Why I am an atheist – Chris J »« Lovecraftian nightmare!

Exorcist rails against superstition

Father Gabriele Amorth, the former chief exorcist to the Vatican, has spoken out publicly against the popularization of the occult. Don’t get your hopes up, though. Only some occult fantasies are wrong.

…yoga is Satanic because it leads to a worship of Hinduism and “all eastern religions are based on a false belief in reincarnation”.

Reading JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books is no less dangerous, said the 86-year-old priest

They’re evil, he says, because they “encourage children to believe in black magic and wizardry”.

He also mentioned that his favorite movie was The Exorcist and that “the sex abuse scandals which have engulfed the Catholic Church in the US, Ireland, Germany and other countries was proof that the Anti-Christ is waging a war against the Holy See.”

Jeez, it’s Sunday morning, and I’m already fresh out of sarcasm and irony. I should know better than to read anything any Catholic priest says — it just sucks all of the gast out of my flabber.

Comments

  1. James C. says

    These clowns just don’t know when to stop demonizing foreign-ish things. I mean, YOGA? I’m not familiar enough with Hinduism or yoga to know, but I bet the version that Americans do in the gym is just the poses, maybe with generic spirituality thrown in, but I bet the Hinduism is completely vestigial. There’s more Satan in a Christmas tree than in yoga.

  2. Bruce says

    I thought the Devil was never to win against the Church. The sex scandal has proved that wrong. The victory wasn’t that it happened but the coverup. So now a believing Catholic should question the whole “story.”

  3. says

    PZ, thank you for my morning dose of irony. This is going to be right up in my favourites list along with the priest who said it was inappropriate to have costumes and imaginary friends in church—even better considering the authority level of the speaker.

  4. Comstock says

    This old fellow suggests that things like yoga and Harry Potter only seem fun and good for us, but they are Satanic. I always find this kind of thinking undercuts itself. Don’t trust these other things, they are evil and only make you think they are good to trick you. I, however, am good. How do you know? Because I am telling you I am good.

  5. Fear Uncertainty Doubt says

    My question is this: does the good father think that the Devil’s work was to lead the priests to molest children, or was it that he got the victims to come forward and made it impossible to cover up? It sounds to me like he thinks the Devil did the latter. That’s my kind of Devil.

  6. Stonyground says

    What he doesn’t seem to realise is that, unlike him, children can read books about witches, wizards and magic without believing that any of it is real. The Excorcist is his favourite film? Presumably he thinks that it’s a documentary.

    @James C.
    There is a OT Bible verse that specifically prohibits the erecting of decorated trees. It would seem to be an edict about idolotry but it could easily be applied to Christmas trees. If I get time I will look it up.

  7. Moggie says

    The Harry Potter books, which have sold millions of copies worldwide, “seem innocuous” but in fact encourage children to believe in black magic and wizardry, Father Amorth said.

    I haven’t read any Harry Potter books, so I may be wrong here, but what I’ve absorbed of them second-hand suggests that the books encourage kids to believe in friendship and education. If an unsophisticated reader tries playing around with wands and broomsticks, they’ll quickly discover that those don’t work the way they do in fiction, but the “look after your friends” and “pay attention in school” lessons will serve them well.

    Science was incapable of explaining evil, said Father Amorth, who has written two books on his experiences as an exorcist. “It’s not worth a jot. The scientist simply explores what God has already created.”

    Says the 86-year-old ghostbuster. Tell me, Mr Amorth, what contribution has religion made to increasing longevity, compared to, say, science?

  8. raven says

    This priest is just stealing delusions from the fundie xians.

    Fundie Catholics are a lot like fundie xians except they often hate each other as Fake xians.

    He left out tarot cards, horoscopes, numerology, walking under ladders, lucky rabbit feet, and Twilight books. Perhaps because his horoscope said this wasn’t a good day to babble too much.

  9. Anubis Bloodsin the third says

    #OP

    And possession by a demon is in no way ‘black magic’?

    Seems the dufus is admitting that he has been scamming for many years by encouraging children and grown ups to believe in demons and ghosts that can eat your soul ,,,or some such bilious codswollop!
    Is that not a definition of ‘Black Magic’?

