What I am learning at an anti-catholic blog

May 26, 2009

I observe :

  • that these things look like a “religion” to people who claim to be a-theist.

The Constitution
“Roe v Wade”
(They do not debate rationally about this.)

  • that others who are theist (of some sort or other) also hold some of these items in such fervent regard that they too see them as “religion”
  • that some cannot or will not discuss whether rights come from a common agreement that we collectively write called law or some semi-deity called “law” because perhaps they know the rebuttal to either would undermine their religion  (An instance would be that the word “born” in the 14th amendment means that no one can, should or ever can have rights before birth.  Another is that a baby is a baby in utero when the woman decides it is but is a fetus otherwise.)
  • that some honestly think that the bible says homophobic, abortion-condoning, Jew-hating things that are still required conduct for modern Christians especially Catholics  (Numbers Ch 5 is an example.)
  • that because some bishops, their chanceries and seminaries should have known better about reassigning pederasts and about ordaining homosexuals (and heteros) who are not demonstrably committed to chastity (agreed) and
    • that because some prevented enforcement ostensibly to 1) prevent scandal to the faithful 2) to rehabilitate the predators per then-current psychological methods but in part to cover their clerical backsides (agreed)
    • that bishops and the Pope should be tried in criminal court for conspiracy, fraud, sexual abuse and other crimes (disagree)
    • that because of this, the Inquisition, the Crusades, an evil perpetrated on them personally or  (fill in misunderstanding of history here) the Church has no business telling anyone what is moral
  • that data presented by a Pro-life person not only is suspect but moreover cannot be unbiased (an example is a discussion of the method failure and the use failure rates for NFP vs that of condoms.)
  • that sex is for fun and a human right and that any connection between sex and pregnancy is an inconvenient biological event like poison ivy or high cholesterol to be treated with medicine
  • that news articles berating the Pope stand on their own merits and cannot be debated based on the Italian, Latin or German original text that say different than the article
  • that “scientific” articles remotely supporting  abortion stand on their own merits and cannot be debated based on anything even other scientific articles
  • that any statement espousing a belief based on traditional religious teaching especially Catholic teaching even one supported by the evidence of science is not allowed in “rational” conversation

I do need to write what I’ve learned about pro-lifers.  They are of 4 sorts.

One kind who make one or two posts then leave because they don’t need the hostility.  (What does that say about me other than I’m not getting enough sleep lately?)

Another kind writes that “God will damn you all.”  One actually made no fewer than 50 one-word posts in reply to various posts; he wrote “Anathema!”  I wrote to him that we agree but he’s not convincing anyone.  (See www.deliberateengagement.wordpress.com/how-to-debate)

A third is folks like me; we’re not too numerous and we take lots of ad hominem comments.  I wonder if I’m convincing anyone either.

A fourth is a goad; they’re humorous and deliberately provoke the ProChoicers.  One used to address any prochoicer as “killer” conversationally not as a salutation.

I would appreciate any thoughts or ideas on how we can do better at this.

Medical progress, not the legalization of abortion, reduces maternal deaths

May 23, 2009

Medical progress, not the legalization of abortion, reduced maternal deaths. The decrease in maternal mortality coincided with the development of better obstetric techniques — antibiotics, blood transfusions and better management of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy– and improvements in the general health status of women.3 In fact, even the United Nations Population Division and World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledge that there has been no substantial increase in maternal mortality since 1995,4 even though more women than ever had access to legalized abortion. Sadly, they acknowledge that 99 percent of maternal deaths occur in developing countries and that those deaths could be prevented with adequate basic health care and good obstetric care before and after births. WHO also supports the view that improvements in general health and the development of modern obstetric techniques would dramatically (WHO’s word) decrease maternal mortality in developing nations.5

Worldwide data does not support the conclusion that legalizing abortion is responsible for reduced maternal mortality. Ireland, with one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world, has not legalized abortion. The United States, which “legalized” abortion in 1973 and has high general health standards, has a maternal mortality rate that is four times that of Ireland. In Finland, where abortion is legal, a study has shown that the risk of dying within a year after an abortion is several times higher than the risk of dying after miscarriage or childbirth.6

The endnotes:

  • A. Macfarlane and M. Mugford, “Birth Counts: Statistics of Pregnancy and Childbirth,” HMSO, London, 1984. Data for the United States (1940-1971) comes from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and from 1972-1985 (the last year for which such abortion data are available) is from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • World Mortality Report, UNDP, 2005; and also 57th World Health Assembly, Report by the Secretariat on Reproductive Health, 15 April 2004, p. 5.
  • Maternal Mortality Global Fact Book, World Health Organization.
  • Kevin Sherlock, Victims of Choice, Brennyman Books, Akron, Ohio, 1996, pp. 134-135.
  • The entire story:

    Medical progress, not the legalization of abortion, reduces maternal deaths.

