Friday, March 16, 2012

My Take on the News: Religious 'Freedom;' Killing the Victims; Another Hack Attack

Anti-Catholicism keeps up with the times. Now, in addition to being in league with Satan and helping Nazis, the Catholic Church is supposed to be constantly molesting children and causing (what else?) cancer.

I'm not making that up.
  1. Religious Freedom: For Those With Presidential Approval
  2. 'It's Okay: She was Raped'
  3. Attack on Here We Go Again

1. Religious Freedom: For Those With Presidential Approval

"Bishops say mandate fight is about government defining religion"
Michelle Bauman, (CNA/EWTN News) (March 14, 2012)

"The U.S. bishops are emphasizing that their opposition to the Obama administration's contraception mandate is not about birth control or health care, but about the government’s attempt to impose its narrow definition of religion on the country.

" 'Indeed, this is not about the Church wanting to force anybody to do anything,' said the administrative committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in a March 14 statement.

"Instead, they explained, it is 'about the federal government forcing the Church - consisting of its faithful and all but a few of its institutions - to act against Church teachings.'

"The bishops stated that the debate is not about the Church trying to ban access to contraception, which is already 'ubiquitous and inexpensive.'..."
The Catholic Church has had run-ins with rogue rulers before.

Henry VIII of England made out like gangbusters after he set up his own private little church. (March 7, 2012) England's Henry II took advantage of a sort of reality check, and didn't match Henry VIII's spectacular reign. (March 9, 2012)

'It's different,' of course. This isn't 12th or 16th century England, and the American president isn't a hereditary monarch. Americans have a presidential election coming up this November, by the way.

Don't Laugh: You Could be Next

America has a long, if not perfect, record of tolerating folks who don't agree with whoever is in the White House at the moment. Americans even have a rule against setting up an official state religion. (October 5, 2011) That lot in Philadelphia had gotten thoroughly fed up with the official religions of Europe, and that's another topic.

Or maybe not so much.

Back to that article:
"...The HHS mandate controversy involves more than Catholics, they [the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops] said, pointing out that it includes everyone who realizes that their beliefs may be the next target of government coercion.

"They added that the debate is not a matter of political parties, nor is it 'a matter of opposition to universal health care,' which the bishops have supported in some form since 1919....

"...'Government has no place defining religion and religious ministry,' the bishops said.

"They decried the administration's attempt to draw a new distinction between 'houses of worship' and 'ministries of service,' explaining that this distinction creates a 'second class' of citizens that are deemed unworthy to share in the 'God-given, legally-recognized right' to be able to follow their beliefs.

"They also warned that this redefinition of religion will spread throughout other areas of federal law, 'weakening its healthy tradition of generous respect for religious freedom and diversity.'..."
Freedom? Diversity? Pushing for universal health care - since 1919?!

If that's not like the Catholic Church you've read about: I'm not surprised. There's a lot that folks think they know about the Church that's just not so.

About religious freedom, I've said this quite often:
  • Catholics must support religious freedom
    (Catechism, 2104-2109)
    • For everybody
      (Catechism, 2106)
The Catholic Church doesn't do the sort of politically correct 'diversity:' where everybody is free to agree with the professor. Our take on being 'diverse' is a little more - catholic:

2. 'It's Okay: She was Raped'

Yes, I know about pedophile priests.
"Argentinean bishops decry approval of abortion in cases of rape"
(March 14, 2012)

"Bishops in Argentina condemned a March 13 ruling by the country's Supreme Court legalizing abortion in cases of rape.

" 'Abortion is the taking of an innocent life, and there is no reason that can justify the elimination of an innocent life, not even in the tragic and sad case of rape,' Archbishop Jose Maria Arancedo of Santa Fe, president of the Argentinean bishops' conference, told AICA news agency.

"Tuesday's ruling by the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling from the province of Chubut in 2010 that authorized an abortion for a 15 year-old girl who was raped. The measure now requires a sworn statement as opposed to a court order for abortions to be carried out in cases of sexual coercion...."
Quite a few years back, I had an interesting chat with someone from a pro-life group. It was one of those fundraising things.

He explained to me that abortion was okay in cases of rape. After all, he explained, we don't want the woman to suffer. I think he was quite sincere. And, in a way, compassionate.

Maybe a woman who had been raped would 'feel better' if, on top of a major physical violation, she had someone kill her baby. After all, she hadn't planned on getting pregnant: and might not even know the father.

