“Fundamentalism isn’t about religion. It’s about power.”
Throughout history churches have used many tricks to convince, impress, and get money from people. They have employed architects, artists and composers, who were able to create the impression of the church’s grandeur with overpowering edifices, music that can move one to tears, and paintings or sculptures created by the world’s best artisans. These things may be magnificent, yet they add nothing to the veracity of the Bible, or to validate the existence of God. Some of the world’s most fraudulent fiends own the best palaces and the most beautiful art collections.
Ever since the Middle Ages, the Vatican’s worldwide properties and other investments have surpassed the scale of nearly every other business in the world. Its finances are very complex. The money comes in from the world’s share markets, businesses, government taxes, thousands of Catholic dioceses, religious foundations, and fiduciaries linked to the papal state. The Vatican bank is not required to fill out a tax return. Some commentators estimate the liquid assets to be worth over 50 billion US dollars. There are also probably hundreds of billions of dollars hoarded away in real estate and works of art. That, in my opinion, is not excusable from an organization preaching charity and humility. (http://www.cai.org/bible-studies/vatican-billions, http://www.chick.com/reading/books/153/153_10.asp, http://www.excatholicsforchrist.com/articles.php?PageURL=finances.htm)
It’s a remarkable fact that much of the enormous wealth the Vatican owns today was originally obtained from taxpaying Italian and German citizens in the 1930’s and 40’s. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichskonkordat, http://historyannex.com/20th-century-Europe/Italy-1920s/lateran-accords.html). People in those days were often told how to vote by their priests. The Vatican got into bed with Mussolini and Hitler in deals that swapped cash for endorsement. This is one of the reasons the Vatican was loath to criticize Hitler. It’s been argued the Second World War may never have happened without the Vatican’s endorsement.
After the war the Vatican helped hundreds of key Nazis escape Germany in return for large cash payments.
Ever since the 1950’s, right up to present times, the Vatican bank has had to fight off accusations of money laundering and deals with shady characters such as from the Mafia. (http://www.voxfux.com/features/vaticanmurder.html).
Today’s Catholics should be aware of one activity that has rendered much money to the Vatican’s coffers: canonizing saints. Throughout history the grounds for beatification have often been theatrical. Kings, queens, the nobility, warlords and soldiers were sanctified as saints whenever it suited the Vatican. Ignacio de Loloya with his army of Jesuits, Dimingo de Guzman and his Dominican friars, and Jose M Escriva, who founded Opus Dei, each started societies that helped prevent Catholicism from floundering, and have been beatified for their efforts. The late Pope John Paul II was history’s greatest saint-maker; 484 new saints appeared during his papacy. All other popes in the twentieth century canonized a total of only ninety-eight. New saints keep the cash registers sizzling hot. Canonization means television rights, free advertising, visits to shrines, book sales, memento sales etc. People like saints, even if they don’t like their priests, bishops, or their pope, and are gullible enough to pay the Vatican for creating them. John Paul moved a step closer to becoming a saint himself in 2011 when his successor attributed a miracle to him and announced that he’ll be beatified. In centuries past, the Vatican made a fortune trafficking indulgences; today they are doing the same selling saints.
The true extent of the Vatican’s gravy train will one day be made public, Catholics will be shocked, and the greedy men at the center of one of the world’s longest-running scams will have nowhere to hide.
A Message to the Vatican
Mr Pope and colleagues,
you have the audacity to claim that your interpretation of the Bible is the answer to the world’s problems. Yet your ideas, your “truths,” are fossils; nothing more than remnants of a superstitious, credulous, bygone age.
You have no proof of what you claim to be your beliefs. Your book has been debunked and is immoral. You’ve supposedly been studying it your entire life, yet you claim to never question your faith. How can you NOT have seen the contradictions, fallacies, the immorality and other bullshit in the bible? I think you’re lying about your beliefs.
Any cursory study of the verbose bulls and encyclicals published in the name of popes over the last 800 years reveals that your organization hasn’t cared about anything other than its own power and prestige, yet you still pompously preach to people. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_papal_bulls, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encyclical – Important_papal_encyclicals).
You should keep your self-promoting, antiquated ideas private, and out of earshot of children, but you don’t. You use your intricate network to poison the world through schools and the media. Children and students need to be prepared for real life and to learn to think. They deserve good, reliable sources of information and a rational approach to problem solving. You take that away, so you can create clones who recite dogma without question, bow down to you, subsidize you, and turn to your imaginary god for help. That’s immoral.
How much longer will you pollute the world with your faith? When will too much money be enough? Are any of you ever going to become open-minded enough to be real, not pretend, humanists? I doubt you will, as the system you’re part of would destroy you first, as may have happened with Pope John Paul 1 (http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/15_JohnPaulI.pdf, http://www.prose-n-poetry.com/display_work/10583/).
Your evil regime has defied the odds by surviving so long, but your day of reckoning is coming. Millions of informed ex Catholics agree with me.
There are many obstacles to peace and happiness in today’s world, but homosexuality isn’t one of them, nor is pre-marital sex, contraception, feminism, atheism, science, modernism, not going to church or not praying to Jesus. One of the biggest problems out there… is, in fact, YOUR CHURCH!
What about Protestant Churches?
Many have become media-savvy, owning television and radio stations. They open their doors to everyone and greet people with smiles. They have live music and choreographed sermons from charismatic, energetic, confident preachers. They want the people to feel there is something vibrant and special going on, so there’s a manufactured buzz in the air. There is a lot of talk about Jesus, who is sold as a package that is the generic default solution to everyone’s search for meaning. That package contains some false and rather tired old ideas.
“Jesus loves you…”
“Jesus sacrificed himself for you…”
It’s not Jesus, but common sense, that has been sacrificed. Anyone familiar with Jesus’ real history knows these beliefs are utter nonsense. They are nothing more than part of an intricate scam to get people enrolled as financial members of the Jesus fan club.
Consumers often believe the spiel, particularly if they’re impressionable or vulnerable. They’ve usually heard much of it before throughout their childhood, commonly from their parents, so it has a familiar ring to it. If they buy the spiel, they gain immediate acceptance and an instant circle of friends. Their social life gets a shot in the arm, but there is a heavy price to be paid. They have less money in their pockets, and, more importantly, are bombarded with a raft of superstitious and prejudiced ideas that put their mental health at considerable risk.