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On February 11th, Joseph Ratzinger (a man I affectionately like to call Joey The Rat) announced that at the end of this month, he plans to abdicate his position as Pope Benedict XVI and presumably live out the rest of his life in a nunnery or something. This immediately caused billions of people all over the world to scream omgwtf in relative unison and all kinds of conspiracy theories are now flying about. My personal favorite is that Disney has presented him with the opportunity to play Emperor Palpatine in the remake of the Star Wars Saga. At the very least, I’m sure Oprah’s gonna wanna have a word with him on international TV.

Some people think Joey is flying the coop cuz of some soon-to-be-discovered horrible terrible secret skeletons in the Vatican’s closets that would trump child molestation, covering up child molestation, money laundering, The Courtyard Of The Gentiles which was a total clusterfuck, spreading hate to gays, spreading lies about condom usage and by proxy diseases in 3rd world countries, and at the risk of Godwinning this paragraph, an occasional dalliance as a young man with the nazi party.

I’m not comparing Joey to Adolph. I mean I could, but I don’t wanna. For example, I bet Adolph woulda at least given gay people condoms. Hitler wasn’t completely heartless. However, I just don’t know enough to compare Adolph to Joey, and I prefer not to talk about Adolph at all if I can possibly help it, cuz I prefer to avoid the Godwin Law, so let’s pretend Joey never was a nazi as a child. Even ignoring that, Joey is still a big jerk, and he’s still a complete and utter failure at being infallible.

If you follow the evidence, that means the gaggle of cardinals that picked Joey out of a big floppy hat of candidate names eight years ago is also an utter failure at being infallible. This means the alleged Divine Providence which other human beings pretend big failures in floppy hats in the catholic church have was also a complete and utter failure.

Some people have commented that while not unprecedented, a pope has not voluntarily waived his rights to the throne of papacy since the 1400s. Most of the time, when a pope becomes pope he remains that way until his dying breath. Why is that? Cuz usually the guy playing pope at least pretends to believe he was chosen by Divine Providence, and to second guess that is to second guess their Abrahamic One True God thing.

This puts the entire concept of Christianity, if not Abrahamics, into a tailspin. If people who believed in this claptrap actually connected the dots, they would have no choice but to stop believing. God told those cardinals that Joey was their man. Joey tried the gig for eight years, and now he’s tired, and let’s be honest he hasn’t done anything right since he started. The church was in bad shape when he got it, and catholicism is losing people by the droves today. Joey blames this of course on everything but him. Gays. Atheists. Haiti. No wait, that was Pat Robertson. So hard to keep these bastards straight.

Awhile back, Joey the Rat started tweeting. Naturally, some atheists are now taking credit for the Pope becoming an ex-Pope cuz we kept tweeting @Pontifex all kinds of nasty stuff. We were like those assholes in Sodom and Gomorrah making fun of the angels just before God smited everybody and Lot’s Wife. I’m sure my hellfire and brimstone’s gonna kick in any day now, until then I’ll just keep blogging. Here’s a couple things the Pope tweeted a couple months ago, back when he announced 2013 was going to be The Year of Faith.

Back on December 21st of last year, Joey (or his web wrangling handlers) commented, “When you deny God, you deny human dignity. Whoever defends God is defending the human person.” and then, “We do not possess the truth, the truth possesses us. Christ, who is the truth, takes us by the hand.” By his own words, which being a Pope’s words are supposedly infallible, we can prove the nonexistence of his god. By abdicating his throne, Pope Benedict XVI is denying the Abrahamic god. He is claiming to know better than his own god what’s best not only for himself, but for his god, for his church, and every single catholic believer alive today, that has ever lived, and ever will live. By giving up, he’s saying he knows better. He is denying the dignity of his title, and the humanity that put him there.

If the god in question was all knowing and all powerful and so forth, then Joey being Pope would have been the right decision. All the decisions every Pope has ever made would have been perfect choices, cuz they’re all according to sacred dogma, infallible.

