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Hat tip to Pharyngula for showing me this story of outrageous behavior created by the catholic church. I suppose it serves as a reminder that we dodged a bullet to some extent by defeating Mitt Romney, because this story comes not out of, say, Iowa, but out of Ireland. But honestly, this is for the confused folks that question why anyone would...hate...the catholic church.

Ireland. I want to say it surprises me that it's from Ireland, but that's wrong of me. I've heard stories like this out of some central or south american countries, but Ireland can apparently be just as backward in its treatment of women. It is the story of the death of Savita Halappanavar. Would it be an obscene stretch to call the church her murderer? I'll stick with killer, because thanks to them, she is dead.

“The doctor told us the cervix was fully dilated, amniotic fluid was leaking and unfortunately the baby wouldn’t survive.” The doctor, he says, said it should be over in a few hours. There followed three days, he says, of the foetal heartbeat being checked several times a day.

“Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby could they induce to end the pregnancy. The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.

“Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

So, a pregnant woman arrives at the hospital, her body leaking amniotic fluid, in agony. Clearly her baby won't survive. But since it is not quite dead yet, in catholic country they must wait, and in the process the woman spends several days in agony, contracts septicemia and dies as well.

So, in addition to showing me this repulsive tale, PZ Myers also linked to the response from catholic country, from a bishop, John Fleming. (emphasis mine)

“For those who view life through the lens of their Christian faith, our bodies are sacred; temples of the Holy Spirit, created in the image of God and redeemed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For Christians, our bodies are not our own to do with them what we will. Our bodies come from God, are created in God’s image and destined for eternal life with him in heaven. This is our faith and this is what distinguishes us from those who do not share our faith.”
We're all familiar with this nonsense thanks to presidential candidates like Rick Santorum, who briefly enjoyed the limelight as conservatives went through the roster of candidates more severely conservative than Romney. (and with that reminder I googled Santorum today.) We know full well that in catholic country, our bodies -- oh, dispense with the bull, women's bodies -- are not their own to do with as they will.

So while Irish politicians try and fail to beat back this theology that's taken over their country, women get to suffer and die. And the perpetrators, these execrable bishops, mutter platitudes about eternal life even as they kill women like Savita Halappanavar, who wasn't Irish, or catholic for that matter. Oh, and don't let them try to travel to England for proper care, either. Catholic country will try to stop you from doing that, and the courts will back them up.

Now, my whole family is catholic. The community I left behind in PA to travel out to the desert in AZ, that was catholic. I used to be one myself. I am aware that millions of catholics would never wish this sort of fate on anyone. I don't hate any of them, although I resent their support -- money, time, belief, sheer numbers -- that props up the church and makes them look big and important to our politicians.

If anyone should ask why I do hate the religion, the belief system, the church -- it's things like this. As a skeptic I have no comforting nonsense whispering in my mind about eternal life and moving on to better places and no more pain. I only see the reality, a precious solitary existence cast into oblivion by articles of faith. And those, those I hate. I wish I could live to see the day when those are cast into oblivion, into the dustbin of history. But that accursed religion will most likely outlive me.

I will not have this place become catholic country. Don't speak to me of tolerance. I am intolerant of needless suffering and death.

Anyway, thanks PZ. I'll end this by quoting you.

Bloody butchers and pious toads who mask their medieval ignorance with a pretense of charity and care; it’s long past time to end the illusion and recognize the barbarism of the church. Shut ‘em down.
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