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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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70 Responses

  1. Zoe
    Zoe January 3, 2011 at 3:19 pm |

    What the….this is a serious paragraph?
    This reads like a paper I would have written in 6th grade. Yikes.

  2. andrea
    andrea January 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm |

    That’s a pretty ugly ‘site’ indeed.

    Oh, he’s not referring to the Catholic League website?

  3. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable January 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm |

    “Hasselbeck poses as a conservative, but her pathological hatred of Catholicism reveals who she really is.”

    lol.

  4. Chally
    Chally January 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm |

    You know, I think it’s possible to make fun of a piece like that without characterising it as something a kid would write. There are lots of kids who can write well and, well, this piece clearly wasn’t written by a kid, so positioning it as something so badly written that only a kid would write it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It’s bad because it’s bad, and, if it reads as childlike, that’s more an insult to children than the author in my book.

  5. ozymandias
    ozymandias January 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm |

    Sight. Sight.

    Call it my budding English-nerd-ism or my journalist parents, but in sixth grade I knew this shit.

  6. considerthe teacosy
    considerthe teacosy January 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm |

    Anytime I read about that particular case, it boggles my mind that “pro-life” people in favour of that nun’s excommunication don’t get that she saved a woman’s life and aborted a fetus that would never have survived anyway after its mother died.

    Seriously. WTF?

  7. Becca Stareyes
    Becca Stareyes January 3, 2011 at 4:07 pm |

    Considerthe Teacosy, apparently killing a fetus and woman by sitting on your tuckus is morally superior than killing a fetus via abortion. In other words, a woman’s life is worth less than whatever metaphysical stain on the soul comes from an abortion.

    Well, good to have that straight — it tells me exactly where I stand, where the folks who made the excommunication decision aren’t.

  8. libdevil
    libdevil January 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm |

    The fact that they have a ‘just war’ doctrine but lack a ‘just abortion’ doctrine makes it clear how morally bankrupt the Catholic hierarchy really is. If a soldier has to take a life, that’s OK as long as it’s for a good cause. If a doctor has to take what only religious zealots regard as a life, it’s never ok, because saving a mere woman from suffering and death is never a good enough cause.

  9. William
    William January 3, 2011 at 7:32 pm |

    apparently killing a fetus and woman by sitting on your tuckus is morally superior than killing a fetus via abortion. In other words, a woman’s life is worth less than whatever metaphysical stain on the soul comes from an abortion.

    Of course its morally superior. These people aren’t driven by some grand humanitarian instinct or a utilitarian desire to maximize good. These are people who believe that God has laws and that breaking those laws is wrong. To help in an abortion, even to save a life, is inherently evil because it contravenes God’s will. Morality is about obedience, not human pleasure or comfort. If human pleasure or comfort mattered God wouldn’t have tossed Adam and Eve (and all their line) to suffer pain and death for having the arrogance of eating an apple He put there after getting tempted by a Devil he allowed to be there.

    Its all about power. Men simply aren’t allowed to think they know better than God, and for a woman to do so…well…thats simply absurd.

    If you buy into the modern secular concept of human rights what you think of when you hear the words “good” or “moral” is completely alien to what they think of. Don’t ever let yourself forget that there are monsters amongst us and they believe that they will be rewarded for enforcing their interpretation of a Hierarchical God’s will.

  10. elizabeth_d
    elizabeth_d January 3, 2011 at 7:42 pm |

    Does anyone happen to have a link to the actual View episode?

    That’s what happens when the bigotry is deeply embedded—one issue is enough to set off an explosion.

    *Cough* projection *cough*

    PrettyAmiable:

    I know, that was hilarious. Although I find it strangely inspiring to see Donohue put his Catholicism above his fealty to the conservative movement at large.

    libdevil:

    Cosigned 100%.

  11. karak
    karak January 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm |

    I wish that hot-button issues made me delirious. Who knew that talking about abortion is the same as getting an extremely high fever?

  12. Thomas Thurman
    Thomas Thurman January 3, 2011 at 8:14 pm |

    I don’t understand why the writer believes it’s none of the women’s business since they don’t belong to the same denomination as him. Could we then tell this author that, oh, let’s say, it’s none of his business what these women talk about because he’s not a feminist?

  13. Athenia
    Athenia January 3, 2011 at 9:10 pm |

    I thought crosstalk makes me look angry! Arghhhh!!!

  14. zhava
    zhava January 3, 2011 at 10:20 pm |

    Sure the author was a middle school student? Comes off more like a world weary member of the Society of Jesus after the afternoon’s flagellation session.

    Like the way the hired voice refers to a foetus as ‘a child’. The lunacy is infectious.

    Not sure why we need to know that Donohue and co are churning out more propaganda, even under the cover of a 7th grader. I would tend to avoid giving BD and his shills any publicity ‘soever unless he surfaces in a news story impossible to ignore. He thrives on negative attention.

