Pope blesses Uganda legislator in favor of mass murder.

In between communing with a god of love and insisting that the Catholic church is humanity’s moral authority, the Pope found time to bless the Uganda law-maker most fervent to pass the kill-the-gays bill.

Pope Benedict XVI yesterday sent his first tweet from his new Twitter account, then turned around and blessed Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of the Uganda Parliament who promised to pass the “Kill The Gays” bill as a “Christmas gift” to Uganda’s Christians. Kadaga was at the Vatican to meet the Pope and to attend the seventh Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians for the International Criminal Court and the World Parliamentary Conference on Human Rights.

So just in case you’re curious, the Pope has condemned the Christmas shopping culture.

Pope Benedict XVI condemned the increasing commercialisation of Christmas as he celebrated Christmas Eve Mass, urging the faithful to look beyond the holiday’s “superficial glitter” to discover its true meaning.

Yeah, the guy carrying a solid gold fucking staff and who lives in a gilded palace can’t abide “superficial glitter.”

Benedict XVI in a gold throne, holding a gold staff, and wearing vestments adorned with gold.

Yes, the guy in a gold throne, holding a gold staff, in a gilded palace, and wearing vestments adorned with gold abhors superficial glitter (and also avarice).

So superficial glitter gets condemnation, but people getting slaughtered for loving an adult who the Catholic church does not approve of?  Knock yourselves out.  Child rapists get the church’s protection, but not those homos – they’re too immoral to keep around.

This goes to show how evil atheists are.  Most of us, face-to-face with someone set to murder a bunch of people on the basis of who they love, would not even shake her hand.  More likely we’d, at very minimum, give her a strong verbal lashing for crimes against humanity.  Not heaven’s representative on earth here to spread god’s love though; he blessed her with a smile.

The Speaker dedicated to all Ugandans readings from the book of St.Mark which the Pope quoted in several languages during the Vatican mass.

She handed over to the Pope a portrait of the Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo, a historical place where Christians were murdered because of their allegiance to their faith.

Because just when you thought Catholic/Christian leaders couldn’t get worse, they remind you that they can always add in a dash of oblivious.  And if you thought it couldn’t get worse then, there’s always room for irony.  Religion is unique among many social influences: it has the ability to empower the most cruel and/or stupid ideas, and to then make them impervious to compassion or reason.  How people can argue that we need such a force to moralize humanity, I’ll never know.  It is the influence of humanity, repeatedly attempting to break through the bunkers of faith, that mitigates the damage of religion, not the other way around.

This is your moral authority, Catholics.  It’s an organization that protects child molesters and blesses the agents of genocide.  Without the supposedly morally healing influence of faith, who would ever admire or claim affiliation with such an organization (especially while sneering at others as being less moral)?

Jesus Fucking Christ, Catholics should be ashamed.  I’m ashamed for humanity.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Art Vandelay

    Speaking of humanity…are you going to make a post about the Columbine situation in CT, JT?

  • pjmaertz

    The Catholic church is one of the most shameful organizations on the planet. It says that you can suffer eternal torture for extremely mild offenses, but goes far out of its way to protect fucking sexual predators. That anyone can still support this horrible religion and its provably guilty leader should be an affront to every thinking person’s sensibilities. Alas, it is still one of the wealthiest religions on the planet. And this story only surprises me because it didn’t happen faster.

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort

    This is just one more notch in the ‘why the Catholic Church is the most evil organization on the planet’ counter.

  • baal

    Well, if everyone else haz shiny, the Pope’s shiny is not as shiny as it would otherwise be without the competition. Supporting one of the Ugandian Kill-the-gays guys is a self inflicted PR hit. Why make the effort to make the statement when they could have been silent?
    I recently heard a RCC spokesperson make the argument that since marriage equality is a controversial issue in MN; it wasn’t going to be possible for them (the RCC) to avoid offending anyone. This position is ludicrous. The least offensive position would have been to institutionally just sit there. They didn’t. They picked the anti-gay side and poured in a ton of money and other efforts. Again, choices are rarely binary even when presented that way. You can work for 1 side, work for the other side or choose to not get involved.

  • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    They’ve been so evil for so long I didn’t even notice until now that they have stopped pretending not to be evil.

  • Ben

    If there is a Heaven I honestly don’t believe the Pope and most catholics go there, the way they treat everyone else is appalling!.

    Look at that ugly old man thinking he has the right to an opinion!

  • 3D

    One thing I take issue with in your article though: they aren’t “oblivious”. It isn’t like they think they’re doing good but they’re just out of touch. They know exactly what they’re doing.

  • Lee

    So, sodomising underage children is ok, but loving someone of the same sex is not? Erm…….ok………no, really, that makes perrrrfect sense.

  • Hypatia’s Daughter

    “Religion is unique among many social influences: it has the ability to empower the most cruel and/or stupid ideas, and to then make them impervious to compassion or reason.”
    JT, you are so often a damn fine writer. Here you have summed up the failings of religion in one pithy and succinct sentence.

  • Nejijuuz

    It is wonderful to know that Jesus came to the world to save sinners not the righteous cos they do need saving. The pope blessings people is a sign that there is a way out irrespective of you being good or bad, or coloured or black. God bless the pope

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  • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

    I encourage you all to take a moment to read the following article. Also, I would love to discuss any problems any people of good will have with the Catholic Church. If you are interested in an individual conversation, just shoot me a response and we’ll figure out a way to chat. God bless.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2013/01/the-disgrace-of-papal-blessing-for-ugandan-homophobia.html

    • LeftWingFox

      I read it.

      “To close then: Even if the Pope’s actions were somehow worthy of reproach, you cannot, as Jill Filipovic demands, modernize a dogma. A dogma of the Catholic Church is a dogma and not an opinion precisely because it cannot be modernized. ”

      This is nothing more than an excuse for inaction, and a feeble one. It is circular logic, claiming you cannot change somethign because it canot be changed, depite the fact that they are rules made by men. Like all the rules of the church, and all the rules in the bible.

      Rules by men.

      Not God.

      • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

        I guess my point in posting the link is that, contrary to what many atheists I have talked to claim, almost all attacks on the Catholic Church and Magisterium are irrational ad hominem charges based on misunderstanding and miseducation. I think a rational discourse between a believer and nonbeliever shows that, whatever your personal feelings and beliefs, the mockery of such sites as this one is not only unhelpful, but generally grossly misdirected and unfounded. I love to discuss IDEAS with atheists, whether my beliefs or theirs match up most closely to reality, but too often atheists and agnostics I’ve encountered just want to dismiss me based on a personal prejudice. Here’s another link. Check it if you have some time. As far as your post, thanks for being courteous and thoughtful. you’re exactly right: I believe the teachings of the Church to be based on Natural Law and Divine revelation (and therefore unchangeable, since the structure of reality doesn’t change), whereas you believe them to be man-made opinions. Therein lies the rub. I’d love to discuss that difference more if you’re interested. Thanks.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXmTkSaFDqc

        • Glodson

          Before I go any further, let’s get this out of the way: my objection to the Catholic Church is its repeated failures as an institution. Gay marriage, abortion, contraception, euthanasia, and the wanton protection of pedophile priests are my causes for concern. Well, the major causes. This is a problem I have with the institution itself. My mother in law is Catholic, and I respect and love her. However, I think she supports a really bad organization and I wish she would stop. Like many Catholics I have known, she tends to be for gay marriage despite the teachings of the church, she is pro-choice despite the teachings of the church, she is for contraception and euthanasia, and she’s visibly hurt when the stories about the priests come out.

