VATICAN CITY—Calling the behavior shameful, sinful, and much more frequent than the Vatican was comfortable with, Pope Benedict XVI vowed this week to bring the widespread pedophilia within the Roman Catholic Church down to a more manageable level.
Addressing thousands gathered at St. Peter’s Square on Easter Sunday, the pontiff offered his “most humble apologies” to abuse victims, and pledged to reduce the total number of molestations by 60 percent over the next five years.
“This is absolutely unacceptable,” Pope Benedict said. “It seems a weakening of faith in God has prevented our priests from exercising moderation when sexually abusing helpless minors.”
“And let me remind our clergy of the holy vows they all took when they entered the priesthood,” he continued. “They should know that they’re only allowed one small child every other month.”
The pope said he was deeply disappointed to learn that the number of children sexually abused by priests was almost 10 times beyond the allowable limit clearly outlined in church doctrine. Admitting for the first time in public that the overindulgent touching of “tender, tender young flesh” had become a full-blown crisis, the Holy Father vowed to implement new reforms to bring the pedophilia rate back down to five children per 1,000 clergy.
I…I think it’s finally over. Our reactionary emotional response seems to have stopped it dead in its tracks. If I’m right, all we have to do now is smugly reiterate our half-formed thesis and—oh, no! For the love of God, no! It’s thoughtfully mulling things over!
Run! Run! It’s making reasonable, fact-based arguments!
Quickly! Hide behind self-righteousness! The ad hominem rejoinders—ready the ad hominem rejoinders! Watch out! Dodge the issue at hand! Question its character and keep moving haphazardly from one flawed point to the next!
All together now! Put every bit of secondhand conjecture into it you’ve got!
Goddamn it, nothing’s working! It’s trapped us in our own unsubstantiated claims! We need to switch fundamentally unsound tactics. Hurry, throw up the straw man! Look, I think it’s going for it. C’mon…c’mon…yes, it’s going for it! Now hit it with the thing that one guy told us once while it’s distracted by our ludicrous rationalizations!
Gah! It’s calmly and evenhandedly deflecting everything we’re throwing at it. Our deductive fallacies are only making it stronger! Wait…what on earth is it doing now? Oh, no, it has sources! My God, it’s defending itself with ironclad sources! Someone stop the citing! Please, please stop the citing!
The language is impenetrable! For all that is good and holy, backpedal with all your might!
Where are the children? Someone overprotect the children! They cannot be exposed to this kind of illuminative reasoning. Their young, open minds are much too vulnerable to independent thought. We have to shield them behind our unshakeable intolerance for critical thinking.
What?!? Noooooooooo! Richard! For the love of God, it’s convinced Richard!
No time for tears now. Richard’s mind has been changed forever. But we mustn’t let it weaken our resolve. Mark my words, our ignorance will hold, no matter the cost. Now, more than ever, we have to keep floundering ahead with blind faith in our increasingly fallacious worldview.
For Richard’s sake.
What’s that? Now it’s making an appeal to reason? Never! Do you hear me, you eloquent, well-read behemoth? Never! We’ll die before we recognize what we secretly know to be true! The cognitive dissonance only makes our denial stronger!
It’s absolutely nutjobs like you that make it pretty damn hard to imagine such a thing as a genuinely intelligent christian (or catholic).
Cool, we get it. You believe in god, you think everyone should, and you don’t like that those stupid meanie head atheists won’t play your game, and are putting signs on busses and not sitting down in their corner quietly, hiding and hoping you won’t notice them. We get it, dude.
However, you’d stand a fairer chance of convincing even one person who doesn’t already agree with you if you’d refrain from:
Insisting that we only pick on the christian faith. Stop that. The reason you see more actions targeting or specifying Abrahamic faiths is that they are prevalent in the society we live in. That makes them more relevant to the discussion. Dig? Cool? Got it? Gonna stop making that tired argument? I sure hope so.