  15. Beylita
    Beylita January 4, 2011 at 12:04 am |

    @Becca Stareyes

    The reason that they would prefer the fetus dying anyway, taking the woman carrying it with it is because opposition to abortion necessitates opposition to the skills necessary to perform it. If they can acknowledge an abortion ever being needed then there would be cause for doctors to know how to perform one.

    The church wants abortion to be something that is not done and something that CANNOT be done. They actively lobby to extend conscience clauses into medical schools to prevent anyone from failing for being unable to perform an abortion. They want the knowledge of performing lifesaving medical care to vanish from this earth.

  16. David
    David January 4, 2011 at 1:56 am |

    I didn’t realize Bill Donahue was still around. I thought his head had already exploded from antisemitism and acute political overreaction syndrome.

  17. PharaohKatt
    PharaohKatt January 4, 2011 at 5:16 am |

    zhava:
    Please don’t use the word “lunacy” as it is ableist.
    /zhava

    I’m with Chally on saying this is writing like “a kid”. Kids aren’t inherently bad at writing. How about saying it is silly, ridiculous, ludacrous, weird, strange, pointless, bad, terrible, horrible, misinformed, misogynist, miswritten…. Yeah, you get the point.

    Anyways. Pregnant person’s life = worth less than foetus. Riiiiiiiight. :/ *sigh*

  18. gidget commando
    gidget commando January 4, 2011 at 9:06 am |

    @zhava,

    FYI, I am the lucky recipient of a Jesuit (Society of Jesus) education (even though I have no intention of ever being even nominally Catholic again). The Jesuits would never stand for such poor writing, and a fair number of them would take Donahue to the metaphorical woodshed for his piss-poor reasoning, too.

  19. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable January 4, 2011 at 9:42 am |

    Co-signing gidget. My undergraduate degree was at a Jesuit institution. I walked in Catholic and walked out an atheist, but I have the utmost respect for Jesuits who, incidentally, don’t self-flagellate (on the whole), are ridiculously intelligent, and never proselytized from the internet like the Catholic League. I even continued going to mass occasionally just to hear one Jesuit’s homily because he clearly understood what religion was about – that whole thing where Jesus was kind to his neighbors and we should be too and so on. In fact, in all my time there, I don’t think I ever met one who thought his beliefs were more correct than anyone else’s – and as such, he would never impose something like an abortion-ban, if he were to get involved in the secular. And then he could probably talk to you at length about how the Catholic Church used to be A-OK with abortions.

    I don’t know. I can’t tell if you were just spitting out everything you know (or, apparently, don’t) about Catholicism in order to impress, but going after the Jesuits is awfully silly.

    And I would second the “lunacy = ableist” comment, but I’m pessimistic about the outcome.

  20. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla January 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm |

    zhava: Not sure why we need to know that Donohue and co are churning out more propaganda, even under the cover of a 7th grader. I would tend to avoid giving BD and his shills any publicity ’soever unless he surfaces in a news story impossible to ignore. He thrives on negative attention. zhava

    I’d like to give his *initials* some attention. I say let’s make “Bill Donohue” a code expression meaning Bondage and Discipline.

  21. Theresa
    Theresa January 4, 2011 at 2:26 pm |

    I’m Catholic (the name’s pretty much a giveaway). And I am so freakin’ sick of going around telling people that nobody elected or appointed Bill Donahue to anything, and he doesn’t represent me in any way.

  22. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan January 4, 2011 at 2:27 pm |

    That paragraph is childlike, a bit, in that it’s very …um… earnest. That’s not a dig against kids, but in 7th grade I definitely knew everything, wrote about it very very seriously (I also wrote the deepest poems ever, no fer real I swear they were so deep) …and luckily lost a lot of my naive black-and-white moral clarity as I grew up. But an adult doesn’t have the excuse that a 7th grader does; the poor jackass that wrote that is stuck as a fully-formed and complete jackass with no room to mellow. :p

  23. zhava
    zhava January 4, 2011 at 6:04 pm |

    Catholics and their partisans on this thread eager to split hairs, take exception to unflattering Jesuit references or any possible linkage between Donohue and their bizarre institution really can’t be taken seriously.

    The Catholic Church is a grotesque farce and Jesuits are only “ridiculously intelligent” in the minds of people with selective memories prepared to overlook the crimes this Church was and is party to – quite aside from the absurdist doctrines and idiotic beliefs re saints etc that no person with a claim on “intelligence” could possibly support. The revisionism… the pomp and ceremony… the “empire” that Rome has long been flies in the face of everything the Jesus of the NT stood for.

    The sexual abuse scandal isn’t simply a betrayal by individual priests, but a systemic institutional failure that the pope in his earlier role as cardinal helped to make possible by engaging in a cover up.

    The refusal to make contraceptive and abortion services freely available is just one instance of the medieval mindset of a Church that is more interested in building up its numbers and influence than addressing the appalling situations faced by women in countries such as the Philippines where poverty and the superstitious crap peddled by the Church has driven them deeper into crisis. There is nothing intelligent about any of this, just more of the same from a bankrupt institution that is unable and/or unwilling to get in step with contemporary realities and needs.

