The arrival of Pope Benedict has the Catholic faithful all in a tizzy. I imagine they are sweeping out their churches, getting their Sunday best dry cleaned, polishing their crucifixes, and hiding their pre-teen sons and daughters in anticipation of this “historic event”, as it has been declared by the news media.
Given this man’s credentials, and the philosophy he represents, they should stop him at the airport, conduct a body cavity search, and then have him immediately deported like any unsavory character. Harsh? Maybe. But what exactly makes his visit more “historic” and of more import than a visit by any backward thinking ruler of a totalitarian city-state, or high ranking witch doctor from some pre-historic animist culture? More succinctly, what exactly does the office of Pope stand for or contribute to society? What has he accomplished that justifies the adoration, anticipation and intense media coverage?
Vatican City produces nothing. It neither sows nor reaps. It produces no commodity or natural resource. It hasn’t advanced medicine, or developed new technology to improve the human condition or benefit mankind. And yet, while it claims to be cash poor, it accumulated vast wealth and property much of it from contributions extorted from those who can least afford it.
It has virtually no political influence, nor does it have the force of power to intercede in armed international conflicts. Its leadership is appointed in secret by a closed hierarchy, not democratically elected by those over whom it seeks to wield power. This Pope was a member of the Hitler Youth movement. In the past he repeated an ignorant politically charged comment that enflamed the Muslim world.
Catholic dogma has contributed to the spread of AIDS, as well as over population thus causing hunger and a lower standard of living in many Third World countries. For decades it has actively engaged in a coordinated cover up of sexual misconduct by its emissaries, often depicting the violators as the victims, and the victims as the perpetrators.
The legacy of the Church is fraught with innumerable horrors:
-the destruction of cultures and murder of indigenous peoples;
-the torture and genocide of those who don’t accept its doctrine;
-instigation and suborning of war to attain wealth;-the persecution of “witches” driven by ignorant superstition;
-a lineage of leadership who count among their number murderers, rapists, fornicators, Nazi Party sympathizers, and anti-Semites;
-the subjugation of women, and persecution of homosexuals;
-and the suppression of knowledge and scientific inquiry often by threat of torture and death.
And all this in the name of some un-seeable, un-provable, imaginary Sky Daddy.
So they roll out the red carpet, trumpet his arrival, fill Yankee Stadium, shout the hosannas, kiss his ring, wave the handkerchiefs, hold up their babies for a blessing, swoon at the pageantry and the glittering costumes. I can hardly wait for the movie to come out. Maybe they can call it “The Triumph of the Will II” **. Ignorant damn sheep.