It took these guys 350 years to accept the world goes ’round the sun

Take a good look at this picture.  These are the representatives of a global organization that is dictating the terms by which a woman’s uterus will operate.

These guys, and they are ALL guys, have been in business for 1600 years.  Well, longer than that when you consider that what really happened was that the Roman emperor Constantine conducted a merger of the polytheistic religious hierarchy with Christianity.  Yep, one day all of the pontiffs were worshipping Jupiter, the next Jesus Christ.  Constantine did it for pragmatic reasons.  No one’s certain that he gave up pagan ways entirely.  I’d be curious about the priests who suddenly had to make a choice.  Do they continue to read entrails at the Pantheon and believe  Minerva emerged from the head of her father and the head god shows up to empregnate beautiful young mortal women as a shower of gold or do they embrace a new religion based on “The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.”? (That last definition of Christianity is courtesy of the Urban Dictionary)

We know the answer to this question.  The priests switched sides but kept much of their old corporate culture.  For example, there are no women in their executive offices.  Nope.  Not one.  In 1600 years and counting, there has never been so much as female intern in their ranks.  I’ve heard unofficial stories of female popes but they were disguised as men so it doesn’t count.  They cornered the market on book learnin’ but tended to revere tradition, naturally.  So when Galileo Galilei showed that the earth went around the sun and mocked them for ignoring the evidence, they made him pay.  He was forced to eat those words (sort of).  The Roman Catholic Church did a “talk to the hand” on the subject of Galileo and his heliocentric theory.  Eventually, the church “softened”.   One hundred years after stuffing a sock in Galileo’s mouth, it quietly allowed publication of his astronomical works. It has never formally apologized but it has expressed “regret” over the whole unfortunate incident.  It only took until 1992.  No one can accuse the Church of being hasty.

It must be nice to wear the same uniform every day and pronounce the rules by which others will live.  That would include the lives of women who don’t even believe in your religion.  Those women have, what?, 80 years on earth to make their mark and make a difference in their lives and the lives of others?  They have to get educated and get jobs, they get married or not.  They are in most “civilized” countries, complete, independent, PERSONS, with unalienable rights endowed by their Creator, whoever that may be.  But according to these stick in the mud throwbacks from the 4th century, they have no right to decide when and under what circumstances they will be parents.  It is the Church’s bishops that call the shots here in the US.  They have the right to overturn the personhood of every woman in America whether those women give a $#@% about their exclusive boy’s club or not.

I would love to hear Ben Nelson and Bart Stupak explain why the women of this country are having their personhood stripped from them by a bunch of color coordinated old guys from the smallest country in the world.  And can someone please tell me if Ben Nelson, Bart Stupak, and Marcy Kaptur (fergawdsakes, Marcy!) even believe that women are persons?  Aren’t they entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?  Are women allowed to have their own belief systems?  Are they allowed to follow the religion of their choice or is there one overarching religion that applies solely to women?  Men can follow whatever creed they wish.  Women are subject to The Church.  Poor women are doubly subject but are middle class women to join their ranks?  And does the amount of money you have affect the kind of liberty you are entitled to?

Are women persons? If you are in Congress and you don’t move heaven and earth to get rid of the Stupak Amendment, then you don’t believe they are.  You don’t believe we women will move heaven and earth to get rid of you.  Maybe you even believe that the sun goes round the earth.

You may come to “regret” that and a lot sooner than 350 years.

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316 Responses

  1. I would be the first to insult the anti women dictates of the catholic church… but the following is divisive and insultingly stupid. It makes this place look just like dkos and DU, two places where people with brains rarely go anymore.

    These guys, and they are ALL guys, have been in business for 1600 years. Well, longer than that when you consider that what really happened was that the Roman emperor Constantine conducted a merger of the polytheistic religious hierarchy with Christianity. Yep, one day all of the pontiffs were worshipping Jupiter, the next Jesus Christ. Constantine did it for pragmatic reasons. No one’s certain that he gave up pagan ways entirely. I’d be curious about the priests who suddenly had to make a choice. Do they continue to read entrails at the Pantheon and believe Minerva emerged from the head of her father and the head god shows up to empregnate beautiful young mortal women as a shower of gold or do they embrace a new religion based on “The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.”? (That last definition of Christianity is courtesy of the Urban Dictionary)

    and I keep hoping some where some liberals who are not religious will be smart enough not to post dumbass bullshit that insults those who are.

    • Sorry, Teresa. I’m not interested in hearing about how insulting you think it is. This is how some people view religion. They find it incredible that anyone would believe in this illogical stuff. One of them is my daughter. Please don’t insult her by making her feel like her atheism is somehow insulting to every other religion on earth. I may not agree with her but she has a right to live the kind of enlightenment that she chooses without having to be subject to what she considers superstition.

      • It isn’t your daughter’s atheism that’s insulting it’s your adoption of an insulting description of the Catholic church. As a Catholic, I am also deeply offended.

        Your daughter has a right to her opinion, as do you. But those of us who choose to be believers ( and yes, it’s a choice for many of us who have given the matter careful consideration) the mockery of atheists is annoying and insulting. Religion is about faith. Of course the stories are fantastic, that’s why they call it FAITH.

        The internal organization of the church and it’s misognyistic practices are matters of legitimate discourse for both Catholics and non-Catholics. It was the church’s contraception and abortion stand that made me a non-practicing Catholic since the 70s. However, I still find the mockery untenable.

        By the way, RD, why did your daughter get into your response to Teresa? Reminded me of Claire McCaskill and Caroline Kennedy rationalizing their support of BHO. Not a good look .

        • And I’m insulted that the Catholic Church thinks it has the right to dictate what goes on my womb. As a non-believer, the Catholic Church has no right to tell me a damn thing other than “have a nice day.” Maybe if they’d take their noses out of other people’s wombs then they wouldn’t leave their silly doctrine open to ridicule.

        • So are you saying you believe talking upright snake convinced a woman to eat an apple?

          • I beliewve in “the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sin, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.” That’s what I bevieve in a nutshell. But it seems to me that those who would spend their time demanding to know whether Christians believe literally everything in the bible are on a fools errand. It doesn’t change the believer’s belief and doesn’t advance any cause that they are trying to promote.

            Already in this thread the debate has gone off track with because RD chose to use a derogatory description of the catholic church which was completely unnecessary to the point she was trying to make.

            People who have legitimate issues with positions the church has taken don’t help their cause when they engage in mockery. It make you feel good. But it alienates people who are in the church but agree with you. You’re getting nowhere. But knock yourself out if it makes you feel better.

          • Joanie, I don’t even believe in sin because I don’t believe that there’s anything to sin against. I don’t believe in life ever lasting and I think that Saints are just mostly fictional characters or real people who were fictionalized. I barely buy the idea that Jesus was a historical figure. So, are you saying my beliefs are less valid than yours and that we should tippy toe around yours because you call that your religion?

            Look, I don’t care what Christians believe or don’t believe. I see the entire thing in the same light as when I read Greek or Roman or Native American Mythology. It’s all play of human imagination and nothing more. The only one that finds your beliefs and your institution sacred are the folks that believe the same as you. There’s nothing sacred about it to me or frankly, any of mine. We’ve been raised for several generations in my family without the benefit of any invisible friends or any old men telling us how to live our lives.

            It drives me nuts, that by just simply rejecting your paradigm, you find us insulting and derogatory. I think there’s a bit of defensiveness that’s based on the fact that so many question your beliefs. I simply don’t believe anything you do in that arena. It’s not meant as an insult to you at all.

            I just expect hyperreligious people to keep it to themselves and stay away from politics.

          • Not everyone takes the Bible literally believe it or not.

          • Well, Joanie in Brooklyn, some of us feel that the Catholic Church uses a derogatory description of women and womanhood in its doctrine. No church is exempt from refutation. Removing (or diverting) the arguments against dogma only paves the way for religious tyranny

          • The Saints replaced the Roman gods.

        • As a non-catholic, I am extremely insulted that YOUR church would presume to tell me and other American women what is and isn’t acceptable wrt parenthood.
          The blogoverse is vast and infinite. No one is forcing you to read this post. Go and explore other blogs where you as a Catholic will feel comfortable.

          • Your arguments are now becoming infantile. I am well aware of my options of where I can go and what I can read so no need for you to tell me. I am very familiar with the “vast and infinite” blogosphere. Also, I am in no way uncomfortable with the views being expressed just saying that the mockery doesn’t add anything to the debate and allows for the real issues to become secondary. The real issue is why does the Catholic church weild any power outside of the church?

            Please grow up.

          • Don’t forget what they are doing to the GLBT community all over this country. It’s appalling.

        • The deal is the Roman Catholic Church does not keep their practices, misogyny or lunacy to themselves and their adherents. This means they’re fair game for criticism. They adhere to superstitions and nonsense and they continue to seek ways to place weird irrational stuff that not every one buys into laws that impact all of us. Think stem cell research. They’ve declared not only war on women for ages, but science and medicine for ages. Should we just stop the criticism because they’ve branded their form of ignorance a religion? Would you tolerate similar actions coming from, say the Scientologists or the Taliban? I’d respond the same way if it came from Mormans or Pantheists or Moonies.

          They’re basically a foreign nation who wants every one to kowtow to them in whatever country they can influence. I don’t see much difference between them trying to write their beliefs into our laws than I do the Taliban trying to take over towns and cities and the government in Afghanistan. The results are frequently the same. Women and science suffer terribly.

          I personally think Stupak and Nelson should be held as agents of a foreign nation and put up for treason and violating their oath to uphold the constitution.

          It’s time we get superstitious nonsense completely out of our political arena and the institutions that support it. It’s ruining our scientific research and our progress and it ruins the lives of individuals who are perpetually victimized by their power plays.

          Faith should come from reasoned experience and not blind ignorance. We do not have to follow the tenets of ANY one’s blind ignorance in this country. It may be your religion, but to a bunch of us it’s just another set of superstitions that have no place in a secular society other than behind the doors of your house and the gathering spot where all of you paint yourselves blue and worship his Noodlyness or whatever invisible friend you construct.

          An institution that does THIS much damage to people over time does not deserve to be treated with kid gloves. Just putting the label religious institute on it should not make it safe from any and all criticism.

          And it’s not just liberals that find it intolerable nor in a lot of cases it’s not just us ‘smug liberal atheists’ either.

          • I would agree that the Catholic church should be called on its behavior. That being said how is it helpful to insult anyone that follows the New Testament by calling Jesus a zombie?

            It’s one thing to point out the hypocrisy of a church that preaches about the sanctity of life when its practices kill many people or to point out that the people in charge hid child ,molesters for their own selfish purposes and another to insult everyone as superstitious dolts(even the people who are quite content to leave people to their own path) simply because you have chosen your own belief set. Both sides need to acknowledge that there isn’t proof either way. There may never be since faith is not about tangible proof.

          • Go, Kat, go!!!

          • Actually, to a non-believer, Jesus as a Zombie is pretty accurate. IMO, anyone who would be insulted by the comparison is not very secure in their faith.

            There is a great deal of proof that the texts Christianity is based on are not factual. It’s just that most believers chose myth over truth. Which is within their rights, but they have no business insisting to others that their faith must be treated as non-fiction or, worse yet, scientific theory.

          • Cwaltz: about Jesus being a zombie, imagine what Christianity sounds like to an alien. Or as Julia Sweeny puts it in Letting Go of God, when she first heard the crazy story of the Book of Mormon,

            “If someone came to my door and I was hearing Catholic theology and dogma for the first time and they said, “we believe God impregnated a very young girl without the use of intercourse and the fact that she was a virgin is maniacally important to us, and she had a baby that was the son of God”, I’d think that was just as ridiculous, but I guess I’m just *used* to that story.”

            The thing is, many of us have kept the general concept of Christanity but jettison the mythical aspects of it. I mean, c’mon, who here really believes in the virgin birth or doesn’t recognize the nativity story elements were culled from other non-Christian sources? So we enjoy the stories but no one believes them.
            So, why should we also cling to cultural artifacts on the subjugation of women that are 2000 years old? Because we can’t critcize a bunch of red cloaked men with pointy hats?
            We’re modern people, accepting and rejecting myths and legends but we can’t challenge these old guys in Vatican City because….?

          • *applause*

            I’d add, frankly, that while religions are less objectionable when they don’t attempt to influence the secular world, I’d still be opposed to Catholicism even if they didn’t have a finger in every pot. Being oppressive to your own followers is still bad enough, imho, and the Catholic church is still plenty oppressive.

