Feminists and sex-selection abortion

December 16, 2006 | Human Life | 33 comments

I came across another article just now about sex-selection abortion in India:

In a report released this week, UNICEF said 7, 000 fewer girls are born in India every day than the global statistic would predict, because of sex-selection abortion.

Parents routinely abort a female baby because of widespread gender prejudice…The strong desire for sons is reinforced by social pressures, and by the burdensome dowries still required of parents when a daughter is married.

Although Indian law bans sex-determination tests, many doctors ignore the law, charging high fees to determine the sex of an unborn child and perform an abortion if the child is female. This unscrupulous business explains why many places, particularly in northern India, have only fewer than 800 girls born for every 1, 000 boys.

I wonder what sort of interest you’d get from feminists if you tried to organize a march to protest India’s ban on this practice. After all, the Indian government is clearly infringing on its women’s right to choose. But it’s sort of hard to imagine protestors waving those purple NOW signs alongside “LET US ABORT OUR FEMALE FETUSES!” signs.

I know that most pro-choice people honestly think they’re doing a good thing by advocating for women to be able to terminate “unwanted pregnancies, ” but when you think of it in terms of people getting rid of unwanted daughters it seems much more…personal.

33 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    China already has a major problem with its gender imbalance for the same reason. This is an article about it:
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-05/09/content_1459365.htm
    Two quotes:
    “China’s newborn gender ratio of girls to boys was 100:117, according to the fifth national census. The number of boys under 9 years old was 12.77 million more than that of girls.”
    “Li said the normal newborn sex proportion is 100:104-107, and if China’s disproportionate figure is allowed to continue unchecked, there would be 30 to 40 million marriage-age men who would be single all their lives by 2020.

    “Such serious gender disproportion poses a major threat to the healthy, harmonious and sustainable growth of the nation’s population and would trigger such crimes and social problems as mercenary marriage, abduction of women and prostitution,” Li said. “

  2. Professor Chaos

    If one wants to “organize a march to protest” anything, how about striking the problem at the cause.

    You don’t hear much outrage in America about India’s “burdensome dowries,” severe gender inequality, and many other human rights violations. Those are the problems that need fixed.

    If pro-lifers want to do something about sex-selection abortion, it would only be putting a band-aid on a gaping wound.

  3. Anonymous

    The problem in China is different because of the government-imposed limit on family size, so it’s not quite the same as what’s going on in India. The government in India, actully, is against the practice.

    I think most feminist pro-choicers would be happy to join you in a protest against the practice. Feminists tend not to side with cultures that place a lesser value on female children than they do on male children. And that pro-choicers are for a legal right to the choice to terminate does not mean that they condone abortion in every situation.

    It’s also important to see this through the eyes of the culture that engages in this practice. Their views on creation and ensoulment and personhood and death are very different from ours, so a typical western (specifically American), pro-life argument or protest wouldn’t make much sense to them. Trying to prey upon their emotions with a “you’re aborting your unwanted daughters” approach doesn’t have the same effect on someone who comes from an entirely different belief system, has known nothing else, and lives in a remote, insulated area of the world.

    This is exactly the kind of issue pro-choicers and pro-lifers can find common ground in. While this is partially a cultural issue, the real issue here is economic. Instead of turning this into a poster-waving contest, this could be about joining forces to bring education and resources to change the situation, rather than about dickering over who’s “side” is right or wrong, or about guilting up the women doing this (and they are, no doubt, under tremendous pressure from the patriarchs of the family to do this, anyway).

    I would imagine most feminists would join you in trying to do something about this situation. Don’t know how many would think your typical bible-belt pro-life march would be all that effective, but they’d probably help out with something more proactive and productive.

  4. Darwin

    Anon & Chaos,

    The majority of abortions procured in the US are sought for econimic reasons as well. So I’m not sure that giving either India or China a lecture on the inequalities of their economic and cultural systems would ring and anything other than hypocracy.

    It might well be that many American feminists could be convinced to oppose sex selective abortions in India and China, but if so it is only an example of their own lack of logican consistency. After all, if abortion for any reason is okay, then why should abortion because unborn child is a girl be a problem?

    If parents in India and China fail to place sufficient value on unborn girls, that still puts them 50% above planned parenthood, which places value on neither unborn boys nor unborn girls.

  5. Anonymous

    Oh, well…exactly…lecture, protest, whatever…totally pointless and a complete waste of time. Pro-lifers have been lecturing and protesting for decades now, to the point where it’s white-noise to most people. Who cares? “Oh…look…bloody dead fetus pics and shrieking housewives!!” ~yawn~ Who cares…??

