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I know that pointing out the atrocities of the Catholic Church is like shooting fish in a barrel, but occasionally the church still does something so beyond the pale it's worth mentioning.

A well-known story: in Brazil a nine-year old girl was raped by her stepfather and became pregnant with twins. Her family took her to have an abortion and lo and behold! the Catholic Church, that kind, gentle, benevolent shepherd of the souls of humanity, prounounces an 'automatic excommunication' against the doctor and the parents.  (Automatic excommunication?  How does that differ from a 'regular' excommunication?  Is it like an automatic car wash....put in a few coins, sit back, read the newspaper and enjoy as the souls roll into hell?  'No need to do any dirty work folks--excommunication is now easier than ever!')

A few months later, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano felt the need to clarify their position, apparently feeling they were taking too much of a beating in the press. Here's what the Holy See had to say:

...the girl should have been defended, hugged and held tenderly to help her feel that we were all on her side...We have laws, we have a discipline, we have a doctrine of the faith.  This is not just theory. And you can't start backpedaling just because the real-life situation carries a certain human weight."

Far be it for real life to intrude upon the medieval dogma of 21st century Catholicism.  The article didn't say anything about the stepfather being automatically excommunicated...apparently raping children falls lower on the Catholic Church's hierarchy of sins than having an abortion.  

The real tragedy here, aside from the grievous trauma inflicted on the poor girl, is that the Church is continuing to inflict more damage to the poor child.  Assuming for a moment that the family and the girl are true-believing Catholics, and not just CINOs, then this girl, on top of having to deal with her rape, is now worried that her mother and father will be roasting in a lake of fire and brimstone for all eternity.  As if she didn't have enough to deal with, she (and her parents) now have this on their plate as well. Fortunately for her, as she is not 18, automatic excommuncation does not apply to her, although I'm not sure if she'll be automatically excommunicated upon her 18th birthday.  Never having been a Catholic, I'm not sure how all this works.

No surprise of course:  if one were to compile a list of grievances, of butcheries, massacres, genocides, tortures and all categories of affronts to humanity perpetrated by the Catholic Church throughout history, this would fall far down the list.  The 'benevolent' Pope Benedict has made it clear that dogma is still indeed far more important than the actual end-result of the church's actions in the lives of its parishioners.

As an atheist, I see the ultimate sadness is that people believe any of this garbage at all, that they refuse to open their eyes and think for themselves, and instead continue to allow their lives to be destroyed by a mindless, dogmatic, soul-sucking organization. It's no wonder they're hemorrhaging worshipers at an alarming rate.

I sincerely hope this girl and her family will one day be able to see through the thick veil of lies and treachery the church has pulled down over their eyes. Seriously folks, try atheism--it's much better for your mental health.

Just have to add the obligatory WOW! rec list!  Thanks folks--it's my first time here.

UPDATE: Wow.  This is an amazing theist/atheist flame war.  Not my intention at all, but what the hell...these things have a way of taking on a life of their own.  Let it play itself out; it could be cathartic.  Maybe after we're all done calling each other names, we can be nice again.  Or not.

UPDATEx2: A Clarification.  

A tip o' the hat to Nowhere Man for suggesting that I update my diary with the following quote from one of my responses to a commenter who (like many) didn't detect the snark in my 'try atheism' quip at the end.  For those who actually thought it was an attempt at reverse proselytization:

"To be fair, I can see how the whole 'try atheism' thing at the end (really intended to be snarky rather than an obvious attempt to 'de-convert' people from their religious beliefs) could be construed as offensive.  So much for the wisdom of including snark in a serious diary."

Although with my comment about 'automatic excommunication' earlier in the diary, I thought that snark was well-established but I clearly underestimated the desire of people to be offended.

I don't hate Catholics.  I don't hate religionists.  Of course many have such a strong desire to be wounded (as is evidenced by their comments) that they will never be able to separate my hatred of organized religion as an institution (to which I readily admit) from hatred of individuals for belonging to said institutions (which I do not espouse and which I completely deny.)

And also, although I support their rights to say them, I don't agree with some of the more vitriolic, inflammatory, anti-theist comments that some of my atheist brothers and sisters have posted, as I support the rights of the theists to say whatever they want.

Reading through the energetic arguments (and childish namecalling) througout the comment thread, I'm reminded of the quote by John Keats:

"Though a quarrel in the streets is a thing to be hated, the energies displayed in it are fine..."

This isn't the first time that the godboys and the hellbound have bashed each others' heads in; I'm sure it won't be the last.   (SNARK ALERT! Just to be sure not to offend anyone there...)

Originally posted to eldubb72 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:20 AM PDT.

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  •  Tip Jar (338+ / 0-)
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      •  I'm a lapsed Episcopalian myself (23+ / 0-)

        However, I honestly don't know whether or not it's a safe assumption that the Anglican church in Brazil is that much more tolerant than the Catholic church.  It could well be.  But there are lots of hard-line Anglican diocese worldwide that are pretty bent about the Episcopal Church being all tolerant of teh gays and whatnot.

      •  Actually, they would have done more good if (8+ / 0-)

        they had stayed in the Catholic Church and stood up during mass screaming their objection to every offending remark directed their way.  Of course they would at that point be invited to become Anglicans, but they wouldn't have gone quietly.

        "A man of true science uses but few hard words, and those only when none other will answer his purpose..." - Melville

        by ZedMont on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:15:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I was raised (nominally) Episcopalian, (12+ / 0-)

        and I remember we had a ceremony for a young Catholic priest who wanted to become an Episcopal priest, and who coincidentally was engaged to a lovely young woman.

        I wanna quote another British poet.

        by Lazar on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:54:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sincere question: (13+ / 0-)

        Why is it politically acceptable for someone to say to a Catholic, "try Anglicanism", without fear of anyone jumping down their throat and calling them a "hater" - but it is not politically acceptable for someone to say to a Catholic, "try atheism"?

        One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 01:10:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because Anglicanism is basically the same thing (6+ / 0-)

          The Anglican Church started  (roughly) when the King of England wanted yet another annulment from the Pope and the Pope refused.  The King then looked around and saw how much property and wealth the Catholic Church had.  The King broke away from the Catholic Church to form the Church of England, with himself as head, taking most of their property with him.  

          The Anglican Church never started as a separate belief system.  It was basically the Catholic Church without the Pope.  That trend continues to a great extent today.  Anglicans and Catholics can worship at each other's churches and see the the same rituals and prayers.  Because of this there has been a fair amount of priests going from one to another.

          Technically the Anglican Church isn't protestant.  It occupies a space between Catholicism and protestantism.

          The biggest difference, besides the Pope, between the two churches is that the Anglican Church gives lay people and parishioners significant control over the operation of churches, allowing them to decide financial matters, choose their priests, elect their bishops and have votes in deciding Church policy.

          •  So, using that logic, (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            redwagon, pdrap, h bridges, beijingbetty

            A progressive saying to a conservative, "try Progressivism", is rude and hateful?

            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 01:55:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Would have to ask a conservative, but a neo-con (5+ / 0-)

              who asks me to climb aboard is in for a rude awakening.

              Asking any Christian to try Atheism isn't hateful, it's like asking someone to drop their most fundamental beliefs and values. Ain't gonna happen unless they've already decided that God is AWOL.

              I never liked you and I always will.

              by Ray Blake on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 02:11:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I didn't ask about likelihood (6+ / 0-)

                I asked why, a priori, it is widely (sometimes I think more widely on the Left side of the aisle than the Right) considered tantamout to hate speech to discuss the merits of atheism, while it is considered more acceptable to discuss the merits of any particular religion - and most acceptable to discuss the merits of a particular denomination.

                It is unlikely that you'll change the mind of a neo-con - but that doesn't make it rude to discuss the merits of progressivism.

                Why is that?

                One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 02:24:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Good point. It's not hateful. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  wader, neroden

                  People generally follow a belief system thinking it is best; ergo, to recommend your own system to others should not be seen an act of hate.

                  The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

                  by beijingbetty on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:13:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You to know your opinion is in the minority (4+ / 0-)

                    I'm not accusing anyone here, I'm asking for opinions on why this cultural bias is so deep-seated - even among people accustomed to political debate - even among people who participate in communities that debate heatedly about all sorts of issues.

                    I understand that popular American culture is deeply anti-intellectual, anti-rational and anti-atheist (which are not the same thing, btw).

                    I'm asking why communities like this, which are less anti-intellectual, and perhaps, although it is arguable, less anti-rational, are still rabidly anti-atheist (including even some atheists themselves who jump on anyone who critiques the social value of religion or even makes an abstract philosophical argument about the virtues of applying the scientific method to questions about god).

                    One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                    by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:55:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's because (0+ / 0-)

                      all religions are by definition equivalent and equally good. At least by the religious definition, they are. The same definition applies at the ballot box.

                      If wanting the country to succeed is wrong, I don't want to be right.

                      by Angela Quattrano on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:31:19 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  not really (0+ / 0-)

                        You try to convince seriously religious folks that any ol' other religion is equivalent by definition.  At some point, the Catholic (as an example) will find a lack of equivalency, perhaps at the point of Episcopals, or Baptists, or Mormons, or Jews, or Muslims, or Wiccans, or Hindis, or Buddhists.

                •  I haven't observed that discussing Atheism is (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  neroden, kyril, vadasz, Coilette

                  considered hate speech on DKos, although as in this diary, it's quite apparent that the level of hostility towards Christianity is sky-high. Similar comments directed against Judaism or Islam would occasion massive donut-throwing and accusations of anti-semitism or racism.

                  As a non-Christian who nontheless admires the teachings of Jesus/Yeshu the Nazarene, I'm not offended at all by discussions of non-belief, although there's not much to say past a certain point about the negation. Saying that God, a term indicating all kinds of things to different people, doesn't exist is a bit like saying that the soul doesn't exist. Both of these terms are placeholders to describe mysteries that are neither provable nor disprovable (unless you're a fan of Spinoza, I guess). If you believe in God or the soul, all kinds of ideas spring from that belief, whether I agree with them or not. In the case of atheism, not so much.  

                  I never liked you and I always will.

                  by Ray Blake on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:24:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  this is not true- (8+ / 0-)

                    a belief in God stops ideas from springing up as you put it- God is the end of discussion, whereas the absence of God opens up the door wide open to a real discussion of what REALLY is out there, and what is not out there;
                    the belief in the universe continuing emergence and self-creation, evolution, and progress are far more fascinating than the belief in a personal God who magically created the universe out of nothing;
                    and finally the existence of God puts an end to your freedom- he's the beginning, it, and the end of it, period- not much can be said beyond that narrow scope of slavery..

                    the day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution- paul cezanne

                    by green minute on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:48:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You seem to be under the misperception (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ReneInOregon, ProgMa57, Coilette

                      a belief in God, the particulars of which are highly variable, somehow negate an interest in science which is demonstrably untrue. Great scientists have been, and continue to be believers in the mystery they call God, Allah, Yahweh, etc. You may be aware that Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, Pascal and Newton were Catholics, and that a surprising number of prominent contemporary physicists, astronomers and geneticists are as well, among them Owen Gingerich, Ian Barbour, John Houghton and Charles Townes, not to mention my two favorites, Eric Priest (I kid you not), an authority on Solar Magnetohydrodynamics (my favorite subject!) and Francis Collins, director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute. All of these gents have also written on theological matters. In fact a Roman Catholic Priest, Georges Lemaître, was the first to propose the Big Bang Theory. So much for a belief in God restricting one's ability to contemplate the mysteries of the Universe!

                      For most of the past 2000 years in the West, the Catholic Church was the locus of education and Catholic schools are still the best bang for the buck, whether you're a Catholic or not. Internationally, their social services are also second to none. I don't know what the equivalent Atheist institutions are, or who they benefit, but you can easily scare up a gallery of rogues from Atilla the Hun to Stalin who were up to no good if you want to play that game.  

                      I never liked you and I always will.

                      by Ray Blake on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:16:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Fine arguments but... (0+ / 0-)

                        none of these are convincing arguments FOR the existence of God.
                        Only because a slew of "scientists" practiced faith does not make it any truer beyond fantasy.
                        I did not say that a faith impedes practicing science, but it is not and cannot be a part of it.
                        If you call God a mystery you may as well be an agnostic. If you practice a particular faith, you adopt all its doctrines and everything that goes with it, which negates the somewhat flimsy notion of mystery and replaces it with a set of fairy tales.
                        Please, you do not have to describe the Catholic Church to me as I was born and raised Catholic and know everything about it.
                        At age over thirty I became an atheist, having realized that the story of Jesus is the story of Horus, the sun god in ancient Egypt. And the fact that Jesus's god status was decided in 325 AD in Nicea.
                        The whole religion is based on a lie perpetrated by men, and that's the end of it.

                        the day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution- paul cezanne

                        by green minute on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:39:11 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm not trying to argue the case for the (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Coilette

                          existence of God, although many scientists have and continue to do so. Your position was that a belief in God precludes a desire to contemplate the nature of the universe, evolution, etc. Clearly it doesn't. In fact, the two tendencies seem to be intertwined. You're trying to argue on the basis of a lowest common denominator, reductive, fundamentalist notion of what the term "God" denotes. Happily, this is not the view prominent theologians subscribe to.

                          But since you've determined that the whole religion is a lie and "that's the end of it", I guess, that's the end of the discussion.

                          I never liked you and I always will.

                          by Ray Blake on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:49:24 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  not true again (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            BYw

                            Please re-read my first comment- I did not say any such thing. You stated that not contemplating the belief in God ends up nowhere, which I countered with my comment that it does more so, and that a belief in God is the end of it, end of discussion, which it is.

                            the day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution- paul cezanne

                            by green minute on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:52:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  make sure to see this movie: (0+ / 0-)

                            http://www.thegodmovie.com

                            "The God Who Wasn't There"

                            as well as this video:

                            http://www.youtube.com/...

                            Jesus versus Horus

                            and please keep an open mind, don't cite Satan, intellectualization, etc. when pulling explanations to support the mythical fairy tale...

                            the day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution- paul cezanne

                            by green minute on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:02:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  But why is it socially objectionable (6+ / 0-)

                    to say the soul doesn't exist, or to say god doesn't exist, while it is not socially objectionable to criticize free market fundamentalism, neo-cons, libertarianism, or capitalism, even in much harsher terms?

                    People may strongly disagree with a political or ideological position, but, outside of closed-minded, dogmatic, fanatics, few people react to a criticism of their political beliefs by calling the critic hateful, bigoted or worse.

                    A related issue is that, while those who criticize Christianity will generally attack the belief system, those who criticize atheism will generally attack atheists personally - at the same time, ironically, theists will interpret any critique of a belief system as a personal attack on believers.

                    This acts as a means to suppress dissent on issues of religion and its role in society. In my opinion, this is a defense mechanism that insulates religion from the kind of crowd-sourced scrutiny that helps social institutions evolve to better serve the societies in which they operate.

                    In other words, it is not only puzzling and hypocritical that one can criticize any belief except religious beliefs; it is also counterproductive, for both the religion and (the part I care more about) society.

                    Words should be embraced as substitutes for resolving disputes by force. If you supress free inquiry, free discourse, free debate and free disagreement - whether implicitly, or explicitly by the means of repressive social norms - you don't do away with disagreement, you merely push it underground.

                    One of the reasons many young people express such hostility toward Christianity, is that the alternative - a calm, rational and mutually respectful discussion about its merits and detriments - is not socially acceptable.

                    It is virtually impossible for a nonreligious person to discuss faith with the faithful. As a result, we each talk to our own, which tends to amplify discontent and result in misunderstandings and hostility.

                    Be that as it may, hostility towards Christianity should be no more offensive that hostility towards conservatism or liberalism, hostility towards the Yankees or the Red Sox, or hostility towards fans of Britney Spears.

                    It may be difficult to understand, it may even be incomprehensible - but hostility towards ideas, concepts, belief systems, should not be equated with personal hostility towards you - unless you consider yourself The representative of God on Earth.

                    One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                    by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:07:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I see no suppression of Atheists here so I'm (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AaronInSanDiego, virgomusic

                      probably not the one to talk to about their alleged victimization. I would disagree that in diaries like this people are attacking the Christian belief system rather than Christians themselves. In fact, very few of the comments demonstrate a basic grasp of what Christianity actually teaches. Of course, even some Christians loathe the Catholic Church--many fundamentalists don't categorize Catholics as Christians.

                      I have no objection to intelligent criticism of belief, believers, doctrine, practice, whatever. But the venom here goes far beyond critique and if directed, as I said, at religious Jews, Muslims, ethnic groups, or nationalities, would be roundly condemned and HR'd.  

                      I never liked you and I always will.

                      by Ray Blake on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:31:39 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You and I live in a society (5+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        wader, st minutia, BYw, Sparkys Dad, okuzaone

                        (assuming your American, which you may not be) that reviles atheists over members of any other belief group.

                        A society where those who follow no religion constitute at least 15% of the population, and there are more outright atheists than Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists combined - yet it is impossible for an atheist American to be elected to public office.

                        A society where prime time news anchors can claim, with impunity, that "there are no atheists in foxholes" (Imagine anyone saying, "there are no Jews in foxholes", let alone "there are no Catholics in foxholes").

                        A society where even in the "liberal" Democratic Party, the worst accusation one can make against a political rival is that they are "godless".

                        A society where atheists are discriminated against in employment, in child custody judgments, socially and culturally and legally.

                        A society where, at the same time, the Supreme Court already has a Catholic majority and where, should Sotomayor be confirmed as we expect, there will be a total of six out of nine Supreme Court justices who are Catholic - fully half of all the Catholic who ever served on the Court. Despite Catholics comprising less than one-quarter of the population.

                        A society where Catholics make up 30% of Congress. Where Jews, who make up 1.7% of the population, comprise 8.4% of Congress. Where there are two Muslims and two Buddhists in Congress.

                        And the only, solitary atheist member of Congress is Pete Stark, came out after decades in the closet, in the safest district in the nation.

                        A nation where more than half of the population says they would not, could not, vote for an atheist, no matter what.

                        But, yes, a few hostile ex-Catholics on DailyKos outweigh all that, and the many "liberal" theists here for whom the word atheist always has to come with the adjective "hateful" are not to be weighed at all.

                        Forgive me for not sympathizing with your oppression, my friend.

                        One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                        by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:24:02 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm not claiming any oppression since I'm not (0+ / 0-)

                          an adherent of any religion. Nor was I trying to trump your sense of victimization. I've just not come across anti-atheist vitriol on this site. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I have, however, seen some anti-Catholic rhetoric that borders on hate speech. As you know, the Irish and Italians were despised when they emigrated to America, and anti-Catholic bigotry was common up until about the late 50's (some would say it never stopped). JFK's election in 1960 was a milestone.

                          There isn't a term for Catholic hatred that's equivalent to anti-semitism, but the animosity is alive and well.

                          I never liked you and I always will.

                          by Ray Blake on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:35:40 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  justifications (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    BYw

                    Saying that God, a term indicating all kinds of things to different people, doesn't exist is a bit like saying that the soul doesn't exist.

                    So what? Seriously. I don't believe in the existence of either and my world hasn't fallen apart.

                    If you believe in God or the soul, all kinds of ideas spring from that belief, whether I agree with them or not. In the case of atheism, not so much.  

                    Really? How so? Explain to me how my thinking is so stunted because I'm an atheist.

                    "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                    by catnip on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 09:43:27 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Christians often ask athiests to try Christianity (14+ / 0-)

                Jehovah's Witnesses come knockin on my door..... on a SATURDAY

                  - Jon Spenser Blues Explosion

            •  No, but (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              redwagon, 3goldens, neroden, kyril

              One's identity is often tied up in what groups you were raised in.  Stepping away from one of those groups is often a painful process.  Suggesting a Catholic who wants to step away from the Catholic Church try the Anglican Church is telling them of someplace that is different, but still comfortable.

              It's like telling a Republican to become an Independent if they are not comfortable in the Democratic Party yet.

              •  That wasn't the point of my original question (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Timbuk the Second

                but thanks anyway.

                One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 02:20:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  To answer the original point (8+ / 0-)

                  It is acceptable to tell a Catholic to try the Episcopal Church because by the very nature of that suggestion you are not denigrating their beliefs.  That suggestion says, "I know you are frustrated with the Catholic Church, but you can be Christian and not Catholic.  Try this alternative that is close, but without a lot of the bad aspects of the Catholic Church."

                  It is easy to take a suggestion of atheism as a denigration of all religion, and as such, their beliefs.  It's about the perceived respect for the person's underlying beliefs.    

                  •  Yep (10+ / 0-)

                    "Try an Anglican church" = "Keep your beliefs and values - all of them - intact and unmolested, but try a community that might be more welcoming/open to some of your personal qualities/lifestyle choices within the framework of those beliefs."

                    "Try atheism" = "Give up some of your most closely-held beliefs and traditions, risk rejection by your family, and consign yourself to a life as a religious minority."

