Is the pope Polish? Oh, wait…

So, apparently the pope is spouting off again.  PZ rants and points to an article here. I’m a bit conflicted on this point. While I acknowledge that the pope does have loads of influence over many throughout the world, and it sucks that some (including my family) will blindly follow anything he says, what I find compelling about this is that I can’t help believing that all this motion toward anti-science medievalism on the part of the church will begin to polarize its members, especially in the developed world. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that the church is in for a major schism in the not too distant future.

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  1. I know some Catholics who would gladly welcome some more progressive stances from the Church. However, I also know some who would not. I think if it came to a schism, it would pretty much destroy the church as we know it. But a slow series of forward steps, like writerdd mentioned, might also be possible.

  2. I don't think the church as we know it ceasing to be would be a bad thing per sé. Sure, it would have serious ramifications all over the world, but perhaps it would allow christianity (or at least the progressive half of it) to step into the 21st century, and allow the current batch of fundamentalist medieval ignorance to slowly disappear into history.

    And as a result, perhaps christianity's younger brother, Islam, would take heed and adjust.

  3. I think I know why he feels that sciences are seductive. He must have gotten a copy of the Skepchick Calender, either that or he's been watching a lot of Mythbusters.

  4. You know what a schism would mean, don't you? Another addition to the 300-flavor panoply of Protestantism. Hey disgruntled Catholics, this might be your chance to be memorialized as the leader of a the Rocky Road of Christianity. (Please note, you are not eligible if your last name is Calvin, Luther or Method.)

  5. "I love how these faith-imbued gomers always belittle "mere" physical and chemical reactions, when there is nothing more grand and majestic than the natural processes that drive our universe. Yes, life is a great big elaborate chemical reaction — isn't that wonderful?"

    that's what I'm saying!

  6. "perhaps it would allow christianity (or at least the progressive half of it) to step into the 21st century, and allow the current batch of fundamentalist medieval ignorance to slowly disappear into history."

    amen to exarch…that is exactly why this interests me.

    consider me a future "little bald bastard-ist".

  7. hilarious, Winston!

    Man, there are a lot of orthodox and hasidim here in L.A.

    They dress like they're in Minsk while it's 100 degrees. Cukoo!

  8. well, some of the guys wear those cylindrical beaver hats with the shorter pants on Saturday only, some of them just always wear a yarmulke (I'm thinking these are Orthos) and the wives all have those wigs. Some of the women are a lot more modest…then there are guys who wear the regular kind of big-brimmed fedora looking hat all the time. The Lubavitchers are the ones who are convinced that that one Rabbi was a prophet or something and then when he died they claimed that the coffin was really empty or sommin', right?

    Hey, remember about 5 years ago when a bunch of Orthodox or Hasidic women in Brooklyn burned a bunch of wigs because the hair was from India and was gathered at temples? The hair itself wasn't used in a ritual, it was just ritually shaven off – and why waste good hair? Well, the Jewish ladies got into a tizzy. So – we have women who wear wigs because…well…uh, why exactly is that? I heard something about how in Medieval times (not the restarant) Jewish women would shave their heads and wear wigs so that they would be unappealing to the king or whatever when he had the "first night" rights or something…..sorry. Rambling. But Winston, do you know what's up with the wigs?

  9. I’m totally agreed, whitebird!

    I had an argument with an ex once about consciousness. She bought into the whole dualist thing, and naturally I thought it was crap. Her main point against materialism is that she thought it was “dark”. (There was some fluff about how it’s “not untrue because it’s dark, but dark because it’s untrue”, but that was just a poor attempt to disguise an argument from (fictional) consequences.)

    I completely disagreed, and tried to get across that the phenomena are the important thing, that emotions are just as “real” if they come from chemistry as they would be if they came from a mystical “mind”, but it didn’t really get through. (I’d love to say something like, “and so that’s why she’s my ex”, but sadly reality rarely cooperates for the sake of a punchline.)

  10. “amen to exarch…that is exactly why this interests me.”

    And me.

    “consider me a future “little bald bastard-ist”.”

    Hey, I’ve been converted. The services are short and the music rocks. But I really like saying “schism” for some reason. Maybe I’ll start a protestant sect called the Little Bald Bastard-ists with Latter Day Soul Patches or something.

  11. Soul, nicotine…how much difference could there possibly be?

    Perhaps I should have said “Can the Latter Day Soul Patch help me kick Orthodoxy?” or some other religion. We could start a TV ad campaign!

    “I was praying five times every day, facing eastward. But then my girlfriend told me about the Latter Day Soul Patch– I’ve been clean now for two years and counting!”

    “I found that shacharis, mincha, and maariv prayers were cutting into my quality time with my children. And spending all day Saturday in shul made it tough to get the shopping done. Then I tried the Latter Day Soul Patch– Thanks, Little Bald bastard!”

  12. What kind have you got? Lubavitchers or Satmarer? Or did you luck out and get a few Breslovers?

  13. I would like them more if they were Brestlovers. At least then we’d have some common ground to talk about.

  14. The wigs– Sheitl (s)– are used to cover the hair of observant women. They only remove them at home when with their families. The idea is that the woman should only “uncover her charms” for her husband.

    All males are required to cover their heads out of deference to God. The tradition is derived from the turban and headpiece that the priests were commanded to wear whilst administering the Temple Cult rituals. Indeed, the common practice in the “ancient” world was to pray with the head covered, showing humility to one’s god(s). [In fact, Paul’s admonition that it was shameful for men to pray with covered heads, and that the women should cover up, was a reversal– he was trying to distinguish the new messianic sect from common Jewish practice].

    Most Chassidim wear the dark fedoras. On festivals, or on shabbos, they will wear much richer garments –the low-crowned, wide-brimmed hats trimmed with fur, silk britches and stockings, silk caftans– that are much more reminiscent of seventeenth century Eastern Europe. It’s mainly a matter of fashion.

    Most orthodox and conservative Jews will dress according to the style of the day, only making sure to keep their heads covered.

    Amongst the Chassidim, there is a fair range of attitudes. At one end of the scale are the Breslover Chassidim. They are like the hippies of Chassidus, and even non-Jews can find a lot of inspiration in the writings of Rebbe Nachman. At the other end of the scale are the Satmarer Chassidim. They are the Taliban of Jewry. The Lubovitchers fall somewhere in the middle. But they are all more observant than the “merely ” orthodox. (The names derive from the villages in Europe whence the sects arose: Breslovers aare traced to Breslov in the Ukraine, Lubavitchers to the town of Lvov (also in Ukraine), and the Satmarers from Satmar in Hungary, near the region of Transylvania (from whence my own family originates, by the bye).

    Let me know if you want to hear how the Chassidim arose as a sect. You know, there has always been animosity between the Chassidic community and the “Gaonim.” And today, we also have Jews who are atheist and rational, and only take interest in the traditions and the Law as a cultural and ethnic history.

  15. Oh! And the dress of all males also includes a garment with fringes, so that the tassels on the four corners can hang outside of the shirt. It’s in deference to the commandment to make fringes in the borders of one’s garments. Sorry. Forgot about that bit. It’s kind of like a ritual undershirt.

  16. Little Bald Bastard wrote:

    Hey disgruntled Catholics, this might be your chance to be memorialized as the leader of a the Rocky Road of Christianity. (Please note, you are not eligible if your last name is Calvin, Luther or Method.)
    Considering the development in the other thread, how about Mamanism?

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