    Anything other than material support for economic and social change would be a waste of time as far as India and China go. And the issues as far as India and China go may appear similar, but are actually different. In India, you have a government that is willing to work towards ending this, although they may not have the wherewithall. In China, you have a government with the wherewithall, but which only pays lipservice, if anything at all, towards ending the practice.

    I don’t think it’s logically inconsistant at all for pro-choicers, and especially feminist pro-choicers to advocate for choice, but to fight for equal and social economic status for women everywhere.

    If the sole reason for the sex-selective abortions in India is due to social pressure and economic issues, then, yes, it is indeed logically consistant for a feminist to advocate for change regarding social norms and economic status, thereby reducing the incidence of abortion occurring for those reasons alone. Just as it is logically consistant for feminists to advocate for economic equality, equal opportunity, and social programs that support women, children and families here in the US while at the same time advocating for choice.

    Most feminist pro-choicers, in spite of what the Dawn Edens of this world would have you believe, are not cackling with delight every time a woman aborts. The point is to make sure women have access to safe, legal abortions, and also to make sure the abortion is a choice this woman has made freely. No feminist or pro-choicer I know wants to see women coerced or manipulated into having abortions they don’t want, just as they don’t want women to make poor choices regarding life-partners/husbands/domestic situations or employment situations because they feel backed into a corner.

    Sure, some women are going to abort for purely social reasons alone, both here in the US, and in India, and including Christians and Catholics as well as those of of other faiths. The goal is to make sure this is a clear choice, not a last resort – for everyone – Indian women, Chinese women, and upper-middle class white, Christian/Catholic girls who are feeling tremendous pressure from their parents.

    If you read the big feminist blogs, btw, you’d already know that feminists do indeed speak out on what’s going on in China and India, so this is actually a moot point. The feminists have spoken, and they are not doin’ the happy dance over this. They are indeed quite opposed to the notion of women aborting because their particular culture places so low a value on female life.

  6. Darwin

    I’m definately familiar with the “abortion is an incredibly difficult decision, and we in no way rejoice in it, but we think it should be safe and legal” argument.

    The thing is, it’s logically a mess. If abortion doesn’t involve killing anything that’s of value, then why is it something we should all look sober about and declare to be a matter of last resort? And if it does, then why should it be acceptible either way?

    The feminist position exalts choice as an end in and of itself. But “choice” is the decision whether or not to perform a given action, and so the relevant question is not whether one should have a choice, but whether the action being contemplated is one that is morally acceptible or not.

  7. Anonymous

    Having had an abortion myself due to circumstances that would have been unfair to bring a baby into, I do not think what is going on in India is okay, and I consider myself to be pro-choice, obviously. That might sound hypocritical of me, but I had mine because I just left an abusive husband, already had 2 kids,and living with my parents. I had protective measures in place, an IUD, supposed to work for 10 years or until I had it removed, it didn’t work.

  8. Anonymous

    Oh, well, Darwin….

    We’ve had the legal choice to kill people via war (or “police action”, or “pre-emptive action”) from day one and no one whines about “logical inconsistancy”…

    We’ve been murdering innocents every day for years now in Iraq…sending our sons and daughters in to slaughter people who never did a damned thing to anyone. Where’s your outcry of logical inconsistancy in murdering hundreds and hundreds of men, women and children for one small, brutish set of men’s personal gain?

    Oh…and I’m familiar with the “war is an incredibly difficult decision, and we in no way rejoice in it, but we think it should be legal for us to invade a sovreign state and impose democracy at our will” argument…

    But I guess Iraqi life is of lesser value than American life, eh? As long as we throw words like “democracy” and “freedom” around, it’s all just fine and dandy. Besides, they’re Muslims, and God’s on the Christian’s side, right? Please.

    Tell ya what…when every pro-lifer who gets his rocks off on shoving fake pics of dead babies into women’s faces and screaming names at them starts protesting the war with equal vigor, then maybe I’ll take the pro-lifers seriously. Until then, they’re nothing but a pack of bullies who’re looking for someone to pick on.

    But the topic here was the feminist pro-choice reaction to this issue, and that can be found at Pandagon, Feministe, Feministing, et al.

    Assuming that the feminists pro-choicers wouldn’t do anything about the situation is wrong. Assuming, actually, is always wrong. But it’s a nice, handy way to dehumanize any group you don’t agree with.

  9. Jennifer F.

    Anon1 – Wow, that’s a tough situation. I’m really sorry to hear that you had to go through that. I hope things are better now.

    Anon2 – This is clearly an issue that’s really upsetting to you, and I commend your sympathy for the Iraqi people, but I think the Iraq war is really off-topic here. It’s not fair to assume that the pro-lifers on this site were all in favor of the Iraq war, or that they’d enjoy taking extreme measures to get their views across.

