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  •  Poison the well all you want (0+ / 0-)

    Hitchens is clearly a drunk ass, but that is a poor defense of Mother Theresa.

    Actually, I haven't read Hitchens' book, you silly person. Mother Theresa's silly position on suffering as  a goal, and a good thing in and of itself, her extreme statements on abortion, and the general idea of converting masses of people to a religion that hampers any shred of hope for solving their problems (birth control, anyone?) have been in the public record undisputed for years.

    •  thanks for the reply (0+ / 0-)

      I don't have a problem with talking about Mother Theresa's record. I have a problem with Hitchens' agenda, admittedly, which I think is over the top.

      As I am no expert, I am wondering if population control as such is the real issue. I'd have to dive in and see, but it may be a function of economics and India's role with the IMF and WTO, etc. Many developing countries have not grown out of poverty because of that I believe.

      It seems India has had a population policsy since the 1950s, and I don't think Mother Theresa has had that much of an overall impact. Here's the link from which the quote below is taken

      I'm not saying that's the be-all and end-all. But I'm wondering if criticizing Mother Theresa on birth control when there is such a policy by the Indian government is really the main topic.

      Peace out.

      Food for thought:

      Population growth has long been a concern of the government, and India has a lengthy history of explicit population policy. In the 1950s, the government began, in a modest way, one of the earliest national, government-sponsored family planning efforts in the developing world. The annual population growth rate in the previous decade (1941 to 1951) had been below 1.3 percent, and government planners optimistically believed that the population would continue to grow at roughly the same rate.

      Implicitly, the government believed that India could repeat the experience of the developed nations where industrialization and a rise in the standard of living had been accompanied by a drop in the population growth rate. In the 1950s, existing hospitals and health care facilities made birth control information available, but there was no aggressive effort to encourage the use of contraceptives and limitation of family size. By the late 1960s, many policy makers believed that the high rate of population growth was the greatest obstacle to economic development. The government began a massive program to lower the birth rate from forty-one per 1,000 to a target of twenty to twenty-five per 1,000 by the mid-1970s. The National Population Policy adopted in 1976 reflected the growing consensus among policy makers that family planning would enjoy only limited success unless it was part of an integrated program aimed at improving the general welfare of the population. The policy makers assumed that excessive family size was part and parcel of poverty and had to be dealt with as integral to a general development strategy. Education about the population problem became part of school curriculum under the Fifth Five-Year Plan (FY 1974-78). Cases of government-enforced sterilization made many question the propriety of state-sponsored birth control measures, however.

      During the 1980s, an increased number of family planning programs were implemented through the state governments with financial assistance from the central government. In rural areas, the programs were further extended through a network of primary health centers and subcenters. By 1991, India had more than 150,000 public health facilities through which family planning programs were offered (see Health Care, this ch.). Four special family planning projects were implemented under the Seventh Five-Year Plan (FY 1985-89). One was the All-India Hospitals Post-partum Programme at district- and subdistrict-level hospitals. Another program involved the reorganization of primary health care facilities in urban slum areas, while another project reserved a specified number of hospital beds for tubal ligature operations. The final program called for the renovation or remodelling of intrauterine device (IUD) rooms in rural family welfare centers attached to primary health care facilities.

      Despite these developments in promoting family planning, the 1991 census results showed that India continued to have one of the most rapidly growing populations in the world. Between 1981 and 1991, the annual rate of population growth was estimated at about 2 percent. The crude birth rate in 1992 was thirty per 1,000, only a small change over the 1981 level of thirty-four per 1,000. However, some demographers credit this slight lowering of the 1981-91 population growth rate to moderate successes of the family planning program. In FY 1986, the number of reproductive-age couples was 132.6 million, of whom only 37.5 percent were estimated to be protected effectively by some form of contraception. A goal of the seventh plan was to achieve an effective couple protection rate of 42 percent, requiring an annual increase of 2 percent in effective use of contraceptives.