        • Sorry, ANY denomination that sticks its nose into my uterus will get nothing but ridicule from me. I escaped the Southern Baptist version of the Christian Taliban 10 years ago, and I’m not about to let the Catholic version control my life again. As a non-Catholic, I am deeply offended that a bunch of old men are telling me and my daughters what we can and can’t do with our bodies.

        • So, we can question and insult the church all we want so long as we do it with the appropriate Tone? Why exactly is that? Why does religion get that particular concession?

        • What are you defending about the Catholic Church? Is it their right to force women to have children against their will? I am a Catholic, was brought up as one and still consider myself one–but I don’t except the right of the Catholic Bishops to control my body. I believe what they are doing is wrong and against everything Jesus taught. He didn’t argue that women aren’t people.

      • It isn’t the atheism that is insulting. It’s the derision being heaped upon people of faith. I respect your daughters right to believe that there is no higher power and that this is all there is(you won’t catch me trying to convert a single soul). I think it is not unreasonable to ask those that are atheists to return the favor by acknowledging that there very well could be a higher power or a heaven. I think its more than fair to say that none of us have all the answers.

        • Uh…isn’t the very definition of atheist not believing “that there very well could be a higher power or heaven”?

          So you’re perfectly fine with atheists…as long as they aren’t really atheists.

          • I’m perfectly fine with people chosing to believe that there is no higher power. It’s not my belief. I think it is only fair that the respect I afford people to not believe be reciprocated(rather than mocked as lunacy) Does that clarify it for you?

          • I don’t mock it as lunacy. I believe it is lunacy. But what has that got to do with you?

        • Thank you CW. That’s all I’ve been trying to say. I have lots of friends who are born-again Christians. I am not a fundamentalist and I don’t get their fervor. I don’t like that Christianity requires proselytizing. I, like you, won’t ever try to convert anyone. But I won’t think of them as idiots, either. When the church, ANY CHURCH, crosses over into secular areas, it must be stopped. And it’s not just the Catholic church. Last I heard, Rick Warren isn’t a Catholic. All I’m saying is the church can only be changed from within.

          Based on my non-scientific poll of people walking by my house on the way to church on a Sunday morning (my church is two blocks away from my house) I’d say there are more women in the church than men. There are probably a lot of allies in this group. Why alienate them by mocking their belief? The criticism is fair game, the mockery and derision, isn’t.

          • no, it’s not just the Catholic church. It’s pretty much all deism based religious institutions. The Catholic church just gets away with more than a lot of others do because of a variety of factors.

            Again, rejecting your beliefs isn’t mocking them.

        • I am not ab atheist but I live with one. My Brook told me sge didn’t believe in god when she was 9 years old. We have happily coexisted since then. I respect her reasons although I have told her as Blaise Pascal said, “the heart has its reasons that reason cannot understand”. But she believes that religion is superstition and I tend to agree with her. I am not going to talk her out of her atheism. I only want her to understand that faith is sometimes a mystery.
          So, why can’t you also accept that? She and other atheists don’t believe in god and don’t ever want to. They believe in life for as long as it lasts. Why is it so important for you that they consider the possibility of a god?
          Does it make you uncomfortable? Is it because they might be right and you don’t want to think about it? Why is that an atheist’s problem? Why should they feel an obligation to make you feel comfortable with your belief? To do that, they have to compromise their belief system. Is thus really necessary if you truly believe there is a god?
          My point is, what others believe should have absolutely no influence on your personal beliefs. Indeed, I suspect there are a good many people pretending to be believers who don’t gave the courage of atheists to say what they really think. But they will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable.
          I can usually spot these people from a mile away. One of them is the current occupant of the WH. It’s a particularly pernicious form of amorality because it is all for itself hiding under the guise of pacifying the masses.
          Is that what you want? Wouldn’t it be preferable to live harmoniously with non-believers who are honest?

          • I believe faith is a choice. It’s subjective, not objective. Even if I wanted to I couldn’t make your daughter believe. It just doesn’t work that way.(nor will you convince me the presence I feel in my life is simply a figment of my overactive imagination. So no, other people’s belief systems do not affect my own short of their commentary on my intelligence or lack thereof to others). That being said, I do believe that your daughter should respect that there are going to be people that do believe and she should reciprocate respect for that different belief system. If someone feels a presence in their life and chooses to name that presence God why should they be subject to derision simply because they can’t prove it?

            By the way, the idea that I might be wrong doesn’t make me uncomfortable at all. It wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong and in the interim my faith has sustained me through hardship. I won’t regret my belief system one bit one way or the other(since if I cease to exist then I won’t regret because things that don’t exist don’t have feelings and if I am right and I get to be reunited with those I love that passed before me and watch over those who have come after me, so it’s win-win from where I am sitting).

            For the record, I live with an agnostic/ former atheist.
            We have discussions about faith all the time and we do it without derision(Since God knows everything when someone shoots someone isn’t it okay cuz’ after all its Gods will type of discussions). Of course, it may help that I do not feel tied to church dogma. I recognize that man has his sticky little hands all over the interpretation of God’s word. I also recognize that there are plenty of good people who choose not to believe. Believing in God doesn’t necessarily make you a good person and not believing does preclude you from being a good person. Just as I believe a belief in God should not necessarily mean someone is stupidly superstitious.

        • I think it is not unreasonable to ask those that are atheists to return the favor by acknowledging that there very well could be a higher power or a heaven.

          What you are asking of me isn’t a favor … it’s a violation of my religious vows. To reify something external like that is against my vows as a vajrayana buddhist. I realize that’s what you believe and it’s not my place to disabuse you of the notion or to recruit you to any other reality. But according to my tradition, what you believe is the root of all ignorance and human suffering–the idea of an external being or the idea of a heaven that external to your mind or whatever you want to label it. In my religious tradition, you do daily practice to expunge that notion, not triangulate on it to avoid hurting some one’s feelings. You don’t need me to validate your views at all if you really think they’re correct. You don’t need society or any one else to validate them either. Just hold them. You see derision. I’m not deriding you by rejecting your beliefs. You must feel insecure in them to be so easily insulted is what comes to mind for me. I don’t consider the deist’s form of faith to be a positive attribute at all. I see it as sign of needing something to deal with uncertainty and the unknown. Why are you taking that personally and asking me to consider it equally valid when I reject it completely? How is this a statement deriding you?

          • On the contrary, I feel as secure as one can about matters of faith.

            Dak,

            You were offended that Obama did not meet with a religious leader you hold in esteem. Can you not see how calling someone who others see as integral to their faith a “zombie” might be seen as insulting?

          • I was offended by Obama not meeting his Holiness because it looked like he was putting commerce above human rights.

          • no, I absolutely have no problem with the zombie label, but then my religion is based on dispelling ignorance and many of our practices are based on not taking anything seriously. Zen Buddhist say if you meet the Buddha on the road kill him right? We try to deconstruct human fabrications not get pathologically attached to them. You can call me, my religion, anything a zombie or perfect or whatever label you want …no difference at all to me.

          • So, kat if someone said Budhism was all about some fat guy sitting on a hill telling others what to do would that be ok…………………..

          • Owen,

            “If you see the Buddha walking down the road, kill him.”

            I imagine kat would not be offended by you killing the Buddha, if you saw him walking down the road.

            s

          • Owen, I would tell them that what they are doing is basically confusing Santa Claus with Jesus

          • oh, and Owen, Buddha was the smart, skinny guy under the tree who said take or leave what I say and there’s no god so don’t try to make me one. Plus you can go read his stuff that was written down at his death … you can prove he was just a smart, skinny guy under a tree that actually existed and it’s against our beliefs to force our views on anyone … big difference that … you personally have to ask 3 times before the discussion comes up

        • I don’t understand. I think that you, like everyone else on the planet, must have the right to believe whatever the hell you want. If those beliefs cause actions which are illegal or harmful, the actions are the problem, not the beliefs.

          But you don’t just want to be allowed to believe what you would- you want people to be Respectful of your beliefs. That’s kind of dumb. YOU have the right to believe. YOUR BELIEFS have no rights whatsoever. I can (and do) respect you as an intelligent person. I don’t have any respect at all for your faith.

          • I believe people should be respectful in general. I believe that behaving disrespectfully towards people because you don’t agree with them causes dissension and fissures.

            For example, the disrespect that was afforded Clinton supporters caused a fissure in the Democratic base.

            However, if the intent of this post was to call out people that believe in God or to call people who consider the “jewish zombie” an integral part of their faith foolish lunatics for their beliefs have at it. Just don’t expect much b y the way of constructive conversation to come out of it. Stuff like this is fuel for the O’Reilly war on Christmas brigade.

      • Not to knock on the purpose of your post Riverdaugter, but there HAVE been women priests, just WAAAAAAY back.

        At least as late as the 9th century women were deacons….

    • As I’ve said before tolerating religion does not require validating religion.

      It is arguments such as yours, TeresaINPa, that keep women in chains. Oh dear, we can’t tell them that women should be allowed to go to school, or to marry who they want when they want (and not sold off to some old man at the age of 11), or bear a child when they want (and not at the age of 12 after being raped), why oh no, that would be insulting to their religion!

      It’s perfectly fine to point out the absurdity and inhumanity of religious doctrine. Heck, it’s more than perfectly fine, it’s a moral necessity to anyone who truly believes in equality and justice.

      • exactly … I’m very tolerant of whatever beliefs people have until they take to the streets and try to get me and mine involved … we wouldn’t be having the same conversation if this article were about the Moonies or the Taliban or Scientology, believe me. Some people just refuse to acknowledge their bias and their own corral of sacred cows.

        • The problem is there are people of faith that have no desire to inflict their beliefs on others. I think it is a mistake to treat them as the enemy.

        • Actually, we would. You’re coming from a place where you think that everyone believes that the Moonies, the Taliban and Scientologists are crazies. I don’t “get” the beliefs of any of these people, but I will defend their right to believe what ever they wish without scorn from the rest of us. I’m an equal opportunity defender.

          • Just think of RD as a comedian.

          • I don’t think they or most religious people are crazy. I think they believe crazy things. I don’t want crazy things put into law. BIG difference.

          • If you want to believe that Xinu imprisoned billions of aliens in a terrestial volcano and blew it up and the souls of those people became thetans that attached their malevolent spirit to yours when you were born and these thetans can only be “cleared” from your body through an electronic device you hold in your hands while you confess to everything you have ever done to a helper who conveeeniently writes thus confession down while charging you thousands of dollars per level of clearance, go right ahead.
            That’s your right.
            Or any other crazy idea you want to believe. Have a ball.
            Just don’t ask to run my government or write policy based on your religious beliefs.
            That way leads to Scientologists insisting there is no antidepressant treatment for post partum depression, it’s against their religion and they don’t want their tax dollars paying for it. It would offend their consciences.

    • (un)Civil war at TC?

      Last time I was in the Church was my mom’s funeral 10 years ago and it’s way longer than that since I made Easter Duty.
      This is from a guy that rode his bike into town week day mornings to serve Mass:
      You might find Riverdaughter’s stance militant and be insulted but I don’t. The Church has overstepped its bounds once again.

      • Meh

        I don’t believe the Catholic bishops are worth going to war over. I do, however, believe there are people of faith worth defending.

    • hehe why should anyone wear kid gloves with a bunch of people who think that the rest of us are to burn in a lake of fire for the crime of not being one of you?

      Religion is a joke and yeah we are laughing, mostly when your back is turned though as we know that a long day of praying may leave you thirsty for blood.

      • actually, I don’t laugh, when I hear people talk about believing things like there was a physical garden of Eden and the earth is only 6000 years old and that there’s some kind of soul that attaches itself to a clump of in uteri cells, I despair and usually get this look on my face that’s akin to watching children who’ve been fed the Santa Claus lie and regurgitate with absolute sincerity. I feel sorry for them because the people who should care the most about them will lie to them. They buy it and are set up for one big sincere disappointment at a tender age. I usually can’t hide that look on my face which is my great downfall.

        I do appreciate some one’s search for truth and higher meaning, looking for a sense of spirituality, but I daily hope that it involves embracing reality also. I personally feel no need to morph the energy and unknowns in the multiverse into GOD and Satan but I think it’s cool to check out what the ancients thought and I personally am a big fan of the sutras, as an example. Egyptian, Greek, Pantheist, Rumi, and Roman myths fascinate me. The abrahamic ones not so much. The buddha teachings seem to be the first self help guide and I find meditation worthwhile as a coping device. But I see this is something distinctly different than fighting science because you really want to believe the earth is flat because some one around several thousand years ago had an invisible friend he called ‘god’ that told him so … but if one’s religion tries to create one love … with or without the ganja, I’m fine with it …

        • Perhaps you’re not laughing, but I caught a nice laugh line. Thanks. I thoroughly enjoy your perspective!

