Guest Post: Silent No Longer Over the Evils of Catholicism

This is a guest post by Richard S. Russell. Richard is a retired research analyst (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction) and long-time activist in the realms of atheism, science fiction, and liberal politics. He has more opinions than any ten people should legally be allowed to have but makes up for it by giving them away as fast as possible. He blogs irregularly at richardsrussell.blogspot.com.

moral errors of catholic church

The recent news stories about sexual predators like Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, and Harvey Weinstein have given rise to widespread puzzlement over how so many people who knew what was going on could have remained silent about it for so long.

Silence in the face of wrongdoing is hardly a new phenomenon. Jews refer to the “silence of the world” as the Nazis launched their genocidal death camps. (Martin Niemöller famously wrote about how he “did not speak out” as one group after another was targeted for oblivion.) The gay-rights group ACT UP likewise pointed out that “silence = death” in the 1980s, and Audre Lorde affirmed that Your Silence Will Not Protect You, as it had not protected black people or women.

It is well past time to break a similar silence by calling a spade a spade in an area where few dare to tread: the Roman Catholic Church, with its centuries-long record of being a force for bad, is one of the most evil institutions on Earth!

But let’s not dwell on the past, with its multiple Crusades, centuries-long Inquisition, pogroms, literal witch hunts, torching of astronomers as part of its general anti-intellectualism, the Reichskonkordat that enabled Nazi Germany to pursue its atrocities with zero moral outrage from Rome, and so on. What have you done to us lately?

Well, like the chronic drunk who used to get blotto, start fights, and bust up the bar, only to be hauled off to the slammer, the Catholic Church has learned not to be so blatant in its irresponsibility. Instead, it goes home and more surreptitiously (and safely) takes out its frustrated machismo on the wife and kids. Especially the kids.

The priesthood’s rampant pederasty and its subsequent coverup by church hierarchy got all the headlines in the United States and was the subject of the Oscar-winning 2015 film Spotlight. More recently similar abuses have come to light in Australia.

But abuses caused by Catholicism’s perfervid obsession with human sexuality don’t stop there. There’s the enforced peonage of unwed mothers in Ireland, rampant AIDS in Africa because of Catholicism’s irrational and irresponsible opposition to condoms, and the pervasive squalor and misery of the poverty-stricken barrios and favelas in Latin America due to gross overpopulation.

Money, misery, and misogyny also loom large in the Catholic scale of values, with baby sales in Spain, money laundering via the Vatican Bank, fawning adulation of Mother Teresa for her contemptible advocacy of poverty and suffering as the surest path to their imaginary paradise, and general denigration of women as not fully human.

And, with particular irony, the Catholic Church’s official position on the active role of Satan in worldly affairs makes it America’s foremost proponent of Satanism, the better to strike fear into the hearts of its gullible followers. (As Eric Hoffer remarked in The True Believer, “Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.”)

Of the two great evil, corrupt, greedy, misogynistic, authoritarian, dehumanizing organizations that have spread their tentacles from Italy over the rest of civilization, why is it that only the less pernicious one, the Mafia, has the bad reputation?

This is not a rhetorical question, nor is the comparison inappropriate. The Mafia engages in things like protection rackets, promising to keep small merchants safe from imaginary dangers if they just shell out the weekly pizzo to the local goomba. For this the mafiosi are subject to prosecution in the U.S. under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations) Act.

But in America, where the First Amendment provides great protection and latitude for religious groups, the Catholic Church can do essentially the same thing just by waving around its “Get Out of Jail Free” card. And the beauty part is that they don’t have to be bothered with occasionally delivering on the threat of disaster, since all of their foreboding consequences happen off stage.

Furthermore, the Catholic Church has a large presence in America, with concomitant political influence. It can get away with abuses here at home that, had they been perpetrated by religious groups like ISIS or Al-Qaeda abroad, would have generated a cacophony of loud, angry voices calling for immediate, violent retribution. Easy enough to talk big and nasty about guys halfway around the world, whom nobody here knows personally, but nobody’s about to advocate bombing Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

Now this essay is the sort of “emperor has no clothes” story that regularly brings prompt and indignant accusations of anti-Catholicism from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. And it’s possible that this one will do the same as well. But let’s be clear right up front about the ole switcheroo that the Catholic League regularly tries to pull in these matters. They’ll take legitimate criticism of the church as an institution and try to twist it into seeming like irrational bigotry against individual parishioners as people.

In fairness, it isn’t as if there was never a need for an outfit like this. Anti-Catholicism was once rife in America. It was never as awful as racism, or as widespread as sexism under color of law, or as virulent as anti-Semitism, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a serious problem, perhaps never more so than in the Philadelphia nativist riots of 1844. In fact, so bad was the insistence on Protestant prayer and readings from Protestant Bibles in the public-school classrooms that the Catholic Church felt compelled to start up its own parallel system of parochial schools.

There were economic consequences as well. Throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th, employers posting the chauvinistic caveat “no Irish need apply” seemed on the surface to be engaging in discrimination based “merely” on national origin, but underlying that veneer was a strong streak of religious prejudice, as Poles and Italians likewise discovered (except without the catchy faux-polite slogan).

But that was then, this is now. A series of Supreme Court decisions, from Everson v. Board of Education in 1947 through Wallace v. Jaffree in 1985, effectively required schools, as agents of government, to get out of the religion business (as the First Amendment had theoretically required at least since the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868). And the Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly forbade discrimination on the basis of religion or national origin and set up the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce it.

So authentic complaints that individual Catholics were being discriminated against had largely faded away toward the end of the 20th century. And it’s been getting even better since then. A recent study by the Pew Research Center showed that Catholics are the second most favorably viewed religious group in the US, just a tick below (believe it or not) Jews! (Atheists were well down the scale, just a couple of notches above Muslims.)

So there might well have been some justification for a group like the Catholic League back in 1844. But it was founded in 1973.

Why? Well, like the flag-waving super-patriots who claim to be pro-military but really just favor showering gargantuan amounts of cash on military contractors while screwing the troops, the veterans, and their dependents, so too does the Catholic League serve as a sycophantic apologist for the wealthy and powerful church hierarchy while turning a blind eye to what it’s doing to the common people in the pews.

And nothing fires up its fervor like challenges to parochial schools, whose whole ostensible raison d’être was largely obviated by the now decades-old religious neutrality of the public schools. But parochial schools had demonstrated their worth independently of freedom from discrimination: They had proven to be excellent indoctrination centers. And they’d be even more valuable if they could only gain access to some of those sweet, sweet public-tax dollars, thank you so very much. So: no better way to gain public sympathy and support than to play the victim card, over and over again, as loudly as possible.

Alarmingly, it may be about to get worse. Congress appears poised to repeal the Johnson Amendment, named for then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, who insisted that churches, in return for their tax exemptions, had to abstain from politicking. If you think that superPACs are a blight on democracy now, imagine what one would be like if it were being run by an institution which is the very antithesis of democratic—authoritarian and dogmatic from top to bottom!

But, once again, let’s be clear here. My beef is with the corrupt institutional church itself. I’ve got nothing against human beings who happen to be Catholic. Quite the opposite, in fact. They’re not the ones who are running the scam, they’re the dupes, the suckers who fell for it. They’re not the perpetrators, they’re the victims. As such, they deserve our understanding and pity. (Somewhat mitigating that sympathy is that some of them are also enablers, like the owner of that bodega who just quietly pays his baksheesh to the mob and never complains to the cops.)

Most importantly, individual Catholics are witnesses! They are closer to the nefarious doings of the Catholic Church than anyone else, and they are in a unique position to be able to step forward and denounce them. If only they would. If only they were not afraid. If only they were not cowed. If only they were not humbly submissive.

If only they were not silent.

To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous
as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.
— Cardinal Bellarmine,
during the trial of Galileo, 1615

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Gladys Kravitz

    It was common knowledge at my brother’s Catholic prep school that certain priests were abusers. Unfortunately, one did not dare ask questions or question authority at this school in the 1970s. And so the abuse went on…

  • http://www.njpaleorunner.wordpress.com/ ObstacleChick

    My father-in-law and his 10 siblings at ended Catholic school and he recounts beING beaten by nuns and priests throughout school (1960s). One priest threw him down the stairs as a punishment.

    My mother-in-law says the KKK burned a cross on her Catholic Hungarian grandparents’ lawn in NY in the early 1900s.

    As for the Catholic schools in northern NJ they are known as academically inferior sports academies. Kids get a much better education in most of the public schools (my husband is a math tutor and has learned over the years which schools are best/worst).

    • Michael Neville

      I got a good education in Catholic grade school and high school, it depends on the school. It’s like an inner city public school is probably not as academically good as a suburban school in an upper middle-class town. However I did get thrashed from time to time, often pour encourager les autres.

  • Nos482

    They’re not the perpetrators, they’re the victims.
    As such, they deserve our understanding and pity.

    Aww… poor, little See Noevo.

    Somewhat mitigating that sympathy is that
    some of them are also enablers

    Or just plain annoying.

  • skl

    I doubt there’s another religious group more hated by atheists and others than the catholic church.
    It’s a wonder it hasn’t been shutdown under RICO.

    • Michael Neville

      If the Catholic Church even tried to be less blatantly hypocritical it would probably have a better reputation. But things like having an official policy of supporting and protecting child rapists while simultaneously claiming to be the highest moral authority on Earth needs a whole lot more handwaving and tapdancing to explain away than even Bill Donahue can provide.

      • skl

        To be fair, it was probably the most hated even before the sex abuse scandal.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          Ah. So you’re a Catholic Christian who goes around saying he’s a skeptical non-Christian. Glad we could narrow it down somewhat.

        • Chuck Johnson

          It has been a wealthy and powerful empire for a long, long time.
          Its main source of morality, wisdom and self-control has been God.
          Thus the systemic corruption.
          God has been whatever the Catholic church needs Him to be.

        • RichardSRussell

          Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. God is all-powerful. Draw your own conclusions.

        • Chuck Johnson

          There is no such thing as absolute power.
          That old saying is as paradoxical as God is.

          But the human perception of absolute power does the dirty work.
          Fear and awe.
          A resplendent throne, and a glittering crown.

        • RichardSRussell

          There is no such thing as absolute power.

          Which certainly doesn’t stop religionists from claiming there is. But, for some strange reason, they don’t go on to consider the implications of that belief.

        • Chuck Johnson

          Yes.
          Absolute power to do what?
          Absolute power to understand what?

          It’s crazy when you think about it.
          It’s like trying to work math problems using infinity as if it’s actually a number. – – – It’s a fool’s errand.

          It’s the kind of thing that Doug Adams parodies.

        • Joe

          There is no such thing as absolute power

          The old adage that Richard quoted was referring to a particular instance of government/rulership, and that the person at the top is often the most corrupt.

        • Chuck Johnson

          They use exaggeration to make it fit into a simple adage.

        • Doubting Thomas

          You’re probably right. It’s because before the sexual assaults, there were the Jews. And the witches. And the gays. And the women. And the slaves. And…..well, I think you get my point.

          They aren’t just the focus of their hate. They are also the cause of it.

        • Pofarmer

          The sexual assaults have been going on since the very beginning.

        • BlackMamba44
        • Pofarmer

          hater.

        • BlackMamba44

          I’m pure evil. ;D

        • Michael Neville

          Keep up the good evil work. madam!

