Sunday School 31st January 2021
January 31, 2021 at 1:54 pm #36311
The intrinsically disordered Catholic church is rolling back on its intolerance towards LGBTQ people.
How the Catholic Church has harmed Ireland.
Arkansas’s Church Superspreader Bill allows Christians the special privilege of being disgusting.
Atheists sue Ex-Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
The views of some of the Nones on Understanding Unbelief.
This weeks’ Woo: Combating misinformation when a loved one is caught in a web of conspiracies.
Environment: Global warming has increased global economic inequality.
How has the Earth managed to stay fit for life for billions of years?
On reversing cognitive decline due to ageing.
I doubt if the writer is a theist but can you find any flaws in this article?
OK Reg, you’re an atheist. I get it! But why are you so outspoken about it all the time.
Hundreds of Holocaust testimonies translated and digitized for the first time.
Long Reads: The war on climate denial has been won and that’s not the only good news. The Case Against “STEM”. Before GameStop trading there was Jonathan Lebed. Religious Persecution and Freedom in New England. When all is quiet there is no need to wait for Godot.
This week I will read this book: The Sheltering Sky.
Some photographs taken last week.
While you are waiting for the kettle to boil……January 31, 2021 at 1:55 pm #36313
Have a great week everyone!
“Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don’t know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It’s that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don’t know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”
― Paul Bowles, The Sheltering SkyJanuary 31, 2021 at 5:15 pm #36317
Have a great week everyone! “Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don’t know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It’s that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don’t know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.” ― Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky
I wonder if there was a near C-speed craft that could look ahead and learn your own end…how many would do it?January 31, 2021 at 5:55 pm #36318
Atheist Ireland has drawn the wrong conclusion about the atrocity of 9000 children dead in the custody of Catholic mother-and-child homes and countless Irish children physically and mentally abused in Catholic schools.
After all, the Irish Government was complicit with these horrors committed in Catholic institutions, knew and even documented the atrocities, and yet did nothing to stop them!
I mean, one missing child–even in pre-Amber Alert, pre-Code Adam days–would have civilized authorities gathering up a posse to search for the child. Yet 9000 children were non-personned by the Roman Catholic Church over decades and the Irish Government did nothing!
In fact, government officials such as police, truant officers, social workers, customs and immigration officials, government Doctors and Nurses, coroners, anyone with any interaction with children would have to have at least suspected something wrong was going on! Yet they not only did nothing, but may have even delivered newborn out-of-wedlock and runaway children into the hands of their Church tormentors!
The proper conclusion to draw from all of this is that the whole nation of Ireland needs a damn do-over!
Legend has it that the Christian Saint Patrick chased all the snakes out of Ireland. (I know snakes weren’t indigenous to Ireland anyway, but work with me here.)
There needs to be a Secular Atheist Patrick to bring snakes in…the biggest Anacondas to be found in the whole world…along with Komodo Dragons, Lions, Tigers, and Bears (Oh my!) and anything Jurassic he could brew up in a genetics lab!
Then gather up everyone in both Church and State who was responsible for the atrocities against children and feed them to Ireland’s new Menagerie Magistrate of Justice!
Then issue a proclamation: Hey, Church! Hey, State! Leave those kids alone! Proclaim Life, Liberty, and Property for All, including children and loving supporting parents and guardians! Separation of Religion and State and Separation of Education and State Forever! Let thousands of competing private schools and homeschools and virtual schools of all creeds and no creeds bloom!
Maybe after all of this, we can truthfully speak of “The Luck of the Irish.”
January 31, 2021 at 7:15 pm #36323
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by TheEncogitationer.
It is very difficult to explain to someone who has not lived in Ireland just how much control the Catholic Church had in Ireland. I am sure Iran or North Korea have Ireland in the early 20th century in their guidebook on totalitarianism. The government was their bitch. A priest would tell his congregation who to vote for, in a time where a family would be social pariahs for not attending Sunday church. Yes, the government abdicated their responsibility for children born out of wedlock. The priest would read out the names of mothers who had children out of wedlock during Church services and the family would be shamed in public. If the Church did not like a book or movie, then it was banned.
