Pope blames atheists for environmental destruction

by Paul Fidalgo

Ha ha, stupid atheists! I sure zinged you!

(AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think these words were spoken by a liberal environmentalist and/or a humanist:

How important it is . . . that the international community and the different governments be able to give the appropriate indications to their own citizens to address in an effective manner the ways of utilizing the environment that turn out to be harmful. The economic and social costs stemming from the use of shared environmental resources, recognized in a transparent way, must be assumed by those who use them, and not by other populations or by future generations. Protection of the environment and the safeguarding of the resources and climate call for all leaders to act jointly, respecting the law and promoting solidarity, above all in the weaker regions of the earth. . . .

. . . Together we can build an integral human development beneficial to present and future peoples, a development inspired by the values of charity in truth. For this to happen it is indispensable that the present model of global development be transformed through a greater and shared responsibility . . . This is demanded not only by environmental emergencies, but also by the scandal of hunger and poverty.

But no, this is not a speech by Al Gore, it’s from He of the Astounding Hat, Pope Benedict XVI. Sounds great, doesn’t it? There’s nothing I would quibble with in this message in the least. His pope-ish-ness has hit the nail on the head. I feel like there’s a real chance for nonbelievers and Christians to reach a real understanding based on shared val…

…what’s that?

He said what…?

Ahem:

Is it not true that inconsiderate use of creation begins where God is marginalized or also where is existence is denied? If the human creature’s relationship with the Creator weakens, matter is reduced to egoistic possession, man becomes the “final authority,” and the objective of existence is reduced to a feverish race to possess the most possible.

According to Joey Ratz here, atheism is a cause of environmental rape. It’s the usual false equation usually made about atheists and morality–if there’s no God telling you how to behave, how do you know not to kill? Or in this case, how do you know not to selfishly ravage our earthly habitat? But here, he even goes a step further, and implicates people who simply don’t have God as a central part of their lives, “where God is marginalized,” not always at the forefront of thought. That’s rough.

The heavy dose of anti-atheist bigotry in this message is not only on the surface, blaming atheists for the plunder of the planet. Worse yet, those heads of corporations and governments who couldn’t give two Hail Marys about our current habitat or what our children will inherit are primarily religious believers. In America, mostly Christian. And by “mostly,” I mean “for all intents and purposes all of them.” These folks are not denying God’s existence–in many instances God is used as a justification for insane waste, exploitation, and brain-dead policy.

Just on the political end, remember it was Republican Rep. John Shimkus who told us that, on the question of global warming, the world will end when God says so; it won’t have anything to do with us. It’s Michele Bachmann and John Boehner, Christians both, who tell us that carbon dioxide isn’t harmful.

So to blame these problems on atheists is one level of insult. But to do so, knowing that the prime perpetrators of planetary pillage are principally the practicing pious, well, that’s another thing altogether.

P.S. – Hat tip to the National Secular Society, whose president, Terry Sanderson, lays the sacramental smackdown in their response:

This is rich coming from the leader of an organisation that has plundered the world to enrich itself. As he sits in his golden palaces, surrounded by unimaginable luxury
and material wealth, he lectures the rest of us about restraint and greed. We have nothing to learn about environmentalism from this hypocrite.

Yeah. That, too!

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