Five suspected Islamist militants arrested *

Dec 29th, 2010 | Filed by

The four held in Denmark planned to enter the building housing the Jyllands-Posten and “kill as many of the people present as possible”.… Read the rest

Police arrest 5 in plot against Jyllands-Posten *

Dec 29th, 2010 | Filed by

The Danish newspaper and those connected with the publication of the Muhammed cartoons have been regular targets of violence.… Read the rest

Katha Pollitt’s hero of 2010: Shirley Sherrod *

Dec 29th, 2010 | Filed by

What does it say about the US that a hack like Breitbart can destroy a decades-long career in one day?… Read the rest

Critical Thinking and the African Identity

Dec 28th, 2010 | By Leo Igwe

I start this piece by stating emphatically that if lack of critical thinking or inability to apply one’s common sense to issues is what makes one an African, then I am not an African. I say this – and I really mean it. That I hereby renounce my African identity if it means that I should not exercise my critical intelligence or apply reason and science in all areas of human endeavor. If being an African means I should suspend and shut down my thinking faculty and blindly accept whatever any person or prophet says or preaches, then, I say, count me out. Don’t count me as an African. I am making this assertion because very often blind faith, dogma … Read the rest

Blindfold the cow and everything will be fine

Dec 28th, 2010 5:07 pm | By

Amir Afkhami, an American psychiatrist, gets to meet a “faith-healer” in Iraq and watch him doing his stuff.

The path of a faith healer is arduous, Mullah Eskandar told us, speaking in Kurdish. “Such a calling,” he said, “is best reserved for a religious and spiritual man.”

Right. Religious and spiritual because there is no actual knowledge or technical skill involved, and man because it’s women who get fucked up by misogynist religions and traditions. Totally makes sense.

He went on to recount his 15-year apprenticeship to a renowned senior healer, who taught him the basics of spiritual treatment and the essentials of Koranic law and prophetic traditions. His description reminded me of my own long and difficult years in

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Katha Pollitt on Julian Assange *

Dec 28th, 2010 | Filed by

The furor over the rape allegations against Julian Assange reveal that when it comes to rape, the left still doesn’t get it.… Read the rest

Catholic thanatophilia

Dec 28th, 2010 2:21 pm | By

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops insists on exactly the same murderous policy that the rebarbative bishop of Phoenix does. The CCB is very clear about it. The CCB doesn’t mess around.

“Surgery to terminate the life of an innocent person, however, is intrinsically wrong… Nothing, therefore, can justify a direct abortion. No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church.”

No circumstance whatsover, including the circumstance that the fetus is already doomed and will not survive no matter what, can make it licit to remove the … Read the rest

US Conference of Catholic Bishops backs Olmsted *

Dec 28th, 2010 | Filed by

Nothing can justify a direct abortion. No circumstance whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God.… Read the rest

“Catholic hospitals fight to stay pro-life” *

Dec 28th, 2010 | Filed by

Pro-life? A policy that would let both a woman and a fetus die when the woman could be saved?… Read the rest

Jesus and Mo on obviously intelligent design *

Dec 28th, 2010 | Filed by

God created a perfect environment for humans; the banana proves it.… Read the rest

Eric MacDonald on the malice of small minds *

Dec 28th, 2010 | Filed by

It is true that Robert Latimer was suffering, and he suffered so much because someone he loved was suffering.Read the rest

Regardless of the cost, regardless of the cost, regardless of the cost

Dec 27th, 2010 11:04 am | By

Let’s see if I can force myself to read and comment on some of the horrible dogmatizing of Catholic theologian Ronald Conte. I could manage only about three paragraphs on the first attempt.

The subject of his anathema is “M. Therese Lysaught’s grave doctrinal error.” He notes that she points out that the fetus was doomed no matter what, that

it was not a case of saving the mother or the child. It was not a matter of choosing one life or the other.

Then he spends the rest of the long piece saying fuck that.

He quotes JP2 saying it’s disobedience to God’s law. He quotes the catechism. He insists on the (authoritarian and theocratic) claim that some … Read the rest

A doomed effort

Dec 27th, 2010 10:21 am | By

A Catholic woman priest is trying to convince herself that the bishop of Phoenix didn’t mean what he of course necessarily did mean. She’s not having an easy time of it.

When I was a teen, I saw a movie that depicted a bishop, the brother of a pregnant woman, who loved his sister, but when the chips were down and it was her life or the baby’s life, the choice was his to make and he chose the baby. I will never forget how horrible I felt that his sister was powerless in this situation, and that the decision was her brother’s to make.

Quite – and in the bishop’s case, it wasn’t even a matter of choosing the … Read the rest

The bishop of Phoenix is “defined by dedication” *

Dec 27th, 2010 | Filed by

In other words, he’s a myopic zealot dedicated to murderous authoritarian dogma.… Read the rest

A Catholic theologian explains *

Dec 27th, 2010 | Filed by

“The Magisterium definitively teaches that intrinsically evil acts are always immoral, regardless of intention and circumstances.”… Read the rest

Rust belt philosopher on the bishop of Phoenix *

Dec 27th, 2010 | Filed by

Olmsted’s own citations require him to look into the issue more seriously than he did.… Read the rest

Eric MacDonald on the bishop of Phoenix *

Dec 27th, 2010 | Filed by

For Catholic morality the abortion of a fetus in order to save the life of a woman who already has children who need her is tantamount to murder.… Read the rest

The Church and her bishops have a heightened moral responsibility

Dec 26th, 2010 5:23 pm | By

Mark Jones found the confirmation I was looking for, in the shape of the letter the bishop of Phoenix wrote to the president of Catholic Healthcare West. It is unbelievably disgusting.

He’s pissed off that the president of CHW told him that this is a complex matter on which the best minds disagree – not, as one might hope, because he thinks there should be no disagreement on whether or not a pregnant woman should be allowed to die along with her fetus rather than prevented from dying at the expense of her fetus, but because he is The Bishop.

In effect, you would have me believe that we will merely have to agree to disagree. But this

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Episcopal evil

Dec 26th, 2010 12:54 pm | By

The ACLU letter to the administrators of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says something I hadn’t known, something quite staggering. The trouble is, I haven’t been able to find it anywhere else, so I can’t be sure it’s accurate. I would email the ACLU to ask, but they say they get too much mail to answer.

…just last week it was revealed that the Bishop of Phoenix threatened to remove his endorsement of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center – where, as discussed in our previous letter, doctors provided a life-saving abortion to a young mother of four in November 2009 – unless the hospital signed a written pledge that it would never again provide emergency abortion care,

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ACLU: Catholic hospitals must provide emergency care *

Dec 26th, 2010 | Filed by

The bishop ordered the hospital to sign a pledge that it would never again provide an emergency abortion, even to save a woman’s life.… Read the rest