Mickey Malta

Notes from the zone where 'normal' things don't happen very often

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Double standards are divisive

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You see? JC and Muhammed are friends

First of all I would like to apologise for the hiatus but I am flat out and snowed under at work. My new boss is a slave driver and I’ve been literally working 16 hours a day for these past 2 weeks.

Now that I got this out of the system, I can finally start to vent my frustrations again. As early as last Month, Comedy Central censored an episode of South Park because it mocked the Prophet Muhammed. Now this is bad, and it’s not the mockery of Muhammed I’m talking about, but the censorship. I believe that people should be free to make fun of symbols and leaders – be they political or religious – and I don’t agree with censorship on the basis that the humour may offend others.

I’m sure that any kind of joke on any subject is bound to offend someone at some point. The fish breeders association, for instance, may be offended by someone who links fish with stupidity because of their short term memory loss. This is the way I see it: if you feel offended by something you’re watching on TV, change channel. If you are offended by something that someone said during a live show in a theatre, walk out. You are actually free to do so.

I can never come to terms with the idea that some people want to stop others from doing what they do because the patronising idiots don’t like the other performer’s work. Get a life.

Having said that, I am completely allergic to double standards. So the same Comedy Central TV station that censored the South Park episode less than a month ago is now working on an animated series based on Christ. I’m no fan of any religion, but if South Park was censored on the basis of religion, why are they making a whole series to mock JC?

The Western world tends to be more tolerant than the Muslim world, and many people in the West think that it is OK to mock religion while the same cannot be said of the Muslim world. However, Comedy Central have now set a precedent and they should be consistent.

It is precisely this kind of behaviour from fellow Westerners that is fomenting religious divisions in different societies. Just because Muslims are VERY vociferous and dogmatic they should not get a special treatment. Comedy Central needs to have a clear policy on religious mockery. It should decide whether this is acceptable (and I agree it is), or not. Applying double standards is unjust and, ultimately, divisive.

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Written by mickeymalta

08/05/2010 at 10:47

Mass on Facebook

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I will attract youngsters to me thanks to this trendy attire

The smiling bishop has just claimed that “The Catholic Church should examine itself and its methods of evangelisation” according to The Times. I guess that this means that we will be flooded with Facebook churches and “bible reading of the day” tweets.

Obviously, the Church needs to choose a medium that is a one way communication vehicle. No matter how much the Catholic Church talks about changing times, it has to keep preaching and talking down to its followers. It has no other option because it’s a religion. It is promoting a product full of logical fallacies, superstition and fantasy; and blind faith is the only reason why people don’t question and challenge their beliefs. The minute that dogma is challenged, the very existence of the organisation is threatened. That’s why Religions have to resort to indoctrination as opposed to teaching – even though they claim otherwise.

When you teach something to someone, you reason it out, discuss it with the learner, let him or her challenge your claims, and reach a conclusion. For very obvious reasons, no religion can ever adopt this approach. Otherwise there will be chaos together with a whole myriad of mixed messages coming out from different people.  For this reason, no religion can be ‘modern’ and appealing to an intelligent society.

It’s also funny to see the head of Rocker Curia coming up with this assertion, especially when this is put into the whole context of his previous assertions. Only a few months ago, these same heads were on the brink of hysteria to intimidate and control revellers at the Nadur carnival; when carnival is the reign of anarchy.  The smiling bishop is also that same person who lashed out at secularism during his homily on 8 September 2008.

If the heads of our Curia can’t understand post-modern philosophy – which is now passé, how can they ever think of speaking the language of “modern people”?

Written by mickeymalta

18/04/2010 at 10:34

Christopher Hitchens brought me back to my senses

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This guy's boss once said "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself". He took it literally, miskin. Xi tridu jaghmel?

After being shocked by the Luqa Council, I needed a quick fix. So I turned to Christopher Hitchens for a good reality check. I’m reproducing an article he published 4 hours ago in Slate.

We Can’t Let the Pope Decide Who’s a Criminal

Bringing priestly offenders and the church’s enablers to justice.

In 2002, according to devout Catholic columnist Ross Douthat, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spoke the following words to an audience in Spain: “I am personally convinced that the constant presence in the press of the sins of Catholic priests, especially in the United States, is a planned campaign … to discredit the church.”