    May 23, 2009

    There is an opposing view using the same data and with no studies to support it….

    Reducing Maternal Mortality Is Easy with Safe Abortion

    The Pope is right about condoms

    May 21, 2009

    The Lancet had a stern and – for The Lancet – rude and wildly unscientific criticism of the Pope’s words in March about condoms not helping HIV prevention in Africa.  It was only 350 words but the tone and the editorial decision to print it seem completely out of character for this institution of British medicine.
    The Lancet, Volume 373, Issue 9669, Page 1054, 28 March 2009
    (Note you need an account with either theLancet.com or http://www.sciencedirect.com)

    ProAbortion bloggers were all over it as proof the science community knew better than the Pope. You’d have thought he maligned the Virgin Mary and desecrated a crucifix in human urine for an ‘art’ exhibit!  (You get my point.)   The European parliament voted on and nearly passed a censure proclamation.

    The Lancet received comments from their esteemed readership.  They published 3 letter that PROVE the Pope is right and the editorial staff broke or seriously bent their own code of conduct.

    A first gave a sociological rebuttal of the religious attacks in the editorial.  While the author clearly states one area of disagreement with the Vatican on the use of condoms by married couples when one has HIV, they state in effect that religion and medical science are each responsible in their respective venues and the Lancet editors not the Pope were the ones that failed to make their case as they crossed over.  This is also noteworthy because the author is with the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University which though exceptionally distinguished is not known for its support of Catholic moral theology concerning reproductive health to put it mildly.

    The second letter – complete with footnotes – cites the epidemiology studies showing that the Pope is right.

    The third was an analysis of the Pope’s words in the context of the entire statement that said the editorial was either a) deliberately false or b) very, very bad scholarship.  They specifically said “…to suggest this calls into question the motives, credibility, and critical thinking of the Editors.”  This in a British journal mind you! (Though this writer is Belgian.)  The writer then goes on to rephrase back to The Lancet the language it used on the Pope and written thusly illustrates how The Lancet overstepped while the Pope was clearly on his home turf.  Finally this writer speculates that the reason the Editors pursued this folly was “…because of the blindness of their heart.” quoting all of Eph 4:18.

    These were not the only letters.  A 4th letter is by a Jon O’Brien of Catholics for Choice.  Mr. O’Brien’s opening statement is “Lancet rightly reflects on the global consensus…” which to my ear means he thinks The Lancet is a news and opinion aggregator not a scientific journal.  Mr. O’Brien goes on to say that Catholic organizations are not the right means to spend aid money because …well they’re too Catholic.  They’ll follow Catholic consciences and not the science when distributing aid (like its candy) and so “the damage can be extensive.”

    I mentioned that Mr. O’Brien is the leader of Catholics for Choice.  This is a virulently anti-Catholic organization lobbying for 2 things since 1973 – women’s ordination and full reproductive freedom meaning contraception and abortion.  It seems that we can neglect this letter in the scientific and ethical debate on the Pope’s comments though certainly not in any political one.

    Also related to Mr. O’Brien’s letter, I’d like to note that The Lancet requires each author’s work conclude with a statement “I declare that I have no conflicts of interest.”  This is delightfully British and almost anachronistic in its positive insistence on full disclosure and fairness.  Since Catholics for Choice is so stridently opposed to the Vatican in general and Catholic teaching specifically and since Mr. O’Brien’s immediate past employer was Planned Parenthood I wonder if Mr. O’Brien can say this in good conscience?  Perhaps he can legalistically.  His organization’s funds don’t come from any condom manufacturers or UN aid bureaucracy that I can see just liberal foundations and pornographers.  (See Who Are ‘Catholics for a Free Choice’?, www.dianedew.com/CFFC.htm it’s a bit old but not dated and very interesting.)  However can he make the statement morally that he has no conflict of interest?  Also see CFC’s own website. www.catholicsforchoice.org

    I don’t think anyone would honestly – though many might out of ignorance or hostility toward religion in general or Catholicism specifically – seriously consider that the Pope’s stated or unstated intent is that we follow religious dictates blind to the knowledge from science.

