Michael Savage Criticizes Dartmouth Atheist Group for Questioning the Legacy of Mother Teresa

Michael Savage is a conservative talk show host. Kind of like Rush Limbaugh, but not as popular. He recently heard about how atheists at Dartmouth were going to hold an event where Mother Teresa‘s legacy was discussed, with a nod to Christopher Hitchens‘ evisceration of her in his book The Missionary Position.

But since you’re not supposed to talk about Mother Teresa in anything but a positive light, Savage decided to call the students names instead of having a productive discussion about the subject (beginning at the 1:00 mark):

… I’d like to point you to an article that came out tonight that’s rather troublesome. I don’t know whether I’m gonna ruin your night, but there’s a group of snot-nosed elite children who have never worked a day in their lives at Dartmouth College, which is one of the worst colleges in America. It used to be one of the best colleges, and then it suddenly became like all of the Ivy League institutions of lower living, that used to be known as institutions of higher learning, but Michael Savage retitled them institutions of lower living — Degenerates from top to bottom running everything. And now it reaches a new low. An atheist group at Dartmouth College is planning an anti-Mother Teresa event, if you believe this…

Savage references the campus-wide email the Atheists, Humanists, Agnostics at Dartmouth sent out which refers to Mother Teresa as a “lying, thieving Albanian dwarf.” Those are Hitchens’ infamous words, of course, but Savage didn’t make that clear. He makes it sound like the Dartmouth students were just throwing ad hominem attacks her way. They weren’t.

If Savage really wanted to have this discussion, he could have easily invited one of the students running the event on air to discuss the criticism. He didn’t do that. He just attacked them from afar because they dared to discuss a taboo subject.

This is what I love about college atheist groups. They tackle subjects very few groups would want to talk about, whether it’s the existence of God, the notion of religion being a negative force in the world, or the legacy of perceived saints. People should be cheering on those discussions and welcoming the opportunity to defend their side of the issue.

Asking tough questions isn’t the problem. Criticizing the very idea of these discussions in the first place is. Savage should know better.

(Thanks to Justin for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Robert Freid

    I question the atheist legacy of Christopher Hitchens, hope that is fair enough.

    • Alwaysinane

      I’m not sure what you’re even saying there.

      • Robert Freid

        Let me politely clarify, many atheists criticize the religious legacy of Mother Teresa, right? Allright, fair enough. Then I can question the atheist legacy of Mr. Hitchens?

        • jdm8

          I wonder if you’re forgetting that Hitchens had a considerably longer argument than that, in explaining why he questioned her actions and motivations.

          • Robert Freid

            Good response, I would do the same. But for him, fair enough.

        • Anniegirl59

               But Robert, nobody understands what it is you are questioning. With regard to Mother Theresa, people question whether she really cared about the welfare of poor and suffering people. Or whether she really cared more about money and fame. And they question some of the things she did, such as refusing to have an elevator put in a building she was using so that ill people had to be carried up steps. Is that really caring about the ill person, to have their dignity suffer like that? And on and on, many examples. 
               What is i,t exactly, that you question about Hitchens?      

          • Robert Freid

            My mistake, I mean his legacy. For example, many of you guys hold Mr. Hitchens with high respects, right. Okay, what if I question, say his morality, or his political views, or something else of that sort, then that would be fair just as many atheists who criticize Mother Teresa?

            • Jaysonhammer

               Again, please give the specifics of what you’re criticizing. What ABOUT his morality, politics, or other are you specifically criticizing?

              • JustWondering

                How about his Gung Ho support of the Bush Wars?

            • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

              Sure, it would be fair to do such a thing, but it would require evidence of a sort similar to what Hitchens himself provided in reference to Mother Teresa. Why don’t you present your case to us? 

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

              Absolutely, as long as your criticisms are backed by evidence. Just saying “I question his morality” is not going to get you anywhere because you’d need to be more specific and back up the claims with evidence.

            • Marco Conti

              Questioning Hitchens morality would be an exercise in futility in my opinion. He could be the most amoral person in your view, but it does not change his evidence for MT life work or even his opinion. Unless you can somehow prove that his lack of moral influenced his views in a quantifiable manner.

              And even at that, while there are what we may agree to call “absolute morals”, like do not kill, do not steal, etc. what’s left is very much a matter of opinion. You may think the gay lifestyle is amoral, but most of us here disagree. You may think Hitchen atheism is amoral, but obviously we think it was one of Hitch more likable traits. 

              To me, you sill sound like you are trying to find an excuse to discredit Hitchens in order to elevate MT by contrast. However, as I pointed out in another post, MT life work has come under fire from many other people. 
              Even if you read a text favorable to MT, you would have to be blind if you don’t see that she was star struck and fame hungry. Of course, she and her supporters would never admit to it, but given our present ‘celebrity” obsession and the many examples we have, it is pretty easy for us to see the same traits in MT. 

              Then, there is the question of money. MT institutions racked millions, maybe billions of $$. yet, no one that has worked for her could account for where the money went. Certainly it wasn’t spent to get better facilities and medicines for her charges.
              And if that’s not where the money went, by definition it was misspent.

              maybe MT was a victim of her own fame. That would be a fair argument, but attaching Hitchens is not a valid retort. It simply an ad hominem attack in retaliation for a perceived slight to someone you probably have grown up to think of as a saint.

            • Thin-ice

              Robert, you’re having a problem with semantics. You can’t really question a man’s legacy. His legacy is what it is, defined by others. Much like his reputation. But you CAN question or criticize his beliefs, assumptions and conclusions.

            • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

              I’ve never heard of people holding up Christopher Hitchens as a paragon of moral virtue. So I can’t imagine anyone would have a problem with you “questioning his morality,” whatever that means. I don’t know much about what he did in his personal life because it’s not relevant to what he wrote about atheism. As for his politics, same thing. You’ll find many, many atheists here who disagree with his stance on any number of political issues.

              • JustWondering

                Hithens personal life is important, because it was marked by hate.

                Particularly of religion, and Muslims in particular.

                If he had the political power, he would surely have been trying to use force to wipe it out…after all he was an admirer of the Mass Murdering Atheist Trosky.  He admitted to sill having admiration for the leader of the Red Army.

                • Thumper1990

                  Justwondering, he hated those things for very good reasons, which he supported with evidence. But Hitch was also a very vocal supporter of freedom of speech, so I very much doubt he would ever have tried to wipe them out even if he did have the power.

                  Now do you have any evidence to support your assertions or are you just making noise?

                • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

                  Those are some heavy accusations. Perhaps you could point to something Hitchens wrote that indicates he would like to have used force to wipe out religion. Otherwise, it sounds like you are concocting a fantasy in your head.

                  By the way, I’m still not seeing how Hitchens’ personal life is relevant to his atheist legacy. As I said before, no one is holding him up as a paragon of virtue. If you want to question his politics or his morality, have at it. It doesn’t affect what he wrote about atheism.

        • OverlappingMagisteria

           Please do. Be sure to provide support to any arguments you make in your criticism.

          I may be misreading your intentions, but you seem to think that atheists see Hitchens as some sort of god that is above criticism. He is not. Many atheists, however, do see him as a very influential man, so they may disagree with your criticisms, but you are certainly free to make them.

          • Robert Freid

            Thank you. I do not think, whats-so-ever that you guys hold him as a “god” though.

          • JustWondering

            Of course he was influential.  So were Lenin and Trotsky…and they weren’t just about communism.  They hated religion too,  in a very similar way to Hitchens, and Hitchens talks about them in GING.

            He was even a “former” Trotskyist. 

            • Baal

               But were Hitchen’s comments on Mother Theresa wrong?  Also, the OP is specifically talking about M.Savage’s inability to aptly criticize the students and here you are trying to make a cheap shot argument. You’re trying to say that our heros and yours are both flawed so it’s just a we/they dispute of no underlying importance.  That is wrong, MT is held up as a moral paragon, Hitchens is not.  Please try and get back to the OP.  Also, go look up ‘godwin’.  It means your arguments are fail.

        • JohnnieCanuck

          Sure you can, if you’re still stuck at the kindergarten stage of debating style.

          “Yeah, well your mother does too!”, is not much of a contribution to the conversation.

          • Robert Freid

            Kindergarten stage? I thought you welcome opposition, jeez. How is that a “Yeah, well your mother does too!” ordeal? 

            • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

              Well you’ve yet to explain what it is about Hitchen’s that you are questioning. It seems that you’re just saying that you question him in an attempt to play tit for tat. 

        • C Peterson

          Then I can question the atheist legacy of Mr. Hitchens?

          You certainly can… but what exactly are you questioning? You’ve made no claims at all. Hitchins was quite rigorous in identifying his issues with Mother Teresa and in supporting his claims with evidence.

          • Robert Freid

            So he was (I truelly mean that) and that is just fine for him to do so. I talking say, if I want to question his morality, his political views, etc. Would that be fair? Yes?  

            • C Peterson

              As I said, you can question anything you want. But don’t expect your views to be taken seriously if you can’t support them, or make them relevant (for instance, his personal morals or political views probably don’t have much connection with the validity of any arguments he made).

        • TiltedHorizon

          “Then I can question the atheist legacy of Mr. Hitchens?”

          Nothing and no one is beyond criticism. That is kinda the point. Just backup the criticism with an explanation else your pulling a ‘Savage’.

        • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

          Uh, yes.  Question away.

    • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

      You are questioning whether he was truly an atheist? Or whether he is really worthy of being remembered as a positive example? I may not always agree with Hitchens, and personally think he was a bit of a jerk, but I don’t think he was ever anything but open about who he was. 

      • Robert Freid

        Most definitly, he was an atheist (he did get married in a Greek Orthodox Church when he married his first wife suprisingly). Yes, as a positive example he should be questioned. Just like mother Teresa being questioned by atheists as a positive example.

        • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

          Please proceed, I assure you that you’re totally welcome to question Hitchens. I doubt that you’ll be alone in your questions. We hardly hold Hitch up as a saint or somebody beyond reproach. I’m certain that you’ll find folks here who disagree with him on any number of subjects, politics particularly. I’m not sure what your goal in all of this is. You’ve yet to provide any real arguments about Hitchens despite repeated invitations. Was this entire conversation an attempt to show that atheists are not equal opportunity in our criticisms? I’ve yet to see a single person tell you that no, you may not ask critical questions about Hitchens and his legacy. 

        • Marco Conti

          So what you are doing is a tit for tat here. “You question MT so I’ll question your own sacred cow”. 
          And you think that’s a mature discussion? 
          It doesn’t work like that when you are a skeptic, and many of us are skeptics as well as atheists.
          I was very sad when Hitch passed away. He had an irreplaceable voice, but he was far from being perfect or “orthodox” or a “true Atheist” even; and that’s what made him valuable, even necessary.  He is no “sacred cow” and I could fill this post with things him and I disagreed about. 

          But let’s discount Hitchens completely. Let’s assume that he never wrote the MT book. Use the google and search around using the right keywords. You will find many articles, blogs and testimonials, many from former volunteers at MT institutions, that pretty much confirm Hitchen’s account of MT. 
          Some clearly are from devout Christians that went to work for her with all the best intentions and were horrified at the carelessness with which they treated their “patients”. Many die for lack of antibiotics and cures that are routine for us. Those they deem “incurable” are left to day with an occasional sponge bath and no pain killers (or any other medicine) since suffering is considered a gift from Jesus.MT was a complex person and she had very screwy ideas. Undoubtedly, she tried to help the poor the best she could, but the best she could was not the same “best” we in the industrialized west consider appropriate care. You and I should both be glad we are at no risk of ending up in the care of MT institutions. 

          • Octoberfurst

            Very well said. I greatly admired Hitchens and thought he was a brilliant man. But there were  things he said that I strongly disagreed with. (His approval of the Iraq war being only one of them.)   I also disagree with some of the things Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins have said. But that does not mean I admire them any less.  Unlike religious people who think their heroes can do no wrong I think we atheists can admit that our heroes are flawed and not get hyper about it.
               As for Mother Teresa I agree that she is a sacred cow in our society and to question anything she did brings howls of outrage from many quarters.  But after reading Hitchens book and doing my own research I have discovered that she was not all she was made out to be.  She may have had good intentions but she was also a heartless jerk at times and more than a bit hypocritical.  No one should be put on a pedestal—I don’t care how “great” people may think that person to be– they are not beyond criticism.

    • Stev84

      His political legacy is questionable, but that’s independent of his atheism

      • Robert Freid

        There you go. That is what I mean along the lines of his political legacy, etc. Thank you.

        • Stev84

          You said you questioned his “atheist legacy”. You said nothing about politics, but made the mistake of thinking that his political positions in any way hurt what he said about religion.

    • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

      I’m confused. What are you questioning about it? That it exists? Hitchens is not a revered figure whom no one dares to criticize. He hasn’t been lauded as a hero or a saint. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if you said negative things about his legacy.

    • pablo_rajczyk

      Can  you  support this “questioning” the way Hitchens supported his argument against Mother Theresa?

      • Robert Freid

        That depends, what do you want to know about him in a fairly critical aspect?

        • pablo_rajczyk

           You wrote that you question his atheist legacy? Do you question that he was an atheist? Do you question his legacy as an atheist? I want to know what you question about his atheism or his legacy in that regard.

    • Blacksheep

      Atheists on this site have gotten me to look at athiesm objectively, Hitchens has made me thank God that I am a Christian.

      • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

        I assume that’s a rhetorical flourish, but Hitchens was an atheist. He’s not atheism itself. I could easily say that Pat Robertson or Mark Driscoll make me thank FSM that I’m not a Christian, but it would be equally silly. If there’s a problem in any particular worldview, it exists independently of individual followers.

    • KeithCollyer

      How do you know? Where you there?

    • anon101

      The difference is that Mother Theresa is presented as an example of what
      wonderful things Christianity brings to the world whereas Christopher
      Hitchens is respected for his contributions to the Atheist movement.
      Nobody asks you to take Hitchens as a role model for an ethical
      lifestyle.

    • mobathome

      Don’t feed the troll.

    • JustWondering

      Hitchens really called Mother Theresa “an albanian Dwarf”?!!

      He really was a hater wasn’t he?

      I knew he was an all out supporter of the Bush Wars, but I really think there was something wrong with him.

  • Sven2547

    The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, your freedom of thought becomes impossible.

    In this case, people are freaking out that Mother Theresa is being examined and criticized, and the mere notion of that is driving the Christian Right into a froth.

    • Blacksheep

      Michael savage is not the Christian Right!! 
      He’s a conservative Jew living in San Francisco who started out out as a liberal kid from NY. 

      • Sven2547

        You are completely correct about Michael Savage.  You don’t necessarily have to be a Christian to be part of the American far-right.  I was referring more broadly to the Bill Donohues / Pat Robertsons of the world, but you’re right: I shouldn’t have lumped Savage in with “the Christian Right”.

        • Quintin

          That’s why we have the term ‘religious right’, to also be inclusive of such nutjobs as Michael Savage and Baroness Warsi.

        • Blacksheep

          savage pretty much makes it up as he goes along – he found a niche and he’s sticking with it, it’s good business (for him).

      • Stev84

        Religious extremists of any sort aren’t much different from each other.

        • Blacksheep

          Unless you’re “extreme” about forgiveness, grace, and loving your enemy!

          • Glasofruix

            And that worked wonderfully well for christianity so far…

            …oh wait.

          • John

             I know a few theists who are like that.

            I know a lot more who aren’t.

          • The Other Weirdo

             Religious extremists aren’t noted for forgiveness, grace of loving one’s enemy. That’s why we get guys with box cutters flying jumbojets into other people’s skyscrapers and also why we get people wanting to touch off Armageddon by trying to start a race war in the US.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-De-Fleuriot/611844223 Mike De Fleuriot

    If you want to see who wants to rule over you, look to what you are not allowed to criticises, some one famous once said, or words to that effect.  

    • TiltedHorizon

      “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”- voltaire

  • jose

    “you’re not supposed to talk about Mother Teresa in anything but a positive light”

    That’s stupid Hemant.

    • Michael Both

      No, that’s an accurate statement. People look at me with horror when I have broached this topic with them.

      • jose

        I criticized mother theresa for being a radical antichoice catholic in a previous post on this blog, but to do that you don’t need to lie about her the way Christopher Hitchens did, claiming that she enjoyed suffering, or that she did not want to provide medical aid to extremely poor people like some commenter, misled by Hitchens, told me, or that when she was a big fat hypocrite because she went to a hospital instead of a one of her hospices when she had a collapse (she was in a different country, something Hitchens omits); not to mention his wild imagination about how it was all a big scheme to make a big buck for herself or to gain fame by opening convents.

