“I can’t go two paragraphs without contradicting myself”

But apparently that’s the sole qualification for writing at LifeSiteNews.

Hey, you know what we haven’t done in a while? Tuned in to some bonafide Catholic hysterics occurring in the Province of Alberta. Behold the beauty that is LifeSiteNews’ totally unbiased coverage (or don’t, you might want to save your brain cells).

EDMONTON, Alberta, April 18, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Christian political action group and a parents group are responding to the controversy over a pro-life group comparing the Holocaust to abortion by accusing the New Democratic government of promoting unscientific and dangerous gender ideology.

Basically: Steve Weatherbe, the intrepid reporter on this scoop, is freely and literally admitting that the only thing Conservatives can do when presented with criticism is change the topic rather than defend their actions.

Off to a good start.

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I find no problems when I investigate myself, too

I gather that some of the arguments made in favour of abolishing Alberta’s parallel-to-public Catholic education system are about costs–there’s a redundancy in management, so amalgamating the two services would find the public budget a few extra million after restructuring. And Adriana LaGrange writes a cheery “alternative reality” for the Edmonton Journal about the state of Catholic schools, arguing–among many other things–that the costs probably wouldn’t be lower if we were to amalgamate.

There are a few statements which get a good giggle from me, considering the context of the ACSTA splinter group scandals.

Compare LaGrange’s words here:

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Yes. Please. Go.

For once, the Christians have produced an idea I can get behind.

Following my cover-to-cover read, my takeaway is that he wants Christians — by which he means only those who share his conservative sexual ethics (i.e. not you, you moralistic therapeutic deist, you) — to withdraw from society and form cult-like communes for the sole purpose of rejecting queer people and “the toxins of modern secularism” (i.e. me).

I don’t have much to add except a massive yes.

Fuck off already. Separate. Disappear into obscurity. Buy your own island and never build a port.

Read more about The Benedict Opinion here.

-Shiv

“In violation of duties as a Catholic School Trustee”

Patricia Grell, a board member of the Edmonton Catholic School Board, has been at the centre of every Catholic controversy concerning the civil and human rights of queer and trans Albertans. However, it’s for a more palatable reason than usual–she’s the trustee gunning for inclusion and equality. Amidst a climate where the ECSB is hitting the news every other week over spending scandals and self-incriminating lawsuits, Grell has disclosed at great risk to her career an email she received for supporting gay marriage.

Remember, as you read this, these are all employees of the Province’s public education.

Whether I seek re-election or not, I remain dedicated to standing up for social justice in Christ’s example and loving my gay and lesbian neighbours as myself. I am willing to leave other matters such as the superintendents contract or getting to the bottom of why the ACSTA and catholic superintendents are targeting an Academic at the U of A but I will never be silent when it comes to human rights and equal marriage and the love that we must model for our most vulnerable youth. My faith demands nothing less of me.

Here is an email that I received from one of my colleagues February 19th:

From: XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2017 7:28 PM

Subject: Retweet of support of gay marriage

Dear Trustee Grell,

As per our Organizational Bylaw 13.2(a) this is to notify you of “first contact.”   This pertains to the retweet of your support of gay marriage as attached.

It is my intent to bring this to the attention of the Board  Chair as per Organizational Bylaw  13.2(b) that you are in violation of duties as a Catholic School Trustee (public representative of the Catholic Church) as you are  openly defying teachings of The Catholic Church regarding gay marriage.  Therefore I will be asking the Chair to start the sanction and censure process.

Patricia, it goes without saying, that I am most disappointed in you.  I wish you would keep your personal opinions to yourself until you step down as Catholic school trustee or are removed as a Catholic school trustee.

I am open to discussing this with you.

Sincerely,

Trustee XXXXXXXXXXXX

It seems that ECSB’s management is not only incompetent and likely corrupt, but is actively working to undermine Alberta human rights laws.

The question remains, of course, whether the NDP will do something about it, or let non-government organizations and Patricia Grell take the heat for doing what they won’t.

-Shiv

“It’s intolerant,” whines Catholic school board of their critics

And you know what? They’re damn right. I am intolerant of bronze age morality that teaches you it is okay to psychologically torture somebody because of who they are. What now? You were expecting me to deny it? No. Catholics: Eat a shit sandwich and get the fuck out of public school.

Last August, Wells and Public Interest Alberta issued a “report card” analyzing how well four of those policies complied with laws passed in 2015. They concluded Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools’ policy failed to protect students, and gave Grande Prairie Catholic Schools’ policy a D grade. The school districts refuted Wells’ findings.

Last September, the superintendents of both school districts, the then-president of the Council of Catholic School Superintendents of Alberta and the president of the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association wrote letters to Turpin and university chancellor Douglas Stollery calling Wells’ statements “inaccurate and intolerant.”

