So they have a (new) pope
...VATICAN CITY, April 19 -- Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church elected Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany Tuesday as the new pope to succeed John Paul II, and announced he will take the name of Benedict XVI.
"Dear brothers and sisters, after the great pope John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me -- a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord," the new pope said in Italian in a brief speech from a balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.
Ok, it's obvious I'm going to be skeptical because I'm not religious, let alone catholic. But something about catholicism has always smugly amused me, even before I became pretty much an atheist. I mean, the hierarchy of people effectively determining what the religion means, the paegentry of all the fancy costumes & flashy traditions, the idea that an elite group that is still of mankind can pick a person to speak for God
...frankly it all gives me the Huh's.
I think this type of spectacle, along with the tendency throughout history for religious doctrine to be used to justify mass murder, is exactly what drove me towards being a heathen. I mean, when people ask I tell them I'm an atheist, but that's not quite accurate. See, if I had more time, I'd explain like this:
The thing to ask isn't whether or not there is a "god". Obviously that cannot be proven by the very nature of the question. However, one doesn't necessarily have to define that which we don't comprehend as being of some mythical guy-in-the-sky. I do believe that there are things that are well beyond the comprehension of man, regardless of what someone chooses to call them. What I do NOT believe, and never will again, is the gross contradiction that mankind can somehow define
them in a manner clear enough to derive rules
Either we know or we don't, if we don't then let it be. Far as I'm concerned, regardless of what is out there it is conceited and utterly pointless
to attempt to craft a construct out of it, so the most reasonable thing to do is to remain oblivious to it and go about our lives.
Less confrontational bloggage of the Pope-ification here
, and here
Other confrontational coverage from some non-heathens:
-Bainbridge slaps at Reuters
for basically assuming on what they couldn't possibly know about, then runs off to class.
-Andrew Sullivan, meanwhile, is hella dissappointed
...***update: 6:34 PM***
-Bainbridge gets back from class, looks at Sullivan's remarks, and calls him out as hysterical
:I realize that calling Sullivan an ass is not very charitable, but sometimes you just have to state harsh truths....It's always about sex with Andrew, isn't it?
-Sullivan has also been getting remarks from other believers basically telling him to leave catholicism. I personally agree with that, though obviously for different reasons
...It is virtually impossible to simultaneously interact with modern society and follow a religion to the letter....Taking religious doctrine literally requires a complete divorce from any visible strain of contemporary life.
Religion in the West is pretty much treated like smoking -- something people occasionally turn to in order to ease stress of some sort, regardless of long-term damage. If it doesn't work, why keep puffing away?
-The Moderate Voice has an extensive roundup of reaction