          The church itself, the Catholic Church, is directly hurting its own members with outdated beliefs. Beliefs that many don’t share, or just flat out ignore. I am of the opinion that religion hurts. It hurts people who don’t believe when those beliefs are enforced, either through laws or social pressure. It also hurts the believers when those beliefs are challenged by an evolving society.

          I love to discuss IDEAS with atheists, whether my beliefs or theirs match up most closely to reality, but too often atheists and agnostics I’ve encountered just want to dismiss me based on a personal prejudice.

          I cannot speak for anyone else, but unless you have some solid evidence to back up those ideas, there won’t be much of a conversation. The major reason I stopped being Christian in the first place was a lack of evidence. I couldn’t defend having faith in a god that I had no proof of being real. That’s pretty much where I start with this.

          Now I’m not going to dismiss your ideas because you are religious. I will treat you like I treat everyone else: unless you have evidence to back up your claims, I will dismiss those claims until you present evidence. That evidence will be examined and scrutinized. I won’t take your word for it, nor do I expect you to just take my word for it. Remember that when you make a claim, the burden of proof is on you to present evidence to back up the claim. Hitchens said it all when he said “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” In other words, I fall back onto the null hypothesis when there is no evidence, or the evidence is lacking.

          I believe the teachings of the Church to be based on Natural Law and Divine revelation (and therefore unchangeable, since the structure of reality doesn’t change), whereas you believe them to be man-made opinions.

          This is where I need some evidence. What makes you believe this? Why aren’t the Mormons right? How does this match up with what we’ve learned through science? What are these Natural Laws? How do you know them? How can they be tested? If the church is right about homosexuality being a sin, then why does the evidence point to a strong genetic component for homosexuality?

          • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

            I appreciate the reply. I will say a few quick points, but ultimately, there are some basic premises that you likely don’t agree with me on that will make further discussion futile, so if that’s the case, I will move on with nothing but love and prayer for you and yours.

            Premise One: Evidence for truth comes from three main sources – Logic and reason, sensory experience, and testimony of others. The video I posted a link to is a great demonstration of how logic shows God must exist. My personal experiences with the Divine convince me as well. Furthermore, there are millions of trustworthy testimonies that verify that my logic is sound and my experiences are compatible with the human story as a whole. Having said that, I suggest we start with the rational arguments first, since those are the firmest foundation. Often atheists I discuss with want physical proof of God, like a follicle of His hair or something. God the Father being a non-physical entity, obviously I can’t provide said evidence. However, that’s not the only type of evidence there is. I can provide evidence through all three means of perceiving truth, which is why I believe it to be true.

            Second Premise: The Catholic Church’s teachings are always loving (love meaning “willing the good of the other”) towards all people. You think the Church’s teachings hurtful: I suggest the doctrines of the Church, in particular Her teachings on issues related to life and human dignity, in fact protect all people, born and unborn, man and woman, gay and straight. However, each teaching stems from a belief that there is a God, that we can know Him and His objective truth, and that living in a manner that corresponds to that Truth is in everyone’s best interest in this life and the next. If you deny the existence of God, of an immutable and perfect truth independent of anyone’s individual belief, then you can make truth whatever you want it to be, and it’s hard to go much further in discussion. I can and will gladly show why each of those teachings are true and good, but nothing I say will convince you unless you believe in God.

            Third Premise: The sin of Catholics does not discredit her teachings, but in fact corresponds exactly to what the Magisterium says and God and humanity. We believe God to be good and all men to now be fallen by means of their free will. Whenever I talk about the sex abuse scandal in the Church, there are two things that I know I need to say: One, the fact that some priests hurt children and some bishops covered it up is inexcusable, horrifying, and truly saddening to me as a Catholic and as a human being (for a more extended reflection on the topic, here’s a link to my blog http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/response-to-a-response-the-sex-scandal-of-the-catholic-clergy/); Two, the fact that our priests are sinners, even terrible ones at times, is not incompatible with what we believe. As a matter of fact, that’s why we need a Church, something bigger than any one individual to protect that which is true, beautiful, and good; we are all broken and in need of God’s guidance and inspiration. When I talk about the Church in this sense, I mean the Deposit of Faith, the Magisterium, the set of beliefs which is full and complete and perfect. The people who profess and share them? Not perfect at all. That’s why they (I!) need a savior.

            Fourth Premise: Science and faith are two arms of the Truth of Christ, completely in sync and complementary. Many of the great scientific discoveries and theories of all time were made or posited by Catholics, from the Big Bang to genetics. Faith in God perfects my reason. It shows how the spiritual and physical worlds interact. Everything in the physical world is a reflection of some part of the spiritual world and participates in our understanding of God.

            I hope this helps as a starting ground and I look forward to hearing what you have to say. God bless.

          • Glodson

            Furthermore, there are millions of trustworthy testimonies that verify that my logic is sound and my experiences are compatible with the human story as a whole.

            The number has little to do with the truth. Take Evolution. About 150 million Americans reject the theory. Roughly half the population. However, that’s not a good reason to reject Evolution. The other half accept it, and that’s not a good reason to accept Evolution. We look at the experimental data. Examining that gives us a good reason to either accept or reject the theory. Anyone can do this, and a reading of the relevant data should lead one to accept the theory.

            God the Father being a non-physical entity, obviously I can’t provide said evidence. However, that’s not the only type of evidence there is. I can provide evidence through all three means of perceiving truth, which is why I believe it to be true.

            I don’t need a physical proof like that. I’m not looking for divine spoor, as I would if we were talking about Bigfoot. In fact, if you produced something like that, some physical part of god, I would have some reservations. If the Abrahamic god exists, I would expect something different. But a physical manifestation would be nice, however it is unnecessary. What I am more looking at is a testable prediction. One I can experiment with.

            Let’s take a brief aside. Let’s look at the Big Bang. I am rather confident the Big Bang happened. I cannot directly see it. I cannot go back and witness it. Even with a time machine, as there would be no space for me to occupy other than the singularity before the Big Bang. And the notion of before the Big Bang is problematic as there would be no time for which there to be a before. Anyway, despite this, I still am confident in the Big Bang. Why? Because the theory produces testable claims, claims I can verify with experimentation and observations. Arno A. Penzias and Robert W. Wilson of Bell Laboratories won the 1978 Nobel Prize for this verification( oddly enough, they weren’t really looking for it, they just noticed noise coming in form all directions and where baffled by it for a time). We create models based on this theory, the Big Bang, and see how it matches what we can observe. Or recreate in small batches.

