Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Criticism of Religion (and Spirituality, po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to) is Good. But Not Every Negative Remark Rises to the Level of Criticism, or Even Common Sense

People I'm often on the same side with on religious issues sometimes turn me right back off when they start to grind some personal, irrational, bigoted ax. They might, for example, speak as if all Muslims were pro-terrorism.

Often they start going on in an unproductive manner about the Catholic Church. As an extreme, some people flatly say that the Church is responsible for all of the evil in the world. I don't know how scapegoating prejudice can get a lot more extreme than that. Moving from the cosmically, insanely paranoid down to the petty, boring and silly, there are those who go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about the "dresses" and "jewelry" and "purses" and so forth worn by male Catholic clergy, and how "fabulous" it all is, and well you get the idea. As an atheist trying to lessen the influence of religion, I am so tired of these people, and so aggravated at the impression they give that atheists are -- well, idiots.

First of all, they're not dresses, they're robes. If these sneering, sniggering fools look at Raphael's School of Athens, do they get similarly giggly, and point and say Oh look, Plato and Aristotle are wearing dresses, nya, nya-nya nyaaaaa-nya?

And if they were right about the robes of Catholic clergy and ancient Greek being dresses -- they're not -- but if they were, do these same people giggle and point and mock whenever they see trannies?

Can someone say "issues"? Thank you, I knew that you could.

I saw one particularly obnoxious anti-Catholic for the first time I could remember about a month ago. Using CAPS in a VERY ANNOYING manner, mentioning things like RATZI's NAZI past -- Hey it rhymes! that must make it even more appealing to idiots -- and so forth. I don't like Ratzinger. Apart from the enthusiasm we share for the Latin language, I honestly can't think of one thing I like about him. I was very disappointed when he was elected Pope. But he was a teenager in 1945, which means that all this talk about his "Nazi past" is plain stupid. The Hitler Youth was not an organization which a German boy either joined or spurned with no pressure.

(Some time ago I asked another person who was calling Ratzinger a Nazi just how young he would have to have been in 1945 in order to be off the hook. They didn't get back to me.)

There's a critique of religion, and then there's bigotry -- and unfortunately the former often acts as camouflage for the latter. It turns out that that IDIOT I MENTIONED ABOVE who OVER-USES CAPS and called RATZI a NAZI left the Church about a year ago. (There are many churches, but only one referred to simply as the Church by friend and foe alike.) Who knows what horrors he or some child he knows may have suffered at the hands of priests or nuns, or what repressive political policies he sees tied to the Church. I don't know, because so far he's just been spewing silly stuff. Maybe eventually he'll calm down, become more coherent and actually contribute in a positive way to public discourse. Who knows. I hope so.

And as for all the men who sniggeringly refer to the dresses of Catholic clergy, I'll just continue to assume that they're all self-loathing closet wannabe transvestites, until I see some reason to assume otherwise. People need to come out, come clean, get down to the real stuff.

1 comment:

  1. Well, this might be a wrench in your gears. Generally, religion is a calendar of rituals practiced by a large group of worshippers. Weekly, monthly, yearly they repeat the unique behavior that defines their religion.

    However, research shows that natives of the world have a very intimate grasp of the spiritual aspect of nature, one that doesn't bear much relationship to religion. They commune with animals, plants, even rocks in ways that depart from any ritualized worship. For them, it is part of existence in their world - a special comprehension of the spirit that connects everything.