The Naked Pope in a Glass House
By a Child in the Crowd with a Slingshot
“The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war,” the pope said. “He said, I quote, ‘Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.’ “ – Pope: Conversion by Violence not of God, September 12, 2006, Associated Press, and CNN.
(The full text of the speech can be found at Vatican’s official page: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg_en.html)
“The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. … As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?” John Adams, American Statesman.
Let me start with a clarifying headnote. In this article, I use the words Western, Christian, Christendom, Muslims, and Muslim World loosely and in a general sense, since there are many sects and shades of each and it is not the topic of this paper to clarify this ambiguity. I consider Jesus and his message as a message of peace and reason and I acknowledge that most of the Gospels promote such a message. However, I cannot say the same for many verses of the Old Testament which promotes violence and cruelty and I cannot accept them as the instructions of a Benevolent and Just God. Furthermore, when I refer to America, I mostly refer to the American governments, or the US-Inc, which usually do not represent the will of American people but the will of big corporations and influential lobbies such as AIPAC. If you are not a fan of the Pope, this article should not be considered an offensive to your religious sensitivities, since the Pope’s attack on Islam was not just a religious or theological criticism but a cunning political provocation that came when the invading forces of the US-Inc supported by right-wing Christian voters caused a civil war in Iraq, and so far led to the death of about 600,000 Iraqis and millions of orphan children and wounded members of the population. You should also consider that at the same time, the same forces committed and justified all kinds of torture in open and hidden prisons and gave the green light to its most favored ally in the Middle East for invasion and destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure, resulting in killing of thousands of Lebanese civilians, mostly children. You should know that this child does not always scream in the crowd while aiming his slingshot towards priests’ glass houses. But, this time the Emperor and his top clergyman declared war against truth, peace, and justice in heinous and hypocritical ways, forcing the child to yell to the crowd, Yes, both the Emperor and his Pope are naked. And on top of that, they live in glass houses!
I do not know whether you are among those who are impressed by individuals who wear ostentatious clothes and pretend to carry halos on their heads. I am not. I am neither impressed by the long beards of mullahs and their turbans, nor by the dots on the foreheads of monks and the mantras on their lips. I am not awed by any holy-shmoly person, especially those who show off with funny and colorful hats, zucchettos, stoles, palliums, chasuble, and cassocks while maintaining straight faces. I cannot decide whether to laugh or cry when I see an old guy waving a smoke-generating device or spraying “holy water” by shaking a bulbous object called aspergillum on a crowd denigrated to the level of a flock of sheep. I get nausea when I witness a pretentious cannibalistic ceremony, in which pastors serve wine and bread in a chalice, paten, and ciborium while asking their flock to pretend that these objects are really the flesh and the blood of their savior.
I lose my hope in humanity when I see almost a quarter of the human population revering a man who pretends to be infallible, a man who follows a chain of many “infallible” others who burned people on stakes, led witch hunts, tried to stop the earth from rotating around the sun, sold indulgences, issued edicts for bloody crusades, baptized slavery and racism, all while playing the tune of imperialism. I lose my hope in the honesty of humanity when a man arrogates himself to be called the “Holy Father” (Christian title for God), and claims the right of forgiveness for people in the name of the “Holy Father,” and yet does not make it in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s greatest imposter and charlatan.
No wonder Thomas Jefferson, a rational monotheist and a peacemaker, likened popes and their entourage to darkness:
“I abuse the priests, indeed, who have so much abused the pure and holy doctrines of their Master, and who have laid me under no obligations of reticence as to the tricks of their trade. The genuine system of Jesus, and the artificial structures they have erected, to make them the instruments of wealth, power, and preeminence to themselves, are as distinct things in my view as light and darkness; and while I have classed them with soothsayers and necromancers, I place Him among the greatest reformers of morals, and scourges of priest-craft that have ever existed. They felt Him as such, and never rested until they had silenced Him by death.” (Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Charles Clay, Jan 29, 1815).
So, when I heard a papal incarnation of historical absurdity and violence preaching to the world about reason and peace, my initial reaction was a smile on my face, since that kind of contradiction would perfectly fit the entire theatrical absurdity. It is as absurd as the Sunni Usama Bin Laden or his Evangelical counterpart George W. Bush preaching to the world about peace and reason. However, when I remembered that about a billion people take this guy’s word seriously, and that the world’s only super-duper power is run by an idiot evangelist who thinks that he is a messenger of God, then my smile faded. It must be the another sign of the end of the world! Take notice, dear Jehovah’s Witnesses! This time you might have a hit!
The Pope’s recent depiction of Islam and Muhammad reminded me of Karl Marx and his famous statement, “Religion is the opium of masses.” Marx described only one face of the holy Janus. But the mess the Pope produced with his speech attacking Islam served as no opium for masses. It was holy fuel added to the fire created by a coalition of Evangelical Crusaders, Neocons, Zionists, Sunni and Shiite extremists, and the Taliban. It was the Pope’s way of baptizing another holocaust, the Third World War, the Tenth Crusade. It was the Pope’s style of joining the Left-Behind Christian’s self-fulfilling prophecy of Armageddon. It was not an inconsequential holy blunder, but a calculated and cunning political wink to the global hegemony.
I have met hundreds of Catholic students in my philosophy and logic classes. I do not recall any negative incident with them. I have many close friends affiliated with many different religions, including Catholicism. I like and respect them, yet I do not act as a hypocrite by declaring my respect to their nonsensical beliefs if they try to preach to me. I consider myself a rational monotheist (a redundancy), and I have little respect for organized religions that have produced human idols and preached irrational dogmas, thereby causing many miseries and tragedies in human history.
Thus, I consider the moral and intellectual integrity of religious power-brokers such as brahmas, mullahs, ayatollahs, gurus, rabbis, pastors, priests, bishops, and of course the Pope, below used car salesmen; since polytheistic clergymen of all hats and robes — and all turbans and beards — rape the minds of masses and exploit the wealth of nations. A deal with a used car salesman may get you a pricey used car, but a deal with a priest will most likely get you a bunch of lies about God, life, and death, along with mind-torturing contradictions, complicated silly rituals, anti-scientific and irrational dogmas, and occasionally bloody jihads and crusades…
Of course, there are exceptions among organized religions, such as the Amish, Quakers, Uniterian Universalits, and Jehovah Witnesses, or such as Bahais and Sufis. These might have redeeming social and political factors. There are exceptions even among the ranks of Catholic Church; some clergymen might indeed honestly believe in their mission and they might have admirable social and political positions, such as the Anglican Bishop Desmund Tutu of South Africa who quoted Jomo Kenyatta who profoundly depicted the role of clergymen in the troubles inflicted on his country and the continent:
“When the missionaries came to Africa, they had the Bible and we had the land. They said: ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”
As the members of institutions that usually peddle the most absurd lies and useless rules in the name of our Creator, clergymen present themselves as the gatekeepers for eternal salvation. Ironically, according to the Pope’s own book, the man who he worships also shared with me the same aversion towards clergymen:
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctified the gold?” (Matthew 23:14-17)
As a rational monotheist, I consider God and the truth sanctified above everything including Pope’s hat. Because of my aversion to logical contradiction and to hypocrisy, I generated many enemies among the religious crowd, including my father, a prominent Sunni mullah, who disowned me when I rejected my religious faith. This story is expressed in my best-selling books from the country of my birth. I am still a child in the crowd who announces the nakedness of the king, the sultan, the pope, and the caliph with no inhibition:
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32).
