Religion Must Not Be Mocked, Says Pope

pope francisWho’d have thought that nice, avuncular old Pope Francis, of all people, would invoke the mini-skirt defence for violent abuse?

Apparently, if I’m understanding him correctly, Francis thinks that people who mock religion can expect violence, with the obvious corollary that the Charlie Hebdo victims were responsible for their own murders by provoking the passions of extremist Muslims.

In much the same way, one imagines, that women in skimpy clothes are responsible for provoking the passions of rapists, or, as Polly Toynbee observed in the Guardian, the same way mouthy wives are responsible for beatings by abusive husbands.

Religion, it seems, must be given a special place above mockery or lampooning, no matter how ludicrous its teachings, though the Pope didn’t specify which particular religions he had in mind.  He didn’t say it was wrong to wind up the Satanists.  Nor did he refer to the nutty Joseph Smith and his bonkers invention, Mormonism.  He was silent on Scientology and dumb on dharma.  He said nothing about Voodoo nor Wicca nor Druidry, but I think we get his meaning all the same.

Stay silent on the Big Five, the OPEC of obedience, and we’ll be all right.   Nobody dies.  Step away from the crozier.

Oddly enough, Judaism isn’t one of the Big Five, but I’m guessing he thinks Abraham is a good enough connection.  In fact, being a Pope, I suppose he’s hoping the Muslims and the Jews will eventually see the light and abandon their irrational superstitions in favour of his irrational superstitions.

In a bizarre illustration of his position, Pope Francis explained that if his good friend, Dr Gasparri, says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch.  It’s normal, he said. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.

So there you have it.  You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others, no matter how absurd that faith might happen to be.  If you do, you can expect violence.  And what is faith?  The blind acceptance of absurd propositions despite the complete absence of supporting evidence.  That’s what the Pope thinks we can’t ridicule, on pain of being murdered by people with a blind faith in absurd propositions without supporting evidence.  Otherwise known as extremists.

Most people in this country would agree that Scientology is ridiculous.   Ron Hubbard’s religious money-machine teaches that an alien lives inside your head and that the more expensive courses you attend, the closer you’ll get to releasing your inner alien.

But many of those same people see absolutely nothing ridiculous with the central teaching of Catholicism, which is that a dead man can turn into a biscuit.

I rest my case.




16 replies on “Religion Must Not Be Mocked, Says Pope”


I am glad that you left some leeway with your comment “…….if I am understanding him correctly” as this presupposes that you have misunderstood him to a degree although I am more inclined to think however, that you prefer to DISUNDERSTAND him.

When he said that people who mock religion can expect violence I think it is clear that he only includes the context of those beliefs that actively preach violence and fanaticism of which Islam is principal in this day and age.

In my example over on the Charlie Hedbo thread, I compared the situation to antagonizing dangerous dogs for fun and you just can’t do that because it is obvious that the dogs will maul you, possibly to death if you do. If you beat a bees’ or wasps’ nest with a stick just for fun as Charlie Hedbo did, then you can expect the insects to swarm on you and maybe kill you if there is enough of them.
COMMON SENSE dictates that you just don’t provoke these things and THAT is what the Pope is getting at. Do you honestly think that he would support hit squads to commit atrocities in the name of Christianity?

Unlike most other religions, Islam seems to actively preach violence and fanatical conduct as articles of faith and when it comes to religious fanatics, it does seem to have more than its fair share compared to others.

If I say any more someone will surly accuse me of my own brand of hate rhetoric.

( I coined the word “disunderstand” myself. Will your very learned contributor Michael, (Bishop of Galway thread) give me more than grade “D” for imagination? Can’t wait to hear what Artemis thinks of it though).

There’s no doubt about it, religion has been the source of most of our woes since humanity began to walk upright.
You have to admit though, if you want to commit an atrocity or two, then there’s nothing like religion as a valid excuse.
Jesus Wept!


Well, I am glad to see that you have left a bit of leeway in your remark “……..if I am understanding him correctly” which presupposes that you may be misunderstanding him when he says that people who mock religion can expect violence although I think that you prefer to DISUNDERSTAND him and twist the meaning. What he means is that you cannot fool around with armed religious fanatics who think that the end justifies the means. Such persons are very dangerous and you have to respect them as such —- ARMED AND DANGEROUS.

Over on the Charlie Hedbo thread I think that I spelt it out more brutally in terms that were hardly politically or socially acceptable but which were forceful, although predictably, some people seemed to think that I was being unsympathetic.

The reality is that you cannot joke around with dangerous dogs if they have immediate access to you. If you do, they will turn upon you and maul you, possibly to death.
If you beat a hive of wasps or bees with a stick for fun as Charlie Hedbo symbolically did they will swarm on you and might even kill you if there is enough of them. It stands to reason.
COMMON SENSE dictates that we are living in circumstances that simply will not accommodate this. I think that is really what the Pope is getting at.

iap337, please have bit of patience. And also, as I think I asked you before, please stop shouting.

You used to speak for your deity and now you speak for the Pope. That’s impressive.


there’s a big difference between dangerous dogs and bees’ or wasps’ nest and human beings!


