Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Maher on media’s dewy-eyed treatment of Pope Francis

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For all his faults, no-one’s quite as adept as Bill Maher when it comes to exposing the zaniness of religion and its sycophants. Here he is ripping on the mainstream media’s absurdly lovey-dovey coverage of Pope Francis, treating the 266th self-declared shepherd of humanity as if he were just the most precious thing evar:

Transcript: (click the [+/-] to open/close →) []

(Original via Daily Kos; edited for format/style)

BILL MAHER: And finally, New Rule: The news media has to stop all this ridiculous, over-the-top coverage of the virgin bachelor.

[GRAPHIC: “The Virgin Bachelor” edition of US Weekly”]

MAHER: No, not that one. This one.

[GRAPHIC: TIME Magazine cover with Pope Francis]

MAHER: Now, I gotta tell you, I’ve just about had it with the press squealing in delight at every mundane thing the new Pope does. “Ooh, look, he walked across the street! He picked the name ‘Francis’! He shook hands!” Oh, fuck, he’s a 76-year-old executive who got a promotion; they act like he’s a baby who just made a boom-boom.

In his first tweet, the new Pope asked everybody to pray for him, and the media was blown away. “Wow, prayer. I never saw that coming. So out of the box. He is amazing. And did you hear he used to ride the bus?”

It’s like we’re all suddenly living in a papal tabloid. “Popes, they’re just like us!” “They like riding with the top down.” “They enjoy gossip.” “They put up with Joe Biden.”

Look: There are over a billion Catholics – just on the back of my gardener’s truck. So, I get it, that this is a legitimate news story, but can we at least stop saying that the job of Pope is so hard, such a burden, no-one would even want it?

What?! Okay, first of all, you’re selling an invisible product. It doesn’t get any easier than that. No-one’s ever going to come back from the dead and say, “Ah, it’s bullshit up there. There’s no heaven. It’s just an empty lot.”

Hard job? All the Pope does is talk and everything you say is right by definition. And you’re there for life; talk about tenure! And what other business could you be in where your company gets caught running a child sex ring since forever, and you still keep your customers?

And that is the advantage of being around for two thousand years. You know, people think all the Church’s rules and traditions come right from Jesus. But almost none of them do. The Catholic Church has basically always done what we do here at Real Time: It’s a bunch of guys sitting around making up New Rules.

For example: “New Rule: Confession”. Jesus never said anything about confession. Never even thought of it. They pulled that out of their ass in the 12th Century. Just like they did with “New Rule: Women can’t be priests”. That’s also not in the Bible. Neither is celibacy for priests. We didn’t have that until the 4th Century, and even then, priests could still get married. They just couldn’t have sex — like regular marriage.

Jesus also never said anything about a Pope, let alone that he should live in a palace and get carried around in a chair like Liz Taylor in Cleopatra. Or papal infallibility, another rectum-derived edict that came in the year 1870. It’s an eternal truth that’s 11 years younger than the escalator.

I remember the New Rule they made up when I was a little Catholic boy. Okay, first we had, “New Rule: No meat on Fridays.” And then one day — and I do mean one day — the Pope went, “Uh, this just in … Hold on, I’m getting something. New Rule: Meat okay on Fridays!”

I mean, the whole thing is just so shamelessly made up as they go along. Or, how about this whopper? New Rule: Not only does God have a son — who’s really him — but there’s also a “Holy Ghost” in there, and they’re all one person called the Trinity. A Catholic monk named Tertullian made up the Holy Ghost in the 3rd Century. And after that, “It is true.”

I tell ya: Religion? It’s like Wikipedia. Anyone can write something in.

I must take exception to that closing zinger, though. Wikipedia is much more reliable and safer around children than the Catholic Church.

At any rate, you can tell Maher’s right on by how much froth one can imagine dribbling down Bill Donohue’s jowls in his outraged retort. Funny how he always focuses on how very very offensive the Church’s critics are rather than any of their actual arguments, eh?

(via Friendly Atheist)