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Conclave evidence March 16, 2013

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Humor, Rants.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Religious people often accuse atheists of being “closed-minded”, claiming that we wouldn’t believe in their god even if they showed us evidence. I’d be perfectly willing to reconsider my position on the subject, if any solid evidence were ever provided. The problem is that they have an entirely different standard of what evidence is, and how much evidence is enough. Their god-claim is an extraordinary claim, and as such requires extraordinary evidence to support it. Their usual routine of “Look at how complicated the world is, I have a holy book, and I feel it in my heart” just doesn’t fly with me. But there are things that I would consider as good evidence pointing to a god, if they ever happened. But they don’t.

The recent conclave was a great opportunity for a god to give the whole world evidence that he actually existed. We had a bunch of powerful men running a corrupt institution, who were meeting to select a new leader who will protect and defend that institution from all outside threats. If there were no god, what we would expect is that these hard-liners will select a hard-liner from among their number who will continue running things just as they have always been. (Which is what always happens, and did again this time). But if these men actually had the kind of close link to a god that they claim they do, and if they were actually trying to listen to and obey the will of that god, then this would have been a great time for a god to produce an entirely unexpected result, and get the attention of the whole world.

Scenario One:  Cardinals emerge from conclave: “We’ve had a clear message from God that none of us is qualified to be Pope.  We’re all too involved in scandals and we’re totaly corrupt.  The next pope is to be chosen by popuar election, and present clergy are ineligible to run.”  This woud get my attention.

Scenario Two:  Cardinals emerge from conclave: “God told us not to elect any more Popes.  We’ve all been ordered by God to sell the Vatican, give all the money to the Red Cross and Planned Parenthood, disband the College of Cardinals, and then retire to a monastery.”  This would really get my attention.  I might start to think there actually wassomething to this god stuff  if something like that happened.

Scenario Three:

White smoke from the chimney (because if the Cardinals were actually guided by god, there would never be a need for any other kind).

Cardinals emerge onto the balcony and one steps to the mike.

“Erm, hello.  Yes…well…the thing is…    Um…well, we were expecting that God would lead us to elect a Cardinal as our next pope.  But we all had this vision first thing this morning.  Every one of us.  And then the jam in our breakfast oatmeal kept swirling around to form a name.  There was a face on each of our pancakes too, and it was all the same face, a face we recognized.  We thought, ‘This can’t be right!  We’re supposed to select a Cardinal!  We’re supposed to select a clergyman!  We’re supposed to pick a Catholic!  We’re supposed to pick a man!’

So we took our ballots, and we each wrote down the name of a Cardinal, and the ink actually moved on the page to spell a different name.  Every ballot!  Cardinal Dolan here even filmed it on his cellphone, just to be sure.  We’l post it on YouTube later today.


Here’s your new Pope.  Chosen by God, this was totally not our idea:


Habetis Papam March 13, 2013

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Rants.
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So, a 76-year-old Argentinian homophobe who probably collaborated with a brutal military Junta is pope.  yay.

Good things – he’s not European.  If the Vatican is ever going to adapt to the future, they’ve got to be willing to change things.  So I guess this is a change.

He prefers living simply and supporting the poor.  Good there.  Maybe he can sell off some of the Vatican’s enormous wealth and do something better with the money.  I’m not holding my breath, but I’ll be pleased if it happens.

He’s already pretty old.  So the Vatican will probably have another shot at getting this right soon.  (Remember John Paul I?  Me neither.)

Except, no they won’t.  They’ll never appoint a true reformer, because they always pick one of their own.  The vatican is a corrupt organization, answerable to no-one.  The rich and powerful heads of this organization, who also answer to no-one,  have gathered and selected one of their own number to be capo.  This man will appoint the new cardinals, and the circle of corruption will go round and round.  Maintenance of their hierarchy and power is always going to be put before the wellbeing of their “flock”.  None of them are ever really held accountable to the catholic people who provide their power base.  The only recourse that catholics actually have is to walk out of their churches and stop giving them money. If they vote with their purse-strings, the hierarchy will have to listen.  But with a billion catholics in the world, it will take a lot of independent-minded catholics to make much of a difference, and we know how much the church encourages independent thought.

