On this Good Friday, it’s only fitting that pope Benedict has chosen to rant against life-prolonging technologies and modernity. Christianity has always been a cult of death, and on the day when they celebrate the death of their ‘Savior,’ Benedict exhorts the world to abandon research that promises to dramatically prolong and improve human life.
From the Times Online:
The Pope will deliver a blistering attack on the “satanic” mores of modern society today, warning against an “inane apologia of evil” that is in danger of destroying humanity.
In a series of Good Friday meditations that he will lead in Rome, the Pope will say that society is in the grip of a kind of “anti-Genesis” described as “a diabolical pride aimed at eliminating the family”. He will pray for society to be cleansed of the “filth” that surrounds it and be restored to purity, freed from “decadent narcissism”.
Particular condemnation is reserved for scientific advances in the field of genetic manipulation. Warning against the move to “modify the very grammar of life as planned and willed by God”, the Pope will lead prayers against “insane, risky and dangerous” ventures in attempting “to take God’s place without being God”.
Yesterday, the New York Times reported on some of the fruits of genetic testing, an outgrowth of the very research the pope opposes:
…the new generation of tests represents some of the first fruit of the long-anticipated genome revolution and could help pave the way to personalized medicine, in which treatments would be tailored for each therapy, potentially making them more effective and less costly. Such tests are either now available or being developed for purposes like detecting cancer early, monitoring heart transplants and choosing which drugs might work best to treat cancer, AIDS or heart disease.
The article gives an example of a woman who was facing a drastic regime of chemotherapy, and was relieved to find out through genetic testing that her cancer was about to go into remission on its own. She was spared needless damage to her body. This is a tiny harbinger of things to come. By cracking the genome, scientists will bring diagnosis and life-prolonging treatments previously inconceivable. Who in their right mind would oppose something that may soon cure cancer, HIV, and more?
Genetic engineering is also producing breakthroughs in development of enzymes, algae, bacteria, and even viruses which will be used to catalyze and manufacture new forms of energy and energy storage. These processes are vital to replace fossil-fuels, and even just to feed people and keep economies going. Yet the pope opposes them?!
I don’t normally like to talk about evil. It’s not a very useful concept, and is needlessly polarizing. It’s an emotional term, usually used to describe something one fears but does not fully understand. If I get shot by a soldier in a war, I’m a casualty. If I’m killed by a suicide bomber, that’s evil. Why the distinction? It has to do with my lack of understanding for anyone who places such a low value on human life–specifically their own. At least the sniper is rational, and exercises self-preservation. That’s not evil, it’s just taking advantage of an understandable–if unfortunate–circumstance.
It’s too late for Benedict. He is being utterly consumed by his hatred for humanity. And genetic treatments won’t be perfected in time to save his life. But that’s no excuse for him to try to condemn millions of younger catholics to buy into his death wish. How many will die because of the pope’s words? How many people will delay or avoid life-saving treatments because of this pathetic, desperate grab for power?
Indeed, Benedict is against everything rational, everything individual. He and his church are the enemy of humanity and human progress. By their own words, they convict themselves. They want to take away free will and choice, and condemn their followers to a life lived in fear, waiting for their ‘afterlife’.
The way I see it, Pope Benedict and his church are evil incarnate. They, along with radical Islam, have become the very definition of evil in the modern world. Archbishop Comastri has written his denunciation of rational individualism and objectivity at the ‘third station of the cross.’
Today a slick campaign of propaganda is spreading an inane apologia of evil, a senseless cult of Satan, a mindless desire for transgression, a dishonest and frivolous freedom, exalting impulsiveness, immorality and selfishness as if they were new heights of sophistication.”
Benedict takes his potshots at entertainment:
“Lord Jesus, our affluence is making us less human, our entertainment has become a drug, a source of alienation, and our society’s incessant, tedious message is an invitation to die of selfishness.”
Since religion is what passed for entertainment before the world moved on to bigger and better things, I can see why they’re pissed. They don’t like the competition. Since they have been used to abusing their “bully pulpit” for centuries, they don’t take kindly to being supplanted by writers, stars, and characters who march to the beat of their own drum.
Let them have their death rattle. On this Good Friday, maybe they’ll do us all a favor and follow their hero onto the cross. I’m not advocating physical violence in any form. But speaking here in purely allegorical terms: I would gladly pound the nails in myself.