                    I'm an atheist, but I think it's just as rude to suggest that a Christian consider atheism in a vulnerable moment as it is for Christians to try to convert an atheist in a moment of emotional upheaval. There's no problem with having healthy discussions of atheism with Christians who are independently questioning their beliefs, but it's simply inappropriate to equate a blatant conversion attempt with a suggestion of a place where a churchless Catholic might find solace.

                    •  well said n/t (5+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Cynical Copper, neroden, kyril, BYw, Coilette

                      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

                      by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:10:44 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  You do realize that many Catholics (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      wader, Sparkys Dad

                      do no consider Anglicans Christians at all, and many Christian denominations do not consider Catholics to be Christians at all.

                      Wars have been fought and many people killed over the years over denominational nuances.

                      Yet merely discussing the potential merits of a life without theism is "simply inappropriate" and "rude"?

                      Funny, that never stops theists from telling atheists all about what they lack in their life - and at moments of crisis more than ever. And yet, I never hear an Anglican, or any other theist, condemn such behavior.

                      It is ok to tell people about god, but not ok to tell people about no god. Why?

                      Why is it ok to tell people about progressivism, conservatism, libertarianism, communism, capitalism, etc., as well as all sorts of religion - but not ok to tell people about atheism?

                      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                      by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:26:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No, it's not OK (0+ / 0-)

                        The fact that I don't condone this:

                        Funny, that never stops theists from telling atheists all about what they lack in their life - and at moments of crisis more than ever.

                        is exactly why I don't condone the reverse. I think it's at best rude and at worst morally reprehensible to take advantage of a person's delicate emotional state in that way. It angers me deeply when religious missionaries do it to homesick students, grieving families, and exhausted military recruits; it angers me just as deeply when atheists advocate doing it to recently-excommunicated Catholics. I'm all for more atheists - the more, the better - but I reject the use of manipulative tactics.

                        And frankly I don't give a crap about how the denominations relate to each other - that has absolutely nothing to do with how individual former members of one denomination feel in the other's church.

                        •  In practice, (0+ / 0-)

                          there is always a theist (usually much more than one) who takes emotional offense at any attempt to discuss the merits of religion in any forum, including this one.

                          And, in practice, theists who claim not to subscribe to such taboos or condone repression of atheists never comment critically when a theist attempts to stifle critical discussion of the merits of religion by an atheist. On the contrary, even the most liberal theist immediately jumps in to defend the poor, emotionally fragile theist who is beset by doubt.

                          This doubt, which when applied intellectually to any other belief system - political or ideological - is considered meritorious and a sign of thoughtfulness and growth - is considered an unfortunate and rather embarrassing phenomenon, sort of like the way men used to view a woman's pregnancy.

                          So, in practice, it is virtually impossible to engage in any frank critique of the merits of religion in any forum where such a critique is likely to reach theists.

                          What you frankly do or do not give a crap about is not representative of the general public. And, since you state that you subscribe to a reason-based philosophical system and believe it to be superior to a faith-based system, you are not even in the target audience for my questions.

                          One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                          by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 01:12:51 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  And telling people about atheism is fine (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        AaronInSanDiego

                        so there's no need for your strawman. Obviously, telling people about atheism isn't a problem, any more than telling people about Christianity is a problem (though I find it hard to believe that there's actually anyone left in this country who hasn't been told about Christianity by a Chistian). What's insulting is the "Hey, you're in a complex and stressful situation! Why don't you try throwing your entire philosophical grounding out the window and try my belief system instead!" crap.

                        Do I think reason-based philosophical systems are ultimately superior, and less likely to lead to this sort of incident? Sure. If I didn't, I wouldn't subscribe to one. I'm prepared to make that case to someone who's not in the throes of some sort of personal crisis. Or to someone who is, if they want to hear about it, but only if they want to hear about it. I'm not going to presume to say that it's a solution to the personal crisis of some guy I don't know - some guy who's clearly deeply enough invested in religious belief to have devoted his life to it. I think it's rude, counterproductive, pushy, insulting, and inappropriate.

                        •  To claim that telling people about atheism is not (0+ / 0-)

                          a problem, is not to live in the real world, at least not the part of it defined as the "United States of America".

                          One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                          by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 01:13:39 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  So my mere existence (0+ / 0-)

                    is inherently offensive to you and denigrates your beliefs?

                    Or is it that my existence is ok, as long as I don't voice my beliefs in public?

                    One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                    by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:20:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I didn't get that from (0+ / 0-)

                      the comment you are responding to. It's not about whether you or your beliefs are offensive, but whether they are right for the person you are talking to.

                      Economic Left/Right: -4.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82
                      A yam.
                      What a Yam!
                      And that's all that - A yam.

                      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 07:29:47 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It is pretty clear from the closing sentences (0+ / 0-)

                        It is easy to take a suggestion of atheism as a denigration of all religion, and as such, their beliefs.  It's about the perceived respect for the person's underlying beliefs.    

                        If atheism (or the mere suggestion of atheism) is a denigration of all religions, and thus, of any theist's individual beliefs, and if the mere suggestion of atheistm implies lack of respect, then the implication is clear - the existence of atheists is offensive, and any atheist who talks about their beliefs is inherently offensive.

                        That is, in fact, my admittedly anecdotal experience with many theists, and, based on what others here have related in the past, I am likely not alone in that experience.

                        The entire point of my original question was to expose a deep hypocrisy in the way we treat controversy about faith differently from all other controversies over belief systems. This hypocrisy is particularly striking among members of a site like this, whose entire existence surrounds strong, even unapologetically strident challenges to deeply held belief systems of others.

                        As long as those belief systems are political or even idoelogical, that is considered fine. If, however, any belief system is labeled "religious", it is treated differently, deferentially and placed in a uniquely protected and privileged state.

                        In this state, as the comment I reply to here makes clear, not only criticism of theism is taboo - but the mere suggestion or presence of atheists is a priori offensive.

                        One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 01:08:02 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I don't take the same line of reasoning (0+ / 0-)

                          that you do. I interpreted "suggestion of atheism" to mean "suggestion that someone choose atheism." I can see how suggesting that someone choose atheism, simply because they are dissatisfied with aspects of their religion, could be interpreted as a denigration of all religion, because the inference is that a lack of belief in God is preferable to all possible variations of theistic religion.

                          Economic Left/Right: -4.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82
                          A yam.
                          What a Yam!
                          And that's all that - A yam.

                          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 07:14:17 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  And exactly what is offensive (0+ / 0-)

                            about suggesting that a lack of belief in God is preferable to all possible variations of theistic religion - and what makes that any different than followers of any particular religion or religious denomination suggesting that their variation is preferable to all others?

                            Why is it ok for an Anglican to suggest to a Catholic that they leave their church, but not ok for an atheist to suggest to a Catholic that they leave their church?

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 07:28:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, I suppose it depends on context (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Valerie

                            but if someone expresses dissatisfaction with the Catholic Church because of certain doctrines or positions, but clearly has an attachment to the rituals and some of the core beliefs, such as theism, the suggestion of the Anglican/Episcopalian church seems more on target than a suggestion of atheism. Other suggestions, such as Buddhism or paganism, would also not be on target, and might come across more as an attempt to gain converts than a concern for the person in question.

                            Economic Left/Right: -4.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82
                            A yam.
                            What a Yam!
                            And that's all that - A yam.

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 10:05:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But in reality it doesn't depend on context (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AaronInSanDiego, Rieux

                            that is the whole point. There is always vehement objection to atheists talking affirmatively about atheism. Strong objection right here on Daily Kos, from people who consider it inherently aggressive and even "hateful" to discuss such things, at any time, in any public context.

                            The mere act of suggesting an alternative to religion is considered a rhetorical act of war.

                            Such is not the case with regard to posts testifying about this religion or that, this denomination or that, as well as posts about various political ideologies, not matter how avidly or even fanatically believed.

                            It doesn't even require a critique of religion - although it is irrational that critiques of other ideologies and beliefs is fine, just not religion - all it requires is an affirmative statement about an atheistic worldview. That is considered inherently offensive.

                            In fact, even talking about the scientific method and reason, if one dares to suggest they might be applied consistently to examination of all things, is tantamount to pissing on someone's shoes.

                            It is so prevalent and pervasive, that it is, ironically, virtually invisible to both well-meaning liberal theists and to atheists uncomfortable in their own skin.

                            To suggest that antagonism to a discussion about atheist depends on context is to be utterly blind to the reality in America. There is nowhere that theists tolerate an affirmative discussion about atheism in their midst. Nowhere, not on the left, the right, the up, the down or the middle.

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 12:13:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I guess I have a different perception of things. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Valerie

                            While what you describe is often the case, especially in the larger American society, I don't think it is as thoroughly pervasive as you do, especially around here, where a high percentage of folks are non-believers, and Christians are perhaps a minority.

                            Economic Left/Right: -4.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82
                            A yam.
                            What a Yam!
                            And that's all that - A yam.

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 06:27:04 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I thought being a progressive (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AaronInSanDiego, Rieux

                            meant caring about other people, rather than just seeing the world through one's own self-interest like conservatives do.

                            It's not hard to find young atheists in the South (not exclusively, but particularly), posting about being kicked out of their houses if they come out as atheists, about being beaten, or at least harassed, teased and excluded on a daily basis by their theist peers. My own daughters, growing up in liberal urban Massachusetts, were singled out by their teachers for humiliation before the entire class for their crime of being atheists during the Christmas season.

                            I was targeted in our local newspaper for objecting to the school superintendent violating the law by using prominent school billboards to promote Juedo-Christian religious messages after 9/11  - when I suggested he use "E Pluribus Unum" instead, he was interviewed in an article saying a better way would be to teach his students "Semper Fi", so they would know how to deal with people like me in the future.

                            It's not hard to find adult atheists talking about discrimination in the work place, about ostracization in their neighborhoods.

                            It's not hard to find those of us who found ourselves almost foreigners in a hostile America after 9/11, vilified and barely tolerated.

                            It's not hard to find those of us who remember when George H. W. Bush, a sitting vice president running for president, stated that atheists should not be considered patriots or possibly even citizens, because this is one nation under God - and to remember the utter indifference of our theist friends and colleagues, and the utter lack of consequences Bush suffered for that remark.

                            It's not hard to find those of us who remember when Tom Brokaw proclaimed, repeatedly, that there were no atheists in foxholes, and couldn't get a single theist to join us in a protest at the networks headquarters right in Manhattan.

                            But, hey, I'm glad you're doing well in sunny San Diego. I moved to Portland in part in order to be in a more welcoming environment, and, in fact, suffer little overt discrimination here.

                            That hasn't made me any less concerned about my fellow Americans suffering continuous discrimination in other parts of the country, nor any less concerned about young men and women forced to hide their convictions and repress their beliefs in a supposedly free society.

                            I guess the new progressivism is, if I'm OK, who gives a fuck?

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 09:55:37 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well said. (2+ / 0-)

                            I'll merely add that I think the ugliest example of oppression I've seen in this vein has been laid bare by law professor Eugene Volokh: he shows that, in custody disputes in American courts, irreligious parents are routinely denied custody of our children on the (openly stated!) grounds of the parents' lack of religion.

                            So in addition to all of the events you mention, our kind is also watching our children be taken from us in open court on the grounds of religious bigotry. ...Which makes Aaron's testimony that he's doing just fine in San Diego, thanks, all the more flippantly ugly.


                            (And it's hard to miss that Aaron's response, dispiriting as it is, is still measurably more positive than the median "shut the fuck up, you anti-religious scum" retort we more often get for violating stultifying religious privilege. Sigh.)

                          •  I suspect Aaron meant "on Daily Kos," not "in SD" (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AaronInSanDiego

                            I could be wrong but I think he was saying that folks on Kos are less likely to knee-jerk in response to discussion of atheism than in other environments.

                            Won't you help me sing / these songs of freedom? / 'Cause all I ever have: / Redemption songs.

                            by Valerie on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 10:04:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So it would seem. (0+ / 0-)

                            But commenting on a blog that has "high percentage of ... non-believers, and Christians are perhaps a minority" does exactly nothing to protect atheists from the abuses that RandomActs and I have detailed.

                            Atheist-friendly communities are indeed nice, but they don't erase the reality of societal atheophobia.

                            More relevantly, perhaps, I can assure you that though Aaron could be correct about the religious makeup of Kossacks, it unfortunately does not follow that "folks" here are unlikely "to knee-jerk in response to discussion of atheism than in other environments." It's hard to know how to evaluate your relative statement ("less likely") in a society beset with religious privilege, but RandomActs and I can assure you, from ample personal experience, that there is an enormous amount of "knee-jerk in response to discussion of atheism" going on every week on DKos.com.

                          •  I am sorry that you (0+ / 0-)

                            find my response dispiriting and flippant. I guess sometimes when you try to be sympathetic to those with different views, you can end up alienating those with more similar views.

                            Economic Left/Right: -4.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82
                            A yam.
                            What a Yam!
                            And that's all that - A yam.

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 11:22:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I would add that I think it's encouraging that (0+ / 0-)

                            religious believers like Andrew Sullivan are applauding the defense of the rights of atheists.

                            Economic Left/Right: -4.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82
                            A yam.
                            What a Yam!
                            And that's all that - A yam.

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 11:47:33 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  As Valerie pointed out below (0+ / 0-)

                            I was referring to Daily Kos when I said, "around here". I understand what you're saying, but I don't think that a person reacting negatively to a suggestion that the person become an atheist is necessarily an expression of intolerance toward atheists. There is a difference between asking people to accept you as an atheist, and asking a person to adopt your atheism. I accept others' Christianity, although I might put off if someone suggests that I try Christianity in some circumstances.

                            I didn't mean to be flippant or suggest that I'm "doing just fine" in San Diego. I am surrounded by fundies at work, and am not comfortable self-identifying as an atheist there. I have similar experiences many places around the city and county. Although my current residence is in a liberal, tolerant pocket, I am aware of the problems.

                            Economic Left/Right: -4.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82
                            A yam.
                            What a Yam!
                            And that's all that - A yam.

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 11:19:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  There was a kind of protestantism going on (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TrueBlueMajority, StrayCat, kyril, vadasz

            in England prior to Henry establishing the Anglican Church. A lot reformers were influenced by the Lutherans and other continental protestants.  William Tyndale's translation and printing of the bible was a big no-no for the Catholic Church who was busy suppressing reformers in England with the eager help of Henry for a while who was given a special commendation by the Pope as "defender of the faith"...

            In 1535, Tyndale was arrested on the orders of King Henry VIII, jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde outside Brussels for over a year, tried for heresy and burned at the stake. He was strangled before his body was burnt.

            Much of Tyndale's work eventually found its way into the King James Version (or "Authorized Version") of the Bible, published in 1611, which, as the work of 54 independent scholars revising the existing English versions, drew significantly on Tyndale's translations.

            So the most widely read bible in English goes back to the renegade English protestants in Henry's time...

            But Henry seems also to have listened to Thomas Cranmer (and others who were among the reformers) and who he plucked from a low level position to become Archbishop of Canterbury over the head of more senior conservatives. The changes brought about after that took many years and evolved through several stages and setbacks. The arguments over doctrine, liturgy and other issues were complex and were mixed up with political complications as well.

            And of course along the way, cashing in on all the disbanded monasteries and other Catholic church property paid off big time as well. The fledgling Anglican faith in effect being handed all the choice remaining churches and Cathedrals. ... nice way to hit the ground running. Just about the biggest boost to a Christian sect since Constantine made the Roman empire Christian. Kick out the stubborn traditionalist and replace them with reformers....

            So besides being cheesed off at the pope for not getting the annulment he wanted he may have had other motives both spiritual and monetary... it maybe that King Henry had already started to buy into some of the domestic Protestant movement... or maybe it was just convenient for him to co-opt the local subversives as the core of his new church he did come round for most of it eventually... but also recall that his daughter Elizabeth and her brother Edward were raised VERY non Catholic and were wholehearted believers in ideas that were anathema to Rome and the English Traditionalists...

            Their respective reigns bracketed the reign of their oldest half sister Mary who was Catholic. And she earned the nickname "Bloody Mary" by burning heretics right and left including Bishop Thomas Cranmer who was also the author (mostly) of the book of common prayer. Edward and his supporters attempted to make England even more Protestant and their heavy handed approach alienated a lot of the country. His early death let the Catholics back in who quickly dumped Anglicanism and brought back the catholic church which was a fairly popular move at first... but then her even more heavy handed suppression of English Protestantism and the reformers changed opinion in the other direction.

            In the end her suppression of the new English Protestant branch as much as the efforts of the pioneers of Anglicanism were even more important in making The English reformation stick than lucking into Henry becoming their advocate and champion and having their ideas forced on the rest of the country. Under his daughter Elizabeth The Church of England and the Reformation in England was re-established for good.

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie

            by IreGyre on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:57:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Henry's religion (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cynical Copper, esquimaux, h bridges

              was essentially Roman Catholic with himself as its head but without cardinals and using English. It is still refered to as catholic but in the sense of broad and inclusive. Even today the "high church" service is almost indistinguishable from a Catholic mass, complete with lavish frocks and burning handbags.

              "Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism." Sir Gerald Kaufman, British MP and son of Holocaust survivor.

              by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:12:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  nicely done n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StrayCat

            Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:09:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Who says it's not? (0+ / 0-)

          I think it's perfectly politically acceptable to suggest to anyone of any faith (or no faith) that they try any other faith - or no faith at all.  As long as it's kept at the level of a suggestion and not indoctrination.

          You Got It Designs. Web and graphic design services from a small business owned by a fellow kossack!

          by deaniac83 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:20:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I never discuss the merits of atheism (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AaronInSanDiego, BYw

          although I know of many, with a Christian.  First, Christians see atheists as next to Satan, so they would stop listening to what I say.  It's in the core of the religion (at least the Lutheran one I grew up with) that only thing sent you to hell, and that was not believing in God.

          But, I have another reason too.  Religion can be a crutch, it gives solice and comfort, even if it isn't real, the belief that there is someone listening and caring can be comforting in hard times.  I'm not comfortable taking that away, because I don't know if they have the tools and skills to face the world without it.

          Finally, the beliefs are accepted on faith.  I watched my husband question my sister, and he was completely stymied by her deep unquestioning faith.  That's a tough nut to crack.

      •  Former Catholic here.... (7+ / 0-)

        Now an Episcopalian, and so much happier.  I can exercise my non-theist "muscles" whenever I want in the Anglican fold, and no one blinks an eye.  

        •  former Catholic as well.. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AaronInSanDiego, StrayCat, the girl

          but an atheist or an agnostic- haven't decided yet
          i just don't think another religious alternative would help me other than the sense of belonging to a community- which is the only advantage of belonging to a church, something I need to struggle with for now; but otherwise I don't understand people who must transition from one church to another at all

          the day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution- paul cezanne

          by green minute on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:55:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Another former Catholic (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          StrayCat, Sparkys Dad, Coilette

          Now a nominal Episcopalian.

          The problem I have with the Catholic Church is that they are logical to a fault. Because they are infallible, they can never be wrong, therefore, they must maintain the logic in their system of beliefs no matter how absurd or disconnected from reality they become.

          The Catholic Church believes that life begins at conception, therefore abortion is murder, therefore, the mother and doctor who provided the abortion are murderers, therefore, they should be ex-communicated. Rape does not carry automatic excommunication, so the stepfather is not affected. This is all very logical.

          The reality is that the Catholic Church just ex-communicated a mother and a doctor for terminating a pregnancy that a NINE YEAR OLD GIRL had no possibility of being able to safely carry to term.  Meanwhile, the stepfather who raped her is under no penalty. This is absurd.

          The Catholic Church does not care about people, they only care about maintaining their own illusions of infallibility.

          "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." - Will Rogers

          by wayward on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:16:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Umm...not quite... (0+ / 0-)

            The problem I have with the Catholic Church is that they are logical to a fault.

            Actually, the Catholic Church has not been logical re: contraception and abortion.  If it were logically consistent, it would forbid every type/form of birth control INCLUDING ABSTINENCE.  All forms of birth control, from abortion to abstinence, seek to achieve the same end through different means.  All involve the utilization of 'human cleverness' re: reproduction in order to prevent another potential person from experiencing the life he/she would otherwise experience.

            That is a failure of logic; not logical consistency.

            •  You misstate Catholic beliefs (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AaronInSanDiego, mimi9, BYw

              The Catholic belief is not that people should have as many babies as possible.  The belief is that sex should lead to whatever it naturally leads to.

              If it leads to pregnancy, then it is a sin to prevent the pregnancy.
              If it doesn't lead to anything because of natural infertility, then it doesn't lead to anything.
              If sex doesn't happen, then nothing can come of something that didn't happen.

              The problem with this is that there is no reason for this belief. Furthermore, human fertility is far greater than our ability to bear and raise children. Sex is an important part of a healthy marriage. The Catholic Church is oblivious to the idea that fertility and martial harmony can ever be in conflict. They prefer to blame the couples for being sinful instead of rethinking their own policies. Worse yet, they try to influence and strong arm political leaders into supporting and enacting these questionable policies.

