You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Archive - Mar 23, 2009
Memo to Pope Benedict: DON'T THINK I'VE FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOU.
I've been fairly quiet on the subject of Catholics of late, which is a shame because, in some ways, Catholicism is the worst religion on the planet. I have to say "in some ways", because there are two Catholic churches. There's the general-purpose Catholic church, as practiced especially by Americans, which is just a name badge and a social club you go to on Easter and Christmas.
And then there's the ominous, looming, cue-scary-John-Williams-music CATHOLIC CHURCH, the one that owns its own city-state, has an all-powerful ex-Nazi elderly celibate in a giant hat as its unquestionable leader, and will fuck over anyone and everyone who dare question its draconian belief system - and has the power and authority to make that fucking-over happen.
The Legion of Doom* version of the Catholic Church has been on a bit of an evil tear of late, making some serious headway in what certainly appears to be the Catholic Church's primary goal - to ensure that anyone having sex outside their strict guidelines for acceptability be punished, and suffer, as much as they can possibly manage.
That's the only mission statement compatible with their actions in Brazil. A nine-year-old girl was raped by her stepfather. As a result of that rape, she became pregnant. With twins. The church fought tooth and nail in an attempt to prevent what may well be the single most justifiable abortion in the history of the procedure. I mean, it's a nine-year-old girl, pregnant with twins after being raped. A girl who stood a good chance of dying had she attempted to carry the fetuses to term, and oh, by the way, she was RAPED AT NINE.
When their attempt to force a nine-year-old girl to kill herself giving birth to two rape-babies thankfully failed, the Church did the next best thing in its infallible eyes - it excommunicated the girl's mother, along with the doctors who carried out the operation. And while I personally think that becoming an ex-Catholic is one of the best things that can happen to a person, the means by which and the circumstances under which this happened are completely inexcusable. Especially when you consider that the stepfather was spared excommunication, and thus remains a member in good standing of the Catholic Church.
In case any of you had been sitting around, idly wondering why the word "dogmatic" was invented, well, this is why. A situation where every single scrap of logic, reason, and common sense would dictate compassion, met with hidebound adherence to the rules and spiteful punishment when common sense calls for those rules to be flouted. And this is the kind of raw, dogmatic evil that only the Catholic Church has the reach and power to implement.
Similarly, only the Pope could get away with telling an entire fucking continent that "You can't resolve [AIDS] with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem." This is, of course, complete and utter bullshit. The Pope is not a doctor. He is a very old man in a very large hat whose penis has been used for nothing but urinating for his entire adult life**. He is not the person I would turn to for AIDS prevention advice, just like I wouldn't turn to him when it's time to buy a new pair of jeans.
Once again, people in Africa are having sex, and the Catholic Church wants them to get sick and die from it, because handing out small bits of latex that would keep them from getting sick and dying from it would undermine the Church's power and authority. If there's one thing the Vatican is certainly capable of, it's taking the long view. The institution as they know it may not survive the use of condoms and abortion, but it will certainly survive the deaths of nine-year-old rape victims and Africans. That's the equation that drives Vatican thinking, and if there's a better definition of evil, I haven't heard one since Dick Cheney left office.
*Superfriends reference, not wrestling reference.
**Or at least we fervently hope so, given recent history.