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[P]
One of the true heroes of the twentieth century

By aphrael in Op-Ed
Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 10:39:06 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

It's been a strange day. I haven't had the guts to turn on the television and see how the news is playing out there, but online newspaper reporters and webloggers have spent the day trading rumors, excitedly discussing the latest tidbit of information, and waiting. Waiting and watching as the thousands gather and pray. Waiting for the news of the final death of Karol Wojtyła, hanging in suspense as if this were the most important event in the world.

I am not a Catholic, nor even a Christian, and death is to me as natural an event as waking up in the morning; but I am among the hundreds of millions mourning that Karol Wojtyła has breathed his last breath. While I disagreed with him, and while I consider the Catholic church to be an antiquated institution barely capable of coping with the modern world, I also recognize this fact: by choice or no, Karol Wojtyła was one of the great heroes of the Twentieth Century, and his legacy will not be forgotten by those to whom it mattered the most.


Most of the rhetoric of obituary we will see in the next several days will focus on his tenure as Pope, and perhaps rightly so; that is the way most of the world knew him. He is, indeed, the only pope that anyone under the age of 35 has any active memory of, and has become one of the oldest and longest-lasting world leaders of stature. But I refer not to his time as Pope, for that is to me less interesting than what came before.

Karol Wojtyła, Archbishop of Krakow, was the leading figure in the movement by which the Polish Catholic Church became involved in politics. It was he who successfully led the movement to force the state authorities to authorize the building of a church in Nova Huta (by, essentially, embarassing them into it). It was his decision as Archbishop which allowed dissidents to use church basements to set up discussion groups for anti-regime agitation. It was he who stood as the foremost advocate for the notion that there was a Truth besides that which the state had authorized.

This was a risky move. Other bishops had, in the past, been killed for less; there was a very real possibility, in the atmosphere that followed upon the dissolution of the liberal Prague government in 1968, that the Polish government could have used deadly force to suppress the resistance of the church. Archbishop Wojtyła and his associates took a brave gamble: they bet, with their lives, that the Polish government was too afraid of the power of the Church to suppress it. They won the bet.

And, in so doing, they turned the Polish Catholic Church into something unique: it became the only entity in the entirety of communist Eastern Europe which held a moral authority independent of the state. It was the only independent source of power which was tolerated in the communist world anywhere.

A digression, for a moment: it is of course true that the Soviet bloc was never as monolithic as many in the west believed it to have been; often the russians were not in control, used merely as an excuse for local despotism (as, indeed, became quite public in Poland after 1981). But all of the Eastern European communist states operated on the principle that all authority came from the state (which was held, by definition, to be carrying out the will of the working class). It was critical to the functioning of these states, to the success of the revolution, that the civil society of the pre-revolutionary era be utterly destroyed (as otherwise it might harbor counterrevolutionary elements). Karol Wojtyła was the first person to successfully challenge, and overcome, this destruction.

That challenge, that success, changed the world. For if the Church could be an independent authority, then why not the trade unions? If freedom of religion could be preserved in a socialist state, why not other freedoms? The independance of the Polish Catholic Church created the space in which Solidarity, and Charter 77, could operate.

Without Archbishop Karol Wojtyła first paving the way, Solidarity would have failed; without Solidarity's unmasking of the hypocrisy of state socialism, the Warsaw Pact may well have never collapsed.

And that was even before his famous pilgrimage to Poland, in 1979, in which huge crowds flocked to see him and the power of the state wilted before him.

I do not know if Karol Wojtyła was a good Pope; I don't even understand what the criteria are for making that judgment. I know that the Catholic Church has come a long way towards the modern age during his time; that he has sought peace with the Orthodox and the Jews, and that under his leadership the church has atoned for both its treatment of Galileo and its shameful behavior in fascist states. I also know that the church under his leadership has remained socially conservative, closed off to much of western modernity. I do not know from a theological perspective how to judge that; for Catholic Theology is, to me, as incomprehensible as the rites of voodoo, and it is not fair for me to judge Pope John Paul II's performace as prelate by my religious beliefs.

Yet I know that Karol Wojtyła was a great man, one of the towering figures of his age. Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Wałęsa, and Vaclav Havel - three of the people most qualified to judge - have all said, with much reason, that without this man, and what he did in Poland in the 1970s, the tremendous changes of 1989 would not have been possible. He did not stand alone, but he stood in front, and his footsteps brought the first cracks in the facade of the Iron Curtain, and opened the door for freedom and peace in Europe.

May he rest in peace.

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One of the true heroes of the twentieth century | 302 comments (286 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
Don't mention Gorabchev in the same breath (2.30 / 13) (#1)
by MSBob on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 10:34:03 PM EST

He certainly does not deserve to be mentioned along with the Pope. But I digress...

The chief reason why John Paul II was a revolutionary pope is that he put freedom as an essential ingredient of human life's quality. He opposed dictators and human rights abuses all around the world. He tried to unite different faiths and sent a message of tolerance.

At the same time he was very bubbly (way back when he was healthier) and had a sense of humour. Those qualities combined with his integrity made him a man of unmatched charimsa.

Having been born and raised in his country I will mourn his death for a long time as the rest of the country will. In Poland he will always be seen as the true ambassador of the nation to the world and the moral beacon for the country.

Even though I don't really believe in God I still love our Pope. The People's Pope.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

I mention Gorbachev (none / 1) (#2)
by aphrael on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 10:36:13 PM EST

because he's widely regarded by western liberals as the person who brought about the end of the cold war; and he himself has acknowledged that what happened in 1987-1989 in Eastern Europe would not have happened had it not been for the groundwork laid by Pope John Paul II. :)

[ Parent ]
Gorbachov tried to minimize damage (none / 1) (#5)
by MSBob on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 10:47:41 PM EST

According to Polish media Gorbachov felt the sword hanging over his head and feared a massive uprising brewing throughout the communist states starting with Poland and went into "damage control" with his Perestrojka bullshit.

Naturally Perestrojka and Glasnost turned out to be a lame half assed attempts that failed to save their asses and the tidal wave of change brought down all Eastern Europe communist regimes starting with the Polish one and ending with the Romanian if I remember correctly.

Gorbachov was the same kind of scum as Brehznieve, Chrushchov, Cherhnenko and the rest of that bunch. He was just sitting on a bigger time bomb than his predecessors and had to somehow try and defuse it

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
at least he tried to defuse it (none / 1) (#6)
by aphrael on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 10:48:38 PM EST

andropov, brezhnev, and chernenko hadn't bothered.

[ Parent ]
Because they didn't have a pope... (none / 0) (#8)
by MSBob on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 10:56:12 PM EST

going after them.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
er ... no. :) (none / 0) (#11)
by aphrael on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 11:00:11 PM EST

He became pope in 1979. Brezhnev died in 1982. :)

[ Parent ]
Small overlap (none / 0) (#13)
by MSBob on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 11:03:34 PM EST

Communists did manage to borrow some time with the introduction of Martial Law in 1981 but as history showed it was futile as Solidarity grew from strength to strength largely aided by the Catholic church in Poland with John Paul's blessing.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Sure. (2.33 / 3) (#14)
by aphrael on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 11:05:39 PM EST

I won't deny that the position of the Soviets in 1985 was much less tenable than it was in 1982. But my point is that Gorbachev could have stuck his head in the sand and not ignored, or actively tried to unwrite, the writing on the wall. He didn't, and most of the world is better off for it.

[ Parent ]
Of course. (none / 1) (#15)
by MSBob on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 11:08:08 PM EST

I agree with you here but don't see this as Gorbachov's virtue. He was forced into this path through circumstances. Others seem to love him for it. This is one of many things where I and 99% of the world differ substantially.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Then you don't read enough history (none / 0) (#293)
by Pxtl on Fri Apr 08, 2005 at 02:56:59 AM EST

There are very few leaders who are put in that position and wield that kind of power that behave as rationally as he did.

He didn't have to be nice - it's not like he'd be voted out for being mean.  When something tries to struggle out of your hand, you can tighten your hold or loosen it.  Very few rulers of oppressive militarist governments will choose the latter.

[ Parent ]

Or Reagan (none / 0) (#20)
by nkyad on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 11:54:31 PM EST

Actually, fixing the final outcome of a long-winded failed experience upon their ultimate actors is quite unfair. The Soviet Union and Communism itself could have won the day if there was no Stalin. The West and Capitalism could have lost if there was no baby Boom in the US. And in the end, whose Nazi scientists were better wasn't really point. Nor how many divisions the Pope had.

Gorby did what his conscience asked. The alternative was breaking the MAD deal.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
Don't be ridiculous. (none / 0) (#110)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 06:55:59 PM EST

The economics of the Soviet system collapsed during the 80s.

It became so patently obvious that even Ronald Reagan realized they could "over spend" the Soviets.

Reagan for goodness sakes, the same guy that could not remember anything about the Iran-Contras fiasco. It was that obvious. Just check his budget deficits and all is explained.

The Soviet bloc's demise was written in stone first by the system itself, second by the people in those cuntries that were never happy with the imperant confitions, third by the more efficent military complex of the US.

The pope was a great cheerleader, and in Poland he played a second role to Lech Walesa and Solidarity, who were the ones that really put the pressure in the goverment of the day.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]

Walesa himself said (3.00 / 3) (#123)
by MSBob on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 10:12:12 PM EST

that Solidarnosc would not have been possible without the support of the Catholic Church that was provided thanks to the Polish Pope. Just because you are unaware of the link you should not dissmiss it.

In those days I was "in the trenches" so to speak, so I'm very well aware how things worked. Where do you think my dad printed the flyers in 1981? In our church's basement. Many people hid in churches when ZOMO was trying to intern the activists. There are a lot more examples of how the church with Pope's blessing (and funds) helped the movement.

And if you really believe that Soviet bloc overspent itself how do you explain that North Korea keeps humming along despite being in a far worse economic doldrum than the Soviet union ever was.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
One of the things I love about the internet (none / 0) (#173)
by aphrael on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 12:00:06 PM EST

And kuro5hin in particular, is the fact that it leads to things like this: someone spouting off about something they don't know from personal experience, only to be countered by the memories of someone with that personal experience. Good show!

[ Parent ]
In my completely unprofessional opinion... (none / 0) (#180)
by OpAmp on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 03:05:21 PM EST

...of a Polish citizen, the successful dismantling of communism was possible only due to a combination of several factors, i.e.:

(i) Existence of a Polish anti-communist movement with Church support

(ii) Popularity of such movement, which wouldn't be possible without Pope telling thousands of people at the massess things like "Fear not" and "You have dignity", thus making them believe that overthrowing the regime is possible

(iii) Polish leadership with preference for negotiating rather than bloodbath

(iv) Soviet leadership with preference for negotiating rather than bloodbath (well, less preference for bloodbath)

(v) Hardline US/Western stance against USSR ("outspending")

Possibly some others ;-)

A common error is attributing the victory to only one factor. In fact, the above explains, why the so-called "first Solidarnosc" (1980/81, as opposed to the second one ca. 1989) did not succeed: conditions (iii) and (iv) were not met and the movement was actually mostly crushed  by the goverment forces (though the worst possible scenario, i.e. Soviet invasion was avoided).  

Next, when determining Pope's role, it's often overlooked that:

(i) the Church was actually the only large organisation independent of the government, and the only capable of giving the opposition real support

(ii) the Church is an international organisation and Vatican is an independent state, with its own diplomatic service (said to be excellent). Hence, John Paul II had means to influence people both inside and outside the communist bloc, which was giving him a pretty unique opportunity.

Let he rest in peace.


[ Parent ]

Hard to believe that... (none / 0) (#221)
by MSBob on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 10:51:11 AM EST

...I'm not the only Pole on K5. Good to know. Greetings from a fellow Pole!

I agree that the thaw in Moscow enabled the movement in Poland to flourish to a degree. However, I have heard in the past that Gorbachov tried to hold on to the communist government for as long as he could while reforming the state as little as he could get away with. Only in the face of the "Round Table" and the subsequent massacre of the Ceausescu family was he forced to reconsider his stance and move Soviet Union towards democracy. I think he deserves less credit for ending communism than most western media are happy to grant him.

As for the pope, I'm very sad he died. I'm an atheist yet he meant a lot to me as a fellow Pole and a significant man. Niech nasz goral odpoczywa w pokoju.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Andropov (3.00 / 2) (#22)
by onemorechip on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 12:36:01 AM EST

held the office for 16 months until he died. At the time he was seen somewhat as a reformer, although he probably never would have gone as far as Gorbachev eventually did. I recall that the hard-liners in the Soviet government resisted Andropov's attempts at reform, leaving plenty of room for speculation on how he might have governed in a less hostile environment.

After his death came the much more repressive regime of Chernenko, which was (fortunately) also very short. Chernenko really was the last gasp of the old guard Soviet leadership.
--------------------------------------------------

I did my essay on mushrooms. It's about cats.
[ Parent ]

Since we're all especulating here... (none / 1) (#25)
by nkyad on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 01:31:19 AM EST

I believe Andropov, had he lived, would not have been the sissy Gorby ended up being from a traditional Russian POV. He'd probably have called Reagan's gamble on Star Wars, telling him "You get the space, I re-unify Germany - your choice". A sort of Cuban Crisis in reverse.

In the end, we in the West were lucky that "the russians loved their children too" - and Pepsi. Mostly Pepsi.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
there' s some reason to believe (none / 0) (#26)
by aphrael on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 02:01:50 AM EST

chernenko was dead before he took office.

[ Parent ]
ok, you say you're from poland (none / 0) (#3)
by aphrael on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 10:36:49 PM EST

can you find me an html sequence that will let me replace those ****** [l]s with the actual polish character?

[ Parent ]
I believe it might be 322 (none / 1) (#4)
by MSBob on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 10:42:18 PM EST

This is how Polish websites print it:

"Jan Paweł II (Karol Wojtyła)"

not sure how this will render on browsers without appropriate encodings (on my browser the l's show with a strikethrough and they pronunce the same way as English 'w').

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
awesome. (none / 0) (#7)
by aphrael on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 10:48:54 PM EST

thanks!

[ Parent ]
Lech Wałęsa (n/t) (none / 0) (#10)
by MSBob on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 11:00:10 PM EST

if you want to have true Polish spellings throughout the article.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
No entities in K5 titles (none / 0) (#19)
by nkyad on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 11:47:13 PM EST

Preview is still you friend.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
really? (none / 0) (#21)
by aphrael on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 12:06:40 AM EST

I didn't know that about his name.

[ Parent ]
Freedom? (2.00 / 2) (#104)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 06:08:00 PM EST

Yeah, as long as you are not gay.

Or a woman trying to stop your servitude to your male masters or to be in equal footing to your male conterparts when serving your god.

Or, again, a woman, trying to avoid being infected by HIV by your promiscous partner or to bring too many children to this world.

Or a child being molested by a priest.

His freedom was not such, because he understood (and I think he declared as much) that a teocracy would never be a democracy.

Thank goodness ayatolism was destroyed in liberal democracies some time ago.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]

i can hate the man for his politics (2.50 / 8) (#16)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 11:08:50 PM EST

but i can't hate the man for his conviction, nor can i hate him for his genuine spirituality

much respect

rip


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Russian, eh? (n/t) (none / 0) (#17)
by MSBob on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 11:09:54 PM EST


I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
american nt (none / 0) (#18)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 11:12:58 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
so do you hate John Paul II? (none / 0) (#27)
by issachar on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 02:16:23 AM EST

Do you really hate him because I presume you don't like his politics? Somehow I don't think you do. I'm not trying to start a fight, but I'm curious. Good night...
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
his politics suck (3.00 / 5) (#43)
by circletimessquare on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 02:40:00 PM EST

on homosexuality, euthanasia, birth control, abortion, etc.

it's funny that the institution founded on the teachings of a man who's greatest gift was a lesson in tolerance and compassion (jesus christ) should spend it's time today defining it's intolerance ("homosexuality is evil") and lack of compassion ("death with dignity")


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

my finger slipped (none / 1) (#60)
by flaw on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 11:21:40 PM EST

and i accidentally 3'd cts

--
ピニス, ピニス, everyone loves ピニス!
[ Parent ]
rhetoric (none / 0) (#113)
by justinw on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 08:08:34 PM EST

at least mention that the problem is homosexual lifestyle, not homosexuality itself.  jesus dined with tax collectors but told them to mend their ways.

yeah, death with dignity.  because jesus was so all about letting people die.  

[ Parent ]

there is nothing wrong with homosexuality (none / 0) (#119)
by circletimessquare on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 09:23:38 PM EST

period

if you are a truly moral and spiritual person, you can see that

unfortunately some people hear the prevailing dogma and accept it without thought

when asked to rationalze their intolerance of homosexuals, they can't form a coherent moral or spiritual argument against homosexuality

as for "death with dignity" i love the death with dignity via media circus as provided by by social conservatives for the poor BRAIN DEAD woman last week


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

homosexuality is disordered (none / 0) (#128)
by justinw on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 11:31:06 PM EST

period

as for "media circus", the real circus was the gross inaccuracies the media provided us with.  perhaps they're not to blame, but many things were not mentioned to viewers, and the desire to die was glorified.  

[ Parent ]

are you against albinism? (none / 1) (#131)
by circletimessquare on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 12:27:15 AM EST

albino humans are freaks of nature: they should die of skin cancer or burn in the sunlight or predators should spot them easily

they can even be seen as demonic in some superstitious ways

however, an albino doesn't really hurt anyone, so we respect their right to live unmolested

that's the moral and spiritual thing to do

are you against homosexuality?

homosexuals are freaks of nature: their fornication with the same sex leaves no offspring

they can even be seen as demonic in some respect

however, a homosexual doesn't really hurt anyone, so we respect their right to live unmolested

that's the moral and spiritual thing to do


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

i'm against leaving albinos under the sun (none / 0) (#154)
by justinw on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 09:12:31 AM EST

an albino, without help, would die of skin cancer, burn in the sunlight, be spotted easily by predators.  how dare we intrude on their personal lives and try to help them!!  (your line of reasoning regarding homosexuality)

"a homosexual doesn't really hurt anyone"  - that is the whole issue at hand.  i refuse to condemn the homosexual intrinsically, and i refuse to tolerate the mistakes they can make (just as we all make mistakes, and we all sin, which i'll also refuse to tolerate).

take some time to sort out the ambiguities of the label "homosexual", rather than lumping nature and nurture together.

[ Parent ]

hate the sin, not the sinner? (none / 1) (#159)
by circletimessquare on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 09:57:21 AM EST

that's a nice way to rationalize and condone your intolerance

how about examing the evidence and opening your mind and realizing that homosexual acts don't hurt you, don't hurt the homosexual, don't hurt society

and you completely missed my alibinism allegory: we DON'T intrude on albinos personal lives to help them, we don't help them, we merely allow them to exist in society and ejoy what we enjoy.... that is all they need, they don't need personal guards as you seem to suggest

so why do you think we need intrude on homosexual's personal lives?

you are immoral and nonspiritual in your approach


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

who was i to presume to care about *them*! (none / 1) (#182)
by justinw on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 03:44:02 PM EST

yeah so what if they don't hurt me.  i'm going to keep loving them and desiring their well-being, regardless whether they hurt me or not.  are you chastising me for not selfishly placing myself first?

my belief, the Catholic belief, is that people are hurting themselves in relationships that are sexual for reasons other than procreation and love.  to remove either or both reasons is dangerous to the health of all involved.

i didn't miss the allegory, i showed you it's arbitrariness... if that's a word.  :)  yeah, a child discovering fire for the first time doesn't need "personal guards" either, chances are he'll just singe a few of the nerve endings in his fingertips and realize that something is wrong.  how dare his older brother slaps him on the wrist before he gets a chance to figure that out!

my morality is the core of who i am.  my spirituality is the set of choices i make to internally enfore my morality.