On April 10, the New York Times—the apparent center of this “planned campaign”—reprinted a copy of a letter personally signed by Ratzinger in 1985. The letter urged lenience in the case of the Rev. Stephen Kiesle, who had tied up and sexually tormented two small boys on church property in California. Kiesle’s superiors had written to Ratzinger’s office in Rome, beseeching him to remove the criminal from the priesthood. The man who is now his holiness the pope was full of urgent moral advice in response. “The good of the Universal Church,” he wrote, should be uppermost in the mind. It should be understood that “particularly regarding the young age” of Father Kiesle, there might be great “detriment” caused “within the community of Christ’s faithful” if he were to be removed. The good father was then aged 38. His victims—not that their tender ages of 11 and 13 seem to have mattered—were children. In the ensuing decades, Kiesle went on to ruin the lives of several more children and was finally jailed by the secular authorities on a felony molestation charge in 2004. All this might have been avoided if he had been handed over to justice right away and if the Oakland diocese had called the police rather than written to the office in Rome where it was Ratzinger’s job to muffle and suppress such distressing questions.

Contrast this to the even more appalling case of the school for deaf children in Wisconsin where the Rev. Lawrence Murphy was allowed unhindered access to more than 200 unusually defenseless victims. Again the same pattern: repeated petitions from the local diocese to have the criminal “unfrocked” (an odd term when you think about it) met with stony indifference from Ratzinger’s tightly run bureaucracy. Finally a begging letter to Ratzinger from the filthy Father Murphy himself, complaining of the frailty of his health and begging to be buried with full priestly honors, in his frock. Which he was. At last, a human plea not falling on deaf ears! (You should pardon the expression.)

So in one case a child rapist escaped judgment and became an enabled reoffender because he was too young. In the next, a child rapist was sheltered after a career of sex torture of disabled children because he was too old! Such compassion.

It must be noted, also, that all the letters from diocese to Ratzinger and from Ratzinger to diocese were concerned only with one question: Can this hurt Holy Mother Church? It was as if the children were irrelevant or inconvenient (as with the case of the raped boys in Ireland forced to sign confidentiality agreements by the man who is still the country’s cardinal). Note, next, that there was a written, enforced, and consistent policy of avoiding contact with the law. And note, finally, that there was a preconceived Ratzinger propaganda program of blaming the press if any of the criminal conduct or obstruction of justice ever became known.

The obscene culmination of this occurred on Good Friday, when the pope sat through a sermon delivered by an underling in which the exposure of his church’s crimes was likened to persecution and even—this was a gorgeous detail—to the pogroms against the Jews. I have never before been accused of taking part in a pogrom or lynching, let alone joining a mob that is led by raped deaf children, but I’m proud to take part in this one.

The keyword is Law. Ever since the church gave refuge to Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston to spare him the inconvenience of answering questions under oath, it has invited the metastasis of this horror. And now the tumor has turned up just where you might have expected—moving from the bosom to the very head of the church. And by what power or right is the fugitive cardinal shielded? Only by the original agreement between Benito Mussolini and the papacy that created the pseudo-state of Vatican City in the Lateran Pact of 1929, Europe’s last remaining monument to the triumph of Fascism. This would be bad enough, except that Ratzinger himself is now exposed as being personally as well as institutionally responsible for obstructing justice and protecting and enabling pederasts.

One should not blame only the church here. Where was American law enforcement during the decades when children were prey? Where was international law while the Vatican became a place of asylum and a source of protection for those who licensed or carried out the predation? Page through any of the reports of child-rape and torture from Ireland, Australia, the United States, Germany—and be aware that there is much worse to come. Where is it written that the Roman Catholic Church is the judge in its own case? Above or beyond the law? Able to use private courts? Allowed to use funds donated by the faithful to pay hush money to the victims or their families?

There are two choices. We can swallow the shame, roll up the First Amendment, and just admit that certain heinous crimes against innocent citizens are private business or are not crimes if they are committed by priests and excused by popes. Or perhaps we can shake off the awful complicity that reports this ongoing crime as a “problem” for the church and not as an outrage to the victims and to the judicial system. Isn’t there one district attorney or state attorney general in America who can decide to represent the children? Nobody in Eric Holder’s vaunted department of no-immunity justice? If not, then other citizens will have to approach the bench. In London, as already reported by the Sunday Times and the Press Association, some experienced human-rights lawyers will be challenging Ratzinger’s right to land in Britain with immunity in September. If he gets away with it, then he gets away with it, and the faithful can be proud of their supreme leader. But this we can promise, now that his own signature has been found on Father Kiesle’s permission to rape: There will be only one subject of conversation until Ratzinger calls off his visit, and only one subject if he decides to try to go through with it. In either event, he will be remembered for only one thing long after he is dead.

