Fuck the Pope: that’s the message that journalist Hunter S Thompson and artist Ralph Steadman attempted to paint on the side of the Italian entry for the Americas Cup in Rhode Island many years ago. Of course, I would never stoop so low as to use this cheap and easy insult to comment on the Pope’s current visit to the UK, let alone to title a blog about it. Oh no. Not a bit. Just wanted to get that clear.
However, I do feel, reading the press today that the Pope’s is painting Fuck the British on the side of the nation. Of course, he didn’t say so in so many words. Bad language and prejudice, like paedophilia, are unknown in the Catholic Church.
Things got off to a bad start with one cardinal likening the UK to the third world, apparently because the country is diverse and lacking Aryan purity.
Then Pope Ratty stepped up to the mic and declared that UK was doing OK, he supposed, for a SECULAR country. It turns out that the Pope has a problem with Britain for not being religious enough for him. He’s the Pope for Christ’s sake, compared to him the Apostles are borderline secular.
But think about it: the Pope coming over here and complaining that we’re not religious enough is like a teetotaler going to the pub for the evening and then complaining that people are drinking alcohol. Why bloody go to the pub in the first place?
Then Ratsy went on to compare secular humanists to Nazis.
We’ve heard this argument from the Vatican before and despite having had it thoroughly laughed at every time, they drag it out whenever they can. Full marks for futile flying in the face of reality, I suppose, but then that is what religion is about.
Hitler, he asserted, waged war to eradicate God from society. Hitler, we assert, waged war to establish the Germanic peoples as the master race. Ratsy, being an ex-member of the Hitler Youth, should be aware of this.
It’s fun to point out too that Hitler was a Catholic. OK, the fun stops there, because he was a prolapsed Catholic and to be fair, the Nazis persecuted and killed a great many Catholic priests. However, in the further interests of historical accuracy, the Nazis co-opted whatever bits and bobs of religion that suited their own pseudo theology and even co-opted Catholicism in Poland as a means of controlling the people. The point being, that for the Nazis, religion wasn’t really in it one way or the other. And you certainly don’t find Britain’s secular humanists making bonfires of human bodies, going on crusades or setting up a Spanish Inquisition. It’s also worth mentioning that there are some pretty real allegations of the Vatican collaborating with the Nazis.
And what’s this stuff about ‘extreme’ atheism? The religious talk as if atheism is an ideology. It isn’t. It’s an absence of faith. Spreading an absence of faith is a bit like spreading an absence of marmalade on your breakfast toast.
Following this came the very logical claim that because Britain spent so much energy fighting the godless Nazis, we should be more Christian now. I wasn’t there, but I believe that Britain fought the Nazis in order to preserve a culture wherein each individual is free to be whatever creed or ethnicity or sexuality comes naturally to that individual and believe whatever they like, however bonkers, including Holy Trinities and that condoms are evil. I don’t think anyone was fighting a Christian crusade or a battle to protect the Catholic church. The pope on the other hand seems to have a problem with diversity, and an explicit problem with women’s rights, gay rights and people not being Catholic.
So, like I say I wouldn’t stoop to being so crude and rude, but where are Mr. Thompson and Mr. Steadman when you need them?
Weedy words of praise from a publisher in London"... it’s really witty and very strong ... I would compare the writing to Robert Rankin, or a really satirically biting Tom Sharpe, and will say again that I’m really impressed by it"
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