      Atheism: the religion devoted to the worship of one's own smug sense of superiority. -- Stephen Colbert

      by Belvedere Come Here Boy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 09:42:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Again, another deflection (0+ / 0-)

        First you argue that the criticism of Theresa is invalid because the criticizer's not so cool himself.

        Now you argue that the Catholic stance on birth control is moot because India has completely botched its approach.

        Yes India started with sterilization, then went to putting birth control on back burner behind other "related" issues, and is now punishing states with population growth. It's dumb.

        But you still keep deflecting from the main issue.

        •  I appreciate the spluttering over your port (0+ / 0-)

          but I stated that Hitchens is biased. It'd be nice if he had footnotes in his book so you could check his claims, but he doesn't. But what the heck, who needs footnotes?

          The quote didn't say, nor did I argue, that the Catholic stance on birth control is moot. What I am illustrating by the quote is that Mother Theresa's position on birth control is not the reason for India's population problem. You can argue that it would exacerbate the problem. Others would argue that it's economics. That's why it was prefaced as "food for thought". You don't have to think if you don't want to, no one's forcing you.

          If you want to argue Mother Theresa's philosophy, rather than her lifetime of demonstrated good works, feel free. As far as:

          Mother Theresa's silly position on suffering as  a goal, and a good thing in and of itself,

          This reflects you don't understand Catholic doctrine and beliefs. Suffering is not "a goal" and is not a "good thing in and of itself". I will give you a hint. The Church's "goal" isn't that. Hm, what could it be? You'll have to do some reading, if you care to be accurate at all.

          her extreme statements on abortion

          One person's "extreme" is another's "respect for life". You may advocate abortion. A large portion of the population advocates the opposite. This is extreme only insofar as it is a judgment by you, and it isn't due to a tiny small amount of people. You're free to advocate aborting up unti the ninth month since you may perceive it as a "good", but that would be extreme, given popular views.

          , and the general idea of converting masses of people to a religion that hampers any shred of hope for solving their problems (birth control, anyone?) have been in the public record undisputed for years.

          Actually it offers a solution, it's just not your solution.  And it hampers any shred of hope? That certainly is the voice of moderation. That's ridiculous on its face, since Mother Theresa was the representative of these poor people to the West and raised funds and awareness that would not have been as forthcoming without her. I doubt the dying picked off the streets in India felt that they were being hampered by her. Once again, birth control may not be the problem. Economics just might. You could check out Matthew Connelly's Fatal Misconception on all that. I'm not saying you'd have to agree with it. But there's a difference in assuming birth control is the problem and investigating whether that's the case.

          I'm sure you're typing away in Mumbai in the few snatches of free time you have while helping the poor. I know there are atheists/agnostics/anti-Catholics who have done more than I have for the world's poor. It's nice to fine one so I can thank you. Just like I thank the thousands upon thousands of Catholics who give up all comforts of their own to aid the poor around the world.

          Your last post quite clearly illustrates you're more about bashing than discussing. So, considering that, I'll leave you to it.

          Atheism: the religion devoted to the worship of one's own smug sense of superiority. -- Stephen Colbert

          by Belvedere Come Here Boy on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 07:51:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Kettle... (0+ / 0-)

            ...Your signature pokes fun at the self-superiority of atheists...

            ...and yet your posts reek of the same flaw...

   talk about how others fail to understand...

            ...and yet you accuse people who don't agree with you of failing to think, or understand, or to be discombobulated port drinkers...

   accuse others of being her to just "bash" others...

            ...and then you cynically bash others on their assumed level of charity...

            I see that you are religious, and interested in discussing politics... may I suggest a career in politics?

            Your doublespeak would serve you well.

            For the record, I'm not anti-faith, or anti-religion per se. I just objected to your insulting tone.

            I also think it's a cop-out to not question "god's" morality, but that rather we should hold "god" to our highest morals.

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