              The Catholic position is logical, but based on a dubious premises. My problem with the Catholic Church is that they are incapable of considering why they believe what they believe and the consequences of these beliefs.

              "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." - Will Rogers

              by wayward on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 05:53:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Most religions are social networks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BYw

        Take all the religious blather away and you have a congregation of people in your community with whom you meet once a week. You keep posted on their lives, they keep up to date with what you are up to.

        Occasionally there is a little business done, maybe a little matchmaking, or a tip on where you can get exactly what you have been looking for.

        Introductions are made, the art of gossip is polished and sometimes there is a receipe or two exchanged along with some spare change and a few good jokes.

        If you are into that social stuff then excommunication would be the equivalent of being banned from your favorite golf course.

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 02:49:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  here's a revolting story from my Catholic (38+ / 0-)

      religion teacher in High School:

      He told our senior religion class appprovingly about a family who had to deal with a situation very similar to the one in Brazil, except that the dad in question handled it as the church would have him do, and we weren't informed as to whether a pregnancy had occurred.  

      When he found out that his daughter had been raped by a family friend, according to the priest who was "educating" us, the dad handled it perfectly: he spanked his traumatized little girl soundly then held her tightly, comforting her like the Vatican suggested above.

      Requiring anyone to bear a child after a rape makes spanking a rape victim seem like a mild form of psycopathy, wouldn't you say?

      Our religion teacher, by the way, was the president of the Jesuit school I attended (Gonzaga Prep in Spokane).

      What a fucking piss hole of a brainwashing scam these douchebags run.  

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

      by nailbender on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 12:34:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a PERFECT EXAMPLE of why the IGNORANT... (21+ / 0-)

      ...should not write diaries about things of which they ARE ignorant.

      To wit:

      1. The diary title is, at BEST, misleading.  Pope Benedict has issued no statements - not so much as a single word - about this case.  Hence, your statement that Pope Benedict "stands by" the excommunication of the girl's parents is a falsehood.
      1. You quote a newspaper article as being the exact words of the Pope Himself.  Your sentence preceding the quotation of the newspaper attributes the newspaper quote to "The Holy See" - which IS the Pope.  Those words are not his.  Hence, another falsehood.
      1. Your level ignorance as to what an excommunication means in the Catholic church is appalling and you use that ignorance to bash the Church and make false statements about the meaning of excommunication.  There is NO implication that "her mother and father will be roasting in a lake of fire and brimstone for all eternity" with an excommunication.  Those people are welcome to attend Mass every Sunday - and any other day if they so choose.
      1. THIS ridiculous and MOCKING question more shows your obscene level of ignorance than anything about the Church:

      Automatic excommunication?  How does that differ from a 'regular' excommunication?  Is it like an automatic car wash....put in a few coins, sit back, read the newspaper and enjoy as the souls roll into hell?

      1. About the only piece of TRUTH in your entire turdiary is this sentence: "Never having been a Catholic, I'm not sure how all this works."

      So you decide to bash a religion you admittedly know NOTHING about, make false assumptions about what's happening in this case, and then present those falsehoods to the good people of the Daily Kos Community as the truth.

      You're no better than the Barack Obama birth certificate conspiracy nuts.  Falsehoods presented as the truth are still lies.

      And just so you understand MY background here:
      I am an atheist.  I have been an atheist for over 20 years.  I was raised in the FINEST traditions of the Holy Roman Catholic Church but left that institution over a quarter of a century ago.  I left because I disagreed then and disagree now with much of what the Church does, their position on many major issues from abortion to birth control to voluntary sterilization, and the role of women in the Church.  I don't even say, "God bless you" when somebody sneezes.  Or even, "Bless you."  My atheism is a simple rejection of the whole "supreme being" idea.

      My atheism has NOT, however, led me to believe that religious organizations should be attacked as you have so ignorantly attacked here.  For those who believe and have a need and/or desire to do so, those institutions are their option and I RESPECT those beliefs.  I'd no more lie about somebody else's religious beliefs and the organization behind those beliefs than I would lie about their political beliefs.  You have decided to present a collection of false "facts" as an unfair attack against a religion of which you are blatantly ignorant.

      With this most repulsive excuse for a diary, you obviously intended to be as offensive to Catholics as you could make yourself, and you have (unintentionally?) embarrassed atheists everywhere by attempting to MOCK and ATTACK the beliefs of others while admitting ignorance of these same beliefs.

      I'm certain that every Kossack knows people of faith and I'm equally certain that the overwhelming majority of us are thoughtful enough to respect them, their beliefs, and their right to those beliefs without mocking and attacking them as you have done here.

      The presentation of TRUTH in DKos diaries is an essential part of writing them.  You have crossed the line with this wretched pile of filth, and I intend to seek the opinion of this site's authorities as to the deletion of it and the imposition of sanctions if they be so warranted.

      Celtic Merlin
      Carlinist

      Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

      by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 01:07:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So what IS the truth in this case? (18+ / 0-)

        Please tell us.

        Everything, and I mean everything I have read about this case is appalling.

        Please set us all straight and explain to us why this is not appalling, please.

        •  Oh, there's certainly NO upside anywhere in this. (6+ / 0-)

          Abortion in Brazil is illegal unless the life of the mother is in danger.  A case could certainly be made for this in a 9-year-old, but it seems that the legal procedures were followed - I can't say with 100% certainty.  The doctor is not likely to face charges, but he was also excommunicated.

          The stepfather has been jailed only since a week after all of this became public (WAY back in the first week of March, BTW).  He'd been abusing the girl since she was 6 years old.  Where was the mother in all of this?  Has she filed for a divorce yet?  This I have no info on.

          The Church found out about it when everybody else did and came down (consistently, but in this case mistakenly) on the side of forcing the mother to carry the pregnancy to term.  We all know how that would have ended - disastrously for all three lives.  There's no physical possibility that a 10-year-old is going to carry twins to term.

          EVERYTHING about this case is appalling.

          If you would take a minute to re-read my comment, I in no way defend the Church's decision to advocate for continuing the pregnancy.  I also do not defend their decision to excommunicate the mother.  Frankly, she should tell the Catholic Church - via the Archbishop of her area - to kiss off.  Frankly, had I been the parish priest, I'd have SANCTIONED the abortion and let the weight of the church fall on me instead of them.  But, I never was a perfect Catholic even when I was a Catholic.

          Your statement,

          Please set us all straight and explain to us why this is not appalling, please.

          ...is MOST disingenuous, for my complaint with the diarist is the attack on a religious belief he ADMITTED he's ignorant of and the mockery he uses in his attack and the falsehoods he presents as facts.  I feel that one can disagree with the actions of the organization without presenting falsehoods, and disrespecting a major religion.  Substitute Jewish for Catholic in the diary and tell me if the charges of anti-semitism wouldn't fly like mad.  Hell, substitute or Muslim and see if the diary isn't offensive to you then.  Also, where was this guy's outrage back in March?  Or April?  Or May or June?

          Settle yer ass down.  You're usually a much more reasonable person and much better reader than this to have attributed to my comment any defense of the actions of the Church against the mother or anybody else.  My problem is with the diarist and the offensive presentation he made.

          Celtic Merlin
          Carlinist

          Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

          by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:25:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Bhudy, I found an article from... (4+ / 0-)

          ...the Catholic News Service with the full quote that's abbreviated (and apparently misquoted) by the diarist and it paints a very different picture. It's also obvious that the words are NOT attributable to the Holy See or any official spokesperson of the Pope:

          Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, criticized what he called a "hasty" public declaration of the excommunication of the girl's mother and the doctors who aborted the girl's twins. The girl "in the first place should have been defended, hugged and held tenderly to help her feel that we were all on her side" he wrote in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, March 15. "Before thinking about excommunication, it was necessary and urgent to protect her innocent life and bring her back to a level of humanity of which we men of the church should be expert witnesses and teachers," he said. "Unfortunately, this is not what happened and it has impacted the credibility of our teaching, which appears in the eyes of many as insensitive, incomprehensible and devoid of mercy," he said.

          Those are hardly the words of someone who is "standing by the excommunication" of that poor little girl and this diary seems to be a load of crap.

          Yes, the Catholic Church's official actions were nothing but repulsive in this case and generally (as a former Catholic) who is now firmly a non-believer, I find their positions on the substantive issues of 20th and 21st century social issues to be downright Neanderthal (or at least generally centered in Dark Ages thinking) in nature. But in this case the diarist has done nothing but stretch the truth and his credibility beyond the breaking point. What a sham.

          Memo to Republicans - "Nope" is not a strategy...

          by frisco on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:07:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow. Thanks for that. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mimi9

            I didn't think to check on the quote for completeness and accuracy.  That must have been alot of research work and I thank you sincerely for it and the time you spent on it.

            Would you please be so kind as to bring this to the attention of the moderators?  I've already done so once.  More than that, and I look like a crank, nutjob, weirdo, whatever.  Besides, you did the work, you deserve the credit for exposing the half-truth.

            Celtic Merlin
            Carlinist

            Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

            by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:17:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  On second thought, here's more on this issue;... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              h bridges

              ...this time from a Catholic blogger who is apparently in favor of the excommunication ruling.

              This posting contains a more complete reaction to a finding published this week from the Church's "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" (the same area that then Cardinal Ratzinger was in charge of under Pope John Paul II).

              It also demonstrates that the diarist was merely LAZY in his/her posting and not making shit up. There is still no direct link back to the Holy See, but the fucking Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is pretty-damn "official" on its own.

              Memo to Republicans - "Nope" is not a strategy...

              by frisco on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:27:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Cool......unrecc'd the diary, thanks (0+ / 0-)
            •  See my 2nd comment, above posted 5min after yours (0+ / 0-)

              Memo to Republicans - "Nope" is not a strategy...

              by frisco on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:30:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  By the way, so did I. (n/t) (0+ / 0-)

              Memo to Republicans - "Nope" is not a strategy...

              by frisco on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:31:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  wait a moment - The National Catholic Reporter... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BYw, Sparkys Dad

              says something a bit different.
              http://ncronline.org/...

              Sure there is :

              the church does not intend to deny the girl mercy and understanding, said the statement published in the July 11 edition of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano

              but:

              The penalty of excommunication "places in evidence the gravity of the crime committed (and) the irreparable damage caused to the innocent who was killed, to the parents and to all of society," the statement said.

              Therefore I do not see how the diarist is so wrong in his claims. If you read the comments posted on that site from the non-fanatics you will see that too.

              And "hugging and holding the girl tenderly" in ones arms is not a remedy for the harsh punishment she received by both the raper and the Catholic church.

            •  And there is the Huffington Post (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BYw

              from this Thursday:

              But all involved in the whole affair were mortal sinners -- except for the serial rapist himself, the child's stepfather, who alone among them was not ex-communicated. The laws he broke were "man's, not God's," said the Archbishop.

              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

      •  Cm, please make this a diary (4+ / 0-)

        Seriously.

        I respect Atheists and the reason that they are atheists- why waste time with the idea of a Supreme Being, when there are flowers and people to take care of? Why be held to any religion when humans can simply be good to one other?

        What I really don't like the simple ease that some Atheists tun to mocking the beliefs of others, particularly Catholicism, with all of it's real problems and troubles.

        (I believe there is a vestige of British snobbery at the works with smearing against Catholicism sometimes- correct me if I am wrong.)

        What I find interesting is that the original poster does not even passionately defend the little girl, about the fact such a little body cannot even bear children with permanent damage, or talk about the sometimes abusive sexual culture in Brazil, which is not the free and easy that tourists see but the desperate, exploitative and consolatory. No talk about how family dynamics can contribute to this sort of abuse- all the darn time!

        So please, as a atheist, please do write a guide on how to talk about religion and it's abuses intelligently and with respect. It would help us Latino Catholics on DKos to not have such high blood pressure.

        •  how can you get high blood pressure (11+ / 0-)

          when someone criticises your church and talk about passionately defending the little girl, when your church did NOT defend the girl?

          I need to understand that.

          •  When you speak from willing (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cris0000, UkieOli

            ignorance, distorts the news story and does not report the side of local Monsignors and neighboring bishops who did support the family, then yes, that raises blood pressure.

            But that's something you could not understand, because that was not the point of this diary. The point of this  diary was to attack Catholic church by using distortion.

            •  the point of this diary is to shine a light on (11+ / 0-)

              your pope.

              He is the head of the catholic church. Isn't he?

              You seem to be more enraged about the attacks on your church than on the church's disregard for the child.

              I read in the news the pope gave Obama an anti-abortion booklet to read in his plane. Obama should have given him back the newspaper article that covers this tragic rape in Brazil.

              •  You're wrong, healthy. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cris0000

                The point of the diary was to attack and mock the Catholic (with a capital "C") Church.

                While I don't necessarily agree with the actions of the church in this particular instance, the Pope (with a capital "P") had nothing whatsoever to do with any of the church's decisions here.

                It's exactly the same as blaming Barack Obama for the decision of a DHS or ICE bureaucratic lawyer to deport a particular person.  The decision is not made at the lowest levels, but it most certainly does not come from the top.

                Celtic Merlin
                Carlinist

                Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

                by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:43:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  but it has not been challenged from the top (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DeepLooker, Sparkys Dad, Coilette

                  that means something, just as when the Supreme Court decides not to hear a case and lets a lower ruling stand.

                  Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

                  by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:23:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  the church is wrong - and Obama... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BYw, KS 65 woman

                  I believe would get involved in a case that leads to massive public outcry and he would rule on behalf of the people who protected the life of an innocent child. Unless I am wrong and he has no empathy as he claims he has.

                  I think the church has no empathy. I think empathy trumps "rigid rules". I think pro-lifers are obsessed with the unborn and forget about the living. I think the church is wrong and in this particular case plain evil - like anyone who follows the rule book blindly and does not consider the circumstances and the hurt they will cause to the victims.

                  BTW, I am not a native English speaker and I hope that does not disqualify me from posting here. But in my language, pope and catholic is not capitalized. Should I add a disclaimer asking for people to excuse my typos? I try really hard to get rid of all.

                  •  There's no need for a disclaimer, healthy. (0+ / 0-)

                    Simply learn from your mistakes and take the guidance of others as the act of kindness that they are.  If anybody suggests that you should be disqualified from posting here because English isn't your first language, you let me know and I'll correct their error for them.

                    Okay, healthy?

                    Celtic Merlin
                    Carlinist

                    Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

                    by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:56:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I'll take a more traditional stance here (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ProgMa57, Celtic Merlin

                Point one, there is no disregard of the child in question.

                To understand and debate Catholic teaching you will have, at least for purposes of such debate, that abortion actually kills another human beeing.

                This is Catholic belief, and this is not negotiable.

                The rest of this story is a mix of anti Catholic propaganda and willful misunderstanding of religious vocabulary.

                The Church is not opposed to the girl. The church does not blame the girl. The church has simply made clear that one crime doesn't justify another one. It is a clear and consistent stance, and nothing new.

                One crime doesn't justify another.

                One would wish Bush and his friends had had this kind of moral guidance.

                Point two: this article is confused and ignorant about excommunication and makes outrageous and completely false claims. The idea that a child rapist is "in good standing" with the church (as one commenter concludes from the article, and which is suggested between the lines) is ludicrous.  Excommunication means the exclusion from the Eucharist (the altar sacrament), and is a consequence that follows from a well defined list of very grave sins. Murder is in that list, Rape (AFAIK) isn't. But that doesn't mean that rape is ok in any way, or that a rapist has can, e.g. , get absolution "just so". Usually, in functioning states the church demands a criminal to come clear with the authorities and about his crimes and accept the consequences as a precondition to obtain absolution. And the church teaches rape to be a grave sin, as is child abuse.

                (and nothing of that is invalidated by quoting instances where it wasn't followed. The Catholic Church is the largest and eldest organization in all of humanity, so there are instances and examples to disprove just about anything.)

                Point three: the church does not blame the child. She is of course not blamed for something she has barely any control over, neither now nor will she blamed in the future (as the diary speculates). Blame lies here with those who orchestrated this abortion, and those alone.

                Point four: the Osservatore Romano columnist  the diary quotes makes a good point in the article:

                We have laws, we have a discipline, we have a doctrine of the faith.  This is not just theory. And you can't start backpedaling just because the real-life situation carries a certain human weight."

                Translated to US English political discourse this comes down to a common and often quoted wisdom: Hard Cases make Bad Law.

                The church won't budge on its stance that abortion kills a human beeing, and it will neither cave on the principle that one crime doesn't justify another. The Church's primary mission is promulgation of the faith, and the Pope would (and probably will) do good to stay out of this. The principles are clear already, and the legwork to apply them has already been done by the locals.

                •  Actually it is negotiable (9+ / 0-)

                  The idea that life started with the fertilization of the egg is a relatively new dogma. Previously it was thought to start at the "quickening" when movement is first felt by the mother.

                  "Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism." Sir Gerald Kaufman, British MP and son of Holocaust survivor.

                  by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:18:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  i'm not asking them to budge (0+ / 0-)

                  on whether abortion kills another human being.

                  there are all kinds of killing that the church does not excommunicate people for.

                  Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

                  by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:28:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  yes? (0+ / 0-)

                    care to privide some?

                    Oh, and don't come with war - that debate is as old as reliion itself, and has never been resolved.

                    •  ok, besides war, then (8+ / 0-)

                      i have never heard of the Roman Catholic church excommunicating anyone who commits vehicular homicide while DWI, or shoots a burglar trying to break into their home, or a boxer who kills someone in the ring, or despots who kill large numbers of their own people, or police who kill unarmed suspects, or a man who shoots another man he finds in bed with his wife, or people who kill abortion care providers.

                      that's just off the top of my head.

                      excommunication is not even automatic for regular murder!

                      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

                      by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:09:22 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Horsefeathers... (8+ / 0-)

                  Point one, there is no disregard of the child in question.

                   Isn't that just a lie?  Are you not saying that there is no institutional disregard because institutional views were followed?  Its just untrue.   Neither the Catholic Church nor you get to set the standards for humane treatment.  That is saying the church can do no wrong as long as it follows its promulgations.

                  To understand and debate Catholic teaching you will have, at least for purposes of such debate, that abortion actually kills another human beeing.

                  No, actually I don't.  But I will agree that anyone who maintains the belief that abortion actually kills a human being has to accept that their God is a mass murderer since the majority of fertilised embryos are spontaneously aborted.  Therefor God kills more human beings then he permits to survive.  End of story.  Bad joke.

                  No, I do not have to accept it for the purposes of debate unless they also concede God is a mass murderer and not worthy of being called a god.

                  At least that concession has more logic behind it.

                  This is Catholic belief, and this is not negotiable.

                  The belief is wrong (as demonstrated above) And if it is not negotiable then nothing is and these people need to be watched very carefully and held to the rule of law that they do not follow.

                  The Church is not opposed to the girl. The church does not blame the girl. The church has simply made clear that one crime doesn't justify another one. It is a clear and consistent stance, and nothing new.

                  That translates as The Church is really opposed to this girl.  They would have had her two offspring die to uphold their fictional and irrational desires.

                  One crime doesn't justify another.

                  So why should I let the church off the hook?

                  One would wish Bush and his friends had had this kind of moral guidance.

                  They did.  And that is the problem.

                  Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

                  by Demena on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:30:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  if they actually had, there would not be a war (0+ / 0-)

                    ... in Iraq. And no reason for a torture debate.

                    And not a whole lot of other things.

                    •  Not sure what you are trying to say. -30- (0+ / 0-)

                      Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

                      by Demena on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:57:27 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Bush & Co (0+ / 0-)

                        used 9/11 (and, internally, Saddam's plot against Daddy Bush) as the actual pretext to wage a war of agression against Iraq.

                        Nobody ever believed the weapons of mass destruction story, not the left, and certainly not the right. Had Bush's moral guidance actually worked to this end, he would have abstained from waging a war of aggression to avenge a crime.

                        Similar chains of reasoning can be built around the whole torture mess.

                •  Your comment is much better than mine. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cris0000

                  I haven't been a Catholic for over 25 years and have been an atheist for at least the last 20.

                  Still, I decried the falsehoods presented in the diary and alot of folks took this to mean that I was defending the Church's actions.

                  I've brought this diary to the attention of the moderators.  Mostly on the basis of the falsehoods and the idea that if you swap out Catholic and swap in Muslim or Jew in the diary, it would be repugnant to most Kossacks.  I hope that you do the same.  You make the better case as I had my Irish up when I typed mine.

                  Still, I'd like you to read my comment, linked herefor your convenience.

                  I'm now off to try to get people off of the idea that I like what the Church has done and that my real problem with the diary is the attack, the falsehoods, and the mocking.

                  Good luck, cris.

                  Celtic Merlin
                  Carlinist

                  Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

                  by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:43:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Uh, dead wrong. (7+ / 0-)

                  Catholic belief supports the killing of human beings under some circumstances to save lives (or indeed to save souls) -- "Just Wars".

