12th January 2012

“Religious leaders continue to occupy an elevated position in our society not because they are representative, not through any expertise, qualifications or experience but because they assert the divinity of their own institution.”

Naomi MacAuliffe

16 Responses to “12th January 2012”

  1. Xhim Says:

    Do ‚Äúreligious leaders continue to occupy an elevated position in our society”? Maybe by their own followers. But they are almost never treated as “elevated” by the media, at least not that I have noticed.

  2. R J Says:

    what a bucket of dog puke. divinity my ass.

  3. archaeopteryx Says:

    I think there’s some truth in this quote. The roman catholic church in Ireland still claims its unearned reputation as a moral authority, despite the scandals that should have shaken it apart.

    Hope you are feeling better, R J. Judging by your post, you still have plenty of verve left!

  4. Dan Says:

    I agree with Archaeopteryx: This quote may not apply to the US, but it does still apply to much of Europe, all of the Middle East and Africa, and I think S. America also. I don’t know about Asia.

  5. Atheist MC Says:

    In the UK media the clergy are often trolled out to pronounce on some moral issue or other, as if they have a clue. And don’t get me started on Bishops in the House of Lords.

  6. Xhim Says:

    Actually, even as a “religionista” I don’t think it’s a bad thing for respect to be earned rather than attached to a title. Course, I also would like my status as a fool to be earned rather than assumed.

  7. Jeff Says:

    I would hate to say it, but here in America, a Catholic bishop can decide that a pro-choice Catholic politician may not receive communion within his diocese, and that will depress the vote for that politician. And look at the evangelical endorsements of Republican politicians, particularly in SC, where most of the endorsers have nothing more than an inability to trim their ear hairs, and an ability to pray.

    Xhim, I don’t think that I’ve ever treated you as a fool – somewhat misguided, but not a fool. For instance, explaining the problem with the “morally objectional” clause in medical treatment, I explained that the medical professionals took an oath to treat the patient in front of them to the best of their ability – not to the limit of their moral objections. Just as you have the choice not to become a landlord rather than rent to unmarried couples, and I had the choice to take the military oath or forgo the West Point education that I was offered, they had the choice to not become medical professionals and thereby not take that oath, or to leave the profession if they find the ramifications of that oath objectionable.

  8. Xhim Says:

    Sorry, Jeff, I didn’t mean to imply that I had been treated as a fool in this context, just that judgements pro or con on the basis is pidgeon-holing are distasteful. Actually, considering how heated some of the discussions have gotten, I think I have been treated pretty well. Y’all have disagreed with me strongly, but you haven’t dissed me. And I hope I haven’t dissed you, or even left that impression. And actually, we have interacted enough that you have at least some evidence to – in the context of where you are coming from – develop the opinion that I am a fool. While I would regret that, it would at least be based on something I’ve said, not just writing me off without any interaction.

  9. Capt'Z Says:

    I agree completely with this quote. Religious leaders walk to the balcony and let us hear their pronouncements on just about any topic, as if their total lack of education in anything but the thinking of iron age ignorantists had any relevance. I don’t want to hear what “father” or “reverend” have to say about cosmology. When I have a question about what you believe and why you believe it, I’ll find you. Until then, I wish you’d just shut your pie hole and let the rest of us get back to solving real problems.

  10. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    To anyone willing to really think and reason it sometimes seem astonishing that mystical pious clowns are able to command eminent respect in public forums.

    This ignores though the simple reality that most people either lack the interest in thinking and reasoning, or they simply lack the capacity for it.

    Thus, being struck so occurs in the absence of recognizing this simple reality: Thinkers will have become guilty of not thinking.

    To the contrary, dutiful thinking people should expect this.

    Xhim, Could it be your “fool” complex is Freudian parapraxis?

  11. Jeff Says:

    Sinjin, that last shot was unkind, to be somewhat kind about it.

    I find it interesting that Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) when discussing his personal atheism on camera, said that all of us are 99.99…% sure, but would probably welcome finding out that we were a bit wrong and there really is something after we drop dead. I agree – even if I end up in Hell, there’ll be some comfort in knowing that Mom is around somewhere, even if I can’t find her ’cause she ain’t in the neighborhood. Meanwhile, I’ll roast in good company!

  12. R J Says:

    to Xhim…………….

    you’re no fool.


    to Jeff……………..

    you’re not going to hell. you’re simply returning to

    (( and i always thought this was beautiful ))

    ” the ocean of time . “

  13. R J Says:

    to capt Z at 1741…………….

    i think the quote is malarkey…..but i completely

    agree with your post.

  14. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Jeff, to be somewhat kind? Ok! It was a pleasant little jab, or that was how it was intended. Xhim has a penchant for adressing thing sthat weren’t said.

  15. Capt'Z Says:

    RJ – You don’t think religious figures occupy an elevated position in society and that this position is maintained purely by assertion? This proposition is demonstrably true in the U.S. Now I don’t mean (and I don’t believe MacAuliffe meant) that they occupy this position for me personally. Far from it. But for society, you bet.

  16. Digdougdogman Says:

    I don’t think I have ever commented here before, but I have been visiting for a good while now. Just thought I would drop in and let you all know I enjoy reading the interactions of the commenters. Its just typing out comments long enough for the discussions is a bitch on an iPhone.