Today in Catholic churches all over France a prayer is being read. Cardinal Barbarin of Lyon has revived Louis XIII’s day of prayer ‘for the good of the country‘. A practice that fell into disuse somewhere between the two World Wars, when the population must have realized that prayer obviously doesn’t work; And it’s a good thing that it doesn’t! If it did, I can’t begin to imagine the deluge of horrors to befall the world at the request of Fanatic Evangelicals and their equally Fanatic Muslim counterparts. Should they be able to pray-in more 9/11′s and hurricanes and tsunamis to punish all of those who don’t submit to their ideology, there would be very little left of the planet as we know it. Polytheistic India and un-Christian China would be wastelands. Protestants would have destroyed Catholic Ireland and Catholic France would have destroyed Protestant Britain. The protestant north of Germany would have annihilated Bavaria and football players would be struck down by lightning on a regular basis.
Despite all the evidence that prayer is a useless, pointless and idiotic waste of time, there is one thing for which it does serve a purpose: indoctrination. For centuries it’s been used to frame messages and to shape public opinion. The church tells you what to pray for. Today the Catholic church is telling people to pray for newly elected officials “so that their sense of the common good will overcome special demands.”- they bastardize language as they have since their inception. The fraud this time comes in the form of:
We must give support to traditional families “throughout their lives, especially in painful moments.”
Translation: We must insert ourselves into the lives of gay people and force them to submit to Catholic ideology.
Oppose gay adoption, as children should “cease to be objects of the desires and conflicts of adults and fully benefit from the love of a father and a mother.”
Translation: There are 13 million orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa alone and the Catholic church feels they are better off dying of hunger and disease than in the homes of loving gay parents whose parental capabilities have been tested by relevant authorities.
“Raise the consciousness of public opinion about grave social choices.”
Translation: That we must keep anti-gay sentiment alive so the Catholic church can continue to be relevant and line its pockets with its mafia racket of demonizing certain groups and then offering to protect the public from them.
These fraudulent manipulations of language are nothing new for religionists. We’ve all seen the signs: “You are not free unless you submit to the Lord”, “Repent and blah blah blah”- These manipulations have taken many disgusting forms throughout history, particularly in regards to oppressing women- but the most disgusting undoubtedly came from the pro-slavery crowd in the 19th century (pardon me, anti-abolitionist- see the linguistic trick?). People like George Fitzhugh (author of “Negro Slavery” Sociology for the South, or the Failure of Free Society. Richmond: A Morris, 1854.) argued that Southern Slavery in fact represented freedom because slaves never had to be responsible for themselves, and that paid labour was the “real slavery” because there was no security. A labourer could lose his employment at any time. If you have a moment, do read his argument, it’s a fascinating study into the workings of defective logic and absurdism.
“…that his slavery here relieves him from a far more cruel, slavery in Africa, or from idolatry and cannibalism, and every brutal vice and crime that can disgrace humanity; and that it Christianizes, protects, supports and civilizes him; that it governs him far better than free laborers at the North are governed.”
But, I digress. The point is that the Catholic church is at it again. Cardinal Barbarin is appealing to the age-old manipulations and fraud of his religion. Today’s prayer is a vile demonstration that they have not changed their ways. The only difference is that some societies have learnt that separating church from state is the best method to ensure the well being of all citizens. Were the Catholic church given its will, Spain and Italy would still be Catholic dictatorships where people were obliged to contribute money to the church, where the church could steal babies from dissenters and give them to parents that were more to their liking, and where (as new investigations revealed this week) the church could run its Preventorios. They were like concentration camps, except they were just for children. The story is quite horrendous and I’ll write more about it later as it hasn’t been picked up by the international media.
My suggestion is that if Cardinal Barbarin wants to use prayer to shape opinion, a prayer should be read in churches today to decry the rape of children by priests and for their fellow priests to take responsibility for their actions. It should be a prayer for the leadership of the Catholic church to cooperate with authorities and open their records instead of covering-up decades of little boys and girls being held down, raped in the anus or vagina and then told they’re going to hell if they tell anyone about it. In one particularly egregious case of rape a priest told a child: “This is what God’s love feels like”.
Lest we forget what the Catholic Church is really about: