Guess How These Catholic Groups Are Helping Typhoon Survivors in the Philippines

Up to 22,000 survivors of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda are finally receiving some international assistance: Donations of more than 12,000 rosaries and 10,000 scapulars. (Quick, someone notify Joe Klein!)

A CBCP [Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines] News report said the religious articles came from Jocelyn Bernina, a staff member of John Aboitiz Carcovich through God the Father Foundation, Inc. and a friend of CBCP Media Office director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III.

But there’s even more good news:

Last week, the pro-life prayer support group ‘Rosary for Life’ donated to CBCP an initial 3,000 rosaries followed by another 10,000.

Very generous.

I’ve made a little infographic to help you understand what’s going on here.

Oh, and just when you thought the selfless graciousness of the godly couldn’t get any bigger:

At least 1,000 copies of Tagalog Bibles from the Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) were also sent to those who were affected by the recent Typhoon Yolanda in the Central Philippines. Dr. Natividad Pagadut, ECBA executive secretary, said the bibles are meant to help survivors of typhoon Yolanda to stand up again and strengthen their faith.

I’m sure the monsignors’ marvelous magnanimity is much appreciated by those who are cold, hungry, and homeless.

If you’d like to contribute to the relief efforts in the Philippines — to help finance stuff of questionable importance, such as medical aid, building supplies, and blankets — go here.

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards.

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

    Well, they also sent over three fish and five loaves, that ought to feed a few thousand.

    • http://www.danaeayusso.com/ Danae Ayusso

      Well played.

  • Gunner Miller

    The punchlines write themselves.

  • WallofSleep

    At least they have some make-shift TP.

    • islandbrewer

      And anal beads!

      Sorry, but I really can’t think of any other way to repurpose rosaries.

      • baal

        Rosaries aren’t well designed for that purpose.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Do I … want to know how you figured that out?

          Aside: I’m sure it’s just that the shape isn’t conducive, but it sounds so very ominous when you put it like that lol

          • baal

            Rough edges on the beads and chain elements. Also, way too small generally. The only real value in them is the potential transgressive nature of defiling holy symbols. Even that’s pretty limited for me since I don’t think they are special. Now were someone else to think the bits of plastic and cheap soldering (rhm, probably not body safe metals) were holy and all then, then there could be some fun with anxiety play….

        • islandbrewer

          Don’t they make silicone rosaries in assorted colors and sizes?

          Edit: New product idea!

  • invivoMark

    Should we really expect anything more from a death cult?

  • islandbrewer

    *ahem* “The Catholic Church is the largest charity organization in the world! They minister to the soul! They build hospitals! They’re also responsible for everything good in the world! Without the RCC, we’d still be in the dark ages! Stop being so mean, internet atheist meanies!”

    There, Catholic trolls. Now you don’t have to post.

    • Khaltzane

      Are… are you fucking retarded? The only reason we aren’t still in the dark ages is science you brainwashed twat. Electricity, internet, cars, phones, computers and 99% of the things we have were made possible by: 1) Atheists and 2) Science. Religion would have only slowed down/halted the progress or even sent it backwards. If religion governed every choice then we would still be in the dark ages. I hope that you are just trolling though

      • TCC

        Protip: Next time, read the entire comment before responding.

      • paulalovescats

        *ahem* was the first sign. All the exclamation points are the second sign. The “meanies” third, the “trolls”, fourth, “don’t have to post” fifth.

      • Carmelita Spats

        You seem full of piss and vinegar but I can assure you that Mr.
        Islandbrewer is a very funny critic of religion. I don’t think he engages in ritualistic cannibalism. I don’t think he eats the body and drinks the blood of a 2,000-year-old virgin carpenter. He was being sarcastic because he’s probably goddamn tired of cleaning up after the usual parade of rosary rattlers who are a few bricks shy of a load when they come to this blog to set the rest of us straight on what the TRUE Holy Mother Church teaches or make excuses for the organized crime syndicate. Most people don’t say shit when they’ve got a mouthful of it so I’m fixin’ to guess that the crazy Catholic trolls come here to shit in the creek to keep from setting the woods on fire. It’s fine to go on about your rat-killin’ but make sure you read the post first.

      • CanuckAmuck

        Sarcasm is hard!

      • Anthony Kaiser

        Except you forget, or should I say CONVENIENTLY FAILED TO MENTION, that those EARLY scientists were largely CATHOLIC CLERICS. Or perhaps you’re just ignorant of history.THEREFORE, these “atheist” works are developed off the BACK OF the work of RELIGIOUS MEN. Mendel, Father of Genetics: Catholic Priest. Copernicus, astronomer, Catholic Priest; Laurent Cassegrain, optics, likely namesake of the Cassegrain telescope; numerous Jesuits in Astronomy and Geology/Seismology; the first electric motor was built by a Benedictine monk named Andrew Gordon in the early 1700s; Athanasius Kircher, Jesuit Father of Egyptology; GEORGES LEMAITRE, FATHER OF THE BIG BANG THEORY etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_Catholic_cleric%E2%80%93scientists

        • b s

          Lovely.

          Now did all these people do what they did explicitly BECAUSE of their faith or in spite of it?

          • Anthony Kaiser

            BECAUSE OF, as the true religion believes that all good things come from God, and since God is the author of life and truth, anything that can be learned and put to good use for God’s people is to be valued. Leave it to HUMANS to put things to BAD USE.

            • b s

              So Mendel planted all of those peas only because he was a christian. Nobody else in the whole world could have done that, unless of course they were a christian as well. Hindus, buddhists, muslims, pagans, atheists, etc, could not have accomplished this. All of their contributions to the scientific world are useless.

              Is that about right?

            • Nandy Rewman

              Then apparently, by your logic, leave it to this god to make his number one source for salvation a bunch of fuck ups…Wait a minute, that doesn’t work with your belief system though, does it?

              Hmm, so this god is considered perfect, and his perfect creation is mankind, and mankind is a natural fuck up.

              How’s that belief system working out for ya?

        • allein

          Your caps lock key seems a little wonky…might want to get that checked out…

          • aaa

            I’m guessing something sticky on the keyboard. And maybe some one handed typing.

        • Pofarmer

          Most of those early scientists didn’t have any other way to be other than to be Catholic Clerics, and many of them could have accomplished much more if they didn’t have the monkey on their back of having to bend their work to fit church dogma, plus, refind all the stuff that the Church had lost or destroyed.

  • joey_in_NC

    I’m sure the monsignors’ marvelous magnanimity is much appreciated by those who are cold, hungry, and homeless.

    If you’d like to contribute to the relief efforts in the Philippines —
    to finance stuff of questionable importance, such as medical aid,
    building supplies, and blankets

    Of course if you send rosaries and Bibles, then that means you can’t possibly (like its against the laws of physics) send other stuff such as medical aid, buildings supplies, and blankets.

    • WallofSleep

      If you’re gonna waste resources sending shit to people that they neither need nor can practically use for relief, why not a bunch of old Swatch watches and some cheesy romance novels?

    • Terry Firma

      Let’s assume that they did. I’d still have a teensy problem with the considerable money, manpower, and logistical capital that went into sending religious trinkets that do exactly nothing to address the very acute problems on the ground.

      • joey_in_NC

        Are you close to any Catholic Filipinos, Terry?

        • Terry Firma

          I’m on a mission to help, Joey, so let me write your next comment for you and save you a minute:

          “Because if you were, you’d know that they treasure rosaries above having a place to sleep, scapulars over a warm fire, and Bibles over food. Trust me on this.”

          Close?

          • joey_in_NC

            Close?

            Wrong.

            • Terry Firma

              :-(

            • islandbrewer

              Ok, so… what is your wonderful insightful retort? C’mon! Don’t leave us hangin’!

        • https://soundcloud.com/eddieboydmusic flyb

          Many Filipinos are very religious and superstitious, but they are not stupid. For a split second after the box is opened, they might feel some joy at seeing something familiar and important to them that they may have lost, but they know it will not feed, hydrate, or clothe them. For the now, it is a poor effort. They need actual help.

    • unbound55

      That box (probably several boxes) took up space on a plane or boat that could have been used by boxes of food, medical supplies, and other immediately useful supplies. Things that will actually matter right now and for the next several months (and likely years).

      The catholics can send their garbage later when everyone is fed, housing re-established, and the medical well-being of the people is back up to speed.

      • dcl3500

        Hey now, don’t be trying to introduce joey_in_NC to logic and reason, that is just mean, mean I tell ya!

    • baal

      opportunity cost
      Having a few journalists visit is good since it gets the scale of the problem out. Having lots of journalists is bad since they dont add much to the info transfer but do eat and otherwise take up critical resources (plane seats and what have you).

  • TheUnknownPundit

    No doubt some Philippinos will rejoice over this type of aid. After all, it was Catholic Spain that colonized the islands back in the day.
    Man does not live by bread alone…he needs magic talismans too.

    • Lurker111

      Talismans can come in useful when hungry:

      “Come, little talisman, conjure me banana …”

      With apologies to Harry Belafonte.

