Two Interviews with Richard Dawkins, No “nice” Pope


The first interview is with Jaclyn Glenn and Richard Dawkins promoting the Out Campaign.

The second interview is with Bill Maher on Real Time.

Dawkins has a way of misstating things and from I can tell it is because he’s terrible at short summary statements, in spite of the meme “The Selfish Gene.” Maybe that’s why. He set the bar so high it’s too much to follow.

“Like many people, I’m sure that [President Barack] Obama is an atheist,” Dawkins told Maher. “I’m sure Kennedy was an atheist. But I doubt Pope Frank is, no. He’s obviously a nice man, therefore a dangerous man. We don’t want nice men in the Vatican.”

It sounds political, “We don’t want nice men in the Vatican,” as that would make it more hard to be critical. What he’s saying is that nice people who represent immoral organizations make the organization look more moral than it is. In spite of the Vatican not changing one bit with Pope Puppy.The name Francis is the most common birth name in Italy now and throngs are supporting him. He has been an effective wedge.  The problem is with the position of power, the organization behind it, and the sacred text it’s based on.

To make an extreme comparison. Wasn’t it great that Caligula was an asshole so no one got distracted by that and overlooked his cruelty? Or to use an overused simile, if Hitler had been as gentle sounding as Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs would not historians be more gentle to him and more likely to excuse his actions–wait, Hitler was a great orator and appeared compassionate to much of the public.

Quentin Tarantino is famous for making killers seem emotionless, without empathy, not even anger or revenge, just casual in their splatter of mayhem, blood and inhumanity. The lack of concern makes it even more acceptable to view the splatter.

We expect “evil” people to be disagreeable in disposition even though we say we understand what sociopaths and psychopaths are. The Pope is neither but he does paint a pretty picture of a head of state of a ruthless organization that is the greatest cause of more hate and destruction of any organization in the last 2,000 years.

Even now the horrid hatred of LGBT, say in Nigeria, isn’t because of pagan worship, witches, or shamans. No it’s because missionaries came and said LGBT were evil and going to hell. A great way of talking about damnation, of an other. Who would’ve guessed the LGBT community would grow and become so politically powerful anyway, or maybe because of it. They also preached no contraception, missionary position only, patriarchy only, and a host of hateful dehumanizing crap that has poisoned Earth Culture.

A nice pope is like a smiling mafia killer that says please and thank you and donates to local charities. It’s even more scary. A nice pope allows many to remain in denial and for the Vatican to ensnare more.

I knew a pedophile who was so nice and generous that even when it was shown he was to be a pedophile few could believe it–sound familiar? You don’t have to be Ted Bundy to be nice and an agent of harm. You might even think you are helping the world.

Jim Newman, bright and well

Vatican Still Opposes Divorce

remarryJust when you think Westboro Baptist Church is the most wacko church because it is protesting the World Series and because they protest musicians that have divorced and remarried, the Vatican has made it clear that you cannot divorce and remarry and still be fully, really saved.

The Vatican’s chief doctrine official, German Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, wrote Tuesday that there is no way for Catholics who divorce and remarry to receive Communion unless they get an annulment, a church ruling that their first marriage never really existed.

“God’s mercy does not dispense us from following his commandments or the rules of the church,” he wrote in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

Church teaching holds that Catholics who don’t have their first marriage annulled before remarrying cannot participate fully in the church’s sacraments because they are essentially living in sin and committing adultery. Such annulments are often impossible to get or can take years to process. The issue has vexed the Vatican for decades and has left generations of Catholics feeling shunned by their church.

Renegade Catholic churches beware.

Earlier this month, the German diocese of Freiburg upset the Vatican when it issued a set of guidelines explaining how such remarried Catholics could get around the rule. It said if certain criteria are met — if the spouses were trying to live according to the faith and acted with laudable motivation — they could receive Communion and other sacraments of the church.

The Vatican immediately shot down the initiative but said the matter would be discussed at a church meeting next year on the family.

The Catholic church is so off base on so many issues that most Catholics don’t care if they are compliant or not, whether the issue is contraception, divorce, and recently being gay. Unfortunately this lends validity to the schizophrenic culture of belonging to what you don’t believe. If you don’t believe the vatican has the last word on church canon, then you should find a different church that allows personal interpretation of the bible. By staying in the church you ally with the Vatican as a member and continue its credibility.