[ Parent ]

you have no morality, only arrogance (none / 0) (#186)
by circletimessquare on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:36:24 PM EST

yeah so what if they don't hurt me.  i'm going to keep loving them and desiring their well-being, regardless whether they hurt me or not.  are you chastising me for not selfishly placing myself first?

a wife beater often says to his wife as he beats her: "why are you making me do this to you?"

your "not selfishly placing myself first" your sacrificing yourself by dictating how other people should live there lives

it's the same thing, you arrogant fuck. there's no compassion, there's no morality, there's no spirituality in your position. only pathology.

my belief, the Catholic belief, is that people are hurting themselves in relationships that are sexual for reasons other than procreation and love.  to remove either or both reasons is dangerous to the health of all involved.

i'm glad that you believe that. militant muslim fundamentalists believe the usa is satan. in the same way you sacrifice yourself by enforcing your beliefs on other people's lives- telling homosexuals how to live their lives, al qaeda is sacrificing themselves in order to punisht he great evil satan.

i didn't miss the allegory, i showed you it's arbitrariness... if that's a word.  :)  yeah, a child discovering fire for the first time doesn't need "personal guards" either, chances are he'll just singe a few of the nerve endings in his fingertips and realize that something is wrong.  how dare his older brother slaps him on the wrist before he gets a chance to figure that out!

oh i understand your position now. are oyu telling me you are an experienced practicing homosexual? is that the authoirty you are no asserting as your manifest destiny over th elives of others that is uninvited and unneeded?

my morality is the core of who i am.  my spirituality is the set of choices i make to internally enfore my morality.

you have no morality or a spirituality. you have a pathology and a dogma. if you were try to examine why you believe what you believe, you would find no support for it, in either a logical or a spiritual way. if you looked into yourself and examined the nature of morality and what morality really is, you would see the need to fight for the rights of those who are infringed by intolerant bigotted close-minded people such as yourself.

your patroniziation and condescension of homosexuals is noted.

those around jesus christ also noted how, as intolerance and hatred took his life, how he returned compassion and tolerance in turn

if you would ever like some insight into the though processes of the romans and jews who crucified jesus, look into yourself, look at what you call your "morality"

it's the same thing

if jesus were alive to day, you would be the first to prosecute him

there is no spirit of compassion or tolerance in you


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

please forgive me (none / 0) (#187)
by justinw on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:13:42 PM EST

... for driving you to anger, and for diminishing a discussion into a diatribe.  it seems i'm only infuriating, not proposing, so i guess i'm done here.

my thoughts continue, but this context cannot.

peace.

[ Parent ]

i wish there were peace (none / 1) (#189)
by circletimessquare on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:48:30 PM EST

but assholes like you keep trying to control other people for reasons that aren't moral or compassionate or tolerant, for modes of behavior that hurt no one

there is no peace in this world as long as controlling assholes like you walk around it

you want peace?

well then enlighten yourself, then you'll find peace

until then, you have no right to say "peace" since your false morality, your unthinking dogma only creates unnecessary suffering in this world


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

is it disordered? (3.00 / 2) (#139)
by issachar on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:32:18 AM EST

Would you say that the desire many men have to sleep with multiple partners is disordered? That serial monogamy is disordered? I think you'd have a hard time saying those were disordered in any secular sense of the word, and you'd have trouble proving homosexuality is disordered in that sense to.

Homosexuality is a deviation from God's design for sexual intimacy as are the two "disorders" I mentioned. If that's the sense you mean the word, then I think you're right, but I wouldn't use the word "disordered". It might lead to confusion.

I should say that Christians shouldn't try using the "it's unnatural" argument. It's a silly one. Plenty of "natural" things are still wrong. (Like wanting to hurt someone who hurt you or a loved one). Plenty of unnatural things are still right. Like using insulin injections to improve the lives of diabetics.


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

what about (none / 1) (#143)
by gdanjo on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:55:34 AM EST

"it's a self-defeating strategy" argument? That is, homosexuality "lowers" the act of sex from a functional to a purely pleasurable action - just like gambling "lowers" the benefit of a corporation from one that does actual work in society to one that preys on emotion, amounting to pure instinctual trickery.

Can one say that gambling is in-principle "evil" (by the fact that it has no direct-work benefit to society, yet draws a profit) without calling the workers in the casino - or the casino owners themselves - "evil"?

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

I'm not sure if I've heard that argument befrore.. (none / 0) (#145)
by issachar on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 02:23:39 AM EST

probably because our society has pretty much turned heterosexual sex into a pleasure-only thing. The argument doesn't immediately grab my attention, and it doesn't seem that convincing, but I am pretty tired right now... g'night.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
well said (none / 0) (#161)
by circletimessquare on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:03:16 AM EST

much like drinking alcohol: youre not deriving sustenance you're imbibing toxins on purpose, etc...

so we look at all these behaviors and we do what? create a society wher eno one does anything pleasureable?

so you've framed the question well, and the answer is obvious as to why homosexuality is perfectly ok in a moral and spiritual and tolerant mind


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

come on cts... (none / 0) (#138)
by issachar on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:26:40 AM EST

I believe his point was that the Catholic church (and Christian teaching in general) is against homosexual behaviour. There are of course a horrible people like Fred Phelps who wallow in an orgy of hatred, but Christians do not believe that homosexuals are evil we simply believe homosexual acts are evil. (Yes, even the "fundies" agree). The acts evil in the sense that me sleeping with a woman I'm not married to is an evil act. Christians think that's evil, but we don't think that sex is evil...

Of course, I would be glossing over if I didn't mention that Jesus told us that the desires of our hearts were just as important as our actions. So hating a man is wrong even if you don't "do" anything. Where that ties in with homosexuality is that homosexual desires are something we should pray to be rid of. Just as I pray to get rid of the evil desires of my heart. Like what got me cussing out one of my housemates and generally not treating him with love.

I think that justinw was thinking you were in the "Christians hate gays" camp.


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

yes i know: hate the sinner, not the sin (none / 1) (#160)
by circletimessquare on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:01:00 AM EST

but you've just rationalized your intolerance, you haven't solved any problems or answered any questions, you've just rearranged the problems in your head and you think that solves them

i understand your concept quite well

but you've just moved your intolerance into another arena

then it's simply a matter of examining why you hate homosexual acts instead of homosexuals themselves, to follow you into your verbiage, as all of the moral and spiritual arguments that allow for homosexuals to exist unimpeded also applies to the acts they do

so you've solved no problem nor answered any of my questions, save for how you rationalize your intolerance and immorality to yourself


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I figured you knew the difference... (none / 0) (#212)
by issachar on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:57:59 AM EST

I just wanted to clear up what were talking about. I'm admittedly a little sensitive to the whole "y'all hate gays" slander, so I tend to get pedantic about the whole issue.
Why do I think homosexual acts are wrong? For the same reason I think that me sleeping with anyone except my non-existant wife would be wrong. Simply because God told us so. Along that line though, I read something interesting the other day. "That isn't wrong because God forbids it, God forbids it because it's wrong".
Now I know what the obvious response to my post is. That my morals are just based on Christianity and nothing else. Nope, they not. I find confirmation of those morals elsewhere, but that is where they come from. I have no interest in shoving these morals down your throat. I share them and invite you to join me, but that's it. If you think about it, God could have forced you to do anything He wanted. He didn't, so why should I?
As for answering your question... You didn't ask a question.

---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
*laff* (none / 0) (#218)
by circletimessquare on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 09:48:30 AM EST

"I have no interest in shoving these morals down your throat."

unfortunately, that is exactly what people like you are doing

your beliefs don't exist a vacuum, they exert a force on your world, and there are others who believe as you do who DO try to shove their morals down other people's throats and create unnecessary suffering

so you must be honest about your beliefs, find real compassion, find real tolerance, find real spirituality, and have a morality that reflects the true spiorit of god and jesus christ:

acceptance

for what you call morality that is really intolerance is not from god

it's from some old guys who say they speak for god

why do you need that filter?

find it in your heart and your mind and your spirit to be more courageous, to find a morality that does not create unnecessary suffering for others

believing homosexuality is wrong is not in the spirit of jesus christ

if jesus christ were alive today, you would be the first to prosecute him, based on the exact same rationale you have outlined above


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I'm surprised you don't see this... (none / 0) (#250)
by issachar on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 09:29:05 PM EST

People like me are not shoving morals down anyone's throat. People who label themselves with the same label that I label myself are doing that.

I do believe that you have the same problem. You know... so called liberals who scream and cry moral equivelence between Iraqi dictators and democratically elected US presidents? Are "people like you" acting as apologists for dictators? Are they treating arabs as cardboard cutouts who merely react to what Americans do rather than as real people?

There's nothing I can do to stop someone who calls themselves a Christian from shoving their morals down someone's throat. What am I going to do? Sue them for using the "Christian" label?

And for the record my views are not "from old guys who claim to speak for God". I'm quite capable of reading the Bible, thinking critically, praying, speaking with other people (some whom may be older than me) and reading other people's great thoughts on the subject.

As for me prosecuting Jesus, lord I hope not. Obviously I don't know how I would react, but I think there's a couple of reasons to think that I wouldn't. I hope I'm getting better at loving people, although I will never succeed perfectly. (I am better than when I was 17 though). Jesus showed love for the poor and oppressed. He did not accept everything they did, but he did love them. The story of the woman caught in adultery is a good illustration. This record leads me to conclude that Jesus would tell homosexuals to change their lifestyles as he told this woman to change hers. Unlike most, Jesus would show compassion and love rather than condemnation while he did that.

Having said all that, I think that Jesus had priorities. How often does Jesus mention poverty in the New Testament? (A lot). How often does he mention homosexuality? (Never, as far as I know). This gives me a bit of an indication of where his priorities were. Not mentioning homosexual relations doesn't mean he thought they were fine. He was quite clear that he wasn't changing morality. He was showing that morality without love is not God's way. Most Christians haven't shown that love with the morality about homosexuality they've been preaching. I see no reason I have to continue that sad history.

But I think that the poor should be the Church's priority at the moment. It is for some churches. It's not for others. That's unfortunate and I pray that it changes...


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

i support the war in iraq (none / 0) (#260)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 12:47:09 PM EST

so stop changing the subject

and eradicating poverty is very important

so stop changing the subject

OPPOSING HOMOSEXUALITY IS IMMORAL, UNJUST, NONSPIRITUAL AND GOES AGAINS THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS CHIRST

and your beliefs do shape other people's lives

figure it out, and get back to us


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

we all know you support the war in Iraq. (none / 0) (#269)
by issachar on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 09:13:14 PM EST

I don't think there's anyone who reads K5 articles that discuss Iraq or terrorism or anything like that who doesn't know you support the war in Iraq. So do I incidentally.

My only reason for bringing that up is to say that you get upset with people who share your "label" who don't support the war and you might object to them being described as "people like CTS". I object to people who shove morals down people's throats being described as "people like issachar" although those weren't your exact words. That's all.

My reason for bringing up poverty was not to change the subject. I was simply trying to say that while I think that Jesus would approve of my stance on homosexuality, if I want to be really like Jesus I should focus more on the poor. This wasn't a criticism of you or an attempt to change the subject. I'm simply acknowledging the many in the Christian community (including myself) have not given the poverty enough consideration. Jesus didn't come to proclaim the value of tax exemptions on capital gains. I'm sorry that I seemed evasive.

Where I disagree with you is on whether or not believing homosexual sex to be immoral is in keeping with the teachings of Jesus. Personally I like to compare it to pre-marital sex. I'm not gay and not being sexually attracted to men makes it easy for me to be judgemental of (or just lacking in compassion and love to) those that are. I don't truly understand their feelings or their desires. However I am an unmarried heterosexual so I do understand the feelings and desires of people who have pre-marital sex. It's a lot easier to be compassionate and loving when I say that I think pre-marital sex is immoral because I understand the situation much better. It is very much in line with teachings of Jesus to say that pre-marital sex is wrong, but as with the woman caught in adultery he showed compassion and love.

Now all this assumes that you believe that Jesus was the messiah and the Bible is the word of God. Since you don't, this isn't going to convince you that my stance on homosexuality is correct, moral, spiritual or just, but as I say I'm not trying to shove this down your throat. I share my beliefs. What you do with that is up to you.

I know that my beliefs shape other people's lives. Other people's shape mine. I believe that if I become more compassionate and like Christ I will shape people's lives positively.


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

so you support gay marriage? (none / 0) (#274)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 01:31:45 AM EST

"premarital sex is wrong"

ok, so then you support the rights of gays to marry so they can practice homosexual acts along a vein of morality acceptable to you?

or is your morality structured in such a way that a certain class of people will always be considered outside the bounds of morality, even though they are good productive members of society?

you speak so much of morality, yet you really don't understand what morality is

what you have is dogma: you spout a position, you regurgitate a well-understood pov, but you don't really have any thought behind it

what i want to ask you to do is to stop reciting strictures and commandments on behavior and think about them instead

think about their meaning and their repercussions

and fashion a morality that you present to the world that does not create untouchables out of otherwise perfectly sane rational hardworking good people simply because you don't understand them and refuse to try... perfectly content to damn them, completely unwilling to show compassion and tolerance

which is what jesus was all about

STOP spouting the edicts of an institution made up of venal old men (why exactly are we supposed to listen to some guys who have sworn a vow of celibacy about how to conduct our sexual lives? how does that make sense again?)

START showing the true meaning of jesus's lesson to us: tolerance, compassion, love

for right now, in your words those qualities do not exist


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Which liberals are those? (none / 0) (#266)
by aphrael on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 06:32:48 PM EST

I'm not aware of anyone claiming moral equivalance between the dictatorship of Iraq and the democracy of the US. I *am* aware of people claiming *legal* equivalence under international law, and arguing that the long-term implications for american national interest of violating that legal equivalence is grave.

[ Parent ]
I was just paraphrasing... (none / 0) (#270)
by issachar on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 09:18:51 PM EST

I was just paraphrasing CTS's apparent frustration with democrats who oppose the war in Iraq as an example of why I don't want to be lumped in with people who try to impose morality or impose Christianity. Ann Coulter's statement that we should "Kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity" is very contrary to Christian teaching. It's unfortunate that words like that are the face of Christianity to some people.


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

hey fucktwit (none / 0) (#275)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 01:46:58 AM EST

what can the purpose of international law possibly be if it simply serves as a cloak for demons like saddam hussein?

and how can you talk to us about abstract longterm consequences when you obviously can't grasp simple and direct ones?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

predictability (none / 0) (#279)
by aphrael on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 11:31:44 AM EST

to ensure that interactions between states are stable and predictable, thereby creating a situation in which states do not fear for their existence, reducing the likelihood of pre-emptive war. and what's your evidence that i can't grasp simple and direct consequences? the fact that i disagree with you?

[ Parent ]
predictability is your greatest concern? (none / 0) (#280)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 11:45:55 AM EST

you couldn't possibly imagine other concerns more important that "stability" and "predictability"?

rule of law perhaps?

maybe justice?

so right there is a pretty obvious example of you not being able to grasp some simple and direct consequences

another clueboat for you: ALL states should fear for their existence ALL THE TIME

in fact, it is when you think no one has the right to remove you from power that you've reached the level of arrogance where your illegitimacy in the eyes of your people and the world is sealed

a leader who respects his neighbors, who respects his people is ALWAYS worried about slipping stability and predictability, and NEVER simply assumes them as his or her right that he can enforce with a gun when his people or his neighbors dare question his right to rape his people or invade his neighbors

you simply don't fucking get it, and the real world consequences of you not getting it, is to provide support and rationale for the continued existence of the likes of saddam hussein or kim il jong

that's unacceptable

understand where you have failed the people of norht korea and iraq, as your fellow human beings, and get back to us

it's not a fucking boards game of risk out there asshole, it's about the rights and freedoms of real living breathing people

this is not an abstract fucking mind game


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

"rule of law" (none / 0) (#282)
by aphrael on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 02:00:23 PM EST

Well, you're asking what the point of the law is, so presumably "rule of law" isn't an option, unless you think the law per se is a good thing ... but if it were, you wouldn't be asking what the point of the law is.

Why should all states fear for their existence all of the time? Should I fear for my existence and the possession of my property all of the time?

It's well established history that states which fear for their existence are more likely to engage in activity to undermine other states and the state system; aggression is a byproduct of vulnerability.

The only way to ensure long-term world peace is to create a system in which states are not vulnerable to external military force, and attempts to use external force will be prevented and punished. (Note that i'm not talking about internal, revolutionary force).

Otherwise, the US is just as vulnerable to having its government overthrown by China as Iraq is to having its government overthrown by the US. Or, more to the point, otherwise the rules aren't made by "the people"; they're made by the men with guns.

I don't take it as guaranteed that the liberal democratic states will always be the most militarily powerful states; and I want a system in place that ensures that, when they aren't, other countries are prevented from doing to us what we're doing in Iraq now.

In order to get that protection, we have to abide by the rules too.

It's the same reason I can't kill a man because I don't like the way he's treating his wife.

[ Parent ]

it's very, very simple (none / 0) (#285)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 05:19:11 PM EST

you can't lose sight of the basics in your pursuit of the ideal

if you cannot possibly understand why removing saddam hussein was good by any measure you can possibly imagine that has to do with justice, law, morality, right and wrong, etc, then you simply "just don't get it"

either you agree getting rid of saddam hussein was a good thing, or there simply is no talking to you, as you have moved beyond the boundaries of logical consistency with your own self-stated concerns about behavior in the world

it's this simple: you have stopped making sense when you talk about ideals of international behavior that you say are important, and yet you wind up defending a status quo that allow people like saddam hussein to stay in power, a person who betrays and rapes your ideals to a degree and scale that makes your problems with american actions look laughable, especially considering that they were done TO PROSECUTE THE MAN WHO BREACHED YOUR IDEALS OF INTERNATIONAL BEHAVIOR

his crimes must have consequences

you don't seem to understand that

you lose all credibility when you attack the usa on a rationale you are hopelessly unable to apply fairly to all nations

so in reply to one of your points: the US SHOULD have it's government overthrown if it was fascist or fundamentalist!

the REAL fascist or fundamentalist kind, not the kind of govt it is right now, a secular stable democracy, in contradiction to the all the braindead fashionable paranoid schizophrenic propaganda out there


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Ah, see, I think this is the point: (none / 0) (#286)
by aphrael on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 05:38:48 PM EST

the US SHOULD have it's government overthrown if it was fascist or fundamentalist!
That isn't my concern.
My concern is that the lesson that historians will draw from our conduct today is not that totalitarian governments must fall; it is that governments which are disliked by the dominant power of the era must fall.
What happens when the dominant power of the era is a statist-confucianist China with a strong dislike for American-style liberal democracy, if that's the lesson the international community draws? Should such a power have the authority to overthrow our system of government?
Absent a rule of law binding on all states and enforceable by an international agency, there is nothing to prevent that from happening. Our refusal to submit to international norms, while at the same time insisting that other states submit to our definition of what is good and what is bad, invites the day when we will be bloodily suppressed for being democratic and free.
Short-term gain for long-term loss is almost never a good exchange.

