Jeffrey Tayler of The Atlantic offered more of his anti-theist – and especially, anti-Catholic – vitriol in a Sunday item for the left-wing Salon. Tayler likened God to Don Corleone of The Godfather, and then spent most of his column ranting about how Pope Francis is akin to the fictional Mafia boss. The atheist claimed that "Don Corleone could only have dreamed of committing crimes on the scale on which the Vatican operates," and contended that "the Pope stands firmly on the side of medievalism."
Tayler launched his item, "The Catholic Church's mafioso fantasies: Why the Pope really isn't so different from 'The Godfather,'" with his comparison of God to the movie mobster: "Can it be a mere coincidence that God figures in the first part of the moniker of the most celebrated (fictional) Mafia boss in history, Don Vito Corleone? Certainly not. The similarities between the two are just too striking. A fearful despot with a well-known penchant for ordering the use of violence against his subjects, of whom he demands absolute loyalty, love and obedience — well, that certainly describes both Don Corleone and the Lord Almighty."
The Atlantic contributing editor continued that "most importantly, both are made up, though at least the former has real-life counterparts....consider how often we think of the seemingly benevolent, if rather insipid, noun 'godfather' without recalling that it denotes the performance of a superstitious ritual enacted by priests on defenseless babies." He then unleashed a volley against the Catholic Church:
...[T]he Catholic clergy has a lengthy, established record of depraved child sexual abuse; that the Vatican has long employed, aided, abetted and sheltered child-raping priests; and that the Vatican has also been implicated in Holocaust profiteering, Mafia-linked bank scandals, money-laundering schemes, and monk-perpetrated financial scams. Don Corleone could only have dreamed of committing crimes on the scale on which the Vatican operates. He claimed territory (at least fictitiously) in a borough in New York. The Holy See has the whole world as its domain — and for real.
Tayler then spent several paragraphs playing up the funeral of a "purported Mafia boss — Vittorio Casamonica, who allegedly headed the Casamonica clan operating in the city [Rome, Italy] — and did so in a style of which Francis Ford Coppola would have been proud." After summarizing the circumstances of the funeral (where "the 'Godfather' theme song piped in through loudspeakers, and a helicopter hovering above, dispensing red rose petals...[a] funeral procession, headed by an ornate, horse-drawn hearse bearing his coffin, made its way through the streets of the capital"), the editor underlined that "our attention should focus on Reverend Don Giancarlo Manieri, the parish priest who authorized the funeral and officiated at it. 'Would I do the funeral of Vittorio Casamonica all over again? Probably yes,' said the reverend, absolutely unrepentant."
The Salon writer also lamented how "none" of the media coverage of the funeral "drew the obvious comparison between God and criminal underlords. Nor did anyone, to my knowledge, mention that the Catholic Code of Canon Law does indeed permit priests to bow out and refuse funerals, if the deceased is a 'manifest sinner.' His conclusion about the incident: the members of the Mafia "deep down...know that if you strip the Pope of his frock and beanie, he is just another run-of-the-mill mortal, his minatory pronouncements void of any enforcement mechanism. Quite possibly, they also understand that the Lord and His 'Judgment Day' are nothing but bugbear fantasies that priests fob off on the gullible to scare them into submission."
Tayler vomited up a final attack on Pope Francis near the end of his article:
...[I]sn't Pope Francis a figure to be admired? Isn't he "modernizing" the Church? Is he not progressive, or at least more so than his predecessors? This is what the media have been telling us. After all, he rails against capitalism, talks of helping the poor...and even shows some tolerance toward gays....
No. Though even some Catholic priests themselves link celibacy to their enduring penchant to molest children, and despite well-founded reports that he planned to abolish the sacerdotal celibacy requirement, the Pope has not done so. He is not about to ordain women as priests. No matter how many millions of Catholics die in Africa of AIDS, he is not changing the Church's anti-contraceptive policy....By opposing family planning, he thereby condemns much of his "flock" to perpetual misery...And just after France suffered the Charlie Hebdo massacre at the hands of Islamist terrorists last January, the Pope came out strongly, even pugilistically, against freedom of expression as far as religion goes.
The record shows it: The Pope stands firmly on the side of medievalism, and proudly carries on the destructive, sexist, anti-child, anti-free-speech policies of his predecessors. In view of his pig-headed, doctrinaire rigidity in continuing policies that ruin millions of lives, his acceptance of the Big Bang and evolution seems like a footnote – and a repetitive one.
The Atlantic editor finally called on the pontiff to "set a salutary example for us all. Doff the beanie, ditch the frock, and fess up to what you know to be true: There is no God, there was almost surely no Jesus, and if there was, he was not the son of a deity, but a primate like yourself and the rest of us....Once you've come clean, we nonbelievers would welcome you to sane, civilized society with open arms. Unlike our wrathful father who art not in heaven, we are a forgiving, reasonable bunch."
Of course, as Tayler decries how the Pope and the Church supposedly bring "ruin" to the masses, he glosses over how his fellow atheists actually don't have a history of being a "forgiving, reasonable bunch." One would only need to look at the tens of millions butchered at the hands of atheist despots like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and the Kim family of North Korea.