Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Bishop's Hypocrisy

Bishop D'Arcy has chosen not to attend the University of Notre Dame’s graduation ceremony, where President Obama is scheduled to deliver the commencement speech and receive an honorary degree. “President Obama has recently reaffirmed, and has now placed in public policy, his long-stated unwillingness to hold human life as sacred,” said D’Arcy, head of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, in a written statement.

"Hold human life as sacred"?? What a crock. Bishop D'Arcy feels that Obama is unworthy to share a stage with because Obama has not taken enough steps to oppose abortion and has removed the strictures and restrictions from government of funding stem cell research. Of course for the Catholic Church, unborn (or preborn as they now try to spin things) life is sacred, much more sacred, of course, than actual functioning human beings.

D'Arcy has no problem continuing to be a part, and an important part of a Church that protected and enabled child-molesting priests for who knows how long. A Church that is willing to publish and promote outright lies because they would rather have AIDS remain an epidemic in Africa than have someone break the Eleventh Commandment "Thou shalt not cover thy winky with a rubber thingie". A Church that will not sanction abortions in cases of ectopic pregnancy, when there is no chance of a viable fetus and every chance of serious, possibly fatal, complications to the woman. This is the Church that excommunicated the doctor and mother of an 80 pound nine-year-old child who aborted the twins she was carrying as a result of being raped by her stepfather. Obviously, for the Church, the lives of actual living breathing people, especially female people, are not worth much, but a fetus, not that is a life that must be held sacred!

D'Arcy has published no criticisms of the Pope re-instatement of a Holocaust denier as a Bishop. To be fair, once the criticism got loud enough, his Popeness did say that the guy should, eventually, maybe, renounce his claims. . . But no hurry!

This comes as no shock to many women, who realize that the Church has rarely considered them more than breeding sources for future Catholics and sources of evil temptation to us weak, weak men who fall for their wiles. After all, St. Paul warned us about them, and we all know that the Church, as well as their Ptotestant brethren, are followers of Paul's teachings far more than Jesus's. That Jesus guy had a bunch of crazy ideas about loving thy enemy and helping the poor, and where is the profit in that crap?


Anonymous said...

I think you are wrong. All human life is sacred. And contrary to what you wrote twice or thrice, that is precisely what the Catholic Church teaches. Any schmuck can look it up in their Catechism which is posted all over the net.

As I read through your article, I found myself wondering where such anger and hatred comes from. I know that it's popular and even generally acceptable to hate the Catholic Church in these chaotic and irresponsible times, and so you use the crimes of some men (as if they were unique to the Catholic Church or part of the Faith) to set up easy to criticize strawmen. But you know that even if there had never been a sex abuse scandal, you would still hate Catholic philosophy, and most likely Catholic people as well, just as you do now.

Why? Because your real disagreement is obviously over the rights of the preborn. By the way, there is no spin there on my part. I mean exactly what I say: human beings before birth. You say either that before birth a human being is not a human being (and therefore has no rights, or that a human's worth and identity is defined by utility and appearance, respectively; or that it is morally justifiable to kill a preborn human being for economic, aesthetic, or other subjective and utilitarian reasons (and presumably you believe that it is the mother who should ultimately decide these things). On each of these points, I wholeheartedly disagree. Firstly, I believe in universal human rights, the chief among these being the right to life and liberty, and the only object of liberty is life. Hence, liberty does not include the right to murder, or the consequent duty of the murderer's victims to submit to his will. One must first live in order to be free. That is the simple and fundamental moral and legal basis of civilization. That much is common sense. So I must assume that your position falls into the former two possibilities - that you do not believe in real universal and eternal rights, or that you define a human being in purely utilitarian or aesthetic terms. (I'm not sure what you mean by "functioning" - you mention that several times. You cannot mean biologically, since a preborn child is a biologically living being. Do you believe in a soul, and have reason for believing that souls are magically or miraculously imbued into a dead, though otherwise biologically functioning human body when its toes leave his mother's birth canal? Or do you simply mean one's economic contributon to society? I have no idea.) This line of reasoning is irrelevant to me, however, since I am satisfied that human life begins when it biologically beings, and that rights are endowed with it. There is hardly any ambiguity on this point, practically or theoretically. Once a woman knows she is carrying a child, conception has already happened and one or more new and distinct human lives have begun. This much is not really controversial. Sadly, it is the reality of rights that has become controversial; or it has at least become acceptable for the strong to decide that rights should be alienable and transient for the weak; the weak don't count. The same principle applies to the poor as much as to those considered worthless. In fact, poverty is generally equated with worthlessness. I really haven't gotten deep into the essence of your dispute with what Catholic philosophers have to say because you never really argued your point, which brings me to my point.

