Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Get Your Priorities Straight

Recently, 120 people were nabbed on the North Carolina border in Virginia for illegal cock fighting. Now, I'm not a proponent of legalizing the sport but "frankly my dear I just dont give a damn". At least not when millions of baby humans are being murdered each year by legal methods.

America needs to get her priorities straight.


Amber said...

Seriously... we have PETA fighting for the lives of cockroaches while babies are ripped from their mothers and few say a word about it!

Michael said...

And what about the millions dying every year because a man in Rome still feels that using a piece of latex on your genitalia is evil?

You may well be right about abortion (although using emotive language like "babies are ripped from their mothers" probably doesn't help your cause) but I think it's important to get one's own moral house in order before jumping on others.

As soon as the Catholic Church shows some signs of actually caring about stopping suffering taking around the world the quicker we can all begin taking its views seriously.

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

Michael, I'm not sure what you're referring to about the 'millions who die each year'. Lets get a few things straight.

We dont believe that contraception is evil because 'a man in Rome still feels that way' we believe that it is inherently disordered because of nearly 2000 years of unanimous Christian opinion on the subject ratified by the infallible teachings (according to us) of the ordinary magisterium. Regardless, its not simply one man's opinion.

Now if you're referring to the abortions which take place as a result of lack of contraception and or its failure, that argument simply doesnt follow. No one who follows the Catholic teaching on contraception is going to then outright murder their child by abortion. It simply doesnt make sense (but if you're talking about something else then please fill me in).

Now condoms are not abortive (they dont take life) so they are not on the same level as abortion but some pills are abortive.

Amber's words have an 'emotive tone' to them because well it stirs up any moral person's heart when you talk about a mother murdering her own child. In partial birth abortions what she described is quite literally what happens.

Now, the Catholic Church doesnt have to answer to you or to the liberal minority which you belong to. If you had any sense whatsoever of actual history, you would know that the Catholic Church has pioneered the building of orphanages, aids hospitals and other humanitarian charities throughout the world for 2000 years. No other organization has even been around that long much less accomplished anywhere near the amount of humanitarian work that the Church has.

And, frankly whether a liberal minority 'takes its views seriously' or not doesnt change or impact an iota in the cosmology of Catholicism. B16 isnt sitting in the Vatican biting his nails wondering if you're gonna take the Church seriously. The Church is much bigger than you or I.

I hope you take some time to investigate the Church and the history of her beliefs. If you disagree, fine. Thats your prerogative.

Michael said...

People in sub Saharan Africa are dying from Aids. Lots of them.

Allowing those infected (and those that are not yet infected) to use condoms will reduce the suffering, pain, anguish and death we see on a daily basis.

It matters not why you believe what you do, the history behind the belief or who has decided that condom use is wrong, the fact is the Catholic Church is not supporting the most effective solution to the problem.

Being raised as a Catholic, by both nuns and Franciscan monks, I am well aware of the history of the Church. Not only am I baptized, took my holy communion and was confirmed, I attended Church on a daily basis for over 12 years. I attended benediction on a weekly basis and am schooled in the finer points of Catholic dogma.

If you wish to discuss Catholic history then you're welcome to do so although I'm not sure you want to open up that can of worms....Or do you? If we're going back 2000 years you're welcome to talk to me about the inquisition, or the numerous horrors the Catholic Church has committed?

Granted you guys have done a lot for child care in recent years, in fact I think the Catholic Church is the largest single donator to children's causes, $860 million in the past 20 years I believe? Of course that doesn't look so good when we examine what these payments were for does it?

It's all well and good pointing out the good things that the church has done but what about all the terrible evil things? Even today the Vatican is protecting pedophiles from justice.

As I say, the church ought to put it's own house in order if they wish to be taken seriously. And the church does want to be taken seriously. It's influence is reducing by the day. Church numbers are falling, other religions have growth rates which will eclipse the Catholic Church in a matter of years. It cannot attract enough priests, political influence is dwindling and they need the liberal 'minority' more than ever.

Only recently they failed in influencing legislation in Europe which resulted in the church now having to allow homosexuals to adopt children from catholic adoption agencies.

Would that have happened 10 years ago? No.

You're welcome to continue believing that you don't need to answer to us, that you don't need us, but the more you act in such an insular manner, the less influence you will have.

Societies are becoming more and more secular, as much as you hate to admit it, you need us. I see half empty churches that were full only 5 years ago. Churches are now reducing services, some are closing.

You're becoming irrelevant. Want to stop the slide?

Then you're going to have to modernize and talk to us 'horrible, evil liberals'.

TheGodFearinFiddler said...


Wow lots of stuff there. You have some good points and some underlying issues that I agree with.

But I did not call you a 'horrible, evil liberal' so please dont put that in quotes as if I said that or even implied it. I said you were in a minority which you are (I am in a minority too, it doesnt make it wrong).

First, you're absolutely right that the Church needs to correct the problems within her own doors. I am painfully aware of this as are all faithful Catholics. The Church is not perfect, never has been never will be. St. Augustine said that 'the floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bad bishops'. And there have even been a number of 'bad' popes (Leo X for example).

