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Hmmm....where to start.  Let's start with the fact that lightiris's diary manages to condemn the religious faith of a billion people--which is the definition of the "Church"--by the painfully obvious failings of its leaders.

Let's try a lesson in analogy, shall we?  

Let's see if by that same exquisite logic, we progressive Americans ought to be painted as "evil," repressive, tyrannical, cruel and reactionary. Because, apparently, the new rule is we are what our leaders are.  

Rant continues over the hill . . .

An Analogy: In lightiris's own words, with some obvious--and pointedly personal--modifications:

[George W. Bush], under whose administration the molestation and rape of hundreds of [Iraqi] children went virtually unchecked, is now leading a life of comfort and authority right in [Washington].  His bio on the [White House]'s website doesn't mention his immoral, unethical, and in the minds of some, criminal behavior.  It doesn't mention that under his watch the lives of hundreds of children and their families were destroyed, their futures irrevocably harmed.  He is a [good] man.

Let's travel abroad.  [American] policies endanger the lives of women and children in developing nations all over the world.  Extraordinary political pressure, religious coercion, and the calculated dissemination of factually inaccurate information are used to consistently deny women and children responsible health care and policy.  Understand that no other organization with as many resources and as many spheres of influence is as obstructionist in matters of family planning as [America and Americans].  So I say this without any reservation:  any organization, its leaders included, that would actively lobby to deprive third-world women of contraceptives and family planning choices should be roundly condemned by all people of conscience. I abhor the efforts of the [United States] to derail birth control initiatives in third-world nations as well as their intense lobbying efforts to derail and suppress United Nations funding for family planning programs.  Such policies result in untold suffering, disability, and death to innocents who have no voice, no agency, and no recourse.  Such policies, in my view, epitomize evil and under no circumstances should they be accepted or tolerated simply because they exist under the imprimatur of a particular [American politic].

I have read a great deal of commentary [in the MSM] about what a wonderful man [George Bush is], and, frankly, I'm appalled.  There can be little doubt that the policies of [Americans], propped up by [hundreds of billions of dollars] a year simply to run [their] operations, are downright inhumane, injurious, and immoral.  Yes, immoral.  How else to describe concerted and prolonged efforts to prevent women from improving their lives, their health, and their children's lives?  The results of such policies are plainly evident. There are millions of orphaned children in third-world nations as a direct result of [American]'s coercive policies.  Fact:  more than a million children, mostly in the third-world, are left motherless annually by the greater than 500,000 women who die of pregnancy-related complications each year.  Many suffer devastating child-birth related injury.  For example, in some cultures, women are ostracized from their homes and villages due to the extremely common (80,000 per year) but horrifyingly devastating rectovaginal fistula.  
. . .

The resources of [America] would be better spent in helping women gain some control over their reproduction than in foisting their obviously injurious policies on vulnerable women and children.  There is absolutely nothing [American] or [democratic] in the organized subjugation of women.  

I'm sorry, the hypocrisy is stunning.  Those who call themselves "[progressives]" turn their backs on the suffering of the world's poor women and children every time [America] is praised, every time they tolerate [George W. Bush] being  held up as a [good] Man, every time they are respectful of the pomp and ceremony [read: atrocious squandering of money--let's see the number again:  [hundreds of billions of dollars] per year] to prop up [a government] that actively seeks to retain a human hierarchy in which women are second class and are to have no real control over their reproductive future.  

Now, I'm sure there will be people who counter that [America] does wonderful things.  I imagine that's true.  But what, pray tell, can effectively render the suffering of millions of women and children around the world an acceptable trade-off?  What good can possibly overshadow such suffering?

Change just a few words, and the reality of our very own government's actions--which are astonishingly identical to those promoted by the Catholic hierarchy--are put in stark relief. And clearly, lightiris's screed proves that because our leader's and our government's policies are repressive, tyrannical, cruel and reactionary, so are we all.  

Because there is no difference between a people and her leaders, right? That if one fails, the entire nation fails, right?  Just like the Catholic Church, right?

Well, bullshit.

If we want to believe that the horrific actions of our current leaders don't represent all of us Americans, it's a polemic stretch of some real imagination to say that the Catholic "Church"--the human body that it comprises--represents every Catholic and the entire church itself. John Paul II and his many failings doesn't represent the complete fullness of the faith any more than George W. Bush represents the complete fullness of America.

I, for one, am quite glad of that fact.

Originally posted to chrississippi on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 04:48 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Here Here! (3.86)
    As I just stated in my recently posted diary, I am appalled by the disrespect being shown.  

    To find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God.

    by Delaware Dem on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 04:49:40 PM PST

    •  Because, You Know... (3.46)

      Screaming "FUCK OHIO" is so respectful and all...

      Monsters think it's all right to be a monster, after all. - Hitherby Dragons

      by RHunter on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 06:08:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  disrespect (3.54)
      Why should we feign respect? I respect and honor many Catholics - but the guy who forgot Archbishop Romero and tried to foster the spread of aids and who let the American bishops turn into a machine for encouraging pederasty and republicanism got a lot of exsplainin to do.
      •  Exactly. (4.00)
        To everyone who feels offended by lightiris's diary (either because of the timing or the vitriol or both) -- and feels justified about the abuse they heaped on lightiris and anyone who felt similarly and said so:

        Please allow me to draw your attention to what I believe is the PERFECT COMMENT for these discussions, the one that sums up everything succinctly and logically:

        In all fairness...

        Here's what it says, if you don't wish to follow the link:

        In all fairness...

        ...I think you have to look at the forum in which lightiris published (her?) thoughts.

        She didn't grab a megaphone and read it aloud in Vatican square. She didn't march down to her local cathedral and shower the mourners in pig's blood. She submitted her thoughts for the very scrutiny you're offering on a secular political website visited mostly by progressives.

        Now, if we can't put aside the pleasantries and the etiquette and express our views at the moments we choose on a site like this, we're in serious trouble. This is the place for discussion to happen, even when it's inconvenient, even when it hurts, even if it's - God forbid - insensitive.

        I don't agree with more than about a third of what she said, but I agree even less with all the pious indignation about the timing of her diary. It's the same argument used by all those folks who say it's unpatriotic to criticize the President while we're at war: "This is not the time for dissent, children."

        You know what?? FUCK OFF!

        This is where I come for my daily dose of ugly reality - especially on those days when everybody keeps saying it's time to toe the line.

        Well, mark me down as a ditto to that. Alysheba made the comment, and frankly, I KNOW no one can rebut what she said successfully.

        Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

        by Maryscott OConnor on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 11:15:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have no problem with her posting (none)
          that diary on that day.  But no one else should have a problem if we call it what it is:  a healthy attempt at Catholic bashing.

          Since the last time I checked, we still needed Catholics votes to win elections, she deserved a royal flaming for that diary, and I'm glad she got one.

          •  Apparently, you do have a problem with the timing. (none)
            Your words:

            This was a diary, on the day of the Pope's death, falsely, and without substantiation, accusing the Pope and Church leaders for the death of millions of women, hating gays, and being mean to aged nuns

            Why include the phrase "on the day of the Pope's death" if not to compound the depravity of lightiris' diary? I'd add a new comment clarifying your comment above, since the opening sentence is obviously a change in your position.

            Looking at your other comments - and especially your sophomoric experimentation with the ratings system - I see a pattern of claiming one thing and then getting caught doing another.

            You should spend a little time lurking before your next post. We're pretty thorough here and, honestly, you keep screwing up.

            •  She has every right to post (none)
              when she wants, but the timing of it simply provides the reader with further evidence of the author's intellectual bias, to put it as kindly as possible, against Catholics, and it's fair game to criticize her for it.
      •  Are You Kidding Me? (4.00)
        tried to foster the spread of aids

        Are you actually saying the Pope deliberately tried to spread an epidemic?  Do you honestly believe that?  Or is it just reckless hyperbole with no regard for the truth?

        •  Responsibility. (none)
          If I tried to forbid ships from carrying lifeboats, you'd be justified in saying I tried to cause more drowning, even if my reason for opposing lifeboats was that they promoted ungodly rowing. If I was powerful enough to actually reduce the number of lifeboats and lots of people drowned, you'd be justified in being pretty damn pissed off. I don't care if someone thinks God hates fucking, but I do care if their belief in this stupidity makes people die.
          •  No (none)
            If you tried to forbid lifeboats for whatever reason, I wouldn't necessarily say you were trying to cause drowning.  If you think that, then you (assuming you drive a car) are trying to pollute the environment, increase the control of Wahhibbi Islam in the world, and line the pockets of Dick Cheney and the Mullas in Iran.  Those are effects, but whether they're intended is a differnt story.  
    •  Being appalled is the PURPOSE of this site... (4.00)
      Thank God there's a site where people can ax the pleasantries, forget about decorum and just fucking say what's on their minds.

      I don't agree with much of lightiris's diary, either, but I'm truly appalled by the prudish indignation of everyone who's so "offended" by the timing of her diary.

      Do you realize that you're using the same logic as those who say it's unpatriotic to criticize the President while we're at war? "Now is not the time for dissent, children."

      You know what? FUCK OFF!!

      dKos is where I come to get my daily dose of ugly reality - especially on days (or during wars) when everybody says it's time to toe the line.

      •  Exactly. And may I add: (none)
        "Here here!"
      •  And this is about as childish as it gets (4.00)
        So millions of people are in mourning, but you want your constitutional right to yell "Fuck Off"??? You don't care who you offend?  Fuck THEIR feelings, right?  Who CARES about their sensibilities! It's all about YOU, right???

        Boy, am I glad you are on our side.  With that amount of empathy, I'm surprised we carried Massaachusetts last year.

        We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

        by Mary Julia on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:36:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And kudos to you for aligning yourself... (4.00)
          ...with someone who says: "Show some respect. If you can't do that, then shut up."

          And you consider that sort of rhetoric part of the Democratic platform? Shut up? That was the media blitz that helped us carry Massachusetts?

          Do you somehow not grasp that this part of humanity, this selfish desire for conformity when things get scary or painful, has put us where we are in this country? The fact that, in moments of weakness, people just simply don't want to have to defend their thinking? Well, that's where we are, sister.

          And you somehow see fit to question my political usefulness when, of the two of us, you were probably the one more likely to say: "We're at war. Now everyone shut up and get with the program."

          I really hate this pretzel logic. Can you tell?

          And what the fuck are you doing surfing the web when you're in mourning? Or are you one of those people who mourn by preaching the need for conformity?

          •  Do you wish to tell... (none)
            the people who heaped abuse on lightiris to shutup?
            If so, then you are obviously a hypocrite and sophist in the classic fundamentalist tradtion.
            Does it offend you that people heaped abuse on lightiris? Lightiris heaped abused on other people.
            Hmmm????

            We should treat all the trivial things of life seriously and all serious things with a sincere and studied triviality---Wilde

            by gilgamesh on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 12:48:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm offended... (none)
              ...only by the notion that free people should censor their thoughts when the timing is inconvenient to others.

              One would think that, in an allegedly free society, the death of a world figure might spark truly interesting dialogue about his history, his track record, his works, his legacy.

              Not this time.

              Apparently, somewhere in the 1st Amendment is an asterisk and a clause which suspends a certain freedom when a contingent of citizens deems the exercise thereof to be insensitive and hurtful.

              Once again, I've failed to read the fine print. Damn those lawyers.

              •  You have an inate (4.00)
                right recognised by the constitution to say what you will. .and think what you will.

