Pope calls the internet “a gift from God,” implying that Al Gore is God

January 25, 2014 • 8:51 am

As soon as Francis became Pope and started doing all the humble stuff like wearing regular shoes and living in a small apartment—and making statements that maybe gays and atheists weren’t going to hell after all—there were two reactions. The first was that of atheist bloggers, who immediately pointed out that the man had a record of opposing homosexuality and abortion, and that his humility was just public relations. The other was that of “faitheists,” who saw the new Pope as their BFF.  My reaction is intermediate: the guy did compile a bad record in Argentina, but I think his desire to help the poor and to avoid the trappings of luxury is sincere. That said, he’s still the head of the most retrograde and repressive of major non-Islamic faiths, and he’s not going to change the tenets of his Church. So I largely ignore him.

Sometimes it’s hard, though, because although the guy is highly educated (he has a degree in philosophy as well as having gone to Pope School), he tends to produce bromides and feel-good but meaningless verbiage, as you can see on his Twi**er feed at Pontifex. Here’s the latest utterances of His Holiness:

Picture 1
Pretty boring, eh? I think he screwed up with the earliest tw**t, because non-Catholics can easily construe another meaning for “children robbed of their childhood.” Otherwise, the Pope’s tw**ts are devoid of substance, but I guess that’s to be expected.

The Pope’s latest bromide was his statement this week about the Internet. As the Independent reports:

Boosting his credentials as a moderniser, Pope Francis has called the internet a “gift from God” in a statement released on Thursday.

In a message on Catholic Church communications, the pontiff wrote of the pros and cons of the digital age, and its implications for Catholics when interacting with people from different faiths and backgrounds.

While praising the internet for the “immense possibilities” it offers to encounter people from different backgrounds, he also warned that the obsessive desire to stay connected can actually isolate people from their friends and family.

“This is something truly good, a gift from God,” he wrote. But he warned: “The desire for digital connectivity can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbours, from those closest to us.”

He said communications in the digital era had the potential to be like “a balm which relieves pain and a fine wine which gladdens hearts.”

Well, that says pretty much nothing. It’s like saying that cheese is good, but if you eat too much you could get gas. At any rate, I’m just going to ignore Francis unless he effects some real and substantial reform in his Church, and I don’t see that happening.

And, as the person who sent me this news item noted, it’s just dumb to say that God had anything do with the Internet. The exact words were, “One day the Church is going to claim credit for gay marriage.”

In the meantime, Stephen Colbert, who I believe is a Catholic, tw**ted himself about the Pope’s new “credentials as a moderniser”:

Colbert on Pope

70 thoughts on “Pope calls the internet “a gift from God,” implying that Al Gore is God

    1. Excellent point of info. We who were involved in the early IETF standards may not have seen Cerf and Postol as deities, but they were stellar.

  1. Sigh. I really wish god would stop taking credit for the work of humans. God seems to like wars, so you’d think he’d at least give a shout out to the fine folks at ARPANET. What’s next, god taking credit for laser eye surgery and Dysan fans (you know, the ones that have no blades that are so cool!)? Maybe he’ll lay claim to dances like ballet and the cha cha cha. If he wants twerking, he can have it!

        1. That’s a good point.

          Religion tries to take the credit for philosophy and science.

          Philosophy tries to take the credit for science and religion.

          Science doesn’t give a shit about philosophy nor religion, and just wants you to show your work before it’ll give you any credit.

          I think a certain empiricist might have something relevant to sing about the question.



      1. Funny, I was looking at the fan when I wrote it too. It’s even written in all small letters like e.e. cummings: “dyson”. 😀

    1. I own a Dyson vacuum cleaner. It’s nice.

      That writ, I think his marketing is kind of ridiculous, viz. that fan. Talk about textbook problem-invention. The advantage of his fan is the absence of all the violent “buffeting” one suffers while in front of conventional fans.

      I need that fan! You should see my black-and-blue marks!

      1. I have his vacuum & his fan. I sweat like crazy even with central air in my home office during the summer. I suspect because I have two outside walls and I have a lot of computer stuff going on with older LCDs that let off some heat. So, I got the fan because it is less noisy than a conventional one & fits nicely on my desk. 🙂

            1. To hear him tell it.

              (Just to be perfectly clear, Dyson is not referring to the danger the blades themselves might pose, but to the “buffeting” (his word) one endures as the individual blades each generate a separate gust of wind which you can detect and is annoying. At something approaching 2000rpm. Yeah, right.)

  2. Here are the tweets he DIDN’T produce:

    . Pedophilia is unacceptable and church cover ups are even worse.