My apologies. I will use italics in future for emphasis. The first comment knocked back so I re-wrote it not realizing that it had in fact arrived. I think I mentioned this glitch before to you where comments were lost even though they were not blocked. One other unusual snag I noticed was that my post is now no.1 in the dialogue even though Heedy Moral’s post was first before I sent.

Unusual for me to speak for the Pope? I have done so at least twice before and I have also defended Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop McQuaid and the Bishop of Galway(could I ever forget that one!).

The reason why I came here is to correct the impression that you have created that the Pope is issuing some kind of veiled warning to steer off “his territory” as it were. Of course this is not so, but making fun — now note, ridiculing —- not to be equated with honest criticizing — is fueling a fire in people who earnestly value their religious convictions
To fathom this, note that most mainstream religions can demonstrate a collection of martyrs, people who have actually laid down their own lives for what they believe. So, it stands to reason that beliefs that preach violence and Holy War will react in the manner that we have just seen in Paris. Religious beliefs are very serious.

The words of Jesus ring somewhat here and although He was essentially addressing Christians, the meaning could be extended: “Behold the days are coming when whoever would kill you will do so and think that he does God service”.

Terry Prune,
Thank you for your suggestion of starting with myself.
If ever indeed I am called upon to lay my own life down for Christ, may God give me the strength.

This is the first time you have actually spoken on behalf of the Pope by stating what he meant.

Is this simply what you personally believe he meant, or did you gain special access to him?

Are we to burn all copies of the Life of Brian then?

Seems to me, the problem with these religious fanatics and extremists, is that their whole identity is entrenched in their beliefs, that when you mock their beliefs you are mocking them.. and they don’t have much of a sense of humour either.

You’d see some of those clerics on France 24 talking about the latest Charlie Hebdo cover, saying how it’s so terrible, but to try and ignore it.
Talk about a selfish attitude.. considering the events.

“Down with that sort of thing”

What made the Fr. Ted sitcom so popular, was it the Catholic Church…
No… it was people with a sense of humor…
RTE and co. didn’t go near it at the time… it was C4 comedy flagship…
Did any Catholic get hurt in the making of that show…
When I say hurt I mean… pride.. self religious belief…

ALL those who deem themselves (of whatever religion) need to arrive in the 21st century..
and stop living the the past of a story from 2000 years ago and from a book (manual) that’s 1600 years old.
Where was the laws to protect me, when I was going to school.. from the aggression teaching of a church that I just wasn’t into.. where was my rights to defend myself from an onslaught of Catholic teachings that was rammed down my neck by evil witches and warlocks dressed in black…and not forgetting the Popes special unit of SS (christian brothers)


This is actually the third time that I have defended the Pope’s utterance. The two previous occasions were: “Pope opposes legalization of drugs” where it seems you were profoundly embarrassed (although you did put an impotent answer on “Is beer fattening?”) and then “Bishop of Galway still hung up on gay grant” (Comments 6, 12 and 100).

Special access to the Pope —- me ?? With the liberties that you take with his statements, I thought that it would be you who had a hot line to him!

I think that you are reading too much gossip.

Seems to me you guys are diverging from the essential point – the Pope, I believe, (no golden access to him), is trying to foster an attitude of mutual respect in order to move on from these murderous atrocities (ie Charlie Hebbo events cited above). He is trying to bring some order, normality to an out of hand situation. Trying to foster dialogue, respect and reclaim the middle ground where we can talk, laugh and joke about these things within the context of respect for all groups, bodies, religions etc. That much is obvious thus rendering some of the above comments cack-eyed (with respect). Past injustices perpetrated by same said Pope’s Church notwithstanding – doesn’t mean he’s not talking sense now.

Urbi et Orbi

Now y’all know why the Holy See never elected a Jesuit as head banana before. It’s obvious that the person currently occupying the throne of St Peter is a Glasgow Rangers-supporting, transsexual communist, going forward.

You’d imagine that with Islamic State, who Roy Keane, judging by the cut of the sinister beard on him, has inked a three-year contract for, crucifying, beheading, ethnically cleansing, enslaving and raping tens of thousands of Christians in the Levant, that the Pope would have better things to be pontif-icating about, genocide, let’s say.

He could address why Islamic State may, in relation to creating facts on the ground, be inspired by the speech from Nazi officer Amon Goeth in Schindler’s List before the liquidation of Krakow.

He said: “Today is history and you are part of it. Six hundred years ago, when elsewhere they were footing the blame for the Black Death, Casimir the Great – so called – told the Jews they could come to Krakow. They came. They trundled their belongings into the city. They settled. They took hold. They prospered in business, science, education, the arts. With nothing they came and with nothing they flourished. For six centuries there has been a Jewish Krakow. By this evening those six centuries will be a rumour. They never happened. Today is history.”

The Christians of the Levant are becoming a rumour, while the pontifex maximus shamefully backs a death cult against cartoonists.

I say bring back our beloved Benedict XVI, the last true Emperor of the Eternal City.

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