They took issue with Wells’ comments that teaching students chastity is “embarrassing and inappropriate in 2016.”

“Is Dr. Wells lecturing his U of A education students to promote their grade school students being sexually active?” state letters from both the Grande Prairie Catholic school board and the Catholic superintendents’ group.

YES. YOU FUCKING IDIOT. IT’S CALLED “SEX EDUCATION.”

-Shiv

Meet the new Bishop

Same as the old Bishop.

“(Bishop Fred Henry) was a very bold bishop in terms of his statements. I’m sure that he has created controversy. I don’t think it’s for that purpose. I think he wants to be provocative, he wants to sort of allow people to understand the truth that might be at stake in some of these social issues,” said William McGrattan, 60.

Coming from Peterborough, McGrattan will be installed as Calgary’s eighth bishop at a mass Monday at St. Mary’s Cathedral, attended by 30 Canadian bishops, local priests and an expected crowd of about 1,000. He is taking the helm of a diocese that covers 79 parishes and missions, 317 Catholic schools and more than 400,000 parishioners who have been guided by the same faith leader for almost two decades.

Bishop Henry was a polarizing figure. Lauded for his work with the poor and on climate change, his conservative positions on same-sex marriage and gender identity were often at odds with those outside, and sometimes inside, the church. He spoke against students receiving the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, encouraged the Catholic School District to abandon casinos as fundraisers and closed three aging churches in Lethbridge in favour of a 1,200-seat mega-church. 

Right, so the Catholic church’s previous representative in Calgary was a science denialist piece of shit who openly flouted Alberta’s human rights laws for the entirety of his tenure. And, as we’ve previously discussed, the current government has the unenviable position of discovering the extent of human rights abuses perpetrated by the Catholic church in this province and now has to deal with the prospect of reining them in or joining the Progressive Conservative’s legacy of tolerating the abuses.

None of this is surprising, particularly to Queer Catholic and ex-Catholic Albertans. So meet the new boss, same as the old boss:

“With regard to gay-straight alliance, even that very terminology creates a sense of what I would say not an agenda but is promoting a certain lifestyle. In Ontario, we call that respecting differences so that we allow young people to know there are differences and that we need to respect those without labelling them with those particular terms.”

Perhaps the most controversial issue in Alberta schools of late is the NDP government’s new guidelines to protect the rights of gay and transgender students and teachers.

Although new to the province, McGrattan did not sidestep the issue.

“I have found them to be a little more strident, a little more directive in terms of how they’re trying to promote this particular theory. And I refer back to that terminology. It is gender theory, it’s not truth and therefore I think we begin to organize our society and establish relationships based on a theory.”

“It’s not truth”?

And it makes you hope they’ll think the same thing about gravity, because then maybe they’ll just… float the fuck away.

–Tim Minchin

-Shiv

Alberta political roundup

Trinity Christian, the private school that was caught cooking its books by the NDP, have had an administrator appointed to manage their finances while the RCMP conducts its investigation concerning allegations of fraud.

Professional douchebag Fred Henry, a Bishop in Calgary infamous for typical Roman Catholic Church douchebaggery, has resigned from his post. He accused the NDP of breathing “pure secularism” …and meant it as a bad thing.

Progressive Conservative supporters continue to cite the NDP’s progressive income taxation and vice taxation as primary reasons to oppose the NDP. Except both policies were also on the PC agenda. Oops.

The Progressive Conservatives have announced no findings of wrongdoing within their own party following the allegations of harassment by former moderate leadership candidate Sandra Jansen. Never mind that they investigated themselves. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

Brian Jean still has no idea how he’s going to “Unite the Right,” but it’ll be good, he pinky-swears.

-Shiv

Catholic “charity” attaches strings to its transgender outreach

If you ever wonder why I am incensed at the entrenched Catholic government services in Alberta, here’s a wonderful demonstration of why. A Catholic charity has opened up in India purporting to offer “outreach” to the trans community, but there are some very, very hard to miss strings attached to this outreach: (emphasis mine)

Caritas India, a branch of Catholic social welfare organization Caritas Internationalis, announced the launch of a program earlier this month designed to fight discriminatory attitudes toward transgender people.

“Caritas is open to work with transgender people. I am even open to recruiting them,” Rev. Frederick D’Souza, executive director of Caritas India, said in a statement reported by Vatican Radio.

The group’s initiative aims to combat bias by conducting outreach to transgender communities as part of its development programs, but it reveals the church’s own internal bias in the process.

D’Souza said he hoped the initiative would mark the “beginning of a new school of thought,” in which Catholic leaders offer greater “attention and support” to those dealing with “sexual confusion in their body.”

In the same breath, D’Souza clarified that the outreach would only go so far. By “transgender,” he said, he was referring to a group he classified as “biological transgenders,” which to him denoted those who identify with a different sex but have not undergone surgery.

