Posted: March 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Tags: catholic, education, rape, sexual abuse, violence
*trigger warning for rape and sexual abuse*
So today’s WTF appears courtesy of Paul Mullen, Emeritus Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at Monash University. He’s attributed by the Age as saying:
Sex education should be expanded to teach young men not to sexually abuse children, a forensic psychiatrist has told a parliamentary inquiry in Victoria.
Paul Mullen, emeritus professor of forensic psychiatry at Monash University and the former clinical director of Forensicare, told the inquiry into the handling of child abuse that sex education needed to be revamped to prevent it.
Children “get a lot of detail, liberal sentiments, about gay or straight lifestyles. They get nothing, absolutely nothing, about the sexual abuse of children and boys’ and men’s responsibility not to perpetrate that activity,” Emeritus Professor Mullen said.
Now granted this is at the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Catholic Church’s handling of rape and sexual abuse of children, but really any such statement should be broadened that all rape and sexual abuse against anyone regardless of age of gender is wrong and people should be educated in relation to that.
It’s not like Catholic Priests didn’t also rape adult women, and hush that up or suggest that perhaps it was the woman’s fault.
So Emeritus Professor Paul Mullen, what we need is education for everyone, regardless of gender, that explicitly states that the sexual abuse of anyone is wrong. Given the high percentage of male perpetrators of sexual violence, the education should definitely be, “don’t be that guy“, but also that being raped or sexually assaulted is never the fault of the victim, but always the fault of the perpetrator.
These are important messages, and I am concerned that Emeritus Professor Paul only narrowly targeted his message when he had the opportunity to address a broader societal issue that ties into the issues of Catholic Clergy sexual abuse.
Posted: January 25, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Tags: catholic, Christianity, family, lgbtiq, media, privilege, rant, Religion
Apparently the Vatican still having conniptions about the fact that the rest of the Western world is not listening to them and are continuing to recognise same-sex relationships, granting people who are attracted to those of the same sex rights equivalent to those who are opposite sex attracted. And they just won’t stand for it – in order to let everyone know how unhappy they are, and how absolutely morally abhorrent they consider same-sex attraction to be, they came out and said (mid December 2012):
Monday’s edition of Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Vatican, features a front-page editorial attacking French Catholic magazine Temoignage Chretien (“Christian Witness”) for supporting marriage equality. The editorialclaims that same-sex couples exist in “a different reality” because they are unable to conceive children, and goes on to claim that marriage equality is part of some socialist “utopia”:
Saying that marriage between a woman and a man is equal to that between two homosexuals is, in fact, a denial of the truth that affects one of the basic structures of human society, the family. We cannot base a society on these foundations without then paying a very high price as happened in the past when there was an attempt to achieve total economic and social equality. Why repeat the same mistake and chase after an unattainable utopia? [(emphasis in original) from ThinkProgress]
It’s taken me a while to write this because every time I’ve thought about it, I’ve just struggled to understand where exactly the Vatican thinks it exists, what century they think it is, and why they think that anyone is going to listen to a bunch of old men in frocks who think that same sex relationships, and the ordination of women are worse or equivalent sins to Catholic Priests raping children and and adults.
Posted: July 31, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Tags: catholic, Christianity, equal marriage, lgbtiq, media
I was really excited to hear that New Zealand was considering a marriage equality bill, and hoped to avoid reading comment from homophobic alarmists, decrying the current decay of modern society, and stating that allowing “teh gays” to marry will bring about the collapse of civilisation as we know it.
However, today a few people on Twitter linked to a “he said, she said” article from stuff.co.nz which sought comment from Christian religious personnel regarding their thoughts on marriage equality, one Catholic Priest and one Uniting Reverend. The comments from the Catholic Priest, Father Merv Duffy were jaw-droppingly astounding, and so ranty pants strapped on, I’m all prepared to have a go.
Posted: June 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Tags: catholic, Christianity, politics, Religion
George Christensen MP (for Mackay to Townsville, QLD), tweeted this:
Wow. Ex @SenatorBobBrown sledges Aust’s top cleric at #NPC. The Church has done more good 4 humanity than Greens ever will.
