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The Vatican incensed at distribution of the morning after pill and sex manuals in Afghan refugee camps.
November 30, 2001 6:23 AM   Subscribe

The Vatican incensed at distribution of the morning after pill and sex manuals in Afghan refugee camps. "They will introduce young men and women to an individualistic and irresponsible use of sexual pleasure". In a refugee camp? Hello?
posted by magullo (30 comments total)

 
The link does not seem to work. I have tried Opera and IE.

In any event, the Vatican can go stuff themselves. Any organization that is willing to look the other way (and cover up) when it comes incidents of child rape among it's own clergy - who seem to have difficulty understanding the words 'irresponsible use of sexual pleasure' - has no right to dictate the actions of people of a different religion, who may choose to engage in consensual sexual activity - in an environment where there are few other diversions to despair that are not self-destructive.

The Monty Python "Every Sperm Is Sacred" skit from The Meaning Of Life also pops into mind at this particular moment.

And people wonder why religion resorts to fear, intimidation, and violence to gain converts. With few exceptions, there's no other reason to join.
posted by tpoh.org at 6:47 AM on November 30, 2001


The Pope's Assault on UN Refugees, by Joanna Manning, author of Is the Pope Catholic?, from 11/29/01 Globe and Mail. She writes: "Somehow, I don't envisage the refugee-camp environment as conducive to hedonism; nor do I imagine that women fleeing war zones will remember to pack the thermometer and monthly charts needed to practise the rhythm method."
posted by Carol Anne at 6:58 AM on November 30, 2001


". . . individualistic . . use of sexual pleasure"

Oh, so it's supposed to be a group activity?

Seriously, this is ridiculous. As tpoh has pointed out, it's rather out of place to expect non-Catholics to adhere to specific Catholic morality. And, in the midst of all the possible concerns that one could have about the people's well-being, this is ridiculously petty. Kind of like demanding "no shoes, no shirt, no service" when providing famine relief.
posted by yesster at 7:19 AM on November 30, 2001


Hmm... the Pope(ster) sounds like Europe in some ways, well, he is in Europe and all, so perhaps that's it. Hehe. No, but he is an arrogant prick who's needing more and more attention, like a usenet troll. (imagine pope posting on usenet, "No way, playstation 2 totally ROXOR!") I can so picture that.

"With all my heart I beg God to keep the world in peace." And we all know how well that worked, god really delivers on his promises.
posted by tiaka at 7:30 AM on November 30, 2001


An amsuing asdie: some warden at an American jail had an article about his making sure that condoms made available for his prisoners, despite the fact that sex between prisoners was illegal. Pragmatism versus dogmatism.
posted by Postroad at 8:04 AM on November 30, 2001


yes, it seems Catholics can be as annoying about "I want everyone to follow MY rules!" as the worst evangelicals.

I don't know why I expected better.
posted by dagnyscott at 8:06 AM on November 30, 2001


Seriously, this is ridiculous. As tpoh has pointed out, it's rather out of place to expect non-Catholics to adhere to specific Catholic morality.

official morality, yes.

yes, it seems Catholics can be as annoying about "I want everyone to follow MY rules!" as the worst evangelicals.

anyone can be as bad as anyone else when it comes to forcing oneself or one's philosophies on another. religion, or lack thereof, hardly matters.
posted by moz at 8:22 AM on November 30, 2001


Thank you moz. As a non-forcing-my-religion-down-your-throat Catholic, I appreciate the sentiment:

anyone can be as bad as anyone else when it comes to forcing oneself or one's philosophies on another. religion, or lack thereof, hardly matters.

The fact of the matter is that the Catholic church for many impractical, illogical and, to them, moral, reasons does not condone the use of birth control. So why is it really any great shock that they would condemn the distribution of the morning after pill which the church views as nothing more than an easier abortion? Granted, I do not share this belief being more pro-woman and pro-choice than pro-Catholic and pro-life. However, I am also not going to waste breath slamming the Catholic church when almost every other organized religion condemns abortion and sex before marriage as well. This is not a Catholic issue. This is a moral vs practical issue and one that is best viewed as a personal and not a religious choice.

So, can I bash the Baptists now? *joke*
posted by gloege at 8:33 AM on November 30, 2001


sex manuals? to Afghan muslims?? there may be a lot of the raping and pillaging and stuff going on over the last few years in afghanistan, but promiscuity is not something I believe would ever pop up - completely against the society there, refugee camp or not (as your fellow refugees are also Afghans).