                  This is already a case where the abortion was medically necessary to save the life of the 9-year-old.  The Church hierarchy is, as usual, more interested in playing politics and enforcing its power than in anything principled.

                  -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                  by neroden on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:09:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  yours is a consequential pacifist stance (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    neroden

                    which I respect. When you assume there are no just wars, your conclusion is sound - any soldier is a sinner, any killing in a war is murder.

                    The Church, on the other hand, assumes people to have a right of self defense, both individually and collectively, and the teaching on wars rests on that.

                    I tend to support that view.

            •  Where is the distortion? (0+ / 0-)
        •  I dunno, ems97007... (0+ / 0-)

          I've taken alot of abuse here tonight - mostly from people who FALSELY believe that I have been defending the Catholic Church's actions in this Brazilian case.

          My statements here:

          My atheism has NOT, however, led me to believe that religious organizations should be attacked as you have so ignorantly attacked here.  For those who believe and have a need and/or desire to do so, those institutions are their option and I RESPECT those beliefs.  I'd no more lie about somebody else's religious beliefs and the organization behind those beliefs than I would lie about their political beliefs.  You have decided to present a collection of false "facts" as an unfair attack against a religion of which you are blatantly ignorant.

          and here:

          I'm certain that every Kossack knows people of faith and I'm equally certain that the overwhelming majority of us are thoughtful enough to respect them, their beliefs, and their right to those beliefs without mocking and attacking them as you have done here.

          ...are going to have to suffice for now.

          I'm very much of a "live and let live" atheist.  I've already been accused tonight by others claiming to be atheists that I'm not a "good" atheist and that I have something to fear from those who hold religious beliefs.  I reject both ideas, but I've had it with the bullshit for a while.

          Perhaps you can be the one to diary a guide to respectful discussion of religion.  I don't believe that I will be the one to do it as I'm certain that it, like my original comment, will be misread, misunderstood, have things read into it that I never stated, and be used to question my beliefs.

          Good luck and stay in touch.

          Celtic Merlin
          Carlinist

          Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

          by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:18:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  So what did Ratzinger DO for this little girl? (11+ / 0-)

        Did he reprimand the bishop who excommunicated her, her family and the doctor who helped her obtain an abortion?

        Did he do anything to help this child - a victim in a horrible situation?

        •  NADA! Indeed, he wants her to STFU and DEAL! (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          esquimaux, StrayCat, UkieOli, Coilette

          See below regarding secret memo in which he threatened to excommunicate the VICTIMS if they didn't STFU.  Despicable douchebag?  YOU be the judge...

          "I once asked a literary agent what writing paid the best, and he said, 'Ransom notes.' " - Gene Hackman as Harry Zimm in Get Shorty

          by Vtdblue on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:09:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The girl was NOT excommunicated. (0+ / 0-)

          And did you have any clue what excommunication was before you wrote that comment?

          Yes, you could look it up.  But I'm wondering how intelligently you could describe the consequences of being excommunicated without resorting to research.  I'm betting not very well.

          What did "Pope Benedict XVI" (his official title now - please just a molecule of respect for the beliefs of others?) do FOR the kid?  Dunno.  Don't care.  Not my concern here.

          What SHOULD have been done?  Hell, alot better than WAS done, but I'm not currently nor did I in my previous comment ever DEFEND the Church's actions here.

          Sorry, wrong number.  Try somebody else.

          Celtic Merlin
          Carlinist

          Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

          by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:35:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the Pope is not Holy (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparkys Dad, h bridges, the girl

            the Pope is an old man who's never had sex and doesn't have any idea what it means to live a normal natural life

            If you were truly an atheist such as I, you would never call a person Holy, and make such a riot about a religious organization. I hope you're weaning off the medication you're on.

            the day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution- paul cezanne

            by green minute on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:26:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bravo! Best ad-hominem I've seen all week! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ViralDem

              The term "Holy See" is a title.  Like "Vice President" is a title.  Pick up that pace here, would ya?  Yer fallin' WAY behind and I'm not gonna stop to educate you again.

              How do you know anything about teh Pope's sex life and, more importantly, is your knowledge of his sex life first hand?

              Yes, only the best and most TRUE of atheists are fit to be as atheistic as you are, oh leader of us all.  I acquiesce to your atheisticness and purity.  You're probably the only REAL patriot here too, aren't ya?

              If I were to "wean off" the medication, my Cardiologist (not a "Holy Cardiologist", just a regular one) and my Endocrinologist would both admonish me heavily.  And after the thrashing I've just taken from the likes of you, I don't believe that I could handle it!

              Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

              by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:23:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What makes you think I fall behind? (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                StrayCat, Sparkys Dad, Coilette

                I am a former Catholic, "born and raised" (as this has become such a popular dkos phrase) Catholic, and as I've always understood the Pope is required to celibacy along with the rest of the Holy Ocean. ;)
                That gives credence to my statement that the old man never had sex, unless raped by another priest. What? Happens more than you think.
                He is old, that's unquestionable. He is a man.
                What did I get wrong? The holy part? What does that mean anyway?

                Look, only because CC is an old institution that draw millions of frightened people (must be billions by now) by ages long fearmongering, doesn't give it any true weight, or a status of Holy See or Ocean. Lol. Quite on the contrary, it impeded human progress and continues to wreak havoc all over the world.

                So what gives when an atheist defends it???

                the day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution- paul cezanne

                by green minute on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:34:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Uh-oh! You typed "Holy" with a capitol "H"! (0+ / 0-)

                  Required celibacy does not guarantee same, as you pointed out, and not always on the receiving end and not always with other priests - or even men.

                  And such things were happening when I was a young Catholic - back in the 1960's.  So, you're not bringing any great news flash to me here.

                  Where does the "old" and "man" part about the Pope have any relevance to what you typed about me?

                  Finally,

                  So what gives when an atheist defends it???

                  Nowhere - but NOWHERE - have I defended the Catholic Church's actions in this Brazilian case.  Your assertion that I may have done so is erroneous and, therefore, rejected.

                  I have only decried the diarist's falsehoods, use of ignorance to attack, and disrespect of the beliefs of others.  Replace "Catholic" in his diary with "Jew" or "Muslim" and it would offend most Kossacks.

                  I may not share the beliefs of Catholics, or Jews, or Muslims, or any other religious sect, but I can and will most certainly show a certain minimum level of respect for same.  I expect no less in return for my beliefs (or lack thereof).  Don't you?

                  Celtic Merlin
                  Carlinist

                  Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

                  by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:53:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ok, so you don't support CC's teaching (0+ / 0-)

                    regarding the Brazilian case, nor the Church's stance and position, you're just enraged by the disrespect of the diarist.
                    I disagree, I haven't detected disrespect in the diary and I respect this institution on some level, especially the previous Pope John Paul II who happens to be also my nationality, and it'd never cross my mind to say anything disrespectful about him.
                    But I recommended the diary because it makes a point in a light way, far from being nasty, negative and really disrespectful.

                    There is a difference between satirizing Jews because the Jewish faith is not only a religion but also a state. There is also a difference calling out Muslim beliefs because of the current political climate, and also because Islam doesn't impose on our lives telling us what we can and what we cannot do or say.
                    All the while the CC does have a direct adversarial impact on our lives as seen in this case, and the old fashioned catholic doctrines deserve to be called out as such and more.
                    If the "human weight" doesn't have much meaning within the Church, does not respect women, that's very close to impeding on human rights. Thus so, does not require us to pay back with respect.

                    the day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution- paul cezanne

                    by green minute on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:27:14 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  nobody did excommunicate her (0+ / 0-)

          Don't believe everything you read in a diary.

      •  I agree to a certain extent (26+ / 0-)

        but I do not think the author of this diary deserves this reprimand. I am going to explain why. First, I googled for this case and found that this is an old story.
        http://www.time.com/...

        The vatican and therefore the pope agreed with the decision of the Catholic church in Brazil. The vatican and therefore the pope did the "excommunication". So, okay, maybe the author was overzealous in bringing this story to light and attributing something to the pope with weak evidence. However, again, it was the pope who grants the excommunication and as of today we hear no news that the pope or vatican is changing their mind. Therefore one could argue that he is standing by his previous decision.

        I found a recent AP article that states that the Brazilian archbishop who demanded the excommunication has retired: http://www.google.com/...

        I do not understand though that one could get so angry at the author of this diary because he does not know what automatic excommunication means - that is beside the point. I believe the author was expressing his anger by using sarcasm. I believe the actual event - the rape of the child, the need for the abortion because she was only 9 years old, and the response by the chruch - should make everyone extremely angry and sad.

        I do not think the author's intent was to criticise catholics, but to criticize the church. And I agree with the opinions of several people posting on this diary that organized religion is a sham, it is used to control people and brainwash them, it is about money. They try to be spritual and some achieve it better than others but in the end it is just about money and power over people.

        Now to the actual rape case. That is a real tragedy. It is heartbreaking. And as I know from living in Latin America for about 10 years these kind of crimes ocurr because the Latin american societies are very "macho"-oriented and men protect men (and as you know perpetuators are usually male - I always wonder why).

        I am in contact with family in Latin America and I ask them if they speak about child abuse in the media if they prosecute this cases. What I hear is that it is discussed more in the media but many get away with it. Why? Because there is no powerful mandate to stop it and prosecute the perpetrators.

        And here is where this author's dairy is so valuable. It points us to the fact that the pope, benevolent as he is supposed to be, who should be there to protect innocent children from adult abuse, did nothing of the kind. In many countries where people actually listen to what the pope has to say, it would do wonders if this man would for once speak out in defense of the abused, in defense of children and in defense of women.

        It did not happen. And because it did not happen the traumatic events that surely will ruin the life and peace of mind of one little girl forever, will repeat themselves many times with incountable new victims most of whom will remain anonymous to avoid excommunication (automatic or not).

        •  Well said n/t (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          playtonjr, mooshter, UkieOli, ArthurPoet

          "See if you can guess what I am now?" -John "Bluto" Blutarsky

          by Bonsai66 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:56:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  actually he didn't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Celtic Merlin

          However, again, it was the pope who grants the excommunication

          How many times does this have to be corrected?

          "Automatic" excommunication is just that - automatic. There's a list of things you can do to be excommunicated. You do one os these, you are excommunicated.

          You are even excommunicated if you are the only living person to know about your crime. It's  a thing between you and God.

          The church bothers with excommunication only insofar as it gets in the way of its primary mission: the promulgation of the faith.

          So the church might officially declare the fact that you are excommunicated in cases were doing not would confer a silent agreement to your actions.

          In the same vein a priest may withhold communion from a man he honestly considers excommunicated, even tough he might give it to another in a similar situation or when he is not sure. It is not the church's job to enforce your excommunication, but yours. Not doing it would add another grave sin to your account.

      •  Admittedly ... (18+ / 0-)

        I was raised as a (devout, god fearing) atheist, most certainly ignorant of anything Catholic or Christian in nature, practice, or ideology, since my dear father despised all religions, him having been raised as an Orthodox Jew .... in any case, I thought it fitting, since, you are, as your tag suggests, Merlin, not sure if that is your real name, but my real name is, in fact, Arthur, and I most certainly consider myself of the Celtic tradition .... so .... I will examine your criticisms and assertions ....

        (into the fray, as they say ...)

        1. The diary title is, at BEST, misleading.  Pope Benedict has issued no statements - not so much as a single word - about this case.  Hence, your statement that Pope Benedict "stands by" the excommunication of the girl's parents is a falsehood.

        Well, given the fact that your pope dude issued (as you make note) ... "not so much as a single word" ... then, sorry to say, but it is, in fact, entirely fair and accurate to conclude that your insensitive pope dude, does, actually, STAND BY THE EXCOMMUNICATION ... and if he did not stand by it, then he's got a mouth, he should'a come out and damn well said so ....  but, well, we should expect no less from his imminence, eh? cause he has his God whom he, and ONLY HE, communes with, and so, well, he must know what's best ... or so I've been led to believe by devout Catholics. Now, if your dearly beloved pope did not stand by the action, well, he most certainly would not have let his spokesmen to the people, issue this statement ON HIS BEHALF:

        ... the girl should have been defended, hugged and held tenderly to help her feel that we were all on her side...We have laws, we have a discipline, we have a doctrine of the faith.  This is not just theory. And you can't start backpedaling just because the real-life situation carries a certain human weight."

        ... or do you dare suggest that his surrogates are speaking without his EXPRESSED PERMISSION and NOT UNDER HIS EXPLICIT DIRECTION ... now that would be laughable if it were not such an absurd claim, and shall I say, sad, given (let us remember) we are speaking about the treatment of a 9-year-old-girl who was raped, or have you forgotten, my dear loyal catholic. Truly, my dear (alleged) celtic, if his holiness wanted to back-peddle, the dailykos is hardly the forum that his reputation needs to be defended by a PR firm.

        1. You quote a newspaper article as being the exact words of the Pope Himself.  Your sentence preceding the quotation of the newspaper attributes the newspaper quote to "The Holy See" - which IS the Pope.  Those words are not his.  Hence, another falsehood.

        Well, unfortunately, again, if his holiness' own Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano does not express the explicit views of his holiness, then what does? I am sorry, friend Merlin, but if you are trying to sell us on some vindication of your holiness' rep through some supposed abdication of his role in this matter ... shall we say ... FAIL! lol

        1. Your level ignorance as to what an excommunication means in the Catholic church is appalling and you use that ignorance to bash the Church and make false statements about the meaning of excommunication.  There is NO implication that "her mother and father will be roasting in a lake of fire and brimstone for all eternity" with an excommunication.  Those people are welcome to attend Mass every Sunday - and any other day if they so choose.

        Hmmm ... now you've got me, since, as I said, I am admittedly "holy" ignorant on this matter .... since I always thought that it did mean or imply exactly that, you know, FIRE AND BRIMSTONE ... BURN IN HELL .... and all that jazz .... is that not what is implied? God forbid, hmmm, excuse me, Goddess forbid such a fate would befall the parents of a 9-year-old-child who discovered their child was raped ... hmmm .... but wait, you say that this is not what is implied ... I mean, does not the excommunication imply that the perpetrator has committed a SIN ...

        ... according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church (and some Protestant denominations) is a sin that, unless confessed and absolved (or at least sacramental confession is willed if not available), condemns a person's soul to Hell after death.

        I don't know, Merlin, it doesn't sound good to me.

        I wonder what the bible says about this thing ...

        The Biblical basis of excommunication is anathema. The references are found in Galatians 1:8 — "But even if we, or an angel from Heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be anathema!" Then also, 1 Corinthians 16:22 — "If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be anathema." The word can be translated several ways; the King James Version translates it as accursed.

        I don't know about you, but to me ... "accursed" ... that just sounds bad.

          1. Abominable; hateful: this accursed mud.
          2. Being under a curse; doomed, damned.

        Most certainly implies to me, at the very least, that said person is going to hell. Hmmm, I wonder what it implies to a 9-year-old-girl who was just raped? Well, at the very least, it does not exactly suggest that said person should expect a warm reception at the pearly gates, eh, friend Merlin?

        Yet, I forget, your words inform us that none of this is implied by the Catholic Church, and of course, we all know that this 9-year-old-child's psyche see's the entire world through YOUR EYES ... yeah, sure ... NOT ... again, I would laugh if it were not so despicably sad ... but to be fair to you, let me look further to see what then actually is implied by your beloved Catholic Church issuing an EXCOMMUNICATION ...

        ... which informs the laity that this is not a person to follow, and notifies the clergy that the person, by their own willful acts, has separated from the Church and is no longer to receive the sacraments,

        Hmmm .... sounds rather unwelcoming ...

        ... excommunicated Catholics are still under obligation to attend Mass, even though they are barred from receiving the Eucharist and from taking active part in the liturgy (reading, bringing the offerings, etc.). Indeed, the excommunicant is encouraged to retain some relationship with the Church, as the goal is to encourage them to repent and return to active participation in its life.

        Okay, they are welcome, sure, but they just ain't part of the main feast, eh?

        Yes, well, that is exactly what that little 9-year-old-girl needs ... ie, to have their parents excommunicated.

        Now, I will not respond to your points 4 and 5, since 4 is, shall I say, to be expected, given the actions of your dearly beloved pope ....

        .... and 5 includes me!

        -- Celtic Arthur --

        ~we study the old to understand the new~from one thing know ten thousand~to see things truly one must see what is in the light and what lies hidden in shadow~

        by ArthurPoet on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 02:44:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with this more (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          UkieOli, Sparkys Dad, ArthurPoet

          Funny. I just realized that while I thought I agreed with marlin on one or two things... I mostly talk about my disgreement with him.

          I guess I said I agreed because I did not research this is as well as ArthurPoet and had I known it was pubished in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano (didn't check because I trusted marlin was giving me correct information), I would have not agreed at all. Too late to change the title now.

          As for not offending catholics... I agree with that. I have catholic friends, and they are good people, just a bit naive. But when these catholic people, even my friends, start defending the indefensible ... I cannot defend them.

        •  Celtic Merlin said s/he was an atheist (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Celtic Merlin, ViralDem

          so "your dearly beloved pope" and "your beloved Catholic Church" seem uncalled for.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:21:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you, kind sir. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TrueBlueMajority

            I have just finished trying to point this out to the condescending little...um, fellow, and appreciate you having noticed.

            And, for the record, I'm a he.  :0)

            BTW, I've quoted your tag line, verbally, many times.  People always seem to get a kick out of it.  Well...most of them anyway.

            Most Sincerely,
            Celtic Merlin
            Carlinist

            Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

            by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:29:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i disagree with some of what you've said (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Celtic Merlin

              but I defend your right to say it, and all that.

              peace be with you.

              Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

              by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:41:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, I don't expect all to agree with everything. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TrueBlueMajority

                I just don't want to be accused of defending the Church's actions in this case, as I haven't, nor do I want to be accused of being a Catholic or having religious convictions, as I don't.

                Your candor is well-taken.

                Celtic Merlin
                Carlinist

                Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

                by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:36:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I defend his right to say it, too ... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TrueBlueMajority, Sparkys Dad

                ... but in saying it, I too, have a right to speak my peace, and portray his words and true spirit, for what I see it to be. He attacked the diarist, and as such, he deserves to have his own comments, put under a similar brutal critique.

                ~we study the old to understand the new~from one thing know ten thousand~to see things truly one must see what is in the light and what lies hidden in shadow~

                by ArthurPoet on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:40:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I was moking him, intentionally ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparkys Dad

            ... yes, intentionally, and if you read my latest post, below, you will see why.

            But, in short, he may claim whatever he wishes ... we get too many of them, here on dkos, who claim to be democrats, yet are not, but his actions speak his true soul, as far as I am concerned, and I make no apologies for this judgment of his actions .... since he chooses to defend what I find despicable, against the very well-being of a nine-year-old-girl who was raped ... against ALL nine-year-old-girl's who were raped ... So, yes, I deem him a loyal vassal of the Catholic Church, no matter what he claims.

            His arguments were completely unsound. His attacks on the diarist were vehemently vicious, and so, as far as I am concerned, he deserves to be treated for what he has proven himself to be.

            Respect where respect is due.

            ~we study the old to understand the new~from one thing know ten thousand~to see things truly one must see what is in the light and what lies hidden in shadow~

            by ArthurPoet on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:38:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Arthur, you are fundamentally mistaken. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ViralDem

          First, He is not MY Pope.  I stated clearly that I am an atheist.  While I was raised as a Catholic, I'm now no more of a Catholic than either you or your father are now Orthodox Jews.

          Second, the newspaper is not the Pope's own, nor is it the official paper of the Vatican or of the Catholic Church.  It is considered by many to be a semi-official publication, but it has been at odds with the Vatican several times over the past year or so.

          Third, Excommunication certainly does not even imply eternal residence at the Lucifer Hilton.  But, you seem to have eventually found that out for yourself - after taking the time to write a rather condescending piece about it.

          Fourth, the Catholic Church is not my "beloved Catholic Church" as you call it.  As I stated clearly in the comment which you seem to have quoted without having read, I left that church 25 years ago and have been an atheist for over 20 years.

          You also seem to have mistaken my decision to decry the falsehoods that were presented as my defense of the Church's actions in this case.  This is certainly an error on your part.  Perhaps you should take the time to read what I wrote.  Then, take all the time you need to comprehend it.

          If you had even the slightest clue how these large organizations operate, you'd know what a disaster it would be for the leader of such an old and well-established organization to come out against the foundational principles of the group on behalf of one person out of millions.  Or, in the case of the Catholic Church - well over one billion.

          The Pope's hands are usually tied in cases like this.  Much the way a president's hands are tied when an injustice occurs and he'd like to correct it, but politically cannot.

          Finally, while atheism means having no religious beliefs, it does NOT mean that religious organizations, the religious beliefs of others, or the religious themselves are to be attacked, disrespected, or treated with disdain.  Believe or do not, but live and let live.  It seems to me that it would be a nice change for you to do so, friend Arthur.

          Celtic Merlin
          Carlinist

          Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

          by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:24:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Atheists are usually willing (6+ / 0-)

            to live and let live.