“Most of them only follow conjecture. While conjecture does not avail against the truth in anything. God is knower of what they do.” (Quran 10:36).
So upon his invitation for dialogue, I decided to start an honest dialogue with the guy who calls himself a title stolen from his God Holy Pope (Holy Father), with a straight face. This guy is the only man with hundreds of millions of followers who pretends to be “infallible,” along with his predecessors. I can accept a priest or bishop to be an honest person who honestly yet ignorantly peddles lies and false stories, but I cannot accept the Pope’s personal honesty and sanity as long as he claims “infallibility” since every honest and sane person, by age five, should know that he or she is not infallible. It is not a metaphysical mystery to know that you are limited in your knowledge, and that you make mistakes, lots of them.
Before directing my questions to the Pope, let me share with you one of the few poems I have written in English, my fifth language:
Smile to the Child in You
Shunning mature eyebrows nearby,
I smile to the child in me, I smile conspicuously.
Peter Pan is jumping around with his little sword.
Paying my friends no special attention:
Trifling with traditions and taboos;
Prickling the illusive mask of social convention.
Ticklish questions hop from his sling:
Whizzing “why”s, buzzing “how”s
Jolt and pester sacred cows
Stunning jittery faces nearby,
I cheer the child in me, I cheer joyously
I won’t hush him if he shouts,
When kings are naked in the crowd,
When priests are telling stories on God!
Scaring travelers in bandwagons nearby,
I give candies to the child in me, I give generously.
Each time you blink at a “what” or a “how” or a “why “
I think of the child in you, I think anxiously.
I wink at the child in you, I wink curiously.
THIRTEEN QUESTIONS FOR
POPE OR MR. RATZINGER ON VIOLENCE AND PEACE
In the end of Manifesto for Islamic Reform, I extended an invitation to Muslims, Christians and Jews. Well-versed in their histories, theologies, and good and bad deeds, I looked in their eyes and took the mirror to their faces. The section related to Christianity started with the following paragraphs.
“If Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad were alive today, Jews would condemn the first as Anti-Semite, Christians would denounce the second as the Antichrist, and Muslims would revile the third as the Dajjal (The Great Imposter).”
“Imagine a religion in which its members worship the murder weapon, perform rituals to pretend that they are drinking the blood and flesh of their heroic victim, claim that 1+1+1 equals to 1, adopt a word as their name which was used by none of the early adherents, misspell and mispronounce the name of their hero, follow someone’s teachings that were prophetically condemned by their hero, accept a formula coined by a self-appointed commission 325 years after the founder, sing love and peace yet remain responsible for most of the bloodshed and weaponry in the world, mobilize children for centuries of barbarism termed the Crusades, sell parcels of heaven, excommunicate scientists, burn the first translator of their holy book, burn women in witchhunt crazes, invent ingenious torture devices and torture many in their holy courts, declare the earth as the flat center of the world for more than a millennium, lead and pray for colonialists, defend and practice slavery and racism until they were unable to, side mostly with kings and the wealthy, deny women many of their rights, condemn the theory of evolution, support occupations and wars with jingoistic slogans, etcetera etcetera. Yes, how can such a religion with a fake name, with a fabricated doctrine, bizarre pagan practices, and such a miserable historical record and bitter fruits belong to God? How can the religion be attributed to a philosopher, to a peacemaker, to an advocate of the rights of the weak, to a human messenger of God? (Here, I should exclude the “theory of evolution” from my indictment of the Catholics, since they have finally conceded it to science. I will discuss these and many other issues in the upcoming revised version of “”19 Questions For Christian Clergy“)
Now, after hearing the Pope’s criticism directed at Islam for being violent and irrational, add another question to the end of the paragraph above: How does the top promoter of such a religion retain the audacity to talk in the name of peace and reason?
Mr. Ratzinger, I will not call you “Dear Holy Pope” for the reasons that I explained above, but I will call you “dear Joseph” or “Mr. Ratzinger.” I do not think that you use drugs, but I am sure that you are one of the biggest drug dealers in the history of the world, the drug that intoxicates normal rational people and transforms them into Crusaders, Talibans, Witch-hunters, Inquisitors, Torturers, Armageddonites, Suicide Bombers, Zionists, Fascists, Bigots and Hypocrites, depending on their nationality or the flavor of the drug. I agree with Physicist Steven Weinberg who once wrote, “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” I would also add political dogmas to religion.
Most likely you did not hear the Turkish proverb: “Tencere dibin kara; senin ki benden kara!” Or its English version, “Pot calls the kettle black.” Neither did you heed a Biblical maxim: “Who have glass houses should not cast stones to others.” Thus, your glass house is now going to suffer from the many stones of your own casting, and the bottom of your pot will be exposed with all its smoke and dirt. I call it the Boomerang Rule, the Pot Rule or the Glass House Effect.
I will ask you 13 questions on violence and reason. I expect answers from you or from anyone from the list of your ostentatious and complicated hierarchy such as cardinals, primates, metropolitan archbishops, titular archbishops, coadjutor archbishops, emeritus archbishops, ordinary bishops, auxiliary bishops, coadjutor bishops, titular bishops, and bishops emeriti, promontories, apostolic monsignors, prelates of honor of his holiness monsignors, chaplains of his holiness pastors, all the troops of priests, deacons, parishes, and Roman Curia. To fulfill your invitation for dialogue, I would be glad to answer your questions in return. You are also welcome to poke fun in my hat if you find one on my head, or to question my claim of infallibility if you smell any.
1. Did Muhammad Promote Islam through Swords and Violence?
Ironically, to falsely portray the birth of Islam and to accuse Muhammad of this crime, you resort to a quotation NOT from Gandhi, Mandela, Jimmy Carter, or another accepted man of peace, but from a Byzantine Emperor. I believe that you chose a bad person and a bad argument to hatch your provocative and false accusations of Muhammad, as we will discuss.
A critical examination of the history of Muhammad will reveal an abundance of evidence that he was a man of peace. When Muhammad escaped to Medina, many of his close friends were tortured and killed. Yet when he entered Mecca, he gave up his sword. He declared amnesty for all those leaders who mobilized wars against him. Not a single one was punished. He was a man of peace, in contradiction to what you wished us to believe in your speech:
“The emperor certainly knew that Sura 2, 256, reads ‘No force in matters of faith.’ It is one of the early suras, from a time — as experts say — in which Mohammed himself was still powerless and threatened.”
What is your evidence for such a remark? This is an utter lie and a false statement. Though I consider the Quran alone as a book in divine matters and I do not rely on external hearsay sources about the chronology of revelation, the experts you refer to consider Sura (Chapter) 2 to be revealed after immigration to Medina, where Muhammad was an elected leader of a diverse group consisting of Christians, Jews, Pagans and Muslims. So I demand the name of your experts! I hope they are not Taliban and their like-minded tyrants who wish to justify their atrocities. There is no other verse in the Quran contradicting the universal principle stated in verse 2:256. The Quran permits fighting only for self-defense (See the Quran: 2:256; 4:140; 10:99; 18:29; 88:21-22; 60:7-8. Also, see the Introduction of the upcoming Quran: A Reformist Translation).