I have been talking with victims of clerical abuse – men, women and children (now adults) for years. Atheist Ireland have been active for a long time in keeping these stories to the fore of Irish consciousness. They have even brought it to the attention of the UN Human Right commission in Geneva.
I have accounts from several people that I know to be true who lived through those times. Do not read any further if you think you might be upset by what follows as it is not pleasant, to say the least. Many of their victims left the country, never to return. Many took their own lives after years of alcoholism and drug abuse. I know of a few stories of how children were murdered by nuns. One is where a nun banged a 6-year old’s head against the headboard of the bed because she kept crying in her sleep. In the morning life continued as if nothing happened. This was told to me by the girl in the next bed, 70 years later, in the week before she herself died. Another of a boy kept in a pigsty for a week as punishment for stealing a slice of bread. I know of an 8-year-old girl put into a sealed coffin as a punishment only to be rescued by the local priest who assaulted her with a crucifix to make her saintly again. He abused her for 4 more years. It turned out he did the same to many other children over a 30-year period and always said prayers with them afterwards. One of several hundred warped Catholic priests the country endured. I have had grown men and women breakdown in front of me, fifty and sixty years later. Their lives were ruined by the Church.
There is no hyperbole here and in fact I am keeping the worst stories to myself. Ones that make the above seem tame. We have all heard tales of depravity and genocide, like in Rwanda or during the Holocaust but what members of the Catholic Church have done across the world, but especially in Ireland is in a different league for its viciousness toward the defenseless. And these people all started and ended their day with prayers.
None of the victims had anyone to turn to for help. Nobody would have believed them, even if they could have listened. They were voiceless and powerless. They all know what the Catholic Church did. They also know what the authorities did not do. But at the time Church and State in Ireland were almost indistinguishable. Yes, good men and women who did nothing are complicit too. But the murder, rape and abuse of women and children in the name of their god is not going to be forgiven even if the vast majority of the perpetrators are dead.
The rest of the Catholic Church in Ireland is as good as dead too. We have plenty of atheists in government who will not tolerate any overstep by them. The next generation, those in their teens and twenties have little or no time for it. Vocations to their god squads are approaching zero. Ireland has had its makeover; we are just waiting for trucks to remove the rubble and bury it in an unmarked cesspit where it belongs.January 31, 2021 at 7:28 pm #36324
Thanks, Reg!January 31, 2021 at 8:34 pm #36326
It is amazing how using odd associations to facilitate memory works so well. If I wanted to recall an association between a lizard and triangle I could picture Godzilla climbing an Egyptian pyramid and good luck forgetting that.February 1, 2021 at 9:56 pm #36339
I am upset reading this, but not at you the messenger, only at the perpetrators of this decades-or-even-centuries-long horror!
I am also upset at the glib apologists in the Church who think a mere apology will make all right again or ever!
If Ireland’s secular legal system is anything lime the Anglo-Saxon/American system, there are some definite remedies here:
Every institution involved–whether hospital, church, school, orphanage, foster home, reformatory, or nursery–has real estate with wrotten titles, records of sale or transfer of real property, articles of incorporation, and personnel recods, all with names of people, all accessible either by public record, government agencies, or by legal processes of subpoena or discovery.
Every one of these records need marshalling to find out who was connected to offending institutions and how, what they knew, and/or what they did.
If any evidence shows the persons are alive and committed or assisted in these horrors, the persons need to be arrested, indicted, and if evidence is beyond reasonable doubt, convicted and punished either for life or with death.
And if any of these persons escape, there needs to be an army of Simon Wiesenthals who hunt them to the ends of the Earth and beyond if space travel goes commercial mass transit.