[ Parent ]
hey fucktwit (none / 0) (#291)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 10:30:37 PM EST

respect is not the same as popularity

you respect the jock who gives you a wedgie

and you dislike him

you like the cheerleader who fucks all the boys

but you don't respect her

i don't really give a flying fuck if other people in the world don't like us

i do care that they respect us

  1. /11 did not happen because we're unpoplar
  2. /11 happened because al qaeda saw us as weak: when 250 marines were killed in lebanon in the 1980s, we pulled out, when the wtc was first bombed, we lobbed a hand grenade into afghanistan and that was that, when it looked like more than 12 body bags were coming out of gulf war i, we walked away
in short, we were not respected

what do you think the likes of al qaeda and other slimeballs in the world would have thought if we came out of 9/;11 going "oh no, you need to like me, we're sorry you don't like us"

look at it this way: it's similiar to kidnappers

if you pay kidnappers, you provide incentive for more to get into the action and you make the kidnappers ready for more kidnapping

meanwhile, if oyu have the cojones to take a hard line, knowing that some hostages might die because of that, does that make you evil?

so you blame the police for what hostage takers do?

you're whole psychology is like blaming the cop who is trying hard to free a hostage, and he does something in the moment that makes the hostage shoot the kidnapper, and all you care about is ripping the police a new asshole and criticizing them

hey numbnuts: what about the FUCKING HOSTAGE TAKERS?

where is your overarching morality bearing down on them?

huh?

i don't hear a fucking WORD about their clearly vile behavior from you

so how can i look to you as a source of sueprior alternative approach?

i can't, i can only look at you as someone who doesn't fucking get it


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Well, as long as you hate him (none / 1) (#69)
by Anonymous Howards End on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 01:53:56 AM EST

That's what counts.
--
CodeWright, you are one cowardly hypocritical motherfucker.
[ Parent ]
Genuine spirituality? (2.00 / 2) (#129)
by syncrotic on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 11:36:04 PM EST

It's funny that you should respect the man's genuine spirituality, because lately I've had cause to wonder if a pope even believes in God.

In excess of a billion people place their faith in the organization of which he is the high priest. They believe that he is as close to God as any mortal man can be - that he is the pinnacle of spiritual purity.

Yet he knows that he is just a man like any other. Unless he's scizophrenic, god doesn't talk to him any more than god talks to the rest of us. I wonder how it feels to know, to truly know without a doubt, that the organized religion over which he presides is nothing but a tradition of elaborate rituals.

I wonder if he was afraid on his deathbed - facing the termination of his existence: knowing that the afterlife he has promised to millions doesn't actually exist. Or perhaps he was afraid that, maybe, there actually was a God. That God might not take kindly to a man who claimed the right to speak with his authority. God may frown upon a career politician who, as all politicians do, had to manipulate his way to power. God may in fact be somewhat displeased with a man who pretended to believe in Him for personal political gain and for power, pure and simple.

I bet his final moments were terrifying.

[ Parent ]

oh, shut up (none / 1) (#140)
by gdanjo on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:43:38 AM EST

He will be judged by God as a man, and for the love he extracted from his fellow humans. Your simplistic view of this "personality" of God, and what may or may not make him happy, is telling of your own grappling with issues that, I'm quite sure, are not God's TODO list.

I bet his final moments were terrifying.
I bet his final moments were as terrifying as they were exhilerating; one can only wonder with awe about what went through his mind in his last hours as a mortal.

I guarantee you, however, that they were nothing like your simplistic, scornful view of Him and His story.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

a reply (none / 0) (#208)
by syncrotic on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:38:24 AM EST

I don't actually think there is a vindictive god waiting for the pope, because I don't think there is a god.

I was just entertaining everyone with a little thought experiment. It amuses me to imagine that the pope doesn't actually believe in god. It amuses me even more to imagine that he might start to falter in his last moments, fearing the reprecussions of a life spent preaching something he didn't even believe, and entertain the notion that god actually exists.

You see, I take it as a fact that god doesn't exist. I *know* that the pope knew that god doesn't exist. Could a god fearing man have borne the burden of lying to over a billion people, claiming that he has the right to speak with the authority of the creator?

The pope was one of two things: a cynic or a fool. I prefer to think of him as the former.

[ Parent ]

well (none / 0) (#213)
by gdanjo on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 04:16:11 AM EST

It amuses me even more to imagine that he might start to falter in his last moments, fearing the reprecussions of a life spent preaching something he didn't even believe, and entertain the notion that god actually exists.
It amuses me the logical contortions you're going through just to imagine a man that you don't like in pain. Because, logically, if the Pope didn't believe in God, then what does he have to fear? If he believes he was an actor in some intricate play for an audience of none, then what fear would permeate his mind?

Let me tell you how I read the above fragment: "like, dude, you know the pope he's like powerfull and stuff, being God's representitive on earth and shit - well, wouldn't it be ironic if he, like, suffered at the hands of God? you know, like when it rains on your wedding day? that'd be so cool!"

You see, I take it as a fact that god doesn't exist. I *know* that the pope knew that god doesn't exist. Could a god fearing man have borne the burden of lying to over a billion people, claiming that he has the right to speak with the authority of the creator?
Personally, I'm what you might call a "naturalist" - I believe that the universe exists in, of, and for itself, and through her own internal strategies of behaviour (let's call this "nature") knows and does that which is best for all concernded, herself included.

Given this view, I will impart with you two little tidbits of information: First, in this view of the universe, there is plenty of room for God. Second, regardless of the existence of God or otherwise, nature has a tendency to select those most beneficial to herself to rise and become influential.

The Pope, a Great man by any measure, is given a a platfrom from which his wisdom can be beamed to the world. Shmucks like you and I, with our limited sampling of the World and its ways, are denied this platform and the influence it allows.

This is how it should be, because statements like these:

I *know* that the pope knew that god doesn't exist.
are unworthy of the magnetic fluctuations that carried them.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

another reply (none / 1) (#233)
by syncrotic on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:09:25 PM EST

I like your god - manifesting itself through the processes of nature at a cosmic scale. That god is as plausible an answer as any to the question "what created the universe" - the question itself may be unanswerable. If that god were God, I wouldn't believe in him, but I'd respect the idea.

On the other hand, the God that places man on a pedestal above all animals is a joke. Man is an animal like all the rest, and while the most intelligent, is not the sole posessor of sentience. Sentience is not an absolute - I think some animals posses it to a limited degree. Elephants have funerial rituals and may comprehend their own mortality, dolphins have a crude form of speech, and every animal that can use its eyes to navigate around an obstacle has some reasoning ability. Man is not special; he is not God's personal little pet.

The God that created man in his image, the one that flooded the earth after allowing Noah to build his ark, turned a woman to salt for looking back at a burning city, sent his son to earth to start a religion, resurrected that son and pulled him up forty days later - that is an even bigger joke. The idea of God, watching down on man and intricately connected with his fate, is laughable to me. So is the idea that this God has an afterlife waiting for his pet creation.

Such a God is an invention of man. Jesus was a charismatic cult leader who was pulled off the cross with a weak pulse and hung around as long after his "resurrection" as he could without getting caught. Jesus was L. Ron Hubbard in an age where people were less educated and more desperate - nothing more.

You can challenge me to prove it, I suppose, and I can't. But I think it's the extraordinary claims that demand the proof. Bodily ascension into heaven shouldn't be what people believe by *default*.

Now, we come to this statement: "Second, regardless of the existence of God or otherwise, nature has a tendency to select those most beneficial to herself to rise and become influential."

Once again this assumes that nature/universe/God has a hand in the petty affairs of man. But more than that, your mentality scares me, for it implies a trust in the people that lead. Trust in leaders is what gets the societies of man in trouble - distrust of power and authority is the only thing that keeps it in check.

I reject the notion that nature selects those most suitable to be leaders. Our leaders are simply those who have a combination of fortunate circumstance and personal ambition to lead. The former is randomness (often the sort of thing that fools ascribe to God as "miracles" or even "luck") while the latter is a personal quality. There is nothing purposeful in the selection of leaders - if nature or God had a hand in it, we'd have to acknowledge that men like Bush, Putin, Mugabe, or Idi Amin were placed into their positions of authority with a greater purpose. A few of the people on that list believe that, and it scares me.

No, our leaders are nothing special. They are just men, and they are often among the worst of men.

Which brings us to the pope. An elected politician.

"The Pope, a Great man by any measure, is given a a platfrom from which his wisdom can be beamed to the world. Shmucks like you and I, with our limited sampling of the World and its ways, are denied this platform and the influence it allows."

I'd contend that the pope isn't a great man by /any/ measure. Some measures, maybe. Some, maybe not. There are other threads here dedicated to the discussion of this, and it comes down to politics.

But you're saying is that the pope can speak to so many because he's special - somehow more of a man than the rest of us, selected for the job by a greater force. I see him differently. Schmucks like you or I are denied a voice in world affairs because we don't pursue it passionately enough, we don't know the right people, we didn't have the right chance encounters, and we lack the personality type to fit in with the right people. It's just human factors, nothing more. I don't see why we should attribute these things to divine intervention.

So, does the pope believe in God - the christian God with his earthly son and all? Or does he just use the idea for his own power? I happen to believe that a man who could claw his way to a position of leadership is too self serving, cynical, and hypocritical to believe in what he preaches. I guess it comes down to a deep distrust of those in positions of authority - a distrust that you clearly do not share, with your idea that they are leaders for some great reason.

"If he believes he was an actor in some intricate play for an audience of none..."

He was an actor, and Catholicism is an intricate play (a rather theatrical one at that). The audience, last I heard, was 1.1 billion.

"...then what fear would permeate his mind?"

Probably none, because I can't imagine that he would have started to believe in God at the last minute. It was amusing to imagine that he did, though.

[ Parent ]

ugh (none / 0) (#252)
by gdanjo on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 10:37:11 PM EST

On the other hand, the God that places man on a pedestal above all animals is a joke. Man is an animal like all the rest, and while the most intelligent, is not the sole posessor of sentience. Sentience is not an absolute - I think some animals posses it to a limited degree. Elephants have funerial rituals and may comprehend their own mortality, dolphins have a crude form of speech, and every animal that can use its eyes to navigate around an obstacle has some reasoning ability.
So, instead of placing man on a pedestal, we should place sentience on a pedestal? Why is this? What makes sentience so special?

In other words, by what criteria would you place a rat above a rock? Whatever that criteria is, it can be applied to place the man above the rat.

I think you fail to understand the universal truth of self-reference. All beings consider themselves (whether this is measured as "self, the body", "self, the genes", "self, the species", or "self, the attribute of life") above all else. And this is not just man's hubris, it is the law of all creatures - it is nature's law.

That's why we don't have rats or rocks or sand as God.

The God that created man in his image, the one that flooded the earth after allowing Noah to build his ark, turned a woman to salt for looking back at a burning city, sent his son to earth to start a religion, resurrected that son and pulled him up forty days later - that is an even bigger joke.
Imaginary numbers are a joke too. Square-root of -1? Who ever heard of such a thing?

Perhaps you need to take a more personal look at God before you can make the leap to advanced topics such as scripture and the interpretation of fable.

Now, we come to this statement: "Second, regardless of the existence of God or otherwise, nature has a tendency to select those most beneficial to herself to rise and become influential."

Once again this assumes that nature/universe/God has a hand in the petty affairs of man.

Excuse me? Care to re-read my statement again? I specifically say that nature has her hands in the petty affairs of man. Do you disagree? Do you believe nature has no effect on man?

I reject the notion that nature selects those most suitable to be leaders.
You doubt that natural selection (whatever the criteria) occurs in human affairs?

Our leaders are simply those who have a combination of fortunate circumstance and personal ambition to lead. The former is randomness (often the sort of thing that fools ascribe to God as "miracles" or even "luck") while the latter is a personal quality.
Gee, that sounds just like nature's way of "selecting" the "best" animals too.

Do you still believe natural selection sidesteps human affairs?

I'd contend that the pope isn't a great man by /any/ measure. Some measures, maybe.
Are you a troll? Seriously.

But you're saying is that the pope can speak to so many because he's special - somehow more of a man than the rest of us, selected for the job by a greater force.
Yes, he's special because "nature" "selected" him to be in the role he is. But more than that, he's special because of what he did, who he is, the conviction in his character, and the love in his heart - all this while presiding over an organisation that is infinitely larger than he.

And yes, I do believe nature is a "greater force" than your weak rationalisation.

It's just human factors, nothing more. I don't see why we should attribute these things to divine intervention.
I think you misunderstand - "divine" is a property of each and every human. "Just human factors" is like saying "we just went and stepped on a rock" when you explain the moon landing.

I happen to believe that a man who could claw his way to a position of leadership is too self serving, cynical, and hypocritical to believe in what he preaches.
I happen to believe that a man who would bring a Great man down with words alone is a self-serving, cynical, and hypocritical person.

Your rational contortions amused me at the beginning, now they're just annoying. Go away.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

foo (none / 0) (#256)
by syncrotic on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 01:52:45 AM EST

"Are you a troll? Seriously."

The line between trolling and arguing is a thin one, I guess. Some of my statements are specifically worded to provoke a reaction - make of that what you will.

"Your rational contortions amused me at the beginning, now they're just annoying. Go away."

Very well. We're rapidly drifting into incoherence anyway.

[ Parent ]

He used his power as Pope ... (none / 0) (#205)
by tilly on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:53:53 PM EST

in the service of Good as he saw that Good. And he saw that Good in terms of religion.

In my opinion, he did have faith, this was an able, intelligent man who was a believer, one who bought into all the supernatural aspects of his religion. And I think that was his weakness; he was intellectually handcuffed to the dogma and he could not discard aspects of the dogma not appropriate for this century.

[ Parent ]

Unfortunately ... (2.35 / 20) (#24)
by Peahippo on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 01:02:10 AM EST

... each Pope is the Highest Priest in an organization devoted to absolute malarkey.

His religion actually believes that a suspiciously Human-looking Supreme Being made the entire universe -- yes, all 15 billion light years of it -- specifically to concentrate on who trekked with a donkey in a dusty, valley region on a two-bit world. To put that significance (i.e. none) into perspective, dinosaurs once walked the Earth, but all it took was one epochal impactor to make it like those never happened either.

In practical terms, his religion has condemned people like me for playing D&D, yet THEY are the ones who actually believe in farcical things like divine power (i.e. magic) and demons.

So the Pope is the least significant person in the world to me, given he lives in a fantasy world in his head.

Now I find the end of the Cold War being laid at the feet of this Head Delusionist. Which sounds suspiciously Republican. One class of elites thinks Reagan "won" the Cold War. Another class thinks Gorbachev did it. The truth is that masses of people worked according to economic principles and it was THEY who made essentially all the difference. But once again, the little guy is invisible to the people who look to promote the system of class warfare.

If this Pope wants to demonstrate what a great fucking guy he is, he can take some of those Catholic Church billions and sustainably end hunger and pervasive diseases in Africa. But no one really wants that, hence we end up with fawning articles like this.

P.S. I think it's wonderful to have the opportunity to have my say about these things. In the ancient world (i.e. pre-Internet), I would have had no such forums to redress the sickening mono vox trend of fawning articles like this.


hah. (3.00 / 4) (#28)
by aphrael on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 03:25:01 AM EST

Now I find the end of the Cold War being laid at the feet of this Head Delusionist. Which sounds suspiciously Republican

Perhaps to you it does. But I assure you, I have voted for only a handful of Republicans in my life, and disagree with its party platform on just about everything.

That's not the origin of my views on the pope's role in the end of the cold war. Those views come from three years I spent studying the politics of eastern europe almost exclusively, and from the research I did into the internal decay of the Warsaw Pact regimes. Research I did, I might add, at one of the most left-leaning universities in the country.

The man was Archbishop of Krakow at a time when the Polish Catholic Church was the only entity with the power and the strength to stand up for the right of the masses of the Polish people to live their own lives. Yes, the masses made the difference - but not because they stood up for economics, because they stood up for their belief in God and their belief in themselves. Because the Polish people refused, in the end, to submit to the system - and because they were given shelter and sustenance and moral support by the most powerful social entity in their country, an entity led by this man.

I'm not saying the Catholic Church is all good. I'm not endorsing their doctrine. I'm certainly not saying that the upper echelons of the church heirarchy are composed of saints. What I am saying is that this once, on this issue, the Catholic Church represented the best instincts of humankind, and made a tremendous positive difference in the lives of millions of people, and held the door of civil society open long enough for the revolutionaries to tear down the building of Stalinist oppression ... and that it did so because this one man led the way.

In part, it's the fact that this is so rare in the history of the Catholic church which makes it so exceptional.

[ Parent ]

I dunno... (3.00 / 2) (#32)
by rodoke3 on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 04:51:51 AM EST


So the Pope is the least significant person in the world to me, given he lives in a fantasy world in his head.

If by "significant" you mean "(be) care(d) about", sure; if by "significant" you mean "can affect your life", I'd think the sheer number of people who actually listen to him (catholic and otherwise) let alone take him seriously makes that statement a poor choice of words at best.

I take umbrage with such statments and am induced to pull out archaic and over pompous words to refute such insipid vitriol. -- kerinsky


[ Parent ]
Both Senses (1.40 / 5) (#41)
by Peahippo on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 01:55:23 PM EST

He's insignificant since he's just one old man in poor health who's going to die soon. There's no shortage of those. He's also insignificant since it doesn't matter how many people follow his faith -- he's still wrong. A mob of enraged Christians could show up at my door in an hour and string me up from the highest tree (that is, those who survive after I run through my box of .308 ammo), and his significance is no greater than a sparrow's fart in the wind.

You and the rest of the delusionals have to learn that might doesn't make right, and that popularity doesn't make truth. I'm not afraid of you and the rest. Move against me all you want. I can adapt, or die ... and as far as signifigance goes, since I'm in constant peril of unemployment, or sickness from this area's foul air, or dying from some road accident or chemically-induced cancer, it DOESN'T MATTER how many holy-rollers there are out there trying to make my life miserable, or even trying put an end to it.

This "Pope" is a little man with too much money like many others. It makes little difference to me where he is, what's he's doing, and whom he's doing it to.


[ Parent ]
don't confuse the religion with its followers. (2.50 / 4) (#47)
by guyjin on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:38:28 PM EST

"In practical terms, his religion has condemned people like me for playing D&D,"

There's nothing in Christian(much less Catholic) doctrine that condemns roleplaying in general, or D&D in particular.

It's just the opinion(and a dying one at that) of a few kooks who happen to be religious. They just use religious trappings to hide the fact that it's their ill-informed opinion.
-- 散弾銃でおうがいして ください
[ Parent ]

Hahahahaahahah! (1.33 / 3) (#68)
by Anonymous Howards End on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 01:52:07 AM EST

READ THE FUCKING BIBLE.
--
CodeWright, you are one cowardly hypocritical motherfucker.
[ Parent ]
OK, i'll bite. (3.00 / 3) (#91)
by aphrael on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 12:45:41 PM EST

Which chapter and verse condemn roleplaying in general? D&D in particular can't be condemned, as it didn't exist in the second millenia BC, but the general concept can. So quote it. Or are you utterly uninformed and operating on rumor?

[ Parent ]
Errr.... (none / 0) (#203)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:24:01 PM EST

His religion actually believes that a suspiciously Human-looking Supreme Being made the entire universe -- yes, all 15 billion light years of it -- specifically to concentrate on who trekked with a donkey in a dusty, valley region on a two-bit world. /

you'll have to show me where in Catholic theology and the Bible it says that. Certainly there was a point when it upset people to find out that the Earth /wasn't the center of all creation, but no one's worried about that in a 100 years.

I'm pretty sure that the Bible says nothing at all about whether or not God made other worlds - there's been some pretty good Sci Fi over the years exploring that very point.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

"final death"? (1.00 / 7) (#31)
by rodoke3 on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 04:39:59 AM EST

I wouldn't worry about it too much.  He'll be back soon enough--unless he has terrible lag like Jesus...

