I grew up in the Catholic faith, went to a Catholic high school, was an altar server (altar boy to those of you born during World War II) and was deeply disturbed by the sight of men wearing skirts. My friend Ali had a similar upbringing growing up In Pakistan and he, also, was bothered by the idea of men wearing skirts The misgivings are similar but Ali is Muslim. Our religions have more similarities than differences but it's the last two percentage points of differences that make me wonder.
First the similarities: Both religions originated in the sands of what became known as the Middle East. Anything, man, beast or idea that grows up around 110 degree heat is bound to have idiosyncrasies, bordering on big-time neuroses. Those of you who grew up around the equator in this hemisphere would find 110 degrees uncomfortable. Wisconsin cheese farmers would think they were being boiled in a soup pot (see New Guinea for further information on the soup pot or click on www.newguinea.mansoup.com .) That kind of temperature over the span of thirty years would make me ponder swapping it out for a three month water boarding course on a tropical paradise.
Both religions have huge followings and where there are huge followings there are large collection plates. These large collection plates collect large amounts of tithes and offerings, all of it tax free in most countries. Were these guys offering stock you wouldn't be able to afford it, particularly now that most of your investments have denestegged. Dictionary Nazis rest assured. If denestegged ain't in your dictionary you should get yourself a new edition.
Both religions have shown that women wearing tall skirts and veils have a higher purpose in life. They are dedicated to the premise that no woman appearing in public should be enticing to men, an easily enticed demographic. And I can see how many of you would support that, although a small minority in mostly southern states in this country insist that if it's a cousin, it's fair game. I can't support that in the interest of public health. Things are already bad in the south. Any endorsement of the cousin theory on a wide scale would further dumb down a teetering population.
Much like the cold war, both religions dwarf all other customers and are first and second in numbers of followers. In another twenty years Europe will be Muslim. The balance of power is about to shift as Muslims worldwide will outnumber catholics in the next few years. Students of history will recall the ensuing me-lee when the balance of power shifted near the end of the cold war. The Catholics in America are aware of this and have begun to take steps to ensure that they don't do a Soviet in the face of the Muslim juggernaut
The tip of the spear will be tightening of rules regarding condoms. In another few months the Pope shall announce the elevation of condom use from a mortal sin to full-blown AIDS. In other words, any Catholic using a condom with the aide of a spouse of the opposite sex will have committed an “All In Deep Shit” sin, usually reserved for wife swapping and group sex. Full-blown All in Deep Shit sin is really a veiled attempt by the Vatican to raise the population of the faithful as quickly as possible.
Soon to follow will be a lobbying effort against immigration reform, the likes of which you have never seen. The Catholic Bishops of America shall have adopted the stance that no immigration reform is good immigration reform, going so far as to launch a googlemaps mashup at www.gapsinthefence.com . As much as I am opposed to a porous border as the next man the alternative is sobering enough to bear comparison to the end of détente as we knew it. As I said before, things are bad here in the South. Large sub-populations of the cousin syndrome abound and give rise to insane laws, such that prohibit you from buying beer on a Sunday. But if the alternative lies in prohibiting you from drinking beer on the Sabbath in public at say, a baseball game, you can vent your feelings at www.wirecuttersfund.giv.