–some of my seediest memories!

    Whether it was the guy lighting up the crack pipe in full daylight view of the other passengers, or the (different) guy sitting next to me on the train giving me the benefit of his detailed wisdom on surviving in the “jernt”*, SEPTA never failed to deliver when it came to people-watching.

    * “Jernt”: regional pronunciation of “(the) joint”, slang for jail or prison

  111. #111 Hendrik
    January 31, 2008

    I thank Jeebus every day that the Vatican does not have Nuclear Weapons. That we know of.

  112. #112 AlanWCan
    January 31, 2008

    Cuttlefish: I know it breaks the meter, but you missed one word at the end…bitches

  113. #113 Tulse
    January 31, 2008

    But there are no saints, hail mary’s, prayers to virgin women, rosaries, exorcists,

    No, just faith healing, 900-foot tall Jesuses, the “Gospel of Prosperity”, Katrina as divine retribution, etc. etc. etc.

    Again, this looks like pots and kettles discussing Pantone shades.

    the good sense to know communion is symbolic

    How is that “good sense”? If you are really going to believe in a supernatural being, why is believing in transubstantiation somehow “worse”, or “less rational”? It’s like someone saying, “Well sure leprechauns are real, but pixies? What superstitious rubbish!”

    I think you’re showing your own biases, Uber.

  114. #114 Santiago
    January 31, 2008

    I beg to differ, science can (and hopefully will) give us criteria for goodness. “Goodness” is just another label for morality, and morality is there to give a set of rules by which a society lives by. We evolved morality to maximize our chances of survival, and now that the game has changed we should be taking a deep, hard look at what science tells us is the best rule set for a happy, peaceful society. Economics and neurobiology are dying to give us those answers (evolutionary psychology is a rather haphazard start on this), so there will be a day when science will be the sole criterion for goodness.

  115. #115 Tulse
    January 31, 2008

    No offense, Santiago, but that’s nonsense. You simply can’t derive “ought” from “is”, and the best science can give us is “is”. Science may be able to tell us the most efficient ways to maximize the things we value, but it really has nothing to say about which values should be chosen. (Just as an example, the notion that morality is purely about maximizing survival is itself a value.)

  116. #116 Unrepentant Liberal
    January 31, 2008

    The Pope smokes dope!

  117. #117 Uber
    January 31, 2008

    No, just faith healing, 900-foot tall Jesuses, the “Gospel of Prosperity”, Katrina as divine retribution, etc. etc. etc.

    See your confusing superstition with symbolism. BTW catholics have faith healers also that is not a Protestant idea. 900 ft tall Jesus’s are not superstitions they are statues. The gospel of prosperity is not a superstion but a method to get the bucks. Katrina as divine retribution is not a Protestant idea either.

    None of this has anything to do with the fact that the base day to day functioning of protestantism is far less superstitous than that of catholism.

    How is that “good sense”? If you are really going to believe in a supernatural being, why is believing in transubstantiation somehow “worse”, or “less rational”? It’s like someone saying, “Well sure leprechauns are real, but pixies? What superstitious rubbish!”

    I think you’re showing your own biases, Uber.

    Perhaps but I don’t think your being entirely fair here. Believing a glass of wine symbolizes blood is far more rational than thinking it transforms into blood. We are talking about the day to day in a religion. Now of course if one wants to go to the core they are both superstious. But the reformation was a turn away from alot of the superstition inherent in catholism. Did they dump it all? No. But it is considered a rational reform of a religion(a religion) by scholars. Does that mean the religion is rational? Not at all it just means Protestantism has more reason in it’s basic doctrines and practices than does catholism.

  118. #118 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 31, 2008

    the good sense to know communion is symbolic

    Sorry, my dotless friend. I forgot that most American protestants aren’t Lutherans. Which means you should probably talk about the snake-handlers and tongue-speakers.

    But it is considered a rational reform of a religion(a religion) by scholars.

    Refs please.

  119. #119 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 31, 2008

    the good sense to know communion is symbolic

    Sorry, my dotless friend. I forgot that most American protestants aren’t Lutherans. Which means you should probably talk about the snake-handlers and tongue-speakers.

    But it is considered a rational reform of a religion(a religion) by scholars.

    Refs please.