I take umbrage with such statments and am induced to pull out archaic and over pompous words to refute such insipid vitriol. -- kerinsky


HELLO (1.08 / 12) (#74)
by xpac on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 05:11:24 AM EST

Fuck you and woman who bore you you little piece of shit faggot. It's not even that I was offended by that joke, because I wasn't, it's the fact that you actually bothered to post that shit here of all places as if it weren't all over the internet already. Yes, it took Jesus 3 days to respawn, we get it, now fuck off back to your IRC clique and keep your shitty 1997 jokes there.

[ Parent ]
if you can't be creative in your rebuttal (none / 1) (#88)
by zrail on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 10:44:15 AM EST

then don't rebut. simple as that.

[ Parent ]
OK... (1.00 / 3) (#150)
by razygentry on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 07:57:39 AM EST

...if you'll fuck off back to your Christian clique and keep your shitty 32AD stories there.

[ Parent ]
Conservative Pope (2.63 / 11) (#33)
by svampa on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:34:04 AM EST

I also know that the church under his leadership has remained socially conservative, closed off to much of western modernity.

From a politic point of view, The Pope has been quite liberal (in the USA meaning of the word). Although obviously anti-communist, He has talked againsts the wild capitalism and against greed that creates poverty in the world.

From theologic point of view has been very, very conservative. He has restored the Devil as real being when modern theologist were turning the Devil from a real being into a metaphore of evil. He has stick on Verge. He has canonized more saints that any other Pope in the history (for a long shot).

From a moral point of view, he has sticked on no divorce,no condoms, no sexual relations out of marriage, no abort, no euthanasia. Besides the abort, and euthanasia that are still under debate, The other points are out of order, none nowadays , catholic or not, lives like that.



believe it or not (none / 0) (#226)
by mpalczew on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:25:00 PM EST

Alot of people still stay married. What's the point of getting married if you are going to get a divorce.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]
Point of getting married (none / 0) (#258)
by Fred_A on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 08:22:22 AM EST

Umm, lower taxes for one thing...

Fred in Paris
[ Parent ]

All the wrong moves (2.75 / 24) (#34)
by localroger on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 08:35:53 AM EST

I have found John Paul II's reign somewhat tragic. New Orleans is a very Catholic city so I tend to stay aware of what's going on in the Catholic church. There was a lot of hope that the Church would become better tuned to the real world with someone of John Paul II's background at the helm.

Unfortunately, the Church's involvement with the end of Communist rule is about the last really impressive thing that happened on John Paul II's watch.

There is no doubt that John Paul II did a lot of laudable things, starting with rehabilitating the Papal name of John Paul (look up the last Pope who called himself John Paul). And the Church has taken some surprisingly upright stands on political excesses and the environment.

The problem is that the Church no longer has the kind of power necessary to be effective in these noble goals. Countries don't consult the Church before invading each other. Corporations don't consult the Church before despoiling the environment. For the Roman Catholic Church to express such opinions isn't much different than for localroger to express them. It might make us look good in certain circles, but doesn't make any difference.

Meanwhile, in areas where the Church could make a difference because individuals who do listen to it do have the power to make a difference, John Paul II has taken a relentlessly atavistic stance. Nowhere is this more obvious or damaging than the Church's insane position on birth control technology. Millions of people actually do avoid birth control or use the totally unreliable rhythm method because the Holy See tells them to.

Even a small child can see how this leads to overpopulation, poverty, marginalization of women, and domestic abuse, but the instead of recognizing this and turning to a saner policy, the Church under John Paul II has relentlessly dug in its heels. This is an ongoing source of misery and poverty which the Church could really do something useful to change.

Meanwhile, it's nice and all that that they finally admitted Galileo might have had a point and that some of the stuff they did in the past might have been over the top and they should ask forgiveness and maybe Jesus wasn't a lily-white Caucasian and so on, but none of that buys us much today.

It's not all that heroic to apologize for crimes your ancestors committed centuries ago or to wag your finger at people who aren't going to listen to you anyway. Show me people who are living better today because of a difference you made in their lives and I'll be impressed.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer

small ways (2.33 / 6) (#35)
by minerboy on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:47:54 AM EST

many individuals have benifitted from actions of the church. I'm suprised that you don't value things like inspiration and hope. Making large numbers of people feel like part of a global movement has some value. Sure, there are many things in catholic doctrine I disagree with, but the global impact of this pope to make people feel empowered is undeniable. You can honor brave men, even if their cause is sometimes misguided.



[ Parent ]
Inspiration and Hope (2.90 / 11) (#37)
by localroger on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 11:53:07 AM EST

Inspiration and hope on their own are worse than useless. Hope was the last and most terrible thing to emerge from Pandora's box -- the most terrible, because without it sensible men would simply kill themselves rather than endure a world infested with all the other horrors that came out before it.

Inspiration created without an example of real works is just propaganda. Hope created when there is no real possibility of change is just a lie.

The major problem with Christianity going all the way back to Paul is its focus on the next world instead of this one. But it is in this world that the Church must find a way to live in harmony with others who do not share its faith and beliefs. I had high hopes for John Paul II when he ascended to the papacy, but in all the ways that really matter to me personally he failed it.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

well (1.66 / 3) (#54)
by minerboy on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 08:31:23 PM EST

Hope is good, regardless. But it is essential for situations where there is a chance to improve your circumstance.

Its true that Christians are primarily concerned with the afterlife. This is true of all mystically based religions.

If there is no afterlife, then how can you justify anything other than a Rand like philosophy of selfishness ?



[ Parent ]
Well... (3.00 / 6) (#55)
by localroger on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:06:25 PM EST

If there is no afterlife, then how can you justify anything other than a Rand like philosophy of selfishness ?

Well, when you attain a certain number of years (usually double digits, though in some cases the tens digit needs to be greater than or equal to two) you realize that pure selfishness doesn't work because the next guy could be just as selfish as you and he probably has a bigger crowbar.

Jesus himself put it best (in about the same words the Buddha used five hundred years earlier): Treat others the way you'd like to be treated yourself. And I'd add that you need to understand that your beliefs are as alien to them as theirs are to you. Be accordingly tolerant lest ye be intolerated yourself.

Oddly enough, despite disbelieving in an afterlife for 25 years now I've never found a Randian / Nietzchian / Egotist philosophy attractive, because nobody has ever demonstrated that they can be made to work in groups of people larger than one. All I want is a nice orderly world where people don't have to worry about random violence and disaster. Most people are willing to conform to a few rules to help that goal along, even without the threat of hell and an omnipotent accountant tracking their actions to spur them along.

Oh, and there are several very large mystically based religions that specifically do not claim that there is an afterlife. Judaism and pure Buddhism come directly to mind.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

No Nirvana ? (none / 0) (#79)
by minerboy on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 08:20:33 AM EST

Or Karma ? Budhism IS concerned with eternity. I've never considered Judaism a mystical religion, since the jewish mystics have been somewhat detached from the commonly practiced Judaism.

When you say "All I want is a nice orderly world where people don't have to worry about random violence and disaster. Most people are willing to conform to a few rules to help that goal along, even without the threat of hell and an omnipotent accountant tracking their actions to spur them along." Do you realize that you are being selfish? Societies bargain is a strategy for personal advantage. Judaism is a good example of a formalized version of this. You can justify any rule using this idea, as we see in current day Israel.

A last thought - Don't you still worry about random violence and disaster ?



[ Parent ]
Meh (3.00 / 4) (#87)
by localroger on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 10:44:02 AM EST

The pure Buddhist concept of reincarnation is considerably more abstract than the cross-Hindu version that is most popular. Most Christians that I have spoken with about this don't consider it an "afterlife" because, for one thing, the way it's portrayed very little of "you" survives. And the whole Karmic being-reincarnated-as-a-cockroach thing is really the Hindu influence. Buddhism is a syncretic religion precisely because it doesn't say anything too specific about the Deity, so it easily cross-pollinates with other faiths. There are even Christian-Buddhist and Islamic-Buddhist fusions.

Someone else mentioned Taoism, which would have been a better example. Taoism is only hard to get a handle on, grasshopper, if its squareness does not allow you to fit it into any of the round holes you have been trying to fit it in.

Judaism isn't a mystical religion? You either don't know what the religous concept of Mystery means, or you have conveniently defined it to mean only what it needs to mean to support your claim, Red Queen style. Either way it's not worth pursuing.

Same with the "selfishness" of wanting affluence for everybody. Only a Randian would define it that way, and I for one find Rand pretty juvenile. But she makes a great straw (wo)man if you're trying to discredit the whole idea of rational morality.

As for the existing risk of random violence and disaster, let me see. It was atheists who developed a lot of modern technology and medicine, while it was distinctly mystery-religion based kooks who flew the planes on 9/11 and held the Inquisition.

Not that this means atheists are pure or religionists are always evil; there are counterexamples. But it does mean that your religion has fuckall to do with whether you're a good person or not. As a pretty wise philosopher once said, you will know them by their works.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

The fact is (1.50 / 2) (#89)
by minerboy on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 11:40:22 AM EST

Without a belief in some type of higher authority, you act only in your own self interest, (if you don't like Rand, then maybe like Mill)



[ Parent ]
not a fact at all (3.00 / 4) (#90)
by aphrael on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 12:42:59 PM EST

Merely a myth promulgated by the religious. :)

[ Parent ]
Only for shallow people (3.00 / 6) (#94)
by localroger on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 01:57:42 PM EST

Without a belief in some type of higher authority, you act only in your own self interest

This statement reveals a lot more about you than it states about anything in the real world.

Of course you can take another dictionary approach and define anything that people do for any reason as being "self-interest" inasmuch as it's a thing they decide to do, but if you try that I'm sure someone who's had more than one semester of philosophy will use it to rip you to shreds.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

so why don't you answer (none / 0) (#117)
by minerboy on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 09:00:31 PM EST

Since your the expert philosopher. Surely you've had more than a semester of philosophy. Surely you can do better than an ad homenim, and a threat about what someone who really knows philosophy would do

So tell me, from where are your core values derived ? have you derived them logically ? Are you relying on childhood indoctrination ? How do you measure the success of your core values. How can you say your core values are any better than mine - how can you deny objective truth, but then be so smug about what is right ?

I think you want to be admired, and so you hate the thought of being seen as selfish. Maybe your parents criticized you for being selfish. You seem willing to be selfless with money, but not with Sexual behavior, or with drug use, or with abortion - we'll call those rights.



[ Parent ]
An answer (3.00 / 4) (#121)
by localroger on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 09:34:27 PM EST

...because I am not an expert philospher. I have had exactly one semester of philosophy. My response to you was not an ad hominem; I was not criticizing you. I was criticizing your stated position. Which I think is stupid. But there are people out there who can explain why a whole lot better than I can.

As for where I derive my core values, that is simple. I derive them from empathy. It is conceivable to me to reduce myself in order to increase someone else, not because it will benefit me in some well-calculated long run but simply because I like the idea that other people are doing well. If you don't feel that, there is nothing I can write here that will explain it to you. And if you don't feel it, there is nothing any god or God can tell you that will make it so. You either do or you don't.

That is what makes you a good person, or evil, or indifferent. It is a sense you have of other peoples' feelings.

If you have that, you will be a good person whether Christian or Muslim or Buddhist or atheist. If you don't have it, you will be an evil person whether Christian or Muslim or atheist. (You probably won't be a Buddhist, but there are rare exceptions there too.)

Your own infatuation with Rand and Mill betrays your emptiness. You have no core values; you depend on an external god-daddy to force you to act right. To me, that makes you pathetic and potentially dangerous. What am I to make of you O brother when you lose your faith, as I lost mine 25 years ago? Not all of us are cut from cloth so shallow that we might think God's absence an excuse for mayhem.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

empathy (none / 0) (#149)
by minerboy on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:54:58 AM EST

is ok, the root of the golden rule. The problem is how do you know your empathetic feelings are correct. Maybe I don't want what you think I want.

So you must have FAITH in your feelings. Why? could some force have hard wired you to feel this way ?

As to my core values - I haven't really mentioned them. I do like to put them up to scrutiny though, which means examining every side of an argument.



[ Parent ]
Knowing your feelings are correct. (none / 0) (#151)
by localroger on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:22:48 AM EST

You never know. The best you ever have is a sense that your motivations are consistent with a world that works. If you want more than that, you might as well try mining fairy dust.

David Hume tried to formalize this, and with regard to things like lying and murder his arguments work quite well. Where he failed (and where most of his critics get off the train) is that a lot of things they'd like to think are immoral cannot really be sanctioned by the Universalization Principle. My take on that is that maybe once you get past things like lying and murder, what other people do is none of my damn business.

Incidentally, I kind of wrote the bible with regard to not understanding what other people want, so I would raise your argument by suggesting that your god-daddy's imposed system of ethics isn't necessarily any better than my evolutionary hard wiring.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Maybe not (none / 0) (#217)
by minerboy on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 08:37:06 AM EST

God based ethical systems require that you understand God's will - if you don't then it's probably even worse than a gut feeling. Then again, we use myth to help us understand God, Joeseph Campbell would tell us that alot of myths are universal, so they have been hard wired too - I guess you can argue that these are evolutionary, but that seems to be a real strech.

God may have used evolution to hard wire us for benevolence

You may misunderstand God, and so see randomness where there is an over-riding purpose behind nature.

Then again, we are apparently also wired for war and violence in some circumstances. But there is Some force that drives us to find order in Chaos, and its not ilya Prigogine, but I used to think it was.



[ Parent ]
dear god.... (none / 1) (#142)
by tsunami on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:53:48 AM EST

(subject pun only partly intended ;P)

'The fact is... Without a belief in some type of higher authority, you act only in your own self interest'

I pity people who feel this way. I'm an agnostic, I don't believe in an afterlife and consider myself to be scientifically minded. However, the basic principles of tolerance, pity, caring, compassion, etc. taught by say, the New Testament, are still the principles that guide my life. 'Do unto others as they would unto you' - I don't care if this is Buddhist, Christian or whatever, I understand what it means and I follow it. I don't need to fear a vengeful God to force me to do the right thing - I WANT to do it.


--------------
I also saw a madman crazily pumping this polygon thing to roughly the same timing as a functional wank. - A Trolled An Anonymised Englishman
[ Parent ]
why do you want to do it ? (none / 0) (#148)
by minerboy on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 06:38:35 AM EST

Cuz it makes you feel good for some reason. Or, deep down you accept that these are things derived from a source higher than yourself.



[ Parent ]
Mu (none / 0) (#185)
by bgalehouse on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:30:29 PM EST

I am what I am. Asking for "height" of my origins isn't even a well defined question, and therefore it would be a dangerously useless sort of navel gazing to think about.

[ Parent ]
Your cup overfloweth (none / 1) (#184)
by bgalehouse on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 04:23:02 PM EST

Reading "Zen Flesh, Zen Bones" and similar, one has a rather inconsistant view of authority. Often, authority is just in the koan to be shot down. So I guess that students of Zen are selfish, with no concern for kindness to others. Funny though how so many acts of kindness appear it.

And look at how profitable vocal atheism is. I mean, look at how easy it is to find, say, the Skeptical Inquirer at the newstand. Such popularity! Easy to understand their motivations, isn't it?

Want to know a secret of life? People like being nice to each other. It isn't authority which allows people to make friends. Perhaps making friends is just selfishness in that I do it because it makes me feel good about myself. But, that is enough for me. Are you so insecure about your innate goodness? (or godliness if you prefer that term) Was your childhood so rough?

If so, you have my sympathy.

[ Parent ]

May I ask (none / 0) (#287)
by fhotg on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 05:40:37 PM EST

what prompted you to not believe in an afterlife 25 years ago ?
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]
Doublethink Failure (none / 0) (#294)
by localroger on Fri Apr 08, 2005 at 08:22:14 AM EST

My father was both a devout Baptist and a physics professor. Dad wasn't as loony as the more vocal fundies are now; he believed that the Genesis creation story was a metaphor, and that God used evolution as a tool to sculpt the world He intended to create. But we did attend church a minimum of twice a week, I went to Vacation Bible School every year, etc.

Around the age of fifteen I woke up one day and simply couldn't make it work in my head any more. I realized that other people believed just as devoutly in their religions as my parents did in theirs, and that the only reason I particularly favored the Southern Baptist Convention was because of my upbringing. And no religion seemed to have the sense of order and usefulness that science did, so I became a pretty rabid atheist.

Years later I had some transcendant experiences that made me re-evaluate staunch atheism, but while I now realize science may not provide all the answers I still don't believe there is any chance that our ultimate reality consists of anything like the Christian system with its daddy-God, heaven and hell, and so on.

Incidentally, my parents also eventually became disillusioned by the hypocrisy and creeping fundamentalism of their church, and today they are agnostics who complain insessantly about the pervasive religionism in this part of the country.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

classic (none / 0) (#296)
by fhotg on Sun Apr 10, 2005 at 07:02:20 PM EST

Thanks for the extended answer.

Same here, except devout parents, so rationalis-atheist paradigm settled in earlier. Your 3. paragraph here.

The main promblem for me now is related to other people who are practising - say catholics -here:
Take somebody intelligent and likeable of that kind. I can feel that his religion is an integral part of his personality and very important to stay happy. However, I can't figure out how and why so.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]

overbroad (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by aphrael on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:42:51 PM EST

taoism is mystically based and is particularly unconcerned with the afterlife.

[ Parent ]
Taoism (none / 1) (#81)
by minerboy on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 08:25:46 AM EST

Is concerned with immortality, so that you are judged by how old you are. The older you are, the more one with nature you are, aand there are folk tales of great masters living 1000 years, so avoiding death is still imporatnt. Taoism is hard to pin down though, grasshopper.



[ Parent ]
Pragmatic rationalism (none / 0) (#67)
by Anonymous Howards End on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 01:50:02 AM EST

Cretin.
--
CodeWright, you are one cowardly hypocritical motherfucker.
[ Parent ]
Stop being a total loser. (none / 1) (#158)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 09:37:56 AM EST

Being a bitchy cynic doesn't make you a tough guy.  It's a big world, get out there.

[ Parent ]
Go away (none / 0) (#224)
by Anonymous Howards End on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:23:48 PM EST

Or I will be forced to fling my excrement at you.
--
CodeWright, you are one cowardly hypocritical motherfucker.
[ Parent ]
You have the Pandora story backwards. (none / 0) (#177)
by Russell Dovey on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:42:16 PM EST

Hope is the absence of the only evil that stayed in the box; perfect knowledge of the future. Hope is all we have left.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

It is intentionally ambiguous (none / 0) (#178)
by localroger on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 02:19:17 PM EST

See this essay which makes your explanation of Hope's place in Pandora's box, but goes on to almost exactly duplicate my complaint with it.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
However... (none / 0) (#249)
by mcgrew on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 09:24:37 PM EST

"Inspiration created without an example of real works is just propaganda. Hope created when there is no real possibility of change is just a lie"

His inspiration inspired people to change the world. His hope was borne out and made real.

The optimist says the glass is half full. The pessimist says the glass is half empty. The realist asks if half a glass is enough. The scientist measures the amount of liquid in the glass. The Christian thanks God for the drink.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

I agree, Hitler was a great man (1.50 / 4) (#66)
by Anonymous Howards End on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 01:49:23 AM EST

Cretin.
--
CodeWright, you are one cowardly hypocritical motherfucker.
[ Parent ]
but he failed miserably (none / 0) (#227)
by minerboy on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:40:29 PM EST

So how can you say that ?



[ Parent ]
They never found his body (none / 0) (#263)
by Anonymous Howards End on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 04:58:08 PM EST

It ain't over 'till it's over.
--
CodeWright, you are one cowardly hypocritical motherfucker.
[ Parent ]
You could think of it this way (none / 0) (#59)
by jd on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:07:45 PM EST

Pope John Paul I had a much more radical agenda to bring peace and hope into the world. He never presented it, being conveniently dead prior to doing so. Even allowing for the possibility of natural causes, John Paul II might well have decided to pick his battles more carefully.