        Or when he said she didn’t want to help people out of poverty because she said there was beauty in the poor, in their lives, even in the terminally ill, even when they were struggling with leprosy, even then she saw beauty in them as humans and loved them, back in the hospices she built for them when the rest of the country despised them and just pretended they were not there and left them to rot on the streets. Hitchens disagreed on this course of action, so he made a bunch of stuff up.

        You want to have a discussion, you better pick a skeptic with better information or with fewer political leanings.

        • Marco Conti

          I have read testimonials from former volunteers at MT institutions and they very much align with many of  Hitchens points, albeit presented very differently.
          She did love suffering, as many extremely religious people do. That would not be unusual in a catholic church where people still self flagellate, wear undergarments made of spines and glorify suffering. 
          in other words, I have read enough testimonials to led me to think that Hitchens was not out of order in his assessment. He might have used a more colorful language and certainly he had a angrier style, but if I saw what he and the other witness describe, I am not sure I would have been more lenient regarding MT.

          I remember reading a testimonial from a devout young  catholic girl that made me cringe. I wish I had bookmarked it. I can no longer find it and I remember I came across it only after chasing links around for a while. Reading that told me that something was broken at MT’s institutions. I remember thinking that both MT and many of the volunteers there had become over-familiar with suffering and disease. Some of them were outright cruel. 

          The author of the piece also had the attitude that if MT didn’t take care of them, no one would. Maybe so, but the fact that MT did take care of them,  made them a non issue for the rest of society, thinking that once they were in MT fold they would be fine and at least die with some dignity. However, that was not the case.

          At the time I read that article, I had not read Hitchens book. When I did, I found many similarities that led me to believe Hitchens was at least partly right.

        • Dan

           Jose, it isn’t a lie to correctly quote her saying suffering was good because it brought people to God. It isn’t a lie to point out that she took in 100s of millions of dollars for her medical clinic, and then chose to spend that money on starting a convent named after herself instead of upgrading facilities. It isn’t a lie that she praised oppressive dictators and provided them PR folder as long as they gave her a little money and praised her. It isn’t a lie to inform people that she often refused to give people in excruciating pain anything more than aspirin because of ‘limited resources’, despite having millions in the bank.

          You might need to reevaluate your definition of a lie when you call Hitchens a liar for saying things that are true.

        • http://twitter.com/LesterBallard66 Lester Ballard

          Citations, please. Thank you.

  • C Peterson

    Asking tough questions isn’t the problem. Criticizing the very idea of these discussions in the first place is. Savage should know better.

    Whatever would make you think this?

    • JohnnieCanuck

      Maybe in an ideal universe? Maybe if his presumably excellent education included the basics of critical thinking?

    • Raising_Rlyeh

      My thoughts are that he is a loud mouth, right wing, social conservative who sees himself as someone fighting for soul of america. Of course he doesn’t care if he lies or insults others in order to get his way. 

      • C Peterson

        Exactly. “Knowing better” is what we expect of serious journalists. It’s “anything goes” for political shock jocks- the more outrageous, the better.

  • BatDaddy

    I don’t know how familiar you are with Michael Savage, but he’s a bonafide right wing troll nutjob. He has zero interest in honest discussion, or discussion of any kind that doesn’t involve sucking up to him and whatever his ideals happen to be. His radio show seems to combine the worst parts of all the other conservative talking heads into one convenient steaming pile. If you call in and disagree with him, he yells over you and goes off on a rant which usually ends in name-calling (slime, slut, pig, degenerate, etc). Yet he feigns his own brand of “intellectualism” and “culture.”

    I could go on – as you can tell he’s a real charming fellow. His brand of right wing shock radio is sickening and extremely tiresome.

    • Baal

       yes this
      Michael Savage is Michele Bachmann level dense but manages to wrap up the delivery in slur after invective.  I suspect he’s not just faking, however and could use some modern medical intervention (totally armchair speculation so fwiw).

  • jdm8

    “lying, thieving Albanian dwarf.”

    If Hitchens really said that, the last two words shouldn’t have been in the statement because they had nothing to do with his argument.

