Offerings 4

Political Correctness,.. Islam and Roman Catholicism

Once again nauseating waves of political correctness and religious cant waft through the air. There are now so many people,.. entertainers, cops, MPs, priests and assumed men-in-the-street being investigated for sexual assault that I wonder if it is the new norm.

Clearly there have passed centuries during which ordained incumbents of high office have known about and either failed or been disinclined to curtail the systematic abuse of children. This has by no means been restricted to Catholic priests yet, somehow, they seem to have achieved a greater notoriety than most. Many readers too will even have heard the distasteful and entirely unsubstantiated rumours concerning Joseph Ritzinger, the recently retired Pope. The fact of that sudden retirement and his subsequent virtual disappearance within the Vatican, which he is said never to risk leaving, are the very nourishment of rumour.

So far the new chap seems never to put a foot wrong. But then, neither did his predecessors to start with and while no-one knew any different. I hear that this latest incumbent, whom some call Popa Cabana, wants to attract more youngsters into his church. I’ll bet he does. It needs the money. And I’ll tell him a good way to start,.. he could try dragging his church into the Twentieth Century, - never mind the 21st. And another thing. This fellow supports the Argentinian claim to the Falklands. He ignores the facts. He ignores the wishes of the people. And he bases his opinion on the flimsiest of evidence. And there’s Christianity for you.

Now,.. I don’t want to offend anyone,.. really,.. but trusted clerics, - self-acclaimed intercessionaries between mere humans and various gods, have been condoning scarce-controlled abuse, cruelty and sexual depredation to and on their infant charges as well as, perhaps, who knows, indulging in the same practices themselves. This, we now know, has been going on to the extent that even the vast accrued assets of the Vatican are in danger of being dramatically depleted by the multiple claims now pending world-wide. I’ll bet that if I, as a sometime village doctor, had done such things the combined forces of the GMC, NHS and BMA would not have forked out the odd million to rescue me.

So here we are, stuck with a priesthood that eternally confuses what they believe, - religion, with what they know, - education. They hold up the Bible as if it were truth rather than a nasty, racist diatribe on cruelty. Hell, more people get stoned in the Old Testament than in a college Rag Night. There was a time when catholic priests could marry though they were not allowed to have sex. Much like many modern marriages some might aver. But now they are all at least allegedly celibate. So what are we left with? A senior priesthood comprised of a gang of seventy year old virgins who go to work in frocks and funny hats. Despite all this and the fact that they sell an invisible product, - and commerce doesn’t get any easier than that, - and despite running an international child sex ring for centuries millions of their customers still get up, dress up, turn up and pay up every Sunday

One day I may hear that one of these high-ups was personally raised in abject poverty in an inner city slum, by a Catholic mother who had eight kids, whose husband left her when the last was due, and who then struggled through forty years to raise her brood on a bread line income. And when I do hear that popes still lives in that kind of squalor and go hungry every night then maybe I’ll listen when they pontificate about the love of god and Jesus’ forgiveness and the sin of abortion.

So let me plant a lonely little flag here so people know exactly where I’m coming from. As a born-again pagan I don’t believe in gods and I disdain all religions. I don’t believe popes or parish priests should get away with covering up criminal activities whether by their colleagues or as heard in the confessional. I don’t believe, chosen people or not, that little girls or baby boys should be genitally mutilated in the name of celestial mumbo-jumbo. I don’t believe any man, moslem or otherwise, should be allowed to beat his womenfolk or deny them an education.

And I don’t believe political correctness,.. a contradiction in terms anyway, - should deny one the responsible right to hold or to speak openly of those disbeliefs.

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