    The topics of people valuing the lives of those close to them more than people in a distant country or using sensationalistic tactics to spread their views is worth discussing (and certainly people on all sides of the political spectrum are guilty of it), but I don’t think this is the time or the place.

  10. Anonymous

    No…nor is it fair to assume that all feminists or all pro-choicers would feel as you implied they did in your post when you oh-so-innocnetly “wondered” if feminists would join a protest of this practice. Which, had you bothered to check with feminst sources, they would, although they probably prefer more meaningful action.

    You like to assume a lot about atheists and feminists and pro-choicers, but it’s not fair to bring up another situation in which killing is a legal option as an analogy? Why? Don’t like getting shown up so much…??

    Why don’t you quit assuming what other people’s actions, reactions, thought processes, states of mind, etc., involve, and then maybe I won’t be so quick to assume this isn’t just another thinly veiled let’s-hate-on-the-feminists/atheists/pro-choicers thread, ‘k?

    Whatever.

    You are god in your own mind, you are always right, your opinion is flawless, golden, sanctioned by the holy spirit…blahblahblah…whatever.

    Your’e gonna make a fine Catholic, hun. You’ve got the mindless thing totally down.

    I can see that any comment that doesn’t involve telling you how brilliant and holy you are is really a pointless waste of time.

  11. Jennifer F.

    RCM – A friend of mine told me that when her OB/GYN tried to prescribe the pill she said she wouldn’t need it. “But don’t you have a boyfriend?” The OB/GYN asked. She said yes, she did, but that they weren’t sexually active. Her doctor’s response? “Oh, that’s so sad.” How crazy is that. 🙂

    Anon – True, I wasn’t just innocently wondering aloud. I did have a point to the post. It’s something I wish I’d thought through more when I was pro-choice, because I tended to compartmentalize the issue in my mind and totally disregard the humanity of newly conceived life. There are a lot of other people out there who do that. I think that it’s something every pro-choice feminist should think about. I know that many have, and good for them for giving the issue honest examination.

    Also, it’s not that I thought you had a bad point about war, I just thought it was kind of a tangent. The issue of the morality of war has been hotly debated, especially in Catholic circles, and I thought it was a big leap to assume that the pro-lifers here are all OK with war.

    But, again, I apologize to have upset you so much. I like for this to be a place where we can discuss things passionately but respectfully, and I really try to set that tone with my posts…but I’m far from perfect, and have a long way to go. 🙂

  12. Anonymous

    Oh…

    And it’s NOT a big leap to assume that all feminists and all pro-choicers are okay with sex-selection abortions, especially when it’s a practice engaged in due to societal and political pressure…??

    Why are all your assumptions and speculations perfectly legit, but anyone else’s are a wild leap and tangential and not faaaaiiirrr, wahwahwah?

    And spare me the “oh, but I’m not perfect” crap.

    None of us are, so the playing field is even. It’s not an excuse for anything.

  13. Jerret

    “After all, if abortion for any reason is okay, then why should abortion because unborn child is a girl be a problem?”

    I assume you’re being sarcastic, because you as well as I know that this is flat out bull*censoring mine*, and I highly doubt any atheist/pro-choicer/anyone thinks like that.

    I don’t know of any pro-choice people I know every saying that abortion “for any reason” is acceptable. The only argument I’ve ever heard for abortion is in the cases of rape, and maybe a couple other dire situations.

  14. Anonymous

    Yes, jerret, but it doesn’t matter what feminists/pro-choicers/atheist/people-who-are-not-JenniferF. say they believe/think/whatever.

    It only matters what SHE says they think or believe or do. Because they’re not even human beings anymore.

    You’re only really a human being if you’re A) Catholic B) Confirm everything Jennifer believes or thinks.

    And if she’s wrong, well, the poor dear isn’t perfect, so she’s not really responsible for anything.

    Of course, the rest of us, not being Jennifer, Catholic, or 100% in agreement with Jennifer on everything, always and forever, don’t get to use that excuse…

  15. Jerret

    Listen, Jen wasn’t even the one who said that, so cut the personal attacks. Not once has she ever said (or said something to make me think that she thinks that way) anything you just listed.

    This isn’t a place for hostility. It’s a place for conversation. You lack the latter, and are spewing nothing but the former.

  16. Anonymous

    Well, actually she was…

    And her brand of oh-so-wide-eyed-and-innocent wondering and speculating and assuming is as hateful as it gets, because it’s all so phony, it’s all so fake.

    It’s all that I’m-really-a-nice-person-but… or I-don’t-really-mean-to-offend-but… crap.

    She does mean to offend, and she’s not nearly as “nice” as she’d like everyone to believe.

    And I am really sick to death of the BS “well, I’m not perfect”, or “well, I’m a sinner, too” fall-back excuse whenever a Christian or Catholic gets called on their shit.

    Extend that same concept to the people you’re making up pure crap about BEFORE you whip it out and use it to hide behind, or I have no respect for you at all.

    It’s such a load of crap.

    Say what you mean, and stand by it, and stop whining and crying about your perfection or lack thereof, or about “respect” (because it’s sooooo respectful to assume crap about people, or to mock up dumbass little “experiments” that will confirm your already-assumed conclusions about people, right??)

    Why is it that the second someone pulls out a frickin’ cross, we’re all supposed to fall on our knees and worship every word out of their mouths? Bullshit. Jen has made her mind up about everyone and everything, and it’s her way or you’re a loser, end of story.

    She may not have said as much, and she may be pulling all this passive-aggresseive crap to hide what she really is, but her actions and her words prove that Jen thinks she’s just the most precious, special person that ever came along.

    Well, she’s not. She’s just another bored, stay-at-home mommy on teh interweb, who thinks she can do no wrong. Puhleeze.

    Conversation?? What conversation? Jen doesn’t want conversation. She wants a rah-rah section and an audience of yes-men.

    Well, fine. She can have it.

    I get it. I suck, I’m going to hell, Jen knows everything about me, she knows exactly what I think and why, blahblahblahblahblah…’cuase I’ve NEEEEEVER heard any of that before…right.

    Oh…and, yeah…she’s going to pray for me…

    Puke.

    Have a lovely life. I’m sure you’re on the fast track to the right hand side of God, Jen, while I’m hellbound.

    Good. Seems like the company is gonna be a whole lot better there.

  17. Potamiaena

    My goodness, Anonymous, did you get up on the wrong side of the bed? Please turn off the computer and get some sleep! We are not interested in your attack mode posts.

  18. Darwin

    Anon,

    Rather than poke at something that’s pretty clearly got you riled up, I just leave it for now.

    Jarret,

    I don’t know of any pro-choice people I know every saying that abortion “for any reason” is acceptable. The only argument I’ve ever heard for abortion is in the cases of rape, and maybe a couple other dire situations.

    Maybe I move in edgier circles or something, but I’ve definately heard a lot more reasons than the standard “rape or life of the mother” defended by what I would otherwise describe as pretty mainstream people.

    I would aggree that the position you describe is probably the one which the centerline majority of the country supports, but there are definately people who go much farther. (e.g. Gloria Steinhem)

  19. Jerret

    I’m sure that’s more than true. There will always be someone out there with a more extreme opinion, I was just basing my observation on the majority.

    The name is spelled with two E’s, by the way :p.

  20. Kasia

    Jerret,

    I don’t doubt your experience (particularly if you live in a conservative part of the country), but my experience (both when I was pro-choice and after I became pro-life) with pro-choicers has encompassed a *much* wider spectrum than “rape or the life of the mother.” I think this is borne out by the following excerpt from the NOW website:

    A woman’s decision to have an abortion is “motivated by multiple, diverse and interrelated reasons,” according to a recently released study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, which conducted a structured survey of 1,209 abortion patients at 11 large abortion providers nationwide, in addition to in-depth interviews.

    Seventy-four percent of the women said that having a child would interfere with their ability to care for other dependents or with their ability to work or complete their education. Nearly half said that they did not want to be a single mother or that they were having relationship problems. One fourth said if they had another child it would hinder their capability to raise their existing children and/or children they plan to have in the future; another 23% of the women said they simply could not afford to have a/another child.

    Younger women frequently stated that they were not prepared for the transition to motherhood and older women often said that they were already obligated to care for dependents and/or had already completed their childbearing Generally women offered more than one reason for their decision to have an abortion. These data, which have remained consistent for more than a decade, demonstrate that women make very conscious and rational decisions about choosing abortion, after a thoughtful examination of their present ability to care for a child, or another child.

    (Source: http://www.now.org/issues/abortion/12-13-05guttmacher.html)

    If EMILY’s List, NOW, and other pro-choice organizations were only advocating abortion in cases of rape or to save the life or health of the mother, I doubt that the pro-life cause would attract as much support as it does. Seems to me the original intent in Roe v. Wade was that, and then in a subsequent case “life and health” was interpreted to include “emotional well-being,” which paved the way for the unfettered ‘right to choose’…but I could be misremembering my case law.

    In any event, in my state (MI), there were about 25,000 reported induced abortions in 2005 (http://www.mdch.state.mi.us/PhA/OSR/abortion/Tab_A.asp). There were about 5,000 reported rapes (http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/micrime.htm). I haven’t been able to find any stats on life of the mother issues (probably partly because one isn’t required to give a reason for having an abortion). Considering that not all rapes result in pregnancy, much less abortion, I have trouble believing that all the rest of those abortions (4x plus the number of reported rapes) were for life-of-the-mother, but I can’t prove that as of now. (Still looking!)