Obviously, they are not. Also obviously, since this happened back in the 1400s to another pope, we’ve all known this since way back then, but nobody gives a shit. Everybody knows none of this Abrahamic crap is real. It’s why you need blind faith. It’s why you have to believe in it despite a lack of evidence. It’s not real.

But if you are pretending something, you want to believe in it even after you know it’s not real. Like when kids run around playing cops and robbers or cowboys and indians or whatever kids play on playgrounds nowadays. When I was a kid, I knew I wasn’t really a cop or a cowboy. I just pretended cuz the other guys were pretending and we had a lot of fun running around shooting at each other with our fingers. Times were simpler back then. Nowadays we get online and use real virtual guns and shoot real virtual bullets in a digitized landscape covered in real virtual blood. Okay none of it’s real. We pretend it’s not pixels on a screen, cuz it’s fun.

But then we leave the virtual playground. We turn off the computers and we realize that computer wasn’t running on magic. It runs on electricity. The transistors and memory cards and motherboards and web cameras all operate using physical laws of science, not commandments in ancient abrahamic texts. We cook pigs and cut them up not to sacrifice to some god in the sky, but to put bacon on our cheeseburgers. There’s fiction and there’s reality and in practical ways we all know the difference.

Some people choose to continue to perpetuate traditional bullshit even though we’ve long since grown out of it, cuz we think it grants us some kind of security or something, and it doesn’t. Some child molesters found a safe haven in the catholic church, and perpetuated their monstrous behavior for decades. Some might argue centuries. People like Joey the Rat let it happen; enabled the behavior, or at the very least ‘turned the other cheek’ and a blind eye to unspeakable horror.

Perhaps that’s cuz, deep down, Believers wanted to believe in the horror, so long as it was serving us (good) and not them (evil).

We let this happen. Each and every one of us, because we allowed ourselves (or we allow and enable others) to believe in men like Joe Ratzinger without or in spite of evidence. We pretend they can be and are above evil, even after it has been repeatedly proven they are not and can’t be above evil. We pretend they could be trusted without verification. We had no evidence this was true. We took them at their word. Why? Cuz we believed in a god who was divine, or pretend to believe in people who believe in divinity, and we pretended this divine god had our best interests at heart and would never let us down or allow harm to befall us. Meanwhile, harm continued to befall us all the time and we just turned the other cheek and a blind eye to the unspeakable horrors that, if you believe, a monstrous all powerful god was perpetuating at our expense, all in the name of some mysterious unspoken plan.

And February’s a short month, but it ain’t over yet. At the last minute Joey could change his mind and we learn this was all some kind of attention getting measure to perpetuate his myth about this being the year of faith. IF Joey the Rat leaves when he says, a group of old men in silly dresses and funny hats will lock themselves behind closed doors and decide upon a replacement. They will claim their god told them who to pick, but we all know it’s just a bunch of guys that other guys pretend are closer to their god making political wheeling and dealing decisions for personal selfish gain.

They will probably pick an old white man in his mid to late sixties. This man will probably be of a conservative bent, but there will be talk that he’s more liberal than some other possible choices. He will continue to tow the conservative agenda of the Vatican, because the one thing belief fears more than anything is change.

Millions if not billions of people will continue to cling to these absurd and disproved belief systems. Cuz too many people don’t want to connect the dots. They have too much invested in being willfully ignorant, or maybe they make too much money and power by pretending to believe and secretly being charlatans. At this point it’s impossible to tell the willfully ignorant and the cunning charlatans apart. They are practically one in the same. Even the ignorant are actively fooling themselves, so in a way they are all con artists.

Some things will change, but nothing will really change. The catholic church is simply too powerful. Too many people want it to maintain its power. Not enough want to live with the actual truth.

Cuz the truth is none of us are going to any kind of heaven when we die. Atheism simply doesn’t have a convincing spiel to compete with the great lie.