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Posts Tagged ‘catholicism’

The early reviews of the new Harry Potter are in, and they’re pretty good:

The Vatican lauded the latest Harry Potter film on Monday, saying Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince made the age-old debate over good vs. evil crystal clear.

Wait, crystal clear? I read the book, and I’m pretty sure that the battle between good and evil was anything but crystal clear.

I suppose it’s possible that the movie changes all those parts. But I’m guessing it’s a reasonably faithful adaptation.

Which means that the Vatican must be referring to their own idiosyncratic notions of good and evil.

For instance, perhaps they consider Dumbledore “evil” on account of his support for gay marriage and euthanasia. And maybe they consider Voldemort “good” because his pursuit of horcruxes demonstrates that (unlike those nasty Darwinist muggles) he believes in an immortal soul.

Or perhaps the priests are merely using moral language to disguise an affinity for watching horny teenagers:

The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano even gave two thumbs up to the film’s treatment of adolescent love, saying it achieved the “correct balance” and made the stars more credible to the general audience.

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In recent years the Catholic Church has been creating new sins with abandon, including “causing social injustice [except when the Catholic Church does it],” “becoming obscenely wealthy [except when the Catholic Church does it],” and “road rage [except when the Catholic Church does it].”

And if there’s one man you can count on to take a firm stand against pleasure-providing, consensual activities, it’s the Pope.

Which is why it’s not terribly surprising to find him weighing in against drug use:

In particular, the Holy Father noted Mexico’s work to eliminate “violence, drug trafficking, and inequality and poverty, which are fertile ground for delinquency.”

I can already hear you objecting that the Pope is only opposed to drug “trafficking,” not drug use, to which I will simply point out that without drug “trafficking,” there is no drug use, except maybe for drugs that you grow yourself in your closet using a hydroponic setup that you lied to the sales clerk and told was for “legitimate vegetables,” drugs that you made in a trailer in the woods from common household items you bought at supermarkets and hardware stores, and model airplane cement.

At this point you might be wondering why exactly the Pope cares about drug use. After all, the College of Cardinals has been known to smoke some wacky stuff during papal elections, and Benedict is himself supposed to have experimented in the past with Nazi crank. And you’d think that as a well-known Cypress Hill fan, he’d have more appreciation for the “bubonic chronic.”

Well, it’s possible that nostalgia-minded priests are encouraged by the parallels between the War on Drugs and the Inquisition. Also, drugs have “an obvious affiliation with the desires of Satan,” especially his desire to eat at White Castle. And probably the Church views the War on Drugs as a useful proxy for its war against Santa Muerte.

According to the internet, though, it’s primarily because Pope Benedict is the antichrist, who will necessarily support the drug war:

“If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient anointing oil _ and receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ and his followers Christians, then persecuting those who use cannabis could be considered anti-Christ,” Mr Bennett concludes.

End times could be near! I’ve already picked out which house I’m moving into after the rapture, but have you?

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I’m sure that (like me) you set a special alarm and woke up bright and early so that you could read the Pope’s new encyclical CARITAS IN VERITATE (“Who cares whether all this stuff is true?”) And then (like me) I’m sure you found it interminably long and incomprehensibly boring.

Nonetheless, it’s easy to pick out four key themes:

1. Fascism:

To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority

(I think he stole this idea from Hayek, or possibly Orwell, or maybe both.)

2. Monoculture:

Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums. Without this, despite the great progress accomplished in various sectors, international law would risk being conditioned by the balance of power among the strongest nations.

(This seems possibly related to Jesus’s famous recommendation to “Put all thine eggs in one basket.”)

3. Redistributionism “governed by politics”:

Economic life undoubtedly requires contracts, in order to regulate relations of exchange between goods of equivalent value. But it also needs just laws and forms of redistribution governed by politics

(Although he didn’t give any specific examples of “redistribution governed by politics,” the morning papers are consistently full of such stories, like “congressman seeks taxpayer dollars for tony private club” and “congressman uses taxpayer dollars to fund remote, mostly-useless, eponymous airport,” and “city council member awards lucrative sludge-hauling contract to bribe-paying bidder.” Obviously, the endorsement of such behavior by the church is not without precedent.)

4. Anti-atheism:

ideological rejection of God and an atheism of indifference, oblivious to the Creator and at risk of becoming equally oblivious to human values, constitute some of the chief obstacles to development today.

Oh, yes, those horrible, horrible atheists. Why, I’m sure with their oversized presence in politics they’re getting in the way of all the religious people clamoring for nationalized health care, or perhaps they’re getting in the way of the religious people arguing against nationalized health care.

