Cardinal Harris: I renew my suggestion that we conduct these proceedings in Reformed Egyptian.
Pontiff Clinton: Cardinal Harris, please sit down and refrain yourself from further outbursts. Cardinal Hitchens, do you have any, um, medication that will help Cardinal Harris, um, rest?
Cardinal Hitchens: Certainly (hic) Your Worshipfulness (hic).
Layperson Maher: You aren’t giving him a vaccine are you—you know they don’t work and they cause shingles and they make me so mad and…
Cardinal Jerry: No, no, no—just something to help him sleep.
Layperson Maher: It’s not an antibiotic is it? Because if he has bugs in his system then they aren’t making him sick, they took advantage of him being sick and it does no good to kill those innocent bacteria. It’s only rational, after all poisonous snakes and mosquitoes don’t make a clear blue pond into a swamp, they come into a swamp and…
Pontiff Clinton: Mr. Maher, don’t worry, everything is fine. No antibiotics, I promise. Sigh. Now can we move on? Archbishop Zachery, are you prepared to introduce a canon for Our consideration?
Archbishop Zachery: Yes m’lord. I am prepared to present for Your consideration a single canon:
CANON I.-If any syndicated cartoonist or haberdasher saith on his blog or tweeteth in his tweet that the axioms of the New Atheists be not all good and true, let him be anathema.
Pontiff Clinton: Anathema? What’s up with that? What does that mean?
Archbishop Zachery: It means that I may mock him again and again on Holy Pharyngula.
Cardinal Harris: No, torture him!
Pontiff Clinton: Archbishop Zachery, my dear, dear friend. I worry it may be counterproductive to the cause for us to be seen arguing the sacraments with—mere cartoonists and haberdashers.
Archbishop Zachery (Leaning close to the Pontiff and whispering): You owe me Dick—do you know how many books I’ve hocked for you?
Pontiff Clinton: Ahem. Very well then. The Seat accepts Archbishop Zachery’s canon. So let it be written.
Cardinal Hitchens: Is it (hic) time for the banquet?
Pontiff Clinton: Not yet. I believe Cardinal Jerry will introduce some canons?
Cardinal Jerry: Yes, your Super Excellency. I have several. If it pleases the Seat I shall introduce them all at once.
Pontiff Clinton: Yes, that certainly pleases this Seat.
CANON II: Let it be known that number of ways of knowing something is but one. It is not two, and three is simply out of the question. Nay, there is but one path to knowledge, and that path is Science.
CANON III: Let it be known that Science and religion are Incompatible.
CANON IV: If any scientist, journalist, syndicated cartoonist or haberdasher saith with his lips, or saith on his blog, or tweeteth in his tweet, that Science and religion are compatible, let him be not just anathema, but fatheist anathema.
Cardinal Harris: No, torture him!
Pontiff Clinton: Cardinal Jerry, are you saying that we know Science and religion are Incompatible?
Cardinal Jerry: Yes m’lord. Of course m’lord.
Pontiff Clinton: And given CANON II it seems inescapable, does it not, that we know of this Great Incompatibility from Science?
Cardinal Jerry: Yes, that would seem to follow naturally.
Pontiff Clinton: If I recall correctly—though it’s been a while, I’ve been writing books, appearing on the telly and in the motion picture shows, that if we know this by science that it must needs be both testable and falsifiable?
Cardinal Jerry: Yes those are the generally accepted requirements.
Pontiff Clinton: So for completeness I suggest that we enter into this historic record the means by which the knowledge of the Great Incompatibility, which must have arrived by the only possible path, Science, has met those glorious requirements of testability and falsifiability.
Cardinal Jerry (finally): But, kind sir, it is so obvious!
Pontiff Clinton: Quite right, you are quite right. But still, I fear that some apostate, perhaps that devilish thorn in the flesh fatheist from Brown University, will ungraciously see this as an inconsistency. Methinks he is like a weasel! (Raucous laughter and hilarity ensue for 20 or 30 seconds.)
Cardinal Harris: Torture him!
Cardinal Jerry: Oh crud. Yes m’lord I see the problem. But I think we have a simple solution, If I may?
Pontiff Clinton: you may.
Cardinal Jerry: Well then:
CANON V: Let it be known that the number of things that can be known by some method other than Science is but one. It is not two, and three is simply out of the question. And this one blessed Truth, not known by Science but by Posterior Extractus, is that Science and religion are Incompatible.Pontiff Clinton: Works for me. So let ‘em all be written. We are adjourned.