    Maybe someone should tell him that ‘The Exorcist ‘ is not a factual documentary.
    But maybe the carers in the Vatican rejected the path of reality to allow the fool to live out his years as a hero in his own image.
    Let him occupy his time by playing super hero and fight demons and devils dressed as super priest with nowt but a wooden cross and a vial of holy water and a few spells to do combat against the legions of Beelzebub or is that not ‘he that shall not be named’?
    Let him believe in fairy tales and nonsense and just maybe keep him out from under their feet.

    Like Uncle Festus locked in the attic with his potions and bubbling unguents…all they hear is mad cackling drifting down unto St Peters square now and then and the odd explosion of bottled ectoplasm under pressure..but it keeps him happy!

    I feel sadder that there are fools and idiots that drool and get cheap thrills by actually believing every word he regurgitates.

    He really should be in medical care…but in the nut house that is the Vatican…he is probable one of the saner ones….on a sliding scale of course!

    No wait…maybe not…no pretty much at the top end of batshit insane on due consideration.

  10. Stonyground says

    Anti Christmas tree Bible passage:
    Jeremiah Ch. 10 Vs. 1-4
    For anyone interested. It is obviously about idols really but believers like to but their own spin on such passages so why shouldn’t I? With tongue in cheek though, obviously.

  11. says

    Someone should tell him that as kids attempt to cast spells on each other and find they don’t work they will stop believing in magic. Unless, of course, he’s concerned that the same thing might happen to religious belief as people discover that prayer doesn’t work…

  12. raven says

    The belief in a powerful satan and his billions of demons is fading away. It never made too much sense anyway.

    1. Roughly half of all US xians no longer believe in satan or hell.

    2. God is supposedly the creator of everything. That means he created satan, demons, and hell. Thanks god, we really needed all that.

    3. God is supposedly all powerful. So why are satan and the demons running around loose causing problems? If god can’t deal with a bunch of defective ants loose in his ant farm, why bother paying any attention to him.

    4. If satan and the demons cause evil in the world and are always waiting to get us, where is our free will and individual responsibility. This whole belief looks like a rationalization and a way to blame something invisible for our actions that doesn’t even exist.

    I’m not going to say it is an evil belief, but it can be at worst, and at best, it is just a flimsy excuse and not helpful.

  13. says

    “sex abuse scandals which have engulfed the Catholic Church in the US, Ireland, Germany and other countries was proof that the Anti-Christ is waging a war against the Holy See.”

    As opposed to proof that the Catholic hierarchy consists entirely of morally depraved assholes. Right.

    I’m not acquainted with this Anti-Christ fellow, but he sure sounds like a decent chap to me. He’s welcome to join forces with my ongoing war against the Holy See.

  14. frankb says

    Geraldine: The Devil made me do it.

    I never could have guessed that top officials of the Vatican would use Flip Wilson’s famous line.

  15. alkaloid says

    Great…just great. My irony meter burnt out again.

    I had to replace it after my last one exploded when Rush Limbaugh accused everyone who brought up Herman Cain’s sexual harassment cases of being a racist.

  16. David Marjanović, OM says

    There is a OT Bible verse that specifically prohibits the erecting of decorated trees. It would seem to be an edict about idolotry but it could easily be applied to Christmas trees.

    And indeed, the Jehovah’s Witlesses use it in all seriousness to declare Christmas trees satanic.

  17. davidct says

    The man is a retired head exorcist. How can he not be completely delusional? I thought there was some journalistic ethics about not making fun of the mentally ill. I guess I was mistaken.

  18. fredbloggs says

    I was recently told by a Xian that he wouldn’t let his children know about Harry Potter because he didn’t want them reading a book full of silly, magical things.

    You cannot believe how hard I had to bite down on my tongue.

  19. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    …yoga is Satanic because it leads to a worship of Hinduism and “all eastern religions are based on a false belief in reincarnation”.

    Don’t believe in their superstitions, believe in our superstitions. Now with extra woo!

  20. docslacker says

    It says a lot about the RCC hierarchy that then don’t keep this fellow away from journalists. All them cardinals agree with his nuttiness.

    “the sex abuse scandals which have engulfed the Catholic Church in the US, Ireland, Germany and other countries was proof that the Anti-Christ is waging a war against the Holy See.”

    I didn’t know that all those children had been abused by priests of Satan!