Written by mickeymalta

12/04/2010 at 23:30

Justice is blind . . . . or is it?

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Some animals are more equal than the others

On the 27th March, I uploaded a coment called Sweet Dreams. It seems that Richard Dawkins took the principle I pointed out in the said posting one step further. He is planningto have the Pope arrested during his state visit to Britain “for crimes against humanity”.

Last time I checked, Justice was symbolised by a blindfolded lady holding a sword in one hand and a pair of scales in the other. This meant to convey the message that justice is fair.

And while we’re at it, there’s another reason why the Pope should be challenged on the basis of human rights infringements. Discrimination against women and gays.

———————————————

It seems that this week-end has been a disaster for journalists working for The Times (this time, it’s the London Times). Richard Dawkins issued the following clarification following the article mentioned above:


Needless to say, I did NOT say “I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI” or anything so personally grandiloquent. You have to remember that The Sunday Times is a Murdoch newspaper, and that all newspapers follow the odd custom of entrusting headlines to a sub-editor, not the author of the article itself.

What I DID say to Marc Horne when he telephoned me out of the blue, and I repeat it here, is that I am whole-heartedly behind the initiative by Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens to mount a legal challenge to the Pope’s proposed visit to Britain. Beyond that, I declined to comment to Marc Horme, other than to refer him to my ‘Ratzinger is the Perfect Pope’ article here: http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5341

Here is what really happened. Christopher Hitchens first proposed the legal challenge idea to me on March 14th. I responded enthusiastically, and suggested the name of a high profile human rights lawyer whom I know. I had lost her address, however, and set about tracking her down. Meanwhile, Christopher made the brilliant suggestion of Geoffrey Robertson. He approached him, and Mr Robertson’s subsequent ‘Put the Pope in the Dock’ article in The Guardian shows him to be ideal:
http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5366
The case is obviously in good hands, with him and Mark Stephens. I am especially intrigued by the proposed challenge to the legality of the Vatican as a sovereign state whose head can claim diplomatic immunity.

Even if the Pope doesn’t end up in the dock, and even if the Vatican doesn’t cancel the visit, I am optimistic that we shall raise public consciousness to the point where the British government will find it very awkward indeed to go ahead with the Pope’s visit, let alone pay for it.

Richard

Written by mickeymalta

11/04/2010 at 17:56

Posted in Blog Main Page, Religion

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This God is an idiot

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As the saying goes: an idiot is a genius to another idiot

Imagine that life here on this earth is a small scale reflection of the cosmos. In the same way  that every village here on earth has an idiot – THE idiot – the big guys in the ever expanding universe must have their own idiots too.

If that is the case, then we’re unlucky to be born on THE planet that was created by the Gods’ village idiot. Yeah, that’s right. The God that’s venerated by billions of people on this little planet must be the village idiot in Godworld. Just take a cursory look around you and you’ll see hundreds, if not thousands,  of clues leading to this conclusion.

I don’t believe that we’re alone in the universe. If we will ever be lucky enough to make contact with other civilisations out there in the future, and these turn out to be more advanced than us, they will either be a religion-free (o r free of any other superstitious beliefs at all) civilisation, or believe in Gods that are completely different to the ones worshipped here.

If the latter will be the case, I can bet my head that they won’t be worshipping someone who consistently seems to be making the wrong choices while proclaiming to be almighty and all knowing.

Faith and fear  are the greatest assets that this God could ever have. If people weren’t  brainwashed to fear God and have total faith in his plan since their birth, then he would be cast aside even by the creatures of his own making.

Let me point out a few reasons why I believe that this God is an idiot:

Many religions claim that their God is the creator of the whole universe. This means that he had (and still has) total control over his creations: the looks, the actions, the thoughts, etc. worse still, some religions hold that we’re created in his true image and likeness! Yet, a few hundred years after he went through the hassle of creating Earth and the universe, he was enraged by  the way humans were behaving and decided to (practically) eradicate mankind bar a 600 year old man and his family, and all the animals that this poor old sod could take on his ark.