    • Robert Carey

      …if by “colonize” you mean “debase, demean, and destroy the native beliefs and cultures, with a bit of plundering the natural resources, pillaging what valuables forcibly taken, and raping the young across gender lines on the side.” All (dis)courtesy of unthinking missionaries and the conquistadors of the Vatican’s bitch.

      To those who sent said magic talismans, give vitals (food, medicine, etc) or get bent.

  • https://soundcloud.com/eddieboydmusic flyb

    This is par for the course in the Philippines. The Catholic Church practically runs everything over there. Population and poverty are out of control, due in large part to the influence of the church. I lived in Manila for a time, and I was sad for the plight of such a beautiful people and culture. And I’m still sad now.

    • Khaltzane

      Thankfully the idiots in the Catholic Church don’t run the rest of the world or we would be plummeted back into the dark ages.

    • Miss_Beara

      There is a depressing documentary about that. I forgot what it was called but it was about how they tell the poor people who live in filth and unsafe homes that contraception and abortion leads to poverty and should be avoided at all costs. This poor woman had a few kids and could barely afford to send 1 to school and they play in garbage but somehow family planning leads to more poverty. The bigwigs in the RCC that are making all of these rules should live like these people but they are too busy in their grand untaxed churches, I am assuming the churches there are untaxed as well, and power hungry to control sexuality to care about the people forever stuck in poverty.

      It makes me seethe with anger and it hurts my heart.

      • https://soundcloud.com/eddieboydmusic flyb

        And if they want to get contraception of some kind, it is too expensive and not easily accessible. I saw condoms in stores but they were expensive and probably there mostly for the foreigners in the area. I can’t imagine some poor 16-yr-old walking into the 7-11 or pharmacy to buy condoms considering the stigma associated with that. And that’s too bad, because teen pregnancy is quite high.

        There was a law passed (miraculously) last year I think that would make it easier and cheaper to obtain contraception, but last I heard it was being held up in the court system. Even if it survives there is still an uphill information war to wage against the Catholic propaganda machine.

        The doc you mentioned sounds interesting. I’ll see if I can find it.

  • C_Reason

    Are these victims supposed to be praying for help to the exact same god who decided to let this disaster befall them in the first place? What’s up with that? Do they have some reason to think he’ll be in a more charitable mood now than he was earlier, when they were praying to him to PREVENT this from happening?

    • The Other Weirdo

      Well, it’s like this. Christianity is like a bad marriage. When the husbands beats the crap out of the wife because of whatever weirdo mental freakout he is having, she is supposed to apologize to which he’ll reply, “You see what you make me do?” Same here. When you get smited, you are supposed to grovel before the feet of the Mighty Smiter™, tell him how unworthy you are of his attention, but begging him nonetheless not to do that to you again. And again, and again, and again.

      • Itarion

        Oh stop your grovelling! If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s when people grovel!

  • http://www.twitter.com/alansimpson jediofpool

    Now I feel like an idiot; I only gave money.

    • Terry Firma

      Same here. I didn’t even think to send along a few copies of The God Delusion. How stupid of me.

      • Alierias

        I read that while last visiting my evengelical inlaws. I haven’t been invited back yet — Mission Accomplished !

        • dcl3500

          Heh, now that is a good one. I just told mine to piss off and leave us alone, then we moved out of state and halfway across the country. That worked too.

        • Rationalist1

          I told mine that if you go back far enough in time my ancestors and my son’s guinea pig ancestors are one and the same. They were aghast that I would think such a thing.

  • Felicia

    In my misguided Catholic youth, I would likely have viewed this as an extremely kind, compassionate thing to do. Which makes me cringe to think I ever bought into the madness.

    • joey_in_NC

      In my misguided Catholic youth, I would likely have viewed this as an extremely kind, compassionate thing to do.

      Guess what Terry? There are STILL Catholics in the Philippines, people who do view this as an extremely kind, compassionate thing to do!

      Who are YOU to tell them it isn’t.

      • Glasofruix

        Well, they could make use of toilet paper or firestarters, both roles suitable for a bunch of bibles.

        • Elly

          Only if the bibles come in two ply.

      • Shiori_hime

        Every news report I have seen on the typhoon has shown people begging for things like food and water. I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the vast majority of people would rather get food, water, medical care, and help and/or supplies for (re)building their homes than religious paraphernalia .

        • ScottG

          “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

        • JohnnieCanuck

          Clearly you misunderstood what they were saying in the news clips. They were desperately trying to replace their rosaries and Bibles that God’s cyclone destroyed.

          What will be needed next will be funds and construction materials to rebuild the cathedrals and churches. Once the peoples’ spiritual needs have been met they will be better able to withstand the starvation and disease.

          If not then their suffering will finally be over and then their Catholic friends in faraway places can rest assured that the rosaries will have helped to find them a place in Heaven.

          • Feral Dog

            No, once their PHYSICAL needs are met they will be better able to withstand starvation and disease. That’s a medical fact. Decent roads, schools, and hospitals will help the Filipino people far more than rebuilding some money-grubbing church ever would. Rosaries and Bibles won’t feed or shelter anyone, won’t save someone’s rotted leg, and won’t keep the disease-spreading mosquitoes out. Food feeds people, homes shelter people, doctors save legs, and nets keep out mosquitoes.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Pretty sure JohnnieCanuck is being quite sarcastic.

              • http://www.danaeayusso.com/ Danae Ayusso

                Yeah, i totally picked up on that. Oh how i wish there was infliction in internet land.

                • paulalovescats

                  Inflection. There’s plenty of infliction already.

                • WheresMyItalix

                  You WOULD like that, WOULDN’T you?!

              • Feral Dog

                Yeah, reading the comment again, I don’t know where my sarcasm detector went the first time around.

            • Atheist

              At least the Bibles make for good fireplace fuel.

              • Xcatlic

                …. or toilet paper

            • JohnnieCanuck

              Everything you say in your response is true. Only the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and the Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate along with the pro-life(?) prayer support group ‘Rosary for Life’ could get it so wrong.

            • Nogodforme

              Sarcasm, dude! Look it up! Sheesh!

          • paulalovescats

            Don’t forget to gold-plate everything!

          • Oskar

            And clearly the gifts will help them understand the reasons God had for inflicting the damage on them that He did. At a minimum they will be far more comfortable with the ineffability of it all

            • Michael Spagnuolo

              It was probably caused by the small children being bad. The 12,000 rosaries and 10,000 scapulars will help them be good so this will not happen again.

          • William Eberline

            Ah! SARCASM!

          • Nathan Poe

            Really not sure if this is a Poe?

            • JohnnieCanuck

              To be unsure if it is a Poe, you need to believe you can’t tell if you can’t tell if it is sarcasm.

              (It’s sarcasm.) Heavy sarcasm, I thought, but YMMV.

      • Terry Firma

        Huh? Who you talkin’ to Willis?

      • James Stevenson

        You’re right… To hell with money, food and shelter! All people from all nations should supply people having suffered from disaster with Atheist literature! That is a far more compassionate thing to do.

        Just because you THINK it’s compassionate doesn’t mean squat if the people deprived out of house and home suffer all the same.

        • Trey Havens

          sometimes faith is all you need.

          • Trey Havens

            jesus said he could live on the word alone, and he multiplied the loaves and the fish.

            • 3lemenope

              He also died screaming, nailed to a piece of wood.

              Not the go-to guy for advice on how not to get dead, it seems.

            • James Stevenson

              How many believers live by prayer alone? Don’t exactly see Christians sitting at a table, praying, and the bread and fish multiply so the family never has to get any further food. It’s not terribly uncommon for believers to eschew things like medical care because they think god will care for them. But they don’t prayer for everything else to be taken care of. Hypocrites.

              So no the very actions of Christians themselves show that to be false. For you to try and defend the actions of Christians who suddenly want to turn that inaction into a virtue is disgusting. I’m not arguing that rosaries and the like can provide some emotional comfort and that’s decent. But considering at the time the problem was clogged supply lanes, if those rosaries denied food to even ONE person who died it was NOT worth it.

              • Trey Havens

                im done here. you guys are all atheists. i cannot believe i was stupid enough to come on here

                • James Stevenson

                  ‘I’m done here you guys are all atheists’.

                  So what? You’re going to go back to a primarily Christian forum? Because preaching to the converted is hard right? Kind of grating how many Christians just side step the whole issue. Who did you hope to convince by uttering vague sentiments?

                  ‘Jesus said he could live on the word alone, and he multiplied the loaves and the fish’.

                  Even if I accept your premise. That statement says that JESUS could live on the word alone. It says nothing about all the word-fulfilled Christians that are supposedly getting through life without any other world sustainment. And considering in your view he’s God I’m absolutely SHOCKED that that would be the case.

                  Then you go suddenly off into a multiplication of food. But in this case there was no food multiplied. So how does just throwing out bible fragments actually show anything when the example we’re dealing with here shows the opposite?

                • baal

                  Shocking to find atheists on an atheist blog. One day I hope that I can be as brave as you and spam irrational comments on a christian blog and then call you all christians (as an insult) as I slam the door and huff out.

            • baal

              I’d be more impressed if he divided them by Zero.