  21. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    Yeah, those darn Harry Potter novels might encourage kids to believe in wizardry and magic. They should instead read the Bible and enjoy uplifting tales of Moses using his rod to call water from a rock, part a sea, and battle the pharaoh’s priest.

  22. Zinc Avenger says

    Reminds me of a regular horror movie meet-up I attend. A couple of weeks ago someone asked what sort of horror movies are the scariest.

    One person said “Space-aliens and monsters and serial killers don’t scare me. But movies about the devil and demons scare me because they’re real!”.

    I blinked at her a few times, and then noticed most of the people in the room nodding in sage agreement…

    So yes, folks. De debil is more real than serial killers.

  23. DLC says

    The OP reminds me of a line from Scooby-Doo: (Shaggy) “Man, this is real, like in the movies! ”

    Zinc Avenger #30: Really ? serial killers don’t exist for your fellow horror-movie buff ? the Victims of men like Jeffrey Dahmer, Edmund Kemper and Ted Bundy will be glad to know.

    I’m not worried about Satan worshipers, it’s the Satin worshipers who have me looking over my shoulder.

  24. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Glen Davidson:

    If he can’t get rid of Stephenie Meyer, the hell with him.

    Win.

    OP:

    …yoga is Satanic because it leads to a worship of Hinduism and “all eastern religions are based on a false belief in reincarnation”.

    *ahem* Judaism teaches reincarnation, too, so it’s not just “Eastern religions”. Oh, who am I kidding? He prolly thinks the Jews are evil agents of Satan, too.

    Reading JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books is no less dangerous, said the 86-year-old priest

    If the “devil” is going to influence more authors to write more good books for kids, all the better.

    “the sex abuse scandals which have engulfed the Catholic Church in the US, Ireland, Germany and other countries was proof that the Anti-Christ is waging a war against the Holy See.”

    It sounds like ol’ Gabe is calling the victims liars. What a miserable pus-bag.

  25. Nele says

    Did I get that right? It is satanism when the fact that catholic priests rape little children gets public?

    Suuuuure….

  26. kieran says

    Read the harry potter books, had a flatmate who’d bought them so I didn’t have to. Yep the wizard thing is a smoke screen for a story that really pushes friendship, loyalty and love.

  27. Flapjack says

    Haven’t I seen this sermon somewhere before?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFTR2JJcKUg

    Also seem to remember a scene in Father Ted where Fr.Dougal and Fr. Ted are discussing sinister cults and Dougal says something along the lines of “Oh I’ve heard about those weird cults Ted, the ones where they all dress in black and tell people that the Lord is coming back from the dead to judge them…”
    “Actually that’s us Dougal, that’s Catholicism”

  28. abadidea says

    I’ll never understand why pastors and priests think that children will believe something just because they read it in a work of fiction.

    Oh, wait.

  29. Snoof says

    They’re evil, he says, because they “encourage children to believe in black magic and wizardry”.

    Don’t those things _exist_ in Catholic theology? I could’ve sworn they were always going on about how the Devil could grant all kinds of foul magic powers. They even wrote a book about it… the Malleus Maleficarum or something like that.

    And if they do exist, then surely believing in them is the right thing to do. How else can you protect yourself? It’d be like not believing in sharks, or viruses, or carbon monoxide.

    Perhaps this is confusion between the various different definitions of “to believe”. “I believe in leprechauns” vs “I believe in democracy” and so forth.

  30. KG says

    Judaism teaches reincarnation, too – Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel

    It does? Chapter and verse, please!

  31. Father Ogvorbis, OMoron says

    Thanks, PZ. My irony metre only goes to 10. That just pegged (hang on, lemme measure where the needle got stuck) about a 19. When will someone develop an irony metre which can cope with the hardcore religious irony?

  32. Rey Fox says

    There’s no irony in this article. This guy isn’t railing against superstition, he’s railing against bad juju.

  33. Murphy says

    Well, the old codger has a point. Consider the disjuncture, pestilence and bloodshed that Harry Potter has visited upon us. Clearly Rowling and her spawn are the antichrist. What we need is the protection of the church – that bastion of moral incorruptibility and intellectual integrity – to save us from the horrors of fiction literature.

  34. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    KG:
    I did a quick Wikipediaing and came across this.