  120. #120 powder_monkey
    January 31, 2008

    I for one value the pope’s opinion, being that it is infallible.

    But right now climate scientists are praying harder than the pope ever could.

  121. #121 Uber
    January 31, 2008

    dotless friend?

    Which means you should probably talk about the snake-handlers and tongue-speakers

    Of course they exist but there are millions of them, there are millions of catholics who adhere to the lengthy list above. Nor did the reformation make mention of snake handling.

    Refs please.

    Robert Price. Go to his website and ask him directly.

  122. #122 Uber
    January 31, 2008

    ‘They exist but there aren’t millions of them’
    :-)

  123. #123 Tulse
    January 31, 2008

    900 ft tall Jesus’s are not superstitions they are statues.

    No, the reference I was making was to Oral Roberts’ claim that he saw a 900-foot tall vision of Jesus at Oral Roberts University. That’s rational? That’s not superstitious?

    The gospel of prosperity is not a superstion but a method to get the bucks.

    The Gospel of Prosperity, as preached by Protestant ministers in the US, argues that God rewards his faithful with temporal wealth, and thus to become rich one needs to be in good with the Lord. How does this differ from a superstition?

    Katrina as divine retribution is not a Protestant idea either.

    It was most prominently stated by US Protestant leaders, and not by Catholic bishops.

    Protestantism has more reason in it’s basic doctrines and practices than does catholism.

    You keep saying this, but don’t provide much in the way of evidence or even argument (except from authority), and haven’t really responded to the quotes directly from Luther on rationality so kindly noted by David.

    Sure, Catholicism may appear more baroque and full of ritual than Protestantism, but preferences there are more aesthetic than anything. Unless you can give a definition of “superstition” and “rationality”, and then provide some sort of argument, I’m afraid I don’t see any principled difference between Catholicism and Protestantism on those criteria. (And frankly, on whatever criteria you may provide, I’ll take a guitar Mass over a charismatic speaking-in-tongues and snake-handling service any day.)

  124. #124 Fatboy
    January 31, 2008

    First of all, “Protestant” isn’t really a coherent group. It’s simply all the myriad Christian religions that came about after Luther. You probably should talk about Protestants as a whole being more or less rational than Catholics, since Protestant beliefs are so diverse.

    Second, if you do believe the Bible, I really don’t see how Sola scriptura is rational, at all. God supposedly interacted with humans, from speaking to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, all the way to inspiring John to write the Book of Revelation, giving more and more scriptures as time passed, and then all of a sudden quit? How’s that rational?

  125. #125 Uber
    January 31, 2008

    Tulse,

    With all due respect I think you are confusing the individual with the institutional.

    How does this differ from a superstition?

    It isn’t but it isn’t church doctrine either.

    You keep saying this, but don’t provide much in the way of evidence or even argument (except from authority), and haven’t really responded to the quotes directly from Luther on rationality so kindly noted by David.

    Because his quotes are somewhat irrevelant. It doesn’t matter so much what he himself thought insomuch as he was effective in reducing the amount of woo prevelant in the Christian church. Clearly he himself embraced woo he just didn’t go all the way to RCC woo.

    I understand your perspective and appreciate it. It some ways I even agree. But comparing the sects side to side it becomes quite clear that one is generally more clear thinking on most issues than the other.

    Sure, Catholicism may appear more baroque and full of ritual than Protestantism, but preferences there are more aesthetic than anything.

    Superstitious ritual.

    Unless you can give a definition of “superstition” and “rationality”, and then provide some sort of argument, I’m afraid I don’t see any principled difference between Catholicism and Protestantism on those criteria. (And frankly, on whatever criteria you may provide, I’ll take a guitar Mass over a charismatic speaking-in-tongues and snake-handling service any day.)

    Speaking in tongues and snake handling may occur in a miniscule numbers of Protestant churches as opposed to all the superstitious material appearing in all catholic churches. I’ve attended thousands of services and never have seen a snake handled. Likewise only when visiting a offbeat church have I seen speaking in tongues.

    Everytime I have been to an RCC church I witnessed far more superstition in the service and among the members.

    really don’t see how Sola scriptura is rational, at all

    It may not be from the outside. But we are talking about the fact that theologically speaking(for what it is worth) the reformation is generally considered a turn towards reason in the religion and away from the trapping of superstition.