          • 3lemenope

            And sometimes you need food, clothing, and shelter. Like, for example, when you don’t have them. Your attitude is pretty fucking common among people who have never experienced being deprived of those things by circumstance.

            Tell you what. Go outside your home, do not return or take other shelter, and don’t eat. Do this for seven days. Pray as much as you like. Get back to us on how you feel about the sentiment: “Sometimes faith is all you need”. If you still harbor idiotic notions, add seven more days. Repeat until you figure it out or die from exposure.

          • baal

            Other times, it really helps to think a little or get some help from another person.

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

        Well, Joey_in_NC, who are you to ask who is she to tell them. But then again, who am I to ask who are you to ask who is she to tell them?

      • Spuddie

        Suddenly people are immune from criticism for organized efforts which are patently wasteful and stupid? No.

        Compassionate idiocy is still idiocy. This was a waste of money, time, logistical resources to people in a desperate situation.

        The world can do without well intended wasteful stupidity.

      • God’s Starship

        It won’t keep them warm, fed, or dry. It will slow down the delivery of items that will keep them warm, fed and dry. Bottom line is you’re delusional. Hierarchy of Needs and all that.

      • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

        Wow really?

        Yeah OK, we’ll just toss a couple sheep and a virgin into the volcano and everything will be fine.

        This is an atheist page, you’re not going to find a lot of people sympathetic to your line of not-thinking.

      • Rationalist1

        The thing is Joey_in_NC people see the Catholic Church donating Bibles and rosaries as a priority and view it as appalling, even some Catholics. They are the ones on the edge and events like this push them over, maybe not to atheism, but to no longer wanting to be associated with the Church.

      • michael denis

        so there is still deluded people in the Philippines then

        • The Other Weirdo

          And elsewhere.

      • The Other Weirdo

        So are you suggesting that if we find somebody doing something they think is an extremely kind, compassionate thing to do, but is actually quite harmful, we are not to tell them so? That’s the exact attitude that caused all the witch burnings back in the good old days, people thinking they were being helpful.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        There are Muslim women who view their own loss of parts of their genitalia as a kind, compassionate action. And in loving kindness, they want to do the same for their own daughters.

        Who are YOU to tell them it isn’t.

      • Jon Weaver

        If they are handing out food and include a Bible, that’s one thing. If they are just handing out Bibles they are assholes!

      • b s

        “There are STILL Catholics in the Philippines, people who do view this as an extremely kind, compassionate thing to do!

        Who are YOU to tell them it isn’t.”

        Joey, can you tell us exactly how sending somebody a book or a necklace when everything they own has been destroyed is either kind or compassionate?

      • Dr. Heath Motley

        Who is she? She’s a compassionate persons who has a little common sense and reason. That’s all a person needs. The masses are ignorant sheep.

      • paulalovescats

        I think this is sarcasm.

      • Miss_Beara

        What are bibles and rosaries suppose to do for the babies born before and after the typhoon? There is no power, unsafe water and very little food. There are sick people who lost their medications and could die or be seriously ill, add lack of food and water in that situation, how are bibles and rosaries suppose to help them? They are already a very Catholic country so how on earth is more bibles and more rosaries suppose to help people who are desperate for basic necessities to live?

      • Michael Spagnuolo

        Joey, do you not understand these people are “cold, hungry, and homeless”. Try to put yourself in their place; now try to put yourself in their place with kids.

      • Barry

        @joey_in_NC, Who is she to tell them it isn’t? Simple. A person who can see the valuable resources being wasted when there are far more responsible and LOGICAL uses for the kind of manpower and finances thrown into distributing “spiritual aids” to people who would better benefit from a hot meal and a blanket. That is who. If there is a caring God up there, I can’t imagine said being would endorse using a disaster as a marketing campaign when these people could be doing something genuinely helpful. If there is a loving God up there who cares for the plight of these people, why doesn’t he get off of his lazy, egocentric backside and stop just sitting there and watching while the imperfect, fragile, simple creature that is supposedly the pinnacle of his creation, his special little creature, suffers as a result of his own shoddy workmanship. These morons need to quite trying to help and perhaps seek some professional help themselves. I pity these do-good-by-doing-nothing Catholics even more than I do the survivors of the event itself. I pity them because they are so astoundingly ignorant that they honestly think that peddling fairy tails will miraculously help these people.

      • kaydenpat

        Could they feed, shelter and clothe the typhoon survivors first before handing out religious paraphernalia? Wouldn’t that make more sense in an emergency situation?

      • Olive Markus

        I’d bet real money that the only reason they donated these rosaries was because they had a massive amount of extras lying around. That’s the way these things usually work when dealing with a group that hands these things out like Halloween candy. There is need of money for food, shelter and medical assistance, not dusty rosaries that were sitting in some conference room for the last three years. Generous my ass.

        Before you made this comment, did you stop and think for ONE SECOND what you would do with a box of rosaries if you and your children were literally starving and needing medical attention and they were given to you in place of, say, food or medicine?

      • richar1

        its not compassion its some misguided effort. the contribution of medical kits , blankets , food are worth more the tons of bibles.

      • Nandy Rewman

        Because medicine, food, money, clothes, shelter and so on are more important.

      • Anthony Lund

        Um

      • Thebiglebowski

        Everyone, you’re feeding the best troll on this page – Joey_in_NC. All I can say is bravo, the way you perfectly captured the ignorant idiocy of the modern christian was so believable and insidious, I can do nothing more than applaud at how you led on a majority of the contributors on this page. Bravo, good sir, bravo.

      • Ross Rasmussen

        Yeah, I’s starving and have no place to live. Thanks for all the trouble you went to airlift me a rosary? Get off your knees and DO something that will really help.

    • Abbé Faria

      My great aunt went to China to hand out bibles in the middle of a famine. She came out of it an atheist.

    • Michael Spagnuolo

      You are in excellent company Felicia. But rather than cringe, let’s be grateful that we escaped the madness…

  • Fentwin

    Rosaries? As useless as a boat load of Lupines.

    • Alex Harman

      LOL! “Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, riding through the land…”

      • Khaltzane

        He steals from the poor and gives to the rich…

      • Nick Rowley

        That would be lupins.

        Fentwin might have been going for that but might also have been referring to wolves.

  • WallofSleep

    Isn’t it kind of counter productive or counter intuitive to send a bunch of books about an infantile god that punishes sinners with natural disasters as “relief” to a region that just suffered a natural disaster? I would think something like that might backfire.

    • Stev84

      They are too caught up in the superstition to see that.

  • Stev84

    You can rip up the Bible and burn it to keep you warm. Unfortunately the rosaries are less suitable for keeping a fire going.

    • The Other Weirdo

      I dunno. Aren’t some of them made of wood?

      • Stev84

        Not a lot of wood.

      • paulalovescats

        I’m sure they sent the cheap $2 versions of plastic.

  • Simon G

    They ripped you a new asshole on Reddit because of this article

    • Terry Firma

      Haven’t seen anything. Got a link? Thanks!

  • Alierias

    Hey, if they manage to keep the books dry, they’ll make great kindling — it’s raining there again…

  • Art_Vandelay

    Sorry…I can’t not post this.

    • WallofSleep

      That should go in the OP, or maybe the next one on the same topic. Priceless.

    • The Other Weirdo

      White peeps telling black peeps what’s good for them? Hmm… That sounds familiar.

      • http://www.danaeayusso.com/ Danae Ayusso

        I think they are more coffee with cream in color, or perhaps a lovely sepia or raw umber, not so much black. We’re talking about the Philippines right, not Haiti?

        • The Other Weirdo

          I was responding to the picture above.

        • Feral Dog

          The Philippines has Negrito peoples.

          (note: Yes that’s an actual term for a specific group of semi-related Melanesian cultures in the area and not some racial slur)

    • James Stevenson

      Just checked out the website for that and I think another part of me died (lots of little dead parts of me here and there from all the religious news). There specifically a part where they’ve replied to someone calling them out on their less-than-material help.

      Went into a line about ‘well firstly we buy bibles in Haiti we don’t ship them in’ before going STRAIGHT into tripe about ‘we don’t ship rice in because otherwise the rice farmers in the country suffer economic hardship from no one buying their rice… that’s why we’re buying bibles instead!’

      I mean seriously… with the two sentences right next to each other they don’t see the irony at all. Showing foresight on how charity can have negative aspects on other aspects and people is a fine trait… so why not just buy the damn rice? Why is it ok to buy bibles… but if you have to buy rice… nah its bibles iz better!

      Don’t even get me started on what about the rest of the people who can’t get food after you’ve bought as much as is available on the countries market at the time… My head :(

    • Hilda Whitby

      How do you know that man didn’t ALSO give her food?

      How do you know she didn’t ASK for a Bible?

      I’ll tell you one thing I know – HE’S in Haiti with that woman, and you’re comfy in the United States in front of a computer.

      And he knows that woman’s NAME. He actually TALKS to her.

      You don’t.

      • WallofSleep

        You’re engaging in just as much speculation as those you presume to lecture for speculating. And all in the same comment. Poor form.