Meanwhile, kick out Vatican embassies and consulates worldwide and blockade Vatican City until they give up their records and any and all fugiyives from justice. Even defeated post-WWII Italy could do it all by themselves with my full Secular blessing.
The Roman Catholic Church should thank their Moloch-God that some angry Irishmen or Lay Catholics globally haven’t gone full<i>Boondock Saints</i> or Frank Castle/Punisher on their sorry low-life asses!February 2, 2021 at 11:26 pm #36340
@theencogitationer – of this decades-or-even-centuries-long horror!
That is what I say. It has been going on for centuries. It would be naive or even plain stupid to think otherwise. That is why it is taking so long for the Vatican to get the problem sorted. The entire Catholic Church should be proscribed and outlawed. Why do people still allow their children to be under the supervision of a terrorist organization?
“But the Church has done many good things…..”
Yeah, I am sure there were good Nazis too.
I think Frank Castle is the man for the job. Good idea. The Catholics love to be punished because they are sinners. They openly admit to being so.
I got in trouble in school with a Christian brother for disagreeing with something he said. He was telling us that Thomas Aquinas was a very original thinker and asked if we agreed, thinking nobody would question him as he was not on the syllabus. I said that I think he relied very heavily on the ideas of Aristotle and all of a sudden he started shouting at me. He tried to hit me but I ducked and ran towards the door of the classroom. He tried to get me again so I called him a “dirty sheep shagger” and that he would regret trying to hit me. My parents were called in and I was threatened with expulsion if I did not apologize. I eventually did as I had better things to be doing. He called me to the library to talk the next day. But he started off leering at me as if he was about to explode in anger. I calmly told him to “stay the fuck away from me or my actions will leave you horrified for years”. The certainty in my voice surprised me. He went white with shock and I walked away. I then noticed another teacher (a normal human) had overseen but not heard it. It only lasted about 30 seconds. He was almost smiling, maybe bemused. Neither of them ever spoke about the episode again to me. It was a if it never happened. The man was a violent psycho lunatic. He went to a different school the following year. Turned out, years later, he was taken to court in a different county for the abuse of three young boys. I was 15 when I had my “incident” so I was probably way too old for him. I think what he hated about me was that I stood my ground and challenged him. He was a violent bully which made him a weak man. He did not know how to deal with that.February 3, 2021 at 9:18 am #36342
I was glad to read that you stood up as a young person to a violent, psychotic thug of a teacher. (This man showed his bat-shit craziness just in his reaction to the common knowledge you presented about Aquinas.)
I hope you inspired other youth to take a stand against unjust and irrational authority.
What is even more disturbing about the story about the Roman Catholic Church and the Irish Government is that these horrors could also be happening in Catholic institutions, communities, and sympathetic governments in the U.S. and worldwide.
So far, the silence of Catholic commentators, politicians, and celebrities has been deafening. No word from Catholics on the Right such as Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, or William Donahue. So far, no word from Catholics on the Left, such as Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, or President Sleepy, Creepy, Crazy, Cranky, Tankie, Corn Pop, Lunch-Bucket, Shotgun Joe Biden. Non-Catholic Vice-President Kamala Harris also had been awful on the problem of sexual abuser Priests:
Victims question Kamala Harris’ record on clergy abuse
Clergy abuse survivors complain that Harris was silent on the Catholic church’s abuse scandal as district attorney in San Francisco and later as California’s attorney general.
By MICHAEL REZENDES Associated Presshttps://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/victims-question-kamala-harris-record-clergy-abuse-63963167
At the very least, The Vatican needs to be stripped of any recognition as a legitimate sovereign nation-state. Once that is done, it could not claim sovereign immunity or diplomatic immunity for any criminal acts done by its clergy members, nor could it use the aura of state power to exert influence on the governments of other nations. From there, dealing with the crimes of The Roman Catholic Church would be much easier.