            Getting back to the talk about the divine. You have a claim. The basic claim is that Catholic teachings are those of god. As such, as you lay out specific claims, I should be able to verify them. Prayer is often a good starting point. If it produces effects, I would say that’s a pretty good proof for god. Double Blind Studies have shown no effectiveness of prayer.

            One could say that god is intentionally obfuscating his presence. However, when I was a Christian, that answer disturbed me as it was raised rather horrifying questions as to why a deity that wishes for my worship would actively hide his presence.

            The Catholic Church’s teachings are always loving (love meaning “willing the good of the other”) towards all people. You think the Church’s teachings hurtful: I suggest the doctrines of the Church, in particular Her teachings on issues related to life and human dignity, in fact protect all people, born and unborn, man and woman, gay and straight.

            I have a problem with the last sentence here. How does fighting against gay marriage protect gay people? Looking at the Pope’s talk just this past December doesn’t support your claim. I also take exception to the notion of protecting the unborn. Again, my understanding is based on the evidence I have around me. I do not see the value in protecting a gestating fetus a woman doesn’t want. Nor do I see the value in claiming the use of contraception as a sin. In fact, I would say that promoting the use of contraception would go far in preventing abortions, help poorer families in general, and give women a greater autonomy over their own bodies.

            The sin of Catholics does not discredit her teachings, but in fact corresponds exactly to what the Magisterium says and God and humanity.

            This is true, after a fashion. The failures of the Catholic Church do not disprove that a god, or even the Abrahamic god, doesn’t exist. However, it does raise questions about the revelations of many of the leaders of the Church.

            Science and faith are two arms of the Truth of Christ, completely in sync and complementary. Many of the great scientific discoveries and theories of all time were made or posited by Catholics, from the Big Bang to genetics.

            Different people do read these implications differently. It is true that that Big Bang was welcomed by the Church, as some see it as a creation. I don’t. And other cosmologists don’t see it that way. It was just the start of this Universe. The singularity that gave rise to this universe, and these laws seemed to exist before, even though we have no real way of knowing, maybe never will given that our notion of time is linked to spacetime which unfolded in the course of the Big Bang.

            The problem is the Big Bang eliminates the need for a creator. It does it own its own. This makes god unnecessary. Evolution makes god unnecessary.

          • Glodson

            Ah, crap.

            Sorry, I didn’t close my tag for the link. Well, that’s a mess.

      • Andrew Kohler

        “A dogma of the Catholic Church is a dogma and not an opinion precisely because it cannot be modernized.”

        Hence the opposition of writers and reads of this blog to dogma in all forms (excepting the movie Dogma).

        • Andrew Kohler

          *readers (dang it, Patheos, get an “edit” function already)

    • Glodson

      I will read it tomorrow. But, outlook is not so good in me agreeing. Part of the problem I have with religion, in general, is the dogmatic lockdown on thought. Part of the problem you are going to have when talking to a group of atheists is that, in the end, we don’t care what the dogma says.

      If we already are rejecting the notion of the divine, any appeal to dogma will fall on deaf ears.

  • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

    Glodson, hopefully you see this down here. Thanks for your feedback.

    If you watched the video I posted before, you will see that I offer you all of creation, the very fact that you can experiment and come to understand Truth, as proof of a transcendent being who is necessarily Being and necessarily True. That entity is God. Undoubtedly, that comment won’t satisfy you (although it might if you check the vid!), so beyond that, here’s what I can say: once we know God must exist and is, in fact, existence itself, then we can start looking for Him. And when you do, you won’t ever stop finding Him.

    You bring up the efficacy (or inefficacy) of prayer as an indication of there being no god. I suggest that you go in a room, shout my name (Shane) as loud as you can, and see if I respond. No? Then do I not exist? Prayer is communication with God, a back and forth, a dialogue. If you go in believing He doesn’t exist, are you really talking to Him at all? Or, perhaps a better question, is it possible for you to hear Him? Once you admit the necessity of a belief in God and begin looking at the Catholic faith, you start to understand the fullness of its Truth, and you start to look at Scripture in its entirety, rather than in bits and pieces out of context. Did Christ promise that all we ask for shall be given us? Yes. Did He also say that faith is a prerequisite to His action? Absolutely. Every time a miracle is performed in the Gospels, He says some version of “It is your faith that saved you.” I am in no position to judge the faith in anyone’s heart, but I suggest that all prayers made with complete and utter trust in God are answered, and those in double-blind experiments might not be starting off on the right foot (“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test”). You point to unanswered prayers and say, “Where is your God?” I point to answered prayers and say, “There! Right there! Look!” You say, “I’m sure there’s some other explanation.” I don’t know what else to say to that.

    As far as the question of homosexual marriage, the Church says that the act of homosexual sex is immoral, as are all sexual acts outside of the context of marriage, because it reduces the person to a tool to be used for pleasure. Being used in such a way inflicts many physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds to an individual. So, yes, the Church says that institutionalizing such a degradation of the human person would be wrong because it’s institutionalizing an action that hurts people.

    As for abortion, what do you define as a human person? Science shows us that from the moment of conception, a fetus has a complete and unique set of human DNA and contains all seven characteristics of a living organism. So, if, scientifically speaking, the fetus is alive, and it has complete human DNA, I’m not sure what prevents it from being human. Dependency? Hmm…that would make my one year old not human, and that’s a tough argument to make.

    The Church’s teaching on contraception is inherently tied to what I already said about sex being about more than use, so I will simply provide a link to a wonderful website that gives tons of great info about these topics. Check it if you have time. http://www.1flesh.org/

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

      I’m going to let Glodson take most of this, but I’ll grab the abortion stuff since that’s near-and-dear to my heart, being as I’m a ciswoman feminist.

      A person is an independent individual with brainwaves. S/he can’t be a parasite (so in utero = not a person) and they must have brain activity (so brain dead is not a person, thus why we can harvest organs with their prior consent and/or the consent of their families). A fetus is alive, granted, but so is the woman it’s living in. We kill unwanted parasites like tapeworms all the time: unwanted fetuses fall in that category. It’s killing a living being, but it’s not killing a person.

      Additionally, even if a fetus was a full person, abortion would still be moral. No one has the right to suck the blood and nutrients out of you or use your organs without your permission. No one has the right to take a kidney, liver lobe, or lung from you without your consent even if they’ll die without it. A fetus likewise doesn’t have the right to build itself from a woman’s flesh and blood without her consent.

      • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

        Where does your definition come from? Why is that what defines a person? What defines a parasite? What if a person’s brain condition is misdiagnosed or reversible?

        And if a fetus is a person, then certainly your final point holds no water. If a fetus is a person, and child neglect and murder are immoral, then abortion is immoral. You say no one has the right to do those things that you mentioned, it’s true; no one except your children. You can say, “No one has the right to force me to make sure they are fed and hydrated!” and you would be right, in every case except those in which you have parental duties. The parent-child relationship is one necessarily dependent, so if the child is a person and you are their parent, then you have the duty and responsibility to keep them alive and well. What they require might be different at this stage than another, but it’s still your duty. Could mothers (before there was formula) say, “No one has the right to use my glands and fluids from my body!” Of course not. When you have children, it is your job to support them.

