The Pontiff solves terrorism!

Good luck with that, Popie! When I see stuff like this, and people actually liking it, I wonder what they’d say if a shaman proclaimed, “I’m going to sacrifice this bull so that the hearts of the terrorists will henceforth be filled with mercy.” Everyone would laugh. But they don’t laugh at the Pope!

BUT. . . this can be tested! If the Pope’s prayers work (and he’s the one with a direct line to God), there should be no more terrorist murders. If there are, then we are entitled to ask him, “Why did God ignore you? Does he want more killing?”

45 Comments

  1. Jim Knight
    Posted July 17, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I really like your proposed experiment and will anxiously await the outcome, all the while knowing full well that sacrificing a bull will give the same results!

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted July 17, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      You’re not fooling anyone. You, Abraham, Noah… you’ll believe anything for BBQ.

      • Jim Knight
        Posted July 17, 2016 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        Yea, for BBQ…?! I wouldn’t want to eat with the other two, though…

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted July 17, 2016 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        you’ll believe anything for BBQ.

        Is that another one of those Bronze Age Middle Eastern godlets with an inconveniently vowel-free name?
        Fire god, by any chance?

  2. v
    Posted July 17, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Yeah, if God is going to ignore the Pope’s pleas, His “representative on earth,” why would anyone else think their prayers would
    get God’s ear?

  3. Posted July 17, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Catholicism requires suffering to exist for their theology to make sense to them, fetishizing it even. Without violence, per se, can there be suffering?

    Just what, then, is this man praying for? A conversion to non-blinded violence by love?

    Doublespeak is intrinsic to all things Catholic in my experience.

    Mike

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 17, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Popular around here are the prayer walks. After every shooting this is very much the fashion. Lots of vigils as well. They all seem to have the same affect.

    Is it not a bit late to pray for the victims? Can they change course after death?

  5. Sastra
    Posted July 17, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    If God can “convert hearts” at all, why doesn’t He convert everyone’s heart, so that all are saved and none shall be lost? The result apparently counts just fine with God.

    This little “converting hearts” loophole blasts a huge cavern not only in theodicies, but through the proposed reason for our very existence here on earth.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 17, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      And free will which we’re all supposed to have. If God has to convert our hearts then we don’t really have free will at all.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted July 17, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Reading the comments from you, Mike, and Randall brought back the horrible frustration of trying to parse meaning from theology. I can imagine nothing worse than being forced to listen to the Pope, or any other theologian, try to answer those questions.

      Like so many others, my deconversion took place in a highly religious environment. The two parallel factors were learning how to think on the one hand, and exploring the utter vacuity of religious language on the other. Nothing kills a religious argument more thoroughly than the repeated question “what do you mean by that?”

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted July 17, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Nothing kills a religious argument more thoroughly than the repeated question “what do you mean by that?”

        Except, possibly, “What evidence do you have for that statement?”

        • Ken Phelps
          Posted July 17, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          Well, that’s true if you assume the discussion is connected enough to reality for the language to have an identifiable target. Not necessarily a given.

          • Posted July 17, 2016 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

            But likewise, I don’t think asking a theist what they mean will stump them. They will simply string together their favorite religious buzzwords and assume the meaning is clear and that they’ve explained something. We’re just being willfully obtuse when we continue to insist that they haven’t.

  6. Posted July 17, 2016 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers.

    • Posted July 17, 2016 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      You know, I suppose T&P aren’t so bad in and of themselves. If there’s nothing I can do about someone else’s misfortune, then I might as well let them know their misfortune is weighing heavily on my mind.

      It’s just that religion has convinced people that T&P are some of the most helpful things you can do, even in situations where it would be easy to lend real aid.

      • Posted July 18, 2016 at 5:59 am | Permalink

        I’ll grant you that signaling is important and that most religions hold that signaling is paramount. But without worldly, as our religious brethren term it, aid signaling is nothing more than status seeking. That is why I deride T&P; it’s very selfish or egotistical or both.

  7. Posted July 17, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Ah boy……..

  8. rickflick
    Posted July 17, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    No, prayer won’t work. But, human beings can be manipulated and molded any which way you want. You just have to get them young (before they are 7 yrs). So, it would be more effective to work on early education and providing a society that nurtures rational behavior. Prayer won’t work.

  9. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 17, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    It seems God does want more killing and he’s more in favour of the terrorists. It would sorta go along with his history of psychopathic homicides.