“We don’t want to confuse the two,” D’Souza said. “We have an opinion on those who undergo sex change, we are not in favor of that. We believe that the natural gender one is born with is what he/she is supposed to cherish and contribute to creation.”

Par for the course for the abusive Catholic institution, this charity claims to offer help to trans folk (in south Asia, sometimes called hijra) but exploits the opportunity to push psychiatric abuse on those who need its help.

In other words, they have no intentions of helping trans folk at all, since the condition on which the help is offered is that we must be willing to submit to something that the American Psychiatric Association–along with basically every credible mental health professional accreditation body in North America and Europe–recognizes as damaging.

Yet the Catholics proceed apace, ever increasing the amount of reality they’re willing to deny in the name of their holy fucking book.

-Shiv


 

A few days after this post was put on the schedule, another Catholic “charity” hit the news for turfing an employee over her belief that we shouldn’t be dicks to gay people. I guess Christmas is only for straights! (And my straight coworkers legitimately ask why I need to host/attend separate Queer Thanksgivings and Christmases and Easters.)

French Roman Catholics still beating a dead horse

We know that thanks to terrorist efforts, nationalist and fascist groups across the West are gaining momentum. We also know from history that nationalists have a tendency to draw arbitrary lines about what makes one a “true” countryman, and that the QUILTBAG community is always outside those lines. In fact the effect is so predictable that I debated investing stock in the baseball bat business, because we all know nationalists just love to beat dead horses.

So it can’t be a coincidence that French Roman Catholics are sensing a resurgency in homo-antagonism and so organized an anti gay-marriage rally despite the fact that the law passed three years ago.

Thousands of opponents of gay marriage took to the streets of Paris on Sunday to defend their vision of family values, hoping to revive the issue in political debates ahead of next year’s presidential election.

About 24,000 people took part in the demonstration, police said, far fewer than the several hundreds of thousands the group “Demo for All” mobilized in 2012 and 2013 in an unexpectedly strong show of opposition from conservatives, especially Roman Catholics.

The Socialist government legalized same-sex marriage, which it called “Marriage for All”, in 2013.

Police said 13 people were arrested after a scuffle at the protest, including six topless women from the activist group Femen. Some of them had words “Hate is not a family value” scrawled on their chests.

Organizers of Sunday’s protest aim to pressure politicians on the right, who face a presidential primary next month, to agree to repeal the law if they are elected president.

The protesters marched through prosperous western sections of Paris, waving French flags and the “Demo for All” movement’s blue and pink colors. Some held signs declaring “All together for the family” and “In 2017, I’ll vote for the family.”

Again, they seldom bother to explain how not shitting on Queer people somehow constitutes an assault on the family. Meanwhile QUILTBAG people wanting to, you know, start a family, still can’t thanks to the abusive Catholic lobby.

Let’s say I really like turkey sandwiches, so I go to a sub store to get a turkey sandwich. What the anti-gay lobbyists are doing is essentially shouting from the spot behind me in line that I shouldn’t be allowed to have a turkey sandwich because they prefer ham sandwiches. That the ham is still there for them to purchase seems to escape them.

I will never understand the rationale for this so-called “family values” rhetoric because they obviously are operating from a very twisted idea of what family is.

Needless to say, fuck off Christofascists. Those of us privy to history know better than to view you as anything but a menace.

-Shiv

Polish Catholics aren’t done assaulting women’s rights

Apparently not satisfied with its standings in the “Top 5 Worst European Countries to be a Woman in,” Polish Catholic lobbyists have pushed for yet another abortion restriction following the coattails of the nationwide protest on their previous proposal: Criminalizing abortions performed on fetuses with fatal or severe abnormalities.

Polish protesters have launched fresh demonstrations against efforts to further tighten abortion laws.

Women’s rights activists held a rally outside the parliament building in Warsaw, with more action expected on Monday.

Poland’s MPs rejected a near-total ban on abortions on 6 October after mass protests against the move.

But there are new proposals to outlaw abortions in cases where foetuses are unviable or badly damaged.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the governing Law and Justice Party (PiS), has said his socially conservative party is working on a new restrictive bill.

In an interview on 12 October (in Polish), he said: “We will strive to ensure that even in pregnancies which are very difficult, when a child is sure to die, strongly deformed, women end up giving birth so that the child can be baptised, buried, and have a name.”

Un-fucking-believable. Leave it to Catholic men to tell women they have to give birth to something that is dead all cloaked under the guise of a fucking fairy tale. This thinly-veiled attempt to punish women for existing outside the patriarchal confines of the Catholic church must fail.

Fuck Kaczynski. Again this fucker fails to even let women enter the frame when he thinks about this issue.

Gettin real angry at conservative men in politics these days.

-Shiv