    I hate statistics as weapons.  Discussion of fact-based science duly considering ethical and moral considerations will better discover the truth.

    The good President asks my opinion

    May 13, 2009

    The White House was good enough to email me this afternoon.  I think I’ll indeed answer.  Any suggestions for what to say and how to say it?

    Good afternoon,

    You are receiving this email because you signed up at WhiteHouse.gov. My staff and I plan to use these messages as a way to directly communicate about important issues and opportunities, and today I have some encouraging updates about health care reform.

    The Vice President and I just met with leaders from the House of Representatives and received their commitment to pass a comprehensive health care reform bill by July 31.

    We also have an unprecedented commitment from health care industry leaders, many of whom opposed health reform in the past. Monday, I met with some of these health care stakeholders, and they pledged to do their part to reduce the health care spending growth rate, saving more than two trillion dollars over the next ten years — around $2,500 for each American family. Then on Tuesday, leaders from some of America’s top companies came to the White House to showcase innovative ways to reduce health care costs by improving the health of their workers.

    Now the House and Senate are beginning a critical debate that will determine the health of our nation’s economy and its families. This process should be transparent and inclusive and its product must drive down costs, assure quality and affordable health care for everyone, and guarantee all of us a choice of doctors and plans.

    Reforming health care should also involve you. Think of other people who may want to stay up to date on health care reform and other national issues and tell them to join us here:


    Health care reform can’t come soon enough. We spend more on health care than any country, but families continue to struggle with skyrocketing premiums and nearly 46 million are without insurance entirely. It is a priority for the American people and a pillar of the new foundation we are seeking to build for our economy.

    We’ll continue to keep you posted about this and other important issues.

    Thank you,
    Barack Obama

    P.S. If you’d like to get more in-depth information about health reform and how you can participate, be sure to visit http://www.HealthReform.gov


    May 12, 2009

    Chicky’s complete comment unedited (not one jot or title changed).  Just my clearly marked –  if not clearly written – editorial comment inserted.

    Matt, just because you do not agree with the content, does not make the comment, “full of hate and vitriol”.

    I simply stated the facts.

    You should try it some time. The truth might help you as well. I am glad to see you demonstrate the way some christians behave when confronted with information they do not support. You immediately responded with lies, hate and vitriol.

    You’re not glad.  At least I hope you’re not.  Though it appears you are pleased to have an enemy to fight instead of a person to communicate with.  I will endeavor to present my viewpoint in your language and argument form so that we can communicate.

    First I will point out that the bible is a collected work of over 3000 years’ that culminates in the depiction of the early Christian Church.  To say that a nomadic society’s attempt to codify the possible injuries and penalties for them somehow defines current Judeo-Christian morality is not supportable.   Even though you don’t understand that the fullness of the Christian ethic as related to the Jews and our shared scripture that we call the Old Testament, the heritage of Christianity is Christ completing the work begun by God’s prophets in the Old Testament.  For many things a new rule exists but the attempt of the Old Testament Law to put order on society and to understand our relationship with God is not overturned; just perfected.  These are known as the “Covenant” and the “New Covenant.”

    As far as for Laura’s response is concerned, it is not I that claims there is biblical support for anti-choice, fetal worship.

    If you would provide a citation for an example of the (vitriolic) term “fetal worship” I will attempt to explain it.

    Numbers 5 condones the use of abortion, NO MATTER WHAT the reason behind it, and that clearly disputes the notion that the bible is anti-abortion.

    Number Chapter 5 is a rather blunt method of psychologically (or could it be supernaturally?) inducing a spontaneous abortion (can that be done?) through guilt.  It’s a pretty elaborate ceremony isn’t it?  If he’s the father no harm done.  If he’s a cuckold and the baby is not miscarried then no one is the wiser and they raise another child.  I don’t advocate anything like this and neither does the bible proscribe it for today; see my earlier comments about Old vs. New.

