The Nexus of Religion and Political Talking Heads

Is there some kind of requirement I was unaware of, that states, if you’re a Republican-boosting political talking head, you absolutely have to have delusions of grandeur such that you believe you understand the mind of God? The mind of the deity that your fellow religious folks have postulated but thus far been unable to prove, yet you somehow have insight into what such a deity would consider right and wrong? It’s one thing to have Pat Robertson claim that Haiti’s earthquake was God’s retribution for them making a deal with the devil (by daring to oust their totalitarian French dictators and consigning themselves to poverty as penance), but it’s another thing entirely to make the claim Rush Limbaugh did recently:

You know, a couple of days after the health care bill had been signed into law Obama ran around all over the country saying, “Hey, you know, I’m looking around. The earth hadn’t opened up. There’s no Armageddon out there. The birds are still chirping.” I think the earth has opened up. God may have replied. This volcano in Iceland has grounded more airplanes — airspace has more affected — than even after 9/11 because of this plume, because of this ash cloud over Northern and Western Europe. At the Paris airport they’re telling people to head to the train station to catch trains out of France, and when people get to the train station they’re telling people, “There aren’t any seats until at least April 22nd,” basically a week from now. It’s got everybody in a shutdown. Earth has opened up. I don’t know whether it’s a rebirth or Armageddon. Hopefully it’s a rebirth, God speaking.

If God’s pissed about health care reform, he has abysmal aim. Iceland is nowhere near America. Hell, there’s the Yellowstone supervolcano that he could have used to blow the whole continent to smithereens if he wanted to. And if he absolutely needed a natural cause behind it — since God’s supposedly almighty and can supposedly create the universe ex nihilo, why’s he always got to use the scientifically predictable and demonstrably natural disaster route all the time? And how come he can’t just take credit for these supposed interventions, rather than leaving behind all sorts of evidence that, say, Haiti is on a tectonic fault, Iceland has volcanos, Katrina formed due to converging weather patterns, etc.?

Meanwhile, Glenn Beck evidently has his “The Plan” book dictated to him from The Big G Himself, who’s evidently a ghost writer while he’s not busy creating natural disasters to punish people for stuff that needs no punishment. Making Beck, technically, a prophet. Gag me.

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Beck and Limbaugh are very much respected figures in conservative political circles. And even more respected in the batshit insane wings of those circles. How are statements like these not peeling away moderate, religious conservatives from loyalty to them? The mind boggles.

So F*CK YOU BOOKS

I can’t help but figure this is something like Poe’s Law. You can’t make a parody of Insane Clown Posse that someone doesn’t figure is actually true, given their recent foray into science with their song Miracles. Look at the comments on this video and weep for humanity. Any race that replaces understanding about the universe with clown makeup and Faygo deserves extinction.

Catholic blame-shifting (and blogospherics)

The Catholic Church has been quite busy with damage control regarding this never-ending pedophilia cover-up scandal. I just wanted to point out the various conflicting suggestions the Church has made over the past few weeks:

Education Secretary Alonso Lujambio told reporters that public-school sexual education texts “seek to make our boys and girls responsible, to take responsibility for their actions, and for that they need information.”

Lujambio said the programs are careful to avoid “hurting any social sensitivities.”

On Thursday, Bishop Felipe Arizmendi said that “when there is generalized sexual licentiousness, it is more common to have pederasty.”

“In the midst of the invasion of so much eroticism, it is not easy to remain faithful in celibacy, or in respecting children,” Arizmendi, the bishop of the San Cristobal de las Casas diocese in Chiapas state, said at a meeting of Mexican bishops.
source

The cardinal, who is known for his blunt and sometimes tactless manner, made the remarks at a televised press conference in Chile’s capital Santiago.

He said: “Many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and paedophilia but many others have shown, I have recently been told, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia. This pathology is one that touches all categories of people, and priests to a lesser degree in percentage terms. The behaviour of the priests in this case, the negative behaviour, is very serious, is scandalous.”
source

Who is to blame for the sexual abuse affairs in the Catholic Church? The Jews, at least according to an Italian bishop, which suggested that Jews were behind the current criticism of the Church’s record on tackling clerical sex abuse, British newspaper The Guardian reported Sunday.

