Weekend Coffee: March 16

• As you all know, there’s a new pope in town: Jorge Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires. He talks a good game on poverty, although like all Catholic hierarchs, he doesn’t seem to grasp that his opposition to birth control perpetuates the very problem he claims to want solved. As if there was any doubt, he’s also a staunch social conservative who’s called same-sex marriage “a move by the Father of Lies“.

More worrisome, though, is the accusation of Bergoglio’s complicity in the Dirty War, the church-aligned military dictatorship that ruled Argentina with brutality from 1976 to 1983, disappearing, torturing and murdering thousands of dissidents. The Vatican has strongly denied this, and it’s likely the truth will never be known for certain, but it’s yet another reason to doubt a church that’s offered more than enough of those reasons already.

• Via Paul Krugman, an amusing reminder that public sewage systems were originally attacked as socialist. “Suffering and evil are nature’s admonitions; they cannot be got rid of; and the impatient efforts of benevolence to banish them from the world by legislation… have always been more productive of evil than good.”

Rick Santorum and James Dobson say Obama is pushing “godlessness” on America. If only!

• You can’t make this stuff up: at the right-wing CPAC political conference, one attendee voiced a spirited defense of slavery during the panel on Republican minority outreach.

• This week’s reminder that the religious right wants to clamp down on everyone’s sex lives, straight people included: a senior fellow at the Family Research Council pens an editorial mourning Eisenstadt v. Baird, a 1972 Supreme Court decision ruling that unmarried people had a right to buy contraception.

• Extremely not good: Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood rejects a U.N. draft paper on the rights of women.

• But there’s more hopeful news as well: Colorado is expected to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples.

• Although battered and besieged, real secularism is still alive in the Arab world.

• And on the same day the new pope was chosen, there was some far more important news: ALMA, the world’s largest and most powerful radio telescope array, came online in Chile’s Atacama Desert. Here’s to a new era of scientific discovery!

Image credit: Or Hiltch

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Nahru

    Hi.

    So, the Muslim Brotherhood rejects the UN draft paper regarding women. Well, it should come as no surprise, since they’re obliged to do so (by their religious principles) because the paper contains such things like to “promote equal inheritance rights and equal rights between men and women within the family”. In Islamic law, women (daughters) inherit less than men (sons). Should this be changed, then it would be considered a transgression against law instituted by god.

    But you probably already know this…

  • Bdole

    Pontifex Novus: The king is dead (retired), long live the king. or the modern version – same shit, different day.

    Paul Krugman: Holy Crap! Anti-Socialist paranoia preceded public sewer systems? Of course, you’ll still get some fanatical libertarian complaining that it could’ve been done better, cheaper, faster by a private enterprise. They were full of crap then (literally) and their ideological descendants are today. And the fucking Romans had sewers. JesusHChrist, these people couldn’t even adopt a 2,000 year old innovation?!? I guess they didn’t want to hop on the public hygeine bandwagon. There’s conservative and then there’s just plain retrograde. And there’s more than a whiff of theistic fatalism in that eloquent little excerpt.

    CPAC: You stay classy. Keep speaking out. Seriously, louder! So everyone can hear you. Because clearly many haven’t yet gotten the fucking message.

    Egypt: Again, SSDD

    Colorado: You guys are on a roll.

    Arab secularism: Allah laysit kebir! – “God is not great” They should put THAT on a flag. I’m looking at you, Iraq/k/ck/que/some kind of clicking sound.

    Chile: Finally. I’ve been hearing about that telescope seemingly forever.

    I am actually drinking coffe as I write this.

  • Loren Petrich

    That slavery defender even claimed to be a descendant of Jefferson Davis, the Confederacy’s only president. Just goes to show how the Republican Party has changed from the party of Abraham Lincoln to the party of Jefferson Davis. If anything, the successor of the old Republican Party is now the Democratic Party.

  • Azkyroth

    they’re obliged to do so (by their religious principles) because the paper contains such things like to “promote equal inheritance rights and equal rights between men and women within the family”. In Islamic law, women (daughters) inherit less than men (sons). Should this be changed, then it would be considered a transgression against law instituted by god.

    THAT’S THE PROBLEM, STUPID.

  • http://avoiceinthewilderness-mcc1789.blogspot.com Michael

    “Via Paul Krugman, an amusing reminder that public sewage systems were originally attacked as socialist. “Suffering and evil are nature’s admonitions; they cannot be got rid of; and the impatient efforts of benevolence to banish them from the world by legislation… have always been more productive of evil than good.””

    Vaccination was originally denounced on the same grounds (well, not as “socialist”-the word hadn’t been invented yet), but that it was interference with God’s plan for us (i.e. to suffer).

  • Azkyroth

    Not to mention anesthesisa, particularly for women in labor.

    Religion really does poison everything.

  • L.Long

    Jorge Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires who’s called same-sex marriage “a move by the Father of Lies“.
    Who this “Father of Lies”?? Is he talking about his idiot gawd??? Because the only supernatural thing I found in the buyBull that lies is gawd. I’ve asked delusional people to show me where Lucifer (is that the satan or jesus–that name is used for both) lies. No intelligent response yet.


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