    • pablo_rajczyk

       She was Albanian. Though at an estimated 4′ 10″ she technically was not a dwarf. Then again, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t referring to her stature.

      • Bryan

         I think what jdm8 means is that her Albanian origin or her height have nothing whatsoever to do with her being “lying” and “thieving”. Her being Albanian and short shouldn’t count against her; we should focus on real criticism instead of ad hominem attacks. Her nationality and height are irrelevant.

        • pablo_rajczyk

           I was joking.

      • jdm8

         The problem is, her nationality has no place in a statement telling us why she’s wrong. The same goes for her height.

  • Rwlawoffice

    Hemant, why did you stop Savages quote right before he quoted the ad for the event where it was described as a romp against Mother Teresa and a viewing of the movie Missionary Position where she is criticized.  This was not a discussion of the pros and cons of Mother Teresa as you have implied. It is not this atheist group opening the doors to a open discussion of the merits or harm of Mother Teresa.  It was advertized as a nod to Hitchens and  an attack on the Catholic church.

    Its hypocritical of you to call out Savage and try to cast the atheist group in a light of open discussion when that is far from the reality of what they advertized they were doing.

    • Coyotenose

       If you don’t understand what the word “hypocritical” actually means, why should anyone worry about your persecution complex?

      Oh, Hemant indicates exactly what you claim he doesn’t indicate. Try again.

      Oh, and piss poor job of trying to change the subject because your persecution complex can’t handle your internalized myths about MT. She was a person who did some good and some awful. Get over it.

  • Blacksheep

    I like Christopher Hitchens, but his commentary on Mother Theresa (he said MUCH more nasty stuff than is printed above) is really part of his negative, glass half empty, semi-depressed, heavy drinkers view on life. He is brilliant – but he so easily slips into anger, name calling, and selective analysis of religion that it makes me wonder if he’s trying to convince himself not to believe. in his own way he is trying to convert people to his secular humanist way of thinking just as Christians do theirs. 

    I’ve been to the slums of India, so have some of my friends. The idea of literally rolling up ones sleaves and digging in to help people with one-on-one compassion and physical touch – including lepers – is astounding. Most people help others by sending a check, doing some volunteer work. She actually gave up her life to help the poor where they lived. She (and now her group) have been accused of using out of date medical methods, but if she hadn’t been there, believe me, nobody else would be either. Hitchens would never dream of acknowledging that.

    Savage is an entertaining jackass but some truth comes through. (And we all know the type of university students (Mostly rich, many spoiled) he is speaking about, we were there once. Why is it not OK for him to “call students names”? What did they call Mother Theresa in their flyers? A “lying, thieving Albanian dwarf.”

    It should be a productive discussion. You’re right. But Hitchens always reverts to name calling, and now the students are following suit.

    • NotTHATguest

      I have met someone who volunteered at a Sisters of Mercy orphanage that housed mentally & physically handicapped children. Neither the volunteers nor the nuns were allowed to care for the same child for more than 3 months. To do so would cause the adult to become attached to the child. Now, even back then when I still considered myself in a religious quest, I thought this was particularly sadistic.
      Imagine being a child who has already been abandoned once, probably has a very limited understanding of what’s going on around you, and every time you start to bond with a caregiver, she leaves you. Over and over again.
      This volunteer felt uncomfortable with the situation but shrugged it off because th good sisters new best.

      • Blacksheep

        I agree with you, seems obvious, right?
        I’m not Catholic, so I certainly do not feel that the sisters know best.But the fact remains that in all their disfunction, the Catholic Church still set up scores of orphanages that if they were not there would not have been replaced by soemthing else.

        • NotTHATguest

          “the Catholic Church still set up scores of orphanages that if they were not there would not have been replaced by soemthing else.”

          How do we know no one else would have set up an orphanage? This particular institution was in a Latin American country, where the RCC dominates almost all aspects of society. Makes it hard to test for an alternative to RCC orphanages. Just look at Ireland.

          But that’s the besides the point. There was needless suffering caused, whether by ignorance or deliberate sadism, and no one called them out for it.

          • Rwlawoffice

             “How do we know no one else would have set up an orphanage?”