I think you and your followers need to be educated regarding the true message of Islam, beyond the ignorant remarks of a Byzantine emperor or the distortion of Sunni or Shiite extremists. Since the Quran was the only book delivered by Muhammad, since all other sectarian books were hearsay fabrications compiled centuries after the revelation of the Quran, since we have powerful empirical and mathematical evidence confirming the Quran’s claims about its authenticity as God’s protected word, and since all muslims regardless of their sects agree on the Quran, here is a brief description of Islam according to the Quran. ISLAM:
- is not a proper name, but a descriptive noun coming from the Arabic root of surrendering/submission/peace, used by God to describe the system delivered by all His messengers and prophets (5:111; 10:72; 98:5), which reached another stage with Abraham (4:125; 22:78).
- involves surrender to God alone (2:112,131; 4:125; 6:71; 22:34; 40:66).
- is a system with universal principles which are in harmony with nature (3:83; 33:30; 35:43).
- requires objective evidence in addition to personal experience (3:86; 2:111; 21:24; 74:30).
- demands conviction not based on wishful thinking or feelings but based on reason and evidence (17:36; 4:174; 8:42; 10:100; 11:17; 74:30-31).
- esteems knowledge, education, and learning (35:28; 4:162; 9:122; 22:54; 27:40; 29:44,49).
- promotes scientific inquiry regarding the evolution of humankind on earth (29:20).
- rejects clergymen and intermediaries between God and humans (2:48; 9:31-34).
- condemns profiteering from religion (9:34; 2:41,79,174; 5:44; 9:9).
- stands for liberty, accountability, and defiance of false authorities. (6:164).
- stands for freedom of expression (2:256; 18:29; 10:99; 88:21-22).
- requires consultation and representation in public affairs (42:38; 5:12).
- promotes a democratic system where participation of all citizens is encouraged and facilitated (58:11).
- prohibits bribery and requires strict rules against the influence of interest groups and corporations in government (2:188).
- requires election of officials based on qualifications and principles of justice (4:58).
- promises justice to everyone regardless of their creed or ethnicity (5:8).
- acknowledges the rights of citizens to publicly petition against injustices committed by individuals or the government (4:148).
- encourages the distribution of wealth, economic freedom, and social welfare (2:215, 59:7).
- promotes utmost respect to individuals (5:32).
- relates the quality of a society to the quality of individuals comprising it (13:11).
- recognizes and protects an individual’s right to privacy (49:12).
- recognizes the right to the presumption of innocence and the right to confront the accuser (49:12).
- provides protection for witnesses (2:282).
- does not hold innocent people responsible for the crimes of others (53:38).
- protects the right to personal property (2:85,188; 4:29; exception 24:29; 59:6-7).
- discourages a non-productive economy (2:275; 5:90; 3:130).
- encourages charity and caring for the poor (6:141; 7:156).
- unifies humanity by promoting gender and race equality (49:13).
- values women (3:195; 4:124; 16:97).
- values intellect (5:90).
- offers peace among nations (2:62; 2:135-136, 208).
- considers the entire world as belonging to all humanity and supports immigration (4:97-98).
- promotes peace while deterring the aggressive parties (60:8,9; 8:60).
- pursues the gold-plated brazen rule of equivalence, otherwise known as retaliation with occasional forgiveness (42:20; 17:33).
- stands up for human rights and the oppressed (4:75).
- encourages competition in righteousness and morality (16:90).
- stands for peace, honesty, kindness, and deterrence from wrong doing (3:110).
- expects high moral standards (25:63-76; 31:12-20; 23:1-11).
- asks us to be in harmony with nature and the environment (30:41).
- No wonder that the only system/law approved by God is Islam (3:19,85).
2. Was the Byzantine Emperor you Quoted a Man of Peace and Reason?
You quoted Manuel II Palaiologus. Here is what Wikipedia Encyclopedia writes about him:
“Manuel II Palaiologos used this period of respite to bolster the defenses of the Despotate of Morea, where the Byzantine Empire was actually expanding at the expense of the remnants of the Latin Empire.”
Ironically, the English word “despot” is historically linked to “Despotates” after the Fourth Crusade, and your source falsely accuses Muhammad of promoting Islam through sword. I understand his aversion towards Muslims and Ottoman Empire, and I myself never condone the aggression of Ottoman empire just as I never condone Crusaders. However, it is unfair to blame Muhammad for the aggression and atrocities of kings and sultans who deviated from his message of peace, tolerance, justice and reason. Can we blame Jesus for aggression and atrocities committed by Crusaders, Despotates, Emperors and Popes?
When I read further about your source, I noticed that as the emperor of a declining empire, he did not share the typical arrogance of Crusaders:
“God is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…”
This is exactly what Muhammad preached through the Quran. The Quran always depicts polytheists as being belligerent and repressive against messengers and their supporters. Thus, as a messenger of God, Muhammad condemned violence and promoted peace and tolerance not only when he was weak but also when he became the victor at the zenith of power.
But later, I learned that Pope’s Emperor did not utter those nice words when he had power. To the contrary, only when he lost everything and sought refuge in a monastery did he started writing about peace.
Gary Leupp, a Professor of History at TuftsUniversity, in an article titled, “Defender of the West, Scourge of Islam, The Crusade of Pope Rat” sheds some light about the Pope’s hero and asks the following question to the “Vicar of Christ”: Did the Byzantine emperors generally act according to “reason”—any more than their Persian, Turkish, or Arab contemporaries?
Prof. Leupp then questions the “reason” of Manuel II, who asked for help from the Muslim Turks when he lost his throne to his brother in 1376. We are informed that Pope’s model of peace and reason voluntarily paid tribute to the Turkish Sultan and lived as a “vassal” at the Turkish court! “But he rebelled in 1391, the very year that he wrote the above-quoted remark about God’s nature while in the ‘barracks at Ankara’ mentioned by the Pope. Then, Leupp quotes Encyclopedia Britannica: “A treaty in 1403 kept peace with the Turks until 1421, when Manuel’s son and co-emperor John VIII meddled in Turkish affairs. After the Turks besieged Constantinople (1422) and took southern Greece (1423), Manuel signed a humiliating treaty and entered a monastery.” Here is an excerpt from Prof. Leupp’s article:
“And when did the Byzantine Empire ever tolerate a “dialogue of cultures” or apply “reason” to religious issues?”
“Seems to me that the Byzantine emperors, including the Palaeologan line from the thirteenth century, persecuted religious minorities, including Jews, Manichaeans and dissident Christians, during centuries in which the Islamic world showed relative tolerance. I’ve read the texts of anathemas that virtually everyone in some parts of the Empire was obliged to pronounce publicly in the sixth century: “I renounce Mani, Buddha his teacher,” etc. On pain of death, basically. There was no division between church and state. Many Byzantine Jews welcomed the initial Muslim Arab advances, providing relief from Christian persecution.”
