"Rainforests deserve, yes, our protection, but the human being ... does not deserve it less."That's right. Humanity is on the brink of destruction because of all this rampant sodomy. Don't you know that there are fewer than seven billion people on a planet that can sustain barely half that number???!?!?!?!? Come on, people, if we all start bumming each other - which is inevitable if the church doesn't step in to teach us that bumming is wrong - then we'll clearly run out of people. And then who would be left to worship god?
-- Emperor Palpatine
This is a man who directly influences more than a billion people and very likely many millions more indirectly. It's a man who, like all theists, picks and chooses from his bible as well as shamelessly making stuff up. Well, Ratty, it's Christmas. Just for once, why not choose love instead of hate? Why not stop telling people which kinds of love are allowed and which are not? Why not stop being quite so cheerfully satisfied when you condemn millions to death by AIDS when you outlaw the only practically effective preventative medicine?
Am I being harsh on the senile old fascist here? You decide.
How can we interpret this? I'm betting you've had to deal with Health and Safety types before? Sanctimonious little form-fillers concerned only with covering their backs? The sort of people who make you sign facile disclaimers on every conceivable subject, regardless of whether they are even notionally enforceable in a court of law? Well that seems to be what the vatican is doing here. How do we react to a scandal that would have been rightly devastating in any other organisation: the systematic sexual abuse of many children and the covering up by policy of this breathtakingly evil abuse of power and influence? Ah yes, a voluntary code of practice. And of course, let's concentrate on homosexuality, because that is the problem, right? Oh and not being able to control the sexual desires that every human possesses and is unable to suppress entirely. Let's not forget that. But it's mainly bumming's fault.
This is the vicar of christ on earth. A man who cares more about covering up cases of child abuse and preventing the church from being sued than he does for protecting children. A man who cares more about dogma - not even biblically plausible, but based on the contradictory ramblings of hundreds of other infallible, self-professed demi-gods - more than he does about millions dying from an entirely preventable and - with effort and cooperation, not to mention love, caring and understanding - eradicable disease.
The world is filled with hate and I'm optimist enough to believe that people know hatred when they encounter it. Unfortunately, we know from science that although people tend to share the same morals, regardless of any religion, we are surprisingly susceptible to authority.
Check out how many times Milgram's experiments have been recreated and then get back to me about how religion has a positive influence.