Didn't the Pope bless the bombs with which Mussolini blew up the Abyssinians? And hasn't this current one gone on a saint-making spree or something? Mm hmm..

Monty Python rocks.
posted by Mossy at 8:34 AM on November 30, 2001


You guys are worked up over something that was said by the Pope? Sheesh, what a joke. Get over it.

Do you guys really think ANYBODY cares what he says? What sway does the Catholic Church have today? The whole organization is eerily similar to Soviet satellite states pre-1990, a massive empty shell, just about to crumble.

When I see y'all get agitated about Falwell, Pat Robertson or some other born again type, it kinda makes sense. They at least have a few followers who pay attention and follow their program.

But, Catholicism? Sheesh. It's the spiritual equivalent of a neighborhood block association - one or two committed members, and a vast majority who don’t attend meetings, don’t know what the group does and probably even forgot that they even belong.

The Pope can talk till his hat falls off, but almost everything his organization does is ineffectual. Catholic school? My personal observation was that it was that it the most powerful force ever developed for creating atheists, agnostics and non-Catholics.
posted by nobody_knose at 8:38 AM on November 30, 2001


nobody_knose: It being the world's largest religious body, I think you are grossly miscalculating the influence of the Catholic Church. In Africa and South America specially, many nation's health and other policies are in effect dictated by the Church.

For number of followers:
http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html
posted by magullo at 8:47 AM on November 30, 2001


mossy:

Didn't the Pope bless the bombs with which Mussolini blew up the Abyssinians?

the only pieces of evidence that i can find that the pope blessed those bombs are vague ramblings of a conspiracy theorists. i have to say that in answer to your question, i'm leaning towards "no."
posted by moz at 9:04 AM on November 30, 2001


I think it's irrelevant how many Catholics there are in the world if they don't follow the rules.

The Pope is against stealing, murdering, and lying as well, but Catholics do those things every day. The Pope is against divorce, and yet Catholics get divorced in the same numbers as do Protestants in the U.S. You have Catholics in the U.S. using all sorts of anathema birth control products like condoms and birth control pills in the same percentages as Protestants. There are a few majority Catholic countries around today that tow the Vatican line, but every day I read about nations like Mexico liberalizing their abortion laws due to the political pressure of the actual Catholics living in their countries, as opposed to the Vicar of Rome.

In any case, the Pope is a very visible public figure, and he gives public pronouncements all the time, so I think it's only fair for people to criticize what he says. But his political relevance, when he opposes the interests of individual countries, is waning.
posted by meep at 9:08 AM on November 30, 2001


The Pope is against stealing, murdering, and lying as well, but Catholics do those things every day.

The Pope also says you can be forgiven for your sins.
posted by cell divide at 9:12 AM on November 30, 2001


magullo: The number you reference throws all members of "Christianity" into one pot. Last I checked, neither Southern Baptists nor German Lutherans paid much attention to Pope either.

Besides, my point is that, no matter the numbers, the CC today is the biggest paper tiger since the Republican Guard. Where I grew up, almost everybody called themselves "Catholic." And everybody flagrantly violated the rules of the church and rarely attended services. Wile I agree that an organization a big as Catholicism can run on fumes for a long while before anything catastrophic happens, the reality is, it's a dead organization.

And in the long run, if you are interested in fighting a system/religion/whatever that negatively impacts the poor of the world, I think you'd be more effective trying to reform fundamentalist Islam. Whatever mile-wide/inch-deep support the CC has in the third world today is certain to replaced by the demonstrably more dynamic and demanding force of FI tomorrow. Go after Islam today and get ahead of the curve.

But, if you insist on ignoring the likely path of future events, I wish you well as you get back on yr horse and try to slay this evil windmill, Mr. Quixote.
posted by nobody_knose at 9:15 AM on November 30, 2001


Um, nobody_knose, do you actually understand anything about Islam? You sit on your soapbox making proclamations when you obviously know little about both Catholicism and Islam.

Islam literally means: submission to the One God, and to live in peace with the Creator, within one's self, with other people and with the environment. Thus, Islam is a total system of living. A Muslim is supposed to live in peace and harmony with all these segments; hence, a Muslim is any person anywhere in the world whose obedience, allegiance, and loyalty are to God, the Lord of the Universe.