                Every other human being on earth has an inate right to respond to it.

                Arguments that the first amendment protects a speaker from dissent are false and disengenuous.

                The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

                by cdreid on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 03:03:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Same response... (none)
                as the last. Didn't read the diaries ( I was probably asleep) which tried to, even implicitly, silence those who legitimiately want to criticize the Pope at any time.

                 I just got the impression that everyone was attacking this diary because it was criticing her diary. I think that's also inappropriate.
                I only saw the two diaries and made my remarks in that context.

                We should treat all the trivial things of life seriously and all serious things with a sincere and studied triviality---Wilde

                by gilgamesh on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 03:08:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  hmmm. (4.00)
          If you care that much about offending people.
          And about "fucking" with their feelings.
          And about their sensibilities.
          You picked a hell of site to hang out at.
          I'd say we're all about as offensive and not giving a shit about 51 million Americans who voted for George W. Bush on a daily continual basis as one can get.
          So what if they not in mourning.
          Do we give a rats ass that we offend them?
          And insult them every single day?
          Hint: No.

          This is not belief.net
          If it was, I'd agree.

          Damn.
          Do we ever need to wonder again why so many wars were started in the name of God and religion?
          Hint: No.

          Christine

          "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and consciencious stupidity." Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by jpschmid on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 12:11:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Is that right.... (none)
        then why did I get lambasted and/or ignored when I wrote a diary attacking Leona's nonsensical bullshit postmoderism about "the male body , facsicm and my seixt gynecologist" (or whatever the f** it was) last week. Eh???????
           All the chivalrous emasculated male correspondents responded by attacking ME for satiring the diary. It wasn't brilliant satire, of course, but that''s beside the point. It's got nothign to do with offensiveness or insults or anything of that nature. What this is really all about is comformity to the preaviling fundmantalist liberal ideological orthodoxy. You are allowed to be insulting and offensive so long as the majority of Kossaks are with you, otherwise it's "keep silent"..."don't say antyhting about the quite reasnable possibility that the people who belive Giulana Sgrena was assaninated might just be a little bit WACKY, eh?
           What simplictic and reductive sophistry!! If you can say what you want what's wrong with a diary saying that "iliana" (or whetever the hell her name is) is a hate-mongering left-wing fundamentalist with no tolerace for other people's ideas and opinions? After all,this diary is corect. That's what she is. She has the right to write whetver the devil she wants but let's silence the people who wish to respond in equally strong words? H-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y and illiberalism on the left!!!

        We should treat all the trivial things of life seriously and all serious things with a sincere and studied triviality---Wilde

        by gilgamesh on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 12:30:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Silencing? (none)
          Who's silencing anybody, other than Delaware Dem:

          Show some respect [for the Pope].  And if you cannot do that, then shut up.

          ...and countless others who somehow got the idea that DailyKos - a secular site for the express purpose of fostering open political dialogue - had become a pass-the-tissue support group for mourning Catholics.

          I was baptized Catholic. I believe in God. I pray regularly. But I've never been one to allow religion to interfere with my relationship with God. And I've certainly never allowed religion to color my politics, mostly because I have faith that my own personal morals and ethics - regardless of how I arrived at them - are sound enough for me to base my opinions on.

          The reason I mention this is because I believe the measure of a person's faith is his ability to hold fast to it, regardless of what's happening around him.

          We shouldn't need a law allowing the Ten Commandments in our courtrooms. We shouldn't need a law mandating prayer in schools. We shouldn't need a law against abortion. And we damn sure shouldn't need to insulate ourselves from criticism of the Pope, even if he did happen to die the day we heard it. Our faith should be strong enough to stand up without legislation and and certainly strong enough to withstand a lack of consensus on some political website.

          So, my question is: just how weak is your faith that you cannot tolerate a heated discussion of the man who led Catholicism for nearly thirty years? Is it so fragile that you need to ask the whole world for a moment of silence?

          If so, then you should consider the possibility that much of the noise that has so bothered you today is coming from the doubt banging around inside your head.

          •  asfd (none)
            Show some respect [for the Pope].  And if you cannot do that, then shut up.

            ...and countless others who somehow got the idea that DailyKos - a secular site for the express purpose of fostering open political dialogue - had become a pass-the-tissue support group for mourning Catholic  

            I didn't see that post nor the other similar ones you describe. I'm over in Italy and the time-difference results in strange misunderstandings sometimes. Thank you for imforming me. I find that completely unacceptable.

            We should treat all the trivial things of life seriously and all serious things with a sincere and studied triviality---Wilde

            by gilgamesh on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 01:59:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  People are dying... (2.50)
      ...from Catholic Church imposed restrictions on birth conrtol. For every poor Indian that Mother Teresa fed for a week, 10,000 children were born into abject poverty in Equador, Peru, and the Phillipines from women who could not get birth control or divorce their husbands because of the Church.
    •  Wait a minute (none)
      This is not Catholic bashing, it is Pope/Catholic hierarchy bashing, not the same thing at all.

      As an ex-Catholic (and there are a lot of us) I feel totally justified in bashing JP2 as a Pope. In my opinion, the damage he caused the church and the world far outweighs the good that he did.

      If you don't like the timing, tough. I am sick of the fawning over him that is going on all over the media. You would think the man was a saint - well he was far from it, and I want people to say it out loud, whoever it may piss off, because sometimes the truth hurts!!!!!

      "Democracy is coming to the USA" - Leonard Cohen

      by taonow on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 05:43:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Criticizing the Pope and/or Church (3.87)
    is not the same thing as criticizing individual Roman Catholics because Catholics have virtually no power or authority in the church. It is not a democracy. So, when I am critical of the pope and the church, I am not blaming the laity.

    People would be more justified in blaming individual Americans for American foriegn policy because, at least in theory, we vote for our leaders-something Catholics cannot do.

    •  exactly (4.00)
      and I won't be singing praise of George W. Bush when he leaves this world either

      Well-behaved women rarely make history - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

      by jaysea on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:01:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The previous diary (4.00)
        as I read it, was mainly criticizing the Pope, the Vatican and his policies -- not the Catholics who are ordered to obey such.  Thus chrississippi's rewritten text should insert Bush and the American government, but not "Americans".

        Anyway, this is dustup over nothing. Both diarists agree that the birth control/women policies of the Catholic church are backwards and outdated. I think both would also say the same about the policies of the Bush administration.

        Most Catholics are much more progressive than their Pope. In the NY Times obituary, it mentioned that even most Italian Catholics practice birth control, and the country has the lowest birth rate in Europe as a result.

        •  U.S. superiority... (none)
          'Even most Italian Catholics practice birth control...' What a loony, ignorant, arrogant observation. So-called Italian Catholics are light years ahead of the average U.S. person in matters pertaining to and accepting of basic human nature.
          •  Not loony, ignorant, or arrogant (none)
            This observation is a fact.  I fail to see whyyou feel the need to attack it.  It is stating that although their religion regards it as a terrible sin, many Italian Catholics go against church teaching.  It has nothing to do with US superiority.
        •  Tweety (none)
          said that there is a tremendous ferment in the American Catholic Church over issues of birth control, the marriage of priests and the role of women--and Tweety went on to say that those issues are getting completely ignored today in the wake of the Pope's death.

          Good for Tweety.  One does not have to ignore the problematic issues faced by the Catholic Church in order to see the good done and hope inspired by the Pope.

    •  Your difference is important . . . (4.00)
      but doesn't seem to be recognized by everybody around here tonight. Catholic bashing is particularly easy---the sucker punches write themselves---but there's much lost in making that institution a gigantic Tar Baby of evil. Especially when its members are implicated in, as you recognize, essentialy undemocratic positions.
      •  They can leave the church (none)
        The democratic aspect of it is calling it quits. No longer tithing or kowtowing or taking gallons of guilt via IV. Either telling the leadership to fuck themselves raw, or simply withdrawing quietly. And after the child molestation and the continual denial of reality this might be a fitting time. It's been done before. I suggest atheism as a fine alternative.
        •  Leaving? To do what? (4.00)
          Roman Catholics were the people that didn't leave during the Reformation, remember?

          I know plenty of Catholics whose actions in the face of the injustices of its hierarchy are to live just lives of deeds and prayer. I admire those people, especially in an age without any sense of history and with too much of a sense of instant futility.

          How is leaving the Church any different than Americans moving to Canada? We all do that, and then what?

          •  A lot different (none)
            If we measure the impact of moving to canada vs. simply no longer attending a catholic church, on any scale, I have a suspicion moving to canada would ential far greater disruption and impact on one's life. Sure, there may be psychic changes, but there will be similar ones moving to another country.

            Unlike the dominion over the land we live in, the church only has dominion of a section of Rome. We have less interest in it, and it only has the power (and money) we voluntarily provide it.

            That can be corrected at once, very simply. And believe me, life's better out here.

            •  Might it be important to believe . . . (4.00)
              that religious people take their faith seriously? That simply "quitting" really isn't possible?

              I find it very difficult to think that we're being thoughtful about anything if we can't imagine the structure of human belief. It's been too long with us to be that easily dismissive.

              And if life we're really better "out here," we wouldn't be battling the extremism of religion as we are today. Sated and sofa-ed doesn't seem to be doing it like capitalism said it would . . .

              •  It should also be possible to believe (4.00)
                ...That people who have LEFT the Church take their faith, and God, and the meaning of life, very seriously indeed.  It's because of that very passion for truth that many people cannot in good conscience stay in the Catholic Church (or any number of other religious institutions).

                I strongly believe in God, but I left the Church after many many years, and a serious religious practice -- including plans to become a priest.

                My personal experience is that the Church is more invested in perpetuating itself as an institution than it is in doing God's work on Earth.  You disagree, I'm sure.  But my experience lead me to think that NO human institution should claim the mantle of God, and take on such great power and authority.  The potential for abuse is great, and that has been borne out again and again by the Catholic Church.

                I was sexually propositioned by a priest myself when I was a 14-year old altar boy.  I got myself out of the situation unharmed.  While I don't blame the entire Catholic Church for that, I refuse to be politically correct in what I say about any institution, especially one that covered up such rampant abuse for years.  

                This will make many here very angry, but I'm very tired of giving the benefit of the doubt to anything that calls itself "religion."  I'm not saying that everything about all religions are bad, but in my experience and opinion many of them -- including the Catholic Church -- get too much credit for constant good intentions.  And other, un-church-ed people and institutions who work tirelessly for good everyday, with compassion and good will, get far too LITTLE credit because they are not an "officially recognized" world religion.  Contrary to the idiotic red / blue "moral values" analysis we heard so much about after the November elections, I think that religion in this country given a free ride far too often.  Why shouldn't it be subject to the same scrutiny as anything else?  

                It's time humanity grew up a bit, I think. Mystery and ceremony can be used to glorify God, but it can also be used to silence people and victimize those who do go along (i.e. sexual abuse victims of the Catholic clergy).  

                I know some who are still in the Church here will be offended by this, and I'm sorry.  But you have no more of a claim on actual faith, no more of claim on virtue, no more fo a claim on spirituality, and certainly no more of a claim to be given the benefit of the doubt, than the rest of us do.  

            •  I'm glad your life's better (4.00)
              but don't try to tell me what to do with mine. As much as many people think it's all about the money and power, some of go to church for the religious experience. I did have more than chocolate for Easter.

              Unlike some, I'm a converted Catholic. I became Catholic at the ripe old age of 37. I take some things, I leave some things, and that works for me.