  2. i thought we had separation of church and state.
    yet it looks like the catholic church is running our government..grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  3. Here’s
    a visual response to Teresa
    And this is a feel good read for women – as they say – truth is the daughter of time
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/12/08/karma-and-schadenfreude-hillarys-got-it/

    • Yep, pretty much. I used to say I was Universalist in theology and Christian in philiosophy. But who am I kidding? Jesus was as much an eschatologist as a great teacher. I can’t go along with the end of the world crap. And frankly, there is Rumi and Bahai and pagan beliefs that are much more appealing to me. So, why shouldn’t I believe what I want? And why can’t the religious believe what they want without shoving it down my gullet?
      I grew up with religious people who are always screaming that they are being oppressed and frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn anymore.

      • You grew up with religious people who were always screaming? I guess that explains part of this post then.

        I haven’t read anyone evangelizing to you yet, so who gives a damn? So long as you keep your finger out of someone else’s eye I’m quite sure no one cares.

        I’m not catholic or religious so rants don’t bother me but I recognized immediately the effect this was going to have on some. It’s frankly too cute by half and shows a marked lack of respect.

        • I’m pretty sure that A) People objecting is not a sufficient reason to shut up when you’re telling the truth and B) Respect is earned, not the default.

          • A certain modicum of respect should be given to anyone of the human race unless they have proven to be poor recipients otherwise.

            I wouldn’t spit on someone I don’t know on the streets simply because they haven’t “earned” my respect.

          • Cwaltz, there is a world of difference between common courtesy and respect. Respect has to do with deference due to holding someone or something in high esteem. Common courtesy is the social contract writ small. I’m not arguing for rudeness.

            But someone saying “Pineapples are absolutely disgusting” is not a personal insult to fans of pineapples. It is not rude. It is the oversensitivity of the pineapple eater that causes the problem.

            Jesus is by definition a zombie, if you take as your basic assumption that what the bible says is true. He was dead. Now he’s not. His body was gone. He rose in the flesh. There’s a word for that, and it’s zombie. However, he did not eat any brains, and I think we can all be thankful for that.

          • Zombie Jeebus – He died for your sins, but now He wants to eat your brains.

      • And frankly, there is Rumi and Bahai and pagan beliefs that are much more appealing to me.
        OT: as a former Baha’i, I’ll have to say that it is way more orthodox than the Catholic Church. And humanity may be a bird whose wings are man and woman, but there will never be a woman on the Universal House of Justice and there will never be a woman Manifestation of God, ever. Never ever ever. Nor should any Bahai engage in this what we do here — partisan politics. All efforts should go towards the establishment of world unity and the Most Great Peace (which is theocratic). Disobey at the risk of becoming a covenant breaker.
        Talk about fatally flawed religions.

  4. The Catholic Church deserves all the mockery and scorn people can muster the courage to heap upon it. It is probably the biggest cabal of evil that exists in the world. You don’t have to go back to the time of Galileo to see their evil at work. They are a threat to women and LGBT right now.

  5. The Catholic Bishops do not vote in the House or the Senate. You are giving our elected officials a scapegoat by blaming the Bishops. 24% of Americans identify as Catholic (no that does not include the ‘I was raised Catholic but they ruined my life so now I hate them crowd’). At one time 24% of the TC family was probably Catholic as well.

    Many Catholics , myself included, believe that we are the Catholic Church as much as the Bishops. Every day incredibly wonderful things are done in Christ’s name through Catholics worldwide. Most of us believe that the Church should minister to Catholics and stay out of politics. Every time the Bishops tell me to write my representatives, I do. I tell them that the Bishops do not represent most Catholics.

    Anyone that is interested in the real Catholic Church may want to look at this study on religion in America. I found it interesting. http://religions.pewforum.org/affiliations

    • It’s not individual Catholics. It’s the actions of the Catholic church and the unbelievable pressure they put on their adherents to interfere in affairs of state.

      • “Unbelievable pressure they put on their adherents to interfere in affairs of state” American citizens, who happen to be Catholic, can petition their representatives. American citizens, who happen to be Catholic and agree with the Bishops , do so and they do not in anyway interfere in affairs of state.

        • What do you call telling any elected official that’s catholic that if you vote to support birth control, gay marriage, or abortion rights, you can’t take communion and face possible excommunication?

          What if it was Morman bishops telling their adherents that they won’t be allowed into heaven or churches if their adherents dont’ support laws banning caffeine and alchohol? What if the Dali Lama tells any Buddhists that they have to ban the killing of all animals, insects, etc or wants every one to be a vegetarian and won’t let any Buddhist that’s an elected official get teachings if they don’t adhere to that and make sure laws get passed to enshrine that doctrine in U.S. Law. Would you like to live with a law that puts you in jail if you stomp on an ant?

          The Roman Catholic church was designed to interfere with affairs of state and to usurp states. That’s its primary function since Constantine and his crew created it.

          • yep, that’s what the Reformation was all about. When Martin Luther posted his 95 objections to Church policy on the catherdral doors, he had no intention of breaking away from the RCC, just, well, reforming it. But a good number of the European heads of state at that time saw Luther’s objections as their chance to get out from under the Church’s thumb, & did so.

    • “Every time the Bishops tell me to write my representatives, I do. I tell them that the Bishops do not represent most Catholics.”

      That’s encouraging. Thanks.

      • yes, if every one was so independently minded that would be wonderful …

        • You seem to believe that ‘independently minded ‘ people are incapable of agreeing with the Catholic Bishops. I think that is rather closed minded.

          • nope, I just think very few will write to them or stand up to them given the threat of excommunication or the disagree with me and no communion rules

        • So what if they AREN’T catholic but write their congresspeople to tell them to do bad stuff?

          Are THEY ok?

          It’s not necessarily the Christians monkeying around with the government, its the “Christians.”

          If Jesus were around today he’d be Really PISSED at what was going on in his name……

    • They may not vote, but they seem to be counting the votes. Which is even worse, because they can cancel the votes of our representatives. Why did Nancy have to confer to them before putting Health Club for Men to a vote?

      • The Speaker thought that speaking to them was a politically astute thing to do. Whether or not she should have done so reflects on her decision making as a politician. I think she was counting votes. She has long ago spoken out as a pro-choice politician. Many of the most outspoken members of the pro-life wing of the DNC are Catholics. They do not follow the Bishops’ dictates. The Catholic politicians that agree with the Bishops draw attention to their agreement in order to win votes with like minded citizens.

        This post suggests that the Bishops have more power than I believe they do. That is fine, but you are simply allowing the politicians WHO ACTUALLY VOTE on legislation a pass. That is silly.

        • I agree with Honora-Bishops only have as much power as a legislature is prepared to give them.

          Italy is more or less the center of the Roman Catholic religion, but they have free abortion on the National health, and divorce. It took referendums and hard political campaigning by the Radicals and the Left, but they got there in the 70s.

          It’s a pity that the US cannot change/propose laws by national referendum since voters are often more broad minded than politicians or church men.

          Furthermore, over here at least, the Catholic church is having great difficulty recruiting priests, monks and nuns. This may result in a change in celibacy laws.

  6. I completely agree with this post. It needs to be said. We spend more time ” tippy toeing” around the subject because we are fearful of stepping on the belief system of others who refuse to consider that what is wrong in this world is what “religion” does when inserted into the fabric of politics.

    Believe what you choose. No one is preventing that but consider that because of this right to do so it does not supercede the same right to reject it as well.

    Religion in most forms is a patriarchal system designed to prevent women from attaining equal status based on nothing more than the “story” of Adam and Eve.

    Riverdaughter will more than likely take much flack from this essay but at least it opens the debate about the need for the separation of church and state as we all sit here listening to the nonsense coming out of congress regarding the issue of medical care for women based on these superstitions. Avoiding the truth, dancing around the topic, and refusing to recognize this amendment for what it is denying the reality.

    It takes a dose of courage to put it into print. It needs to be said.

    • Brava Pat, brava!

    • {{{{pat}}}}}

      as always you say it so well

    • Believe it or not, since the founding of Rhode Island there have been people of faith that have advocated for a separation of church and state.

      The argument would be better served to remind people that our country was founded because Puritans believed that the church had become corrupt. Churches, after all, are filled with fallible men and women and the idea that man can be corrupted is not that far fetched.

      • Actually, the Puritans left England precisely because they were no longer in power, as they had been under Cromwell. Once in “New England,” they proceeded to persecute non-Puritans with a vengeance, banishing dissenters like Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, and flogging and hanging Quakers. The Plymouth and Massachussetts colonies were an even tighter coupling of church and state than anywhere in Europe except perhaps Spain (RC) and Geneva (Calvinist).

        • funny how that history keeps being revised to fit the paradigm of our founding, isn’t it?

          • I wasn’t revising at all. The Puritans left because they felt the church had been corrupted by the King. They were unhappy with changes that were being made to their religion.

            Furtherore, Roger Williams WAS a man of faith. He founded Rhode Island because he felt church and state should be separate.

            None of what I said was a revision at all.

          • The Puritans seized power and beheaded the King (Charles I–and there’s actually an Episcopal church in Orange Co. dedicated to “The Blessed Charles, King and Martyr,” which I think is rather charming, if silly) because they felt the Church was corrupted. They were also alarmed because Queen Hernrietta Maria not only had scary lady parts but because she wa Catholic and might draw Charles back to Rome.

            They went first to the Netherlands and then to “New England” upon the restoration of Chas.I’s son, Chas. II because he was, perhaps understandably, pissed about how they’d dealt with dear old dad. Cromwell was a dictator. There was a terrible storm over Britain the night he died, and folk said that the Devil had come for Old Crom in person. He also had aspirations to be King, or almost King, himself. He even proposed marriage between his son and the very Catholic Infanta of Spain.

            So yes, they felt the Church had been corrupted. They also felt that they had the right to dictate the terms not only of their own but everyone elses’ worship and to govern the state accordingly.

        • Are you suggesting Roger Williams wasn’t a man of faith?

          • Tim McGraw is the man of Faith.

          • I don’t mean the Hill type.

            I’m also aware that we were one vote away from being that Christian nation I always hear so much about. Thank heaven for Patrick Henry deciding to become a governor, so I don’t have to engage in revisionism.

          • Of course not. I said he was a dissenter, and he was. Among other heresies, he favored each person’s right to interpret Scripture for him/herself and engaging with Native Americans as fellow human beings instead of “red devils.”

        • I adore the myth of the Puritan founding of the City on the Hill, but let’s not forget that Maryland received its first Royal Charter in 1632, and was designed by its founder to be a haven for Catholics.
          (The Maryland Toleration Act of 1649 was one of the first laws that explicitly dictated religious tolerance).

          Virginia was initially Anglican, New Netherland (NY) had the Dutch Reform Church as its official religious institution. And the French and Spanish settlements…

    • HI PAT!!! So good to see you. You have been missed :)

    • I’m giving you a standing ovation! And it’s great to see you here, Pat.

      This is a very important issue and right now a woman’s right to chose requires a rigorous defense. We can not allow it to be sidetracked by those who have a feinting fit when their religious doctrine is taken to task.

      • excuse me? I am militantly pro-choice and pro women. You and those who think like you are the ones in the way of all pro-choice women working together. Religious intolerance is as much a problem from the left as it is from the right.

        • Teresa, I think you keep mistaking intolerance with not accepting those beliefs personally and not wanting them to influence the public sphere. You have to understand that just because I see no difference between you believing in god and say reading your morning horoscope and avoiding walking under ladders or the Romans believing Saturn ate his children, doesn’t mean I’m intolerant of your belief. I understand people seek solace in various things and I’m quite tolerant of that as a behavior. What I object to is treating what I view as a superstition as a legitimate source of public policy that effects me and mine. Respectfully, and with all the love in the world, I’m capable of separating my feelings about you from your ideology. While I like you, I don’t want anything to do with your religion, please. Intolerance is not the same rejection.

  7. As a person whose “pea” brain finds the concept of god and spirituality far too vast to wrap my head around, I find these discussions liberating. No one has a corner on god. Anyone can make a stab at a concept of god and what is godly. Nobody has to believe it or give it credence.

    There are probably a few sacred topics at The Confluence, but I am happy to see again that religion is not one of them. Thank you, RD, Dak et al.