(Indeed, Father Malachi Martin alleged that the Vatican was in the process of a major civil war. True, there is no solid proof, but you don't need proof that muggers exist to know that you don't walk down dark alleys alone screaming about how you're rich.)

I think it wise to assume that John Paul II had some level of stubborn conservatism that interfered with rational thinking. Given his upbringing, that would not be surprising. I think it also wise to assume that he wanted to get some element of liberalism and modernism into the Church, and tried to avoid battles that might end up with a far worse situation and/or him dead on the floor.

He may well have been able to accomplish more - we will never really know. But, let's face reality, he DID accomplish more than John Paul I with his all-new futuristic vision. That has to be worth something.

[ Parent ]

Conspiration (none / 0) (#77)
by svampa on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 08:07:13 AM EST

I think you go too far accepting rumour as fact.

There are theories that say that John Paul I was murdered, but they are only suported by his sudden death. No evidences, no facts.

I'm sure that in the Cathilic Church, as in eany other human oganization, there there are different and opposite point of views and policy. But why do you directtly supouse that they use murder as a politic mean?.

World is not the movie "Goodfather III"



[ Parent ]
Oh, that's very true. (none / 0) (#98)
by jd on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 03:49:54 PM EST

There's absolutely no proof, and I don't hold to know one way or the other. My point is that Pope John Paul II is likely to have had an opinion, and if in his opinion, Pope John Paul I was murdered, he'd likely act according to that belief. Whether anyone was actually murdered is not the point. People act according to what they believe to be true, not according to what actually happened.

John Paul II came from a country which had been overrun by the Germans in a treacherous, murderous attack. During World War II, the Germans knew he was actively assisting Jews to escape and working with the resistance. After the war, he worked with the resistance groups against Communism in Poland.

In other words, he lived the bulk of his life in situations that could have got him murdered over his views. From his perspective, why would the Vatican be any different? I'm not talking how the Vatican really is, because I have no way of knowing. I'm talking purely in terms of how those rumors would play into his own real experiences.

From his standpoint, I cannot see any reason why he'd have any more trust in the safety of the Vatican than in the safety of German-run or Communist-run Poland.

I question most conspiracy theories, but what I do NOT question is that some people have backgrounds which make them predisposed to believing them, and therefore predisposed to acting as if the conspiracy theory was true.

That is a very different matter.

[ Parent ]

Anti-Conspiracy Theory of History (none / 0) (#115)
by adavies42 on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 08:31:49 PM EST

This reminds me of the Anti-Conspiracy Theory of History described in one of Ken Mcleod's books. Basically, it states that many otherwise inexplicable historical events become comprehensible if you know the conspiracy theories in which the people involved believed.

[ Parent ]
I would accept that line of thinking (none / 0) (#132)
by jd on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 12:51:05 AM EST

People very, very rarely operate in a vaccuum. Equally, they tend not to operate on full information either.

I am going to suggest that an observation by the psychologist R. D. Laing - that certain classes of otherwise untreatable mental illness could be treated if you understood what the patient experienced as a result of that illness.

The "general" formula might be: Any person's behavior is a consequence of their interpretation of reality. If you understand the ingredients that go into that interpretation, you will understand the behavior that followed.

However, not all ingredients are going to be equally potent. It would seem reasonable that, since conspiracy theories often deal with treachery, deceit and death - very powerful motifs - any conspiracy theory a person does believe in will be amongst the most powerful influences, if not the most.

As cultural values and family of origin value are the earliest and most ingrained of all other perceptions, those would seem to be the next-most powerful influences. A great deal of modern psychology has focussed on these specific areas for exactly these reasons.

[ Parent ]

Addendum (none / 0) (#210)
by nymia_g on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:35:15 AM EST

Meanwhile, it's nice and all that that they finally admitted Galileo might have had a point

Galileo's book title Dialogo simply presented the orbits according to what the Greeks saw. His Dialogo was not a work entirely of himself, he had a body of science already standing on. The church simply had no choice but to support the status quo and thus put Galileo to shame despite his correct observations. Everybody (intellectuals) knew the Greeks had this all along.

bibl.
1) http://www.tiscali.co.uk/reference/encyclopaedia/hutchinson/m0003841.html
2) http://www.kcl.ac.uk/depsta/iss/library/speccoll/scitre/dialogue.html

[ Parent ]
The Pope (2.60 / 15) (#36)
by givemegmail111 on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:38:36 AM EST

It was he who stood as the foremost advocate for the notion that there was a Truth besides that which the state had authorized

Kind of ironic statement about the head of an organization that itself claims to be the sole arbiter of truth.

Look, I'm sure the guy did great things in Poland under communism. I'm not qualified to argue that. But it doesn't change the fact that he was head of the Catholic church and bears responsibility for many of its recent actions, such as encouraging the spread of AIDS in underdeveloped countries by telling people condoms are useless against it. I'll be the first to say that modern Catholicism is far less despicable than many of the other prominent sects of Christianity, but it is still entirely lacking in good features. The Pope has the final say-so in church matters, and the failings of the church are the failings of the Pope. The fact that this Pope is less evil than other Popes doesn't mean that we should ignore what he stands for, even as he lies on his deathbed.



--
McDonalds: i'm lovin' it
Start your day tastefully with a Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle, only at McDonalds.
Rusty fix my sig, dammit!

condoms can give you a false sense of security (2.00 / 4) (#51)
by Adam Rightmann on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 06:25:23 PM EST

they're like playing Russian Roulette with a 20 chamber revolver and one bullet, instead of a 6 chamber revolver.

[ Parent ]
Not quite so bad (2.75 / 4) (#62)
by curien on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 12:32:42 AM EST

But I agree with the warning. Condoms are 98% effective when used "properly", but studies show that they're 87% effective in "real-world usage" scenarios. In this case, the percentage is rate of conception per year (not per act of coitus). So, more accurately, relying solely on condoms is like playing plain-jane Russian roulette (one bullet in a six-shooter) once a year, unless you're extra-careful.

--
This sig is umop apisdn.
[ Parent ]
100/13 = 7.69 (none / 1) (#188)
by shambles on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:29:50 PM EST

....so even if you round it down it's a seven cyclinder gun.

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
[ Parent ]
And abstinence a 2/1 (3.00 / 3) (#78)
by svampa on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 08:14:38 AM EST

You can't rely on abstinece, human nature is not like that. When ever you fail in chastity, the best bet is condoms.



[ Parent ]
While you can't rely on others abstaining (2.20 / 5) (#175)
by Anonymous Hiro on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:11:17 PM EST

You can usually make the choice for yourself.

Anyway I figure the priorities/order should be:

  1. Education
  2. Abstinence
  3. Condoms
Whereas a LOT of organizations seem to ignore the abstinence and go straight to promoting condoms, and arguing silly stuff like "young people will be young people" (what a cop-out).

Thing is, sex for a significant number of people isn't just "another bodily function" like eating/drinking/shitting. It affects their minds and "hearts" significantly. It's not called "making love" (or similar terms) by many for nothing.

Basically if these people have sex with someone before they really know what they are getting into, they often end up "addicted"/bonded to someone who really isn't compatible with them (and sometimes not as bonded to them).

Yeah, the youth have raging hormones and they are strong. But those very hormones are good enough reason you should advise them to not just go having sex with someone just because they are attractive, available and condoms are free and plentiful...

Go check out the study with prairie voles vs montane voles, and the hormones involved. Humans probably range from one end of the spectrum to the other.

For example: many people don't get addicted to cigarettes either. But it doesn't mean everyone can deal with them.

So it's probably best for youth/people to figure out more about themselves AND the other party before having sex - e.g. whether they'd tend to be "addicted" or not... Even if you're fine with one night stands etc, unless you're a sadist/masochist you don't want someone obsessing over you, pestering you (or worse stalking you) way after you thought it ended (like 5 minutes after the act).

Abstinence may make for some frustration and pain, but youthful love/infatuation appears to generate enough stresses already (just from observing the youth at my church...). Adding sex is likely to make things harder.

Condoms don't protect the hearts/minds involved. Remember: I'm not saying you can't get emotionally hurt without sex. Far from it.

It's just like when you see children play-fighting. You know there's a chance they might get hurt, so you warn them against fighting (for real), and you separate them if things look like they are getting out of hand. It's part of the human domestication process - teaching the physical, mental AND cultural limits of what one can do with one's body and what one can do to/with the other person's body...

You don't just give them all helmets and say fighting with anyone is fine as long as everyone has helmets, even though the helmets will protect them 99% of the time.

[ Parent ]

Come on (none / 1) (#190)
by svampa on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:00:38 PM EST

Sex has been with us since always, and will be with us forever. No matter the arguments you try to rationalize sex, sex will never be rational.

Sex "illness" has "attacked" men and women since the first man and woman. Sex has "attacked" saints, kings, queens, genious, dumbs, rich, poor ...

Because of sex, intelligent people, policians, kings, queens have taken the risk and lost charge, fortunes, even lifes. Saliors in old times knew the punishment of death for homosexual relations, but even then they use to do it in long trips. Man have had sex with queens, knowing both that they could loose their head....From west to east, from USA to Japan, from wild tribes to NASA

Important families must hide "unexpected" babies, some of them abort.

Oscar Wilde was homosexual when it was punished with jail, and wouldn't called him stupid, and he finally went to the jail.

Bejamin Franklin confessed relations with whores, knowing the risk of syphilis, those times as mortal as AIDS today. And I remember in his memories that he told that tried to make love to a friend's wife, she denied, and he lost a friend.

The best solution to have sex under control is to have sex. In less developed cutures, tribes etc, the solutions is quiet easy, they get married when they are 13,14,15,16 years, that is, as soon as their sexual instincts awake. Perhaps we should do that but with condoms.

All your speach is like every speach, "How the society should be educate childs to make crime disapear". Just utopies that hurt because deny reality.



[ Parent ]
Right. (none / 0) (#202)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:14:46 PM EST

That explains why the teen birth rate in the U.S. shot up in the 1960's through the 1980's - because kids had always been having sex, but now they had access to birth control.

Oh, wait.

On the other hand you have the sexual exploits of two, count'em, two, famous men. What, did you forget Henry the 8th?

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

teen birth rate (none / 0) (#223)
by aphrael on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 11:31:16 AM EST

Is the teen birth rate in the 1970s and 1980s actually any higher than it was in the 1890s? My guess is no - but that the ones in the 1890s were born to married teens instead of unmarried ones.

I'm leery of anything which sets the 1950s as a baseline for historical normalcy.

[ Parent ]

Of course. (none / 0) (#230)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:41:10 PM EST

So, what's your explanation for believing the 1950's featured  abnormally low sexual activity?

And, if that's true, wouldn't that still prove the point that sexual activity can be controlled?

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

You're off-base here (none / 0) (#254)
by Eccles on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 12:35:33 AM EST

You responded to a post that *didn't* claim the 50's had abnormally low sexual activity, just that more of it was within the bounds of wedlock. Meanwhile this article claims 10-14 year olds were less likely to get pregnant in 2002 than in any year in the 1950's.

[ Parent ]
doh (none / 0) (#219)
by Anonymous Hiro on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 10:31:53 AM EST

Ignorance has been with us since always, and blahblahblah.

Same for the poor.
Same for the stupid.
And the same for death.

What's your point again?

The thing about sexual diseases nowadays, it's mainly the stupid, ignorant and poor who die/suffer.

And the people who can't control themselves.

"The best solution to have sex under control is to have sex."

That's fine if you're talking about survival of the fittest at an individual level being the best solution.

But civilisation isn't just an individual thing. In order to post your message, you had to rely on the work of thousands and thousands of other people. Survival of the fittest culture/civilisation.

"In less developed cutures, tribes etc, the solutions is quiet easy, they get married when they are 13,14,15,16 years, that is, as soon as their sexual instincts awake. "

Uh. And most of them die before 50. They're called "less developed" for a reason.

Why should we blindly follow their example?

Most of these tribal cultures haven't been proven to scale well past a few hundred people. In fact many appear to scale rather poorly. Look at Africa for examples.

Pick a culture that will thrive and grow. Not one that's heading towards self-destruction or extinction.

FWIW, MTV/Hollywood aren't good choices either.


[ Parent ]

I believe thats a 50 chamber gun (3.00 / 2) (#101)
by edmo on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 04:32:24 PM EST

if you want to get the math right...

[ Parent ]
Guys, get out of your cushy sofas. (none / 1) (#109)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 06:44:59 PM EST

A woman that is going to be brutalized by her  husband in the Philipinnes or Kenya just can't say no to his idiotic partner.

A condomn may be the only protection she has against AIDS, thus your stupid statistics games (which show that you don't understand statistics in any case) are completely irrelevant since some protection is better than no protection.

In  serious studies condoms have a high rate of effectivity (85% in the worst cases) which improves up to 95% or more if both partners are educated in how to use it.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]

condoms... popular with brutalizers everywhere... (2.71 / 7) (#136)
by issachar on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:12:24 AM EST

Okay, now I don't have a problem with birth control although I do know that extra-marital sex is bad for you.

Having said that, I don't think a wife beater is a good example for you. I just don't think a wife-beater in Kenya is really going to take it well when his wife asks him to put on a condom. Keep in mind this is the land where sleeping with a virgin is supposed to cure aids in the minds of many.

What's the wife supposed to say? "I need you to wear this, so I won't get the terminal disease you probably picked up the from the hookers you have sex with?"

I think the problems with AIDS and sex in Africa go WAY beyond simply needing condoms.


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

Except... (none / 1) (#169)
by Eccles on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:43:05 AM EST

With disease, a percentage reduction in transfer rates can result in a much greater reduction in the disease rate in an overall population. The reason is that not only are you less likely to get the disease from an infected partner, but (if condoms or whatever are widely used) your partner is also less likely to be infected in the first place.

[ Parent ]
Only, unlike the roulette, (none / 0) (#215)
by ksandstr on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 07:06:48 AM EST

Your head doesn't get blown off if you happen to get unlucky. Laying on the drama a bit thick, aren't we?

Then again, I would guess that you'd rather play russian roulette with a semiautomatic instead of a revolver.

Fin.
[ Parent ]

Papal Trance (1.33 / 3) (#40)
by lookout on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 01:44:32 PM EST

If you want to hear him jammin', listen to "Papal Trance" (free download here)

RIP (1.25 / 4) (#45)
by nkyad on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 04:21:32 PM EST

In April 2th at 21:37 PM, Roman Time, Karol Josef Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II, was pronounced dead.

This article looked like the right place to left a notice.

Resquiat in Pace.

.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


Your Latin needs brushing up (3.00 / 2) (#49)
by lookout on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:55:30 PM EST

It's requiescat, 3rd person singular present subjunctive of requiescere, to rest.
The subjunctive mood in this case expresses a hope, a desire: may he rest...

[ Parent ]
I have no idea if that's correct... (3.00 / 2) (#191)
by Arvedui on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:32:42 PM EST

...but it certainly SOUNDS authoritative! That's good enough for me!

[ Parent ]
Regardless of one's views... (2.86 / 15) (#48)
by jd on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:50:47 PM EST

Does it really matter if you like or dislike his personal politics? He did some things I consider extraordinary that few - if any - of the rest of us would be prepared to do.

  1. He forgave his attempted killer, and pleaded on his behalf. Name me another world leader who had compassion on those who, frankly, wanted him dead. Seems to me, there's at least 54% of America that hasn't got that kind of guts.
  2. He fought against what he, personally, saw as needless, senseless death. It didn't matter to him what it was called, it mattered to him that he could not be both pro-life and pro-murder. (Most so-called Pro-Life people are in States that have the death penalty and have high execution rates. The Pope condemned such hypocritical thinking. To him, life was life was life was sacred.)
  3. He risked potentially inflamable politics in the Vatican where there resides an unknown number of killers who could not be trusted to not kill again. In other words, he risked his neck to say what he felt was worth saying.

I don't have to agree with all of his views, but there seems little doubt that he saw goodness in everyone - however "evil" - whether he knew how to draw that goodness out or not. Too many leaders prefer to see the evil in others, rejecting any good they might do as a "ploy".

His sense of ethics don't match mine, but that doesn't matter. I salute him because he DID have ethics - consistant ethics - under a dangerous environment, and so many don't have any at all, yet are protected in so many ways.

I'm saddened.. (2.50 / 4) (#56)
by Magnetic North on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:19:45 PM EST

that you find those characteristics to be outstanding in any way.

--
<33333
[ Parent ]
A warrior salutes his enemy (3.00 / 13) (#58)
by jd on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:52:23 PM EST

THAT is what makes a true warrior. Hating someone because they are "the enemy" is the way of an intellectual coward and a moral slime-bucket. Which is why I regard President Bush as more akin to a snail than a person.

Hating "the enemy", turning them into something "sub human" because we don't happen to agree... That is not the mark of enlightenment, that is the mark of a fundamentalist xenophobe who cannot tolerate difference.

The mark of a human being is how they treat other human beings. Pope John Paul II valued all human beings, "good" and "bad", because he wasn't afraid of their right to hold their views. He was one of the most human people I think the world has seen in a long time.

So, take your sadness and find somewhere useful to put it. If you would be saddened by the humanity of others, or by the praising of that humanity, regardless of what views you may have, then your sadness isn't wanted.

President Bush has never admitted that he has ever done anything wrong. Sorry, but whatever he is, he ain't God. He has done things that he knows damn well are wrong. That isn't worthy of respect, that isn't even worthy of being spit on.

Whatever John Paul's faults may have been, I doubt that being a conniving tyrant who has ordered the murder of others are amongst them. If that is the kind of person Amnerica values, then I am saddened for America, because freedom and humanity there are dead.

If that is what you want, save your sadness for yourself. You need it much more than I.

[ Parent ]

True warriors (none / 0) (#65)
by Anonymous Howards End on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 01:45:48 AM EST

Kind of tend to be assholes.  So you can keep that.
--
CodeWright, you are one cowardly hypocritical motherfucker.
[ Parent ]
we're all assholes (3.00 / 2) (#124)
by circletimessquare on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 10:53:42 PM EST

warriors are just the ones who are honest it

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
You're from New York (2.00 / 2) (#157)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 09:30:31 AM EST

and almost by default broken therefore; so your comment can be disregarded.

[ Parent ]
Fucking wimp. (1.00 / 3) (#84)
by pestilence on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 10:21:21 AM EST




A documented gay hook-up
[ Parent ]
forgave his killer (none / 0) (#137)
by nobrowser on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:16:33 AM EST

The collapsing McKinley said, as his assassin was
led away, "Don't harm him!"

Like one if the other posters, I find it
depressing that this is now seen as the mark
of saintliness.


[ Parent ]

So, because McKinley said it (none / 0) (#201)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:08:17 PM EST

the Pope is worthless for doing the same?

Or, rather, shouldn't we all aspire to be as "Christian" as McKinley?

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

"consistant ethics?" He had none (none / 0) (#248)
by mcgrew on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 09:21:28 PM EST

He needed no ethics. He had morals, something you athiests, agnostics, liberals, and Republicans should try to obtain. They beat the holy HELL out of ethics.

Ethics are for people who don't know right from wrong.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

-1 pope was enemy of communism. (1.15 / 19) (#50)
by communistpoet on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:55:36 PM EST

and casual sex.

We must become better men to make a better world.
Statistics (2.85 / 7) (#52)
by jd on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 07:20:41 PM EST

Statistics on John Paul II's Pontificate (based on a summary by the Associated Press, snide comments by me)

He visted 129 countries in 104 foreign visits, covering 723,723 miles - about three times the distance to the moon. The number is also cyclic.

