Sunday, March 29, 2009

Antisemitism is NOT Catholic

(From JTA):

A Catholic archbishop in Brazil minimized the Holocaust and declared that Jews dominate the world media.

Dadeus Grings, the archbishop of Porto Alegre, declared that "more Catholics than Jews have died in the Holocaust, but this is not usually told because Jews own the world's propaganda."

. . . .

"It's not the first time Mr. Grings refers to the Holocaust in a twisted way," said Henry Chmelnitsky, president of the Rio Grande do Sul Jewish Federation. "Fewer Jews died in World War II because there were and there still are fewer Jews in the world. Proportionally, the extermination minimized by the archbishop meant the slaughter of most of a people that was already small. By reproducing stereotypes created by the Nazis, Grings positions himself on the wrong side of history."

Grings is the second Catholic bishop in recent months to publicly minimize the Holocaust.

The other night, I went out to see the incredible Bob Wiseman perform. I'd been a bit of a fan of his music for some time, but I'd never seen him live before. Turns out he was nothing short of amazing. I could go on for hours about his show, but this is not the place. There was one song of his, however, that I will talk about. It's called "How Round the Earth" and these are the lyrics:
I was 12 years old
I was walking home
From a soccer game

He was an older kid
I seen him cross the street
He pulled a knife out on me

I said I got no money
He said I don't believe that's true
I know your last name
I know the house you live
Everyone knows that you're a Jew

He stabbed me in the arm
He punched me in the face
He tripped me as I tried to run
The cars drove by
His girlfriend was laughing
Finally they let me crawl away

My father said 'what happened?'
I told him nothing happened at all
'Cause he knew my last name
He knew the house where I lived
I never ever felt so small

Now it's been years since then
Ice Cube's got a new record out
I read about his press conference

He talked about history
About the Jewish conspiracy
And it occurred to me to say

Ice Cube, I live at 848 oak street
You should come over and have tea
I'll show you my bank account
I'll show you the car i drive
And then maybe you'll decide
The earth isn't flat
I was pretty upset about this song, and I'd venture to say that it's fate this news story came out so quickly after I'd heard it for the first time, because I really want to say something: fuck antisemitism. Seriously, fuck it. Saying "Jews control the media", aside from being a stupid fucking thing to say, makes violent idiots think they can go out and stab little Jewish kids while they're walking home from soccer practice. My mom's dad is Jewish (a fact I discovered on the way to my first Passover when I was seven). He's unbelievably lapsed, of course, or I imagine he wouldn't have allowed his children to be raised Catholic, but he loves his gefilte fish and still speaks some Hebrew and likes to call my sister and me "meshugganas." So, you know, he's culturally Jewish (kind of like how I'm culturally Catholic).

I never got a sense from him of a fear of antisemitism, which is probably because the man is fearless. But this fear is something I've seen in every other Jewish person I've ever known. In high school, my friend Lisa would pretend not to be Jewish around the Muslim kids because she was afraid of what they'd say (personally, I think that as all this took place in the wake of September 11th, I would have been more afraid to be the Muslim kids. Some asshole burnt down their mosque. Fuck that shit too). My friend David told me that when he first went to college, he was militantly Jewish and would wear t-shirts to that effect, but his mother would beg him not to because she was afraid somebody would do something to him.

I can't imagine living with that kind of fear, which is so culturally ingrained from centuries of antisemitism. In this day and age, do we really want to continue that bullshit? I mean, haven't we learned anything from South Park? Eric Cartman is the (hilarious) embodiment of cartoon evil. Don't people realize that diatribes about the "Jewish conspiracy" just make them sound like him? Do you really want to sound like Eric Cartman, Archbishop Grings? WTF is with the Brazilian Catholic Church?

The Catholic Church may have fucked up the Holocaust, but in 1965, Pope Paul VI made it very clear that "in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel's spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone." So your position, Archbishop Asshole is inherently un-Catholic, and inherently un-Christlike.

Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them" (Matthew 5:17). Christ himself never, ever preached violence against the Jews. He took issue with a corrupt church body, much like he would probably take issue with much of the Christian church of today. He did not, however, preach hatred against his own people because, well, they were his own people. Antisemitism has no place in Christianity. Hate in general has no place in Christianity. Get your head out of your ass, Archbishop. WTFWJD?

Friday, March 27, 2009


Holy shit I want these.

Catholics vs. Obama vs. Notre Dame vs. My Sanity

OK, Catholics, I will give you $10 to stop pissing me off. I can't tell you how much I want to bitch about OTHER Christian denominations. But it's always you these days. What the fuck is your problem? I CAN'T BELIEVE I AM ONE OF YOU.

Moving on... Notre Dame has asked President Obama to speak at their commencement ceremony, and will be presenting him with an honorary law degree. True to form, the Catholic wackos take umbrage with this, and have started a petition to the president of the university in the hope of preventing it.


Dear Father Jenkins:

It has come to our attention that the University of Notre Dame will honor President Barack Obama as its commencement speaker on May 17.

It is an outrage and a scandal that “Our Lady’s University,” one of the premier Catholic universities in the United States, would bestow such an honor on President Obama given his clear support for policies and laws that directly contradict fundamental Catholic teachings on life and marriage.

This nation has many thousands of accomplished leaders in the Catholic Church, in business, in law, in education, in politics, in medicine, in social services, and in many other fields who would be far more appropriate choices to receive such an honor from the University of Notre Dame.

Instead Notre Dame has chosen prestige over principles, popularity over morality. Whatever may be President Obama’s admirable qualities, this honor comes on the heels of some of the most anti-life actions of any American president, including expanding federal funding for abortions and inviting taxpayer-funded research on stem cells from human embryos.

The honor also comes amid great concern among Catholics nationwide about President Obama’s future impact on American society, the family, and the Catholic Church on issues such as traditional marriage, conscience protections for Catholic doctors and nurses, and expansion of abortion “rights.”