“One increasingly expects historical distortion and hypocrisy in the speeches of Bush administration officials. The effort to depict the Terror War as a war on “Islamofascism” shows their desperation. They must be delighted to hear the pope conflate Christianity, the west, and Reason explicitly while implicitly linking Islam, violence, and irrational intolerance. How sweet that His Holiness’s erudition should elliptically reference Iran, while the Bush administration prepares to attack it!”
As it seems, Pope’s pick for his ventriloquial preaching about peace and reason was neither a man of reason nor peace. Pope should be contrite for calling such a man “erudite.”
3. Which One of these Committed More Violence: Muslims or Christians?
The word terror is used in a hypocritical way by Western media, including by those who promote Christian values. According to their propaganda, terror should not mean terrorizing civilians and killing innocent people, since the West or Christendom has outdone Muslims in murder of civilians and innocent people, perhaps by factor of 666!
For instance, the worst terrorist act in modern history occurred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed hundreds of thousands civilians including children and doomed millions to tribulations from immediate injuries and long-term effects due to radiation. Sure, the bomb was not made in the Vatican nor it was dropped by a bishop. But let’s examine the previous trail of events to understand the influence.
After abusing its power for centuries, the Vatican was castrated through reformation, and all churches then lost most of their official power through the emergence of secular governments. However, to feed their thirst for human sacrifice, Catholic and Protestant leaders adapted to the change. Instead of direct involvement in bloodshed and aggression, they now manipulate governments through bloc votes that support religious leaders of secular governments. Going back to the Japanese cities, it is a fact that the bombs were made by a majority Christian nation, and the order to pick those two cities was given by a Christian president and supported by the prayers of Christians and Christian leaders such as Bill Graham. The perpetrator was a state, not a gang, and it has yet to apologize to humanity for its atrocities. To the contrary, it still tries to justify this historic crime through absurd excuses similar to the propaganda from authoritarian regimes. Ironically, the same terrorist state now demonstrates the audacity to pre-emptively bomb other countries who might dream of having a nuclear weapon!
The recent Israeli aggression and terror against Lebanon ruined its cities and bridges, killed thousands of Lebanese civilians, and injured many more. It terrorized the entire nation even though it was justified by the magical word “collateral damage.” But the West preferred to label Hezbollah; they were terrorists who terrorized the poor state of Israel by “kidnapping” two poor Zionist Israeli soldiers having a happy potluck picnic on the other side of the border. Furthermore, the Western propaganda machine did not use the word “kidnap” to depict Israel as kidnappers of the democratically elected Palestinian members of congress. The Western media, which includes Christians and those manipulated by CAMERA, a Zonist organization aimed to force American media to autocensor, kept using the same label for Hezbollah who targeted the occupying Israeli soldiers and killed 150 Israelis, more than a hundred of them being Israeli soldiers.
So, when you, as “the Pope” in a holy robe and funny hat, accuse Muslims and their religions with violence, you deceive us all. While a reborn Christian president, as part of his Tenth Crusade, leads the world’s biggest war machine through deception and lies to a war against one of the poorest countries ruled by one of their discarded despot puppets, you do not accuse Christians and their religions of deception, warmongering, and violence. When the American military, which received and still continues to receive the support and prayers of American churches and evangelical leaders, “shocked and awed” (code word for terror) millions of people living in Baghdad, killed tens of thousands Iraqi civilians, wounded hundreds of thousands, tortured thousands of their young men and women in Abu Ghraib and other prisons, created a torture industry by holding them in secret prisons in countries with horrible human rights records, massacred families, raped their women, destroyed their infrastructure, deliberately or recklessly instigated and inflamed sectarian fighting, wasted billions of dollars of American taxpayers’ money while letting a few big corporations in the so-called defense, oil, and construction industries rake in obscene profits — yes, when all these lies, atrocities, thefts, massacres, and terror were committed by Christians and supported by Armageddonite, Left-behind Crusaders, you did not criticize Christianity nor Evangelical and Protestant groups! Somehow you could not find a Byzantine emperor to speak for the truth!
Indeed, Muslims have become losers in science and technology although the West is destroying the earth with its consumerist wasteful lifestyle and capitalistic greed. We know that the Muslim world, despite the teachings of the Quran, have contradicted their mostly tolerant history and have become less tolerant to different religious and political ideas. However, almost all the authoritarian rulers in the Middle East, since the turn of the 20th century have been the puppets of USA-Inc and UK-Inc imperial powers — from Egypt’s Sadat and Mubarak which gave birth to a violent strand of the Muslim Brotherhood, including Islamic Jihad lead by al-Zawahiri, to Iran’s Shah which gave birth to Mullahs, to Saudi Kings that gave birth to Bin Laden and many other Wahhabi extremists, to General Musharraf whose regime gave birth to Talibans and a fanatic and angry new generation. We also know that the Muslim world have treated their women unjustly and deprived them from many blessings enjoyed by men (even though they got their misogynistic ideas and practices from your dogmas and medieval churches, which I document it in Manifesto for Islamic Reform, available at www.islamicreform.org, and even though women are abused and mistreated in the West differently).
Yes, Christendom leads the Muslim world politically, socially, economically, and technologically, but it also leads them militarily. For each drop of blood shed by Muslims, Christendom shed a gallon. If we conduct a body-count, Christians and Jews outnumber Muslims by far slaughtering humans. Just one look at the world map will show another ignored yet very striking fact. Virtually the entire Muslim world is under occupation, either militarily or covertly. The Western media has perfected its propaganda to hide atrocities committed by so-called civilized world, while using their cameras like a microscope to pick and focus on the angriest and ugliest faces among Muslims. These Muslim faces appear to be on the losing end of the clash of West and East, resembling the “barbarian American Indians” who experienced a similar problem in the past centuries.
Instead of directing a big portion of your criticism to state terrorism, imperialistic aggression, violent occupations, and covert operations, instead of chastising jingoist American Christians for switching the golden rule with the iron rule, instead of condemning the USA-Inc’s bullying and its commitment to the worst of all rules “might makes it right,” and instead of standing against the Western interferences that gave birth to small-gang terrorism and violence in traumatized societies — yes, instead of doing the right thing, you chose to condemn the victim for being angry and frustrated, you generalized the acts of the few extremists among them, you distorted the history and the message of Islam (that is, peace and submission to God alone), and you attacked Muhammad through the words of an Byzantine emperor. This, again and again, shows one of the historical consistencies and patterns regarding your church: Unlike your idol Jesus, you side with the bully, you side with the emperor, and you side with the superman!
4. Do these Biblical verses serve justice, and are they from God?
Here are a few examples of intolerance and cruel punishment attributed to God through Moses, for those who harbor differing opinions or choose different religious beliefs (The Quran refers to the distortions made in the Bible: 2:59; 2:79; 5:13-15; 5:41-44):
“The Lord said to Moses: ‘Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death…. Then Moses spoke to the Israelites, and they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him. The Israelites did as the Lord commanded Moses.” (Leviticus 24:13-16)
“If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and worship other gods’ … Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out the land of slavery. Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.” (Deuteronomy 13:6-11)
“Then shall thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shall stone them with stones, till they die.” (Deuteronomy 17:5)
“These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.” (Deuteronomy 12:2-4)
Do you think that these instructions to commit terror and violence were given by God? If not, then why do you still consider the Old Testament a divine book?