He issued 14 encyclicals, 15 apostolic exhortations, 11 apostolic constitutions, 44 apostolic letters and 2,416 foreign speeches.

On the santhood front, he beatified 1,338 people in 147 ceremonies and canonized 482 people in 51 ceremonies, which is more than all other Popes in the past 500 years combined have managed. Most Popes earlier than that were hell-bent on removing saints they didn't like, so he's probably done more to bring respect and honor to others than most in his position.

He was the third-longest serving Pope, at 26 years, five months, 17 days. He managed 12 more hours than the Vatican had expected, but apparently Popes don't get an hourly rate.

He also found time to publish four books as Pope and wrote a fifth. True, that's not many as authors go these days, but it's not bad for someone with a full-time career.

and evidently (none / 0) (#53)
by aphrael on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 07:32:19 PM EST

he was a published playwright before he became pope.

[ Parent ]
More Statistics (none / 1) (#64)
by jd on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 12:40:53 AM EST

Peter Gould, of the British Broadcasting Corporation, is quoted on their website as observing: I see from a calculator in my computer that the life of Karol Wojtyla spanned exactly 31,000 days. His papacy, the third longest, lasted 9,665 days.

Do you think any right-minded Pope would want to be remembered for lasting 9,666 days? Not only did he outwit the Vatican's estimates by 12 hours or so, but he outwit the End-Of-The-World'ers, too, who would undoubtably pick up on anything that had 666 in it. That's an impressive feat for someone half-dead from organ failure and a bazillion types of bacterial infection.

31,000 also demonstrates a flair of geekiness in the Pope. (Since geeks start at 0, 31 is the largest number you can represent in 5 bits. He was obviously a European geek, though, as he insisted on a power of ten finish, rather than a power of two. Typically SI, but appropriate.)

One other piece of trivia. Spitting Image's puppet of Pope John Paul II (heavy metal rock star) was probably one of their best and one of their most popular. (I think their Queen Mum puppet was the most popular.) Interestingly, it never created the uproar that their Jesus puppet (long-haired Dylan-like Hippie) or God puppet (suspense/thriller author) did. Mind you, in the current climate, I doubt there are many places outside of England or Canada where those sketches could be shown without the broadcaster getting burned at the stake.

[ Parent ]

Removing saints you don't like... (none / 0) (#200)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:57:46 PM EST

Well - a lot of the traditional "saints" were actually pagan gods dressed up as Christians (Saint George, for one. Also, according to one story I've heard, Saint Josephat was actually a representation of Buddha.)

Paul VI cleaned a lot of those off the roster, which made room in the heavenly choir, I guess.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Not saint George (none / 0) (#297)
by the womble on Mon Apr 11, 2005 at 09:47:16 AM EST

St George is a historical cahracter, although legends have grown around him. AFAIK there are at least two historical people who may have been the St George (the most likely being a Roman soldier), both Arabs who were martyred during the Roman persecution of Christians.

[ Parent ]
Weird question... (none / 1) (#61)
by The Amazing Idiot on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 11:30:22 PM EST

As an aside to the Pope (may he rest in peace), this concerms Catholic Churches everywhere..

Where the US finds a legitimate Catholic Church (as in found by the US government to be a non-profit religious org), could it be seen that each Catholic Church be an embassy to the Holy See ?

The Holy See is, after all, a 10 mile by 10 mile square plot of land in Rome.. Its own country in its right.

So, is each individual Catholic Church an embassy, and obtains rights therof?

No, they're not (none / 0) (#63)
by curien on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 12:39:11 AM EST

Certain procedures must be taken in order for something to become an embassy. They are a bit more complicated than simple 501(c)3 tax status, and I doubt that many (if any) churches have bothered to do so.

Whether there's even a legal leg for it to stand on is an interesting question. If a church tried, would they get approved?

--
This sig is umop apisdn.
[ Parent ]

Countries don't... (3.00 / 3) (#102)
by DavidTC on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 04:38:15 PM EST

...buy land and apply to be an embassy. They are invited to build an embassy somewhere. Sometimes they are told 'take this piece of land', sometimes they are told 'just find one near here for sell'.

And, BTW, the 'country' is Vatican City. The Holy See is a different international organization, like the International Red Cross, and has similiar 'sovereign' rights and UN observer status to the Red Cross. (Well, the Red Cross has a bunch of extra rights...a better comparison would be the 'Knights of Malta', but no one knows who they are'.)

Whereas Vatican City is just a normal small country, with all the rights that countries have. It could actually have a vote in the UN, except I believe it has declined to do so.

The Holy See exists independent from Vatican City...it's over a thousand years old. They are just both operated by the Church.

Yes, it's rather confusing, I know.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

this is off a tangent but.... (none / 0) (#228)
by The Amazing Idiot on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:57:31 PM EST

The CIA views "Vatican City" and the "Holy See" as the same entity.

http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/vt.html

Thats where I was getting my information, though they could be wrong.

[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 1) (#251)
by DavidTC on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 10:19:14 PM EST

...the status of the Holy See and Vatican City is very odd. On the surface, Vatican City appears to be a normal nation, that also calls itself the Holy See.

However, you don't enter into diplomatic relations with it, you enter into them with the Holy See, and, more to the people, people entered into them before Vatican City exists, which is rather surreal if Vatican City is indeed the same thing. (In fact, Vatican City itself was formed via treat between Italy and the Holy See.)

The Holy See's been around for about thousand years before Vatican City existed, and had at times has held large amounts of power in many nation. (The US, BTW, only has diplomatic relations with Vatican City, or at least, the Holy See representing Vatican City.) If you start pretending just Vatican City exists, than you get a pretty screwy view of European history. :)

Likewise, there are logical problems with defining Vatican City as an actual nation. A nation requires a government over its citizens. Vatican City, however, was built as a location for administation for an transnational organization, it didn't have any geographical existence (or citizens) before hand. Just because it's been granted sovereignity by treaty doesn't make it a 'nation'. Vatican City is arguable not a real nation for the same reason that the UN isn't one and an embassy isn't one...just being sovereign territory isn't enough, you have to be a government over people who live there. Italy cannot just randomly cut up unused territory, stick a few hundred people in there, and make hundreds of nations. ;)

Likewise, Vatican City has outsourced its ability to make treaties to the Holy See. (Or actually has never claimed it.) If you let people who do that be nations, every state in the US is a nation. ;)

So the whole situtation is fairly weird. The US likes to pretend that 'Vatican City' is a real nation, even though when they talk to someone, that person will be from the Holy See. Other nations, especially Catholic ones, have diplomatic relations with the Holy See. The UN has the Holy See as an observer, and ignores Vatican City.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Minor quibble. (none / 0) (#259)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 09:33:03 AM EST

The states of the US are prohibited by the constitution from entering into treaties with foreign governments.

Originally, that was the primary function of the federal government - presenting a common face to the rest of the world even if, internally, we were as divided as the EU is today.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

I think the states are. (none / 0) (#290)
by DavidTC on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 08:00:14 PM EST

I was just pointing out that 'thingies with their own government' can't make treaties. You have to actually be a sovereign nation, or a 'sovereign organization'. US states are not sovereign, I point you to the Civil War as deciding that. So couldn't enter treaties anyway. (Or Puerto Rico, for a better example. Not a state, can't enter treaties because it's not a sovereign nation.)

Anyway VC isn't sovereign, as it exists due to a treaty between the Holy See and Italy, and presumably they could, together, dissolve Vatican City. Not internally, as it were, which all nations can dissolve, but externally.

And there is some question as to whether Vatican City is a nation at all, because it was made backwards, and everyone there works for the government, or doesn't work at all.

It's a really weird situtation. It's something that looks like a sovereign nation, but is controlled by a 'sovereign organization', thus isn't actually sovereign itself, and was created and populated as an apolitical administrative district, and thus isn't actually a nation either.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Sorry - I misread your post. (none / 0) (#292)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 11:55:43 PM EST

I thought you were saying that the individual states could enter into treaties.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
Papal States (none / 0) (#265)
by aphrael on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 06:30:56 PM EST

the Vatican City is, in essence, the modern-day incarnation of the Papal States, which had de facto been abolished by Italy in 1860.

[ Parent ]
No. (none / 1) (#106)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 06:18:54 PM EST

The Vatican State nominates ambassadors and has embassies like any other country. These representations may have fancy names (in Spanish they are called "Nunciaturas Apostolicas", not "Embajadas").

You guy in USia get the strangest ideas about the Catholic Church...

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]

Comes from being founded by (none / 0) (#199)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:53:58 PM EST

people who thought the pope was the anti-christ.

Remember, it wasn't that long ago that many Americans thought a Catholic shouldn't be elected president, because he would owe his allegiance to the vatican.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Yeah, well (none / 0) (#225)
by The Amazing Idiot on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:39:22 PM EST

Someone took care of that single incident.

Now we have a Catholic Hater as a president. And the sheep couldnt be happier.

[ Parent ]

Uh.... (none / 0) (#231)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:42:16 PM EST

Now we have a Catholic Hater as a president.

Would you care to back up that assertion?

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Bob Jones University. (none / 0) (#234)
by The Amazing Idiot on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:48:58 PM EST

Was Bush Jr's home base for 2000 elections agianst Gore.

The uni is predominately against Catholics.

You can do the rest of the research.

[ Parent ]

Impressive (none / 0) (#241)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 08:46:35 PM EST

It's impressive how one campaign visit becomes his "home base".

BTW, what's your opinion of the Senate's reigning KKK member?

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Historical Extraterritoritality of Churches (none / 0) (#222)
by tassach on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 11:09:28 AM EST

IIRC, up until modern times a Catholic church, convent, or monestary WAS a de-facto embassay.  In pre-Reformation Europe (and possibly later), all church lands were outside the domain of secular law, in exactly the same manner that a modern embassy is.

This is what empowered the Church to grant the Right of Sanctuary (or more accurately, why the secular governments of the day acknowledged it).

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants" -- Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Can one of you cultists explain this to me (1.46 / 13) (#70)
by Anonymous Howards End on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 03:00:23 AM EST

Your god speaks directly to the pope, right?  So, does she wait until the cardinals have picked the new one?  What if they get the wrong one?  What if she starts speaking to a different guy?  Can they call a Mulligan and fix it, or are they stuck with the wrong guy?  Can the cardinals compell her to talk to their choice?  What if god starts speaking to a woman?

I'm really thinking of switching to catholicism, but not having the urge to ask questions beaten out of me as a child, there's a just a few more questions along these lines that I'd like answered first.
--
CodeWright, you are one cowardly hypocritical motherfucker.

God doesn't speak directly to anyone (3.00 / 3) (#71)
by kamera on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 03:09:45 AM EST

That includes the pope. According to Catholics, that is.

And for your question about whether God chooses a woman, check out Pope Joan. No one knows for sure whether the myth is true, but shortly afterward the Vatican took to checking whether new popes had testicles. They sat in this chair with a hole in the bottom, and the youngest cardinal reached up and made sure nothing was missing.

"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live." -- Oscar Wilde
[ Parent ]

"He has testicles!" (none / 0) (#83)
by forgotten on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 08:36:34 AM EST

"Thanks be to God!"

--

[ Parent ]

Ummm... (none / 0) (#197)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:49:47 PM EST

Actually, Catholics do, in fact, believe in a "personal" God - i.e. they believe that God talks to me personally, and to you, and to AHE, and to bin Laden, for that matter.

If you're saying that God doesn't, you know, "incarnate" with a big poof of smoke - well, why would He? Would it help? Pat Robertson claims God speaks to him all the time - does that make him a more credible religious leader?

Personally, I have trouble holding an intelligent conversation when I've just pissed myself, so I'm glad He hasn't singled me out for that kind of attention, thanks.

How did George Burns put it?

Jesus was the Son of God. You are the Son of God. The guy who charged you ten dollars for that steak is the Son of God.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 1) (#193)
by LodeRunner on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 09:19:13 PM EST

...John Paul I, John Paul II's predecessor, did die 30 days after he was elected. Maybe that was their god's way of saying they picked the wrong guy. ;-)

---
"dude, you can't even spell your own name" -- Lode Runner
[ Parent ]

You probably should have (none / 0) (#198)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:51:19 PM EST

changed your sig before trying to claim you were thinking of converting - the troll would have worked better.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
Ugh, what a fat ugly troll you are (none / 0) (#246)
by mcgrew on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 09:19:22 PM EST

Take lessons or something, even I'm not going to bite on that. Jesus, trolls are losers, making you a loser among losers. Loser.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

If you love the Pope so much.... (1.00 / 32) (#73)
by Fred Durst Has A Posse on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 04:13:50 AM EST

...why don't you dig him up and suck his dick?

I did it all for the nookie...

ATTN: Fred Durst Has A Posse: (1.50 / 2) (#75)
by esrever on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 05:25:52 AM EST

It gives me great pleasure to rate Hide (0) on your steaming pile of fucktard suggestion.

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
Please do not feed the trolls. (none / 0) (#195)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:41:35 PM EST

No Trolls.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
+1 FP, POPE (1.00 / 7) (#76)
by Gruntathon on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 07:25:37 AM EST

[nt]
__________
If they hadn't been such quality beasts (despite being so young) it would have been a nightmare - good self-starting, capable hands are your finest friend. -- Anonymous CEO
I will never forget him. (2.50 / 8) (#92)
by dxh on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 12:53:43 PM EST

He will not be forgotten for a long time by Jews around the world.  

During this term as the Pope he brought Jews and Catholics(christians) together like never before with his acts of brotherhood and reconciliation.

This article in the Jerusalem Post sum things up nicely how sad the Jewish people are at the passing of this Catholic Pope.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid =1112414516545&apage=1

Many people around here are young and jaded and just don't want to belive in anything good, but this Pope was a really great man who's life does deserve to be celebrated as noble and good.

I liked the pope (2.66 / 3) (#95)
by The Real Lord Kano on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 02:14:42 PM EST

I'm neither a Catholic, nor a Christian. In fact I have some serious disagreements with the Catholic church, but John Paul II was a consistant man. He was pro life and pro peace. The would would have been a better place with more men like him. LK

[ Parent ]
He was the first pope.... (2.75 / 4) (#122)
by MSBob on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 10:04:57 PM EST

...to call Jews "Christians' older brothers" which was a very charming way of reconciling the differences between the two religions.

He was definitely pro-tolerance and I'm proud to be Polish and I hope that this pope helped to change the image of Poland as an anti-semitic place.

As a matter of fact Poland has had a long tradition of religious tolerance and openness and that's why it had the largest Jewish population of all of Europe prior to 1939. Also, Poland is a nation with the highest number of "Righteous Among the Nations" medals.

A lot of people persecuted by the Church in the 16th to 18th century sought refuge in the liberally minded Poland. This fact is frequently forgotten by many westerners who like to think of Poland as a backwards, fundamentalist state, while they think that "enlightened" places like the UK are at the cutting edge of human development yet they practiced de-facto slavery up until late 60's. Pretty damn hypocritical if you ask me.

Poland never really embraced stalinism (not that it was cuddly to begin with) and while it's still relatively poor in comparison to more affluent EU states it's on a fast recovery path and will be an awesome place to live in a couple of decades, unless Russia invades again, of course.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
"Righteous Among the Nations" (none / 1) (#170)
by HollyHopDrive on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:43:05 AM EST

Is that the award given by a Holocaust education organisation to non-Jews who made commendable efforts to help Jews during the Holocaust, and to encourage tolerance and interfaith harmony?


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

Yes it is (n/t) (none / 0) (#179)
by MSBob on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 02:53:05 PM EST


I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Nice but .... (none / 0) (#232)
by werebear on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:07:10 PM EST

This is of course highly commendable.

However a cynic (me) might point out that *stopping* persecuting a group is not actually quite as laudable as not persecuting them in the first place. (Not JP himself obviously but the orginisation he headed.)

What's past is past and all that - I just don't think that much gratitude should be expected for simply starting to do the right thing after several hundred years of pogroms, Inquisitions, and even in the interludes between such colourful events simply sanctioning bigotry.

This isn't an anti Catholic dig - they are hardly the only guilty party on this score.

[ Parent ]

Neocon drivel. (1.05 / 17) (#93)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 01:49:04 PM EST

The socialist states of EastBloc were the only sources of moral authority by default. What other institution could have provided it? Surely not the bourgeois Catholic Church, I'll tell you that.

I hardly know where to get a word in edgewise with a piece like yours. Between the Zionist propaganda and right-off-Fox-News "Freedom" apologia, I don't even know where to begin. I'll see what I can manage:

  1. Religion is the Opiate of the People. What this Pope of yours was really up to is undermining the People's Revolution of 1917, thereby betraying the interests of the working people of the world to the international bourgeoisie (i.e. America, England, Israel, et al.). Using the discourse of Christianity, he only furthered the imperialist project of dismantling the Soviet Union.
  2. Freedom is not Slavery and War is not Peace. Contrary to the Neoconservative propagandists, freedom is not what happens when the capitalist seizes control of the means of production and forces the worker into subjugation. The propagandists tell us Wars of Aggression such as the one in Vietnam and the one going on in Iraq are part of the pursuit of peace, but you Americans never see the millions dead because of those wars. You just sit back and pat yourselves on the back for caring so much about the poor savages in Asia and cut a check to Mother Teresa so she can build shanty towns and distribute condoms with holes in them.
  3. There is no atonement for the Catholic Church's support of fascism in the 30s and 40s. None. Do you know how many Poles, Russians, and Albanians died at the hands of the armies of Hitler and Mussolini? Millions. The Catholic Church has been a tireless supporter of imperialism, from the times of the genocide of Incas right up to the subjugation of the Palestinians today. This not an accident of history -- indeed, there are no accidents of history. This is part of the Church's identity as an organ of class warfare against the people of the earth.

This article, quietly voted up in the dead of night, is just another example of the sham Kuro5hin's "democracy" has become. Democracy is, as ever, an invitation for corruption and manipulation by those who control the means of governance. As Joseph Stalin aptly pointed out, "The one who votes controls nothing, the one who counts the votes controls everything." It's not surprising that an editor with close ties to the owner of this website would be so eager to publicize his imperialist apologetics.


rmg: comments better than yours.

Pope: Bourgeois tool or people's hero? (1.00 / 3) (#97)
by crustacean on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 02:56:21 PM EST

It's kind of hard to take anything that a "neocon" says with a straight face, but reading a rabid marxist denunciation of an admittedly dead pope doesn't strike me as that constructive either.
Will take to the forest before the oil overlords annex Canada.
[ Parent ]
Zionist propaganda? (1.50 / 2) (#100)
by djkitsch on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 04:22:01 PM EST

1) I would quite like to hear an example of the propaganda of which you speak. My observation iis that, as a Jew who has been in contact with many Israelis, the views of the government over there are not neccesarily those of the population...or indeed those of other Jews worldwide, myself included!

2) I'm also fucking pissed off with the repeated use of phrases such as "subjugation of the Palestinians" - it is a mistake to view the conflict as black-and-white, whichever side you take. Take a look at either side and you will find people who hate the other, people who sympathise, and people who simply want safety for their families. "Subjugation of the Palestinians" is a gross oversimplification, and it's my view that the more we have of them the worse the situation gets.

3) I'm obviously not in a position to comment on US coverage, since I live in the UK, but our media is at best middle-of-the-road in that particular conflict. I don't think anyone could rightfully accuse any mainstream media outlet in the UK (except possibly the Jewish Chronicle newspaper) of having an overtly Zionist viewpoint.

Personally speaking (as an aside) I don't think any self respecting news agency should take a side. Fox News would last about 5 minutes over here - at least conservative British news agencies  don't try to con their viewers into thinking they're "Fair and Balanced"!