February 3, 2021 at 10:45 am #36344
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by TheEncogitationer. Reason: Spelling
Catholics live in an alternative reality created by their Church. Their apologists are in denial over how bad the problem is. They are making excuses for the Church that they grovel on their knees to. They were easily herded into a state of denial about the severity of the crimes against humanity committed by the men they held in reverence. Yes, the “celestial North Korea” that Hitchens spoke of.
“But but but….there were only a small number of bad apples”.
But it no longer happens……
“But you need verification and proof, not just some militant atheist who hates god writing whatever they want to disrespect all the good priests”
OKAY. I got plenty of that for you. How about this for starters?
Would you like to meet with some of the survivors?
I have yet to have one of these Christians take me up on that offer! Most have spent their lives that way.
February 4, 2021 at 4:57 am #36346
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by Reg the Fronkey Farmer. Reason: error with a link
What’s particularly fucked up is is the Catholic Church seems to often get credit for being progressive every time they manage to be only three steps behind instead of the regular ten on social issues (and in some cases criminal issues). It’s like the bar has been set painfully low, yet still millions hold them as a moral authority. That’s some hefty brand power.February 4, 2021 at 9:54 am #36347
@kristina – Yes, that is true. They are also masters of revisionism. I constantly hear apologists claim how the Catholic Church was a beacon of light in the Dark Ages when it came to Education, Science, Cosmology, Abolition of Slavery, etc. In most cases this is completely untrue.
In a generation or two we will hear them claim to have been leading advocates of LGBTQ rights. That is, if the world is still unfortunate enough that this Church still exists with any power.February 4, 2021 at 11:20 am #36348
I recall someone not so long ago talking about how the Catholic school board in Vancouver was the first board in the region to have an official policy supporting transgender kids. I don’t know if that is true or not (or as much of an accomplishment as they seem to think), but I reminded them the reason they had to form a policy was because a human rights complaint had successfully been filed against them for discrimination.
Like everywhere else, Catholicism is very splintered in Canada, with dioceses and clergy taking dissenting views on a number of issues. Often it seems for political reasons, but at times some genuinely seem to be earnestly trying to be ethical. But on balance, Catholicism has been a haven for what I’ll generously call social conservatism. Right now, federal legislation banning conversion therapy on children and, when forced or coerced, on adults is in Parliament. The Anglicans are supporting it. The bloody Salvation Army is supporting it (I know they are Protestant, but not exactly the most progressive Christians out there), but the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops are opposed despite paying lip service to giving a shit about LGBTQ+ people.
Trudeau said that in their private talks, the pope “reminded me that his entire life has been dedicated to supporting marginalized people in the world, fighting for them, and that he looks forward to working with me and with the Canadian bishops to figure out a path forward together”.
That’s from an article about Trudeau seeking a formal apology from the Pope to the Indigenous peoples of Canada for the Roman Catholic church’s significant role in the emotional, physical as sexual abuse as well as cultural genocide in the now defunct residential schools atrocity. How much sunshine must be blown up this man’s ass?February 4, 2021 at 11:37 am #36349
Indeed Kristina. I remember of all the colossally stupid god damn shit that Dr. Bob said while he was here (and he said a lot of colossally stupid shit) was somehow giving the catholic church credit for the progressive ideas and human rights we now enjoy in modern society.
Despite the fact that the catholic church was demonstrably against, and actively worked to stop many of the rights we enjoy (and were entirely indifferent to the others), and were almost all completely driven by secular movements … doesn’t get in the way of retelling a story. You are right…the Catholic church basically fought most of these changes absolutely KICKING AND SCREAMING, finally adopted them once it became a common part of our culture and then acted as though they were the champions of it. And the same shit is still going on with things like:
- Gay Marriage
- Birth control
Imagine in say, 50 years, when gay marriage or birth control is considered such an absolute obvious no-brainer right, and even the Catholic church accepts it…and then somehow acts like they are the defenders of these rights, as though they were a force behind it. That would be absolutely NO different than the way they act now like the champions of the underclass, or for democratic principles or being against fascism or racism (laugh my ass off).
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