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May 17, 2010

Why is anyone still Catholic?

Greta Christina's Blog: Why Is Anyone Still Catholic? Greta Christina asks a damn good question and I'm going to open the comments on this one.
For any Catholics who might be reading this, I have a question for you: Why are you still Catholic? Presumably, I don't have to tell you about the rash of child-rape scandals in the Catholic Church. I don't have to tell you about the cover-ups, the shielding of child rapists in the priesthood from law enforcement, the deliberate shuttling of child-raping priests from town to town to protect them from exposure -- thus enabling them to continue raping children. I don't have to tell you about the Church using remote, impoverished villages as a dumping ground for priests who raped children. I don't have to tell you that this wasn't a few isolated incidents: it was a widespread, institutional practice, authorized by high-level Church officials. Including Cardinal Ratzinger -- now Pope Benedict XVI -- who, among other actions taken to protect child raping priests, delayed the dismissal of a child rapist in the priesthood... for the "good of the universal Church." And presumably, I don't have to tell you about the Church's response as this scandal has been exposed. I don't have to tell you that, overwhelmingly, they have stonewalled, rationalized, deflected blame. I don't have to tell you about the Church's "Come on, the kids weren't that young, most of them were over 11" defense, or their "Hey, everyone else is doing it" defense. I don't have to tell you how they've equated the accusations against the Church with anti-Semitism. I don't have to tell you how they've blamed the child-rape scandal on gays, the media, the Devil , even the rape survivors themselves. (No, really. From the Bishop of Tenerife: "There are 13 year old adolescents who are under age and who are perfectly in agreement with, and what's more wanting it, and if you are careless they will even provoke you.") I don't have to tell you that the Church is opposing a measure extending the statute of limitations on child rape. I don't have to tell you about the Pope's dismissal of the child-rapist-protection accusations as, quote, "petty gossip." . . .
[More at the link]

Nun excommunicated for approving life-saving abortion

The woman was 11 weeks pregnant and doctors said that she needed the abortion or the pregnancy would cause her pulmonary hypertension to kill her. The nun in question was part of an ethics committee at the hospital who thought saving a woman's life was a good idea. Now she has been excommunicated. Nun excommunicated for approving life-saving abortion - Feministing
Sister Margaret McBride has been demoted from her position at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ after participating in the approval of an abortion for a critically ill patient in 2009. McBride was part of the hospital ethics committee that approved an abortion for a patient with pulmonary hypertension, which can be made fatal by pregnancy. Hospital officials say the procedure was necessary to save the patient's life. Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, the leader of the Phoenix archdiocese, said McBride was "automatically excommunicated" for acting to save a woman's life. What role Olmsted played in McBride's demotion is unknown. Olmsted condemned the hospital's decision in a statement that blatantly defies logic: I am gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this diocese. I am further concerned by the hospital's statement that the termination of a human life was necessary to treat the mother's underlying medical condition. An unborn child is not a disease. While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother's life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child. The end does not justify the means. The abortion was necessary to save the patient's life. And of course a fetus couldn't survive if the woman died at 11 weeks

May 16, 2010

Dawkins, "Some people interpret clarity as a threat"

onegoodmove: It's a Load of Bullshit

Studying science doesn't make you an athiest, but studying literature does

Epiphenom: Studying science doesn't make you an atheist... but studying literature does!
although scientists are much less religious than the general population, it doesn't seem to be that studying science is the cause. That's because prospective scientists are mostly non-religious in the first place. I guess that's not too surprising. There's a considerable anti-science movement within conservative Christianity, so highly religious people are less likely to go into science in the firs place. And there's no reason to suppose that learning about science should necessarily conflict with liberal religion. After all, mainstream religions have successfully accommodated science within their worldviews (often reconstructing God as a remote figure who lets evolution and the laws of physics do most of the work (but see this earlier blog post for more on that). And yet there is something odd going on here. Because college in the US is, in fact, a major non-religious epiphany for many students. . . . In other words, humanities and social sciences, much more than biological and mathematical sciences, challenge you to imagine the world though the eyes of others. And this exercise in imagination undercuts religious dogma far more effectively than any science lesson can. As the Michigan researchers conclude: ""Our results suggest that it is Postmodernism, not Science, that is the bĂȘte noir of religiosity."