Has Catholicism suddenly become the most progressive of all the world’s major religions?
This appears to be the case now, and the primary reason for such a startling transformation comes from the very top.
Pope Francis has emerged into a true leader and a spiritual rock star, even for some non-believers. Yesterday, he stunned 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide with yet another astonishing decree which left even the most liberal theologians within the church stupefied. The Pope stated that evolution is entirely consistent with the notion of divine creation. He also acknowledged the plausibility of the Big Bang Theory as the actual genesis of the universe. But the crown jewel of Wednesday’s big Vatican trifecta payoff at Vatican Downs was the Pope’s official pronouncement that god “is not a magician.”
So, according to the Pope —  evolution is true,  science knows more about the origins of the universe than the church, and  god doesn’t wave a magic wand. Sounds a lot more like a Richard Dawkins’ speech than words from the most powerful holy man in the world.
To: Athletes Around the World
I beg all of you. Please stop.
When one of you catches a touchdown pass, stop thanking me.
Seriously, do you think I spend my entire Sunday afternoon watching the Browns-Titans game? What do you think I am — some kind of sadist?
I’ve got earthquakes to plan, tornadoes to unleash, wars to schedule, and horrible biological viruses to create. I’ve got more than enough on my plate already without having to take your phone calls pleading with me all the time. It’s enough to wear a god completely out. I’m famished.
Call me what I truly am — an effervescent couch potato. I’d much rather sit by and do absolutely nothing while heads get decapitated by some of my most loyal admirers who openly exploit my name for their own political causes. I passively watch and do nothing other than feign minor interest because my name gets mentioned. Doesn’t that make you wonder about how much I truly care? Think of it another way. If I fail to intervene and put a stop to those horrors, do you really think I’ll interpose my divine powers to cure Auntie’s cancer or allow Browns’ wide receiver Taylor Gabriel to catch a touchdown pass from quarterback Brian Hoyer late in the fourth quarter to beat Tennessee?
A few weeks ago, an active-duty serviceman currently serving in the United States Air Force was forbidden from re-enlisting.
Because he refused to take to the official oath required of all American servicemen and servicewomen, which includes (for many) the quarrelsome expression, “so help me god.” [SEE FOOTNOTE 1]
The Air Force sergeant, who’s name has not been released to the public, is an avowed atheist. For him, pledging an oath to what he believes is a false deity would be brazenly dishonest. What’s the point of raising one’s right hand in a ceremony, and then taking a bogus vow? Wouldn’t that make the oath meaningless and render the entire process a farce? It would be like pledging to obey commands from the Easter Bunny.
When I first read the news story about this brave American serviceman who was denied the opportunity to proudly serve his country for no other reason than not professing a belief in a god — I was dumbfounded. Yet again, we secularists were caught off guard. I asked myself — is this 1914 or 2014? Haven’t we yet reached the ambitious plateau of reason in American governance and society where religious litmus tests are no longer required to serve in the armed forces?
A very long time ago, something called “the big bang” happened.
A galaxy formed.
Planet earth was born.
At first, planet earth was a smoldering ball of fire and smoke. Then, it gradually cooled off — except for Arizona.
Temperatures stabilized. Microcosmic cells were born and began evolving. Cells began bonding. Tiny living creatures gradually turned into giant dinosaurs. Then for some reason, all the dinosaurs died out. No one knows how or why.
After that, other animals evolved. Early primates were born. They eventually became monkeys. Next, these hairy beasts started walking upright and turned into what we know today as “human beings.” Except for the slimeballs who work for collection agencies.
The early humans hunted. They fished. They eventually learned how to grow food. Then, they got fatter because they started eating fast food. The first fast food was called “MacRabbit.”
Istanbul, Turkey in 1996
Between 1993 and 1999, most of my workdays were spent inside the Turkish Embassy, in Washington, D.C.
Typical duties consisted of writing and editing official correspondance. To this day, most foreign missions along Embassy Row hire at least one native-English speaker. This is because the language used in diplomatic communications must be positively precise. The wrong word in the wrong place at the wrong time can be misunderstood, triggering unintended consequences.
I was also fortunate enough to be assigned to the public information office during that time. This put me into direct contact with many of Americans who needed assistance with something or someone in the Republic of Turkey. You can’t even imagine some of the inquiries we received.
Reminiscing now, I look back fondly on those six years. What a wonderful experience that was. The Turkish diplomatic corps and embassy staff were always kind to me. Not only were they thoroughly professional at all times, they were also lots of fun to be around. I shall always have a soft spot in my heart for the Turks.