The Pope and the Condom

March 20, 2009

And so it came to pass that Christ’s representative on earth, the holy father, Vicarius Filii Dei, Bishop of Rome, leader of the Roman Catholic world and head of state of Vatican City, Pope Benedict XVI (aka Joseph Alois Ratzinger) opened his mouth and placed both feet firmly inside it.

– Ah, sure, this is the risk you run when you allow the old boy “out in the world” without the close care of a responsible adult! The poor man has to live for the rest of his life with that terrible title:

“His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God.”

Think about that, will you?

It’d drive any of us loopy having to listen to that title all day long.

You’ll remember no doubt the holy father listed ways to combat the spread of HIV back in 2005? These included chastity (i.e. going without) and fidelity in marriage (i.e. not fucking about). He also condemned the use of condoms to fight AIDS (or as a means of birth control). Recently, of course, while on a visit to Africa, the old guy did it again, reinforcing his message to the faithful – condoms will not prevent AIDS and in fact increase the problem (in some ill defined and unclear way).

You’ll also remember in December last year the old boy went off on one and had a go at homosexuals. His aides stepped in shortly after to suggest he wasn’t really having a go at gays specifically…but his remarks were interpreted as a call to save mankind from homosexuals, lesbians and transsexuals. Which pissed off a few people around the world but probably not so many as the Supreme Pontiff’s Regensburg lecture.

“Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

The old boy quoted the above as part of his lecture and a raised a storm of protests from the Muslim world.

So what did he mean I wonder when he said, AIDS is “drama that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which on the contrary increase the problem.”?

UNAIDS the UN organization dealing with the problem responded: “the male latex condom is the single, most efficient, available technology to reduce the sexual transmission of HIV.”

So is the old boy from a different planet? Or just mad as a shit house rat? I’m unsure. But he’s not alone in what he says – Pope John Paul 11 claimed that condoms have holes in them that allowed HIV through! See HERE.

I think it must be something to do with that bloody title. It must weigh the incumbent down and bring on early idiocy syndrome or some such disorder; certainly there’s no denying that those who find themselves in possession of the title become totally cut off from reality…whatever the causes the effects are plain and devastating to the lives of those living in the “third world”.

So perhaps in the future some serum will be developed to treat this condition of “Pontius insulsitas” ? I don’t know. But something must be done about the problem right now!

My understanding is the old guy’s into music. He’s something of a classical pianist. He loves Mozart. So tape up his gob and give him a piano; let him play for the world, while the world distributes those condoms!

But don’t let him know what you’re doing. And don’t let him near a copy of Mozart’s letters or he’ll be off on a book burning spree….

Israel’s military was rocked on Thursday by Gaza war veterans’ accounts of the killing of civilians and allegations that deep contempt for Palestinians pervaded its ranks. The soldiers, alumni of a military academy, gathered last month to discuss their experiences in the 22-day Israeli offensive that ended in January, a campaign that Palestinians and human rights groups have said warranted war crimes probes.

See article HERE, and HERE.

Of all the horrid, hideous notes of woe,
Sadder than owl- songs or the midnight blast,
Is that portentous phrase, ‘I told you so.’

Someone recently compared the militaristic Israeli state to Nazi Germany. Such a comparison is simplistic and nonsense. However there are certain similarities – both states belief in their own racial superiority over others, for example; their ferocious aggression; their totally indifference to international law and individual human rights. Their use of “ethnic cleansing”, the difference between them in this case being one of scale.

Israel is a militaristic state because it sees itself surrounded by enemies who wish its dissolution as a nation. As Iran grows in strength and acquires a nuclear capability there is every likelihood of a serious conflict between these two nations. Hatred invested, provides a return of hatred multiplied. And I see no real end to the problem in the short term. Which will mean more instability in the region, more misery and suffering…even more opportunities for weapons sales across the middle east.

It’s all very depressing.

Growing world population will cause a “perfect storm” of food, energy and water shortages by 2030, the UK government chief scientist has warned.

By 2030 the demand for resources will create a crisis with dire consequences, Prof John Beddington said.

Demand for food and energy will jump 50% by 2030 and for fresh water by 30%, as the population tops 8.3 billion, he told a conference in London.”

See HERE. And HERE. And again HERE.

Could this be the future for mankind? What do you think?

Heaven on Earth

March 20, 2009

I saw Jesus at the bowling alley,
slinging nothing but gutter balls.
He said, ‘You’ve gotta love a hobby
that allows ugly shoes.’
He lit a cigarette and bought me a beer.
So I invited him to dinner.

I knew the Lord couldn’t see my house
in its current condition, so I gave it an out
of season spring cleaning. What to serve
for dinner? Fish–the logical
choice, but after 2000 years, he must grow weary
of everyone’s favorite seafood dishes.
I thought of my Granny’s ham with Coca Cola
glaze, but you can’t serve that to a Jewish
boy. Likewise pizza–all my favorite
toppings involve pork.

In the end, I made us an all-dessert buffet.
We played Scrabble and Uno and Yahtzee
and listened to Bill Monroe.
Jesus has a healthy appetite for sweets,
I’m happy to report. He told strange
stories which I’ve puzzled over for days now.

We’ve got an appointment for golf on Wednesday.
Ordinarily I don’t play, and certainly not in this humidity.
But the Lord says he knows a grand miniature
golf course with fiberglass mermaids and working windmills
and the best homemade ice cream you ever tasted.
Sounds like Heaven to me.

Kristin Berkey-Abbott

Advice to a writer

March 20, 2009

“You would probably do just as well to get that plot business out of your head and start simply with a character or anything that you can make come alive. Wouldn’t it be better for you to discover a meaning in what you write rather than to impose one? Nothing you write will lack meaning because the meaning is in you.”

Flannery O’Connor

Thought for the day

March 20, 2009

“One should live his life in such a way that even bastards remember him.”

Faina Ranevskaya

First Lines

March 20, 2009

“To be born again ” sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, “first you have to die.”

Salman Rushdie
The Satanic Verses