    Donohue is very much a reflection of the reactionary elements in the Church. He may not speak for all Catholics, but who cares… in the case of the Roman Catholic Church I for one am more than happy to throw the baby out with the bath water.

  24. William
    William January 4, 2011 at 7:40 pm |

    I’d like to give his *initials* some attention. I say let’s make “Bill Donohue” a code expression meaning Bondage and Discipline. GallingGalla

    Also “behavioral disorder,” at least in special ed settings.

  25. thetroubleis
    thetroubleis January 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm |

    @William, I would appreciate it if the way I was referred to for years wasn’t used as an insult for this asshat.

  26. Nahida
    Nahida January 4, 2011 at 8:16 pm |

    zhava: The Catholic Church is a grotesque farce and Jesuits are only “ridiculously intelligent” in the minds of people with selective memories prepared to overlook the crimes this Church was and is party to – quite aside from the absurdist doctrines and idiotic beliefs re saints etc that no person with a claim on “intelligence” could possibly support.

    /FACEPALM.

    Ooooh do tell us the true definition of intelligence!

  27. zhava
    zhava January 4, 2011 at 8:55 pm |

    The rational decision not-to-be-Catholic (or Christian for that matter) can be evidence of high intelligence. The claims, the tenets, the morality offend rational thought. A genuinely intelligent human such as Chris Hitchens is repulsed by it… but not to worry it will continue to attract the intellectually moribound like errr… Tony Blair.

  28. William
    William January 4, 2011 at 10:13 pm |

    I would appreciate it if the way I was referred to for years wasn’t used as an insult for this asshat. thetroubleis

    Fair enough.

  29. v_elder
    v_elder January 4, 2011 at 10:28 pm |

    zhava: The rational decision not-to-be-Catholic (or Christian for that matter) can be evidence of high intelligence. The claims, the tenets, the morality offend rational thought. A genuinely intelligent human such as Chris Hitchens is repulsed by it… but not to worry it will continue to attract the intellectually moribound like errr… Tony Blair. zhava

    I’m with you, zhava: Only people who think like I do can be considered intelligent. BTW it’s ‘moribund’

  30. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable January 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm |

    zhava: The Catholic Church is a grotesque farce and Jesuits are only “ridiculously intelligent” in the minds of people with selective memories … and so on and so forth

    Selective memory. Like I suddenly decided to drop out of the church because I only remembered the good times, right? Fabulous comprehension skills. This is indicative of your comparative intelligence?

    Hey, fuck off. I knew these people; you didn’t. One of us is in a better position to attest to their cognitive abilities, and it sure as hell isn’t you.

  31. zhava
    zhava January 4, 2011 at 11:59 pm |

    Yeah anecdotal memories are what its all about. Someone should hire you.

  32. zhava
    zhava January 5, 2011 at 12:03 am |

    Oh touche elder… nailed me on a typo… you superior thinker you.

  33. Kyra
    Kyra January 5, 2011 at 1:15 am |

    It is an ugly site: grown women sitting around bashing a religion that none belong to.

    I’m waiting for him to issue ringing condemnations of every right-wing Islamophobe on the Right. And I’m sure he’ll be totally rising to the defense of Paganism the next time it lands in the crosshairs.

    What they didn’t say was that the nun gave her formal consent to the killing of an innocent child.

    Whereas everyone else in the vicinity was giving their formal consent to the killing of an innocent woman, to much less effect. Gee, sacrifice a life to save a life, sacrifice a life to . . . sit there and watch the other one die . . . which of these could be the moral choice?

    More important, since none of the panelists are Catholic, it is none of their business anyway.

    This sounds a lot like an abuser trying to convince his victim that what he does to her is their private business that people and authorities who’d defend her have no business interfering in. Also, I’m really curious as to what conclusions he draws when that argument gets applied to non-Catholics getting abortions. Is it none of his business if he doesn’t share her religion?

  34. Amelia ze lurker
    Amelia ze lurker January 5, 2011 at 1:16 am |

    Chally is right, especially because the writing was characterized not only as being written by a seventh-grader, but the “most talented seventh grader in English class.” That implies that not only is bad writing typical of children, but that they are incapable of good writing—even the most talented children can’t write. I disapprove, sorry.

  35. Bonn
    Bonn January 5, 2011 at 4:17 am |

    I dunno. My mom teaches gifted kids (albeit at the elementary level) and I’ve had to read their stuff on occasion (or had it read to me). The kids can’t spell for beans (unless they’re the ones who go to the state spelling bee) and the writing is … well, not so good.

    I was writing tomes as a kid and had a solid understanding of how to write a good story/paper/whatever, but it still doesn’t offend me to say it’s like how a kid would write. Most kids suck at writing. And that’s a fact. Even the smart ones.

  36. Bonn
    Bonn January 5, 2011 at 4:19 am |

    But I also don’t think a college intern would write much better. You’d have to be a little more specific. Like, “English major” or something. Because this also reads how I’ve seen college students write. And college graduates.