This honor is clearly a direct violation of the U.S. bishops’ 2004 mandate in “Catholics in Political Life”: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

We prayerfully implore you to halt this travesty immediately. We do so with the hope that Catholics nationwide will likewise call on you to uphold the sacred mission of your Catholic university. May God grant you the courage and wisdom to do what is right.
Jenkins, in his announcement of the decision to have President Obama speak, made it very clear that "the invitation of President Obama to be our Commencement speaker should in no way be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of life, such as abortion and embryonic stem cell research." That's apparently irrelevant though, as people are still pissed. The hypocrisy here is pretty amazing, but has already been laid out more eloquently than I could probably do it. Check it (from The Observer):
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2004 statement, "Catholics and Political Life," states that Catholic institutions, like Notre Dame, "should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental and moral principles," and that those who do "should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

On May 17, I will be honored with a Bachelor's Degree from Notre Dame. In my four years attending this university I have been awarded with over $100,000 in scholarships and financial aid from Notre Dame, and have always been offered a platform to speak my mind, as I would in any credible University. On the day that I graduate, President Obama will be presented with an honorary law degree from Notre Dame and have the privilege to be the Class of 2009's Commencement speaker. Both Barack Obama and I have acted in defiance of the Church's fundamental and moral principles in the past, but no one is protesting me receiving my degree.

The idea that by inviting President Obama to deliver the commencement address, Notre Dame is in any way supporting his position on abortion is ludicrous. In presenting him this honor, Notre Dame is rewarding him for his achievements, just as Notre Dame will be rewarding me for mine. There is no Catholic litmus test to decide whether you are fit for this honor. Notre Dame has a long history of presenting this honor to people who have in opposition to the Catholic Church, from General Sherman in 1865, whose total war strategies in his "March to the Sea" clearly violate the Catholic standards of jus in bello, to President George W. Bush, who as governor of Texas presided over 155 executions. I'm willing to bet that the pro-life activists who are turning this event into a scandal were silent when President George W. Bush delivered the commencement speech eight years ago. Which leads to me to believe that this protest movement has nothing to do with "protecting Notre Dame's Catholic identity" and everything to do with politics.

I have no problem with staging a political protest. It's our right as Americans to do so. What I do have a problem with is hypocrisy. If you disagree with Obama's politics, you have the right to stage a political protest, but don't turn it into something it's not. Don't hide behind the Church unless you plan to protest every speaker we have in the future that does not conform to Catholic principles. You are staging a political protest, nothing more.
The American Catholic Church, which is one of the most conservative wings of the Catholic Church (though obviously not as bad as Brazil), really needs to stop seeing abortion as the only issue ever. The Church believes abortion is murder. Fine, whatever. Then they need to treat all murder equally. The problem is, of course, that Pope Nazipants has made it very clear that he believes abortion to be the worst kind of murder, and will allow all sorts of injustices on the part of the Church in support of that crazy claim. It will be interesting to see if the Vatican will have anything to say on this situation, although I think it likely they'll be keeping their mouths shut until everyone forgets how mad they are at them for all the other shit they've already said.

This goes beyond the commonly-made claim that the Catholic Church only cares about you until you are born. The fact is that the Catholic Church as an institution does not value women. Birth control, access to abortion - these things are good for women, and these things are banned within the Church. Furthermore, the Vatican all too recently proclaimed that anyone involved in the ordination of a female priest would be excommunicated. So female ordination = excommunication, abortion = excommunication. Mark my words, friends, it won't be long before going on the pill = excommunication. This is not about the Bible. It is not about Christ. It's not about dogma or the sacraments or Tradition with a capital 'T'. This is about women and a bunch of old, sexually frustrated men's effort to keep us from being relevant as anything but chalices into which for that oh-so-sacred sperm can be poured.

John 20:10-18 says:
Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"

"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."

Jesus said to her, "Mary."
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).

Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Could women really be so insignificant if Jesus chose to reveal Himself to one upon His return from the dead? Are we really so naive that we do not count Mary Magdalene among the Apostles? This is the 21st century. Patriarchy is dead in the west. It's about time the Catholic Church caught up. WTFWJD?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


For all two of you who don't read SLOG:

I got a response to the email I wrote to my Archbishop

My original letter was as follows:

My name is Jocelyn. I was baptized at St. Michael's Catholic Church. I received my First Communion at St. Joseph Catholic Church. I was Confirmed at St. Philip Catholic Church. In short, I am Catholic.

I have not always agreed with the Vatican on every issue, but I have always been proud to be Catholic. I have always been proud of my Church, the work that we do, and the members we claim. I have always believed us to be a strong and good-hearted group of people.

It is for this reason that I am so hurt by what has happened over the last few days in Brazil. As you are undoubtedly aware, a nine-year-old girl became pregnant by her step-father, who admitted that he had been sexually abusing her since she was six years old. Her doctors determined that continuing with the pregnancy would be very dangerous for an 80 pound 9-year-old, and so she got an abortion. The Catholic Church in Brazil then proceeded to raise all hell and excommunicated the girl's mother and the doctors who performed the abortion. As far as I know, the step-father is still a member of the Church.

I want to make it very clear that I believe giving this girl an abortion was absolutely the right thing to do. I believe it is morally reprehensible to ask a child that age to give birth, particularly when her health would be at risk in doing so. I believe the Catholic Church is absolutely wrong to deny membership to these Doctors, who all took an oath vowing to "do no harm." Therefore, I believe it stands to reason that I should be excommunicated as well. If these people are murderers for saving this child's life, then I am a murderer for agreeing with them.

Thank you for your time. God bless you.

Here's the response I got. You'll notice that it is not from the Archbishop:

Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, has asked me to respond to your email of Friday, March 20, 2009, sent to him via the Holy Rosary Cathedral.

I would like to begin by saying that I hear and feel the enormous sense of pain that you are experiencing as a result of the tragic story of the nine-year girl in Brazil who underwent an abortion.

