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Good Friday Hell

On this Good Friday, it’s only fitting that pope Benedict has chosen to rant against life-prolonging technologies and modernity. Christianity has always been a cult of death, and on the day when they celebrate the death of their ‘Savior,’ Benedict exhorts the world to abandon research that promises to dramatically prolong and improve human life.

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From the Times Online:

The Pope will deliver a blistering attack on the “satanic” mores of modern society today, warning against an “inane apologia of evil” that is in danger of destroying humanity.

In a series of Good Friday meditations that he will lead in Rome, the Pope will say that society is in the grip of a kind of “anti-Genesis” described as “a diabolical pride aimed at eliminating the family”. He will pray for society to be cleansed of the “filth” that surrounds it and be restored to purity, freed from “decadent narcissism”.

Particular condemnation is reserved for scientific advances in the field of genetic manipulation. Warning against the move to “modify the very grammar of life as planned and willed by God”, the Pope will lead prayers against “insane, risky and dangerous” ventures in attempting “to take God’s place without being God”.

Yesterday, the New York Times reported on some of the fruits of genetic testing, an outgrowth of the very research the pope opposes:

…the new generation of tests represents some of the first fruit of the long-anticipated genome revolution and could help pave the way to personalized medicine, in which treatments would be tailored for each therapy, potentially making them more effective and less costly. Such tests are either now available or being developed for purposes like detecting cancer early, monitoring heart transplants and choosing which drugs might work best to treat cancer, AIDS or heart disease.

The article gives an example of a woman who was facing a drastic regime of chemotherapy, and was relieved to find out through genetic testing that her cancer was about to go into remission on its own. She was spared needless damage to her body. This is a tiny harbinger of things to come. By cracking the genome, scientists will bring diagnosis and life-prolonging treatments previously inconceivable. Who in their right mind would oppose something that may soon cure cancer, HIV, and more?

Genetic engineering is also producing breakthroughs in development of enzymes, algae, bacteria, and even viruses which will be used to catalyze and manufacture new forms of energy and energy storage. These processes are vital to replace fossil-fuels, and even just to feed people and keep economies going. Yet the pope opposes them?!

I don’t normally like to talk about evil. It’s not a very useful concept, and is needlessly polarizing. It’s an emotional term, usually used to describe something one fears but does not fully understand. If I get shot by a soldier in a war, I’m a casualty. If I’m killed by a suicide bomber, that’s evil. Why the distinction? It has to do with my lack of understanding for anyone who places such a low value on human life–specifically their own. At least the sniper is rational, and exercises self-preservation. That’s not evil, it’s just taking advantage of an understandable–if unfortunate–circumstance.

It’s too late for Benedict. He is being utterly consumed by his hatred for humanity. And genetic treatments won’t be perfected in time to save his life. But that’s no excuse for him to try to condemn millions of younger catholics to buy into his death wish. How many will die because of the pope’s words? How many people will delay or avoid life-saving treatments because of this pathetic, desperate grab for power?

For what?

Indeed, Benedict is against everything rational, everything individual. He and his church are the enemy of humanity and human progress. By their own words, they convict themselves. They want to take away free will and choice, and condemn their followers to a life lived in fear, waiting for their ‘afterlife’.

The way I see it, Pope Benedict and his church are evil incarnate. They, along with radical Islam, have become the very definition of evil in the modern world. Archbishop Comastri has written his denunciation of rational individualism and objectivity at the ‘third station of the cross.’

Today a slick campaign of propaganda is spreading an inane apologia of evil, a senseless cult of Satan, a mindless desire for transgression, a dishonest and frivolous freedom, exalting impulsiveness, immorality and selfishness as if they were new heights of sophistication.”

Benedict takes his potshots at entertainment:

“Lord Jesus, our affluence is making us less human, our entertainment has become a drug, a source of alienation, and our society’s incessant, tedious message is an invitation to die of selfishness.”

Since religion is what passed for entertainment before the world moved on to bigger and better things, I can see why they’re pissed. They don’t like the competition. Since they have been used to abusing their "bully pulpit" for centuries, they don’t take kindly to being supplanted by writers, stars, and characters who march to the beat of their own drum.

Let them have their death rattle. On this Good Friday, maybe they’ll do us all a favor and follow their hero onto the cross. I’m not advocating physical violence in any form. But speaking here in purely allegorical terms: I would gladly pound the nails in myself.


Comments (11 comments)

Aaron Kinney / April 14th, 2006, 12:04 pm / #1

Now THAT is a great analysis of the Pope and the mentality of “blind” faith.

LOL: “blind” faith… as if there were another kind.

Francois Tremblay / April 14th, 2006, 12:38 pm / #2

By the way Sean, have you thought about my offer of joining the Vox Populi team ?

Mike Bommerson / April 14th, 2006, 2:26 pm / #3

*grin* Sean, you are becoming the guru.
In another way, but still… :-)

Regards from sunny Amsterdam,
Mike.