              I do think the Pope did many good things even if he didn't push the envelope in the women's arena. The guy was born in Poland in 1920. I really didn't expect him to approve abortion. Maybe the next Pope will be a little more enlightened about that issue among others.

              Today I am just saddened by his death.

              "I am your king!" "Well, I didn't vote for you." "You don't vote for kings." - Monty Python

              by Liberaljentaps on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 06:25:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  "he didn't push the envelope"? (4.00)
                That's putting it mildly.

                Nor did he exactly "push the envelope" in putting a stop to pederasty. Or giving support to liberation theology.

                Look, don't invoke the canard of 1920. You know who was born before this late pope? G. B. Shaw. Emma Goldman. Frederick Douglass. Tom Paine. Mary Wolstonecraft. Mark Twain. The list goes on.

                Just because someone was born in 1920 doesn't excuse their being a reactionary. He did some good things. But he could have done a lot, lot more, and that whole "not exactly pushing the envelope" is worse than offensive for the hundreds of millions of women who are harmed, who have been harmed, often to death, by his church's reactionary, sexist stands on birth control and abortion.

                He could have chosen to take steps to save those lives. He didn't.

                we gonna smash their brains in / cause they ain´t got nofink in ´em -- Linton Kwesi Johnson

                by Karl the Idiot on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 06:54:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  liberation theology (3.00)
                  He didn't support it because in many cases in practice it stank of communism, which you may have noticed he opposed.

                  Seriously though, when people 'liberated' themselves into marxist systems, the pope viewed it not as liberation, but as a new form of oppresion.

                  You can't blame someone who grew up in Poland for that POV.

                  •  ...Yes I can... (none)
                    exactly by what logic can't I blame someone for not understanding what limited benefit marxism might provide to a completely oppressive capitalist system?

                    I mean, you grew up in America presumably and probably you can figure out that despite its many faults there are also a few benefits to capitalism, right?

                     

                    •  No.. (none)
                      I figured out that despite its many benefits there are a few faults.
                    •  Well he DID figure that out (none)
                      The Pope wasn't for liberation philosophy at first -- probably due to his background in Poland aswas already stated.  But also because he was against taking up arms (armed resistance) and believed in cultural change -- change through the cultural and spiritual means.  I am not endorsing this -- just expressing his framework of understanding. But in later years, the Pope has considered making Romero a saint suggesting a reversal of his position.  As well, the Pope is quoted as saying repeatedly that there WERE several lessons of Marxism that had to be embraced.  He took this position after being appalled at the materialsim of rampant capitalism and the 'supermarket' culture it produced.  I think the Pope's positions have been contradictory, paradoxical and, indeed, subject to change.  There have been many failings in his vision of the church but I find it a bit absolutist to paint him with a completely negative brush.  Like all human beings, he likely got several things wrong, but unlike many people, he showed an ability for contrition and change.  

                      Never underestimate the ability of a small group of people to change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

                      by Delilah on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 01:17:07 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  post script (none)
                        ... and maybe the philosophical changes  that he made were not enough.  But that's another discussion on birthcontrol, women and homsexuality.

                        Never underestimate the ability of a small group of people to change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

                        by Delilah on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 01:19:54 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  hmm? (none)
                          maybe ?

                          Just say they weren't, okay? If someone comes along about some things, fine, good, and thanks very much for educating me on the Pope vis-a-vis Romero: good intentions are something. Not much, but they're something. Critiques of capitalism are fine by my book, too.

                          I have to praise the Pope for his stance on the death penalty. I won't take that away from him.

                          But opposing the death penalty while also opposing the equitable treatment of women or gays just doesn't make a person that great, so far as I'm concerned.

                          we gonna smash their brains in / cause they ain´t got nofink in ´em -- Linton Kwesi Johnson

                          by Karl the Idiot on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 07:38:40 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

            •  Well (none)
              ...I have a suspicion moving to canada would ential far greater disruption and impact on one's life.

              So sleeping in on Sunday mornings is better than staying in the Church and working to change it from within?

              How noble.

              •  You know (none)
                you could pratice your Catholic piety in a different Catholic denominations - the Anglican/Episcopalian one comes to mind.

                "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

                by fishhead on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:24:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nice try, babe (4.00)
                  But I am not, nor have I ever been, a Catholic, just a very lapsed Lutheran. So I'll just squiggle out of your net anyway, but I appreciate your hand.

                  I'm just annoyed at all the people treating the Church—heck, any religion—like it was Wal-Mart: "Vote with your feet! Walk out!"

                  It's as shallow as any Six Flags Over Jesus church with a food court.

                  Not that there's anything wrong with that. My grandfather was an embittered Catholic, but when the kids came along, my grandmother wanted the family to go to church. The only way he'd go was if they went to his buddy's church, and he was German-Lutheran.

                  So there you go.

                  I'm just annoyed at all the people harassing Catholics to give up their faith because of the stances of a pope who's dead. It's stupid. Who knows what the next pope will be like?

                  Sure, JP II stacked the College of Cardinals with conservatives, but in what way? I guess popes are kind of like Supreme Court justices in a way. One never knows, do one?

                  To call on Catholics to leave the church now is just stupid. Even Tweety did a long riff on the differences between JP II and American Catholics, lending his imprimateur (whatever you may think of it) to the ongoing dialogue about Catholicism in the real world. Believe it or not, he talked about the very hot topics that all the "Fuck the Pope!" diaries were wailing on.

                  If anything, I would think this is a time for progressive Catholics to stick with it and pray for the wisdom of the cardinals to do the most good for the most people.

          •  how about leaving (4.00)
             to form or at least join a church that doesn't deny the priesthood to women?

            Few Xians sects have managed to take that step, but that seems a minimum for participating in an equitable life free from antique superstition.

            Believe what you want, but in throwing your belief behind something that denies its most significant positions of leadership to women -- whether that's Catholicism, most brands of Protestantism, Mormonism, not to mention several non-Xian faiths -- you're throwing your belief in with something harmful.

            we gonna smash their brains in / cause they ain´t got nofink in ´em -- Linton Kwesi Johnson

            by Karl the Idiot on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 06:08:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Just Because You're Here, and You Did It (4.00)
              This has bugged me forever: is it really that difficult to type the extra five letters, as opposed to writing Xians?

              I'm not sure it's intended to be offensive, and I'm really not personally offended, but it just seems silly to me, and a bit of a shiboleth, like "look at me, I'm not one of them."

              Correct me if I'm wrong, but it just seems sort of gratuitous.  And I don't think we'd accept Xlums or Xists.

              •  Chi (4.00)
                It's a chi, so he is writing christian.

                There's no such thing as a Christlum or a Christists.

                •  Please (none)
                  Take that somewhere else.  It's not "Chiian," is it?

                  And you either knew what I meant by Xlum and Xist, or you're really not following along with the discussion well enough to offer meaningful contributions.  

                  •  Read the Whole Thing (none)
                    And I still have no clue what you're talking about. Why is it so offensive anyway?
                  •  Interesting (none)
                    I tried to give you helpful comment, and you tell me to take it somewhere else. I didn't make up the meaning of the Chi, Christians did.

                    And if you don't want to learn, why would you bother to interact with other people?

                    Chi is a Greek letter that means Christ. In the Lutheran church, and others, you'll often see a P with an X superimposed over it. The X is a Chi, and it is the symbol for Christ.

                    I don't know where you get the Chiian, but I do know that it's just ignorant.

                    Chi is a symbol for Christ, X is a Chi, therefore, Xian is (Christ)ian.

                    Christians made that up.

                    you're really not following along with the discussion well enough to offer meaningful contributions.

                    Maybe you should learn to learn, and stop insulting people.

              •  no time to look this up (4.00)
                X = chi, first letter of "Christ" in Greek. Using X for Christ has roots dating back to the earliest Xianity.

                As other posters have said, using Xlum to mean Muslim or Xish to mean Jewish or whatever would be silly.

                Now, I realize that: a) some folks, many of whom are Xian themselves, don't know their Xian history very well; b) more important, 'X' denotes, now, a null, an emptiness, a placeholder, hence 'Malcolm X,' where he's repudiating his slave name by putting in a mark that shows White America's attempt to efface his identity, and so my invoking the ancient pedigree of X and Xmas and so forth is worse than pedantic.

                Do with that information what you will

                Still doesn't change the fact that virtually every major monotheistic sect in the world is sexist.

                we gonna smash their brains in / cause they ain´t got nofink in ´em -- Linton Kwesi Johnson

                by Karl the Idiot on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 06:49:28 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Truce! Don't Shoot the Messenger... (3.42)
                  but at the seminary I attend, professors and students routinely write "Xtian" or "X" for Christ, because it is the Greek meaning and we just write it so often, it becomes second nature to write Xian. Honest, we remember Christ.

                  But I understand how someone might take offense if you didn't know about the Greek. I had a nun who taught me math in 6th grade tell us that "the Jews" tried to take Christ out of Christmas by writing "Xmas Sale", "Xmas Trees", etc. on advertising. I was shocked to see that it's used often in seminary, until I was taught about the Greek.

                  •  Yup (4.00)
                    I was taught that, too, early on. In my early '70s, Michael-Row-The-Boat-Ashore Lutheran church, "X" was clearly understood as Christ.

                    We had lots of banners made by the crafty members of our church that made use of that symbol, as well as the "P with an X" thingie.

                    The fish, not so much.

          •  Religion is a choice (4.00)
            You choose to believe in unsupported facts (Heaven, The Resurrection of Jesus, Miracles based on payer, etc.)

            You choose to submit yourself to the rule of a male (who've made unusual choices regarding their sex lives) hierarchy.

            You choose to support this church with your money any your presence at their ceremonies.

            Isn't it possible to do good works and be spiritual without all the metaphysical claptrap that goes part and parcel with the church?

            Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

            by admiralh on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:32:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Why should WE leave? (4.00)
          Why not kick the assholes out who give the rest of us a bad name? It's just as much my church as it is theirs. And for your information, I don't tithe. I give directly to organizations like Mary's Pence, Bread for the World, Pax Christi, and Bonaventure House--places that live out the values of the Gospel that I cherish and which the Church preaches but sometimes forgets, institutionally speaking.

          Things could happen that would make me leave the Church and shake its dust off my feet as I walked out the door, in witness against it. But we're not to that point yet. As long as we're not across that line, I refuse to let some narrow-minded bigots define me out of my spiritual home--not to mention the fact that as long as I'm still within the fold, they have a canonical duty to listen to what I have to say. If I walk out the door, I lose even that little bit of leverage.

          •  I am saying you have a voice (4.00)
            but only if you choose to use it.

            Really the only voice I think they will listen to is mass desertions from the developed world.

            Already in Europe the church is more or less irrelevant, and they are a bit panicked about it.

            It is an anachronism, and supporting it is tantamount to...um...teaching kids creationism?

            •  I do use it (4.00)
              I write. I think. I move from parish to parish in search of the authentic preaching.

              But if you think the reactionaries who surrounded John Paul II would give two shits if every Catholic in Europe and North America walked out, you're wrong. They're very much in the "faithful remnant" school--the important thing is that they stick to their doctrinal guns, not how popular they are or how many people are in the pews each Sunday.

              So we all leave, and they not only don't change, they just figure they're on the right track and get all the more reactionary. Exactly what will we have gained?

