Saturday, December 01, 2007

The end of world? Dinesh D'Souza and the Pope fill us in.

Just a quick glance at the Inquirer today should pretty much confirm for any visiting alien from outer space that the human race is doomed. No need to invade or wipe us out with some sort of space bug. We'll do it all by ourselves, you have only to wait.

Several articles pop out as indicators of our impending self destruction.

The first one is a news item about angry Sudanese protesters marching in the streets of Khartoum calling for the death by firing squad for a British teacher who allowed one of her students to name his teddy bear Mohammad. Naturally, the Sudanese government is cynically fanning the flames as a ploy to keep the UN from deploying peace keepers to Darfur so it can keep its genocide of those infidel Darfurians going. Here we have yet another example of a ruling elite exploiting ignorance and superstition to manipulate the masses.

Much like the Catholic Church, which is in the news again. AP reports the Iron Pope Benedict XVI has issued another encyclical. Boy, haven't you just been chomping at the bit for another encyclical? This time around the Pope is decrying the evils of atheism. The French Revolution and the proletarian uprising in Russia, he writes, are both examples of atheism run amok. Although the former Hitler Youth acknowledges that those upheavals were the result of deep injustices at the time, according to the AP story, humans thinking they could make a paradise on earth without the help of God was "both presumptuous and intrinsically false. It is no accident that this idea has led to the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice."

Needless to say, the hundreds of years of religious wars in Europe, the Inquisition, the plundering of weaker nations around the globe in the name of God and all the child abuse were the work of a merciful God.

This is my favorite part of the story, though:

"The Rev. Robert Gahl, professor of ethics at Rome's Santa Croce University, said the Pope's message was 'tremendously relevant' for today's materialistic societies 'where people put hope in science and medical cures.'"

Yeah, what has science or medicine done for you lately? As the Pope says, "We must do all we can to overcome suffering, but to banish it from the world is not in our power. Only God is able to do this." The fact that the Church has been responsible for much of the suffering of mankind for a millennia or so should make anyone thing there's anything that can be done about it. It's all a part of God's great plan. Just wait for the big bearded guy in the sky to fix everything. In the mean time, keep the money coming because they've got a bunch of expensive legal bills to pay off.

By the way, speaking of the Inquisition and the fallacy of relying on science for salvation, right wing crackpot Dinesh D'Souza writes that the heresies of Galileo are still under review. I thought Pope John Paul II had finally gotten around to admitting that the Earth revolved around the Sun about 460 years later (better late than never, I guess,) but apparently D'Souza isn't convinced.

The crux of D'Souza's argument is that the whole Galileo being forced to recant under pain of torture thing is liberal hype. All these atheists out there like liberal Christopher Hitchens are saying the Church mistreat Galileo. D'Souza writes, "I intend here to reopen the Galileo case to expose the atheist argument as completely misguided."

See, the Church just wanted to make sure "the science" was right before jumping to any hasty conclusions. You know, just like the Bush administration these days. They don't want to go crazy with this Climate Change thing until it's got "the science" right.

It was all a bug misunderstanding. The Pope was a big fan of science and so was Cardinal Robert Bellarmine. D'Souza writes, "Bellarmine proposed that, given the inconclusive evidence for the theory and the sensitivity of the religious issues involved, Galileo should not teach or promote heliocentrism."

It was all Galileo's fault that this whole thing happened. He brought it on himself by goign to Rome.

Get it right, liberals.

What I find funny is that D'Souza's article is very similar to an article from Catholic Answers.

D'Souza writes:

"Contrary to the claims of Sam Harris and others, Galileo was never charged with heresy and never placed in a dungeon or tortured. After he recanted, Galileo was released into the custody of the archbishop of Siena, whose terrible punishment was to house him for five months in his own episcopal palace. Then he was permitted to return to his villa in Florence. Although technically under house arrest, he was able to visit his daughters at the Convent of San Mattero. The church also permitted him to continue his scientific work on matters unrelated to heliocentrism, and Galileo published important research during this period."

Catholic Answers writes:

"In the end, Galileo recanted his heliocentric teachings, but it was not—as is commonly supposed—under torture nor after a harsh imprison- ment. Galileo was, in fact, treated surprisingly well. As historian Giorgio de Santillana, who is not overly fond of the Catholic Church, noted, "We must, if anything, admire the cautiousness and legal scruples of the Roman authorities." Galileo was offered every convenience possible to make his imprisonment in his home bearable. Galileo’s friend Nicolini, Tuscan ambassador to the Vatican, sent regular reports to the court regarding affairs in Rome. Many of his letters dealt with the ongoing controversy surrounding Galileo."

Very weird. It's almost like he just changed a few words here and there. Read the whole article and you'll see what I mean.


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