Faith and Begorrah

Well faith certainly. As of now most of us have heard about the death of Savita Halapannavar who was denied life saving medical care. For those who haven’t? Savita required an abortion. Not because she wanted one but because she needed one. She had a medical condition where her cervix prematurely dilated. Now there are some cases where you can save the child (my cousin’s kid is one such child. Medication and surgical stitches to keep the os shut if you must know.), but this was not such a case. After trying everything, Savita agreed that an abortion was in her best interest. She was denied one by the laws and indeed doctors at an Irish hospital. She was told that “This is a Catholic Country”.

Savita contracted septicaemia and died. Because doctors were unwilling to terminate a foetus even one that was going to die ANYWAYS due to the open Os. If this had occurred in England, Wales or Scotland she wouldn’t have had any issue. She was at just 18 weeks. The child is completely unviable so that argument doesn’t hold water (Brains and hearts are all well and good, but lungs only develop by week 24 which is why the cut off between late and early abortion is at 24 weeks in the west. It’s at 28 weeks in India and many third world nations due to a lack of technology.). This wasn’t late term this was a cut and dry case. Where the science of medicine actually indicates that abortion is the correct medical procedure to resolve this case. Savita actually tried to delay the abortion for as long as possible too but her attempts failed and she was resigned to losing the pregnancy. There is in fact a law in Ireland indicating that this procedure should be done. To therefore deny her the the right to an abortion is frank lunacy. Your faith as a doctor should not exceed patient welfare particularly if the law is on the patient’s side.

This is a Catholic Country. Really? And how has that worked out for Ireland which has listed some of the worst kinds of abuse of the catholic church. Everything from the Magdalene Laundries to the Christian Brothers (Two infamous organisations that were complicit in the systematic physical abuse of generations of children. Where perceived sin and guilt were used to harass children into blind obedience.) and the well known paedophile priest scandals.

One would think that Ireland would learn to be better than all that. To embrace science and logic without the men in robes telling them what the fuck they should do.

“This is a Catholic Country” should be a statement of apology and embarrassment. Not one of pride. All this has demonstrated is the shocking nature of faith. That people are willing to believe in fairy tales to the point where they do things because their personal imaginary friend has told them to and they have made an entire constitution that acknowledges this imaginary being. That’s not a mark of respect, that’s a mark of a delusion albeit one that we widely accept as normal. If any man said “I do this because the tooth fairy tells me to” he would be ridiculed.

There are countless ways to acknowledge life. Catholicism doesn’t give a flying fuck about the quality of life of it’s adherents. Fitting for a religion that prides itself on torture, but Catholicism seeks to make life as miserable as fucking possible. The treatment for pain is an opiate right? Never mind the addiction. Or the crippling constipation. Or the inability to think clearly. If your primary problem in life is that “life sucks” then Catholicism is great! But so is Heroin. Neither are good for you. They just stop you giving a fuck about how sucky your life is.

Ireland is great! It’s a first world nation (even after bullshit like this). People don’t have anything to be sad about. So you just need to invent things to make people miserable. The abortion ban is this. The church has fought against abortion, divorce and contraception.

It’s time for Ireland to go cold turkey. Ireland does not lose it’s nature if it stops listening to celibate men obsessed with sex, robes and stupid hats. You can be catholic in your own house and church and mind, but not force your ludicrous god on others. Hell! If you feel so strongly against abortions then don’t get one. Stick to your guns then. But to stop others?

Legalise abortion, ban the church from the law.

[Edit = added stuff about the case for those who were unaware]


  1. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Okay, look, I agree with your point. But you’re way off base with your pain analogy. I have a bone condition that causes serious pain – not to say crippling pain. [Ooops, said it.] Opiates have been a significant part of my therapy. No, there has never been addiction problems. Yes, there has been chemical dependency and once in an ice storm unable to get a refill I went through withdrawal in an unplanned, unsafe way – and it sucked. That is a far cry from addiction. It was 4 days of a really bad flu. The rest of the time the meds benefitted me far more than they hindered me and I’m glad I had them. IN fact, I had to fight to get them b/c even doctors equate long term use of narcotics and therefore chemical dependency with addiction. Only a small minority ever get addicted (less than 10% for certain, but studies often put it well below 5% in the 1-3% range). You are not helping by spreading misinformation.

    You help even less by starting out talking about pain and opiates and ending naming them heroin.

    Pain meds != heroin.

    final critique: it’s ==> its. You want the possessive here and are using the contraction of “it is”.

    Again, your larger point stands and I appreciate your passion. Just try to minimize the collateral damage.

  2. says


    It’s a reference to the phrase

    “Religion is the Opiate of the Masses”. It actually does refer to the painkilling properties of Opium and Heroin which were rather more common as a recreational drug at the time. In WW1 and wars like the Crimean you could actually send soldiers a pack of opium to smoke and relax.

    Karl Marx didn’t mention Opium in the modern day context. It was mentioned as a method of escapism and forgetting ills. Like drinking to forget.

  3. smrnda says

    Some people suggest (I think the origin might have been a quote from the TV show House) that religion is more a placebo than an opiate, but the Catholic faith (and Christianity in general) believes that pain and suffering are redemptive, therefore, no apologies need to be given for how shitty life can be and the church can refuse to lift a finger but point to the spiritual benefits that would be missed if they did the sensible thing by human(ist) standards.

  4. steve84 says

    Technically there isn’t a clear-cut law. That’s the whole damn issue here. The Irish High Court decided 20 fucking years ago that women have the right to an abortion if their life is in danger. But for 20 fucking years the papist swine in the parliament have refused to clarify the law. And after another decision by the European Court of Human Rights they still haven’t acted. In fact they refused to pass a law that would have prevented exactly this situation as late as April this year.

    Yeah, abortion in this situation is legal in Ireland. But it’s a grey area of the law. So you have overly cautious hospital administrators and moral cowards or “doctors” who’d rather kill a woman that maybe risk their career. In all likelihood nothing whatsoever would have happened to them. Now I hope they can be jailed for criminal negligence or at least sued for gross malpractice.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    … the painkilling properties of Opium and Heroin which were rather more common as a recreational drug at the time.

    “The time” Marx wrote his famous phrase was decades before the Bayer labs invented heroin (~1899; yes, the name is a marketer’s derivation from “hero”, based on subjective feelings of the user). The less-concentrated opiates available still worked pretty well as analgesics; the modern Catholic version now seems limited to the first two syllables of that function.


  6. Jockaira says

    “Religion is the opiate of the masses.”

    Karl Marx (1818-1883) first publically made this famous statement in 1844 within an essay titled Introduction to a Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right and published in a radical newspaper called Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher.

    The use by Marx of the word “opiate” would seem to make his reference indistinct, as there was more than one form of opiate available to the public of his time. Opium had a history dating back thousands of years, laudanum is first mentioned in the early 16th Century, and morphine had been marketed for almost 20 years by a German pharmaceutical company, Merck. Heroïn would not have been available for another half-century.

    It is my opinion that Marx would have made no substantial distinction between the different opiates, as all their effects are approximately the same. Because of his apparent disdain for religion it is likely that Marx was ascribing the drug effects of narcosis, stupefaction, enervation, and the withdrawel from reality and meaningful social discourse to common reactions to the “dope” of organised suppressive religion.

    /more pedantry

  7. Pierce R. Butler says

    Jockaira @ # 10: Because of his apparent disdain for religion it is likely that Marx was ascribing the drug effects of narcosis, stupefaction… to the “dope” of organised suppressive religion.

    In context, Marx’s line seems more like a statement of sympathy for the economically downtrodden:

    “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.”


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