As I am not aware of all of the factors that led to the excommunication of the girl's mother, I am not able to offer an opinion from a canonical perspective on this case.

However, I might point out that according to Canon 1318, the censure of excommunication is only to be imposed with the greatest moderation and only for graver delicts. Abortion is considered to be a grave delict. However, the penalty must be tempered or a penance employed in its place if the delict was committed in part due to a number of factors that are outlined in Canon 1324. One of these factors is a person who was coerced by grave fear, even if only relatively grave.

The fact that you do not agree with the decision about the excommunication of the girl's mother would not be grounds for your excommunication.

I have found that sometimes we are all confronted with situations in which we feel a deep sense of abandonment. Even our Lord prayed on the cross, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me." Pope Benedict XV1 has written in Deus Caritas, that Jesus was praying in the deepest sense to the Father during this horrific moment. We too sometimes find ourselves in situations in which prayer is the best and only realistic response to the situations we encounter. I would urge you to remain faithful in prayer for the Church, the little girl and her mother, and all who find themselves in moments of anguish. I believe this will help to build up the Body of Christ.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Bruce McAllister

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Did you miss me?

Hey everybody. Sorry for the week-long absence. I got really sick of only talking about the Catholics (most notably, the Pope), and was hoping I'd come across something else about which to bitch. Unfortunately, however, it seems Pope Nazipants is the only one pulling shit right now, so I'm just going to have to keep Catholic-bashing until some Baptists burn down an abortion clinic or something.

You may not have heard this, as it's barely been mentioned in the news*, but the Pope went to Africa. And while in Africa, he said this about AIDS: "You can't resolve it with the distribution of Condoms . . . . On the contrary, it increases the problem." Shocking, I know. Why this hasn't been in the news at all is beyond me.*

So yeah, that prompted all kinds of responses. The World Health Assembly was like "uh, no", the Mozambique Health Minister was like "uh, no", and pretty much the whole world was like "uh, no." So what's the deal? Catholic doctrine states that life actually begins pre-conception. And the hilarious part is that it begins as sperm. That's right, sperm.

Obviously, it'd have to be sperm, or Catholic women would be sitting shiva every month for their poor little uninseminated babies. That would just be ridiculous, and God knows the Catholic Church doesn't want to go around being ridiculous. So, it's wrong for boys to masturbate. It's wrong for girls to masturbate too, but that's because they're supposed to be sexless pod-people who no more deserve sexual urges than a place in the clergy. It's also wrong to use any kind of birth control, as sex is reserved specifically for procreation purposes.

What's particularly interesting, however, is that this is an idea that has lost favour with the Catholic Church for quite some time. It was, for a while, something that wasn't really talked about. Nazipants, however, being the unbelievable asshole that he is, likes to drum up outdated doctrine and present it as truth. Because he's an unbelievable asshole.

On issues such as these, I usually tend to come to the conclusion that I don't agree with the Pope, but he has a right, based on Catholic doctrine, to say these things. This time, however, it's different. He's not telling married couples in North America that they have to keep having babies until they can't have no more babies. No, he's telling a continent that has the most devastating AIDS problem on the planet that condoms will make it worse, which is a big fucking lie. What this amounts to, in my opinion, is murder. Nazipants presents himself as a "moral authority" and as such gets on his high fucking horse and says "Oh no! Don't kill the little spermies! They are God's children!" (Proving once again that the Catholic Church only gives a shit about you if you haven't been born yet.) The problem is people listen to him. There's already a stigma around using condoms in Africa. Apparently a lot of guys there see it as emasculating (because infecting everyone you fuck with, and slowly dying of a horrible disease is super macho). The last thing these people need is the goddamn stupid asshole pope telling them condoms suck.

It literally amounts to murder. By encouraging Africans not to take measures that are proven pretty effective in not spreading this horrible, deadly disease, Pope Nazipants is signing a death sentence for anyone stupid enough to listen to him. No, he's not actually killing these people himself, but it's pretty much the same thing. I'm sure there's something about this in the Bible. Oh yeah, Exodus 20:13 says:
Thou shalt not kill.
So yeah, some moral authority this pope has turned out to be. In the last few months alone he: re-communicated an antisimetic, anti-Vatican II asswhipe of a bishop (then made him apologise when people got pissed); promoted another bishop who thinks God goes around smiting people (then demoted him when people got pissed); allowed the doctors who provided a life-saving abortion to a 9-year-old girl to be excommunicated, along with her mother, while the man who raped her is still a member of the church (and hasn't had two words to say about it); and now he's basically said that condoms cause AIDS.

The Catholic church in Italy lashed out on Monday at what it called a "mockery" of Pope Benedict XVI for rejecting condoms as a weapon against Aids, comments that he made while on a visit to Africa.

"We will not accept the Pope being made the object of mockery and offence, in the media or elsewhere," said Angelo Bagnasco, the country's top bishop, citing the "controversy about condoms".

"He represents for everyone a moral authority, which this journey has made people appreciate even more," Bagnasco said.

Sorry Bagnasco, but Pope Nazipants the Dickth does NOT "represent for everyone a moral authority." He is a twisted, confused old man who values archaic dogma above human life, and in doing so has made a mockery not only of the Catholic Church, but of morality itself. He is an unrighteous man and an unworthy leader. And, as the papacy is a life sentence, I have to confess that I look forward to his death.

Nazipants, you horrible, horrible man, WTFWJD?

*Lest my sarcasm does not manifest itself well without snarky vocal inflection, I thought I'd clarify that I am being sarcastic.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Fun facts about St. Patrick:

1. He was actually Welsh.

2. He banished all the snakes from Ireland.

3. Actually, according to Wikipedia (which is always right), there were no snakes and actually all he did was wipe out the older pagan traditions. (Not that well, I might add, seeing as my grandma is suuuuuper Catholic and still believes in banshees.)

4. He made it socially acceptable for me to get drunk on a Tuesday.

Thanks, St. Patrick!

