Put the Holy Books Down and Breath!
The Vatican is offering exorcism lessons for some of its luckier priests.
"Concern is high in Italy about the influence of Satanic cults - especially among the young and impressionable." States the BBC article.
Worrying about your impressionable youth would be a great argument in favor of more science education and teaching reason and critical thinking in schools. It is a pretty poor argument for training grown men in robes to tell kids that these powers they are seeking are real and the church is fighting them. Kids love power and hate church.
"Next week - in a case that has captured the public imagination - a court outside Milan is due to consider murder charges against a group of young people accused of killing two teenagers as part of a Satanic rite."
Groups of murderous psychopaths and their hanger-on, social climbing, wannabe accomplices are part of any society and are best dealt with through psychiatry and law enforcement, not by feeding into their fairy tale beliefs about demonic powers.
In another BBC article about the power of faith, this time the Greek Orthodox church in finding the morality finger pointing back at them.
"In recent weeks, there has been a flood of allegations against priests and bishops who have been accused of everything from bribing judges to helping drug dealers, embezzlement, and what the church views as depraved sexual behavior."
When I read the words "depraved sexual behavior" I was relieved because I knew the scandals would not involve child abuse. Christian churches may condemn pedophilia but terms like "depraved" seem to be reserved for things they really and truly oppose like SpongeBob SquarePants and homosexuality. The only time a church will call pedophilia depraved seems to be when they are using it in the same sentence as homosexuality. That way they link the emotional impact of the one with the other much like they often try to link evolution with racism by putting them close enough together in a sentence that they become linked in the listener's mind without having to link them logically.
"So to stave off mounting calls from politicians for a formal separation of church and state, the Archbishop has now proposed a series of measures, including more regular financial audits and a ban on clergymen receiving bonuses from the public for their work."
Any church that is working "to stave off mounting calls from politicians for a formal separation of church and state" is a perfect example of the need for such separation in the first place. If a religion does not understand the need for such a separation it is too vacuous to be taken seriously as anything more than intellectual pollution.
And just in case you thought this post was only going to pick on the Christians, It seems some rabbis can't even do something as simple as advise people not to throw their gum on the street without being holier-than-thou. After telling people not to drop a wad of bubbleicious on the curb but to swallow it, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu goes on to condemn gum chewers everywhere.
"Chewing gum is the practice of lower forms of life. It expresses inner tension and lack of control"
Let us ignore the fact that recent studies have shown that chewing gum improves memory and concentration. Where does this guy get off declaring that a habit that he disproves of indicates that these people are a lower form of life. One wonders if he was divinely inspired by God to look down on people or if he just pulled this "observation" out of his enchanted backside. Perhaps it is indicative of inner tension and lack of control.
Well that is my religious round up rant for now. I am going to go play violent video games before some church bans them. Go with God my children, and keep on going!