        • Glodson

          A fetus is a parasite. That sounds harsh, but it is. The difference is that this parasite might grow into a human, if a woman wants it to.

          You can say, “No one has the right to force me to make sure they are fed and hydrated!” and you would be right, in every case except those in which you have parental duties.

          This is a strawman of M’s argument. The body she is speaking of is attached directly to yours without consent. When a woman chooses to take a gestating fetus to term, she is accepting that responsibility. The consent is key.

          The parent-child relationship is one necessarily dependent, so if the child is a person and you are their parent, then you have the duty and responsibility to keep them alive and well.

          By aborting the fetus, she is not consenting to this relationship. The fetus, for a woman who doesn’t wish to be with child, is a parasite. At best, the gestating fetus is potentially a person. That’s why some interrupt the process, they have the right to decide if the next 18 years of their life will be spent raising the child or not. Even if they elect for adoption, the toll of having a child is high, and it should be up to the woman whether or not to accept that toll.

          • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

            Why is the consent key? Consent is not what makes me human; I am human because I have the essential traits of humanity: human DNA, the characteristics of life, and mortality. You can say I’m not a human, but that doesn’t make it so. Consent has nothing to do with what “is” or “is not”. Those realities are separate from someone’s personal beliefs or choices. I wasn’t setting up a straw man, rather showing that this idea of a fetus being a parasite is irrelevant; infancy dependance is the same inside the womb as it is outside, only with a different location and different means of feeding. WHAT THE FETUS IS doesn’t change; just where it is and what it is doing.

            If a fetus is a human person, then it is owed the inalienable rights of humanity. Regardless of how it is fed or where it is located, the question is ultimately one of its “whatness”. Is it a human or not?

          • Nate Frein

            Then why is the fetus granted rights above the “inalienable” rights of the host?

          • Glodson

            A fetus grows into a human being. A fetus is not a human being. A fetus doesn’t have the attributes of a human being until at least mid-way through the second trimester and its brain is not fully developed.

            Consent is key. Consent is key because the woman who is consenting to be pregnant will allow the fetus to gestate to the point at which it is viable. Forcing her to do to so, at the risk to her own body, is not morally acceptable. She incurs the costs and the risks for a process she doesn’t wish to take place. Allowing her the option to stop the process, to end it before the fetus develops into a viable human being, solves her problem. No one is arguing that consent makes you a human. We are arguing that women who do not consent to host a parasite that could become a child should have the option to end that process.

            This is based on how a fetus gestates, the development in utero.

            There’s no reason to think of a zygote as anything special. The blastocyst is nothing special. There’s nothing special about either. There’s nothing special about the growing mass that starts to resemble a human. Yes, at a point in the process is a point of no return. Up until that point, a woman should have the option of deciding how it will play out.

            Attaching a sentimental attitude to a bunch of cells does not make sense. It creates a problem that is worse. I would much prefer see people sensibly use contraception to prevent all unwanted pregnancies, but that isn’t always possible. If we attach this unneeded sense of sentimentality to a growing mass in a woman who is raped, we create a problem. See it for what it is, an unwanted invasion of the woman’s body will make it easier to deal with.

            Even if we think about it rationally, it can help in cases when a woman’s life is in danger and requires an abortion to save her life.

            Further, this attitude reinforces the notion that the needs of a fetus outweigh the wants of the woman, and harkens back to the position that having a child is the pinnacle of a woman’s life. Some of us reject these ideas.

    • Glodson

      This is something I found today, via Ed Brayton. Here’s a pair of articles I want you to read: http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/02/11/the-pope-pregnant-children-and-violence-against-girls-and-women/

      And the confirmation that the Pope indeed excommunicated the family of a nine year old girl who was raped and impregnated by her stepfather, a procedure that likely saved the young girl’s life: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1883598,00.html

      This is the Church. This family was in anguish before. And they made the rational decision to save the life of their daughter. For that, they got excommunicated. They were punished by the church, by the Pope.

      • Nate Frein

        Speaking of Ed Brayton, a few weeks ago he posted another interesting article.

        Abortion rates are shown to be higher where abortion is illegal

      • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

        Read both of the articles. Thanks for sharing. A few quick thoughts.

        1) The fact that little girls like that are raped is horrifying and we should do everything we can to prevent that from happening.
        2) If we can’t prevent people from perpetrating these terrifyingly degrading actions against others, we need to figure out how to deal with the consequences of that person’s actions. The first thing is seeing to the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health of the little girl who was raped.
        3) If a child is conceived in such a situation, then it is a human being, and it is no more responsible for the terrible sins of its father than you are responsible for the sins of your father. It is not the fetus’ fault. Would it be unimaginably hard to carry that pregnancy to term? Yes. Would the mother need all the compassion and support available to help her through that time? Of course. But does killing someone else because of the crime of their father make sense? No, it doesn’t.
        4) In cases of pregnancy where the mother’s life is in immediate danger, it is perfectly moral to perform medical procedures to save her life, even at the cost of the child’s. Our morality should be guided by what the Church calls the “principle of double effect” here. The idea of this principle is that one action can have multiple consequences, one or more of which is intended, and one or more of which are not. Essentially, if the action is moral and the intended consequence good, then the action is moral. So, if the pregnancy developed and it was clear the girl’s life would be endangered by delivery, then the doctor’s could in good conscience do what needed to be done to save the mother’s life, even if the baby died as an unintended consequence of the action. That’s not what happened in this case because the abortion happened before the predicted complications, but I thought you should know what the Church says about such difficult situations. Mother Church does not ignore her daughters, even her pregnant ones; She has the utmost care and concern for their spiritual and physical well-being.
        5) The Catholic Church teaches that women are the pinnacle of creation, the culmination and apex of God’s creative energies, and should be treated as such. The teachings of the Church are meant to protect women from the rampant use and abuse that are natural results of a culture of “consequence-free” sex. Why do you think old men and seventeen year old boys think it’s okay to rape little girls? Our culture tells them sex is meaningless, women are there to be used as orgasm-givers, and that our actions have no real consequences at all. What did you think would happen? Pope Pius VI predicted such atrocities in his encyclical “Humanae Vitae”. Unfortunately, his prophecies have come to fruition.
        6) Not that it matters much, but I couldn’t find anywhere that the Pope ratified the excommunication. Rather, the Archbishop announced it and it went no further. I would be surprised if the Vatican followed through on this.

        Again, no Catholic is perfect, not me, not the Bishops, not the Pope. But the system of beliefs is. The teachings provide a whole and consistent and accurate portrayal of reality that corresponds to reason and the entirety of human experience, and that’s why I believe.

        • Nate Frein

          You may not claim to be perfect, but you can make an effort to not use sites like 1flesh for support which use demonstrably dishonest statistics and made up “facts” to support their cause.

          • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

            If they are demonstrably dishonest, then please demonstrate.

          • Nate Frein

            If they are demonstrably dishonest, then please demonstrate.