Old-School Family Values

From an old-school point of view, killing children who don't have the 'right' father makes sense. In the case of unmarried women, it's a lot easier to use them as bargaining chips with other families, if they've got no kids on their official record. They're even more valuable, if the rape can be kept quiet: virgins are, I understand, much more valuable in forging alliances between families.

I said "makes sense," not "is right." There's a difference.

Then there's the practice of forcing the rape victim to marry the rapist. For the family's 'honor,' of course:I think that sort of horribly garbled 'honor' has encouraged the notion that respect, and adherence to what is right, is a bad idea. And that's another topic.

Rape isn't Nice

The Catholic Church has a word to say about rape: don't. There's more to the Church's position, including this:
"Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2356)
Again: Yes, I know about pedophile priests.

Blaming the Victim

Rape is wrong. But that doesn't mean that the victims of rape are guilty, and should be punished. Like the eight-year-old who was raped. And then disowned by her family:I hope that most Americans - and Argentinians - think that disowning a child because she was raped isn't a good idea.

It seems a little harder to convince 'civilized' people that killing a baby is wrong: even if the father is a criminal.

People, Customs, Ethics, and the Church

I'm 60 years old: the oldest man in this household. What right does the Catholic Church have, telling me that I can't marry one of my daughters off to someone who could increase this family's wealth?

In today's America, not many folks think that way. We've learned a few things about moral behavior.

"Morality," by the way, isn't just about sex, and I've been over that before:Here's part of why I'm willing to let the Church tell me what's right, and what's wrong:
"The Church makes a moral judgment about economic and social matters, 'when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it.'200 In the moral order she bears a mission distinct from that of political authorities: the Church is concerned with the temporal aspects of the common good because they are ordered to the sovereign Good, our ultimate end. She strives to inspire right attitudes with respect to earthly goods and in socio-economic relationships."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2420)
As for bossing my wife around, because the Bible says I can? I've read Ephesians 5:22. But I've read all of Ephesians, including Ephesians 4:21-30, and I've been over that before. (September 24, 2009)

Children and Obligations

When it comes to my children, the Church says I've got obligations. No matter what my native culture says to the contrary:
  • I must teach them what's right, and what's not
    (Catechism, 1784, 2524)
  • I'm not allowed to hire them out as prostitutes
    (Catechism, 2355)
  • I'm not allowed to kill them
    (Catechism, 2268-2269)
    • Even if I off them while they're
On the 'up' side, the church says my kids aren't allowed to kill me, either. Not even if I get sick. I can live with that.

Those rules are restrictive, but I don't see any way around them. That's because the Catholic Church says:
  • Human life is sacred
    (Catechism, 2258
  • Human beings are always people

Deadly 'Compassion'

I can see how a father might, after learning that his daughter had been raped, might want to kill
  • The rapist
    • For insulting the family
  • His daughter
    • For disgracing the family
  • His new grandchild
    • For lousing up a lucrative marriage he'd arranged
Or, if the father was a contemporary American, paying someone to kill his new grandchild 'for his daughter's sake.' Infanticide sounds so much nicer, when one puts it that way.

I don't think I'd want to kill a child, myself. Or have someone else do the job. Not even if one of my daughters - or my wife - was raped. That's no great virtue on my part. I know the difference between a rapist, and a child who was conceived as a result of the rape.

And I don't think that children are responsible for crimes committed by their parents. Certainly not in cases of rape.

Or incest: and that's almost another topic.

3. Attack on Here We Go Again

'As is well known,' Vatican radio causes cancer, and the Catholic Church helps Nazis, and destroys books, and molests children, and all sorts of bad stuff like that. 'Everybody knows it.'

If you believe that, you probably figure the Anonymous attacks are justified.

If you wonder how such an utterly corrupt, foul, and pretty much completely icky, outfit could have lasted for two millennia: you may be like me. I decided to study the Catholic Church: and eventually converted to Catholicism. And that's another topic.
"Vatican confirms second hacker attack, Anonymous claims responsibility"
CSO Online (March 13, 2012)
"The hacker group justifies the attack by pointing to health risks of transmitters"

"The Vatican has confirmed that its website suffered a second hacker attack in the space of six days but declined to comment on the event....

"...The Anonymous hacker collective claimed responsibility for the attack Monday, which cut off access to the Vatican website for several hours and violated data on the Vatican Radio computer system.

"Anonymous said the incursion into the Vatican Radio system was justified by the fact that the radio's powerful transmitters sited in the countryside outside Rome constituted a health risk to people living in the vicinity.

