Category Archives: religion

Cardinal George Pell is a trucking terrible person

 

A late entry and the outright winner for arsehole of the week is without doubt Cardinal George Pell. While appearing (via video link) at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse he said blaming the catholic church for the widespread child abuse committed by priests was like blaming a trucking company if one of their drivers did it.

 

Well George, let me make a few points. First, you truly are a disgusting pile of festering excrement. I mean it. You are absolutely disgusting.

 

Now to your trucking company analogy. It’s impossible to tell if you’re deliberately lying and distorting the truth or if you’re so deeply evil that you genuinely don’t recognise your own culpability and that of the wider church hierarchy. If you want your analogy to be a little more accurate it would have to be a trucking company that is specifically responsible for the well-being of the children abused by its drivers and when the company discovers the widespread abuse being perpetrated by many of their drivers they actively suppress the truth and instead of punishing the drivers they send them to drive trucks in a different city where nobody knows them but they’re still responsible for protecting children but they abuse children again and you repeat this cycle for decades without ever accepting responsibility for the abuse that wouldn’t have been possible without your direct actions.

 

And that is why so many people are utterly disgusted with you. You presided over this abuse for decades and have repeatedly shown more interest in protecting the reputation of the church over protecting children being abused by priests. And that continues right to this day. The clear refusal to accept responsibility is unacceptable and hopefully the royal commission will finally call Pell and his cohorts to account.

 

It’s obvious how deeply in denial Pell is, so much so that he went on to make statements that may well come back to haunt him. Many people are rightly outraged by the callous trucking company analogy but right after this his statements included “If in fact the authority figure has been remiss through bad preparation, bad procedures or been warned and done nothing or [done something] insufficient, then certainly the church official would be responsible.” I’m pretty sure that’s exactly the point a lot of people are making. That’s why there’s a royal commission – because of the appalling reaction of the catholic church and others to decades of abuse.

 

And when I look at Pell’s comments about a trucking company I can’t work out exactly how he would come to say something so terrible. Surely he would have prepared for something as serious as appearing before a Royal Commission? Surely the church takes it seriously enough to prepare? How awful would a group of people have to be to think making the trucker analogy was a good thing? How did that go? You as an organisation have been exposed for sheltering child abusers for decades, protecting them and your reputation over the children in your care, you’ve repeatedly attacked victims and their families instead of supporting them. And somehow you are so completely lacking in empathy you decide a completely ridiculous, insensitive and inaccurate analogy is the best way for you to refuse to accept responsibility for your appalling failings.

 

PELL: OK, what should I say to the Royal Commission?

 

ADVISOR: How about “It wasn’t us, it was some random truck driver that did all that kiddie fiddling”?

 

PELL: I don’t think anyone will go for that but you’ve given me an idea. I’ll use an analogy.

 

ADVISOR: Wow, that sounds insightful. How does an analogy work?

 

PELL: I don’t say truck drivers committed all the abuse that catholic priests are responsible for but I say blaming the church itself for the priests committing abuse is like holding a trucking company responsible for individual truck drivers who assault people.

 

ADVISOR: And the fact that any responsible trucking company that knew it had drivers committing that sort of abuse would sack the drivers, turn them over to the police and do everything in their power to support and compensate the victims doesn’t undermine your point at all?

 

PELL: I don’t think so. The public’s anger at rampant abuse within the church has be growing for years but I think all we’ve needed to do all this time is to use a gratuitously insulting and inaccurate analogy to say we refuse to accept any responsibility.

 

ADVISOR: Well I can’t see any flaw in that plan but then again I couldn’t see any flaw in the plan to protect priests who were known child abusers.

 

PELL: When you consider how ridiculous the whole magic man in the sky thing is, it should be a doddle to get the suckers to believe the church isn’t to blame for the abuse.

 

ADVISOR: I am so glad none of that stuff we tell them is true, otherwise we’d be going straight to hell.

 

PELL: Word.

 

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Eric Abetz – stupid, ignorant and a liar

 

I wonder if Eric Abetz is psychic? Or maybe he watches my YouTube channel. Less than a week ago, I said I didn’t hate him like I do some other members of the government. Maybe he felt left out because since then he’s done some phenomenally stupid things that seem designed to make reasonable people take a disliking to him. Or maybe he’s just stupid.
 
There’s a bunch of horrible people in Melbourne at the moment calling themselves The World Congress of Families. These ultra-right wing Christians have a very narrow view of what constitutes a family (let alone family “values”) and are pretty hostile to things like science and evidence. Many conservative Australian politicians have eagerly embraced these wackos despite the fact their view reflect only a tiny lunatic fringe of religious conservatives.  During a TV interview, Abetz repeated the utterly absurd and totally discredited views of one of the speakers, namely, that there’s a link between breast cancer and abortion.
 
That would have been bad enough but the next day Abetz decides to sink into the depths of stupidity. First he straight up denies he said it. The interview was “heavily edited”. Later changed to “they cut me off”. Actual video of the interview makes all of his denials and excuses look ridiculous. Then he cops to the whole “abortion cause breast cancer” not being true. But in the most shit eating way you can imagine. Instead of making a simple, clear statement “abortion does not cause breast cancer” he vomits out an endless stream of weasel words.
 