According to George’s twitter stream, the top cleric referred to is George Pell.
After receiving some very minor, as far as the replies to the original tweet indicate go, criticism of his comment, George posted the following:
The lefty church-hating #twitterwarriors would do less good in their collective lives than most nuns, priests or brothers.
Clearly, in George’s blind faith to the Catholic Church he is forgetting some key history of definitely not good, that the Catholic Church has been involved in – and I do question whether the past (and even the present) can even be forgiven with further good works. Though he has tweeted (on 1 June) that not all Christians are actually Christian when referring to Pastors calling for the killing of those who are LGBTIQ:
@equality4dawson There’s bad in every crowd inc Christians. Ultimately, its the song, not the singers, that matter.
But anyway, back to his comments, suggesting that those who have issues with the Catholic Church do less good in their communities than those who have joined religious orders, as well as the comment that the Catholic Church has done more good for humanity than the Greens ever will.
When you have an organisation that today says that the ordination of women is a sin equally bad as the rape of children by priests, when you have an organisation that calls those who are LGBTIQ “intrinsically disordered“, when you have an organisation that covers up the abuse of children (and the forgotten adults) by paying off priests, moving them between churches, hushing up the abuse, and treating the victims as if it were their own fault, when you have an organisation that tells people that condoms spread aids, when you have an organisation that excommunicates the mother of a 9 year old girl, and the doctor who performed the abortion, but not the father who had repeatedly raped his daughter, because abortion is a far greater sin, and when you have an organisation that believes and teaches that it is better for pregnant women to die than perform a life saving abortion, then you have an organisation that is not doing good for the world.
And that’s just now. If we look at recent history, then we have the Catholic Church’s involvement in Australian politics with the DLP, and we have the Catholic Church and their involvement with the Stolen Generations in Australia.
In less recent history we have the Catholic Church and the witch trials, we have the Catholic Church and the Inquisition, we have the Catholic Church and the pillaging of South America, we have the Catholic Church and conversion by the sword.
I don’t have problems with people stating that the Catholic Church does good things, but I do have a problem when those people don’t acknowledge the big issues that have faced and are facing the Catholic Church. There are indeed many wonderful things certain Catholics and certain Catholic organisations do, but there is still a lot of corruption, and a history and present that is liberally bloodied.
I definitely have a big problem with anyone claiming that the Catholic Church has more “good” than any other organisation in the world, especially given the atrocities previously and currently being performed in the name of the Church. I cannot see how an organisation, one with it’s own country, one with a staggering asset base, one with an amazing number of adherents, still sees so many of their adherents in poverty, is not democratic (and not just the old men voting for other old men, but rather the people the policies affect voting for who is in charge), and seems so resistant to change that so many of its adherents desire.
So George, don’t claim that the Catholic Church has done more good for humanity than the Greens ever will, unless you can really back that claim up with some solid facts. I don’t see how you’re going to manage that without looking like an apologist for an organisation that is still hiding its dirty laundry in the bottom of the cupboard.
Posted: February 9, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Tags: athiesm, catholic, Christianity, gender roles, health, racism, rape, Religion
Things that I have read about the place and thought that would be interesting to share:
The Nation writes about Obama standing up to Catholic Bishops, which has been a topic of discussion on twitter and elsewhere.
As if it had finally noticed that women out-
number bishops, the Obama administra
tion has decided against permitting religious organizations a broad exemption from rules requiring that all methods of contraception be covered, with no co-payment, by health insurance plans. Strictly religious organizations—churches, missions and such—will be exempt, but not universities, hospitals and charities. As a public health matter, this is excellent news: for women whose health plans don’t cover birth control, it can be difficult to obtain and costs hundreds of dollars a year out of pocket.