-------------------------
sig:- (wit >= sarcasm)
[ Parent ]

I won't be drawn into the hegemonic discourse. (1.50 / 4) (#105)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 06:11:02 PM EST

"Oversimplification"? I see one side with tanks and one side with rocks and I see the side with the tanks shooting the children of the ones with rocks. Was there something more you wanted to add?

I've seen how this works. First you claim it's complicated, then you say a lot of smart people are thinking about these things, then you say it's all a matter of opinion -- by this time, your audience has wandered off and turned on the TV. Well that's not going to work this time. When a little girl gets her arm blown off by an Israeli "smart bomb", that's not a matter of opinion.

And of course you don't think news agencies should take sides, because if they did, you know what side they'd be on.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

I got yer hegemony *right here*, Marxist tool! (1.50 / 2) (#114)
by adavies42 on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 08:24:42 PM EST

And when a dozen Israeli teenagers at a pizza parlor are blown up by some Arab barbarian, that's not a matter of opinion either.

[ Parent ]
More Racist Hatespeech from the RIght. (2.00 / 3) (#116)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 08:34:50 PM EST

When in history has responding to aggression and occupation ever been called "barbarism"?

Oh! I know! When the respondants are brown and the aggressors are white!


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

More Wingnut Jibberish (1.50 / 2) (#134)
by adavies42 on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:01:13 AM EST

Bullshit. It's got nothing to do with the Palis' being "brown", which they aren't, BTW, at least no more so than your average Israeli. It's a question of who targets what: if the bombers limited themselves to blowing up IDF installations, it'd be one thing; deliberately murdering civilians is what makes them barbarians.

[ Parent ]
come on rmg... (1.50 / 2) (#135)
by issachar on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:03:10 AM EST

Every time I see your name, you're always going on your "Israel should give Palestinians everything they demand" rant. Now whether or not that's a good point of view, we don't have to talk about it in every discussion. (Okay, so I may be exagerating).

But you're beginning to look like CTS with his "Democrats are betraying Liberal principles" rants. I like reading them too, but he's sort of type cast at this point.


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

Bullshit (1.20 / 5) (#147)
by HollyHopDrive on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 05:04:06 AM EST

Given that blowing up families in pizza restaurants or teenagers in clubs is unquestionably an act of "aggression" in itself, we could just as easily say that Israel is responding rather than perpetrating. And you're an idiot if you think there's a significant difference in skin colour between Israelis and Palestinians.

There are no underdogs in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. There are only victims.

But it's no good trying to tell a troll like you that this complex, 57-year-old conflict can't be resolved just by choosing good guys and bad guys and demonising one side while sanctifying the other. Thank God Mahmoud Abbas isn't a half-arsed troll like you. Choose your subjects with greater care.


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

pwn'd. (1.00 / 3) (#162)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:59:38 AM EST




rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
You wish (none / 1) (#163)
by HollyHopDrive on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:12:17 AM EST

From rmg, I expect better.


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

ror. (1.50 / 4) (#164)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:17:44 AM EST

lol what


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
I am curious (1.50 / 2) (#165)
by HollyHopDrive on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:27:24 AM EST

You continued your obvious troll posts - moronic, but plausible - for several exchanges, but now suddenly you don't want to say anything that even pretends to be constructive - you just want to arse around with pwneds and rors.

It's pathetic that you can't put together an even marginally acceptable post, even in a troll persona where the purpose is to try to defend the indefensible. Please carry on with this new approach. Every post you make of this kind proves that even as a troll who isn't concerned with substantiation, you can't defend your so-called points. I'm relishing it. Continue. Make me laugh even harder.


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

meow. (1.50 / 2) (#166)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:31:12 AM EST




rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
I win. (1.50 / 2) (#167)
by HollyHopDrive on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:33:59 AM EST

Thanks. Keep going.


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

I almost (1.00 / 3) (#174)
by army of phred on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 12:38:08 PM EST

believed you weren't responding to yourself.

"Republicans are evil." lildebbie
"I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
"my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
[ Parent ]
Thanks very much! (none / 0) (#302)
by djkitsch on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 01:15:29 PM EST

HollyHopDrive - thanks for the entertaining discussion with rmg. Aside from his replies underlining my point in the first place, you've done a great job of allowing him to display his inner dickhead to the world, for which you should be applauded.

Ironically, I think his moronic ramblings have actually enhanced my original post...

Many thanks :-)
-------------------------
sig:- (wit >= sarcasm)
[ Parent ]

Bullshit (2.50 / 2) (#168)
by HollyHopDrive on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:39:28 AM EST

Blowing up teenagers in discos and families in pizza restaurants is unquestionably an act of aggression, and we could just as easily say Israel is merely responding to attacks. The issue has nothing to do with skin colour (there's no difference between them) but as you're an idiot, a troll and a modbomber, I don't expect you to realise that.

I realise it would spoil your demons-and-angels method of approach, favoured by all morons who polarise on this complex issue, to realise that there are no underdogs but merely victims in this dispute. But you'll have to. Luckily, Mahmoud Abbas isn't a halfwit troll like you.


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

SHUT THE FUCK UP RMG (1.07 / 14) (#108)
by little lord on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 06:38:51 PM EST

THE POPE WAS A FUCKING POLISH HYPOCRITE WHO APOLOGIZED TO HOMOS AND JEWS BUT NOT THE THREE MILLION GERMAN CIVILIANS WHO WERE KILLED BY THE POLES AND RUSSIAN AND THE TWELVE MILLION WHO WERE DRIVEN FROM THEIR HOMES!!!!

I WILL TAKE HIS DEAD CARCASS AND TURN IT INTO FUCKING SOAP OR A LAMP SHADE!!!!!

SO SHUT THE FUCK UP ROVE'S MANGY GRUPPENFUEHRER

[ Parent ]

You have anger issues (none / 1) (#127)
by jandev on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 11:16:29 PM EST

You should try counseling.


"ENGINEERS" IS NOT POSSESSIVE. IT'S A PLURAL. YOU DO NOT MOTHERFUCKING MARK A PLURAL WITH A COCKSUCKING APOSTROPHE. APOSTROPHES ARE FOR MARKING POSSESSIVES IN THIS CASE. IF YOU WEREN'T A TOTAL MORON, YOU WOULD BE SAYING SOMETHING LIKE "THE CIVIL ENGINEER'S SMALL PENIS". SEE THAT APOSTROPHE? IT'S A HAPPY APOSTROPHE. IT'S NOT BEING ABUSED BY SOME GODDAMN SHIT-FOR-BRAINS IDIOT WITH NO EDUCATION. - Nimey
[ Parent ]

tsk tsk... (1.50 / 2) (#133)
by issachar on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 12:56:03 AM EST

you should also try not copying and pasting your own comments in the same discussion. That makes you boringly repetitive as well as a person with sad pathetic anger issues.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
Ghost of, your trolling skill is impressive! (none / 0) (#300)
by MarlysArtist on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 02:06:43 AM EST

But for future reference, bear in mind that Marxism/Leninism is a Eurocentric hegemonic construction which was created around supposedly 'rational' ideas about science, technology, and social production and control. Lenin argued that American technology, Prussian railway control, Marxism, and not a few other elements would combine to produce perfect socialism. At no point, however, did he include Palestinian folkways about who holds authority and who obeys, or Lakota understanding of the natural world. Lenin's ideas about the purpose of imperialism perhaps explained European capitalist behavior, but had no basis in a society that organised its ideas about where 'the good life' comes from differently from Europe. People who did not think in capitalistic ways (or who even didn't think of certain resources or land in terms of 'property' or 'production') found life under socialist rule to be equally alien to life under capitalist-colonial government.

By the way how 'typical' must a response be in order to get points for trolling?

Marly's Artist

"Never ask 'oh, why were things so much better in the old days?' It's not an intellegent question" --Ecclesiastes, 7:10
[ Parent ]

..and upon reflection... (none / 0) (#301)
by MarlysArtist on Fri Apr 22, 2005 at 02:16:08 AM EST

I would add that, to those who criticize the Roman Catholic Church on the grounds of not keeping up with 'modernity,' I would remind them that the very idea of 'modernity' was invented as well, probably sometime around the eighteenth century in Europe. This is why, for example, you see prior to this paintings of the Last Supper and everyone looks like sixteenth century European nobles, instead of first century palestinian peasants. (This is actually a question of some debate, considering that linear understandings of time are older than the enlightenment.) Anyway, I don't think this comment counts for your trolling excercise; it doesn't really reply to your comment.

Marly's Artist

"Never ask 'oh, why were things so much better in the old days?' It's not an intellegent question" --Ecclesiastes, 7:10
[ Parent ]

I went on the Scavi Tour at the Vatican (2.91 / 12) (#96)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 02:17:39 PM EST

I visited a friend in Rome in 1997, and she told me to go through the gate past the Swiss guard at the left and visit a little office at the base of the Vatican there and ask to go on the Scavi Tour. She wouldn't tell me what it was.

The Swiss guard didn't want to let me through at first, but he relented when I told him where I was headed.

My friend had given me a note written in Italian that I presented to the fellow in the office. He laughed and said "Where did you get this note?" Embarrassed, I said "My friend gave it to me because she thought you might not speak English." "She writes pretty good Italian," he replied. My friend Sally is an American that I knew from high school, who works as an English teacher in Rome.

It turns out that the Scavi Tour is the tour of the excavations underneath the Vatican. You see, "vatican" is Latin for I think graveyard, and the Vatican was built on a Roman graveyard. It had been filled in with rubble and built on top of, and in the excavations one could see many crypts, some of them quite elaborate. The tour guide pointed out some that said Christians were buried there.

But the reason they excavated was that they were looking for something. In a nondescript brick wall had been hidden someone's bones, not in a coffin or anything, just the bones put in there and bricked back up.

It is believed that these are the bones of St. Peter, hidden in the brick wall to keep them safe from the Roman authorities. Apparently early Christians had taken them from place to place to hide them for quite some time, but fearing capture had finally hidden them once and for all.

One bone was removed and carbon dated, and found to be from the right time, as best as carbon dating can tell (it is not very precise).

There was much discussion of what to do with the bones. Surely St. Peter deserved a better grave than that, and a grand public funeral! But in the end it was decided, no, these early Christians probably knew best, and his bones were replaced exactly as they found them. The wall was surrounded with glass windows to protect it, but so that all could see.

At the end of the tour, we came out in the basement of the Vatican, where there were many large stone coffins, some very simple, some very elaborately carved and made of semiprecious stone. Just before we left, the tour guide, a priest, pointed out one coffin that lay empty. All these coffins had dead popes in them, but the last one was waiting, you see, to receive the body of the pope who was still living then, but as I found out just now, has finally gone to his Heavenly reward.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


For the sake of all that is holy... (2.50 / 6) (#111)
by Pseudonym on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 07:19:28 PM EST

...DON'T LET DAN BROWN HEAR ABOUT THIS STORY!

Thanks in advance.


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Who's he? (none / 1) (#118)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 09:23:01 PM EST

Inquiring minds want to know.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

(nt) Author of the Da Vinci Code (none / 1) (#120)
by binford2k on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 09:26:37 PM EST



[ Parent ]
How about Paul's (none / 0) (#112)
by nymia_g on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 07:52:52 PM EST

Hey, just wondering. Did you see anything about St.Paul's bones?

The reason I asked is there are claims that St.Paul was the legitimate one when he established the community in Rome. Any chance you saw any of St.Paul's in your tour?

[ Parent ]
Me too (none / 0) (#156)
by JediTrainer on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 09:23:58 AM EST

Last year I went with my wife on our honeymoon to Italy, where we had the opportunity to visit the Vatican on our last leg in Rome.

We went down into the crypts too - from what I can tell (and apparently the guides were telling people), the big altar in St Peter's Basilica is supposed to be built directly *above* St Peter's tomb. I say from what I can tell because that appeared to be the case when we went down there, though it's easy to lose one's sense of direction.

Speaking of which - anybody else go there and see John XXIII's body? It's completely intact still (they have it on full display behind glass - there appears to be no decay at all). Supposed to be a miracle.

[ Parent ]
SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT THE POPE!!!!!!!! (1.03 / 27) (#99)
by little lord on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 04:19:43 PM EST

THE POPE WAS A FUCKING HYPOCRITE POLE WHO APOLOGIZED TO ALL KINDS OF SHIT LIKE HOMOS AND JEWS BUT NOT THE THREE MILLION GERMAN CIVILIANS WHO WERE KILLED BY THE POLES AND RUSSIAN AND THE TWELVE MILLION WHO WERE DRIVEN FROM THEIR HOMES!!!!

AND NO MY GRANDMOTHER WAS NOT RAPED BY THE RUSSIAN BUT IF SHE HAD BEEN IT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE POPE'S FAULT

I WILL TAKE HIS DEAD CARCASS AND TURN IT INTO FUCKING SOAP OR A LAMP SHADE!!!!!

Pope and the Abused Child (1.60 / 10) (#103)
by slashthedot on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 05:45:30 PM EST

Here is an interesting articles that shows the facts and figures relating to the Pope and Child Abuse. There are 1000s of paedophile priests at large out there preying upon our children thanks to the inactions of this pope. I can only hope the next pope cares a bit more about children.

Priesthood self-selects for sexual dysfunction (none / 0) (#220)
by tassach on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 10:48:32 AM EST

The Catholic Church is, AFIK, the only major religious denomination which demands that it's priests take a vow of celibacy.  An undeniable side effect of this policy is that the priesthood attracts people with abnormal sexuality.

It doesn't take a great deal of imagination to see that someone who feels guilty about being sexually attracted to children would seek refuge in a celibate priesthood as a way of fighting his pathology.  Seeking the assistance of a higher power to combat an uncontrollable urge is a common and accepted way to try and reclaim one's life.  For someone who is frightened by their own sexuality, for whatever reason, must see the regimented life and enforced celibacy the Catholic priesthood offers as a refuge from their problems.

I think the doctrine of celibacy is also a major contributing factor on the Church's stance on birth control, divorce, and other sexual issues.   Of course, most protestant denominations are just as screwed up on the same issues, and they don't generally practice celibacy.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants" -- Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Celibate life is the highest one could attain (none / 0) (#237)
by nymia_g on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 07:28:22 PM EST

Geez tassach, I don't know where that thrash came from, but it seems that you have no clue what a celibate life means.

I would urge you to read books about royal priesthood and the gnostics on how they view celibacy.

People who devote their life to a "P-E-R-F-E-C-T" life have the highest respect, they become more than simply an average person because of it. Now, if you are not aware of it, then what does tell about you?

Geez

[ Parent ]
With all due respect.... (2.75 / 8) (#107)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 06:36:37 PM EST

... I think you are overcooking it.

The Pope was certainly a powerful force, but the corrupt state of Soviet Communism was making the system collapse under its  own weight.

With or without the Pope it is clear now that the Soviet system was unsavable from a social and economic point of view. So no, the Pope did not defeat communism, but certanly it was better to have him cheering the crowds the brought the Soviet era to an end.

The Warsaw pact was doomed because they did not have the means to compete against a military machine that was willing to go into hundreds of billions of deficitary debt, creating a false sense of prosperity in the countries involved, in order to destroy the socialist bloc.

As a Pope his legacy is mixed.

He certainly steered the church as a force of good for many causes, the latest one the opossition to the nonsense in Iraq.

But for every hit there were damning misses: the church's stand in contraception will eventualy be seen as idiotic as the stand against Galileo, the attempts to hide the truth about child abuse all around the world in the hands of priests (and nuns, please wathc the movie "The Magdalene sisters" for starters) is a terrible blemish.

Blantlantly lying about condoms in pursuit of religious heterodoxy is completely unforgiveable since that is actually putting the most vulnerable people at risk (the poorest, the uneducated, women, orphans).

Every death caused by the misguided policy about contraception will surely one day be weighted against the good things the pope may have done. I am afraid that the balance is far from clear, if there is a god I am sure John Paul II, the traveler Pope, must be repenting as we speak for pursuing such foolish policy.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?

Reality Bites (2.75 / 4) (#125)
by duffbeer703 on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 11:08:17 PM EST

The communist juggernaut was doomed to failure, but not in the peaceful manner in which it did. Courageous men and women like the Pope were the reason the Soviet Empire died a relatively quiet and peaceful death.

No leader can be all things to all people or change everything. John Paul II was a conservative, and endorsed policies of religious orthodoxy that are farcical to modern western eyes.

Yet while he fought for conservative orthodoxy, he also set the groundwork for future reform. Progressive elements of the church in North and South America and the third world will arise and transform the church in the coming years.

Progress is slow, but change doesn't come quickly in an institution that's been around for over two milennia.

[ Parent ]

Pope's role in dismantling communism (2.75 / 4) (#146)
by qba on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 03:58:36 AM EST

It is obvious that the Pope didn't single-handedly dismantle the Warsaw Pact, but his role was pretty significant. Why? Because failed regimes don't necessarily fall apart by themselves just because they are inefficient or not viable economically (look at North Korea). It takes people to bring them down.

Now, in an oppressive system like communism (even in its watered-down version like in Poland of the 70s), mostly everyone is against the regime, but is afraid to step forward and say it openly (for the fear of being singled out for prosecution). The great role the Pope played was bringing all those people together during the open-air masses he held whenever he visited Poland, so that they could see and feel that they actually are the majority (and besides, they could also see how the mighty General Jaruzelski's legs trembled when he spoke to the pontiff...)

So, there's a direct link between the papal visit to Poland in 1979 and the creation of Solidarity in 1980 (remember, it was not an elitist plot against the regime, but a mass movement). And without Solidarity the system would have probably fallen apart anyway, but not necessarily that soon or in such a peaceful way.

[ Parent ]

Hah. (3.00 / 2) (#172)
by aphrael on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:55:16 AM EST

The Warsaw Pact may have been doomed by failure to compete against a military machine; but that would not have caused its collapse in the 1980s. It collapsed because it could no longer maintain its hold on the hearts and minds of the people - because it lost the ability to control the internal political debate and define its boundaries.

This is ultimately the reason all totalitarian dictatorships fail: not because the economics stop working, but because the people cease to be cowed into submission. Often, the two occur in tandem - but the economic disasters of North Korea and Myanmar make clear that it's not just economics that matters. It's the existence of a sphere of independant action, the freedom to think outside the circumscribed bounds of the state's will, which matter.

That's what Archbishop Wojty&322;a gave Poland.

[ Parent ]

How many divisions does a pope have? (1.75 / 4) (#126)
by MSBob on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 11:09:02 PM EST

I don't know. But his army is about 1.1 billion strong.

Take that Iosif Vissarionovich Djugashvili. I hope you're turning in your grave.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

1.1 billion army (none / 0) (#153)
by Cubics Rube on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 09:06:18 AM EST

And no Keanu Reeves to command it.. Tisk Tisk..

[ Parent ]
disagree (1.15 / 13) (#130)
by danbloom on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 12:03:53 AM EST

i have to disagree. The pope was no hero. a real hero would have allowed priests to marry, told the masses that Jesus was not the son of a god but just a cool teacher, that there is no God, and the entire church is a sham, not to mention criticizing the pedofiles and not covering up for them. for all his charisma, this pope was a coward, an uneducated supernaturalist. when will the church finally grow up. enuf already! rest in peace old man. you did the best you could, but it was not good enuf. dark ages are over. grow up everyone
Global writer, global thinker
Galileo (2.00 / 4) (#141)
by nobrowser on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:48:19 AM EST

It's nice that they apologized for that, but
isn't it a little misplaced?  After all, after
he kissed their a**e he was allowed to live
in relative peace.  What about Jan Hus
or Giordano Bruno?  What about the whole
Inquisition business?  What about the crusades,
including two against European Christians who
slipped from doctrine?

