Cardinal's contempt for free speech and rights.
A Roman Catholic Cardinal has, as is church tradition, said something utterly stupid and shown his contempt for human rights and human dignity. No wonder it was rumoured he was a potential candidate for the Papacy. He has just about the right attitude for the job. Instead he was beat to the post by a former member of the Hitler Youth -- far more appropriate training for a Pope.
Cardinal Francis “Call me Adolph” Arinze is from Nigeria and he is another religionist who has gone out of his head over the film The DaVinci Code. There is something about film that drives the fanatics nuts. First it was Brokeback Mountain and now The DaVinci Code. I really don’t want so the latter film but if these nut cases keep up their campaign against it I will have to do so just out of principle.
Cardinal Adolph advises his flock: “Christians must not just sit back and say it is enough for us to forgive and to forget.” Oddly that Jesus fellow, they say they believe in, did seem to make a few comments along the opposite line. Cardinal Adolph instead then uses weasel talk to express his point: “It is not I who will tell all Christians what to do but some know legal means which can be taken in order to get the other person to respect the rights of others.”
Now it is true that law should enforce the rights of people but that does not give the brown shirts in the Vatican the right to stop people from watching a film. We are obliged by moral law to respect the rights of others but no one has a right to our respect. Rights are free, respect is earned. We can hold them in contempt if we choose. This man, deluded to think he has some communication with a deity, argues: “This is one of the fundamental human rights: that we should be respected, our religious beliefs respected, and our founder Jesus Christ respected.”
I have one word for the Cardinal: “Bullshit.” It is bullshit heaped wide and a mile deep. The Cardinal can believe any fantasy or delusion he wants. He can go to church and even fantasize that he is drinking blood and eating flesh (a rather disgusting idea). He can convince himself that he is going to live for eternity. His rights to his religion end where the rights of others start. His right to believe ends with the rights of others to believe the contrary. That is he has no right to control the mind or tongues of others.
No man has the right, or can have the right, to control the thoughts of other men. Each mind is independent and free. And the day when Catholics could torture and burn at the stake is long gone so Cardinal Adolph better get used to it. This totalitarian fraud in theological drag hints that even violence should, or could, be used. "Those who blaspheme Christ and get away with it are exploiting the Christian readiness to forgive and to love even those who insult us. There are some other religions which if you insult their founder they will not be just talking. They will make it painfully clear to you.”
This unsubtle reference to the monsters that infest Islam appears to be more than just a call to boycott the film. It comes across as a threat.
With a former Hitler Youth in the papacy I wouldn’t expect hearing a denunciation of Cardinal Adolph anytime soon. But this hysteria over a film shows that the Inquisition is gone but not forgotten. Some Catholics, obviously some Cardinals, still think they have some right to use violence and the coercive state against others.
This is precisely why I think religion is a totalitarian danger. This Cardinal has exemplified precisely what is wrong with faith.
In her lecture Faith and Force Ayn Rand argued that the modern world is the result of two things: reason and freedom. She argued that greatest enemy of civilisation is the opposite -- faith and force. She said, “every period of history dominated by mysticism, was a period of statism, of dictatorship, of tyranny. ”
She put it very well: “ I have said that faith and force are corollaries, and that mysticism will always lead to the rule of brutality. The cause of it is contained in the very nature of mysticism. Reason is the only objective means of communication and of understanding among men; when men deal with one another by means of reason, reality is their objective standard and frame of reference. But when men claim to possess supernatural means of knowledge, no persuasion, communication or understanding are impossible. Why do we kill wild animals in the jungle? Because no other way of dealing with them is open to us. And that is the state to which mysticism reduces mankind -- a state where, in case of disagreement, men have no recourse except to physical violence. And more: no man or mystical elite can hold a whole society subjugated to their arbitrary assertions, edicts and whims, without the use of force. Anyone who resorts to the formula: "It's so, because I say so," will have to reach for a gun, sooner or later. Communists, like all materialists, are neo-mystics: it does not matter whether one rejects the mind in favour of revelations or in favour of conditioned reflexes. The basic premise and the results are the same.”