    Basically, certain sects (Hasidic and some Orthodox Jews) believe that a soul will be reincarnated, but it isn’t a central tenant of the religious practices.

    Not surprisingly, it’s still being debated. Some rabbis accept reincarnation, others don’t. (Mr Darkheart, who belonged to a reform temple, was taught that souls are reincarnated, but I have other friends who weren’t. Either way, it isn’t an emphasized teaching.)

  35. Tim says

    My favorite part is how the article offers the priest’s opinion on the church’s sexual abuse right after he talks about getting four people to hold a child down.

  36. says

    Harry Potter teaches kids that a) authority figures can be evil (Umbridge, Crouch/Moody), b) even the really good authority figures can occasionally exercise poor judgment (Dumbledore), and c) some of the bravest, most committed, self-sacrificing people you’ll ever know can behave like real assholes (Snape).

    (Yeah, I probably just spoiled the whole series right there. I assume you’ve either read it already or you don’t care.)

    No, I suppose an institution that’s held together by unquestioning obedience to authority figures wouldn’t like impressionable children to learn about that.

    Yoga, meanwhile, is exercise with pretty music and pleasant meditative practices. Most of us don’t see anything threatening about it because we don’t assign any spiritual power to it.

  37. pickle surprise says

    I have heard the whole “yoga is satanic and evil” codswallop before. Not from a priest mind you but a guy who was selling stuff door to door (what it was, I can’t remember. We invited him to have a cup of tea and my mother was telling him that she was going to join a gym. It was then that the guy went on about how because yoga is all about spirituality that it was a false religion luring innocent Catholics to paganism or some other drivel.

    I was still a little bit of a catholic myself when this happened but even I thought that was way out there. My parents were being polite and did not say anything but when he left, they thought he was a complete kook.

    @alkaloid

    Rush “Obama the magic negro” Limbaugh accusing people of being racist? Wow, just wow. It is depressing that he earns ridiculous amounts of money spouting off lies, hypocrisy and hate yet genuine hard working people are struggling to get by.

  38. jheartney says

    Watched The Exorcist recently. When I wasn’t laughing at the silly effects, I was rooting for the devil, who was far and away the most interesting character in the story. Also he got the best lines:

    Priests (chanting): The power of CHRIST compels you! The power of CHRIST compels you!

    Devil: Your mother sucks cocks in Hell!

  39. lilith says

    Can reading the bible and believing it cause you to lose the ability to discern truth from fiction? Any 10 year old I know will tell you that the magic in Harry Potter ain’t real – it fantasy books, for crying out loud. Only someone was taught to believe without questioning everything he reads can miss that.

    And yes, the real messages in the book have nothing to do with magic. there’s a very strong anti-racism sentiment, for example – but wait, that actually might not sit very well with the church…

  40. Gregory Greenwood says

    The Harry Potter books, which have sold millions of copies worldwide, “seem innocuous” but in fact encourage children to believe in black magic and wizardry, Father Amorth said.

    So, a fictional series of books about wizards that has a subtext about the importance of loyalty, friendship and integrity is evil because it supposedly encourages children to believe in magic, but a fictional book about a capricious and bloodthirsty deity and his demi-god son who came about through the godly rape of a teenage girl, that has a subtext of unaccountable clerical power and brutal bigotries including but not limited to xenophobia, homophobia and misogyny is the ultimate source of moral authority?

    I suppose you can’t really expect logic from a man who made a career out of yelling at imaginary boogeymen while claiming in all earnestness that he was fighting ‘demons’. Amroth is clearly in need of psychiatric help, but rather than get him the treatment he needs the Holy See enables his delusions, and that just makes him one more class of victim of that vile organisation of con artists and child rapists.

  41. Loreo says

    Reminds me of a great assessment of Christian anti-occult agitation from the humorist Seanbaby:

    “These Christians have set it up so that in order for them NOT to be crazy, children have to be flying on broomsticks and raising the dead.”

  42. Ing says

    Can reading the bible and believing it cause you to lose the ability to discern truth from fiction? Any 10 year old I know will tell you that the magic in Harry Potter ain’t real

    Yes

  43. andyo says

    We’re not complaining though, are we? I mean, I would love if all priests started railing against harry potter and twilight and all that stuff. Let’s see what kids choose to not read.