And to date, Catholicism is still the world's largest Christian religion. I highly suggest you get off your soapbox and recognize that there are hypocrites and fundamentalist sects in every major religion in the world. To slander one, you should really slander them all in the name of equality. Or you can simply accept that religion is a personal choice and people take what they need from the religion they closely identify with. Make sure that you leave your glass house before pitching anymore stones. And do some research or keep quiet... remember, better to be silent and thought a fool than speak and be known as a fool.
posted by gloege at 9:30 AM on November 30, 2001


Where I grew up, almost everybody called themselves "Catholic." And everybody flagrantly violated the rules of the church and rarely attended services. Wile I agree that an organization a big as Catholicism can run on fumes for a long while before anything catastrophic happens, the reality is, it's a dead organization.

all of catholicism is dead because of the habits of catholics where you grew up? that doesn't make much sense to me, nk.
posted by moz at 9:30 AM on November 30, 2001


And in our next story, dog bites man.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:32 AM on November 30, 2001


Its like the Taliban's fleeing and giving up on positions of power has created a vacuum of ignorance and unrealistic morals and rules that the Vatican is more than happy to fill. Keep up the good work boys!
posted by skallas at 9:40 AM on November 30, 2001


gloege: First off, I was careful to specify fundamentalist Islam. I'm no big fan of religion, so when you say "there are hypocrites in every major religion in the world," I can only ask who said otherwise dude?

Second, I singled out fundamentalist Islam because the long-term trendline is much more in the favor of it growing than Catholicism.

Third, what ignorance are you suggesting I displayed about Catholicism? Am I wrong - is the Pope and all his dictates really the hot new thing with the world's next generation of Catholics?

Fourth, my personal experience tied into my argument against those numbers suggesting anything valid about who listens to the Pope. While it is correct that my experience is only my experieince, I and lots and lots of other folks who could give a rat's ass what he says would have been counted in that number too. I mean, everybody is real careful to point out that bin laden doesn't speak for all Muslims, so why are Catholics not given the same benefit of the doubt about the Pope?

moz: Obviously, my specific experience doesn't mean it's true for the whole world - whose does? Despite that, Catholics worldwide ignore the Pope's proclamations. Is anybody here suggesting otherwise? Do Catholics in Italy, SA and Africa subscribe to everything the Pope says?
posted by nobody_knose at 10:03 AM on November 30, 2001


The pope also tells his followers to worship Mary. Such blatant paganism. What part of "don't have any other gods before me" is misunderstood?

That what's going on in these refugee camps could be seen as condoning the acts these people think will follow is inconsequential.

I don't think the Pope should be given any leverage to be telling people how to conduct their lives, especially when he leads a group of people who in the past have murdered countless people (during inquisitions) just to prove a point, have ignored the pleas of millions of jews being butchered in Germany, and would do both of these things today if it suited the 'bigger picture.'

I think someone should convert the pope to christianity.
posted by schlaager at 10:12 AM on November 30, 2001


nk:

no, not all catholics listen to all the pope says -- i'm among those people (being nominally catholic but largely agnostic, actually). the only thing that you said which i had a problem was the notion that catholicism is a dead organization; for good or for ill, it is not, and in spite of the catholics i've met who draw their own conclusions, i've met others who are very spiritual and observant of the teachings of the vatican.

schlaager:

The pope also tells his followers to worship Mary. Such blatant paganism. What part of "don't have any other gods before me" is misunderstood?

catholics would argue that mary is intimately tied to god due to her being the mother of the son of god. maybe you don't buy that, but at least the argument wasn't pulled out of their collective asses.

I don't think the Pope should be given any leverage to be telling people how to conduct their lives, especially when he leads a group of people who in the past have murdered countless people (during inquisitions) just to prove a point, have ignored the pleas of millions of jews being butchered in Germany, and would do both of these things today if it suited the 'bigger picture.'

whatever. with your indictment of catholicism should go the condemnation of nearly every nation in the world for all of their past evils. if i could go back in time and voice my dissent, i would, but...
posted by moz at 10:26 AM on November 30, 2001


moz: so what's the statute of limitations on mass murder and genocide?
posted by signal at 10:34 AM on November 30, 2001


i don't know, signal. i suppose that, if you'd like, you could smash your fists upon the tombstones of the offenders; you could criticize the vatican for not apologizing for their past misdeeds, if they have not done so. but you can't assign guilt to the child for the sins of the father.
posted by moz at 10:43 AM on November 30, 2001


nk: One it is dudette ;)

Two, fundamentalist Islam is such a small sect of the Islam religion as a whole.

