Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Catholic hospitals prefer death over abortion

Posted in Preliator pro Causa by Skepdude on May 17, 2010

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT PRELIATOR PRO CAUSA

Here’s another example shining some light on how the primarily religious label of “pro-life” is an anvil-sized oxymoron. Sister Margaret McBride, a nun and administrator at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., was part of an ethics committee late last year when they had to make a tough decision regarding the fate of one of their patients. The person in question was a young pregnant woman who was stricken with a serious case of pulmonary hypertension, a potentially deadly condition only exacerbated by her 11-week pregnancy. The only medically (and ethically) responsible decision to make was to abort the fetus and save the mother’s life. The ethics committee agreed, Sister McBride included; the procedure was carried out, and the patient lived. The doctors did their job and a patient walked out, minus a fetus, but alive.

However, in the world of Catholicism, no good deed goes unpunished, especially when such good deeds necessarily violate precious dogma. Bishop Thomas Olmsted, head of the local diocese, declared that Sister McBride was “automatically excommunicated” for her agreement with the ethics committee’s decision to terminate the life-threatening pregnancy. The good nun was also subsequently demoted (though it’s unclear if this is also Bishop Olmsted’s doing, though it’s certainly expected he had a hand in it).

“I am gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this diocese,” Olmsted said in a statement sent to The Arizona Republic. “I am further concerned by the hospital’s statement that the termination of a human life was necessary to treat the mother’s underlying medical condition.

“An unborn child is not a disease. While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother’s life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child. The end does not justify the means.”

He was “concerned” when the hospital asserted that an abortion was necessary to save the mother’s life? Because, apparently, as a non-medically informed peddler of ancient superstitions and oppressive dogma, his opinion about life-saving medical procedures are supposed to matter at all?

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT PRELIATOR PRO CAUSA

Intelligence Squared debate: Catholics humiliated by Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry

Posted in News by Skepdude on October 20, 2009

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT THE TELEGRAPH

I have just witnessed a rout – tonight’s Intelligence Squared debate. It considered the motion “The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world”. Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry, opposing the motion, comprehensively trounced Archbishop Onaiyekan (of Abuja, Nigeria) and Ann Widdecombe, who spoke for it. The archbishop in particular was hopeless.

The voting gives a good idea of how it went. Before the debate, for the motion: 678. Against: 1102. Don’t know: 346. This is how it changed after the debate. For: 268. Against: 1876. Don’t know: 34. In other words, after hearing the speakers, the number of people in the audience who opposed the motion increased by 774. My friend Simon, who’s a season ticket holder, said it was the most decisive swing against a motion that he could remember.

The problem (from the Catholic point of view) was that the speakers arguing for the Church as a force for good were hopelessly outclassed by two hugely popular, professional performers. The archbishop had obviously decided that it would work best if he stuck to facts and figures and presented the Church as a sort of vast charitable or “social welfare” organisation. He emphasised how many Catholics there were in the world, and that even included “heads of state”, he said, as if that was a clincher. But he said virtually nothing of a religious or spiritual nature as far as I could tell, and non-Catholics would have been none the wiser about what you might call the transcendent aspects of the Church. Then later when challenged he became painfully hesitant. In the end he mumbled and spluttered and retreated into embarrassing excuses and evasions. He repeatedly got Ann Widdecombe’s name wrong. The hostility of both the audience and his opponents seemed to have discomfited him.

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT THE TELEGRAPH

Church bans reiki for being superstition and not scientific

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on September 23, 2009

Come again?!?!?! Don’t get me wrong, reiki is both non-scientific and superstitious, but isn’t this a bit hypocritical coming from the folks preaching virgin births and transubstantiation? I just find this too amusing. Listen to some quotes:

But the Catholic Church doesn’t agree with any of this. At its U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops this past spring, the Bishops agreed that Reiki is not grounded in science or Christianity, and therefore is not appropriate for Catholic institutions.

Yeah, our own nonsense is more than enough thank you. Take your reiki out of my church. I don’t need it; I pray!

“Without justification either from Christian faith or natural science, a Catholic who puts his or her trust in Reiki would be operating in the realm of superstition, the no-man’s-land that is neither faith nor science. Superstition corrupts one’s worship of God by turning one’s religious feeling and practice in a false direction.’’

Right, because belief in god is not superstition. Talk about special pleading. My superstition is ok ’cause I call it faith, but every other superstition shouldn’t be allowed.

But personally I must say that when it comes to nonsense, the reiki meisters hold their own well against the religious meisters.

“Because Reiki is guided by the God-consciousness, it can never do harm. It always knows what a person needs and will adjust itself to create the effect that is appropriate for them. One never need worry about whether to give Reiki or not. It is always helpful.”

Wow! Reiki “knows” what a person needs and adjusts itself. But then why would you need a “trained practitioner” at all? Shouldn’t we all be able to just wave our hands over our bodies and get all the benefits of reiki? You see this goes in parallel with the “why do you need a priest to act as an intermediary if you can pray directly to God” line of thinking! But I guess the former is superstition and the latter is faith, so somehow it is immune to the rules of logic.

thestupiditburns1

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Church rejects Pope ‘mockery’

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on March 25, 2009

Rome – The Catholic church in Italy lashed out on Monday at what it called a “mockery” of Pope Benedict XVI for rejecting condoms as a weapon against Aids, comments that he made while on a visit to Africa.

“We will not accept the Pope being made the object of mockery and offence, in the media or elsewhere,” said Angelo Bagnasco, the country’s top bishop, citing the “controversy about condoms”.

“He represents for everyone a moral authority, which this journey has made people appreciate even more,” Bagnasco said.

The bishop complained of “heavy criticism of our beloved Pope, which goes on longer than it should”.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “NEWS24.COM”

Ha….ha ha….ha ha ha ha ha! Oh what a lashing Angelo gave us! Oh poor Angelo, why don’t you instead tell your pope not to go around saying stupid stuff like that huh?

The immorality of the Catholic Church

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on March 5, 2009

In Brazil at least. A 9 year old was allegedly raped by her stepfather and impregnated with twins. It was decided that it was on her best interest to abort the fetuses.

Fatima Maia, director of the public university hospital where the abortion was performed, said the 15-week-old pregnancy posed a serious risk to the 80-pound girl.

“She is very small. Her uterus doesn’t have the ability to hold one, let alone two children,” Maia told the Jornal do Brasil newspaper.

This would make perfect sense to any rational brain that has not been poisoned by religious dogma of course.

But Marcio Miranda, a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife in northeastern Brazil, said the girl should have carried the twins to term and had a cesarean section.

“It’s the law of God: Do not kill. We consider this murder,” Miranda said in comments reported by O Globo.

I see, it is the law of God. And he must work in mysterious ways if he allows a pervert to rape a 9 year old, and if that wasn’t bad enough allows her to get pregnant, and if that wasn’t bad enough allows her to get pregnant with twins, and if that wasn’t bad enough allows this to happen in a time in her life when her body cannot properly handle a pregnancy, and if that wasn’t bad enough wants to force her to go through with the pregnancy that her little body can’t handle without very probable permanent damage.

All knowing, all loving, right? And this is the being that we are supposed to get our morals from? Tell me this dear Catholics , do you agree with Mr. Miranda the asshole? Is this stupid idiot’s statement, morality in your eyes? Is this morality in your God’s eyes? Are you not ashamed that this person is speaking on behalf of Christians? Because if you’re not, you deserve to suffer  not  this poor little girl. You know the only times where I hope there is a just God is when people like Mr. Miranda open their foul mouths, because then I would know that he would in fact burn in hell for eternity. Unfortunately, that does not seem very probable.

Bill Donahue: If You Want to Spew Ridiculous Nonsense, Please Make a New, Relevant Argument

Posted in Enemy Combatant by Skepdude on November 14, 2008

Oh, crazy crazy Bill.

It’s absolutely nutjobs like you that make it pretty damn hard to imagine such a thing as a genuinely intelligent christian (or catholic).

Cool, we get it. You believe in god, you think everyone should, and you don’t like that those stupid meanie head atheists won’t play your game, and are putting signs on busses and not sitting down in their corner quietly, hiding and hoping you won’t notice them. We get it, dude.

However, you’d stand a fairer chance of convincing even one person who doesn’t already agree with you if you’d refrain from:

Insisting that we only pick on the christian faith. Stop that. The reason you see more actions targeting or specifying Abrahamic faiths is that they are prevalent in the society we live in. That makes them more relevant to the discussion. Dig? Cool? Got it? Gonna stop making that tired argument? I sure hope so.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “ENEMY COMBATANT”

In Defense of Dignity

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on October 10, 2008

People must accept death at “the hour chosen by God,” according to Pope Benedict XVI, leader of the Catholic Church, which is pouring money into the campaign against I-1000.

The hour chosen by God? What does that even mean? Without the intervention of man—and medical science—my mother would have died years earlier. And at the end, even without assisted suicide as an option, my mother had to make her choices. Two hours with the mask off? Six with the mask on? Another two days hooked up to machines? Once things were hopeless, she chose the quickest, if not the easiest, exit. Mask off, two hours. That was my mother’s choice, not God’s.

Did my mother commit suicide? I wonder what the pope might say.

I know what my mother would say: The same church leaders who can’t manage to keep priests from raping children aren’t entitled to micromanage the final moments of our lives.

If religious people believe assisted suicide is wrong, they have a right to say so. Same for gay marriage and abortion. They oppose them for religious reasons, but it’s somehow not enough for them to deny those things to themselves. They have to rush into your intimate life and deny them to you, too—deny you control over your own reproductive organs, deny you the spouse of your choosing, condemn you to pain (or the terror of it) at the end of your life.

The proper response to religious opposition to choice or love or death can be reduced to a series of bumper stickers: Don’t approve of abortion? Don’t have one. Don’t approve of gay marriage? Don’t have one. Don’t approve of physician-assisted suicide? For Christ’s sake, don’t have one. But don’t tell me I can’t have one—each one—because it offends your God.

Fuck your God.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “THE STRANGER”