  44. Kemist says

    They’re evil, he says, because they “encourage children to believe in black magic and wizardry”.

    What a waste of neurons those vile men’s deluded brains are.

    If he had read the damn books he would be even more frightened by what they actually teach children.

    That racism in all its forms is wrong. That indifference to other peoples’ suffering can lead to your own destruction. That even the weakest can strike a decisive blow against a tyrant. That might doesn’t make right. That love is a very strong force – one that can enable people to self-sacrifice, just as surely as those muslim fanatics I’m sure he envies. And even more because one’s love, contrarily to religious faith, is actually true.

    That’s way much more frightening to the catholic church than any carnival Devil and childish “black magic”.

  45. Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan says

    Afraid your little circus ain’t gonna have many attendees if kids are freely allowed to read the likes of Harry Potter or maybe Terry Prachett, mm? Well, all things must come to an end someday. I guess it’s time you lot prepared for your turn.

  46. raven says

    Afraid your little circus ain’t gonna have many attendees if kids are freely allowed to read the likes of Harry Potter or maybe Terry Prachett, mm?

    The xian god isn’t very powerful if a few story books can disappear him.

    Xians claim their god is all powerful and then act like he is sick, drunk, or dead.

  47. rad_pumpkin says

    Yoga may be of the Beast, but those pants sure are a godsend!
    (somebody had to say it…)

    Let’s ignore the truly bizarre railing against that gymnastics/meditation mix for a second. What pray-tell is so evil about Harry Potter? Granted, the books not exactly high literature, but the core themes are fine, friendship, acceptance, loyalty, be-good-or-a-freak-with-no-nose-will-eat-you-alive, that whole malarkey. Unless gramps here is upset that a book about super natural stuff from the UK is more popular than a book about super natural stuff from bronze-age Middle East is more popular amongst the youth. Or maybe he just went off his meds, who knows?

  48. Ichthyic says

    I guess it’s time you lot prepared for your turn.

    sadly, I think they are still in line for their turn on the wheel, and will be for some time to come.

    at least another generation or two.

  49. Moggie says

    Next time a Christian tells you that the gnus are critical of a strawman version of Christianity, and that the reality is more sophisticated than that, remember Gabriele Amorth, whose simple-minded theology would shame a child.

    Audley:

    Not surprisingly, it’s still being debated.

    I love this phrase, in the context of Judaism. Rabbis, you’ve had thousands of years to firm up the details, and you’re supposedly in contact with the guy who knows. If you’re still debating, I think it’s safe to assume there’s no there there.

  50. Sili says

    If an unsophisticated reader tries playing around with wands and broomsticks, they’ll quickly discover that those don’t work the way they do in fiction, but the “look after your friends” and “pay attention in school” lessons will serve them well.

    That’s exactly why they’re evil.

  51. Sili says

    I love this phrase, in the context of Judaism. Rabbis, you’ve had thousands of years to firm up the details, and you’re supposedly in contact with the guy who knows. If you’re still debating, I think it’s safe to assume there’s no there there.

    Errr, no. The whole point of the Talmudic tradition is that there is no direct line to G-d. He has given us the Law once and for all, and that is all we have to go by. That means lots of interpretation is necessary to keep it current, and being fallible humans, we may well get it wrong, hence the need for discussion.

  52. ZenDruid says

    Old Squirrel Shit objects to the meditative discipline associated with Yoga, in that the practitioner’s mind frees itself from the everyday baggage, notably the guilt, shame and fear that are as essential to good little Catholic sheeple as oxygen. A demon-monger like him cannot function in their absence.

    Say what you will about J K Rowling and the Harry Potter saga, but my inner child is quite sympathetic with the premise that we children are completely capable of righteously conquering our own monsters and demons.

    Your cloud castle is dissolving, Squirrel Shit old man. Shut up and go to sleep.

  53. Dianne says

    The whole point of the Talmudic tradition is that there is no direct line to G-d. He has given us the Law once and for all, and that is all we have to go by.

    Isn’t there a traditional story that suggests that if G-d did try to give direct advise, he’d be told to butt out: he’s already given his part and has no further authority or right to involve himself in talmudic law?

