Posts Tagged ‘catholicism’

I open my Facebook this morning and lo!

Charges initiated against Pope for crimes against humanity

at which I thought, hihi hihi hihi, and maybe also a bit, go get him, guys!

But of course, nothing is ever as pretty and shiny as it seems: the two lawyers who prepared the charges, Christian Sailer and Gert-Joachim Hetzel, are members of a ~~*new religious movement*~~ called “Universelles Leben“, founded by the prophetess Gabriele Wittek in 1975. Which makes it an epic clash of the cranks, which is extremely funny, as everything ever should be. Life is beautiful.

However, for all their crankery one can’t but think that they might be a bit right:

“three worldwide crimes which until now have not been denounced . . . (as) the traditional reverence toward ‘ecclesiastical authority’ has clouded the sense of right and wrong” (emphasis mine)

This is absolutely true, and a lot more quotes, too (although I haven’t of course read the whole 16500 word document, nor do I intend to. This is, after all, a clash of the cranks).

Meanwhile, from what I could gather from my extensive, 30-minute search of teh internets, Universelles Leben is basically yet another typical New Agey semi-Christian sect, with all the expected claims of being the only true Christian church, others having strayed too far from the original doctrine of peace, love, harmony with nature and antisemitism. It incorporates a lot of New Agey concepts, like a bastardised version of reincarnation, preaches living in harmony with nature and vegetarianism. The prophetess also claims some sort of era of peace and love and poo-shitting unicorns is going to happen soon. Very boring.

But wait! Some German organisations claimed that there is an undercurrent of antisemitism in the movement, and also that its place is somewhere between leftist environmentalists and neofascists. Pretty, huh? But look at the quotes:

So heißt es beispielsweise in der programmatischen Schrift „Das ist mein Wort“ von UL-Gründerin Gabriele Wittek: „Seit nahezu 2000 Jahren ernten die Juden von einer Fleischwerdung zur anderen, was sie damals und auch in ihren weiteren Einverleibungen gesät haben – bis sie ihren Erlöser an- und aufnehmen und das bereuen, was sie verursacht haben.“

(For instance in “This is my word”, a programme [of the UL] written by the founder of UL, Gabriele Witter, it says: “For almost 2000 years the Jews have reaped from one incarnation to the other what they sawed, then and in their other incarnations – [which will continue] unless they accept and admit their saviour, and repent for all that they have caused.” emphasis mine)

Gee, this is not very ambiguous, guys.

They also run foul of the law in Bayern with the result that the court said that:

Die Ausgestaltung des Gemeindelebens, wie sie aus der „Gemeindeordnung“ des „Universellen Lebens“ hervorgeht, darf in scharfer und überspitzter Formulierung ohne Verfassungsverstoß als totalitäre Struktur bezeichnet werden.

(The organisation of the life of the community as can be gathered from the ordinance of “Universal Life” may pointedly be called a totalitarian structure without violating the constitution)

(This translation sucks, but omfg, I hate whoever wrote that sentence)

The Cicero magazine also has an interesting article that mentions that members of the UL often earn their living practicing “natural medicine”. I’m so unsurprised. The members of the sect lead a very isolated life and hardly interact with the outside world, and all in all it seems all very creepy.

So I thought that maybe when Sailer and Hetzel talk about totalitarian church, like here:

“[the pope] is responsible for the preservation and leadership of a worldwide totalitarian regime of coercion which subjugates its members with terrifying and health-endangering threats”.

they simply know what they’re talking about, like, from experience.

And the moral we have is: not always the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

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For once, there’s a valid reason not  imprison a priest who abused children(1).

Namely, the humanitarian one: “because he’s too sick”.

Naturally, this is not how modern media communicate “too sick”. Modern media communicate “too sick” by saying “too fat”, so that the proper outrage of the general public can be achieved.

Therefore, voila, BBC’s:

Sex abuse church elder McConaghy ‘too fat for jail’

Facepalm! Thank Cthulhu for the blessed absence of reader comments.

At least he was found guilty, and the victim is more or less satisfied.

(First person to write a fatphobic comment will land in the spam folder)

(Without further warning)

(Better yet, I might preemptively spam the word “fatty”)

(1) Other than: the Catholic church shipped him to Bangladesh where he will be able to abuse more children. Or: the Catholic church special commission granted him anonymity.

(via Pharyngula)

Unsurprisingly:

Hundreds of crimes against children from the 1960s to the 1990s were not reported while police treated clergy as though they were above the law.

But think of all the poor people the church fed before raping them and beating them up, all right?

‘The Commission has no doubt that clerical child sexual abuse was covered up by the Archdiocese of Dublin and other Church authorities,” it said.

”The structures and rules of the Catholic Church facilitated that cover-up.

”The State authorities facilitated that cover-up by not fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure that the law was applied equally to all and allowing the Church institutions to be beyond the reach of the normal law enforcement processes.”

The thing is, the CC is just like any hierarchical institution ever. It cares about power and its share in the religious market. A couple, a hundred, or even several thousand abused children are not a problem for a powerful institution, but a couple of people demanding information about its inner workings is, because it potentially undermines its authority. People demanding that a powerful insitution be held accountable are a threat to the institution’s power, too, so the institution will preemptively try to minimalize the danger the easiest way, which is, obviously, to hush everything up.