    This is evidenced by the way the majority of Protestant sects operate especially as opposed by the RCC. Many Protestant churches and denominations have been at the forefront of a myriad of social movements. They have women pastors, deacons, some welcome gays, birth control, most welcome science.

  126. #126 John Hoffman
    January 31, 2008

    The last time I paid attention the Pope was when he was portrayed by Frank Zappa’s voice in a “Ren & Stimpy” episode.

  127. #127 Tulse
    January 31, 2008

    Uber, perhaps it would help the discussion’s clarity if you defined what you mean by “superstition” and “woo”, and how you distinguish those things from religious beliefs involving the supernatural.

  128. #128 Arnosium Upinarum
    January 31, 2008

    This elaborately-garmented imbecile has now also declared that the scientific pursuit of knowledge (obviously required in order to bring about ANY improvement in the human condition) “questioned the very concept of the dignity of man” and that such pursuit has “shattered the barriers meant to protect human dignity”.

    One must wonder what the nature of these “BARRIERS” are. WHAT exactly is the intended “PROTECTION” here. HOW exactly “HUMAN DIGNITY” is defined by these seminally undignified dolts.

    I pay attention to the pope in the same way that I pay attention to a mosquito that insists on landing on my nose.

    Uber: it’s fascinating how equivocation always manages to take up more room than it’s worth.

  129. #129 Tulse
    January 31, 2008

    What’s especially interesting to me about the Pope’s latest pronouncement is that he complains about artificial insemination among all the other technologies. That presumably pisses off a lot of childless couples.

  130. #130 Arnosium Upinarum
    February 1, 2008

    ” “…no science can say who man is, where he comes from or where he is going”, the Pope said.”

    Hmmm…but he can say, based on…what?

  131. #131 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 1, 2008

    dotless friend?

    I just can’t look at your name anymore. :-) The German word for “above”/”over” is über, and u is not pronounced the same way as ü.

    Nor did the reformation make mention of snake handling.

    That means that all the Luther quotes are relevant. They are part of the reformation. I bet when Luther said “reason” he was thinking first of all of Thomas Aquinas…

    is generally considered

    And then you came up with a single person who agrees.

    Many Protestant churches and denominations have been at the forefront of a myriad of social movements.

    Do you know why Europe’s conservative parties are no more to the right than John Kerry? That’s because of encyclicas like Humanae vitae and Laborem exercens from the late 19th and early 20th centuries which, while naturally condemning communism and socialism as godless & evil, condemned Social Darwinism just the same, and emphasized concepts like human dignity and just wage. Since then the conservatives (in Protestant countries, too) call themselves “Christian Social” and/or “Christian Democratic”.

    Let me second comment 124.

  132. #132 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 1, 2008

    dotless friend?

    I just can’t look at your name anymore. :-) The German word for “above”/”over” is über, and u is not pronounced the same way as ü.

    Nor did the reformation make mention of snake handling.

    That means that all the Luther quotes are relevant. They are part of the reformation. I bet when Luther said “reason” he was thinking first of all of Thomas Aquinas…

    is generally considered

    And then you came up with a single person who agrees.

    Many Protestant churches and denominations have been at the forefront of a myriad of social movements.

    Do you know why Europe’s conservative parties are no more to the right than John Kerry? That’s because of encyclicas like Humanae vitae and Laborem exercens from the late 19th and early 20th centuries which, while naturally condemning communism and socialism as godless & evil, condemned Social Darwinism just the same, and emphasized concepts like human dignity and just wage. Since then the conservatives (in Protestant countries, too) call themselves “Christian Social” and/or “Christian Democratic”.

    Let me second comment 124.

  133. #133 Samantha Vimes
    February 1, 2008

    Shorter Uber: superstition = religious beliefs I despise. Reason = religious beliefs I don’t really mind.

  134. #134 Uber
    February 1, 2008

    shorter Samantha Vimes = idiot.