" 'Unfortunately it is a well-known fact that you use transmitters with a transmission capacity that greatly exceeds the legal limits, and it is also a sad fact that exposure to electromagnetic waves of high intensity is connected to the development of serious neoplastic diseases such as leukemia and cancer,' the group said in a message posted on"

Assertions Aren't Facts

For the most part, that article's a pretty good report of the second attack on However: "the fact that the radio's powerful transmitters sited in the countryside outside Rome constituted a health risk" seems to be more of an assertion, than a fact.

I don't doubt that folks in Anonymous believe that Radio Vatican hurts people. Whether the transmitter is, really, operating at above-normal output - and whether there's a connection between that and alleged statistical anomalies in the health of folks living near the Vatican - that's another matter.

I've been over this sort of thing in another blog, briefly:

" 'Cancer Causes Cell Phones!' - or, not"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (July 18, 2011)

(from xkcd, used w/o permission)

There's another uncontested assertion in that CSO article:
"...'Anonymous cannot allow these crimes to continue unpunished and we remind you that you are 'guests' on Italian soil,' the statement said. 'We would like to see tangible signs that you are showing an interest in these matters, perhaps by modifying the location and the power of some of your transmission equipment.'

"The earlier attack March 7 also cut off access to the Vatican website for several hours and disabled internal mail servers.

"Anonymous justified that action by citing the Vatican's role in helping Nazi war criminals to evade international justice, the destruction of books of immense historic value and the sexual molestation of children by members of the clergy...."
(CSO Online)
Folks in Vatican City are " 'guests' on Italian soil"??? Vatican city "is a landlocked sovereign city-state ... the smallest independent state in the world by both area and population." ("Vatican City," Wikipedia)

Vatican City is no more a "guest" of Italy, than Canada is a "guest" of the United States.

Moving on.

Self-Righteous Indignation

"Hackers reportedly launch second attack on Vatican website"
CNA (Catholic News Agency) (March 12, 2012)

"The loose-knit group of hackers known as Anonymous have reportedly launched a second attack on the Vatican website, after failing in its initial attempt to bring the site down on March 7.

"The latest attack on Monday has not yet been confirmed or denied by the Vatican. The vice director of the Holy See's Press Office, Father Ciro Benedettini, said the March 7 attack was not successful, as the hackers failed to post their distinctive logo on the Vatican website.

"On March 12, the hackers stated on their Italian blog that they expect the Vatican to publicly excommunicate them. They accuse the Holy See of damaging public health with the antennas of Vatican Radio and also claim to have broken into the site's database.

"According to the hackers, the attack was in 'response to the doctrines, liturgies and absurd and out-dated precepts that your organization (Roman Apostolic Church) propagates and spreads throughout the world in the interests of profit...."
I doubt that sincere claims that the Pope is a sort of evil CEO, oppressing the poor something fierce, will go away any time soon. 'Everybody knows' about that - and have for centuries:The stories can be good drama, but that doesn't make them true.

Vatican Radio Causes - Cancer?

"...the group blames signals from Vatican Radio radio for causing high cancer rates -- a reference to a 2010 report by the National Cancer Institute into deaths near Vatican Radio transmitters...."
I remember when everything caused cancer. Saying that yet one more product 'caused cancer' was almost an industry for a while. I've ranted about that a bit, in another blog:My concern is that flimflam artists with research grants have made it difficult to take 'serious warnings' seriously. 'The boy who cried wolf' was, eventually, right. And that's another topic:As for Radio Vatican and cancer? All I know is that on outfit that's in the business of finding carcinogens says they found yet one more thing that causes cancer.

Italy, Cancer, and Getting a Grip

I don't doubt that more than one person who lived in Rome died of cancer since Radio Vatican went on the air. Maybe there really is a link to the radio transmissions. But yet one more cry of "wolf!!!" isn't all that impressive. Particularly when used as an accusation against 'guests' who have the effrontery to have a sovereign state that patriotic Italians seem to regard as part of Italy.

If some Italians feeling that Vatican City shouldn't be an independent state doesn't seem so bad, try swapping out the names.

Imagine the furious protests that would result if some bunch of American 'patriots' attacked - justifying their attack by saying that Canadians are 'guests' of America, and should stop abusing children and causing cancer.

And yes: I think that claim would be crazy. Stark, raving, moonbat-crazy.

More posts about forcing Catholics to violate our conscience:
The Department of Health and Human Services vs. Conscience

Related posts:

1 comment:

Brigid said...

Stutter on a quote: "Vatican city is "is a landlocked sovereign city-state"

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.