Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Well, that is, as long as you agree with us.

Geldof condemned over Pope 'invite'

Campaigners have penned an open letter to Bob Geldof in protest at his decision to invite the Pope to support Live 8.

The National Secular Society (NSS) is pointing to the Vatican's refusal to condone the use of condoms, saying it has helped spread HIV in Africa.

The society, which campaigns for religion to be taken out of public life, says it will create a counter-campaign of protest against any decision by Pope Benedict XVI to get involved. NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood said Geldof should not have written to the Pope about attending the Hyde Park event.

He said: "Inviting the Pope to Live 8 would be a slap in the face for all those currently working to stem the spread of Aids in Africa.

"Aids is destroying lives, communities and, ultimately, will destroy whole nations for generations to come unless greater efforts are made to check it.

"To invite the Pope, who has supported and reinforced this inhumane policy, to an event aimed at combating poverty through protest, verges on an obscenity. The invitation must be withdrawn immediately."

At the launch of Live 8, singer Sir Elton John raised his concerns about the invitation, saying: "When you take into consideration their (the Catholic Church's) views of contraception, and how this affects the spread of Aids... it adds to the general poverty of this region, doesn't it?"

The event in London's Hyde Park - featuring Madonna, Robbie Williams and Paul McCartney - will draw attention to poverty and debt in the developing world.

Five free concerts will take place simultaneously in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome and Philadelphia on July 2.

This is so pathetically revealing on so many levels that I simply do not know where to start. Personally, I have a lot of respect for Bob Geldof. I think that he is an enormously sincere individual who is doing whatever he can to relieve some of the world's suffering. His actions are commendable and, over the years, his motives have clearly shown to be pure. So many of these entertainment types "talk the talk" in the form of mindless babble and wearing pointless ribbons of various colors. Geldof is "walking the walk" by actually doing something.

Are Geldof's carping, sanctimonious critics aware of the Catholic Church's very, very long history of missionary hospitals in Africa as well as every other backwater hellhole on earth? Are these vacuous bobble-heads aware of the countless Catholic missionaries that have been slaughtered for no reason other than that they sought to provide some comfort and healing to those who are victims of some of the most evil regimes in history? Is the empty-headed chattering class aware of the schools that have been built in these areas to provide education to those who would otherwise remain ignorant?

Obviously, in the eyes of The National Secular Society, all of the good that the Catholic Church has done (assuming that they are aware of it, and that's a big assumption considering their pompous ignorance) is negated by The Church's tradition of mixing healing the sick, clothing the naked and feeding the hungry with (gasp!) religion.

To his credit, Geldof obviously understands that the solution to problems as immense as those that face Africa requires seeking common ground with those who have the same ends, though details of their solutions may differ.

Once again, his vociferous critics have clearly illustrated that political correctness is simply facism by another name.

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