Oil and the Almighty

Brian Jones
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Some religious leaders should to read up on the travails of BP, and how its supposedly frugal decision to save a few million dollars on the Deepwater Horizon’s drill column ultimately led to the company having to shell out $20 billion — so far — to reimburse people whose livelihoods have been hurt by the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

That ongoing catastrophe was no accident or mistake. It resulted from a conscious decision that was stupid, unreasonable, irresponsible and dangerous.

It is also a fine example of how one small, bad decision can lead to a small problem, which leads to a bigger problem, which escalates into an uncontrollable problem.

If there are any deep thinkers in the Vatican or among the ayatollahs in Iran, they might examine the BP dilemma and say, “Uh-oh.”

Oil industry greed and stupidity over the past couple of months has led to worldwide questions about offshore drilling rules.

Similarly, recent religious stupidity has given the Almighty some pretty bad press, and probably prompted a soulful re-examination among at least some of the faithful.

Atheists, on the other hand, can cite two more instances to say, “I told you so.”

For truly, can there be a deity if His representatives/leaders on Earth are such idiots?


Altar access

At the Vatican, Roman Catholic leaders last week issued a directive to clergy to: (a) don’t abuse children; and (b) don’t ordain women. Apparently, in the minds and hearts of the robed ones, these moral transgressions are on par with each other.

Any casual observer can see the harm in abusing children. It’s obvious and self-apparent, even without the dictates of the law.

But seeing the harm in ordaining women is more of a challenge, requiring high ecclesiastical training, a 16th-century mindset or a hateful soul, or two of the three.

Vatican leaders are still banging their heads against the wall, trying to knock out the creeping realization that their priests and bishops are not above the law.

While they’re at it, they might want to try to grasp the idea that, this being the 21st century, many people — even Catholics — accept the notion that men and women have equal abilities and rights.

There are women who are surgeons, astronauts, prime ministers, etc. There are even women who are priests — just not Catholic ones. It’s as if Vatican leaders sit down for a meeting and say, “What can we do today to make ourselves even more irrelevant?”


Courting cruelty

In Iran, a woman named Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was recently sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

Say what you want about the ayatollahs, but they make the Vatican look positively modern and enlightened.

Ashtiani’s execution was temporarily postponed after an online petition garnered tens of thousands of signatures. Mind you, her sentence wasn’t commuted. The ayatollahs might hang her instead of having her stoned.

For readers in the civilized world, media reports instructively described how people sentenced to be stoned are buried up to their shoulders and, with only their head and neck protruding, are pelted with fist-sized stones until they are dead.

And here we thought religion is about love and peace.

Aside from trying to wrap your head around the incredible cruelty of the act, you have to wonder whether Iran’s ayatollahs have access to dictionaries.

According to some reports, the condemned woman is a widow. How exactly does a widow commit adultery?

In Newfoundland terms, if Buddy croaks and, after the wake, the Missus goes for a romp in the twine loft, is it adultery? No. A bit hurried, maybe.

If there were divine justice in this world, Iran’s ayatollahs and the Vatican would be held in as much contempt as BP executives rightly are.



Brian Jones is a desk editor at The Telegram. He can be reached by e-mail at bjones@thetelegram.com.

Organizations: BP, The Telegram

Geographic location: Vatican, Iran, Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Abdul Saieed
    July 23, 2010 - 11:51

    I find your equating the violence practiced by the Iranian state with the tenants of Islam to be both ignorant and insulting. Would you be as quick to equate the violence practiced against the Palestinians by the Israeli State to be characteristic of Judaism?

  • Dave Dave
    July 23, 2010 - 10:36

    if we had more people like you in the world that speak up and tell it like it is,the world wouls be a better place for all to live