    • Posted July 17, 2016 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Yes. We pray for no more victims of terror, Islamists pray for more victims of terror, and guess whom God/Allah listens to!

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted July 17, 2016 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      his history of psychopathic homicides.

      … liberally interspersed with incitements for other people to commit psychopathic homicides. He does have fellow-travellers.

  10. Dave
    Posted July 17, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Off topic, but of greater import than the Pope’s platitudes….

    Serious outbreak of violence in Downing Street!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/17/claws-out-in-whitehall-as-larry-the-cat-takes-on-palmerston-his/

    • ploubere
      Posted July 17, 2016 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      I suppose we’re obligated to pray for the animals to all get along too.

    • Posted July 17, 2016 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      See how you British have infected even your cats with your non-constructive, selfish, violent spirit! (This is tongue in cheek of course, but based on some jewels I’ve read after the referendum.)

  11. Carey Haug
    Posted July 17, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    When prayer fails, the Pope will say we did not pray hard enough or often enough or sincerely enough. I hope Allah ignores the prayers of his followers to the same extent that the Christian “god” does.

  12. Posted July 17, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on windupmyskirt and commented:
    If mister pope’s prayers don’t work, wouldn’t that prove his religion is bullshit?

    • Diane G.
      Posted July 17, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Love your blog!

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 17, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Me too!

  13. tubby
    Posted July 17, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    So he’s only just now going to pray for people to stop killing each other? Or he wasn’t praying for realsies before and now he’s really, really, sincerely going to ask god to make people be nice?

  14. Posted July 17, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Hearts blinded by hate? Actually, minds poisoned by religion.

  15. Matthew Jenkins
    Posted July 17, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I’m getting tired of being told that terrorists hate the people they attack and that they attack because they hate. From what I’ve seen, they tend to regard themselves as soldiers, with aims to be achieved by the options available to them.

    If I’m right in this, by blaming their actions on hate we’re stopping ourselves from understanding the situation correctly.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted July 17, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      I’m getting tired of being told that terrorists hate the people they attack

      As is standard practice in military training, you don’t consider your enemy to be “people”. They’re just things to be destroyed in the pursuit of your aims.

  16. Posted July 17, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    The pope is a dope. That’s all.

  17. Mark R.
    Posted July 17, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Pope:
    Since g*d is omni-, it already knew about your prayer(s) since the beginning of time. You can stop now.

  18. ploubere
    Posted July 17, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I would think this experiment would be deserving of a fat Templeton grant.

    • Jim Knight
      Posted July 17, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      It would be sweet justice to use Templeton $$ to show that prayer, even from the Pope, doesn’t work…

  19. keith cook + / -
    Posted July 17, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Popular Francis should his god to talk to their god and that will be the end of that.
    Meanwhile…

  20. Posted July 17, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Well, you know, praying to the almighty is indeed pointless.
    Firstly, he/she/it has, supposedly, a plan and it’s a divine plan at that. SO praying for something is surely going to alter/mess up that plan.
    Oh, and that brings up another point. Why does the almighty need our help to get things done down here? Is he not almighty after all?
    Why does he need terrorists to do his killing for him?
    Just putting it out there.

  21. mpzrd
    Posted July 17, 2016 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Or what? We should maybe kill them all?

    In the long run, a change of heart is needed. Humans becoming more humanitarian, however it happens.

  22. Vaal
    Posted July 17, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    And when the Pope’s prayers don’t work, we will hear from Sophisticated Theologians that “Prayer isn’t really meant to ask God to do anything or change the Plan He had from eternity. It’s really just for the person praying, a form of gratitude and connection.It only looks exactly like we are praying for God to do something we want him to do.”

    • Posted July 17, 2016 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

      And, in a stupidly ironic twist, many will conclude that realizing prayer is an exercise in self-induced catharsis is what god intended for them all along. There is no such thing as an unanswered prayer from the theist’s perspective.

    • Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      That’s exactly what Descartes said – by all means, pray. But do not ask for anything other than what god would do anyway.

      And there’s

      ‘Dr. Sidney Freedman: Is it true that God answers all prayers?

      Captain Chandler: Yes. Sometimes the answer is “no”.’

  23. Mike
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Good luck with that one Frankie boy.

  24. somer
    Posted July 19, 2016 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Well that’s helpful. Take note, God. No more violent nasties. Oops there that passage in the Old Testament – God is responsible for both the good and the bad that happens to humans. Funny that.


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