The Old Testament instructs a stoning-to-death penalty for various sins and crimes, including witchcraft; blasphemy, violation of the Sabbath, and murder:
Leviticus 20:2. “Again, thou shall say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that gives any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.”
Leviticus 20:27. “A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.”
Leviticus 24:16. “And he that blasphemes the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemes the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.”
Numbers 15:35. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.”
Numbers 35:17. And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.”
Deuteronomy 22:20-21. “But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.”
Exodus chapter 21 has many more stoning-to-death instructions. Even animals get their share of this stoning penalty:
Exodus 21:28. “If a bull gores a man or a woman to death, the bull must be stoned to death and its meat must not be eaten.”
According to the Old Testament, a rapist should be forced to marry the girl he violated. This rule punishes the victim to share the rest of her life with the violent and shameless man who violated her (Deuteronomy 22:28-30). How can these and many other unjust laws be imposed by a just and compassionate God?
5. Do these Biblical verses Promote Peace and Justice, and are they from God?
The Old Testament contains numerous instructions for violence and terror, which cannot be attributed to a benevolent and just God. They are mixed and introduced together with beautiful and constructive instructions:
Exodus 32:27-28. “And he said unto them, Thus says the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.”
Joshua 6:21. “And they devoted the city to the Lord and they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.”
1Samuel 15:3. “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”
Also see the following verses from the Old Testament:
Exodus 22:18-19. Kill witches, perverts, polytheists.
Leviticus 20:1-27. Stone to death anyone gave offspring to Molech. Kill anyone cursing father or mother. Kill the adulterers. Kill homosexuals. Kill and burn those committing incest. Kill those who commit bestiality and their animals. Kill the fortune-tellers.
Leviticus 21:16-23. Lynch and stone the blasphemer to death.
Leviticus 24:13-18. Stone the blasphemer to death.
Numbers 15:32-36. Stone to death the man who collected sticks on the Sabbath.
Numbers 31:1-18. Children of Israel killed all the males of Midianites and took all the women of Midian captives, their little ones, their property. Then burned all their cities, and killed all the little boys.
Deuteronomy 13:6-10. Stone to death any of your relatives who serve the gods of other tribes.
Deuteronomy 17:2-7. Stone to death man or woman who served other gods after two or three witnesses testifies against them.
Deuteronomy 20:16-17. Kill every living being in the cities of Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and utterly destroy their cities.
Deuteronomy 22:23-24. Stone to death the adulterers.
Deuteronomy 25:11-12. Cut off a woman’s hand if she holds the balls of another man while her husband is fighting with.
Joshua 6:20-21. Joshua and his men utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox, sheep and ass, with the edge of the sword.
Judges 1:4-12. Judah killed ten thousand men from Canaanites and Perizzites; and cut off the thumbs and toes of their leaders. Judah fought against Jerusalem and set it on fire. Then, Judah slew Sheshai, Ahiman,Talmai, and then attacked the inhabitants of Debir.
Judges 3:22-29. The people of the Israel were saved by an assassin who deceptively reached to the King Eglon of Moab and stabbed him to death. Ehud led a gang of Israelis to Moab and killed 10,000 of their men.
1 Samuel 15:3. God sent Samuel to smite Amalek and utterly destroy all they have, sparing nothing, slaying both men and women, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
2 Kings 2:23-24. When the little children of Bathel called Elisha ‘baldhead’ he cursed them and soon two bears came out and mauled 42 of the children.
2 Chronicles 15:13. Whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.
Psalms 58:10-11. The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
Psalms 137:9. Happy is he who dashes the infants of Babylon to the rocks.
Psalms 149:6-9. Praise God and execute vengeance with a two edged sword against heathens.
Isaiah 13:13-16. Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives ravished.
Jeremiah 48:10. Whoever keeps his sword from bloodshed is cursed.
Jeremiah 51:10-24. Israel is God’s battle axe and weapons of war. Ambush Babylon and destroy them to take vengeance. With Israel God will break the nations in pieces, will break the man and woman, the old and young in pieces,
Ezekiel 9:5-6. Go to Jerusalem and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark.
Ezekiel 23:25. Israel’s God will direct his jealous anger against Babylonians, Chaldeans, Pekod, Shoa, Koa, and the Assyrians, and they will be dealt with in fury. Their noses and ears will be cut off, and they will fall by the sword. Their sons and daughters will be taken, and those who are left will be consumed by fire.
Zephaniah 3:8. The fire of God’s jealous anger will consume the whole world.
The New Testament, however, contains a better teaching. Nevertheless, since the New Testament relies on many verses of the Old Testament and ambiguities exist regarding the degree of its validity for Christians, Christians have justified many barbaric acts, atrocities, and torture by using and abusing the verses of both Old and New Testaments. These include:
Matthew 5:17-18. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
Matthew 10:34. “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”
1Peter 2:13-14. “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” (Following this instruction, many atrocities and wars were committed by Christians)
Below are other verses in the New Testament that have been used for justification of violence and many atrocities:
John 15:6 (was abused by the church and used together with Exodus 22:18 to burn witches)
6. Were the Crusaders and their Popes good Christians?
You might justify Pope Alexander II giving papal blessings that started the Crusades against the advancing Muslim invaders, but what about Saint Augustine of Hippo’s justification of use of force in the service of Christ? How does it differ from justifications given by Muslims? How do you explain the violence and atrocities committed by Crusaders against Muslims when they took Jerusalem during the Third Crusade, compared to the forgiveness and tolerance of Muslims who won under the leadership of Sultan Saladin?
What do you think about the atrocities of Crusaders against Orthodox Christians and Jews? What do you think of Pope Innocent III who considered the alleged Christian children’s interest in joining the crusade as good news? What do you think about anti-Semitic legislations imposed by Pope Innocent III? Was he also “infallible” or “innocent” like all other Popes including you?
7. Was the Church Justified in Strangling and Burning Tyndale on the Stake?
For the crime of translating the Bible into English, in 1535, Tyndale was tried by the Catholic Church for heresy and treason and then strangled and burnt at the stake. Do you condemn the Pope who allowed Cardinal Wolsey to roast Tyndale? How can the Pope who approved such a religious verdict still be considered “infallible” by your religion?
8. Were the witch-hunters Christians?
Starting from the middle fourteenth until the beginning of eighteenth century, the Catholic Church terrorized Europe, especially its women population, through the witch craze. During that period, it is estimated that well above two hundred thousand people were burned, hanged, and tortured as witches. This was one the biggest acts of terrorism in human history.
There was no possible piece of evidence that could show that the accused was not a witch. Once an accusation was made, no matter how flimsy the grounds for it, the accused was arrested. At this point, the accused was asked to confess to the charges. If the confession was not made, the accused was tortured. If a confession was still not made, the torture continued… There was no way out. If one confessed without torture to be witch, one was executed. If one did not confess at once, one was tortured until one did and was then executed. If one confessed and later recanted the confession, the torture started anew. To make matters worse for the accused, who might be willing to confess at once simply to escape torture, one was asked to name acquaintances who had engaged in witchcraft. If names were not forthcoming, they were extracted, again, under torture. These other individuals were then rounded up and tortured into confessing and naming still more “witches,” and so the horrible cycle went on. (Pseudoscience and the Paranormal: A Critical Examination of the Evidence, Terrence Hines, Prometheus Books, 1988, pp. 18-19).
