Flock of cardinals


Organized religion both fascinates and amuses me.

I found this impressive photo on Newsmax. As most of us know, the Catholic leadership has gathered in Rome to pick a new boss, a Pope.

When they decide on one of their number, they’ll send out a smoke signal. Twitter would be quicker, but that’s not their style.

I do not subscribe to an organized religion, and never have. I have neither been baptized nor joined any real church ever in my life. Growing up, my parents did not care, so that part of my “development” never happened.

I consider this a positive thing. For me, that is.

Even a cursory study of the world’s major religions, if you are not emotionally involved, shows clearly what they are: related fantasies.

And yet I support them. For most of humanity, religions provide a system of morals and values without which we are prone to fly off the handle.

Some people embrace religion too tightly, becoming fanatics. Nothing much can be done about that, sadly. But the positive elements of organized religion far outweigh the negative, so I like religion.

I await the smoke signals.

* * * *

(Note: I am not an atheist or even an agnostic. I believe in God because I have been in her presence. She is beyond our capacity to imagine, which is why organized religions are fantasies. We do our best, but it is not even close.)

18 thoughts on “Flock of cardinals

  1. You would think that the CC would modernize a little. Perhaps if they figured out if their priests could marry, it would reduce the amount of candy bar hanky-panky they have lost a lot of their credibility because.

    Back in history, they did allow them to marry, but for some reason in the mid single digit century some Pope got it up his knickers to bestow his warped judgment and screw it up.

    Funny that organizations that brought us the Spanish Inquisition expect their flock to have a moral ground. But then again if it wasn’t for religion, many followers would be more educated and have liberties that churches seem to say they provide, while in reality keeping and supporting more ways to keep them “barefoot and pregnant” to facilitate more donations every Sunday. (And unquestioning their control.)


    1. Carole: You are not the first to make that distinction, of course. A variation is: I am spiritual, not religious.

      As for religion being dogma, that is what organized religions in time all do: Make rules, lots of rules. Some are good. Some are bad. Some are silly. Some are crazy.


      1. I am one of those people who draw the religion/faith distinction. And those of us who do usually have something in common. We come from religious traditions that smothered the grace of Christianity under tradition and ritual that had little to do with our pursuit to love our God fully and to share that same love with our neighbors.

        You were fortunate to have never encountered religious waterboarding. And I hope beyond measure that you can enjoy the grace that can withstand even the worst parts of religion.


  2. Empathy instills morals and values. Religion just poisons the well, and I’m not so sure that giving priests the right to marry is a solution to the ills of the Catholic dynasty. A majority enter the priesthood rather than face their own sexual peccadillos.


    1. Ah, Charles, empathy is rare in our world. Even sympathy can be hard to come by. So I will stand by my support of institutional religion.

      As for priests becoming priests so as not to require facing their inner demons, well, you sure might have something there for an unknown percentage of them.

      I sure wish they’d keep their paws off the choirboys. Don’t you?


  3. Frankly, I’m a little peeved that the media is as fascinated by this pope-election process as it is. Five hundred years ago, it was a big deal. Today? The catholic church seems to be steadily losing relevance as more and more of its so-called followers ignore much of the dogma (birth control, divorce, etc) and focus on the bits they like.

    This is not a recipe for long-term success.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where, despite being a catholic stronghold in the USA, the church continues to sell off excess churches.


    1. Here in northeast Ohio the CC closed 50 churches last year. They weren’t making enough money apparently…and most members were seniors or close.


    2. Kim: The modern, high-tech world is killing the Catholic Church. Some say it should modernize. Others say that modernization, being more “with it,” is totally counter to its reason for being, that it would simply be chasing the continually degrading and self-fixated culture. I agree with the latter. It’s a problem, both for the church and for the culture.


  4. Institutional religion is nothing more than show biz…pure and simple…all one has to do is just take a look at the pic you posted for this entry. I do realize that there are people who need this type of pomp and circumstance to give their lives meaning of sorts…I’m just not one of them. As to the priests keeping thier hands off the choirboys, I am in complete agreement with you…one should never abuse the trust of children…regardless of your station in life. But the Catholic church’s covering up child-abuse cases and condemning gays all the while ignoring young boys’ claims of being molested by priests is just hypocrisy at its finest…saludos amigo.


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