Monday, March 10, 2008
Hooray for the Catholic Church. They've got a new two-for-one offer on deadly sins. Pope Benedict has issued seven more deadly sins to go with the ones they already had identified.
So, are these new sins for you, you may ask? Could they possibly be as much fun as sloth, gluttony or lust? Sadly, no.
Here are the 21st Century additions in full:
Performing experiments on people
Creating social injustice
Being extremely wealthy
and Taking Drugs.
Let's examine that list a little carefully. According to the Catholic Church, it is now a mortal sin to smoke a joint, litter, or lead third phase medical testing of new medications. I don't see raping children in your care on that list, strangely enough. Funny that.
Let's leave aside the issue of the Catholic Church ruling out contraception, abortion or stem cell research. We already knew they didn't like those.
But the Vatican's opposition to extreme wealth takes some beating for chutzpah. And the Catholic Church, with their tithes on peasants and collections at mass, have shown themselves extremely efficient at causing poverty too when it was their inclination.
The two that stick in my craw particularly though are the edicts against littering and taking drugs. Which drugs exactly do the Vatican have in mind? The legally available ones that kill more people than all the others, like nicotine? The one that causes most social and family dysfunction and anti-social behaviour, alcohol?
Or perhaps they mean the available-on-prescription medications which big pharma sold as treatments for the depressed, which ended up killing them?
I'm guessing they might mean illicit drugs, like cannabis, which has been freely and safely used in dozens of cultures for over 5000 years.
The environmental pollution one is a bit much too. Would it be too much to ask for a sliding scale of penitence for these sins? Like, is it one Hail Mary after confession for smoking a spliff, but three rosaries if you've been dealing cocaine to Katy French?
And if I drop my mars bar wrapper on the ground, would I get only one Our Father from the priest in the box, but a few hundred if I admitted fly-tipping medically hazardous waste?
In their attempt to update themselves, the Catholic Church merely shows once again just how out of touch it really is.
Here's a tip for them: next time they feel like a make-over, try ordaining women, paying compensation to abuse victims, permitting priests to marry and allowing condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS and other STIs. That would get them to the mid-20th Century anyhow.