The Independent is winding me right up these days.
Below is my response to the above link. I have entered it as a comment but it currently it is awaiting ‘moderation’. I recommend you read the article first.
Yet another gross example of sycophancy toward an institution of astonishing hypocrisy. Firstly, I refuse to respect any religion simply because it exists. Please note that’s ‘religion’. Individuals have the right to practice any religion they choose but that is limited to them. They do not have the right to expect anybody else to tow their line. My personal view is that religion is the lazy easy answer. It’s the “I don’t understand something so god must have done it” or “We have a problem but let’s not do anything about it ourselves. Instead let’s just pray to ‘god’ to make it go away for us.”. Religion takes away personal responsibility and it’s decisive but if other people want to believe it then it is their business. Secondly, the Pope’s comments yesterday about secularism were nothing short of outright falsehoods and revisionist history. His comment linking Nazism to ‘extreme atheism’ are untrue. Hitler, along with his most senior officers were Catholic and were often recorded as saying they were doing ‘god’s work’. He received a blessing from Rome for his persecution of Jews, gypsies, JWs, atheists and humanists, anyone who refused to join his cause and those he saw as a threat to his authority. Stalin was also a Christian and trained for the priesthood. It has come to the point now that any of us who are non-believers and are neither quiet nor apologetic about it are labelled ‘militant’ or ‘extreme’, simply by virtue of the facts I just mentioned. It has now reached a point where moderates and even some other non-believers have begun to use this ‘reasoning’ against atheists, agnostics and humanists alike.
We do not wish our non-belief forced on anyone. If you do not agree with condoms, then don’t use them – DON’T lie about them. If you disagree with abortion, then you are free NOT to have one. If you have a problem with homosexuality, then don’t have gay sex. Nobody is trying to make any of it compulsory. If you take issue with a woman’s right to control her own fertility and equal place in society and the work place SHE chooses, then you have bigger problems and should probably seek professional help. Stem-cell research (completely blank cells which can be taken from menstrual blood, placenta or foetal chords which harms nobody and would other wise have been thrown away) is one of the most promising areas of medical research and could save the suffering of millions yet there are those who wish it stopped as somehow ‘immoral’.
The fact that he is German is irrelevant to the point that it distracts from the true issues. The truth is you can be an arsehole regardless of nationality, and judging somebody by their cultural history is just absurd; you might as well blame them for the sky being blue for all the sense it makes. Personal actions, however, are a different matter. This is a man who lives in a Louis XVI environment – in the lap of luxury, expecting respect for himself and his tawdry institution for its own sake and totally out of touch with reality. He is here at our expense and criticising our values while he is here. This is a man who issued an instruction to cover up the cases of child abuse and deal with it ‘internally’ by silencing those who dare to come forward while moving priests on to repeat their crime on other unsuspecting children and threatening those who DO report it with excommunication. The only thing they are sorry about is that, despite their cover-ups, it still went public and now they are facing an even bigger problem.