A while ago, I got in the shit on this blog for acknowledging the pope as a man of peace because he openly spoke out against war, in particular the Iraq war. Seems you can't be an atheist/agnostic and find something nice to say about a pope.
Now that he's dead, he's being reviled (unjustly, I feel) for all sorts of apparent crimes.
I'm seeing, again, what I call left-wing or secularist fundamentalism and it sickens me as much as any form of religious fundamentalism does.
So let's back-up a bit and sort a few things out, shall we?
Secularism is under increasing attack and religious fundamentalism is on the increase. But as secularists we're not acknowledging the degree to which this increase in religious fundamentalism and the resultant attacks on secularism may in fact be a defensive reflex against what is nothing less than the emergence of secular fundamentalism.
What do I mean by fundamentalism? A form of absolutism; a form of ideological/philosophical/religious totalitarianism; a claim that only your mob are in touch with The Absolute Truth and that to question or disagree with this Absolute Truth is tantamount to heresy.
Now, secularists (by which, for the purpose of this debate, I generally mean atheists, agnostics and sceptics) should by definition be immune to the disease of fundamentalism. But I find the opposite to be true. Everywhere I look I see secularists behaving exactly like the worst kind of fundamentalists they so love to condemn. This is what I see:
(1) Their truth is the only truth and it must not be questioned.
(2) Their morals/values are the only correct ones and must not be questioned.
(3) To question their truths/morals/values is tantamount to heresy.
(4) They are aggressive and fanatical in their prosyletising.
(5) They indulge in outrageous distortions and lies to wage their ideological warfare.
(6) They attack and denounce the beliefs/morals/values of non-believers and other fundamentalist religions. I say other
fundamentalist religions because the preceding items clearly identify them as being indistinguishable from fundamentalist religions.
Quick recap: Secular fundamentalists, like their fundamentalist brothers in other faiths, are bigoted, fanatical, intolerant of others' beliefs/values, and they are prone to tell outrageous lies to validate their odiferous viewpoints.
Take multiculturalism. There can be no multiculturalism in the presence of fundamentalist secularism even though this is supposedly one of their ideals. For multiculturalism to exist, we must have tolerance of others' beliefs, morals, and values. No such thing is permissible under the black cloud of secular fundamentalism. Multiculturalism is merely a wedge device to gain ideological supremacy and once it is attained the ideological Putsch commences. Secular fundamentalism is totalitarian in nature and is as evil as any other religious fundamentalism.
Now, let's get back to what prompted this post. I am outraged by a lie currently doing the rounds in the secular blogosphere, namely that the pope has killed millions with his doctrine. This fallacy is nicely selective in how it sees the pope's doctrine. It conveniently overlooks the fact that Catholicism, as indeed every organised religion, including the religion of secularism, is a set of rules/commandments/precepts by which one should live one's life.
There's a thing about a set of rules. For example, road rules... If you break a road rule and you then get killed as a result of breaking THAT rule (e.g, driving on the wrong side of the road), blaming your death on ANOTHER rule which you did NOT break (e.g. obeying the speed limit), or blaming the rule makers, is an act of gross disingenuousness (look that up, it's worth it). It's so dishonest it's breathtaking. Yet this is exactly the crap that's being put about by secular CrapMeisters.
Lets' get specific: You don't have to be a Catholic, but if you choose to be a Catholic and you contract AIDS because you BROKE one or more of the rules of Catholicism (e.g. having monogamous sex only with a spouse of the opposite sex), don't obfuscate the issue by saying you got AIDS because you OBEYED some other rule (e.g. you did not wear a condom). That's just pure crap. And all of that crap about the pope or the Catholic church being responsible for all those AIDS deaths is just that, crap. It's sophistry. It's blame shifting. Had you not broken ANY of the Catholic church's rules, you could not possibly have gotten aids by having sex. Ditto, abortion. Ditto anything and everything. You might not like their teachings, but they're not the root problem. I welcome you to challenge me on this by the way.)
Sure, you can argue until the cows come home that you, a fine upstanding Catholic, for whatever reason, cannot obey all of the rules of Catholicism. Fine, no worries. So stop calling yourself a Catholic and stop blaming the Catholic church for what happened, given that it would not have happened if you'd stuck to all of the rules. The rest is bullshit!
And that goes for all religions, including the religion of secularism, and even the religion of anarchism. It goes for every ism. You think they are not religions? Think again.
A religion has the right to set up whatever moral structures/rules/commandments/precepts it sees fit. A follower should only be a follower if s/he has no problems with the moral structure. Be willing to follow, or leave. End of story.
You don't have to belong to that religion if you don't like what it stands for. And it's not your job to change that religion into what YOU think it should be. Most religions are not democracies in which the followers or outsiders get to decide what the religion should teach or what its rules should be. If you don't like what your religion teaches, get out. Leave. Start your own religion, and see who wants to adhere to YOUR set of Absolute Truths. You could become the pope of The Next Big Thing. That's where democracy is vis-a-vis religion. But stop trying to impose your will on a pre-existing religion you don't even agree with.
Basically, get real, guys, and stop peddling your outrageous lies to prop up your hidden control-freak agenda.
I'm sick of reading utter crap...