Archive | Theocracy

The Pope Must Go

Taibbi slams the church; so does Maureen Dowd. (In fact, she takes it a step further, saying the church needs a female pope if it intends to recover from the pedophile scandal.) Here’s what Taibbi wrote:

We don’t permit countries that harbor terrorists to participate in international society, but the Catholic Church — an organization that has been proven over and over again to systematically enable child molesters, right up now to the level of the Pope — is given a free pass. In fact the Church is not only not sanctioned in any serious way, it gets to retain its outrageous tax-exempt status, which makes its systematic child abuse, in this country at least, a government-subsidized activity.

Somewhere underneath all of this there is a root story that has to do with celibacy. The celibate status of its priests is basically the Catholic church’s last market advantage in the Christian religion racket, but human beings are not designed to be celibate and so problems naturally arise among the population of priests forced to live that terrible lifestyle. Just as it refuses to change its insane and criminal stance on birth control and condoms, the church refuses to change its horrifically cruel policy about priestly celibacy. That’s because it quite correctly perceives that should it begin to dispense with the irrational precepts of its belief system, it would lose its appeal as an ancient purveyor of magical-mystery bullshit and become just a bigger, better-financed, and infinitely more depressing version of a Tony Robbins self-help program.

Therefore it must cling to its miserable celibacy in order to keep its sordid business scheme going; and if clinging to its miserable celibacy means having to look the other way while children are serially molested by its sexually stunted and tortured employees, well, so be it.

I have plenty of my own reasons why I’m no longer a Catholic, but this is certainly a big one. Raping little kids is a very, very bad thing. But so is making gay Catholics feel less than human, and so is treating the women who work for them so badly.

Not to say that everyone in the Church is worthless, because they’re not. I had some great teachers and knew a few good priests. But not enough to make me swallow the rest.

Mostly, the problem is that I was born missing the Catholic sex = guilt chip. I never, ever bought it. I remember one of my brothers asking me one time (after we were all married and had kids) if I didn’t “feel guilty” for using birth control.

I laughed. Then I looked at him and realized he wasn’t kidding. “When the priest wants to stay up all night with my sick kid because I have to go to work the next day, I might begin to take them seriously,” I said.

I don’t have the patience for anything like that. Never have, never will.

And now, it looks like a lot of Catholics are having second and third thoughts.

Deep Thought

I had to steal this:

If a Catholic boy touches himself, he goes to Hell. If a Catholic priest touches a boy, he goes to a new parish.

We’re All Texas Now

Via the Daily Beast:

Coming soon to a classroom near you: History textbooks that stress the “Christian origins” of the United States, play up the historical importance of figures like Phyllis Schlafly and Newt Gingrich, and examine the “unintended consequences” of the civil-rights movements and Title IX. The brouhaha over Texas’s efforts to pass these new conservative history standards—which are expected to be finalized later this spring—could have national repercussions.

That’s because Texas is “a huge market leader in the school-textbook industry,” says the Associated Press. “The enormous print run for Texas textbooks leaves most districts in other states adopting the same course materials, so that the Texas School Board effectively spells out requirements for 80 percent of the nation’s textbook market.”

Pray for Texas

Because they’re not all crazy. And I have to wonder how these kids will do on their SATs:

AUSTIN, Tex. — After three days of turbulent meetings, the Texas Board of Education on Friday approved a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism, questioning the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light.

Yeah, that Herbert Hoover – what an inspiration!

The vote was 10 to 5 along party lines, with all the Republicans on the board voting for it.

The board, whose members are elected, has influence beyond Texas because the state is one of the largest buyers of textbooks. In the digital age, however, that influence has diminished as technological advances have made it possible for publishers to tailor books to individual states.

In recent years, board members have been locked in an ideological battle between a bloc of conservatives who question Darwin’s theory of evolution and believe the Founding Fathers were guided by Christian principles, and a handful of Democrats and moderate Republicans who have fought to preserve the teaching of Darwinism and the separation of church and state.