    • Doubting Thomas

      Of those “others” you cite as also hating the Catolic Church don’t forget to include the tens of thousands of current and former Catholics. Mainly the ones who were raped as children. I’m guessing there’s some hate for the church there.

    • Chuck Johnson

      You don’t even need RICO.
      Rape, murder, conspiracy to commit crimes and human slavery could be used as a basis for criminal charges.

    • RichardSRussell

      I doubt there’s another religious group more hated by atheists and others than the catholic church.

      Or as deserving of it.

      • Pofarmer

        Yep, they earned it.

    • Halbe

      No. There are very few that hate the “religious group” that constitutes the members of the catholic church. There are however many that rightfully despise the morally bankrupt religious institution called the Roman Catholic Church.

      • skl

        That seems like saying there are very few that hate the
        “group” that constitutes Nazis, members of the Nazi party, but there are
        however many that rightfully despise the institution called the National Socialist Party.

        • Annerdr

          Yes. Many Nazis were decent people – taught Sunday School, coached their son’s soccer team, spent weekends working on the house and yard, gave to the poor. It’s remarkable how decent people can be manipulated.

        • Halbe

          The ~1,5 billion people calling themselves catholics are a very diverse, ranging from secular humanist cultural catholics to more-catholic-than-the-pope lunatics like See Noevo. Nazi’s however…

    • Pofarmer

      As funny as it sounds, I kinda had hopes that the Aussies would be the first group to simply kick the Catholic Church out of their country for the crimes against children it has committed there. In some orders in Australia the rate of offense was very nearly 100%. It’s egregious.

      • Chuck Johnson

        What, throw them to the lions?
        They would instantly become international martyrs.
        And the Pope would smile some more for the camera.

      • Chuck Johnson

        “It’s egregious.”

        It’s Divine.
        The children’s suffering brings them closer to God.
        This is the lesson that Jesus gifted the world with.

        • Pofarmer

          Mother Theresa’s shit theology. Yes.

        • Chuck Johnson

          She’s the one I had in mind.

    • MNb

      Hmmmmm – I hate American fundagelicals more, especially in Suriname. Personal experience. They are responsible for one loss of an ex brother-in-law, while another one lost his leg. American evangelists convinced them to “cure” their diabetes by faith and prayer instead of medicine.

    • Kevin K

      Because it’s the denomination that objectively is responsible for more evil — yes evil — in this world than any other Christian denomination.

      Arguing against birth control — evil. Arguing against condom use to prevent the spread of HIV — evil. Arguing against the rights of women — evil. Hiding and actively protecting pedophile priests — evil.

      In some Catholic countries, women quite literally need to be on death’s door in order for their ectopic pregnancies can be terminated — EVIL.

      Never mind burning people at the stake and all of that Spanish Inquisition stuff. The only reason that doesn’t happen today is that the secular governments have decided against doing the bidding of the church.

      Evangelicals only dream of the kind of unbridled power the Catholic church continues to hold.

      • Pofarmer

        Keep in mind, the Catholic Church didn’t quit holding women as slaves in the Magdalene laundries in 1996 because of some great moral epiphany. They did it because Cheap automatic washers made the service no longer profitable. This isn’t ancient history.

        • Kevin K

          True that.

    • guadalupelavaca

      I agree…there is no group of human beings more hated by atheists than Catholics. I reckon that’s why I’m not an atheist.

      • Michael Neville

        So you approve of homophobia, misogyny, child rape and hypocrisy? No wonder you’re a Catholic.

        • Pofarmer

          All but the child rape, yes, yes they do. And they look past the child rape because the Church is more important than the Children.

      • Greg G.

        But Catholics are more hated by Protestants than by atheists. The KKK are Christians who hate Catholics, too. Atheists are oppressed by Catholics and Protestants. When atheists push back against the oppression, the religious scream that they are being persecuted. Catholics and Protestants oppose one another more than the few atheists ever could.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Catholics are not persecuted by the mainstream protestants, such as Episcopalians and such. In fact we are very close. You are correct in that the evangelicals don’t like Catholics. They often accuse us of not being Christian! Imagine that.

          But even the most vitriolic evangelical is not as hateful as the atheists on “Cross Examined.” It is in a category of its own. A gold medal in hate.

        • Greg G.

          Catholics are not persecuted by the mainstream protestants, such as Episcopalians and such.

          Remember Ireland in the 1990s?

          Nobody here wants to hurt you. If you express your religious ideas, people will argue against you by attacking your arguments. If you cannot separate your ideas from your self, you will mistake arguments directed at your ideas for hatred toward yourself. That is the result of not having an objective basis for your ideas.

          Be warned. If you come to preach without presenting reasoned arguments, don’t expect a warm welcome.

        • guadalupelavaca

          I’m talking about the US. I’m only talking about US demographics.

          Im prepared to be attacked here for my religious beliefs. But if you notice i havent talked about my religious beliefs. I have not and will not defend my Church…here. I am pointing out the growth and dominance of the Catholic Church. Facts that cannot be disputed by even the most brilliant contributor to Cross Examined. But thank you for your admonition. I appreciate it. But be careful they don’t kick you off for coming to the aid of a devoted member of the most evil institution in the history of the world.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And the demographic growing the fastest in the US are the Nones.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ah, cherry picking again.

          You are comparing your nonsense that the folk here on CE display more vitriolic hatred towards Catholics than evangelical Protestants. This forum has an international contribution, you don’t get to be selective on which Catholics are being addressed by those commenting here. Your institution is a world wide piece of shite and many of those in it did shitty things outside their native countries…not just in the states.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brendan_Smyth

          US Catholics contributed to the sectarian violence in Ireland ya dopey clown. Thus helping to facilitate the hatred by Protestants towards Catholics. If you imagine for one minute that there is any level of hatred equivalent to that of Ulster Protestants towards Irish Catholics and vice versa, then you are away with the fairies. You haven’t a clue what yer on about ya fool. and you’re opinion sucks.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NORAID

          US Catholics were happy enough with supporting terrorism being inflicted on others…that is Catholic hatred for Protestants…not so keen on it when it is Islamist’s doing it on yer own turf though.

          I have very good reason for hating SOME Catholics, they murdered members of my family….so take your bleating victim card a shove it up your moronic arse.

        • TheNuszAbides

          But be careful they don’t kick you off

          good luck finding anyone [here] who would even suggest kicking him off for giving advice that (if taken) actually helps theists get taken seriously [here]. your presumptive ‘they’ is just as silly as your other wishful/dismissive thinking over the months/years.

        • Pofarmer

          If you cannot separate your ideas from your self, you will mistake arguments directed at your ideas for hatred toward yourself.

          This is something that I’ve experienced with Catholics in real life that I’ve not really seen elsewhere. They’re indoctrinated from such a young age and so fully that they can’t comprehend the distinction. I’m sure this is true of some evangelical youth today, as well.

        • BlackMamba44

          I learned about the hate between the Catholics and Protestants in the mid ’80s when I went to Scotland. I learned that my Catholic grandfather (I never met him. He died in ’77) almost lost his life during an Orange Walk. His thick cable knit sweater is what stopped the knife from penetrating enough to kill him.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Back in my youth….when I was a young Protestant Christian sectarian bigot under indoctrination, at the beginning of the seventies…about 8 or 9 years old…I was a member of a local Junior Loyal Orange Lodge. The juveniles, as we were colloquially known, would march down the Shankill Road at Easter to get on board a fleet of buses and off to a day trip to the local seaside town of Bangor. The marching route took us past a “flash point” interface where Catholics were waiting to pelt us with all manner of missiles. Things like golf balls with nails driven through them, apples and potatoes spliced with razor blades, coins with their edges ground to a knife edge….and the usual fare of bricks and bottles. Adults pelting ignorant youngsters who didn’t know any better. Religion Poisons Everything.

        • BlackMamba44

          Relidion certainly does.

          My grandfather had a hot temper. A 5 foot slip of a man. Loved his drink. He would be the one of the pelters.

        • Ignorant Amos

          There was/is plenty of pelters on both sides. The problem with being a member of the in-group, the religious mind virus has one convinced they are on the righteous side and those’uns over there can be vilified.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The 1990’s seen the violence wane significantly and the Good Friday Agreement being introduced. The 1970’s were the most turbulent. But Christian sectarian bigotry between Catholics and Protestants here is alive and kicking today.

        • Michael Neville

          Some people would complain if they were hanged with a golden rope.

        • Pofarmer

          How to fuck do you think atheists are persecuting you?

        • Susan

          But even the most vitriolic evangelical is not as hateful as the atheists on “Cross Examined.” It is in a category of its own. A gold medal in hate.

          That’s a vague and very nasty accusation. Support it.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Read the article above.

        • Pofarmer

          What was hateful about it?

        • guadalupelavaca

          Of the two great evil, corrupt, greedy, misogynistic, authoritarian, dehumanizing organizations that have spread their tentacles from Italy over the rest of civilization, why is it that only the less pernicious one, the Mafia, has the bad reputation?
          Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/11/guest-post-silent-no-longer-evils-catholicism/#h9jDwkHqQiHbshwH.99

        • Pofarmer

          And he backs those statements up with copious links.

        • guadalupelavaca

          As i thought…you dont even see the hatred.

        • Pofarmer

          What I see are an awful lot of things that are contrary to the typical depiction of the chirch as some holy beneficent organization. That’s not hate, that ‘s reality.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Don’t you hate the systemic cover-up of sex abuse by paedophile priests?

        • Susan

          Read the article above.

          I read it.

          Where does it win a gold medal for hatred?

        • guadalupelavaca

          You know what Susan? The fact that you can’t see it just shows that you are completely blinded by your hate.

          Of the two great evil, corrupt, greedy, misogynistic, authoritarian, dehumanizing organizations that have spread their tentacles from Italy over the rest of civilization, why is it that only the less pernicious one, the Mafia, has the bad reputation?

        • Susan

          I read the entire article.

          The fact that you can’t see it just shows that you are completely blinded by your own hate.

          No. Even the particular atheist who wrote that article made an effort to distinguish between catholics as individual humans and the political structure that is the RCC.

          Fascinating that you call that hatred without addressing the links that support that and that you make a blanket accusation against all atheists at Cross Examined.

          If you can’t be bothered to discuss the article honestly, even if you disagree with it, preferring instead to feel persecuted, then I’m not sure what to discuss.

          I don’t hate you. Nor do I hate catholics for being catholic.

          So stop it.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Well thank you Susan for not hating me. But I am entitled to my opinion. And I know hatred when I see it. And I see it here. If you don’t agree then state your opinion. But please don’t tell me to stop and to try to suppress my free speech just because you disagree. That is wrong Susan. That is so wrong. Is that how atheists deal with dissent?

        • BlackMamba44

          The free speech amendment only means the government can’t limit your free speech.

          Your fellow countrymen can use their free speech to drown you out and shut you down.

          Bob could even ban you if he wanted to. But it’s rare for him to actually do that.

          Waaah. Deal with it.

          And Susan wasn’t telling you to stop talking. She’s telling you to stop lying.

        • TheNuszAbides

          But I am entitled to my opinion. And I know hatred when I see it.

          or perhaps you’re blinded by your loyalties. I wonder what disinterested observers reckon.

        • Kodie

          You don’t seem to have come here for a discussion. You are just whining, and then you will get banned for lack of substance. Eventually.

