18
Mar
09

Dear Pope: WTF?

I am not, nor have I ever been, Catholic. I am, however, the descendant of (mostly lapsed) Catholics and attended years of Catholic parochial school where I did have to attend/pass courses on the teachings. I even sang during the masses. This, plus my affection for the quirkier side of the religion (he lived on a pole for twenty years, so we made him a saint! Here’s his actual spleen!) has always left a special place in my heart for the church. I think of it as sort of like a crazy great uncle that you don’t talk to much, but who is guaranteed to enliven family picnics. (Just don’t try the potato salad.)

Of course, that’s because I don’t take the church seriously. Millions of people do. And lately, they’ve been getting some pretty horrific messages from the Holy See.

One of these headlines is from the Onion, one is a real headline. Can you tell the difference?

A. Starving Third World Masses Warned Against Evils of Contraception

B. Pope Benedict XVI: condoms make Aids crisis worse

Scroll down for the answer.

If you guessed that A was false and B was true, give yourself a pat on the back. And weep for humanity.

And, as a bonus,
Church excommunicates mother of 9-year-old rape victim – but not accused rapist

The nine year old girl apparently became pregnant with twins after repeated sexual abuse/assault/rape by her stepfather, which began when she was six. The doctors feared that her tiny body would not be able to stand the pressure of giving birth to twins.

The Catholic Church has apparently argued that she should just have a C-Section. Because we should always take the medical advice of a religious authority with an agenda over the actual medical professionals involved in the case. Remember the Terry Schiavo case, where Senator Bill Frist argued, based only on some videotape he’d spent “an hour or so” watching that she was not, in fact, brain-dead and should thus not be taken off life support? An autopsy later proved he was completely wrong.

Now, clearly the fact that the Catholic Church was prepared to make an armchair diagnosis of a life-or-death medical emergency is the least of the problematic aspects of this case, but it is worth highlighting as additional evidence that the welfare of the child is the furthest thing from their minds.

What does it mean to a child, to be told that God is more accepting of the stepfather who has raped you for three years than He is of the mother and doctors trying to save your life?

Now, just recently the Vatican lifted the excommunication on a bishop who happened to be a Holocaust denier.
So remember, kids, rape= okay, denying Holocaust= okay, saving the life of a nine-year old victim of repeated sexual assault= A very public excommunication.

…but wait, there’s more!!

As a special surprise on International Women’s Day, the official Vatican paper released an article claiming that the real vehicle for Women’s Lib was not, oh, the Pill, or the ability to work outside the home. Nope. It was the washing machine.
Vatican: Washing Machine More Liberating Than The Pill

If I were given the choice between the Pill and a washing machine, I’d learn to handwash very quickly. Of course, the real problem is that they’re trying to reframe the women’s lib movement as something housewives had time to do because their household chores were getting done faster. Liberation, to the Vatican, is having just that much more time around the house in between being a full-time wife and mother a la Donna Reed. It is not a surprise that a church still unwilling to admit the full equality of males and females (still no female priests) should be so strict about its gender roles.

Speaking of gender roles, in yet another gem from Benedict (last one, I promise) he attacked the blurring of gender roles during his 2008 year-end speech. Me wearing a tie (let alone wanting equal rights) is apparently as much a threat to the world as climate change. And as for GLBT individuals… every single one is like several acres of rainforest subjected to slash and burn agriculture.

I want that on a t-shirt now. “Slash and burn gender roles!”

Remember, every time you’re gay, the polar icecaps melt just a little more.

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2 Responses to “Dear Pope: WTF?”


  1. 1 Ann
    27 March 2009 at 11:08 pm

    I absolutely love this post! The ideas seem insane! But still there are people out there who totally believe and see the world through the lens of such institutions. I was raised Catholic and my grandparents were wonderful God-fearing Catholics. I have more appriciation for the church now that I am not forced to obey and believe. That doesn’t mean I’ll be going to confession any time soon, however!
    I think often when the Vatican does research and puts out articles, they are researching what they want to find and not what is really there. If you research to find what you want to find, you’re going to find. I don’t trust any “findings” by the Catholic church.
    It could be a great religion if it would accept some truths and realities other than what they made up themselves.

  2. 2 Dr. J
    31 March 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Got to love Liz and Ann… I’m talking synergy. The two of you need to take it on the road. Well done!


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