              •  At the very bottom of it (3.28)
                it's a business. Sorry. That's probably the most offensive thing I could say. Not trying to hurt your feelings though...it's just the truth as I see it. And unfortunately it has to be my last word tonight as dinner is ready. But you are welcome to pile on if you feel the urge.
                •  You don't get it (4.00)
                  It's not a business, though it certainly has business aspects. But if you apply a business model (boycotts, for example), you'll get it spectacularly wrong.
                •  You Ovbiously Don't Have a Clue (none)
                  If you think faith is a business, you're dumb and mute to a big aspect of the human experience.  One need not share or even have a faith to recognize the power faith has in people's lives, but if you're going to comment on faith, you might want to make a bit of an effor to understand it.  
                  •  The CHURCH (4.00)
                    NOT faith, is a business, is what I got from peeder's comment. FAITH does not equal the CHURCH, Catholic or otherwise. the CHURCH is an institution, faith is individualized.

                    I respect everyone's faith as their own but I have absolutley NO patience for orgainzed religious insitutions as they just spawn the vitrol that has been spewed all over this site in the past few days.

                    •  Not Everyone Shares Your Distinctions (none)
                      Catholicism in particular isn't such an individualistic faith, it's more communal.  It's very common for Americans, especially those under 45 or 50, to draw such distinctions, but most people "of faith" who worship in a community of faith don't look at their church as a club they join and could easily replace by joining another club, it's the community where the share their faith with their fellow Christians, Catholics, Jews, whatever.  
                  •  What kind of God? (4.00)
                    I certainly recognize the power and importance that faith has in the human experience (as well as in my own life). But what kind of God must one believe in in order to believe that the hierarchy of the Catholic church as presently constituted (or for that matter, as constituted throughout most of its history) is God's chosen instrument to interface with humanity?

                    Note that I'm talking about the hierarchy, with its anti-women, anti-human sexuality, anti-contraception (which in the Third World results directly in increased deaths from AIDS) dogma, not about Catholics as a whole.

                    If one chooses to call oneself a Catholic while believing in and worshiping a God that teaches us to Love, care for, and accept our fellow human beings, I have absolutely no problem with that. But in my opinion the hierarchy of the Catholic church - at least at the highest levels - is 100% wrong on some fundamental issues that call into question it's credibility at the most basic level. I refuse to believe that any God worthy of worhsip would prefer that a human being die a prolonged, painful death from AIDS rather than employ a latex barrier during sexual intercourse. And in my opinion, no institution of faith that denies equal participation to women is worthy of much respect (and yes, that criticism applies to many other religions in addition to Catholicism).

                    It seems to me that those most responsible for painting Catholics with a broad brush are those at the top of the church hierarchy who claim that these absurd stances represent God's will. If I was a Catholic, I'd be mad as heck about it...

                    •  Not My Point (none)
                      Your comment shows you've got a fuller appreciation for the role of faith in someone's life, and I'm sure that you can appreciate how others' lives are affected by faiths other than your own.  My reaction was to what I percieved as a dismissal of faith, any faith, as "nothing but a business."  Of course institutional religions have many aspects of being a business or bureaucracy, but to see only that aspect of religious faith and not understant that there are other aspects of religious faith is, in my mind, a severely impoverished view of human diversity and experience, and an impediment to understanding anyone of strong faith.  
                  •  There is going to be a difference (none)
                    of opinion on what this Pope represents, isn't the kos community big enough that we can have two types of diaries? By the titles, one can easily figure out what the subject is going to be. If someone is going to be offended by some of our feelings, why not just avoid those diaries. If we can't rant about the catholic church at kos, then where can we???

                    ...recovering x-catholic.

                    Torture a living being, lose your soul.

                    by mattes on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 07:38:27 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Wrong (none)
                They do care about how many people are in the pews.  And that number is RISING.  It is rising mainly because of socialy conservative 3rd world nations.

                The church is a 2000 year old institution and it moves very slowly.  This is a good thing.  The church would lose more followers going liberal today than it would gain.

                Progressiveness is an unstoppable force, however, and when the rest of the world catches up with Europe and the US, the church will too.

          •  I agree (3.42)
            and I give you all the credit in the world for staying. I worked with a group of GLBT Roman Catholics who chose to stay in the church and be out. The archdiocese forced them out of the Catholic church where they had a gay welcoming mass every week. They now meet in a Methodist church and have brave Catholic priests volunteer to say mass for them "officially unofficial".

            I think it's a calling. I felt called to leave but I thank God that people like you feel called to stay and stand up for what you believe in.

            •  Equal parts calling and balancing act (4.00)
              I walk a narrow line, and nobody is more aware of it than I am. I was blessed for 20 years to have a compassionate, beautiful, wonderful man as pastor, spiritual director, mentor, and friend. He was one of the first people I came out to, and it never once made the slightest bit of difference to him. It's people like him that keep me hopeful and keep me in this community. But there are lines in the sand, and if the Church crosses them, I would have no choice but to go. Where, I'm not exactly sure. But leave I would, if that's what my conscience required. And that's just what the Church teaches me to do.
          •  Be (4.00)
            Be the progressive church.

            John Stossel looks like a 70s porn star.

            by bink on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 06:12:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Please consider (none)
            ...giving to the Catholic Worker and other pseudo Liberation Theology type organizations who were devestated for 20 years under the ruthless and stupid rule of this pope.
        •  Hah! (none)
          I've thought about trying to completely divest myself of my heritage, but I'd feel guilty about that too.  It's all part of the fun.  At least I didn't go to a Jesuit school.

          In all seriousness, whatever lens through which you see the world, good luck with making any profound changes in it.  One can't just casually toss it aside, you know.

        •  And we can all leave the U.S.... (none)
          ... because Bush is President.
      •  I hear you loud and clear (3.33)
        I'm not sure how to deal with these issues if I can't be critical of the pope and other church leadership.

        I was raised in an Irish-Catholic family-it's not just a religion, it's a way of life! But I left and joined a Protestant church-no small feat for somebody of Irish heritage.

        I don't hate the Roman Catholic faith or those who pratice it-but I do get very angry and disappointed with the church's leadership.

        I wish that my mother and millions of others like her felt like they had a spiritual home. Instead, she is alienated from the right-wing and backward policies of the church but would not leave because she feels it would be a betrayal of her faith and heritage. I want a pope that cares about her too.

        •  We need faith and heritage . . . (none)
          and ought to appreciate those who preserve those sensibilities.

          There will be a Church that recognizes its current failings. This is the very same church that produced John XXIII, we have to remember.

          More power to you for finding a new Christian home.

    •  The pre-emptive option (4.00)
      Criticizing the Pope and/or Church is not the same thing as criticizing individual Roman Catholics because Catholics have virtually no power or authority in the church. It is not a democracy.

      When we invade, we will be greeted as liberators!
    •  You do have power over the Church. QUIT. (4.00)
      It is crazy for Catholics to say "well, I don't agree with the teachings about birth-control and women, so don't criticize me" while at the same time giving money, power, and voice to a church whose policies are responsible denying women all over the world access to birth control and divorce.

      It Catholics don't want to be painted with the same critical brush as the Church leadership. LEAVE! QUIT! It has been done before (Calvin, Luther, etc). Otherwise, you are just as responsible. Every Sunday, when you put money in that collection basket, think of the work you are paying for by Bishops in Peru and Chile to keep birth control away from women, and think of all the women that are going to die in these third-world countries during their 8th child-delivery in 9 years of marriage.

      And Yes, I am likewise responsible for the actions of the American government. If I had the balls, I'd leave and take my tax money with me. But since I don't, at least I'm willing to acknowledge that some of my money is buying bullets that are flying into the bodies of Iraqis who never wanted to hurt me.

    •  Membership is voluntary..... (none)
      ....although as one who was raised as a Catholic, I can see why that simple fact might not be apparent.  The indoctrination starts early, and it's very effective.

      People have far more choice in being Catholic than they do in being American.  And those Americans who voted for the Chimp deserve the sneers and jeers of the world.  It's reasonable to argue that, by remaining in the Catholic church, its members have "voted" for its policies, and bear responsibility for the effects of those policies.  Voluntarily remaining in a church with whose tenets one does not agree smacks a little of cult, especially as those tenets cannot be changed by the membership.

      They don't want their kids to pray in school. They want your kids to pray in school!

      by roxtar on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 03:26:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reccommended (4.00)
    Well said. A blanket statement is a blanket statement, and always dead wrong.

    Change today Or die this way

    by faithfull on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 04:57:31 PM PST

  •  Ooook (4.00)
    Let's continue the lesson in analogy, shall we?

    You're absolutely right about the similarities between authoritative religions and authoritative governments. I believe the Catholic hierarchy isn't quite as damaging as the Bush administration, but in some areas their combined actions amplify the harm each could have achieved alone.

    However, when was the last time you saw anyone here proclaim GWB was a "good" man (much less a "great" one)? When was the last time you saw anyone here justify ANY heinous action of GWB's administration by pointing out a good thing he had done? (well, that one might be impossible....)

    Your analogy fails because none of us claim qualities for this administration that it manifestly doesn't have; because none of us are willing to "trade" a few good things for a heaping helping of really awful nastiness and call it a balance; because none of us are silently acquiescing in GWB's destruction of our country.

    If you or any other Catholic find the pope's pronouncements and actions infallible and without flaw, then obviously you wish to praise and respect him. If you or any other American find GWB's pronouncements and actions infallible and without flaw, then obviously you wish to praise and respect him. There are a lot of things I could call that, but it's not hypocrisy.

    Lightiris wrote specifically of those who actively or passively find some rationale to "respect" or praise an individual whose words and actions they themselves don't find praiseworthy or respectable. That's hypocrisy.

    According to JPII's beliefs, his earthly life is now being measured. I sincerely hope he believed that mercy trumps justice.

    Still Embarassingly Liberal! -- Contribute to ePluribus Media

    by rincewind on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:20:32 PM PST

    •  Let's get the facts straight, shall we? (4.00)
      If you or any other Catholic find the pope's pronouncements and actions infallible and without flaw,

      You appear to be suffering from the common misunderstanding among non-Catholics that whatever the pope says (or whatever he says on doctrinal matters) is ipso facto infallible. That is not true. John Paul II never made a single infallible statement. Neither did John Paul I, Paul VI, or John XXIII. The one and only pope to speak infallibly, after papal infallibility was defined (with questionable validity, in my estimation and that of many Catholic historians) in 1870, was Pius XII, when he defined the dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin in 1950.

      •  You've got to admit (4.00)
        that papal infallibility is a stumbling block. For starters, I think it is intentionally deceptive as a doctrine because lots of people in the pews don't appreciate the subtlety. I think lots of rank and file Catholics do believe the pope is infallible on all matters.

        Also, how can the pope or any other human being be infallible sometimes but not others? It's preposterous, "I'm going to be infallible in five minutes from now when I make this announcement ex cathedra. Don't listen to me right now, I could be wrong..."

        The Catholic church and the many intelligent and well educated people in its clergy and laity deserve better than this kind of bad theology-and most of them know it.

        Yet, the problem for me is that the doctrine remains and for me, it is very problematic.

        •  Absolutely (4.00)
          I'll even go farther, and quote from Anthony Padovano's keynote address to the 1992 convention of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association:

          Papal infallibility is a little bit like a nuclear arsenal. It may give you a sense of security to have it, but no one knows what to do with it once you've got it.

          But the doctrine is really not all that difficult to understand. The pope must be speaking ex cathedra, on a matter of faith or morals, and he must explicitly claim the mantle of infallibility. Otherwise, he's just another human being speaking as we all do, although his words might have force of law within the Church. But they could still be changed.

