The publicity about Pope Francis’ visit to the USA has been overwhelming, especially to the ears of us whose take on the fantasyland of religion differs from his. Particularly one should note his time in Washington, DC where he has been afforded massive acclaim and access to our top leaders. No US citizen or other foreign guest has seemingly ever enjoyed such access.
The air (talk about getting highly favorable and massive earned media!!) is full of phrases such as how he is promoting “tolerance and inclusion”. How does the following list justify such words?
1. No modern contraception for all people including Catholics—the so called rhythm method is NOT a modern method!!!
2. No sterilization for women who seek it. Go to http://www.propublica.org/article/u.s.-bishops-take-aim-at-sterilization
3. No access to the legally approved in 1973 right to a safe abortion
4. Insisting marriage must be between a man and woman
5. Insisting that the only God is their God
Of course the concept of monotheism is a dangerously destructive part of many religions. And certainly the history of all religions is fraught with horrors such as the Spanish Inquisition. And now here at home sadly his view currently has been joined by other zealots who want to defund Planned Parenthood and further restrict human rights for women.
Another big and oft repeated Pope Francis statement is about the need to recognize the urgency of climate change. There we should all be in agreement.
However, since human numbers (Yes, Folks, we are the reason for global warming) have quadrupled to nearly 8 billion since 1930, why isn’t this allegedly infallible Pope pushing every possible access to birth control?
He claims his concern for the poor, but it is the lack of access to modern contraception (and the arrogance of male dominance, also a main feature of the Vatican directed RCC organization) which often forces poor women to bear more children than they can support.
He talks about immigration and how the USA should welcome more Latinos, since he is a Latino. Well, let me remind him that the USA has absorbed over 100 million immigrants since 1965, most of them Hispanics.
That most of these Hispanics are Catholic would suggest a nasty conflict of interest.
The pageantry of his appearance in DC was designed to awe us all, particularly those without the ability to discern its true meaning.
Thus to me this historic visit reminds me of the famous Trojan Horse that the Greeks parked at the gate of Troy, whose inhabitants became so enamored with it that they took it into their walled city. Loaded with Greek warriors, who poured out of the Horse, the enchantment of Troy’s citizens caused the fall of Troy.
This is why this web site is so devoted to challenging religious privilege in public life. The key to understanding how to keep secular affairs separate from religious beliefs is realizing that all religions have a thirsting desire to take away human freedom and assume control over their adherents. That an office holder is Catholic, Protestant, Jewish or Moslem should always be factored into reviewing how they behave in office. The lady who would not issue gays marriage licenses after a democratic process passed a law allowing gays to wed gives us a perfect small example of my point.
Perhaps the most ironic part of the Pope’s passing pageantry here in DC was the endless canonization procedure on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 involving making Junipero Serra a saint. Of course the whole sainthood process accelerated dramatically under John Paul II, its validity based on the need for miracles strikes many as bogus.
One “miracle” about Serra and the tenure of that era of religious conquest in California was that between his arrival in about 1770, when he founded 9 missions of the 21 total, and the end of the mission system in about 1830, the number of indigenous Indians declined from several hundred thousand to under 20,000.
Hey, after the Civil War, lots of Union General heroes went west to kill Indians which they did with reckless abandon which resulted in Custer’s Last Stand in 1876. But they performed the same function as occurred in Serra’s era.
In what could only be described as a terrible example of genocide was perpetrated by a Catholic Missionary in California by Junipero Serra. He and his fellows turned these Indians into slaves and used the harshest possible treatment to keep them working for the missions.
In the typical example of Vatican arrogance, the Pope overrode the facts and made this self flagellating maniacal killer a saint. Be sure to read this 2015 book by Elias Castillo, “A Cross of Thorns” which two Amazon reviewers described as follows:
The myth of California’s missions as a nurturing environment for Indians is stripped away by Elias Castillo. Instead, he reveals the Indians’ enslavement by friars who used whips, chains, and shackles to restrain the unwilling prisoners who provided the labor force for the missions.
Through study of historical reports and letters, Castillo describes the efforts of Father Junipero Serra, father of the state’s mission system, to gain more souls in heaven. But it came at the expense of Indians wrenched from their lives close to nature into a worse one. Serra may be canonized by Pope Francis, but his legacy is stained.
The book is thoroughly researched and well written. It depicts a sad period in California history.
The canonization of Junipero Serra to sainthood may be a good thing. It might invoke interest to the vast inaccuracies of typical textbook history. The continuous romanticizing, by church and state, of the mythological fantasies about the California missions and its holy friars might finally be taken to task. The ugly truth may begin to flow through the mainstream masses. After an existence spanning thousands of years, the barbaric administrators of these missions inflicted suffering and death of apocalyptic proportions that drove the native peoples to virtual extinction within seventy years. Many of the atrocities are fully and woefully described in this book based on well-documented evidence of thorough research. The level of inhumanity inflicted on a conquered people by fanatics and zealots of a cross and crown stems from a “might makes right” position that knows no bounds. To stamp a label of sainthood upon a leader of such a diabolical system is a stamp of approval by the church of that system. For the state to present a paradisiacal accounting of the native populations swarming to the missions into the loving arms of the friars is totally opposite the historical facts. Kidnapping, enslavement, physical and mental torture, separation of families, sexual abuse, flagellations and imprisonment in confinements of squalor only begin to tell the real story.
Anyone reading the well documented book will join the current voices of protest such as the AP story here.
After this papal visit, thousands of deluded Americans will think this fabulous public relations effort, which by the way is largely funded by us taxpayers, exposed the new true heart of the Vatican, but its history is not one of tolerance and inclusion, unless you mean NO WAY BUT MY WAY.
The Trojan Horse of Catholic intolerance has been gaudily offered and apparently wildly embraced by many Catholics and perhaps millions of others who haven’t bothered to read its history. Such buyers better beware.
From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013
By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
Back in 1991, the NGO Don Collins founded in 1976, International Services Assistance Fund (ISAF), co-produced a TV quality 22-minute film called “Whose Choice?” which Ted Turner arranged to broadcast on September 21, 1992 in prime time on his then independent Turner Broadcast System (TBS). Other outlets such as PBS and several of its affiliates Collins and his colleagues contacted then refused to run it because of its forthright treatment of the abortion issue, arguing for all women’s right to choose not to have a baby. ISAF has made a new edition of that DVD. The purpose for reissuing this 3rd version of “Whose Choice?” was simply to show the historical urgency that attended those times, still blocked and attacked over 40 years after the Roe v Wade decision in 1973. This video is available for public viewing for the first time.
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