Dan Piraro, author of the comic Bizarro, wrote a mildly amusing comic of two birds, one of them a cardinal wearing the Pope’s mitre and the other bird exclaiming to the cardinal, “You wish!”
Like I said, mildly amusing. But he also writes a blog to go along with the comic. And it is devastating in its succinctness. Money quote:
Millions of people all over the world are so dedicated to the belief that this one man, elected by other men, is divinely ordained by GOD that they will do anything he says, no matter how foolish or dangerous. The most conspicuous of these dangerous edicts is the condemnation of birth control and condoms. If but one man in a very fancy dress said it was okay to use birth control, millions of babies each year would not be born into poverty and subsequently die of malnutrition and disease. If he encouraged the use of condoms, untold numbers of people would be protected from AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, thus avoiding the suffering and death of millions more. These facts are undeniable and serve to illustrate in gory detail how dangerous the human inclination toward superstition can be.
Ouch. Dan’s not the first to express such a sentiment, but he does so better than most. Of course, people like Dan aren’t going to change the Pope’s mind. I doubt anything would. Religion’s control of an individual’s sexual identity is its main weapon in controlling the individual. If you’re told that your natural thoughts are impure, you’ll inevitably believe that you’re impure. If you believe you’re impure, you’ll believe you need the church. If you believe you need the church, you’ll give them your money. If you give them your money, they’ll spread their control to others. And the vicious circle continues.