    I don’t despise catholism, I have no real feeling towards it at all past humor.

    perhaps it would help the discussion’s clarity if you defined what you mean by “superstition” and “woo”, and how you distinguish those things from religious beliefs involving the supernatural

    You guys are conflating or perhaps I’m not being clear. Both sects have their superstition or woo. Catholism simply has more of it, is this even debatable? I mean seriously. Go to church for 100 weeks in a Methodist church and do the same in an RCC church and the increased amount of woo is obvious.

    And then you came up with a single person who agrees

    Of the top of my head. I could also have said Spong, Callahan, and others. But Price is a heavyweight that I knew you would recognize and his arguments carry alot of weight. He would be glad to point on multiple references for you I’m sure.

    Do you know why Europe’s conservative parties are no more to the right than John Kerry?

    Thats fine, it doesn’t invalidate my point that protestant churches are often at the forefront of social change. How many gays have been married by the RCC? How many women pastors or priests? How much birth control have they ascented to?

    No doubt the RCC ‘emphasized concepts like human dignity and just wage’ they aren’t all bad. They just are not nearly as progressive and reasonable in doctrine. In short they belong in a different age, they just aren’t revelant.

    Superstition = woo

    how you distinguish those things from religious beliefs involving the supernatural.

    I don’t and for the purposes of this discussion we don’t need to do so. We are essentially talking quantity. Protestantism simply dumps a large number of woo beliefs that catholism retains. I’m not making a judgement on which woo is better or worse just where less woo is found.

  135. #135 Uber
    February 1, 2008

    I messed up the blockquoting:

    Do you know why Europe’s conservative parties are no more to the right than John Kerry

    Thats fine, it doesn’t invalidate my point that protestant churches are often at the forefront of social change. How many gays have been married by the RCC? How many women pastors or priests? How much birth control have they ascented to?

    No doubt the RCC ‘emphasized concepts like human dignity and just wage’ they aren’t all bad. They just are not nearly as progressive and reasonable in doctrine. In short they belong in a different age, they just aren’t revelant.

    Superstition = woo

    how you distinguish those things from religious beliefs involving the supernatural.

    I don’t and for the purposes of this discussion we don’t need to do so. We are essentially talking quantity. Protestantism simply dumps a large number of woo beliefs that catholism retains. I’m not making a judgement on which woo is better or worse just where less woo is found.

  136. #136 Tulse
    February 1, 2008

    Both sects have their superstition or woo. Catholism simply has more of it, is this even debatable? I mean seriously.

    Yes, seriously, especially since you have continued to fail to give any sort of definition of “woo” or “superstition” despite repeated requests to do so. Just asserting this claim over and over really does make it appear that you simply don’t like the aesthetics of Catholicism, rather than having any sort of principled argument.

  137. #137 Uber
    February 1, 2008

    Yes, seriously, especially since you have continued to fail to give any sort of definition of “woo” or “superstition” despite repeated requests to do so

    Ok tulse superstition- something that is believed to exist outside the natural world. What other definition would it be?

    Saints in catholism, not in protestantism

    wine to blood in catholism, only symbolic in protestantism

  138. #138 Tulse
    February 1, 2008

    Good. So you want to say that there is some metric by which we can judge the “amount” of superstition in Catholicism and in Protestantism. How do we go about this? Do we simply trade anecdotes (“Snake handling and speaking in tongues in Protestantism and not in Catholicism”), or do you have a more principled argument?

    If you don’t want to generate one, I will — how about “Catholicism is much more liberal and naturalistic in its interpretation of the Bible than Protestantism typically is, and thus is more in accord with the ‘natural world’ and therefore less ‘superstitious’”.

  139. #139 Uber
    February 1, 2008

    Do we simply trade anecdotes (“Snake handling and speaking in tongues in Protestantism and not in Catholicism”), or do you have a more principled argument?

    Actually catholics speak in tonques also and do all kinds of interesting things in Africa. You call it trading anecedotes, I call it doctrine. Everything I have offered is catholic doctrines not present in protestantism. You can read it yourself.

    Catholicism is much more liberal and naturalistic in its interpretation of the Bible than Protestantism typically is, and thus is more in accord with the ‘natural world’ and therefore less ‘superstitious’”.

    Patently false. Unless of course saints are a naturalistic interpretation,or wine to blood. Also I doubt methodists, united church of christ, American Baptists, Quakers, Lutherans, presby, Episcipalians, et al would agree that the RCC is more naturalistic and liberal. Again how liberal/naturalistic can one be that doesn’t allow women priests, or even something as mundane as divorce?

