Wednesday, February 8, 2012

NO! To Any Compromise with Religious Whackjobs!

Obama's health masterpiece, his Affordable Care Act, has seen enemies galore crop up since its passage, all determined to take it down despite the fact it has helped or will help millions of Americans, including: by allowing adult children up to the age of 26 to be put under their parents' insurance coverage, and disallowing medical insurers from employing the ruse of "pre-existing conditions" to block coverage or invoke much higher rates than otherwise would be available.

In addition, its recent provisions to enable coverage of contraception (which will particularly benefit the poor and working class) are monumental in terms of: raising the economic stability of families which simply can't afford more mouths to feed, and making abortion much less necessary since 6 of 10 abortions today are performed more as a default family planning method than merely "murdering a fetus". In other words, provide real birth control and abortion will become a thing of the past. Beyond this, nearly 1.5 million American women each year rely on contraceptives to provide medical relief for symptoms not at all associated with birth prevention (see the article by Barbara Boxer et al in today's WSJ, p. A17).

But despite this, there is risk of Obama's administration willingly diluting the last aspect of his plan, which will be a major setback - all to appease the frothing at the mouth religious crazies- especially the Roman Catholics - and their apologists in the media, as well as their Reich wing political whores. The news in today's papers, i.e. WSJ, 'Obama Seeks Deal on Birth Control', p. A5, is therefore extremely unsettling. It means, again, the administration may backtrack on the planned implementation of a benefit because howlers and moralistic banshees can't abide it.

As I already blogged,

most of this screechifying and tumult is totally unjustified because the birth control dictate is based on the Magisterium, or teaching office of the Catholic Church. It was NEVER EVER issued "ex cathedra" or "from the Chair of St. Peter" - meaning it is NOT AN INFALLIBLE PRONOUNCEMENT!

If not infallible, then it CAN BE WRONG!

In his marvelous book, Infallible?, Hans Kung indeed observed (p. 143):

" no one, neither Vatican I, nor Vatican II, nor the textbook theologians, has shown that the Church - its leadership or its theology - is able to put forward propositions which inherently cannot be erroneous."

Kung was questioning the very doctrine of "infallibility" itself, but his statement applies with special force to all claims or "moral proclamations" issued under the Magisterium basis. Why do so many Catholics refuse to see or acknowledge this before mounting their moral high horses?

Indeed, WHY are we paying any attention to this moral posturing at all given this Church has lost ALL its moral authority and credibility over the past decade after condoning thousands of cases of priest sexual abuse and rape of children and trying to cover the crimes up? Do their pronouncements on ANYTHING - whether fornication, contraception, masturbation or even homosexuality ....mean one damned thing? Hardly! They could as well be given the same gravitas as chattering apes or baboons in a zoo or bellowing winos on a street corner. So why pay attention to them?

Regarding the early years when the priest sexual abuse crisis exploded, Clayton Sullivan in his book 'Rescuing Sex from the Christians' cites quotes from assorted sources to the effect that the Catholics' fetishistic pseudo-moral obsession with sex acts has been a prime contributor to a spate of crimes, as well as mounting "anti-clericalism". He quotes Richard McBrien of Notre Dame University thus:

"The Catholic Church's teaching on human sexuality is that every sexual thought, word, desire and action outside of marriage (and some within - as for example use of contraception) are deserving of eternal punishment and Hell if the sin is not properly confessed and absolved."

Which is laughable irony given one is likely confessing such "sins" to a priestly pederast!

But in reading this sort of moralist bollocks one is led to inquire into exactly how the Church evolved to be such a ninny-ish, hyper-scrupulous nanny over sexual acts when humans are largely risen apes and not fallen angels anyway. The answer, as it turns out, carries us as far back as the time of St. Augustine, one of the most influential Church Fathers.

Augustine of Hippo was originally a Manichean, and like his peers, practiced contraception. While he converted to Christianity in 387 CE, the only Manichean tenet he ditched was the contraception. He retained all the other flesh/pleasure = demonic connotations and interjected them into his various teaching including his 'letters'. (For more on this, see the excellent monograph 'Eunuchs For the Kingdom of Heaven' by Ute Ranke-Heinemann, Doubleday, 1990).

Most scholars, like Ranke-Heinemann (and also Elaine Pagels, the author of 'Adam, Eve and The Serpent') believe Augustine's stance altered owing to a passage in the bible to do with Onan "spilling his seed". As Augustine himself writes:

"It is impermissible and shameful to practice intercourse with one's wife while preventing the conception of children. This is what Onan did, the son of Judah, and that is why God killed him". ('The Adulterous Relations', II, 12).

In fact, this false interpetation of the Onan passage is also what is probably responsible for engendering the masturbation bogey. Since from then, "spilling seed" was equated to "onanism" and onanism to masturbation. The acceleration of this erroneous conflation was due to an English Puritan, and physician, named Bekkers. This whacko wrote (in 1610) the polemic entitled Onania or The Loathsome Sin Of Self-Pollution, that one could expect:

"Vomiting, nausea, weakening of the organs of breathing, coughing, hoarseness, back pain, lack of libido, paleness, thinness, pimples on face, loss of memory, attacks of rage, madness, idiocy, malapropism, epilepsy, nightly ejaculations, stiffness, fever, and finally suicide".

Thereby recounting almost every normal human travail, but in his mind.....all as a result of practicing the solo act of sex relief (which if recent sexual statistics are to be believed, is practiced much more frequently among all races and nationalities than all other sex acts combined!)

Of course, the then Church seized on this and extrapolated it to contraception, thereby equating that to "mutual masturbation".

Now, getting back to Onan - his sin was in reality neither a form of contraception (coitus interruptus) or masturbation but rather an offense against the Hebrew law of succession wherein the nearest male relative of the deceased husband is obligated to fertilize the wife. He refused, spilled his seed instead, and was guilty - not of seed-spilling but refusing provision for succession.

Now, Augustine's Manichean teachings (after his conversion) held that any sexual pleasure whatsoever was diabolical in origin. However, it could be countenanced IF a baby was the end product. Otherwise, the offending parties were "trafficking with demons" . (He cites at one point, for "proof", the demon Asmodeus, "who slew seven men in 7 beds with seven women, but not when they were sitting at a table.")

Before I continue, can anyone ....anyone with a grain of sense and intelligence inform me as to why a Church in the 21st century is harkening back to such horse shit as a means to lead its nearly 1 billion followers? (I will return to this at the end!)

Augustine's harsh and sterile dogmas probably spurred the Church Father Origen (of Adamantius) to cut off his own sexual organs because he was unable to control them. Since each 'stimulus' enabled a particular demon (e.g. Asmodeus, Belial, Baal) to gain a foothold, it was better to get rid of the putative pudendal avenues.....offenders?.... entirely. So much for nightly boners!

The poison of the Church's fraudulent, misguided teachings goes even further than this, as noted by former Franciscan priest Emmet McLoughlin (Crime and Immorality in the Catholic Church, 1962, Lyle Stuart Books). That is, unlike the Manicheans, they include sins of THOUGHT. Thus a person who even briefly entertained an "impure thought" could as easily be earmarked for hell as one who actually committed the acts. McLoughlin blames this implanted neurosis for the astounding and disproportionate number of Catholics then in psycho wards and in prisons (cf. 'Let the Statistics Tell Their Tragic Story' , pp. 189- 214, 1962).

"Natural law" itself was fashioned mostly on the basis of the cogitations of St. Thomas Aquinas, who in turn was influenced by Augustine. It is also important to note, that natural law applied to more than just sexual issues - but those are the ones it's most often tied into. For example, slavery also used to be justified under natural law, since the Church's Fathers argued that some men were "naturally unable to govern themselves and had to be told what to do. This was for their own good". (See: 'Contraception and Holiness: The Catholic Predicament')

What do we find from all this? The common thread throughout Church history is the pre-occupation with and obsession over minor sexual acts, commonly performed- those that every human being does ....some more frequently, some less. This includes even including sexual fantasies (also widespread) as earning a person's "soul" a spot in the nether regions of Hell, probably with the most fire.

So what's up with this continued antiquated defense of these indefensible moralistic suppositions when any sane religion ought to have retired them to the same place as torture of heretics, and burning the feet and genitals of sexual apostates in boiling oil? The short answer? It continues a pseudo-manifestation of power since this pathetic Church has lost it in most other arenas. It is no longer a worldly power like it was at the time of the Borgias, nor are its derelict doctrines even paid much attention to as it experiences the largest ouflow from its membership of any Christian sect each year. (Some 22 million Catholics have said hasta la vista in the past 10 years according to Pew Research study).

The only thing that halfway keeps it afloat in this country is new immigrants, mainly from largely Hispanic nations like Guatemala, Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua etc.

And what about clinging to these archaic doctrines like for contraception? (Which, btw, Pope Paul VI's own Papal commission recommended he reject lest the Church lose its larger moral perspective. The Pope, prodded by the likes of antiquated Cardinals in the Curia refused, and the rest is history). The reason is simple: to be able to exert control over their flock’s collective gonads and hence their very lives. (See also the excerpts attached from Arthur C. Clarke's published views on the previous pope and contraception, from a 1993 issue of Free Inquiry).

