Or he’s insane. But I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Speaking in Great Britain yesterday during his trip funded at the expense of the English taxpayer, Benedict characterized Nazi tyranny as “atheist extremism”. Coming from a man who once said that condoms increase the risk of contracting AIDs, which was simply one more lie among a long string, this gross distortion of history shouldn’t shock anyone. Who said, “We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out…We have put an end to denial of God and abuse of religion”? Yep, you guessed it, that notorious author of “atheist extremism” himself, Adolf Hitler.
What’s behind Benedict’s misinformation campaign is not hard to discern. The land the Catholic Church once practically ruled for so long has become increasingly denuded of followers. Churches stand empty. Fewer and fewer enter the priesthood. For the most part, a sweeping secularization can take credit. This is especially troubling to the Vatican because it can expect far less deference when its criminal activities come to light. The aggressive police raid on Catholic churches in Belgium a few months back is likely just a taste of things to come. Severely down in the polls, Benedict is doing what any other Machiavellian politician would do in a similar situation: sling mud, dissemble, and lie.
The sweet irony of the Pope’s fraud is that it’ll only hasten the very process he and his henchmen rail against. I say this in full seriousness: the Pope is a godsend to secularists everywhere (and, well, pretty much anyone else who abhors the Catholic Church, which includes a sizable number of fellow Christians too). It’s not simply his knack for offending anyone and everyone, but the clear fact he’s woefully inadequate to face the mounting challenges confronting his faith. It’s hard to differentiate the actions this Pope and his lackeys have taken from those of someone who would actively sabotage it:
Claim the mantle of victimhood while your criminal activities are exposed – Check
Hide behind dubious grants of sovereignty – Check
Blame your troubles on invisible nefarious forces – Check
Insult the very hosts who are paying for your jaunt to their country – Check
The cumulative effect of all this just confirms one of the bylines of the so-called new atheism: religion poisons everything. In a time when the entire edifice of faith has come under increasing scrutiny, thanks in no small part to the Four Horsemen, the last thing religion needs is a prominent liar for Jesus. A few decades ago, the damage might have been mostly confined to within Catholicism, but I think people are beginning to agree with us skeptics that the mendacity is the inevitable product of minds beholden to magic and faith, minds which largely dwell within a “demon-haunted world”.
I wish the Pope a long life to continue his crusade.