An Italian website quoted Giacomo Babini, 81, the emeritus bishop of Grosseto, as saying he believed a “Zionist attack” was behind the criticism, considering how “powerful and refined” the criticism is.
source

No longer did priests accused of child abuse face a canonical trial and the possibility of “defrocking”.

Instead, and with disastrous consequences, they were sent for therapy and then, “cured”, they were reassigned to ministry.

The bottom line is that if canon law had been used properly, fewer children would have been abused. Civil authorities would still not have been informed, but priests found guilty of child abuse under Church law would have been punished and likely removed from ministry making it more difficult for them to offend again.
source

Speaking to News Mediaset in Italy, the 85-year-old exorcist noted that the devil is behind “the recent attacks on Pope Benedict XVI regarding some pedophilia cases.”

“There is no doubt about it. Because he is a marvelous Pope and worthy successor to John Paul II, it is clear that the devil wants to ‘grab hold’ of him.”
source

Get that? Sex education, gays, Jews, therapists, and the Devil are why Catholics feel the need to bugger kids and why their infallible emissary from God feels the need to cover it up and obstruct real justice. Either that, or they’re just why everyone is apparently fibbing about how dire their crimes are, just to try to get them in trouble for stuff they didn’t do. Yeah, tell that one to the victims.

Some blog meta below the fold.
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Bill Donohue: “The Pope is being framed! Also, Obama totally watched two gay soldiers make out”

When your entire philosophy is shown to be morally bankrupt, and you feel like you’re painted into a corner where you have to defend yourself by defending the evil people that have tarred your faith so badly (as per the “wounded animal” analogy I posted yesterday that Paul S. intentionally misunderstood), you have to make some bizarre and horribly tortured rationalizations. Witness Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League, twisting in the wind.

Two more examples after the fold.
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Pope Keeps Digging

So the AP reports that the Pope delivered a speech heavy on misdirection and obfuscation. What else is there to do when you find yourself in a hole?

“I must say, we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word ‘repent’, which seemed too tough. But now under attack from the world, which has been telling us about our sins … we realize that it’s necessary to repent, in other words, recognize what is wrong in our lives,” Benedict said.

“Open ourselves to forgiveness … and let ourselves be transformed. The pain of repentance, which is a purification and transformation, is a grace because it is renewal and the work of divine mercy,” he said.
[…]
On Monday, the Vatican posted on its Web site what it claimed had been a long-standing church policy telling bishops that they should report abuse crimes to police, where civil laws require it.

But critics have said the guidelines were merely a deceptive attempt by Rome to rewrite history, designed to shield the Vatican from blame by shifting responsibility of dealing with abusive priests onto bishops.

The Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, a canon lawyer who has been the main expert witness for victims in hundreds of lawsuits, called the guidelines a “failed attempt at damage control through revision of history.”

He noted that senior Vatican officials, including the current Vatican No. 2, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, were quoted in 2002 as saying the church shouldn’t require bishops to report abusive priests to police because it would violate the trust the two shared.

“In practice, the policy has been to avoid contact with civil authorities and to cover up the crimes and the criminals,” Doyle wrote in an article this week. “The newly created canonical tradition of referral to civil authorities is the result of one thing: public outrage, the exposure from the media and the pressure for accountability in civil courts.”
[…]
[A] French court gave Pican, then bishop of Bayeux-Lisieux in northwestern France, a suspended prison sentence for concealing knowledge about the Rev. Rene Bissey. Bissey was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2000 for raping and sexually abusing 11 minors in the 1990s.

In the letter, Hoyos wrote: “I congratulate you for not having turned in a priest to the civil administration, and I am delighted to have a colleague in the episcopate who, in the eyes of history and all the other bishops of the world, will have preferred prison rather than to turn in its son-priest.”

Sounds pretty damning, if you ask me. But you shouldn’t, because I’m obviously just on an anti-Catholic crusade.

You really need to read that whole article. I can’t quote any more liberally than I already have.