The sad thing is few people want divorce. Perhaps some divorces could be saved but it is wrong to force marriage. It is also wrong to insist that a marriage never existed if it becomes intolerable.

Jim Newman, bright and well

Replace Chaplains with Secular Counselors

Military_Health_SystemFirst the military said it had no need for atheist chaplains, then the southern Baptists said they would not serve LGBT, and now Catholic chaplains don’t have to serve LGBT as well–and we can presume none of them will serve atheists still.

We should just get rid of military chaplains and replace them with counselors, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and prostitutes.

I mean really, the military is supposed to be a super intense experience of learning new trades, experiencing new cultures, and aggressively representing, uhhh, defending the country. It’s not a normal situation–nor will piloting drones from work near home make it normal.

Without chaplains recruiters would have to do a better job of sorting through the new recruits to find those that really shouldn’t join but do anyway. It used to be that if you were a little off it was recommended to join the military to get your head and “heart” straight–or at least find a legitimate outlet for your uncontrollable aggression, uhh, desire to fight for your country.

Without chaplains religious weddings would have to be performed outside of military service. A justice of the peace, captain, or other legal emissary could certainly perform a civil service. Those too snobby for that can wait as, as the heart grows fonder with distance. OK, they could skype in a religious person for the ceremony. Or they could time their wedding to RNR or between terms.

Military funerals can be just that. military funerals. It’s too complicated to follow native funeral rites; there are just far too many sects, denominations, and religions to serve every type of funeral. When one joins the military it should be understood that you may not get the funeral of your religion. If this is just too much perhaps religions should develop a lay standard for funerals in the field for the military or provide an exception if in the military. Most religions do have a kind of funeral service for those away from home.

For serving the sick, chaplains have often served as a liaison to the rest of the military because the military did not embrace the utility of counselors, social workers, and psychiatry. But that’s all changing. Rather than having to have multiple sets of chaplains with the accompanying difficulty of getting the right sort of chaplain to the patient on time, a secular social worker or counselor could better triage the patient’s needs without having to compromise their own beliefs and standards.

While the new Catholic edict says chaplains must ensure that LGBT get the legal benefits, this wouldn’t even be an issue for a secular counselor and would prevent trauma for both the patient and the chaplain. The patient gets the benefits they deserve and the chaplain doesn’t have to feel compromised or challenged, negatively affecting the patient-military relationship.

Trained counselors would better recognize the symptoms of depression, anger, and anxiety modern fighting methods and situations incur. Wounds of the head and “heart” are more prevalent than wounds that create scar tissue. Chaplaincy cannot make up for the growing need for trained intervention and prosthesis that is not related to religion but is now often dealt with by chaplaincy as first server.

If psychologists and psychiatrists were as prevalent as chaplains and cooks there would be fewer post-military issues. Those who shouldn’t still be in the military would be discovered more rapidly and psychological issues would be better dealt with during military tenure when it’s most effective rather than dumping compromised soldiers on a castrated VA medical system where they currently don’t even get adequate support negotiating postmilitary care. These soldiers could be treated and released with an honorable discharge rather than the vitiating, VA-benefit-denying and employment-killing general discharge. General discharge is used too often to punish those with personality disorders and substance abuse issues. Any soldier who has served a term deserves a decent discharge, medical care, and VA benefits. Severing them from the military system creates a radicalized class of trained soldiers very unhappy with the military to which they volunteered to die. They deserve and earned more even if they fucked up.

Removing chaplains from the military would also eliminate the temptation to make every battle a religious battle, every war a religious war. War now more than ever is a difficult and treacherous sociopolitical excursion. With far fewer deaths and wounds there is much less desire to obliterate, exterminate, or eliminate a country with which we are at war. Respecting foreign politics and social norms is more important than ever–as fun as it is you just can’t pee on the bodies of dead enemies anymore. Secular counselors would help create and foster an empathy for all humans and encourage the use of minimal force required. If religion were not involved with the military there would be no religious reason to do war and less war.

