JABbering Stooge

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

NBC on Benedict Arnold I: "No, really! He's a moderate! Honest!"

It seems that NBC's Stephen Weeke gets Weeke-kneed over homophobic, misogynist Prada™-wearing pontiffs who meddle in the internal politics of sovereign nations. That's the only explanation I can think of for the fawning coverage he gives of Cardinal Ratzinger's first anniversary as the new Pope.

Let's take a look at the massive, steaming pile of dung that passes for analysis at NBC.
Asked a year ago what they might have envisioned after a year of Cardinal Josef Ratzinger’s papacy, many liberal Roman Catholics might have imagined a bleak picture of a repressive church, and conservative Catholics might have described a church re-invigorated by a thorough house-cleaning of wayward thought and behavior.

Let's check the tale of the tape, shall we? Repressive church? Check. Purge of "wayward" (read: "librul") thought and behavior? Check.

This, of course is immediately followd by:
Neither of these scenarios has come to pass, as Pope Benedict XVI proves to be a much different person as the pope than he was as a cardinal.

Say wha? Run that by me again?
Neither of these scenarios has come to pass

This is a Pope who has interfered in American politics, blamed the media for the Catholic Church's Pedophile Priest Shell Game™ (and is currently hiding behind diplomatic immunity in said shell game), was personally responsible for the ouster of liberal theologian Hans Kueng (Kueng was subjected to the Vatican's equivalent of disbarrment in 1979), is considering canonizing Pope Pius XII - author of the Reichskonkordat that legitimized Hitler's murderous regime, promoted Archbishop William Levada, who has his own sordid history of covering up sex scandals in the Catholic Church, to succeed him at the Inquisition CDF and of course, is currently purging the Church of any liberal and homosexual seminarians.

And yet you, Mr. Weeke, are suggesting that this is somehow not indicative of a repressive church that is intolerant of dissent? Are you being utterly mendacious, believing that your readers are stupid schmucks who'll believe any tripe you type? Or are you simply a lazy, self-absorbed ignoramous who can't be bothered with little things like actual research?

And speaking of lack of research, Weeke soon followed with another whopper - this time blindly parroting former The Tablet editor John Wilkins' overly-generous assessment of Ratzinger's first papal encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (God is Love, or more literally, God is Charity).

His first encyclical about love doesn’t point the finger at anybody.

The soft tone of the document — a meditation on love and the greater need for charity in an unjust world — surprised many who were ready to buttonhole Benedict as a doctrinal hardliner.

Yeah, right. The lie is that just because Papa Ratzi put in some nice thoughts ("In a world where the name of God is sometimes associated with vengeance or even a duty of hatred and violence, this message is both timely and significant.") or made some pretty turns of phrase, that's how he's going to reign as Pope. At the time of the encyclical's release, the media was all atwitter with the usual "conventional wisdom" about how any new Pope's first encyclical somehow magically "sets the tone" for his pontificate. The problem with believing that is the same as blindly believing a poltician's campaign promises - if it's politically expedient, they'll drop those promises like a bad habit. I believe that actions speak louder than words, and looking at the history of this Pope, his actions have done everything possible to encourage the notion that "the name of God is sometimes associated with vengeance or even a duty of hatred and violence" and absolutely nothing to discourage it.

Frankly, I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for Benedict Arnold I to live up to the grossly deferential expectations that Weeke and Wilkins seem to have for him. This is, after all, the Pope who said that "Religion constructed on a 'do-it-yourself' basis cannot ultimately help us" and also said that "These people (meaning scientists who actually try to find out the why and the how of it rather than curling up into fetal position and constantly mumbling "goddidit" every time they come accross some novel aspect of the universe), ‘fooled by atheism,’ believe and try to demonstrate that it’s scientific to think that everything is free of direction and order."

But that's not all! We then get this not-so-subtle dig at Algore T3h Evil Librul Robot of D00|\/|!!!1! (+1 Damage to polluting businesses)
Benedict’s tightly controlled physical poise, which often presents as timidity, seems to be have developed into an appealing stage-presence of its own, akin to how Al Gore’s robotic lack of movement became funny in itself.

I bet Coca-Cola is wishing that it had Stephen Weeke as it's PR director when New Coke™ came out. Maybe then they wouldn't have needed to bring back the original formula.

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