Education: still the greatest enemy of organised religion

And this bloke [source] has his cassock in a twist over it:

The Rt Rev Patrick O’Donoghue, the Bishop of Lancaster, has claimed that graduates are spreading scepticism and sowing dissent. Instead of following the Church’s teaching they are “hedonistic”, “selfish” and “egocentric”, he said.

Aw. My heart bleeds for you, Paddy. Quick primer:

Graduates = people who have spent years learning about The World and how it works (ostensibly, anyway – it’s highly likely they’ve spent years learning to be alcoholics).

Bishops = people who have spent years learning about The Church and how it works whilst all but ignoring how The World works yet presuming to tell The World how it should work according to what The Church told them. Back to the bitching…

Bishop O’Donoghue, who has recently published a report on how to renew Catholicism in Britain, argued that mass education has led to “sickness in the Church and wider society”. “What we have witnessed in Western societies since the end of the Second World War is the development of mass education on a scale unprecedented in human history – resulting in economic growth, scientific and technological advances, and the cultural and social enrichment of billions of people’s lives,” he said.

And that’s a bad thing because … oh, that’s right. You people had absolutely nothing to do with any of it! In fact, much of this amazing progress (especially in the areas of cultural & social enrichment and scientific advancement) has been made in spite of the concerted efforts of monolithic religions such as yours. Hence this walloping serve of sour grapes:

“However, every human endeavor has a dark side, due to original sin and concupiscence. In the case of education, we can see its distortion through the widespread dissemination of radical scepticism, positivism, utilitarianism and relativism.

“Taken together, these intellectual trends have resulted in a fragmented society that marginalizes God, with many people mistakenly thinking they can live happy and productive lives without him.

Good golly, how dare anyone use any modes of thought or philosophy other than those sanctioned by That Humungous Tomb In Rome Which Pretends To Be A Country! How dare anyone consider living their life ethically and knowledgably and to the fullest extent possible without consulting That Great Big Confusing Unverified Book Of Fairy Tales, Torture Porn And Contradictions!

So I’m mistaken, am I? Pray, dear Bish, tell me exactly how I, one of your educated heretics, am currently living a happy & productive life with my gifted & gorgeous medical student wife and adorable dog and great band and vegetable patch (the lettuces are looking brilliant) and loving family (also mostly godless) and amazing, talented, beautiful friends (with whom I don’t know that I’ve ever had any sort of serious religious discussion because it’s simply not important enough a topic in our lives to discuss)? How is it that my wife & I are just as happy as those few friends of ours that are religious (not that we know exactly how many of them there are anyway because it doesn’t come up)? How am I less happy than your average petrified, guilt-ridden Catholic because I go through life not fearing Hell, not fearing “temptation”, not studiously avoiding evil “secular” knowledge & not feeling the eyes of God burning through my back as I muddle through life?

Jeez, Paddy … you and your fellow befrocked ones say ignorant, insulting, out-of-touch shit like that and then you wonder why people are, in ever-increasing numbers, viewing your Church and the people who run it as anachronistic geezers with an unhealthy (and often hypocritical) interest in how other people run their private lives, and accordingly turning their backs on it.

Your Empire had a moral monopoly on Europe and much of the world for centuries. The Pope replaced the Roman Emperor as supreme monarch. You imposed your rule by force and enforced & expanded it brutally. Times changed though, and dispossessing rich heretics of their worldly goods and roasting the feet of your still-living enemies as their families watched and screamed in horror became, shall we say, passe. Since the roasting stopped, people have slowly realised that all The Church has left is guilt-inducing judgements & public denunciations of normal behaviour from people like you & Herr Ratzinger to keep people in line, keep bums on pews and keep the souls rolling in. Since people have realised that you have only words to throw at them, they’ve realised that the only power those words have is the power that they give to those words.

If you could just sit in your average pub and watch peoples’ eyes roll (in a combination of mild amusement and apathetic boredom) the next time Ratzi or some collared clown (like, say, our own paedophile enabler, Cardy Pell) appears on TV, as if he’s some kind of social/medical/artistic authority, to spout a soundbite denouncing something pretty ordinary, you’d have some idea what you’re up against. People simply don’t take any notice of your morality police on TV anymore. If anything they laugh at them. Not because people are becoming more evil or more secular (one and the same according to your capo di tutti capi), but because they just don’t accept your self-appointed role as our moral superiors.

It isn’t the 1950’s anymore, where your local priest was the first guy you called in a pinch and not the cops or your lawyer or the milkman. People simply no longer accept that there’s only one source for their morality and, what’s more, they strongly resent hearing people like you (i.e. cloistered virgins with chips on your shoulders about anything fun) publicy denouncing them as hedonistic or self-obsessed or materialistic (or whatever other negative trait you can link to the modern world) just because they don’t go to bloody church anymore. Sheesh, you drive people away from your precious Church by continually being ignorant of modern society and modern peoples’ needs (not to mention being inert at best on the topic of child abuse) and insulting anyone who doesn’t conform to your view, then you have the idiocy to wonder where all the Catholics went! Are you serious?

People change. As societies are made of people, societies inevitably change. Some institutions change along with the societies that support them. Sometimes a change is in fact necessary for the survival of an institution, e.g. the British Royal Family – no longer a monarchy with any real power, yet still existing in all its gilded glory, supported by their society (the French Royal Family, on the other hand, refused to change and they, well, got the chop). Those institutions who refuse to change, or do it very slowly or reluctantly, run the very real risk of becoming irrelevant or useless (or even harmful) to the society in question. The Catholic Church, constantly railing against, insulting, denouncing and harshly judging our ever-evolving society (while simultaneously ignoring its realities), as well as fruitlessly exhorting it to change back (presumably to pre-Henry VIII times when Papists ran Europe and just murdered anyone who stood up to them and then rifled through their pockets), runs the severe risk of becoming irrelevant.

But hey, Vatican, you’ve always been useless & irrelevant to me (except as a museum of artistic genius and great example of reprehensible social policy at the hands of an unchallenged absolute ruler). It would please me greatly if Catholics left you and your judgements behind in droves. Exodus-sized droves. Just keep up whatever it is that you’re doing. You’re driving far more Catholics away with your corruption & hypocrisy & unwarranted moral superiority complexes & unwanted, insulting, ignorant judgements than I ever could!

Just take solace from this, Papists: former UK PM Tony Blair just converted to Catholicism … for some reason. I’m sure you’ll all welcome your newest soul with open arms. He certainly won’t be the first lying, mass-murdering, hypocritical piece of shit to eat your magic zombie-flesh and drink your magic zombie-blood.

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