UPDATE: While getting drunk on a Tuesday is certainly a good time, being hung-over on a Wednesday is not. FYI.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sad sad sad

This letter (from is important, and as such I have decided to post it in its entirety:

Reinstated bishop who denies Holocaust is sign of church changes
by Harry Vischer Jr.

The current controversy regarding the Holocaust in Germany during World War II, was it fact or fiction? It is being led by persons such as Roman Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson who was first excommunicated, then reinstated, then placed into limbo and lay persons such as movie actor Mel Gibson and his father Hutton Gibson. They each claim that it never happened even though there is solid evidence that it did.

Auschwitz-Birkenau is a camp that comes to mind. The commandant, Rudolph Hess, even bragged that he could gas 2,000 Jews in one half hour but complained that the ovens slowed the process down. Sadly, professing Christians stood silently by during that period and it is professing Christians who are in denial now.

I have German blood, I profess Christ, I cannot accept the claim of these, but I can understand it.

Born and raised in a German settlement in the United States, not once did I hear condemnation of what was being done by the Hitler group. What was heard was that Jews killed Jesus and the Bible said that they are forever to carry that guilt.

It was about that time when I began to question the accuracy of the Bible, whether in its entirety it was as God might wish or if man's interpretation had, on occasion, been substituted.

Not possible, say those claiming only through a belief in Christ Jesus could eternal life be achieved.

That meant that Jews, Muslims and all other faiths that did not accept that would be condemned to hell, something that just does not make sense to me.

At the age of 36, I chose the Roman Catholic faith as my way to reach a Christian ideal. At the time I was told that the church advocated tolerance and professed that life after death was possible for non-Christ believers.

At the time, Pope John XXlll had recently died but his dream of change was in progress. It was a joyful time for me. Not only did I like Catholic people but a love of Christ could exist without a feeling of guilt when living life to its fullest.

Liberation theology was the norm among the many religious people I came to know. It felt good to touch the poor rather than just preach to them.

But then, in the 1980's something changed. For me, it began when Pope John Paul condemned liberation theology in South America. Then, quietly, the laity was more restricted and I felt that there was a movement afoot to return the church to the days of pre-Vatican 2.

The death of John Paul and the elevation of Benedict XVI revealed that the church I loved was being replaced with the type of church that I had left so many years ago.

In 2000 and 2004, my bishops backed George W. Bush for president. Even though I disagreed, to remain in good standing, I decided to go along to get along, which I deeply regret now.

In 2008, it was too much when a Michigan bishop pronounced all who voted for a candidate who was pro-choice were to be considered intrinsically evil. I had to object and did.

I wrote a Viewpoint, printed in this newspaper. What I feared became reality. I was informed that I would no longer be able to receive the Holy Eucharist, so I left.

Has this caused anger? No, just a sadness, a sadness for all who are being led backward to a time that our prophet, John the XXlll wished to lead us away from.

John, the common man who became the common man's pope, who proclaimed that it was not enough to just preach to the poor, they must be touched as well.

He eased relations with Jews. He acknowledged that yes, they could receive eternal life without believing in Christ Jesus, but today the concept that only acceptance of Christ as the true son of God is being instituted.

This has opened the door for persons like Williamson to claim that the Holocaust is a sham.

There are enough fundamentalists in the world, Pope Nazipants. Why don't you join one of their churches and leave Catholicism alone?

...I want Pope John XXIII back.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Note to self: not even all of the Vatican sucks!

Finally, someone in the Vatican has some goddamn sense (from the Associated Press):

An influential prelate said Brazilian doctors didn't deserve excommunication for aborting the twin fetuses of a 9-year-old child who was allegedly raped by her stepfather because the doctors were saving her life.

The statement by Archbishop Rino Fisichella in the Vatican newspaper Sunday was highly unusual because church law mandates automatic excommunication for abortion. Fisichella, who heads the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life, also upheld the church's ban on abortion and any implications of his criticism of excommunicating the doctors and the girl's mother weren't clear.

. . . Fisichella criticized the archbishop's public denunciation, writing that the girl "should have been above all defended, embraced, treated with sweetness to make her feel that we were all on her side, all of us, without distinction."

Fisichella stressed that abortion is always "bad." But he said the quick proclamation of excommunication "unfortunately hurts the credibility of our teaching, which appears in the eyes of many as insensitive, incomprehensible and lacking mercy."
That's very Christ-like of you, Archbishop Fisichella. Nice work.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My friend sent me this

Grammar Police

Even more offensive than the content of this letter (from the Daily Herald) is the grammar. Check it:

Why did we elect a pro-abortion president and his pro-abortion Democratic leadership for Congress who are taking aim at unborn children, with their radical pro-abortion agenda including: re-enacting the Freedom of Choice Act, requiring taxpayers to fund abortion for any reason; forcing hospitals and health-care professionals to provide abortions; funding organizations that perform and promote abortions; forcing employee health insurance plans to cover abortions; enacting a bill that would invalidate virtually all state and federal laws limiting abortions, including parental notification laws; make partial birth abortions legal again.

Wow. OK, so before we get to the content, let's talk about the fact that this GIGANTIC sentence is supposed to be a question, but doesn't end in a question mark. Actually, you should all just read this paragraph-sized sentence out loud, preferably as quickly as possible, as that is clearly the way it was meant to be read. And maybe add some 'like's in for good measure. Jeeze, woman, there's this thing called punctuation. They have it in the Bible, too, you know. Perhaps you should try it out some time.

The punctuation improves as the letter goes on, but alas, the content does not:

Why did we elect President Obama and his pro-abortion allies for Congress? We are going to be sorry that we did - God help us! Why? Because God's Word (the Bible) tells us in the Book of Psalms, Chapter 139, verses 1, 13 and 14, "Oh Lord thou hast searched me and know me, Verse 13, For thou did form my inward parts, thou didst weave me in my mother's womb, verse 14, I will give thanks to thee, for I am wonderfully made, wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well." Also in the Book of Deuteronomy chapter 30, verse 19: "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today ... that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live."