      • Art_Vandelay

        Do you know that I’m not actually Jesus? No…you don’t. Do you? I’ll tell you one thing I know…I’m motherhumping Jesus. Of course I know her name. Who do you think made that earthquake in the first place?

        • Hilda Whitby

          Ah. Retreat to flippancy. How trite.

          • Art_Vandelay

            I just think it’s a funny picture. I’m sure he’s a very nice man. I do however do my fair share of charity work as well but I don’t have photo-ops where I’m converting people to atheism in exchange for a sandwich.

      • Bender

        How do you know that man didn’t ALSO give her food?
        How do you know she didn’t ASK for a Bible?

        By her face.

        • Hilda Whitby

          Oh, THAT’S an objective criterion,

          • Nandy Rewman

            And you naturally felt the need to imply ‘also give her food’ without actually knowing yourself whether or not he gave her food, and yet you’re unpleasant around us for that very reason? Irony.

      • islandbrewer

        Please, get down off the cross. We can use the wood.

      • kaydenpat

        I hope he also gave her some food, clothing, etc. I think you would agree that in an emergency situation, giving someone a Bible is not really all that helpful to meeting their material needs.

  • WallofSleep

    “Sorry about all the flooding and typhoons and the famine and disease that come along with it, but here… this is a cool little book full of stories about how it’s probably all your fault this shit happened in the first place. Enjoy.”

    • mtn85

      “There’s a plan in here on how to build a boat next time a typhoon comes. It can fit 2 of every animal on earth so you should be able to save everyone in the country.”

  • SpaceChief

    typical useless BS – how many more food rations would have been shipped in place of the space taken up by crap. Also, Terry – I can’t imagine a cold day in the P.I., ever been there? A native mid-westerner, I was perpetually time-thrown in the Navy (70′s) as the stifling heat made me think it was July, not January.

    • Terry Firma

      Depends on the elevation and the time of day. Sure, overall, and on average, it’s hot in the Philippines. But I’d really like a blanket if the mercury dips below 50ºF. http://www.ausinformer.com/baguio-in-philippines-recorded-its-lowes-temperature-at-9-5-degrees/

      • SpaceChief

        that’s quite chilly for them, to be sure. quite an anomaly (but hey with climate change, maybe not so much?) Anyhow, I am fiercely defensive in favor of the PI, I think we screwed them royally after WWII

    • Jesse Sinclair

      It’s subjectively warm there, but not objectively warm there.

      By this I mean the human body needs to keep itself at 37 degrees (uh, 98 F or something close I think). So while 20-28 (68-82F) seems warm its actually still requiring your body to expend energy to keep yourself warm.

      When you’re well fed and healthy this expenditure is negligible. When you’re starving and wet and yet constantly having to work through the day to rebuild… it can most definitely kill you.

      It’s simple calorie math. It might only cost a few hundred calories, but when you aren’t getting enough to function in the first place those few hundred calories are what push you over the edge.

      • SpaceChief

        Jesse – IT just about NEVER gets that cold (below 70) in the PI, not even in Monsoon season. Not at night – not during the day. http://weatherspark.com/averages/33313/11/Metro-Manila-Philippines I kid you not. It does NOT get that cold – ever. I also have several lifelong (since early adulthood) Filipino friends , who will tell you the same.

        Also, as one who has had to do 30+ hours straight working HARD and awake several times in their clime – going 20 or so hours without food – I have a reasonable Idea of the stress.

        That said, it is the country I have the greatest respect for outside of the US. They (our former territory and staunch, fiercely brave ally in WWII) were royally screwed by us after WWII as we turned a blind eye to the abuses of Marcos in the 60′s/70′s so as to maintain our bases there without ‘hassles’. That’s much like Bahrain today. I celebrated with local Filipinos upon the successful bloodless coup that followed the assassination of Aquino, and mourned with them when he was shot. I turned to a Filipino friend upon the heinous act – within minutes actually – and told him it would be the beginning of Marcos end.

        He wasn’t so sure, but surely it was.

        It is the ONLY country aside of the US who’s output I seek out in terms of products and services as a matter of preferences for those reasons. I hope to support them in many ways, including cash for this disaster.

        When I see the way Republicans are, especially during the Bush years – I think to the days in the P.I. and the fear the commoner there had. One did not speak Marcos name out loud – even to compliment him for the one thing he did right (education, which also was his undoing) – even in closed quarters. They were that fearful that a neighbor might ‘rat them out’. Marcos was brutal at times while feigning a friendly outer image to the rest of the world.

        In any case – bibles in lieu of food/essentials is sheer insanity.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    How many calories are in rosaries and scapulars? Can you eat them raw, or do you have to boil them first?

    A few million eucharists would have been a little more nourishing, and if they were all blessed, the animal protein would be even more beneficial for starving people.

    • WallofSleep

      “This flesh tastes oddly like a stale cracker. Hmm… I think I’ll try chewing on that necklace some more.”

  • Brendan Egan

    Were they candy rosaries? At least then they would be able to keep their blood sugar up. Or something.

  • WallofSleep

    In a nutshell…

  • atheismFTW

    Let those Catholics busy themselves with making rosaries to disaster-striken populations. Let them be known for bringing inconsiderate gifts to people who are desperate for food, clothing, and shelter. Let them use their money for non-political things like this.

    This is our chance as atheists to rise up with our secular charities. People will come to realize that we are here to help them for humanity’s sake, not for brownie points with God.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Well, if they are cold, they can always burn those bibles for heat, assuming they have dry matches or flamethrowers.

  • Itarion

    Okay, I’ve not read the article, just the title, and I’m doing what it says. Bibles. They’re giving bibles and crosses. There’s precedence for this, I think it’s a solid guess.

    Edit:

    At least 1,000 copies of Tagalog Bibles from the Episcopal Commission

    BAM. Nailed it. among other things.

  • Randy Meyer

    I’m sure some of those Bibles will be put to good use. Paper can burn to make fires burn!

  • Spectrall

    In the context of a super-duper Catholic country like the Philippines, might this actually be a nice thing to do? In trying time, people do need emotional comfort.

    • WallofSleep

      Yeah. They’ll get those bibles and think “Oh, right. Jesus. How silly of me, I forgot all about him. Death, destruction, famine, disease; it all looks better now. Thanks for reminding me.”

      • aaa

        Hasa Diga Eebowai

      • Spectrall

        Man, if only sardonic internet comments were what people devastated by natural disaster needed, I’d work with you and we’ve have the situation handled in short order.

        • WallofSleep

          Shit, we might even bring about world peace with a dynamic like that. I say we get right on it, partner!

  • Jeffrey Hitchin

    I haven’t done an actual facepalm in a while until I read this article, at which point I facepalmed so hard I almost bloodied my nose. Now I feel all bad for only giving money.

  • JA

    Unless those rosaries are edible, I’m not seeing how they’re going to help.

  • Tammy Jenks

    What about some food, all they have done is pray, I work with a family from the area when I asked one of them she said all of her family is safe thank god, yes I still believe but respect all views, it bought tears to her eyes, they need money, food help. Not some religious relics, wwjd, not that you catholic idiots!!!!!!

  • LesterBallard

    Give me a rosary, you fucks, and I’ll use it as anal beads.

  • Sandy Knottygirl Bumps

    At least they got something to start fires with?
    *sarcasm*

  • Gary Burnaska

    You know you can do BOTH, hand out your holy books and give out food and water. Even Jesus kept the wine flowing and invented the all you can eat fish fry.

    • FTP_LTR

      Fish paste sandwiches for 5000. Now that’s a caterer.

  • sam

    Thanks for that link to a definition of “scapulars”. I first read that as “scapulas”. I know Catholics want to crawl inside of womens’ wombs and legislate, but that interpretation was a bit extreme even for them.

    • Stev84

      Did you confuse it with “speculum”? Scapula is the latin/medical term for for the shoulder blade.

      • islandbrewer

        Ack! Why do Catholics want to stick their shoulder blades into women’s vaginas?

  • Gehennah

    Such a waste of money that could have gone to something useful, I don’t know, say tents, food, water, medication, or anything else that they actually need to survive over there.

  • Hilda Whitby

    You might mention that the rosaries are being packed in *with relief supplies* from Catholic Charities. And that Rosaries for Life is ALSO sending people to actually GO there and physically help. But that would probably make for an accurate article that didn’t make your enemies look bad.

    By the way, I know that Neo-Atheists don’t understand it (and anything THEY don’t understand must be just STUPID, right?), but people who have experienced disasters actually DO find comfort in spiritual things, and actually DO find it psychologically helpful to know that people are doing things like praying for them. In fact, they usually ASK for prayers. How silly of them.

    And these folks are giving them prayers. AND food. AND relief supplies. AND actual humans to visit and comfort them.

    You? You posted a LINK. Must have taken a TON of effort.

    • WallofSleep

      When I start sending korans and prayer rugs to tornado survivors in the mid-west, can I count on you to STFU about that part completely, so long as I include some oatmeal? Somehow I doubt it.