Jesus told us to remove the plank from our eye before removing the splinter in someone elses'. I think you're absolutely right about that and you understand His teaching more than most do in this day in age. He spoke as much (or more) corporately than individually. This 21st century western individualism that we paint into 1st century Palestine is anacrhonistic to say the least. So Jesus told Israel (as a corporate body) just what you're telling the Church (the new Israel): clean up your act before cleaning up others.

The Church is working on it and is coming out of some painful lessons post Vatican II and post numerous sex-scandals(which you alluded to) and so naturally, there are a lot of things to fix and these things dont happen overnight.

But like the Inquisition, the Crusades and other issues, the 'Church' herself was never guilty of any wrong doing. I speak corporately not individually. There have been many priests, bishops and yes even popes (though rarely) who have done things that did not meet up to the standards of Christian dogma and sometimes even did things gravely opposed to it (such as the sack of Jerusalem or the sack of Constantinople which Im sure you're aware of). But these events (and the often grossly exaggerated incidents surrounding the Spanish inquisition) were not ordered by Popes, ecumenical councils or Vatican decrees. In fact, there were commands from the Pope NOT to do many of the evils which were done in the Holy Lands during the crusades but they were ignored. The individuals (whether priests, bishops or laymen) are certainly culpable for the evil they committed, but the Church cannot be held responsible for those who dissent from her teachings.

Now to what extent the Church is culpable (and you allude to it with the issue of the sex scandal) then the Church along with her members who are guilty should suffer due consequence. In cases where any diocese is guilty of protecting a child molester or anything of the sort, there should be severe consequences, I agree with you. It makes my blood boil even more than yours because I am a Catholic!

Now with all that said, I ask you to also be aware that there are 2 sides to every story and it would do you well, I think, to study up a little more on the Catholic side of it (and maybe you already have). But the actual guilt in the sex scandal (for example) has been overblown by the media in many cases and it is actually a small minority of priests guilty. Notice how the Protestant Churches (arguably as often guilty of the same things) have been barely mentioned. Again, not defending those who did wrong. Those who are guilty should face the consequences and the Church should not protect them (at the expense of endangering others and or failing to administer due justice).

Same thing goes for the crusades and the inquisition. Both of these are routinely misrepresented in an anti-Catholic exageration. By no means am I claiming that there was no evil involved. Far from it. Just saying that there are two sides to every story. If you havent read any Catholic sources on the subject here are a few links:



Those are just a couple (the first will keep you reading for days on the subject if you really want to know your stuff) I dont have my links at hand because Im not at home. At any rate, all Im saying is that I hope you will at least take an honest look at the other side of the argument.

Now about condoms & HIV, it seems to me that the situation can be compared to a group of people jumping into a lion's den with a gun for protection. Another group says 'you cant use a gun against lions its immoral' The first group doesnt understand why using a gun would be immoral and says its the best protection against the lions. The second group says 'just dont jump in the first place' Now, obviously, theres nothing immoral about using a gun in self defense against a lion, but the point of the analogy is that the best solution to the problem is not to use a gun, but rather not to jump in the lions den in the first place.

Now your side of the argument (I think) is that jumping into the den (having sex) is inevitable and therefore we need to arm them with guns.

There is merit to that argument but we have to remember a couple things. First, regardless, the cause of the death is jumping into the lion's den (the cause of HIV is sex with someone else who has HIV) not the lack of protection. The group forbidding guns (or condoms) may be accused of failing to allow those people to protect themselves but nothing more. They cannot under any rationale be accused of causing the death.

You are also making a few assumptions about the HIV epidemic. It is intuitively wrong to assume that HIV is spreading because of adherance to Catholic dogma. (Theres no way you can say that these people are contracting HIV because they are afraid to disobey Church teaching. In fact they have openly disobeyed Church teaching by engaging in the promiscuous acts which 95% of the time are the cause of its spread so why would they be afraid to disobey the teachings on condoms?) In other words, if they obeyed Church teaching, they (most likely) would not contract aids in the first place and even if they did, it would end with them as they are faithful to only one partner.

Therefore, the spread of HIV would not be NEARLY as rapid if not completely non existent. So clearly, the problem is not by any stretch of the immagination Church teaching (regardless of whether it's right or wrong).

Heres an interesting post on the subject that brings up a few other points: http://regiaecclesia.wordpress.com/2006/10/22/condoms-and-hiv/

Anyway, thanks for you input and while we may never reach an agreement, I hope that we can both learn some from other view points.

Oh and about Church growth, I believe your global trend analysis is a bit off, here is an article in the LA Times that addresses the issues you brought up (the idea that the Catholic Church needs to liberalize in order to keep up)

According to that article, the exact opposite is occuring right now. Ive seen other sources that show the Catholic Church growing (per capita) in relation to other branches of Christianity and obviously Christianity itself is growing world wide (now over 2.1 billion) and the only other group growing so quickly is Islam (now over a billion) and Islam is hardly a liberal think tank.

Anyway, hope my comments made some sense. Peace be with you.