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My Aunt! Maybe the Pope really does need PR!
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lil_shepherd
Someone really ought to vet speeches by high-ups in the Catholic church.

Firstly, one of the Pope's advisors (we shouldn't apparently, call him a Cardinal because he is officially retired,) on the eve of the Pope's visit, calls us a third-world country, apparently because Heathrow/the Border Agency/HMRC actually employs ethnic minority staff. If we were actually a third world country the Vatican ought to approve of the idea because we would be so much more ready to accept the Pope without question. He also yabbers about "aggressive new atheism" (obviously, he does not read Jerry Coyne et al, or he would known that it is the "gnu atheism.") Has anyone hit him? Stamped on his foot? Had a little pushing match? Or just dared to say that belief in sky fairies is not rational?

This fella suddenly gets an attack of gout. How very convenient.

Then, we have the Pope himself, referring to us atheists and secularists as "Nazis". Funny, that, as every single Nazi leader I can think of was Catholic (even if an odd and lapsed Catholic like Hitler, though Mussolini and Franco were more orthodox in their "faith".) Nearly all Germans at the time were either Lutheran or Catholic and Franco's and Mussolini's supporters were all Catholic, Hitler's speeches referred constantly to God, no Nazi leader was ever excommunicated, and so on. Not to mention Ratzi himself pardoning Holocaust deniers. Like Richard Dawkins, I am loath - particularly given my own family background - to mention His Popenesss's stint in the Hitler Youth, but really, pots and kettles, pots and kettles. And lies. However rude we might have been to his Ratziness, we haven't told lies. Unlike the Pope.

Honestly, you could not make it up, you really couldn't.

Incidentally, for what it is worth, the most angry opposition to the Pope's visit often seems to stem from ex-Catholics, and ex-Catholic priests, at that.

ETA: Long before the poll that confirmed it was published, I remarked that the large majority of the British people were probably indifferent to the Papal visit, but probably didn't want to pay for it. That percentage turned out to be just under 80%. I suspect that despite the rush of articles and documentaries - which meant that you could become very quickly informed about the issues - that percentage remained much the same.

Until the last couple of days. What I see now is a polarisation of public opinion. I really think it would have been better, for the Pope's own sake, if he had left the British public to their indifference. It would certainly have been better for the the Catholics in this country, and for non-Catholics. The last thing we need is the Pope stirring it...

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It's all very very tactless.

I don't see why we have to have rolling coverage of the buggering visit either. We didn't bother with that for Bush, why should we bother for the Pope.

On the BBC Points of View messageboard they are complaining about Pointless being cancelled for the Pope. As one commentator remarked, "Pointless, isn't it."

The DofE must be hugely relieved that there is someone more gaffe prone than him to take the heat off the tartan knickers comment.

You know, that was *my* biggest problem with him 'today' (and by today I mean the time after I woke up, since theere was a significant part of today that happened before I went to bed) lol. I am actively avoiding the news channels, even though I love news. Especially as Eamon Holmes, who I normally love, managed to make an ass of himself on sunrise this morning before His Holiness had even bloody landed.

I like Pointless. I don't like the Pope. Give me Alexander Armstrong any day :D

Yes, indeed. Of the daytime quizzes, Pointless is the most fun.

He didn't actually "refer to us atheists and secularists as 'Nazis.'" The closest statement I can find to that is: "Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society..."

But that is itself a lie from His Holiness, for the reasons which you give.

The full quote is:-

"Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a 'reductive vision of the person and his destiny'"

It's that line about "sobering lessons of atheist extremism" in conjunction the earlier lines about the Nazis and the "Christian" opposition that I object too very strongly. Sure, there were Christians opposed to Hitler, but the anti-Jewish hatred was based in the teachings of both the Catholic church and Martin Luther, which Hitler exploited - and as for the detestation of homosexuals...

As for the British, none of the churches had much to do with the fight against Hitler. Churchill's speeches rarely mention God, for instance (it was a subject in which he was not particularly interested) and even the King keeps it down, despite being head of the Church of England.

The Pope's version is complete bollocks.





While acknowledging that my ignorance is outstanding on the issue (I am not interested enough in the pope to bother researching him because then I might go from feeling mildly pissed off with him to furiously outraged, and I haven't got the energy to be furiously outraged)...

Isn't this rather ironic coming from someone who was part of the Hitler Youth movement?

Participation in Hitler Youth was mandatory. Ratzinger can be blamed for that about as much as any draftee can be blamed for joining the German army -- less, actually, since he was underage.

I hear this argument fairly often, and it's a really unfair one.

On the other hand, he wasn't underage when he was conscripted into the army (anti-aircraft), though he did desert after a while. Mind you, so did a lot of people. It was 1945.

It isn't really fair to blame him for the Hitler Youth (which was copied from a similar corps in Fascist Italy, where most members were, of course, Catholic.) My mother was in the girl's version, because it meant canoeing and sailing. (My uncle Willie,on the other hand, was a member of the Hitler Youth and went on to be both a Party member, and a member of the SS. My brother, on finding a photo of him, remarked that he looked like someone you wouldn't want to meet on a dark night.)

On the other hand, some of Herr Ratzinger's current policies smack more of the Nazi ideology in its attitude to women and homosexuality than do the vast majority of secularists in this country. In fact, what he doesn't like about us includes our attitudes to women and homosexuality....

I'm *so* sick of having Hitler and the Third Reich blamed on atheism.

I cannot possibly be the only person that has noticed that the Final Solution is the culmination of a series of (Christian) pogroms against the Jews that goes back nine hundred years to the First Crusade.

Not to mention Martin Luther's various tirades against the Jews, which make his ones against the Pope look mild.

Oh Benedict ... He's veered from disturbing into appalling, really.

I have to say that the BBC has dropped so far in my estimation with its sycophantic coverage that it is going to find it very hard indeed to recover.

Not to mention the Nazi party's well-documented and completely bonkers occult interests. Secular they were not.

Though that was mainly Himmler - there is some evidence that Hitler himself thought the whole thing ridiculous. (Goes off to find the issue of Man Myth and Magic that covered it, and who did the research and what his sources were...)

Interested to hear more if you can find it!

Now, you leave the poor beleaguered (sp?) theists alone! Bloody militant secularists.

I wonder if we'll be dropping Robert Mugabe an invite anytime soon?

As more than person has said recently 1) where do I join? and 2) do we get our own TV channel?

More importantly 1) Do we get an atheistmobile and cool uniforms?

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