Monday, May 17, 2004


Memo to the Catholic Church: YOU ARE DUMB.
The Catholics are getting uppity again. I don't know what it is. Maybe John Paul's gotten his 90th wind. Maybe he just feels like he has to keep his pope hand strong. Or maybe, since it's been six months or so since any priests have gotten caught having sex with children, covering up having sex with children, or paying large sums of money for having sex with children, they think they get to throw some moral weight around again.
And when Catholics need to throw their moral weight around, but don't have the time to write an entire catechism, they turn to their favorite afterschool snack, the withholding of which is, for reasons that are inexplicable to me, a weapon of great power. I can think of dozens of places even rural Catholics could get saltines and cheap wine if they wanted to. It all gets transubstantiated in the end, anyway.
So, in their ceaseless effort to crush science, progress, and the pursuit of any knowledge not contained in their 2,000-year-old moral primer slash list of begattings, the Catholics have been seriously discussing telling politicians that support legal abortion or gay marriage that no, they cannot have their cracker, and no, they cannot have their wine, and no, you cannot pretend to eat Jesus because we're right and you're wrong. Nyah nyah.
And that's... problematic, but, you know, these politicians are out in public, with public views, and if they want to let their church influence them, we can all see that, and we can decide at voting time if we want the Pope's hand up the ass of our elected official or not.
But now, one Colorado diocese has decided that anybody who VOTES for a pro-choice candidate shouldn't get their cracker and Jesus juice either. Which should be very interesting in a country with a supposedly secret ballot. In all the coverage of this, nobody has bothered to ask how they're supposed to know who gets the cracker and who gets the shaft. Seems to me they're basically exchanging giving Communion to a whole bunch of unavowed pro-choice advocates for giving Communion to a giant pile of stinking filthy liars. But that's just me.
You may be saying to yourself... "Colorado? Vanguard of religious extremism? But aren't those lovely, mannered South Park boys from there?" Yes. Colorado is not traditionally the first state that comes to mind when you think of rampant religious extremism. But to help you with the cognitive dissonance, I've prepared a visual aid to show you where Colorado stands amidst the various idiocies of the U.S.:

As you can see, Colorado is a virtual epicenter of moronitude. You've got the crazy Mormons to the west, the entire Midwest to the northeast, Jim Inhofe just over the border in Oklahoma, and do I even need to mention Texas? No mitigating influences to the north or south, so you can see where poor Colorado, adrift in a sea of national idiocy, may find itself turning to rabid Catholocism in a kind of Lord of the Flies moment.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Not giving specific descriptions of the dumbness inherent in certain coastal areas does not mean the Tan Lands are magical enclaves where reason and intelligence thrive They are just not relevant to the current discussion. They'll get theirs in due course.
Still, the great things about Catholics is that, being students of the Bible, they don't have a problem with blatant self-contradiction, as Colorado bishop Michael Sheridan so aptly demonstrates in his directive. What starts with "A" and ends with "E" and makes the crowds all scream with glee? ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"As in the matter of abortion, any Catholic politician who would promote so-called same-sex marriage and any Catholic who would vote for that political candidate place themselves outside the full communion of the church and may not receive Holy Communion until they have recanted their positions and been reconciled by the Sacrament of Penance... the church never directs citizens to vote for any specific candidate." 
Which is technically true. Using your supposed spiritual authority to intimidate and threaten people into not voting for unnamed people who just happen to have been in the news a lot lately for being Catholic and liberal is not the same as coming out and saying "JOHN KERRY IS THE ANTICHRIST!". However, in the great Venn diagram of life, those two sets are enclosed by a much larger superset, the superset we like to call DUMB.