I can't think of a better reason for America to abolish abortion, now, especially because we are a Christian nation. Abortion is murder.

Listen, Ruth, I almost feel bad picking on you, since it's clear that you are not that smart, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to take umbrage with your letter. Clearly you are grossly uneducated (for which I'm sure you're not totally to blame). Not only do you not understand the basics of the English language, but you do not understand the basics of American politics. Let me enlighten you.

The first ammendment to the United States Constitution says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

So no, Ruth, America is not a Christian nation. In fact a new poll (which I'm sure escaped your notice but hasn't escaped everyone's) indicates that the United States is less Christian than ever. Sure, most Americans still identify as Christian, but not all Christians share your views on the Bible and abortion. Abortion is murder to you. Abortion is not murder to everyone. Often times, abortion is quite necessary.

From a Harper's article on the partial-birth abortion (which is a political term, not a medical one) ban:

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban does not prohibit what most people think it prohibits. It is not a late-abortion law. Apart from a single quoted remark in its “findings” section, which is a kind of declaratory preface, the ban contains no mention at all of third-trimester abortion, or of any gestational point in pregnancy. It criminalizes only by method, outlawing some actions during a pregnancy termination but not others, meaning that as practical legislation—isolated from its mission, that is, and considered solely as a directive on what physicians may and may not do in a procedure room—it makes clear ethical sense only to people who don't spend much time thinking about abortion. Defending the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban in court, as teams of Justice Department lawyers were dispatched this spring and summer to do, requires arguing to judges that pulling a fetus from a woman's body in dismembered pieces is legal, medically acceptable, and safe; but that pulling a fetus out intact, so that if the woman wishes the fetus can be wrapped in a blanket and handed to her, is appropriately punishable by a fine, or up to two years' imprisonment, or both.
I also feel compelled to add that very, very few people are "pro-abortion." Believing in a woman's right to choose does not mean believing that abortion is great and we should all do it. Abortion, whether or not a person believes it to be murder, is rarely an easy thing for a woman to go through. It is not a decision to be made lightly. It is, ultimately, a last resort (whether for personal or medical reasons).

Furthermore, it seems clear to me that you do not understand what, exactly, the Freedom of Choice Act means. As summarized by congress, the FOCA:
Declares that it is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to: (1) bear a child; (2) terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability; (3) terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to protect her life or her health.

Prohibits a federal, state, or local governmental entity from: (1) denying or interfering with a woman's right to exercise such choices; or (2) discriminating against the exercise of those rights in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information. Provides that such prohibition shall apply retroactively.
So what does that mean exactly? It means that abortion is a medical procedure and should be treated as such in the eyes of the law. That said, it doesn't say anything about the government funding abortions. Also, FOCA does not make any mention of requiring hospitals to perform abortions. It only says that government bodies can't prohibit abortion.

If you're going to have opinions like these, Ruth, you need to be able to defend them. You need to have more than regurgitated propaganda to throw at people. Do you even understand why you are opposed to abortion? Or are you just opposed to it because your church told you to be?

The fact is that the Bible is pretty ambiguous on the topic of abortion. None of the verses you mentioned provide particular clarity on the issue. Just as there are verses saying that live begins in the womb, there are verses saying life begins with the first breath. Genesis 2:7 says:
the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
The Bible doesn't make a great case either for or against abortion. It is, ultimately, a matter of personal morality, and therefore should not be against the law. It is perfectly fine for you to believe that abortion is murder, but there is no basis, either Biblically or otherwise, to say that the law needs to recognize it as murder.

So, in conclusion, Ruth. You're wrong about pretty much everything, and you have no idea what a sentence is. WTFWJD?

Thursday, March 12, 2009


(From AHN)

Roman Catholic and Orthodox Jewish officials in New York are opposed to approval of the Child Victims Act pending before the state legislature. The proposal aims to temporarily remove the statute of limitations for lawsuits concerning sexual abuse of children.
Jeremiah 22:3 says:
This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.
Catholics, WTFWJD? Jews, WTF?

Git out yer guns! God is under attack in America!

(From, of all places, Fox News... by, of all people, Glenn Beck)

Here's the one thing: We are no longer "one nation under God" because God is under attack in America.
What does that even mean? I wasn't aware that human beings had the capability to actually attack God. Anyway, it gets better:
What made America unique was that it was founded on divine providence.

Remember the term "endowed by their creator" in the Declaration of Independence? That was a revolutionary concept at the time and it means that God actually had a hand in the world's greatest experiment in democracy.
Hmm... you know, Glenn, I just read something about this in the book I've been reading (slowly, because I only read books when I am not near a computer. NERD). I have already recommended this book on this blog, but I'll do it again:

You must all read What Is America? by Ronald Wright.

Moving on, here's what Wright has to say on the subject:
The Five Nations (Iroquois) Confederacy may well have been the oldest and most structured democracy in North America. Certainly, this polity was better understood by white Americans than any other, and its influence on their development was considerable. . . .

At an important conference held at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, between several colonies and native nations in 1744, the Iroquois statesman Canasatego - a tall, brawny man of sixty with a winning smile and crafty wit, a veteran of wrangles with the Quaker State - came face to face with Benjamin Franklin, then thirty-eight, later to become famous as an inventor and founding statesman of the American republic. . . .

Speaking for the Five Nations, Canasatego became exasperated by the bickering among the various colonies. He suggested, a little condescendingly, that the English might do well to emulate his people:

"We heartily recommend Union and a good agreement between you. . . . Our wise forefathers established union and amity between the Five Nations; this has made us formidable; this has given us great weight and authority with our neighbouring nations. We are a powerful Confederacy; and, by your observing the same methods our wise forefathers have taken, you will acquire fresh strength and power."

Franklin took Canasatego's remarks to heart and began studying native political culture.
Seriously, guys, read this book. Anyway, it looks like this great creator-endowed democracy was based on an idea that a bunch of heathens had. Even more interesting, however, is the philosophy of the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence.

