I’m so time-poor at the moment.  I can barely scrape together the time to polish off the decks to get ready for my next gig, let alone bang a few words together. So, I’ll be cheap and use someone else’s words.

Following are some words put in an order far greater than mine have ever been arranged in, a transcript of the speech delivered by Richard Dawkins at the Protest the Pope March in London earlier this month.

I was, at first, as outraged as everybody else by the Pope’s opening remarks, as soon as he landed in Edinboro, blaming atheists for the atrocities of Hitler and the others of the 20th century. But then I took comfort from it because it seemed to me that, in a way, it was showing that we have rattled them so much that he was forced to the ignominious expedient of attacking us so as to divert attention from the real crimes that had been committed in the name of the Catholic church. I can just imagine the discussions in the corridors of Vatican power: “How are we going to distract them from buggering boys? And the answer came: “Why don’t we attack secularists? Why don’t we attack atheists? Why don’t we blame them for Hitlerism?”

Hitler — Adolf Hitler — was a Roman Catholic. He was baptized. He never renounced his baptism. The figure of 5 million Catholics is presumably obtained from baptismal figures. I don’t believe a word of it. I don’t believe there are 5 or 6 million British Catholics. There may be 5 or 6 million who have been baptized but if the church wants to claim them as Catholics, then they have to claim Hitler as a Catholic.

At the very least, Hitler believed in a personified providence. He often spoke of it and it was, presumably, the same providence that was invoked by the Cardinal Archbishop of Munich in 1939 when Hitler escaped assassination and the Cardinal ordered a special te deum in Munich Cathedral, quote, “to thank divine providence, in the name of the archdiocese, that The Furor, fortunately, escaped.”

I’m going to read a speech made in Munich, the heart of Catholic Bavaria, in 1922, and I leave you, as a guess, who’s speech it is . . .

. . . “My feeling, as a Christian, points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once, in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them. And who God’s truth was greatest, not as a sufferer, but as a fighter. In boundless love, as a Christian and as a man, I read through the passage which tells how the Lord, at last, rose in his might and seized the scourge(?) to drive out of the temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after 2000 years, with deepest emotion, I recognize more profoundly than ever before that it was for this that he had to shed his blood upon the cross.”

That was one of numerous speeches by Adolf Hitler and passages in Mein Kampf, where Adolf Hitler invoked his own Roman Catholic Christianity. No wonder he received such warm support from within the Catholic hierarchy of Germany.

Even if Hitler had been an atheist, as Stalin surely was, how dare Ratzinger suggest that atheism has any connection whatsoever with their horrific deeds . . . any more than Hitler’s or Stalin’s nonbelief in leprechauns or unicorns . . . any more than their sporting a mustache, along with Franco and Saddam Hussein. There is no logical pathway from atheism to wickedness unless, that is, you are steeped in the vile obscenity at the heart of Catholic theology. I refer to the doctrine of original sin. These people believe – and they teach this to tiny children – at the same time that they teach them the terrifying forces of hell – that every baby is born in sin. That would be Adam’s sin, by the way: Adam, who they themselves now admit never actually existed.

Original sin means that, from the moment we are born, we are wicked, corrupt, damned; unless we believe in their God or unless we fall for the carrot of heaven and the stick of hell. That, ladies and gentleman, is the disgusting theory that leads them to presume that it was godlessness that made Hitler and Stalin the monsters that they were. We are all monsters unless redeemed by Jesus. What a revolting, depraved, inhuman theory to base your life on!

Joseph Ratzinger is an enemy of humanity. He’s an enemy of children whose bodies he’s allowed to be raped and whose minds he has encouraged to be infected with guilt. It’s embarrassingly clear that the church is less concerned with saving children’s bodies from rapists than from saving priestly souls from hell: and most concerned with saving the long-term reputation of the church itself. He’s the enemy of gay people: bestowing on them the sort of bigotry his church used to reserve for Jews before 1962. He’s an enemy of women; barring them from the priesthood, as if a penis were an essential tool for pastoral duties. He’s an enemy of truth; promoting bare-faced lies about condoms not protecting against AIDS, especially in Africa. He’s an enemy of the poorest people on the planet, condemning them to inflated families that they can not feed and so keeping them in the bondage of perpetual poverty. A poverty which sits ill beside the obscene wealth of the Vatican. He’s an enemy of science; obstructing vital stem-cell research on grounds not of true morality but of pre-scientific superstition. Ratzinger is even an enemy of the Queen’s own church. Arrogantly dissing Anglican orders as quote, “Absolutely null and utterly void” – while, at the same time, shameless trying to poach Anglican vicars to shore up his own pitifully declining priesthood.

Finally, perhaps of most personal concern to me, Ratzinger is an enemy of education. Quite apart from the lifelong psychological damage caused by the guilt and fear that has made Catholic education infamous throughout the world, he and his church foster the educationally malicious doctrine that evidence is a less reliable basis for belief than faith, tradition, revelation and authority . . . HIS authority.

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