      • Hilda Whitby

        If there are Muslims affected in such areas, I think that would be a wonderful gesture.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      Rosaries and bibles take space. That space could be used for actually necessary items.

      It’s great that people are helping and sending food and money and even going over there. It really is. Yay all of them! But need right now is desperate, and to take up any space with useless crap is a waste of time and resources better spent elsewhere.

    • kaydenpat

      Good to hear that food and relief supplies are also being sent.

  • DougI

    Fundies are so pleased when disasters like this happen since they see death and misery as a great time to preach religion. They are despicable, immoral people.

  • Bernie

    There are two basic needs the Church addresses: 1) physical needs (care for the poor, hungry, health care, housing… all those things the Church calls the physical works of mercy), and 2) the spiritual needs of people (their sense of purpose, personal spirituality, the meaning of life, suffering and death, which are addressed by the Church’s liturgy, works of art, teaching/preaching, and prayer –addressed by the Church through its spiritual works of mercy.) Obviously atheists do not acknowledge spiritual needs except in a psychological/chemical sense. Their only interest is in physical matter. That’s fine, but then there are many –many– people around the world who want the other kind of spiritual needs addressed and they respond well when those perceived needs are addressed through religion. Terry Firma would deny them that. They shouldn’t be allowed those kinds of needs. Now the Christian Churches have done a rather good job performing the physical works of mercy for a couple of thousand years. It was, for example, the Catholic Church which founded the first hospital as a physical work of mercy, and the modern university system as a spiritual work of mercy. I should think that it is not necessary to enumerate the vast works of physical mercy performed today throughout the entire world by the Church and other religions along side secular organizations and often in cooperation with them. Unfortunately, Terry Firma, delivers a rather low blow in this posting, failing to note the physical relief efforts being mounted by various religious organizations to help the victims of this monster storm. The efforts are not insignificant. I belong to a Catholic fraternal organization devoted to charity of both the physical and spiritual kind. We are collecting funds to address the physical needs of the people of this horrible disaster. I suppose Terry would approve. Terry would prefer, however, that Catholics not provide for the locals’ spiritual needs. He has decided that the locals –who are overwhelmingly Catholic– do not have spiritual needs because HE doesn’t believe in spiritual needs, at least as defined by the victims. Thankfully we do not live in a theocracy but, thankfully, we also do not (yet) live in the equivalent atheistic society. Terry’s post is rather nasty and unfair.

    • Anathema

      Obviously atheists do not acknowledge spiritual needs except in a psychological/chemical sense. Their only interest is in physical matter.That’s fine, but then there are many –many– people around the world who want the other kind of spiritual needs addressed and they respond well when those perceived needs are addressed through religion. Terry Firma would deny them that.

      If the Catholic Church wants to meet their spiritual needs, then that’s fine. The problem is that, in the wake of a disaster like Typhoon Haiyan, physical needs have to be given priority. We have limited means to transport goods. Those Bibles and rosaries are taking up space that could have been given to food or medical supplies.

      The Church can go ahead and take care of the typhoon victims’ spiritual needs. I don’t really care. But Catholic groups should make sure that their efforts to do so don’t hinder efforts to take care of their physical needs. If these groups want to donate Bibles or rosaries to the Philippines, they should wait until relief workers have been able to take care of everyone’s basic physical needs.

      Now the Christian Churches have done a rather good job performing the physical works of mercy for a couple of thousand years. It was, for example, the Catholic Church which founded the first hospital as a physical work of mercy, and the modern university system as a spiritual work of mercy.

      While I’m sure that the Catholic Church has founded a lot of hospitals, it did not found the first hospital. There were hospitals before Catholicism developed. But that’s beside the point.

      How is building a hospital or founding a university analogous to taking up space that could be used to send basic necessities to the victims of a natural disaster with rosaries and Bibles?

      No one here is saying that the Catholic Church has never, ever done anything good. No one is saying that Catholic organizations and individuals never do anything to help people. What we’re saying is that a few specific Catholic organizations are being counter-productive in their attempts to help the victims of a specific natural disaster.

      . Unfortunately, Terry Firma, delivers a rather low blow in this posting, failing to note the physical relief efforts being mounted by various religious organizations to help the victims of this monster storm. The efforts are not insignificant. I belong to a Catholic fraternal organization devoted to charity of both the physical and spiritual kind. We are collecting funds to address the physical needs of the people of this horrible disaster.

      Good for you. And good for your organization. I wish that all Catholic organizations were like the one that you belong to.

      (Also, as a side-note, you might want to include paragraph breaks the next time you post a comment. Walls of text can be rather daunting. Paragraph breaks generally make things much more readable.)

      • Bernie

        I am not sure there is any evidence to support your suggestion that the transport and delivery of rosaries and all might be interfering with the delivery of needed physical care. I have not heard anything remotely like that.

        Atheists and Christians (Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc.) have a basic difference of opinion on the meaning of life and mankind’s ultimate end. To atheists this is all there is, the physical world and it’s processes of physical cause and effect and chemical reactions. Everything can be explained in those terms. There is no meaning to life beyond that. To ‘religionists’, however, there is a supernatural end for man, a supernatural meaning to life, pain, suffering and death. That end is meaningless to atheists because the supernatural can not be weighed or measured or observed. To atheists reality is only that which can be measured, repeated and verified.

        To the atheist, nothing can trump caring for the physical needs of people for spiritual/supernatural needs do not really exist, for ‘spiritual’ feelings people have are really only chemical reactions in the brain and can be addressed by providing for physical needs.

        The atheist cannot address the issue of the meaning of life, suffering, and death beyond physical explanation. Praying the rosary in times of distress, while standing in the midst of devastation seems silly to atheists. Praying or reading a Bible at such times seems useless and severs no real purpose for there is nothing beyond the devastation that surrounds him. It would be better if the person just hopelessly endure his situation. At least he would be dealing with reality!

        Actually, Christians also acknowledge a certain priority to the physical needs of people. Jesus, remember, “went about doing good”. There are numerous stories of Jesus curing and healing people –”so that you might believe”. Believe what? To believe that the world, that appears so often to be unjust and broken, can be made right. That there is hope. That there is meaning even in suffering.

        Are rosaries more important than food? No. But they can be just as important for some. It is not a question of either/or, but both. Must we harbor such resentment of believers and religion that we would deny them aid that addresses both their perceived physical and spiritual needs just to be nasty, just because we don’t think they have spiritual/supernatural needs?

        It is not just the charity of the Knights of Columbus (to which I referred) –which, by-the-way, has a very large presence in the Philippines– but the charity of numerous Christian and other religious bodies that are responding to the needs of the victims of this storm right along with secular and governmental agencies. Catholic Relief Services alone is a huge operation that is continually responding to the physical needs of people around the world whether those victims are Catholic or not. Then, of course there are those local dioceses and churches, temples, mosques that are also responding, helping there own local people. I sense that you do not have much knowledge of the immense extent of the charity provided by organized religion around the world.

        I would be most interested in knowing of any reported incidents of the delivery of rosaries and Bibles interfering with the delivery of physical aid.

        Let’s admit that, deep down, the “Friendly Atheist” post was a nasty manifestation of the author’s contempt for religion. It is nothing I would expect from a serious, thoughtful atheist.

        As to the history of the development of the modern hospital: I suggest you do some research. We may simply have a different understanding of what we mean by “hospital”.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Please to leave Jews out of your bullshit, thank you. They put saving life paramount above all else, which means if someone wanted to send Torahs or Bibles above food they would be lectured about what “help” and “tzedakah” (charity, good works) means and told to donate food or money which would actually help.

          I don’t know enough about Muslims, Hindus, or other religions to know what they do. Given that their disaster relief seems to always take the form of solely useful items, however, I’m pretty sure you can put this stupidity down to Christians alone.

          If you want to save lives, save lives. If you want to help, help. If you want to proselytize and in so doing prevent others from helping by taking up space, then GTFO.

          • Bernie

            I don’t think, Feminerd, that I suggested that Bibles (or Torahs) should be sent before food or instead of food. Where did I say that?

            I have, as yet, not heard anyone here provide evidence that anyone is being prevented from helping the victims of the storm by taking up space through the shipment of rosaries (which are rather small things). I don’t think any such thing is actually happening. Perhaps you can cite a news story to the contrary.

            You are quite right that the Jews put saving life above all else and so do the Christians because, well, Christianity was born out of Judaism and retains the basic social concerns of the Jews. That’s why the phrase or term Judeo-Christian is often used.

            I have not suggested that religious items should be sent instead of food. I have suggested that sending those items does not contradict or interfere with providing physical aid and, in fact, expands help by addressing other needs. That is the lie that is being perpetrated here, that Catholics are sending religious items but not food, clothing, etc. There is a huge effort being mounted by the Catholic Church and it’s affiliated organizations to address the crisis with physical aid. We can say the same for other Christians and other religions.

            Why must you be so insulting?

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              No. Some Christians send Bibles instead of food. That is not putting life first. That is putting death and afterlife first. It is opposite of the Jewish ethos.

