Friday, December 24, 2010

Strange Bedfellows

Well it is another Christmas Eve, cold but sunny, the tree has been up, the presents bought, and most likely it is a good time to just set aside the work, and enjoy the day. Ah yes, of course the squirrels are all fed, fresh field corn and sunflower seeds. I was all set for a wonderful Christmas Eve.

At least until I read the Guardian and the BBC. It seems that the BBC sought to have Benedict give the Thought for the Day message. Not something that should upset many, I guess it is just a guest appearance. Reading through it one does not get upset, standard fare, nice, seasonal, what one would expect from the Bishop of Rome.

Then, the Guardian, asks Richard Dawkins for a comment. Front page stuff. Now Dawkins is an insightful person when it comes to the philosophy of genetics and evolution, not always spot on, but insightful. But as we all know he is an atheist. That means he does not believe. That's quite all right, we accept all kinds here in the US, and some of my best friends, even relatives were of such. Furthermore he really dislikes the Bishop of Rome, more perhaps, than all the rest of the Brits, who still prohibit Catholics from almost everything, and still harbor a hatred for papish types, especially Jesuits.

Dawkins states:

That's right. The creator of the universe, sublime inventor of mathematics, of relativistic space-time, of quarks and quanta, of life itself, Almighty God, who reads our every thought and hears our every prayer, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God couldn't think of a better way to forgive us than to have himself tortured and executed. For heaven's sake, if he wanted to forgive us, why didn't he just forgive us? Who, after all, needed to be impressed by the blood and the agony? Nobody but himself.

Ratzinger has much to confess in his own conduct, as cardinal and pope. But he is also guilty of promoting one of the most repugnant ideas ever to occur to a human mind: "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (Hebrews 9:22).

 Perhaps Dawkins, and the Guardian, should take it down a notch or two, it was not as if the Bishop of Rome decided to pitch the Brits, he was asked time and time again and then gave a plain vanilla pitch. Civility, an oftimes British characteristic, is perhaps called for.

Ah well, never did enjoy that place, like Paris much more, nothing better than Christmas in Paris, beats Fifth Avenue, too many tourists. Vive Joan d'Arc! Joyeux Noel mes ami!