Brought to You by the 21st Century

Every news channel has been obsessively following the selection of the next pope, whose policies will most likely be a carbon copy of the last pope. ("Meet the new pope, same as the old pope.") Of course, it's an open question whether even a radical new set of ideas at the top could sway the institutional inertia of the Catholic Church. Another question is whether any change will have an effect on the American Catholic Church, which seems wedded to the right wing and mired in lawsuits. … [Read more...]

Religion and Economics Don’t Mix

The phrase "fiscal cliff" was coined by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke to describe the expiration of certain stop-gap economic measures at the beginning of the new year (that being today.) I suspect that Bernanke now regrets the hell out of inventing the phrase. He forgot how much our media loves little pithy labels and looming disasters. "Fiscal cliff" has become the most overused phrase in politics.My impression is that the "fiscal cliff" is an entirely political problem. Economists seem … [Read more...]

Deconstructing Butt-hurt British Bigots

Today I want to analyse a story that I read on the BBC during my lunch break. It's a story that... Well... It ground my gears. It's a story about homophobic bigots who hide behind religion and claim that their intolerant, hate-filled bile is actually "morality".It's this story. The basic theme is: Roman Catholic Bishop uses Christmas sermon to attack UK Gov plans to legally recognise gay marriage (as distinct from Civil Partnerships). I want to pick out some passages and pass my own (fair … [Read more...]

Getting the Pill OTC?

After spending the past year listening to Catholic spokesmen attacking health care laws that provide funding for birth control, I'm curious to see their reaction to this article from the LA Times:The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a call Tuesday for birth control pills to be sold over the counter. Currently oral contraceptives are available only with a doctor's prescription.In a policy statement, the organization argues that making birth control pills easier … [Read more...]

“Pro Life” = Preventable death.

I've long been of the opinion that "Pro Life" and "Pro Choice" are entirely inaccurate labels for the positions they purport to describe. In fact, the suspicious bastard that lurks very close to the surface of my mind thinks that both labels were probably invented by those who want to deny women reproductive rights. Think about it. "Choice" versus "life"? Which one sounds like it should have priority? Exactly. Hence my extreme distaste for both labels; I really believe that facile people (and … [Read more...]