  140. #140 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 1, 2008

    wine to blood in catholism, only symbolic in protestantism

    Again: no. Lutherans do believe in transubstantiation.

    If you want to argue that Methodists have less woo than Catholics, be my guest (if only because I know very little about Methodism and have never seen a Methodist service). If you really want to lump all Protestants together, well, so will I.

  141. #141 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 1, 2008

    wine to blood in catholism, only symbolic in protestantism

    Again: no. Lutherans do believe in transubstantiation.

    If you want to argue that Methodists have less woo than Catholics, be my guest (if only because I know very little about Methodism and have never seen a Methodist service). If you really want to lump all Protestants together, well, so will I.

  142. #142 Uber
    February 1, 2008

    Again: no. Lutherans do believe in transubstantiation.

    If you want to argue that Methodists have less woo than Catholics, be my guest (if only because I know very little about Methodism and have never seen a Methodist service). If you really want to lump all Protestants together, well, so will I.

    fair enough. I think the primary difference I am struggling and apparently failing to relate is the institutional nature of the beliefs. Your correct about lutherans and to be fair it’s hard to pigeon hole protestantism and the RCC is a big huge easily accessed target.

    RCC doctrine is rife with alot of superstious doctrines and beliefs not inherent in protestant doctrine. I’m not arguing validity simply quantity. Nor am I trying to argue Protestantism is free of woo, obviously it isn’t.

    The lesser aspect is why the reformation is referred to as a turn towards rationality by many theologians and scholars. This was made possible in part by the fragmenting of the church to allow more views. Many of these views have aided the secular world.

  143. #143 JimC
    February 1, 2008

    I see Uber’s point. I tend to agree. The catholics I know have all sorts of bobbles and rituals they feel they need to follow. The Protestants seem to lack this past a cross or bumper sticker. With catholism it is inherent to the belief system that you absorb this material. No such idea exists protestantism. To me that is the difference. One is institutional one is individual.

    So while it’s possible to be a supremely superstious protestant the church doctrines are very basic- essentially no frills. The RCC has institutionalized superstition probably to a degree no other organization ever has before as stated previously their list is so long as to be never ending. Saying they are naturalistic is like saying summer is winter. There doctrines prevent a fair look at the natural world when it comes against their doctrine. It does give them latitude with much of science however.

    I think it’s fair to say catholism as a religion is generally more irrational in it’s doctrines and daily practices than protestantism but that certain catholics and certain protestants may be more or less so either way.

    When your a superstitous person I think either religion will make your more so.

  144. #144 Tulse
    February 1, 2008

    I think it’s fair to say catholism as a religion is generally more irrational in it’s doctrines and daily practices than protestantism

    Invoking the intercession of a saint is somehow more irrational than talking directly to a 2000-year-old invisible Jewish zombie? Religion is all supernaturalism — it is only less so to the extent that it is less of a religion, less a belief in the supernatural (which, of course, includes a monotheistic omnipotent god).

    Look, you may not like lots of stained glass and gold, and think that smells and bells is vulgar and uncouth, and that pictures of dead people and beads on a string is declasse. That’s fine, as that’s a matter of taste. But honestly, do Protestants really believe that God interacts with them less than Catholics do? Do Protestants pray less? Do they engage in less beseeching of an unseen supernatural entity? Do they believe less in miraculous intervention in their lives? In my experience, this simply isn’t true.

  145. #145 Uber
    February 1, 2008

    Tulse-

    I think we’ve about run the course with this one. My last volley.

    Invoking the intercession of a saint is somehow more irrational than talking directly to a 2000-year-old invisible Jewish zombie? Religion is all supernaturalism — it is only less so to the extent that it is less of a religion, less a belief in the supernatural

    No, they are both irrational. No one is debating this aspect. But the RCC does both the saint and Jesus and Mary. I am discussing quantity not completeness. No one, myself or Robert Price, would argue that the reformation restored rationality to the religion as a whole just that it is considered a turn towards reason. A turn, not a complete agreement with it.