And see, this is one of the reasons why liberals should definitely get active on their local school boards. Don’t leave a vacuum for the crazy people to fill!

I Call Bullshit

Clearly a case of geographic standards, since I can tell you for a fact that many of the parents of Catholic school kids in Philadelphia’s inner city are “living in disaccord with Church teachings.” In other words, the rules are much more flexible when the schools don’t have enough paying students. Hell, many of the Philadelphia students aren’t even Catholics!

I can tell you, though, that even teachers here are rather intimidated by the contractual requirement that they lead pristine Catholic lives that are an inspiration to students. (Unlike, say, the pedophile priests who are groping kids or the Papal court members who are running prostitution rings.) Catholic schools mostly get devout Catholics who believe in Catholic schools, or ex-public school teachers who are burned out by the discipline problems. I can tell you it’s not the salary (they make the pre-visitation Ebenezer Scrooge look like a spendthrift).

If I taught in Catholic school, I’d find some dirt on the pastor, blackmail him and go about my merry sinful way. But that’s just me!

BOULDER – Some parents are considering pulling their children out of a Catholic preschool after the school told a family a student could not return because the parents are homosexual.

A meeting was held to discuss the issue at Wesley Chapel in Boulder Friday evening.

“This could be one of those moments where the community is holding a mirror up to the church for it to take a look at its policy and reconsider what they’ve been doing,” Wesley Chapel Pastor Roger Wolsey said.

Teachers at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School were told about the situation earlier this week. Staff members say they were told a student would not be allowed to re-enroll because of his or her parents’ sexual orientation.

The Denver Archdiocese says the student’s parents are two women and their homosexual relationship violates the school’s beliefs and policy.

“They’re entitled to do what they want,” Wolsey said. “And I would respect them no matter what they decide. [But] I think a lot of churches are doing a lot of soul searching right now.”

In a statement sent to 9NEWS, the Archdiocese said, “Homosexual couples living together as a couple are in disaccord with Catholic teaching.”

According to the Archdiocese, parents who enroll their kids at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School are expected to follow the Catholic Church’s beliefs.

Men of God

I think the institutional Catholic church has an awful lot to clean up in their own house if they’re going to say opposing gay marriage is a principled stand:

“Put on some music, swallow a Viagra, and adelante!”

That’s the headline in Europe today following reports that a papal aide used an intermediary in an elite Vatican choir to solicit young male choristers and seminarians for prostitution.

Police wiretaps are expected to result in charges against Angelo Balducci, 63, a Papal Gentleman, as lay attendant are called, and the former chairman of the Holy See’s Public Works Department, which is itself caught up in a corruption investigation.

According to police, Balducci regularly contacted Chinedu Ehiem Thomas, a Nigerian man who sings in St. Peter’s Cappella Giulia, to engage the sexual services of young male members of the choir, along with seminarians and undocumented immigrants seeking residency status.

The Cappella Giulia is the official choir of the St. Peter’s Basilica and performs at many solemn Vatican functions not involving the pope, who is accompanied by the Sistine Chapel choir.

Ehiem, 40, who goes by the nickname Mike, and his assistant Lorenzo Renzi, 33, allegedly arranged for prostitutes for Balducci several times a week. The two men are said to have operated a network of aspiring young priests, choir members and sometimes recruited foreigners seeking to secure their immigration status.

The scandal now envelops Balducci, a well-known and powerful local figure who is married with two children, who despite all this is said to have taken remarkable risks in setting up sexual liaisons even in Chigi Palace, home of the Italian prime minister, or immediately after a private audience with a cardinal.

In 72 pages of transcribed wiretaps, Ehiem tells Balducci about one possible candidate: “Angelo … I’ll say no more. Two meters (6-foot-7), 97 kilos (250 lbs.), 33 years-old and completely active (top).”

Go read the rest, so you can remember it the next time the pope wants to lecture us.

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