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Pope On The Ropes
Loved this one from Ayn Rand Institute about the immorality and backwardness of the Pope, leader of, among other things, the barbaric organization that spreads death through lies about and opposition of condom use to people in the developing world:

The Enemy of Prosperity
April 5, 2007

Irvine, CA--In his forthcoming book, the Pope claims that the West, in its pursuit of earthly prosperity, has "plundered and sacked" Africa and other poor regions. "We see how our lifestyle, the history that involved us, has stripped them naked and continues to strip them naked," he writes.

"Contrary to the Pope's statements, the Third World is not impoverished because of Western 'exploitation,'" said Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. "It is impoverished precisely because it has failed to embrace Western ideals--the very ideals rejected by Christianity.

"The root of the West's prosperity is its distinctive values of reason, science, and capitalism. Rational minds, free to pursue material prosperity, have produced an explosion of wealth and technology--from electricity to automobiles, from medicines to personal computers--that has improved our lives and extended our lifespan.

"It is obvious that the third world has failed to embrace these values, and has instead remained mired in mysticism and tribalism. But Christianity rejects them as well; it teaches us to scorn science and earthly success in favor of prayer and religious asceticism. As Jesus counseled his followers, 'Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth.' It is bizarre to suggest that the solution to the third world's rampant poverty is a philosophy that idealizes poverty.

"In rejecting the preconditions and goal of prosperity, the Pope makes it clear that his aim is not to see the Third World advance--it is to condemn the West for its commitment to improving and enjoying life on this earth.

"Those who desire better lives for themselves and their families should reject the Pope's immoral message and embrace the values of reason and freedom."

Correction: "In rejecting the preconditions and goal of prosperity"...except when it comes to gathering and protecting the riches of the church.

Posted by aalkon at April 6, 2007 9:33 AM


Sounds like a logical formula to me. If you, as the head of a religion, decry material wealth (even though you head an organization that's filthy stupid rich), you can convince the sheep to give up their riches to YOU, and you can buy another silly-looking gem-encrusted, gold-plated hat!
Now...I'd be more impressed if the person who was telling me that material treasures were bad actually wasn't surrounded by riches, paid for partially by the tithes scraped together by poor working class people.

Posted by: Jamie at April 6, 2007 7:47 AM

It really burns me that the church's earnings are tax deductible.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 6, 2007 7:51 AM

Pretty much. Though the church of the sub-genius happily pays their taxes. Guess they don't really count, though. ;)

It's funny...when I saw the hidden-camera-view of the scientology indoctrination video...that was how they justified calling their corporation a religion...they were given tax-exempt status. Pretty pedestrian for wacky alien infested wackos. heh.

Posted by: Jamie at April 6, 2007 8:07 AM

There should be a tithe for scientific research and development. At least the research would have a use than the old pie in the sky mumbo jumbo.

Posted by: Joe at April 6, 2007 12:45 PM

If the Pope annoys me at times, the Fundies are much worse. The U N says that the AIDS program in Africa is pretty much handicapped into uselessness because of the restrictions placed on it by the U.S.

Posted by: opit at April 6, 2007 8:07 PM

How can you get rich by stealing from someone who has nothing?

Donald Trump must have a million bag ladies stashed somewhere.

Posted by: austin at April 11, 2007 11:49 AM

Yeah, the Pope is nuts and Ayn Rand has the real truth. Are you people completely nuts?

Posted by: Ian Mega at May 13, 2007 8:48 PM

Anyone who believes, without evidence, in god, is primitive and irrational. Thanks, I'll take rationality, capitalism, and secularism.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at May 14, 2007 12:20 AM

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