Monday, April 05, 2010

Monday Morning News InDigestion

Disclaimer: I've been in a pretty foul mood since mid-afternoon on Sunday, and I'm unlikely to find a lot of news to alter that situation.

First, let me say this: cable set top boxes have long been a technological pet peeve of mine since the early 80s. This dinosaur should have died off in the late 80s, or early 90s at the latest.

But, I have satellite. Cable can bite me. That's not to say I don't have issues with the satellite receiver but at least it serves a purpose other than decoding.


A Jonesboro, Arkansas atheist group is cleaning up a stretch of a major highway leading into the town. The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department will provide signs indicating that the group has adopted the stretch of highway.

Two Four aspects of this story I find deeply disturbing to the extent that they grate on my last raw nerve.

1. Without a doubt, any town referred to as Fort God because of the number of churches, probably shouldn't have any litter.

2. Odds would dictate that much of the litter is being generated by people who would refer to themselves as Christians.

3. I wonder how many Christian groups are out cleaning the highway instead of bitching about atheists doing the grunt work.
But some religious leaders are already concerned about the image it could paint for Jonesboro. "I'm not excited about it," said John Miles, senior pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Jonesboro. "Not many of us want to be known as the town with the organized atheist group."

4. Oh, grow the hell up and deal with it! Garbage along the highways is preferable to having atheists clean it up if the atheists get any recognition for the effort?


Then there was the stench of rotting eggs emanating from the Vatican on Easter Sunday.
Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square, the Catholic church's most joyous celebration, began with a senior cardinal defending Pope Benedict XVI from what he called "petty gossip" and hailing him for "unfailing" leadership and courage.

But the pontiff himself ignored accusations that he perpetuated a climate of cover-up for pedophile priests, even as sex abuse scandals threatened to overshadow his papacy.


Jewish leaders, and even some top Catholic churchmen, were angered after Benedict's personal preacher, in a Good Friday sermon, likened the growing accusations against the pope to the campaign of anti-Semitic violence that culminated in the Holocaust.

The preacher, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, told Corriere della Sera daily in an interview Sunday that he had no intention "of hurting the sensibilities of the Jews and of the victims of pedophilia," expressed regret and asked for forgiveness.

He was quoted as saying that the pope wasn't aware of what the sermon would say beforehand, and that no Vatican officals read the text before the Good Friday service.

The apology satisfied one Jewish leader, Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants.

"Now that he has apologized and the Vatican has distanced itself from those remarks, the matter is closed," Steinberg said in a statement.

Whatever. Elan Steinberg is such a pushover.

Honestly, this has gotten to the point where apologies are meaningless. Only actions will carry any weight.

As much as I oppose aggression and violence though, I will confess to having a bit of disappointment in not being able to locate a video of the broom handle incident, not to mention the incense bowl used for (testicle?) protection.
Separately, in Germany, where the church is facing intense criticism about the widening abuse scandal, a man attacked the Roman Catholic Bishop of Muenster with a broom handle during an Easter service in the city's cathedral, police said.

Bishop Felix Genn, 60, defended himself with an incense bowl and was unharmed. After the incident, he continued celebrating the Easter service. The man's motive was unclear, police said.

How exciting was your Easter?

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