Dominus Pederastum

Two years ago, Pope Benedict sorta kinda apologized for the Church’s American molestation scandals, saying they were “sometimes very badly handled”. He may want to dust off that script. [NYT, via DodgerBlue]


Is “Bad Tolz” the kind of bath you take to wash away the sin of child sexual abuse?

Hitchens has something he just put out, that eviscerates this pope. Ugly stuff, yuck.

I generally don’t much give a shit about Popes, I think they are given more credence than is warranted, in the arena of public policy in the developed world. Italy and Spain, two of the most catholic countries, have gay marriage, whodathunkit?

But here in the US, the home of fundamentalist christianity (we are the sole major country where fundie christianity is a power), there is an emerging and powerful fundie catholic movement, very conservative, and unlike the anti-intellectual fundamentalist protestants, very intellectual, and can claim legitimate academic credentials from the very good catholic universities they go to. This has been the go-to group for republican supreme court appointments, Scalia, Roberts, and Alito, 3 of 9 supreme court justices come from this one very narrow and small group within catholicism, and they are the most dangerous fundamentalists on earth, because they are real intellectuals, as well as being fundies, the protestant fundies can’t rise to this level, because of the deep anti-intellectualism engrained in american protestant fundamentalism, and their tenedency to go to their Potemkin-Village, Cargo-cult “universities,” strange institutions, trying to form themselves to all outward observations as “universities,” but with an agenda and purpose antithetical to the idea of learning.

I think there is a very interesting area for deep analysis, of the phenomenon of catholic scholasticism, thats what I will call it, a trait I have seen most pronounced in jesuit-educated catholic conservatives.

They are absolute demons at logic, and wordplay, they can be dazzlingly intelligent, but completely dishonest, intellectually dishonest, proffering arguments that are so tightly logical, yet devoid of truth, and they know it, they value being able to use dishonest, yet brilliant, intellectual argument, to further their beliefs.

I am shallow in both history and philosophy, but it seems to resemble what I have read of medeival scholasticism, brilliant arguments about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

This logical facility, combined with a particularly Catholic authoritarianism, is epitomized in Scalia, someone who can say that innocence is not grounds for challenging a death sentence, simply because the challenge was not brought in the correct procedure.

@Tommmcatt Loves The Giant Floating Head: Fucking wow, I did not know that! The bastards, if you have the truth, and believe it, you should never have to lie, by any means. Seems to me, if you feel it necessary to equivocate, you really don’t believe in your truth.


In their defense, if one is about to have one’s property confiscated or if one is about to be thrown into a medieval prison unless one equivocates, there should be a way to be able to do that and not have one’s soul thrown into perdition.

Not that I ascribe to that, necessarily. Just sayin’.

@Tommmcatt Loves The Giant Floating Head: This is very close the fundie thing of lying to outsiders. They have a name for it too. Thankfully I’ve managed to forget it.

@Promnight: Aren’t they more properly called reactionaries? It’s more what they are, it seems to be. They promote themselves as being conservative but they’re really not. They are trying to profoundly change the way we live.

I had a bit of an epiphany the other day. I was trying to explain to one of locals about our fundies’ attitude towards the free market – which they reckon to be a manifestation of the divine and that to interfere with it is to thwart the will of God. Which why they become deranged when we want to regulate banks, for example. We think we’re talking about money, they’re talking about God. He was all Euro-sneery and you Yanquis are such a funny pipple, when we happened to enter the Perterskirk, a very elaborate high-baroque church in old Vienna. I pointed out that surely all the gold decorations inside were there for the greater glory of God. Yes no? So the more decoration the more glory. To a non-Catholic this looks like rank hypocrisy -feed the poor, rich man camel heaven, etc – but really it’s not. It expresses their view of God. The Catholic version, made respectable by couple thousand years of history, of pretty much the same idea.

I’m finding, to my surprise, that a little bit of baroque goes a very long way. Won’t be sorry to leave here. Very unpleasant fleecing of the tourists going on. Did see a marvelous Janacek opera. Quite an overwhelming experience even if the heroine, in the final act, was given a headdress to wear that gave her an unfortunate resemblance to B Streisand in Funny Girl. I just had to man up and look past it.

Oh and also, one of the old synagogues has had written on its walls the names of those from the Czech lands who were murdered in the war. Just the names on white walls. Very dignified and moving. I wondered if it had been an inspiration for the Vietnam memorial. Very similar impact.

@Benedick Gabor: To a non-Catholic this looks like rank hypocrisy

Including Luther.

@nojo: Who gave us Calvinism. The most bewildering take on Jesus ever.

@Benedick Gabor: Who also gave us Nojo’s Groovy Pastor growing up. The stories I could tell you about weekend church-basement slumber parties. Well, if I had any to tell.

@nojo: I don’t care about church basements (I’m just curious, is that where you first heard the music of ALW?) so much as the whole “We don’t care how good you’ve been if you’re not on the list you will burn in hell” aspect.

@Benedick Gabor: is that where you first heard the music of ALW?

We did watch late-night horror movies on TV. Does that count?


He probably stole from those too, I would imagine, so yes.

@Tommmcatt Loves The Giant Floating Head: These days, of course, I’m a Luthoran. From the Supervillain Synod.

@Tommmcatt Loves The Giant Floating Head: You do know we’re just here to stroke his ego, don’t you?

@Benedick Gabor:

But what of all those beautiful European männer? I’d bang some of those Austrians harder than the bells at Stephansdom Cathedral.

@Original Andrew: I can’t find it, but “harder than a screen door slamming in a tornado” (more or less) remains the gold standard.

@Original Andrew: Meh. They talk art but what they really want to do is direct.

@Benedick Gabor:

He really won’t let you get close enough to stroke anything else…

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