Belief Beat

Belief Beat

Pope’s UK Visit Forbids Booze, Pets, Musical Instruments; Susan Boyle to Perform

(Updated to add vuvuzela ban.)

Pope Benedict will embark on the first official papal visit to England and Scotland in a few weeks, and organizers have released a list of what is allowed and not allowed at the large-scale gatherings in London and Birmingham.

The Guardian, the BBC, the Associated Press and Reuters report the list forbids candles,  alcohol, barbecues, pets, musical instruments — including vuvuzelas – and bulky hampers, because such items could “pose a threat to others.” Folding chairs, cushions, banners and flags are OK, however.

Other updates about the Sept. 16 to 19 visit: Catholic News Agency reports that Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle will perform for the pope during his visit.

With Christopher Hitchens ailing, presumably the atheist-proposed plan to try to arrest the pontiff during the visit, for “international crimes against humanity” related to the Catholic Church’s clergy sex abuse crisis, has been aborted. But Reuters reports that various protests are expected, “including by secularists critical of the trip’s cost, gay rights groups and those angry at the child-abuse scandal which has spread throughout the Roman Catholic church globally.”

Check back for more updates and share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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Comments read comments(17)
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posted August 23, 2010 at 1:45 pm

It would be good if he were brought to trial. Perhaps we’d learn a lot more about what has, or perhaps has not been covered up. But I doubt the UK has the cojones to do the right thing.

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Your Name

posted August 23, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Please cover this important story in your blog.
Troops: Skipping Christian concert got us punished
By STEVE SZKOTAK, Associated Press Writer
Associated Press August 20, 2010 06:53 PM Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Friday, August 20, 2010
U.S. Soldiers Punished for Not Attending Christian Concert
Chris Rodda Senior Research Director, Military Religious Freedom Foundation; author, “Liars For Jesus”
Posted: August 19, 2010 04:50 PM
Army Anti-Discrimination Officials Pressured Soldiers Not to File Discrimination Complaints
Monday 23 August 2010 by: Matthew Harwood, t r u t h o u t | Report

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posted August 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm

YN you are right, that is a very important story!

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Nicole Neroulias

posted August 23, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Check back tomorrow for more on that story — until then, please use this Comments section to discuss the current blog post.

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Nicole Neroulias

posted August 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I’ve just blogged about the Christian concert issue, so comment on that story here:
Otherwise, use this Comments section to discuss the upcoming papal visit to England and Scotland.

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posted August 23, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Guess “tail gating” is out?!

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posted August 23, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Why would a musical instrument harm someone? Unless it was a tuba, or something so large people might run into it. Folding chairs could be used as a weapon, but maybe it’s a good idea, it could also protect you. I wouldn’t think of bringing my pet, he might get hurt. Will the Pope be enclosed in a protective box? If the Pope sings maybe he could do a duet with Susan Boyle. ;)

