Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Pope's dead let's have an election

Originally uploaded by StefZ.

So Tony Blair has finally called the general election.

Apparently he delayed calling the election earlier in the week out of respect for the Pope. I'€™m sure the Pope would have been touched if he were still alive. I'€™m also sure that the Pope would have been even more impressed if Blair had not taken the UK to war against his express pleadings. There are stories that Blair will convert to Catholicism once he stops being Prime Minister. If so I'€™d love to be a fly on the wall during his first confession. That one is going to be doozie.

John Paul II'€™s death was accompanied by some serious bullshit. On top of the delayed election announcement we were also treated to the sight and sound of Peter Tatchell and various other activists criticising the dead pontiff for being opposed to condom use and therefore directly responsible for the spread of AIDS around the world

D'€™yer what?

I think Peter and friends might find that the proscription against condom use comes as part of a whole package that also requires Catholics not to indulge in pre-marital sex, promiscuous or otherwise. The chances of a married couple who only ever f*ck each other spreading AIDS are, let'€™s be honest here, slim. Also, John Paul II was only against condoms as a means of birth control. Sodomy between consenting male partners generally doesn'€™t produce babies so, even from the Pope'€™s point of view, condoms were fair game. But, there again, monogamous gay couples are hardly contributing to the global spread of AIDS either.

Admittedly, the Pope wasn'€™t the greatest fan of sodomy, monogamous or otherwise (well except in Catholic schools but that's different), and that is a major cause of AIDS, probably the major cause of AIDS. So, really, Peter Tatchell should have been applauding the Pope for giving guidance that would stop the spread of HIV in its tracks.

However, Peter Tatchell'€™s a dick. Always was, always will be. He was just hitching a ride on another human being'€™s death to partly publicise his adopted cause but mostly to serve his own ego. Tatchell fits very neatly into that category of awful people who compensate for their own personality deficiencies by associating themselves with a crusading cause. No, the end doesn'€™t justify the means, particularly when it's a dick'€™s means.

Lots of other nonsense accompanied the Pope'€™s death. We had the usual fatuous public tributes from the Queen and the Prime Minister; '€˜He was a man of God, adored by Catholics throughout the World. He wore a white hat and was born in Poland'.

And then the media cranked out the tired old story about how church attendances are falling in the developed World and how the Catholic Church needs to change to increase its appeal to secular Western populations.

What? Like maybe getting a new logo or diversifying into the training shoe or computer games markets? Or maybe Jamie Oliver could capitalise on his success in exposing the inadequacy of food in British schools by making 'Jamie'€™s TV Catholics'€™?

'Wot no condoms? You'€™re '€˜aving a giraffe ain'€™t ya?'

The Catholic Church has been doing its thing for two thousand years. It is onto a winning formula and currently has over one billion subscribers. Thanks to some canny forward thinking on the contraception issue, club membership is growing every minute not falling. Ping! There's another couple of hundred.

The whole point of being a Catholic is the complete absence of doubt and debate on key issues. Catholicism offers certainty. A continuous thread of certainty stretching back almost two thousand years. A lot of people like that. Personally, I don'€™t but respect where respect is due; you know what a Catholic stands for.

Any attempt to adapt the Catholic Church to suit the whims of an increasingly secular Western World is bound to fail. Like a retail logo or gameshow format, any new image the Church chose to adopt would fall out of fashion in a few years and it would have to rebrand itself periodically. On the way it would lose its USP and then it really would be in trouble.

Most of those people shopping in superstores instead of spending a couple of hours a week devoted to contemplation of morality or their own individual purpose are already lost to the Catholic Church, or any other rigorous religion or philosophy, regardless of how well they market themselves. Those people are toast.

Curiously, even though we'€™ve largely dumped religion in this and many other industrialised countries we still find ourselves able to slaughter and exploit our fellow beings without any difficulty at all. Funny, I was always told that religion was to blame for all the World'€™s ills.

Anyway, General Election, May 5th. If you can'€™t wait for the start of another five years of Tony Blair and a Labour government, steal some money from some pensioners, spank it on deceitful PR and lies then fire bomb some Muslims.

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