Here is a description of some torture methods from Encyclopedia Wikipedia :
“One of the most common forms of medieval inquisition torture was known as strappado. The hands were bound behind the back with a rope, and the accused was suspended this way, dislocating the joints painfully in both arms. Weights could be added to the legs dislocating those joints as well. Other torture methods could include the rack (stretching the victim’s joints to breaking point), the thumbscrew, the boot (some versions of which crushed the calf, ankle, and heel between vertically positioned boards, while others tortured the instep and toes between horizontally oriented plates), water (massive quantities of water forcibly ingested–or even mixed with urine, pepper, diarrhea, etc., for additional persuasiveness), and red-hot pincers (typically applied to fingers, toes, ears, noses and nipples, although one tubular version [the "crocodile shears"] was specially devised for application to the penis in cases of regicide), although it was technically against church policy to mutilate a person’s body. If stronger methods were needed, or death, the person was handed over to the secular authorities who were not bound by any restrictions.”
This evil Church tradition might explain why the so-called reborn Evangelical Christian president of the US did not hesitate to permit the Military, CIA, and FBI to torture Muslim prisoners in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and secret prisons in other countries, even though these prisoners were mostly innocent people held without charge and due process of law.
To learn more about torture and the creative torture machines invented by our preachers of love and peace, see the following websites:
9. Were Hitler, Mussolini, Pope Pius XII, and their followers Christians?
In Mein Kampf, Hitler refers to the Bible numerous times to justify his actions. His supporters considered themselves Christians.
“My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.” -Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)
It is claimed that Hitler was a Catholic and that he was never excommunicated by your church. I am not a historian who has the proper erudition and learning to study this claim on my own. However, we know that millions of Germans and the majority of Italy’s population who supported Fascist aggression and atrocities called themselves Catholics. Mr. Ratzinger, if you know how to browse the Internet, which I doubt, please check the following links regarding the religious justifications and references made by Hitler:
History is filled with Christian leaders who professed deep religious conviction, yet were responsible from most horrendous crimes. Here is a short list of modern Christian racists, Christian fascists, Christian terrorists, and Christian warmongers:
Jefferson Davis (1808-1889): As a leader of the Confederacy, he enslaved a tenth of Americans and declared war on the other 60 percent. The Jefferson Davis Society’s web page at Georgia’s official state site brags about his Christian values: “May we never forget that Jefferson Davis, even though a leader of ‘a cause that lost’, as President of the Confederate States of America was indeed the commander-in-Chief of the Army, Navy, and several state militias of a government whose history proved to have fought one of the mightiest wars of modern time… The name Jefferson Davis will always inspire the hearts of young and old with patriotic thoughts, deeds of heroism, noble endurance, and Christian kindness, and will shine in the firmament of history to all generations to come.” http://www.state.ga.us/civilwar/davis.html
Hong Xiuquan (1814-1864): Christian Rebel who led an authoritarian sect and enacted atrocities costing the lives of millions in China.
Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821-1877): The Confederate general who became the first Grand Wizard of the KKK.
King Leopold of Belgium (1835 –1909): With the support of Christian missionaries, he pursued a colonialist and genocidal policy, killing an estimated 5 to 15 millions of Congo Africans. He turned the Belgian Congo into “a colonial regime of slave labor, rape and mutilation”.
D.F. Malan (1874-1952): The Dutch-ordained minister, together with other Christian missionaries, helped in the creation of the Apartheid system in South Africa.
Pope Pius XII (1876-1958): Born as Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, this guy, according to some historians, supported Hitler in his rise to power. His representative Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo met Hitler personally in 1936 in Berlin. Papal Chamberlain and Roman Catholic priest Monsignor Joseph Tiso shook hands with Hitler in 1941. Pope Pius refused to publicly denounce Nazis in 1943. Even if the Pope whole-heartedly did not support Nazi’s, it is clear that he acted cowardly and stood by complacently when Christians committed one of the biggest atrocities in history against Jews and other minorities.
Adolph Hitler (1889-1945): Supported by Protestant Germans and Catholic Italy, he committed genocide and horrendous atrocities against Jews, Gypsies, and other minorities. The Catholic Church remained silent.
Billy Graham (1918-?): This protestant evangelist who has prayed with ten successive U.S. presidents and received number 7 on Gallup’s list of admired people for the 20th century. As one of the most prominent members of the Southern Baptist Convention, he baptized many aggressive wars and atrocities committed by the US government.
Rios Montts (1926-?): Evangelical Christian who became the dictator of Guatemala in 1982, he enacted his reign of terror with rapes, death squads and genocide, wiping over 400 indigenous villages.
Pat Robertson (1930-?): The influential televangelist who passionately supports the occupation of Palestine by the terrorist Zionist forces that have massacred tens of thousands of Palestinians and killed many of their young children. He also issued a fatwa for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s popular anti-imperialistic president.
If one tallies the number of dead and injured as the cause of just the above-listed Christians, and compares it to the number of dead and injured by Muslims, one will find that violence committed by Christians and their allies is at least greater by a factor of 666 than the violence committed by Muslims.
10. Do You Consider George W Bush and his Supporters Christians?
First let me briefly introduce George W. Bush (1946-2007). He is the grand-grand-son of Samuel Prescott Bush, who made a fortune in arms deals as one of the most prominent “Merchants of Death,” the grand-son of Senator Prescott Bush, who was implicated in profiting off slave labor and off the Auschwitz concentration camp, and the son of George H. W. Bush who started the first war against Iraq. He is an evangelical re-born Christian, and a Left-Behind, Armageddonite crusader. He adopted the iron rule — that is, “pre-emptive strike” — and waged war on Iraq based on lies and deception, causing the death of tens of thousands of civilians and the destruction of an entire nation who had not attacked the US. He supported Israel unconditionally even in the face of its fascist policy against Palestinians and its recent aggression and atrocities against Lebanon. He also ordered the torture of prisoners and tried to legalize torture and take many of the civil rights cherished by American citizens.
Now, why don’t you condemn Bush and Company? Why don’t you declare them warmongers, war-profiteers, terrorists, and irrational individuals? The Wahhabi Bin Laden caused the death of thousands of innocent people. On the other hand, the Evangelical Bush and his company deliberately deceived the American people and caused the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, thousands of which are the children of “lower class” Americans. Ironically, Bush’s ardent supporters in his warmongering and torture-justifying policies have been the Evangelical Church and clergymen. Bin Laden might have duped a few thousand people to join his terrorist gang, but Bush and his company duped a superpower with 300 million people and hundreds of billions of dollars to join his terror and neocolonialism. From Bosnia to Chechnya, from Afghanistan to Iraq, from Palestine to Lebanon, many more Muslim children and innocent civilians are killed by the bombs and bullets of Christians and their allies than the other way around. It is no surprise that cruel occupations and atrocities committed by the so-called civilized terrorist states have given birth to gang terrorism in those lands.
So, if you indeed follow the teachings of Jesus, then shouldn’t you have stopped using the double standard and raised your voice for justice and peace!
