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Posts Tagged ‘indulgences’

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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People seem very excited about an upcoming Turkish game show, in which a Priest, an Imam, a Rabbi, and a Monk attempt to convert 10 atheists to their religions each episode. (If this reminds you of the religious joke to end all religious jokes, you are not alone.)

There are two things that are stopping me from joining the excitement. First, I don’t speak Turkish. And second, the show sounds terribly boring. Trying to sell people on a religion? How is that any different from the church shows that flood the airwaves every Sunday morning, the “Muslim Power Hour” that comes on public access each Thursday morning, or “Seinfeld”?

To that end, religious programmers, I offer you some alternative religious game show suggestions:

THE RELIGIOUS MATCH GAME

“Dumb David was so dumb–”

“HOW DUMB WAS HE?”

“He was so dumb, that when he became king of the Jews, instead of collecting 100 foreskins, he collected 100 ________.”

RELIGIOUS JEOPARDY

Starting with an answer (e.g. “God exists”), you have to make up an appropriate question (e.g. “What’s something I can believe in even though there’s no evidence for it?”).

WHEEL OF RELIGIOUS FORTUNE

“Remember, the category is FACT. And there’s only one letter left: ‘_OUR RELIGION IS FALSE’. Do you want to solve the puzzle?”

“No, I’ll guess a letter. Is there a ‘P’?”

WHO WANTS TO BE A RELIGIOUS MILLIONAIRE

Players compete to see who can bilk the most money out of credulous believers. Popular tactics include overpriced devotional text-message services, suicide threats, and faith healing.

IS YOUR RELIGION SMARTER THAN A 5TH GRADER

We pit your religious scriptures against grade-school students to see who can correctly answer questions like “Is the earth 6000 years old?”

LET’S MAKE A RELIGIOUS DEAL

If you believe in Jesus, and you’re right, then you get an eternity in heaven plus what’s inside this box, but if you don’t believe in Jesus, and you’re wrong, you’ll get what’s behind door #3 (which is a goat).

RELIGIOUS FAMILY FEUD

“Introducing the Mohammed Family! Khadijah, Sawda, Aisha, Hafsa, Zaynab K., Umm Salama, Raihanah, Zaynab J., Juwayriya, Ramlah, Safiyya, Barra, and Maria, ready for action!”

WIN BEN STEIN’S CREATIONISM

Ben Stein asks you questions about evolutionary biology, and whenever you get one right he mocks you and acts as if you’re attacking him.

RELIGIOUS PRICE IS RIGHT

“And the next item up for bid is an indulgence! Manufactured by the Roman Catholic Church, it’s packed with some of the merit acquired by Jesus’s sacrifice. Get rid of those pesky temporal consequences, only with a genuine indulgence!

The one of you who bids closest to the retail value of that indulgence without going over has got some sin in your future! Now, what am I bid?”

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