          •  Thank you (none)
            For bringing up the matter of infallibility.  There is just so much in this diary and the other one that is frankly, a load of crap that it is hard to know where to begin.

            Perhaps it would help people to understand that elements of Dogma is normally defined by general councils of the Church, with all the bishops assembled.  These are basics of faith and morals, things like the nature of Christ, the Real Presence in the Eucharist.  If a Council deems something part of Holy Dogma then it does so infallibly.

            I'm not sure why the Pope in 1870 sought to declare that he alone could also make a similar infallible declaration of Dogma, without convening a Council, but he did.  But it's no more than what has been going on with Church Councils throughout the centuries.

      •  And the Non-Catholics go screaming . . . (4.00)
        for the exits. . .  ;-)

        Geez, you see that infallible stuff in print, and it makes you really wonder what the hell a few years of Catholic grade school might do to a guy. I'm suddenly worried for myself.

        However, I had two great years of college at a Benedictine school that was the most spiritual place I'd ever been before or since.  Nothing there was anything about doctrine; it was 100% about living, deeds, and spirit. Knowing what truly Christian teaching means is everything. I wish there were more of it. But I am very glad there is at least some of it.

      •  Thank You!!! (4.00)
        For saying it so eloquently! It's been driving me crazy on this site for a week now. Most Catholics, never mind the non-Catholics, don't completely understand the whole infallability thing.
        And another thing - I went through 12 years of Catholic school that included a very thorough sex ed class that included info on several different barrier methods - we were educated to follow our conscience first and foremost.
        •  Yeah, same here (none)
          It always bothers me when no one points that out when discussion about public school sex ed comes up.

          If even THE CATHOLICS know abstinence ed isn't enough, how could anyone support it?

        •  Yeah, I had very through sex ed in Catholic School (none)
          where we were told use condoms/other measures or else you will get an STD. We learned about evolution and there were never any debates of the kind you hear about in public schools on sex education. I have to say, I was wondering how long it would take for someone to bring up infalliability. Honestly, that other thread and this thread to a lesser degree, are really kinda of useless. I would really rather speculate on who will be the next pope and discuss internal vatican politics. And with that in mind, Google has given me a way to look up the potential candidates...

          http://www.cardinalrating.com/

      •  Unfortunate verbal shortcut (4.00)
        In this particular context, I should have taken more care to be clear that I wasn't referring to the Doctrine of Infallibility WRT either the pope or the president. What I was getting at is that only the individual who has no failings and flaws (is that clearer?) is above criticism. All the rest of us are susceptible to honest, truthful, painful exposure of our defects. That -- if done with facts, evidence, and honesty -- isn't "bashing", disrespectful, or unfair.

        We've been talking about a human being, not a perfect individual. To say that true criticisms, based on the documented words and provable actions of this human being, are unfair, unbecoming, disrespectful, "bashing", ____ (any of the derogatory words being tossed around tonight) is itself hypocritical.

        I will no more be muzzled about the ill-uses and abuses of power by the pope and the Catholic hierarchy than I will shut up about those same actions by GWB and his administration.

        On the broader issue of guilt by association, I'll just reiterate: I don't, and Lightiris didn't, accuse ALL Catholics (or all Americans) of hypocrisy -- only those willing to exempt a fellow human being from valid criticism just because he was the pope (or the president).

        Still Embarassingly Liberal! -- Contribute to ePluribus Media

        by rincewind on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 07:03:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Timing is everything (none)
          By all means, criticize--carefully and respectfully--that which deserves criticism. But the man's going to be dead for years and years. Do you need to spit on his corpse before he's even decently buried?
          •  Timing is indeed important (4.00)
            Yup, today is the day when innumerable people -- on TV, radio, in newspapers, and here -- feel compelled to say that, although they disagree with position X and think proclamation Y is harmful and feel strongly that action Z is totally wrong, yet JPII was a great and saintly man and pope, and deserves our thanks for his life of service to his faith.

            Far from "spitting on his corpse", I've commented only on my inability to reconcile my understanding of love, compassion, and tolerance with many of JPII's words and actions. Since when is refusing to join in the Hallelujah chorus the same as bashing?

            If there had been a diary praising JPII a year ago or 6 months ago, I would have made the same comments I've made today. Maybe I missed 'em, but I just don't recall any such diaries, and I have to wonder why all of you who've been notably silent about the pope in the past are so vociferous today. Do you value him more in death than in life?

            Still Embarassingly Liberal! -- Contribute to ePluribus Media

            by rincewind on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 07:54:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Political Commentary Is What We Do Here (4.00)
    I am completely entitled to evaluate the political agenda of the Pope - and this is a site where we engage in political analysis, BTW.  JP2 was clearly a political advocate.  

    Sentimental devotion to the Pope is fine - but you can go to a church for that.  This is political gathering, not a Mass.

    There are probably hundreds of churches open tonight for you to gather with like-minded folk - why police the Kos site for political commentary when that's exactly what we do here?

    Many of us, BTW, are ex-Catholics.

    •  Read your own headline (none)
      Yes, we do political commentary here. We also try to be respectful. And when someone steps over the line, we tend to be pretty doggone vocal about it. Why should your pope-bashing be exempted from the usual rules of discourse around this place? You have a right to spew your venom, just as I have a right to express my dissatisfaction both with its content and with its timing.
      •  It's not pope-bashing. (4.00)
        Get it? Iris's diary is legitimate criticism. If you don't like it, go to another diary.

        Should she have said "catholic hierarchy" instead of "catholic church"? You could have a discussion about that, although I think it's splitting hairs.

        Bottom line: set up as many "kiss the dead pope's ass" diaries as you like, but I won't be there. You go ahead and enjoy them but don't tell me what I can and can't say about him.

        "I love mankind; it's people I can't stand." --Linus/Peanuts

        by homogenius on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 07:09:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My bottom line (4.00)
          Don't tell me I can't go all nukular on your ass for being an insensitive lout while you exercise your right to freedom of speech to piss all over a man not even cold in his grave yet.
          •  I really don't get this (4.00)
            Here's the thing:

            1. Catholicism is a world religion, with billions of followers
            2. Is it is the only major religious denomination whose leader has its own country
            3. It is is the only religious denomination whose leader gets to consistently play on the world stage.
            4. It is, by far, the wealthiest religious denomination, and it wields not inconsiderable economic power.

            You're equating the criticism of someone who is to some a religious figure but to the world a political figure as... what? Religious intolerance? Anti-Catholic bigotry.

            Please remember that this pope's religious beliefs led him perpetuate certain ideas that run contrary to the beliefs of most (not all) of the people who come to this liberal political site, which include, but are not limited to:

            1. Respect for people who are gay/bisexual.
            2. Respect for women's control of their own bodies (that goes for both birth control and abortion).
            3. Respect for people's right to death with dignity.
            4. A dislike of economic inequality and those insitutions that have coddled the priviliged (and by this, I mean, the history of the Catholic church in Central and South America and its reaction to revolutionary theology).

            Then, there's also the dislike of an institution that is willing to use its power and economic might to cover up the crimes of its employees (and yes, I'm specifically talking about the molestation scandals). I'm willing to believe that John Paul was "protected" from the full details of what went on, but the fact remains that one of the bishops most closely involved in covering up the scandal became one of his advisors.
            •  Apparently not (4.00)
              The fact that it's the pope has nothing to do with my being upset. I said the same things here when people started piling on the day that Reagan died. I was always taught that you just don't trample on a man who's down--and you sure as hell don't trash someone--anyone--who isn't even cold in his grave yet. Certainly not in public, and especially not in a place where you know you'll find people who were close to him.
              •  I can only suggest that the best place (4.00)
                to mourn the pope, is not a political blog. Particularly not this political blog.

                And, frankly, the "speaking ill of the dead" thing never made sense to me in terms of how the dead feel about it.

                But YMMV, and obviously does.

                •  Again you miss the point (4.00)
                  I'm not mourning the pope here. I'm not even really mourning the pope: I'm glad he's at rest at long last, after so many years of suffering and decline. But I still think it's tacky (to say the least) to have people saying the kinds of hateful and misguided (and flat-out wrong) things about him that have been flying about this place and elsewhere on the blogs the last couple of days. It's just not something that polite people should be doing--regardless of who they're doing it to, and regardless of whatever grudges, real or imagined, they might have had with that person.

                  It. Simply. Isn't. Done.

                  That's my point.

                  •  No, I do get your point (4.00)
                    but I disagree.

                    You say:

                    But I still think it's tacky (to say the least) to have people saying the kinds of hateful and misguided (and flat-out wrong) things about him that have been flying about this place and elsewhere on the blogs the last couple of days.

                    I disagree, completely, that the commments are inpsired by hate and that they're misguided. Again. He's a political figure as well as a religious one. He's also a public figure. Criticism comes with the territory, IMO but not in yours.

                    When it comes to a public space like this where people are free to post their opinions, and come here to post their opinions, and have strong opinions, well, those opinions are going to be aired, whether it agrees with your notion of propriety or not.

                    And I disagree with your notion of propriety as it relates to a political blog and the death of a political figure.

                    It's just not something that polite people should be doing

                    Your definition of polite behaviour as it relates to political discussion on a political website abot a political figure... well, we're never going to agree on this.

                    Peace.

                  •  "It. Simply. Isn't. Done." (4.00)
                    If people are spreading false and slanderous information about the late Pope, by all means, correct them all you want.  

                    But please don't try to stifle legitimate commentary about a world leader and political figure, on this political site, with an anemic Miss Manners imitation.  

                    You think it's some violation of etiquette to discuss the Pope in less than reverent terms because he just passed away.  (Personally, I think that shows very little faith in his soul.)  But more importantly, I don't like being told what to do or think.  We're not in your church here.  If you don't like the discussion, move on.  

                    •  And people wonder (4.00)
                      why the Democratic Party is so often accused of being anti-religion. These kinds of comments offer all the ammunition they need, and then some.

                      Whatever happened to the Golden Rule? I'm sure that if your father or a close friend, or even a figure you looked up to but had never met in person had just died, and people were treating him the way some have been treating the late pope, you'd be pissed off. Why, then, is it so hard for you to understand that comments like this are disturbing to many of your fellow Kossacks, Catholic and non-Catholic alike?

                      And this was particularly rich:

                      But more importantly, I don't like being told what to do or think.  We're not in your church here.  If you don't like the discussion, move on.

                      So, I can't tell you what to do or think when you want to bash the pope, but it's just fine for you to tell me what to do and how to think when I call you on it? Can we say "hypocritical," boys and girls? I knew you could.

                      •  The hypocrisy is all yours, pal (none)
                        I'm not telling you to shut up.  Say whatever you darn well please.  I'm just telling you to go elsewhere for a while if you're that sensitive, and stop telling others what they may or may not say on this site, in order to take care of your feelings right now.  Because you didn't issue a plea for sensitivity, you issued a rule, complete with dramatic punctuation:

                        "It. Just. Isn't. Done."

                        Golden rule?  Sure, why don't you try it for a while?  Practice what you preach, you pious phoney.  

                        •  I think not (none)
                          Golden rule?  Sure, why don't you try it for a while?  Practice what you preach, you pious phoney.

                          Oh, believe me, I'm practicing it right now. If I weren't, what I'm about to say would be expressed with considerably more heat.

                          But let's review how this thread got started, shall we? You said:

                          But more importantly, I don't like being told what to do or think.

