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Catholic Church Going Soft? It’s About Time! April 2, 2010

Posted by Amir Roth in Africa, population control, religion, sustainability.
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Kudos, Archbishop of Westminster! (henceforth, A-West, like a rapper). Kudos A-West for understanding that vicious cycle of over-population, poverty, ignorance, and death that is happening in many areas of the third world (especially Africa) and daring to propose that contraception may be a temporary part of the solution. Benedict XVI, are you listening? By the way, don’t you love the fact that the only things still numbered using Roman numerals are popes, Superbowls, and Hollywood films?

I understand where Catholicism gets its anti-abortion view, but not where it gets its anti-contraception view. Is it from Meaning of Life? I mean, can’t contraception be viewed as an extension of abstinence? You are not killing a zygote, after all. And you are killing a potential zygote in the same way as you would by abstaining, or by sitting in a hot tub, or by masturbating, or by taking a bad-hop grounder to the loins. John Rock, the inventor of the birth control pill, was a devout Catholic. He thought the pill was “Kosher” (sorry to mix my religious metaphors there) because it worked by natural means–the body’s own hormones. By the way, you should really read this article. Not only because you should read anything by Malcolm Gladwell, but because it’s a fascinating scientific story. Evidently, there may be a healthier birth control pill coming around soon, one that works not by convincing the female body that it’s a little bit pregnant and should menstruate regularly, but by convincing it that it is menopausal and should not menstruate at all! Fascinating.

But back to our story. In the developed world, an unwanted child is somewhere between “financial burden” and “blessed surprise.” In the developing world, an unwanted child is a tragedy. That child is usually doomed to a short life of poverty and his or her presence further degrades the conditions and prospects of his siblings and parents. Family planning is a cornerstone of every liberated society that thinks of its women as contributors rather than as concubines, and of every progressive society with the slightest clue about economics and future planning. Unchecked population growth is a scourge on any nation, but especially a poor one. As population grows, limited food, health, and education resources have to get spread out of more and more people, leaving each individual less prosperous and productive. With unproductive individuals, the economy can’t grow to keep pace with the population, sending the country into a spiral of poverty that usually ends in violence and sometimes in state failure. King George the 43rd made many stupid and retrospectively disastrous decisions, but one of the most damaging was his decision to stop all family planning aid to developing nations. By doing so, he helped to foster runaway population growth in sub-Saharan Africa–not to mention the spread of AIDS–and, indirectly, the conflicts in Sudan and Rwanda. Poor nations cannot handle excessive population growth. We can help them confront this problem using education and birth control to help reduce their birth rates. Or we can sit back and watch what’s happening now, which is an increase in their death rates. If you phrase the moral question that way, the answer is pretty clear.

P.S. I hope my three readers (yes, I am up to three) don’t get the impression that I am anti-Catholicism in particular or anti-religion in general. I am not. I am only against 2000 year old dogma that runs counter to the realities of the modern world. By the way, I myself am Jewish, although like my idol Allen Iverson, I rarely practice.

P.P.S. “Want want want want want want want Google PowerMeter” -Allison Roth

P.P.P.S. In other news, this may not actually be as bad as it looks, but it certainly looks bad!



1. Templar - April 2, 2010

The tragedy of criminal acts, covered over by the Vatican, is long overdue for uncovering. The recent display is only one of several kinds of criminality they adhere to. But there are many hidden and open acts of criminality hiding behind a façade of goodness that pervert the natural desires of our children, inculcated via many forms of religious indoctrination.

There will be some who say that the church leaders have nothing to do with their own real faith, but dismissing it easily only ignores the damage to the psychic composition of many young men and women, the world over. Ultimate authority is either implied or outright stated in the Catholic as well as Protestant clergy. It is stated in all faiths around the world. It is undercover of this authority that the players have played on for a good long run, using positions of power to hurt and kill children, men and women, some just for believing other than what was the exact coin of the realm for a belief psychosis.

Taking authoritative responsibility carelessly, using it to gain access to children’s vulnerability, destroying a young person’s life is more than a secular crime, it is a crime against the Holy Spirit. The people that have taken trust so carelessly into their teaching, using it to sexually abuse a child or woman, should be brought to bear along with the sum total of the Catholic church’s crimes, over millennia. When the slate is finally washed clean, if it ever can be, perhaps then we might recognize a simple pure faith, quit building imaginary and concrete monuments to lies and inaugurate love, real LOVE, not the ersatz fantasy that passes for the real thing, now.

Does the church, do churches, religions in general, do good? Yes of course. But it is this same goodness that is used to cause great harm, under cover, as it were. Remember, these people are trusted to do good. Perhaps many will step forward and confess that they are complicit in the human condition that results in criminal behavior, take appropriate punishment, (god knows what that should be!?). This may help save the good souls and work that follows the Holy Spirit. As future leaders, perhaps they can show a way with which to build a church, a mosque, a synagogue, temple, etc., under the open sky. Under the open sky, without manmade vaulted ceilings, the clear light of day may straighten out the overblown imaginations of people who are naturally fallible, as we all are. But we cannot forget that even under the open sky religious psychosis has committed atrocities, the aforesaid crimes against “sinners”; as if those who accused were not themselves terrible little devils. No one should be given license or title to cover their criminal acts or, once found out, have those crimes further covered. As if their religion, whatever faith they hold dear, might fall apart if it were revealed to be materially false, leaving them without a little job. Well then, let it all fall apart.

It can appear at times as if dogmatic religions are set up to do such criminal acts, purposefully. Those with healthier relations towards their fellow humans might not think so or say that this goes too far. But it makes one wonder why, when children come home to say they have been abused, they have been told to shut up, be quiet, as some have come forward to say after many years. More adult complicity, even though somehow, well meaning?! Again, is it the fear of a belief falling apart? Children are brainwashed, brought up to segregate, hate and even kill in the name of narrow religious views. It is time for people to actually GET healthy and quit pretending it by hiding behind a strict, dogmatic belief psychosis.

In one recent example challenging the status quo of secret tyranny, singer Sinead O’Connor ruined her career, calling the Catholic church the actual evil. Over hundreds of years others lost their lives for that challenge. Her opinion was born of years of Irish struggle. She spoke the other day as if the Catholic faith might still be brand new, once the truth was exposed. What a blessing…hope springs eternal. However, we are all children of the Universe, born to wonder and wander with open and clear eyes, gaining wisdom on the path of life, life that can well teach where one may find LOVE…if we have not been preemptively sickened by the adult imposition of beliefs.

Those of good conscience and healthy acknowledgement of human frailty, of human need that requires healthy, normal, sexual expression, human inquisitiveness and, not least, the human disposition to connect with something larger than themselves that builds humility and real LOVE towards all of life…maybe they will share the leadership asked for by the Holy Spirit, but denied, for timeless aions.

Hope springs eternal, especially in little children. Maybe some of us can live up to that promise, yet.

Amir Roth - April 4, 2010

I wasn’t even talking about the church’s child abuse scandals. I wasn’t going to go near that topic. Other than to call to the carpet the man who compared the abuse the church was taking over that scandal to the abuse Jews have taken over the last 3000 years.

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