  21. Tim

    Anon- you sound like you’re looking for Jen’s approval or something. That ain’t the point of this blog. And if you think she’s been judgmental, I’d say your last post makes you even. Why not call it a wash and start over? Just address the issues. Praying for you is just part of being a Christian. If it’s meaningless to you, what’s the harm. Ignore it and get to the issue.
    Tim

  22. Anonymous

    Jen’s approval?? Are you high? The approval of a Catholic?

    Catholics are killers, destroyers.

    And, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not allowed to address the issue unless I’m kissing Jen’s butt and agreeing with her.

    The only responses allowed here are “Jen is right”, “Jen is perfect”, “Jen is soooo holy”, “Jen is such a saint”, “Jen is soooo brilliant”, “Jen is such a wonderful Catholic”.

    Anything outside that is verboten, or hadn’t you noticed.

    But, hey, like I said. She’s on her way to being an excellent Catholic. Can’t wait to see which one of her kids she’s gonna destroy first.

    Which is why I always find it oh-so-amusing when a Catholic goes on about “pro-life”. They are the most anti-life people on the planet. I think they just want the babies alive so they have more kids to hurt and torture and destroy when they grow up.

    Believe me. I know this. She doesn’t. Well, actually, I think she does, but that’s what she’s really into being Catholic for.

    I noticed she’s got the gossip thing down pretty good, too. Why do people think other people never find out about that, and why do Catholics think this is okay when it’s a direct violation of the ten commandments AND the last commandment of Jesus Christ himself? Oh…because they’re Catholic and they’re better than God…that’s right.

  23. Anonymous

    And, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not allowed to address the issue unless I’m kissing Jen’s butt and agreeing with her.

    The only responses allowed here are “Jen is right”, “Jen is perfect”, “Jen is soooo holy”, “Jen is such a saint”, “Jen is soooo brilliant”, “Jen is such a wonderful Catholic”.

    Anything outside that is verboten, or hadn’t you noticed.

    How can this be if your own comments remain? What do you mean by ‘I am not allowed to address the issue unless…’ when in fact here you are addressing the issues?

    If you go back and read the posts where the folks from the Raving Atheist joined for awhile, their comments (hardly endorsements of Jennifer) are still there and the discussion while intense was extremely open.

    On what are you basing this claim?

    Which is why I always find it oh-so-amusing when a Catholic goes on about “pro-life”. They are the most anti-life people on the planet. I think they just want the babies alive so they have more kids to hurt and torture and destroy when they grow up.

    I noticed she’s got the gossip thing down pretty good, too. Why do people think other people never find out about that, and why do Catholics think this is okay when it’s a direct violation of the ten commandments AND the last commandment of Jesus Christ himself? Oh…because they’re Catholic and they’re better than God…that’s right.

    It’s totally unclear what exactly Jennifer, or any of us, have done to draw such fire from you.

    This is a blog, it is text on a screen, you don’t know her, or any of us, and we don’t know you. Despite that, we are all regular people here who I think know full well that we are not perfect (including Jennifer I am sure). If Jen gets a lot of encouragement here on her journey, it’s probably because most of us know that everyone needs as much of that in our own lives as we can get.

    Now despite not knowing even 1/10th of 1 percent of who Jennifer really is, you have accused her of gossip, of wanting to destroy her kids, of hypocrisy and a host of other things.

    Is it possible for you to turn down the rhetoric and try to recognize the people behind the keyboards?

    In particular, can you please explain this…

    But, hey, like I said. She’s on her way to being an excellent Catholic. Can’t wait to see which one of her kids she’s gonna destroy first.

    Believe me. I know this. She doesn’t. Well, actually, I think she does, but that’s what she’s really into being Catholic for.

    How is it that you know this? How could you possibly know her motivations? What gives you the ability to extend whatever you might have experienced to her or anyone else?

  24. Mike J

    I find it a good rule not to feed trolls.

  25. Anonymous

    I’m basing it on the fact that I’m not allowed to use an appropriate analogy to make my point about darwin’s claims about logical inconsistancies, is what I’m basing it on.

    The gossip I know for a fact. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Why do people think the internet is private? Are they that stupid?

    Let’s see, Jennifer has extended her assumptions, speculations and experiences to vast groups of people she doesn’t know, so I figure that’s what goes here…hell, if you can make assumptions about feminists, pro-choicers and atheists, why not Catholics?

