Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Pope Pontificates-The Vatican Trashes Avatar The Movie-Disconnect

Pope Benedict XVI has a long record of warning his 1+ billion 'believers' against the evils of replacing the Catholic Christian God with Nature. He pontificates 'there is a danger in turning Nature into a new divinity'. He never says what that danger might be, however. The Pope also postulates that  'environmentalism' could turn into a 'neo-paganism', without further speculation.

Now, the Vatican News media, in Fox News tradition, follows up with nasty and critical remarks about the blockbuster film Avatar by saying the movie preaches that 'Nature is no longer a creation to defend, but a Divinity to worship', says Vatican radio. Vatican news papers echo these comments.

So, what's wrong with the idea of Nature as God?  What's so bad about polytheism?  Other cultures in times past have embraced these ideas before. And the human condition then was not much different from what it is today. If we need a god or gods to begin with, what's the problem? Coming from Christian sources, the answers to these questions are obvious. But in a broader sense, there doesn't seem to be much difference among any of them. They're all looking for bigger bank accounts and social control. Catholicism?  Fundamentalist Christianity? Islam? Others? Take your pick. It all seems to amount to the specific product consumers buy when they're in the market to hand over their individual mental/emotional freedom, futures  and thought processes to some outside entity.

Okay! The Vatican has presented a movie review and they didn't like it. No problem with that. However, when the Pope and his media resources speak out, they speak out in the context of their particular brand of religion and belief system and somehow this needs to be addressed in the same matter-of-fact manner in which the Pope and the Vatican  present their dogma.

First, I don't know if there is a God or not. And neither does the Pope or the Vatican or anyone else. A belief about anything does not make it so. Certainly there is no hard evidence one way or the other about God. What does come under the heading of emperical evidence, however, provides that if there is an all knowing 'God' who designed the universe and everything else tangible to human beings, THAT God is not something that looks like and functions like the Pope.

Also, the Pope may want to respond to Pat Robertson's false statements about this past week's tragedy in Haiti. But then again, Robertson's brand of god is somewhat different than the Pope's. Sort of like the difference between Coke and Pepsi. Slightly different formulas, same tastes and results.

The philosopher Voltaire once said ".........and God created Man in his image and Man returned the favor".


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