  54. says

    In the archive linked below you can read dozens of articles about the extreme abuse and murder of children in exorcism rituals, by both Catholic and Protestant churches, where children are accused of being witches or possessed with demons. The most recent case I’ve archived is from South Africa where a 7 year old girl was murdered by a priest and four members of the African Gospel Church during an exorcism because they believed that her epilepsy was caused by demons.

    “Catholic Church downplays talk of the devil in public but maintains international network of exorcists”

    http://religiouschildabuse.blogspot.com/2011/03/catholic-church-downplays-talk-of-devil.html

  55. says

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to remember that traditionally there was no concept of the afterlife in Judaism, but later, presumably under the influence of Christianity, some schools of thought developed similar ideas.

  56. Sili says

    Isn’t there a traditional story that suggests that if G-d did try to give direct advise, he’d be told to butt out: he’s already given his part and has no further authority or right to involve himself in talmudic law?

    Exactly. (But I’ll be damned if I can remember the magic words that’ll make Google give it to me.)

    –o–

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to remember that traditionally there was no concept of the afterlife in Judaism, but later, presumably under the influence of Christianity, some schools of thought developed similar ideas.

    No, it’s the other way round. The Pharisees had developed the idea of an afterlife, and Paul took the resurrection of Jesus as proof that he was right in that belief. The afterlife of Christianity comes – correct me if I’m wrong – wholesale from Paul and his branch of Judaïsm.

  57. I'mthegenie!Icandoanything! says

    As was noted at RD’s site: this twisted old fruit (and I do NOT mean “gay”) is an old, old man who has lived an empty, stupid life doing useless, bad things to likely very vunerable people, most very young, but HE’LL DIE SOON.

    It’ll be a better world when such people do.

  58. Sili says

    I still haven’t found the parable/joke I wanted. Not least because looking for rabbi jokes, makes me read them.

    It’s bitterly cold outside the shul. Inside, Rabbi Bloom is getting fed up with the constant coughing that’s disturbing his sermon, so after the service ends, he goes over to old Hyman the shammes and tells him that he needs his help to solve the problem. Rabbi Bloom tells Hyman to have a large bowl of cough drops ready in shul for his next sermon and instructs him to give one cough drop to any shul member who begins coughing.
    So next shabbes, during the rabbi’s sermon and following orders, every time a member coughs, Hyman walks over and hands out a cough drop. Rabbi Bloom watches this out of the corner of his eye and notices that each time Hyman does this, the member immediately gets up and walks out of the shul. At the end of the service, half the members are gone, so Rabbi Bloom goes over to Hyman and asks, “Nu, Hyman? So what did you say to the members that made them leave the shul?”
    Hyman replies, “So vat did I say? All that I said wuz, ‘the Rabbi said for cough’.”

  59. raven says

    The afterlife in Judaism is a recent add on.

    At the time of Jesus, there was no consensus.

    The Sadduccees who were the priestly class, didn’t believe in an afterlife because it isn’t mentioned in the Torah.

    The Pharisees, I don’t know. The Essenes, who knows either?

    The xians and maybe some Jewish groups seem to have gotten their afterlife from the Greeks. They were the ones who came up with a rudimentary hell, Hades.

    I suspect the ultra-Orthodox got their relatively modern idea of reincarnation from the Hindus and Buddhists. These people were nearby and ideas spread, even in the ancient world.

    Given how little we actually know about the afterlife and the constantly diverging opinions, there probably isn’t one.

  60. peterh says

    ” There is a OT Bible verse that specifically prohibits the erecting of decorated trees. It would seem to be an edict about idolotry but it could easily be applied to Christmas trees.

    And indeed, the Jehovah’s Witlesses use it in all seriousness to declare Christmas trees satanic.”

    Christmas trees are Norse.

    So all of “magic” is evil, then? And the RC liturgy is a subset of magic involving invocations, incantations, transmutations, etc. Therefore . . . . .

  61. Ms. Daisy Cutter says

    Gregory Greenwood:

    …but a fictional book about a capricious and bloodthirsty deity and his demi-god son who came about through the godly rape of a teenage girl, that has a subtext of unaccountable clerical power and brutal bigotries including but not limited to xenophobia, homophobia and misogyny is the ultimate source of moral authority?

    And you didn’t even mention the torture porn!

