Monday, July 14, 2008

No More Holy Eucharist For You

Already making the rounds of "Weird But True" websites is this bit of Sunday grotesquerie from the Philippines -- Priest Gets Fruit Basket With Fetus In Cheese Spread Bottle--probably someone's idea of a statement on World Population Day last week (lucky their household help noticed the lil...) Now, of course, Pinays are also throwing babies out of taxicabs and tall buildings and hundreds of thousands of abortions per year are occurring according to the World Health Organization. Today however the headline is 'Antilife pols must be refused communion' The whole front page innuendo is really based on a pastoral letter by Ozamis Bishop Jesus Dosado playing the Holy Communion card on congressmen and senators supporting the Reproductive Health Bill. Meanwhile Fidel Ramos Hits GMA's Population Policy for what it is : a good Catholic girl's willing and obstinate obedience to a force implanted in her as Childhood's Faith. Atheists are also getting into a lot of trouble with the Holy Eucharist...Richard Dawkins reports on the troubles being experienced by PZ Myers of Pharyngula for writing "It's a Frackin' Cracker!" Seems now that a Catholic lynch mob led by Bill Donohue is after his job as a college science teacher. Yes, it's true... I blame the Catholic Bishops for driving population policy into a ditch, and delved into the relation between poverty and theology. But here's a nice lil podcast conversation with Joe Nickell on idolatry and miracles:

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz already tried this, with little success I would say. The good Bishops ought not to needlessly expose the Deep Mysteries to the plain examination of common sense, as Damaso might counsel. They may be over-estimating the power of Public Piety.

I think the Catholic bishops have been dead wrong on the whole issue of population policy. Rather than preventing some moral evil, they have allowed problems to worsen by multiplication. Unbridled population growth worsens poverty, crime, overcongestion, lack of public services in health, education, sanitation, housing, peace and order. Solutions to social problems have become much harder because of the large numbers of people involved.

A NUMBER OF PROFESSIONAL PUNDITS have been feasting on that "most corrupt" label given to the Philippines by reporter Doris Dumlao of the Philippine Daily Innuendo. A closer look at the World Bank Study shows a more complex set of six "governance indicators" in which corruption is only one factor. But the irony of it all appears to be lost on ARTEMIO V. PANGANIBAN who joins in castigating President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, apparently forgetting how GMA's January 20, 2001 swearing in at EDSA DOS was his idea (suggested to Davide the day before!) The Big Story Art Panganiban is just dying to tell is that of Hilario G. Davide, Jr. and how the Supreme Court usurped the sole and exclusive powers of the House and Senate in the impeachment and trial of President Joseph Estrada. The swearing in of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on 20 January, 2001 (Edsa Dos) came just four short days after the Senate's Craven Eleven Vote, which however legally signalled virtual acquittal for Erap. Yet in March, 2001, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Erap had validly resigned (a finding of Fact by the High Court!) and that the regime change which occurred in January was "Constitutional throughout" (a finding of Law). A huger irony, if such hypermodern hyperpbole might be allowed, was disingenuously ignored by such decisions as Estrada v. Arroyo, which claim nothing oddly implausible or logically queer about Erap constructively resigning a mere four days after he virtually won acquittal at the Senate Impeachment Trial.

I'm happy and relieved for the two pairs of brothers who were just released after being kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf two weeks ago and hostaged for one million pesos somewhere on Basilan Island. Whether or not the government and/or the families and/or other interested parties might have paid for their freedom will be debated in the weeks to come, but we can not lose sight of the human lives and loves that always hang in the balance in these events. And while the swinging door of observation is cracked open by such events we can see inside the tragic working of things, nota bene, how truly odd a proposition it is that the Abu Sayyaf are "JUST" an ordinary kidnap for ransom gang of bandits who are only interested in MONEY and Nothing Else -- certainly not Religion or Politics or Constitutions or anything deep and complicated like that.


Jego said...

Reproductive health = anti-life? Now that's a crock.

As for PZ Myers, he of course has a right to desecrate whatever he likes to desecrate but to do so on a university website funded by tax dollars, the university has a right to shut him down if it's against university policy.

But what kind of autism is being displayed by Myers here? The cracker he is willing to desecrate is a is a symbol. An analogy: If I go to America's heartland and announce to the townspeople that I am going to shit on the American flag at the town square, I could argue that I have a constitutional right to do that -- and I do. But I better be damned armed or else have enormous -- enormous -- trust in the police department to protect me from the rednecks that are going to beat me up.

For the record, Im not Catholic and I do think it's a cracker, but only a severely autistic teenager will fail to see what the cracker means. But since I dont think Myers is autistic, I think it's a ploy. He knows the university is going to shut him down so he doesnt have to go through with his desecration but still will come out smelling like roses to the atheist community. I say well played.

Richard said...


Thanks for the update on the hostages...I have to say that I am relieved they are alive...but I will also say that I hope they weren't ransomed, or it will be repeated again and again. I suspect they were though. Abu Sayyaf isn't known for it's humanitarian impulses, after all.

blackshama said...

I have nothing really great to say for many of the Catholic bishops of the Philippines,some of which have shown ignorance of science (recall the CBCP stand on genetically modified crops!) and their theology doesn't match the theology of my idol, the Don of Regensburg, Papa Ratzi!

Nonetheless, not all of the politicians threatened refusal of communion are Catholic. The bishop's threat is blunted.

But being "anti-life" is just one of the list of sins that the Catholic bishops should be concerned about. The bishops should put an interdict on the Presidential palace and Congress if they really do mean it!

Amadeo said...

Seems now that a Catholic lynch mob led by Bill Donohue is after his job as a college science teacher.

Hey, Dean, ease up on the likes of Donohue.

In the US, the Catholic Church or Catholics as a group is one among very few, who can be dissed, trashed, or smeared by media and anybody with a pulpit, and can get away with it with impunity.

I am glad Donohue and his ilk are mounting a defense against this, however token or maybe at times insufferable it may be.

Let those people try something like this with Islam or the Islamists and see what happens.

blackshama said...


Or with gays and lesbians. Diss them and see what happens?!?!

Equalizer said...

Why is the Catholic Church in this country so conservative and backward- looking (like being 100% against population control)?

God answers:They take very literally the "Go forth and multiply" adage without realizing that your land space has not increased even an inch since the earth's creation.

Jego said...

Let those people try something like this with Islam or the Islamists and see what happens.

PZ Myers won't try it with Islam. In fact, he wagged his finger at the Danish cartoons.

There are some things a cartoonist would be rightly excoriated for publishing: imagine that one had drawn an African-American figure as thick-lipped, low-browed, smirking clown with a watermelon in one hand and a fried chicken drumstick in the other. Feeding bigotry and flaunting racist stereotypes would be something that would drive me to protest any newspaper that endorsed it—of course, my protests would involve writing letters and canceling subscriptions, not rioting and burning down buildings. There is a genuine social concern here, I think. Muslims represent a poor and oppressed underclass, and those cartoons represent a ruling establishment intentionally taunting them and basically flipping them off. They have cause to be furious!


See? He isnt autistic. This cracker stunt is a ploy; a self-promoting stunt.

Dave Llorito said...

if the catholic church withdraws communion from those who are not comfortable with its dogma, isnt the church the one that is losing clout? remember, that market place for religion is getting bigger by the day.