            We have a good indication this is correct because of the lack of orphanages established by others.  For example, we are active in supporting an orphanage in Uganda. There are literally thousands of orphans in Uganda. In the area we work in there are over 40,000 in about a 100 square mile area.  Yet there are only three orphanages. Ours, one run by Muslims and one run by the Catholic church. There is no humanist orphanage, no atheist run orphanage, etc.  There is no shortage of orphans but there is a shortage of those wanting to help them.

            • NotTHATguest

              One of the largest children’s charities, SOS Children’s Villages is nonreligious. They operate homes for children that try to recreate the family model, with a couple looking after a certain number of children in a house within their “village.” They have centres ALL over the world. They not only house, feed, educate and train abandoned/orphaned children but do so with great care.

              There is also Help for Orphans Interantional which is explicitly secular. I’m not familiar with them, they just popped up in a quick google search.

            • TiltedHorizon

              I believe that those with facial hair are evil, we have a good indication this is correct because of the lack of genocide committed by the clean shaven. Clearly this logic is infallible.

              One:
              Orphanages require funding; how much of that comes from secular sources? I don’t recall anyone verifying my faith when they accept my checks.

              Two:
              Atheism is not an organization, we therefore use the established resources to make a difference.

              Three: 
              Uganda is not the world. Expand your search. There are orphans stateside too, many of which are represented by secular services who I work with as a Foster Parent.

              Four:
              With a pool of 2.1 (Est.) Billion Christians how is there only 3 orphanages  in a 100 square mile area? The way you brag about faith one should expect “orphan” to be a pasted tense colloquial reference to a long solved social issue. 

              • Rwlawoffice

                Haha. Love your facial hair analogy flawed as it is and nt logically connected to the argument. It is true however, you must watch out for those bearded scoundrels .

                As for the Uganda argument, I assume you know what an example is. That is what I was giving.

                But I agree with you it is a shae that there are not more orphanages in Uganda. The need is great.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  Of course it is flawed, it mirrors your argument, what else would it be? (still funny though)

                  As for Uganda, I assume you know that you cannot use a narrow example to justify a broad statement. All you did was draw a line in the sand. Should an organization meeting your requirements show up in Uganda you would simply draw another line in the sand, “but there are no no secular humanist orphanages in *insert here* therefore…”.  You narrowed the example to fall within your ‘truth’, last time I checked, that is a lie of omission. 

            • Michaelbrice

              Maybe, but those orphnages are also quite useful for creating new Muslims/Catholics/Insert religion of choice here.

              Why can’t they just give the children food and unconditional love, why must they feed them religious dogma and bigotry too?

              • Rwlawoffice

                Wow the horrible audacity of showing Christian love and grace and by doing so maybe creating more Christians. Frankly I think it is great to take care of an orphans body and soul at the same time. Win win for me. But not unlike a skeptic atheist to think this would automatically turn someone into a bigot

                • Coyotenose

                   A remarkably dumb thing to say, even considering the poster, given that Uganda has a recent, well-documented history violent bigotry motivated by Christianity and explicitly, publicly funded and supported by Christians.

                  Funny how you had nothing to say about that nation’s deciding to imprison and harm people for being gay or for knowing gays, and all the off-the-books violence that implies, when it was posted here where you like to hang out.

                  It’s almost as if, oh gosh this CAN’T be true, you only jump in when you can think you can twist things to fuel your persecution complex, while ignoring the rest because it overwhelmingly counters said complex.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

              • TiltedHorizon

                 “Why can’t they just give the children food and unconditional love…”

                Because you can’t call that Christian™.  When the Christian Children’s Fund put “food and unconditional love” ahead of proselytizing they were blacklisted by the Ministry Watch for not being “Christian”.

                “…they are not an organization that attempts to bring the Gospel message along with the relief they offer to
                needy children.”

                The HORROR!!!

                You can read it for yourself here:

                http://www.ministrywatch.com/pdf/mwda_042704_ccf.pdf

    • Glasofruix

        selective analysis of religion

      You mean that xtians are allowed to and we’re not?

      • Blacksheep

        Pulling that one line out has no bearing on my overall point. Besides which I made no such assertation. 

