The problem I'm having here is that the Vatican is attempting to prescribe the disease and then provide the cure, in a place where clearly not everyone is convinced the disease exists in the first place.
This tirade uses godless in the same manner that Anne Coulter does; it's talking down to, it's making you look odd man out, making you look guilty. But perhaps much of the godless masses, to paraphrase the late George Carlin, doesn't give a frack.
Nothing that I have seen or heard during my 40+ years on the planet have convinced me that societies definitely need religion. World history and progress on the whole has been ball-gagged and gang-raped by religion more than any other social force on the planet. History proves that too much religion is certainly a bad thing, but there's no evidence the opposite is true as well.
The pope's very tone is adversarial and elitist; it happens to be an opinion
that lack of religion is causing nations to 'lose their identity' or are harmful or destructive. Harmful and destructive? Losing their identity? Put the full weight of a theocracy on a nation...talk about pot calling kettle black.
What some call loss of identity others might refer to societies finally getting out from under the yoke of ideological tyranny, or at the very least, a little more breathing space.
It's come up time and again in recent years that large portions of Europe has been moving off from religion, IMHO they are to be applauded for it. I have to ask what this is really about...a society's loss of identity, or an establishment’s loss of the control and influence it's enjoyed for centuries.
Not attending a church, mosque, or temple doesn't make you a bad person, and nor does finally figuring out that you don't need
organized religion in your life.
I think some societies and nations are just growing up finally to some degree. It's like that kid up the street that you knew from high school that always had awesome weed to sell...at some point you got older and realized it just doesn't pack the kind of buzz you need now, and you leave him far behind.http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081005/ap_on_re_eu/eu_vatican_godless_society
ROME - Pope Benedict XVI warned Sunday that modern culture is pushing God out of people's lives, causing nations once rich in religious faith to lose their identities.
Benedict celebrated a Mass in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls to open a worldwide meeting of bishops on the relevance of the Bible for contemporary Catholics.
"Today, nations once rich in faith and vocations are losing their own identity, under the harmful and destructive influence of a certain modern culture," said Benedict, who has been pushing for religion to be given more room in society.
The meeting of 253 bishops, known as a synod of bishops, will run from Monday through Oct. 26. The Vatican said that despite Benedict's efforts to improve relations with Communist China, no bishops have come from the mainland, although there are prelates from Macau and Hong Kong.
"Surely they tried, I mean the Holy See tried but obviously they could not make agreement," Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen told AP Television News as he entered the basilica.
"Maybe the Holy See welcomes someone that they (the Chinese) would not allow," he said, adding that China might try to send a bishop who is not acceptable to the Holy See.
Chinese bishops have not been allowed to travel to similar meetings in the past.
Ties between the Vatican and China's communist government have long been strained. Beijing objects to the Vatican's tradition of having the pope name his own bishops, calling it interference in China.
China appoints bishops for the state-sanctioned Catholic church. In recent years, some of those bishops have received the Vatican's tacit approval.
Still, many of the country's estimated 12 million Catholics worship in congregations outside the state-approved church with bishops loyal to the pope.
A document prepared for the meeting rejects a fundamentalist approach to the Bible and said a key challenge was to clarify for the faithful the relationship of scripture to science. A rabbi will address the conference on Monday in what is believed to be the first time a Jew has participated in such a meeting.