            However when religion achieves power they get burnt at the stake.

            Religions are a physical threat to atheists and there is no reason, not even manners to support an organisation that wants you non-existent.  And while the desire for non-existence of any other sect or atheist is denied or simply not there while the secular control the government as soon as that control no longer exists many, many people come under physical threat.

            Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

            by Demena on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:42:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm a live-and-let-live atheist. (0+ / 0-)

              I've never felt threatened by any religious person or organization.  Of course, I'm also a huge proponent of keeping government and churches separated by a stone wall.  A big, high, thick, impenetrable stone wall...

              I have in no way offered support for the Catholic Church here.  I have only decried the falsehoods, mocking, and attacks which the diarist presented.  Much the way I'd do the same were the situation reversed and the diarist were attacking atheism with falsehoods and mockery.

              Celtic Merlin
              Carlinist

              Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

              by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:50:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You have never felt threatened. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                neroden, Sparkys Dad, ArthurPoet

                Fine.  I guess you don't read history.

                Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

                by Demena on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:58:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  How would reading history threaten me? (0+ / 0-)

                  I have read about the Salem Witch Hunts and Trials, but have no fear of being harmed over the accusation of witchcraft.

                  I have read about the Inquisition, but feel no fear of being killed for being in league with the devil.

                  I've read about the Nazis, but they don't scare me.

                  I don't believe for a second that in today's United States an atheist has anything to fear over their beliefs.

                  Celtic Merlin
                  Carlinist

                  Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

                  by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:08:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Then you are mistaken. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    BYw, Sparkys Dad, ArthurPoet

                    And no I am not going to explain any further.  We differ and if you can make that post you are simply not seeing what I see so further discussion would be pointless.

                    Because you don't feel threatened doesn't mean that you are not threatened (or that you are).

                    Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

                    by Demena on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:20:44 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Ah! I get it now! (0+ / 0-)

                      Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean that they're NOT all out to get me.

                      Right?

                      Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

                      by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:25:03 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Lol. (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BYw, Sparkys Dad, ArthurPoet

                        Sorry, doesn't work.

                        God botherers will always bite you in the butt when they are a serious majority.  Despite the fact that you don't see trouble coming doesn't mean it isn't inevitable.

                        God botherers are not tolerant of others unless they are forced to be.

                        Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

                        by Demena on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:50:47 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  No, it is because you are intentionally ... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BYw, Sparkys Dad

                        ... ignoring the historical facts of your beloved church, which you clearly love so much  (in spite of your claims to the contrary) that you blindly defend his Papal's honor, in the face of such historical atrocities ... not to mention, his current actions, which reveal little change of heart from ages gone by.

                        ~we study the old to understand the new~from one thing know ten thousand~to see things truly one must see what is in the light and what lies hidden in shadow~

                        by ArthurPoet on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:28:14 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  He is intentionally and blatantly ... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sparkys Dad

                      ... ignoring the truth of history.

                      ~we study the old to understand the new~from one thing know ten thousand~to see things truly one must see what is in the light and what lies hidden in shadow~

                      by ArthurPoet on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:25:22 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  He never read history ... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Demena, Sparkys Dad

                  ... and realized that if he were, in fact, an atheist, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, he would have been burned alive by the "Holy" Roman Catholic Inquisition.

                  ~we study the old to understand the new~from one thing know ten thousand~to see things truly one must see what is in the light and what lies hidden in shadow~

                  by ArthurPoet on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:24:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  The Pope's hands are usually tied (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden, BYw, Sparkys Dad, ArthurPoet, okuzaone

            Sorry, Merlin. I seem to be in attack mode today, don't I?
            But you are a wondrous creature. A democratic atheist who oozes that je-ne-sais-quoi you only find in right wing religious conservatives.

            So, please excuse myself. But I do have one more thing to say:

            Do you really think that after all the public outcry, this Pope (with capital P) is unable (or perhaps unwilling) to let his voice be heard and prepare a statement showing mercy for the doctors and mother of the child ?

            He did after all rule against the pedophile priests, albeit after much more pronounced public outcry. Still, I do believe he could have done that: shown some compassion for the people who saved the life of a "living" human being and reverse the excommunication.

          •  I did read your first comment, twice, (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eldubb72, Sparkys Dad, vadasz, okuzaone

            ... friend Merlin ...

            .. and I certainly understood it plain enough. I fully realize you claimed to be an atheist, but, for the record, I do not, though I most certainly was raised as such, which was my point in mentioning this. Namely, that, unlike you, I have had no such brainwashing from any religious order/doctrine. I have no allegiances, save for, human decency and truth. For the record, I am, in fact, not even technically a Jew either, since my mother was not a Jew ... in fact, she WAS Southern Baptist (for what it's worth) ... but left that religion when she left NC almost 60 years ago, years before I was born. And, to add to the introduction, for clarity's sake ... I am not, now, an atheist, for I have seen, shall we say, an "organic" spirit of life in all things (UBUNTU), for lack of a better term ... and so, to be clear, or most precise, I am an animist ... And, I follow a MIND-BODY-SPIRIT path, being a life long student of ancient Martial tradition, many of which, have a MIND-BODY-SPIRIT "trinity" as their cornerstone ... I study ancient lore, and honor that which honors life. Yes, I am profoundly critical of the Catholic Church, for reasons, I believe, that are holy-deserved.

            Now, yes, I was admittedly mocking you, since I well knew that you stated clear enough that you were not now a Catholic, and claimed to having not been one for many years, but in case you did not know it, many people come to dailykos and claim many things in here, and since you might be new here, or new to the blogging world, you should know, we judge people, on dailykos, and in the blogging world, more than anything, by their actions, not by their claims, for there are many people who can claim many things ... and given your actions, which are clearly to defend that which I see as indefensible, I speak to you with words and spirit in accordance with the spirit of your actions, i.e., that which you demonstrate, which is a marked loyalty to defending the papal crown ... and so, yes, it is with full and conscious intent that I mocked you, yes, I repeat, with conscious intent I mocked you, given your vicious vehement (and empty of substance) attack on the diarist, to defend the papal crown, and so, yes, I believe it was MORE THEN WELL deserved, and I most certainly stand by it, and will continue to mock you ... hence my repeated comments conferring you within the Catholic religion's illustrious auspices, since, again, you saw fit and still do, to defend what I feel to be indefensible. Now, if you find this offensive, then consider how disgustingly offensive and foul I find your choice to defend the destroying of a nine-year-old-girl's psyche ... OR LIFE ... and to put the rapists well-being before that child's ... and to sell this as some spiritual garbage ... I am fucking beyond words, Sir. Yeah, I am disgusted, Sir. So, whatever you and the Papal Crown are selling, I aint buyin' ... I stand by the nine-year-old girl and her family ... I stand by ALL nine-year-old-girls ... to protect their honor and very life ... But, no need to respond, Sir, I already know where you stand. Your actions speak for themselves.

            Now, on to your other "claims" ...

            You suggest that the "L'Osservatore Romano" is not within the Papal sanction ... by some allusion to some wayword activities, of which you are well familiar, but we, of the dailykos, and this diarist, as far as I know, have not heard ... sorry, please provide links and references, if you want us to accept such a claim of autonomy ... or do you think we, or the diarist, should know of this rag's autonomous non-papal leaning, given ... well, lol, given this very passage on the Vatican's web-site ... yes, given this and these passages, I find your claim to be, shall we say, empty ...

            In the particularly heated atmosphere of those years, the paper was sequestered several times. But nothing prevented the editors from resuming their battle of faith and ideas. Indeed, very soon L'Osservatore Romano began to replace the Giornale di Roma, the official organ of the Pontifical State, in communicating the Church's official news. This happened more obviously under the Pontificate of Leo XIII, who acquired the paper's ownership and in 1885 made it the Holy See's official organ of information.

            Hmmm ... yet you claim that it is NOT the voice of the "HOLY SEE" .... please!

            Faithful to its origins, in these 146 years of life L'Osservatore Romano has continued its work of the service of the truth. With enthusiasm and with no fear of sounding a discordant note, it has documented the history of peoples and nations. Above all, it has continued its privileged service, making known the Magisterium of the Successor of Peter.

            I really like that passage there ... kinda shoots your claim all to HELL ...
            ... making known the Magisterium of the Successor of Peter

            Magisterium, now that's a great word, so great, in fact, that I think we should all pause to learn  exactly and precisely what they mean by it ...

            The Magisterium is the "teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church". The word is derived from Latin magisterium, which originally meant the office of a president, chief, director, superintendent, etc. (in particular, though rarely, the office of tutor or instructor of youth, tutorship, guardianship) or teaching, instruction, advice.

            Hmmmm .... "instructor or youth" ...

            In the Roman Catholic Church the word "Magisterium" refers to the teaching authority of the church. This authority is understood to be embodied in the episcopacy, which is the aggregation of the current bishops of the Church, led by the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), who has authority over the bishops, individually and as a body, as well as over each and every Catholic directly.

            Here here, this is my favorite part ....

            "The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.

            Boy does that sound holy ... to have the sole trust to interpret the word of god, for ALL of humanity. You know, I would think that anything this dude, the pope, said, must be, as they say, GOSPEL. And, to not have his blessing, would be, I don't know, tantamount, to GOING TO HELL ... cause, you know, he's got God's ear. And, well, consider what it might do to the psyche of a NINE-YEAR-OLD-GIRL who was just raped, if that Pope excommunicated your parents ... I gotta imagine it would just crush that girl's psyche in ways that are just unimaginable ... she might even be prone to suicide, with that kind of spiritual "guidance" ... I shutter to even suggest this, but we all know, this is the unthinkable reality.

            And what about that dear rapist, lest we not forget, you know ... what message is being sent to that person of "guardianship" responsibility ...  the one that the Pope did not excommunicate ... you know, the one that still has a blessing of not being excommunicated, .... yeah, as they say, EVERYTHING IS HONKEY-DOREY! Right?

            And, with that kind'a sanction, one would imagine that his holiness, the Papal Crown, must be very careful to make sure he blesses what he condones and does not bless what he does not condone, because, you know, millions ... no no ... correction, over a billion are following his lead.

            Hmmm ... just hold that thought, for a moment ... just let that sit with you, for a moment, and let's continue with what the Vatican has to say about that rag ... you know, that "autonomous" rag ....

            On the occasion of the centenary of the newspaper's foundation John XXIII wrote:

            The past 100 years have made this newspaper not only a witness to but also a maker of history:  since, strictly bound to the Apostolic See by the very proximity of its location and diligently following its Magisterium, in furthering Christ's kingdom on earth it has continuously provided what is highly esteemed by the Catholic faithful and all honest persons:  it has asserted the truth, defended justice, advanced the cause of true freedom and safeguarded the honesty and honour of the human condition and dignity. In peaceful and in stormy periods, among the changing developments of events, it has maintained throughout the same constancy, the same moderation and fairness, the same sentiment of piety toward the human race fostered by Christian charity, since it has not based its way of thinking and acting on the passions of mere mortals, but on truth and divine justice. In this way it has become an outstanding example for any similar publication. For scorning religion, twisting the truth with false interpretations, mocking virtue, exalting vice and crime is most shameful and becomes even more harmful when, in the name of freedom, unbridled licence is practised, and thereby the ruin of human society prepared".

            And 30 years later, on the occasion of the introduction of the new computerized technologies in the paper's production, John Paul II addressed the following letter to the Editor-in-Chief: "Today, 1 July 1991, in conjunction with the 130th anniversary of its establishment, "L'Osservatore Romano" opens a new chapter in its history as it begins utilizing the technology of photocomposition. This new phase promises even greater fruit in the service which this journal authoritatively gives, following the steps of the papal Magisterium, to ecclesial communion and modern social communications.

            I gladly invoke the divine assistance on the editors and technicians, collaborators and readers, who with their various gifts are called to present to the world the Word of God and the teaching of the Church by means of new publishing technologies. It is a service to all people who "seek channels" of hope for obtaining Gospel confidence and courage.

            In expressing my wish that your daily labours, inspired by faith and comforted by love, may increase the opportunities for understanding and love among individuals and nations, by continually reflecting that "light of nations", Christ, which shines on the face of the universal Church and the local Churches, with esteem and affection I cordially impart to all my Blessing."

            And, lest you try to claim your dearly beloved current Pope as not being included in this rag's reigning sanction of papal authority ....

            The Popes of L'Osservatore Romano

               * Pius IX (1846-1878)
               * Leo XIII (1878-1903)
               * Pius X (1903-1914)
               * Benedict XV (1914-1922)
               * Pius XI (1922-1939)
               * Pius XII (1939-1958)
               * John XXIII (1958-1963)
               * Paul VI (1963-1978s)
               * John Paul I (1978-1978)
               * John Paul II (1978-2005)
               * Benedict XVI

            Now, Merlin, even if this all were not true, again, the Pope's silence on this matter, is proof enough of his "STANDING BY" the excommunication, which, again, makes your statement here, quite frankly, a bald face lie ...

            1. The diary title is, at BEST, misleading.  Pope Benedict has issued no statements - not so much as a single word - about this case.  Hence, your statement that Pope Benedict "stands by" the excommunication of the girl's parents is a falsehood.

            Hmmm ... as the saying goes ... "HIS SILENCE SPEAKS VOLUMES!"

            Sorry, again, your defense of his holiness is a FAIL.

            Now, on to this rather transparent attempt to evoke sympathy for this poor weak frail Pope, whose "hands are tied" and could do nothing to serve the spiritual needs of this NINE-YEAR-OLD-GIRL WHO WAS RAPED .....

            If you had even the slightest clue how these large organizations operate, you'd know what a disaster it would be for the leader of such an old and well-established organization to come out against the foundational principles of the group on behalf of one person out of millions.  Or, in the case of the Catholic Church - well over one billion.

            The Pope's hands are usually tied in cases like this.  Much the way a president's hands are tied when an injustice occurs and he'd like to correct it, but politically cannot.

            Hands are tied ... ?

            Must I truly respond to this absurdity?

            Please, this is, yet again, laughable, or it would be, if we were not talking about a NINE-YEAR-OLD-GIRL WHO WAS RAPED ... or do you not see the despicably sad atrocity of hypocrisy that this religion and their leader are committing in their choice to excommunicate the child's parents but NOT the rapist. And then, for the papal crown to stand silent, is an even worse sin against humanity. But he was NOT silent, as you so falsely claim, no, he clearly, and with conscious intent, had his surrogate post his own intent, for him, but he did not have the nerve to stand up himself, and say it, because he knew of the public outcry if he had.

            And you dare speak to me of the millions, no, BILLIONS of people he influences, and what his action does .... His message condones the RAPE OF A NINE YEAR OLD GIRL ... Yes, CONDONES ... approves APPROVES, sanctions, blesses ... yes, he BLESSES ... by implicit action ... since that RAPIST IS NOT EXCOMMUNICATED, but the CHILD'S PARENTS ARE.

            I am sorry, Merlin, the truth is the truth, and it is as plain as day.

            As they say ... ... for those with eyes to see:

            >> The Papal Crown is blessing the rapist and condemning the child's family.

            >> THIS IS THE MESSAGE.

            >> THIS IS UNDENIABLE.

            >> THIS IS UNCONSCIONABLE.

            I am sorry, Merlin, if that is truly your name, but you would dare defend this ?

            We have laws, we have a discipline, we have a doctrine of the faith.  This is not just theory. And you can't start backpedaling just because the real-life situation carries a certain human weight."

            They have "laws" ... please ... what they have is hypocrisy ... and any humane human being can see it. The nine-year-old-girl's life was in jeopardy ... and as such, the abortion was to protect her life ... and they excommunicated her parents for being loving supportive protective parents ... and in doing this, for all the world's eyes to see, the Catholic church has shown, yet another age, that they are not worthy of being the "spiritual leader" of any humane humanity, and you want me, or us, to not condemn them ... Sorry, NO-CAN-DO. Either they stand by that hypocrisy and suffer the condemnation of a world community that no longer suffers such vile, or give up the papal crown and abdicate any holy sanction.

            Listen, Merlin, whomever you are, and whatever you are, whatever your true allegiances are, I don't know if you "chose" the moniker of "Merlin" because of some romantic notions, but I was given this name of Arthur, at birth, and as fate would have it, it is, in fact, very core to who I am, and as such, I take the tradition and teachings of the Arthurian legend and Merlin, and the Celtic Druidic ways of old, as sacred ... as I do, with all ancient sacred teachings ... all ancient warrior teachings ... and ANY human being on the face of this earth, who does not, is no holy man/woman ... not to me. And, the Catholic church deserves ZERO TOLERANCE, sorry.

            This is a short excerpt from a paper one of my martial art teachers wrote ....

            "By 325 AD in Rome, emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicea.  It was during this meeting that the politically motivated Christian Doctrines were established, and thus began a long history of Christian bloodshed and spiritual fraud. And for the next 1,600 years, the Vatican maintained a political stranglehold on all of Europe, leading to such joyous periods as the Dark Ages, along with such enlightening events as the Crusades, and my personal favorite - the Inquisition (FYI, approx 1 million women were burned at the stake accused of being heretics/witches by the Inquisition. The reality was they wanted to take control of the land and possessions these women owned.  The very same reason why priests, monks, and nuns can not marry, because the Church could not allow their land or possessions to fall into the hands of their spouses after their deaths).  Christianity, along with all other theistic belief systems, is the fraud of the age. It serves to detach the species from the natural world, and likewise, each other, and attach and bind you to the dependency of god, the Church/Temple, Mosque, and the promise of an afterlife of salvation.  It basically engenders, encourages, and supports blind submission to authority. It reduces human responsibility to the effect that "God" controls everything, and in turn allows the perpetuation of heinous, torturous, and murderous acts that are justified in the name of god and "Divine Pursuit". And most importantly, it empowers those who know the truth but use the myth to manipulate and control societies. The religious myth is the most powerful device ever created, and serves as the psychological soil upon which other myths can be planted, grown, and flourish."

            Yeah, we all, on dailykos, and in the western world, who do so love to study history, just love the Catholic Church's humane practices ...

            Listen, the Pope is no elected official, who must run for re-election, he is appointed for life ... ANOINTED FOR LIFE ... by his predecessor. Now, if one is to take that religion to its word, then the POPE is sanctioned by GOD to be the SOLE SPOKESMAN FOR GOD ON EARTH. Now, either he is that, or he is not that ... He can't have it both ways. He cannot stand by that belief when it is convenient, then hide behind it, when it is not. He cannot have the Vatican's paper speak his views when it is convenient, and then deny they are his when it is not. We call that, "double-talk" ... and we, of the western world, are wise to that game. It don't fly.

            The religion is a farce, the papal crown is a farce, and their followers, the ones with any awareness of what that institution is, and has done, are leaving, in droves .... and any who would defend such hypocrisy, are as bad and culpable as any in that religion's dark past. And, just because you assume the moniker of "Celtic Merlin" does not mask your actions.

            Finally, while atheism means having no religious beliefs, it does NOT mean that religious organizations, the religious beliefs of others, or the religious themselves are to be attacked, disrespected, or treated with disdain.  Believe or do not, but live and let live.  It seems to me that it would be a nice change for you to do so, friend Arthur.

            I follow a warrior tradition, a mind-body-spirit tradition, and I have trained in this path, for over 35 years. I do not respect "all religious beliefs" ... sorry. Any religion that practices or preaches the abuse of others, or teaches hatred ... or conducts acts of profound hypocrisy, will suffer my disdain and condemnation. And, you can expect ruthless brutal candor from me, in this.

            I respect those who respect humanity.
            I respect those who respect our planet earth.

            And to those who do not, I speak the truth as I see it. I give the POPE absolutely zero respect for anything but true acts of humane caring ... and if this means challenging their entire tradition, then this is what he should do ... anything less, is a lie ... just as the Vatican II redefined their very practices, so too, is that leadership charged to deal with humanity in a just manner, anything less, is deserved of the greatest and most severe criticism. I will not stand silent while their hypocrisy destroys the psyche of a nine-year-old-girl who was raped. Apparently, you will.

            Have you no decency, sir?

            Has the Pope no decency? Apparently not!

            As they say, this speaks volumes about that religion, since their very supreme leader on earth, the divine vessel bestowed in sanctimonious succession, from Jesus, to Peter, and on down through the ages, to this very day ... cares not for the well-being of EVERY LITTLE GIRL who has ever been raped ... because, if you condemn the family of ANY ONE OF THEM to excommunication, then you condemn the family of them all. And, any claim of representing a humane humanity is shown to be a lie, with this one act. Yes, at the heart and in the highest levels, this one act speaks volumes about how much has truly changed over the ages ... Yes, it is as I have long suspected, the Papal Crown has obviously not changed much ... women are still second class citizens and their very life and their very body are still not their own.

            I speak what I see as true, Sir, and to do any less, would be to dishonor the heart and soul of the nine-year-old-little-girl.

            Last, but most certainly not least, you wrote ...

            First, He is not MY Pope.