John Paul was a courageous man who personally
helped freedom, and for that I respect him.
I cannot transfer that personal respect to
the institution he led.

And, does anyone else feel sick at the stomach
watching our President, who brushed aside the
pope's moral authority on the Iraq issue without
as much as a word of explanation, now praise him?

*sigh* (none / 0) (#245)
by mcgrew on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 09:18:31 PM EST

In America it's spelled "ass," in the UK or Australia it's spelled "arse". If you believe that this is not the place to use the word, don't use it. Say "butt" instead, if you wish to sound juvinile. "a**e" sounds even more as juvinile as "butt."

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Um (2.33 / 6) (#144)
by trhurler on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 02:10:59 AM EST

No doubt that the man did some great things, but you're vastly overblowing his importance. The Warsaw Pact fell apart because of matters much bigger than any one man, and no one man could have done anything more than hasten the fall or maybe slow it down a bit.

In any case, he has also done some horrible things. He kept the Catholic Church in the 19th century on a great many issues, some of which are matters of life and death for billions of people. He didn't merely allow the status quo on these issues - he reaffirmed it, and often went out of his way to do so.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

In your rush to be critical, (3.00 / 3) (#155)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 09:20:20 AM EST

again displaying that cold crystal-clear trhurler logic you love so much, you seem to have missed the fact you guys agree.

you're vastly overblowing his importance. The Warsaw Pact fell apart because of matters much bigger than any one man

He did not stand alone, but he stood in front, and his footsteps brought the first cracks in the facade of the Iron Curtain

[ Parent ]

He's not rushing to be critical (none / 0) (#247)
by mcgrew on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 09:20:19 PM EST

He's rushing to troll. YHBT.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Am I? (3.00 / 2) (#171)
by aphrael on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:51:24 AM EST

I don't think it's possible to overstate the importance of the Polish Catholic Church in preserving civil society in Poland, and therefore in preserving the *concept* of civil society in Eastern Europe. Absent Archbishop Wojty&322;a, the Polish Catholic Church would most likely have bent its head and submitted, as the Lithuanian and Czech Catholic Churches did; and absent the independence of the Church in Poland, Solidarity would have been impossible. I know that it's common belief among American conservatives that the Warsaw Pact fell because Reagan stood up to it, but that's always been a gross oversimplification.

[ Parent ]
Um (none / 0) (#209)
by trhurler on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:57:42 AM EST

You are looking at the effect and calling it a cause. Had John Paul stood up to the Soviets in the 50s, he'd have disappeared, archbishop or not. In the 40s, they'd simply have shot him. The whole reason he could do what he did was that the overall grip of the Soviet empire was weakening due to economics. I don't think either Reagan OR the pope can take credit for that. I do think Reagan did more to hasten it than John Paul did. Poland was not all that important to the Soviets; economic self sufficiency was.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
There's nothing wrong with that (none / 0) (#211)
by nymia_g on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:44:18 AM EST

There is a large collection of historical data to support the teachings. Actually, it is called tradition and most of what you see today was the product of argumentations and battles between the church and heretics, including the gnostics.

[ Parent ]
Er... (3.00 / 3) (#240)
by trhurler on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 08:27:32 PM EST

First of all, "tradition" is a coward's defense. It means maintaining the status quo simply because it is the status quo. ANY argument which has actual merit is stronger than "tradition." It is true that things are as they are for reasons, but not all of those reasons are good ones, and even when there ARE good reasons, their proponents should state them, rather than simply relying on the supposed merits of oldness.

Second, the early Church didn't so much argue with heretics as persecute and murder them. The resulting teachings are exactly what you would expect: the exact same thing they started with, except with new rules made to benefit those with influence. (For instance, fish on Fridays got started because fishermen were an influential lobby in Italy in the early days of the Church. It had no Biblical basis whatsoever. Another example: the doctrine regarding birth control is not found in the Bible anywhere, nor in any alleged teachings of Jesus anywhere. It is a pure fabrication of Church officials.)

Third, the Church has most often relied on tradition when it wished to behave in a cowardly fashion. For instance, it was quite fashionable during the thirties and forties for archbishops, cardinals, and other high officials of the Church to opine that they should "give unto Caesar," where by Caesar they meant European fascism and the Nazis. Think about it.

In short, tradition fails it.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
fish on Friday (none / 0) (#267)
by Battle Troll on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 07:53:00 PM EST

National churches have different fasting customs, but considering that pious Russian Orthodox fast twice a week in addition to Advent and Lent, while fish on Friday may be a political thing, having days where you abstain from meat is well-distributed across catholic churches.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Well, yes (none / 0) (#268)
by trhurler on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 08:07:27 PM EST

And it started back when there was only one such catholic church of any importance whatsoever - with fish on Fridays. It was a political maneuver straight out of a Mario Puzo story:)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
no (none / 0) (#277)
by Battle Troll on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 08:44:46 AM EST

And it started back when there was only one such catholic church of any importance whatsoever - with fish on Fridays.

Italian fisherman dictating policy to Syrians, Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans all over the empire? Before the Papacy was a powerful institution? Dude.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

wtf? (none / 1) (#272)
by gzt on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 10:56:06 PM EST

For instance, fish on Fridays got started because fishermen were an influential lobby in Italy in the early days of the Church.

What kind of ignorant crack are you smoking, fool? The phenomenon of a Wednesday and Friday fast is attested in the Didache, a 1st century Syrian document. In the Latin West, this slowly relaxed to only Fridays and only abstaining from meat [fish is not meat], but even in the Roman East, the Wednesday and Friday fast remains even today and is supposed to be from all meat, fish, dairy, and olive oil. The fast has precedent in Jewish practice of the 2nd century [see Didache again or open a damn history book and learn something]. In historical fasting guidelines, fish, meat, and dairy are all treated as being different in every rule I've read. I'm really not sure when and where the Latin West started fish on Fridays, but it was, at least, after the 8th century, based on what I know of 8th century Irish fasting rules [did you know that they had a dispensation to eat dairy on days the East would typically only be allowed olive oil? this because they didn't have olive oil or other such fat sources, so butter and cheese suffices].

[ Parent ]

talking out of ass... (none / 0) (#273)
by gzt on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 11:32:00 PM EST

...on the century, but it's post-Bede.

[ Parent ]
I checked (none / 0) (#276)
by trhurler on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 02:42:22 AM EST

The story I read was indeed HALF wrong. The half that was RIGHT you gloss over rather glibly.

How do you suppose fish became "not meat" given that it is in fact animal muscle?:)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
The problem with that reasoning is this: (none / 1) (#278)
by gzt on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 09:58:38 AM EST

Fish was "not meat" as far as fasting was concerned before the pope had any influence on the matter [indeed, before Christianity] and in regions without immediate connection to the Latin West. Really, what's the timeline you're proposing on this? The second you give me a number, I can provide more specific reasons why you're dead wrong.

[ Parent ]
Now, here's a story I might buy: (none / 0) (#281)
by gzt on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 11:49:01 AM EST

Note that it makes your original argument look completely silly, however.

Perhaps, sometime around the Renaissance, but definitely after the Great Schism, while the Western fasting guidelines were being relaxed and while, in accordance with ancient practices, fish was treated as different from meat [economically, it is, and that's the point], the Catholic Church may have decided to relax the traditional Friday fast further to allow fish [which is the next step in the relaxation of fasting]. This decision could certainly have been made under the influence of fish merchants, but part of the point of fasting is economic anyway. The fast is intended to be a leveller: the rich and poor alike do not eat meat, but the poor couldn't anyway. In areas near the sea, fish may be plentiful enough that the poor eat fish and eating something else may be impractical [or impossible, note the Icelandic dispensations from typical fasts]. It certainly is possible that the fishing lobby had an influence in making an allowance for another day of eating fish, but this is a less interesting assertion than the demonstrably false and illiterate proposition you made above.

[ Parent ]

heh (none / 1) (#283)
by Battle Troll on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 03:04:15 PM EST

Any bets that the source of this HARD HITTING story was talk radio?
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
I've actually heard it before. (none / 1) (#284)
by gzt on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 03:20:41 PM EST

It's a popular urban myth or something and it's apparently rather hard to disprove off the top of one's head. The person who reported it to me said it took like hours or something to refute, though it was obviously incorrect [and she doesn't have ideological reasons to believe it's false, she just has a good sense of what's historically plausible or not]. My bet is that the Da Vinci Code or those pseudo-Gnostics or something inserted it into popular consciousness rather than talk radio. But still, those are both HARD HITTING sources.

[ Parent ]
Wrong Spin (none / 0) (#288)
by nymia_g on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 07:15:37 PM EST

Well, what can I say, you are spinning it in your way, though.

Traditions are there for a reason, they serve to put meaning on events that changed their history. It may be good or bad, but the point there was it was their experience, as such, it was part of their tradition. Now, to call tradition a failure is somewhat a bit off-base. Think about it, if I call your family tradition a failure, what would be your reaction?

Cowardly fashion? what is that term meant to imply? It seems that the motives were planned and executed in a cowardly fashion. Nope, you gave it the wrong spin again.

Persecution. Hey, it was not only the orthodox who were doing it. You implied the orthodox did the persecution as if it was a one-way street. Nope, sorry, you got the wrong impression there, my friend. If you can get hold of books about the pre-Nicene time, perhaps you'll get to see what I'm talking about. Check out the 13th century south of France and see how persecution cut both ways.

[ Parent ]
Addendum (none / 0) (#289)
by nymia_g on Thu Apr 07, 2005 at 07:24:30 PM EST

thurler, I think you're reasonable, but you use a lot of subjective terms in your premises. They make your arguments weak.

[ Parent ]
19th century? (none / 0) (#244)
by mcgrew on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 09:17:29 PM EST

Then he failed it. He should have been trying to keep the church in the first century.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Sad (1.22 / 9) (#152)
by razygentry on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 08:34:28 AM EST

I find it very sad that none of the Pope's children or his wife have seen fit to make an official statement about his death. Let's assume that they are still too upset, and hope that a public comment will be forthcoming soon.

YFI (3.00 / 2) (#243)
by mcgrew on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 09:15:41 PM EST

That was the worst attempt at humor I have ever seen. Zer0 for you, next time be funny.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

But for a thin latex barrier... (1.83 / 6) (#176)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 01:26:21 PM EST

...he coulda' been a saint.

Come on, is this best denunciation you liberalists can muster. Sounds an awful lot like a page taken from Hitchens' half-assed hatchet job on Mother Teresa, written back when he was a shrill cunt in the service of Leftism rather his present incarnation as shrill cunt in the service Neo-Imperialism. As an atheist is good standing, I must salute the Pope's unwavering opposition to the soul deadening creed of ethical consequentialism. Plus, he was Husserlian phenomenologist of some note prior to his ascent up the clerical ladder, making him a-ok by me.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


"missionary position." (none / 0) (#181)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 03:26:23 PM EST

now THAT was HARD HITTING!


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Why practice? (none / 0) (#206)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:30:00 AM EST

When you can preach.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
see, it's his fault when there's chaos in Africa (none / 1) (#183)
by Battle Troll on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 03:44:37 PM EST

Nothing to do with America, Russia, or for that matter Africa.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Ahh, but... (none / 1) (#207)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:32:00 AM EST

...making African's ultimately responsible for their own condition raises some rather uncomfortable questions. Best to find a scapegoat.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
You make no sense (1.20 / 5) (#236)
by Klom Dark on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:12:16 PM EST

I've no idea what you are trying to talk about.

"Unwavering opposition to the soul deadening creed of ethical consequentialism"

What kind of buzzword bullshit is that?

And Mother Teresa, a good person? Not even.

[ Parent ]

Listen up kid (3.00 / 3) (#238)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 07:36:53 PM EST

If the term "ethical consequentialism" is beyond your ken, you've no business whatsoever getting into a debate on ethics. At least spend a half hour with google before getting back to me, and then I can pretend to speak to you as peer.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
i really enjoy this in your face 'tude. (none / 0) (#239)
by the ghost of rmg on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 08:13:57 PM EST

i hope to see more of it.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
A day of noxious janitorial duties... (none / 0) (#253)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 12:20:19 AM EST

...substantially diminishes one's ability to suffer fools; gladly or otherwise.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
what kind of ethics isn't soul-deadening? (none / 0) (#295)
by kubalaa on Fri Apr 08, 2005 at 11:31:50 PM EST

Asshole-ism?

[ Parent ]
There have been some bad Popes... (2.50 / 2) (#192)
by mikelist on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 09:14:13 PM EST

...but JP2 was not one of them. I left the church running, but I always saw sincerity in what he had to say, even when I disagreed with his message. I'm not real sure about afterlife and stuff, but if there is a good place, he's there.

Well said. (none / 0) (#194)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 10:32:52 PM EST

I left the Church for many reasons, but I've always admired him for his integrity, even if I didn't like where it took him.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
Some Reflections on the Recent Papacy of JPII (none / 1) (#204)
by danbloom on Mon Apr 04, 2005 at 11:50:17 PM EST

Some Reflections on the Recent Papacy of JPII by Matthew Fox, Ph.D. www.OpEdNews.com
Global writer, global thinker
Nope (1.11 / 9) (#214)
by paranoid on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:16:34 AM EST

I think I can speak for everyone, when I say FUCK THE POPE! and GOOD RIDDANCE!

Evolution and John Paul (none / 1) (#216)
by dollyknot on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 07:33:17 AM EST

I agree with Aphrael's words and think it worthy of note that Wojtyla did not dismiss evolution. Read his words here


They call it an elephant's trunk, whereas it is in fact an elephant's nose - a nose by any other name would smell as sweetly.

Nuance with freedom (1.50 / 2) (#229)
by stas on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:30:50 PM EST

And yet pope was against operation Iraqi Freedom.

I wonder if it means that freedom of Poles from totalitarian oppression is somehow more important than that of Iraqis.

As gba in #146 said: "It takes people to bring them down."


of course not... (3.00 / 2) (#242)
by issachar on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 09:00:53 PM EST

There's nothing inconsistent about the Pope being against the war in Iraq and being in favour of freedom for Poles. The Pope wasn't against freedom for Iraqi's. He was against achieving that goal by war. I rather suspect that if you'd asked him for his support for western invasion of the Soviet Union to free the poles you'd have got some vocal opposition.

I was in favour of the war, (for the freedom reason), but there's nothing inconsistent about the Pope's opposition. Your post implies that he was tribalist in his support for "his own people". That's just not true.


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

Iraqi Freedom? (none / 1) (#262)
by andreiko on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 02:03:57 PM EST

Operation Iraqi Freedom is a fancy name for "War on Iraq."

Don't let the "branding" name take a meaning of its own.

Did I say "branding"? I mean NEWSPEAK.

It is great marketing to replace "Unilateral War" with "Iraqi Freedom" cause, you know, who'd be  against "freedom"?

And of course the mandatory reference - The 3rd Reich was not "Against Jews". They were pursuing a "Pure Race". Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?

But freedom can not be given nor forced - a horse can only be led to the water. So, to translate, the Pope was against an unilateral war on Iraq.

Hmmm.

[ Parent ]

haha! (none / 0) (#299)
by An onymous Coward on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 09:09:41 AM EST

BRANDING! NEWSPEAK! UNILETERAL WAR! THIRD REICH!
lol
typical liberal

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
Reagan and the Pope (2.00 / 3) (#235)
by SFJoe on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:06:18 PM EST

It's really been nice over the past few days to hear the truth about the fall of Communism. Namely, that the Pope played a large role along with Vaclav Havel and Mikhail Gorbachev. For the past few years the radical right-wing propaganda machine has been furiously spininng the story that Ronald Reagan singlehandedly brought down communism. Truth is, all that Reagan did was hire and excellent propagandist in George Will. In a few weeks, the Pope will be forgotten and the radical right will go back to rewriting history but it's been nice while it lasted.

Pope. (1.42 / 7) (#255)
by sakusha on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 01:39:09 AM EST

Pope. Pope pope pope. Pope pope. Pope pope pope, pope pope pope pope pope. Pope pope pope. Pope pope pope pope, pope pope pope pope pope. Pope pope pope. Pope pope pope. Pope. Pope pope pope. Pope pope pope pope pope.
Pope pope pope. Pope. Pope pope. Pope pope pope pope pope. Pope. Pope pope. Pope pope pope. Pope pope pope pope pope. Pope pope. Pope pope pope pope pope, pope pope pope, pope pope pope pope. Pope pope pope pope pope. Pope. Pope pope pope. Pope pope pope pope, pope pope pope pope.
Pope pope pope pope pope pope pope. Pope pope pope pope pope. Pope pope pope pope pope pope pope pope. Pope pope pope pope pope. Pope pope pope pope pope pope pope. Pope. Pope pope. Pope pope pope pope, pope pope pope pope. Pope pope pope pope.
Pope pope pope pope pope. Pope pope pope pope pope pope. Pope pope. Pope pope pope pope pope. Pope. Pope pope pope. Pope pope pope pope pope. Pope pope pope. Pope pope, pope pope pope pope pope. Pope pope. Pope pope pope pope pope. Pope. Pope pope pope pope pope. Pope pope pope pope. Pope. Pope pope pope pope pope. Pope.

Thanks! (none / 0) (#257)
by nymia_g on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 02:27:05 AM EST

Finally, G-O-O-O-O-O-A-L! Yeah.

You just turned this article to thrash, which is my goal.

Thank you very much.

[ Parent ]
Please REMEMBER (none / 0) (#261)
by andreiko on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 01:52:54 PM EST

Please remember!
  • the man holding the position of the Pope was human - an imperfect man.
  • he had greater powers and just by being in this position played in the league of kings and presidents. His achievements are mostly the result of his words being heard and taken as law by millions. Not to discredit his intentions but keep it in mind when you name your heroes.
  • holding a high position in a religious organization is a zero (0) guarantee for spirituality. Maybe that man had personal faith, maybe not. Maybe his decisions were coming from a place of responsibility and an open heart. Maybe he was upholding the laws of an empire. Most likely sometimes one and sometimes the other. Relationship with "God" comes not through organizations nor books nor laws nor fancy rituals  - it is a personal choice in one's heart - no middlemen.
  • this man was the center of many people's love and was getting their spiritual support, not unlikely the Dalai Lama. This is a huge responsibility. Did he fulfill it?
  • again, this man was an elected celebrity. If it was another person taking this position a few decades ago, we would not be mourning this particular man.
This is not to take away from your grief or personal connection with the Pope. What I am inviting you to do is to carefully look at this connection and become more aware of the whys and hows of who you are.

Please re-read. (none / 0) (#264)
by aphrael on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 06:28:44 PM EST

Most of what i'm talking about was stuff he did before he became pope.

[ Parent ]
Hypocrite (none / 1) (#271)
by AxelBoldt on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 10:51:51 PM EST

Everything you write in your article is correct. However, you should have mentioned his big hypocrisy: as arch bishop he actively forged a political church in Poland, and later as pope he even more actively opposed a political church in South America. He was very much against Liberation Theology, the biggest and possibly only hope of many oppressed people in that part of the world.

Essentially then, his stance can be summarized as "a political church is good if it opposes the left, but it is verboten if it opposes the right".

Oh, and you could have mentioned that as pope, with a single tiny sentences he could have saved millions of lives, but he chose not to. That sentence, of course, is "You may use condoms."

Yeah (none / 0) (#298)
by An onymous Coward on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 09:03:52 AM EST

Essentially then, his stance can be summarized as "a political church is good if it opposes the left, but it is verboten if it opposes the right".

I fail to see the hypocrisy in holding one viewpoint while disagreeing with the other one. Can you please explain what you mean?

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
One of the true heroes of the twentieth century | 302 comments (286 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
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