  8. I think that arguments over religion should be restricted to the evening hours when alcohol is involved.

  9. To Joanie: here’s the bottom line. It doesn’t matter to me what you believe. I don’t care. If you want to believe in the Catholic church and all of the good things it has done over the centuries, go ahead. Pull out all of the stops. But don’t ask me to treat them as special when their own rules don’t treat women as equal beings. Don’t ask me to think they are immune to offense when they condemn many of their own adherents to ostracism and condemnation because of millenium of superstition. And don’t get on my case when I stick up for the alternate belief systems of others who deserve as much of your respect as Catholics.
    The world rejected state run religion starting in the 15th century. It was because the church was corrupt and was dictating how everyone should live and would be saved. The Reformation took Europe by storm. You are 5 centuries too late to put the Church on a pedastel.

    • RD, I comment rarely. So to come out of lurkerdom is a big thing for me. I commend your posting, and all the people denigrating you are displaying the same characteristics for which they accuse and decry the followers of Obama – closed mind, blind devotion et al. I was raised in the Church. I left it behind because of their mysognistic tendencies.Your post hits many points of faith versus reality. Well done.

    • Please read my responses, I’m not asking you to believe any of the things you claim. I don’t disagree that the Catholic church is bad for women. I’m saying that the problem is essentially on of separation of church and state and why the church is allowed to wander into secular business.

      That being said, there’s no reason to mock people for what they believe; be it Scientology, Catholicism, Islam or whatever. You will never win a faith argument. It’s useless to try. That’s why I don’t engage in it. That being said if someone is trying to control other people’s live in the name of faith, they must be stopped. But the argument must be about their control, not their faith.

      • Joanie, how else do you point out how important it is to separate church from state if you do not point out the ridiculous premise upon which the Church is founded?? If you treat them with respect, they become above reproach. Their misogynism is based on ancient culture and superstition. If you examine it closely, that’s what it all boils down to. I can’t change the facts and evidence and I am a profoundly evidence based person.
        You cannot uphold the dignity of women by insisting that the entity that denies them personhood is beyond the reach of examination. You can’t say women are equal persons and yet sanctify the reasoning the Church uses to keep them subserviant.
        I’m not going to even touch the fact that if you don’t agree with the teachings of your church, you should maybe consider switching. I understand that the reason many people are Catholic has to do with family tradition and community. But the Church is very authoritarian in its teachings. This is the antithesis of the Enlightenment that spawned our American Revolution and contributed significantly to our Constitution.
        So, do we continue to become enlightened or will we stubbornly cling to superstition and allow an ancient male dominated entity call the shots for half the world’s population? Because that is the choice that is before you. Before you can create something you have to tear down the thing that blights your landscape. There is no compromise with the church. If you do not force them to back down, you give them permission.

        • Yes RD, we are all stupid except you and those who think like you. If you don’t tell us how stupid we are how will we know?
          So what exactly is the difference between you and Oh, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, for instance? You are both so sure you know the truth and have to prove it to others.

      • Joanie: I hear what you’re saying. I also think you are taking RD’s style too personally. She’s a wonderfully colorful and sardonic writer. If I don’t agree with someone’s p.o.v., I recognize that it is their own, and if necessary, make a statement as you have done, but it’s just an opinion.

        Having said that, we all share common ground here regarding the separation of Church and State. I posted outrage recently when I read that the bishops were helping to draft the Senate amendment with Nelson. WHY should they enjoy tax-exempt status if they are drafting legislation? I felt the same way when the Bush administration was using churches to lobby voters. I was raised Catholic, but the dogma was too much for me. The patriarchal structure (that picture is scaaarey), and judgment–when they condemned by best friend who has since died of AIDS for being a sinner who deserved his punishment–alienated me for good. My mother, however, converted to Catholicism, and it has been a great thing for her, softening her anger, and helping her to be more loving. To each his own–just stay the hell out of my bedroom and hands off my body.

        Personally, l love the fiesty crowd here, and that people are not afraid to battle it out.

        • Fif, I’m having fun with this battle. Since I don’t consider myself religious ( not the same as a non-believer), I don’t have a dog in this fight. I’m just trying to point out that, like the teabaggers, heaping scorn on people gets you nowhere. That’s not the same as opposing criticism or putting the church on a pedestal. The church lost me a long time ago. I’m firmly pro-choic, and pro-contraception and pro-stem cell research. So if anything I’ve written here is interpreted as defense of Catholicism that would be incorrect.

          • Heh I’m a Christian(as in I believe in charity, kindness and forgiveness like he taught) that believes in reincarnation and doesn’t believe in Hell. I can’t find a religion on paper that actually believes what I do.

            That being said I daresay there are people out there that find love (or any other feeling) illogical and irrational. Do I give those up too because I can’t explain or prove them in a scientific manner? Nah.

      • You will never win a faith argument. It’s useless to try.

        Amen. Srsly.

      • Did anybody mention brainwashing?
        Religion is good at it.

        • so is atheism

          • there is no organized or institutional atheism to do the brainwashing …it takes an institution to brainwash people…

            most atheists come to their beliefs through reason and science, not being sent to a institution on one day of the week to be taught a doctrine … quelle difference!

  10. To be fair any religious organization that can deliver a bloc of votes is going to unduly influence politics.

    Go after the Catholic Church now, and you still have those strange un-Catholic Christians in their mega-churches with their televised preachers to contend with.

    Separation of church and state is a great idea, but how can it be enforced?

    • they need their tax exempt statuses revoked for a start

      • That would be a good start. Also they shouldn’t be allowed to lobby.

        • If Big Oil, Big Money, and Big Insurance can lobby, why not Big Church?
          Just make them pony up their share of running the country.

      • really? who does? All churches?
        So you want churches to pay taxes and when one becomes the biggest tax base in a town then they can control politics and government completely, just like in the bad old days in Europe and the early colonies.

    • is that the only choice.. the RCC or some fundamentalist mega church? I can assure you that is not so.

      • I didn’t read the original comment as saying those are the only choices…rather I thought votermom was saying that if it isn’t one religious group unduly influencing it’s another, so how do we zero in on the core issue — the separation of church and state — in practice?

        • I agree with Indigo girl on this: if they start talking politics and trying to influence the lawmaking process, remover their tax exempt status. It’s one thing to preach on social justice or whatever you want to call it, it’s completely another to stand up in a pulpit and try to deliver votes, volunteers, and pedal influence like a K street Lobbyist. The archbishops should be shipped back to Vatican City as foreign provocateurs just like we’d ship out a chinese or israeli spy.

  11. Why should it be a “no no”? It is imprinted on our money, it is included in the Pledge of Allegiance, it is incorporated in the daily opening of congress, it is recognized as a “must do” in forcing candidates to declare their fitness to serve, it is part and parcel of our existence in our laws, and it is used to divide us as is happening now on the floor of a body of representatives who are attempting to inject it into a healthcare package where it has no place.

    There is no avoiding it.

    • Imagine if an atheist ran for the Presidency…. what a firestorm that would cause.

      • I remember a poll they did last year on that. The atheist came dead last, way behind the black, the woman and the gay choices. “Insane homicidal maniac” was not included, but I have a feeling it would have overtaken the atheist as well.

      • Abe Lincoln was as close to an atheist as you’re going to get. He flat out rejected organized religion, particularly evangelicals. Everybody knew it. His comments regarding god were very general and non-commital.

        • but, but…. Newsweek has told me we’ve re-elected Lincoln…..

        • I remember reading somewhere that he was a Rosicrucian.

          • My dad was a Rosicrucian. Never knew exactly what that was except that they had secrets that couldn’t be revealed even under threat of death.; and he had pictures of himself with other men wearing funny aprons.

    • Nicely said (both posts)

      I’m definitely with RD on this one too, although I probably would have left the “zombie-jesus” thing out.

  12. I suspect that the Catholic hierarchy (not the faith) has been the centre of this post precisely because they are heavily involved in the negotiation process surrounding the health debate – and they haven’t been quiet about their involvement, so Indogrrl is correct, the tax exempt status should be revoked. Their reaction the health bill is contrary to their total quietude when it involves lawsuits regarding their complicity in hushing up instances that reflect badly upon their organization.

    Faith is one’s personal issue.
    Church (of every sect) is a monolithic organization.
    The two are not always complimentary.

    • Exactly. I was raised a Catholic but have been non-practicing for decades. I have not seen fit to join another religion because I have come to detest organized religion. I consider it bad in all its forms. However, faith, I still have. I still pray and I still believe in God. That’s just me. The problem with this post is conflating religion and faith and deriding people for their faith when the problem is their religion i.e. their church’s actions.

      • I didn’t see derision of people for their faith in this entry. I saw derision of the Church’s basis for claims of influencing our laws, health, society. In other words, encroaching over that separation of church and state you also agree with.

        • Bingo. as mentioned in my original post, it is the hierarchy and their involvement in the lives of billions, most of whom do not subscribe to their ideology that is in question.
          Faith is not. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. It is when people start to enforce their belief system on others that the problems start.
          Brooke is an atheist. Riverdaughter is not. I am an atheist, my children and neighbors are not. I’m hemmed in with a Hindu family, a Muslim family, a devout Catholic family, an Anglican family etc, yet we all get along because (with the exception of the Muslim lady) we do not try to convert others to our way of thinking. That does not mean that we give up the right to be critical of the influence of religion on the government, which is what RD’s post addresses.

        • yup, i think when religious institutions overstep their boundaries, you have to take them on … it’s not about the individual adherents, it’s about the institutions

        • If it’s okay to defend sexism and misogyny as religious doctrine, something I find offensive, then why is comparing the Jesus myth to the Zombie myth off limits? My rights are up for debate, but not an afterlife myth? This is the way religions have subjugated and silenced women for centuries.

          • Can you prove the afterlife is a myth?

            Last I heard they were still examining why clinically dead people were able to describe events going on outside their bodies.

          • You show me a Zombie, or a child of god rising from its grave to heaven and I’ll concede your point. A lot of people have lived on this earth, we should be over run with the undead.

            The altered state of a dying brain does not an afterlife make. After life is just like before life. Nonexistence is a scary concept, but I don’t need Zombies to comfort me, although they do make for good movies.

          • BTW, the ungod has spoken to me directly and told me that god does not exist. Can you prove me wrong? Or am I just hearing voices?

            Really, this is the sort of illogic that arises when the debate on religion gets down to “proving” that fantasy is not fact.

          • So you CAN’T prove the afterlife doesn’t exist nor are you acknowledging that scientists are actually studying whether consciousness outside of the body is real nor can you prove that what I believe is any less real then your belief system. (Or are you telling me that I’M crazy to feel a Presence in my life)

            What’s next do you insist that your ungod can kick my God’s backside?

            How completely mature.

          • Actually, you are the one who has proved nothing. I said “show me” and all you did was call me immature.

            I believe that the “god” concept originates in the human brain. See Pascal Boyer at http://artsci.wustl.edu/~pboyer/PBoyerHomeSite/index.html

            IMO, scientists who are looking to prove the existence of an afterlife will need to prove that the brain activity that occurs in near death experiences also occurs in corpses (those who don’t “come back”). I’m pretty sure that will be front page news if it ever happens.

          • The operative words being IN YOUR OPINION.

            You do realize that opinions aren’t the same as facts right?

          • Can you prove the afterlife is a myth?
            That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in a while. Can you prove there aren’t 300 foot flying dragons?

            Science doesn’t work that way. It’s the other way around. If you want to discuss some mythology or religious tenants within the political realm (not your point in this case I know), and you bring up extraordinary concepts like there is some bearded guy in the sky or you live after you die, etc., etc., then you have to prove those extraordinary things. And really extraordinary concepts need extraordinary evidence.

          • Yes, it’s my opinion that it will need to be scientifically proven and will be front page news if it is. And what facts have you presented? Do you believe that it doesn’t need to be scientifically proven and that you can tether the conversation to something that is as fanciful as, say, the speed of heaven? Does imagination override evidence? There is no evidence to support your contention, conversely the lack of evidence supports mine.

            Without evidence, the belief in an afterlife is pure fantasy. This is why religion can not be debated. It relies solely on feelings, not facts. I can’t possible argue with how you “feel” but I can make a good argument that what you feel is based in biology, not theurgy. However, that will do little to change how you “feel.” It’s a conundrum only because one argument is based on evidence and the other is based on emotion and rarely the twain shall meet.

          • Really? I wasn’t aware that science was studying 300 foot dragons because they had discovered evidence that their existence might be real?

            I was aware that they are studying the idea that the consciousness might be exist outside of the body though because they have evidence that suggests that people were aware of stuff occurring after they were clinically dead.

            http://www.near-death.com/evidence.html#a1

          • Let’s revisit this argument once scientists have proven an after death (as opposed to near) death experience. Then maybe you can attempt to link after-death experiences to the existence of heaven.

            From your link: “A scientifically controlled NDE that can be repeated which provides such evidence would be the scientific discovery of all time. However, science does not yet have the exact tools to accomplish this.”

