rat-zingerThe former Joseph Ratzinger - Pope Benedict XVI - now claims that atheism is responsible for the destruction of the environment. In a speech at the Vatican on Wednesday, wearing his nice dress and funny hat, Ratzinger asked his spellbound audience:

Is it not true that inconsiderate use of creation begins where God is marginalized or also where his existence is denied? If the human creature's relationship with the Creator weakens, matter is reduced to egoistic possession, man becomes the "final authority," and the objective of existence is reduced to a feverish race to possess the most possible.

In answer to your question: No, Joe, it is not true. You are deluded, in this as in so much of what you think and say. To atheists - I am one - God is so "marginalized" that he's off the page altogether. As for being the "final authority," our species is exactly that, at least on this planet, since we've not found any other species that's as smart or powerful. And though you may see an objective in "possess[ing] the most possible," a remarkable proportion of us both-feet-on-the-ground folks see compassion, caring, and consideration, as appropriate goals. Groveling and begging for favors that won't be granted by a ghost in the sky, are actions alien to us.

Terry Sanderson, President of the UK National Secular Society, commented:

This is rich, coming from the leader of an organization that has plundered the world to enrich itself. As he sits in his golden palaces, surrounded by unimaginable luxury and material wealth, he lectures the rest of us about restraint and greed. We have nothing to learn about environmentalism from this hypocrite.

Amen. Hallelujah. Whatever.