The Church and the Wages of Sin
The end of faith and fear can only come about when the institutions that promote and use it are exposed for what they really are: parasites. Parasites prey upon the weaknesses of the host and feast upon its resources and fill it with poison. Faith is that poison, and fear is the vessel used to transport it. One of the most frequent users of this vessel is the Roman Catholic Church. In what is now commonly called “the post 9/11 era” many people have become much more aware of the historical realities of the Church in the past. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the persecution of Jews and “heretics”, all of these things have come to the fore in the disparate arenas of popular culture, historical analysis, and perhaps more importantly politics. None of these issues are the concern of this essay. I wish to narrow my focus to within the past Century or so, specifically the evolving positions of the Church and its leaders and apologists since Vatican II. The apologists include those who may not be Catholic, but who also find a reason to defend their essential beliefs. I believe that this period shows a disturbing trend towards greater abuse of fear as a tool to keep the “faithful” in line, and to influence the culture at large. The Catholic Church today inserts itself into almost every discussion about societal problems and scientific inquiry. Abortion, Stem cell research, evolutionary biology, the Holy See sees fit to share its esteemed opinions and beliefs with the public and with its political representatives. The Church claims to be the greatest example of human kindness, enlightenment and charity in the world. It is my contention that the Church is actually one of the worst offenders against human decency and reason in the world today.
According to Friedrich Nietzsche “Life is at an end where the ‘kingdom of God’ begins” (twilight of the idols, p. 55). If you were to ask the dearly departed Karol Wojtyla, nom de plume John Paul II, he would have a much different view. The Kingdom of God has dominion over our lives, indeed it is our lives. God is life and therefore there is literally no life without God. How do the esteemed fathers of the church know this? They are told directly because they communicate with the deity on our behalf of course. His holiness whom-ever-the-old-celibates-decide-is-the Pope also has the unexplainable, and down right amazing ability to infallibly speak on behalf of God. The problem is not so much that The Church has delusions of grandeur as it uses infantile arguments to justify these delusions. Translations of translations of translations of esoteric Hebrew theology and myth are said to be fact by so called experts who made up their minds about what the believe before they ever attempted a serious examination of their holy books. These “Theologists” (as they like to call themselves) and their apologists also employ faulty logic to create a foundation of “reason” for their odd beliefs. One of my favorite examples of this religious logic was employed by the conservative Christian Apologist Denesh D’Souza in a debate with the writer Christopher Hitchens. D’Souza made the ridicules argument that Christians created the concept of Compassion. He backed up this erroneous declaration by citing the Biblical parable of the prodigal son. Hitchens tore this argument apart easily by pointing out that the story took place before there were any Christians at all: Jesus had not yet been crucified and St. Paul had not even been born yet. So D’Souza was undermined by his own belief system!