Since God is all-knowing, he must have known that humans would piss him off in the future, so why did he make man fallible in the first place? And why did he only tell Noah to save animals (that must include mice and insects) but he didn’t save the innocent new born children. This would have at least spared Noah’s family from practicing incest (like Eve and her sons did before them) to multiply the human race.

Speaking about man’s fallibility, instead of creating his mistakes in “take two”, the post-flood humans don’t seem to be any different from those who lived in the pre-flood era. So why go through all the trouble of destroying the planet when after some time humanity would go back to that same point that irked him so much? This genocide must have been a total failure. Only an idiot would go through such a hassle when he knows that it’s not going to yield any desired result.

But it gets worse. He wanted to communicate his love to us, and he wanted us to know that he has a divine plan. Instead of doing something about it himself, he chose humans to do it. The result of God’s laziness: different religions and peoples killing each other in God’s name through all the different ages. In his wisdom,  God also promised a holy land to his people. One would expect The Holy Land to be a true example of heaven on earth. Ironically, it’s the complete opposite. It’s literally hell on earth.  This is the single most violent region on the whole planet; and it has been like that for centuries and “God knows” when or if this holy war will ever end. Excellent work indeed.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I didn’t go into the old testament’s claim of God causing people to sacrifice their children or allowing Lot to offer his daughters to the mob to gang rape them. I didn’t mention how the Bible promotes xenophobia; homophobia and hatred towards women; or how Jesus spoke about the need for salves to respect their master and did not utter a single word about womens’ rights. I also left out God’s (ethically-challenged) deals with people – especially locally – where he is willing to tweak his divine plan in exchange for prayer, a gold ring, a bracelet, and other material items.

Only an idiot can be easily bribed by people who will then spread the word tall all and sundry accompanied by pictures of the statue which is then adorned with the  golden watch, necklace, or earring. Wise people take bribes in private and they make sure they cover all their tracks. And why do statues need jewellery anyway?

Closer to our time, I’m deeply concerned about his choices. He is supposed to handpick people to act as his ministers. His preachers. One would expect priests to be a shining example of how God would like man to behave. Unfortunately, it turns out that a huge number of the people God himself has handpicked (remember?) throughout the years were anything but. The Catholic Church’s history is inundated with priests who would have been more suitable for Alistair Crowley’s role (in the divine plan?) than the one they actually played. Just think about the inquisition, the missionaries, paedophile priests, high ranking Church officials connected to various secret organisations . . . .  The list goes on and on.

Islamic suicide bombers and other Jihad fanatics choose to do what they do because they believe that they’re God’s (or Allah’s) soldiers. They’re simply the messengers of the supreme being, and are acting on his behalf. Obviously defenders of religion will say that this is the wrong interpretation of the Quran. This takes me back to my original point: why did he deliver his word through humans? Is that wise? Look at the consequences.

I’m really not impressed.  There are loads of other examples that I can bring. In fact, I can write a whole book about God’s idiocy. However, I still won’t manage to do it as eloquently as George Carlin described the greatest bullshit story ever told: “Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong in the résumé of a supreme being. This is the kind of shit you would expect from an office temp with a bad attitude………. In between you and me, in any decent run universe this guy would have been out of his all-powerful-ass a long time ago.”

I don’t know if there’s some form of energy or supreme being out there that is the prime moving force for creation. It doesn’t really make a difference to the way I lead my life. I can only be sure of one thing: the idiot projected by religions cannot possibly be true. It simply just cannot be. No creature can be so self-contradictory, extremely violent and utterly stupid, let alone a supreme being.

Written by mickeymalta

29/03/2010 at 16:37

Sweet dreams

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The Catholic Chrch's new dogma: reputation is more important than moral principles

The clip below is a very recent conversation on Real Time which is a popular show in the US hosted by Bill Maher. During this brief chat, Christopher Hitchens raises some very interesting points about the seriousness of the recent child sex abuse scandal that involves Josef Ratzinger himself.

A few days ago, I pointed out that “Apart from being a religious leader, the Pope is also the Head of the Vatican State. If a similar incident had to happen under the leadership of any of his counterparts in the democratic world, she or he would have had the decency to resign – most probably even before the news would have been made public.”

