I am going to get into trouble for this one, I can just feel it, but needless to say, I’m tired, the King has flexed his power and crushed the scheduling revolution us minions were trying to carry out, and I’m all fired up after reading about the Pope’s visit online.
So, I’m curious, when did secularism become such a dirty word? When did not believing in something – a choice every one of us has the last time I checked - garner such scathing judgment especially from those that are supposed to be above such judgment?
The Pope is visiting England this week; for those of you reading tabloids instead of the news (yes, I know, almost one in the same), his visit has been talked about relentlessly for a variety of reasons: the cost of his visit, the actual point of his visit, the ongoing abuse scandals rocking the Catholic church, his past affiliation with the Nazi party, and of course the unique statements that come out of his mouth. [My mother is running through the streets screaming my child is a heathen right about now. Sorry Mom. Blame Dad].
In a speech given the other day, The Pope likened atheists to Nazi Germany. In short, he warned that extreme secularists and their wish to ‘eradicate God’ (his words, not mine) from society, would lead to a truncated vision as in the days of a godless Nazi Germany.
Hmmm, okay. So those of us who do not believe as his eminence does – see, I can be respectful - are lumped in a pile with an establishment that killed over six million Jews. Gosh. Thanks for that. Hey, Mr. Pope (not you sweetie - it happens to be my partner's surname), I have to say I take offense to that. Since when did not believing in organized religion mean that one wants to eradicate God? On the contrary, I’m all for those to believe what they want to believe, and I know better than to think that I fall into the majority when it comes to my beliefs; religion is part of the fabric of most nations. Fine, I have come to accept that, but I’d like the same right without being branded an immoral society killer.
The Pope went on to say that some out there – ahem, us non-believers – not only have questionable morals without the presence of religion in our lives, but seek to privatize it (cause gosh, god forbid people keep their religion to themselves as a sacred, personal intimate thing) and paint it as a threat to equality and liberty. Cause apparently organized religion across the board does not have a discriminating bone in its body. The Pope claims that religion, on the contrary is a “guarantee of authentic liberty and respect, leading us to look upon every person as a brother or sister.”…Unless of course you’re gay, or you believe in another god that Catholicism doesn’t recognize - and there are many opposing gods out there, or you divorce, or oh yeah, you use condoms or believe in a woman’s right to choose. Cause then you’re going straight to hell in a flaming bucket with wings.
I can never understand when people find out I don’t believe as they do, they look at me with pity in their eyes. Like I’m lost from a flock and need saving. Trust me when I say this, I’m okay. I don’t need saving. I’m very very happy for you that you’ve found what you’re looking for, but guess what, so have I, and it’s not in church. As for us secularists being blaspheming immoral heathens, I want you to look around at some of the most religious folks out there – or so they’ve claimed: Jim Baker (embezzler), Jimmy Swaggart (shagged a prostitute), Rabbi Neulander (tried to have his wife killed), Dr. Henry Lyons (racketeering); John Geoghan (accused of molesting over 100 boys over 30 years during his time as a Roman Catholic Priest) – and then talk to me about moral high ground.
I think the National Secular Society of Britain said it best (better than I can anyway) secularism "is not something to criticize, but to celebrate. We have rejected dogmatic religion devoid of compassion; In its place we have embraced and included gay people and given them the right to full equality, given women the right to control their own fertility, given scientists a free hand to seek cures for horrific diseases by the use of stem-cell research."
Here here, now pass the wine and let’s all just get along.