    . Using condoms save lives, especially in African countries.

    . Misogyny is something the church should eliminate.

    . The wealth of the Vatican is obscene. We will sell it all and use the money to feed and clothe the less fortunate around the globe.

    1. Yes, exactly. What we get is trite little no-brainers like “war is bad” that could be written by a beauty queen wannabe preparing for her world peace question round at the contest.

      What pisses me off more is that the typical reaction from people (even atheists) is “What a wonderful man he is, so humane, so kind! What a leader!”.

      What their reaction should be is: “No shit, Sherlock. How long did it take you to come to this epiphany, because the rest of the world figured it out centuries ago.”

        1. Except with different shoes. Don’t forget the shoes. Very important, them. Symbolic wossname. Metaphor.

      1. It’s the contrast with the last jackass that does it. He may be nothing special by regular human standards, but by Pope standards he seems far above average.

    1. It should be mentioned that your link goes to Tim Minchin – The Pope Song. This whole post has put a dimple on a certain cheek of mine. Because, it is really quite nice to live in a world where we can openly take the piss out of a Pope or two without being burned or tortured, as we would have if they were still in control.

  3. “Wars shatter so many lives. I think especially of children robbed of their childhood.”
    Cross out “wars” and insert “Catholic priests.”

    1. No. The pornography industry is demand-driven, so we must thank the free market and the porn consumers in the Bible Belt.

  4. Some of his tw**ts are very weird. I’m going to try to make sense of these:

    “Like Mary, we nurture the light born within us at Christmas. May we carry it everywhere in our daily lives” That is a strange thing for a human male to say. Wasn’t Mary, according to some versions of Christian mythology, giving birth at Christmas? Maybe this is a what some people call “food-babies,” when you’ve eaten to much and get lumpy and bloated. We end up carrying that food on our hips during my daily life.

    “We are called to live our baptism everyday, as new creatures, clothed in Christ.” This is a reference to having a shower after you wake-up, then having toast crumbs (some Catholics can turn bread into Jesus with some magic spells) on your shirt.

    1. I think those not familiar with the Slashdot of an earlier age aren’t likely to get the reference. Suffice it that, if you wish to see that which cannot be unseen, then investigate “goatse.”

      But you might wish to start with text-only links.



      1. There are a bunch of pictures of people’s faces as they see goatse for the first time. It’s pretty funny.

      2. …and a word to the wise: you may wish to STAY with text-only links. Like this one. And even then, it gets rude very quickly. In my defense, because of my past work in a sexually transmitted disease clinic, and lack of contra-causal free will in all matters, I had no choice butt to make that comment.

  5. The main pleasure (well, only pleasure actually) I get from this pope is the discomfort he causes for the right-wing-Jesus freaks who are so prevalent in my neck of the woods.

    1. That was going to be my comment. I don’t think that I ever did, even when I was a theist, I think that I knew from an early age that praying for something wouldn’t work.

      I recall seeing somewhere on the internet, a piece of blurb from the Bible saying that if you prayed for something God would provide it. You scrolled down and there was a picture of a little girl kneeling by her bed in classic say your prayers pose. She had a speech bubble with the words “So where’s my fucking pony then?”

  6. Yes, Colbert is a Catholic. He has his delusion and I have mine: the belief that someone as sharp and witty as he is could not and would not be a believer of any stripe. Oh well.

  7. Well the internet sure has been a boon for us atheists, allowing us to connect with one another more easily. It’s not like we have scarlet A’s tattooed on our foreheads – nor do we have horns – to allow us to identify one another. Thanks, God!

  8. When engineers invent the Internet, it’s a gift from the god. When a tsunami kills thousands of people, it means God is mysterious.

  9. Thank you God for the Internet. Now I can get my daily porn fix without having to spend a fortune on Penthouse and Hustler and risk the disapproving stares of the shop assistants…

    (I suppose nobody’s told the Pope that, to a first approximation, all the traffic on the Intertoobs is pr0n….)

  10. Why does god take so long with his gifts?
    Surely one with 00 credentials (omniscient and omnipotent) could have handed us:
    a better pelvis
    cake hole separate from breathing hole
    sewer remote from playground
    reliable software
    reasonable spinal design
    etc etc etc
    I think Fleming got it right!
    “00” is a licence to kill
    He/She/It is bloody good at that.

    “the defence claims nonexistence as their excuse”

  11. Initially I was determined not to jump aboard the for-he’s-a-jolly-good-fellow bandwagon which started to roll with undue haste, it seemed to me. However, there’s no question that he has now said some things to sorely trouble the hardcore medievalists who’ve been running the show. Which is refreshing if nothing else.

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