I bet it’s the atheists who are standing in the way of all the pro-gun Christians, as well as in the way of all the anti-gun Christians.

And it must be the atheists who are fighting against minimum wage increases, while simultaneously fighting for minimum wage increases.

Why, if you can think of a political issue that some Christians support and other Christians oppose (which includes, oh, pretty much all political issues), then probably it’s the nasty “oblivious to human values” atheists who are fighting for and against it. You tell it to them, Benny!

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It’s always exciting when scientists are able to corroborate fictional stories. Who wasn’t thrilled when paleontologists found the skeleton of Moby Dick? Who didn’t get excited when epidemiologists were able to isolate the “Captain Trips” virus? What child wasn’t delighted when zoologists successfully trained a mouse to ride a motorcycle?

I felt that same sense of excitement today, when I read that scientific tests had confirmed that certain bone fragments actually belonged to the apostle Paul:

Benedict said scientists had conducted carbon dating tests on bone fragments found inside the sarcophagus and confirmed that they date from the first or second century.

“This seems to confirm the unanimous and uncontested tradition that they are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul,” Benedict said.

I suppose the Pope’s conclusion isn’t perfectly obvious unless you also know that

(1) The apostle Paul dated from the first or second century, and
(2) No one else dated from that time period.

But those are both pretty much common sense. Hooray for science!

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Jehovah’s Witness Hell

Argument for:

hit song “Blood on the Dance Floor” violates JeWit interpretation of Acts 15:28-29

Argument against:

kicked out in 1987 for “suggestive dance, dress, and grooming”

Muslim Hell

Argument for:

inclusion of Mohammed caricature on Off the Wall album liner

Argument against:

professed Shahadah at Toto keyboardist Steve Porcaro‘s house in 1998

Jewish Hell

Argument for:

followed heretic “Kosher Sex” teachings of Shmuley Boteach

Argument against:

Judaism doesn’t really have a hell

Scientology Hell

Argument for:

failed marriage to Lisa Marie Presley

Argument against:

history of OT-VIII-caliber insanity

Catholic Hell

Argument for:

boy-touching

Argument against:

boy-touching

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The governor of the Vatican visited CERN recently to reassure everyone that the Catholic Church “supports” “science.” In fact, according to his speech, the Church has always supported science.

USA Today seems to have reproduced his quote, but for some reason they left out all of the footnotes, which I have carefully reconstructed below:

“The Church never1 fears2 the truth3 of science4, because we are convinced5 that all truth6 comes from God7,” Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, Vatican City’s governor, said Thursday in Geneva. “Science8 will help our faith to purify9 itself. And faith10 at the same time will be able to broaden the horizons11 of man, who cannot12 just enclose himself in the horizons of science13.”

1. certainly not during the pesky Copernicus incident or during the whole Galileo flap
2. “hates” is probably a more accurate description
3. keep in mind that we don’t use that word the same way you do
4. which, as usual, we will mischaracterize in a way that backs up our crazy belief system
5. not, mind you, by evidence, but rather by the assertions of an ancient, mis-translated book of myths
6. see note 3, above
7. who doesn’t actually exist, but bear with us
8. by which we mean “the parts of science we want you to know about”
9. “sell”
10. i.e. believing whatever we tell you to not because it makes any sense but just because we said to
11. “narrow the horizons”
12. because we’ll burn him at the stake if he tries
13. because he might disbelieve our dogma if he did

Although he didn’t follow up this quote with support for science related to embryonic stem cells, IVF, or human cloning, I’m sure that’s just because the interview was running long.

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The Catholic Church is warning its parishioners that Confession is not the same thing as psychiatry.

Now, there wouldn’t be confusion if there weren’t similarities. Both involve lots of Latin buzzwords. Both are very unpopular with Scientologists. Both require you to tell your secrets to some weirdo in a dark room. And both present the danger that the weirdo will take advantage of those secrets to touch you inappropriately.

Nonetheless, as the Vatican points out, there are important differences:

psychiatry confession
covered by insurance not covered by insurance
comfortable couch hard wooden booth
legally able to prescribe drugs legally able to prescribe Hail Marys
not a sacrament is a sacrament
belief in medication as best cure for juvenile hyperactivity belief in beating-by-nuns as best cure for juvenile hyperactivity
considered corrupt on account of financial ties with deep-pocketed pharmaceutical makers considered corrupt on account of financial ties with deep-pocketed indulgence-seekers
based on reverence of crazy Austrian based on reverence of crazy German
underlying conditions considered mythical by a handful of critics underlying conditions considered mythical by anyone with a brain

Keep them straight, kids!

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