Cardinal Connell was credited for instigating two secret canon law trials which took place over the 30-year period and led to two priests being defrocked.

THE CC DID ALL IN ITS POWER TO OH WAIT-

The taking out of insurance was proving knowledge of child sex abuse as a major cost to the Archdiocese and is inconsistent with the view that archdiocesan officials were still ‘on a learning curve’ at a much later date, or were lacking in an appreciation of the phenomenon of clerical child sex abuse,” it said.

Of course they would know, and of course they wouldn’t react. They were protecting the institution. There were also despicable human beings and cowards, bravely facing very little to no difficulties in their intrepid quest to upheld the status quo.

In other words, fuck you, CC.

Be cautious though, because I might bite off your entire face.

The internets have been in uproar because an USian politician was barred from taking the communion (also known as Le Cracker Game) for his pro-choice stance.

What, however, very few have noticed it that you will be barred from communion for being pro-choice, but not for being pro-death penalty or starting a war, actually:

3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

The pope Palpatine wrote this memo before he was actually pope. It is however pretty apparent that his opinion has not changed much, at least not for the better. And, by all means, go and read the entire thing!

What you will find: you can also not be allowed to take the communion if you voted for a politician who supported women’s rights was pro-choice because of the fact that they were pro-choice.

So, let me get this straight. It’s OK to kill people and kill moar people just because your country tells you to, but as soon as so much as squeak out that maybe a woman should have the right to decide what happens to her body, you’ve committed a grave sin?

How nice to be reminded about the priorities that the Catholic Church has. Really nice!

 

The Catholic Church has for years now bragged about its acceptance of science and the theory of evolution, citing the Galileo Affair and Giordano Bruno Affair as minor glitches in the otherwise perfectly working Improbability Drive Biblical Interpretation Machine.

However, with the appearance of Pope Palpatine, the Mighty Conqueror of Children’s Literature it became clear for many that the Catholic honeymoon with science could not last much longer.

Or could it?

I followed the rabbit and several other  commenters from PZ’s post until I got here, to a post about a conference about the lie that is evolution, allegedly in response to Pope Palpatine’s desperate plea for “both sides to be heard”. From the above Headline Bistro post, which makes a great deal out of the fact that the conference will take place in Rome, which is so close to Vatican, which must mean it’s all the pope’s fault (at least, until you notice that it’s hosted by a private university with 3 (three) faculties that was opened only 13 years ago(1)) — anyway from the post it’s clear that the organisers of the conference are suffering from a fairly transparent case of 1) jolly appropriation, 2) lack of any  reading comprehension skills whatsoever.

Anyway, this is from the conference’s press release:

The 150th anniversary of Darwin’s “Origin of the Species” in November 2009 will be the occasion for a unique conference at Pope Pius V University in Rome presenting a scientific refutation of evolution theory. According to Russian sedimentologist Alexander Lalamov, “Everything contained in Darwin’s Origin of Species depends upon rocks forming slowly over enormous periods of time. The November conference demonstrates with empirical data that such geological time is not available for evolution.” Recently returned from a ground-breaking geological conference in Kazan, sedimentologist Guy Berthault will present the findings of several sedimentological studies conducted and published in Russia.

Which leads us to two conclusions:

1. Ouch, that hurt.

2. Wow, creationism must sure be robust is Russia(3).

Anyway, I will be on the lookout for the presentations as they might appear online, and meanwhile(4), one look at the list of contributors, especially at the speaker number six, provides us with surprisingly valuable insights:

Maciej Giertych, Impact of Research on Race Formation and Mutations on the Theory of Evolution

Maciej Giertych, Impact of Research on Race Formation and Mutations on the Theory of Evolution

Maciej Giertych, Impact of Research on Race Formation and Mutations on the Theory of Evolution

Ahahahahaha, a part of my distinguished readership will surely exclaim smugly. Ahahahahahaha, indeed, for a large part of my distinguished readership will know very very well who Maciej Giertych is!

A short bio for newbies!

  1. name: Maciej Giertych
  2. nationality: Polish(5)
  3. family: married with clones children
  4. skills: Advanced Scumbuggery +10,  Lying for Jesus +20, Racism +100 000 000, Misogyny +100 000 000 (the article I linked to is, um, grossly exaggerated, but: facts! In English! So), Anti-Semitism +100 000 000, Batshit +1 000 000 000
  5. profession: while I’d gladly say that he’s a professional Liar for Jesus, I’m afraid I have to come clean about him being a Polish Member of the European Parliament(6).

Yes. He really really is.

In Poland, he’s mostly famous for being a laughingstock, and saying the following things:

1) Legends about dragons are proof that humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time,

2) Neanderthals are not extinct, but live among us still(7).

This all means that locally he’s to be considered  a creationist of about Ray Comfort’s notoriety.

And when I say “notoriety”, I mean “stupidity”.