11. When did the world start rotating around the sun in the Vatican?
The Catholic Church, with its extensive hierarchy and powerful alliances, tried to suppress many different faiths, philosophies, and scientific ideas. The Church condemned any idea questioning its dogmas as “heresy,” and tried to intimidate and eliminate the proponents of such ideas. It occasionally used extremely cruel and barbaric methods. For instance, Manicheans, Arians, Catharis, Waldenses, Hussites, Lutherans, Calvinists, and Rosicrucians were all targeted for their differing religious ideas and practices.
Starting with the ruling of Pope Gregory IX, a more systematic suppression of heresies was initiated in 1231. Life imprisonment, capital punishment, burning at the stake, and numerous sadistic tortures were carried out against “heretics.” Furthermore, all the properties of the convicted heretics were confiscated by the Catholic Church. Thus, a significant portion of the Vatican’s wealth is the spoil of those robberies and murders committed in the name of Jesus. The Spanish Inquisition specially became notorious for its atrocities against converted Muslims, Jews and illuminists.
“In 1231, Pope Gregory IX published a decree which called for life imprisonment with salutary penance for the heretic who had confessed and repented, and capital punishment for those who persisted. The secular authorities were to carry out the execution. Pope Gregory relieved the bishops and archbishops of this obligation and made it the duty of the Dominican Order, though many inquisitors were members of other orders or of the secular clergy. … Penalties went from visits to churches, pilgrimages, and wearing the cross of infamy to imprisonment (usually for life, but the sentences were often commuted) and (if the accused would not abjure) death. Death occurred by burning at the stake, and it was carried out by the secular authorities. In some serious cases when the accused had died before proceedings could be instituted, his or her remains could be exhumed and burned. Death or life imprisonment was always accompanied by the confiscation of all the accused’s property.” (The Inquisition, http://galileo.rice.edu/chr/inquisition.html)
Galileo was one of the many who suffered the holy condemnation of the “infallible” Pope. In 1616, the consultants working for the so-called Holy Office declared the idea of Earth rotating around the Sun, to be “foolish and absurd in philosophy.” After this ruling, The Revolution of Heavenly Bodies by Copernicus was listed in the Index of Forbidden Books. Galileo was threatened regarding his affirmation of the same ideas as Copernicus, and in 1633 he was tried by the Inquisition court for his scientific claims.
Before Galileo, another scientist, Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno was tortured and then burned at the stake as a heretic for speculating that there could be life in other worlds.
Do you think that the Popes who opposed Galileo and Bruno in the name of God were “infallible?” Who was the first Pope that accepted the reality that the Earth is rotating around the Sun, not the other way around? Who was the first Pope that accepted the possibility of extraterrestrial life? How could a religious teaching that follows science centuries behind be considered divine?
12. Was Your Great Hero Tertullian a Man of Reason?
Tertullian, the one who gave birth to the doctrine of the Christian Trinity in the 325AC Nicene Conference, wrote one of the fanciest defenses for dogmatism, bigotry and narrow-mindedness. He tried to banish reason by using lousy reasoning:
“These are human and demonic doctrines, engendered for itching ears by the ingenuity of that worldly wisdom which the Lord called foolishness, choosing the foolish things of the world to put philosophy to shame. For worldly wisdom culminates in philosophy with its rash interpretation of God’s nature and purpose. It is philosophy that supplies the heresies with their equipment… After Jesus Christ we have no need of speculation, after the Gospel no need of research. When we come to believe, we have no desire to believe anything else; for we begin by believing that there is nothing else which we have to believe.” (The Prescriptions Against the Heretics).
According to the 43 articles of your polytheistic Athanasian Creed, those who do not believe faithfully in your twisted math and logic which can be summarized as 1+1+1=1 cannot be saved. You define God and Man differently, yet you think that Jesus was at the same time fully God and fully man. No linguistic somersault and no holy mumbo jumbo will be able to make such an absurdity compatible with reason. Is it reasonable for a person who accepts a logical contradiction as the center of his faith to preach to others about reason? Is it reasonable for an institution considering a bigot named Tertullian as a holy man to preach reason?
13. What about Misogynistic Eunuchs, Celibate Pastors and Popes?
First, I would like present you the following two paragraph; from my notes on verse 42:21 in Quran: a Reformist Translation.
The religion that the so-called Muslims inherited from their parents and try hard to practice today has little to do with the system of surrendering to God alone, which was delivered by Muhammad through the Quran. These clergymen who arrogated themselves and falsely claimed to be the “ulama” (people of knowledge), polluted the message of islam with ignorance. They fabricated numerous sharias (laws), prohibitions, veils, beards, turbans, rules on how to clean one’s bottom, rules on how to pee in the bathroom, toothbrushes, right hands, left hands, right feet, left feet, hadiths, sunnas, intercession, holy hair, holy clothes, holy teeth, holy feet traces, hazrats, lords, saints, mawlas, mahdies, innocent emams, orders, sects, rosaries, amulets, dreams, holy loopholes, prayer caps, circumcisions, shrines, extra prayers, extra prohibitions, and numerous Arabic jargon such as mandup, mustahap, makruh, sharif, sayyid and more nonsense. Thus, the religion of Sunnis and Shiites contradicts the divine laws in nature and scripture and condemns its sincere followers to misery and backwardness. The religious leaders and their political allies contribute greatly to the backwardness of the Muslim world. God Almighty now wants to reform us and open the path of progress with the message described as “one of the greatest” (74:30-37).
Similar distortion and corruption was inflicted upon the system of islam (submission to God in peace) by professional religious leaders. For instance, soon after Jesus, a Pharisee-son-of-Pharisee who claimed to have seen Jesus in his vision started preaching in the name of Jesus. His passionate, yet diabolic doctrine was rejected by the monotheists and muslims, but a majority of people were duped with his delusional passion and clever salesmanship. As a result, he made major changes, including transformation of monotheism into polytheism and coinage of the name Christian (Acts 11:26). Jesus never silenced women nor put them down with xenophobic teachings but St. Paul asked women to submit to men and hush (1 Timothy 2:7-15; 1 Corinthians 14:34-35; 1 Peter 3:7). Jesus never asked for money for preaching but St. Paul asked for money shamelessly and likened his audience to a flock of sheep to be milked by the holy shepherd! (1 Corinthians 9:7). He was a master of deceit as opposed to Jesus who did not twist the truth to gain followers. Paul made up anything he deemed helpful to increase the number of his milk-giving flock (1 Corinthians 9:22). See the Quran: 9:31; 33:67. Also, see 2:59; 3:45,51-52-52,55; 4:11,157,171; 5:13-15,72-79; 7:162; 19:36.
Now, please read the following paragraphs, which are also excerpts from my notes on verse 57:27:
According to a law attributed to Moses, eunuchs were not respected. “No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 23:1). However, Christians who later fabricated hadith attributing them to Jesus, turned castration or hermitic life into a righteous act: “Jesus replied, ‘Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.’ The disciples said to him, ‘If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.’ Jesus replied, ‘Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage–because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it'” (Matthew 19:8-12). “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins…” (Revelation 14:4). St. Paul, the voice behind the Gospels of the Nicene Conference, praised hermitic life: “Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry” (1 Corinthians 7:1).
