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the pope on gender identity

So long as there shall exist, by virtue of law and custom, decrees of damnation pronounced by society, artificially creating hells amid the civilization of earth, and adding the element of human fate to divine destiny; so long as the three great problems of the century – the degradation of man through pauperism, the corruption of woman through hunger, the crippling of children through lack of light – are unsolved; so long as social asphyxia is possible in any part of the world; – in other words, and with a still wider significance, so long as ignorance and poverty exist on earth, books of the nature of Les Misérables cannot fail to be of use.

HAUTEVILLE HOUSE, 1862

This is the preface to my Kindle edition of Les Mis, which I was looking at in anticipation of seeing the movie on Tuesday. It seemed particularly appropriate to this article about that vile old tyrant, the pope, attempting to be relevant by discussing gender identity and trans people.

The article is written by one Deacon Keith Fournier, who does not feel at home with the idea of writing for clarity. The formatting is odd, broken into three pages for no apparent reason and with a footer on the second page that makes the article appear to trail off mid-sentence. I found it difficult to tell whose words I was reading at any one time, as Fournier frequently quotes people who are themselves quoting others and makes poor use of the tools language and html provides for clarifying such things. I mention this as a pre-emptive excuse in case I mistakenly attribute one party’s words to another, not to nitpick the superficial weaknesses of the article, as the substantial ones are quite sufficient.

The title of this article is “Pope Benedict XVI Exposes the Profound Falsehood of the Philosophy of the Gender Identity Movement”, and perhaps the pope does so in his speech, but Deacon Fournier felt no need to relay this information to us, the readers. At no point in the article is the philosophy of any gender identity movement or movements discussed, nor is any falsehood established therein. In fact, it consists almost entirely of other people’s words, with Fournier occasionally chiming in to bemoan these “new rights” he is being “forced” to “recognize”.

To which I accuse him of, as the preface says, “artificially creating hells amid the civilization of earth”, because his wailing of the restructuring of society is because people who don’t easily fit into hetero-normative categories are insisting that they shouldn’t have to. Because the terrible burden they place upon him is their inclusion in anti-discrimination laws. Read the rest of this entry

Catholics vs Girls

First up, an Arizona high school forfeited the championship baseball game rather than play a team with a girl on it. This would honestly bother me less except that they played two games during the season and made her sit out, rather than offend delicate eyes with all her femaleness. Apparently asking other schools to keep girls out and refusing to play if they don’t are more or less standard procedures for this one.

I’m a little upset at how far people are going out of their way for these assholes, they made her sit out twice and are working really hard to be respectful. Look at this,

“I respect their views, but it’s a bit out of the 18th century,” said Mesa Prep athletic director Amy Arnold

See myself I’m feeling that I don’t respect their views, because it’s a bit out of the 18th century. I also really wish her coach had refused to bench her, or even dignify the request with a response, when they first asked her to sit out. It’s one thing to respect someone’s idiosyncrasies, but coaches should really stand by their team.

Strictly speaking this school isn’t Catholic, but run by the Society of Saint Pius X, who broke away from Rome back in the 80’s because they thought the church wasn’t medieval enough. I note the distinction because details matter, but to be brutally honest it just feels like it’s the old Catholics from before Vatican II.

Our second story is real genuine Catholics being pushy assholes. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has launched an “official inquiry” into the Girl Scouts. Apparently they’re upset because GS material has links to groups like, I shit you not, Doctors Without Borders.

I swear it feels like these guys live in a twisted, backwards world where everything that I see as good is clearly bad and wrong to them. I mean if I were going to name a single group that does nothing but good and couldn’t be considered controversial, that’s it. Apparently supporting birth control at all is now considered controversial. We’re moving backwards, people.

“I know we’re a big part of the culture wars,” said the Girl Scouts’ spokeswoman, Michelle Tompkins. “People use our good name to advance their own agenda.”

“For us, there’s an overarching sadness to it,” Tompkins added. “We’re just trying to further girls’ leadership.”

Sadly, just that is probably enough to piss off most patriarchal groups. Conservative groups have been working very hard in the last year to push back women’s rights, and undermining a group that teaches girls leadership would be a strategic advantage there.

I really don’t understand why anyone pays them any attention or gives them any power at all.

This isn’t the Middle Ages anymore. If the church isn’t going to move with the times, people really need to start leaving it. And I know that most won’t, and that makes me sad. There’s too much human suffering already and yet churches like this seem determined to add as much as possible.

Unearthing another old horror from the Catholic Church

You know, if any organization could properly be called “evil”, it must be the Catholic Church. It’s rare that a month goes by without some new atrocity coming to light, usually something related to covering up, enabling, or blaming the victims of child rape, but occasionally it’s something different, like telling Africans that condoms spread AIDS, or excommunicating a doctor for saving a little girl’s life, or ordering hospitals to let women die rather than terminate a lethal pregnancy.

This is bad even by those standards. Read the rest of this entry

The Hypocratic Oath in Texas.

By now you may have heard about this week’s Doonesbury storyline, the one that many newspapers aren’t publishing. Here’s a link to the beginning of it, you can click on the strip itself to see a larger image. Just click through and read it.

All done? Good, now read this actual account of an actual woman going through that actual nightmare. Especially if you’re Texan, Republican, or male, don’t make excuses, fucking read it. Imagine it, try to visualize going through that. Imagine someone you love having to do that. Read the rest of this entry

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