    But honestly, do Protestants really believe that God interacts with them less than Catholics do? Do Protestants pray less? Do they engage in less beseeching of an unseen supernatural entity? Do they believe less in miraculous intervention in their lives? In my experience, this simply isn’t true.

    I wouldn’t even necessarily disagree with the above. But the doctrines of the churches they belong to have substantial differences in the amount of woo they incorporate into the religion. As individuals practice varies widely.

  146. #146 johannes
    February 2, 2008

    > Do you know why Europe’s conservative parties are no more
    > to the right than John Kerry?

    Applies for fiscal and economical matters, not for social and cultural matters like immigration or gay marriage.

    > That’s because of encyclicas like Humanae
    > vitae and Laborem exercens from the late 19th
    > and early 20th centuries which,
    > while naturally condemning communism and socialism as godless &
    > evil, condemned Social Darwinism just the same, and emphasized
    > concepts like human dignity and just wage.

    The history of European Catholic conservativism is a complex thing, it starts with renegade anarcho-syndicalists like Sorel or populists like Lueger and than goes through a phase of corporative fascism (that the RCC most likely wants to forget), before adopting mainstream conservativism in the postwar years. Two papal encyclicas or three don’t tell the whole story. Clearly, there is a huge gulf between Benedetto Croce’s idea of human dignity and Monsignor Jozef Tiso’s one.

  147. #147 windy
    February 2, 2008

    Thats fine, it doesn’t invalidate my point that protestant churches are often at the forefront of social change.

    This could be because (some) protestant churches have been more successfully tamed by the Enlightenment and later developments, not because of the supreme rationality of the Reformation. Right out of the gates the Protestants were as eager to burn witches and start religious wars as the Catholics.

    Again: no. Lutherans do believe in transubstantiation.

    No, apparently Lutherans believe in some kind of “presence” of body and blood at communion but not in the “change” of bread to fleshy substances which is what Transubstantation implies. Not really rational either way. (I had to look it up – even though I’ve been confirmed as a Lutheran, and supposedly have received careful instruction about what I was supposed to profess to believe in *snort*)

  148. #148 Richard Simons
    February 2, 2008

    Enkidu said

    Mother Teresa was never called to assist an ailing church leader, nor anyone of any religion who could afford modern medical care. They left the pain, the pallets and the prayers for the poor.

    As I recall she herself had so little faith in her religion or her institutions that in her final illness she went into a modern hospital rather than remain to be cared for in the facilities she established to look after poor people.

  149. #149 Robin Gills
    February 25, 2009

    Well I don’t know when I read the other comments. I attended World Youth Day in Sydney 2008 and I would have to say how impressed I was with the seas of young people all there to see Pope Benedict and the great feeling of celebration in the air. I did not see any alcohol or cigarettes for that matter and I saw seas of young people proud to be Roman Catholic.

    So evidently there are some who say he irrelevant but then there are many who chose a spiritual foundation to live life and feel there is something more. Faith is the key as evident at World Youth Day, it has never been a matter of proof, it has always been about faith.

    To me I don’t need proof and I love being involved in 2 thousand years of truth, tradition and culture over centuries. Pointing party hats, great ceremony, ambiance in ceremony and amazing sense of community is something I am privileged to be part of. And I say all this as a gay man who does not have to politicize my sexuality who is blessed with the great gift I have in being gay and Catholic.

  150. #150 Kel
    February 25, 2009

    To me I don’t need proof and I love being involved in 2 thousand years of truth

    *head asplodes* how can you say truth when it’s a self-admitted matter of faith?

  151. #151 Owlmirror
    February 25, 2009

    To me I don’t need proof and I love being involved in 2 thousand years of truthiness, tradition and culture over centuries.

    Fixed.

    Pointing party hats, great ceremony, ambiance in ceremony and amazing sense of community is something I am privileged to be part of. And I say all this as a gay man who does not have to politicize my sexuality who is blessed with the great gift I have in being gay and Catholic.

    I’m impressed with how you handle the cognitive dissonances. Power to ya.

  152. #152 John Morales
    February 26, 2009

    Robin Gills @144 (addendum):

    … And I say all this as a gay man who does not have to politicize my sexuality who is blessed with the great gift I have in being gay and Catholic.

    Cognitive dissonance doesn’t begin to cover it.

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