  37. Medea
    Medea January 5, 2011 at 4:36 am |

    Yeah, I used to be one of the best in my school and my writing wasn’t that good either–not compared with that of an articulate adult. The quoted piece reminds me very much of my childhood.

  38. Nahida
    Nahida January 5, 2011 at 5:06 am |

    Bonn: but it still doesn’t offend me to say it’s like how a kid would write.Most kids suck at writing.And that’s a fact.Even the smart ones.  

    Bonn: But I also don’t think a college intern would write much better.You’d have to be a little more specific.Like, “English major” or something.Because this also reads how I’ve seen college students write.And college graduates.  

    It kind of offends ME, and being about 19, a lot of people would still call me a kid. (I also happen to be an English major, so maybe I was just taking it personally every time it put me off.) I always found it frustrating.

    A lot of adults suck at writing too. Even smart ones. The argument that it’s a “fact” simply doesn’t stand.

  39. Nahida
    Nahida January 5, 2011 at 5:20 am |

    zhava: Yeah anecdotal memories are what its all about. .  

    What the hell is HISTORY?

    No one said that’s what it’s all about. You’re the only one attempting to define “what it’s all about.” Great display of your awesome methods by the way.

    zhava: …Jesuits are only “ridiculously intelligent” in the minds of people with selective memories…

    Knowing Jesuits can be “ridiculously intelligent”=having selective memory. This can be the only cause of such an absurd hallucination! Write us a book will you?

    And elder made a point before correcting your spelling, which you apparently chose to ignore. As a matter of fact, there was a point IN correcting your spelling. I expect someone of your superior intellect to realize this.

  40. zhava
    zhava January 5, 2011 at 6:23 am |

    Nahida you need to go back to school. History isn’t merely about ‘anecdotal memories’ and what happened to give PrettyAmiable a fuzzy warm feeling when it came to his/her memories of catholic personages. To suggest that this is what history is about is total bullshit. PrettyAmiable “only remembers the good times”… tell that to survivors of clerical abuse.

    Selective memory in the sense that these “ridiculously intelligent” Jesuits also buy into the utter bollocks that IS the catholic church. Being able to offer up a dazzling exegesis on scripture doesn’t preclude the fact that being RC, these brilliant minds also presumably give the nod to daft teachings about apostolic succession, doctrines such as transubstantiation, papal infallibility, purgatory… the list goes on of laughable beliefs that would be most at home on a Monty Python Flying Circus set.

  41. William
    William January 5, 2011 at 9:22 am |

    Zhava: I’d like to point out that Jesuits can be both incredibly intelligent and utterly vile human beings. The two are not mutually exclusive. Your argument seems to be that Catholics cannot be intelligent because they are evil. That reeks of ablism. Bad =/= less intelligent, especially given that the opposite formulation is all too common in our society.

    Also embedded in your argument is the belief that that people who oppose your point of view must be foolish, which suggests poor insight. I have trouble sometimes understanding how any reasonable person could be a Catholic but I recognize that that is a problem within me because I’ve met some startlingly intelligent Catholics. The Church is certainly a destructive, monstrous institution. It is also one which has traditionally drawn some very intelligent monsters who sincerely believed that they were doing good and had God on their side. Thats how they managed to rise from an obscure death cult to the politically dominant force in the west for a millennium.

  42. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable January 5, 2011 at 9:38 am |

    zhava: Yeah anecdotal memories are what its all about. Someone should hire you.  

    …Are you referring to my anecdotal memories of my encounters with Jesuits? That is, my experience with REAL-LIFE Jesuits? Because I’m guessing it counts for a hell of a lot more than your baseless fear-mongering.

    And if not, then the comment simply doesn’t make any sense.

    Listen, I’ve loved your logic fails from the beginning. It reminds me of my brother and father, who will say things that are simply ridiculous and hold to it like they couldn’t possibly be wrong even though, you know, evidence is consistently stacked against them and their bigotries. When I point out they’re incorrect, they attack my intelligence too. It’s cute.

  43. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 5, 2011 at 10:38 am |

    I’m going to point out (without, excuse the irony in my statement, cannonizing them) that Jesuits are not exactly unthinking robots for Church doctrine (or for the likes of a lay person/powertool like Bill Donahue).

    The order began as a way for the Church to refute the idea that the Earth revolved around the sun–but the Jesuits, after careful study, concluded that the Earth did indeed revolved around the sun. They’ve also done things like point out that Mary Magdalene was likely an apostle.

    I think we can point out that the Church can be shitty (HEY. NO ARGUMENT FROM THIS EX-CATHOLIC HERE) without being douchey.

    Also–if we’re going to refer to Bill Donahue as anything, how about King Xanadouche of Massengill Mountain?

  44. groggette
    groggette January 5, 2011 at 11:18 am |

    Sheelzebub: Also–if we’re going to refer to Bill Donahue as anything, how about King Xanadouche of Massengill Mountain?

    Now that’s a sentiment I can get behind!

  45. gidget commando
    gidget commando January 5, 2011 at 12:24 pm |

    groggette:
    Now that’s a sentiment I can get behind!  

    I’m in :-)

  46. Nahida
    Nahida January 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm |

    zhava: Nahida you need to go back to school. History isn’t merelyabout ‘anecdotal memories’ and what happened to give PrettyAmiable a fuzzy warm feeling when it came to his/her memories of catholic personages. To suggest that this is what history is about is total bullshit.

    No, that’s not what history is MERELY about. Thanks for sticking that in there just so you had something–anything! even if you have to invent it!–to “counter.” If it helps your ego to “support” your baseless prejudices with straw man arguments, knock yourself out. I won’t be buying your bullshit.

  47. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan January 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm |

    I have the utmost respect for Jesuits who, incidentally, don’t self-flagellate (on the whole), are ridiculously intelligent

    Calling Jesuits “ridiculously intelligent” …it doesn’t even matter if you agree or not, it’s just a meaningless statement. “Ridiculously intelligent” compared to who, people from other religions? Other Catholics? You can find “ridiculously intelligent” people in all sorts of diverse populations; the fact that the Church has some too isn’t really indicative of anything.

    And frankly, I think that being “ridiculously intelligent” (what do you even mean by this, anyways? …Good at math..?) and supporting the Church might be worse than being stupid or ignorant and supporting the Church; you certainly no longer have the excuse that you don’t know any better. To be well-educated and clever and still throw your weight behind the really appalling shit the Church does — you’ve officially entered “evil” territory.

  48. Yohan33
    Yohan33 January 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm |

    I couldn’t care less if some Hindu sect excommunicated me – it doesn’t affect me in any way. So why should any non-Catholic be offended if they are excommunicated? or even the nun who approved the abortion? If she rejects the teaching on abortion, why can’t she just as easily reject this excommunication?

    Just saying :P

  49. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm |

    We’re fighting over adverb choices now? Seriously?

  50. nathan
    nathan January 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm |

    It’s interesting how the misdeeds of members of the Catholic Church hierarchy are being used as a defense to condemn all Catholics. I can imagine any similar comments aimed at Jews, Muslims, or others would be roundly bashed and eventually banned on this site.

    I’m not Catholic. I don’t support much of anything the Church hierarchy does, and feel the Church’s history is riddled with horror-show. However, the open displays of bashing and some outright hatred towards Catholics in general on this thread, and a few others recently, is really troubling.

  51. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable January 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm |

    Bagelsan: Ridiculously intelligent” compared to who, people from other religions?

    Well, clearly there’s a spectrum and we have to line everyone up on it.

    No, I wasn’t comparing them to any group of people because trying to rank people by their intelligence is frankly disgusting. If you disagree, consider reading (or re-reading) “The Mismeasure of Man.”

    Have you ever called anyone intelligent? What did you mean? I probably mean the same thing. In this context (because, shocker, there is one if you read the thread), I mean that when you’re attributing poorly written bullshit to a Jesuit, you’re probably incorrect as most Jesuit writings are complex and well thought-out. I would give resources, but honestly, I’m not stupid enough to think it’ll convince someone who I doubt wants to believe that they could be wrong, so why waste the effort? If you care, I’m sure you can google or library it up.

    zhava: PrettyAmiable “only remembers the good times”… tell that to survivors of clerical abuse.

    Yes, as a multi-time sexual assault survivor myself, I tend to think “fuck those other assault victims. We’re all such whiny pansies.” It’s not like thinking about how we can change the system to protect those most likely to be victimized is part of my everyday life or anything. [/snark]

    You know that every religion and most major secular institutions (I’m thinking governments, for instance) have shady histories and roots? And that they almost all have policies in place that are at minimum misguided?

    You know what we should do? Hold all people accountable for it today. Good call. Cast the first stone, as clearly your roots are spot-free.

    BOTTOM LINE: The OP cites some nonsense from the Catholic League which, as far as I can tell, is the closest thing we have to a legitimized hate group. Also, they’ve employed the most ridiculous writer for their press releases. zhava abhors Catholics because of their misguided teachings and thinks people of faith are unintelligent (THE HORROR! TRANSUBSTANTIATION!), while displaying minimal knowledge of Catholicism. Hilarity ensues. Good thread, guys. Peace out.

  52. Tom Foolery
    Tom Foolery January 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm |

    The order began as a way for the Church to refute the idea that the Earth revolved around the sun–but the Jesuits, after careful study, concluded that the Earth did indeed revolved around the sun. They’ve also done things like point out that Mary Magdalene was likely an apostle.

    Do you have a source on this? It’s an interesting claim, but Wikipedia has nothing about it.

  53. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla January 5, 2011 at 8:25 pm |

    thetroubleis: @William, I would appreciate it if the way I was referred to for years wasn’t used as an insult for this asshat.  
    I’m seconding thetroubleis, because I was also referred to this way when I was a student (I’m autistic).

  54. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla January 5, 2011 at 8:29 pm |

    zhava: The rational decision not-to-be-Catholic (or Christian for that matter) can be evidence of high intelligence. The claims, the tenets, the morality offend rational thought. A genuinely intelligent human such as Chris Hitchens is repulsed by it… but not to worry it will continue to attract the intellectually moribound like errr… Tony Blair.  

    ZOMG, here we go again with the tired old “religious = stupid” thing that atheists like to trundle out. But, hey, you’re right! I agree that Stalin and Pol Pot were very intelligent.

  55. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla January 5, 2011 at 8:53 pm |

    Yohan33: So why should any non-Catholic be offended if they are excommunicated?

    You don’t know much about excommunication, do you? A non-Catholic can’t be excommunicated because a non-Catholic can’t take communion in the Catholic church to begin with. Excommunication only applies to those who *do* take communion in the Catholic church, that is, to those who were baptised into the Catholic church.

    Yohan33: If she rejects the teaching on abortion, why can’t she just as easily reject this excommunication?

    Maybe we should let the nun involved tell us what the effect on her life excommunication will have. For one thing, she’s just lost all means of support (nuns live in these things called convents, you know?), including a place to live, food to eat, and income. She can reject the excommunication, but her order will kick her out.

  56. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla January 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm |

    PrettyAmiable: THE HORROR! TRANSUBSTANTIATION!

    But it makes the wafers and wine taste so much better! (I’m Episcopalian. Not Catholic, true, but still pretty big on Communion and transubstantiation.)

  57. William
    William January 6, 2011 at 12:14 am |

    It’s interesting how the misdeeds of members of the Catholic Church hierarchy are being used as a defense to condemn all Catholics. I can imagine any similar comments aimed at Jews, Muslims, or others would be roundly bashed and eventually banned on this site.

    I’ve about as much love and kind words for monotheists of any stripe as Nietzsche, but its worth noting that there is a pretty significant difference between Catholicism and Islam or Judaism. Both Islam and Judaism are large groups of worshipers who follow a variety of traditions and orthodoxies, they are more akin to “Christianity” than to Catholicism. Catholicism, on the other hand, consists of a discrete group with a strict hierarchy. Catholics believe the pope to be infallible on matters of faith and morals. To be Catholic, by definition, is to agree with and support the policy of the Church as if it were the policy of God. You sign on for that kind of crap and you deserve whatever bile ends up coming your way.

  58. Natalia
    Natalia January 6, 2011 at 7:05 am |

    It’s interesting how the misdeeds of members of the Catholic Church hierarchy are being used as a defense to condemn all Catholics. I can imagine any similar comments aimed at Jews, Muslims, or others would be roundly bashed and eventually banned on this site.

    This.

  59. nathan
    nathan January 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm |

    William, you haven’t spent time with many Catholics, have you? They are quite diverse, even when it comes to views about the hierarchy and “official church doctrine”. Blanket statements about any group are flat bullshit.

  60. Carolyn
    Carolyn January 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm |

    Signing on with Nathan’s comment. Seriously, Feministe, is it ok with your policy to let people spew this kind of hate at religious folks? I am not at all on board with the Catholic hierarchy but: a) many people belong to institutions which have policies they don’t agree with (glass house, meet stone?) and b) it is not okay to condemn and belittle an entire group of people based on some of their members and c) Jesuits really do counter many Catholic positions and d) many Catholics work very hard to change the Church. So yeah, criticize Church policy, but it’s not okay to bash all Catholics everywhere, or all Christians everywhere, or to imply that their beliefs are stupid. Are you going to call other religious beliefs stupid, like the conservatives when they bash Islam?
    Also, Hitchens? Not the most geniusy genius ever to genius. Plenty of religious folks are as smart as he is. And his beliefs basically line up with mainline Protestant beliefs. Seriously. He thinks we should take responsibility for the weakest among us, which is… the foundation of Christian belief AS WELL AS secular feminism, anti-oppression movements, etc. Maybe not so dumb after all?

  61. Tom Foolery
    Tom Foolery January 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm |

    Are you going to call other religious beliefs stupid, like the conservatives when they bash Islam?

    This is not a reasonable comparison. The Catholic Church is extremely powerful in the the U.S. and Europe, while Islam is not.

  62. William
    William January 6, 2011 at 9:01 pm |

    William, you haven’t spent time with many Catholics, have you? They are quite diverse, even when it comes to views about the hierarchy and “official church doctrine”. Blanket statements about any group are flat bullshit. nathan

    I’ve spent time with a lot of Catholics. I have Catholics in my family, I’ve stood up in Catholic weddings, I went to a Catholic university and found a wonderful mentor in an old monk. I get that they are a diverse group and a lot of them don’t agree with the way their Church does things, I’ve simply never been much persuaded.

    When I was younger I had a brief flirtation with outlaw biker culture. I was attracted to the mystique, I liked the bikes, the lawlessness appealed to me on a basic level because of some things I’d experienced. After awhile, though, I began to realize that even though most bikers I knew (even 1%ers) weren’t racist, misogynistic, antisocial personalities that background was a big enough part of the culture to color it in a way I couldn’t accept. There comes a time when a mere willingness to continue an association with something unacceptable is problematic. Someone can gnash your teeth and equivocate all they want, but eventually if they keep showing up anyway they are lending their tacit support by their continued membership.

    Thats how I see Catholics. They might not all agree with what the Church has done, they might see papal infallibility as bullshit, they might be appalled by the sexual abuse scandal or any of the other legion of horrors Catholicism has spent it’s history repeatedly visiting upon the world, but they still choose to identify as Catholic and words still mean things. Its not as if we still live in a world in which one still has to worry about the Swiss Guard kicking in your door and killing you for walking away. Nothing keeps people Catholic who disagree with aspects of doctrine. If someone continues to show up, despite the crimes and the cawing of infallibility, I don’t see their objections as much more than equivocation. I understand why people would equivocate, I empathize, but that doesn’t change that they’ve thrown their lot in with a group whose official stance is that women exist to make more babies, gay people will be tortured for an eternity, birth control is verboten because it contravenes God’s will, and that the institutional rape of children is less important than PR and official deference. The fact that this group is involved in religion doesn’t much change things for me.

  63. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla January 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm |

    William: Thats how I see Americans. They might not all agree with what the US government has done, they might see presidential immunity as bullshit, they might be appalled by the murderous imperialist wars carried out by the US or any of the other legion of horrors the United States has spent its history repeatedly visiting upon the world, but they still choose to identify as Americans and words still mean things. Its not as if we still live in a world in which one still has to worry about the Joseph McCarthy’s goons kicking in your door and killing you for walking away. Nothing keeps people American who disagree with aspects of US doctrine. If someone continues to choose US citizenship, despite the crimes and the cawing of presidential immunity, I don’t see their objections as much more than equivocation. I understand why people would equivocate, I empathize, but that doesn’t change that they’ve thrown their lot in with a country whose official stance is that the Middle East exists to supply us with oil, political dissidents (Bradley Manning, anyone?) will be tortured for an eternity, the Constitution is verboten because it contravenes the will of Congress, and that killing innocent civilians (at home and overseas) is less important than PR and official deference. The fact that this group is involved in US politics doesn’t much change things for me. William

    T,FTFY.

    Now, when are you leaving the United States?

  64. Natalia
    Natalia January 7, 2011 at 9:24 am |

    The Catholic Church is extremely powerful in the the U.S. and Europe, while Islam is not.

    You forgot Latin America, but I digress… Islamic institutions are extremely powerful in countries that the U.S. and European nations have close partnerships with. The U.S. government is best buds with the Saudi royals, for example. And I’m sorry, but I get REALLY TIRED of this whole “I’m going to bash this group of millions of people, but not that one – because it’s not fashionable to bash the latter in the circles I hang out in… I mean, oops, what I really mean to say is that this other group of millions of people mostly resides a way’s away, and it’s not nice to make blanket statements about people who live on other continents.”

    Seriously, if we’re going to make big, all encompassing judgments about groups of people numbering in the millions, we should at least be consistent.

  65. nathan
    nathan January 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm |

    I tend to be an outsider, who breaks away from institutions that have leadership and policies that violate my ethics and values. If I had ever been Catholic, I would have probably left, for many of the reasons you pointed out above. But I’m unwilling to disown people simply because they choose to stay, often thinking they can help bring change from the inside. In cases like the U.S. Democratic Party, I tend to think such “inside work” is fruitless, but I also know that I don’t have all the answers, and it might be the case that a mixture of inside/outside action brings down a wall of oppression.

    William, you seem to act like the widely diverse Catholic communities out there are equivalent to the Klan, Al Quaeda, The Minutemen Project, or some other extremist group that is entirely defined by hatred and/or violence.

    Have you actually condemned and/or banished the Catholics you mentioned from your life? Or is this all just a rhetorical spew?

  66. William
    William January 7, 2011 at 7:34 pm |

    But I’m unwilling to disown people simply because they choose to stay

    I don’t disown people either. At the same time I’m not interested in treating the church kindly or pretending that Catholicism isn’t something I find dangerous and repulsive. I don’t think that religion is some special thing which is immune from ridicule. There are certainly good Catholics, probably a majority are offended by something their Church has done, but that doesn’t mean somehow Catholicism is a product of a community rather than an hierarchy. When communities of Catholics try to take control they tend to end up protestants.

    Look, I’m an American. America has done a lot of terrible things. We’re actively engaged in war crimes at the moment, we’ve committed genocide, the list is long. I could make the argument that I’m an American because I was born here, or that its merely a geographical tag, but at the end of the day if I choose to identify with the label I have to take everything that comes with it. That means that I’m exposed to ridicule for the things that have been done in my name, that means that I’m partly culpable for them, that means that I don’t get to say “hey, being an American is important to me and I shouldn’t have to deal with bile from people Americans have oppressed, after all I thought Bush was a monster too!” Sorry, I stayed here, I didn’t give up my citizenship, I even granted legitimacy to the institutions that have committed these horrors by voting.

    I tend to think such “inside work” is fruitless, but I also know that I don’t have all the answers, and it might be the case that a mixture of inside/outside action brings down a wall of oppression.

    Except the Catholic Church isn’t a democracy. Its a theocracy presided over by a king who is elected not by his subjects but by a pool of people who are jockeying for his position and rose to their only by showing fealty to the previous masters. You can’t work from the inside unless you’re a priest.

    William, you seem to act like the widely diverse Catholic communities out there are equivalent to the Klan, Al Quaeda, The Minutemen Project, or some other extremist group that is entirely defined by hatred and/or violence.

    Yeah, I do. To quote Nietzsche: “It is not their love for men but the impotence of their love for men which hinders the Christians of today from burning us.” Catholicism is built around the idea that those who do not obey will be justly tortured for eternity. It has a history of genocide. I have no real ethnic history or religious beliefs because the Church followed on the coattails of conquerors and slavers. They then worked diligently to eradicate any opposition through murder, violence, and the destruction and desecration of holy materials. They have never apologized for this and have canonized especially successful saints. While most Catholics are not motivated by hatred and violence, their Church certainly is.

    Have you actually condemned and/or banished the Catholics you mentioned from your life?

    Its interesting that you don’t seem to be able to imagine someone both hating the idea of Catholicism and not hating individual Catholics. Life is messy and we’re all hypocrites. I tend to see recognizing that as maturity rather than “rhetorical spew”. More importantly, when I become close to someone I’ve found that our relationship runs deep enough that strong disagreement and a bit of rough rhetoric isn’t fatal. I believe in empathy, honesty, and resilliance because it leads to less resentment in my life. Your mileage may vary.

  67. Michele Somerville
    Michele Somerville January 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm |

    It is often said, even by critics of all things Catholic, that “the Sisters (nuns)” truly excel at teaching grammar and mechanics, but when it came to Bilious Donohue they missed a spot. His tantrums (both of them) devoted to me (I’m a woman. Need I say more?) contain basic writing errors as well. Another interesting grammar fact about the Catholic League is that this pitiable fellow often refers to himself in the first person plural (“The Royal We”). I’ve writing about the Catholic League in several Huffington Post religion pieces recently.

    Here’s some links if anyone’s interested:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michele-somerville/the-governors-epiphany-gi_b_803743.html

    Indie Theology
    http://www.indietheology.com

    Huffington Post archives
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michele-somerville/

  68. Disgruntled Adolescent Complaint Department « Women’s Glib

    [...] am, in particular, referring to this. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of misogyny in the piece from the Catholic League, and it [...]

  69. nathan
    nathan January 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm |

    “Its interesting that you don’t seem to be able to imagine someone both hating the idea of Catholicism and not hating individual Catholics.” There was nothing in your previous comments that would lead me to believe this.

    I’m also American. The history of our nation is filled with awfulness and terrible oppression. Hating the idea of America does nothing to change the systemic structures and individual +collective actions that continue to breed oppression and devastation. It’s no different with Catholicism. Hating the whole ball of wax might feel like being principled, but it’s just hatred in the end.

    I’ll take shots any day at systems of oppression, and will do what I can to bring about changes. But those systems are much bigger than any one religion or government.

    The post above is an example of power-mad patriarchy, and as such, the views expressed in it are rightly being dressed down. Power-mad patriarchy is the issue – the Church has simply been overrun by it for so long, that it’s driven many of its own members to the outskirts. But I think it’s reductionistic to claim that Catholicism is solely the Church. It isn’t.

    And this is a public forum, not a conversation with a close friend who would be able to take some rough criticism. So, if you’re desire is to express outrage at the myriad of horrible actions and policies done in the Church’s name over the century’s, and not to condemn all individual Catholics, then making broad generalizations suggesting all those who identify as Catholic are guilty of every last crime committed by association is the wrong way to do it.

    Look. I’ve written plenty about Catholic church policy and history. I’ve had heated discussions with Catholic friends and family about the abuses you and other have described. Church policy is fair game. The actions of church leaders are fair game. I don’t even believe in the Catholic theological narratives. But I find that the broad sweeping condemnation of Catholics in your previous comments sounds very much like the right wing U.S. propaganda about Islam, as well as the anti-semitic propaganda spread by the government of Iran, just to offer two examples.

    You can disagree with that, but perhaps you might consider how Catholics who have never met you might read your comments.

  70. randomosity
    randomosity January 12, 2011 at 10:57 am |

    I clicked that article because I wanted to comment on it and they have nowhere to comment without sending a letter. I may well do that.

    What’s the most ironic is that the site’s tagline is “For religious and civil rights”

    Not if you’re a woman, though. You don’t even have the right to live or to save the life of another.

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