Pope On A Rope

Conor Collins
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Pope Benedict
With the recent retirement of the Pope (that man with the pointy hat and the glitter dress who kneels for the man in the clouds) it forced me to ponder if there is a place for the Vatican in this modern world. Over the years I have learnt to be sceptical of all beliefs, pseudo-sciences and anything ending in ism. It fascinates me how someone will believe one thing but entirely disregard another dependant on their belief. Tell a person that the Pope magically removed a nun’s Parkinson’s and they will believe you, tell them not to touch my paintings as they are still wet, and they will have to touch them when I am out of the room to be sure.

Having spent much of my youth in a Catholic school I was brought up with a few key ideas permeating each day. God loves you, but he’s going to send you to hell to burn forever, and sex is bad, nasty, sinful and awful and you should save it for the one you love and marry. Catholicism seems fundamentally fearful that someone somewhere might be enjoying themselves. Having thankfully moved on from that place I have learnt that there are really only 3 statements in life you should never believe:

  1. I’ll get you the money tomorrow
  2. I’m on grindr just because I’m bored
  3. No I won’t cum on your face.

The idea of the Christian God has always made me uncomfortable. As I was only in Sunday school for less than 3 weeks running after being asked to leave for asking questions such as…

‘If God knows everything wouldn’t he make evil people knowing they would be evil?’

‘Doesn’t God flooding the planet and killing everyone make him a bit like Hitler?’

‘If we are all God’s children what is so special about Jesus?’

I wasn’t trying to be a smart arse I must say. I was genuinely confused. Religion made my outlook upon the world very black and white and I was constantly confused when I kept discovering the world was just many shades of grey. I didn’t go to the Church of England either on my walk towards atheism. The COE always seemed to be just an insurance policy someone takes out in case there actually is a God.

America’s religion however is a whole other ball game. General rule of thumb is that the more right wing the preacher the more they are fucking boys/children/cars. Only the other week a born again minister had to resign after pictures of him were put onto facebook of him sharing a hot tub with two rather toned men. He claimed it was just a ‘baptism gone horribly wrong’.

So all this does is beg the question ‘is there a place for the Pope?’ I mean, I unlike anyone else admire a man who is still able to tour without an album. However, on the other hand he is still the man who is profoundly against surrogate mothers, so it’s lucky he wasn’t around before Jesus was born or Mary would have been bloody well screwed.

But the worst thing is the Vatican and the Pope. A community that hides child rapists, nay even protects them. A community which under many a Pope’s leadership has caused millions of men, women and children, since its very foundation, to be burned, tortured, fined and imprisoned yet has still managed to not advance one inch towards uniformity. A community which claims that we should help the poor despite having a sickening net worth of somewhere between 10-15 Billion pounds. This is not just held in its paintings and its gold but also in investments in banking, insurance, chemicals, steel, construction and real estate all of which it does not pay taxes for. A group of people who suggest that a being who created the very universe and keeps the planet spinning will stop and give a flying fuck about you wearing a condom to not get pregnant or infected with a life threatening disease. A group of people who will not have sex (with the exception of raping is seems) but will go ahead and tell the world each one of us is having sex wrong. It is when one wonders when the Nazis saw their uniforms with skulls and cross bones on and began to wonder if they were the baddies, you would think these men laced in gold asking us to give money to the Church, in positions apparently outranking Jesus himself, that they would begin to wonder… are we the baddies?

It’s no wonder the symbols found to be carried so often by these holy men are the crook and the double cross.

About Conor Collins

Conor Collins is an expressionist painter, Opera singer, actor and former Southern England Irish Dance champion. He has recently completed his undergraduate at the Royal Northern College of Music and has had his art shortlisted for the Outside in National Art Prize as well as the Saatchi Showdown 2011 drawing prize. Follow @Conartworks