              Sending religious items to a place with limited airstrips, limited ability to handle logistics, and clear and obvious suffering from want of food, clean water, shelter, clothes, and medical care is a travesty. You are taking up valuable cargo space on a plane that could be used for additional helpful aid, and you are taking up landing slots that could be used for 100% helpful aid. You are forcing people who need to check in and distribute aid to figure out what to do with religious paraphernalia instead of focusing on saving lives. Every Bible, every rosary, displaces things that could save lives. That’s despicable. I am not insulting anything, unless you consider my unvarnished opinion to be an insult. What these bishops are doing is a travesty and it is horrible and it is stupid and it betrays a terrible lack of empathy.

              Like I said, if you want to help, help. Send food, blankets, money. Great! Many Catholics are. Many people are. But this group is also sending useless crap, and I will call them out for it.

              • Bernie

                You’ve had the last word, my friend.

      • Bernie

        I am not sure there is any evidence to support your suggestion that
        the transport and delivery of rosaries and all might be interfering with
        the delivery of needed physical care. I have not heard anything
        remotely like that.

        Atheists and Christians (Jews,
        Muslims, Hindus, etc.) have a basic difference of opinion on the meaning
        of life and mankind’s ultimate end. To atheists this is all there is,
        the physical world and it’s processes of physical cause and effect and
        chemical reactions. Everything can be explained in those terms. There is
        no meaning to life beyond that. To ‘religionists’, however, there is a
        supernatural end for man, a supernatural meaning to life, pain,
        suffering and death. That end is meaningless to atheists because the
        supernatural can not be weighed or measured or observed. To atheists
        reality is only that which can be measured, repeated and verified.

        To
        the atheist, nothing can trump caring for the physical needs of people
        for spiritual/supernatural needs do not really exist, for ‘spiritual’
        feelings people have are really only chemical reactions in the brain and
        can be addressed by providing for physical needs.

        The
        atheist cannot address the issue of the meaning of life, suffering, and
        death beyond physical explanation. Praying the rosary in times of
        distress, while standing in the midst of devastation seems silly to
        atheists. Praying or reading a Bible at such times seems useless and
        severs no real purpose for there is nothing beyond the devastation that
        surrounds him. It would be better if the person just hopelessly endure
        his situation. At least he would be dealing with reality!

        Actually,
        Christians also acknowledge a certain priority to the physical needs of
        people. Jesus, remember, “went about doing good”. There are numerous
        stories of Jesus curing and healing people –”so that you might
        believe”. Believe what? To believe that the world, that appears so often
        to be unjust and broken, can be made right. That there is hope. That
        there is meaning even in suffering.

        Are rosaries more
        important than food? No. But they can be just as important for some. It
        is not a question of either/or, but both. Must we harbor such resentment
        of believers and religion that we would deny them aid that addresses
        both their perceived physical and spiritual needs just to be nasty, just
        because we don’t think they have spiritual/supernatural needs?

        It
        is not just the charity of the Knights of Columbus (to which I
        referred) –which, by-the-way, has a very large presence in the
        Philippines– but the charity of numerous Christian and other religious
        bodies that are responding to the needs of the victims of this storm
        right along with secular and governmental agencies. Catholic Relief
        Services alone is a huge operation that is continually responding to the
        physical needs of people around the world whether those victims are
        Catholic or not. Then, of course there are those local dioceses and
        churches, temples, mosques that are also responding, helping there own local people. I sense that you do not have much knowledge of the immense extent of the charity provided by organized religion around the world.

        I would be most interested in knowing of any reported incidents of the delivery of rosaries and Bibles interfering with the delivery of physical aid.

        Let’s
        admit that, deep down, the “Friendly Atheist” post was a nasty
        manifestation of the author’s contempt for religion. It is nothing I
        would expect from a serious, thoughtful atheist.

        As to the history of the development of the modern hospital: I suggest you do some research. We may simply have a different understanding of what we mean by “hospital”.

    • Stev84

      They don’t need Bibles and rosaries to meet their “spirtual needs”. At all. That can be done by a priest or social worker who talks to them.

      • Bernie

        Ah, and those priests, who are also victims of the storm, homeless and hungry, can be right there with every single one of their flocks every single minute. Of course, your inclusion of social workers alongside priests suggests to me the atheist bias that all talk of spiritual needs is really silly. It’s all just a chemical reaction in the brain and has noting to do with trying to make sense of what has happened and is happening other than it’s happening. There is also the arrogant presumption on your part that you will decide for believers how their spiritual needs will be addressed. That is just not something that a serious atheist would do, at least not the ones I know.

        • cyb pauli

          {{It’s all just a chemical reaction in the brain and has nothing to do with trying to make sense of what has happened and is happening other than it’s happening.}}

          Trying to make sense of what has happened and is happening IS a chemical reaction in the brain! Why the “just”? It’s complicated… no “just” necessary. Talk of spiritual needs is silly to us because there is no evidence of spirits. Human beings do need comfort, hope, human contact, understanding in times of crisis (and non-crisis), for entirely neurobiologically evident reasons.

          • Bernie

            Of course talk of spiritual needs is silly to the atheist. I think I’ve made that point a couple of times. The atheist does not accept anything that is not quantifiable. That’s fine for the atheist. The problem, of course, is that the atheist’ position rules out any other possible reality that does not meet the proof requirements of the physical sciences at least given the knowledge we now posses. It’s impossible from the atheist position, but it is not impossible.

            There are certainly neuro-biologically evident reasons in play in time of crisis but those reasons can be explained as the body’s need to cope and survive. And that is how the atheist appropriately explains the need for comfort and hope.

            The believer, of course, is not looking for mere survival –to “just” survive. The believer –all of us really– are looking for meaning, an ultimate meaning.

            What if there is no one to offer comfort, no one to offer hope? What meaning presents itself to the person by himself? What meaning does that person find?

            I think atheists and theists have much to learn from each other. We can engage in civil conversations from which we can both derive benefit especially in terms of how we learn to help people individually and in community.

            My objection to the post is that it is unworthy of the tragedy of the storm, that it is nasty, that it is unfair, and that it disrespects the people who are the victims, victims who are, for the most part Catholics.

    • Stop the killing NOW!

      And more people have been killed by religion than by any other cause. Be proud, killers.

  • Sue Blue

    So…did they also throw in some Virgin Mary lawn statues and some bleeding-heart Jesus dashboard noddy dolls? You know, for when people there have such things as lawns and cars again? Or were those things too expensive and/or bulky? After all, plastic rosaries and bibles are a dime a dozen…and much easier to pack and ship than food, clothes, tetanus vaccine, water purifiers, tents….yeah.

    Stay classy, catholics.

  • richar1

    bibles do not fill empty stomachs

    • joey_in_NC

      And yet, many people who have never experienced an empty stomach in their lives are still miserable, depressed, and suicide risks. An extra can of soup won’t help these people.

      • wabney

        And yet, people in the disaster area who have empty stomachs will still be hungry and possibly die of starvation or malnutrition. Beads and magic story books won’t help these people.

        • joey_in_NC

          That’s why people who send “beads and magic story books” also send food, medical supplies, building supplies, and money.

          • wabney

            Or, instead of the beads and magic story books, they could use that space and money for more of the necessary food, medical supplies, and building supplies.

      • richar1

        Joey bibles do nothing at all to fill stomachs of the people there in the Philippines , does not give them clean water, give the shelter , give them warmth unless they burn them. your example really does not have anything to do with the horror that has happened to these people. what they are saying is start praying cause we are not going to help you.

  • Allan Advincula

    What atheist thinks Catholics do is in the above article.

    What they actually do, is in this video:

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=681231048562637

    • Frank Mitchell

      Nobody disputes Catholic agencies do some good around the world. This time, at least, CBCP and ECBA aren’t.

  • Robster

    My religious affliction would be sorted out by an event of this nature. Their favourite god is so obviously a dismal failure.

    • Stop the killing NOW!

      Exactly, if their invisible friend loves them so much, why did he try and kil them?

  • Kondex

    Give them your money instead of whining. Raise atheist fund, because your article helps the same, as rosaries.

    • Frank Mitchell

      And how do you know we haven’t given to Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, or similar agencies already?

  • Frank Mitchell

    Those Bibles might not sop up all the flood water. The only use I can imagine for the rosaries is to garotte any god-botherers who deign to make a personal appearance.

    And to the people below saying that the RCC must tend to the spiritual needs of Philipinos and Philipinas … might not that be easier if they were not starving, wet, and homeless?

  • Greg Monks

    And many Catholics will be donating food, shelter clothing etc through agencies such as Cafod, for example. The supply of rosaries and prayer books in addition may seem meaningless to a non-believer, but they will bring spiritual comfort to many in what is a largely Catholic country. We are all concerned about the plight of the people of the Philippines, but to use such a disaster as an opportunity to take cheap shots at people whose beliefs you don’t agree with smacks of a narrow mindedness and bigotry which is unworthy of you.

    • kaydenpat

      If they had given rosaries and food, shelter, clothing at the same time, I’m not sure this would be a story. It’s the idea of pushing religious paraphernalia without meeting material needs that makes this story newsworthy.

    • Stop the killing NOW!

      I say you lose everything and then I will bring you a piece of plastic.