        • Pofarmer

          Confirmation bias and indoctrination are twin bitches.

        • Kodie

          I’m guessing you don’t like to acknowledge the evil, corrupt, greedy, misogynistic, authoritarian, and dehumanizing qualities of the Cathold Church, and you just want to bitch about being bitched about.

        • adam

          “Of the two great evil, corrupt, greedy, misogynistic, authoritarian,
          dehumanizing organizations that have spread their tentacles from Italy
          over the rest of civilization, ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/02196a7c2d98acba7f1052d39836fc4d3ec454989a084962c43b055e30336fe9.jpg

        • Pofarmer

          Hateful = not kowtowing to their shit.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Jump up a little and read skl wrote. He said the Catholic church is the most hated by atheist.

        • Susan

          Jump up a little and read skl wrote.

          So, a guy on the internet said it and it must be true?

          Why should I care what skl wrote?

          He didn’t substantiate it, either.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Because you challenged me not him. Because im catholic and he is one of your hateful brethren. Just wanted to point out your bigotry that’s all.

        • Susan

          Because you challenged me not him.

          I don’t speak to him. He has a history of being relentlessly dishonest and weaselly when it comes to engaging in actual points.

          he is one of your hateful brethren

          Stop with the drama. This is a discussion forum, not a cult. skl is NOT my brother. Most people who’ve gotten to know him ignore him because he’s a dishonest weasel.

          Just wanted to point out your bigotry. That’s all.

          With no justification.

          All I did was ask you to support the “gold medal in hate” thing.

          You haven’t.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Susan, the gold medal thing was an OPINION of mine. Since when does someone need acute for an opinion? I think the people her on Cross Examined and it’s host are hateful bigots torward the Catholic Church. That is my opinion. Many here, based on the article and the favorable comments, are what led me to feel that way. If you don’t agree that those things are hateful then so be it. Thats your opinion. I dont need a cite. If I were a hateful bigot I probably would not think people here hateful. But clearly I’m on the other side.

        • MNb

          And I think you are a hateful bigot towards the atheists on this blog. That is my opinion. You, based on the comments of you I have read, is who led me to feel that way. If you don’t agree that your comments are hateful then so be it. That’s your opinion. I don’t need a cite. If I were a hateful bigot I probably would not think you here hateful. But clearly I’m on the other side.

          I bet you will refuse to see the problem my little parody points out. If that’s correct the question becomes: what does that say about you? Maybe you can ask that question next Sunday, when you are praying.

        • BlackMamba44
        • Kodie

          If you don’t like what’s said in the article, you’d do better to remark on what you disagreed with and why, than to complain that you yourself are persecuted because an article on this blog said things you don’t like to hear. You’re a Catholic, and you should try to be honest, but you can’t, because you’re Catholic? Maybe, maybe not.

        • MNb

          “Because im catholic and he is one of your hateful brethren.”
          Like Heinrich Himmler, Hans Frank, Ivan Saric and Jozef Tiso were your brethren?
          I don’t think that. But I find it amusing how you blame atheists on this blog of exactly the same as you are guilty of yourself.
          Inborn christian hypocrisy, so it seems to me. It’s what you’re a sinner for, aren’t you?

        • Kodie

          skl is a fucking liar. Why do you think he is an atheist?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah, we all know skl talks shite, i wouldn’t go quoting him in support of your own shite talk if I were you.

        • TheNuszAbides

          did you notice the lack of citations substantiating that claim? skl is better known around here for that bad habit than you are known for imagining that Catholic domination of North America is inevitable.

        • Kodie

          Who gives a shit what skl says.

        • BlackMamba44

          We give what we get.

        • TheNuszAbides

          as selectively as many another informal gathering of the commentariat. 😉

        • Ignorant Amos

          But even the most vitriolic evangelical is not as hateful as the atheists on “Cross Examined.” It is in a category of its own. A gold medal in hate.

          Wise up.

          .”If the characteristic mark of a healthy Christianity be to unite its members by a bond of fraternity and love, then there is no country where Christianity has more completely failed than Ireland”. -William Edward Hartpole Lecky, Irish historian.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sectarian_violence#Northern_Ireland

        • Pofarmer
        • Greg G.

          I was looking for that article earlier today for a response to guadalupelavaca’s post.

        • BlackMamba44

          Wow. It only took them 22 years to do it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That was pretty quick for the RCC by their standards…it took a hell of a lot longer for an apology from the RCC for much of it’s other debased shenanigans..

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apologies_made_by_Pope_John_Paul_II

          .https://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/mar/13/catholicism.religion

        • Ignorant Amos

          Because Catholics are all really nice people deep down….NOT!

          Three more IRA priests in Claudy link

          Revelation of further clergy involvement in 1972 massacre prompts calls for full inquiry into cover-up

          https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/dec/22/northernireland

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Hate? There’s a lot of hate for nonsensical thinking and foolish governmental policies (did you hear the one about the pope who told Africans to not use condoms because they would increase HIV infection?), but I don’t see much hate of individuals.

          It is true, however, that stupid Christian comments will tend to get strong pushback, so perhaps we agree on this point.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I hate lots of Catholics, but it is because of how they use their religion. Of course I hate those of other religions equally the same, and for the same reasons. So this bozo’s claim that Catholicism is the most hated is absolute crap. I’m an equal opportunities anti-theist. But if one’s religion is doing more bad shit than others, it might seem as if I’m picking on a particular flavour of mindwankery. Stop doing the most heinous shite and there will be no reason to attract our attention. Simples.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          I don’t hate any followers personally that I can recall at this time. I do hate the people who if evidenced dead to rights as responsible for a lot of the cruelties that earn our ire, would say something like, “Mistakes were made” (but not by me). This shit is so deadly serious, there is no forgiveness for it.

        • Kodie

          It’s like you are proud to be so hated.

        • MNb
        • adam

          “But even the most vitriolic evangelical is not as hateful as the atheists on “Cross Examined.””

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/121670126727fb70083ce9688c4d61a65733742a289d1710ab2e6475100ee6eb.png

        • Pofarmer

          When atheists push back against the oppression, the religious scream that they are being persecuted.

          Which would be funny if it weren’t true, and scary when it happens to you.

      • Susan

        there is no group of human beings more hated by atheists than Catholics.

        Citation please.

        I reckon that’s why I’m not an atheist.

        The reason you are not an atheist is your believe a god exists.

        None of your comment made sense.

        • guadalupelavaca

          You want a citation. Sit and read the article above. The catholic church is the most evil… You dont think that is vitriolic? And if thats not enough, read more of Cross Examined. No shortage of hatred torward the Catholic Church. Yes, i belive in God. And I believe in Jesus. But we are not taught to hate the way atheist do on Cross Examined. Jump over to the Catholic section and try to find an equally hateful thread as this one. You won’t. As I said, atheist people here, especially on Cross Examined, are the most hateful people. Just read what was written and the words used. You all should be ashamed.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’ve done that very comparison. These are anecdotes not statistics, but I’ve responded to blog posts from Catholic bloggers here at Patheos that were happily disdainful of atheists and their stupid arguments. You can judge for yourself if my response was more or less civil, but let’s not imagine that Catholic bloggers are blameless.

        • guadalupelavaca

          I regularly follow the Catholic section and I don’t see topics on atheism. I don’t however visit every one so sure it is possible that I’ve missed it. What I read from the Catholic bloggers is Catholic issues, or issues of spiritually. I have yet to see a Catholic blogger dis on atheists. In my life experiences Catholics are not concerned about atheists. They don’t fear them. The fruit of my loins, a millennial of course, is an atheist. It’s never an issue with us or the family. I see anti-atheism more in the evangelicals who seem to have a genuine hatred of atheists. Well…And some of them seem to have a genuine hatred of the Catholic Church too…”The whore of Babylon.”

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Here’s my response to one of them:
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/01/response-to-an-angry-christian-2/

          Yes, I find most of the vitriol against atheists within the fundamentalist camp.

        • guadalupelavaca

          I read it. I never read this guy. Haven’t in 2 years. Never found him to write anything of substance or interesting. Yes, he is critical and condescending of atheist. But it lacks the vitriol that I sometimes see in your bloggers.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I make the same distinction between bloggers and commenters (at least I think we’re saying the same thing). But of course that’s unfair. Commenters write (often) quick notes with little nuance that cut to the chase. Bloggers have more time write something thoughtful. Because they’re focused on the broader audience rather than a single person, bloggers usually take the high road.

          If you’re measuring vitriol, the comparison is commenters vs. bloggers, not atheists vs. Catholics.

          (And then there’s the censorship question. Ask commenters here how many have been banned from Strange Notions.)

        • guadalupelavaca

          Strange Notions? Not familiar with it but I will check it out.

        • Ignorant Amos

          In Jan 2014 the Catholic blog/debate site “Strange Notions”, which had expressly invited debate from atheists, banned many of its most prominent atheist commenters (including Andrew G., the owner of this blog) and deleted over a thousand of their comments. They also deleted all discussion of the incident.

          http://outshine-the-sun.blogspot.co.uk/

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The truth can be embarrassing, eh?

        • TheNuszAbides

          isn’t that, like, a criterion for establishing how righteously honest The Approved Scriptures(TM) are?

        • Pofarmer

          Come here. You’ll see plenty of Catholics who are afraid of athiests.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Dave Armstrong wrote that informed consent includes an animal making pleasurable noises while a human molests them and that genocide can be justified. Then there’s the hateful conspiracy theory shit EWTN sometimes defecates… There is no lack of details of WHY many of us are downright pissed at this horrific villain with good PR!

      • BlackMamba44

        You’re not an atheist because atheists hate the RCC?? That comment doesn’t make much sense.

        No, atheists do not hate Catholics – well maybe the ones that make excuses for all the kiddie fucking. We hate the Catholic Church. My mother is Catholic and she is one of the sweetest persons you could ever meet. Of course, she no longer goes to church because it let her down when she needed them. And she has a serious issue with the kiddie fucking problem. But she still considers herself Catholic. I don’t hate her. I love her.

      • Ignorant Amos

        WTF? You reckon you are not an atheist because of your perceived hatred of Catholics by atheists? Seriously? You believe in God because atheists hate Catholics? Are you crazy?

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        Huh? Did you guys do more stuff that you haven’t told me about? Because the Protestants are going to be pretty hard to beat. They’re the ones who are most eager to impose their religion on society.

        I’ll agree with you that Catholics have crossed the line, and their “pro-life” attitude hasn’t been healthy for society, but I’m afraid you guys take a back seat to the pros.

    • guadalupelavaca

      Ironic that I as a Catholic AGREE with you that Catholics ARE the most hated and then I get a bunch of people who argue with me. Funny that nobody challenged you. Just me. Which again shows me that people here are so hateful torwards Catholics that they’ll argue with me over something one of their own hateful atheists say. Is that not the height of ignorance and hypocrisy? If an atheist says it then it’s acceptable, but if a Catholic says the SAME thing it is not. Whenever I have a moment of doubt in my faith in Jesus I come here to Cross Examined to see and feel the hate which just assures me that I’m in the right church that preaches the love Jesus.

      • Ignorant Amos

        It is nothing new to see skl talking ballix. Most of us don’t even believe him to be atheist. His comments betray him as a theist. Most of his comments are ignored as the asinine ramblings of a Dime Bar.

        You, on the other hand, are a new chew toy for us to play with.