            Here’s a start

        • Glodson

          3) If a child is conceived in such a situation, then it is a human being, and it is no more responsible for the terrible sins of its father than you are responsible for the sins of your father. It is not the fetus’ fault. Would it be unimaginably hard to carry that pregnancy to term? Yes. Would the mother need all the compassion and support available to help her through that time? Of course. But does killing someone else because of the crime of their father make sense? No, it doesn’t.

          So the fetus’ life is more important than the young girls? She is to suffer the consequences of taking the twins gestating in her due to a rape as her body suffers through a pregnancy her body cannot tolerate due to immaturity? That’s the just thing to do? To force the victim of a child rape to carry her rapists babies to term even though doing so may very well kill her?

          And her parents are to sit by and watch this horror unfold?

          4) In cases of pregnancy where the mother’s life is in immediate danger, it is perfectly moral to perform medical procedures to save her life, even at the cost of the child’s. Our morality should be guided by what the Church calls the “principle of double effect” here.

          Don’t tell me this. I am not the one that compounded this family’s suffering by excommunicating them for electing for the abortion, even though it was clear this young girl’s health was at risk. It was the opinion of the religious people that she should be forced to carry the pregnancy and then get a c-section. This is an appalling lack of empathy on their part.

          Why do you think old men and seventeen year old boys think it’s okay to rape little girls? Our culture tells them sex is meaningless, women are there to be used as orgasm-givers, and that our actions have no real consequences at all. What did you think would happen? Pope Pius VI predicted such atrocities in his encyclical “Humanae Vitae”. Unfortunately, his prophecies have come to fruition.

          This attitude is part of the problem. Slut Shaming works in favor of the rapists. Casting that light onto women fosters that attitude. As we attach shame to sex, it works to keep victims of abuse silent. Worse, it makes both men and women confused about how to express their own sexuality leading to a culture in which people can maintain the idea that “oh, she really wants it.”

          6) Not that it matters much, but I couldn’t find anywhere that the Pope ratified the excommunication. Rather, the Archbishop announced it and it went no further. I would be surprised if the Vatican followed through on this.

          This I can grant you, I don’t know if he did or not. I’ve not researched further. But unless these guys faced a censure of sorts from the papal office, this inaction still allowed for the family of this girl to endure another emotional trauma.

        • Nate Frein

          Why do you think old men and seventeen year old boys think it’s okay to rape little girls? Our culture tells them sex is meaningless, women are there to be used as orgasm-givers, and that our actions have no real consequences at all. What did you think would happen? Pope Pius VI predicted such atrocities in his encyclical “Humanae Vitae”. Unfortunately, his prophecies have come to fruition.

          In fact, rape rates have been going down. They’ve been going down because of progressive feminist movements that have been working diligently to bring our entrenched rape culture into the eye of public scrutiny. Less women are being raped now than even a decade ago.

          Do not mistake a greater awareness of rape for a greater occurrence of rape.

          • Glodson

            And as we talk more openly about what consensual sex is, victims have an easier time understanding their experience wasn’t that. We make it easier for rape victims to speak up. We remove the excuse that it was the victims fault.

            All of this helps to erode rape culture.

            The fetishization of purity helps keep rape culture in place.

  • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

    Several of your comments don’t have ‘reply’ buttons available, so I’m just going to make a few points here.

    All that really matters is determining whether or not the fetus is a human person. I say it is. I say it is because it has the essential traits of a human, those being a complete and unique set of human DNA and the seven qualities of life. You bring up things like brain development: The human brain is not fully developed until 25! Brain development is a nonessential trait of humanity. Physical characteristics are not what make a person human or not, nor are physical or mental abilities. Those who are missing body parts are still human. Those with disabilities are still human. An infant just born is still human, even though it can’t do anything but cry and poop.

    So, to repeat myself, if the fetus is a person, then that person has the same rights as any other person, including their mother. You didn’t respond to the point I made. What you’re doing is killing the child because of what the child’s father did. Not fair or just. Is it just for the woman (or young girl) to have to carry the child to term? Yes. The injustice was in the rape, and that rape had consequences; now we have to deal with the results of a terrible sin.

    And I already addressed the health concerns for the mother; instead of responding to what the Church teaches (even if that teaching isn’t always properly applied!), you just attacked the Bishop again. Respond to the idea of double effect, please.

    As far as “Slut Shaming” goes, here’s what I can tell you. If you do something immoral, feeling guilt is natural and good. It helps keep you from doing that immoral action again, just like physical pain prevents you from wanting to touch the hot stove a second time. Now, if Christians (or anyone for that matter) directly or intentionally make a person feel inferior because of their actions, that is mean and small of them; it’s bullying. The Catholic Church teaches that we can judge ideas as true or false, actions as moral or immoral, but never people. It’s not our place to tell people whether they are “bad” or not or whether they are going to hell; that’s between them and God. If someone does verbalize those types of judgment, then they are certainly in the wrong. But, again, don’t confuse the actions of the believer with the teaching of the institution.

    And finally, sex is not something to be ashamed of. I have sex with my wife all the time; it’s wonderful and beautiful. Catholics don’t think less of sex than you, but more. We believe it is something beautiful and fulfilling and spiritual, not just the actions of a horny animal who wants to please their flesh. That’s why I waited until marriage to have sex. That’s why I don’t use contraception. It’s a complete giving between two persons, a connection of souls that all people yearn to experience. When people take sex out of this context, it’s sad and immoral. That’s why rape is so awful: it’s taking what should be one of the greatest human experiences and making it a nightmare. So don’t mistake my feelings towards sex; I don’t think it’s something to hide, but rather something to protect. I don’t think it’s something that’s bad; I think it’s perhaps the closest many come to tasting the divine.

    I appreciate this dialogue. Thanks for being civil and intelligible with your responses.

    • Nate Frein

      And thank you for so eloquently showing how irrelevant you are to society.

      • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

        Nate…what does that even mean?

        • Nate Frein

          It means that you’ve demonstrated that you have to rely on dishonest statistics to defend your “faith”. That you feel the need to enforce your faith on other people, who do not follow your faith.

          That you think that bronze age moralities are applicable to the modern world, when pretty much all signs point to how destructive they are.

    • Kodie

      An infant just born is still human, even though it can’t do anything but cry and poop.

      If you think of it from this angle, of course you think a zygote or embryo is a person. Brain activity makes absorbing the environment through the senses much more effective. But you only think they cry or poop, no wonder. I had a thought, an observation that I noticed that, once born, some people do not really think much of infants anyway. Now it’s clearly that you think babies are just really big useless zygotes until they can walk and talk. No wonder you can’t get over abortion, the emergence of personhood, or tell the difference in a first-term abortion and infanticide. You think babies are unfeeling, unthinking globs too.

      As for the rest of your rave about saving sex for marriage, I think you overstated it. Of course you would, you saved it for marriage, it’s been the highlight of your life. You think magical things happen when you get married and have sex that are exclusive and yet to create new life, you mate like animals do for the same reasons they do – it feels really good. It’s not spiritual. Sad and immoral? You live in a fiction and you shame other people who do not live in your fiction. That’s sad and also immoral. Calling other people immoral is god’s job, and he doesn’t seem to be in the business of stopping it except through the shaming behavior of busybody religious people. People should not feel guilty of doing something if there is nothing actually wrong with it. So who are you to judge? What authority do you have to actively get in the business of other people to the effect that they feel ashamed of something they do not have any good real reason to feel ashamed of? You don’t!

      • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

        Kodie…I think taking that particular sentence in relation to the rest of the text is important for understanding what I meant by it. I think babies are wonderful, beautiful humans…but no, I don’t think they’re at all different than they were in the womb; they were wonderful and beautiful humans there.

        Also, as stated before, I am not judging people as immoral, but I can judge their actions as such, just as you judged my comments as such. I encourage you to read carefully what I wrote before, because it answers your questions, which are good ones, and I think it answers them sufficiently. Thanks.

        • Kodie

          Interestingly, you didn’t contradict what I said.

          Like Joe says a couple posts after, you don’t have the authority to judge people based on your religious beliefs, or expect them to comply with them without proof that any of it is true. You admire the utility of guilt in getting people to behave a certain way that you prefer they behave, and you as a person and not god do not have the authority to inflict psychological damage on people because of your hang-ups. You do not have moral superiority with regard to sex – you do not have the power or the right to judge other people. You are just a person. You are a religious person, but you are just a person. Why do you think you are better than everyone else? Why do you think you’re allowed to dictate what they do with their bodies that they think is ok? In what way does what someone else does harm you or your marriage that you feel justified in opening your mouth to foster shame in someone else?

          • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

            Kodie,

            Please hear me. I’m not judging any person as good or bad, but rather I am judging their actions. I can look at the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and say that those actions were wrong, but I have no idea whether the perpetrators knew what they were doing was wrong or freely chose to do it, so I don’t say they are bad people or in hell or anything like that. I simply say that what they did was wrong. Now, don’t think I’m saying abortion is the same as terrorism; I’m not. I’m simply saying that we all have the ability to judge actions without judging the people who perform them. I would hope you don’t judge me as a bad person simply because you disagree with my ideas. I certainly don’t believe I am in a place to judge any of you. I’m simply stating that you are mistaken in your ideas about what is right and moral. I place myself in a position no different than you place yourself: a person capable of perceiving truth who believes leading others to that truth is in their best interest and the best interest of everyone. I defined why I believe what I believe in previous posts. I defined how I perceive truth and how I know it to be true. I didn’t say anybody is hurting me; rather, I am worried that they are hurting themselves and others. I do not want to shame others, but lead them to the truth.

          • Kodie

            Nope. You judge people poorly for not glorifying sexual relations inside a heterosexual marriage without birth control. You have your standards, they are religious standards that do not bear well with reality. That’s fine for you and your standards, but you also glorify guilt and that people should feel it to know they have somehow done something wrong. You think it’s wrong, and you think it’s great when they feel guilty, they make different choices. YOUR choices. You don’t care if they feel bad, or even worse, or never ok with themselves. You think if they just settled and made YOUR choice, they would just see their life would be great. That guilt was useful to them in guiding them to make YOUR choice. I don’t like you, your beliefs, how you operate on them, or anything. There is nothing to feel guilty about, and there is no reason or justification for you, a nobody, a believer, a human being, to be throwing your “holy” weight around making anyone feel bad for making different choices than you make – if god has a problem, he should be striking people dead and he’s not. You are not satisfied with god, so you do the work you think he’s not doing. You love to make people feel bad, and their choices are of no consequence to you. Your whole life is about preaching to other people how bad they should feel about making different choices than you make. You’re just a basic asshole for god and you want me to see things your way. I do not. You’re not a good person, no matter how you try to draw a picture of your decency for me. I am listening to everything you say, and what it is is purposefully hurtful to others. So go ahead and pat yourself on the back because you care enough to drive people to shame. That’s exactly what you are making excuses for.

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

      Savita Halappanavar died in Ireland because of Catholic law about abortions. Edyta died. A teenager (who is unnamed because of her age) died of cancer in the Dominican Republic because of Catholic teachings on abortion. Mikki Kendall almost bled to death in the hospital and only survived because a nurse called in a doctor who wasn’t on call that night. In reality, Catholic teachings on life and health of the mother mean that women die horrible, preventable deaths (seriously, read up on how people die of sepsis. It’s an ugly, painful death).

      As to sex- why should I feel guilty about it? Why is it immoral? Oh, right, your god says so. Well, I don’t think your god exists, so why should I feel bad about it? As long as I’m not doing anything I’m not comfortable with, my partner(s) aren’t comfortable with, and we’re not bringing unwanted babies into the world, why is sex a bad thing? It’s total slut-shaming to tell people that sex is bad and that they are bad people for having sex. It’s especially slut-shaming to tell rape victims that they’ve lost something precious and are less-pure than bootiful virgins, and really they deserved it anyways because they drank too much/wore the wrong clothes/trusted the wrong man/shouldn’t have walked there/should’ve triple-barred the door/shouldn’t have flirted/insert excuse here.

      It doesn’t matter if a fetus is a person or not. Nothing and no one has the right to use my body without my permission. It’s that simple. Once a baby is born, it’s no longer dependent on a single person’s body- anyone can feed it formula, clothe it, change its diaper, whatever. It’s a person now. Before that, it’s not a person. It cannot survive independently outside of a woman’s body, and she and only she gets to decide who uses her body. Otherwise, please tell me your blood type and HCA measures. I know some people who could really use some organs, and since bodily autonomy is clearly unimportant to you they’ll be thrilled to know you won’t press charges if they steal yours.

      • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

        M…please read what I wrote in previous posts. I don’t think sex is bad. I don’t think it’s immoral. I think it can be immoral in certain circumstances. To make an analogy, I would think it immoral if someone cut me with a knife, unless of course that person was a doctor performing surgery on me. As I said before, I think sex to be an experience of the divine when in the right context, but I don’t think using people to experience physical pleasure is moral. We are more than tools to be used. Also, please read what I wrote about judging actions and ideas, but not people. I don’t worry about labeling people as “bad” or “good”. I’m talking about actions and ideas.

        As far as the comments about my blood type and such…again, please read what I wrote. The parent-child relationship is inherently different than my relationship to you.

        And finally, as to your first point: I don’t pretend that people, including Catholics, haven’t made mistakes when it comes to medical procedures and decisions for pregnant women. Certainly they have. I don’t think you really want a case-by-case analysis of what was right and wrong in the examples you gave; all I will say is what I’ve already said, which is that in cases where the mother’s life is at stake, the principle of double effect is often what should guide the actions of doctors, mothers, and fathers.

    • Joe

      All that really matters is determining whether or not the fetus is a human person. I say it is. I say it is because it has the essential traits of a human, those being a complete and unique set of human DNA and the seven qualities of life.

      What are these 7 qualities? I googled it and got a couple of different lists, some of which also apply to the cheek cells I regularly swallow and digest. Does this make me a murderer?

      So, to repeat myself, if the fetus is a person, then that person has the same rights as any other person, including their mother.