He says because he isn’t a medical expert he isn’t qualified to judge personally but he accepts that the majority of medical opinion says this is rubbish. Then he goes on to talk in glowing terms about the speaker who is pushing this rubbish, American surgeon Dr Angela Lanfranchi. She’s a surgeon. She does breast cancer surgery. She’s awesome. The truth is, she is a liar. She is spreading blatant lies and abusing her position as a surgeon to give false credibility to her absolutely ridiculous, religiously motivated lies.
 
Abetz rounds off his weasel drivel by saying Lanfranchi has “the right to express her views” – yes, it’s all about free speech, people. If you want to stop someone from influencing public policy and actually endangering the health of others with LIES, you oppose free speech. Here’s the thing: believing abortion is wrong because your magical sky fairy says so (or for any other reason) is a point of view and I would never say people don’t have the right to that opinion. What is happening here fails the classic “shouting FIRE in a crowded theatre” test. This is the deliberate spreading of a lie that has the capacity to cause injury to people.
 
It’s inexcusable and Abetz isn’t just wrong, he’s also a liar and a coward.
 
 
I wrote this little rant thinking about TFU Friday and it made its way into the video here:

 

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Atheist bigots – shut the fuck up

People who think the simple fact they profess to be atheists makes them automatically smarter than anyone who believes in god can shut the fuck up any time now.  I’m not sure what pisses me off most about this attitude – the innate arrogance, the internal logical contradiction or the ignoring of objectively observable reality.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think religious fundamentalists are morons.  I’ve been very clear that I think people who want to place their religious beliefs on an equal footing on science are evil and enemies of humanity.  None of that means there aren’t atheists who are utter fuckwits.  I can’t stand people who push the line “I think believing in god is stupid, I don’t believe in god, therefore I’m smarter than anyone who believes in god.” 

My response is: shut the fuck up you egotistical, self-deluding simpleton. 

Because this type of bigot reflexively accuses me of being a religious fundamentalist I’ll waste a little time explaining what my beliefs are.  (I call this a waste of time because it’s no easier to reach atheist bigots than it is to reach any other sort of bigot.  Who else but a religious nut would challenge their sacred belief is the superiority of atheism?)  My take on the question “Does god exist?” is that it’s irrelevant.

The idea that any “supreme being” could possibly give a shit what us insignificant insects get up to is laughable.  And the idea that said deity would punish us for eternity for not bowing down and offering out lifelong obeisance is fucking ridiculous.  Those are human behaviours.  Any being with those sorts of failings is a long way from supreme.  

And I wholeheartedly reject every religion on the planet.  No matter how humble and selfless the beliefs of any individual may be, religious institutions exist solely to exert power over other people.  Fuck that.  Besides which, all religions are working on the assumption that at least 95% of the planet is wrong (when it comes down to it, intra-religion sects hate each other more than they do outsiders).  Why not go with the odds and assume 100% of them are wrong?

So if I reject religion, why am I telling hardcore atheists to shut the fuck up? Maybe you consider yourself a follower of science and rational, objective reason.  Good for you.  That doesn’t make you innately more intelligent than ANYONE.  Atheism is a belief system the same as any religion.  You can’t prove that god doesn’t exist any more than anyone can prove god does exist.  You believe that your rational thought system is right and religious belief is wrong.  But by itself, that isn’t a measure of intelligence.

Sure, you can point to insane bastards who reject conclusive science like evolution in favour of their literal interpretation of religious texts.  Being able to point out complete freaks doesn’t define you as a genius.  In fact, an arrogant belief in one’s superiority is usually a sure sign of lack of intelligence.  Intelligent people are actually the most likely to say “I don’t know”.  Something religious fundamentalists and atheist bigots have in common is an unswerving beliefs in their rightness – there is something essentially wrong with anyone who disagrees with them.

When someone says “My fundamental non-religious beliefs make me automatically smarter than someone with fundamental religious beliefs” I say “Shut the fuck up!”  The fact that someone who would say that is too stupid to see the inherent logical contradiction would be funny if it wasn’t sad.  Neither intelligence nor your worth as a human is measured solely on where you lie on the religion/atheism continuum.  Unless the person doing the measuring is a fundamentalist zealot.

It really bugs me how atheist zealots argue they are more intelligent than religious believers in the face of objective evidence to the contrary.  Saying that a belief in god makes you automatically stupid denies obvious things like the number of scientists and scholars who are religious.  Not to mention the amount of scholarly work that has been done through the ages and continues to be done by religious groups.

Why are some atheists so scared to admit that they are following a deeply held belief rather than some objective reality?  What the hell is wrong with belief?  When you can admit you hold beliefs rather than some indisputable truth you’re saying that you’re still open to questions.  You’re intelligent and objective enough to admit that there is always more to learn. 

Of course you think your beliefs are right.  By definition when you believe something you think you’re right.  And it makes sense to defend your beliefs passionately and point out what you think is wrong with contradictory views.  But a sure sign of an ignorant, anti-intellectual fuckwit is someone who’s convinced they have no more to learn and it’s impossible they will ever be proved wrong.

I’ve learned from experience that there is a certain (small) subset of atheists who are incapable of making the concession they could be wrong.  In this they are every bit as much a fundamentalist as the most backward religious freak.  Pressing them on this point tends to make them freak out.  But I don’t give a fuck.

Atheist bigots need to shut the fuck up.

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