        • TheNuszAbides

          she’s popped up before, yammering on [approvingly] about how Totes Permanently All-Catholic Mexico will inevitably outbreed and infiltrate all points northward. pretty sure it was here but no idea how long ago.

      • Michael Neville

        Some people would complain if they were hanged with a golden rope.

      • skl

        If it makes you feel any better, I receive a lot of hateful responses here,
        and I’m not even religious!

        • BlackMamba44

          If you and your fellow Catholic have such an issue with all the “hateful responses” then don’t come here and comment.

          It’s that simple.

          Wah, wah, wah.

        • Kodie

          You’re pretty loopy.

      • Susan

        I as a Catholic AGREE with you that Catholics ARE the most hated and then I get a bunch of people who argue with me.

        I gave up responding to skl a long time ago. I think he might even have blocked me for pointing out his ongoing dishonest behaviour.

        shows me that people here are so hateful torwards Catholics that they’ll argue with me over something one of their own hateful atheists

        No. It shows that most people here don’t bother talking to skl as it’s a waste of time. He has quite a history here where he just likes to drop bombs and run away from the consequences.

        Most people here are interested in honest discussion.

      • adam

        ” Whenever I have a moment of doubt in my faith in Jesus I come here to
        Cross Examined to see and feel the hate which just assures me that I’m
        in the right church that preaches the love Jesus.”

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/38105552a1ee7bdfd6f9024d3e27ed0f405887ee3fd5341d468f517d8fdaf963.jpg

  • Pofarmer

    @wtfwjtd:disqus @disqus_xYWVllyPLU:disqus
    I thought the regulars here might enjoy this interview on “The Atheist Experience.”

    A woman calls in who is a “Christian” and who has an atheist son who is 23 years old. If he went to see a pastor, she agreed to call into the show. The interview starts at about the 33 minute mark and it’s a doozy. Reminds me of so many that show up here.

    https://disq.us/url?url=https%3A%2F%2Fm.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D-b78cyqfnto%3ANfbXaN7nIKZXAYsO5Pg_297ixao&cuid=2796044

    @Susan , @disqus_a9H6kflDom:disqus @Kodie, @Ignorant Amos,

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      We need more civil conversations like that around here.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Some of the conversations around here are only marginally superior to that fuckwittery.

      • Pofarmer

        Just like here though, ultimately, it doesn’t seem like anything was decided.

        • Lark62

          People tend to “get” religion suddenly and emotionally.

          Realizing it is all nonsense tends* to be gradual and quiet. Something happens to make a person start thinking about religious claims and then all the various odd things that didn’t make sense fit the pattern.

          * emphasis on tends. Every one’s different.

        • Pofarmer

          Well, and you have to have room to work it all out. Many people double down and go to church more and consult with believers more to prop up their faith and tamp down the cognitive dissonance. I’ve kind of had the conversation they had on the radio at a marriage counseling session once. I let my inner Pofarmer come out. It was liberating. Didn’t ultimately affect my wife though, that I can tell.

        • wtfwjtd

          LOL, I wish I could have seen this conversation when I was a kid in church:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTruFAiCvRg

        • Pofarmer

          Exactly. I was watching that with my wife beside me and I could feel her tense up. It was great when they got up and left.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Boy: “Before the Big Bang?”
          Pastor: “There was no Big Bang, there was only the Word®.”
          Boy: “Was the word ‘Kaboom!’?”

          Smart boy!

    • Ignorant Amos

      They walk amongst us.

    • Vesta

      I just watched the show, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish I could get my daughter to call in, better yet, I wish I could have a conversation like this with my daughter, but she won’t talk to me about why I am an Atheist or why she is a believer; she pretty much just distances me. Thanks for sharing the link.

      • Susan

        It’s a good show. I watched it regularly for a while but it’s been a long time.

        They do good work.

      • Pofarmer

        It’s hard to cut through the cognitive dissonance of a true believer type. They have a LOT invested in their world view.

        • wtfwjtd

          “It’s hard to cut through the cognitive dissonance of a true believer type.”

          That cognitive dissonance can be so powerful, it can even lead to self-harm, and intentional harm to others around them. How do you break through that? I don’t know, but I try to keep talking, and encourage others to as well. So far, it’s seems to be the only reasonable tool we have. Oh, and maybe getting out and voting…and advocating for belief and political systems grounded in reason and evidence.

        • Pofarmer

          I think people have been underestimating just how much the religious conservatives in MO mean it when it comes to things like killing reproductive rights and kicking people to the curb. I think they voted for “fiscal conservatism” and got religious crazy. People have got to wake up.

        • TheNuszAbides
        • Pofarmer

          Good Lord.

        • TheNuszAbides

          if only there were.

        • RichardSRussell

          Share facts. (I provided lots of links above.)

          Don’t hide your own absence of belief under a bushel as if you’re ashamed of it. The one thing that enabled the gay-rights movement to finally turn the corner and gain widespread public acceptance was when so many straights finally realized how many good folx they knew who just happened to be gay. We can do the same as long as we aren’t the demons hiding in the shadows.

    • TheNuszAbides

      been watching the archives in chronological order (after a few dozen from the past several years). i think i’m up to mid-2001 (desktop i was doing it on is back in the States).

      • Pofarmer

        I watch it sporadically. It’s pretty lethargic.

  • Pofarmer

    Quite the opposite, in fact. They’re not the ones who are running the scam, they’re the dupes, the suckers who fell for it.

    Sorry, but at some point the members become part of the problem. If you’re picketing Planned Parenthood, you’re part of the problem, etc, etc, etc. At some point you’re not just an enabler, you become an agent yourself.

    • TheNuszAbides

      if only they envisioned “their” church as a democratic institution … well, who am I kidding, that’d still be baby steps.

  • Eliz Matez

    Quote: “It is well past time to break a similar silence by calling a spade a spade in an area where few dare to tread: the Roman Catholic Church, with its centuries-long record of being a force for bad, is one of the most evil institutions on Earth!”

    True.
    In my opinion the CC is the most successful pedophile ring on earth, for they recrute their own pedophiles and/or otherwise mentally disordered people, and celibacy makes sure that it stays that way. Best thing about this “business model of evil” is, that its label has always been ‘ordained by God’ and therefore the CC used to get a free pass for all its wrongdoings and deeply immoral actions *puke*

    But you know what, there’s always two sides of a coin, and without the gullible, ignorant and blindly believing crowd of indoctrinated followers, the CC wouldn’t have come so far, and this is what will break its neck eventually. At least, I’m hopeful to wake up to the day the CC falls apart like the poorly built card house it truly is.

    • Ignorant Amos

      But you know what, there’s always two sides of a coin, and without the gullible, ignorant and blindly believing crowd of indoctrinated followers, the CC wouldn’t have come so far, and this is what will break its neck eventually.

      We have a shining example of just such an animal on this very website going by the nick name of Ameribear. You should look him up for his entertainment value at the very least.

    • guadalupelavaca

      How long do you plan on living? The Catholic church is bigger than its ever been in 2000 years. And it’s growing.

      • Joe

        In some less developed regions. It’s shrinking in the developed world.

        • guadalupelavaca

          It’s growing in the US, primarily due to immigration. Hispanic immigration. And if Trump dont get that wall built, then in another generation hispanics will be a majority. In my home state of California whites are no longer a majoriy. And the catholic church is very dominant here. A portal to the future of the US.

        • Joe

          Yet religiosity decreases in subsequent generations of children born to immigrants.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Maybe with whites…but Joe you dont know Hispanics. Its very much a part of our lives. Its our culture. Religion tends to drop off as wealth rises, which is why white people become atheists. Hispanics don’t generally ride that economic elevator. Most of us are poor. Many are without legal status and fear deportation. For many of my people the Catholic Church is all they have. And unlike white people, Hispanics have many children. I’m just telling you like it is. If you don’t believe me come to southern California. Orange County used to be the most Republican county in the country. This is where John Wayne is from. Now it is heavily Hispanic and securely Democrat. Hispanics will someday be a majority in the US. It is inevitable cuz trump aint never gonna build that wall!

        • Greg G.

          My wife is Asian and Buddhist. She goes to the temple with a monk from her country to interact with her culture. I have Muslim neighbors that do the same. There is a Church of Ghana down the street. It’s the same human response. The religion itself is interchangeable.

        • guadalupelavaca

          That is true. There are more similarities in religion than differences. The exceptions are the extreme fundamentalists. I am a mystic and I have more in common with Bhuddist, Jewish, and Muslim Mystics than with fundamentalist Christians.

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah, except studies show that hispanics leave the Catholic Church at about the same rate as everybody else once they get to the U.S.

        • guadalupelavaca

          I live in LA. Very populated with Hispanics. Show me those studies. Because I don’t see it where I live. Or are you in denial?

          From the LA Times:
          The country’s Latino population is now 55.4 million. California and Los Angeles County have the largest Latino populations of any state or county in the nation, according to the new figures.

        • Pofarmer
        • guadalupelavaca

          There is a lot of information and statistics in that article. It certainly indicates that Catholicism isn’t as prevalent in the younger generation, but that is relative. Catholicism is still the predominant religion among Hispanics…especially those in political office. And as the Hispanic population continues to grow so too will the number of Catholics. So I stand by my statement that Catholicism will continue to grow in this country, and many more of them will fill up the seats in government.

        • Pofarmer

          The Catholic Church is basically holding even in membership, with nearly all other denominations declining. If it weren’t for Hispanic immigration, it would be dropping as well.

        • guadalupelavaca

          If it weren’t for Hispanic immigration…

          Well alas we agree on something. But it is increasing and so too will the Catholic church. Even worse case scenario it holds steady we still have a large contingent in the government. Including the Supreme Court. Including speaker of the house. The Hispanic population is growing throughout the United States.

        • Pofarmer

          They are also the nation’s second-fastest-growing
          racial or ethnic group, with a 2.0% growth rate between 2015 and 2016
          compared with a 3.0% rate for Asians. The slowing of Hispanic population
          growth is occurring as immigration to the U.S. from Mexico levels off and the fertility rate among Hispanic women declines.

          http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/09/18/how-the-u-s-hispanic-population-is-changing/

        • guadalupelavaca

          Continue to deny the Hispanic population growth. We see it in California and what happens here has a tendency to move east. Hispanic females may not have as many babies as their mothers did but they still have more than white people who are at a point of declining. Hispanics are not the only immigrants who are Catholic. So too are Vietnamese and Philippians. Two rapidly growing ethnicities in Southern California.

        • TheNuszAbides

          lol, continue to conveniently categorize your gradually backpedaling narrative as the ‘opinion’ to which you are oh-so-entitled, and the statistics presented by others as ‘denial’.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ohhhps….I guess great minds think alike…//s

        • Pofarmer

          And some minds don’t think at all. Lol.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Citation please.

          In the meantime….The Shifting Religious Identity of Latinos in the United StatesNearly One-in-Four Latinos Are Former Catholics

          http://www.pewforum.org/2014/05/07/the-shifting-religious-identity-of-latinos-in-the-united-states/

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          This is an odd argument. Christianity will win because we make lotsa babies! I would’ve expected more of a “Christianity is historical and true, and let me explain why” kind of argument.

        • Pofarmer

          They know they don’t need it to be “true” to win.

