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Archive for the ‘Catholicism’ Category

Cheers to my friend Matt Bliss for sending me this picture haha

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I’d post this in protest of the Catholic Church’s effort this week to oppose the UK government’s bid to legalise gay marriage.

In a pastoral letter, Archbishop of Westminster Most Rev Vincent Nichols and Archbishop of Southwark Most Rev Peter Smith will urge Catholics to fight to save marriage “for future generations’.

Meanwhile, priests are to encourage English and Welsh Catholics to join the online “Coalition for Marriage” petition to block prime minister David Cameron’s support for gay marriage.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien

Cardinal Keith O’Brien has likened gay marriage to slavery, an ironic comparison to say the least considering the Catholic Church was a leading proponent of slavery for 100s of years…

I can understand and almost tolerate the church and its leaders’ position on gay marriage, within the church that is. However, I get incredibly irate when any religious group try forcing their practices and beliefs on to those of others faiths or no faith at all.

The majority of the world’s people aren’t catholic, and will be married as non-catholics, ‘sin’ as non-catholics, and die as non-catholics. I think worrying about whether or not non-catholics marry someone of the same sex is relatively pointless in your grand scheme as it’s hardly going to score you any conversions.

If, within your own church, you insist on being anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-freedom, whatever… You’re free to espouse such a bullshit message and gain pews full of empty-headed bigots, but please stop there, allow the rest of us to live, love, laugh and be good people for goodness sake.

Also, perhaps come back and talk to the rest of the world after you deal with the pervasive issue of child molestation in your church. After all, this is a hell of a lot more natural…

Than this…

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I only just go wind of this now but Banksy apparently made this sculpture at the end of last year in December following the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. It’s been named ‘Cardinal Sin’ and is a replica of an 18th century stone bust that had its face sawn off and replaced with a mosaic of squares to give it that pixelated appearance.

He has given the art piece to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool on indefinite loan. More here.

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I was watching a program recently on pornography and the porn industry. Before anyone makes any outlandish and slandering suggestions, it was a documentary not an actual pornographic film! Anyway, it’s called Porndemic and you can view it for free online here. It sort of irritated me a little as it had a slightly negative tone to it the entire time, instead of objectivity. To be honest I have no issues with porn or porn use at all, people can stay home 24/hrs a day watching donkeys ride old men for all I care. If they keep the volume down and their windows and doors shut I wouldn’t mind at all!

To the point, about two thirds of the way through the films some psychiatrist who helps those addicted to pornography mentioned how it’s a debilitating addiction that “plays with chemicals in the brain like dopamine”, which I’m sure is true. The interesting thing, however, was that she put them through a 12 step program, just like they do for AA, which is centered around God….

So I think to myself, “what’s the difference between watching porn and praying to god?” a question I’m sure most people ask themselves at least once in their lifetimes. But in all seriousness, isn’t using God and the power of prayer and religious worship to overcome one’s porn addiction just trading one addiction for another? Why do people pray, or worship God? Because when it really comes down to it, it feels good! Why does it feel good? Because you’re  releasing, and subsequently rewarding your brain with, dopamine! So truly, what’s the difference?

Our society is so quick to judge and require the reconditioning of people who are both physically or habitually addicted to things whether it’s cocaine or porn, and what is the answer all too often? God…. But are you really addressing the problem? Are you addressing the fact that you’re an addict, or just trading one taboo addiction for a more mainstream and acceptable addiction?

Today we have morons flying planes into buildings in the name of nothingness… We have people convincing young children to strap bombs to themselves and walking into large crowds before detonating themselves in the name of nothingness… We have children rapists being hidden and protected…

At what point does religion become an addiction? Furthermore, when does it become one worth treating? I’m interested in what others think so feel free to comment.

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I watched a fairly disturbing program tonight on 4 Corners on the Catholic Church’s covering up of the molestation of numerous disabled children from St Ann’s School. Below is the backstory to the program. Hit up the link above to watch the program online. It’s astonishing how these sorts of gruesome and cruel stories are being discovered at an almost exponential rate these days. Yet all we hear from the Catholic Church is, “we didn’t know…”.