    • Nandy Rewman

      In a nation that is predominantly religious, you could simply use all of the money on supplies.

  • Sebastian

    As an atheist, I have to congratulate to all religious people for their effort on sending bibles and crosses, they will surely be tasty.

  • fabuchachi

    I am also a Filipino and lives in Visayas, the typhoon was intense to begin with. One of the things that lost my faith is when Tropical Storm Washi hit Mindanao where more than 1200 people died, I saw on TV a woman died in the flashflood holding a rosary. As a Catholic that time it struck me.

    Maybe it would be nice if those thousands of rosaries, bibles and scapulars were building materials in homes for the affected people, but we cannot blame them. My country is predominantly religious and may stay that way for centuries.

  • Anthony Kaiser

    Do you not realize how much physical aid CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES/CARITAS INTL actually pours into disaster relief? Obviously not. In fact, CRS/Caritas is one of the largest, most cost-effective charitable relief NGOs in the world. They even operate in Afghanistan. This “Bibles and Rosarys” is a NON-STORY. Besides, do you REALIZE how little space a rosary or scapular takes up. Even a small Bible takes up a trivial amount of space. You can fit ALL THREE IN A SANDWICH BAG. We had NTs in the military that could fit in a shirt pocket. They probably are thrown on the trucks as ancillary items, and I am very doubtful they’re taking up space needed for physical requirements. Only about 7% of their budget goes to administration, fundraising, P/R, etc. A full 93% is program expenses.

    • Anathema

      Do you not realize how much physical aid CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES/CARITAS INTL actually pours into disaster relief?

      This article specifically criticized the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and the Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate. It is not criticizing Caritas.

      Caritas has raised a lot of money to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. And they are spending that money of the sort of basic necessities that the victims of Typhoon Haiyan desperately need, rather than wasting it on rosaries and Bibles. If the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and the Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate were acting like Caritas is, then we wouldn’t be criticizing them either.

      Besides, do you REALIZE how little space a rosary or scapular takes up. Even a small Bible takes up a trivial amount of space.

      One rosary does not take up that much space. But they aren’t sending just one rosary, they are sending 19,000 of them.

      I suspect that 19,000 rosaries take up quite a bit of space.

    • Stop the killing NOW!

      Check your facts, idiot. Secular charities give far more than the religious nutters.

  • Dan Robinson

    I’m married to a devout catholic Filipina and we sent several large boxes of food and clothing to the Philippines. We also tossed in a few rosaries which take up very little space. But if I had suggested to her that we just send the rosaries she would have thought I’d completely lost my mind. In my experience most catholics are far better than their church or organizations like ECBA. Or Bill Donohue.

  • Bones Thompson

    How do rosaries and scapulars taste?

    • Stop the killing NOW!

      Great comment.

  • Anna

    I just came across this blog due to a friends Facebook share about the remarkable young lady in Florida with Retinal Cancer. I am a Christian, but im horrified by the way so many “Christians” treat other’s or that they would give out Bible’s where so much more is needed. Instead of a Bible why not food and clean water??? In the Bible God was concerned with feeding people and seeing to their needs, so why give out Bibles and use your resources on that instead of on feeding them and keeping them clothed? I’m certain my comment will be attacked soon after I post it because I dare to believe in God. But I just wanted to point out that not all Christians hold to this whole silly thing about passing out Bibles (or rosaries, shudders) instead of life sustaining needs. Or shoving one’s beliefs down anothers throat. Or telling someone what God’s plan was(for them to die) etc. No wonder we are hated so often. I said all that to say: all Christians aren’t the same just because a belief in a creator unites them.

    • Dez

      Stop playing the fake Christian victim. No one believes it. Even if you believed in Zeus we would ask you to prove it.

      • Anna

        I’m not trying to “play a victim” I simply wanted to say that we arent all the same so that maybe even one person wouldnt view Christians so negatively. I don’t judge you for not believing in God so why should you judge me for believing? Last I checked this is America and I don’t have to prove anything I believe to you any more than you have to prove the non-existance of something I believe.

        • Dez

          No one is judging you. You came in here playing the victim card and making the incorrect assumption that atheists hate Christians just for their belief. Yes you have the right to believe in whatever you want, but you do not have the right to expect others to act like your belief is anyway related to reality. The burden of proof is on those claiming a belief in a deity. An atheist makes no claims. Please inform yourself better on what atheism is before you comment on it.

          • Anna

            Im sorry to have offended you. I suppose that you speak for everyone who has or will read my comment. I didn’t realize I sounded like a victim or that I commented on what Atheism is about at any point. I simply noticed the scathing comments towards Christianity on a few blogs and felt I should say something. Irritating you was not my intention. Have a great Thanksgiving.

            • Dez

              No I speak for myself as an atheist and see people making incorrect assumptions about atheists without taking the time to actually find out what atheism is. I have at least taken the time to learn the basics of Christianity, yet some Christians like you will not take the time to learn what an atheist is. This is an atheist site where you can find many articles on what atheism is. Atheists on here make comments against all religions, Christianity is not an exception. If you have evidence for your belief then please prove it or else it will be criticized like any other belief without proof. For example unicorn, fairies, aliens, and santa. Those are on the same level as Christianity and any other religion or belief that has never been proved and thus deserves no respect from those who live in reality. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!!!

              • Trey Havens

                you believe in the wind. you cant see it! but you know its there because of what has happend with the wind. and prove atheism for me, please, i dont understand it.

            • allein

              “I didn’t realize I sounded like a victim”

              When you feel the need to include a line like “I’m certain my comment will be attacked soon after I post it because I dare to believe in God,” you are most definitely playing the victim. Your initial post would likely have gotten a different reaction without that.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Ignoring the non-US readers for just a moment for simplicity…

      The US is 78% Christian. It is inconceivable that anyone here doesn’t have close family and friends and loved ones who are Christian. We know Christians, like atheists, aren’t all the same. Even those of us who lash out angrily at Christianity (or any other religion for that matter) know that not everyone is the same.

      Think of it as our own little “hate the sin, love the sinner”. What we think of any particular religious tenet doesn’t necessarily apply to the actual human beings who hold with that belief.

      • Stop the killing NOW!

        Luckily i do not know any brain washed people who do not have a brain.

    • Mario Rodgers

      Jesus maybe was concerned with all that good wholesome stuff, assuming he existed, but if you know anything about The Bible, you’d know the god of The Bible known as Yahweh really couldn’t give a shit and indeed has been shown to be the opposite of everything good and decent.

    • cyb pauli

      Thanks for that information. Up to this point, I was certain that all Christians were the same.

    • Stop the killing NOW!

      You really believe in an invisible man nanny in the sky? Have you really thought about this? You base your life on a piece of fiction written by a bunch of uneducated desert dwellers. I will show you a Harry Potter book to prove that wizards are real.

  • The Starship Maxima

    Is there any evidence the Bibles and rosaries are being sent MINUS stuff like food, clean water, and medicine?

    • Stop the killing NOW!

      There is no excuse or reason to send religious propaganda when people need food and shelter. Wake up you self centered nutter.

      • The Starship Maxima

        So in lieu of any kind of rational, logical, well-thought-out answer, you resort to puerile ad hominem attacks. Nice.
        The Phillippines is a heavily Catholic country. It would make sense to send Bibles and rosaries there (IN ADDITION to basic aid). Unless you would also spew your rather unintelligent vitriol if a natural disaster hit, say, Israel, and the synagogues here in the States sent money to rebuild the holy places in Tel Aviv.

        • Stop the killing NOW!

          Your ignorance is why religious nutters like you should be sent away to camps and left to rot. Have you survived a disaster like that? Have you watched any of the TV reports from the likes of the BBC who have a team on the ground. Every single person they interviewed begged for clean water and food so that they could LIVE. Every single one begged for some kind of shelter. Not a single one mentioned your invisible man nanny in the sky. You can bet that the typhoon made many of them atheists. What did you do to help them? How much did you donate to the Red Cross or similar charity. I donated $10,000 to the relief effort. You are a despicable depraved excuse for a human being to think that people care about bibles when they are desperate for a clean sip off water. Off with your head!

          • The Starship Maxima

            Did you take your prescription meds with alcohol?
            So because I’m a Christian, and because I pick apart your tantrums with logic, you know make the logical leap that I haven’t donated money to the Red Cross AND sent personally purchased food stuffs? The inanity of your argument would be funny but that you say it as if you believe it.
            It’s not a stretch that in a very Catholic country like the Phillipines, Catholic organizations would send Catholic paraphernalia IN ADDITION to basic aid.
            Surely even you are capable of grasping that concept.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Why? Why send any religious paraphernalia at all? It takes up valuable cargo space on the planes, and with limited landing strips and logistical capability, strains it even further with non-utile goods. Every book, every rosary, takes up space and attention that could go to life-saving aid. How is that not despicable?