          Here is an article that I found today that I thought fit well with some of what goes on here.

          https://www.rawstory.com/2017/11/racism-fundamentalism-fear-and-propaganda-an-insider-explains-why-rural-white-christian-america-will-never-change/

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Thanks. Quite a long article, but quite interesting.

          To intrigue those of you who haven’t read it yet: It touched on a subject I’ve found quite interesting lately, the idea that the Left simply doesn’t understand white, Christian, middle America, and that explains why they blew it during the last election. This author says that instead, the lack of understanding is the problem of middle America itself, and they’re not interested in hearing any correction. That part about their intransigence was discouraging.

        • Pofarmer

          As you know, I live, quite literally, in the middle of the country-rural, central Missouri. I belong to a closed Agriculture group on facebook that is pretty much all farmers or those wanting to farm full time. Not talking Kale and cabbage farmers. Well, a few, but they farm several hundred acres of the stuff for Disney cruises. Anywho. They post some of the most racist stuff imaginable. There are some young guys on there in the “I need to buy a pickup under $5000” category, that are all about “We have to cut regulations” and I ask, “Which regulations?” And they’re like “Do away with them all. O.K. Economics discussions are similarly frustrating. I have a minor in economics, so, I know just enough to be dangerous, but, something as non-controversial as “un regulated systems always tend towards monopoly” is a controversial statement. They’ll point out cases where regulations drove competitor out of a market place(which happens) and ignore that the ones that encouraged the regulations were, indeed, the strong competitors using economic influence to buy politicians and force some competitors out. They, in general, have high school or trade school educations, and are completely captured by their surroundings. As another author somewhere put it, they act like “distressed millionaires” rather than working poor, which is what more than a few of them are. Although some would be classified as quite wealthy. I dunno. With the election of Eric Grietens, I really think Missouri has put ourselves in a tight patch. He’s securely in the “Cut taxes to generate business” vein. So far, all it has done is cut revenues. He is playing on the pro-life crowd like no statewide politician I’ve ever seen, although that seems to have at least temporarily subsided. I’ve actually reported him to the State ethics commission for what I consider are fundraising violations using facebook. He is solidly in the hands of Mercer and Koch, and appears to be doing their bidding for political gain. He is Jewish, not fundamentalist Christian, and until not that long ago was recorded as being pro-choice. I have to think he’s a sell out for power. He’s on the short list of Republican presidential hopefuls. Navy Seal, good looking, blah, blah, blah. Sorry about this rambling post, and I know that you don’t normally interact with politics in your space here, but I though the similarities and interactions deserved a nod.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          all about “We have to cut regulations” and I ask, “Which regulations?” And they’re like “Do away with them all.

          In the U.S.? The land of farm subsidies?? Seems to me that Big Gubmint is doing these guys a fair amount of good.

          If it were simply a foolish majority of the citizenry jumping into foolish policies, then getting burned and learning from it, that wouldn’t be so bad. But the learning from it part is what seems not to be happening. And politicians are happy to capitalize on that.

          My initial focus with this blog was exploring the reasons why Christianity isn’t true. But articles like this suggest that the real issue is, how do you change minds? How do you get people to stop doing self-destructive things?

        • Pofarmer

          If there’s one thing we should see on this blog it’s that facts are only marginally related to what folks believe.

          And it’s not just farm subsidies. Federal and State dollars subsidize our power grid and roads and bridges. My county has less population than some subdivisions in St. Louis. I don’t think these folks realize theY are cutting their own throats economically.

          And look at this latest “tax cut” package. The whole history of tax cuts since Reagan is increased deficits and increased national debt. But here we go passing another one. It makes no sense. Especially when in the short term it is certainly going to hurt revenue

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I wonder what they’d say if confronted with the red state/blue state charts showing which ones are net takers of federal money and which are net givers.

          Oh … wait a minute. Given the context of that article, it’s obvious that it would have zero impact on them. Shermer’s Law, yet again.

        • Pofarmer

          I’ve tried that.

        • Michael Neville

          As another author somewhere put it, they act like “distressed millionaires” rather than working poor, which is what more than a few of them are.

          I believe you’re thinking of a quote attributed to John Steinbeck: “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

        • Pofarmer

          That is it! In my defense, it was in a quote in another article I was reading. Man, this is a tough group!!!!

        • Susan

          “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

          Brilliant.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Bill Maher keeps pointing this out just about every week on his show.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          One worry is that this kind of article is exactly what I want to hear, so I’ll tend to embrace it. It’s those idiots! It’s not that Democratic policies are misguided; it’s the people too stupid or brainwashed to see that Democratic policies are in their best interest!

          I’d certainly like it to be correct on one level, simply because I wouldn’t have to change.

        • Ignorant Amos

          If complacent Democrats got of their lazy arses and voted, things might be different too.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Methinks they’ve learned their lesson, at least in the short term.

          Yes, they taught the Democrats a lesson by not voting, but I’m not sure it’s the result any of them wanted.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes, they taught the Democrats a lesson by not voting, but I’m not sure it’s the result any of them wanted.

          I’m not sure they were trying to teach the party a lesson so much that it was more a case that they thought it was a given that there was no way the US would be daft enough to vote in that thing Trump. So rather than getting off their holes in places were it mattered, they reaped what they sewed. It certainly wasn’t the result they wanted, that’s for sure.

          The same thing has been happening in elections this side of the pond…voter apathy.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Um…whether it’s true or not doesn’t get you seats in Congress. Population does. And as the muslim population grows in this country so too will their seats in Congress.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes, of course. We’re talking about 2 different things, and I’m wondering why.

          If you’re fascinated by demographic changes, that’s fine. Be sure to include the remarkable rise of the Nones in your calculation. What I have more interest for is the question of whether Catholics’ view of reality is correct or not.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Is there something specific?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Duh….read the article at the head of this thread instead of commenting blindly, and you will go a long way to stop embarrassing yourself. It details some of things, specifically.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Specific? You mean, is there some apologetics question that I have in mind? No, I’m just saying that my interest is more on arguments for why Christianity is true.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Are you asking me if I have any physical, tangible evidence proving Christianity is true? If so then I suppose I will disappoint you and say that I have none. The closest we have are the Gospels written by Matthew Mark Luke and John. But they were written some 30 years or so after Jesus’ death, and none of them were percipient witnesses. They merely wrote down what people had told them. In a court of law that evidence would be deemed hearsay and inadmissible. So I really have nothing for you.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You’re surprisingly accurate and refreshingly honest.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Why is that refreshing?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Because so many Christian commenters maintain that they have the evidence on their side without actually providing any. Or at least, anything marginally convincing.

        • guadalupelavaca

          It is of course hard to generalize but i will do my best. It seems most of the arguments against Christianity by atheists is geared toward the evangelical fundamentalists. They are the ones who take the bible literally. Catholics do not. Its purpose is for inspiration. St. Augustine in the early 4th century said if the bible conflicts with science then the bible is to read as metaphor. The Catholic Church owns and operates 15% of the hospitals in the US. They have countless Universities and high schools all over the world. They have educated countless doctors and scientists. Probably a good chance that you’ve seen a doctor who was educated by a Jesuit. The Curch raises billions of dollars a year for programs for low income people. The st. Vincent de Paul society is one the largest charities in southern California devoted to the homeless. We have 50,000 people on skid row in LA. Several years ago when Obama allowed an influx of mostly young immigrants from central America in, the government had no place to house them. The diocese of San Bernardino opened their doors. They also provided food clothing and diapers. I doubt anyone outside of California saw this in the media. And, the Jesuits own and operate a state of the art observatory in Arizona?

        • Susan

          It seems most of the arguments against Christianity by atheists is geared toward the evangelical fundamentalists. They are the ones who take the bible literally

          Every form of christian shows up here to explain that atheist “arguments against” christianity are against some other form of chrisitianity than the christian we are dealing with.

          That’s why I always ask “What are you claiming and how do you support it?”

          A standard catholic response is that they are not biblical literalists, that “the bible” doesn’t inform the church but the “the church” informs the bible.

          It is a claim no better supported than the claim of a biblical literalist.

          Catholics generally believe that an immaterial being exists who created reality out metaphysical nothingness, that it manifested itself in the role of its own son, that it was crucified and died, and that it resurrected.

          Also that angels and demons are real entities.

          I could go on.

          There is no reason to believe any of it is true.

          None that has been provided.

          Atheists don’t have to make arguments “against”. They only have to notice that there are no good arguments for god claims.

          If you have arguments for your position that are stronger than the arguments from a biblical literalist, please provide them.

        • guadalupelavaca

          I think you misunderstood my comment. Did you think I was trying to prove my religion? If so I’m not sure why you came to that conclusion. I spoke nothing of the proof of God. I merely said that atheists take exception to evangelicals because they take the bible literally. Why? Well, you tell me. My guess is that the evangelicals are the ones who try to press the bible into schools and secular society. Agree? I don’t see Catholics trying to get stuff into the public school curriculum. Have you? But what did I say previously that gave you the impression that I was arguing for the truth of the existence of God. I’ve never done that. Not here or anywhere.

          My comments were directed at Bob’s question asking if I thought Catholics were realistic. I think hospitals universities helping the poor and observatories showed him that yes I think the Church is realistic.

          Would you like me to argue for the proof of God? Is that what you are asking?

        • Susan

          I merely said that atheists take exception to evangelicals because they take the bible literally. Why? Well, you tell me. My guess is that the evangelicals are the ones who try to press the bible into schools and secular society. Agree?

          You said “Most of the arguments against Christianity by atheists is geared toward the evangelical fundamentalists.”

          Did you think I was trying to prove my religion?

          No. I explained that atheists don’t require arguments “against”. Arguments for your religion (whatever form it takes) don’t add up.

          You might be trying to address secular concerns about religious politics.

          That is a different issue.

          Your church DOES press its position into society wherever it can.

          Condoms in Africa. Safe abortions in Ireland. Imprisoning women in El Salvador for having miscarriages. Imprisoning an investigator in India for showing that a statue was not a miracle. Protecting Cardinal Law in the Vatican for using his power to protect child rapists and then himself.

          I’m not sure what your point is.

          You already have made the assumption that I’m a hateful bigot for trying to have a civilized discussion.

          I hope you can see that I’m trying to have a civilized discussion.

          If you don’t, I can’t help that.

        • guadalupelavaca

          I know you are being civilized but I’m not really sure what you want me to discuss. I don’t mind talking about the Catholic Church but I’d really rather keep it American. The Church is world wide and there are far too many political issues that go along with it. Ireland has always been a troubled island. Their alcoholism rate is astronomical. How much the Church has to do with it I don’t know. And as far as Africa I do know that years ago the pope said condoms for the purpose of preventing disease is permitted. Other than that I don’t have a lot of knowledge of every country in the world where the Catholic Church has set up shop. I think generally I can speak knowledably about US politics and religion.

        • Susan

          I know you are being civilized.

          Thank you.

          I will make it a point to address the rest of your comment as well as I can tomorrow.

        • TheNuszAbides

          bump? I mean, she’ll almost certainly tapdance no matter what your response, but not necessarily as inanely as Ameribear tends to.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ireland has always been a troubled island.

          That has what to do with the abortion laws and your religions influence on the laws concerning them? That has what to do with the use of unwed mothers as slave labour by Catholic institutions? That has what to do with stealing the babies of those unwed mothers and selling them to line the coffers of your Church? That has what to do with the institutionalised physical abuse of children, often resulting in death? That has what to do with the systemic perpetration and cover-up of clerical sexual abuse?