            Yes, and so I heard you the first time ... and so you repeatedly claim ... and if so, then stop defending what is indefensible.

            I am sorry if my words seem rude, Merlin, but it is not just this nine-year-old-girl, we are speaking about, here, it is the countless others, millions (as you rightly make mention) that this Pope's actions and words influences (as you so aptly remind us) and the countless other nine-year-old-little-innocent girls (whom you seem to conveniently forget, and who are less important to you than that organization being able to maintain their institution of lies) whose life will be destroyed by those rapists who are IMPLICITLY INFORMED by this incident that they will still be welcomed in their Catholic Church's holy communion, that they will still be welcomed in their blessed heaven ... they are implicitly informed, by this, that their actions have zero effect on their most holy place in life, and I find this, UNCONSCIONABLE, in the extreme, Sir.

            --- Celtic Arthur ---

            ~we study the old to understand the new~from one thing know ten thousand~to see things truly one must see what is in the light and what lies hidden in shadow~

            by ArthurPoet on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:20:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That is some righteous passion. nt. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ArthurPoet
            •  What he said. Seriously. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ArthurPoet

              Excellent research; if I had done so well I could have probably poured a little cold water on this flamewar before it got so ferocious.

              •  Thank you, but that discourse needed to occur ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparkys Dad

                ... to expose the fallacies and out-right lies that are being (and have been) propagated to cover for the atrocious deplorable despicable vile nature of that church's actions, both today, and since their inception, for which the Pope, himself, is, as far as I am concerned, PERSONALLY responsible ... either he unmitigatedly resoundingly denounces/renounces them, or he is a part of the perpetuation of them.

                btw ... Needless to say, LOVED YOUR DIARY!

                ~we study the old to understand the new~from one thing know ten thousand~to see things truly one must see what is in the light and what lies hidden in shadow~

                by ArthurPoet on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 04:51:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Don't even bother (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        markhaverty

        My first account was banned here for asserting the notion that AIDS in Africa was not caused by the Pope.  This place is anti-Catholic from the top down.

      •  We usually agree pretty much. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cris0000, Celtic Merlin, Sparkys Dad

        Not this time.  Excommunication is being forbidden the sacrament.

        Falsehoods presented as the truth are still lies.

        You have played down everything as much as the diarist has played them up.  While you had a point, you overstated it and lost your case (as far as I am concerned).  Would still like to remain friendly though.

        Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

        by Demena on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:08:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not agreeing does not negate friendliness. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Demena

          If everybody here agreed with me all of the time, I'd be so effen bored with the echo chamber that I'd leave in a hurry - never to return.

          Excommunication DOES mean that while one is forbidden the sacraments, one is welcome to attend Mass.  It certainly does NOT mean that one must check in to the basement suite at the Lucifer Hilton.

          All I did was decry the falsehoods, the ignorance, and the mocking without attempting to defend the actions of the Catholic Church in this Brazilian case - from back in March.

          Anyway, I'll see ya in the next screaming diary - whatever the topic.  :0)

          Celtic Merlin
          Carlinist

          Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

          by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:35:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  you are welcome to come to my house for dinner (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparkys Dad, okuzaone

        while i serve everyone else and say you are are unworthy to eat with me on this day or ever.

        but you are welcome to come to my house any time for a meal!

        Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:17:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Um, no. (4+ / 0-)

        "Your level ignorance as to what an excommunication means in the Catholic church is appalling"

        No, I think the diarist pretty much got it right.  Excommunication means being refused participation in the Catholic ceremonies: it's a form of banishment or exile, a deliberate attempt at humiliation.  No, they will not be welcome at mass.  And under Catholic beliefs, being cut off from "divine grace" makes it nearly impossible to get to heaven (though not technically impossible), so the kid will be worrying about her parents' souls.

        Sorry, the diarist appears to have a better understanding than you do.

        This was obviously a medically necessary abortion -- 9-year-olds are not ready physically to have babies, let alone twins; the usual age considered physically mature is 12 last I checked.  The Catholic church is simply following its modern (19th century) tradition of killing pregnant women rather than allow an abortion.  It's a very modern practice, contrary to centuries of Catholic tradition.

        Furthermore, "automatic" excommunication is specifically condemned by the Catholic tradition.  This is really a case where tradition would call for a contempt citation against the issuers of the excommunication.

        But what do you expect?  Power corrupts, and the Vatican's aggolmeration of power unto itself in contradiction to the Christian tradition led to predictable results, where they continually commit evil acts.  Benedict is no different from Khamenei, really.

        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

        by neroden on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:07:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You should do a little research. Others have. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mimi9

          Excommunication does not mean that one is banned from the attendance of Mass.  It means that one may not participate in the sacraments, but that's about as far as it goes.

          I direct you here and the second paragraph of this link.

          From where did you gain your expertise on the Catholic Church?  Are you Catholic?  Were you once Catholic?  Are you a scholar of the teachings of the Church?

          Celtic Merlin
          Carlinist

          Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

          by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:12:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  There are many of us who have not been catholic, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparkys Dad

        who nonetheless have studied the catechism, and read enough history to enable us to match those sources of information with the sorrow, pain and confusion of our friends who are catholic and have faced the craziness of the dogma so as to be able to rationally and fairly judge of this false religion and the horrors committed in its name from the very beginning of its existence.  The loss of lives and livelihoods based on the greed and power hunger of many of the bishops who threw charges of heresy and witchcraft around like a drunken Joe McCarthy have lasted up to and through the 20th century.  These facts are not fairly deniable, so the truth of many of these diaries and comments is palpable, lessened only by the sometimes passion and excess of the expression of them.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:20:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Go right ahead and report all you'd like. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparkys Dad

        Your quibbling over 'oh, the Pope didn't really say that!' is right on par with the paper-thin arguments of the most ardent, shockingly offended Catholics in this thread.

        I've already discussed every attack you've made on my diary in previous comment threads so I won't reiterate them here.  If you feel so inclined, go back and read through them; I think you'll see where they are, accompanied by the supporting arguments of the many, many other Kossacks who agree with me.

        I think the truthfulness of anything I said in this diary, as well as the links I included to back them up more than merit its not being deleted on the basis of lack of truth.  

        As for me not sugarcoating my opinions to coddle religionists and apologists like yourself...too fucking bad.  Deal with it.  I think it's pretty clear what the intent of my diary was and if you don't like it, report away.  You won't get anywhere.  If the powers that be decide my diary is somehow a blatant falsehood, they'll take care of it.

        5.About the only piece of TRUTH in your entire turdiary is this sentence: "Never having been a Catholic, I'm not sure how all this works."

        It's nice to know you and I do agree on something. One more thing before you go tell your mommy:   thanks for introducing me to a new word:  turdiary.  I fully plan on using it in the future, such as for describing your comment to my diary. Apt example.

    •  Huh? (9+ / 0-)

      If I'm the little girl and her parents, my attitude is, "Good fucking riddance."  Once again, the Catholic Church is a church of pigs and criminals.

      The sooner it dies, the better off we'll all be.

      Same goes for all religions.

      I'm too old to believe in a Magic Space Daddy.  It's a shame the rest of the world can't come along.

      "Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought on the unthinking." - John Maynard Keynes

      by Drew J Jones on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 02:13:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Right. The church wants to (11+ / 0-)

      ..."hug her" and then let her life be ruined forever.

      A three-year old has more ethical sense than the Pope.

      "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

      by eyeswideopen on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 02:31:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ha. (2+ / 0-)

        Please, most criminals have more ethical sense than the Pope.

        "Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought on the unthinking." - John Maynard Keynes

        by Drew J Jones on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 02:37:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  not just "ruined forever", (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Maria in Pgh, neroden

        they want her to die.

        "People might tease me is not a valid reason to reject a subpena" Jon Stewart

        by gnbhull on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:04:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They may not want her to die, and (0+ / 0-)

          may be pleased if she survived birthing twins.  However, they are willing to coerce the parents into risking her death, and care more for their beloved platonic mental gymnastics than they do for living human beings.  The fact that they, the church of Rome, are willing to put a nine year old girl into the whirlpool of of controversy as well as risk her life  demonstrates clearly where their warped sensibilities are.

          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

          by StrayCat on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:41:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Was there a link? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm atheist as well and love to beat up on the catholic church, but I can't find the story where the church excommunicated them or Benedict upheld it.

      We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty. DA

      by nonverbalcoma on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 03:00:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I pulled my son out of Catholic School (5+ / 0-)

      in mid-September last year and left the catholic church for good during the election last year.

      I am free. It was one of the best decisions of my life.

      And please, no recommendations for any other religions. I think religion has just fucked up our country and I'm sick of it.

      The God I believe in, is probably sick to his stomach.

      But lately I am questioning that too. I don't know how God never stands up for what is right. Any parent who would stand by and have their child sacrificed would be charged with a crime, wouldn't they? Didn't God intentionally create a child to have him killed? Yikes.

      I am feeling better that I don't have to keep believing or not questioning these things because I'm afraid I'll go to hell.

      Not to throw shoes is the crime. Not to be outraged is the crime.

      by the girl on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:04:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Welcome, sister! (0+ / 0-)

        I, too, was once Catholic.  I left the Church 25 years ago.  I'm very happy with that decision.  You will not regret having made the same choice.

        Celtic Merlin
        Carlinist

        Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

        by Celtic Merlin on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:04:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My mother was raised as a catholic (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arcticgirl, StrayCat, Philly Quaker

      When she was about 16 she decided it was a lot of crap (her words, not mine.)  Fortunately, due to her exposure to religion I have never been baptised.  In any event she divorced my father and remarried.  At some point in time a priest came to our door and informed her that she was living in sin.  She chased him out of our house with a broom!  

      I do not know what weapons World War III will be fought with. World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. -- Albert Einstein

      by elveta on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:49:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Proud to tip your diary.. (49+ / 0-)

    Suffer the little children..except the Catholic Church and the "celibate" pope appear to have little idea of what suffering means. Must be the weight of the Rolex watches and the gas bill for the Mercedes.

    This story is so incredibly awful.

    PS..The Catholic Church is playing Hard Ball in the Philipines too, more excommunications apparently to politicians who would dare contradict the Pope. Far too many poor children are dying there ..Infant mortality is much higher in large families where there is a great deal of poverty and they would deny women the right to sexual health, the government wants to change that and the Church will not stand for it.

    Think Tank. "A place where people are paid to think by the makers of tanks" Naomi Klein.

    by ohcanada on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:28:30 AM PDT

  •  What happens if half of Brazil (28+ / 0-)

    leaves the Catholic church?  If there are enough people outraged by what happened to that child and by how the church addressed it, why are any of them putting their money in the collections boxes?


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:30:00 AM PDT

  •  As a self-admitted CINO (9+ / 0-)

    How is it that only they get excommunicated? I'm sure there are many other Catholics out there having abortions and such.

    What happened here was wrong, and the Catholic Church did what they were supposed to do (we're talking church law, not federal law), but the fact that only this family gets the treatment (and the publicity) is a bit disturbing.

    And I say that I'm a CINO because I have numerous disagreements with the Catholic Church.

  •  More bullets. (13+ / 0-)

    Automatic excommunication?  How does that differ from a 'regular' excommunication?

  •  I can't defend the Catholic Church on this one. (11+ / 0-)

    Taking a zero tolerance stance on any behavior leads to these kinds of bad actions. My opinion is that the current Pope is just a place taker to avoid choosing a direction. The next one will tell us what direction they chose.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:35:31 AM PDT

    •  Not at all true (23+ / 0-)

      The present pope had an enormous amount of influence throughout much of the reign of his predecessor.  Benedict'[s faction within the Church surely looks forward to as long as possible reign for him as well.  In any event, Ratzinger/Benedict has been packing (or helping pack) the hierarchy of the Catholic Church with persons who share his viewpoint for decades.  The attitude of the great majority of Catholic laity is of no importance to this Pope and almost all his bishops.  The job of the laity is simply to submit, not to shape Catholic Church policies.

      •  You could be right. (4+ / 0-)

        Pope Benedict is not young and it will not be too many years until we find out.

        I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

        by shann on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:52:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This pope.... (9+ / 0-)

        is what finally caused me to disavow the CC.  

        The man is evil, in my opinion.

        Silence is the enemy - Green Day 4330+ dead - Bring them home

        by Miss Blue on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:31:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I left the Catholic Church at the age of 9. (8+ / 0-)

          The hypocrisy was so self-evident to me by then. Allow millions of babies to be born into suffering, starvation and eventual death, rather than permit birth control under any circumstances, even in impoverished parts of the world? Even as a child, this seemed immoral to me, and contrary to Jesus' compassion.

          This story, however, makes me sick to my stomach. Absolutely appalling.

          "Sweet are the uses of adversity. Find tongues in the trees, books in the brooks, and good in everything." As You Like It, Shakespeare

          by earicicle on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:08:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I left at age 25 (7+ / 0-)

            My fiance and I decided not to get married in a Catholic church. We were not practicing and thought it would be best to not marry in the church, and get back into faith when we had children.

            My parents then told us they refused to come to the wedding, refused to let my brothers and sisters be a part of the wedding (luckily they aren't going to listen to that) and told my fiance and I that we would not be in heaven together after we died.

            When asked if any non-Catholic marriage couples were together in heaven, the answer was no. Protestants are heretics of the church, and they literally said it was debatable whether or not a non-Catholic marriage was even a marriage.

            They are mostly all bigot hate mongers... and the Catholics who aren't are the ones not following the beliefs of the Church. Ie. Anyone using a condom, etc!

            •  Not sure where you are from (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mimi9

              Living in a city which has a large Catholic population, I know very few Catholic lay people who share the fanatical values of the American (and Vatican) Catholic hierarchy.

              •  The issue however (0+ / 0-)

                is that those the Vatican leaders state that those fanatical values are the only ones Catholics are allowed to hold, and to have differing ones is sinful and against the church.

                ------
                http://en.wikipedia.org/...
                However, the practice of selective adherence to the teachings of the Church has been repeatedly condemned through the teaching of the Popes:
                In a homily delivered on April 18, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI clarified the relation of dissent to faith:[15]
                "Being an adult means having a faith which does not follow the waves of today's fashions or the latest novelties. A faith which is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ is adult and mature."
                In a similar vein, Pope John Paul II stated in his talk to the Bishops in Los Angeles in 1987:[16]
                "It is sometimes reported that a large number of Catholics today do not adhere to the teaching of the Catholic Church on a number of questions, notably sexual and conjugal morality, divorce and remarriage. Some are reported as not accepting the clear position on abortion. It has to be noted that there is a tendency on the part of some Catholics to be selective in their adherence to the Church's moral teaching. It is sometimes claimed that dissent from the Magisterium is totally compatible with being a "good Catholic," and poses no obstacle to the reception of the Sacraments. This is a grave error that challenges the teaching of the Bishops in the United States and elsewhere."

      •  Benedict (7+ / 0-)

        is running the RCC in such a way that there's no end in sight to people in Europe and North America walking away from it.

        The right wing religious people I talk to are pegging their hopes for mass survival of their hardcore religion on people in Africa and Asia, and they're skeptical/worried about Latin America.

      •  Pope Ratzo's a Dominican. They're (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Old Gardener, moira

        the same hard-asses who ran the Spanish Inquisition.

        The Vatican has been marginalizing the often more liberal Jesuits for decades.

        A jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn (D-TX)

        by Ice Blue on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 12:49:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No one can defend CC on almost anything. As a (14+ / 0-)

      devoult Catholic for my first 30 or so years, I just could not take any more hypocrisy on so many issues that deviate from the teachings of Christ. This was even before the child abuse/molestation scandals broke; at which point I was very glad of my earlier decision to get as far away from CC as possible.

      I am now a Unitarian Universalist, which is very progressive and allows me to follow my Christian (although no longer Catholic) beliefs.

      Religion is not the problem here, it is the institution that has become so large and so corrupt that it no longer represents the values of Jesus. In terms of hypocrisy, I'd have a hard time picking the winner among the catholic Church and the GOPosaur Party.

      Note: I know that there are many (in fact a large majority) of wonderful Catholics, but the Church hierarchy is corrupt, hypocritical, and more concerned with holding on to power than with spreading the Gospel of Jesus and doing His earthly work.

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:05:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Has now become? (11+ / 0-)

        ... it is the institution that has become so large and so corrupt...

        My only quibble with this is that the Catholic Church has been this way for centuries. For example, see: Inquisition, starting as far back as the 12th Century.

        In the 13th century, Pope Gregory IX (reigned 1227–1241) assigned the duty of carrying out inquisitions to the Dominican Order. Inquisitors acted in the name of the Pope and with his full authority. They used inquisitorial procedures, a legal practice commonly used at the time. They judged heresy alone, using the local authorities to establish a tribunal and to prosecute heretics. After the end of the twelfth century, a Grand Inquisitor headed each Inquisition. Inquisition in this way persisted until the 19th century.[4] By the 16th century, the Roman Catholic Church had become the only Christian church in Western Europe. Then, when it felt itself threatened by what it perceived as the schism of the Reformation, it reacted. In the 16th century, Pope Paul III established a system of tribunals, ruled by the "Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition", and staffed by cardinals and other Church officials. This system would later become known as the Roman Inquisition. In 1908 Saint Pope Pius X renamed the organisation: it became the "Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office". This in its turn became the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith[5] in 1965, which name continues to this day.

        "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

        by flitedocnm on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:27:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely true. Most Catholics are humble (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grada3784, DefendOurConstitution

        followers of what they have been told to believe, and are trying to do the right thing.  Only thing is, you have to believe you're not smart enough to figure out right and wrong for yourself to be one of these humble followers.

        "A man of true science uses but few hard words, and those only when none other will answer his purpose..." - Melville

        by ZedMont on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:46:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Eldubb72, (16+ / 0-)

    you are absolutely correct when you say:

    apparently raping children falls lower on the Catholic Church's hierarchy of sins than having an abortion.  

    Very few sins incur automatic excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church. A piest hearing his mistress's confession is automatically excommunicated. Anyone who has or assists another to have an abortion is automatically excommunicated. Raping a child? That just did not make the cut.

    I could have been a soldier... I had got part of it learned; I knew more about retreating than the man that invented retreating. --Mark Twain

    by NogodsnomastersMary on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:38:34 AM PDT

  •  I can't find any evidence that the Pope (6+ / 0-)

    has spoken on this. There is no link to anything by the Pope in your diary, and I couldn't find one. An editorial in a Vatican newspaper is not equal to a statement by the Pope.

    You also don't mention that there was fierce opposition to this from within the Catholic Church, including at high levels of the Vatican. I found a couple of pro-life sites that had stories emphasizing how heroically the archbishop was standing up to his Catholic critics.

    I doubt if five percent of U.S. Catholics agree with any of this.

    But hey, don't let the facts get in the way of a good religious diatribe!

    By the way, has anybody ever heard another story of a girl as young as nine getting pregnant? I thought people didn't hit puberty until 11 or 12. Maybe that's changing?

    Incidentally, this is a story from March 2009. But amazingly, I'd never heard of it before.

    •  .... (11+ / 0-)

      different people hit puberty at different ages..............

      •  Well sure they do, I'm just saying I never heard (6+ / 0-)

        of it being so young. I guess I could google that too.

        Okay, here's part of the Wiki article on puberty:

        Timing of onset

        The definition of onset depends on perspective (e.g., hormonal versus physical) and purpose (establishing population normal standards, clinical care of early or late pubescent individuals, or a variety of other social purposes). The most commonly used definition of onset for both social and medical purposes is the appearance of the first physical changes. These physical changes are the first outward signs of preceding neural, hormonal, and gonadal function changes that are usually impossible or impractical to detect.

        The age at which puberty begins varies between individuals and between populations. Age of puberty is affected by both genetic factors and by environmental factors such as nutritional state or social circumstances.[14]

        Ethnic/racial differences have been recognized for centuries. For example, the average age of menarche in various populations surveyed in the last several decades has ranged from 12 to 18 years. The earliest mean is reported for African-American girls and the oldest for high altitude subsistence populations in Asia. However, it is clear that much of the higher age averages reflect nutritional limitations more than genetic differences and can change within a few generations with a substantial change in diet. The median age of menarche for a population may be an index of the proportion of undernourished girls in the population, and the width of the spread may reflect unevenness of wealth and food distribution in a population.

        Researchers have identified an earlier age of the onset of puberty. However, they have based their conclusions on a comparison of data from 1999 with data from 1969. In the earlier example, the sample population was based on a small sample of white girls (200, from Britain). The later study identified as puberty as occuring in 48% of African-American girls by age nine, and 12% of white girls by that age.[32]

        Historical shift

        The age at which puberty occurs has dropped significantly since the 1840s.[33][34][35] Researchers refer to this drop as the 'secular trend'. From 1840 through 1950, in each decade there was a drop of four months in the average age of menarche among Western European female samples. In Norway, girls born in 1840 had their menarche at average 17 years. In France in 1840 the average was 15.3 years. In England the 1840 average was 16.5 years for girls. In Japan the decline happened later and was then more rapid: from 1945 to 1975 in Japan there was a drop of 11 months per decade.

