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Rise up Catholics! Rise up and behave like morons!

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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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 Monday, 01 May 2006
Monday, 01 May 2006 08:31:05 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) ( )

Apparently the Vatican has riot-envy. They looked out at the world and noticed that when Muslims riot over cartoons it generates a lot of press. Not favorable press, but as the old saying goes, any press is good press. Marketing, marketing, marketing!

So, in an effort to cash in on the free publicity of world-wide protests, marches in the streets and clashes with the police (not to mention the occasional torching of a KFC) the Vatican is encouraging Catholics to boycott a movie:

A Vatican official on Friday called for a boycott of the upcoming 
"The Da Vinci Code" film, saying it contained "slanderous" offenses
against Christianity would provoke a worldwide revolt had they
been directed against Islam or the Holocaust...

OK, so technically they are merely calling for a boycott. But put in this context, it is very clear that they are obliquely also suggesting that the Catholics could (and maybe should) rise up like their Muslim counterparts and have a good old-fashioned riot in the streets. What better way to remind the world that Catholicism remains a vibrant religion. After all, no one doubts that Islam is alive and well (Hmm, "well" might not be the right word here. Terribly, horribly sick and gone wrong might be more appropriate... Anyway...).

Now if you are like me, and you have a hobby of visiting cathedrals and basilicas any time you go to a new city, you know darn well that the Catholic church used to be incredibly vibrant. I mean really - those buildings (even the relatively small ones) are among the best works of art and architecture in the world. They rock! There's no substitute for walking into the Sacre Coeur, where there's been continual worship for an incredibly long time (I want to say 100 years, but I don't recall exactly).

But the only major cathedral under construction in the world (or so I've been told) is the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. It is absolutely stunning, but it is just one project. How can this one awesome project compete with the press generated by Muslims burning their towns, their cars and their KFCs?

Catholics, I hate to say it, but the Vatican is probably right. You need to make your presence known - so get out there and riot damn it!

Or you could be rational and realize that this is a move based on a book, which is a work of fiction. You know, stories that are told to enterain and titillate, not to shape the past or future of mankind... So ultimately the choice lies with the individual Catholics of the world. Join the (radical) Muslims in embarassing protests against essentially nothing, or get with the modern world and differentiate between entertainment and reality.

Because here in reality real people are dying in real wars justified by not-so-real WMDs. Here in reality goverments are pressuring other governments into corners where there's no way to escape with honor, and thus virtually ensuring nuclear proliferation and a less safe future. Here in reality laws are being passed to restrict personal freedoms and to extend the concept of "terrorism" into areas that by all rights are the realm of civil law. But here in reality it turns out that anything labeled as "terrorism" allows the government to bypass the Bill of Rights, and to potentially treat even citizens in ways that directly violate the Constitution.

Yup, it seems to me that here in reality there are a lot of very serious and real issues to deal with. So I fully understand if the Catholics would prefer to boycott or even riot over some trivial, fictional, story. Far easier than actually dealing with reality itself...

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