You can read about his views in the Polish Wiki here, but not in the English one. I wonder why? Were his USian fanboys concerned that that would make him look unhinged and racist and obnoxious? Could not be! Such a pity, really, when major national news outlets have whole articles dedicated to mocking all sorts of his ridiculus or disgusting claims.

He also likes to praise general Franco for slaughtering the commies. Or, you know, the democratic opposition. But then, any opposition to Franco is by definition a commie opposition, which in turn makes is worthy of slaughtering QED.

So, what does Giertych write in the abstract of his doubtlessly magnificent talk?

Throughout Europe evolution is taught in schools as a biological fact.

Gee, I wonder why?

The main evidence for this presented in school textbooks is based on the assertion that formation of races is an example of a small step in evolution. This is profoundly wrong. Races form as a consequence of genetic drift, selection and isolation. Genetic drift results from the accidental loss of some genetic variation in small populations due to inbreeding.

Is this just racist gibberish nonsense or a sophisticated reasoning that  bravely sets out to prove that it’s OK to have sex with your sister, because Adam and Eve, QED? You decide!

Selection depends on the elimination from a population of all forms not adapted to the particular environment. With this elimination also some gene variants (alleles) get lost. For natural races to be identifiable they have to remain isolated from the main body of the population. The same is true in breeding, where the breeder reproduces the race formation procedure only applying selection pressures of his own choice. Macroevolution requires increase of genetic variants, thus race formation which depends on their reduction is a process in the opposite direction, comparable to extinctions.

In short, typical creationist drivel about mutations and loss of information with  the extra topping of racist nomenclature. Meh.

Positive mutations, as a mechanism leading to new functions or organs, are an undemonstrated postulate. We can demonstrate many neutral and negative mutations, but no positive ones.

Where by “we”, he means “lying disgusting toads that live under very very thick rocks”. As it happens, even a non-specialist such as myself can easily recall at least one recent experiment, in which we could observe, witness with our very own eyes bacteria evolving to eat citrate as well as glucose. Which, I hasten to add, was a very positive development — for the bacteria, anyway; one could imagine, the citrate was rather unimpressed. I am of course talking about the famous Lenski experiment. You can read more about it on Wikipedia or anywhere(8) else, and I really do encourage you to do so, because it really is a very interesting and elegant experiment, and it can easily be understood by a person that doesn’t know anything beyond high school lever biology. I know I don’t!

The claim that the appearance of resistance to man-made chemicals (herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics etc) is evidence of positive mutations is questioned on the ground that it belongs to the multitude of defense mechanisms (like healing or acquiring immunity) which defend the existing life functions of an organism without creating new ones.

What we can read above, ladies, gentlemen and poo-flinging monkeys, is a standard denialist discourse tactic, among professional linguists known as “meaningless drivel”.

In short: the pope is not going creationist just yet, and the kooks aren’t even trying that hard(9). Let’s focus on the condoms for the time-being!

Also, what’s much more chilling is what you can find on Catholic websites regarding the conference:

After all the hoopla in academia some months ago with the 150 anniversary of the publishing of Darwin’s Origin of the Species, this is welcome news.  The organizers were interviewed by Zenit News Agency.  Here is part of what they had to say: “Results of recent empirical research published by scientific academies refutes the basic principles of the geological time-scale. It reduces the age of rocks and therefore the fossils in them.

It’s like the pope is the last thing that keeps many Catholics from unleashing their batshit upon the world. And what if the next pope will be a blithering creationist dimwit(11)? Shudder with me, ladies, gentlemen, and poo-flinging monkeys, shudder with me!

(Also, Cthulhu is speaking Czech! Look at this bit of very compelling evidence — just click on the picture — from Google!)

(Also, Karel Čapek! I almost forgot about Čapek!)

(I am the queen of all links, after all!)

ETA: typos fixed.

(1) I’s a big deal that the university is private, because in Europe it is statistically very probable that a serious university will not be private(2).

(2) Unless you are in the UK.

(3) Which in turn leads me to “SO WHY DON’T I SPEAK RUSSIAN AGAIN???”, but I digress.

(4) The abstracts, however, are available here, and, oh my.

(5) The possibility of exchanging him for some oil for the mutual benefit of Poland and Saudi Arabia is, I am told, being looked into at the moment by both countries’ governments.

(6) I now realize this should have been written in sparkly text. Please imagine there is sparkly text in this text where there is none.

(7) It was, as far as I remember, rather unclear whether he proposed  that the neanderthals were Jews or simply POC. Either way, he should DIAF.

(8) Although the recap at Conservapaedia should be most entertaining.

(9) They could try at least renting lecture rooms from La Sapienza or something(10).

(10) Heh heh heh.

(11) I am a bad, bad person, because before shuddering I actually thought “LOL @ creationist pope!”

I mean, to sic Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry on the poor Catholics? The Catholics in question had to be suicidal to agree to this.

Anyway, predictably, by the time Hitchens& Fry were finished with them, Archbishop Onaiyekan and Ann Widdecombe had been toasted, fried, mauled by bears, battered to pulp, and their still twitching intestines spread all over the place. I want nothing more than to read the transcript!

Well, maybe a vid.

Meanwhile, we’ll have to make do with an interview with Hitchens at Freethinker.