To ask if Kansas City’s Catholics are suffering a crisis of faith is comparable to inquiring whether the Pope sports a comical chapeau. The answer in both cases is mais oui!
Back in May the blog JimmyCSays 1 publicly defrocked Father Ratigan and his overly eager enabler, Bishop Finn, over Ratigan’s (presumptive) sexual abuse of children 2 within his flock, as well as Finn’s (presumptive) cover-up of those acts. Fitz has since written several posts on the topic and was largely instrumental (IMO) in finally igniting a righteous fire at the Star (here and here.) Early in Fitz’s coverage I added my restrained 2 cents (here.) A month has passed with Finn still not indicted and I’m far beyond that mild stance. Now I want to know how we rid society of organized religion itself. And failing that, how do we contain it? For as sure as evolution developed little green apples, if we don’t restrain organized religion it will surely throttle what little remains of our open and enquiring society. 3
If disparate sets of a populace have been segregated for long periods of time, distinct species can develop. This is a scientific principle that traces back over a million years of human lineage, beginning with H. erectus – H. ergaster. 4 H.G. Wells made use of this principle in The Time Machine (a novel once considered de rigueur in every America high school literature class 5), depicting the eloi and morlocks as logical (and metaphorical) extensions of England’s Cavaliers and Puritans. Were Wells to pen the novel today and replace the morlocks with the Catholic church and the eloi with their blinkered flock, how dire would that outcome be? Bloodily unreadable, I’d guess. In both novels (Wells’ original and my hypothetical update) the end result is a grim, dystopian future. Though I am not cynical enough to argue this devolution of humanity is either acceptable or favorable 6, I would posit the following:
- A modern, comparable H. erectus – H. ergaster split has already occurred;
- That split will continue to widen, but;
- Will not be recognized as a split until well after the fact.
I would label this new split H. sapiens – H. monastic, wherein the species H. monastic is defined thus:
- An unhealthy preoccupation with lives yet to be born;
- An unhealthy preoccupation with how women behave;
- An unhealthy lack of concern regarding their children’s safety;
- An unhealthy insistence on killing people for any number of reasons;
- An unhealthy support for wars because their deity of choice commands it;
- An unhealthy concern both with other people’s lives and the attendant need to correct them according to the tenets of their “religion”…or shit they made up. 7
Granted, this H. sapiens – H. monastic split has not had millions of years to occur, but I would contend the divide is more subtle than the relatively crude physical alterations of H. erectus – H. ergaster. In point of fact I believe the H. sapiens – H. monastic split has only taken, roughly, the last 2000 years, and has occurred only within the brain. Of course I’m referencing the “god spot.” First theorized by scientists in the late 90s and brought fully to public consciousness by Time in 2004, of late researchers have posited that the “god spot” is not located within a single area, but is wired to a few areas of the brain’s neural circuitry. Scientists believe these findings provide a “psychological and neuro-anatomical” framework for the processing of “religious thought”, and that this change may be a specialized human function. It is worth noting here that the self-same neural god-net also processes reading functions, dreams and day-dreams. Preliminary work done at Stanford notes other primates also share the same brain structures, but researchers have yet to see the same areas light up in conjunction with “similar” cognitive activities. 8 To be fair, however, it is debatable as to whether other primates use their brains in the same fashion as man. 9
Without going all 8th grade theory of evolution on you, a H. sapiens – H. monastic split makes rather elegant sense 10: Especially with humans, each new species is built on the design of its predecessor. New capabilities evolve from older ones, making use of the materials at hand. Well, the brain was right there, you know? As to what drove this split, I opt for survival. There was a point in mankind’s not too distant past when the belief in an all-powerful being, a deity that controlled all things and knew the fate of each person, and had a plan, must have been evolutionary desirable. A belief in an orderly universe, guided by a supreme intellect (while being only marginally insane), may have been the only thing that kept many people, people otherwise without hope -much less mastery over their own immediate environment- from ceding the point and tossing themselves into the dark waters. 11 Plus, and the enormity of this shouldn’t be discounted, this belief made them happy. In point of fact many people who believe in imaginary friends/deities lead much happier lives than the rest of us -poll after poll after poll confirms this. 12 So, yes, it’s easy to see how evolution might select and continue a lineage with a “god spot”.
What both fascinates and terrifies me is the fact that here and now, in an age when we know the lady in the next cube did not turn us into a newt; when we have quantifiable proof that earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis and Lady Gaga 13 are not acts of “god” but natural phenomena consistent with the day-to-day workings of our planet; when we can prove that fructose corn syrup is bad for you and all sodas worse; when we’ve been to the fucking moon for fuck’s sake…H. monastic just keeps trundling blindly onward. It is like being witness to an impending disaster, one you can foresee without doubt or error, yet one you are powerless to avert. You wish you could look away, but you cannot. And this has as much to do with the draw of the doomed as it does the fact the calamity may well bring your world down around you as well. I expect H. monastic will deselect in the next several hundred years, abruptly curtailing this dead-end evolutionary path; there simply isn’t a survival benefit to believing in nonsense. In the meantime, however, there’s H. monastic’s worrying tendency toward apocalyptic fantasies, which many of its more secularly powerful adherents 14 seem distressingly prone to abet if not outright conspire to bring about. At the national politics level, this is where my recent modest proposal comes into play:
Uttering or invoking imaginary deities, supernatural beings or comic book heroes while in session shall be banned. Likewise no proposal, legislation, enactment or special Day of the Month will be allowed to mention, honor or beatify same. Violation of these rules will cause the offending Congressperson to be removed from their 4-year session, the remainder of their service to be spent as a volunteer in the worst, AIDs infected African shithole the Peace Corps can find for them.
