Gotta go

It’s the first week of biology labs here at UMM, and I caught most of the morning sections — I’m expected to put on my lab coat, get into the lab, and do my job in a half hour. Except that I have just learned that if I invoke God’s authority, I can shirk all I want for as long as I want. I think I’ll just go back to bed for a while.

Except…here in the real world, if I refused to do my job, I’d be fired so fast. It doesn’t matter that I have tenure — refusal to fulfill the obligations of my employment, the basic, necessary work for which I was hired, would get my ass launched out the door like I was loaded into a cannon. I could squabble futilely for a good long while, throw lots of money at irresponsible lawyers (the only kind who would take my case), but the conclusion would be foregone.

I guess I better get moving. I’ve got a few hours of teaching sterile technique to cell biology students ahead of me, even though it is not mentioned in the Bible.

His generosity knows no bounds

The Pope has made a proclamation.

I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father. For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.

Gosh. In the spirit of reciprocity, I am compelled to make an equal offer. I know that it is an intellectual ordeal, and that deep in their hearts priests are scarred and regretful at their abandonment of the integrity of their minds, their lifelong commitment to an amoral and corrupt institution, and the emotional stunting involved in a life of celibacy.

I have decided that all atheists have the discretion to forgive and accept the apologies of any priest who willingly renounces the church, now and forever, and for that matter, at all times in the past. It’s not really a power for me to give, but hey, I’m just returning his favor.

By the way, all atheists have the discretion to say “Fuck you” to patronizing priests who think they have the power to forgive you for acts for which you have no regrets.

It’s amazing how powerful we all are.

Another Bangladeshi blogger murdered for atheism


Atheists neither need nor want martyrs, so could the mindless fanatics of the world please stop creating them? Niloy Neel has been hacked to death with machetes in Dhaka.

Imran H Sarkar, head of the Bangladesh Blogger and Activist Network, told the BBC that Mr Neel had been an anti-extremist voice of reason.

“He was the voice against fundamentalism and extremism and was even a voice for minority rights – especially women’s rights and the rights of indigenous people,” he said.

[Read more…]

Go for the enablers


Good news in Minnesota: the Catholic church is getting slammed with criminal charges.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said Friday his office is filing criminal charges against Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for “failing to protect children” from an abusive priest.

In a noon news conference Choi said the charges stem from the archdiocese’s handling of complaints about former priest Curtis Wehmeyer, who is now serving a prison term for abusing two boys while he was pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in St. Paul.

It’s not just that they gave an abuser access to children, it’s not just that they tried to cover it up, it’s that they ignored the church’s own rules on how to handle the pedophiles in their midst. It exposes the fact that Catholic priests tend to mouth one kind of piety while diddling the meaning of those words with their hands.

It beats Vacation Bible School

A church, Panama City Beach’s Life Center is no longer tax exempt, because authorities decided that they didn’t like its sacraments…which involved nude body-painting events (but the human body is one of god’s greatest creations, how can you object to celebrating it?) and selling sexually explicit t-shirts (again, sex is holy, isn’t it?). They were specifically appealing to college youth who were in town for spring break.

[Read more…]

Speaking of Catholicism…

Here’s a Catholic priest writing about the problems of Catholicism.

Everywhere from Boston to Minneapolis, Catholic churches have closed or been consolidated into regional clusters. The chief reason is declining Mass attendance.

In New York, Mass attendance has fallen to European levels, around 15 percent on an average Sunday, according to The New York Times. In Boston, it is even lower, around 12 percent.

Nationwide, only 24 percent of Catholics go to Mass on an average Sunday, down from 55 percent in 1965.

[Read more…]