Friday, September 24, 2010

How shrill of us!

This picture shows some 20,000 (est) people protesting against the state visit of the Pope last week; a really great turn out; unfortunately mostly ignored by the British media, we mustn't be rude to religious people by standing up to their intrusive and dogmatic superstitions after all.

Of course the Catholic apologists scream religious intolerance at this kind of thing but as usual deliberately avoid the real point; this rally was not about secular society denying Catholic people their beliefs or a voice (as a minority group) in the public square, it was about pointing out the harmful affects these beliefs have when they intersect with a majority secular society, for example these things (among others):

  • The Pope used a STATE visit primarily to proselytise and promote his own organisations narrow political views, no one has a problem with him visiting the followers of his religious sect in the UK to do that, but why should the rest of us pay for it?
  • The Catholic church and the Pope specifically has not properly addressed the criminal issue of systemic abuse of children under the care of the Catholic church, both in the UK and Ireland and also around the world. This will continue to be the case until all relevant documents are released to the police and all priests accused of abuses are removed from the protection of the Vatican state and handed over to the relevant authorities.
  • The Catholic church wishes to discriminate against homosexuals, as a legal right.
  • The Catholic church wishes to discriminate against woman by denying them equal employment opportunity and by diminishing their opportunities to control personal fertility, as a legal right.
  • The Catholic church impedes scientific progress for no other reason than pre-scientific superstition in areas such as stem cell research, obstructing potentially life saving research.
  • The Catholic church actively spreads scientific falsehoods regarding HIV and condom use in Africa, indirectly leading to the suffering and unnecessary deaths of countless thousands of people.
  • The Catholic church places tradition and authority (their authority) above evidenced based rationality in education, teaching children that they are born into sin (their definition), the only salvation being to submit to the dogma of the Catholic Church. This "sin" is of course the original sin of Adam, a mythical figure that the Church themselves (now accepting evolution) must agree did not exist!
See, not a single angel or pinhead anywhere!


Elizabeth said...

did you go and protest? I wanted to but I had other stuff I had to do. I so enjoyed my anti-war protest in 2003 that I would have loved to do a Pope run too.

for sure I'll be at the next big protest thing --

Steve Borthwick said...

No, the extent of my protest was to buy a tee shirt. Family stuff prevented me from going up there, but I would have liked to.

gerrardus said...

Yeah yeah. Another Internet-bound atheist. No wonder St Richard of Dawkins is always looking so frustrated.

Chairman Bill said...

It's a pity the church has strayed so far from the teachings of Christ.

gerrardus said...

Chairman Bill, I'd agree with you, especially where the Church, in its many varieties, gets hooked up with holding power and protecting itself as an earthly organisation. But with one reservation. That whenever people want the Church to go back to Jesus's teachings, they mean those teachings as they like them...

Steve Borthwick said...

Dawkins for pope yay! :) hey G, what happened to your blogs? - we're having withdrawal symptoms over here dude!

Anonymous said...

This whole "RC church condom teaching" issue has always perplexed me. I thought their teaching was that people should have one partner for life and only have sex with that partner. How does following such a teaching contribute to the spread of AIDS, whether one wears a condom or not? Surely it is people who have lots of sexual partners, without protection, who are spreading the disease, and such people are surely disobeying RC teachings on a far more fundamental level, so you can hardly blame the church for their actions?
Furthermore, if one is willing to disregard RC teachings about not sleeping around, then you're hardly likely to think "I'll have as much casual sex as I like, stuff what the Pope says on that, but oooh, wait a minute, I must not use condoms, it's against the church's teaching!" That's completely barmy.
In short, if you follow the RC's teaching in full, you won't spread AIDS. If you cherry-pick the rules you want to follow and ignore the ones you don't, well you can hardly blame the church for that.

Steve Borthwick said...

Hi Anon, thanks for your comment, I don't think secular people are objecting to Church teachings on marriage and abstinence etc. I think it's perfectly reasonable and appropriate that Catholics are free to follow whatever lifestyle they choose (within the law) for whatever reasons they feel suit them.

However when the Pope says about AIDS (and I quote) "You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms, on the contrary, it increases the problem." this flies in the face of established scientific work as well as hard won evidence on the ground. So is it simply that he's misinformed? Is he deliberately lying to support Catholic dogma on condoms, or perhaps he really believes it and is delusional? Whatever the answer, the stance of his Church on that continent today is demonstrably causing suffering.

It's not an argument about theology or opinion, it's an argument about reality and evidence trumping pre-scientific superstition, and then acting on it to save lives as opposed to saving "souls".

gerrardus said...

Hi Steve

I've consolidated all my little blogs into one enormous blog with reasonable repayment terms.
Which is the revival of my old Beaker Folk url: where the Archdruid has also been commenting on American believers' ignorance of religion, as it happens.