In July this year, authorities in South Australia decided not to proceed with a case claiming sexual abuse of a child with an intellectual disability. The prosecution formed the view that the child could not give reliable evidence. The accused was released. The parents were enraged.

It was not the first time authorities in this country had made such a decision. Now Four Corners reveals the full story of the children and families from St Ann’s Special School in Adelaide. Speaking openly on television for the first time, parents whose children attended the school in the 80s and 90s tell stories of abuse which they say highlight the limitations of the legal system and the apparent incapacity of the Church to openly confront these issues.

In 1991, police searched the home of Brian Perkins, the bus driver from St Ann’s. They found photographs of several naked children who attended the school. Police moved to prosecute Perkins, but due to a “systems error” he was given bail and absconded.

But this wasn’t the only mistake. Although they knew it was possible that up to 30 children had been abused, the police and the school authorities did not tell all the parents whose children had come into contact with Perkins.

For 10 years nothing was done. Over that time many of the children developed terrible behavioural problems. Finally, as a result of a chance encounter between the parents, the full extent of their children’s abuse was revealed. The parents tell how, in the decade that followed their discovery, they struggled to get justice from the Catholic Church and the police. None of them can understand why the abuse was covered up or why Church authorities have fought so hard – in spite of their offer of a one-off financial payment to some families – to avoid admitting the extent of the abuse.

In light of this, and other cases like it, authorities in South Australia are looking at the law and the way children with a disability can be protected. Whatever happens, it will come too late for the children of St Ann’s.

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Ian dempsey

Senator Nick Xenophon has today named the Catholic priest, Ian Dempsey, accused of numerous sexual assaults of fellow seminarian, John Hepworth, 50 years ago. Hepworth is now an Archbishop for a breakaway Anglican sect. He states that Dempsey and two other priests raped and assaulted him a dozen times over a 3 year period while he was a teenager in the seminarian.

Xenophon was forced to name Dempsey after giving the Catholic Church the ultimatum of standing him down, two which the Church refused. Surprise surprise, right? The archdiocese said it was:

…shocked and dismayed that Senator Xenophon has ignored our pleadings. The priest concerned has categorically denied the allegation and has been a person of good standing in the archdiocese for a very long time. 

The Catholic Church never seems to get it do they? As victim Hepworth stated when interviewed on the matter:

Sexual abuse flourishes because people keep secrets.

The rate at which people are coming forward with horror stories of sexual abuse from within the Catholic Church seems to be exponential these days. I can’t imagine how many more people are holding onto similarly terrible secrets…

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Here‘s a really interesting write up on a study carried out by the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center, Muslim Americans: Faith, Freedom, and the Future.

Muslim Americans: Faith, Freedom, and the Future is based on a nationally representative study of Muslim American perceptions and the views of other major religious groups in the U.S. The report compares trends on Americans’ life evaluations over the past three years as well as probes Muslim and non-Muslim perceptions on issues of national identity, terrorism, foreign policy, religious discrimination, and political participation.

Its findings included that as a group Muslim Americans are the most opposed to military attacks on civilians, as well as individuals or small groups of people targeting and killing civilians. For both questions, Muslim Americans were the group who had the highest % saying that in both cases it was never justified.

I’m also impressed to see that the group comprising the areligious come second with regards to saying military attacks on civilians are never justified.

Perplexing enough here is the amount of Mormon swing voters, the majority of which voted that the military attacking and killing civilians was sometimes justified in the previous question. Whereas, when they were asked whether individuals or small groups were ever justified in targeting civilians they were the second highest group to vote that it was never justified. So it’s the majority of them believe it’s only ok to kill civilians if you’re doing it via the military….? Not to that the areligious group was again among the highest voting that such action was never justified.

I wonder though whether American Muslims, who are assumably relatively recent immigrants, are an appropriate sample of your average Muslim in the world. It would be interesting to see this same study repeated for different countries, as well as averaged over all countries surveyed. I have a feeling the results would be somewhat different, at least with regards to the religious groups involved. I don’t think I’d be drawing a long bow when believing that the areligious, no matter what their nationality or race, would overwhelmingly vote never justified for both these questions.

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