"Indifference is the essence of inhumanity"
- George Bernard Shaw
Hey, did you hear the news? The Vatican sex abuse scandal isn't really about the tens of thousands of little kids who've been raped and abused in all sorts of disturbing ways over the years by their friendly neighborhood clergymen. No, it seems the real issue, at least according to the Vatican and Pope Benedict himself, is the strength and resolve of the Church to not be intimidated by such "petty gossip".
"I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented"
- Elie Weisel
The freakin' fundamentalists are at it again. This time in Somalia, where the stoning of women goes on unabated. This week it was a 20-year-old divorcee who, because she had a boyfriend, was stoned to death for "adultery" (yes, these wackos call it "adultery", even if a person is divorced). Last week it was a 33-year-old man who was stoned to death for adultery and his girlfriend is scheduled to be killed the same way once she gives birth. Last year these same fanatics killed/murdered a 13-year-old girl for "adultery" after she was gang-raped. And one thousand people turned up to cheer, or at least watch, her killing.
Yeah, I know Islam is really a religion of love and compassion and all that. Only problem is, like with all other religions, whenever the fundamentalists take power, it's anything but. Believe me, love and compassion rarely have anything to do with justice in places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, the Taliban-controlled areas of Pakistan, and the parts of Nigeria that have introduced sharia law.
Finally. Some great news.
It's been pretty hard being a Canadian of late.
Not only do we have a right-wing buffoon for a prime minister, but the progressive majority here in this country has been left with no attractive, electable alternative.
Then there's the fact that Canada is one of the world's worst environmental degraders, with the oil sands of Alberta becoming a bigger and bigger pox on the land with each passing day; a pox not only on the environmental landscape but also on our country's once stellar international reputation.
Furthermore, our justice system is a joke.
We've got bishops in charge of sex abuse compensation claims caught with graphic child porn.
And Celine Dion continues to record.
And, on top of all this misery, we still inexplicably have some foreign, overseas, in-bred family serving as this country's monarchy/head of state. A reality that becomes more and more pathetic as Canada moves further and further away from its distant colonial past.
For those who like their villains sinister, sleazy and self-righteous, not to mention depredatory, you've definitely got to check out this article by Peter Stanford about Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, a close advisor to Pope John Paul II and the founder of the ultraconservative Legion of Christ.
And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and
Our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our woman
Why we rape our woman
Do we hate our woman?
- 2Pac (Tupac Shakur), "Keep Ya Head Up"
As if you needed any more proof. But here it is anyway, two more stories demonstrating once more (and once and for all) the joy of tradition, the jubilation of superstition and, most of all, the glory - and glorious compassion - of organized religion.
Oh, and not to forget the awesome ability of men to take their beloved misogyny and sexism and make it an integral part of just about every major religion worldwide.
Benny The Pontificator Strikes Again
That buffoon Benedict is at it once again, lashing out at gays in yet another hate-filled speech and declaring that civilization must be saved from the evil, destructive influence of homosexuality (read more here: Pope attacks blurring of gender, and here: Gay groups angry at Pope remarks).
Now that's a Christmas message we can all get behind, isn't it? A message of peace, love and joy. Yet another classic in a long line of greats, such as the one about the corrosive influence of premarital sex on society; the one concerning the evils of birth control, particularly condoms (even in AIDS-ravaged places such as sub-Saharan Africa); and let's not forget that oldie-but-goodie: the need to conquer and convert all heathens and infidels.
It is a feeble country indeed that attaches itself so passionately to a zed.
What the hell am I talking about? Well, let me tell you. My son loves this online alphabet website (Starfall.com) and we spend quite a lot of time getting to know our ABCs there. He loves the site with all its funny songs and stories and he especially loves to sing "The ABC Song", almost as much as he loves singing Raffi's "Baby Beluga" and Cat Stevens' "Wild World"... oh, and Nirvana's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?".
Here's the problem: Whenever he sings the ABC Song with a certain type of person around you should hear the almost-deafening roar that ensues once he gets to "zee". "Zee is not Canadian!" the loud protests echo throughout our entire home, as my little guy looks around confused while making a valiant attempt to finish the song with the "Now I know my ABCs..." coda.
"Zee is not Canadian", the indignant and proud Canadian proclaims again and again. "Well, neither are the automobile, the television or the computer, but we use all of them quite regularly now don't we?", I protest. But it is pointless. My appeals to rationality are no match for the raging nationalism of the True Canadian Patriot.
You've all heard of The Axis Of Evil, of course, but what about The Axis of Medieval? Because, man, has it ever been a great week for them! In fact, it's been an amazing week for all admirers of the Dark Ages and all fans of Medieval systems, techniques and mindsets. First there was the report out of Saudi Arabia the other day about the Saudi Arabian "witch" being sentenced to death for, uh, "casting spells" on some guy, then there was this buffoon in the White House threatening to veto a Senate bill outlawing torture, and, finally, there was the start of the show trials for some of the most prominent tortured inmates at the Guantanamo Bay gulag. Truly a great week for Medieval lovers everywhere.
Did you hear the latest one by that Pope guy? You must have heard how, earlier this week, he decided to once again demonstrate his prowess at pomposity with his latest message to the world. And as far as pathetically pompous pontifications go, this one was a definite keeper.
Ok, look, it's the holiday season and I really don't have the time, nor the inclination, to rant right now; however, I've sadly been left with no other choice.
Believe me, I was just trying to get into the holiday spirit yesterday when, out of nowhere, I got blindsided by none other than the Holy Pontiff; and he simply left me with no other option but to stand up to his bigotry, hatred and illogical ravings. Hey, somebody's got to do it, right?