      The mother doesn’t have the right to use someone elses body to keep herself alive. Why does the fetus have this right?

      Is it just for the woman (or young girl) to have to carry the child to term? Yes. The injustice was in the rape, and that rape had consequences; now we have to deal with the results of a terrible sin.

      Odd, how these consequences all affect the women, and not the rapist (especially if he is not convicted, which happens a lot). How is this just?

      We believe it is something beautiful and fulfilling and spiritual, not just the actions of a horny animal who wants to please their flesh.

      These aren’t mutually exclusive.

      That’s why I waited until marriage to have sex. That’s why I don’t use contraception. It’s a complete giving between two persons, a connection of souls that all people yearn to experience. When people take sex out of this context, it’s sad and immoral.

      None of that is necessary for sex to be fun and fulfilling. What makes sex fulfilling varies depending on the person. It is entirely possible that for you, marriage outside of marriage using contraception would be unfulfilling. For other people, it is not. You also haven’t shown that it is immoral. I understand that it is what the church teaches, but to prove that sex outside of marriage is indeed immoral you need to prove not only that your God exists, but also that the church’s teachings reflect his wishes.

      • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

        Joe,

        Thanks for the response.

        1) Life: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life#Definitions. The difference between a cheek cell and a fetus is that a fetus has a complete and unique set of human DNA, just like you or I, and the cheek cell does not.

        2) I’ve addressed that concern in previous comments.

        3) It is not just that the woman is so greatly injured; that’s why we have a system to bring the perpetrator to justice. But, again, the sins of the father are not the fault of the child. In the abortion, you are killing an innocent child to try to make the consequences of the man’s terrible actions go away faster. This is not just.

        4) Agreed. I believe we are soul and body. Good point.

        5) I believe that the fact that sex is meant for the context of marriage to be objective truth, applicable to all. Above, I linked to a wonderful debate on the topic of “Does God exist?”. I encourage you to check it out. Also, here’s a link to “Theology of the Body”, a collection of thoughts from Blessed John Paul II on the Church’s teachings on sexuality. http://www.tobinstitute.org/

    • Nate Frein

      When you get right down to it, all the concrete qualities you use to justify calling a fetus a “human” apply equally to cancer. And I don’t see anyone protesting chemotherapy labs. The only difference between cancer and a fetus is the potential of the fetus. Potential life gets potential rights, and potential rights do not trump the inalienable rights of the mother.

      What is it about a discrete unit of life that makes it an unqualified Good? What reasoning can you apply that says that an individual fetus must be brought to term that does not rely on purely religious reasoning?

      Before you start the “potential Einstein” thought experiment, try this one: Suppose the “potential Einstein” is the older brother? Whom the parents have the time and resources to raise to potential, but the second child is more than they can afford? By having the second child, they deny the first the resources necessary for him to reach his potential, thereby denying the world a new Einstein.

      • Zue

        Or try this one: perhaps the potential Einstein is the mother, who by having a child will be denying them the resources to reach that potential.

        • Nate Frein

          That’s silly. If she had potential, she wouldn’t be a Slutty McSlutface and go slutting around. Unless she’s the real Einstein. The real Einstein could slut around because penis.

          • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

            Nate…surely you can do better than that.

          • Nate Frein

            Surely you can answer the original question?

      • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

        7 qualities of life + complete and unique set of human DNA = human being. I believe human rights to be universal as well as inalienable, so the rights of the baby are equal to the rights of the mother.

        I have intentionally avoided religious reasoning, but have met you on your terms. While I believe my obedience to the Church’s teaching is enough, I have only provided you with scientific and rational arguments for my beliefs, and they correspond entirely with what my Mother Church teaches.

        • Glodson

          No.

          You have been rationalizing your beliefs. You have been allowing your faith to put you into a position that makes the right of the fetus supersede those of the woman. She is robbed of her autonomy over what goes on in her body.

          By doing so, you demand that a woman carry an unwanted pregnancy to term despite the damage it will do to her. Even in cases of rape. And incest. How can you not see the problem with that? The woman did nothing wrong, and yet she’s got to go through the pain of child birth, the pain of being pregnant, the emotional trauma of carrying her abuser’s fetus to term, all because you are attempting to reconcile your dogma with reality. The reality is that a fetus doesn’t have a fully developed brain until close to the third trimester. The fetus is not the same as a full human, it is just developing. It feels no pain, has no emotions, has no memories. It is not alive like the woman being forced to carry the pregnancy.

          This attitude causes problems. It creates an environment of guilt for the women. Women who are unready or unable or unwilling to care for the child need the option. Women who are facing the threat of death by carrying the pregnancy need the option. Women who are raped need the option. And this attitude creates an unneeded feeling of guilt on these women when they need to choose.

          A fetus isn’t even viable until the 26th week, at best. Not alive. Most abortions happen well before that. If we allowed the morning-after pill to be allowed, we could even reduce the number of abortions. If we encouraged the use of contraception and made it more easily obtained, we could even lower the number of abortions. It is estimated that somewhere between 30% to 70% of all pregnancies don’t implant. Those fill your 7 qualities and have human DNA. That is a lot of people dying, by your standard.

          When we remove these objections, when we look at how a human develops, when we think about what really makes us human, we can do away with this objection. There’s no soul that magically inhabits a zygote. Who and what we are, fundamentally, is all in our head. Literally. If my brain gets damaged, I will likely stop being me in a real sense. There’s a good chance that I will develop Alzheimer’s as I age. That will effectively be the end of me, as the major changes in my brain will result in a different person. Who and what I am will end when that happens. It all comes down to the brain.

          No higher brain activities means no person. We don’t see that develop until late in the gestation of a fetus. So no person is killed in an abortion, outside late term abortions. And those are done to save a mother’s life.

        • Nate Frein

          You have yet to enumerate those “seven qualities of life”. Which of them, that the fetus actually possesses and not merely has in potential, is not also a quality of cancer?

  • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

    I want to thank everyone for the dialogue. It’s been quite engaging.

    However, I believe that we’ve digressed away from ideas and into the realm of redundancy. So I will sum up my beliefs here and leave it at that. Again, thank you for the discussion.

    1) Truth is objective, and we can know it through three means: our personal senses and experience, our logic and reason, and the testimony of legitimate authority. Since personal experiences and testimonies are easily disregarded, I provided a link to a succinct and accurate argument for God’s existence from a rational as well as ontological point of view. I encourage you to watch it if you’re interested in my reasons.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXmTkSaFDqc

    2) Once we know truth, we can apply it to specific actions and ideas to judge whether those actions are moral and whether ideas correspond to reality or not (i.e. are true or false). We can do this without judging persons, without deciding who is good or bad, who is saved or damned, who is better or worse.

    3) This truth is propagated by the Catholic Church in its fullness and richness. The Church combines the Divine Revelations fulfilled in Jesus Christ with reason and logic available to all humans regardless of their religious beliefs.