Three: In the history of the world, any religion that does not allow for the independent growth of its members is ultimately doomed to fail. I do not see fundamentalist Islam overtaking Catholicism worldwide. Islam, perhaps.

Regarding the Pope being the hot new thing of this generations Catholics, generation X Catholics have for a large part turned from the church and while they profess to be Catholic in name, are not truly CATHOLICS in spirit (note the distinction please). However, generation Y is returning to the church and I am not limiting this to the Catholic faith. Record numbers of gen Y'ers are returning to religion and embracing the security and authority of their particular religious beliefs dictated by their church. For Catholics, this means the Pope. Also, with a large aging population, there are plenty of boomers and their parents to keep to the Catholic faith in its entirety and this includes recognition of the Pope in his role as voice of God to man... (granted this is a simplistic definition of the Pope but you get my point). Hence, why I pointed out your ignorance on this issue.

While I personally am not considered a "good" Catholic, I do adhere to some strictures of the religion and while I do not mindlessly follow everything the Pope says, I do tend to listen to what he has to say out of respect. This respect is probably why multitudes of Catholics quietly go about their business daily and do not take up arms to insist the Pope does not speak for them. Of course, I am not sure how you can compare an international terrorist to a religious leader. They are not one and the same. The Pope represents the religion of the masses and is the voice of God here on earth. Bin laden USES his religion to justify a personal cause.

Last I checked, there wasn't an international poll asking Catholics worldwide if they subscribe to everything the Pope says. Dare I ask you (should you go to church) if you buy into everything your priest/minister/rabbi says? If you are a thinking, knowledgeable person, I would assume not.

As for you schlaager, the Catholic church has admitted its sins against man and asked for forgiveness. In every religion, you are allowed the opportunity to beg forgiveness and pay restitution for your sins. It is up to God to judge you. Did you not learn this in Bible class? Beyond that, how is the Catholic church any worse than the American companies who turned a blind eye to the Holocaust because WWII made them a plethora of money?
posted by gloege at 10:43 AM on November 30, 2001


moz:

the method behind praying to Mary is that, according to their beliefs, Mary is the only mediator between us and the Father/Son/Spirit trinity. Through scripture, we learn that Christ is the Mediator between us and God.

Also, Catholics seem to ignore the scriptures referring to faiths which forbid marriage and abstinence from eating meat.

Bottom line, check the facts. Yes, you can also see me speaking out against the atrocities that our country commits, as well as the various hate groups which claim to be doing the will of God by killing innocent people and running airplanes into buildings. But that is off topic.
posted by schlaager at 10:44 AM on November 30, 2001


gloege:

I couldn't agree more with you that you should not follow your faith blindly.

And yes, every religion does allow you to seek forgiveness. I must have missed the part where they actually did. I apologize for not citing better examples.
posted by schlaager at 10:51 AM on November 30, 2001


Bah, we're living in the 21st century and people still argue about invisible superheroes who live in outerspace!

My new paraphrasing technique is unstoppable! (5 is out, BTW!)
posted by signal at 10:59 AM on November 30, 2001


I think it would make sense to separate one's knowledge of US Catholics and international Catholics. The church is said to be very powerful in less developed countries, and orthodoxy much more enforced there.
posted by Charmian at 11:57 AM on November 30, 2001


Charmian, et al: If I'm not mistaken the US is probably one of the few places that Catholicism isn't really "big". Most (key word for all those who want to jump on this) of Europe and Africa AND some parts of Southeast Asia is Catholic. That's a pretty big audience. The US is dominated mostly by Protestant beliefs, thus you don't see a big influence of Catholic culture. Go to one of the aforementioned places and see how well they follow the Church.

For the record, the idea behind this no sex thing is that the sperm was believed to contain the baby as a whole, and the womb just a place for it to gestate. So, it did make sense not to screw around without wanting to have a kid.

In my opinion, Catholicism seems to be one of the more forward thinking religions. Interpret the scriptures anyway you want, do whatever you want as long as you don't boink. Any organization that's been around for 2,000 years is bound to have some periods of corruption. And for anyone with "they're not Christian, blah blah blah" just check out one of the hundreds of books written to dispel misconceptions of Catholics. Okay that's all I have to say about that, I can't wait till we get to the other religions.

The only link I could find that didn't have a direct connection with Catholics (hey, why would someone else want to dispel myths unless they were Catholic?)
posted by geoff. at 3:48 PM on November 30, 2001


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