        But to address it specifically: Smart people are usually able to see bothe sides of a story, that which they agree with and that which they don’t. For example, for me not to understand and empathize with the atheist POV would mean that I’m not opening my eyes, ears, and heart to other people. If a group of smart people have an authentic and sincere opinion about something, It deserves the respect of my looking at it. The same thing goes for H. Fine if he rails (Although I find his red faced ranting mode a turn off to whatever his position is) against things that he doesn’t like about religion, but to have such ready-to-boil-over anger towards it that willfully ignores the amazingly positive affect that it has on millions of people points to something deeper and dysfunctional.

        So yes – we are all allowed – and we’re allowed to be rude codescending jackasses, too, but why be that way? (referring to H.)

        • Glasofruix

          Because why the fuck not? Many christians make me want to puke, their rotten beliefs and “morals” are just making me sick, not to mention the rumbling hedache every time one of those decides to turn his stupid on. We can’t argue with extremists, logic is simply not working and i link here to your usual proselytizing around this very blog.

          Oh and btw, there are NO two sides of the story, there are facts and evidence versus wishful thinking, called faith.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Dharmaworks David Benjamin Patton

    Straaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawman. *Yawn*  Could you at last TRY to be more original there Mickey?

  • TheExpatriate700

    Michael Savage is the fringe of the fringe. Go further to the right than he is, and you get the Alex Jones crowd.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    …a group of snot-nosed elite children who have never worked a day in their lives at Dartmouth College, which is one of the worst colleges in America.

    I don’t understand what the amount of mucus in their sinuses, their economic status, their employment history, or the quality of their college have to do with whether or not their information about Mother Teresa is factual and their analysis is valid.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

      I just declare victory when one side starts using ad hominems.

  • Tom_Nightingale

    Anti-intellectualism seems to be a pretty popular angle taken by this kind of critic, it’s rather interesting to me as to why it comes up so much.

    • 3lemenope

      If I had to guess, some belief systems rely upon hero-centric narratives more than others. Attacks upon the meaning of those heroes in the form of inconvenient facts is reacted to much akin to the way a person might react to an attack on a family member, because to complicate the narrative is to deprive it of its ability to give the people who rely on it what they desperately need; in essence, they take it personally.

      • Coyotenose

         Nicely put. We see this whenever the “Founding Fathers” are questioned. People react irrationally in defense of the myths about them.

        Oh my gosh but you should see the temper tantrums if you point out that they could accurately be described as successful terrorists.

  • Liam

    Man, this headline confused me:  Mike Savage is the name of  the newly-elected mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia, which includes the former City of Dartmouth.  This doesn’t sound like a fight *OUR* Mike Savage would pick, so I was befuddled.

  • David

    Hitch’s words:

    “You give me the awful impression of, I hate to have to say it, of someone who hasn’t read any of the arguments against your position, ever”

    seem rather apt for Savage’s position on Mother Theresa.
    A knee-jerk reaction from ignorance methinks.

    • A3Kr0n

       I like that phrase!

  • DonnaCM

    I live in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and our Mayor’s name is Michael Savage.  This article fucked me up at first …

    • Liam

      You’re not the only one, see my post a little earlier.

  • Miss_Beara

    Hemley Gonzalez, of Responsible Charity, has done a lot of work exposing the fraud and medical negligence of Mother Teresa. 

    https://www.facebook.com/missionariesofcharity

    • NotTHATguest

      Thank you for the link. I can’t believe the order is receiving even more money after Mother Theresa’s death.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    What I love about Savage is that abhors San Francisco completely and yet lives there. He views it as a modern Sodom and Gomorrah. Have to say I loved his little rant when he complained about Dore Alley and the Folsom Street Fair. 

  • Greisha

    Michael Savage is crazy.  Unlike most talk show hosts he seemingly believes in what he is saying.  I used to listen his show from time to time for about five minute for perverse pleasure of hearing stupid thoughts delivered by a madman.

    I don’t have any personal experience with Dartmouth, but based on what Michael Savage said,
    Dartmouth is listed with the best schools for good reasons.

  • HughInAz

    there’s a group of snot-nosed elite children who have never worked a day in their lives at Dartmouth College, which is one of the worst colleges in America.

    Hmmm, sounds like he’s talking about Dinesh D’Souza

  • bernardaB

    What makes you think Savage(AKA Michael Alan Weiner)”should know better”? He never has in the past. Apparently he is barred from entering the UK for “seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred”


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