    Thing is, I have infinitely more experience with Catholicism than Jen does, or ever will have. I also know exactly how disturbed, sick and twisted the official policies of the Catholic Church are, and to what extent they will go in order to destroy people. Not just “some people”, but a large number of people acting in official capacities in the name of the Catholic Church.

    I know things that Jen will never know. And while she sits here contemplating the wonderfulness of herself and how special she is, and how God loves her soooooo much more than the non-Catholics, and how she’s now on the express elevator to heaven, and basking in the “fullness” of the “truth”, she is also becoming party to some of the most heinous human rights violations ever perpetrated in the history of this world. But that’s “just some people”, so she’ll sweep all that under the rug (if she’s even aware of a tenth of it), blow it off, brush it aside, and pretend all the people who’ve suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church aren’t real, or aren’t worth bothering about, or should just be ignored, or whatever.

    The Catholic Church is the most anti-life organization in the world. They destroy, they kill, they murder. It’s what they do, and you can see Jen already starting to do it in her own small way here with her dehumanizing assumptions, speculations, petty passive-aggressions, and her gossip.

    Like I said, she’s in the process of becoming one fine Catholic…

  26. Anonymous

    I’m basing it on the fact that I’m not allowed to use an appropriate analogy to make my point about darwin’s claims about logical inconsistancies, is what I’m basing it on.
    Do you really find it unreasonable that Jen wanted to avoid the discussion getting sidetracked into one about the Iraq war? She didn’t ban you or delete you comments, just requested (while admitting that it’s a serious issue) that we try to stay on topic.

    It’s very common on blogs to have a comment guideline that the discussion stays on topic. If everyone is allowed to constantly sidetrack things, no real conversation can occur.

    In addition, you are suggesting that you were trying to use the issue as an appropriate analogy, but what you seemed to be using it for was to call pro lifers hypocrites for not protesting the Iraq war, rather than draw a parallel. Putting aside whether that’s true or not (maybe it is), it’s a beside the point ad hominem attack that doesn’t bear on the discussion that was going on.

    The gossip I know for a fact. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Why do people think the internet is private? Are they that stupid?

    Let’s see, Jennifer has extended her assumptions, speculations and experiences to vast groups of people she doesn’t know, so I figure that’s what goes here…hell, if you can make assumptions about feminists, pro-choicers and atheists, why not Catholics?

    I am asking seriously, not to bait you, but can you give me an example of where Jen has been guilty of gossip? Do you have something specific? What you seem to be protesting here is possible stereotyping, but not gossip. I really want to understand where the gossip is?

    Thing is, I have infinitely more experience with Catholicism than Jen does, or ever will have. I also know exactly how disturbed, sick and twisted the official policies of the Catholic Church are, and to what extent they will go in order to destroy people. Not just “some people”, but a large number of people acting in official capacities in the name of the Catholic Church.

    If we continuously keep the discussion one of generalizations, it will go nowhere. Can you cite one specific example of what you find to be a sick, twisted official policy aimed at destroying people?

    They destroy

    Again, can you give me something specific?

    they kill, they murder.

    And something specific here too?

    Help me understand where you are coming from if you are inclined to.

  27. Anonymous

    I didn’t want to get into a discussion of the Iraq war, either. Duh. I was merely pointing out another situation that might seem logically inconistant, but was perfectly acceptable in the eyes of many pro-lifers. It wasn’t a point meant to sidetrack the discussion to the Iraq situation. It was a point about logical consistancy/inconsistancy and pro-lifers. And if I was calling pro-lifers (some, all, many or few) hypocrites, it was to point out that pro-lifers are on pretty shaky ground when they point to feminists and/or pro-choicers as being hypocritical for opposing the kind of social and ecnomic situations that give rise to sex-selection abortions while still supporting access to safe, legal termination.

    There’s hypocrisy everywhere, and probably more of it among Christians than any other group. Deal with it. You can try to make people shut up about it, but are you really so narcissistic and egotistical that you think God doesn’t see it?

    Jen’s email is full of all sorts of gossipy crap. Email is public. Duh. Email is just floating around out there in cyberspace waiting for someone to pick it up. Thing is, almost anyone can as long as they have the right information, all of which is also public.

    The Catholic Church’s policies regarding women are hateful, obscene, hypocritical, demeaning and, as they’ve been carried out in the past, actually criminal. And soul-destroying, as well as being life-destroying.

    But if you want something more tangible, try the mass, aided-and-abetted-by-the-official-Catholic-Church sex abuse scandal. That’s probably the least of it, but it’s the one most people are familiar with. Systematic, aided-and-abetted, covered-up, child-rape. That’s the Catholic Church for you.

    And spare me the BS about how other people do it, too (an excuse I wouldn’t take from a two year old), or it’s a big gay thing (again, complete dismissal of the female victims, who may have made up a smaller percentage of victims overall, but were still each distinct beings deserving of, at the very least, a little acknowledgment of their very existance).