As part of “Why I am an Athiest” on Pharyngula, Frances shares her thoughts on atheism and feminism *trigger warning for discussion of sexual harassment and rape*:
I wondered where god was in all this. Not in an angry, he-should-have-my-back sort of way, but in a literal way. I went to church every Sunday for my entire life, and as near as I can tell, god has no opinions at all on rape, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or actually any of the issues women have to deal with. I knew the church was against abortion, premarital sex, and being gay (I was raised catholic in an area with lots of fundamentalists), but beyond that, there was literally no guidance. There were no ethics relating to this at all, or if there were, the priests were very tight-lipped about them.
Sandy Ghandi writes on The Anti Bogan about the racism she’s faced in Australia, in “F**k Off You Indian Monkey“:
The reply from the newsdesk was probably predictable, although I didn’t see it coming. After all, I had been submitting my weekly column to the Northern Star for four years, receiving the the stellar payment of $50 (raised from $30 after some agitation).
The email came from the then acting editor and he said, in part: “I know you are trying to push the envelope and be feisty but I think in trying to do that you sometimes confuse the point you are trying to make.”
“Like it or not, we are a family newspaper (the demographic is 40-65, mainly professional people working in Lismore, Casino and Ballina). That’s a fairly conservative audience so swear words are not going to go down too well.
“… thank you for your input to the Star, but we won’t be reconsidering the decision (to cease your column), nor will we be asking readers what they think. If we do cop some backlash and get some letters to the editor, we’ll run these in the appropriate place.”
Posted: August 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Tags: catholic, Christianity, Feminism, Pope, Religion, women, WTF
Yes, this is likely to be another post trashing the Vatican and the institution of Catholicism. If you have problems with this, I suggest you go and look a cute kittens or other baby animals of your choice and come back when I blog about something else.
Posted: April 2, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Tags: catholic, Christianity, listening, Pope, Religion, thoughts
Now I’m a long, long, long time ex-Catholic (ok, probably not that long, but long enough), I don’t hold a torch for Catholicism (you might have noticed with my posts about the place focusing on The Pope), but I still have family involved in the Church, and spent some very happy times there (going LALALALA about certain aspects). I enjoyed the Mass as it was, the rituals were comforting and familiar, and I liked the ideals (that I understood) of Vatican 2 – the inclusiveness of the actual Church goers (you know, the people that fund the Church for the most part) in the rituals. (An aside, I learnt more about the whys and wherefores of Vatican 2 from Brides of Christ than I ever did during 12 years of Catholic education)
Anyway… I read with some dismay the changes to the Catholic Mass that are the beginning of an attempt to roll-back the progressiveness of Vatican 2 (how this works with the infallibility of Popes I have no idea). The Age had a useful explanatory article (warning picture of Pope Benedict – I mean Emperor Palpatine) detailing some of the changes to the Mass wordings. I don’t know about other people, but I struggle to remember changes to texts when they’re suddenly changed, particularly if I’m not happy about the changes.
So, the Catholic Church has decided that rolling-back Vatican 2 is a good idea because… well politics and power and removing power from the individual churches and concentrating it higher up. It’s always annoyed me that such a large institution, one that claims it serves the faithful, is such an undemocratic organisation. Surely those that fund it and use it, should have a say in how the organisation runs. It’s not like democracy is a new thing, but I suppose that dictatorships are even older.
“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:13-15)
So off you go Mr Pope, and Mr Cardinal, and Mr Bishop, and Mr Priest. Go and wash the feet of your faithful, the feet of those who provide the church with money to fuction and provide charity to others. Go and ask what they want, and stop imposing things from on-high as if you are the only men in the world who have a direct line to God (if ou exists).
British commentator William Oddie trumpeted in the conservative Catholic Herald last month that the liturgy battle is over but for a bit of mopping up, and ”the good guys won”.
”The new translation is wholly successful, and if we had been using it from day one, thousands of people repelled by the banality of the translation now being superseded would still be regular worshippers rather than lapsed Catholics. I really believe it’s as important as that.”
But it takes a particularly fervent advocate to suggest, as William Oddie does, that a liturgy-led revival will reverse declining church attendance.
