I’m Sorry, But…

I’m likely to catch shit over this, but I have to maintain my integrity, and by implication, there’s certain things that have to be posted here in spite of how unenvious I am of doing so.

I cannot morn the apparent near-term passing of Pope John-Paul II. At least not in the sense of his office, anyway. I don’t know his heart, of course, but I am automatically suspicious of all authoritarians, and the Roman Catholic institution (as all religious institutions) is as authoritarian as you can get without actually engaging in violence or the threat thereof. Moreover, I have not a shred of doubt in the world that if any of these religious institutions again possessed the political power they once held, that they would use it precisely as they once did.

I believe they are wholly unrepentant in this regard.

Thus, while I can grudgingly accept the apparent "need" for some people to harbor and maintain fanciful notions of a God and streets paved in gold, etc., that is a far cry, to me, from institutions that preach the natural depravity of man, and who, incidentally, advance the even more evil agenda of foisting unearned guilt upon innocent people for the very involuntary thoughts that go through their own private minds.

You know, if we ever perish as a civilization, it will be this mysticism disease—the stupidity disease—that sends us once and for all down the river. As primitive philosophy, it suited men fine for a while, I suppose. In a world where man handily outcompetes the primitive notions of God on a daily basis, it’s foolhardy and dangerous nonsense that risks killing us all.

The real distinction to make between Islamic insanity and modern religion is that so far, modern religious institutions have been able to keep pace, to a degree, with the advance of man—with the advance of his knowledge and increasing ability to control realms of existence. But as man’s knowledge and abilities increase, and even the rate of that increase grows more rapidly—toward Godhood, or, more accurately, to ultimately far surpass anything mentally primitive humans ever imagined that a God could do or be—then at what point do even "modern" religions push back?

When God is your premise, and not man and his life, you can be safe only so long as man is willing to submit to whatever your notion of God is. The problem is, your notion of God is somewhat fixed by ancient texts. Man’s potential is open-ended.

That’s why one time, someone advised us to "check our premises."

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Joseph (Advocate of Democracy) on April 1, 2005 at 20:47

    You will not catch any heat from me. Everyone is entitled to their opinions my friend. I think the Pope has done more good than most Popes before him. He has certainly stayed true to the faith more than most Christian leaders these days. I find it offensive that soo many Christians, at least in American Protestantism, change their faith to fit their agenda. It's disgusting.

  2. MandT on April 1, 2005 at 21:03

    Great to visit your site again–as always well informed!
    A modicum of decorum prenvents from dissing the Pope on his deathbed, but we have done a piece on him called Pontificating Rhythms a while back. You might find it of some interest. John Paul was an unrelenting enemy of democracy and secular humanism. www.

    peace MandT

  3. phdmonkey on April 2, 2005 at 04:15

    Hi, just surfed in through blogexplosion and I have to say that your post is about as close to my own views as it is possible to get – I wish I could put things as succinctly as you can.

  4. Whymrhymer on April 2, 2005 at 19:43

    Sorry to break your heart but you won't get any s**t from me either.

    I will say that the pope was a good man who tried to do the best for his enormous (over 1 billion) flock, based on his beliefs.

    Not a word of your post I disagree with however.

  5. Amanda Roa on April 2, 2005 at 13:40

    I have to agree with you on this one, sir. You speak for a great many of us.

  6. panthergirl on April 3, 2005 at 16:14

    Yep, agreed. I did a funny post a few weeks back with a picture of "Popemon" (like Pokemon, but with a bigger hat).

    This pope, while basically a decent guy, contributed to people's impressions of his church as an anachronistic and irrelevant institution when it comes to sexuality, sexual abuse and women. If they don't elect someone whose stance on these issues is more inline with 21st century reality, they are going to be in more trouble than they already are.

    Some good blogs with similar pope postings: No Religion Now and Ilsa, She Wolf of the Blogosphere.

  7. agreedwithcaveat on April 3, 2005 at 19:30

    Actually, while I agree with your post, it is important to note that the Pope *did formally apologise for the past sins of the church, including the crusades*. Please get your facts straight.

  8. Di on April 4, 2005 at 02:39


  9. John on April 21, 2005 at 13:58

    I mostly agree… However I don't think that’s Islam hasn't been able to keep up, or evolve; I think it is evolving at about the same pace Christianity evolved. Christianity has about a 600 year head start on Islam, if you look at Christianity 600 years ago, what were Christians doing? They were slaughtering non-believers in the crusades. What are Muslims doing now? They are slaughtering non-believers on 9/11, Palestine and Iraq.
    Give them another 600 years and they will have just begun to separate religion from their government and start making shitty movies about Muhammad and movies based on the Quran.

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