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Posts Tagged ‘pope’

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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You’re probably familar with Alberto Cutié. Also known as “Father Oprah” (probably on account of his constant struggles with his weight, his habit of giving free Pontiacs to parishioners, and his millionaire-making endorsements of lousy books), he got caught by Cuban spies a few weeks ago cavorting on the beach with his girlfriend, a divorcée.

Now, Priests aren’t supposed to have girlfriends, and also the Catholic Church doesn’t recognize divorce, which got Cutié doubly in trouble. Instead of waiting around for a nun to beat him senseless with a ruler, he instead joined the Episcopal church, where he delivered his first sermon this morning:

The former priest received a standing ovation and told several jokes, quipping at one point that “my stuff is in storage.”

Thanks to a favor I once did for the Archbishop of Canterbury, I got a sneak peek at Cutié’s joke-filled opening monologue:

Finally, Father Oprah has come back to Anglicanism. [pause for laughter] Now, I know what some of you are thinking: Father Oprah’s just here for the lonely, divorced women. And I’m not going to bear false witness [pause for laughter], some of your divorcees estan muy buenas! [pause for laughter]

But it’s also a huge relief not to have to believe in transsubstantiation anymore. I mean, I can believe that someone could turn crackers into toffee [pause for laughter] or wine into sangria. [pause for laughter] But turning them into the flesh and blood of Jesus? That’s kind of gross!

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against people wanting to get flesh and bodily fluids in their mouths … especially when the people are hot divorcees! [pause for laughter] And especially when the flesh and fluids are mine! [pause for laughter and hoots] But crackers can’t turn into flesh. Again, crackers can’t turn into flesh. So ladies, next time you want to get your mouth on some “divinity,” you talk to Father Oprah, because [points at crotch] ain’t no crackers down there! Am I right, gentlemen? [pause for “woof, woof, woof” noises from male parishioners]

Also, I’ve got to say, it’s somewhat of a relief not to have to take marching orders from the Pope anymore. He’s definitely a smart man, there’s no doubt about that, but all that goose-stepping was giving me muscle cramps! [pause for laughter] And how much bratwurst can one cardinal eat? [pause for laughter] I swear, every time there was a conclave in Rome, I was shitting pig intestines for a week! [pause for laughter] One of my flights back to Miami someone thought there were WMDs in the bathroom! [pause for laughter] Wurst-Mess Dookies! [long pause for sustained laughter]

Anyway, it’s great to be here. I look forward to years of productive relationships with your divorcees. [pause for laughter] I mean, with all of you. [pause for applause] God bless!

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Economic times are tough. Maybe you’re working for a bloated auto company that makes expensive cars no one wants to buy. Maybe you’re a schoolteacher without enough seniority to avoid the latest round of budget cuts. Maybe you work for a Canadian company losing business from “Buy American” provisions in the stimulus bill. Or maybe your job just sucks.

Well, according to the New York Times, you probably shouldn’t consider joining the clergy:

The anecdotal evidence collected by the Association of Theological Schools, which covers 250 graduate institutions in the United States and Canada, has found job listings for ministerial positions down by about one-third at major seminaries serving both evangelical and mainstream Protestant denominations. The Jewish newspaper The Forward reported last month that Jewish seminaries accustomed to placing nearly all their newly minted rabbis were finding jobs this year for only about half.

Also the pay isn’t that good (unless you run a “prosperity gospel” scam), and you have to wear a funny costume.

But if you’re really intent on being a religious leader, there is one option:

Only the Roman Catholic Church, with a well-known shortage of priests, has more openings than applicants. And that, in turn, has led to a round of mordant jokes among seminarians about converting to get a job.

Of course, they don’t bother to tell us any of these jokes, forcing us to speculate. I’m guessing they’re along the lines of

  • Sure, the Catholic Church may be The Great Whore of Babylon, but they do offer a steady paycheck!
  • I don’t agree with their boy-touching policies, but I do agree with their clergy-paying policies!
  • I bet if you pretend you work in a toll booth the days just fly by!
  • The celibacy sucks, but the exorcisms more than make up for it!
  • “WILL TRANSSUBSTANTIATE FOR FOOD”
  • Taking marching orders from a crazy ex-Hitler-Youth might be cool, just like in Apt Pupil!
  • Maybe I’ll get a free trip to Rome out of the deal. I hear the pizza there is amazing!
  • Come on guys, it’s not like any one of these crazy religions is any less false than all the others!

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