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Atypical Atheist

posted August 23, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Hey, I realize I may be atypical, but I am, and have been for decades, a person who doesn’t believe in any supernatural beings of any kind myself. But, unlike many atheists, I am not “the missionary type”. In fact I have nothing but contempt for “missionary atheists”, and view benign religious belief as being as harmless, and in fact as beneficial, as I view a belief in Santa Claus for children.
There is no harm in others believing in and worshiping a supernatural higher power, as it is no skin off my nose what anyone else believes. And the benign Judeo-Christian family of faiths is not mired in murderous practices, as is Islam. And it therefore is, IMHO, a socially stabilizing benefit to society. That it isn’t something I think I personally need in my OWN life, doesn’t make me want to destroy or demean it for others. I’m not a member of the Shriners either, or the Masons, but I don’t go around causing them grief! I wonder if the militant atheists ever show consistency enough by going around trying to ruin Christmas for young children by cruelly telling them that Santa doesn’t exist?? Probably not–but then they don’t secretly fear Santa either! Which is why I think “militant missionary atheists” are all lying hypocrites, and have contempt for them. They “doth protest overmuch, methinks.” LOL. I think they do what they do, not because they think there is no God, but because secretly they fear there just might be! I can see a person being a “missionary” for some concept they believe in, but to be a missionary for non-belief in something, particularly something benign, is ludicrous! It’s a pointless waste of time–unless one fears one is wrong!
Anyway, all that to say this: while I don’t personally like this Pope as much as I did the previous one, I do like that he sticks to his guns, and support him traveling wherever he pleases, to heck with any and all protesters! And his choice of Susan Boyle shows he has great taste in singers.
Now I have a little nit to pick, please bear with me folks. While, as a lifelong non-drinker myself, I applaud his ban on alcohol, what could he possibly have against barbecue?? Being from Germany, I think he’s just not tried the right kind yet-lol. If he comes to America, hopefully someone who knows their way around a grill will show His Holiness that “great barbecue” is next to “cleanliness”, which puts it number three after “Godliness” IMO.
Anyway, what does he think God did on the seventh day while He rested–just lie in bed?? Noooo–that would be “sloth”, a BAD sin!! He’d already created beef and wood by that time, my guess is He probably went out on Heavens patio and put some of it to good use! Probably about two in the afternoon on the seventh day, if I don’t miss my guess. The Pope should really reconsider this theological point-lol.
The Pope should be reminded that “barbecue”, in some form or another, is the oldest form of cookery. Which means that Adam did it–which ought to mean something to the Pope, since he has made many a point of the fact that he is a traditionalist.
Now, logically, if barbecue goes all the way back that far, it means that God probably ordained it for Adam and Eve. In fact clothing probably had about as much to do with protection from spitting sparks as it did with modesty. Which means He supports it at the very least, and probably has done it a few times Himself out on His Heavenly Deck. Which means the Pope could be letting himself in for a world of hurt if he disrespects the original Master Barbecuer! I’m serious! This could be bad for England! If the Pope comes out to make a speech and a plague of charcoal briquettes descends with a crack of thunder from the sky, followed by the Thames being turned into a river of barbecue sauce, he will be VERY sorry. Someone should tell him this, before it is too late! That is all I have to say.
Atypical Atheist

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Robert C

posted August 24, 2010 at 12:28 am

Peter Henshall

posted August 24, 2010 at 3:47 am

Barbecues are dangerous but Catholic priests are more so.
How about some Popeburger served with priest fries.

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posted August 24, 2010 at 11:12 am

Wouldn’t it be quite a kick if during the visit Quenn Elizabeth converts to Catholicism and thus abdicates? Sovereign of the U.K. can be a Muslim, Buddist, atheists,etc. but not a Catholic!

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posted August 24, 2010 at 11:43 am

What do you have against tubas? In over 35 years I have never had an accident with my horn. Except for cartoons, I have never known a tuba player to be involved in any horn-related incident. Trombonists are clumsier and drummers leave their sticks all over the place. Al ill-played sax could harm your smaller organs and clarinetists simply don’t care. Trumpeters and violinists think the pope should come to them. Don’t even talk about bagpipers (the queen’s may be looking for a gig)and no one ever asks about accordianists.
What I want to know is will there be an angelic chorus of vuvuzelas greeting the Pope at Heathrow? No one could mistake them for musical instruments.
So b16’s not bringing along the Popemobile for a Holy tailgate party? Too bad. But can someone bring along a svelte hamper they can balance dextrously?
No wine for the sacrament? Or is this like a corking fee – you have to use theirs or pay a premium up front?
I guess no one can bring their pet platypus along, so I will leave mine at home too – if I were going – which I am not – but if I were, the platypus would be staying home – with my tuba, grill, bulky hamper, cooler of beer, and other hazzards. I think it is all to b16’s loss.

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posted August 24, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Jestrfyl, and Atypical Atheist, So funny! The news better show us what this shindig looks like after this! Did you see the UK woman on MSN, dumping “Lola” the cat in a personal trash container as she walked along their sidewalk, after petting it! It stayed there for 15 hrs. before the owner traced his meowing to it. Hope she is caught before the Pope arrives!

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Nicole Neroulias

posted August 24, 2010 at 12:58 pm

It’s official: the ban on musical instruments includes vuvuzelas!

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macon pets

posted August 24, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Good those noisy things need to be banned.

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Seven Star Hand

posted August 28, 2010 at 10:04 am

If you really want to end the Vatican’s lies and help the people they have duped and oppressed, then take a little time to grasp the truth about the core lies they use to gain and keep wealth and power. To help others, by exposing the Vatican’s most important deceptions, requires that you start talking about me.
Peace and Wisdom,

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Steve 'the alternative news' Guy

posted September 10, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Given the antagonism about costs to the taxpayer, is a collection allowed at these events for contributions to policing, etc.?
We worked out what it really costs…

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