The End of Days The three great monotheistic religions--Judaism, Islam, and Roman Catholicism--face grave crises and some of their faithful fear these religions will not last another century. The death of monotheism, originally regarded as a triumph of civilization and the sword, has been predicted many times before. However, these religions have never been under such scrutiny. The theologies of the Big Three were crafted at a simpler time. This is especially true for the Catholic Church. Recently a man and woman, as part of a radio stunt, were caught having sex near the Virgin altar in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. A spokesman for Cardinal Egan said, “While the act was demonstrably obscene, the real sin was there existed no inclination to conceive.” After Letterman and company had a round of jokes about “immaculate conception,” the spokesman added, ‘These people have defiled the Holies and committed a grave sin.” But the damage was done. Given its palsied response to the outcry over child molestations by priests, the Church has lost much of its moral authority. Even Pope John Paul, universally loved and respected, is criticized for an incessant evangelizing, most recently in Mexico. There he canonized an indigenous person, Juan Diego, who might or might not have existed. That didn’t seem to matter. Even some of the Mexican clergy were critical of this rush to sainthood, a process that is usually quite slow and orderly. The local press suggested the Pope might have been more interested in shoring up Catholicism’s flank against the rapid rise of evangelical Christians that in adhering to historical niceties. This politicization of the canonical process should come as no surprise. In Latin America the Church has always made virtue out of necessity. To quicken the original forced conversion of indigenous people the Church destroyed all the local temples, building Catholic churches on top of the ruins from the original stone. Over time the Brown Goddess became the Virgin of Guadeloupe. A recent survey suggests there is a robust “gay underground” among the priesthood in America. By some estimates 30% of the Catholic Clergy is gay. In fact some seminaries openly recruit gays posting advertisements such as, “He has His Eye on You,” in gay bars, bathhouses, and leather factories. Another ad promises opportunities “To Be All You Can Be With Other Young Men.” Still another challenges young gay men to give up the promiscuous lifestyle and “Get High on Serving Other Young Men.” The National Council of Catholic Bishops have flatly denounced these statistics and renounced the rogue elements within the church that would distort Her message. “The Holy Rollers,” a gay religious advocacy group, dismisses the Council’s remarks, claiming that the “Church knows full well its future is allied to the gay population but must make xenophobic remarks for national consumption. We realize this and can’t take the Council seriously because a number of members are closet gays. We are not concerned about this chest-thumping. We are quietly pushing for the next Pope to be a gay American, though we recognize the power is still in the hands of the Italian Church. But that will change.” When the New York Post asked an Islamic scholar and an Orthodox rabbi what should be done to the Cathedral fornicators, they suggest the pair should be stoned and castrated, in no particular order. “Imagine something like this happening in Mecca,” the scholar asked? “These people would be torn limb from limb, then torn again.” The Orthodox rabbi predicted a similar fate if the pair had fornicated by the Wailing Wall. A Catholic priest from Monclair, New Jersey said the “two fornicators should be forgiven and ordered into therapy.” When told of the priest’s response, scholar and rabbi laughed, saying that is precisely what is wrong with the Catholic Church. In their opinion the Church is too soft, feeble, and forgiving. Islam and Judaism did not like the Crusades, but they appreciated the Pope’s ability to field armies. Polytheism, the worship of many material gods, is creeping back into Catholicism and a once muscular church is strutting around in high heels. Such criticism is not lost on the Vatican which understands, given the frailty of the Pope, there will soon be a war for the heart and soul of Catholicism. Church officials think they can learn something from Judaism and Islam. They are especially interested in learning how to apply the tenets of religion literally, because the symbolism of the Mass, Trinity, and Incarnation don’t seems to be working anymore. People, after all respond to fear. Everyone believes in heaven but very few believe in hell. So Islam and Judaism have much to offer the Catholic Church. They can show it how to bring a rigid orthodoxy back into monotheistic ranks with emphasis an “eye for an eye justice” and amputation for the very least infraction. The Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes should give way to the righteous anger of Jehovah and conversion by the sword, as practiced by the Prophet. The Vatican theorizes that there might be less religious tension if the Church adhered more to the tenets of the Old Testament and the Koran than to the New Testament. The Incarnation would be rolled back and offered to the faithful a few hundred years from now when false idols have been destroyed and civilization has recovered from its narcissism. Vatican insiders recognize that, after the death of Pope John Paul, the institution will have to make a decision, as a white papers suggests, “between a continued sub rosa, pro forma gayification of the Church or a return to our muscular roots when the Church was recognized more for its power than its piety. The Church needs a Holy Father who can do more than speak ex catherdra on matters of faith and morals. The Holy Mother Church needs a Father who can project power into the pagan marketplace. If to accomplish the goal the Church must align itself with Islam and Judaism, so be it. We must keep in mind, with our Jewish and Muslim brothers, that much of the world still waits for conversion. India is rife with polytheism and China is in denial. We have our work to do.” A conference entitled “Monthotheism: the Only Way” will be held in Rome in December. Priests convicted or accused of child molestation are not invited.
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