Friday, April 08, 2005

The Pope was finally buried today. It was astounding to see the millions of people he's touched during his tenure. Being 33, I don't remember anyone else being Pope.
I was raised Catholic. I always hated church. My parents made me go to CCD every week, until they finally gave up when I was a sophomore in HS. I never received confirmation. The only time I go to church now is when I have to: weddings, christenings funerals. It was probably more rebellion than anything else that explained my resistance to my religious upbringing. But when I decided to study philosophy in college, my years of incredibly deep thought and introspection led me farther and farther away from spirituality. Nature, really, is what I'm spiritual about now.

Religion to me is something that was created to explain the (at the time) unexplainable to people who feared death, natural events, etc. It's also a great way to control large masses of people. To a point, this is good. It keeps people in line, develops a strong base of beliefs and comforts people in the face of gloom. In my self-righteous mind, it's a crutch for people to fall on.

It's also becoming more and more dangerous to the world community. I don't need to get into all the wars that have been started because of religion. Terrorism is rooted in religion. Cults are religions (my view is Christianity is a cult). Religion is now beginning to tear apart the United States as well. And because of the intense radicalism of the "Evangelicals" and the power they've been able to grab in the past few years, we're going to be plunged into an increasingly bitter cultural war.

Hopefully, it will backfire, like when the GOP collapsed after Newt Gingrich screwed up and his colleagues went too far to the right.

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Anyway, back to the Pope. I admit that, overall, Pope John Paul II was a peaceful man and was instrumental in spreading peace throughout the world. Unfortunately, he was also incredibly conservative and detrimental to not only the church, but to the health of the world.

One thing that I still can't understand is his stance on keeping women out of the priesthood. The priesthood is shrinking. It's in crisis mode. So many priests enter the priesthood because their sexual preferences don't agree with what they've been brainwashed with through the church. We've seen the tragic result of that and the repressive, anti-human, anti-sexual positions the church maintains (celibacy, gay is bad, etc.). Other than relying on centuries-old male chauvinism (sp?), I can't see why women can not be ordained.

Second, the celibacy issue IS going to bring the church down. I still believe the sexual abuse issue has only been scratched at. I am convinced it's even worse than we've been led to believe. Anyone with a brain can see why this has happened: humans are sexual beings. It is in our nature to seek sexual relationships for many reasons. To suppress that in any human being is unhealthy. Sooner or later, it's going to morph into something bad. So what's happened? Priests take advantage of the weakest and most vulnerable targets: children. I'm not defending them. What these people have done is sickening. But the church continues to ignore the reasons behind it. The priesthood is the perfect place for a man to enter when his sexual urges (read: natural makeup) disagree with his religious upbringing. And we see what we get. The Pope did little to fix this.

Third, is the Pope's inexcusable position on birth control. Apparently, the Vatican is blind to overpopulation. The church likes to send"missionaries" (which I prefer to call cult followers) to convert people to Catholicism to grow its base and "spread the word." Well, if Christians really believe that God created the world, why in hell aren't they doing everything they can to PROTECT THE PLANET????? Half of the world's forests are being burned. Our oceans are overfished. Our land is becoming more crowded by the day. Yet, what does the Catholic church say? "Protect life. Have MORE babies. Birth control is evil." WTF? I'm convinced the Catholic church has lost it's freakin' mind. If anything, it should promote birth control.

Attention church: This planet can't afford families with 10 kids anymore. If anything, we need a population REDUCTION.

I may sound cruel here, but I see certain epidemics like AIDS, Avian Flu, etc. as healthy things for the human population. We CANNOT sustain any further population growth. We just can't do it. We're wiping out wetlands, plant and animal species, polluting the air and water in every single country, and using up natural resources faster than they could ever be replaced. Nature, at times, tries to put a halt to unnatural growth in different ways. One of them is disease. Other is natural disasters. The Asian tsunamis wiped out over 100,000 people. It was horrific. A tragedy. But it probably saved most of the region from being destroyed by humans - at least for a few decades.

Anyway, I hope the next Pope is much more progressive than John Paul II. I really do. The impact that position has on people is enormous. It's time for the Vatican to get with the times, reverse many of it's destructive policies and chart a new path for saving the planet and its own cult of followers instead of doing only things to increase its power and wealth.


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