In other news, apparenlty the Vatican recently bought Europe’s larget gay bathhouse! (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/as-cardinals-gather-to-elect-pope-catholic-officials-break-into-a-sweat-over-news-that-priests-share-23m-building-with-huge-gay-sauna-8529670.html)  The building apparenlty also houses 19 Vatican apartments, including the 12-room apartment of Cardinal Ivan Dias.   What a convenient location!   I wonder what other fun stories are going to crop up next.  I’m waiting for the thing to come out that’s so bad that Ratzinger resigned to avoid dealing with it.


Mission Impapable? February 25, 2013

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Humor, Responses, Uncategorized.
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From Reuters:

Pope Benedict’s decision to live in the Vatican after he resigns will provide him with security and privacy. It will also offer legal protection from any attempt to prosecute him in connection with sexual abuse cases around the world, Church sources and legal experts say.

“His continued presence in the Vatican is necessary, otherwise he might be defenseless. He wouldn’t have his immunity, his prerogatives, his security, if he is anywhere else,” said one Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Reeeaaalllyyy……?  Here’s what I’d love to see:


Good morning Mr. Phelps…. 


The man in the photo is Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, once the head of a major international criminal syndicate.  There are charges for conspiracy, racketeering and money laundering pending against him in several countries.  Now retired, he has gone into hiding in a small principality within Italy that has no extradition treaties with any other country.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to get Ratzinger to voluntarily step outside the boundaries of this country , so that he can be arrested by the Italian authorities and extradited to stand trial.  As always, if any of your team is caught,  killed, or excommunicated, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.  This tape will self-desctruct in ten seconds.  Good luck Jim.

Mission Impossible tape

Translating the Pope February 14, 2013

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Rants, Responses.
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Speaking on Ash Wednesday, his popeness said this:

” …so that we can reveal the face of the Church and how this face is, at times, disfigured. I am thinking in particular of the sins against the unity of the Church, of the divisions in the body of the Church. Living Lent in a more intense and evident ecclesial communion, overcoming individualism and rivalry is a humble and precious sign for those who have distanced themselves from the faith or who are indifferent.” http://catholicexchange.com/the-last-homily/

Translation from religion-ese into actual language:

“You people are having your own thoughts!! STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!!!  You’re only supposed to think what I tell you to think. You’re making us look bad!!!! (And by “us”,  of course I mean “me”.)  No more thinking, and I mean it!”



(And the expected response in 3…2….1…..)

The Pope Quits? February 11, 2013

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Rants.
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Seriously, he’s stepping down?


Who does he think he is – Sarah Palin?

Hey Joe, did you forget the job contract on this?  You get to be “king” of the Vatican, live in unimaginable wealth and splendor, have enormous power, order around a billion catholics, and have people grovel at your feet all day.  But the catch is that you have to do this until you die, no matter how sick you get.  Seems a fair trade-off. If you can condemn millions of Africans to an agonizing death from AIDS by telling them not to use condoms, then you can just stay on the job from your sickbed!

The last pope to step down was in 1415, and he did it to end a schism, not because he didn’t feel like being pope anymore.

So what’s actually going on here?  Can it be that the bad press has finally gotten too overwhelming?  It’s becoming increasingly obvious that he knew about all the pedophilia and other abuses going on in the Catholic Empire, and has for a really long time.  It’s apparent he was deeply complicit in the cover-up.  As I saw on a comment this morning, he’s not the Sarah Palin of religion, he’s Richard Nixon.

pope nixon the one

But what I think actually is going on is his last grab at power.  Since a pope serves until he dies, the one thing he never gets to do is choose his own successor.  Even if he were to let the cardinals know his preference for a successor, he’s gone by the time they choose.  So there might be a chance that they would actually pick a decent person who was more concerned with the wellbeing of humans than in the power and public image of the catholic bureaucracy.  (A small chance, but a chance). If Ratzo hangs around he gets an opportunity to push the cardinals to select another Sith Lord and keep the church securely on the Dark Side of the Force.

Will he be allowed to attend the conclave?  I hope not, but there’s really no precedent for this, so this will be interesting to watch.