(From "Jesus Without the Miracles" by Eric Reece)
(Thomas Jefferson) took a pair of scissors to the King James Bible two hundred years ago. Jefferson cut out the virgin birth, all the miracles—including the most important one, the Resurrection—then pasted together what was left and called it The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth (fifteen years later, in retirement at Monticello, he expanded the text, added French, Latin, and Greek translations, and called it The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth). In an 1819 letter to William Short, Jefferson recollected that the cut-and-paste job was the work of two or three nights only, at Washington, after getting through the evening task of reading the letters and papers of the day." Jefferson mentioned The Philosophy of Jesus in a few other personal letters, but for the most part he kept the whole matter private, probably guessing that the established Church would see the compilation as one more example of his "atheism." Nor did Jefferson care to give Federalist newspapers another reason to remind him of alleged sexual relations with his slave Sally Herrings, an entanglement certainly out of keeping with the philosophy of Jesus.

But Jefferson's severe redaction was probably a retaliatory act, as much as anything, against priests and ministers—"soothsayers and necromancers," Jefferson called them—who had unleashed attacks on his character during the acrimonious presidential election of 1800. Jefferson believed that an authentic Christianity had long ago been hijacked by the Christian Church. The teachings of its founder had become so distorted as to make "one half of the world fools, and the other half hypocrites." Jefferson would no doubt have agreed with Tolstoy that the Christian Church had supplanted the Sermon on the Mount with the Nicene Creed to create a system of beliefs that Jesus himself wouldn't have recognized, much less laid claim to. "I abuse the priests, indeed," Jefferson wrote to Charles Clay in 1815, "who have so much abused the pure and holy doctrines of their Master." By stripping away the gospelers' claim that Jesus was the divine son of God, and by strip-ping away the subsequent miracles they invented to prove it, Jefferson boasted that he had extracted the "diamonds from the dunghill" to reveal the true teaching of Jesus for what it was: "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man."
So, Glenn, here again is the salvation vs. good works argument. What is more significant, Jesus Christ Himself or the moral code He provided? I'm sure you would argue for Christ, but Jefferson, who wrote that piece of evidence you're using to support your cause, would disagree. He placed emphasis not on God, but on human morality. I know you find it difficult to understand, but the United States of America was founded not on the principles of religious ideology, but on the principles of humanism.

Back to Glenn's article:
Whether our founders believed in organized religion or not, each of them abided by the laws of morality and nature's God, which is why they put that term in the very first line of the declaration.

If you still doubt the founders' views on religion, then just listen to how Ben Franklin described the religion of America:

"I believe in one God, the creator of the universe. That he governs it by his providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this."
Ah, but Glenn, you've taken that quote out of context. See how it continues:
As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw, or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his Divinity: tho' it is a Question I do not dogmatise upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble.
Corruption in the church? Impossble! Who could think it? How could anybody ever misunderstand the moral code provided by Christ and use it to do fucked-up shit? Oh wait...

Back to Beck:
A new poll says that 15 percent of us now have no religious belief — a number that has nearly doubled since 1990.
Yeah, we've all seen that pole, Glenn. Not believing in God doesn't equal attacking God, but whatever. The most surprising aspect of this stupid article, is it's somewhat redeeming conclusion:
Principle No. 2 says not only that you believe in God, but that he is the center of your life. So prove it not by telling everyone else what principles and values to have, but by living them out yourself.

Only then can our country survive the attack on God.
Yeah, there's no attack on God - Glenn couldn't even identify what, exactly, constitutes an attack on God, other than throwing in some bullshit line about socialism - but this solution Glenn has laid out actually bears some resemblance to the Scripture, a rarity for solutions put forth by people of his caliber. Check out what Matthew 5:14-16 says:
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
So, Glenn, you're crazy and everything, but at least you've actually read the Bible. Do we call Mormons Christian? I don't know what the technical classification there is. Whatever. Way to be an OK Mormon, crazy. God's not under attack, though. Srsly.

Ugh, Vatican. SHUT UP!

(From Reuters)

"Bankers should assume moral responsibility and ask God for forgiveness for these complex sins," said Stafford, former archbishop of Denver and one of the highest-ranking Americans in the Vatican.
OK, Vatican, listen up. YES, the douche-bags responsible for the economic meltdown should be held responsible. YES, they have a lot for which to apologize. But when you tell them they need to ask forgiveness, it just sounds stupid. Especially since you guys keep pulling the assholiest shit. I think maybe you should look inside and maybe ask forgiveness for your own assholery. OR, better yet, just stop being assholes (there's a thought). Then maybe you can tell other people what to do.

John 8:1-11 says:
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

"No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
Just sayin'. WTFWJD?

No tolerance for intolerance

For the twelve of you who don't read slog, here's a Chicago frat's answer to the Westboro Asshole Church:

Awesome. Pretty much.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Today in crazy

(From Early County News, whatever that is)

Is Billy Graham a believer? I think so. But it is remotely possible that a man like that could fake it for the sake of making money. Was Mother Theresa a Christian? I think so. But it could be possible that she was trusting in good works rather than genuine faith for her salvation. I don't mean in any way to disparage these great souls. My point is the kingdom of God is like the sea. We know there are people in there. We just cannot see exactly who they are.
This quote is really as good a pick from this... whatever it is... as anything else. As far as I can tell, there is no coherent point to this little gem. I do, however, have a few thoughts on the above statement. I was going to go on a rant on how you can't possibly compare these two people anyway. One is an fundamentalist nut-job partially responsible for George W. Bush, and one is a woman whose faith so moved her that she dedicated her life to serving the "poorest of the poor." I decided, however, that I'd better do a little bit of research (Wikipedia) before I went on that rant. If Wikipedia is to be believed, Graham is kind of an OK guy. No Mother Theresa, but someone who seems to have really studied the scripture before he went around preaching it. Even if I don't agree with some (read: most) of his interpretations, at least he knows what he's talking about. He also (apparently. Don't lie to me, Wikipedia) bailed Martin Luther Kind Jr. out of jail and was staunchly opposed to segregation. Again, no Mother Theresa, but I have to say that the existence of Billy Graham is no longer completely offensive to me.

