Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Pope! , self described as “South Africa’s Biggest Website”, reported on Monday, March 23 that the Catholic Church is mad as hell and isn’t going to take it any more.

Ohhhhh really?

"We will not accept the Pope being made the object of mockery and offence, in the media or elsewhere," said Angelo Bagnasco, Italy’s top bishop, citing the "controversy about condoms".

"He represents for everyone a moral authority, which this journey has made people appreciate even more," Bagnasco said.

The bishop complained of "heavy criticism of our beloved Pope, which goes on longer than it should".

The concept of blasphemy – a gross irreverence towards any person or thing deemed worthy of exalted esteem – is a free-pass that shields the exalted from legitimate criticism.

I made the point in my November 11, 2008 post about California’s Prop. 8 that we are not required to hold sacred anyone’s faith or adhere to the tenets thereof. Angelo Bagnasco seems to think that I am required to live up to the rules of his religion and he “will not accept” my stepping out of line by criticizing his “beloved” Pope.

Let me try to explain just what so galls me about the Pope’s comments on condoms because I don’t think I communicated it as well as I could have in my original post.

To my mind, the Pope was shilling for the Church’s doctrine against the use of artificial contraception.

However, instead of advocating for his position in an honest way by explaining why the Church believes what it does and how living up to that doctrine will improve the lives of adherents, he chose to advocate by lying about the effectiveness of condoms in the fight against AIDS.

Hey, I don’t care what the Church thinks about condoms. But that doctrine should be able to stand or fall on its own merits. The Pope decided that promoting his doctrine under false pretenses was worth the lives and human dignity that it would cost.

In a country where 22 million people live with AIDS.

So Angelo, you guys can make the case against using condoms all day long, but when your “beloved Pope” destroys lives by lying about their effectiveness in the fight against AIDS, then he deserves all the “mockery and offence” that we can muster.

Baaaaad Pope.

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