            (Which, I must point out that I said it would be front page news if it ever happens.)

            The name of this research is a dead giveaway. NEAR death, not AFTER death. These scientists aren’t digging corpses up to test their brain function.

            cwaltz, you’d probably really like Connie Willis’ “Passage.” I love Connie Willis and highly recommend this book to you.

          • Thanks for the recommend, I’ll put “Passage” on my list.
            :)

        • everything about the Urban Dictionary description of christianity was derisive

          • Maybe there are people out there who do not believe in Christianity and think the theology is ridiculous. Didja ever think of that? I didn’t write it but the same kind of things can be said about many religions. If you go back far enough, they are based on fantastical explanations for natural events and the limited understandings of primitive people. It doesn’t matter that they eventually learned how to write it all down.
            I can believe in a Creator and at the same time reject all of this scriptural stuff as nonsense and mythology. Why should I be compelled to revere it or conduct my life by it?
            I try to do what is right, not what is written.

  13. Joanie: But the argument is based on those same “people of faith”, our elected officials in this matter, who are doing exactly what the hierarchy of whatever brand of religion they adhere to, is doing to the laws that govern this nation.

    They are not acting in the role of representative on behalf of the “common good”, they are acting on behalf of those who dictate behind the scenes. That is the problem.

    Without those “followers” is there any reason to suggest that their influence could be carried to the heights they seek to enjoy? I doubt it. If any cleric from any organized religion was able to seize the opportunity on the floors of congress, the uproar would commence. Instead, they rely on those “followers” to carry the day.

    Why would one think for a moment that this is merely an insertion of “Christian” thinking when it could easily occur in time that the laws of other religions would not find its way into the vaunted halls of congress? Sharia anyone?

    It is merely a step into theocracy that should concern us.

    • I agree with you Pat. My contention is that those of us on the outside have to open the eyes of those being manipulated by their belief. But first we must show them that we are not trying to free them of their belief i.e. make them atheists.

  14. I am late to this discussion and I can’t read all the comments because I have to get back to work, but I want to say what I think. First, I love it when Riverdaughter posts. Second, the Catholic Religion, like the Muslim and Taliban are political organizations. They have found the best cover ever but they still are political organizations, concerned mostly with holding and accumulating power.

    For centuries they have sat on untold wealth while untold numbers of women and children starved to death. Did nothing while women and girls were sexually abused and left with nothing to do but carry and give birth to the child of rape or incest. They could expect only condemnation from the “Church” – google the “Magdalane Laundrys” or listen “they leach the light out of a room, they wilt the ground they walk upon” .

    The “holy men” are too busy buggering little boys or each other and hiding it so they could swish around in their red robes to bother with you or them. There is a story I read a while ago about a little boy in Ireland who had blue eyes, he was at the mercy of the Catholic clergy for some reason and they used him and passed him around because they likes his blue eyes. He told a panel looking into abuses by the Catholic Church in Ireland that he hit himself in the eyes continuously in an attempt to make him self less appealing to the perverts who swish around in red acting “holy”. So poo on you who women who reject a personal relationship with the Savior in favor of pleasing men who have made it thier life work for generations to get between you and God.

    Just listen to Joni Mitchels – The Magdalene Lundries

    http://childillustration.blogspot.com/2009/11/joni-mitchell-magdalene-laundries-w.html

  15. “They” always say never bring up politics or religion at a party. Well, this is a rocking good party exactly because we are debating BOTh and their incestuous relationship in this country. I confess to not being a regular anymore, frankly because it has not been as interesting to read. I get my news on my own, thank you very much, and I read the econ blogs I like. So when RD posts I usually find something interesting, something I agree with, and something I disagree with.

    It’s call entertainment, whether one admits or not…it just happens to be entertainment for political junkies This post, and ensuing comments are entertainment at its best. So thanks.

    And, FWIW, our founders believed in Creationism, not God, a distinction conveniently ignored by the right. LIkewise, the pledge of allegiance and its mention of God was a deliberate political manuever to contrast us’ns to the “godless communists”.

    • I’ve been lurking since the start, and I’m glad to see you back! I do hope you will continue.

  16. classic bait and switch.

    In your original post you were cutsie and flip. Coming off of your “its important to have academic standards” post you mock scholarship about religion. You mock, dismiss and insult to the best of your ability.

    Then in the comments comes the switch – some actually serious exploration of the subject. It is a subject that needs to be explored. Its too bad, your intellectual superiority will not help in this arena. Religion is a fixture globally, is serious, is almost universally anti-woman in theology, and often in participation. This is a huge subject and will not be dismissed by “humor” that mocks people and is not really all that funny since you don’t really know much theologically.

    • The sad thing is both sides will talk past each other. Why wouldn’t they? Mocking someone’s belief system right out the gate probably isn’t going to promote a constructive conversation. I know that I don’t engage in long conversations with people I percieve to be insulting me.

      Stuff like this ends up being manipulated to make this a people of faith vs. secular folk fight. Oddly enough there could have been an argument made about the hypocrisy of the Catholic bishops without insulting everyone who believes in Jesus or God as superstitious nutjobs who are dullwitted to boot.

      • Yes, agree. And it shows a secular arrogance – “I have no scholarship in this area, but I’m above it and won’t even try. 1+1=3 because I don’t like your numbers – neener neener neener”. The incredible arrogant dismissive ignorance of history and theology the original post puts out there can only be directed at the polar opposite in religious thought.

        When there has been change in the Christian church(es) it has always been accompanied by a theological reinterpretation. You want theologians and church scholars as allies. You want a dialog with church members.

        And the larger discussion is the separation of church and state. This is where we should be directing energy – we NEED this discussion. The Bishops have over stepped their bounds here. this country is extremely religious and is so from the right and left.

        • If I were going to use logic to try and persuade someone I’d rather go with the logic of being able to find the resources to feed these children that they are insisting on bringing into the world. It was already cited and reported that 1/2 of children in the US will be reliant on government assistance at some time in their life. We already have had make cuts to programs.

          I would also find the idea compelling that this places us on a slippery slope. If we choose religious doctrine over autonomy do we allow the catholic church to mandate confession? Do we allow them to outlaw divorce? Do we allow them to outlaw ANY form of contraception and go back to the days when women died in childbirth. (That’s when we start citing the survival rates of third world countries since that seems to be the model we are going for).

          There were so many compelling directions to take this argument beyond you can’t prove there is a God so therefore you are delusional for your belief set.

          • All fascinating and useful points. We have an intentional secular government – we have separated the political power of church and state. And there has always been tension in that separation. This is IMO where to put energy into – not dismissing ‘church’ (can’t be done) but in re-iterating and strengthening the ideal and usefulness of the separation of these powers.

    • uh, RD didn’t write the that other post, I did …

      • Sorry. I don’t keep up with the personalities on this site and who’s who and all. I visit to see what the site is linking to and how it is covered. Its usually interesting. So you were the one who wrote in your deep belief in money. I don’t mind that and actually admire your scholarship, but you do realize that in an intellectual discussion money and god are related in areas of belief. Also in areas of power and influence.

  17. It’s possible to go after the institution without implying individuals of faith are stupid because they are not rational or logical enough. Seems to me trusting in the infallibility of science, if that is what atheism is, is as much of a belief system from what I’ve seen here. Again by insulting those who choose to have a faith, you weaken your fight to seek change and separation from the oppressive rules and unjust influence wielded by institutions. You can argue that such an insult is not implied here, but if I as an non religious person see the affront, I suspect others of faith might see it as well. Maybe it’s the difference between fighting against injustice versus imposing one’s own secular littany of truths in existence. No one has the corner on absolute truth, and believing one does is as presumptuous and arrogant as the proselytizing convictions of any and all religions I’m aware of. If the point is to mobilize behind an action for reproductive rights, fine, you can do that without conflating it without personal workouts or slights on the dumbness of someone else’s spirituality. And fwiw, I mean the generic “you.”

    • Atheism is the claim that, on balance, the available evidence does not favor the hypothesis that gods exist. That’s rather a different matter than claiming the infallibility of science, since most scientific beliefs are held tentatively (i.e., as the best in light of the available evidence).

      It goes well beyond atheism to claim that religion is a bunch of primitive, misogynistic superstitions that the human race would be better off without. It’s that further claim that has gotten people upset. And, making such claims seems pretty ill advised for someone who is at least nominally interested in assembling some kind of third party to advance a liberal agenda,

      • RD didn’t say she was an atheist and isn’t defining atheism or defending it …

        • Actually, RD said that her daughter was an atheist, and that she deserved as much respect for her views that the religious expect. Unfortunately, lookin at this thread, that is an almost impossible expectation, because the religious really do not respect any other opinion. JMHO, but …..read over the comments.

          • huh? The religious here are not the ones telling others they are stupid and delusional.

          • hmmm, Teresa, excuse me while I quote your first post, in fact THE first post on the thread:

            some liberals who are not religious will be smart enough not to post dumbass bullshit

            i believe accusing people of not being ‘smart enough’ or accusing them of posting “dumbass bullshit” is telling others they are stupid and delusional.

  18. Let’s see, maybe I’d better do the truth in packaging thing first. I’m a practicing pagan, matriarchal Native American on my mother’s side, Celtic on my dad’s–educated in a Catholic school, sent to Baptist church for a time by my mother, joined the Episcopal church as an adult, realized I was an Episcopagan and made the by then small lateral step back to NA tradition in the name of honesty. I still have a great deal of respect for the intellectual tradition of the Anglican–and yes, the Roman–Catholic Church and the teachings of Rabbi Jesus, and very much admire the American Episcopal branch for its fight for inclusion of women and LGBT (which I also am.) I was multicultural before the word existed. Or maybe just a mutt. Whatever.

    That said: I agree with everything RD and others have said about the Catholic hierarchy’s interference with our political process and their attempt to impose their own beliefs on all the rest of us. It’s pernicious. It needs to be fought in every way it can be fought, including rescinding their tax exemption. The same goes for other denominations that attempt to interfere in the political process.

    But I don’t think the Catholic Church is the greatest religious threat to American democracy. They come in second at best, precisely because they are open in their attempts to manipulate the process. Toss the Pat Robertsons and the Jerry Falwells and Jim Dobsons in with them for the same reason.

    First place goes to American theocrats of the Dominionist/Christian Reconstructionist persuasion, specifically as embodied in the organization known as The Family, sometimes as The Fellowship. (See Jeff Sharlet’s book, The Family. Guaranteed to give you nightmares.) They’re as much a boys’ club as the Roman Catholic Bishops and preach something close to the Victorian “muscular Christianity,” but on steroids. They believe that Jesus equates to political power, and that God rules through a few “chosen” men. Always men–women aren’t allowed in the C-Street house except to wait on them men. Through their members and sympathizers in government and business, they’ve manipulated American foreign and economic policy, often with disastrous results for non-Americans as well as middle-class and poor Americans. They have been active in the formulation of the health care bill: Joe Pitts, whose name is also on the Stupak Amendment, is a member; so is Bill Nelson.

    What makes them worse than the bishops is that they are out and out theocrats. They envision not just a nation but a world run by “chosen men” who will implement pure laissez-faire capitalism, do not believe in the concept of human rights in any sense and see obedience as the highest human virtue. One ally expresses this as the fight against the “Marxist/Leninist/Homosexual/Islamic coalition.” In case you’ve been wondering where the sudden spate of Red-baiting and Islamophobia is coming from–there it is. They’re distractions from the actual danger represented by the Family. If they can get the populace riled up about theCommie-Commies, the Homosexual Menace or the War on Christmas or the Imminent Danger of Shariah Law and Burqas in Peoria, they can continue to go about quietly imposing their own theocracy under the radar, and ultimately with public approval when it breaks cover. Reconstructionists favor the imposition of strict Old Testament law, including the death penalty for LGBT’s, the imposition of slavery or death for a number of other offenses, and total fusion of church and state, with no religious freedom. They scare me a lot worse than the Bishops do.

    So

  19. cwaltz –

    Thanks. You basically said all I would have done.

    And I keep getting surprised by how close-minded our liberal group is on occasion.

    To be fair, just for fun, why not post on “The Stupidity of Islam and The Prophet”? And also – “The Dalai Lama: Reincarnation? Really? How Dumb Do You Think We Are”….. and so on.

    • Perhaps one day this country will be over run with the followers of Islam and/or the Dalai Lama who are trying to take away our rights. At that point, I suspect, some might satirize those religions. I seriously doubt some haven’t already.

      I, myself, often bring up the Islamic mathematician who was trying to calculate the speed of heaven. If one views this from an emotional basis it is a truly wonderful concept, but when one views it from a logical standpoint the humor is quite evident. The duality of man is a marvel to behold.

