Weekend Coffee: International Women’s Day Edition

EmpoweringWomen

Yesterday was International Women's Day, so in honor of that, all the links in this week's roundup are feminist-themed. And there's a lot of news to cover:• Anita Sarkheesian of Feminist Frequency has released the first in her Tropes vs Women in Video Games series, exploring the cliche of the damsel in distress. (Hilariously, a group of "men's rights" advocates who solicited donations for a rebuttal video series appear to have taken the money and run.)• A brutal, poignant … [Read more...]

Submission Theology Is Abuse Theology

I've written a lot about the child-abuse coverup by the hierarchy of the Catholic church, but not because I believe Roman Catholicism is the only religion guilty of these crimes. Far from it! Any religion that preaches the virtues of submission and obedience is inherently vulnerable to abuses of this kind. When religious leaders are believed to possess special wisdom or special favor from God, it's only too easy for them to abuse that power to violate those who trust them.It's happened at a … [Read more...]

Fifty Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church

SaintPetersSquare

This article was originally published on AlterNet.Last year in Ireland, Savita Halappanavar died, and she shouldn't have. Savita was a 31-year-old married woman, four months pregnant, who went to the hospital with a miscarriage in progress that developed into a blood infection. She could easily have been saved by an abortion of the already-doomed fetus. Instead, her doctors did nothing, explaining that "this is a Catholic country," and left her to suffer in misery for days, only intervening … [Read more...]

Rationing Organs for Religious Refuseniks

AwakeMay94

Since new medical advances always catch my attention, I read with interest this article about "bloodless" lung transplants being pioneered at some hospitals - that is, salvaging and re-infusing the patient's own blood, rather than relying on transfusions from donors. It's being sold as a cost-saving technique and a way to lessen the risk of allergic reactions or other rare side effects, plus it conserves donated blood so that more is available for emergencies. But the technique was developed for … [Read more...]

Weekend Presents: December 23

XmasTree

It's two more days before you can open the gifts under the tree, but I have some early presents:• Now hear this: I'm on the New Books in Secularism podcast, discussing my book Daylight Atheism.• Big news out of the Philippines: The legislature has finally passed a national Reproductive Health Bill, defying fierce objections by the Roman Catholic church. The bill, which had been stalled for years by church pressure, would create government-run health clinics to dispense contraception in th … [Read more...]

Reasons to Quit the Catholic Church: A Coda

Even though I just published a long list of reasons why good people should leave the Catholic church, it seems like new ones are piling up every time I turn around. Herewith are some of the latest arguments for all people of common sense and conscience to sever their association with this corrupt medieval dictatorship. First of all, via WWJTD?, this jaw-dropping story: Pope Benedict met with and personally blessed Rebecca Kadaga, the speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, who's one of the most fe … [Read more...]

On the Tragedy in Newtown

CandleInDark

I hate having to write posts like this, but it's too huge a story to ignore. Less than two weeks before Christmas, America is again reeling from a mass killing - one of several this year, but the worst in a while - at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Not counting the shooter, who committed suicide at the scene, twenty-six people died, most of them young children.In politically motivated mass murders, like Anders Behring Breivik in Norway or Wade Michael Page in the … [Read more...]

What the Bishops Have to Say For Themselves

Ireland's Catholic bishops have released an official statement on the death of Savita Halappanavar, to my surprise. It may well be that the outcry was so great, they felt obligated to respond. If so, it would be a rare instance of the church being swayed by external pressure. However, the statement itself doesn't say anything new or specific. Mostly, it just reiterates the church's stance on abortion, which is this:Where a seriously ill pregnant woman needs medical treatment which may put … [Read more...]

Fighting War the Biblical Way

After several days, the fragile ceasefire in the latest iteration of Israel and Gaza's endless war is still holding. But while the bombs were falling, there was no shortage of voices calling for the battle to be escalated even further, like Gilad Sharon, son of the former Israeli Prime Minister, who wrote in an op-ed:"We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn't stop with Hiroshima - the Japanese weren't surrendering fast enough, so they hit … [Read more...]

For Savita

Savita Halappanavar is dead, and she shouldn't be. That has to be the beginning and end of anything anyone writes about this. Savita was 31 years old, married, four months pregnant with her first child, a dentist who lived near Galway in Ireland. Last month, she went to the hospital with what she thought were back pains, but the doctors soon determined she was having a miscarriage. In these cases, there's no chance of the fetus surviving, but the mother is at grave risk of infection the longer … [Read more...]


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