Mike / April 14th, 2006, 5:10 pm / #4

Very nice piece. I applaud anyone who stands up to and takes apart the silly-ass rantings of a power-hungry old coot like Benny.
I shall thank Kill the Afterlife for sending me here and you will be bookmarked!
Cheers from Canada,
BH Mike

Heathen Dan / April 14th, 2006, 5:13 pm / #5

“You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.” – Bertrand Russell

Malcolm Morrison / April 14th, 2006, 8:41 pm / #6

No doubt about it, a thought-provoking piece. Good show, Sean. Alas, on the other hand, when the anti-religious minions of our ilk have taken over – refer to the Age of Reason (?) in late 18th century France, the completely nonreligious Hitler who simply gave first preference to the Jews, the Soviet Union, good old Chairman Mao, the Khymer Rouge (sp?), and others – have we been any less evil? Perhaps it is not the religious nut cases who are evil, perhaps it is us. Pogo comes to mind here, for those of us old enough to remember the comic strip classic. Perhaps casting stones from glass houses is not the best of all possible ideas……

Aaron Kinney / April 15th, 2006, 12:46 am / #7

Sweet, it worked! I knew that your post was kickass. I just read it for the third time and it still makes me feel good.

BlackSun / April 15th, 2006, 1:59 pm / #8

Thanks for the kudos, all!

Malcolm, all I can say is that the groups you refer to were essentially state religions. We have now eliminated most of those type of regimes. The ones that remain are the Islamic countries, and places like North Korea and Cuba. Venezuela is flirting with becoming such a state. Funny, that those are the countries causing the most problems.

Also, a lot of the U.S. adventurism can be traced back to the idea that we have ‘god on our side.’ I don’t think GW Bush would be causing half the trouble he’s caused if he didn’t feel his policies were guided by divine inspiration.

Only when the governments of the world are completely secular, (and as small as possible) will there be a lasting peace.

Malcolm Morrison / April 16th, 2006, 7:45 am / #9

Blacksun,

Count me in for the kudos to you. And happy Easter! Mine could use some work, though. I went to sonrise mass and then looked in every corner of my house and found neither the risen Christ nor any Easter eggs. I’m 0 and 2 for my Easter fantasies. Bummer, dude. Oh, well, maybe next year.
Your expanded definition of religion to include any equivalently evil social-political entity even if that entity is absent a theological basis or belief is a bit more of a stretch than my internal dictionary can handle. Still, definitions are by definition flexible and ever-changing, thus your point is arguable and has merit. The “God is on our side� position is also arguable and has merit, but I hold that such posturing is almost always a tool used by the Power Elite to cajole a numerically significant subset of the mindless masses into agreeing with their Great Truth of the day, not a causal factor in determining that Great Truth. Nonetheless, I do doubt W reasons that deeply, so in his case I do concede your point.
However, your last point regarding the coming of peace comes straight out of the late 19th century communist manifesto and is to me as utterly devoid of truth and patently false now as it proved to be then. The causal evil infesting this planet is neither religion nor government, it is biological, it is Man. Man is the root cause of evil, and only when Man has been swept into the dustbin of history will the evil associated with Man disappear. On one point the evangelical whackos are 100% correct. Man is inherently evil. Then they go all berserko thinking they must do something about that and save the planet and its people. I believe your hopes for the triumph of Goodness and Light are as futile as theirs. Ain’t gonna happen on this planet. There will never be peace, even for a heartbeat. There is no hope for the absence of evil in the presence of Man. We must accept and deal with evil as it manifests itself in every True Believer, whether that true believer is a religious whacko or an envirowhacko or a social justice whacko or a gimmemoremoneywhacko. True Believers, only one type of which base their revealed One Great Truth on the idiocies of theology, are the One Great Evil. And they – we, as I am one – are everywhere. Might you be one?

BlackSun / April 16th, 2006, 2:43 pm / #10

Malcolm, I think you are right that man has an inherent darkness. Of course I acknowledge this, after all, my blog is called the Black Sun Journal. It is my premise that the expression of this darkness is fostered most highly by the lack of awareness that it exists.

Religions and other belief systems provide simplistic answers to the problem of so-called “evil”. They ignore the complexities of evolution and competition that motivate man and other animals to strive for dominance.

All of human history can be looked at through the lens of instinct vs. social structures.

My hope for a secular future of peace includes the hope for development of a much higher form of self-awareness in a much larger portion of humanity. I also have hope that society will find ways of tolerating and even encouraging individual expression of the full range of human emotions–even when that expression includes what might have been considered evil or dark.

In this way, there can be a de-potentiation of the negative aspects of human nature. They can be included in what is considered ‘normal’ expression, and thus stripped of their power to explode and create greater harm in the world.

I see forms of entertainment, video-games, role-playing, (sexual and otherwise), fantasy, etc. as a way to release these pent-up primal urges in ways that do not cause actual physical harm.

One of the biggest problems with the suppression that has taken place in churches and society, is that it always comes out eventually. It’s like squeezing a balloon, it just moves the problem around.

So we see things happening like the Catholic sex abuse scandal, higher numbers of abortions for catholics and christians and the like.

I’m in favor of a world where there is a greater acceptance of the full spectrum of human nature. Allowing full expression of the extremes of both the light and dark aspects of this nature will paradoxically create a world that lives closer to the center.

Malcolm Morrison / April 16th, 2006, 7:14 pm / #11

Blacksun, well, I am in 100% agreement with your last epistle. Good thinking! Onward and upward! Well, I am sure we both hope it’s upward. At age 64 and after a dozen or so heart attacks I am quite certain I won’t see the Promised Land on either side of death, but I am ready to be surprised. You keep at it! I’m a bit too tired any more. I think I’ll just sit on my front porch in my twilight and watch the evening shadows creep over the Sangre de Christo mountains with some whiskey in my hand.

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