Thursday, May 05, 2005

I Prefer the Dead Pope...

` I really do. Never mind the fact that the whole idea of 'Pope' as Jesus' ambassador to Earth is - according to the bible - dubious at best. Some people have strange ideas about Christianity, but still, John Paul was pretty cool. As a Pope, anyway.
` Obviously, I'm not even religious, much less Catholic, but I wish that at least they hadn't replaced John Paul II with someone so... vile. I would guess that this Benedict guy will probably do his best to revert the Church to its medeival state.
` This is one reason why I say John Paul II was probably the best. Though he kicked out some women who wanted to be priests, he was also welcoming married Episcopal priests into the Church, as far as I know, in the hopes that Silly Catholic Rules like celibacy could be lifted.
` Didn't he?
` I wouldn't call him "the greatest person on Earth in the twentieth century," as some have, but his liberal tendencies have made me feel a spark of hope for the Church. I mean, when you have a Pope who's saying such 'heretical' things as; 'It's more or less okay to be Jewish, or Muslim even Buddhist!', it means you are dealing with a Very Tolerant Bishop of Rome!

` John Paul II even apologized for the Nazi persecutions and other Problems and Inactions of Catholics, and apparently had greatly improved the situation in the State of Israel. The Anti-Defamation League said that "more change for the better took place in this 27 year Papacy than in the nearly 2000 years before."
` Not bad!!
` Now see, what he did was try to find common ground between other religious leaders, including the Dalai Lama. He even apologized for the religious ransacking, torturing, killing etc. of the 13th century Crusades and a dozen Various Other Nasty Offenses to the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church: "For the occasions past and present, when sons and daughters of the Catholic Church have sinned by action or omission against their Orthodox brothers and sisters, may the Lord grant us forgiveness."
` Afterwards, they both declared their disproval of fanaticism and prayed together, which is usually considered Something You're Not Supposed to Do.

` No Pope had ever done anything like that before! Neither have any apologized for the persecution of Galileo Galilei; the burning of Jan Hus at the stake and the Church's role in the wars following the Protestant Reformation; the African slave trade; injustices committed against women in the name of Christ throughout history; and violations of their rights and 'the rights of ethnic groups and peoples, and [the Church's] contempt for their cultures and religious traditions...."; missionary abuses of indigenous South Pacific peoples and the massacre of Native Americans by the Spanish in the name of the Church. That's apparently why John Paul II was the one who did - it was about time!

` Also, he had been quite the peacemaker during his reign. One of the things he is known for is having a tremendous effect against communism - Mikhail Gorbachev in fact said that the fall of the Iron Curtain would not have happened without his help.
` Um... that's quite a big deal! Also, he tried to get George 'Dubya' to stop his one-sided war on Iraq, which was very much illegal and illogical (and... just 'ill' in general).

` He was also quite remarkable in other ways: As far as other 'heretical' things go, for example, when a Pope thinks something like; "It would seem the evolution of life did occur! (Since God is a genius and all...)" it means he does not take the bible literally (in a progressive way, anyway), which is something I consider to be a Very Good Thing for the Progress of Christians Everywhere.
` In fact, John Paul II also had a radio telescope called the 'Pope Scope' in the pretense that humans are not that special - other intelligent life may have also evolved! (With God, of course...) This, I would guess, shows that he didn't think humans are like the center of the universe in God's eyes.

` I mean, he obviously did not approve of the 'conditions' of such perfectly decent people as my homosexual and transgendered friends, or, things such as divorce, though I cannot justify my mom staying married to that abusive psycho, so I know there are definite emergencies!
` In Asia and Africa, John Paul II even argued that condoms should not be used and that they do not have any effect against HIV transmission - oh, just what Asians and Africans need! More people being born and more people suffering and dying!
` Thing is, though... he was a Pope! Considering that even more conservative Catholics either wanted him denounced or went as far as to disown him, I don't think John Paul could be thought of as way too conservative.
` Though he may have opposed the killing of microscopic, newly-formed human embryos
to help people with medical conditions like his - something which President George 'Dubya' Bush calls 'the culture of death' - I am certainly glad that he also did not support Bush's real 'culture of death' which involves capital punishment and the war in Iraq, which maimed and killed mostly Iraquis, thousands of them innocent civilians.

` Of course, John Paul II died in his old age and now there is this new Pope, a Joseph Ratzinger - now Benedict XVI. During the reign of John Paul II, you see, he has been suppressing and even condemning theologians for being liberal and inclusive.
` To Benedict, tolerance is "a pretext to distorting truth." He said that such things as tolerance of other religions, other points of view, differences in opinions, and "modernity in itself" were the enemy of the Roman Catholic Church.
` In fact, other denominations, which John Paul II worked so hard to reach out - and apologize - to, were considered "not proper churches" by Ratzinger in 2000, and that "Only in the Catholic Church is there eternal salvation."
` In other words, he is a Catholic Funamentalist and therefore does not take the bible literally, either: But being regressive rather than progressive, this is
not at all what John Paul II had been about!

` I would guess that this man also does not like the United States, being a democracy and all. Our Constitution reads: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

We the people... do ordain and establish this Constitution... not God!
` Amendment I states; "Congress shall make no law requesting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." In other words, it cannot favor or interfere with any religion, and any God or gods cannot be used as authorities in the government, unlike theocracies.
` You realize, this means that the Constitution is a
secular document, and secularism is something which Benedict XVI is very much against! Why? Because Benedict XVI relies on One Authority - God, who allegedly said that Catholocism is Special, the One True Sect, which is something I highly doubt can be found anywhere in Scripture. I wonder now... will the more liberal Catholics disown him?

` I can only hope that he does not cause too many problems in this country by encouraging the most fundamentalist Catholics to try to convert everyone around them. On the other hand, the way he's acting, there's probably not that many of them who are strict enough to fall within his radar.
` Personally, though, I would rather think of John Paul II's decomposing corpse as the Pope than Ratzinger any day!

` And with this thought, I need go beddy bye now. Oo, the nightmares.

` This blog has been bits of both Personal Rambling and little bit of Very Bad Plagiarism from parts of annoying Paul Kurtz's article 'Back to the Dark Ages' in June/July's Free Inquiry (which will be out in a couple of months), though this blog entry is more balanced than his article! Bad Paul!

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