CHURCH & STATE VS. THE REST OF US
CATHOLICS, ABORTION, CHILD-MOLESTING,
GAY MARRIAGE, CONSERVATISM & ANTI-CATHOLICISM
"Allen Keyes arrested again protesting Obama speech at Notre Dame"
See many students here? Mostly old conservative Republicans, probably not even Catholics, in fact, historically anti-Catholic. And then there's this nut job. His daughter is gay, BTW. He disowned her.
HOW THE CONSERVATIVE RELIGIOUS & POLITICAL
ESTABLISHMENT DIVIDES & CONQUERS
Both Sides Are Being Manipulated By Politicians
& Church "Fathers" For Their Own Purposes
It's funny that this should have happened just now, as I was preparing this month's "Cosie's," my little award for excellent blogs that display true hospitality, among other things. I hadn't written much about the Faux (News) "crisis" at Notre Dame, recognizing it as another desperate astroturf attempt by the failing Repukelickin' Party to revive their own fortunes by dividing us all.
Then I happened to see a post on a blog by someone who commented here on one of my posts. I found the post to be an objectionable sectarian smear and I said so in a comment on the other blog. Being Irish, I know all too well where sectarianism leads, and the history of it here in America and in Europe. My people were brutally oppressed and exploited using religion as an excuse for raw land-grabbing and profiteering. The disease of sectarianism was started and spread by the rich and powerful to manipulate and profit off of the poor and powerless, and the consequences can still be seen throughout the British Isles, and here in America. There is a strong anti-Catholic strain in conservatism, and a tradition that has been upheld by conservative groups like the Nazi's and the KKK for many years. Although I am not at all religious, anti-Catholic smears are deeply offensive to me, in the same way that racist or homophobic smears are.
Sectarianism is one with racism, sexism, homophobia, nativism, anti-Semitism and the latest hate, anti-Islamism. There's no excuse for it. Human beings are individuals, whatever perceived groups they may be lumped into. To paint them all with the same brush is just plain ignorant. To accuse an entire group based on the wrongdoings of one of their number is outright Fascism, collective punishment. It's wrong and it's stupid and I said so in my comments on that other blog. My comments were deleted, and a deliberately misleading and outrageous slander was posted in their place. So much for comity, hospitality, or plain old human decency.
I was raised Catholic by parents who did not believe in the teachings of the Church, and never went to Mass after I was old enough to go by myself. Like most U.S. Catholics, my parents conducted themselves in a moral and ethical manner, according to their own feelings, ideas and understanding of the things they had been taught by the Church. On abortion, divorce and many other issues, my parents, like the majority of the population of the Catholic Church in America, go a different way than the lickspittle authoritarians of the Church hierarchy. Even some of the clergy diverge from the ultramontane reactionaries that recently have retaken power in the Church in opposition to the reforms of Vatican Two.
There are really two separate Catholic Churches in the US: The official one, and the real one. To confuse them is to misunderstand a quintessential element of American society and politics. While there are some followers of the reactionaries, they are a minority, if a loud and well-connected one. My own hateful grandmother was a religious fanatic who insisted that we attend church and be baptized, go to catechism, take First Holy Communion and be confirmed. After that, we were free to do as we liked, and we never went to church again. She died cursing her own grandchildren, and using my grandfather's hard-earned money to try to buy her way into Heaven by paying a fortune to have masses said for herself in perpetuity every day in numerous churches, instead of donating to charity or her family. I hope she at least got one cool drink of water for that in Hell.
I did absorb certain values from the good side of all this which I realized in later life were fundamentally culturally Catholic, and at odds with those of the dominant Protestant cultural "ethic" in America. That so-called ethic combines the hard-hearted money-grubbing "high" church snobbery of the Presbyterian and Episcopalian elite with the poverty, envy, blame and intolerance of the "low" churches, like the Baptists, to use English "classifications." That ethic has provided the basis for the self-centered, self-righteous and sociopathic philosophy of conservatism.
The values that I learned as a boy, on the other hand, I later discovered were shared by many of the more enlightened Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus, agnostics and atheists. They were based as much or more on class and life experiences than religion, but there were elements of theology interwoven: Principally, the concepts of good works, charity, self-sacrifice, and communal action. Poverty was seen not as a sign of unworthiness but as a burden that the more fortunate should try to help lighten. Life was sacred above all things and must be preserved and protected at all costs. Hard work as a basic part of life, personal responsibility that extended to the aid of others and a sense of community and social justice were things we learned growing up working class and Catholic, even if the official God stuff itself never quite sunk in. I think we all shared and learned from other religions' ideas and experiences, and that is why the liberal and progressive view is stronger and more widespread today than the poisonously negative and exclusionary philosophy of conservatism.
Our American "civil religion" binds us all with a higher calling to protect individual liberties, human rights and true democracy. People say that recently we have lost sight of these once universal values, that our polity is suddenly split between those opposed and those in favor of these values. But the fact is that the conservative element in our society has always been opposed to these values, from the very beginning. Slavery, expansionism, ruthless corrupt crony capitalism, brutal repression and prejudice of all kinds has been the conservative counter-creed all along. With their single-minded focus on wealth and power above all things, conservatives have gained influence way out of proportion to their numbers, even counting their craven lower-class toadies. We outnumber them, but they have insinuated themselves into all of our institutions. Only by working together as a majority and defending one another's rights can we ever hope to beat these conservative paracites.