Anyway, I do take issue with this idea pertaining to Mother Theresa that "it could be possible that she was trusting in good works rather than genuine faith for her salvation." This is one of the core differences between Christians, even from the same sects. The arguments for exclusivism usually come from verses like Mark 16:16, which says:
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Arguments for universalism are a bit trickier. The scriptural precedent is weaker, even as the logic and morality of the idea seems stronger (surprise! When does that ever happen?). But, just like with the creation story and the flood, people who do not interpret the Bible literally have the luxury of elevating the importance of passages like 1 John 4:7-12, which says:
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
This, to me, seems a more overwhelming truth than "follow me or perish." Not because there is more of it in the scripture, but because it makes more sense to me. And whether or not you agree that this passage has superior value to some others, the suggestion that Mother Theresa was not truly a Christian, however jokingly, is really not funny and is really offensive. She placed a high value on "good works" because that's what she believed Christ wanted her to do. I would never in a million years question this woman's faith. I will say, however, that several evangelical pastors in the world are more concerned with money and megachurches and eternal damnation than they are with being good people, and therefore I call them not truly Christian. There are people who every day do good things for each other, who reject or have never heard of Christianity. If they are not equal in God's eyes to the people who do believe in Christ, then I want nothing to do with God.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Note to self: not all Catholics suck

Obviously, this is the case, since my family are mostly really nice people, and also mostly really Catholic people. Anyway, just in case some of you needed re-assuring, here it is (from UPI):

The dissident pastor of a dissident Roman Catholic church in St. Louis has been laicized, or stripped of his priestly functions, officials said.

The Rev. Marek Bozek told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he plans to carry on at St. Stanislaus. He said that he and the church board will ignore Pope Benedict XVI's action.

"We don't recognize this unjust action, the same way we don't recognize the excommunications," Bozek said.

...At St. Stanislaus, Bozek advocates the ordination of women, an end to clerical celibacy and the recognition of gay relationships. While this has upset some members of the parish, the church has acquired scores of new members who welcome the change, the Post-Dispatch said.
Bravo, Bozek. I think it's pretty clear that the Vatican can't keep kicking everyone out and expect Catholicism to continue to exist. If shit like this keeps happening, they will eventually have to adapt or die. I think, in the end, they will choose adaptation over disintegration.

The beginning of the end?


Oregon has found itself at the center of an international story after a federal appellate court ruled that a former Portland man can sue the Vatican in a U.S. court over his alleged molestation as a teenager by a parish priest.

It is the first time in history that a victim has won this right. The decision also means that top Catholic officials may be deposed for Rome's role in the case.

Victims have long argued that in a rigid hierarchy such as the Catholic Church, decisions come from the Vatican and, therefore, Rome should be held responsible for ongoing coverups of clergy sex crimes.
Read the whole thing here.

Is it wrong to be delighted about this? In a religion where children are supposedly considered sacred and precious, it seems atrocious to me not only the extent of the child abuse on the part of the clergy, but the cover-ups as well. I really can't help but feel overjoyed that the people at the top are going to have to answer for this, even if it does mean the fall of Catholicism (which, in all likelihood, it won't). Now if only someone would take George W. Bush to court for war crimes...

Matthew 18:5-6 says:
And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
Matthew 23:25 says:
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
Serves you right, Vatican officials. Perhaps you should have read the Bible a little more closely. WTFWJD?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Top Ten Signs You Are An (Evangelical) FUNDAMENTALIST Christian

(From CHVNX)

10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

9 - You feel insulted and “dehumanized” when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the “atrocities” attributed to Allah, but you don’t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in “Exodus” and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in “Joshua” including women, children, and trees!

6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs — though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most “tolerant” and “loving.”

3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in “tongues” may be all the evidence you need to “prove” Christianity.

2 - You define 0.01% as a “high success rate” when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a Christian.

And now for something completely different...

As you may have noticed, I've been pretty obsessed with the excommunications in Brazil. This was pretty much the last straw for me and Catholicism, and as such I attended an Anglican church today.


Seriously, this place was full of the most hilarious of old ladies, one of whom kept calling me "Marilyn." Everyone was really nice. They all knew I'd never been there before (I guess it's a pretty tight-knit parish) and made sure I came to the rec room for coffee and cake after the service and got introduced to everyone. It was amazing. Another cool thing is that the closing hymn ("The King of Glory" - one of my favourites. I'm going to assume the Anglicans stole it from the Catholics and not the other way around) was done at a tempo so fast that most of the congregation had trouble keeping up, which was hilarious. It made me think of my dad, because he always bitches about how all the songs at Catholic Mass sound like funeral marches. If they don't play "Joy to the World" quickly enough at Christmas, he just sings it at the tempo he feels it should be... at the top of his lungs. My dad is hilarious.

Anyway, I digress. I wanted to talk about what I thought was most remarkable about the service I attended today. Check out the poem the reverend read during his sermon:


Sometimes we think what we are saying about God
is true when in fact
it is not.

It would seem of value to differentiate between what is
God's nature and what is false about Love.

I have come to learn that the truth never harms
or frightens.

I have come to learn that
God's compassion and light can never be limited;

thus any God who could condemn is
not a god at all

but some disturbing image in the
mind of a

we best ignore, until we
can cure the

This is pretty much the best thing I have ever heard uttered in a church. Not to sound tacky or anything, but my heart started singing when the reverend read this. I went up to him (while eating cake - which turned out to be angel food, of course) to ask what the poem was because I was so excited about it. It's from a book called Love Poems from God, by Daniel Ladinsky, which I went out immediately after church and bought. Then I came home and read the poem to my grandma, who also went out and immediately bought the book. There are some other gems in there too. I highly recommend checking it out.