        *****************
        So it often used to be age 17, but now a very high percentage for girls is as young as nine (youngest age mentioned here). Learn something every day.

    •  Puberty does seem to be occurring earlier (16+ / 0-)

      for many girls, Timaeus. It's pretty much a worldwide trend.

      I could have been a soldier... I had got part of it learned; I knew more about retreating than the man that invented retreating. --Mark Twain

      by NogodsnomastersMary on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:41:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  there have been stories (6+ / 0-)

      about children hitting puberty earlier nowadays.  

      I can't imagine the Pope was not aware of this situation and chose not to do anything.  I say this given the petty matters Popes have gotten involved with in the past.

    •  * sigh * (10+ / 0-)

      By the way, has anybody ever heard another story of a girl as young as nine getting pregnant? I thought people didn't hit puberty until 11 or 12. Maybe that's changing?

      Every human body is different.  We're not issued with switches that toggle to "on" at a certain, precise age.  On top of that, google "precocious puberty".  

      Incidentally, this is a story from March 2009. But amazingly, I'd never heard of it before.

      Or just google...something.  Anything.  Just because you've not heard a story until now doesn't mean it didn't happen or didn't have import.

      Hard core Christian and hard core liberal...not an illogical combination at all.

      by penny8611 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:47:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pregnancy at 11 or 12 (11+ / 0-)

      Is becoming more and more common, so it is not all that surprising to find outliers even earlier. The youngest known was a 5 year old from Peru.

      "People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it." Ogden Nash (on universal health care?)

      by Catte Nappe on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:50:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  here is the point: (11+ / 0-)

       

      I doubt if five percent of U.S. Catholics agree with any of this.

      If a survey were taken at the door to every US RC Church to bar entry for anyone who had assisted or participated in any aspect of abortion services, I believe there would be even more empty seats.

      Here in America, our destiny is not written for us - it's written by us. Barack Obama 9/28/08

      by quadmom on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:51:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The TIME article references (7+ / 0-)

      numerous times that 'Benedict has felt it necessary to defend the Brazilian prelate' and 'the Pope was forced to back up the Brazilian bishop' etc etc etc.  I can't speak to the veracity of TIME's article but as they are generally a reputable publication, I took it at face value.

      And I won't let facts stand in the way of a good diatribe, thanks.  ;0)

    •  It's just a newspaper editorial. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus, grada3784

      Really, the fact that a bishop did it in the first place is much greater authority than the Vatican newspaper, which means nothing.  Even if it were linked.  Which it isn't.

      For Republicans, the supreme court is the means by which they thwart majority rule for a generation.

      by Inland on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:11:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the actual comment from the pope is in (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, Cedwyn, Ice Blue, grada3784, rgjdmls

      This user is currently hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials
      :o)

      by Muzikal203 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:20:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good link. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grada3784, Old Gardener, ZedMont

        Note, however, that your linked article actually does not contain any "actual comment" from the Pope, who apparently has not spoken directly on the issue.

        As usual, the issue is more nuanced, and I thought the two Time articles were rather slanted. But it certainly is telling that Pope has acquiesced by silence on the formal matter of excommunication for abortion.

        But has anybody in this thread yet commented that the Vatican FIRED the Archbishop right after the scandal broke? No, I don't think so.

        Incidentally, I've never heard of the U.S. Catholic Church "automatically excommunicating" anybody for an abortion. I think Catholic women very frequently confess their remorse over an abortion and are counseled, not publicly excommunicated. It's actually very rare to get excommunicated.

        •  Bishop's discretion (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grada3784

          Some issues involving excommunication are left to the local bishop, whom the Vatican backs up as a matter of course.  (The extreme case would be in St. Louis, where members of the board of St. Stanislaus Kostka got excommunicated for not turning the deed to the parish building to a bishop with a record of closing Polish churches.  The Vatican backed the bishop.)  

          2009: Year of the Donkey. Let's not screw it up.

          by Yamaneko2 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 12:08:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess this thread is dead by now, but if you (0+ / 0-)

            happen to see this, do you know the procedure for seeking leave of excommunication.  Do you need a pardon from the very bishop who did the excommunication, or can one sometimes go somewhere else?

            I know enough about canon law to imagine there must be elaborate procedures in place for lifting of excommunication. To a faithful Catholic, of course, excommunication is very serious, because it cuts one off from the Eucharist.

    •  Many of the girls in my (5+ / 0-)

      immediate and extended family begin menstruating at 9, even though they're usually closer to 10 than 8.  Of my sibling set, 3 of the 4 girls began at nine or just after their 10th birthday.

      My aunt's 3 girls also began early, about 10 or so, but only one of them began at 9.

      The apocalypse will require substantial revision of all zoning ordinances. - Zashvill Political compass -7.88 -7.03.

      by Heiuan on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:25:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Snopes: youngest was a 5 year-old (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, Ice Blue, grada3784, Go Kid Hugo

      Peruvian girl.

      A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. -Greek proverb

      by marleycat on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:43:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The pope owns that paper. (8+ / 0-)

      It doesn't print stuff that contradicts the king.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:43:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus, dufffbeer, StateofEuphoria

      By the way, has anybody ever heard another story of a girl as young as nine getting pregnant?

      There was a case about six or eight years ago here in Chicago IL.  The pregnancy was discovered when the nine year old girl complained of pain in her abdomen, and her parents, thinking she might have appendecitis, took her to a hospital.  She was in labor.  DNA testing on the baby showed it had been fathered by her uncle.  Fortunately for her, she had only one baby, not twins, so she survived.  The Brazilian girl was pregnant with twins, so she probably would have died before the twins were mature enough to live past birth.

      Renewable energy brings national security.

      by Calamity Jean on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 02:32:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you're excusing the Pope from (0+ / 0-)

      the most minimal duties of oversight over his own organization.

      L'Osservatore Romano is the Vatican Church's newspaper.

      A reasonable person would assume the Pope reads it regularly, and if he disagreed with an editorial on a high profile public position on the Church, he would make that point forcefully.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:38:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not exactly. (0+ / 0-)

        The pope straddled this issue. One can always hope he'd do one thing or the other, but he operates under rather weighty constraints.

        The second Time article, cited by Muzikal in this thread, says that the pope's first response was to fire the archbishop ("accepted his resignation"). That's a mighty strong rebuke!

        I'm not sure exactly what the pope should have done here, but firing the offending archbishop is pretty strong. I think this diary is just seizing on one excuse to bash Catholics, and any excuse would due for the diarist, with no genuine regard for all the facts.

        Every weekend for months now we get several super-atheist anti-Catholic diaries, pouncing on one news item or the other. It gets tiresome.

        Especially because of the double standard.  If a group of Catholics started posted here many times a week angrily denouncing atheists as backward, barbaric, illogical, etc. they would get troll-rated into oblivion by the atheist clique, which is much more tightly organized than the Catholics.

        That actually creates a climate of oppression for Christians on this and other leftie blogs, unfortunately. There are many Christians who are intimidated about posting on these constant atheist propaganda diaries, although they will sometimes the rec the few who do.

        A couple of these guys are even following me around from time to time to insult me and drop random, harassing and improper HRs.

        As I keep saying, the PURPOSE of this site is to elect Democrats, not to promote atheism (or any other religion for that matter). Catholics make up more than one quarter of the U.S. population and growing. They have voted Democratic in 8 of the last 12 presidential elections, including for Obama.  It is STUPID BEYOND BELIEF and contrary to the mission of the site for it to tolerate the imbalance of Catholic bashing over any criticism of atheism or other religious movements.

        This diary is just one pedestrian, knee-jerk version of the same old shit.

        If you watch, they post most of the really nasty anti-Christian stuff on Sunday. And not by accident, although of course they'll howl like stuck pigs when confronted and will deny that.

        •  your claim of anti-Christian oppression (0+ / 0-)

          made by an American in America holds the same kind of water that the claim of oppression of white men does when made by Fox News talking heads.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:14:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I read the cited article (0+ / 0-)

          A senior Vatican official says the Pope was forced to back up the Brazilian bishop. "[Sobrinho] was furious," says the official. "There was the impression that the local bishop had been subjected to immediate scrutiny by the Holy See."

          The brief document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the orthodoxy office that Benedict personally led before becoming Pope, defends Sobrinho's "pastoral delicacy" and leaves no wiggle room on the standing of the family and doctors who carried out the abortion.

          I find your claim that the Pope "straddled" the issue dishonest.

          It's very possible that your troll ratings were deserved and in complete conformance with site rules.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:39:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  What all of the people who claim (0+ / 0-)

          that this diarist hates Catholics have failed to see, in their rush to be the victims, is that I never once impugned any individual Catholic (with the exception of the pope) anywhere in my diary.

          I'm sorry that you must ust the fact that I despise a doddering, corrupt, medieval organization and perceive it as an individual attack on you, but hey, you can take it however you want.  Don't bother reading what's there, just use it as an excuse to feel attacked.  I really don't give a shit at this point; trying to salve the thin skins of every wounded Catholic is like trying to bail out a sinking ship with a thimble.

          And I posted this on Saturday Einstein.

    •  girls are starting puberty younger and younger (0+ / 0-)

      some people feel it is all the growth hormone in the animals people eat

      nine is early, but not unheard of.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:33:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A rather ungodly church (15+ / 0-)

    If not for its powerful traditions and wealth, its hold on the lives of millions would be a footnote in the history books. Jesus' flock has strayed over the past two thousand years.

  •  And yet more evidence (14+ / 0-)

    That organized religion is a plague on our civilization.

    President Obama. Yes We Did.

    by alkalinesky on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:49:45 AM PDT

  •  Another example of the hypocritical nature of the (5+ / 0-)

    Catholic Church. So very christiany.

  •  Ah yes, because a 9-year old should definitely (19+ / 0-)

    be forced to carry twins to term that are a product of her RAPE, that won't cause any mental or physical issues.

    SMH

    If that's the way the church feels, then that family is far better off without it.

    This user is currently hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials
    :o)

    by Muzikal203 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:53:14 AM PDT

    •  It's pretty rough... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CWalter, Old Gardener, blackjackal

      If they went from generally believing Catholics who are part of a church-going community, to being highly and publicly excommunicated. Imagine the judgment from their peers. The stigma, even if you think it is all just so many words, would be very difficult to bear.

      I cannot imagine what the child has been going through. I cannot imagine what the poor mother and father are going through. I wish them every strength and wisdom to get through it.

      That pedophile rapist should burn in hell though.

      I would have thought the one good thing about inventing such a thing as hell would be to use it on people like him.

      The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

      by beijingbetty on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:10:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The world is better off without it. (0+ / 0-)

      Today's dessert special is Plain Baked Alaska

      by shpilk on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:00:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The sarcasm here is over-the-top, but (6+ / 0-)

    no one can defend this action. It was just plain wrong and all I can do is watch the Church get trashed on this one - in this case, they deserve every bit of it.

    To make matters worse, looking forward, I don't see any changes in the Church's position on any form of birth control any time soon.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:58:48 AM PDT

  •  He's being consistent. (11+ / 0-)

    Pro-lifers believe that that a fetus is a human being-no distinction whatsoever between a fetus and anyone they pass on the street.  So to them abortion is the same as walking up up a toddler and jamming a pair of surgical scissors into the back of her skull.  So yes, they "punish" doctors, patients (and here, guardians) for taking part in that procedure.  By "punish" I mean refuse to let them participate in a hocus-pocus ritual of simulated cannibalism until they repent for what they did.  The deeper question is why would anyone WANT to be a member of an organization that is so divorced from reality?

    "They don't think it be like it is, but it do. " Oscar Gamble, circa 1980

    by Spider Stumbled on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:58:59 AM PDT

    •  Right (4+ / 0-)

      I do not understand the argument that pro-life policy is morally repugnant. The problem is that it is divorced from reality, not that it is "wrong". If you truly believe that a fetus is a human, then it obviously follows that, for example, rape and incest exceptions are completely illogical.

      Their position is very consistent, if you take their illogical premises seriously.

      •  Their position on birth control is consistent (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, Old Gardener

        with their position on abortion.  The difference between aborting a few cells with a morning after pill and depriving an ovum of its rightful sperm by means of a "wall of death" is technical at best.

        Both prevent a live birth from occurring, although admittedly, the condom is more of a Russian roulette to the abortion's well-aimed shot.

        Of course, most protestant fundamentalists practice birth control out of deference to technicalities, and see no contradiction, nor feel any guilt for playing God and preventing the birth of a child that without their interference, God would have granted life.

        Both positions are fucking ridiculous concepts to revolve your life around, and as you have said, divorced from reality.

        "A man of true science uses but few hard words, and those only when none other will answer his purpose..." - Melville

        by ZedMont on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 12:07:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I sent a registered letter to my bishop (11+ / 0-)

    asking to be excommunicated.  Never heard back. I tried the vatican website, but, at least back then they were charging $100 to contact them.  Too bad people allow these fools to "carry a certain human weight" in their lives.  You live, you die.  You can be happy or sad, troubled or care free.  It's really all up to you.

    Where the brook puts out of the roots of the old tree and flows to the meadow

    by peterborocanuck on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:59:18 AM PDT

  •  Alter Boys. Cardinal Joseph Rattinger sent out a (10+ / 0-)

    Memo that said "do NOT CONTACT local authorities if you uncover a sex scandal. First contact the Vatican"

    Paraphrased

    So, world wide obstruction of justice to cover up Catholic child rape.

    Why should anything worse surprise us.

    Jesus says "Fuck Empathy just do what the book and the man tell you"

    This is why I am agnostic

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

    by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:00:27 AM PDT

  •  Fix diary title please (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boston to Salem, Celtic Merlin

    The child is not being ex-communicated, the parents and doctor are.  Your diary title is incorrect and misleading.

    And yes, abortion is worse than murder to the Church. And you know why:  If you believe that abortion is killing a person with a soul.

    Hey, you guys lost. It's supposed to taste like a s**t taco. -- Jon Stewart

    by lostboyjim on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:00:36 AM PDT

  •  From that article (18+ / 0-)

    In truth, abortions and unwanted pregnancies are a sad constant in Brazil. Although abortion is illegal, an estimated 1 million women each year have one. The poor are forced into clandestine clinics or take medication, while the better-off are treated by qualified physicians at well-appointed surgeries known to anyone with money and overlooked by colluding authorities.

    That secrecy has a price. More than 200,000 women each year are treated in public hospitals for complications arising from illegal abortions, according to Health Ministry figures. Those who don't have the courage or the money to be treated take the pregnancy to term. Although the fertility rate has fallen considerably in Brazil (from 6.1 children in 1960 to about 2 today), 1 in 3 pregnancies is unwanted, according to Dr. Jefferson Drezett, head of the Hospital Perola Byington, Latin America's largest women's health clinic. Meanwhile, 1 in 7 Brazilian women between the ages of 15 and 19 is a mother, and the average age at which women have their first child has fallen to 21, from 22.4 in 1996, according to a government-funded study.

    And this is what the "pro-lifers" want here apparently.

    This user is currently hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Bar Exam study materials
    :o)

    by Muzikal203 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:04:07 AM PDT

  •  You're almost as bad (4+ / 0-)

    To use this horrible example of the hierarchy's bullshit to make a case that all religious teachings and beliefs are "garbage" is using this incident for your own ideological purposes.  Illogical, arrogant and exploitative.

    If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

    by jhannon on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:04:50 AM PDT

    •  Well I agree that this does not prove all reli- (5+ / 0-)

      gions (or even all Catholics) are bad, but it is such an egregious example of abuse that I think the diarist is justified in bringing it up (even if I do not agree with him that religion causes this, rather a corrupt, hypocritical organization that is more concerned with holding on to power than with anything else).

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:10:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I nowhere stated that all Catholics (14+ / 0-)

        are bad; I've known too many wonderfully good and kind Catholics in my life to ever state that.

        I don't want this to be construed as an 'I hate all religionists' type of rant, as that is certainly not what I had in mind.  I hate organized religion, and I hate the divisiveness and misery that it has brought to the world.  I don't hate the religious views that lead people to behave kindly and decently towards one another.

        What I object to is the immense collateral damage that occurs when one appends to the concept of 'doing good to one's neighbors' all of the claptrap that goes along with acceptance of a dogmatic hierarchy based upon the mythological constructs that churches promote.

        Kurt Vonnegut, that ingenious atheist, stated that "Being a humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you're dead."

        Word.

        •  More illogic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ricardomath

          Oh please!  Nobody said you were condemning all Catholics.  What a cowardly response!  What you did was use this horrible case as a way to indict religious belief--your quote follows.  It is an illogical and weak attempt to exploit a tragedy for ideological purposes WAY beyond what can be supported by the case

          As an atheist, I see the ultimate sadness is that people believe any of this garbage at all, that they refuse to open their eyes and think for themselves, and instead continue to allow their lives to be destroyed by a mindless, dogmatic, soul-sucking organization. It's no wonder they're hemorrhaging worshipers at an alarming rate.

          I sincerely hope this girl and her family will one day be able to see through the thick veil of lies and treachery the church has pulled down over their eyes. Seriously folks, try atheism--it's much better for your mental health.

          If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

          by jhannon on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:39:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I too have had it with organized religion, so now (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nowhere Man, moira, Bonsai66

          I am a Unitarian Universalist - an un-organized Religion.

          Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

          by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 12:23:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Vonnegut also said (0+ / 0-)

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies-: 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.'

          That works for me in two ways: As a restating of what theists know as the Golden Rule, and as a guideline for how to create positive change in someone else's thinking.

          By the latter I mean: No one is ever persuaded to change their thinking by being insulted, whether directly or indirectly. Telling stupid people that they're stupid doesn't make them smarter. Telling them that they're ignorant won't make them want to learn what you want to teach. Telling them that their beliefs are "garbage" will make them cling to those beliefs that much harder.

          If you want people to embrace atheism -- as I do -- then you'll want to craft a kinder message than the one in the last part of the diary.

          Even though our dream is not yet completed... we are not quitters... and we are not through. Ty'Sheoma Bethea

          by Nowhere Man on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:22:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My 'try atheism' comment was snark-- (0+ / 0-)

            ill-conceived and perhaps not as obvious as it should have been I'll grant you.

            I don't have any particular desire to 'de-convert' people from their beliefs into an atheist philosophy--if that's something someone wants to discuss, fine.  I guess that wasn't really my point, and I should've left it out.  Too late now.

    •  I stated my prejudice throughout the article (20+ / 0-)

      The fact that I've got an agenda doesn't make what I've said any less true.  Exploiting this?  Your precious church has been exploiting humans for two thousand years, so spare me your phoney baloney 'oh, you're just exploiting this for your own purposes' horseshit.  

      You are further extrapolating from my article things that I didn't say AT ALL, such as that "all religious teachings and beliefs are garbage."  Can you point it out to me?

      Illogical?  A religionist accusing someone who doesn't believe that a Jewish carpenter who died two thousand years ago (if he ever existed at all) was the son of God and the saviour of all mankind, calling me 'illogical' for not believing that?

      Save your religious hissy fit for church tomorrow; I'm an atheist and don't have to cater to your self-righteous superstitious bullshit.  

      •  You run away from your own statements (0+ / 0-)

        Hissy fit?  Self-righteous superstitious bullshit?

        Well, see, there you are.  You DO argue that religious belief is superstitious bullshit, and you use the tragic case of a 9 yr. old girl to make your point which is not merely that the automatic excommunication stance of the Church on abortion is horrible (and I agree that it is) but that religion is superstitious nonsense and that we'd all be better off as atheists.  It is a cheap, exploitative, and illogical argument.

        Here's where you do it in the original post:

        As an atheist, I see the ultimate sadness is that people believe any of this garbage at all, that they refuse to open their eyes and think for themselves, and instead continue to allow their lives to be destroyed by a mindless, dogmatic, soul-sucking organization. It's no wonder they're hemorrhaging worshipers at an alarming rate.

        I sincerely hope this girl and her family will one day be able to see through the thick veil of lies and treachery the church has pulled down over their eyes. Seriously folks, try atheism--it's much better for your mental health.

        If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

        by jhannon on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:45:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How is it illogical? (9+ / 0-)

          Yes, this is a tragic case, but is tragic because many people support the Church's position on this, and they do so because of their superstitious bullshit.

          How is it illogical to point this out?

          These people wouldn't be running around defending this nonsense if they weren't so damned religious. It is neither illogical nor unfair to mention this fact.

          That doesn't mean that all religious teachings are bad. Many religions teach many good things, which many people accept on faith.  This doesn't make those teachings harmful, even if religious people who believe and follow them are doing so for the wrong reasons.

          But the logical thing to do would be to actually examine the beliefs and look at evidence for them, rather than blindly accept the dogmas and superstitions handed down by some hierarchical authority which discourages independent thought and demands obedience.