Bob Dixon, head of the Australian church’s Pastoral Research Office, regards the idea as ”absolute fantasy. When we asked people why they stopped going to church, almost nobody said it was because the church has lost its sense of reverence by using modern English. They said they stopped because they can’t find relevance, they can’t see a connection between the church’s agenda and their own agenda, they disagree with certain church teachings.”
DIXON has two concerns. Nearly a third of Australian church-goers come from non-English-speaking backgrounds , so will a more elevated, less idiomatic liturgy create language hurdles for them? Second, will some of those disenchanted with the church over sexual abuse by clergy say, ”you have this crisis and you are just fiddling with the language”, and leave?
Seriously, people don’t leave a Church or a faith because they think that the language used in the liturgy is “banal”. I’m with Dixon who suggests that perhaps there are far more important reasons than boring language behind people leaving Catholicism. Perhaps the priests, the bishops, the cardinals and the pope need to sit down and listen to people who have left or who are going to leave – and decide what is really in the Church’s best interests versus the power-hungry grabbing that is going on now – just saying.
Posted: January 3, 2011 at 12:45 am | Tags: catholic, Christianity, minority rights, privilege, Religion, WTF
I’m not claiming that the Catholic Pope actually ever had any credibility with me, but I know he does with some Catholics (still), and I wonder how they can let his latest two foot in mouth statements through without suggesting that he be sacked. It would be nice if the Catholic Church was a democratic institution wouldn’t it… let me enjoy that vision for a moment…. mmmm… ok, sadly back to reality.
Ok, first stupid statement was published before Christmas, and I know I’m late to the blogging party with this one, but I thought I’d blog on it anyway, as well as link to already fantastic commentary on his ludicrous claims. This claim being that “paedophilia wasn’t considered an “absolute evil” as recently as the 1970s.” All I can think, when I read something like that is, “WTF? Have you no idea about the world you move in?”
Dispatches from the Culture Wars has an excellent deconstruction of the claims made by the Pope, as does Pharyngula here and here.
Posted: April 6, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Tags: catholic, gah, politics, Religion, Tony Abbott
Tony Abbott, our delightful opposition leader, stated recently what Jesus would say and do regarding asylum seekers in Australia. It showed yet again that Abbott’s Catholic beliefs are a cover for his arch-Conservative views and that he really has no idea what he’s talking about. As a lapsed and possibly now agnostic Catholic, I know more about the bible than Abbot appears to.
Here is what he said recently, which really makes me wish he’d just stop talking and embarrassing the rest of us:
“Jesus didn’t say yes to everyone,” Mr Abbott said on ABC television’s Q&A program, according to the Herald Sun.
“Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it’s not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.”
Mr Abbott was quizzed extensively on his criticisms of the Rudd Government’s softening of Australia’s border protection policies and how that criticism squared with his own strong Catholic faith.
Asked what Jesus would do on the issue of asylum-seekers, he replied: “Don’t forget, Jesus drove the traders from the temple as well.”
“This idea that Jesus would say to every person who wanted to come to Australia, ‘Fine, the door’s open’, I just don’t think is necessarily right,” Mr Abbott said.
“(But) let’s not verbal Jesus, he is not here to defend himself.”
Ok, now lets look at what Jesus is actually attributed as saying on such issues:
Matthew 7: 1 – 5
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
So Abbott, don’t judge others because you do not have the authority to do so.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Both of these quotes would suggest that a welcoming and loving heart are the call of the day and not one that would willingly exclude others, whether it be from entering a country or seeking asylum.
And as far as Jesus driving people from the temple goes, the story is as follows:
Matthew 21: 12 – 13
Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, ” ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’”
Which has nothing to do with keeping asylum seekers from seeking asylum in Australia or any other country they can make it to and choose to seek asylum in. Jesus spoke of befriending outcasts, the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 and, Zacchaeus the tax collector in Luke 19:1-2. He healed Lepers (Luke 17:11-19) and others with diseases and disabilities. He taught about humbleness and acceptance of others. He is not the man that Tony Abbott keeps thinking he is. And on a final note, a quote from Luke 18:9-14 that Tony Abbott needs to consider:
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”