I say, rather than take cheap shots at Catholics, why not argue your actual point. Take a look at the big picture of universal ideas, not factions. Bishop D'Arcy is making a noble statement on behalf of all those who hold human life to be self-evidently sacred, and recognize human life as beginning at conception. And that position is definitely not unique to Catholicism or religions in general. Even a ten year old would realize that if a group of people believe that life begins at conception, and that human life is endowed with inalienable rights such as life and liberty, even the word "abortion" is but a euphemism for murder, just as the right to property was a euphemism for slavery a century and a half ago. In fact, the same arguments apply to the slavery question since it has to do with the other fundamental right of liberty. Not surprisingly, the pro-slavery side used the same arguments - blacks are not equal or blacks are not human, etc. And you call "preborn" spin? The very word abortion presupposes that the life that is destroyed is not a human being endowed with rights. Consequently, I cannot take your article seriously, since I do not believe you've really thought the issue through.

On that note, I want to address the short mention you made of the Catholic position on condom distribution in Africa. To say, "A Church that is willing to publish and promote outright lies because they would rather have AIDS remain an epidemic in Africa than have someone break the Eleventh Commandment 'Thou shalt not cover thy winky with a rubber thingie'" is just ridiculous, brother. Nobody wants AIDS to remain an epidemic in Africa. What the Catholic Church wants is for people to live the way they should: as adults with self-control. You don't beat a disease that can be sexually transmitted by encouraging people to have more sex. You'll just be setting up the youth for disaster. You're not really helping the people lay the foundations of a stable civilization there. You apparently don't even believe these people could ever be free of your benevolent assistance. At least the Catholics respect free will and the Africans' strength as human beings to control themselves in order to build a stable and moral family-based society that will last. We can't even predict what will happen tomorrow. What if the western economies collapse? What if war breaks out? What happens when the western nations high up on Mount Olympus no longer have the interest or ability to ship what is essentially a sexual opiate to the poor stupid and uncontrollable African masses? Absurd. What madness. You regard the Africans as if they are animals in need of domestication because they're too stupid to save themselves. Ah, they must depend on western rubbers in order to survive! Nonsense. What an ignorant false dichotomy too: Catholics versus Africans. What snobbery. As if there are no African Catholics who believe your birth control is immoral and choose to live in a normal marriage of one man and one woman for the sake of raising children. As if the Catholic Church forces people to do anything in the first place. The purpose of the Catholic Church is to propose ideas. People are free to follow or not. Why shouldn't Bishop D'Arcy and any other Catholic laymen or clergy stand up for what they believe to be true? Why should you criticize someone for believing something to be true, rather than argue against the idea itself, if you disagree with it? Irrelevant strawmen aside, it seems petty to me for a person to criticize Catholics for being Catholic. Such attacks mark the failure of honest rational discussion.

Boomcoach said...

What the Church has in their catechism is not nearly as important as the Church's actual actions. You remember the old saying that "actions speak louder than words", I presume.

I recognize the Church's position on abortion, and I respect it, even if I do not agree with it. They also oppose capitol punishment, using the same "life is sacred" argument. I respect them for that also.

None of that changes the fact that the Church, for centuries, has little respect for the life of women, and that continues to this day.

Your suggestion, following what I am guessing is your Church's party line, is that somehow condom use encourages sex, is ludicris. Numerous studies have shown that condom use severely reduces the chance of spreading STD's, including AIDS. For the Church to not only deny these facts, but to actively claim the opposite are blatant lies. I realize from your referring to Africans as "poor stupid and uncontrollable African masses?" says a lot about your attitude towards them, but the reality is that people have sex. In any given community, some of them will have sex with persons not their spouse. To ignore these facts and just blithely blame them, rather than trying to find a solution is little short of criminal.