When you passionately disagree with someone or something it’s easy to get carried away and resort to childish insults, so in order to get it out of my system: I think the pope looks like a gremlin having a shit. Now I’ve said it I hope to be able to complete the rest of this lecture as objectively as possible. He does though, doesn’t he? Oh, and he’s an old virgin. I promise I will try to be objective (but to be honest I’ll probably struggle, after all I’m not writing for the BBC so I have no reason to be impartial).
Remember years ago when Snoop Dogg unsuccessfully attempted to come here. It was during the aftermath of a murder trial he was involved in. His bodyguard had killed someone and Snoop was implicated. He was cleared of all charges and is now allowed to enter Britain again. Back then the British press were up in arms about this young American man, implicated in a death and rapping about violence and misogyny to the world’s youth. How dare he try and visit our sacred isle. During the presses hysterical fit they repeatedly insisted on calling him by his real name Calvin Broadus (except in headlines), as opposed to the name he chose for himself Snoop Doggy Dogg. He later adopted the title Dogfather, then shortened his pseudonym to Snoop Dogg.
The British press, particularly the BBC and The Mail, are currently exhibiting unthinking double standards by playing sycophantic host to another man. His name is Joseph Ratzinger. One day five years ago Joe Ratzinger got a new job. He was successful in his application for the role of Pope, Bishop of Rome, God’s representative on Earth, Vicar of Christ, head of the Catholic Church, and King of the smallest most pointless country in the world. To celebrate his new job he adopted the title Pope, and changed his name to Benedict XVI. The rest of the world happily allowed him his whimsical name change. I’m currently applying for a job as a researcher on University Challenge. If I get it I might celebrate by changing my name to Paxman II. Or would I? No of course not; that would be mental.
Ratzinger is repeatedly referred to respectfully as Pope Benedict. I’ve yet to see Broadus respectfully referred to as Dogfather Snoop. Even Michael Jackson was largely unsuccessful in his weird bid to make the world refer to him officially as King of Pop Michael Jackson. And as far as I’m concerned this is a massive double standard. They are all just men, people, equals. When Prince Nelson, better known as Prince decided he wanted to be called "squiggly logo" the world rightly laughed at him. I believe we should be treating all these people the same. Fine, call him Benedict if you want to, but it’s still not his name. He’ll always be Ratzinger to me J
Ratzinger, like Snoop before him preaches violence and misogyny. But Ratzinger’s violence comes not from the mean streets of the LBC, but from the sadism of the Old Testament and the fires of Revelations. His misogyny is expressed not by hosting his own Doggystyle porno, but by denying women the right to work as priests and have abortions, and denying the men who work for him the right to sexual relations with women. They both pursue dreams of greed and power, living in palaces surrounded by infinite wealth and flattering hangers-on. They both crave to stand astride the planet, and believe they have the right to do so.
They both occasionally happen across a positive message. Snoop can present beautiful morality tales such as his songs Murder Was The Case and Lil' Ghetto Boy. Ratzinger while flicking through the Bible must sometimes consider the golden rule.
On the charge of murder they differ. Snoop was only implicated in one death, and he was acquitted. However Ratzinger plays a constant and daily role in the death of millions. Across the globe millions of people living in disgusting poverty and ignorance are taught that their misery is part of God’s plan, that they should accept their lot, and do their duty by having as large a family as possible. And above all they should never give in to the greatest evil of all: using a condom. No. Protected, normal, recreational sex is the greatest evil of all. If God wants you to contract an incurable virus and die leaving your massive family to fend for themselves in the worst conditions known to humanity, then that is what you must do. It is God’s will. God is making you suffer so that others may have the gift of feeling compassion.
Ratzinger is the one man in the world who is in a position to affect the attitude of millions, perhaps billions, of people. By issuing a direct and unqualified statement that condoms are the single best way we have of preventing the spread of AIDS, and using them is not evil, he could positively affect the entire world. Instead he clings on to his dogma, his power, his big hat, and his privileged status. What right does he have, a man who by his very definition must have no knowledge at all of sex, to be condemning people who do chose to have normal sex lives.
Instead he says “the problem cannot be overcome by the distribution of prophylactics: on the contrary, they increase it,” and offers dim platitudes such as:
“The solution must have two elements: firstly, bringing out the human dimension of sexuality, that is to say a spiritual and human renewal that would bring with it a new way of behaving towards others, and secondly, true friendship offered above all to those who are suffering, a willingness to make sacrifices and to practise self-denial, to be alongside the suffering.”
Which is all very lovely and poetic, but when you consider what it is actually saying it is incredibly dark. He is saying that condoms make AIDS worse, and that the only cure is to join the Catholic Church. Also he is saying that there is no practical preventative measure, and all we can do is befriend those already suffering. I don’t know about you but I would not want to be friends with someone whose idiotic advice lead to my prolonged and painful death. He denies there is a practical solution in blind defiance of the facts.
I’m not even going to mention his criminal harbouring of child rapists and his unwillingness to hand evidence against them over to the proper authorities. Nor will I mention his disgusting views on abortion. Nor the fact that his so-called country’s borders do not even expand beyond the city of Rome, and he therefore only holds legal jurisdiction over a few thousand square metres and not over a billion people worldwide. I won’t mention that the two of the most important people to me were both brought up Catholics, and both despise what the church stands for. I won’t even mention that his ‘country’ makes agreements with other totalitarian theocracies, and repeatedly blocks international attempts to unify human rights.
I won’t mention any of those things. Nor will I mention how thoroughly and completely un-objective I have been.