I spent the August long weekend kicking my fitness into high gear, catching Drowzees and Zubats with the Fitbit strapped to my wrist. I can’t help but be amazed that we live in a world where this tiny black bracelet can speak silently and wirelessly with my other devices, reporting on how I slept, my heart rate, calories burned and how far I walked. I just borrowed it, to test it out, and in doing more research on other fitness trackers, I found the Speedo Misfit, which also tracks your swims: laps, distance, heart rate, etc. There’s even one that communicates with Satellites to ensure the accuracy of the distance you’ve walked or run… satellites, launched into space… to orbit our planet. It’s all so awe-inspiring, the tech we’ve managed to create to improve the quality of our lives. Like the Star Trek Universe popping into existence. Soon, we’ll have replicators and perhaps one day, maybe, we can hope for interplanetary travel. We are such impressive creatures, no one can deny.
Until, of course, you wake up Tuesday morning after the long weekend, and read about what his holiness, the Pope, has been up to during his mid-summer jaunt to exotic and bewitching tourist hotspot… Poland. That’s when you get smacked right out of the Enterprise and right back down to Earth. Oh right, you think. There are people who still believe this bullshit.
Here’s a thing. If I had to pick the qualities a man should have to be considered “in touch” with the world around him, they would definitely not include any of the following:
Chosen by a magical sky fairy to lord over a golden kingdom of sorcery.
Routinely eats crackers and wine and makes believe they are the body and blood of a 2000-year-old zombie.
Despite having the divine protection of the magical sky fairy and said 2000-year-old zombie, travels in a bulletproof vehicle named for himself.
Often touches people and leads them to believe his touch is more powerful than a Revive on a fainted Magmar.
Wears an ivory coloured dress and gaudy bling you might imagine finding at your local thrift store.
Wears a giant hat, carries a golden sceptre and holds press conferences while flying in a private jet.
You know, if any of these things apply to you, you’re probably a little bit out of touch with the modern world. So, when I saw an article on HuffPo this morning, detailing how the Pope wants us to feel about Islam, I had no choice but to take it with a grain of salt. I mean, the guy thinks he has the keys to Heaven, for fuck’s sake.
I did read it, though. You know, to see if he’d hit the topic anywhere near the ol’ bullseye.
Of course, he did not. He said,
“I think that in nearly all religions there is a always a small fundamentalist group,” he said, adding “We have them,” referring to Catholicism.
Yes, Pope Smear, there are small factions of Catholics you can refer to as “fundamentalists” but are these small groups of Catholics actively beheading people, walking into crowds with bombs strapped to their chests, or flying planes into buildings? What is it that these Catholic fundamentalist groups do in 2016, Frankie?
Well, Popesicle, I couldn’t really find anything save for a few references to the violence between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, which has calmed since the 90s. In fact, searching for anything related to Catholic violence, right now, is only returning results referring to what Frankie-Fancy-Hat has to say about it. Though there are Catholics who hate the LGBT community, I’ve not been able to find a single reference to a recent instance of a Catholic throwing a homosexual off a building to his death. Though there are Catholics who actively oppress the women in their lives, try as I might, I couldn’t find reference to any Catholics engaging in honour killings throughout the past decade. I’ve not found a single instance of Catholic-inspired terrorism resulting in deaths in recent years: there are no Catholics hijacking planes, none strapping bombs to their chests, none of them are barging into night clubs spraying the crowd with bullets. The closest thing I could find to organized terrorism related to Catholicism, Popenstein, is the systematic rape and torture of little boys in Catholic institutions all over the world.
“I don’t like to talk about Islamic violence because every day when I look at the papers I see violence here in Italy – someone killing his girlfriend, someone killing his mother-in-law. These are baptized Catholics,”
The difference you’re missing here, your Popiness, is that groups like ISIS are committing this violence in the name of their religion; in the name of their god. They’re doing it to earn favour with their deity, so they can achieve eternal bliss in the afterlife. They’re using the verses from their holy texts to form the fundamental basis for their group’s behaviour and to recruit new people from all over the world. They are promising recruits a euphoric eternity in exchange for the spilling of blood and because people so readily believe in this deity and his ultimate divinity, they are willing to make that sacrifice.
A man in Italy killing his girlfriend is an isolated incident, and likely has nothing to with his religion. He didn’t join a group aimed at causing global fear by killing girlfriends overseas. He wasn’t recruited into girlfriend-killing after being promised eternal bliss. There are no passages in his holy book that say, “and kill girlfriends wherever you find them.” the same way the Quran says to kill unbelievers wherever you find them.
Senseless violence sucks no matter why it happens, but sometimes it is absolutely tied into religion. Comparing isolated instances of crime unrelated to religion, to a group that is actively recruiting those who revere their holy book, and using eternal salvation as the bait, is a false comparison. One is not related to the other. They are not the same.
Not all Muslims are violent…
Of course not, but that is in spite of the fact that their holy book is violent. It also doesn’t change the fact that some Muslims are violent, due, at least in part, to their holy book.
Look, Popey-bear, I’ve never taken a lick of advice from you or any of your bejeweled, scepter-toting predecessors, and I’m not about to start now, but what you say concerns me regardless. You have influence over people and you’re telling them to ignore the truth and make believe it’s not there. You and I both know that the violence of ISIS and groups like ISIS, is irreversibly married to Islam. I know there are other contributing factors, but we will never improve the situation by refusing to acknowledge one factor in particular. I get that you’re frightened of what acknowledging Islam’s role in this violence could mean for you and and your magic kingdom, but I think human life and prosperity should matter more to a man in your position, than the global image of your little fairy tale.
If you truly care for Muslims, as you seem to want people to think you do, you ought to have the gold-encrusted papal balls to recognize the true causes of Islamic violence. Of all the people on the planet, Islamic violence hurts Muslims the most, and we owe it to them, our fellow human beings, to be honest about it.
Honesty… right. I forgot, I’m directing this at the head of the organization that moved raping priests around and protected them from the law, so they could continue to diddle little boys in a whole new town, in a whole new rectory. To expect honesty from you is like expecting a Snorlax to hatch from your store bought eggs. My bad, Popester, my bad.