                          You, on the other hand, think it's just peachy keen to tell me what to do or think. And I'm just supposed to suck that up because I'm "sensitive."

                          So, again, what you're saying is you can do and say whatever you damn please, but I'm not allowed the same latitude. I call that hypocritical. In the extreme.

                          And you can take your phoney friendliness, pal, fold it until it's all sharp corners, and stick it where the sun don't shine.

                  •  Hey musing85 (3.00)
                    We missed you in this diary:

                    Plea for Moderation re: Pope

                    Seems right up your alley, figuratively speaking.

    •  Sentimental devotion to the Pope? (none)
      Where did you get that? The worry here is the blanket assumption that the church is who John Paul was. I've got no sentiment for JP.

      But apparently you feel it out-of-bounds to point out when political discussion devolves to accusation, bigotry, and worse. The emotional dumping by ex-Catholics here certainly ain't political; should that be policed?  There are probably hundreds of self-help groups open tonight for those people . . .

      •  Let Me Add More (4.00)
        Folks, I sincerely hope we can all get along.  We all have much in common.

        I'll add what really is hard for me to understand - how many who disagree with this Pope still belong to the institution that he willingly used to spread right wing ideologies - I think that the membership of those who disagree helps to increase the power of the church's political influence.  To me, it's like belonging to the GOP.

        And I tend to think that Kossacks who do the above are suspending their normally critical faculties - and perhaps are under the influence of sentimentality, tradition, etc.

        Please explain how belonging to this repressive church does not help solidify its power - I believe it does, and I worry that Kossacks are helping to shore up an institution that none of us agree with.

        Hope that amplifies my earlier comments.

        •  I've been struggling with this for a while (3.83)
          whether to keep being the cafeteria Catholic that I am or leave the Church.  I've decided to sit it out and see who the next pope is (hey maybe a miracle will happen and he won't be conservative).  The problem is it's just not that easy to leave the Church (at least for some of us).  For me, it would be like rejecting a whole part of who I was/am.  I may not agree with many Church teachings anymore but I feel a certain solace/comfort in a Catholic Church that I don't feel anywhere else.  
        •  asdf (4.00)
          "Please explain how belonging to this repressive church does not help solidify its power"....

          I guess some Kossacks remain Catholic for the same reasons that most continue to be American  citizens. They have faith that they can make things better by staying and fighting for what they believe

        •  I don't know if this is any answer . . . (4.00)
          but it helps me understand how many friends and family feeled compelled to remain fully Catholic.

          The church isn't a democracy. It's the body of Christ as he himself established it. There isn't anything to "belong" to in the sense that we belong to a political party---that it responds to what we may think, hope, and desire. The body of catholicism is much bigger than that. So it isn't something that a person sloughs off. I think a lot of Catholics are truly pained by the positions of the hierarchy, and many act on that pain. To suggest that leaving or denying the church is the only---or best---route to alieviating its troubles seems dismissive of those who believe these human failings are not insurmountable.

          I sincerely wonder about these claims of "power." The church is a group of people---a large group of people, but nonetheless---who aren't represented by a gigantic standing army, control no territory beyond a tiny postcard set of Renaissance buildings, do not collect taxes or control its members by borders or walls, a group whose only connections are those of belief. Words. A book. A history. That this is in any way "powerful" is really only a manifestation of what Christ really stands for. While we are terribly angered by how this is often bastardized, we ought to marvel that it manages to last only through words of a long dead holy man. It's this promise that keeps me--at arms length--connected to what the church really should and could be.

          •  I See No Changes Coming (4.00)
            It's the rampant, dangerouos growth of the right in this country that has made me more dubious about the value of remaining in any institution supporting right wing values.  Several decades ago I might have been more optimistic - Vatican II, etc. - but this current church has seemed more mean and cruel against women and gays such that my optimism - or even neutrality - have given way to resistance.

            I really doubt that the left-leaning Catholics will make any headway.  I should also add that my primary source of disconnect is the second class status of women - to me, that cannot be negotiated with.  It's profoundly wrong.

        •  What?!? (4.00)
          "...Kossacks are helping to shore up an institution that none of us agree with."

          At the risk of sounding a bit disrespectful, given the news of the day, I feel compelled to inquire:

          Who died and made you the Pope?

          That is a shockingly broad brush you're painting with there. I'm a Protestant, not a Catholic, but I fully support quite a number of their teachings. I loved the way JP II wasn't afraid to tell W his war in Iraq was wrong. I love what Mother Theresa worked for the better part of her life to accomplish.

          Plenty I don't agree with as well.

          I don't agree with everything President Clinton did. I believe that sometimes, he was just plain wrong. But I remain a Democrat. And I continue to think he was a pretty damn good president.

          Is this analogy that hard to understand?

          "Who told you that you were naked?" Genesis 3:11

          by mrhelper on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 06:49:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Are you an American? (none)
          "I'll add what really is hard for me to understand - how many who disagree with this Pope still belong to the institution that he willingly used to spread right wing ideologies - I think that the membership of those who disagree helps to increase the power of the church's political influence.  To me, it's like belonging to the GOP."

          To me, it's like being an American.

    •  "sentimental devotion to the Pope"? (none)
      I think that might be unnecessarily condescending.

      The public wants what the public gets, but I don't get what this society wants -- Paul Weller

      by jamfan on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 07:43:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I second your rant! (4.00)
    And did so in my diary

    Catholics as divided as Americans

    In light of the recent Schiavo right wing fundie media spectacle and a top diary today discussing Catholic hypocrisy I wanted to remind people that not all Catholics are alike. Much like in the United States the Roman Catholic Church is not unified in its stance on Schiavo, civil rights, etc (1)

    Liberation Theology

    I myself follow this leftie branch of the church, which is very oriented to civil rights and the rights of the poor. (2)

    My diary:
    Daily Kos :: Jesuit: Terri's death was not murder

  •  Recommending (none)
    Because I think there should be two recommended diaries on this subject.

    John Stossel looks like a 70s porn star.

    by bink on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:54:02 PM PST

    •  Also (4.00)
      I did not find lightiris's diary to be bigoted.  It was not about Catholics.  It was about policy and doctrine.  But I did come away with the sense that the diary did not quite reach all the way to the top.

      John Stossel looks like a 70s porn star.

      by bink on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:54:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can't believe this is recommended (3.72)
    Have we no standards anymore?

    Listen, Chrisisssipppi, I'm no doubt included in that 1 billion figure, and I resent YOUR implying that I have anything in common with that homophobic misogynistic media whore.

    Re George Bush representing America, sorry, but he in fact does. Remember November 2004? The good people lost. If we don't admit that -- and the fact that a majority of Americans weren't decent enough human beings to vote this monster out of Washington, we're never going to get anywhere.

    Stop massaging these romantic fantasies. Get real! Truth is more powerful than the sword!

  •  History tends to paint with a broad brush.... (4.00)
    ...or, to change the metaphor, history bats last.

    The Germans who failed to eject Hitler as their leader before he killed millions have gone down in history as "Good Germans" who were "just following orders."

    The sad truth is that already in the rest of the world, and one day in the eyes of history, there will be much discussion of the "Good Americans" who let fanatics steal two elections and appoint people like Michael Chertoff, John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz, Alberto "Torquemada" Gonzales, and start wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and (maybe coming soon to a theater near you!) Iran.

    If a Catholic doesn't like what the Church does, or an American doesn't like what America does, they have two choices: rebel or leave.

    If they do neither, I think it's fair to say they are OK with what's being done, or so morally cowardly they will not challenge it. In that case, paint away with however broad a brush you want to.

    How many Catholics get out there fight for the soul of their Church, and how many are pew potatoes who go every Sunday and sit there nodding like lumps, or worse, don't go to Church much but get all huffy if someone criticizes the religion they were born into?

    I also think some people believe that grousing on blogs constitutes fighting BushCo. Read some history about resistance movements--read a bio of Vaclav Havel or Nelson Mandela, or the kids in the White Rose, or the Maquis...

    We can fight 'em with everything we've got, or go down in history at worst as a Quisling and at best as a "Good American."

    -- Life is tough: Three out of three die. Now shut up and deal. ~Ring Lardner Jr.

    by Eleftheria on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 06:08:19 PM PST

  •  Excellent analogy! (4.00)
    And recommended.

    The religious intolerance has been incredible around here of late. Intolerance is intolerance, whether it comes from the bigoted religious right or the bigoted anti-religious left.

    I can't stand either. Remember that the vast majority of the world - literally billions of people - lie between these two extremes. Assuming that you have all the answers and that everyone else is wrong is the height of arrogance, regardless of what end of the spectrum you populate.

    Tolerance, goddammit, tolerance!!!

    "Who told you that you were naked?" Genesis 3:11

    by mrhelper on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 06:18:34 PM PST

    •  Tolerance of what, though? (4.00)
      Religious tolerance does not equal freedom from criticism.

      And criticism of religion doesn't mean that one is anti-religious. Or even areligious.

      Religion is a powerful tool for good and for evil, depending on who is leading whichever flock we happen to be talking about currently.

      And it's only human nature, when someone you don't particularly admire is lauded and praised, for you to eventually say "hey, let's step back and take a closer look at this guy we're uncritically celebrating now that he's dead."

      I can understand, to a certain point, how people who think of the pope as their leader may be grieving because he's dead. But as someone who is not Catholic, but is religious, I have the following reactions:

      1. This isn't my religion and I'm a little tired of the omnipresence of religious viewpoints (or the symbols thereof) being constantly before me (esp. in the wake of the Schiavo nonsense. I'm a little burned out, frankly).

      2. I know history. I know the good and bad things that religions, their leaders, and their followers have accomplished over the years (and that goes for my own religious denomination, too). Because of that, and because this is a political website and because the pope is a political figure (in addition to being a religious one), I find it irritating that any criticism I offer (or that lightiris offered) can be construed as simple bigotry.
      •  Well said, Renska (4.00)
        Religious tolerance does not equal freedom from criticism. And criticism of religion doesn't mean that one is anti-religious. Or even areligious.

        Why should the Catholic church, which criticizes freely as it sees fit, be exempt from criticism itself?  

        No human being or human institution gets that privilege.

        If religious people want to be above criticism by claiming divine inspiration or exception, then we've got a problem.  Because unless you are willing to extend me the exact same courtesy (and no church that I'm aware of has EVER been that tolerant) then it's just an assertion of power.  To wit:  I'm right because God says so; you're wrong because God says so.  It's a proven and time-honored recipe for oppression and murder.

        •  Thanks for your reply (none)
          I know that some of the reaction to the criticism is the natural insider v. outsider reaction (insiders are allowed to criticize their own/their institutions, but those same people/institutions need to be protected from outsider critcism because outsiders can't understand).

          The other thing that bugged me about these types of conversation is that you are (as a Democrat/leftist/liberal/pick your label) assumed to be a-religious or anti-religious -- it's the default assumption.

          So, therefore, any criticism can be negated/dismissed. And the position serves to reinforce the myth of the left -- that "we" hate religion; that "we" are not religious; that "we" preach tolerance without displaying it ourselves.

          Then add trollish behavior on top and the whole discussion becomes murky and unpleasant and, well, frustrating.

    •  Tolerance (none)
      "Don't get so tolerant that you tolerate intolerance...."

      Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

    •  If only religions practiced what you're preaching (4.00)
      this discussion wouldnt even be happening.

      Tolerance. Ha ! the church's wouldnt recognize tolerance if it hit them across the head with a 2 by 4.

