Here's how the London Daily Telegraph put it:
"Pope's final address: God was asleep on my watch."
"Pope Benedict XVI gave an emotional farewell speech to tens of thousands of faithful in St Peter's Square, saying there were times during his eight-year papacy 'when it seemed that the Lord was sleeping'."
This is extraordinary coming from any prelate. What might he have really meant, besides admitting that his prayers had been useless?
Did he mean that his so-called omnipotent god was impotent too?
And what else?
If that's a secret, it's a piss-poorly kept secret. I've heard stories of conversations in seminaries about how their holy book is a load of crap, but you can't tell the congregation or the parish or the mosque that. At some level or other, many, perhaps most of these people have recognized that they're peddling bullshit. Unfortunately, very few of them have the courage to separate themselves from it and fewer yet the chutzpah to call those who continue to teach it on their bullshit.
Religion has so woven itself into human culture that removing it seems unthinkable to the vast majority. Most of that majority fail to see the problem religion poses and cannot consider its removal, even in the face of the scandals associated with it that we see today. That is why we can't afford to let up, why we must continue to be vocal, continue to be confrontational and NEVER ... BACK ... DOWN.
nowi feel like i need to open up a new account here with the username POPEBGONE, or EXPOPE, or ATHEISTPOPE, or FUCKMEMOTHERFUCKER, or GODOESNTTALKTOMEANDNEVERDID, or...
May the next pope be a gay black man!
I used to hope the next pope would be a black lesbian, but then realized that black women are perhaps the most powerful people alive.
It is the first non-living thing in my knowledge that sleeps.
I asked a Roman Catholic nun why she remained loyal to the pope and she responded "The pope is irrelevant; I remain loyal to the church because of community."
Well, there you have one clue. Individuals and people want community. That is what atheists lack, big time, because we are like the proverbial cats being herded.
It seems to me that diversity is our strength and the one thing holding us together is the concept of no superhuman power that is unseeable, unknowable, all powerful, and all knowing making plans for our lives, that does not answer our prayers, that does not heal us.
If this is true, from where does our meaning, purpose, guidance, knowledge, and community come?
From my perspective, it comes from inside each one of us, and we have the ability to see and hear others' perspectives, and to learn and gain strength from each other. Instead of egos getting in the way of progress, we can perceive ourselves as participants in renewing human values that matter and that will increase the probability of Earth recovering from our greed.
So, this is good news!!!
The problem with her loyalty to the church because of community is that, whether she likes it or not, her support for the RC community also amounts to a support for a paternalistic society which disempowers women (her and her fellow nuns, among many others), castigates homosexuals, sanctions the actions of pedophile priests, promotes anachronistic policies which are actively causing harm, pain and death worldwide, and in general fail to recognize a world which is swiftly passing them by. That is a brand of community I can do well without.
Meantime, we have THIS community, the community of Atheist Nexus, and there are many others like it. This is closely related to the tens of thousands of people who gathered on the Mall in Washington, DC and celebrated REASON not quite a year ago. This is a community I am very proud to be a part of and participate in.
One last matter: her community is becoming smaller, particularly as people recognize the perfidies of the church and LEAVE. Our community is GROWING.
I can somewhat empathize with the nun who stays for "her community" if she were in her 70's, 80's, etc., and has no family or friends outside of her closed and closeted world. I mean, whats she going to do, what family would she have, how does she start over in life? If in her 20's, 30's or 40's - well, that's another story.
I'm reminded of the video of the Intelligence Squared debate with Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens on one side, and Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Nigeria and Parliamentary member Anne Widdecombe on the other. During the video of that debate, the camera would frequently turn to the audience, which included several Catholic nuns. When Hitchens or Fry would make a point (usually rather stinging) you could see the nuns wincing and grimacing, as though they were in pain. And, I've always thought it was the pain of hearing the truth about your chosen "community," and having no defense to it, whatsoever.
Joan, on that nun's "...I remain loyal to the church because of community."
Deceiving one's self is so easy; with a convent's community there comes economic security.
There comes also dominance and submission. For some, submission is comforting.
When the bishops bring their hammer down, what will the activist Nuns on the Bus do? I hope they're strong enough to leave.
So it may be really cool if the next pope is black.. and even gay???
They are a weird bunch indeed
Guess god must always be asleep!!