"Le pape Benoît XVI a déclaré samedi qu'un monde sans Dieu qui 'ne sait plus distinguer entre le bien et le mal' était soumis à la 'terrible menace de la destruction' . . ." (http://www.tv5.org/TV5Site/info/afp_article.php?idrub=2&xml=070908102101.5mq6e2lp.xml) Roughly translated by me: Pope Benedict XVI declared Saturday that a world without god 'can no longer distinguish between good and evil' and is in 'terrible risk of destruction.'
Well, goodness, just the morning I bit the head off of several live kittens and since I'm an atheist, I felt no guilt about it whatsoever. This afternoon, I intent to stomp on tiny, adorable puppies and then climb up to a high place and shoot passersby with a sniper rifle. then, I think I'll take a sledge hammer to bicycles parked on my street and smash them. Just because.
Ugh, this cold I've got has put me in a horrible mood. Not bad enough to smash bicycles, though. I still love bicycles. But anyway, I don't think I have the energy to operate a sniper rifle, even if I knew how. I'd get up the first set of stairs on the bell tower and then need to stop for a nap and realize I forgot my handkerchief and then pout while I trudged homeward. Anyway, at no point, while smashing bikes, or trudging along dragging a loaded rifle on the ground behind me, or snatching puppies from children and stomping on them, at no point would I face arrest. Because the Netherlands is a secular state and as such has no idea whatsoever about good or evil actions. So wanton destruction of the beloved pets of kindergartners is totally within the law.
Meanwhile, over in Iraq, where an evangelical christian american army faces secular insurgents, there is terrible bloodshed, but not when it faces religious foes. For further example, in another part of the world, the extremely religious Osama bin Ladin just made a videotape proclaiming his entirely peaceful feelings towards the secular-in-name-only American government. And for my final example very godly american congress person (I'm too sick and lazy to look up whom) recently suggested that the American military response to another terrorist attack should be to bomb Mecca. This good and holy action would certainly not increase the chances of world war three.
And that's the news from Bizzaro World. Meanwhile on Earth . . . is the pope even on Earth? What is wrong with this guy? How fucking arrogant is he to say that atheists have no moral basis! I'm sure god whispers directly into his ear (even while Bush weeps on his shoulder) and he's got some sort of insider information that using condoms to prevent AIDS in Africa would be a terrible sin and invading Middle East countries right and left is a great idea.
I've known people who believed deeply in God and whose spirituality is/was exemplary and whose deeds and faith were good. None of those people believed themselves to better than anybody else. But the Pope does. Clearly, he's following the model of Jesus who drove tax collectors and prostitutes from his midst and said of people who claimed to follow him, "by their words, you shall know them."(*) Just as clearly: forcibly trying to convert everybody to Christianity as a path to peace is a really, really fucking great idea. You get right on that. I'll be here, digging a bomb shelter.
(Since not all of you went to Catholic school or bible study or whatever, Jesus was criticized during his life for hanging around with tax collectors - who were agents of foreign occupation, and prostitutes. Also, the quote is "by their FRUITS, you shall know them." In other words, if somebody says they're for go(o)d, but causes all sorts of death and destruction, they're not actually for go(o)d and are not the kind of folks you would want to, say, give leadership over high profile religions or extremely armed governments.)