Dear Pope Francis

Howdy, Pardners…

“One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith.” – Pope Francis, January 2015

Even though he is a Christian, I’ve kind of liked Pope Francis. He seems to be a religious leader who is more interested in humanity than in power, wealth, and politics. This is an unusual stance for any Christian, let alone the head of the Catholic Church. So I’ve given him a waiver of sorts.

See what I did there? I provoked, insulted, and made fun of faith. I did so because I have the right to do so. What the Pope is saying is that I do not have that right. He peed in my sandbox.

But this is what happens when religious leaders see another religion get slammed on an institutional or cultural level. They stop fighting, provoking, insulting, and making fun of each other, because they rightly see that if one religion can be taken down, all religions can be taken down. The Pope, being an intelligent man, sees this as a fundamental truth. If protecting and defending Islam is necessary to protect religion in general, he will do it… without hesitation.

&&&&&

So I have a deeply held religious conviction that the planet Jupiter is populated by thousands of invisible unicorns who keep a close watch on the evolution of mankind on earth.

Is that silly? No, it’s not, because the burden of proof is on you to prove me 100% wrong. If you can’t do that, then you have to accept my religious conviction as valid and worthy of tolerance. It doesn’t matter that the term “deeply held religious conviction” is indefinable and immeasurable. Here in America, that single phrase can allow you to not obey laws that go against your deeply held religious conviction. Yes, a different set of laws for religious folks. And since corporations are now legally people, corporations can also ask for legal exemptions based on their deeply held religious convictions. And if I register my deeply held religious convictions as a religion, I don’t have to pay taxes. Does it get any better than that?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about here, might I suggest that you read the news a bit more. Christian Sharia isn’t coming in the future… it’s already here.

So just stand back and take a look at what I’ve been talking about during the previous three paragraphs. If you stand far enough away, you’ll see the absurdity. Except it’s not absurdity. It is reality, and now we have Pope Francis telling us that this conversation cannot be had.

Fuck you, Frank.

It’s all absurd, and it all deserves to be provoked, insulted, and made fun of. If you want to sit on the couch, wearing a tinfoil hat and watching a video loop of the JFK assassination, I will tolerate your doing so. But please don’t expect me to take you seriously, and please do expect me to make fun of you. You are being seriously funny.

Unfortunately, there are too many people in the world with no sense of humor, and many of them have guns and bombs. This is the logical outcome (historically and currently) of religion. So, how’s that tolerance thing working for you?

Have a day.

Riley

primum vivere, deinde philosophari.

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