          Ireland has been a troubled island because of the RCC in large part, not in spite of it, wise up.

          Ireland has traditionally been a stalwart of Catholicism, can you see any correlation between religion and Ireland’s troubles? You do know that it was the pope that gave the green light for the Norman invasion of Ireland 800 years ago, right?

          Their alcoholism rate is astronomical.

          Stereo typical lies. Get your facts straight. While it is true that there is an image of the Irish enjoying a tipple, and we do…circa 1 in 5…”alcoholism rate is astronomical” is unsupported hyperbole. There are two countries in Ireland. Eire, the Southern part, rates 21st behind the likes of Portugal, France, and Australia when it comes to litres per year per capita…and the US consume more spirits in litres than Ireland per capita per year.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_alcohol_consumption_per_capita

          And nearly twice as many people die in the US from alcoholism as do in Ireland. So more ignorant twaddle from a liar.

          How much the Church has to do with it I don’t know.

          How much the Church has to do with it is irrelevant, because alcohol consumption of the Irish and any alcoholism as a result, has bugger all to do with the way the Roman Catholic Church has behaved in Ireland over the centuries…as it has elsewhere around the world, so pah!

          You are starting to demonstrate why some of us atheists not only despise your hateful institution, but also some individuals within it. Deal with the issues and stop flinging poop.

        • TheNuszAbides

          no doubt she has another “heylookoverthere” one-liner for how prevalent alcoholism isn’t in Muslim-dominated areas.

        • Michael Neville

          The Catholic Church owns and operates 15% of the hospitals in the US.

          As part of its institutional misogyny, the Catholic hospitals will not dispense any contraceptives in their pharmacies nor are house physicians allowed to proscribe contraceptives even for purposes other than birth control. The supposedly celibate bachelor bishops who run those hospitals think that Baby Jesus cries whenever a woman takes a contraceptive pill. Of course if the bishops were honest about their anti-abortion stance, they’d allow contraceptives to be used. After all, if a woman doesn’t become pregnant she isn’t going to have an abortion. But the bishops, particularly the late Pope Paul VI, didn’t recognize the contradictions between their anti-abortion stance and their anti-contraceptive stance. Of course the Catholic hierarchy doesn’t really care about “savin’ da babbies”, their real interest is in controlling womens’ lives.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Do, even though they operate hundreds of hospitals in the US, and in some cases not charging the patients who are poor, you believe the Church is evil because they don’t administer contraception.

          Is that an accurate statement?

        • Michael Neville

          Catholic hospitals may perform some charity work. That has nothing to do with how the church is institutionally misogynist. Do you want to try to refute what I wrote or are you going to post more irrelevant trivia?

        • Greg G.

          Doing good thing does not mean no bad things are done. A serial killer may well help the elderly cross the street. Hitler liked dogs.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Never said it did. Just trying to show a different side to the Church that most people are unaware. When an article comes that accuses it of being evil i feel compelled to show the compassionate. Not that I’m naive enough to think it will change anybody’s mind.

        • MNb

          Ah, like the inhabitants of Medellin, Colombia, who still admire Pablo Escobar for providing social services. Not that you are naive enough to consider changing your mind about that criminal.

        • Greg G.

          Hospitals are required to provide service to people whether they can pay or not. The government pays part of the cost directly. Non-profit hospitals also receive tax benefits for providing “community benefit”. It is not just Catholic hospitals that provide care for the poor. It is the cost of doing business.

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah, and then there’s this.

          https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/finance/catholic-hospitals-spend-less-than-average-charity-care

          Catholic hospitals spend less than average on charity care

        • Pofarmer

          The report, issued earlier this week by the ACLU and MergerWatch, claims
          that Catholic-affiliated hospitals spent $7 billion on charity care in
          2011, or 2.8 percent of their patient revenue. That’s compared to 2.9
          percent spent by other religious-affiliated non-profit hospitals.
          Secular non-profit hospitals spent 2.6 percent of its revenue on charity
          care, while public hospitals spent 5.6 percent of revenue on charity
          care.

          The report also noted that Catholic-affiliated hospitals’ revenue from
          the Medicaid program comprised 13.4 percent of total gross patient
          revenue. That’s compared to the average of 14.9 percent for the entire
          U.S. hospital sector, including 14.7 percent for for-profit hospitals
          and 18.4 percent for public hospitals. The report said Medicaid revenues
          were a reflection of “measure of service to the poor.”

          https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/finance/catholic-hospitals-spend-less-than-average-charity-care

        • Kodie

          That side of the church that you’re talking about is of course what most people are aware of. Nobody is really unaware that a lot of hospitals are “sacred” this or “St.” whoever. What they wouldn’t know unless it happened to them is that they do not dispense or prescribe contraceptives. What this article is trying to point out to you and other “but Catholics only do good!” kind of Catholic, we know they get a reputation of feeding the poor, and why not expose the rest of what they do, even if it’s really terrible? Why should it change anyone’s mind? What use do we have for the organization?

        • adam

          “Just trying to show a different side to the Church that most people are unaware. ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b914c9ae89d657742ab60de9c6ec87ee18649d8df4086333e70d3eef334774a4.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ah ha….the auld “look over there, squirrels” fallacy of smoke and mirrors. Your whataboutery is duly noted. The article is about all the bad shite the RCC gets up to in the world, any good you can point to does not excuse the bad.

          An abusive drunk doesn’t get a free pass just because he helps out in a soup kitchen for free once a week.

          Btw, most of the good deeds getting done by that debauched institution come with conditions.

        • Max Doubt

          “An abusive drunk doesn’t get a free pass just because he helps out in a soup kitchen for free once a week.”

          Really? Looks like I’ll be cancelling my appointment to work at the soup kitchen this weekend.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Lucky for me I don’t help out at soup kitchens, even if I knew where to find one.

        • Greg G.

          Oh, you should try their soup du jour. It’s my favorite because it tastes different everyday.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          It seems most of the arguments against Christianity by atheists is geared toward the evangelical fundamentalists.

          Right.

          They are the ones who take the bible literally. Catholics do not. Its purpose is for inspiration.

          Hmm. It seems like the fundamentalists have the stronger argument. If you give them the (nutty) claim that the Bible is literal history, then they are on firm ground in believing it. If Catholics say it’s just for inspiration, what justifies the belief in supernatural nonsense?

          The Catholic Church owns and operates 15% of the hospitals in the US.

          Yeah . . . not necessarily a good thing. They are expanding so they can impose their views on others on abortion and euthanasia.

          They have countless Universities and high schools all over the world. They have educated countless doctors and scientists. Probably a good chance that you’ve seen a doctor who was educated by a Jesuit.

          Sure, that’s good as far as it goes, though there are lots of universities. The earliest European universities were Christian, but that was because they wanted to train clergy. The goals of our most prestigious universities today were not at all the goals of those original universities.

          The Church raises Billions of dollars a year for programs for low income people.

          Again, I’m not complaining about their doing good works, but let’s take a step back. $100 billion/year goes from individuals into religious organizations in the US every year. Seeing Christianity as a nonprofit, good-works organization is rather odd, since a typical well-run nonprofit has 10% of its income used for overhead. What fraction is overhead (when seen this way) for Christianity in the US? 95%? 98%? The fact is, we simply don’t know because churches are embarrassed about their cash flow and keep their books secret. But it is pretty clear that, as a nonprofit organization, it’s outrageously inefficient.

          You’ll say that, no, it’s not a nonprofit organization like that. And on that we agree.

        • guadalupelavaca

          I have no idea how much goes to overhead. How would I know that?

        • Greg G.

          You wouldn’t know. Most tax-exempt outfits must report their finances. Churches do not.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Go to https://www.charitynavigator.org/. Search for any of the 1.5 million (?) nonprofits in the US, and you’ll find their 990 form. Search for how they spend their money. If you have an account, this takes about 30 seconds.

          Easier: I’m pretty sure that they give a pie chart showing how their money is distributed: overhead, programs, etc.

          Of course, that’s how you’d know how much goes to overhead for every charity in the US except for churches. Your question is on target: how indeed would you know? Churches are embarrassed by their financial information, so they keep it secret.

        • Kodie

          So you’re a Catholic because of some of the charitable things the organization has done, but not because you have evidence.

          You don’t need Jesus to be charitable or generous or good. That’s all. If you think you do, that’s why so much of the Catholic Church, as outlined above, is warped as fuck.

        • adam
        • RichardSRussell

          Odd that it hasn’t worked that way for the “nones” (people who answer “none of the above” when asked about their religious preferences). We’re now up to something like 25% of the population and have a grand total of 2 people out of the 535 in the US Congress who are publicly among them.

        • Kodie

          I’m sorry superstition is your only hope.

        • adam

          “Religion tends to drop off as wealth rises, which is why white people become atheists.”

          The the whole church must be atheists.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4ee57cb233d671c38fb55fe6e7f6f030457fc4070e7ae4a15a1e148e58eba246.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          I wouldn’t doubt that those in the upper echelons in the various religions are atheists. Ya know, the ones living on a pigs back while the gullible keep paying into the coffers. Ya know, the ones that think they can flaunt the rules and get away with it while persecuting all the rest of the underlings for the same sins.

        • adam

          It has been demonstrated many times that these kinds of people are the worst hypocrites.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f488e0c02baa291ceffcdb8e4f96261951bf94043a0dbb44de063d7e59a97715.jpg

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        The RCC is already smaller than Islam, which is growing faster. Islam is projected to be bigger than all of Christianity by around 2070.

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    Wonderful post!

  • Aram

    My problem with individual Catholics is when they turn around and teach this same abusive shit to their children.

    • Pofarmer

      And don’t understand why it’s abusive.

  • wtfwjtd

    An interesting historical footnote: When the United States initiated war with Britain in 1812, it did so with the full expectation that Canada would join them against the British, and eventually become part of the United States. However, Canada refused, and one of the prime reasons was because Protestantism dominated US politics, whereas Canada’s politics were influenced mostly by Catholicism. To be crystal-clear, this would have resulted in Christian-on-Christian persecution, as it nearly always is. Christians are always fantasizing about how the godless are the ones doing the persecuting, when historically persecution is nearly always initiated BY Christians AGAINST other Christians. The use of the godless as a straw man has always been a useful tool for recruitment and fear mongering.

    • Meepestos

      Greetings, I thought this also may be interesting.

      http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/catholicism/

    • Ignorant Amos

      Ya don’t have to tell me….I live in Northern Ireland where where religious sectarian bigotry has been part of childhood indoctrination alongside all the other religious bullshit. They go together like a hand and glove.

    • MNb

      From 1600 until 1853 The Netherlands (dominated by protestants) refused to accept catholic bishops (ao in Utrecht).
      Princess Irene lost her rights on the Dutch throne when she became catholic (the House of Orange is Dutch reformed) in 1964.
      Even as late as in 1999 there were problems when the current Dutch King, William Alexander, married the catholic Queen Maxima. She had to concur that her children would raised protestant.
      As if any Dutch unbeliever cared.

      IA and his compatriots don’t exactly have the monopoly on religious bigotry in Europe – he only has experienced the worst excesses. Because too many religious fanatics.

      • Ignorant Amos

        The Dutch House of Orange and King Billy has had a lot of influence on the sectarianism here too let’s not forget….the problem here is that Irish unbelievers have to care.