              • The Starship Maxima

                There are a number of reasons to send it. First, while it’s true it does take up room, it’s a bit of propaganda to suggest there’s not enough room for food, supplies, medicine, and Bibles and rosaries.
                Second, because it means nothing to you is irrelevant to the fact that there are literally thousands of Catholic churches on the island and Catholic believers.
                This is isn’t some country full of, say, Orthodox Jews, and the Catholic charities are trying to sell them. They are Catholics sending paraphernalia to an island full of Catholics.
                On any other site but one full of anti-theists this would never even be a story, let alone a controversy.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Yes, well, I am an anti-theist. I think religion is inherently harmful, though not for the reasons many do. And I see this and am disgusted by the waste of time, money, and resources on something that literally doesn’t matter. Save lives first. Worry about souls after people aren’t dying of pneumonia and untreated broken legs and starvation/malnutrition. Any space wasted is too much space wasted.

                  And it is a shame that no other will cover this, or see it as wrong. It should be a story and a controversy. What the bishops are doing is wrong.

                • Stop the killing NOW!

                  Well said. Religion is very harmful. Teaching it to children is tantamount to child abuse. There are only 8 trucks in the entire area to deliver aid and now bibles and other garbage is taking up room on those 8 trucks. Just shows that these religious brain washed fools do not care about people’s lives one bit. They care more about getting religious garbage to starving, dying people than aid. They should all be charged with murder.

                • The Starship Maxima

                  It is not wrong. You don’t like it. You don’t agree with it. But it is in no way wrong. It’s not being covered because most reputable news sites, and indeed most people, don’t give in to such presumption.
                  I get that you don’t like religion. It’s a valid opinion. Considering the abysmal lack of logic and flat out bigotry demonstrated by some atheists here, I could make a similar argument against atheism.
                  But….I realize that that’s not MY place to decide. If someone wanted to send toys to the Phillippines to replace the ones damaged, they can do that. If they wanted to send replacement books (not the Bible, like Harry Potter or something) they can.
                  Feminerd deciding it’s a waste is not the same as the person RECEIVING said aid considering it a waste.
                  Maybe we’d all be better off if we did our part and stopped trying to tell others theirs.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Are you honestly saying that you think saving lives is less important than handing out Bibles?

                • The Starship Maxima

                  I don’t feel I should dignify such a stupid question, but since you appear to be one of the more rational people on this thread, I’ll engage.

                  Of COURSE saving lives comes before converting people. Even the Bible agrees with that. I’m saying, if handing out Bibles isn’t hindering the saving of said lives, and your only issue is your disdain for it, then I think you’ll learn to live with it.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  But it is hindering saving lives. Can you agree that at this point in time in the Philippines, handing out Bibles is a really stupid and inhumane thing to do?

                • The Starship Maxima

                  I’m sorry, but other than your insistence, I see no indication from anybody qualified to say so that it is hindering saving lives.

                  I will say this though, if I was collecting items from my Church, I would not ask for, or accept Bibles at this point, no.

                • Stop the killing NOW!

                  Yes, they are Catholic in name only. Have you ever spent time there? I spent 6 months there. The majority do not go to church and do not lead a life you would approve of. Do you know that birth control is available free form the government? Do you know that studies showed that the thing the women wanted most was birth control to be able to have control over their reproductive rights?

                • The Starship Maixma

                  I’ve never set foot in the Phillippines. However, nearly all literature on it, and the handful of Phillippine ex-patriates I interact with regularly speak of the heavy Catholic influence on the island.
                  If you say studies show that that’s misleading then I’ll take your word for it.
                  I don’t really care that the majority or the minority do or don’t go to church and lead a life I don’t approve. **I** barely live a life I approve of.
                  And I second the notion of increased birth control. That’s a good thing.

            • Stop the killing NOW!

              Haha you sent personally purchased d food stuffs… that is very funny… and a lie. What kind of food did you send? To what address did you send it? Not only do you believe in fairy tales, you are a liar as well. As I said people as crazy as you need to be removed from society and sent to camps. You believe in fairy tales and think you have an invisible friend in the sky. People who believe in invisible people get locked up for good. Do you believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy as well. Step back and try and use your BRAIN. Try and think about it rationally….. an invisible man nanny in the sky …. hahaha. Get the mental help you need, you sad and disturbed excuse for a human being. You are everything that is wrong with society.

              • The Starship Maxima

                Says the loser who’s spewing hate speech and more ad hominem attacks than a McCarthy clone.
                Which is more imaginary, my nanny in the sky or your nonexistent intellect?

                • Stop the killing NOW!

                  Ahhh poor baby… did your feelings get hurt? Have you seen the most recent report from the BBC, who have a team on the ground?. Aid is arriving but there are only 8 trucks for the entire area to deliver the aid. ONLY 8 TRUCKS FOR THE ENTIRE AREA. And now room on the trucks is going to be wasted by this religious nonsense instead of food, water, shelter. You are the other religious nutters who do this should be charged with murder because people are going to die because they get books instead of food. What a depraved, despicable person you are.

      • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

        The Bible itself has a problem with handing out food when you can waste the money on something inedible and devotional. Remember the perfume that got poured on Jesus’ head (Mark 14)? I think the disciples who questioned the expenditure had the right idea.

  • Stop the killing NOW!

    The usual religious nutters who send bibles while people starve to death. They are a bunch of narcissistic assholes and are out of control. Time to ban all religions. They only delude people, divide people, teach hate and bigotry. It is hard to take anyone serious who believes in an invisible man nanny in the sky. Those who do need mental help.

    • The Starship Maxima

      It’s even harder to take anyone serious who resorts to 3rd grade tantrums rather than engaging those they disagree with logic and facts.
      If that’s the best your anti-theism gets you, perhaps you need to find a nice nanny in the sky to start believing in as well.

  • Na_na99

    I’m homeless and hungry. Can I have a necklace, please? (Dimwits)

  • The Starship Maxima

    While everyone is entertaining themselves with anti-Christian/Catholic snark, my question as to whether or not these groups were actually neglecting the common sense needs or if the Bibles and rosaries were PART of a larger relief package went unaddressed.

    So I did some research and while this is hardly a definitive answer, there’s this.

    The rosaries will be packed along with the relief goods to be sent to the Visayas by Catholic relief institutions around the world, led by Caritas Philippines and its overseas counterparts, Caritas Internationalis, Caritas Asia and Caritas Africa.

    Source, http://johnib.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/rosaries-for-life-sends-thousands-of-prayer-beads-to-philippine-typhoon-survivors-for-prayer/

    • Stop the killing NOW!

      Stop spreading religious propaganda. Stop forcing your silly superstitions and fairy tales on everyone else.

      • The Starship Maxima

        I’ll make you a deal. Learn to deal like an adult and respond to facts with facts, and logic with logic, and stop acting like a spoiled brat who’s angry that no matter how many times they insist two plus two equals fifteen, nobody takes them seriously; do that and I’ll stop spreading religious propaganda and silly superstitions.

    • SpaceChief

      the space and weight compromised the total of essentials that could have been sent in lieu of the religious crap.

  • rasungod0

    They aren’t sending Bibles and rosaries in stead of food medical and water. They’re sending all of the above.

  • Marshall Justice

    “I consider them to be symbols and I leave symbols to the symbol minded.”

  • Matt Kovach

    i bet the rosaries were delicious

  • Mark

    It reminds me of the Mother Teresa story. Rather than helping the poor she was building churches and pushing her faith. She created places for the poor to die. What the church is doing is trying to associate their cult with the aid that they are getting from overseas and unfortunately it is working. If you question it now you are labeled badly and criticised for using a disaster politically. It is classic catholic propaganda tactics. The aid is now being sent by the catholic church now.

  • Sam

    Catholic Relief Services have donated millions of dollars in medicine and Blankets and shelters and volunteers actually most of the help to Phillipines comes from Christian organisations like Catholic Relief Services and the Red Cross, Christian Relief, so this bullshit about the rosaries is just Atheist crap!! these maggost who do they help?

    • The Starship Maxima

      Okay, bro, you need to slow down here. Us Christians, and most atheists, know what we have done for the world. Yes, blogs like this exist to ignore all the good we do and highlight our failures (but they also expose all the ill done in the name of the faith, which we need to face).

      But…..these “maggots” help many, many, many people. They do it without trying to promote their faith, or lack thereof, unlike so many of us.

      You can criticize their logic failures and occasional arrogance. But you won’t call them maggots. They’ve done too much to deserve that.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Actually, Catholics are known to have donated lots and lots of useful stuff. This CBPC is not doing that, so we are calling them out as an official branch of the RCC to stop being stupid. And some groups are obviously donating useless crap in the name of their religion, which can stop any time now.

        I haven’t seen anyone say that Catholics haven’t helped or aren’t helping.

  • dDouglas Cole

    The Filipino people are very religious. bibles and rosaries may be the things they want and cherish the most.

  • Carrie-Lee Touhey

    I posted this on Facebook and my Catholic aunt made a very good point. Sometimes people of faith are very happy to have these things replaced that have been lost and had meaning in their lives…

  • Ross Rasmussen

    When I read the headline the first thought that jumped into my head was “rosaries”. I was not disappointed (unlike the starving, thirsty, homeless people who get the boxes). Oh, you’re hungry, say a novena!


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