Archive for September 7th, 2010

Pppptttttooooeeeeeeeeeeee …

That’s the sound of me spitting nails due to a mad-enough-to-do-so reaction to this article from the BBC titled: Archbishop says UK taxpayer should help fund Pope visit.

Yes, Peeps, I am pulling myself out of my own miserable ass for long enough today to take the papal bull by the hornies and tug the beast roughly through some needling to bang my damned drum again.

Although I haven’t been a UK taxpayer for more than a decade, the nasty taste of a childhood tainted by a Catholic upbringing will always linger, and the arrogance of the church is a hackle-raising prompt to spew some of the leftover venom still clogging my throat like a scorched wafer of desiccated dead guy skin. Plus, I have loads of friends who will be footing that £12 million bill … and I’d so much rather they come visit me, or make their mortgage payment, or enjoy a night out, than pay for the lavish accommodation the popester and entourage will enjoy.

An online poll of 2,005 people, published this week, found 79% had “no personal interest” in the visit.

The survey, by think tank Theos, also found 77% thought taxpayers should not help pay for it.

But Archbishop Nichols told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme it was right the taxpayer and the Church shared the bill because the Pope was coming at the invitation of the government.

“It is a state visit, and the day that this country closes its doors and says we can’t afford state visits is a very sad day because it would be a real gesture of isolationism,” he said.

Isolationism? Hm. I’m thinking more like good sense and a refusal to kowtow to an archaic institution that feeds itself on misery, fosters greed and avoids accountability at all costs.

And speaking of costs … it’s not like the church isn’t rolling in tax-free dosh, can’t afford better than Britain the pomp that comes with papal circumstance and isn’t using the trip for PR in hopes of diverting attention from the fact that the dudes in fancy dress attending the party have been stuffing damning evidence of sexual abuse of children … along with a lot of other nasty stuff … under their skirts for many, many years.

“And I think we should remember that the Pope comes as the spiritual leader of one in five of all the people on this planet, so this is not a minor figure, as it were.

“This is the leader of probably the oldest international institution, that serves humanity in a tremendous way right around the globe.”

Old Ben … the “spiritual leader of one in five of all the people on this planet” … hm. Who’s doing the counting … and if that’s even close to accurate, he’s doing a pretty crap job of spiritual leading.

Some numbers … just for the hell of it …

Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherents

1. Christianity: 2.1 billion (Groups which self-identify as part of Christianity include (but are not limited to): African Independent Churches (AICs), the Aglipayan Church, Amish, Anglicans, Armenian Apostolic, Assemblies of God; Baptists, Calvary Chapel, Catholics, Christadelphians, Christian Science, the Community of Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormons”), Coptic Christians, Eastern Orthodox churches, Ethiopian Orthodox, Evangelicals, Iglesia ni Cristo, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Local Church, Lutherans, Methodists, Monophysites, Nestorians, the New Apostolic Church, Pentecostals, Plymouth Brethren, Presbyterians, the Salvation Army, Seventh-Day Adventists, Shakers, Stone-Campbell churches (Disciples of Christ; Churches of Christ; the “Christian Church and Churches of Christ”; the International Church of Christ); Uniate churches, United Church of Christ/Congregationalists, the Unity Church, Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, Vineyard churches and others.)
2. Islam: 1.5 billion
3. Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion
3. Hinduism: 900 million
4. Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
5. Buddhism: 376 million
6. primal-indigenous: 300 million
7. African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
8. Sikhism: 23 million
9. Juche: 19 million
10. Spiritism: 15 million
11. Judaism: 14 million
12. Baha’i: 7 million
13. Jainism: 4.2 million
14. Shinto: 4 million
15. Cao Dai: 4 million
16. Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
17. Tenrikyo: 2 million
18. Neo-Paganism: 1 million
19. Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
20.Rastafarianism: 600 thousand

Okay. So there are some who find solace and comfort within the confines of the specifically catholic institution, but apparently that’s barely 20% of the folks who’ll be coughing up the cash, and for that kind of money I’m betting a good chunk of the 79% not buying into there being anything on the menu for them would be happy enough to invite folks over for a lovely Sunday roast dinner, some good company … even a confession or two.

Earlier this week, an aide to Archbishop Nichols, Edmund Adamus, told Catholic news agency Zenit that Britain had become a “selfish, hedonistic wasteland”.

Pot? Kettle?

But the Archbishop said he disagreed with that assessment.

“I think our society is characterised as much by generosity and genuine concern of one for another, and I think religious faith is taken quite seriously by probably a majority of people in this country.”

So, that means an invite is forthcoming for a free, fun-filled, all inclusive holiday for some Shankaracharya? That the Dalai Lama gets a free ride on the back of the British taxpayer on his next visit? Will Rabbi Kushner get as much as a discounted knish in London? (I won’t even bother wondering what reception an ayatollah, caliph or imam can expect.) And does anyone recall Bob Marley getting out of paying up on hotel bills when he played England?

So … why £12 million for the mayor of Vatican City? Habit?

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