  • guadalupelavaca

    What are atheists going to do when Catholics completely dominate the government? The have a majority of the supreme court, 25% of Congress, and the second most powerful person in the US, speaker Paul Ryan, is Catholic. Watcha gonna Do?

    • Joe

      Fortunately the American people have the constitution on their side, and a number of resources should they overstep their mark.

      • guadalupelavaca

        But the constitution is interpreted by the Supreme Court. Thus it is being interpreted by Catholics.

        • Joe

          There’s only so much room for interpretation.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Have you ever studied Con Law? Pardon me but you sound like someone in denial. “Well yes, the Catholics do control the Supreme Court but there really isnt much they can do.” The he’ll they can’t! They can make any law they want. Remember when abortion was illegal? Well one day they said we’re making it legal. And you know what. If they wanted they could make it illegal again. They are the final word. There are no checks and balances above them. They literally are Supreme. And it’s a lifetime job.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And yet your Catholic SCOTUS hasn’t made abortion legal….so much for Catholics in position of power.

          You do know that JFK was a staunch Catholic, right?

          I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

          https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16920600

          Now, how’s about you wise ta fuck up with all your “wait until Catholic’s have power, things will change” mindwankery….there’s a good little sectarian bigot.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          If they wanted they could make it illegal again.

          And…?

          I heard a fundamentalist commentator bloviating on about how if abortion were illegal, there wouldn’t be any more abortions. Wow–what a moron. I hope you’re not in the same camp.

          And as a tangential issue, I do marvel at pro-lifers’ fascination with stopping abortion. If they really wanted to stop abortion, they’d focus on the problem of unwanted pregnancies. Indeed, that they don’t focus on unwanted pregnancies reveals their agenda, that abortion in their minds isn’t really the holocaust they claim it to be.

        • guadalupelavaca

          What makes you think I’m a prolifer? I’m merely talking politics. Furthermore, that statement I made was not entirely accurate, but nobody caught it.

          If Roe v wade were to be reversed it would NOT make abortions illegal. Can anybody tell me why?

        • Ignorant Amos

          What makes you think I’m a prolifer? I’m merely talking politics. Furthermore, that statement I made was not entirely accurate, but nobody caught it.

          Did Bob say you were a pro-lifer? I missed that bit. You brought up the abortion angle. Now it would be a fair inference to make that a Catholic raising the issue of abortion and the reversal of the laws pertaining to abortion was in the pro-life camp, but he didn’t declare that you were. That said, Bob’s comment generalised those in the pro-life camp and was not specific to you. Read Bob’s comment for comprehension.

          If Roe v wade were to be reversed it would NOT make abortions illegal.

          Who here said it would? You know what the straw man fallacious means of argument is, right?

          Can anybody tell me why?

          What does it matter? It is a non sequitur….another fallacy and pure obfuscation.

        • Michael Neville

          What makes you think I’m a prolifer?

          Being anti-abortion is required of a Catholic, like holy days of obligation and turning a blind eye to child-raping clergy. If you have any doubt about the Church’s stance on abortion, ask your priest. He’ll explain that abortion is utterly evil just like the Sin Against the Holy Spirit™ and same-sex marriage.

        • guadalupelavaca

          It Is? Do you know who Nancy Pelosi Is? Former speaker of the house and current house minority leader…Catholic and very much pro abortion. Pro life is the Church’s official position. But it is not a requirement for its members. You’ve been misinformed.

        • Michael Neville

          So you and Nancy Pelosi are going against official Catholic doctrine. The two of you better not plan on packing winter coats for the afterlife. Read some of the quotes from the US Council of Catholic Bishops on the pro-choice position [LINK]. Here’s a sample:

          When political activity comes up against moral principles that do not admit of exception, compromise or derogation, the Catholic commitment becomes more evident and laden with responsibility. In the face of fundamental and inalienable ethical demands, Christians must recognize that what is at stake is the essence of the moral law, which concerns the integral good of the human person. This is the case with laws concerning abortion and euthanasia (not to be confused with the decision to forgo extraordinary treatments, which is morally legitimate). Such laws must defend the basic right to life from conception to natural death.

          –Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life (2002)

          I don’t know why theists coming to this blog generally assume that the regulars here are ignorant about theology and dogma. We’ve often found we have a better understanding of dogma than many Christians.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Um…I haven’t ever stated my position on abortion. Either for or against. I just stated Pelosi’s. I will say it again, being Pro life is not a requirement to be Catholic. There are many Catholics who personally believe abortion is wrong but still want to keep it legal so that it remains safe for the girls who want them.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Um…I haven’t ever stated my position on abortion. Either for or against.

          We know, but you brought it into the conversation.

          And Bob never asserted your position, either for or against, so what is all this waffling about?

          I just stated Pelosi’s. I will say it again, being Pro life is not a requirement to be Catholic. There are many Catholics who personally believe abortion is wrong but still want to keep it legal so that it remains safe for the girls who want them.

          We know, but still, the conservatives say terminating a pregnancy is against the rules for whatever reason. it is a sin that can get one excommunicated for having it done, or doing it. That seems pretty clear cut, does it not?

          it’s all a bit confused…the way the Church likes to keep things.

          Elsewhere on this forum is another Catholic arguing strenuously against abortion in any circumstances, because he thinks that’s what the rules of your silly institution say.

          I linked him to this RCC website article by Professor Daniel C. Maguire, Catholic Theologian, Marquette University about a fortnight ago.

          What this brief tour of history shows is that a “pro-choice” position coexists alongside a “no-choice” position in Catholic history and neither position can claim to be more Catholic or more authentic than the other. Catholics are free to make their own conscientious decisions in the light of this history. Not even the popes claim that the position that forbids all abortion and contraception is infallible. The teaching on abortion is not only not infallible, it is, as Gudorf says “undeveloped.” Abortion was not the “birth limitation of choice because it was, until well into the twentieth century, so extremely dangerous to the mother.” There was no coherently worked out Catholic teaching on the subject, as our short history tour illustrates and there still is not. Some Catholic scholars today say all direct abortions are wrong, some say there are exceptions for cases such as the danger to the mother, conception through rape, detected genetic deformity, or other reasons. Gudorf’s sensible conclusion: “The best evidence is that the Catholic position is not set in stone and is rather in development.”

          http://www.religiousconsultation.org/News_Tracker/moderate_RC_position_on_contraception_abortion.htm

          I don’t think he read it….will you.

          The bottom line here is that you are attacking your own straw man. Something you are doing a lot. Mostly because you seem to have nothing else.

        • Greg G.

          Um…I haven’t ever stated my position on abortion.

          I think you tipped your hand when you wrote that Pelosi was “very much pro abortion.” That is the language of an anti-choice proponent.

        • Michael Neville

          Sorry but you’re wrong. Being anti-abortion (don’t use the neologism “pro-life”, it’s a lie) is a requirement of Catholic dogma. It isn’t optional, like thinking maybe the bishops’ collective homophobia goes a bit too far or perhaps Jesus wouldn’t have a hissy-fit if women were ordained, but it’s a carved in stone commandment, THOU SHALT BE ANTI-ABORTION!

        • guadalupelavaca

          Then why hasn’t Pelosi been excommunicate since she has gone public with views?

        • Michael Neville

          Because of the backlash the Church received in 2004 when St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke forbade Presidential candidate John Kerry from taking communion
          while campaigning in Missouri due to Kerry’s stance on abortion.

        • Kodie

          You just sound like you have a stick up your butt about atheism.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Catholics love to fudge.

          Thinking homosexuality is not the crime, but the act is against the rules.

          Thinking the ToE is accurate is permitted, just as long as one remembers that Adam & Eve was the original couple.

          Babies that die before baptism no longer go into Limbo…sort of….presumably those already there are fucked. It would appear they don’t qualify for Heaven. So much for all life being sacrosanct and Ameribears personhood from conception and equality for all nonsense.

          And more fudge on the abortion front. For example, the morning after pill in cases of rape….in some locations…but not if the egg has implanted….which is not conception.

          Abortion is a grave evil because, because, because….just because.

          The Catechism contains only six paragraphs on abortion, including: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.”

          But, but, but…..

          At the heart of church teachings on moral matters is a deep regard for an individual’s conscience. The Catechism states that “a human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.” The church takes conscience so seriously that Richard McBrien, in his essential study Catholicism, explained that even in cases of a conflict with the moral teachings of the church, Catholics “not only may but must follow the dictates of conscience rather than the teachings of the Church.” Catholics are obliged to know and thoughtfully consider Catholic teaching, but in the end, a well-formed conscience reigns.

          Fudge, fudge, fudge, fudge, fudge, Fudgey McFudgerson.

          And then we have to deal with ignorant knuckle dragging fuckwit Roman Catholics like Ameribear who seems to know nothing about the subject, apart from a particular bullshit view he has been stiffed with.

          http://time.com/4045227/the-catholic-case-for-abortion-rights/

        • BlackMamba44

          I think you meant to say “pro-choice”.

        • TheNuszAbides

          only if she were seriously interested in attempting to sneak anything by us (as opposed to anyone who’s inclined to be impressed by [e.g.] her experience with legalese or her cheerleading for RCC expansion).

        • Ignorant Amos

          We are all well aware that there are Roman Catholics that are kicking back against their faiths position on women’s reproductive rights. But the position of the Catholic Church remains what it is, that termination of a pregnancy is a grievous sin for any reason, and you are here defending that Church, ergo it’s hateful view on women’s reproduction rights. Now, are you saying you disagree with the RCC’s view on this issue? Thus agreeing with many, not all, of us atheists on this view, and does that make you hateful towards those Catholics that are staunchly pro-life at any cost?

          Does that make you a hypocrite? Or are you just playing silly games?

        • guadalupelavaca

          Disagreeing on a policy is not hypocritical. Do you belong to political party? Do you disagree on some positions? does that make you hypocritical? Former President Ronald Reagan personally believed abortion was wrong, yet he legalized abortion when he was Governor of California, in 1967, years before Roe v. Wade. Keeping abortion safe and legal is not hypocritical.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You seem to have a problem with reading for comprehension.

          Try reading it again. S-L-O-W-L-Y.

          Your hypocrisy is not in disagreeing with Catholic thinking on this issue. It is that it is one of the issues you are calling the atheists here hateful for challenging your church on.

          Now either you are pro-choice and agree that the institution is wrong on this issue, ergo, we are all no more hateful than you are on this point at least. Or you are pro-life and are just playing silly games on a none point no one made, which is hateful. Since you have yet to declare your hand, the jury is still out.

          Your comparison to a political party is silly. We are talking about rules of membership and what can get ones membership revoked. An argument not being made in my comment.

        • Kodie

          Most of the Catholics I know are hypocritical modern fornicating, divorcing, birth-control-using, pro-choice, in-name-only Catholics. I guess that’s what you are, but the one thing they are sure about is they hate atheists and think we’re satanic.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What makes you think I’m a prolifer?

          I didn’t say you were a pro-lifer. What I am guilty of, however, was changing the subject.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Just a terminology suggestion: the opposite of pro-abortion is anti-choice. You don’t get to use the polite “pro-life” term for the Catholic position but then use the baggage-laden “pro-abortion” for the other side.

          So, Mr. Coy, what is your view on this issue?

        • guadalupelavaca

          Who is Mr. McCoy?