    • I don’t recall anybody from either of these religions lining up to tell their adherents that are also elected officials to write their doctrines into U.S. law.

      The minute I see any of this happen, you’d get an earful or an eyeful as it were from me.

      I’m not intolerant of religions or religious institutions unless they creep into my government, my life, and my laws instead of sticking to their gathering places and whatever spiritual role people feel they have.

      • You are castigating a whole entire group of people(anyone who has faith or belief in Jesus) for the behavior of a handful of powerfully placed individuals and a bunch of capitulating cowards afraid of having to make an argument and potentially be called nasty names.

        Heap scorn upon the bishops who talk about protecting innocence while allowing children to be exploited by their own clergy over and over. Talk about the hypocrisy of talking about the sanctity of life while your policies are indirectly responsible for millions of deaths in third world countries. Don’t put this on the head of every person of faith. Particularly when some of them are your allies.

        • perhaps you should reread the original post. Your reactions are rather inflamatory based on my reading of the intent of the post. I did not read that RD was aginst people of faith. I read that she had a problem with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church imposing it’s presence into the lawmaking of the United States.
          And rightly so.
          “Heap scorn upon the bishops who talk about protecting innocence while allowing children to be exploited by their own clergy over and over. Talk about the hypocrisy of talking about the sanctity of life while your policies are indirectly responsible for millions of deaths in third world countries.” that is exactly what she did.
          “Don’t put this on the head of every person of faith. Particularly when some of them are your allies.”
          I guess I missed that part. Where did she put what on the head of every person of faith?

          • lol, oh give me a break..

            “The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.”?

  20. Seriously, did you get molested by a priest or something? You have nothing useful to say, just a long stream of vitriol and ad hominem against people you disagree with. Knock it off and come back when you have an actual, rational, polite argument to make.

  21. I have noticed that most people I talk with are governed by overriding beliefs, supported by gathered facts, which I consider to be “mental objects”. Once a belief is formed, then the believer gathers mental objects which correspond with their belief. I call this “belief sets”. So, basically I listen a lot, until I can find the belief of a person, then I understand what is in their belief set. For example a fundamental Christian’s belief set includes:

    The 2nd Coming of Christ

    The AntiChrist is coming

    Israel is where God’s Chosen People live

    Jesus Died for our sins

    The Bible is the Word of God

    A person must accept Jesus as His/Her Personal Savior

    The Apostle Paul was blinded on the Road of Damascus

    The Apocalypse is inevitable

    And so on and so forth. I do not make a “value” judgment based on a person’s belief, because beliefs represent the “incorporated” personality, gained through gathering or placement of the mental objects in the belief set. Somewhere hidden in the belief set, is the person.

    The interesting thing about belief sets, is once a person incorporates the mental objects, they sometimes seek other like-minded persons who have the same objects in their belief set, creating then what I call a “belief structure” in which persons reinforce one another with their mental objects. The mental objects of a person creates the belief structure they inhabit with other persons of “like” belief sets. So, this is why belief sets are mental objects to me and collective belief creates what I call, to add a word and borrow a mathematical term I just made up while typing this: Psychological Tessellations

    Definition of Psychological Tessalations: Psychological tessellations are created when beliefs/behaviors are reinforced over and over again, until all the parts replicate (rep-tiles) (yes it’s a real term)patterns ultimately leading to the formation of belief structures.

    The picture you chose RD, looks like a tessellation.

    Inherently beliefs- when formed as psychological tiles -contain the material for the structures we already inhabit. Everything built required a collective belief set, filled with mental objects to be enacted upon, to be erected, so to speak. Psychological tessalations precede all bricks that are laid. Governments. Churches. Everything in the world requires belief sets, in order to exist. If the belief sets began to change, the world as we know it would gradually succumb to the second law of thermodynamics much more quickly. See, we are the energy that feeds this world, when we let ourselves be fuel for its insatiable need for our bodies and souls to maintain its perpetuation. .

    • There’s some indications these days that there’s a gene for the belief in God and it has some interesting attributes including you can inherit the tendency be more drawn to religious beliefs. It’s some what like they’ve found physical differences in the way folks that see them self as conservative from those that are more liberal in brain chemistry. The propensity to believe in God may actually have a biophysical explanation and in some instances may be hardwired into some people because of natural selection processes.

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

      • Interesting, although it sounds like another one of those hard to discern “nature vs. nurture” arguments could result. I often wonder if my belief set would look different if I wasn’t brought up in a household where I was expected to attend church every Sunday during my formative years and in my teen years twice weekly.

        I didn’t formally introduce my children to religion until my 4th at the tender age of 7 came up to me and informed me that God was in all of us. He did so unprompted. Prior to that none of my kids seemed to express any real interest in formal religion. I still wonder if it was all the praying I did why he was in utero(the decision to have him was a leap of faith since my brother in laws first child and my third died of SIDS)has anything to do with it.

        I think church like anything else man has a hand in has potential to do both good and bad. When I was a teen I was grateful because the church we attended helped with food, allowed us to go on various extracurricular activities on a “scholarship” and in general was kind to my family. In a world that doesn’t always show kindness I can’t see that as all bad.

        • There’s a lot to be said about the difference between people seeking answers to the unknown via some form of spirituality and just blindly accepting the marching orders of an institution that may or may not really have their best interests at heart. I think a lot of the bad comes from the institutional part. A lot of the good can come from small groups of individuals that are sincere. Every one has the choice of finding the best in themselves or the worst in themselves, with or without a formal doctrine. I think that in itself threatens an institution that derives power and wealth from keeping its adherents to the doctrine and not necessarily the belief’s inherent wisdom and values.

          • I agree totally with this statement.

            What i believe hopefully, is what my essence resonates to, not what my ego
            was formed to accept.

            In this way, we are our own living laboratories.

      • yeah and I go to church because my parents are atheists? How does that work?

  22. Jeez, I wish you’d take down the picture of the Cardinals.
    It makes me see red!

  23. The point isn’t about religion at all, and shouldn’t be. The point is that there isn’t the separation of religion, who cares which it is!, from government. The Church tries to influence governtment? Geewhiz, you don’t say! but the issue is not the Church, not the bishops, not the Faithful, the issue is how government allows it to influence policy. Period. You are aiming at the wrong guys here.

    Why try to change the Catholic church or Christianity? Why bother criticizing it? I don’t see the point here at all when the need is to do away with religion in gov’t and not religion itself. 

    If only as much passion and vehemence and opinion was directed at making government secular, now that would get you where you need to be, instead of attacking a religion.

    • One day, the Pope put out an urgent call that all the Cardinals were to meet at once in Rome. This was, of course, very unusual. They gathered in the Sistine Chapel and there was much speculation about why they had been called together as they waited for the Pope. When the Pope arrived he said, “I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is that Jesus Christ has returned to earth. I haven’t seen Him yet but I’ve spoken to Him on the telephone.” The Cardinals sat in stunned silence for a fairly long time, then one of them asked the Pope, “But, Holy Father, if that’s the good news what bad news can there possibly be?” And the Pope answered, “He was calling from Salt Lake City.”

  24. It appears that men don’t think women are ‘persons’, in much the same way some women don’t think a fetus is a ‘person’.

    • **12-YEAR-OLD DIES GIVING BIRTH IN YEMEN**

    • That’s funny. Nice try though.

      No, I don’t think you can say that a group of people not recognizing the full personhood of another group of people in any way equates to a group of people not recognizing a pile of cells that if set free on their own could not live on their own.

      Instead that pile of cells requires another person (host) for it’s continued existence, and in order to impose the belief that the pile of cells be required to continue effectively requires that host to be a slave under the control of others.

    • Suggest you come back with that one when:

      (a) each woman is totally dependent upon another body for sustenance and life support, whether the proprietor of that other body is willing or not; and

      (b) the law defining “persons” no longer requires that a “person,” be “born alive.”

    • that’s one whacked statement … how can you compare a mass of cells to somebody who lives, breathes, thinks, cries, eats ?

    • Save the Children found that, annually, 13 million children are born to women under age 20 worldwide, more than 90% in developing countries. Complications of pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of mortality among women between the ages of 15 and 19 in such areas.[4]

      Studies have found that between 11 and 20 percent of pregnancies in teenagers are a direct result of rape, while about 60 percent of teenage mothers had unwanted sexual experiences preceding their pregnancy. Before age 15, a majority of first-intercourse experiences among females are reported to be non-voluntary; the Guttmacher Institute found that 60 percent of girls who had sex before age 15 were coerced by males who on average were six years their senior. One in five teenage fathers admitted to forcing girls to have sex with them.[32]

      Multiple studies have indicated a strong link between early childhood sexual abuse and subsequent teenage pregnancy in industrialized countries. Up to 70 percent of women who gave birth in their teens were molested as young girls; by contrast, 25 percent for women who did not give birth as teens were molested.[33][34][35][36]

      So, given the mortality rate and the sexual abuse statistics, what do you suggest these children/teens do?

    • Since women are separate entities unreliant on the nutrients from anothers body and their survival may not be the cause of death of another, I fail to see the similarity in the argument.

      Bringing a child into the world saps from the body of the woman bringing it into the world. There is a reason they suggest that women wait 5 years between births and why they monitor women once they realize that they are pregnant.

    • Sec. Hillary Clinton Defends Reproductive Rights and Family Planning

      • Abebu was married at the age of 15 and developed her fistula after four days of prolonged labor. When her leaking began, her husband stole her property and threw her out and her parents shunned her.

      • Every Minute Counts: Improve Maternal Health (MDG #5 / EngenderHealth) That is more than 1400 dead every 24 hours — more than 500,000 women a year. Reproductive Health Care matters

      • Hillary Clinton is a devout Methodist too, imagine that.

    • If life begins at conception, then when two embryos combine to make a chimera in utero, does that mean when it is born, it has two souls?

      • whose to say anything even has one soul?

        • that’s the point of the question ;)

          if an embryo splits in two, do the twins have half-souls?

        • I think you mean all the “nice” things he said are like that. Let’s not forget all the less than nice things. Like you can only follow him and be Christian if you abandon your kids and spouse and parents and family. You know, just like a cult. If you have a family, you are by definition not a Christian.

          Well, I should qualify, if you take that stuff literally that is. If you want to just take the “nice” stuff and ignore the rest, sure, why not. Mix and match, a little from column A, a little from column B. That’s really more of constructing a philosophy of life vs an organized religion. To each his own.

        • You can’t just read the Bible and expect to understand it.

          The Bible says many things, some of which contradict each other. Some passages are to be taken literally, while others are not. There are whole books that should be ignored.

          That’s why you need to attend church, so a priest or minister can teach you what the Bible REALLY says.

          You must also donate a portion of your income to the church. This is called “tithing” and you can’t get to Heaven if you don’t buy a ticket. Most churches demand 10% of your gross income, but my church only charges 8.5% – the lowest rates in town.

          p.s. To guarantee your salvation you should also change your will and leave all your worldly goods to the church. I have some pre-printed forms you can use.

        • My spiritual belief system is based upon one basic idea: The only spiritual truth is that which you know without being told.

        • And the fact that there are so many archetypes across the spectrum and from all times should be enlightening to those who think “their God” is the only “real God.”

        • not to go all theological on you, but there’s a subtle difference … there’s a ‘stream of consciousness’ that implies it’s not permanent and ever changing and it has no beginning or no end … it was never created and it does not create … it has no ‘real’ or permanent existence

          the soul idea is closer to the idea of an ego in that it stays and is permanent … this is not what Buddhists embrace at all … just like we continually morph from birth to death physically, there is nothing permanent about our nature or state of mind at at all … there is no soul, there is nothing that exists out of context ever or separately it’s just our ignorance and perception that create that … we are the creator … we have form but that form is not permanent and is not us … that’s why one exercise buddhists use is point to what makes you you … is it your arm? is it your nose? is it your heart? point to ‘your soul’ where does it exist?, etc

        • well sure; if you speak of the soul in the terms interpreted by Christianity. I was speaking more of just the basic concept unmarred by “patriarchal wisdom.” The soul is that part of you (IMO) that is accessed via meditation.

          I guess it’s because I believe in an afterlife and that the consciousness survives giving rise to the concepts relating to the transcendent nature of “God/higher power/resurrection/reincarnation” etc.

          Those are things one cannot know until it no longer is relevant to care, if you catch my drift. But it all goes back to human nature’s desire to make sense of life and death. It’s why spirituality even exists. Many concepts can be linked at their foundation. It’s why I believe that the only spiritual truths are those you know without being told. That explains much about the similar ideas.

