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Vatican
  • Jon Stewart on The Vatican's Latest Sex Scandals

    On last night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart reported on a recently uncovered gay prostitution ring at The Vatican and allegations that Pope Benedict XVI covered up a molesting priest in Germany. Just when you start thinking the US Congress is the world's biggest den of closeted homosexuality and sexual abuse, the Catholic Church chimes in to remind us that they're The Yankees to Congress's Bad News Bears.



    The Daily Show airs Monday through Thursday at 11pm / 10c.


    Tags: Abortion, Catholic Church, Corruption, Jon Stewart, Patrick Kennedy, Pope Benedict XVI, Prostitution, Sex, The Daily Show, Vatican, Video
  • "Haggard's Law," Please Add It to Your Lexicon

    Last night, a friend and I were discussing the yawnful revelation that a conservative anti-gay legislator has amazingly somehow turned out to be gay — as well as the just-then-breaking news that Vatican blah blah blah gay sex scandal blah blah blah staggeringly extreme hypocrisy blah blah blah — and my friend dismissively waved it all off, muttering something about "Haggard's Law."

    Now, I'm not sure if my friend believes to have made up "Haggard's Law" or heard it someplace else, but I consulted The Oracle of the Internet, and it turns out it's been in existence kinda sorta since around the time the anti-gay conservative religious leader Ted Haggard was outed as the closeted meth-smoking hypocrite (and supposedly now straight advocate of praying away the gay) that he is.

    It is, in the best way that I can state it…

    Haggard's Law – The likelihood of a person harboring secret desires to engage in sexual and/or romantic activities with members of the same sex is directly proportional to the frequency and volume of said person's vocalized objections to homosexuality.

    Now, I have no idea why I had never heard this phrase until last night, nor do I know why this isn't more popular than it currently is. But I think that needs to change. I think this needs to be as common in Internet parlance as "Poe's Law," "Godwin's Law" and xkcd's 4chan's "Rule 34."

    From now on, every time somebody combs their hair and puts on a tie and makes himself look all nice so that he can go on television or stand in front of a congregation and loudly explain why one group of people do not deserve the same rights as everybody else because of their sexual orientation, the first thing that should go through all of our minds is "Haggard's Law."

    And then we should dismissively wave it off and go get another beer.

    Can we do this? Can we do this, please?

    Update: Whoops. My mistake. I mistakenly attributed Rule 34 to xkcd, when I should have attributed it to 4chan. I am a terrible, terrible person. (Thanks, LK, manmanpotty and Randall Munroe. (I suppose I'll take your word on it, I guess.))

    Update also: Thanks to jason and/or maxiplatypus for this: Haggard's Law has made it past the difficult academic review board, and is now included in Urban Dictionary.


    Tags: California, Catholic Church, Haggard's Law, LGBT, Roy Ashburn, Scandalgate, Ted Haggard, Vatican
  • Vatican City Welcomes You and Your 12-Year-Old Catamites

    How do you say "Fucking yuck!" in Catholic?

    Vatican State has its own criminal system based on the former Italian criminal code (called "Zanardelli Code", issued in 1889). Art 331 (1) of this code provides that the age of consent is set at 12 years old, but according to Art. 331 (2) when there is a relationship of dependence (like teacher/student/ etc.) the age of consent is 15 years.

    But, c'mon, let's not be so quick to protest! It's not like you can just have sex with any ol' not-even-teenage child in Vatican City. If he's your student (or, um, maybe your alter boy), you have to wait till he turns 15. That seems fair.

    Just make sure you don't use a condom, 'cause that's a sin.


    Tags: Catholic Church, Christianity, Sex, Vatican
  • The Pope, Like Everyone Else, Is Pissed About the Economy

    pope-walking-smToday Pope Benedict XVI released his third encyclical, which is Catholic for "trend piece," and this 144-pager is all about the sinful causes and ungodly effects of the current econopocalypse.

    In other words: Wall Street, drop and give me twenty Hail Marys

    In "Charity in Truth," Benedict denounced the profit-at-all-cost mentality of the globalized economy and lamented that greed had brought about the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

    "Profit is useful if it serves as a means toward an end," he wrote. "Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty."

    Of course, you're thinking to yourself, the Catholic Church itself is fantastically wealthy. Presumably it doesn't store its money under Pope Benedict's mattress, either, so is it possible that the Vatican's investments somehow contributed to the spread of the crisis? And the answer is no, because the Vatican has its very own bank, and this bank is not run by the same kinds of people who sliced and diced sketchy mortgage-backed assets…

    Last October, at the start of the meltdown, a top Vatican bank official issued assurances that its deposits were safe and had no liquidity problems, saying the bank had stayed away from derivatives, the financial instruments blamed for many of the steep loses in the meltdown.

    Other officials have said 80 percent of the Vatican's investments are in low-yield government bonds and 20 percent in stocks and that the Vatican follows an ethical code: no investments in companies that produce arms or contraceptives.

    Now that's some really admirable economic thinking.

    After all, nothing creates wealth and reduces poverty like making sure millions of women without health care have millions of babies they can't afford to feed.


    Tags: Christianity, Economy, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion, Vatican