We’ve been cheated, mistreated

You’ve got to hand it to his Holiness Rael. The French-born high priest of the Raelians has a knack for hitching his religion to big stars and using the flimsy connection as an excuse to knock Catholicism and almost anything else.

To be honest, we’ve made our share of Vatican and Pope jokes. But they’re in good taste, having stemmed from perceived slights in elementary school. That’s when the Catholic kids got out of class early on Wednesdays to go to catechism class, and the rest of us slobs had to stay put. We didn’t know what the catechism was, but we were savvy enough to know that if someone else had it we wanted it, too.

It didn’t help matters when the Catholic kids came to school with ashes on their foreheads and forced everyone else to eat soggy fish on Fridays.

But that’s neither here nor there. What matters is that Rael recently attached himself to Microsoft gazillionaire Bill Gates and singer Linda Ronstadt.

Last week, Rael named Gates an Honorary Priest in the Raelian religion. That honor and $1.35 will get you a small house coffee at Starbucks.

Gates was so honored because of the $3 billion he donated, a Rael spokesperson said, to “charitable trusts which are promoting greater equality in global health and learning.”

For Rael, it’s a quick leap from Gates’ philanthropy to the evil of Catholicism, which teaches that “money is bad” and should be “donated to the Vatican, which will only add this money from poor people to its outrageous wealth and use this money for converting more people to a religion which, among many other crimes, promotes AIDS by lying about the effectiveness of condoms, has always been against medical developments such as vaccines or surgery and was a supporter of slavery and money laundering.”

That’s quite a leap and a mouthful, but Rael — who believes humans were created through the cloning of a superior race of humanoid aliens — is up to the task.

He goes on to say Gates is a more of a saint than Mother Theresa, who used charitable donations to recruit the poor to evil Catholicism.

Earlier, Rael bestowed Honorary Priest status on Linda Ronstadt, the singer who gave us the gutsy version of “When Will I Be Loved.” Ronstadt’s shining moment, however, came when she praised Michael Moore, maker of the anti-Bush documentary, during a Las Vegas concert.

Rael used the controversial Ronstadt moment to launch a diatribe against the president, the Iraq war, WMDs, neglect of the Palestinian cause, Bush’s hypocrisy as a Christian and the practice of flossing your teeth.

Ronstadt must still be wondering when, in fact, she’ll be loved. For Rael, she was just another one-night stand.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Dispatch Tribune, USA
Aug. 4, 2004 Editorial

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday August 5, 2004.
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