          The patriarchy however takes those ideas and bastardizes them to suit their dominance needs.

          • I was just trying to explain how there’s a difference between the idea of soul in other religions that Buddhists don’t embrace … what reincarnates in some forms of Buddhism isn’t a soul per se, it’s a form of subtle consciousness that carries with it a stream of karma and some awareness of “pastness” etc … it’s not a permanent identity like the soul is considered so it’s not exactly you that reincarnates it’s an expression of the subtle entity that at one point displayed itself as a “you” in all your various emanations … it’s what they mean when they say there is no you there, even though you do have form …

          • yep. I get it. As I said, I was speaking in general terms comparatively and not from the Christian dogmatic perspective. consciousness is consciousness. No one that breathes can give a certain answer. It’s all what you believe. And it’s whatever fulfills that human need for the individual.

          • kinda weird but actually many early christians believed it wasn’t a “zombie Jesus” but that jesus was going to reincarnate … they interpreted that story as reincarnation but that was pretty much erased by the Constantine panel … once they established the doctrine they were vicious about destroying any one off of it … we’ll never really know what exactly a lot of early christians believed unless we can find more scrolls that were hidden from Rome over the years.

          • Yeah. I’m Catholic.

          • oh, that’s also one of the controversial things in buddhism and it’s kind’ve a leftover from the brahamanism from which it developed, frequently western and more modern buddhists don’t buy that, but that’s okay because buddhism isn’t doctrine based as much as it is a form of scientific method … you develop “faith” if you will be getting success enough times that your faith is based on the idea you have faith it will work now because it’s worked in the past and you’ve been able to prove it’s worked. Big difference between that form of faith and the faith displayed in other religions that expects you to blindly follow because some one says so … the Buddha even says don’t ever take my word for stuff if you can’t get it to work for you

          • You’d probably like my friend.

      • No silly, when that happens, only one soul lives the other one “dies”. The one that “dies” of course can’t go to heaven because it wasn’t baptized. Which means the mother is condemned to eternal damnation in the fires of hell.

        It’s all a mystery and better left in the hands of God. It’s above your pay grade, so don’t even try to think about it little lady. We men didn’t just make this stuff up, God told us directly and we wrote it down. We watch the God news so you don’t have too.

    • Actually, I do believe that at some point after conception, that collection of cells does become a person. Not sure exactly where that point is, but it does, IMO. But whether or not, or when, that fetus is a life is irrelevant.

      But I’m pro-choice because in NO other area of jurisprudence does the law force a PERSON to give over the use of their physical body to another PERSON against their will. Not even to save a life, and not even if they are your child. The govt doesn’t strap you down and harvest your bone marrow or kidney because your chid needs it . It rightly recognizes that despite the fact that many would say you morally OUGHT to do be willing to do so, for the state to force you to provide your physical body for the use of another is tantamount to slavery, and a violation of the most basic freedom: that my body is my own.

      Don’t assume that all pro-choice persons think a 7 or 8 month fetus is not a person. Many of us do. But that person does not have a legal right to use my body without my consent. Whether I myself would choose to grant he/she that right is an entirely separate issue from whether the State should have the power to MAKE me do it.

      • haha, and so by that reasoning: you, using govt as a proxy, have no right to force another to labor 1/3 of the year to pay for your or anyone else’s healthcare; that is literal slavery but here we are debating the finer points of it as if it’s just cool :P

        • That’s actually as far from literal slavery as it gets. That’s not even wage slavery, where the cost of your labor is pegged by an arbitrary number that’s completely unrelated to the value of your labor. Read up on the horrors of the Middle Passage before making these idiotic analogies.

          • well, really I was mostly poking fun at wcmb’s comparison of pregnancy to slavery, that was a waaay farther stretch than my analogy thanks.

            Besides we all know ‘literal slavery’ really means spending all day reading wordpress blogs.

        • how truly oppressive that any of that money might go to healthcare instead of wars, executions, and torture.

          • I like the true libertarians, the kind who don’t use the Internet, the roads, electricity, medicine, food, water–all those things that were developed using government funds, are subsidized by the government, are regulated by the government? The kind who don’t take government handouts in the form of tax breaks for their homes and businesses?

          • yeah those true libertarians are something else, talk about zombies

          • Reject nationalism and we have none of these things. I am afraid that the identity that allows us to even consider paying for each other’s doc trips is the same identity that was forged in, and is maintained in, the wars. The leaders, regardless of their tiny differences, are all riding that same (i feel another bad analogy coming) cuckatoo of nationalism all the way to the bank. I think it is more about them living to their purpose, fulfilling their meaning by manipulating/leading us than it is about any particular ‘ideology’. I quote that because I find the ‘ideologies’ inconsistent in ways that makes them feel like they were formed based on political expedience.

            ok I see the next comment, Seriously you read me like a book! I’m still laughing at my own joke from a half hour ago don’t listen to me…

          • From wikipedia’s history section on universal healthcare:

            Germany has the world’s oldest universal health care system, with origins dating back to Otto von Bismarck’s social legislation, which included the Health Insurance Bill of 1883, Accident Insurance Bill of 1884, and Old Age and Disability Insurance Bill of 1889. In Britain, the National Insurance Act 1911 marked the first steps there towards universal health care, covering most employed persons and their financial dependents and all persons who had been continuous contributors to the scheme for at least five years whether they were working or not. This system of health insurance continued in force until the creation of the National Health Service in 1948 which extended health care security to all legal residents. Most current universal health care systems were implemented in the period following the Second World War as a process of deliberate healthcare reform, intended to make health care available to all, in the spirit of Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, signed by every country doing so. The US did not ratify the social and economic rights sections, including Article 25′s right to health.[2]

            Universal healthcare isn’t about nationalism, it’s about the right to health.

          • Germany’s system was the one on which Hillary based her proposed universal health care system.

    • Put aside abortion for a moment and answer these questions:
      1.) are men and women equal?
      2.) are they endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights?
      If you answered yes to both of these questions, then women have the right to choose when or if they will be parents. They derive this right fro
      their unalienable right to liberty.
      You can sentimentalize the fetus if you choose but the rest of us would rather let the woman sort it out with her god or conscience without your interference. The species will not die out.

  25. Under The Bus
    http://www.notunderthebus.com/

    h/t GWT

    Hemmm, NOW where did I hear that before?

    We need a show, about this ‘wimmin under the bus’ approach that isn’t being covered by the main media. Ayup, we do and let’s face it, we have plenty women willing to voice their opinions on the matter here.

    OK, now I will go and see if my ex-communication letter has arrived.

  26. Someone had to do it:

  27. OT: I’m watching CNN and it looks like Rep John Conyers has gone rogue.

  28. Religion got all messed up when the Davidic Priest King and descendants were changed to one Son of God, then God Himself. Meanwhile the Davidic Queens were thrown under the bus and all the descendants were murdered. So went the Family and the Sacred Feminine. So now men without Family teach us all to pray to GOD the FATHER and do what they tell us. No wonder all the females are constantly under the bus. NO THANKS.

  29. In case anyone here is interested in facts, Ben Nelson is a Methodist, not a Catholic.

    So I would be very surprised to find out he is taking his marching orders from the Vatican.

    More likely, Mutual of Omaha.

    • But the Catholic Bishops had plenty to do with the Stupak amendment being passed in the house. The damage is done.

      • I AM a Catholic–by birth and family background anyway.

        • BB,
          I fail to see what your religious upbringing has to do with my comment about Ben Nelson.

          • Personally, I fail to see the relevance of your comment to this discussion. RD never said Nelson is Catholic, she said that he are Stupak are allowing the Bishops to influence policy. That’s not quite the same thing. I didn’t actually see anyone claiming that Nelson is Catholic, so please point it out if I missed it. Otherwise, you may have helpfully clarified an argument that wasn’t quite made.

            I too am Catholic, and if you fail to understand the relevance of bringing that up, let me help. It’s because you seem to be implying, no doubt completely unintentionally, that these criticisms are the result of anti-Catholic bigotry and 1960 style accusations of dual loyalty, when, in fact, much of the unease is coming from Catholics and is being directed at Methodists like Nelson and Family members like Stupak who are allowing the Bishops to meddle where their tax
            exempt status should fear to tread, in exchange not for eternal salvation but for political quid
            pro quo. If you’ve got some ‘facts’ that suggest the Church hierarachy is not up to their necks in trying to influence this legislation and calling in all their markers, share with the class, I’m sure most of us would find that a lot more reassuring than settling a non-dispute over Ben Nelson’s religion.

    • Actually, what we’re really up against is this authoritarian mindset promoted by The Family. They’re evil fucks and I font care if they consider themselves religious or not. They think Hitler and Stalin were exemplary alpha males who knew how to use power. Not that what they did was right or wrong. Just that they knew how to use power effectively.
      Bart Stupak is one if The Family members and used to live at The Family compound.
      He may consult with the bishops who after all are simpatico with The Family’s goals. But the bigger problem is how these nasty authoritarians operate and what their goals are. The Democrats should hold any Family member in thei caucus accountable for their behavior and the company they keep.

    • Mutual of Omaha sold off its health insurance line a long time ago. They just do mostly life and pension management now, actually. I know he’s Methodist too. But he’s been letting the Catholic Bishops write his legislation. He’s got adopted children. He and wife (Diane, as I recall who is charming) couldn’t have children. I think his attachment to the cause is more personal.

  30. Thank Goodness I dumped the Catholic Church decades before the rush. It was a truly freeing experience, let me tell you. Try as I might, searching far and wide, I simply could not find another place where I could have as much guilt and suppression laid on me simply for being a woman So I decidied to just dump guilt as well. That worked out really well for me.

  31. I’ve been gone all day and just checked back in to see how long this discussion lasted and how it evolved.

    One thing I don’t think was mentioned. Recall the broohaha over Sotomayor’s nomination and the issue of life experience? As if any one of us, including those already serving on the court, forms an opinion de novo and devoid of personal experience.

    So, in all the back and forth over who might be imposing what on whom, do ya think having 6 of 9 justices on the supreme court (including I believe Thomas, who is an adult convert) has had any influence of the decisions issued by the court?

    Yeah, I think so too.

    • yes, I worry about that too. But I don’t think they will accomplish what they want by overturning Roe. No, they’ll just restrict it to death so that it’s legal but unattainable except to the most determined woman of means. You’ll have to live in NJ, NY or CA or be willing to travel long distances and be willing to stay days getting one.
      I’m going to say something controversial. At this point in time, I think Roe SHOULD be overturned. The right to abortion should be a civil rights/equality issue. As long as equality did not precede the ruling, the issue will NEVER be settled. If you are not equal, your right to decide whether or not to be a parent will always be compromised.
      So, throw Roe out and let’s get that equality thing once and for all. Shake the nation up. Women have become too complacent.

  32. So what confuses me about the whole discussion here is this: is the congress debating a ban on abortion? Or are they debating not forcing people to pay for a stranger’s abortion?

    I don’t like the church and all, but I don’t like writing checks to the feds either…

    • Perhaps your confusion is because neither of those things are what was being debated. What Congress was “debating” (really the debate was a farce) was whether to restrict access to abortion for women who receive federal subsidies, regardless of whether those subsidies are being used to pay for abortion. But, again, the debate was a farce. What has really happened is that Nancy’s House sold women out to pass a bailout of the insurance industry in the guise of healthcare reform…. so Harry’s Senate “rescued” women as a way to… pass a bailout of the insurance industry in the guise of healthcare reform. Ta-da. Women’s rights are kept in limbo so that their votes can be controlled on a single issue, healthcare system remains nowhere near fixed and instead we will spend years fixing a lot of this mess, and Wall Street gets what it wants. Status quo you can believe in.

      • Wonk: Ah, so they are trying to play the ‘live under my roof my rules’ game. That’s funny, well not in a haha way, but that’s exactly what we are asking for with national healthcare. That is how they think. It will not stop there. Soon enough we will lose our ‘insurance’ based on not following rules decided by congress. It’s gonna especially hurt you guys on the left cuz you’re giving this power to a dem congress but that same congress will swing back the other way and abunch of repubs will control your healthcare… can you say faith based abortion counseling…

        create the power, someone will use it in ways you don’t like..

        • Actually the rules went out the window on May 31, 2008 and the roof was torn out from under us then, but to make a long story short–

          There’s no Democratic party, let alone a Democratic Congress, right now, at least not functioning as a whole. Corporate Party (D) and Corporate Party (R) — two wings of the same party, that’s what we have right now, and they’re responsible for this mess. That doesn’t invalidate all attempts to reform healthcare.