        •  I ran away from nothing... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nowhere Man, StateofEuphoria

          you use your own feeling of righteous indignation  and having been wounded by my impugning of organized religion to read something into my statements that simply is not there.  And spare me your 'oh, won't somebody please think of the children!' hysteria.  Nowhere in my diary did I express anything but genuine sympathy for the plight of the poor young girl.  You just can't see that because you are blinded by my atheism.

          I never stated that 'all religious beliefs are garbage.'  I never said that because I don't think that.  Many religious beliefs have value:  I wouldn't argue with the Golden Rule, or the pillar of Islam that demands charity for the unfortunate, nor with strains of Buddhist philosophy that stress altruism and selflessness (just to mention a very few).  These beliefs are not the garbage of which I speak.  The 'garbage' to which I refer is the mindless following of an ancient religion, the rigorous application of dogma with no allowance for the particulars of any one case, and without regard for the actual effect on the lives of those affected.

          To be fair, I can see how the whole 'try atheism' thing at the end (really intended to be snarky rather than an obvious attempt to 'de-convert' people from their religious beliefs) could be construed as offensive.  So much for the wisdom of including snark in a serious diary.

          •  You could try updating the diary... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eldubb72

            To be fair, I can see how the whole 'try atheism' thing at the end (really intended to be snarky rather than an obvious attempt to 'de-convert' people from their religious beliefs) could be construed as offensive.  So much for the wisdom of including snark in a serious diary.

            I think I have a pretty low threshold for suspecting snark -- that is, I tend to err on the side of assuming snark, even when it's not. And the "try atheism' thing didn't look like snark to me, even though I'm a fellow atheist. It looked like a genuine, sincere, and (as you essentially admit) ill-conceived attack on religious beliefs.

            Perhaps you should try an update to the diary.

            Even though our dream is not yet completed... we are not quitters... and we are not through. Ty'Sheoma Bethea

            by Nowhere Man on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:29:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Done and done, per your suggestion (0+ / 0-)

              With a hat-tip for you; this thing went a zillion times farther than I ever dreamed.  I guess that's what happens when you unexpectedly make the rec list with a controversial diary like this...

        •  Lol. Try this then. (0+ / 0-)

          You DO argue that religious belief is superstitious bullshit,

          That doesn't need arguing.  it is evident to anyone with a sane mind.

          If you believe people come back from the dead you are (at least borderline) insane.  If you believe that people inherit sins from their ancestors you are (at least borderline) insane.

          All the above are rational statements.

          Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

          by Demena on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:00:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  yeah, because the Catholic Church has such a (10+ / 0-)

      decent track record.

      Organized pedophilia, greed, manipulation and lies are the grease and gears of that group and there is nothing in this world that proves any different.

      ...Fuck the High Priests...

      by Tirge Caps on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:33:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you forgot torture (6+ / 0-)

        they loved torturing people too.  

        Oh and the wars.... they loved those holy wars...

      •  wow--talk about fair and balanced (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CWalter, ViralDem

        How about Catholic Relief Services, Catholic hospitals and health care clinics, subsidized education in low-income areas, tuition free middle schools for inner-city boys in cities across the country, the role of Maryknoll missionaries in Central America and Africa, who helped educate Americans to the effects of economic imperialism, pastoral care for the sick and dying, spiritual guidance for millions of people who feel a need for a religious community and encouragement in leading a moral life, Mother Theresa and the Sisters of Charity, Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement, the preservation of learning and culture through the centuries of the Middle Ages, Copernicus, Mendel, Catholic activists at the center of the anti-Vietnam War movement (like Dan and Phil Berrigan), Pope John XXIII, St. Francis and the legacy of the Franciscan priests, brothers and sisters,

        I don't know...add your own, but please, try not to allow one-sided diatribes to be passed off as incontestable truths.  

        If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

        by jhannon on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:55:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If I save some people can I then rape your (7+ / 0-)

          child?

          ...Fuck the High Priests...

          by Tirge Caps on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 12:32:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No one said these things are bad. (0+ / 0-)

          Your selective choice to muddy the waters appears to be quite desperate.

          It's funny you should use the Berrigans as examples. How about Fr Drinan? Do you realize what Rome tried to do to these people?

          It's the institution that is the problem here. The very one that actively took steps to protect the worst of predatory pedophiles .

          Today's dessert special is Plain Baked Alaska

          by shpilk on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:28:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Please. I didn't say they said these were garbag (0+ / 0-)

            What was said is that the Church is a terrible institution.  The original indictment and all the right ons!  took the tragedy of a 9 yr. old girl, doctrinal rigidity, and a dumb editorial in OR to indict religious belief ("faith") as sad, misguided delusions.

            It was a cheap shot in an attempt to puff up the OP's atheism as the healthy choice.  The waters were muddied from the start.  I am simply demonstrating that even the record of the Church is more complex than suggested by the original diary.  

            Perhaps illustrating the complexity of an issue, or a large international institution, strikes you as "muddying the waters."  I wouldn't be surprised.  

            If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

            by jhannon on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:12:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Lol. Reason much? (0+ / 0-)

          Many of those things would have been done anyway and the way in which they were done was very often manipulative.  And often profitable.

          Even Mother Theresa commented that she felt god absent for much of her life and her behaviour when carefully examined was often "not respectful" at the least.

          Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

          by Demena on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:03:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Assertions without evidence, with arrogance. (0+ / 0-)

            LOL?  What are you laughing at?  Many of these things would have been done anyway?  By whom?  

            Mother Theresa's struggles with faith are completely irrelevant.  The experience of "absence" is part of any faith experience, especially that of a mystic.  She and her fellow sisters did tremendous work as a religious order, a central part of the institutional Church.  

            Very manipulative?  How so?  Very profitable?  Absurd.  Serving the poor is hardly profitable.  Tuition free schools are profitable?  

            You are mouthing absolute nonsense but have the gall and lack of self-awareness to LOL and suggest I can't reason.  This is just pathetic.

            If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

            by jhannon on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:07:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  heh. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homogenius

      how about MOST religious teachings?

      Especially the ones that say, "we are right, everyone else is wrong, and you must be converted to our way of stinking."

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:35:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're being illogical and arrogant (9+ / 0-)

      The "garbage" cited by the diarist referred specifically to the teachings of the Catholic Church, which are directly at fault in this case.

      And the diarist is correct, it is garbage, and it is sad that people follow this nonsense on "faith" without thinking for themselves.

      •  I can't agree and you're not coherent here (0+ / 0-)

        Sorry if that seems arrogant but I think you're not in good shape to make such a  claim.

        I think it's quite clear that "this garbage" has much broader application than a particular teaching--I think it applies to all religion as he concludes with an invitation to atheism which is so much more solid in his opinion.  And if it applies merely to all Catholic Church teachings, after a criticism of a particular, and heinous application of a teaching, well, that's also illogical and unfair.

        Your cop-out, intentional or not, is to say the diarist referred specifically to the teachings of the Church...and he's correct, it is garbage and "it is sad that people follow this onsense on "faith" without thinking for themselves."

        But it's unclear whether you think that it's a particular teaching or the whole enchilada that is nonsense, and I think we would all suspect you mean the Church, not one teaching.  But the most arrogant part of your comment is this:
        "It is sad that people follow this nonsense on "faith" without thinking for themselves.

        "Faith?"  in quotes means what?  And what makes you think people don't think for themselves just because they're Catholics, or people of faith?  Or that they follow this nonsense?  Where in the original story is there any indication of anyone blindly following?

        No, I think it's clear that many on this post and comments are happy to use this incident and teaching to indict the Catholic Church in toto.  And some are using it to indict any religious faith or "faith."  That is arrogant.

        If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

        by jhannon on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 12:14:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It has to be both (5+ / 0-)

          You don't have a choice between rejecting this particular teaching or the whole enchilada. According to Church doctrine, if you reject this teaching you are rejecting the whole enchilada. That's the whole point of "excommunication".

          This is a matter of Catholic doctrine; you are not a Catholic if you don't accept this. That's how it works. It is treated as if it were a heresy. To reject this you also have to directly reject the authority of the Church.

          And, yes, I am rejecting THAT whole enchilada.

          I also think this has nothing to do, by the way, with any authentic teaching of Christ. This teaching against abortion as akin to murder is a relatively modern invention, as is papal infallibility. But these are today defining teachings of the modern Catholic Church.

          But, while I have less disagreement with some of the actual teachings of Christ, I don't think they ought to be accepted on faith either. And by "faith" I mean mental acceptance of a belief or claim without evidence or proof. And I put it in quotes because the Catholic Church uses this word, and actively teaches that this is a good thing, in order to encourage submission to its own invented authority.

    •  You left off "accurate". -30- (0+ / 0-)

      Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

      by Demena on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:47:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Religious Hypocrisy (16+ / 0-)

    Demonstrating yet again that the "pro-life" movement does not believe it's own rhetoric, the Catholic Church is, in this instance, actually contradicting itself. When I was growing up, we were taught that abortions could only be allowed, morally, to save the mother's life.

    Well, guess what? IIRC, the child's doctors did not believe she was physically capable of carrying the pregnancy, particularly with the added physical stress of carrying twins. If the Church truly believed it was morally justifiable to abort in order to save the mother's life, they would at least be reviewing the case.

    A government that denies gay men the right to bridal registry is a facist state - Margaret Cho

    by CPT Doom on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:10:04 AM PDT

  •  If the pope would let this child die (9+ / 0-)

    for lack of an abortion the he should go to hell too for being willing to kill this child.

    That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

    by stevie avebury on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:11:02 AM PDT

  •  as someone very familiar with the charitable work (12+ / 0-)

    the church does overseas (not talking about missionary work) I am outraged about this, as it diminishes the good work that IS done, without regard to race or creed. Women are major beneficiaries and encouraged to be community leaders. Orphans and vulnerable children are the highest priority. Hundreds of millions of dollars are devoted to treating and caring for AIDS patients in the third world.

    Too bad it get a bad rap when the cretins at the top forget what Jesus would do.

    Dennis Kucinich was right.

    by lisastar on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:12:03 AM PDT

  •  And Bernard Cardianal Law is (18+ / 0-)

    still a Cardinal in good standing.

    I guess destroying the lives of thousands of children doesn't rate.

    •  Not just good standing. (16+ / 0-)

      Vatican Gives Cardinal Law Role of Honor
      1 hour, 15 minutes ago

      By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer

      VATICAN CITY - Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned in disgrace as archbishop of Boston over his role in the clergy sex abuse crisis, has been given a role of honor in the mourning for Pope John Paul II.    

      The Vatican announced Thursday he will lead one of the daily Masses celebrated in the pope's memory during the nine-day period that follows the funeral, called Novemdiales. The service will be held Monday at Rome's St. Mary Major Basilica, where Law was appointed archpriest after leaving Boston.

      snip

      Law stepped down as archbishop within months after a judge unsealed court records in January 2002 that showed he had allowed priests with confirmed histories of molesting children to continue working in parishes.

      Among the records were letters Law had written to some of the predators expressing support and thanks for their service to the church.

      Many Boston Catholics already were upset about the pope's decision to appoint him to the basilica. The post is ceremonial but highly visible; the church is one of four basilicas under direct Vatican jurisdiction.

      I diaried this when it happened.

    •  Possession is Nine-Tenths (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike S, Mirele, shpilk, rgjdmls

      of the Law.

      His Eminence the Most Reverend Cardinal

      BERNARD FRANCIS LAW

      ARCHPRIEST CARDINAL OF THE BASILICA

      Cardinal Law was born in Torreón, Mexico on November 4, 1931; he was ordained a priest on May 21, 1961. On October 22, 1973 he was appointed Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau and received episcopal ordination on December 5, 1973. He was appointed Archbishop of Boston by Pope John Paul II on January 11, 1984; and again by Pope John Paul II he was created and proclaimed Cardinal in the Consistory of May 25, 1985, and given the Title of the Church of  Santa Susanna; Emeritus Archbishop of Boston (he renounced on December 13, 2002). He is at present a  member of the following Congregations: for Bishops, for the Oriental Churches, for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, for Catholic Education, for the Evangelization of Peoples, for the Clergy; and also a  member of the Pontifical Council for the Family. He was appointed Archpriest of the Patriarchal Liberian Basilica on May 27, 2004 and took possession of it on June 10, 2004.

  •  Why not excommunicate the 9-year-old girl too? (5+ / 0-)

    The fact that the church didn't shows that this isn't about doctrine and faith. It's all politics.

  •  Here Is Where You Lost Me (9+ / 0-)

    As an atheist, I see the ultimate sadness is that people believe any of this garbage at all, that they refuse to open their eyes and think for themselves, and instead continue to allow their lives to be destroyed by a mindless, dogmatic, soul-sucking organization. It's no wonder they're hemorrhaging worshipers at an alarming rate.

    To be an atheist is your right. However, to denigrate what others believe while simultaneously (and incorrectly) assuming them to be monolithic in their belief is both illiberal and silly. Beyond that, such condescending attitudes is exactly why many red state folks don't even entertain what we have to say. Arrogance -- in any form -- is a turn off.

    For a much more mature take on this story -- from a liberal Catholic such as myself -- just click here.

    •  I'm very aware of the fact that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eirene

      not all religionists share the same eschatology.  The purpose of this diary was not to try and point out all the flaws and fallacies in religious dogma; that part you quote was merely an aside and meant to be taken as such.

      •  Aside or Not... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Boston to Salem, Nowhere Man

        It accomplishes nothing but to turn people off. Consider this spot-on quote from today's Daily Howler:

        Bottom line: Pseudo-liberals simply love to name-call southern whites. It’s one of the joys of pseudo-liberalism, although it tends to work against the goal of spreading progressive views. By the way: This is part of the explanation for the press corps’ treatment of both Clinton and Gore during the last, unfortunate decade. In Fools for Scandal, Gene Lyons reported the national press corps’ instant condescension toward all things Arkansan. In later years, some Gotham pundits plainly built their negative view of Gore out of “southern cracker” frameworks. We think of Jimmy Breslin, who was completely open about this. And of gun-and-God-hatin’ Frank Rich.

        We pseudo-libs love to name-call them crackers! In the long run, this works against spreading progressive viewpoints. And in some part, it’s how we got Bush!

        The Post’s “Free For All” page is appalling today; it represents astounding bad judgment. But then, that cartoon ain’t a giant heap of sand better. We’d be surprised if Sotomayor thinks of other people that way—even of those who aren’t morally perfect, as we liberals so constantly are.

        Smart man that Bob Somerby (who I believe is either an atheist or an agnostiic).

        I'll tell you something else friend: FDR, Truman, Bobby Kennedy or Obama would never say such "an aside."

        •  Well, fortunately for me I've no aspiration (10+ / 0-)

          to be a statesman such as those you mention.  I'm merely a humanist who occasionally becomes filled with vitriol at the egregious hypocrisy and the devastation wrought upon human lives by these organizations that sell salvation based upon ancient mythological constructs.

          And also, (maybe you'll find this hard to believe) although I have many good friends who are religionists of all stripes, I make no bones about my disdain for the concept of organized religion, and with all due respect sir, I did not write this diary to coddle Catholics or religionists, or to sugar-coat my message in any way.  I think that is a fact that you seem to miss.

          You may very well be right that that isn't the way to win people over, but I'm not really interested in winning anyone over.  The funny thing about freedom from religion is that people come to it (or not) in their own sweet time, and there is nothing anyone can say to make them arrive at the conclusion that there is no god until they are ready to reach it themselves.  

          I'm happy to help anyone who wants to take that path, and have no desire whatsoever to introduce it to those who are sure of their salvation.  It's a pointless waste of time, the same as it would be for some religionist to try and convince me that drinking wine and eating bread that somehow transsubstantiates into the blood and body of Christ will keep my soul out of an eternity of hellfire.  

          Let's be honest: you've got your views and I've got mine, and ne'er the twain shall meet.  You object to the tenor of my diary; I object to the hypocrisy of religion.

        •  There will always be those offended by truth (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TiaRachel, h bridges, OnlyWords

          Sorry, but I can't see the point of worrying that some people might be offended by the plain stated facts. For my money, I think we could do with far fewer politicians and far more Jimmy Breslins.

        •  Do you spend so many electrons (0+ / 0-)

          chastising theists for unrelenting assaults on atheists in America?

          Do you spend any energy trying to change the fact that atheists are held in lower esteem than members of any faith group in America?

          Are you worried at all about the way that the gratuitous, knee-jerk genuflecting that our politicians engage in towards the most chauvinistic, bigoted religious leaders helps to reinforce those attitudes?

          Of course not. It's all the atheists faults for being so "uppity". Just like them Negroes and uppity women who couldn't let the white men take care of things for them.

          One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

          by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:34:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hmmmm…. (0+ / 0-)

            The common thread in all three of these replies is a complete lack of humility.

            Your certitude in atheism is not my affair unless – as all three of you have done here – use it as a means to demonstrate how clever you all believe yourselves to be. And in doing so you stand squarely in the same field of arrogance as the overbearing Evangelical Christians you so detest.  Ironically, both you and these same Evangelicals and Right-wing traditionalist Catholics have some sort of need to tell the world that you hold yourselves above most others being among a certain elect group of which the rest of us do not belong. And like these certain arrogant Evangelicals and Right-wing traditionalist Catholics, you get off on letting the world know how clever you believe yourselves to be.

            By looking down your noses at faithful people who do nothing to interfere with atheism you accomplish nothing positive. More importantly, however, you impede the liberal notion of a diverse people’s pursuit of common dreams – healthcare, distributive economic justice and end to the twin evils of racism and sexism. It is a far better thing to emphasize what you share in common with others than to insult potential allies simply because their private-sphere beliefs differ from yours.

            One last thing (and this is response to RandomActsOfReason’s comment): I write a regular column at Talk to Action in which I refute the Catholic right, neocons and those who would like to impose upon us all a theocratic form of government. And quite often in those posts I will actively defend the rights of atheists to believe or not believe what they wish.

            •  Interesting - and telling - response (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rieux, eldubb72

              my entire comment focused on institutional, social and cultural discrimination against atheist - with precisely zero reference to any kind of "certitude", or even a mention of the philosophy of atheism, let alone a comparison with competing philosophies.

              And your response is entirely an expression of your deep hate-driven bigotry toward people whose only crime is to believe differently than you do about god.

              You accuse me of "detesting Christians", when my comment did not mention Christians at all.

              It is ironic that you talk about liberal notions of diversity, when your comment is so full of venomous intolerance, stereotypical assumptions, and irrelevant rants that have nothing to do with my commment - which, again, was entirely about discrimination against atheists, and how attitudes like yours reinforce, buttress and perpetuate them.

              In your next column at Talk to Action, perhaps you should examine your own prejudices, deep-seated emotional hostility and profoundly illiberal hypocrisy in your communication with atheists.

              There was absolutely nothing in my comment that justifies your response to it. Nothing at all.

              One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

              by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 01:23:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Interesting, I thought my reply (0+ / 0-)

              was thoughtful and polite.  You still want me to wrap it in cotton and soften the blow.  I won't do it.  I think, liberal catholic or not, that you are completely blinded by my atheism (and probably by anything to do with atheism) and so still miss the point entirely.  Oh well.

    •  Why are you defensive when your church (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drmah

      covers up child rape?  I see, we're supposed to be 'nice' to people who profess fidelity to a church that would excommunicate someone who provided an abortion to a child that had been raped?!  What is 'liberal' Catholicism?  Having empathy for everybody?  For the girl raped by her father and for the church that would cover it up?  I don't get it.  Enlighten me.

      Blagojevich/Palin '12.

      by fou on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 04:02:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  lol (0+ / 0-)

      To be an atheist is your right. However, to denigrate what others believe while simultaneously (and incorrectly) assuming them to be monolithic in their belief is both illiberal and silly. Beyond that, such condescending attitudes is exactly why many red state folks don't even entertain what we have to say. Arrogance -- in any form -- is a turn off.

      You support flat earthers then?  You support creationists?

      If your beliefs are worthy of criticism then they should be.

      I am supposed to support your arrogance of professing a ridiculous point of view ?  No thanks.

      Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

      by Demena on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:09:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Child raping priests live in sanctuary (17+ / 0-)

    at the vatican, instead of rotting in jail cells where they belong.  Nothing from this corrupt organization surprises me at this point.

    If anyone is offended by that:  Too damn bad.  

    I'd never align myself with an organization that has had the corrupt track record of the catholic church.

    "Give me a water board, Dick Cheney, and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders." -Jesse Ventura

    by Beelzebud on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:16:11 AM PDT

  •  The problem (7+ / 0-)

    isn't just the church's medieval stance on abortion. Priests can't marry and are expected to be celibate. Holy Mother Rome has raised herself a corpus of people, all men, who can't live the lives of their own flocks.

    A lot of the rest of Catholic dogma is amazing, one might add. Economically, the pope is to Obama's left :-)

    People who speak in metaphors should shampoo my crotch. - Jack Nicholson

    by MBNYC on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:16:33 AM PDT

    •  The problem is an authoritarian system (0+ / 0-)

      based on unquestioned obedience.

      A system that is inherently incompatible with free society, democracy and the modern world.

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko</