There is something worse than being invited to spend Christmas with difficult relatives. Being forgotten:
Two hundred thousand people disappear every year in the UK; of those, 2,000 will remain missing. Some, of course, are murdered; some just wish to disappear, which is easy if you really want it – move home, move job, toss your telephone into the river. The US has 40,000 sets of what are called “unclaimed remains”. Many more are simply forgotten by their friends or family – according to a Help the Aged report of 2007, hundreds of thousands of elderly people in Britain go without visitors from month to month; more than a million said they were often or always lonely
Stephen Kelly seems to be quite serious, and makes an interesting argument:
You may scoff, but if atheism functions on the idea that the Bible is a work of fiction, then what’s to stop us from taking our values from other works of fiction?
The Village Voice Scientology video of the year has been selected:
Over the top, don’t you think?
Obviously, it’s absurd to say the gay and lesbian community are the Ku Klux Klan, but if you organize a parade that looks like parades that we’ve had in our past because it stops us from worshipping God, well then that’s the comparison, but it’s not with people and people — it’s parade-parade.
He’s under fire, as Think Progress explains:
Change.org has released a petition calling for the resignation of Catholic Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, following comments the Cardinal made to FOX Chicago Sunday comparing the gay rights movement to the Klu Klux Klan’s anti-Catholicism. Equally Blessed, an umbrella group of pro-LGBT rights Catholic organizations, has reinforced the pushback by releasing a statement declaring in part that George, “has demeaned and demonized LGBT people in a manner unworthy of his office. In suggesting that the Catholic hierarchy has reason to fear LGBT people in the same way that blacks, Jews, Catholics and other minorities had reason to fear the murderous nightriders of the Ku Klux Klan, he has insulted the memory of the victims of the Klan’s violence and brutality.”
It was at best a historically uninformed comparison for him to make.
“No longer at my age can I accept a subordinate role; not for myself, not for my daughter, not for my sisters, my nieces or friends,” the 61-year-old current affairs presenter declared.
She added that other women had walked out of the church a long time ago.
“Maybe I just kept hoping,” she added.
She was provoked to a recent, detailed on-air explanation by an interview with American Catholic theologian and intellectual George Weigel. She was unimpressed, explaining:
“He [Mr Weigel] gave the same old non-reasons for the refusal of the church to ordain women, ‘we have different tasks, different gifts’ . . . ‘God made men and women different for a reason’.”
Ms O’Leary continued: “At this stage I don’t feel rage so much as weariness — that ‘difference’ is still latched onto as a reason to discriminate; weariness and, for me, relief, that it’s all over now. I’ve moved on out.”
She now attends the Church of Ireland (part of the Anglican Communion) where “I can stand tall because the Church of Ireland, whether I join it or not, accepts my full humanity. It ordains women.”
The pursuit by women of equality where it is denied them appears to be as sweepingly nondenominational as it is relentless.
Forget the garish imports. Even if they were recently grown in a local greenhouse, they’re ultimately imports and we have natives, hereabouts. Take a look at the wild poinsettia that flourish in North America.
The money quote. Cardinal George said:
“You don’t want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism.” he said on FOX Chicago Sunday .
- 12/26/2011 Update: George backs water
The Washington Post does a fine job here, starting with the myth that Christmas is the most important Christian holiday.
Catholic coverup in another country. The Los Angeles Times reported:
Tens of thousands of Dutch children were sexually abused by priests and other Roman Catholic religious figures in the last 65 years, but church officials failed to take adequate action or report problems to police, an independent commission said Friday.
Many of the victims spent part of their childhood in Catholic institutions such as schools and orphanages, where the risk of abuse was twice as high as in the general population, the commission said. But complaints were often ignored or covered up by authorities who were more intent on protecting the church’s reputation than providing care for abuse victims.
Efforts are being made to give the victims legal recourse, says The Irish Times:
THE POSSIBILITY of changing the law to allow prosecutions against Catholic clergy believed to have been involved in child abuse is being examined by the Dutch cabinet. This is despite the fact that the statute of limitations on their alleged crimes has run out, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said last night.
The 1,100-page report of the Deetman Commission revealed last Friday that more than 800 Catholic priests and monks – 105 of whom are still alive – had systematically abused as many as 20,000 children, many of them sexually, in church-run institutions, between 1945 and 1985.
Holy Cross religion professor Mathew N. Schmalz sees the scandal as a requiem for Dutch Catholicism
But for some Catholics of my generation, the press conference was a coda, a requiem of sorts. Back in the ’70s, Dutch Catholicism represented an open and engaged Catholicism. It embodied a vision of what Catholicism could become in the wake of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
More apologies, too late and without credibility.