          What those of us who are for universal healthcare are asking for is what every other industrialized country has:

    • Do women’s tax dollars count for nothing in the US?

    • Just to clarify, what ARE you okay with your tax dollars being spent on? Because if you’re okay with the funding of wars and torture and domestic spying, if you’re okay with funding churches that push hateful beliefs (through tax-exempt status and faith based initiatives), if you’re okay with paying for the continuation of corporate cronyism, then I find your argument a little hypocritical, not to say misogynistic. I don’t think it’s really about the money.

      Would you be okay with being mugged, so long as your mugger didn’t go and spend the money on an abortion?

      • Very nice responses, thanks.
        Sandra: My initials are ss too!! None of the above. It sounds like I am with you all the way. I didn’t really make an argument, maybe the questions gave away my tendencies of thought but really I’m curious to know what some of the debaters here think of the ‘keep the feds outa my hair’ viewpoint that I have always appreciated. So to clarify, at a federal level, not ok with much money being spent on anything. The vast majority of those people don’t know the first thing about how I live and should not be making decisions about my life. They want to mandate insurance? Are they gonna pay for it? They are some of the richest people in the country(or world), why not cough up some of that for the rest of us? no, they are going to suck money out of working people who cannot pay for it. They mandate that I buy this or that. I’m scraping to get a cavity filled! F%^# them. They should mind their own business which they are incapable of doing because they think it is their purpose in life to control us. Bottom line, they want money for, like you mentioned, churches and megacorps and farmers and scientists and themselves and their old-boy network not so much because these places are dying for our money but because the organizers need the glory to validate their existence. So, no, not really ok with them doing anything with my silly little bits of money.

        misogynist.. I think i misrepresented a bit. It’s not so much that I’m against people having abortions. Something about it ‘feels’ wrong to me and I would try to avoid dealing with it in my own life, but I would not condescend to tell everyone else that my feelings are the end all. That said, why would opposition to abortion mean that one hates women? I see no connection, and that’s one of the things that interests me about this blog and a couple others, I’m sort of trying to get my mind around these positions. Is there a good place to go to learn the basics of feminism? Besides a university class anyway, tried that once and they wanted to talk about how we force pink and blue and I just found that sooo eh, duh.

        • It is a medical procedure necessitated by a biological process that occurs in women only.

        • “Is there a good place to go to learn the basics of feminism?”

          Start with sexism. If you don’t get the pink/blue dichotomy, you’re not getting sexism. When boys or girls are socially encouraged to behave in only certain ways, that could be sexism. There is social punishment for stepping out of line. If you find all of this too dull to consider, you may not really be interested enough to “get my mind around these positions.”

        • To be clear, I’m a big government, tax and spend liberal. I am ALL OVER having my money spent by the government. I’d just prefer they spend it on stuff that benefits the people, like say, healthcare (and yes, I think abortion should absolutely be covered, just like I think every medical procedure should be).

          You say you don’t want the government interfering in your life. Which I can understand, especially if you don’t trust the government. Women have been historically oppressed by men. Sold into marriage, treated as chattel, beaten, raped, treated as domestic slaves, and so forth. There’s an awful lot of us out there who don’t trust men (as a group, most of us trust the individual men in our lives), or the men in power.

          You want to make your own decisions because you know that you’re competent to do so. You have a brain in your head and nobody (including the federal and state governments) knows what’s best for you better than you do, because nobody knows what your personal situation is better than you do. Same with women. If you want to come out against abortion in general, it’s because you think women are stupid or immoral, or in some other way are incapable of being trusted to make decisions for themselves. It’s that simple.

          But abortion murders babies? No, that doesn’t wash. Women know everything you know about abortion. If they want an abortion anyway, it’s because they have weighed their circumstances carefully and decided that an abortion is necessary. They don’t need a lecture, they need to be left alone.

          And why should anyone’s taxes cover someone else’s abortion? Because we’re already taking them. If you were paying them voluntarily, or you could already choose what federal projects to support, then it would make sense to remove federal funding for abortion. But we don’t. We can’t say “Don’t use my taxes to fund your immoral war”, not even if we’re FROM the middle east, and have family back there. We can’t say “Don’t use my taxes to prop up corporations and banks and churches” because we’re atheist anti-corporatists.

          But suddenly, when it comes to abortion (by which I mean CONTROLLING WOMEN), then we get worried about stepping on toes. We make an exception. Too late, fellas. The horse is out of the barn. Either you distribute federal funds EQUITABLY (with equal consideration for personal freedoms in terms of gender), or you stop taking our money for federal distribution.

    • The Stupak amendment is a way for the antiabortion crowd to make abortion more inaccessible to as many women as possible. The surface effect is to prevent women receiving federal subsidies for health care to get abortion coverage. The broader effect is that the amendment can be interpreted to exclude any woman who has a policy from a company that also participates in the health care insurance exchanges from getting abortion coverage. Any insurance company in the exchange would have to separate the premiums collected from women for abortion services from the coverage they offer subsidized women. The result is a logistical nightmare. There is too much possibility that the monies will mingle and be in violation of the law. So, abortion coverage is a no go even for middle class women who are willing to pay the premiums without a subsidy.
      As for writing checks to the fed, I don’t particularly care for subsidizing the banking industry who is presently sitting on the money we gave them from TARP. That goes against my conscience. I don’t like paying for the Iraq War. That REALLY frosts my crockies. But I don’t have much choice. I suspect that Scientologists don’t like the prospect of paying for mental health treatment and antidepressants. Jehovah’s Witnesses get their knickers in a twist over blood transfusions. Christian Scientists, well, they don’t believe in doctors at all. They think you should pray for healing. I suspect that none of these groups want to fork over their precious tax dollars to the feds to cover the people who will get these treatments and will be breaking their moral codes.
      But for some peculiar reason, it is only the evangelicals and Catholics who object to abortion who get to have a say about where their tax dollars go.
      Why is that?

      • And don’t get me wrong. Jehovah’s Witnesses REALLY don’t approve of blood transfusions. They would rather die than get one and some actually have. If you are a JW and get a transfusion or any blood derived product, you might as well forget about surviving Armageddon. You are on God’s shitlist permanently. I don’t think even abortion comes close to that for a JW. My mom was one for years and nearly died of a hemorrhage but she refused a transfusion. My 18 year old brother had to step in an override her or she would have been toast. He condemned her to eternal damnation.
        So, it’s a pretty serious thing for them to have to put up with in a health care bill. Fortunately for the rest of us, JWs are militantly apolitical and don’t lobby or we would all be in big trouble.

        • my grandfather died rather than get a blood transfusion. they are dead serious about it. no pun intended.

  33. “If someone feels a presence in their life and chooses to name that presence God why should they be subject to derision simply because they can’t prove it? ”

    Some people call that Schitzophrenia.

    You have no right to ask anyone to respect your deusions. Get over it.

    • Technically, in order for it to be schizophrenia you have to hold a “bizarre” delusion. Otherwise it’s just plain old delusional disorder.

      I think zombie jesus is pretty bizarre, but it’s also a very common delusion. One might even call it sub-clinical.

  34. Violet at Reclusive Leftist posts about this thread and makes this observation

    I believe it’s possible to think Christianity is a hilarious bag of intellectual nonsense, yet at the same time to respect individual Christians and their personal faith commitments.

    http://www.reclusiveleftist.com/

    • I respect people’s right to believe whatever they want. I have my own rather odd mystical beliefs. However I don’t try to get Congress to pass laws to force the consequences of my beliefs on everyone else. This post was about the Catholic Bishops influencing laws about women’s bodies. I don’t see how that disrespects any individual’s faith.

      I don’t want any church getting involved in politics period. I saw how damaging that was when I first moved to Boston in the late ’60s. I grew up as a Catholic in the midwest where we were in the minority and were often discriminated against. But in Mass., the Church practically ran the state government. Birth control was illegal here! The Church had paid lobbyists with offices in the state house. That is not appropriate in a country with supposed separation of church and state.

      • Besides, RD never said Christianity was a “hilarious bag of intellectual nonsense.” She simply didn’t say that.

        • No. Violet says that. Her post was inspired by this one. And it makes some good points. The discussion is interesting as well. I think the point is about respecting people’s right to their beliefs and to still be able to give your opinion about those beliefs. In truth, I tiptoe around the stated beliefs of my conservative fundamentalist and Catholic friends and relatives. Unless they ask my opinion, which they rarely do.

          My comments are off the topic of the influence of Catholic Bishops. I’m a Unitarian Universalist by inclination. There’s nothing we like better than an open-ended discussion about religion. :smile:

          • Thanks. I’ll try to check out Violet’s post. First I have to go out and shovel snow. Ugh!

          • Think of it as exercise and remember, you don’t have to lift a full shovelful. Smaller is better on your back!

            You probably have more experience than I (South Central PA). What tips do you have?

  35. Don’t you think it’s possible that Christianity isn’t the only religion hindering woman’s rights and other civil rights? There are far too many contributors to just blame one.

    • yes, of course, it’s just that it’s THE ONE that’s in charge of doing it here. There are Muslim entities doing the same kind of bullshit in other countries because they’re the majority religion there. Wherever there’s enough men in a religious institution to stop women, there will be some kind of religious doctrine in one of the sects to do so … once we got patriarchal religions with a single god that was a man, that became the norm whatever the flavor.

      • Yes, but the Mormon church has effectively gotten things on the ballot and backed numerous initiatives that are discriminatory against women and gays also. I think it would be wise to have legislation banning all religions from putting their input into state issues.

  36. Feh. I’m a Christian married to an atheist, and am appalled at how both sides of this thread are addressing one another.

    There are religious folk, and especially institutions, who are oppressive and controlling. There are also ample examples in history of institutionalized atheism being oppressive and controlling (USSR or China, anyone?)

    It’s not the religion, or the lack thereof – it’s that human beings in aggregate, and especially with unchecked power, can be RATFUCK BASTARDS, and being either a believer or a non-believer does not give one the moral high ground or make one’s worldview immune from those dangers. Either atheism or religion can be a tool for oppression and power-mongering. Neither is the font of all evil: HUMAN BEINGS are. It’s that simple, really.

    So the bishops can STFU and kiss my ass. As can Stalin from whatever non-existent hell he’s in. But my evangelical sister and my hard-core atheist hubby are both wonderful people, and NEITHER is “delusional” – they just disagree.

    • You can’t mock and jeer somebody else’s sincere beliefs without offending them. This ain’t gonna end well – probably with some permanently hurt feelings.

      But nobody ever listens to me.

      • Thanks myiq, this may be the best comment of the entire thread. Have been reading it from the moment it went up, I doubt it will end well. It’s just not that type of debate topic, it’s raw nerve stuff.

    • I’m with WMCB on this. The way I see it, it’s not *what* people believe that’s the biggest problem so much as *what actions* they use their belief systems to justify.

      • Yup. People who want to be hateful and intolerant and selfish will use whatever vehicle happens to be their worldview as the vehicle of power for that negativity – whether it’s atheism, religion, political ideology, whatever.

      • Wonk, I’d like to add a small corollary to that. It’s not “what” people believe that’s the biggest problem, it’s “that” they believe whatever it is whole heatedly and without question.

        Christianity and atheism are just two sides of the same delusion coin, in so far as they are more than “faiths”.

  37. I love how the Christians, specifically Catholics, are offended by the post. They have a lot of nerve.

    Let’s see, a vast network of child molesters, and the cover-up.

    Assisting the spread of HIV/AIDS in third world countries by forbidding the teaching of scientifically sound reproductive information. (how can we forget Mother Teresa’s disciplinary action for denying patients dying of AIDS in her “hospitals” because she believed it assisted them in entering heaven)

    Assisting in the death of countless women by preventing scientifically sound information on reproduction (including providing safe abortions). Check out this atrocity– brought to you by the Catholic Church. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/09/health/09iht-web.0409abortioncomplete.html?scp=4&sq=pro-life%20nation&st=cse

    Promoting homophobia and hatred for other alternative lifestyles.

    Choosing a former member of the Hitler’s Nazi Youth as Pope.

    And that’s just their current contribution to society. I’d be hear all day if I was to list the rest of the shit they pulled over the past 2,000 years.

  38. This post may or may not have the most comments I’ve ever seen here on the TC but it seems to be one with long legs and certainly one of the most passionately discussed.

  39. Has the nesting stopped working?

  40. My point about the souls-at-conception was that it’s all absurd to me…a lot of absurd riddles with absurd answers. At the end of the day, imho, we’re all just trying to make sense of our experience and feel connected to something bigger than ourselves. “We’re one, but we’re not the same, we get to carry each other.” That’s what a higher power means to me. Not a being, but a bond.

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