    It was sick, evil, twisted, disturbed and WRONG from start to finish, and any crap the Church is passing off as damage control is merely a smokescreen to cover-up, once again, the actions of every last stinking member of the heirarchy, from the lowliest priest right on up to the Pope.

    Specifics on my personal experiences? No. I don’t trust you or any other Catholic. Ever.

  28. Anonymous

    You can try to make people shut up about it, but are you really so narcissistic and egotistical that you think God doesn’t see it?

    See here’s where I am struggling to have a conversation with you. Where did I try to make anyone shut up about anything? And why an implication that I think I am above reproach? Based on what? I know very well that God is aware of my hypocrisy. I am aware of it myself.

    Jen’s email is full of all sorts of gossipy crap. Email is public. Duh. Email is just floating around out there in cyberspace waiting for someone to pick it up. Thing is, almost anyone can as long as they have the right information, all of which is also public.

    I don’t follow this. What email are you talking about? Have you seen her private email that you can judge her as a gossip? Are you talking about posts on the blog? Please, be specific here. If you charge someone as a gossip, at least do them the courtesy of showing the evidence. If you are right, and can show it, you might even be surprised by the reaction you get.

    But if you want something more tangible, try the mass, aided-and-abetted-by-the-official-Catholic-Church sex abuse scandal. That’s probably the least of it, but it’s the one most people are familiar with. Systematic, aided-and-abetted, covered-up, child-rape. That’s the Catholic Church for you.

    While I can absolutely agree with your characterization of the acts as sick, evil, twisted and wrong, I have to ask how what happened shows that this was a teaching or policy of the Church?

    By that I mean, can you show me where there was an actual policy to do harm. An actual policy to molest children. An actual policy to set out to destroy people. Or was it individuals doing evil things ‘despite’ the teachings and policies of the church, and then a further total screw up regarding how to handle things. If the priests, bishops and all the rest had actually lived by what the church teaches this would have never happened.

    I would never excuse what happened, and as a abuse victim myself (not by a priest), I know how serious what happened was. But you are making the charge that the Church set out to harm people by sexually abusing them.

    I don’t think you can make that charge stand any more than you can argue that a school district which has teachers abusing children ‘set out’ or codified policies that intended for the abuse to happen.

    Specifics on my personal experiences? No. I don’t trust you or any other Catholic. Ever.

    I never asked for personal specifics, nor would I. And I never asked you to trust me. We are two folks in cyberspace having a conversation, that’s all.

  29. Anonymous

    It’s already been documented in several courts as policy of the Church — it was Church policy to allow known child-rapists to have access to more victims, and to recycle them over and over and over again into parishes in which they had direct access to yet more victims, and it was policy to disobey the law and not report these men. If you or I did what the highest ranking members of the Catholic Church, including the Pope, did, we’d be in jail.

    It was an active, actual, widespread policy to keep putting children in harm’s way in order to protect the public image of the Catholic Church. It was active, actual, widespread policy to NOT call the police, to NOT notify parents who had children in the parishes where these priests turned up over and over and over again, it was active, actual, widespread policy to not only protect the rapist, to not only allow him the opportunity to rape again, but to deliberately and wilfully put children in his path with complete disregard for their basic human rights. This was decades and decades of a policy that actively encouraged, aided, and abetted the rape of children by grown men. Period. There is NO “wiggle room” here. This was seriously fucked up. Period. End of story. And, to date, the only response has been some smarmy, half-assed, “oops, our bad…” from the Church.

    The Church set out to harm children the day they recycled the first priest and put him in a position to rape again. The day the Church decided their pride was more important than the life of a child was the day the Catholic Church aided and abetted Satan.

    Yes, IF a public school system had such a policy and put it into practice for DECADES, they’d be equally guilty of setting out to harm children in the name of public image protection. But that the Catholic Church, which can’t claim that it has the “fullness of the Truth”, and is the Body of Christ here on earth did it, and did it to the proportions they did, is worse.

    That’s right, dude. 0s and 1s. All we are is code…don’t ever forget that.

  30. Anonymous

    There is NO “wiggle room” here. This was seriously fucked up. Period. End of story. And, to date, the only response has been some smarmy, half-assed, “oops, our bad…” from the Church.

    There doesn’t need to be any wiggle room, only the ability to have an accurate view of reality. We certainly need to call evil what it is, and this was certainly evil. I am not trying to suggest otherwise.

    That it was done by priests and bishops is disappointing almost beyond belief, but shouldn’t be tremendously surprising. No one claimed that by being ordained they suddenly were impeccable individuals.

    You’ve mocked the concept of the fullness of the truth more than once now, but it has never meant the fullness of perfect behavior (even by the pope himself). The scandal of the clergy can break our hearts, but it has no actual bearing on the truth of what is held.

    The biggest disappointment of all is that the Bishops acted like business managers protecting their interest (even like real criminals in some cases) instead of like shepherds of souls.

    On that we probably agree, and I have no real defense of their actions. But the answer to what happened, for them and for us, is not a rejection of our call to discipleship, but a call to live it more deeply and more faithfully on our part and theirs.

    Again I will say that if everyone involved from priest to bishop had been living out their vows, had been following the teachings of the church, had been following Jesus, this would not have happened.

    That they failed to do so tells us a lot about the weakness, stupidity, and selfishness of humanity (as if we needed more proof), but it is nothing new, and does not alter the truth that Christ is the way out of the darkness for them and for us alike.

  31. Jerret

    If you can’t trust your own Catholic Church to not only let this happen, but AID them… who can you?

  32. Anonymous

    If you can’t trust your own Catholic Church to not only let this happen, but AID them… who can you?

    Jesus Christ.

  33. Anonymous

    Yeah, well apparantly Jesus was busy for several decades and didn’t stop his own, supposedly divinely called, priests, bishops and Pope from raping kids. So obviously you can’t trust Jesus Christ, either. I don’t buy the whole Jesus Christ thing, so that’s a non-starter for me. Cute story, highly unoriginal, and pointless to the extreme. Jesus is nothing but a myth.

    As for “fullness of the truth” when, both as an institution and as individuals, Catholics toss the phrase oh-so-smugly into people’s faces while they’re mocking other Christian denominations or other faiths, and then go on to behave in the most vile, appalling, despicable manner possible, it makes you realize that Catholics don’t have anything more “special” than anyone else. They claim they can magically conjure their god up (of course, their god is an itsy-bitsy bit of bread which they then cannibalize or lock in a glass case and “worship”, but doesn’t really do much or have much effect on their actual behavior) willy-nilly, they claim they have all this extra “grace” that non-Catholics don’t have (because their god can’t bestow grace on anyone they say he can’t – god is their bitch, apparantly…), and they claim that all their priests, bishops and Popes are called by the Holy Spirits, that the priesthood is a superior calling than any other calling you can have, and yet, when you get right down to cold, hard reality, Catholics aren’t any different than anyone else. They sleaze around, cheat on their spouses, steal, lie, gossip, patronize, think they’re better than other people, etc. Oh, yeah, and systematically rape children and protect the rapists and find them more children to rape. I guess that’s what’s “special” about Catholics. I guess that’s what Catholic “grace” buys you. A free pass to rape kids.

    But the sex scandal is just the tip of the iceburg. The harm they’ve done to women and children runs much deeper than that. The sanctioned stealing of babies from their mothers and giving them to other women, the locking away of girls FOR LIFE because they committed the crime of being pretty and presenting a temptation to boys, the forced childbearing, even though doing so eventually killed the mothers. Forcing rape victims to bear children that were violently forced into their bodies and calling it “the will of God”. Telling women they couldn’t receive communion after childbirth because they were too dirty to be in the presence of God for giving birth. Forced conversions of Jews, slaughter of those who dared not to be Catholic…

    The list goes on and on and on…

    And then little dimwits who’ve hung around the Catholic Church and gotten all whipped up into a frenzy over the candles and incense and high drama and the general play on emotion and making one “feel” all holy, just blithely brush that all off as “oh, that was just some people, that’s not really the Catholic Church”.

    Well, how dare they? How dare they so cavalierly spit on thousand and thousands and thousands of people who have suffered their entire lives because of what “just some people” did, and did with the blessing of the priests, bishops, Popes, whathaveyou?

    If you haven’t lived something, you don’t go prancing around like some addle-pated little twinkie waxing all poetic about how the Catholic Church makes you FEEEEEL so holy and special and it’s just made your life all rosy and peachy and dandy, when the REALITY is that the Catholic Church has caused more pain and suffering than any institution in the world, when it has driven people to suicide, when it has stolen the innocence of children, and when it has broken people beyond any expectation of wholeness for their entire lives.

    And to top that off, then these moronic little self-righteous, mindless converts start with the kind of crap Jen started with here — her truly retarded “experiment”, her ignorant, dishonest take on feminist pro-choicers, etc.

    And her excuse? That hand-wringing,mindless, whiny “well, I’m not perfect…”

    What a whiny, lazy, intellectually dishonest fallback excuse for really stupid, childish, smug behavior.

    But, hey, she’s got that Catholic get-out-of-jail-free card, so it doesn’t matter who she hurts or how she acts anymore. She is now her own god in her own head, so the hell with anyone else.

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