Last week I posted my top three items of religious craziness that had happened during the previous seven days.
OK, so let’s have another go and see what has popped up in the last seven days.
Item 1 – Pope claims it is better to be an Atheist
It feels odd to reading stories about the leader of the largest
child abuse cult religious demographic on the planet claiming that not believing the things that he does is OK, but that apparently is what some media outlets are claiming.
For example …
- CNN … Pope suggests it’s better to be an atheist than a bad Christian
- The Guardian … Pope Francis: better to be an atheist than a hypocritical Catholic
- The Independent … Pope Francis: It is ‘better to be an atheist than hypocritical Catholic’
This might perhaps be the cue to make an observation about this being a bit of Catholic PR. However, what is truly weird about all of this is that despite many reputable sources claiming that he said this, he did not in fact say this at all, and that’s the truly weird bit.
Here are the precise words he actually said via Vatican Radio … (I’ve underlined the relevant phrase)
“But what is scandal? Scandal is saying one thing and doing another; it is a double life, a double life. A totally double life: ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this association and that one; but my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my workers a just wage, I exploit people, I am dirty in my business, I launder money…’ A double life. And so many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others. How many times have we heard – all of us, around the neighbourhood and elsewhere – ‘but to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.’ It is that, scandal. You destroy. You beat down. And this happens every day, it’s enough to see the news on TV, or to read the papers. In the papers there are so many scandals, and there is also the great publicity of the scandals. And with the scandals there is destruction.”
In other words, he himself was not claiming that it was better to be an atheist than a hypocrite, but instead was simply repeating what others do say, and was explaining why they say that.
Personally I am, and continue to be, a very vocal critic of the institution. It is not the words that matter, but rather the actions. To this day the cover up of clerical abuse continues. There is much that could and should be said about all of that, but that’s all for another day.
Item 2 – Joshua Feuerstein: Prayers Cancel Out Witches’ Spells On Donald Trump
Joshua Feuerstein gets his own Wikipedia page. The fact that somebody has a page on Wikipedia tells you that either they have done something notable, or they are so weird and eccentric they have managed to come to public attention. Mr Feuerstein falls into the latter category.
His latest bit of weirdness, which you can find in various places including his FB page is the assertion that millions of witches have put a curse on Mr T and so lots of prayer is needed to cancel that out …
[The witches are] gathering together around the globe to perform black magic against the President. Because the news media didn’t work their “fake news,” and the marches didn’t stop him, and so now they’re upping the ante by bringing black magic into the equation. But I’ve got news for you. I don’t care if there’s millions of witches that are gathering against Donald Trump because their Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo isn’t more powerful than the name of Jesus…
The scary part here is not the utter silliness of this gibberish, but rather the observation that his posting got rather a lot of likes and shares along with commenters suggesting that they wholly agree with him.
As noted by Hemant Mehta … (with his sarcasm mode cranked up full volume) …
as everyone knows, if two forms of bullshit are mixed, their powers cancel out. It’s, like, Newton’s Fourth Law of Motion or something.
… I don’t know what’s sadder: that Feuerstein believes the Trump lie that the news media spreads fake news, that the marches were supposed to “stop” Trump (instead of simply displaying dissent), or that he thinks Christian prayers are more powerful than witches’ spells (as if there’s a Hogwash Hierarchy).
Item 3 – Ken Ham: Atheists Are Insecure, and That’s Why They’re Scared of Creationism in Public Schools
Yep, Mr Ham makes the top 3 list again this week …
Let’s try a few statistics here …
- Number of Creationists that assert “God did it” … lots, but basically for emotional and religious reasons
- Number of Creationists that have credible independently verifiable evidence that withstands analysis … none
- Number of Creationists that have successfully refuted evolutionary biology … none.
Public schools are where things that can be backed up and verified with evidence get taught. The idea that the promotion of ancient myths as factual and the dismissal of evolutionary biology as myth should prevail within an educational context is rejected, not due to a fear of it being true, but rather due to the fear that the next generation might end up being as stupid as some members of the current generation are.
If you think that last comment is a tad over the top, then here is a quick reminder. Mr Ham is the same chap who seriously promotes the idea that flying fire-breathing dragons are quite real, and so apparently are unicorns.