Also, I can't remember the last time I was this excited about church. I can't wait for next Sunday.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

This is the letter I just sent to my Archbishop

Dear Archbishop XXXX,

My name is Jocelyn XXXX. I was baptized at St. Michael Catholic Church in XXXX. I received my First Communion at St. Joseph Catholic Church in XXXX. I was Confirmed at St. Philip Catholic Church in XXXX. In short, I am Catholic.

I have not always agreed with the Vatican on every issue, but I have always been proud to be Catholic. I have always been proud of my Church, the work that we do, and the members we claim. I have always believed us to be a strong and good-hearted group of people.

It is for this reason that I am so hurt by what has happened over the last few days in Brazil. As you are undoubtedly aware, a nine-year-old girl became pregnant by her step-father, who admitted that he had been sexually abusing her since she was six years old. Her doctors determined that continuing with the pregnancy would be very dangerous for an 80 pound 9-year-old, and so she got an abortion. The Catholic Church in Brazil then proceeded to raise all hell and excommunicated the girl's mother and the doctors who performed the abortion. As far as I know, the step-father is still a member of the Church.

I want to make it very clear that I believe giving this girl an abortion was absolutely the right thing to do. I believe it is morally reprehensible to ask a child that age to give birth, particularly when her health would be at risk in doing so. I believe the Catholic Church is absolutely wrong to deny membership to the girl's mother and these Doctors, who all took an oath vowing to "do no harm." Therefore, I believe it stands to reason that I should be excommunicated as well. If these people are murderers for saving this child's life, then I am a murderer for agreeing with them.

Thank you for your time. God bless you.

-Jocelyn XXXX
I encourage any other Catholics, however lapsed, who read this blog to send similar letters. Hell, just pretend you're all Catholic and send similar letters. Hopefully they'll get the message.

I am so mad at you, "Archbishop" Sobrinho

From Fox News:

A Roman Catholic archbishop says the abortion of twins carried by a 9-year-old girl who allegedly was raped by her stepfather means excommunication for the girl's mother and her doctors.

Despite the nature of the case, the church had to hold its line against abortion, Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho said in an interview aired Thursday by Globo television.

"The law of God is higher than any human laws," he said. "When a human law — that is, a law enacted by human legislators — is against the law of God, that law has no value. The adults who approved, who carried out this abortion have incurred excommunication."

Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao rebuked the archbishop, saying, "I'm shocked by two facts: by what happened to the girl and by the position of the archbishop, who in saying he defends life puts another at risk."

What about the stepfather? What does the Catholic Church of Brazil have to say about him? And WHAT, may I ask, about the Archbishop's sentiments at all resembles anything close to the spirit of Christ?

1 Corinthians 13 says:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I know it's a revolutionary thought, Sobrinho, but maybe you should try letting love guide your actions instead of petty self-righteousness. WTFWJD?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Abortion is wrong no matter what

From the Associated Press:

A 9-year-old girl who was carrying twins, allegedly after being raped by her stepfather, underwent an abortion Wednesday despite complaints from Brazil's Roman Catholic church.

...Marcio Miranda, a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife in northeastern Brazil, said the girl should have carried the twins to term and had a cesarean section.
"It's the law of God: Do not kill. We consider this murder," Miranda said.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Evolution > Intelligent Design

I saw the movie Expelled the other day, and it pissed me off right hard.

Luckily this has improved my mood.

(HT LiturgyGeek)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Days of our Catholic Lives

Seriously, though, am I the only one who thinks the Vatican has turned into a big soap opera? It's so dramatic. First Pope Nazipants loves Bishop Nazipants, but then Pope Nazipants' friends are all "no, we don't like him" so then he makes him apologize, but then the apology isn't good enough and nobody knows whether or not they're going to break up.

MEANWHILE, Pope Nazipants promotes Father I-Think-Katrina-Was-God-Punishing-New-Orleans to Bishop, but then Pope Nazipants' friends are all "no, we don't like him" so Pope Nazipants rescinds his promotion. Drama drama drama.

From the BBC:
The Vatican said Gerhard Maria Wagner was "exonerated from his obligation" to become auxiliary bishop of Linz.
Last month, Father Wagner said fierce criticism had persuaded him to decline.
Some Austrian Catholics were angered by his description of Hurricane Katrina as God's punishment for New Orleans' sins, and the Harry Potter novels as satanic.
Do people still think Harry Potter is Satan? That's so passe. Anyway, it's nice to see that Pope Nazipants can't get away with being an ultra right-wing doofus. This allays some of my fears that the Catholic Church was headed even further to the right and was probably going to name Rick Santorum as Pope after Nazipants' death. As such, I have decided to go back to my previous position, which is that the College of Cardinals only elected him so he'd piss everybody off and they could get away with naming a really liberal Pope next time. Here's hopin'!

In reference to this idea, however ill-received, that Hurricane Katrina might be "God's punishment for New Orleans' sins" (by the way, I think the numerous Catholics who worked on rebuilding the devastated city would strongly disagree), I leave you with this (Matthew 5:44-45):
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

What Is America?

I am reading an incredibly fascinating book called What Is America? by Ronald Wright. I think it should be required reading for every American. Here is an excerpt:

The power of faith, especially of a fundamentalist turn, in the life and politics of the United States is unique among major modern countries. "No Western nation is as religion-soaked as ours," writes the cultural critic Harold Bloom, adding that this "demands some understanding, if our doom-eager society is to be understood at all." Many a conversation between an American and a European founders on the rock of piety. In short, most Americans believe that God takes a direct hand in human affairs; most other westerners do not. And many in the United States, like their Puritan forebears, are so certain they are privy to the Almighty's intentions that they are willing to help him carry them out: some in the positive ways of altruism; others in bigotry and on the battlefield. With their sense of being actors in a war between good and evil fought on Earth but directed from Heaven, such Christians have more in common ideologically with the hardliners of Islam than the mainstream secular west.
I highly suggest you read this book.

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