      And quite frankly, reading this authors diary, I am left wondering, WHEN ARE the leity going to stand up to their bankrupt leaders and say "ENOUGH" and "STOP" this isnt the teachings of Christ ?

      I think when i see THAT happen, I'll stop criticizing the Catholic Church, just like when i see this nations leaders start living up to the ideals of our constitution, I'll stop critisizing them too.

      At least with GWB, half the country said "STOP" and "ENOUGH", as for the Catholic Church, I am still waiting.

      Let the Democratic Reformation Begin

      by Pounder on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 08:54:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Heck I'm Eastern Orthodox (4.00)
    and Catholicism has been our supposed rivals for nearly 10 centuries :)  Still don't appriciate the Venetians and co. sacking Constantinople in the 4th Crusade, but the papacy of JPII did more to help relations between the churches than the other Popes of the past.  Also his reaching out to other religions was truly respectible.  The way some are trying to demonize him & the Catholic church is quite sad indeed, but people have the rights to their opinions on the matter.  Thats why we're Democrats :)

    "Dude, Wheres the soul of the Democratic Party"

    by marcvstraianvs on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 06:27:32 PM PST

  •  APALLING HYPOCRISY---HUMAN RACE IS EVIL (4.00)
    since everyone that pisses us off is human....why not admit we're all a bunch of slimy fools?

    no need to get specific...catholics, republicans, democrats, conservatives, liberals....there are jerks in every group

  •  Religion is Anti-Leftist by and large (3.25)
    I dont see any way around it.

    Look: the Enlightenment is under attack everywhere, around the globe. In Russia, in the Middle East, in Europe, here -- pretty much everywhere.  And religious nut jobs are big part of the problem.

    The real irony is this: Roman Catholicism seems to be the most LEFT freindly of the major religions...I mean look at South America and the Carribean...only areas of the world where leftwing governments are in charge and popular...

    So, maybe there's some kind of weird synchronicity between leftist masochism and RC masochism.  Or something.

    Castro and Chaves and Lula could only be from Catholic countries....there's a kind of mysticism in leftthinking that the hyper rational american left has totally lost.

    McGovern. Democrat. For the People.

    by m jesse jackson on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 07:09:49 PM PST

    •  I disagree (4.00)
      Abolition was driven by Christian progressives. The Civil Rights movement was as well (MLK was a pastor).

      What has happened to the religious left is in part a  result of the 60s/70s counterculture  movement in which institutions of any sort became the enemy. And some memberrs of the left became convinced that in order to keep church and state separate it had to deny the existence of religion.

      Finally, the right managed to convince the left and the right that the left hated religion.

      For all that mankind's worst "fundamentalist" attitudes can become enshrined in religion, so too can its best and most tolerant and loving.

      The problem is, any force/institution that allows you to reach a mass audience, and mobilize them, becomes a tempting target for those who seek power.

    •  The Catholic clergy (4.00)
      stood up for the people of Guatemala when few others (Meteor Blades being a rare exception) would.

      Many of the Catholic clergy died agonizing deaths; nuns raped and tortured; the Archbishop assassinated.  I am not Catholic but the Catholic clergy stood up for the poor and illiterate Indians of Guatemala when the American Left for the most part was mesmerized exclusively by Nicaragua and El Salvador.

      Pope John Paul II said, "All they do in Guatemala is give orders and kill."  Jean-Marie Simon, Guatemala: Eternal Spring, Sternal Tyranny , p. 149.

      I salute John Paul II and the many other Cathlolic priests and nuns who told the truth about Guatemala.

      •  The people of Central America (none)
        Which number do you think is bigger?

        The number of Central and South American natives killed by Catholic conquistadors looking for souls and gold + the number of women in these countries who have died in childbirth from lack of birth control + the number of children in families of 14 who have died from starvation and disease + the number of women beaten to death by husbands they could not legally divorce

        or

        the dozen Catholic clergy who stood up to the Guatemalan government.

        •  Fray Bartolome de Las Casas (none)
          was a Spanish priest who opposed the Spanish Conquistadores in the 1500s.  Perhaps the first human rights worker, he championed the Indians and ultimately became the Bishop of Chiapas.  Many historians say he was the author of the Black Legend...the view (which many contemporary historians view as overstated) that the Spanish Conquistadores are responsible for genocide of untold magnitude.

          Don't fix blame exclusively on the Catholic Church for the greed and inhumanity that was prevalent among all Euorpean cultures of the time.  How Catholic were all the Americans who killed Native Americans?

          "The dozen Catholic clergy" unfairly diminishes both the number of clergy involved and the extent of their involvement.

          And the number of civilian dead in Guatemala in the recent civil war is 200,000.

           

  •  If you want to pretend that criticism of the Pope (4.00)
    or the Catholic Church is criticism of "Catholics" then you are correct - but you are DEFENDING the policies of the church by covering them over with the bodies of the innocent and saying "it isn't US".

    Surely it is legitimate to attack the Church and this Pope for what they have done without SOMEONE popping up and saying " But not ALL Catholics..."

  •  I don't hate the pope. (4.00)
    nor do I love him. got the sense he was a fundamentally decent guy, although usually WRONG.

    nice old man, but stupid. and unfortunately, given his position of power, his stupidity was not benign: there are tens of millions of people in Africa right this minute who are going to die of AIDS as a direct consequence of thickheaded christians' opposition to proper AIDS education or condom usage. Y'hear? PEOPLE who are going to DIE because of the influence of ossified, divorced-from-reality dingbat religious prattle - prattle oozing from supposed "moral authorities" whose personal belief in the two-millennia-old "authoritative" text purporting to be the law o' the universe - dating from back when the earth was flat, diseases were cured by bleeding the patient, bad harvests were thought the result of witchcraft, and the sun revolved around the earth - trumps science and common sense in the formulation of public policy.

     Certainly the pope and Catholicism aren't solely (or even, these days, primarily) responsible for all of this - Bush-sanctified Amurrican-bred wacko xtian crap exported as fake science probably has the leading role (see how we're currently fucking up Uganda's long-successful "a-b-c" anti-aids initiative, by urging the removal of the 'c' - condoms). But when it came to promoting AIDS in the developing world, the pope was a playa. And sorry, t'ain't OK.

    Hello! Reality has MOVED ON. If people personally want to buy into antiquated piffle for the sake of their own comfort, fine - it is (well, should be, anyway) a free country/planet, and piffle comes in  more than 31 flavors, traditionalist Catholicism being but one. But when these belief systems start resulting in millions of deaths logic dictates that it's time to draw the line.

     

  •  No lightiris doesn't. (4.00)
    In fact, in lightiris's diary, she suggests that the very passionate Americans who abhor the policies of the Bush administration and Rumsfeld and who call for their resignations are silent went it comes to the injurious policies of the Catholic Church.

    I note you left that part out of your diary.

    You see, in fact, lightiris is an American who actually is trying to do something.  I ran for and won a political office in my area, and I'm Chair of my Democratic Town Committee.

    Please don't twist lightiris's words to suit your purposes.  You should ask lightiris herself if you have questions about her assertions or comment on her diary if you disagree.

    Thanks.  

    Wake up and smell the jackboots, sheeple!

    by lightiris on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 07:20:21 PM PST

    •  The Catholic Church is far bigger than the Pope (4.00)
      I don't condemn all Catholics who don't leave the Church (even though I did), and I don't think you condemn these Catholics, either.

      But perhaps that is the source of some fo the reaction to your diary.

      I know plenty of great people who remain practicing Catholics even though they vehemently disagree woth the Pope.  I talked with many folks like that today.

      •  Catholic ChurchES (none)
        Yes, there is "the Church," but your point is important, because it's such a huge and dizzyingly diverse and complicated insitution, that what one person means and emphasizes as "the Church" is often very different from what others emphasize.  And one need not be seen as pollyannaish for emphasizing the truly admirable aspects of Catholicism as long as you're cognizant and honest about the failures and negative aspects.  I think the problem here is that most of the people commenting on "the Catholic Church" don't really know much about Catholicism, and they lack the knowledge of the complexity and contradictions that lie at the heart of the Church, and within the hearts of most American Catholics.  
  •  A man from Poland (4.00)
    Pope John, better known as the Bishop of Rome in my own denomination, was a Polish man of a specific time.  While I mourn the damage he has inflicted on the women of his church, I celebrate the great good he accomplished in the area of interfaith relations. No other Christian denomination has accomplished as much though the auspices of international leaders except perhaps the Lutherans through the work of Krister Stendahl. His work is no public relations trick.  The body of writing about interfaith relations from Roman Catholic theologians is disciplined, articulate and outstandingly progressive.  They wouldn't have accomplished this without the backing of John Paul.

    Before we judge too harshly a very human man, we should look at the complete body of his work and celebrate what we can.  My own education in interfaith relations came through the training I recieved at the hands of my Roman Catholic mentors, most of whom are serious supporters of full engagement of women in the work of the Roman Catholic Church.  Apparently John Paul was more concerned about the good work of his interfaith theologians than about their views of the place of women in the church.  While he definitely viewed women's roles in the church as secondary and derivative, he also didn't let that get in the way of his passion for interfaith peace.

    A thoughtful look at the fruits of that passion is available here.
    http://www.jcrelations.net/en/?area=Articles
    Peace be to all.

  •  If you have 2 people, you have politics (4.00)
    Everything is political. Period.

    Of course, all our large organizations steal the page from the catholic hierarchy telling everyone to keep god and ceasar separate.  

    By denying that the political exists everywhere, it makes it easier for the top to keep the sheeple the sheeple and the top to stay on top.  

    Everyone thinks doublethink applies to fasicsm and oppresive socialism (I won't say communism, because the state is supposed to wither away ...), but, doublethink was around long before martin luther put his 95 thesis on the door in 1517, and it was perfected in rome.

    so, for today and the next how many hours / days / months / years it will be inappropriate to make political commentary about a political organization  -- what kind of thought control is that?

    the pope did a lot of good - but, condemming millions and millions of poor women to poverty while waiting for god to take care of a MAN made problem - that was, and is, bullshit.  

    rmm.  

  •  I'm not even Catholic (none)
    Or Christian, but the crap spewed in that other diary was disgusting.   Don't get me wrong, I have my strong opinions on that Pope and Catholicism in general, but this is neither the time or place for reguritating hurt feelings from childhood from a totatlly different priest.  Ick.

    Smoke the holy chalice, got my own religion...

    by fabooj on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 09:18:37 PM PST

    •  fabooj, thank you, I agree (none)
      I was born catholic, baptised, went to CCD classes and even went to catholic high school. I then went to college and took some philosophy courses and became my own person.  I don't think I ever left the church I just began to think for myself.  I then graduated as a chemical engineer.  I believed in science.

      Today has been a remarkable day for me personally.  I am a liberal in every sense of the word.  I have believed for many years that organized religion is not useful, although I do believe in spirituality.

      I have reflected much about the role of religion and specifically catholicism.  I think that people who are choosing to critize the church today are doing a great disservice to themselves.  Look,  the idea of being a progressive means that you are willing to accept people for who they are and to embrace people who disagree with you; remember we as liberals have so much disgust for those on the right for their inability to accept others.

      The Pope was a great man who followed church doctrine.  He, I believe, thought he was doing right by his congregation.  

      I think also you must put the church in perspective.  Sure, I am disgusted by the acts of the pedophilic priests, but that would be ignorant on my part to judge one billion people because of some sick minority.  The church in my opinion is one of the best organized religions, which in general I abhore.

