Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Catholic = Hypocrite?

I recently watched a humorous video clip of a Fox News (US new network) report about the upcoming film Golden Compass (it’s up on YouTube here). Apparently Philip Pullman the author of the trilogy of books behind this film is an Atheist and the Catholic League (whatever that is?) is boycotting the film because they say it “promotes atheism to children”. I haven’t seen the film (neither has the Catholic league because it isn’t released yet!) so I can’t say if it promotes Atheism or not, but apparently the books are about good vs. evil where evil is played by an overbearing, dogmatic, powerful and secretive sect called the "magisteria" (not like the Catholic Church at all then…)

There were two speakers on the clip, one a Catholic priest called “Father Jonathan” and Annie Gaylor who is the head of something called the “Freedom from Religion Foundation”. I have to say the interview was totally uninspiring, both contributors seemed not to want to cover the actual topic at hand, and the moderator was so plainly biased in favour of the Priest that it was embarrassing; but then Fox News is a legend in its own trousers for being pro-Religious and "kick-ass" right-wing conservative. As you’d expect the priest and the moderator planted and harvested more straw-men that you can shake a stick at, all the usual crap was trotted out, i.e.

  • Some religious people are good - therefore god exists
  • Millions of people have faith – therefore God exists
  • Science can’t explain everything – therefore God exists
  • Atheism is just another faith – therefore God exists

This “media friendly” father was only referring to the Catholic "God" of course, not Allah, Buddha, Thor or the flying spaghetti monster, no because those ones aren't true are they, silly.

My main beef with the report is not the report itself, which was really just comedy, it is the blog entry that relates to it by good old “FJ”, and you can read it here. Now here is a gold-plated lesson in pious hypocritical slimebaggyness married to stunning, planet sized arrogance, let me see if I can précis the article and extract the points I think he is trying to make,

  • Beware, of the “militant atheists”, they are not “traditional atheists” because they don’t believe in the supernatural – huh, sounds pretty traditional to me?
  • Beware of the “militant atheists” because if you’re not a scientist then they want to “silence” you – huh, science is a universal, how can you not believe in science, is there such a thing as "Catholic physics" or "Hindu calculus", do Jewish aeroplanes work differently to “new atheist” ones?
  • Militant Atheists” love straw-man attacks and substitute rational discourse with personal attacks – I think poor old Father Johnny is confusing “personal” with “religion”, Atheists attack religion, FJ then takes it personally. As for straw men, you really shouldn't criticise someone for using a straw man argument by using a straw man argument, it just insults everyone's intelligence.
  • "FJ" implies that “Militant Atheists” are “Angry” and “Mean”, he gives no examples, but I assume he thinks we’re angry because we say things like “telling people with HIV not to use condoms because the baby Jesus cries when you do is evil". Well, actually yes, I suppose he’s right, I could get pretty angry about the unnecessary death and misery of millions of people and the utter waste of human capital because of bronze age myths. As for “mean”, well, I guess if you have the mental perspective of a pre-pubescent child then it would be “mean” to point out all the inconsistencies and errors (like “limbo”) in your supernatural fantasy world that cause pain and suffering to many innocent people, how childish!

Do Catholics really want such blatant hypocrisy by Catholics on behalf of Catholics to be pointed out to the world like this, or can they just not see it, maybe not, let me spell it out.

  • Saying that exposing children to Atheism is wrong, but indoctrinating them in the Catholic church from birth is OK, is hypocrisy.
  • Criticising Atheists for being "mean" because they point out facts regarding the absurdity of your religious dogma, but then saying "believe our myths or burn in hell for eternity", is hypocrisy
  • Criticising Atheists for being "angry", whilst supporting policies (like condom use) which cause or prolong suffering in millions of people, is hypocrisy
  • Saying that your religion supports evolution and then saying that Atheists are wrong to believe that evolved animals such as ourselves don't have supernatural components, is hypocrisy
  • Saying that science is in opposition to "faith" and then living and prospering in the modern world, benefiting from (secular, scientific advances) like, medicine, transport, media, technology and ethics, is hypocrisy
  • Criticising science for not being able to explain "everything", then offering no explanation yourselves other than "god did it", is hypocrisy
  • Saying that its wrong to have a film "suggesting" Atheism is wrong for children to see, but a film showcasing Christianity (like Narnia) is right, is hypocrisy
I could go on, but, would there be any point?

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