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I’m not a big fan of any institutionalized form of religion, and I’m certainly not a fan of the Catholic pope. So every year at Easter I notice with an ever so small annoyance how even some of my preferred German news portals spend time reporting about how long or for how many stations the pope carried the cross. Personally, I find it more interesting that the flowers for the decoration of the Saint Peter’s Square are donated by Dutch florists. [The florists themselves are actually not very Christian, but it is simply excellent advertisement when the pope thanks the Dutch florists during his address which is broad-casted to hundreds of millions of people.] I’m also partly conciliated by the fact that there was still more media attention (at least in Germany) given to the pope’s anti-semitic reintroduction of an ancient form of the “Good Friday Prayer for the Jews“. Here’s a small excerpt from this prayer:

“Let us also pray for the Jews: That our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men.

Anyways, these are just the usual doings of the pope, clearly aimed at a better understanding and mutual respect between the religions. This together with his constant effort in the struggle against HIV, and his efforts in the struggle against homophobia are some of the reasons why I respect and admire him so much. All of this I’ve long gotten used to.

What really bothered me during this Easter was another conspiracy, which did not have its roots at the Vatican. It was a conspiracy of all the public swimming pools in and around Lausanne to close over the Easter holidays. I was really, really in the mood to go swimming but I found myself locked out at four different pools.

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… that’s a phrase that the Tagesschau online used in an article about Al Gore (and the UN) winning the Nobel peace prize.

I still find it hard to believe that he was beaten by George W. Bush.

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