Monday, October 5, 2009

The Archdiocese of Washington and Pat Condell

Earlier today I watched the newest Pat Condell rant by following the link at Then later, I happened to stumble on this blog post at the Archdiocese of Washington, written by a chap with the amusing name of Monsignor Pope. It's funny, because Msgr. Pope's post is pretty much engaging in exactly the kind of power play that Condell is lambasting.

If you don't want to watch it (even though you should) Condell's rant is about clergy, and one of his major points is that religions promise all of their rewards in the future, while in the present they ask for piety and subservience. This is obviously a transparent ploy to exercise power over people, while deferring delivery on your promises to a time when nobody will be able to complain. And boy howdy, I guess the Archdiocese of Washington was listening and decided Condell had a really good idea.

Msgr. Pope seems to have discovered a new vocabulary word: "Anthropocentric." Now, when I think of the relationship between religion and anthropocentrism, I always think of the incredible vanity of believing that an entire universe was created with the sole purpose of executing some ham-handed morality play centered around a blood sacrifice. But I guess that shows how much I know about theology, eh?

What the esteemed Monsignor thinks of when he hears "anthropocentrism", though, is not the childish assumption that the universe was created exclusively for us, but that we spend too much time thinking about our own lives and not on fellating Jesus glorifying God. Msgr. Pope also seems to view this as a bad thing...

The Monsignor's post is rather long, so I have severely condensed his three major talking points:

1. I often hear people say they don’t go to Church because they don’t “get anything out of it.” Perhaps they are looking for improved preaching, better choirs, or more fellowship....How about agreeing that the we go to Mass because God is worthy not simply because we get something out of it. An old Gospel hymn says, “Just forget about yourself and concentrate on Him (God) and worship him!”...

Uh huh... so the next time someone says, "But religion offers people comfort!", remember what Msgr. Pope has said here: If you aren't getting comfort and fulfillment from our Mass, well tough fucking luck, because it's not about you. It's about kissing God's ass. Or else.

2. Weddings are often another time where God seems quite forgotten...We can surely be joyful for the happy couple but how about a few accolades for God who pulled the whole thing off?

Yep, yet again, Invisible Sky Daddy gets all the credit. Have I mentioned before that I find that kind of thing highly offensive and deeply insulting to the people who actually did all the work? Oh, yes I have.

3. Funerals too can become too anthropocentric.

Oh, Monsignor, don't got there. Please, for the love of all that is good and decent, please do not go there.

I mean, he can't possibly be readying himself to say that the big problem with funerals is that they spend too much time honoring the deceased? Can he?!?


Here too many funeral Masses and funeral tributes focus too much on what a great guy Joe was and how he loved the Redskins and loved to tell jokes etc. Some remarks about Joe’s faith and how God worked in his life may be appropriate but the fundamental purpose of the funeral Mass is to worship God and beseech his mercy...We ought to worship God and thank him for his mercy and grace at every funeral and recommit ourselves to Jesus.

Oh. My. Dog.

Listen, God-Pushers, if you're going to prey on the weak and insist that they spend all their time doing your bidding in exchange for some mythical reward that never comes, that's despicable enough. Please, have the basic common decency to let people grieve in peace, without having to exploit that too.

How ghoulish. I just don't even know what to say. Of course, I guess Msgr. Pope has already said everything that needs to be said, hasn't he?

Well, hopefully I’ve made my point.

Yes you have, Monsignor, yes you have...


  1. But funerals are exactly where one would expect the death cults to do the most groveling to their god -- a bizarre mix of "Joe's dead, grovel to god or he'll kill you too" and "Joe's in hell, grovel to god so you won't go there too" and "Joe's in heaven, grovel to god so you can go there too." Death, or rather fear of death, is what drives the religious.

  2. Oh, and you don't want the sheeple talking about Joe's life, since that is a tacit admission that his life is over and there is no "afterlife."