    You also wrote referring to Exodus 21:22.  I would say this. It says if a man is fighting another (behaving unsocially as opposed to an accident which is a point of law) and a woman is uninjured and miscarries (the Latin says et abortivum) then the husband of the woman is due to recover.  Note it doesn’t say he may go and kill one of the offender’s children or go and strike that man’s wife in the abdomen.  It says that a wrong occurred and the offender needs to be punished.  There clearly isn’t modern respect for the life or legal status of either the mother or the child or slaves for that matter.  Note who gets to collect the money from the offender – the husband.  Note also that there’s no ‘injury’ if she gets kicked in the stomach and miscarries.  Note just above in verses 20 & 21 that a slaveowner can kill his slave if it’s accidental since it’s his money anyway.  However if it were truly eye for eye it would insist on killing another child which isn’t good for society is it?

    So, you are willing to condone the “death” of a fetus as long as it is not the “principal target”? Or is it OK because the “whore” was being murdered too?

    I take it you are here talking about Genesis 38:24.  Though this (vitriolic) term technically applies to a particular woman; the Christian ethos is to love and support her.  It’s the Old vs New again.  Judah was leader, police chief , judge and pastor to a nomadic family.   He was following the law of Abraham and even he didn’t actually have her stoned.  She petitioned for mercy and got it – later to bear the twins Phares and Zara.  Moses later confirmed this rule.  See Deuteronomy 22:21 and 23:17.  So there is no condoning death of a fetus.  This was a then-justified execution of a woman criminal.  Jesus did NOT overturn it; instead he turned it on its head.  See what he said to the religious police and the adulteress in the beginning of John’s gospel.  Jesus left the rule standing but changed the punishment through mercy.  This is the New Covenant.

    Again, with Hosea, it is about rebellion against god:

    “15Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels.

    16Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.”

    This is yet another story from the Old Testament describing desolation and death.  The ripping up of a child is the most horrible metaphor they could know; that none of your work in this life will benefit you children.  It’s also a horrible literal reality, that your wife and children could be ripped apart this way. It’s sort of Ultimate Old Testament Judgment, for God to take you this far and then abandon you.  Note also that the crime itself is committed not by Hebrews, but by pagan enemies.

    So you have just admitted that a fetus is only “sacred life” in YOUR mind, and that is only true IF it is the woman/whore, that is deliberately aborting.

    You still have not produced anything that shows that the bible is against abortion.

    Perhaps but I think Laura did.  You clearly have not produced anything that says the Bible allows intentional abortion because the baby isn’t a baby.

    You and your church are welcome to teach your adherents anything you want about a fetus and abortion, but you do NOT have the right to interfere in the laws of our great nation that govern ALL.

    I am a big fan of this great nation; once upon a time I went to war to defend her.  Our laws are rules to implement our collective best judgment of justice, free will, prosperity and opportunity. You don’t get that by killing children or the “potentiality” of children.  I do indeed have every right to lobby, speak, advocate, exhort, discuss, plead, button hole, berate and convince anyone listening that the Child in utero is one of the “ALL” that we agree has rights needing defended. (Note I do not say kill.  There’s enough of that going on.)

    My Church gives me plenty of content to discuss and moral credibility to speak to this issue.  It is not the actor speaking here.  I am speaking.  Most significantly my Church is not attacking you or interfering in the laws of the nation in any way.  I am acting.  I am a citizen and a moral agent influencing and – if we’re successful – improving our nation.

    Stop attacking FOCA, or private womens, private decisions. If you are against abortion, you will never be forced to have one.

    I will never concede that FOCA – in the form last introduced in Congress or in the various mini insults to law and life that this Congress is spoonfeeding to this Administration to enact on Friday afternoons – is a valid prudent method of providing justice.

    an Anti-Abortion clinic

    May 12, 2009

    There’s a specialty clinic in Chapel Hill that in terms of size and clientele just makes me smile.

    http://www.tubal-reversal.net/  Dr. Gary BergerDr. Charles Monteith

    They’re an anti-abortion clinic.  They do tubal reversals.  Women come in – from around the world! – and get the procedure done outpatient and then go to the neighboring hotel for one night.  The nurse checks them outpatient in the evening.  They see the doc in the morning and fly home.  And they make babies.  Tons and tons of babies!  hows that for Pro-life?

    Realistically it is hugely expensive because its mostly not covered by insurance though tubals, vasectomies, birth control hormones and abortions are.  Talk about needing to change a culture of death to a culture of life.