That document just needs a little more input, some editing and then a PR firm 15 to go back east and lobby Congress for a change in our Constitution. So we got that going for us. But what about the local yokels? What do we do with the local “religious” “leaders” that either fuck up children or allow their minions to fuck up children and get away with it? The irrationally exuberant portion of my brain 16 joyfully shouts “ram a white-hot Pear of Anguish up their rectums”! And as comically balanced as that may be vis-a-vis the whole Spanish Inquisition thing, it’s frustratingly illegal. 17 As are many…okay okay…all of the other tortures that come to mind.
We could pass local ordinances and statutes demanding that all Catholics within (to begin with) Kansas City must a.) be tattooed on their left inner wrists with a pink “C”, and b.) work a pink “C” onto the left breast of the outermost clothing with which they cover their torso. This is a tried and true plan; it would undoubtedly work. The only drawback to it is eventually a number of rather large ovens would be required. City block-sized ovens. That in itself is not a minus -nearly a thousand local jobs could be ginned up building and maintaining these facilities. The problem lies, as you might expect, with the Federal government; no way these facilities could meet the new, stricter clean air requirements.
Someone suggested we could ship them all to Ireland and hand them over to the Orange, yes? The only downside to that is we would only be able to read of their slow destruction. Or, I suppose, we could wait for a grand jury investigation, perhaps spearheaded by the local FBI office, as it’s patently obvious that some kids had their fucking civil rights violated all to hell and beyond, right? Let impartial justice reign?
After considerable thought, shunning seems to be the best answer. We must shun every Catholic -friend, co-worker, relative- until such time as H. monastic finally understands it’s not okay to molest/fuck children.
Publicly shun them. Put up signs on your front stoops: NO SOLICITING NO CATHOLICS. Same with yard sales – date, time, address, list of useless crap you want to palm off on unsuspecting strangers and a big NO CATHOLICS. Certainly quit donating to anything Catholic related. Boycott Bing Crosby movies. Harangue and taunt Catholics in public. “Hey, how’s that kid molesting going in your Church?” That would be a good taunt. Seriously, start shunning Catholics. All of them. Relentlessly. I mean, jesus christ, even Scientologists, the absolute bottom of the barrel, bat-shit crazy of the religions, even they don’t molest or fuck children.
Shun them. Until there are no more Catholics or the sun grows cold.
- Owner/proprietor: erstwhile Star reporter Jimmie Fitzpatrick ↩
- Yeah yeah yeah – what he’s been charged with has to do with naked pics of young kids. However, are you asking me to believe that someone with those tastes, all alone with naked children, didn’t “touch” them? Really? In that case, have I got a religion for you! ↩
- We’ll deal with the oppression from corporations and our own Government another day, thank you. ↩
- Tattersall, Ian and Jeffrey Schwartz (2001). Extinct Humans. ↩
- True, that was a long long long time ago. So long, in point of fact, that Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land was also taught. ↩
- Except possibly to the planet itself. ↩
- It is also possible that this list could be extended to include the diagnostics contained within the pre-1994 DSM-III-R; e.g. people who believe prayer will stave off a child’s or relative s death instead of seeking medical assistance/advice/treatment certainly display the type of magical thinking symptomatic of the schism I’ve describe, not to mention several mental illnesses. ↩
- WTF? ↩
- And that’s even IF we gave them the TV remote control. ↩
- Yes, even if I do say so myself. ↩
- Well…when they weren’t already being lit on fire and drowned in ponds by their own church, that is. ↩
- Though maybe these people are lying about how happy they are. I’ve always thought so. While this goes against their (purported) principles, their own religious” leaders lie to them, as well as to us, and the U.S. and, really, anyone at all whenever they feel they can get away with it. Perhaps these so-called happy people, like children aping their parents, have decided to lie to us because we’re stupid enough to believe them. ↩
- And more generally New Jersey. ↩
- Usually ascending to office via lies they tell “religious” folk, who always bite hook line and sinker, regardless of how stupid, illogical or contrary to their own interests said lies may be. Hell, I’ll give you 5 to 8 I can run for Jason Kander’s office and win just by calling him a godless communist married to a witch. ↩
- Go Social Media!!!!! ↩
- My own “e-vil spot”. ↩
- Plus, working Pears of Anguish are hard to find; far easier to slip the bishop a polonium filled pirozhkis. ↩