The Pope’s parallel universe

Which planet is the Pope on? His speeches during his tour of the UK show a weird disconnection from reality and a rabid fear of secularism

Which planet is Pope Benedict XVI on? The Roman Rottweiler’s speeches during his tour of the UK show a weird disconnection from reality and a rabid fear of secularism. And this controversial visit demonstrates once again that the Pontiff and his cronies are not above lying.

Let’s have a look at a few of the things the Pope has said:

“Today, the United Kingdom strives to be a modern and multicultural society. In this challenging enterprise, may it always maintain its respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate.”

The Papists have already made clear their disgust for multiculturalism. Cardinal Walter Kasper, who is normally trotted out to excuse Vatican PR blunders, made one of his own when he compared the UK to a “third-world country”, a comment inspired by the country’s multiculturalism and increasing secularism. When these comments created justifiable outrage, Kasper was dropped from the Pope’s entourage. The excuse given was illness – a transparent lie.

But also note how the Pope wants respect for ‘traditional values’. This, clearly, is a reference to religious belief. As usual, a church leader is demanding special treatment for faith. Why should faith be granted automatic respect? Most religious beliefs are bizarre and have formed the basis of centuries of social and psychological repression. There is a false and insupportable assumption here that ‘traditional’ means ‘good’.

I’m glad that the Pope finds certain aspects of secularism ‘aggressive’. Of course, they’re nothing like as aggressive as Roman Catholicism, a faith so totalitarian in its outlook and implementation that it is still killing people today. But it’s right that the Pope should be afraid. His weird ideas simply can’t withstand the scrutiny of reason.

“Let it not obscure the Christian foundation that underpins its freedoms”

Here we go again – the age-old conflation of Christianity with morality and ethics. This is an outright lie. What underpins British freedoms is democracy, not the bronze-age myths enforced with mediaeval morality offered by the Christian church. No-one needs Christianity in order to be good. All it offers is narrow-mindedness and suspicion of new ideas. The UK can do perfectly well without that, thanks.

“Even in our own lifetimes we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.”

First, let’s not be shy about how many Jews have been persecuted and murdered by Christians. Shall we mention the Blood Libel? Who invented the idea of forcing Jews to sew yellow badges to their clothing? It certainly goes back as far as (Christian) King Edward I and his 1275 Statute of Jewry.

Christian SSOf course, Pope Benedict is also reiterating the lie that the evils of Nazism were a result of atheism. Hitler was a Christian. He formed a new German church. The Nazi fear and hatred of Jews was inspired, fuelled and justified by Christian attitudes to Judaism. Hitler frequently cited divine inspiration and justification for his actions. And let’s not forget that the motto of the SS, inscribed in their belt buckles, was ‘Gott mit uns’.

“As we reflect on the sobering lessons of atheist extremism of the 20th century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus a reductive vision of a person and his destiny.”

Oh dear, such a twisted view. It’s another cheap and tawdry attempt to conflate atheism with extremist ideologies. What he’s getting at, of course, is Stalinism and Nazism. But none of the evils of the 20th Century’s savage regimes were motivated by or rooted in atheism. They couldn’t be. Atheism offers no basis for ideological action (unlike religion, which so often impels adherents to acts of murder and oppression).

And far from a ‘truncated’ or ‘reductive’ vision, atheism allows one to shed the blinkers of religion, to free oneself from the absurd, narrow and banal confines of faith and open one’s mind to the real wonders of our existence. When you encounter the astonishing complexity and beauty of the universe, what could be more reductive or truncated than the miserable, unimaginative explanation that ‘God did it’? I can’t think of anything more pathetic and feeble.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) had a suitably indignant response to this arrogant and mendacious Pope:

“The notion that it was the atheism of Nazis that led to their extremist and hateful views or that it somehow fuels intolerance in Britain today is a terrible libel against those who do not believe in God.

“The notion that it is non-religious people in the UK today who want to force their views on others, coming from a man whose organisation exerts itself internationally to impose its narrow and exclusive form of morality and undermine the human rights of women, children, gay people and many others, is surreal.”

Surreal indeed.

Comments

  1. Brian Champness says:

    Thanks for the article – beautifully succinct. I constantly read that Hitler’s staff and troops were atheists – many of the people who write this tosh must know the truth. The ‘Gott mit Uns’ badges are all over the internet. Hitler never renounced his Catholicism, although he wanted the Church to adopt his racist coda, which did lead to trouble with some of the Catholic hierarchy. Hitler’s death camp guards shovelled bodies during the week, and went home at weekends to Mass on Sunday while others – worse given Luther’s rabid antisemitism – to their Lutheran Churches. No Christian church appears to have tackled this terrible dilemma properly – that the Jews were exterminated by Christians; I’ll write it again by CHRISTIANS. And here comes the Pope to UK, telling us off like children. It is difficult not to become enraged by the spectacle.

  2. Ben Finney says:

    Please don’t allow these ridiculous, many-times-debunked “atheist Nazi” slurs allow the Pope to deflect the main issue that everyone should be pressing him on during his state visit: the ongoing protection of child rapists and torturers.

    Regardless how calculated the Nazism slur may be, we must not give the Vatican the comfortable reprieve of discussing this silly issue when the much more pressing issue of investigating rapist priests deserves our full voice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>