Today, only the Catholic Church and some small sects are struggling to keep this innovation alive. However, as the Quran states, they do not follow their own fabricated practice of celibacy. Worse, their churches have become notorious for pedophilia and child abuse, and many rich churches have recently declared bankruptcy because of a series of litigations by abused children. The unnatural religious innovation in the name of God led many priests to engage in child abuse and sodomy, perhaps attracting homosexuals to the ranks of priesthood for various reasons. Some religious men with homosexual tendencies who thought celibacy to be a cure for their desires ended up getting more opportunity to spend time with altar boys in their churches. Perhaps some homosexuals picked the profession just to indulge in their perverted act behind holy curtains. This perversion was most likely going on for centuries, and it was kept a “holy secret” by the powerful and secretive Church. It is only in the last decades that children have more of a voice, and the Church’s financial and social power to keep the evil deeds of her priests as secrets behind the confession session is weakening.
The Catholic Church, which is also having problems recruiting priests, remains locked in a dilemma. If they adhere to their centuries-old celebrated rule, then they will continue to suffer from the perverted behavior of priests and a shortage in new recruits. If they amend their rules and abandon the practice, then their credibility and claims to infallibility will get hurt again. If history is a guide, the Church will resist until reality will force them to abandon it. They will always find a way to justify their blunders to their faithful, who consider reason and religion to be like ice and fire, with their eternally “infallible” teachings of their Popes! The popes who not only stole the power of forgiveness, infallibility, and the keys of heaven from God, but also stole the Biblical title of God, “holy father.” According to the maxims of the Old, most of the New, and the Final Testaments, the Pope is no different than the Pharaoh, since he claims divine powers. According to the Quran, Catholics are mentally and spiritually enslaved by their Popes. Isn’t it time to accept the truth so that truth will set us all free?
Now let’s read a report about the sexual perversion endemic on the other side of the confession chamber, on the side where a eunuch pretending to be a representative of God on earth listens to the sinner’s “Holy Father”!
John Jay Study Reveals Extent of Abuse Problem
Four percent of priests serving over last 50 years accused of abuse
By Agostino Bono
Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) — About 4 percent of U.S. priests ministering from 1950 to 2002 were accused of sex abuse with a minor, according to the first comprehensive national study of the issue.
The study said that 4,392 clergymen — almost all priests — were accused of abusing 10,667 people, with 75 percent of the incidents taking place between 1960 and 1984. During the same time frame there were 109,694 priests, it said.
Sex-abuse related costs totaled $573 million, with $219 million covered by insurance companies, said the study done by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. It noted, however, that the overall dollar figure is much higher than reported; 14 percent of the dioceses and religious communities did not provide financial data and the total did not include settlements made after 2002, such as the $85 million agreed to by the Boston Archdiocese.
The study listed the main characteristics of the sex abuse incidents reported. These included:
- An overwhelming majority of the victims, 81 percent, were males. The most vulnerable were boys aged 11 to 14, representing more than 40 percent of the victims. This goes against the trend in the general U.S. society where the main problem involves men abusing girls.
- A majority of the victims were post-pubescent adolescents, with a small percentage of the priests accused of abusing children who had not reached puberty.
- Most of the accused committed a variety of sex acts involving serious sexual offenses.
- The most frequent context for abuse was a social event, and many priests socialized with the families of victims.
- Abuses occurred in a variety of places with the most common being the residence of the priest.
So, Mr. Ratzinger, why don’t you allow your pastors, bishops, and all in between to get married and become normal human beings, the way God created them. You may be justified not to marry a woman or to show no interest in them. This is your personal choice and I respect it. You may even get a Darwin Award for taking your genes out of the multiplication pool. You may redeem yourself for one unwanted baby, out of millions who are born because of the unreasonable contraception prohibitions which have contributed to overpopulation. But, based on what REASON you are defending such an unnatural choice as a righteous act, and based on what REASON you are considering it as a requirement to serve in your church? Isn’t it an unreasonable and ungrateful attitude to tacitly accuse your Creator for endowing you with a useless and harmful organ? As you see, many altar children have paid a high price for your unnatural rule and arrogant declaration, “I am so holy that I do not need Eve.” Well, do I need to remind you how were you born?
A friendly advice to you Mr. Ratzinger:
I have no doubt that if you had the old glory and power, you would continue the inquisition rather than give lip service to dialogue, since you have yet to condemn Pope Innocent III, Pope Gregory IV, and all the other Popes who justified torture and swords against heretics. You cannot fool reasonable people that you do not hide the same holy virus in your genes without denouncing the tortures and the murderer Popes. To the contrary, you deem them to be “innocent” or “infallible” holy guys.
If you wish to serve humanity, you should discard all those Halloween or Santa Claus customs and cease all your silly rituals, as well as order your bishops and pastors to resign from their positions and get real jobs. Stop pretending to be God’s representative on earth, and go learn some skills besides preaching nonsense. Contribute to the society as a working man, not as an audacious leach assuming the right to milk the flock as was assumed by Saul (1 Corinthians 9:3-14).. The vast wealth and power your institution accumulated has generated plenty of holy lies, tragedies, irrational conflicts, wars, superstitions, misogyny, racism, slavery, inquisition, torture, and mental and financial exploitation. Return all the Vatican’s wealth to the descendants of those that were massacred by Christians, and distribute all those billions of dollars you have collected from your gullible herd to the poor people of the third world countries, which have been occupied, bombed, terrorized, tortured, and destroyed by cross-carrying soldiers. Then, put your resume on monster.com and wait to find a real job, a beneficial job. You should not be interested in any teaching job since you do not qualify. You will contribute to the society much better if you pray in the opera or guide people to their seats in theaters or baptize fresh vegetables in a grocery store with a water spray in your hand. Remember that Moses was a shepherd, Jesus was a carpenter, and Muhammad was a merchant. Stop following the lead of Pharisees and the top Pharisee Paul, the mutated Saul! Get a life! This may be the only way you can redeem yourself in the sight of God.
3:71 “O people of the book, why do you dress the truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while you know?”
4:171 “O people of the book, do not overstep in your system, nor say about God except the truth. Jesus the son of Mary was no more than God‘s messenger and the fulfillment of His word to Mary, and an inspiration from Him. So acknowledge God and His messengers, and do not say, ‘Trinity.’ Cease, for it is better for you. God is only One god, be He glorified that He should have a son! To Him is all that is in the heavens and what is in the earth. God is enough as a caretaker.”
5:48 “We have sent down to you the book with truth, authenticating what is present of the book and superseding it. So judge between them by what God has sent down, and do not follow their desires from what has come to you of the truth. For each of you We have made laws, a structure. Had God willed, He would have made you all one nation, but He tests you with what He has given you, so advance the good deeds. To God you will return all of you, and He will inform you regarding that in which you dispute.”
9:33 “He is the One who sent His messenger with guidance and the system of truth, to make it manifest above all other systems, even if those who set up partners hate it.”
 [As of October 2009, the Iraqi Death Estimator at www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq estimates 1,339,771 Iraqi deaths due to U.S.-led invasion, which delibaretly started civil war to crush the uprising against the brutal invasion, massacres, and torture.]