          If pro-life and pro-choice are the preferred terms here, then I’ll use those. But I don’t want to get into a debate about abortion. It can be very contentious. If anybody cares, which I doubt, I will just say that I support legalized abortions, because the alternative creates more harm.

        • Greg G.

          Coy: reluctant to give details, especially about something regarded as sensitive.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          yes, what you said.

        • TheNuszAbides

          you should try harder at paying attention to audience/detail before you try unloading your stock “gotchas” (as though your interlocutors are ignorant of Catholicism, history, individuality, etc.). (it is of course possible that you’re only playing to Catholic lurkers and anyone else who might be impressed by your personal brand of hand-wavery, in which case my suggestion is sadly irrelevant.)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          If Roe v wade were to be reversed it would NOT make abortions illegal. Can anybody tell me why?

          Duh … because then it would revert back to the states? Or was this a trick question?

        • guadalupelavaca

          That’s true. You are one of the few who understand it.

        • Kodie

          If you’re not Catholic, then you’re not really Catholic.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m not sure what you’re saying. That Catholics are stupid? That they’re unable to be unbiased?

        • guadalupelavaca

          They are all brilliant. In fact Scalia was known to be the brightest and it is reflected in his opinions. That is not the issue. No human being can be truly unbiased. The proof is looking at the split of decisions. Conservatives vote one way and liberals vote another.
          So often it comes down to ideology.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So their decision making has bugger all to do with their Catholicism then…do you proof read any of the asinine drivel you comment?

    • Pofarmer

      Are you just trolling now?

      • guadalupelavaca

        Is that what you say when you have no retort? “Oh you’re just a troll.” Brilliant!

        • Pofarmer

          I’m actually trying to figure out what your purpose is. Is it your position that you’re rooting for a theocracy?

        • guadalupelavaca

          I guess my purpose is to let you know that despite your hatred torward the Catholic Church it still is a major force in this country. Despite its “wickedness” it continues to grow and thrive and place it’s members into high positions in government. And maybe, just maybe…someone here who is not so blinded by hate will see that in fact there is a good side to the Church. That it is not pure evil. Yes…I guess that was my purpose now that I think about it.

        • Pofarmer

          Your purpose seems to be to thumb your nose at those evil atheists and tell us we’re going to get ours when you have sufficient power.

        • guadalupelavaca

          I never said atheists were evil. That was the word used in the article above referencing the Catholic Church. I said hateful. If I called you evil I would be the hateful one. There are many things the Church has done that deserves criticism, but to call it evil and by extension implying that it’s members are is hateful. If you don’t like the Church because of its history that is fine by me. I’m not here to defend Her. But I could not let this article go without calling out it’s bigotry. I think Bob must have had some terrible incident with either the Church or an individual Catholic to publish such a nasty article.

        • Greg G.

          I think Bob must have had some terrible incident with either the Church or an individual Catholic to publish such a nasty article.

          Just above the article, it says, “This is a guest post by Richard S. Russell. “

        • Ignorant Amos

          We have an true RRC on our hands here….Retarded Roman Catholic…along with Ameribear, that makes a brace.

          Both make excellent PR for their Church…I hope they keep it coming.

        • Pofarmer

          I’ve seen this poster elsewhere. She’s not keen on pesky things like facts.

        • Susan

          There are many things the Church has done that deserves criticism, but to call it evil and by extension implying that it’s members are is hateful.

          From the article:

          They’ll take legitimate criticism of the church as an institution and try to twist it into seeming like irrational bigotry against individual parishioners as people.

          Bingo.

          And:

          But, once again, let’s be clear here. My beef is with the corrupt institutional church itself. I’ve got nothing against human beings who happen to be Catholic

          You’ve ignored the article.

          Easier to play the victim.

        • guadalupelavaca

          Susan, the article was not merely legitimate criticism. It was expressed as hateful rhetoric. Again the fact that you can’t see it shows me that you too are a hateful bigot as well. The atheist section is constantly filled Catholic criticism but most of never stoops so low, vitriolic, and bigoted.

        • Michael Neville

          If you had bothered to read the article you would have seen the legitimate criticisms given to your church. For example talking about child raping clergy and bishops who support and protect the child rapists is not hatred. It’s pointing out how a church which claims to be the supreme moral authority on Earth acts in an obviously immoral and hypocritical manner. The church’s institutional homophobia and transphobia are evidence that the Catholic Church is nowhere near as “loving” as it claims to be. When women can be ordained as priests is when the church can deny its blatant misogyny. All of these things show your church is a source of evil in the world.

        • TheNuszAbides

          When women can be ordained as priests is when the church can begin to deny a portion of its blatant misogyny.

          fixed!

        • Susan

          It was expressed as hateful rhetoric.

          It was expressed as a request that everybody including catholics speak out against the egregious actions of the RCC powerful.

          You’ve attempted to claim that it was intended as an attack on all catholics when it clearly isn’t.

          Again the fact that you can’t see it shows me that you too are a hateful bigot as well

          No. You haven’t shown it. Calling me a hateful bigot for not seeing something you are unable to show is just another unsupported accusation.

          Speaking out against evil behaviour is not hatred.

          Also, asking someone not to be dramatic is not a violation of free speech. Nor is asking someone to support a claim.

        • Kodie

          It was expressed as a laundry list of how many awful things the Catholic Church has done while trying to pretend it’s a good institution. You’re doing the same thing. You’re against people speaking out about it, and you just want us to leave believers be. So, in essence, you are an awful person, whining about your “free speech” on a private blog, and hypocritically serving an agenda of silencing atheists from ever daring to criticize your beliefs by attacking your church. We’re not shutting up about it, and that is why you are whining like a little asshole. What’s it to you? What’s hurting you?

        • Pofarmer

          Well, let’s see. What would you call an organization that hid the systemic rape and abuse of Children in it’s care in multiple countries for generations, if not centuries? What would you call an organization that used women as slave labor until the dawn of the 21st century? What would you call an organization that Sainted a woman who’s policies led to unnecessary deaths and preached against contraception in some of the poorest slums on earth because she glorified suffering? What would you call an organization who stole 10’s of thousands of babies from single mothers in at least 3 countries to sell on the adoption market? What would you call an organization which forced single mothers into “orphanages” where their children died in massive numbers and were buried in mass graves, who’s said mothers were then forced into indentured servitude to pay their “bill.” I forgot. An organization who recently threatened to excommunicate one of it’s groups who were handing out condoms-to sex slaves in Africa. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. And, the author was very careful to say that he wasn’t implying that the members of the Church were evil. But, if you’re here being an apologist for the organization, maybe, just maybe, you are.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What would you call an organization that hid the systemic rape and abuse of Children in it’s care in multiple countries for generations, if not centuries?

          Oh the evil definitely goes back centuries alright.

          https://www.americamagazine.org/issue/534/article/11th-century-scandal

          What we have here in this latest Catholic cretin is an ignorant apologist for evil trying to teach their granny to suck eggs, and making a complete arsehole of themselves in the process. It’s actually heart warming to observe such fuckwittery…good sauce for the lurkers too.

        • Kodie

          Lots of people have nasty incidents with the Catholic Church – that’s what the article illustrates. You can’t hide the awful side of your religion behind some of the nice things the church has tried to be known for. It has a nasty side, and why should you pretend that it doesn’t? You keep emphasizing how big the church is and how powerful it is and will be, but that’s why it can organize for some terrible causes we’re hoping you’d be honest and acknowledge instead of pretend to be persecuted because atheism keeps exposing it. You’re trying to hide it and the whole of all religions hating atheism just wants us to keep quiet and let you run your organizations against the good of people, behind the scenes. The soup kitchen image is a front for organized evil. Deal with it.

        • MNb

          “it still is a major force in this country”
          And how is that supposed to be a good thing?
          In my native country the RCC used to be a major force in the two southern provinces. That time is gone forever. Nobody longs back to it.

          “That it is not pure evil.”
          Very few people are. Hitler was very kind to dogs. So shrug.
          Given your anti-atheist bias: I dislike (hate is a too strong word – I save hate for a few particular cases) American fundagelical denominations more than the RCC. Elsewhere on this page I explained why.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Despite it’s “wickedness”?

          At least you agree that it’s “wicked”, that’s progress of sorts. Regardless of your “scare quotes”, whatever they are supposed to signify?

        • Otto

          Criminal motorcycle gangs do toys drives at Christmas…does that mean we should ignore all the awful stuff they do?

        • Kodie

          Despite your hatred of atheists, we’re not shutting the fuck up any time soon. Got that?

        • Michael Neville

          All you’ve done so far is whine about how hateful atheists are to your church. You have even tried to defend your church, you haven’t rebutted any of the accusations against your church, you haven’t shown how much good your church has done. You’ve lashed out at atheists for being mean to Catholics and Catholicism, even though the OP specifically said the criticisms were not aimed at Catholics but at the church as an institution. In other words, you’re trolling.

        • BlackMamba44
        • Susan

          EDITED to turn one sentence into English

          I wish I could upvote you for that alone.

          For the many times I have.

          And for the many times I haven’t and wished I had.

        • BlackMamba44
        • Kodie

          It’s because you are just trying to be an asshole instead of say something.

    • Ignorant Amos

      How’s that been working out for ya in places where Catholics completely dominate the government already dofus?

      Ireland was the first country in the world to vote in same sex marriage and the current Taoiseach (Prime Minister) is an openly gay Catholic from a mixed Hindu/Catholic marriage. The country is to hold a referendum on it’s abortion laws with the view to make the procedure more accessible to women. You’ll struggle to find a more Catholic country than Ireland, so perhaps your dream might be a good thing.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I dunno. What do you know about Catholics that we don’t know that should make us worried? Are they all assholes? I sort of assumed that they were indistinguishable from people in other religions, and the only relevant traits were non-religious ones. At least that’s how Article VI and the First Amendment to the Constitution would have me believe.

      • guadalupelavaca

        Yes Bob. They pretty much are indistinguishable from the others.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      This seems to be an admission that these Catholics in the government embrace corruption or at least are perceived to.

      • TheNuszAbides

        she’s not exactly a holier-than-thou type. we’re all Sinners(TM), right?

    • RichardSRussell

      The composition of the US Supreme Court is interesting in several different ways. I’m not sure what the current distribution is with Gorsuch having replaced Scalia, but it used to be 6 Catholics, 3 Jews, 0 Protestants, and (needless to say) 0 atheists; 6 men and 3 women; 5 Harvardites, 3 Yalies, and a lonely alumnus of Columbia; and of course 4 solid conservatives, 4 reliable liberals, and Anthony Kennedy — the guy who infamously plucked from his ass the deciding principle in Citizens United that big money would lead to “neither corruption nor the appearance of corruption” in American elections, despite the fact that 50 state legislatures plus Congress (you know, people who actually got elected to office instead of being appointed) had held the exact opposite opinion and encoded campaign-finance regulations into law over the course of the 20th Century. (Yes, I’m still bitter.)

      • TheNuszAbides

        (Yes, I’m still bitter.)

        as should be well over 99% of the planet.

    • Kodie

      Do you want a theocracy and shoot people who aren’t Catholic? What are you going to do?

  • Pofarmer

    Interesting article in the NY Times.

    “Does Religion Make People Moral?”

    And the theologians in Turkey are concluding no, no it doesn’t.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/28/opinion/does-religion-make-people-moral.html