    4) This logic and reason, as well as the teachings of my Church, lead others to know truth, and when life is lived in light of that truth, people’s inherent rights and dignity are protected and personal and societal fulfillment are possible. This doesn’t mean Catholics, or any person for that matter, choose to live perfectly in line with the truths they know. When people don’t do this, they sin, and sin is what hurts people.

    5) Love means willing the good of the other, so out of love for each other, we can try to help each other live in the truth, even if that means telling people that some of their actions are immoral. This is how we help people live fulfilling and beautiful lives in this life, and it’s how we can help each other find Christ to live with Him in the next.

    Thanks for the conversation. God bless.

    • Kodie

      The church shovels bullshit and you eat it up with a fork and knife.

    • Glodson

      1) Truth is objective, and we can know it through three means: our personal senses and experience, our logic and reason, and the testimony of legitimate authority.

      No. See Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. I can devise a system in which two seemingly contradictory interpretations of events are both correct. This doesn’t follow with our senses, or personal experiences. The very nature of the universe on the smallest of scales flies in the face of all reason based on our day to day experiences.

      What constitutes a legitimate authority? Why should I believe a legitimate authority? They can be wrong, they can be mistaken, they can lie, they don’t always have all the facts, and sometimes they are out-dated.

      How about logic, reason, and evidence? Those are what I trust. I don’t trust my senses as I know those can be fooled. Optical illusions do that all the time. I can be tricked easily if I am not careful. I have to check what I sense by comparing it to what I know and understand about the world around me. Further, I can’t just trust my personal experiences. Those are flawed, as I don’t always remember events clearly.

      It isn’t that personal experiences are easily disregarded. It is that, by themselves, they are untrustworthy. A personal example can be a powerful agent in an argument when it is used to personalize the evidence. It should not be used in the place of the evidence.

      Evidence is the important part. I have evidence for Relativity, I have evidence for Quantum Mechanics. I can test the two to see if they synch up with reality. Should they fail, I can reject them. They don’t fail.

      2) Once we know truth, we can apply it to specific actions and ideas to judge whether those actions are moral and whether ideas correspond to reality or not (i.e. are true or false). We can do this without judging persons, without deciding who is good or bad, who is saved or damned, who is better or worse.

      What truth? As I investigate reality, I learn much. I am trying to get to the bottom of the truth, but I’m not there yet. No one is. At best, we have to take what evidence is before us and determine what is most likely true. One thing I’ve discovered is that it impossible to know the entire truth. See Godel for a further explanation as to why that might be impossible.

      3) This truth is propagated by the Catholic Church in its fullness and richness. The Church combines the Divine Revelations fulfilled in Jesus Christ with reason and logic available to all humans regardless of their religious beliefs.

      This is circular reasoning. I believe the these teachings are the truth because it is a legitimate authority which tells me that these teachings are true. What evidence is there that Jesus rose? How about the contradictions in the accounts and the Bible as a whole? If these are the matters of the truth, why did it take the church close to 400 years to acknowledge that Galileo was right? If they were wrong about that, what else are they wrong about? Is there a special pleading for certain types of truth? Why isn’t there any evidence for Hebrew slaves in Egypt?

      4) This logic and reason, as well as the teachings of my Church, lead others to know truth, and when life is lived in light of that truth, people’s inherent rights and dignity are protected and personal and societal fulfillment are possible. This doesn’t mean Catholics, or any person for that matter, choose to live perfectly in line with the truths they know. When people don’t do this, they sin, and sin is what hurts people.

      I think that forcing another’s morality unto others hurts them. I think that casting blame for the crimes of others unto innocent people hurts others. There’s no evidence that there’s any truths being taught to the church, see above, and it doesn’t follow that this idea is correct. And again, evidence shows that the church itself is guilty of many crimes over the years. This is not a good position for the holders of the immutable truth to be in.

      And I think that not letting people marry who they love is a sin. I think that telling people that their love for another is unnatural and sinful is a sin. I think that forcing a woman to carry a rapist’s child to term is a sin. I think that telling the followers in poor countries ravaged by AIDs that the use of condoms is wrong is a sin. I think that a man claiming that condom use spreads AIDs is a sin. I think that covering up the crimes of people who would abuse children is a sin.

      5) Love means willing the good of the other, so out of love for each other, we can try to help each other live in the truth, even if that means telling people that some of their actions are immoral. This is how we help people live fulfilling and beautiful lives in this life, and it’s how we can help each other find Christ to live with Him in the next.

      This is the only life I get. This is the only life any of us gets. I see no proof for an afterlife. This is it. This is my existence. It is finite. I only get so much time to live. I only get so much time to be the son of my parents. The older brother. The husband. The father. I don’t know when I will die, and I don’t even know how long I will hold onto my identity if my brain deteriorates into dementia as I age.

      This is me coping with the mortality. Having the dodge of believing in a magical existence after this makes this life so much more important. I cannot count on anything after I am dead. In fact, this makes improving the lives of others around me paramount. We all only have so much time, and it would be better spent making life better for everyone else rather than hoping that some father figure we cannot see, touch, hear or anything else will judge us favorably.

      The best I can come up with is the Assumption of Saint Antwelm:

      What King Antwelm had assumed was that what everybody wanted, all other things being equal, was to be happy and enjoy themselves and have the best possible time together.

      Thank you, Douglas Adams, for that.

      • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

        But here’s the deal, Glodson…No one has yet to respond to the logical arguments I’ve presented. It could be because no one took the time to watch any of the video I linked to, but if you aren’t going to listen to the points being made, this isn’t much of a dialogue. Not only did I specifically avoid building my arguments around my experiences or those of others, BUT I SAID I WAS AVOIDING THEM so that you wouldn’t have to say all the things you just said. Please, watch the video and see how reason shows the necessity of the existence of God.

        And finally, we get to the real point: you are doing the exact same thing I am. You are presenting your morality as true; I am presenting mine. And yet you accuse me of “forcing” my morality on you. I’m not. I’m simply challenging your conception of the truth. You tell me there’s no way I can know what’s moral, yet you make a moral statement when telling me I should keep quiet! You say there is no objective truth, and then you tell me it’s objectively wrong to evangelize! You hold physical and emotional hurt as the highest immorality, yet we hurt people all the time to save them from a greater evil (see surgery, telling kids not to do things and making them cry, etc.).

        That’s a contradiction you have to deal with. Acknowledging the truth has consequences. God bless.

        • Glodson

          You are presenting it without evidence. You want us to accept your evidence, yet are failing to provide real evidence.

          I am telling you that I use logic and reason and evidence to find a good moral code, but I reject the notion that there’s an objective universal moral code.

          I am not telling you to keep quiet. I’m telling you that I think you are wrong. I do hold that needlessly hurting people is wrong. Notice the word “needless.” It becomes an interesting point when we start analyzing the conflict of hurting someone verses need. To reduce my stance to what you wrote is a strawman.

          If you cannot present the evidence here, I see no need to watch the video. What is in the video that I haven’t seen 100 times? What is that will bring me back to the faith when I’ve already rejected it?

          • http://thedeathofcatholicism.wordpress.com CatholicMan

            The video is the evidence. Proving the existence of God in a combox would be a tough task.

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