A few days after I wrote the above statement, a new and more sinister case has surfaced. This time the case involves Josef Ratzinger himself. As you are very well aware by now, he is accused of taking no action against a priest who allegedly abused of more than 200 deaf  boys in the US. I am not going to repeat Hitchens’s claims but he raised a point that is worth analysing – especially in view of the fact that the Pope will be visiting us shortly. He asks whether the Western governments are going to treat the head of the Vatican state in the same way they would treat any other head of state – ie banning him from stepping on their shores and putting political pressure for him to resign.

If the claims against Ratzinger are proven to be true, then he is no different to Robert Mugabe. Ratzinger would be a supporter of atrocities. He is currently being accused of facilitating and supporting (by not taking action to prevent) sexual abuse on hundreds of children – some of whom are physically disabled. Generally speaking, in the eyes of the Civil Code, the crime of omission is as serious as commission. Hence if his accusations are proven to be true, Ratzinger would actually be guilty of facilitating and abetting one of the worst atrocities people can ever commit.

Let me make my point clearer to those who may be blinded by faith. I think that we all agree that child abuse is atrocious, to say the least, and morally VERY wrong. If someone knows about a child who is repeatedly being sexually abused and does nothing about it, that person is as guilty as the perpetrator. Worse still, if the person who turns a blind eye is a Police officer, the offence is even more serious and the penalty handed down by the Magistrate would be even harsher (than that handed down to a civilian) as the Police officer would be an accomplice to a crime that he or she is responsible to prevent.

You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m (sure I’m) not the only one; but I have a dream. I dream of a government to wave the middle finger at Josef Ratzinger and inform him politely that supporters of child molestation and torture are not welcome.

Additionally Sinead O’Connor gave a very interesting interview to CNN. Here it is:

Written by mickeymalta

27/03/2010 at 18:24

The real Ratzinger

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Religion's most powerful not-so-secret weapon

Last Sunday I wrote about Josef Ratzinger’s way of dealing with the Catholic Church’s biggest challenge: paedophile priests. It has now been revealed that in the 1990s he had failed to take action against a priest who allegedly abused of more than 200 boys in his care. Worse still, these boys were disabled.

Three successive archbishops in Wisconsin said that the priest (Rev Lawrence C Murphy) was sexually abusing children. However, in a true Catholic fashion, they failed to report him to the police. Instead, they moved him quietly to another diocese in 1974. There he continued to work with children and young people.

In the 1990s, local church authorities sought guidance from the Vatican’s ‘Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’, the office which still decides whether accused priests should be defrocked – headed from 1981 to 2005 by none other than Ratzinger himself.

Two of the letters to the man who is now Pope, dating from 1996, went unanswered. Eventually, his second-in-command advised that Rev Murphy should face a canonical trial, and be defrocked if found guilty. Murphy himself then wrote to Ratzinger pleading illness.

“I simply want to live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood,” he said. “I ask your kind assistance in this matter.” The trial was duly stopped, and Murphy remained a priest until his death in 1998. How can this monster speak bout his dignity? And how can the Vatican authorities buy into his bullshit?

How can people keep following the teachings of an organisation that fails to condemn the worst kind of harm man can bestow on another person? Coming to think of it, the Catholic Church isn’t so fond of children. It teaches that babies – the most innocent of creatures – “need to be cleansed of the original sin”. How can people be so gullible to believe such nonsense?

I would like to ask a number of questions to those people who follow the Catholic Church’s teachings blindly:

  1. If high ranking officials of a political party, a school, a trade union, or any other organisation were to ignore reports alleging sex abuse on children performed by their members, would you still support that organisation? Would you still have trust in it?
  2. Did you ever think about the thousands of children that God killed according to the Bible?
  3. Did it ever occur to you that God ordered Noah (a 600 year old man by the way) to save the animals but he didn’t ask him to save the children?
  4. Isn’t it blatantly obvious that, like all other organised religions, the Catholic church has no interest whatsoever in the souls of its followers?
  5. Can you think of anything more sinister and evil than the protection of paedophiles or, worse still, moving them from one place to another (exposing more and more children at risk) just for the sake of cover-up?
  6. How can a priest who has just molested an innocent child claim to perform the miracle of turning wine into blood?
  7. Isn’t it clear enough that the only thing that this institution believes in is power?
  8. Don’t you think that you’ve been taken for a ride ever since you were born?

Written by mickeymalta

26/03/2010 at 00:51