    Raven: I really doubt the ultras got their ideas on reincarnation from Hindus or Buddhists. Orthodoxy is only a few centuries old; it was a direct reaction to the Haskalah (“Enlightenment”) within Judaism. If the Orthodox were influenced by anything, it was medieval xtianity.

  62. Pikemann Urge says

    Glen Davidson #23:

    If he can’t get rid of Stephenie Meyer, the hell with him.

    +1

    Sweet and short. Perhaps all comments should fit within 140/160 characters?

    An as for sexual abuse being the devil’s fault: doesn’t Christian morality advocate personal responsibility? I thought it did.

  63. TimKO,,.,, says

    Catholicism:
    Everything we like = god
    Everything we don’t like or that causes us embarrassment = satan

    What a fucked up, simple-minded worldview.

  64. joejoe says

    Harry Potter “encourage children to believe in black magic and wizardry”? Are you serious? And I would assume that he would rather kids watch The Exorcist or even worse, The Passion of the Christ, which is 97 percent blood, gore and violence not counting the opening title and end credits? How much emphasis was really needed on the blood squirting and the ripping of the flesh? Well, coming from Mel Gibson I am not surprised. Supposed to be a big follower of christ and yet, there are the recorded conversation of him talking about being gang raped by a bunch of “niggers”. Very christian like. Just makes me wanna jump up and take my kids to see a MOVIE that was influenced by a retarded, drunk, social media fuck up such as he. But then it wouldn’t surprise me if he would. Be that the two are one in the same. Indoctrinated Psychopaths.

  65. says

    “eastern religions are based on a false belief in reincarnation”

    Well he is right for once! Trouble is he doesn’t want to be more right by realizing his beliefs are false too.
    Yoga is associated with a lot of pseudo benefits in India, people claim it cures cancer etc and dupe innocent but gullible devotees. Some of them forego real medicine cos of these false claims.
    So thank you pope, but no thanks cos you would just replace yoga with exorcism or something.

  66. raven says

    Raven: I really doubt the ultras got their ideas on reincarnation from Hindus or Buddhists. Orthodoxy is only a few centuries old; it was a direct reaction to the Haskalah (“Enlightenment”) within Judaism. If the Orthodox were influenced by anything, it was medieval xtianity.

    If that is the case, it is certain. At some point, ideas become pervasive and everyone has heard of them. That doesn’t mean Heliocentrism, the round earth, or Reincarnation didn’t have an original origin.

    Medieval xianity didn’t believe in reincarnation. Not really seeing how this could be.

  67. nazani14 says

    Catholics copying fundies, episode 35499.
    Frankincense and myrrh were originally used to worship pre-Xian gods, therefore incense use leads to paganism.

  68. WishfulThinkingRulesAll says

    the sex abuse scandals which have engulfed the Catholic Church in the US, Ireland, Germany and other countries was proof that the Anti-Christ is waging a war against the Holy See

    *facepalm*

    Oh man, come on guy, are you misinformed. Clearly we have been secretly invaded by shapeshifting alien Skrulls, who are inserting themselves into powerful institutions and making those institutions look bad. I mean, DUH!

  69. Sili says

    Christmas trees are Norse.

    Well, the modern ones are German dating back to the C15, I think, leaving for Denmark and elsewhere in the early C19.

  70. Sili says

    So all of “magic” is evil, then? And the RC liturgy is a subset of magic involving invocations, incantations, transmutations, etc. Therefore . . . . .

    No, that’s not magic. That’s Sophisticated Theology™. Pay attention.

  71. says

    “the sex abuse scandals which have engulfed the Catholic Church in the US, Ireland, Germany and other countries was proof that the Anti-Christ is waging a war against the Holy See.”

    It’s good to hear confirmation from someone in authority that those who helped perpetuate the abuse (such as the current Pope) are agents of the Anti-Christ. Can we see him bounced out of office now? Surely an institution that insists it’s the source of all morality will take swift action on immoral actions taken by its employees.

  72. ragutis says

    So all of “magic” is evil, then? And the RC liturgy is a subset of magic involving invocations, incantations, transmutations, etc. Therefore . . . . .

    Well, apparently arcane magic is evil, but divine magic is fine. Provided it’s of an appropriate domain, of course.

  73. GrudgeDK says

    “Well, in a world where the activities of the catholic church aren’t evil, it only makes sense that literature and exercise are.” – Carl Troein