So long as these moral charlatans have their easily duped members by the balls, how far will they stray? Recall most still believe in the absurd Hell bogey. Hence, we see even some Catholic University students - as one ABC News last night- prepared to hold out and defend "Holy Mother Church" from having to accept them nasty contraception plans Obama's Health plan would impose. Bull shit! Holy Mother church is a wreck and needs to get with the program. That means putting her antiquated, ancient Manichean teachings concerning sex and demons - as first taught by Augustine, into mental dumpsters.

But ....will she do that? Hell no, because to do so is essentially (in her mind) to relinquish the last vestiges of temporal and political power. I mean, look how many insane ideological whore politicos are coming to her defense, everyone from Newtie (who abandoned one wife who had cancer for another with which he wanted a "threesome") to Mitch McConnell, the same asshole that wanted to strip Medicare to its bare bones.

Meanwhile, we also see the corporate media going into overdrive trying to paint any resistance to the "Church's moral prereogatives" as inviting some sort of electoral cataclysm for Obama in November. I fucking doubt it! The fact is there is NO where else for sane people to go with their votes! I mean, c'mon! I am talking to YOU Catholics out there too! You're going to pitch a hissy fit if Obama allows his original contraceptive rules to go through and vote for MITT? The multi-millionaire who doesn't even know the cost of a gallon of milk or loaf of bread? Who joked about making a $10,000 bet with Rick Perry during the Repuke debates and later insisted that "$340 grand isn't that much money" referring to what he received in speaking fees. So he very likely doesn't know what your heating oil costs are each month either! And NEWTIE? Are you fucking kdding me? This is the guy that wants to at once, hatch a colony on the Moon but also whose tax plan will create an $850 billion deficit in its first year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

And we won't even consider Ron Paul who wants to locate where all the Federal Reserve "black helicopters" are based (after he gets rid of the Fed), and would chuck all our money out as "fiat". Nor Rick Santorum, who's made it abundantly clear he'd like to issue an Executive Order prohibiting all contraception, and all abortions even in the case of rape and incest. So, Catholics are going to vote for THESE clowns, or do it via default, by not voting at all? Don't make me laugh! If Catholics do go this route, they're a lot more stupid and ignorant than even I thought - especially to defend a pseudo-moral teaching that went out with demons hiding in food (as described in the Compendium Malleficarum, demons often had to be "exorcised" from food boli, usually after being vomited up. Special attention was generally paid to "hairballs" ejected from felines and one reason millions of felines were incinerated as "familiars").

According to White House spokesman Jay Carney (WSJ, ibid.):

"There are ways, I think, to help resolve this issue that ensures we provide that important preventive service, that health care coverage to all women, a way that also tries to allay some of these concerns."

But Jay, I can't see it! How do you compromise with freaks - religiously -deluded fruitcakes, that still hold to doctrines that date back to the epoch of belief in demons obscuring themselves in food boli, and partaking of human sex acts? You can't make nice with insanity! You can't reason with these archaic nitwits or compromise in any way that supports rationality!

The only other way is unfair - mentioned in today's WSJ piece as being modeled after the existing plan in Hawaii, whereby employees who wish contraceptives have to pay the premiums out of their own pockets. (The result is no employer funds go to contraception).

But that means the less economically advantaged will suffer. The people, workers, who probably most need the availability of contraceptives, to prevent having more kids they can't support, will have to do without....and either give up sex, or ....take their chances. And if they lose in the latter lotto, likely resort to abortion.

This is a compromise that can't be made any more than squaring a circle. The effective compromise has already transpired and it allowed the Catholics to withhold contraceptives from their own members. They must not be allowed to do that for secular citizens who seek care at their hospitals, or work at their institutions. If they can't abide by that, then exact full penalties and let devil take the hindmost. And if they're insane enough to vote for a Mitt, a Newt or other GOOP, then so be it. I personally don't believe they are that disconnected from reality or stupid!

The unsavory but true fact in this whole charade is that it's not about "religious liberty" at all. Not any more than the Komen fiasco was about about abortions a week ago. In each case, powerful reactionary forces have used religious or moral fronts to seize on some issue to attempt to shatter the electorate and render an Obama victory much less likely. These degenerates can only succeed if we allow them to, especially those in the targeted "victim" groups (such as Catholics, or Komen supporters). Will they be the willing pawns for the nefarious moves of wealthy fascists, including corporate powers and the Koch brothers, or will they awaken to see how they're being played? We will have to hope the latter happens, but it needs to happen soon!

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