Mickey Malta

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

Posts Tagged ‘Superstition

Something is not quite right

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Someone must have spiked our water. No doubt about it.

I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I’m convinced that someone must have spiked our water with some funny substance that forces us to behave like nincompoops who have been drugged with a substance more powerful than cocaine and magic mushrooms put together.

Why anyone would do such a thing is still a mystery to me, but something has been going awfully wrong these past few weeks – even by the standards of The Zone Where Normal Things Don’t Happen Very Often!

I first started suspecting that things are not quite right when there was an uproar against the bishops’ declaration that those living in permanent sin should not receive communion. As you are VERY well aware, I am no supporter of any organised religion but in this case the bishops are right. Morality is all about the choices we make, and unmarried people who have sex with each other are no exception. It is their choice to lead that lifestyle. It is their choice to live together. It is their choice to have sex with each other. These choices are not congruent with the Catholic doctrine, and therefore – by Catholic standards – these people are living in a permanent state of sin. Now the Catholic Church teaches that in order to receive communion, one should have a clean conscience. Since humans are sinners by nature, Catholics must be aware of their wrongdoings,  repent and confess their sins to cleanse their souls before receiving “the body of Christ”. A powerful statement indeed.

So this essentially means that if someone is living out of wedlock, she or he must realise that she or he is living in sin, repent, confess and ditch that lifestyle once and for all. Clearly, this is not possible for anyone living with a sexual partner out of the Catholic wedlock. How can two people who choose to live together out of Catholic wedlock claim to repent from their sins on a weekly basis, ask for forgiveness, receive communion, and go back home to their partner? This makes a whole mockery both out of confession and communion – two bastions of the Catholic religion.

Religion is a way of life. If you feel that the teachings of your religion don’t make sense to you and your personal circumstances, then all you have to do is leave that religion. It’s easy. Unless you’re living in some extremist Islamic Theocracy, no one is going to kill you if you do it. I did it myself, and so can anyone else.

In a strange way, this is similar to the educational grants blunder. We cannot expect to defy the rules (even though in this case it was a genuine oversight – but the fact of the matter is that an important rule was not respected) and still claim the prize. Once the rules are broken, the players are disqualified. This is the reality in the real world.

When the dust on the communion saga started to settle, our dear Prime Minister made a conscious and a bold statement by visiting the Cana movement accompanied by his wife and claiming that the government’s policy is to promote a society based on a stable family. BRAVO. Which government doesn’t want to promote a society based on strong families?

The message he wanted to convey is very clear: he does not and will not support the introduction of divorce – even though he claimed that he welcomes a discussion on the subject. We can discuss divorce till we’re blue in the face, but that’s where the buck stops.

The objective of divorce is not to save a shattered marriage. It never was, and never will be. Divorce is a mechanism to give another opportunity to those people who were unfortunate enough to go through the harsh experience of a marital breakdown. The irony is that the introduction of divorce will make it possible for these people to re-marry thus creating more stable families; so if our politicians were REALLY in favour of stable families, the House would approve a divorce bill unanimously.

Just a footnote: the subject of re-marrying brings me back to the first point. Couples who were married, got divorced, and married someone else are STILL living in permanent sin according to Catholic teachings. So divorcees will still be barred from receiving communion. This is , once again, very obvious to me but given the uproar a few weeks ago, I feel that I need to include this disclaimer.

As time went by, the funny substance in our water system was clearly leaving its mark. Cue Dr Adrian Vassallo  and Dr Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici in the Parliamentary version of Dum and Dumber. Dr Vassallo got all worked up because some of our hotels are screening porn movies on their tv screens as part of their pay per view packages. On his part, the Justice Minister replied that the Police is investigating these cases. I bloody well hope that the Minister’s reply is not a serious one, and that he just blurted something out instead of asking Dr Vassallo if he really meant what he said in the PQ or whether this was just a sad, silly practical joke done in bad taste.

As if this wasn’t enough to spice up our dull news pages,  Dr Vassallo notched his mission to takes us back to the middle ages a bit higher. A few days following his ludicrous PQ, he went on record stating that he’d rather rot in the streets of Iran defending his religion than living in a country where . . . horror of horrors . . . porn is screened in hotels. Do I actually need to comment on this?

This whole saga led to another unusual occurrence: a positive news delivered by MaltaToday. Today’s edition of this newspaper carried an interview with Dr Vassallo where he claimed that he won’t be contesting the general elections again. Hurray. Some sense at last.

Is the effect of the funny substance wearing off?

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Written by mickeymalta

13/06/2010 at 23:35

The blue penis deceit

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Not approved by the Neo C posse

Fresh from The Times

Luqa ‘phallic’ monument hidden with banner

Members of the Neo Catechumenal Movement hid the infamous Luqa monument with a banner as the Pope passed through Luqa on his way to Valletta.

The large black and white banner carried the words “Cammino Neo Catecumenale” and a colour picture of the Madonna and child.

The phallic like structure in Luqa has made it to the international news in the past days after the mayor requested its removal.

Essentially, the messages that the Neo C sect is sending are:

  • the Pope will interpret the Luqa phallus as a practical joke related to his paedophile subjects’ favourite tool
  • the Pope is not old/mature enough to be exposed to sexual imagery
  • the Pope lacks any intellectual ability to appreciate modern art
  • it’s OK for all other Heads of state and common (Rocker) folk to be exposed to the blue penis, but the Pope is a cut above the rest

If Nazinger is allergic to blue penises, then he should not be allowed to watch Watchmen.