For the time being, our institutions are controlled by those sociopathic conservatives, who bend our entire system to their own selfish interests. The easiest way for this minority to continue dominating our polity is to divide and conquer us. That's the reason for the constant flood of hatred and fear, anger and prejudice that the tame corporate media and the political and religious establishments put out all the time. It's disturbing to see victims of it participating in it.
Yes, the official Catholic Church and the loud minority of their most ardent and reactionary followers have taken unconscionable positions and actions against women and gays, the poor and disenfranchised, and groups and nations around the world that we should regard as bothers and sisters, according to any truly Christian, any moral and ethical standard. As such, these so-called Christians have violated their own most important precepts, and betrayed the millions of Catholics and non-Catholics alike who are in need of unity and cooperation. We will never have peace, prosperity and social justice until we join together in spite of our differences, and fight back collectively against the powerful and greedy minority who have lied, cheated and stolen their way to the top, and who can only stay there by dividing and conquering the rest of us, the true majority throughout the world. By tarring your innocent brothers and sisters with the foul stuff perpetrated by this reactionary elite and their mindless folowers, you are committing the same sins as they are. If you ever have any hope of seeing liberty and justice for all in this world, stop the hate and prejudice in your own hearts and minds.
"FIRST POST BY OTHER BLOGGER"
' Keep in mind that the largest anti choice organization, the Catholic Church, is so racist that there never has been a non white Pope.
Instead of putting all this energy into hating women and people of color, wouldn't it be great if the anti abortion extremists fought against child molesting Catholic priests? While their couldn't possibly be anything wrong with abortion, raping kids is absolutely and terribly wrong.
I sometimes think the Catholic Church hierarchy are using abortion as a distraction so people won't do something to protect Catholic children from that church and its priests who far too often rape them.
The Notre Dame protesters are failing in their responsibility to protect Catholic children by allowing themselves to be manipulated in such a transparent fashion. They really need to get a clue. '
MY COMMENT ON FIRST POST BY OTHER BLOGGER [deleted]
' 1. I wonder how many of these "abortion protesters" are even Catholics, and not just Republican shills.
2. Most American Catholics follow the dictates of their own conscience on most issues, regardless of what the Pope or anyone else says.
3. In two thousand and nine years, there have only been a few non-Italian Popes. This has more to do with the politics of Rome than it does with "racism." Does the fact that there never has been, and probably never will be, an Irish Pope mean that the Church is anti-Irish?
4. The fact is, there are millions of African, Asian and Latin American Catholics, and their priests, bishops and cardinals are mostly local. In the near future there will be a Pope of color. But he may be the ultimate right-winger, regardless of color, for reasons described below. Prejudice and conservatism come in all colors and sexual orientations.
5. The elevation of Ratzinger was the work of a small minority of ultra-orthodox right-wingers who have rebelled against Vatican II's efforts to modernize and humanize the Church, which most Catholics support. Unfortunately, they now control the hierarchy of the Church. Before you make broad statements about over one billion people, you should do a little reading.
6. The shibboleth of child molestation has become one more weapon in the arsenal of good old American anti-Catholicism. It plays really well in the South, and other "former" Klan areas.
7. Shrieking "THE CHILDREN!!! THE CHILDREN!!" is always an effective call to arms. Even if the crier never does anything to help children.
8. Accusing or implying that most Catholic priests are child molesters is like saying that most gay men are child molesters. It's a false statement of blanket prejudice, and does a great disservice to the vast majority of thousands of priests and monks who do nothing but good works every day, as it does to gays who are in the minority among child molesters. Most are straight males, and not clerics.
9. Most child molesters are members of the victim's family, or a friend or neighbor. This is as true of Protestants as it is of Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindu's, Buddhists, etc.
10. The government should be vigorously prosecuting any and all actual child molesters, regardless of creed or station. No church should be allowed to provide a shelter for them.
11. The problem with the Catholic Church, as with the United States government and our entire political system, is with the hierarchy, the entrenched interests, the poisonously "conservative" and entirely self-serving attitudes and policies that are holding us all down, in order to keep them raised up. Until we can all join together and do something about that, "divide and conquer" simply works to their advantage. '
SECOND POST BY OTHER BLOGGER
' Any and all efforts to defend Ratzi and the Catholic clergy function as enabling Catholic priests to go on raping kids. There are some really sick things on the Internet, but that is going to far, at least on this blog. Anyone who engages in this sickening viciousness will discover that the following three things will happen. '
MY FOLLOW-UP COMMENT ON SECOND POST BY OTHER BLOGGER [deleted]
' I hope you're not referring to me. I certainly did no such thing. If objecting to blanket sectarian bias is censorable here, then so be it. You need to learn to differentiate between individuals and institutions, and between the great majority of good people and the few bad apples, without prejudice or hysteria. Maybe therapy would help. '.
Labels: anti-Catholic, astro-turf, civil liberties, conservatism, divide and conquer, envy, fear, gay rights, greed, hate, human rights, lust for power, media manipulation, Prejudice, Pride, social justice
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