      The church spends so much money on the poor.  Their clergy in my opinion are in it for the right reasons; to help others.  Unlike the Benny Hinns and Pat Robertsons who make millions of dollars  each year off their "flock" all priests take a lifelong vow of poverty.  These servents aren't living high on the hog.  The church has made many advances in human freedom in history.  Lest not forget how much this Pope had to do with the beginning of democracy in his homeland of Poland.

      Not to change the subject, but I, as a man of science, have always believed in evolution; however, I also believe in the theory of the "Intricate Watch" and think that both spirituality and religion can work together to serve the purpose of humanity.

      •  How much money exactly? (none)
        There's no way to tell. No accountability.

        Tremendous amounts of money we donated for charitable purposes, were used for hush money and legal fees.

        And given the high percentage of "bad apples" - over 10% in Boston - and the duration of the coverup - Maine had files going back 80 years, they were careless, Boston and NY shredded early and often - there is no such thing as a decent priest these days. There's no way that any diocesan priest, or religious working in the offices, could not have known what was going on. And this came out repeatedly in the Boston investigation - that nuns thought to themselves "This is a bad thing, someone should call the cops," but never did, that priests looked the other way when their co-pastors brought boys home.  It's way worse than the Air Force Academy.

        Until there is accountability from my diocese - and they're refusing to comply with the AG again - I'm not going to give them the benefit of any doubt. They do some charity work yeah - but not as much as the secular charities here. And yet they have enough power to have, for several generations, leaned on the secular law enforcement to participate in the coverup, because of their reputation and the "good works" they were supposedly doing in the area.

        "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

        by bellatrys on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 04:27:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry but... (none)
        As another ex-Catholic - it did not take me until I was in university to see through the hypocrisy - I must question your comments.

        • a scientist and a believer in the "intricate watch theory"? And what evidence do you have on the intricate watch theory, or is evidence important when you come to "faith"?
        • "The Catholic faith is one of the best organized religions"? Hmm, to collect money, keep people poor, keep women barefoot and pregnant.... yeah I guess so.
        • I do agree that the Pope probably thought he was doing right, but so does Bush. That doesn't mean we should worship Bush, does it?

        I don't think I am the only one celebrating the Pope's death, and I think the vitriol(?) that you are seeing today comes primarily from ex-Catholics who feeled wronged/damaged/disappointed/letdown by this man's leadership. The church is not a democracy so we have to wait for the leader to die before we get another. Don't blame some of us for celebrating, we have had to wait a long time.

        "Democracy is coming to the USA" - Leonard Cohen

        by taonow on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 06:00:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But that was my point (none)
          The ex-Catholics and anti-religion people have made their views perfectly clear.  I wasn't expecting to see a lot of good words about the man, but that diary was absolutely disgusting.  It was actually worse than the Reagan diaries and didn't think it could get that bad.

          Smoke the holy chalice, got my own religion...

          by fabooj on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 11:32:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  No need... (4.00)
    to attack the man at the time of his death.  The time now is to mourn the passing of a great world leader.  

    As a lapsed Catholic, I disagreed with John Paul II on a number of issues, and with the Church on a number of other issues as well.

    But you simply cannot ignore the tremendous impact John Paul II had on the last quarter of the 20th century.  Was he perfect?  No.  Then again, who is?  Did he have his faults?  You betcha.  Don't all of us?

    He sought to end the animosity generated between religions, by becoming the first Pope to visit a synagogue and a mosque.  He re-established diplomatic ties with the United States after 150 years.  He opposed the Iraq War.  He admonished capitalist societies for not doing enough to fight poverty.  He was the first Pope to visit the White House.  He boldly visited Cuba and called for the end of the embargo.  He lived a life challenging the authority of the Soviet system.  He essentially ended the Italian dominance within the Church by expanding the College of Cardinals and appointing men to represent the international community.  He was a conservative on Church doctrine, yet a champion for the poor.  He arguably helped more in the collapse of the Soviet Union than Reagan.

    Only two other Popes have served as long as John Paul II - Pius IX and Peter.  There is no question to his impact on history.  Arguably, he towers over the last several Presidents - Bush II, Clinton, Bush I & Reagan, men who shared the stage with him, are all lesser men and guilty of far more unconscionable hypocricies and despicable acts.

    And his opinions toward homosexuals, no matter how much I disagree, were not so different than that of the Dalai Lama, who also abhors gays & lesbians yet has caught considerably less flack for his intolerance.

    But that's not the point...Catholics around the world are showing that Death is a time to mourn but also a time to rejoice.  His passing is sad, but who should remember him for the good he did.

    Let us have dignity.  Let us show respect to those who have passed...just out of simple kindness.

    So often people pick the wrong time to fight.  Let's use our manners, our consideration and respect for the individual, at this time to honor a man who touched the world with his presence, no matter your ideaological bent.  Even Cuba, that Godless island nation, has announced three official days of mourning.

    Even as a lapsed Catholic, I hope that people can show their decency and humanity at this time.  There are simply times when we must set aside our differences;  this is one of them.  

    Let us come together, as people of all faiths & ways of life, to honor his memory.

  •  No need... (none)
    to attack the man at the time of his death.  The time now is to mourn the passing of a great world leader.  

    As a lapsed Catholic, I disagreed with John Paul II on a number of issues, and with the Church on a number of other issues as well.

    But you simply cannot ignore the tremendous impact John Paul II had on the last quarter of the 20th century.  Was he perfect?  No.  Then again, who is?  Did he have his faults?  You betcha.  Don't all of us?

    He sought to end the animosity generated between religions, by becoming the first Pope to visit a synagogue and a mosque.  He re-established diplomatic ties with the United States after 150 years.  He opposed the Iraq War.  He admonished capitalist societies for not doing enough to fight poverty.  He was the first Pope to visit the White House.  He boldly visited Cuba and called for the end of the embargo.  He lived a life challenging the authority of the Soviet system.  He essentially ended the Italian dominance within the Church by expanding the College of Cardinals and appointing men to represent the international community.  He was a conservative on Church doctrine, yet a champion for the poor.  He arguably helped more in the collapse of the Soviet Union than Reagan.

    Only two other Popes have served as long as John Paul II - Pius IX and Peter.  There is no question to his impact on history.  Arguably, he towers over the last several Presidents - Bush II, Clinton, Bush I & Reagan, men who shared the stage with him, are all lesser men and guilty of far more unconscionable hypocricies and despicable acts.

    And his opinions toward homosexuals, no matter how much I disagree, were not so different than that of the Dalai Lama, who also abhors gays & lesbians yet has caught considerably less flack for his intolerance.

    But that's not the point...Catholics around the world are showing that Death is a time to mourn but also a time to rejoice.  His passing is sad, but who should remember him for the good he did.

    Let us have dignity.  Let us show respect to those who have passed...just out of simple kindness.

    So often people pick the wrong time to fight.  Let's use our manners, our consideration and respect for the individual, at this time to honor a man who touched the world with his presence, no matter your ideaological bent.  Even Cuba, that Godless island nation, has announced three official days of mourning.

    Even as a lapsed Catholic, I hope that people can show their decency and humanity at this time.  There are simply times when we must set aside our differences;  this is one of them.  

    Let us come together, as people of all faiths & ways of life, to honor his memory.

  •  I like your diary... (none)
    but you have to admit it was inspired by my own word-substituon satire on Leonarda's (or whwtever her name was) diary a while back, eh??? Come one ,now!!! The same exact technique. You did a better job on yours, I admit. Mine was too polemcial and angry. But the idea, eh????

    ohhhhhh noooo.let's deny it now....(-; eh? eh????

    We should treat all the trivial things of life seriously and all serious things with a sincere and studied triviality---Wilde

    by gilgamesh on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 12:02:20 AM PST

  •  Speaking as a Southerner and an American (none)
    as well as a former-conservative, bigoted Catholic who used the term Church to mean only those we considered "real" Catholics, and considered all liberal Catholics heretics, and liberal Christians not really Christians, because that was how we were raised -

    It's hard for me to have a lot of sympathy for hurt feelings.

    Some of the criticisms are valid.

    Worse yet, because "decent" Christians/Americans were quiet and didn't criticize in time, loud enough, the people in charge and calling the shots are the corrupt and venal.

    I worked in conservative Catholic media, I answered phone calls from Cardinal O'Connor's office and other Catholic bigwigs around the world, this is something I know a good bit more about than your average sweet old baba or auntie or Joe Massgoer.

    I live not too far from Fall River, and I remember the assurances that it was only a few, we shouldn't blame everyone, and besides it was all taken care of and couldn't happen again. I live in another diocese where the same assurances were made a couple years ago - again - even as the AG's office was preparing to release documents stating otherwise.

    I was also long before this at the parish where Rudy Kos ended up - rembember him? and how Dallas was supposed to fix everything, back when? - and in our years there, several priests were rotated in and out unexpectedly, to the grief of parishoners, without explanation. Suddenly, it all made sense.

    I also heard - from someone who worked in two archdiocesan offices - that twenty years ago and mroe, there was an expression, "playing checkers," for the practice of shuffling pederasts. You don't have expressions for things that don't happen.

    The coverups go wider than the crimes. No priest at this point is innocent, no bishop, no sister who worked at the Chancery, either. They knew. Or they chose not to, just like General Karpinski.

    And all that money we donated for good works? How many millions of it went for payoffs and lawyer fees?

    All the while they told us that no, no, it was a 'few bad apples' and it's all taken care of.

    Face it, we wuz had, we were suckered into thinking that all the accusations over the past centuries were just mean ol' god-hating bigots. And so we closed our ears, closed our eyes, and now when no one in the world has any respect for our moral authority - and yes, I'm talking about American and the Church, because part of the problem is the identification of the Church with state power, in whatever country it takes hold - now we think it isn't right that we be judged this way - and that we're hypocrites all along for claiming moral superiority and the right to stand in judgment on the rest of the world.

    But we've done so much good! the wails rise. We're not all like that! It's not fair!

    Speaking as someone with Confederate ancestry who lived a great many years below the Mason-Dixon line - forgive me if I don't quite manage to feel your pain. I remember all too well the "Stupid South" comments - why, hardly a day goes by without some sanctimonious Blue Stater closing his eyes to the beams of racism, stupidity, and corporatist greed in his own area, determined to have all the failings outside, find someone else to blame. Anything but share in responsibility for the bad in America - you just want the feel good bits, the glory, and to disavow and externalize the rest of it.

    There's a reason for that saying about glass houses and stones and all.

    Karma ran over dogma, indeed.

    "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

    by bellatrys on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 04:20:53 AM PDT

  •  Except for the fact that the Catholic Church's (none)
    core beliefs say that contraceptives are bad.  Ummm... if you want to believe in a Church that has so many horribly wrong policies, then that's your perogative, but the fact is, that if you say you are a Catholic, should you not also believe in the baic tenants of the church.  I guess you would say that the leaders choose those policies, but how long do they have to be around before you get fed up and find another church - 2000 years?  What does it take? What a bunch of lemmings to continue to give to and attend a church, that by it's very nature is hypocritical in it's core beliefs. There is something completely different between your country and your religion. Your religion is your belief system.  Your country is your home.  There is an obvious distinction in my beliefs and those in elected office.  I don't have a choice to give up my country, but I can easily and readily change my religion. Please...
  •  Certainly not all Catholics (none)
    are responsible for the atrocious policies of the Church but lightiris's diary really needed to written. The Church's opposition to condoms in Africa, among other policies, is unacceptable.

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