Written by mickeymalta

17/04/2010 at 17:41

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

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

Session 3: The God Equation

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I received an email yesterday claiming that “someone must be responsible” for the miracle of creation. The argument goes that life forms are very complex, and nature works in harmony therefore this is a work of a supreme being – otherwise known as ‘Intelligent Design’.

It doesn’t make logical sense at all. Just because one cannot understand or explain how things work at a particular point in time does not mean buy inference, or imply that there is a supreme being. This argument doesn’t do any justice to any religion, and one would expect intelligent clerics to discourage this kind of reasoning because: a) it is fallacious, and b) if and when science offers an explanation to that phenomenon, that whole argument crumbles and turns on its head disproving the existence of a supreme being and its intelligent design. furthermore, just because this person cannot understand the harmony of nature, it doesn’t mean that no one else can. Science has, in fact, deciphered the works of nature and the groundbreaking discovery was made by a chap called Charles Darwin.

Primitive societies didn’t understand natural phenomena like the four seasons, the day and night cycle, thunder and lightning, wind and hurricanes, and the rest.  Since these changes happened in the sky, they interpreted these ‘mysteries’ as a kind of action by someone “up there”. As time went by, we began to understand these mysteries and we are now not only able to explain these occurrences scientifically, but we’re also in a position to predict what’s going to happen days, weeks, or even months before they actually happen.

The advancement of science will eventually provide the answers to the mysteries we cannot solve now, but this will in turn give rise to new mysteries and the cycle will go on and on. In reality, if we only relied on religion, we would still believe that the earth is flat, that the sun revolves around it, that prayer will heal the sick, and so on.

One cursory look at the world around us tells us that we’re leading a better and a healthier life because of scientific knowledge. We’re living longer because of the advancement of medicine, and we’re living under constant threats of terrorism because of . . . . . religion!

Additionally, for those who believe that they’re being watched and cared for by an almighty and all-loving god, I asked them watch this short movie and have a serious rethink:

Written by mickeymalta

19/03/2010 at 10:23

Session 2: In the Beginning . . . .

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The second session deals with the creation account. The reality is that this story was invented by bronze age Sheiks that hoped to be able to explain”the beginning”.

Because religion is by its very own nature dogmatic, millions of people take this story literally.  Worse still, millions of children learning this “theory” as an actual fact at schools. There’s an ongoing struggle between ‘creationists’ and ‘evolutionists’ in the US, and there is one school in Mosta that actually teaches creationism to its students.  This is very damaging as these poor students are being shaped to accept absurdities as opposed to being encouraged to develop a critical mind; but that’s religion for you. I don’t intend to go into the ‘creationism vs evolution’ debate. All I’d like to say is that last time I checked, he bible was proved wrong whenever it tried to dabble into scientific matters. Galileo and Darwin are two classic examples.

Personally speaking, it is not difficult to understand why reason is any religion’s worst enemy. And why is it that the Catholic Church has to have a say whenever there’s a scientific breakthrough – like in Galileo’s and Darwin’s cases, and stem cell research more recently?  I think that many religions feel that science threatens their very existence, and therefore most of the struggles against science are essentially a fight for survival.

Is it a coincidence that the poor and lesser-educated societies tend to be way more religious than others that are more developed and cultured? I honestly believe that the world would have been a much better place without religions. There is no doubt in my mind that, scientifically speaking,  we would be way ahead where we stand today as this was stifled by the Holy Inquisition in the dark ages, and superstitions in other eras.

The absence of religion would have also spared us a huge number of ‘holy wars’ – some of which are still going on. It’s true that conflict is part of human nature and that there would have been wars even in the absence of religions, but the difference with holy wars is that people truly believe that they’re serving a supreme being and therefore their actions are justified by the fact that they’re acting in the name of the one and only true god.

Written by mickeymalta

18/03/2010 at 10:47

Ezercizzi by Mickey

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Thank you Oh Lord for providing us with our daily bread

Most of my fellow Rockers are currently and unsurprisingly indulging in their annual frenzy of (pseudo) self deprivation and participation in organised religious activities. Sadly, this year we’re unfortunate enough to experience a quick follow-up with Blessed 13’s visit in a few weeks’  time.

As usual, the violent imagery of a bettered man is slowly but surely sprouting all over The Rock with a total disregard of the damage that these pictures (and worse still: pageants) instil on young children.  The holier-than-thou syndrome will soon reach its peak with thousands of people opting to eat all the food they can lay their paws on (except for meat of course) on our National Vegetarianism Day (otherwise known as “Good Friday”). If I were an Anthropologist, I would organise a group to interview some of the people attending the Good Friday processions all around The Rock to see how many of them have children outside wedlock; use contraception; have sex outside marriage; make honest declarations of all their earnings to the taxman; do not evade VAT; don’t covet their neighbour’s possessions; and other indulge in other Christian behaviours.

Judging by the official statistics, a very interesting picture will emerge before my eyes. It seems to me – and I’m not the only one to believe so – that more than following and actually living a religion, many Rockers are blindly taking part in rituals. They’re simply following a routine that mummy beloved once got them into.

Whenever I try to have a decent conversation about religion, more often than not I’m faced with people throwing vague statements based on “beliefs” that were passed on to them by others. The abysmal level of poorly constructed syllogisms together with the absence of depth are as conspicuous as the Portomaso tower.

For this reason, I decided to launch my version of Ezercizzi tal-Ghid hoping to provoke some Rockers (at least those with half a gram of grey matter between the ears) to think about one’s beliefs. At the end of the day, we are constantly bombarded with Religon so a little bit of counter-arguments shall do no harm.

Written by mickeymalta

17/03/2010 at 00:07