While rape of women is in the news, rape of men in the military is more common. Acknowledging that rape is not singularly an issue of power disparity, legalizing and normalizing sexual counselors, surrogates, masturbation, and prostitutes, and removing the stigma of sexual relations during military service would help eliminate rape and other psychological issues that arise from the suppression, oppression, and repression of sexuality.

The refusal of Catholics and baptists from performing their duties to all soldiers may have the benefit of making it obvious that secular and universal care is the better way to go. Replace them all with trained and secular staff blind to bias and prejudice.

Jim Newman, bright and well

Pope Hand Waver

jesus babyPope Puppy, Pope Bait and Switch, and now Pope Hand Waver. His latest nonsense of saying the church is inclusive of gays, antiabortionists, and atheists was followed the next day by how the church doesn’t tolerate abortion and Catholic doctors should refuse to do them. First it’s we’re spending too much time on rules, that’s his left hand waving in the air and the next day says abortions are wrong, that’s his right hand giving the true message, sticking it to women in the gut, uhh vagina, uterus, ah hell, their whole body and mind.

Day 1

“The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently,” Francis said. “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”

Day 2

Pope Francis offered an olive branch of sorts to the doctrine-minded, conservative wing of the Catholic Church on Friday as he denounced abortions as a symptom of today’s “throw-away culture” and encouraged Catholic doctors to refuse to perform them.

Aaah, but the church needs to be more open. That’s the new message. But don’t do whatever it is that makes the church decide you are a sinner. The meaning is still come to church and change your actions. If this were the time of just after the inquisition this style would make more sense: hey, we’re not gonna torture you anymore but you still have to be a Catholic.

Know why the women in the painting has her hands in the air. She’s saying “Holy shit, help, get this asshole out of here.” First she’s visited, raped, by god and then she has to carry the little monster for 9 months, then nurse him for two or so more. Her hands in the air show utter submission to others. She knows she has no control of her life or her body.

Is it surprising that papal attendance is four times higher? Pope Hand Waver is trying to appeal to both progressives and conservatives. That would be something if he followed truth in advertising. Hand waving works–the people can be fooled. Dear woman or man desiring an abortion imagine the fetus looks like Jesus. Look into my eyes, your fetus is Jesus, your fetus is Jesus, your fetus …

“Every child that isn’t born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord,” he said.

jesusscanSo, not only do we get pictures of fetuses as little babies too but those fetuses look like Jesus. And… you’re killing Jesus, the lord, when you do an abortion. Pure emotional, passive-agressive blackmail. And… you’ll be killing baby Jesus when you flush that zygote down by using the pill–baby Jesus as a grown man no less.

Rather than get mad, Pope Hand Wave can just wring his hands till the flesh bleeds. You wouldn’t want to kill Jesus would you…that’s like killing love. Look I’m so upset I’ve wrung my hands to blood.

I know, I know, I pick on the pope, a lot, still. As a world leader he is the single greatest cause of misery in the world. His message of anti women, anti contraception, and anti egalitarianism has and does continue to tear this world apart in preventable strife and misery. There can never be too much time spent on declaiming the papacy.

Jim Newman, bright and well

Jon Stewart Crushes on The Puppy

john oliverJon Stewart is crushing on The Puppy, a pope so friendly you don’t even notice he’s peeing on you. I like this skit but Jon gets it wrong when he says that gays and atheists can go to heaven. Among many he is missing how the new, improved, bait and switch pope works. Tell them they are loved, bring them into the church, and then tell them they can be gay as long as they never have gay sex and can be atheists as long as they believe in god!? But meanwhile outside of the church, isn’t that the cutest little puppy pope we’ve seen in a long time.

It is true The Puppy isn’t calling for the death of nonbelievers which is an improvement. Everyone should  go to church–huh, how is this new? Just stay away from those priests.

John Oliver comes in and mocks that Stewart is the old guy ready for replacement, mwaa haa.

Robert Reich was on and that’s probably more relevant. Activism is the future of saving the economy. Reich is positive that we’ll do the right thing–the cynic in me says why do so many have to suffer so much first? If you’re working full time, doing your job, shouldn’t you be able to make a living wage?

Jim Newman, bright and well