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Mar 27 2012

1.5 million children stolen

If you kidnap one child, there’s an APB and a massive police response and if you’re caught, you’ll be spending a good long while in jail. If you kidnap a million children over decades, you’re a source of morality and goodness. So think big!


Just needs a clerical collar…

In some cases, mothers in Australia were drugged and forced to sign papers relinquishing custody. In others, women were told their children had died. Single mothers also did not have access to the financial support given to widows or abandoned wives, and many were told by doctors, nurses, and social workers that they were unfit to raise a child. Siewert says, “We heard practices that were either illegal or unethical and downright cruel.”

“It wouldn’t surprise me to hear the same thing happened elsewhere,” continues Siewert, “…the U.K., the U.S., Canada and Ireland. So you could, I think, expect that those countries also had these sorts of practices.”

I suspect you can guess who’s behind such contemptible acts: it’s the Catholic Church, of course, arbiter of morality, who have long held that a woman has no autonomy at all and must be supported by a good strong manly man…so single mothers are obviously unfit to care for a child.

Ironically, Bill Donohue has issued a press release whining about how the Reason Rally singled out Catholicism for venom (it didn’t). He takes vindication in our contempt for his religion.

Catholics take note: The fact that the atheists always attack us more than any other religious group is a backhanded compliment. They know who the real enemy of hate is, and who they must defeat. They don’t have a prayer.

Sorry, Bill. The record is clear. Your church is not an enemy of hate at all; it’s a sinkhole of depravity and oppression. The church is attacked because it’s a monstrous institution. And if it is attacked more than other religions, it’s only because it commits more crimes than others.

188 comments

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  1. 1
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    This is rich coming from the flaming gasbag who is scared of “secular Jews”. I guess that is the group he is really scared of.

  2. 2
    billygutter01

    Bill Donohue? Geez, what a shocker…

  3. 3
    Aratina Cage

    First time I’ve noticed the “fuckbrained assholes” tag, which fits Donohue and other apologists for the Catholic Church’s crimes against humanity perfectly.

  4. 4
    chigau (違う)

    If he has God On His Side™, why is he so fucking scared of us?

  5. 5
    richardelguru

    “They don’t have a prayer”
    I would hope not!

  6. 6
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    He is not scared, chigau. He is a warrior doing battle with his greatest weapons, huffing and puffing while getting red in the face. He is not allowed to use sharp weapons anymore.

  7. 7
    'Tis Himself

    Bill Donohue is a professional victim.

  8. 8
    holytape

    “Atheist don’t have a prayer.” ** Puts on sunglasses and walks away from the explosion without turning around.

  9. 9
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    It is even easier to abuse children if you illegal and coercively take them away from their parents first. Catholic church, fucking criminal organization.

    Kidnappers, rapists, and aiders and abettors thereof.

  10. 10
    Inaji

    They don’t have a prayer.

    We don’t need one.

  11. 11
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    I peeked into the comments. Amid all the expected nonsense is this:

    The maternity hospital I worked in had a long history of withholding anesthesia for young unwed moms earlier this century. Someone had to teach these harlots a lesson, right?

  12. 12
    A. R

    Hmm, I was expecting this story to come out of Ireland or Canada before Australia. I can only imagine what is going to come out of Latin America and the Philippines in a few years. You know the funny thing? Anytime I read about some new horror committed in the name of Xtianity, the first sentence to come to mind is “And where does it say the RCC did it?” It’s turning into something of a farce. Except that it’s not. Real people are hurt by these actions.

  13. 13
    pedantik

    Oh, I think the RC church got a pretty healthy dose of venom at the rally. Especially from Tim Minchin’s ‘Pope Song’. It’s still playing in my head.

  14. 14
    Serendipitydawg(rebel without paws)

    The big draw was Englishman Richard Dawkins. He implored the crowd to “ridicule and show contempt” for people of faith. “Mock them, ridicule them in public,” he bellowed. Especially Catholics. Dawkins not only mocked the Eucharist…

    With that inerpretation of RD’s rather softly spoken comments, the tone of the remainder is scarcely a surprise. Nice to see that the persecution complex is as strong as ever.

  15. 15
    Serendipitydawg(rebel without paws)

    Oh good grief! interpretation. That’s touch screen pseudo keyboards for you.

  16. 16
    Pteryxx

    Keep in mind that in the US, Crisis Pregnancy Centers (generally religiously affiliated, anti-abortion misinformation mills) push young women to have babies for religious adoption organizations.

    Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), the nonprofit pregnancy-testing facilities set up by antiabortion groups to dissuade women from having abortions, have become fixtures of the antiabortion landscape, buttressed by an estimated $60 million in federal abstinence and marriage-promotion funds. The National Abortion Federation estimates that as many as 4,000 CPCs operate in the United States, often using deceptive tactics like posing as abortion providers and showing women graphic antiabortion films. While there is growing awareness of how CPCs hinder abortion access, the centers have a broader agenda that is less well known: they seek not only to induce women to “choose life” but to choose adoption, either by offering adoption services themselves, as in Bethany’s case, or by referring women to Christian adoption agencies. Far more than other adoption agencies, conservative Christian agencies demonstrate a pattern and history of coercing women to relinquish their children.

    Uh…

    In 2007 the FRC and NCFA went beyond overlapping mandates to collaborate on the publication of another pamphlet, written by Kenny, “Birthmother, Goodmother: Her Story of Heroic Redemption,” which targets “potential birthmothers” before pregnancy: a seeming contradiction of abstinence promotion, unless, as DelBalzo wryly notes, the abstinence movement intends to create “more babies available for adoption.”

    Source

    That’s from an article written by Kathryn Joyce, author of “Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement”

  17. 17
    Menyambal

    Catholicism is THE largest religious grouping in the world, and is one with a single leader and its own nation. If you start throwing insults at random, you are most likely to hit a Catholic. If you want to target just religious leaders, the pope is the obvious target. If you are hating on hierarchy, sheeple, greed, corruption or past misdeeds, Catholicism is the epitome of religion. It is the obvious and almost unavoidable target.

  18. 18
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    From the link:

    Two weeks ago, a prominent Canadian law firm announced that it would file a class-action lawsuit against Quebec’s Catholic Church accusing the Church of kidnapping, fraud and coercion to force unwed mothers to give up their children for adoption.

    We need more of this. The reports and inquiries are only so helpful– gotta bring this shit to light first– but we need people who are willing to tie the Church up in lawsuits for years and hit them where it hurts. These fuckers need to be bled dry.

  19. 19
    Rutee Katreya

    I just. Wow. Can the catholic church like, stop existing, right now? Because seriously.

  20. 20
    Inaji

    Audley:

    These fuckers need to be bled dry.

    I agree. However, considering the amount of loot they’re sittin’ on, that could take a very long time. Even having to pay out reparations to a fair amount of sexual abuse victims hasn’t made that serious of a dent. I’d dearly like to see every single asset frozen and then seized.

  21. 21
    Lord Mawkscribbler

    Ah, it’s always shocking to see what’s going on in Donohue’s Doublethink Processing Unit. He is, I suppose, right in noticing that his own pet church is coming under a lot of flack. What he does not seem to realise is that IT DESERVES IT.

    Is he simply unaware of all these sickening stories being uncovered?

    Or does he think that they are the work of a few isolated individuals, entirely unconnected with the bulk of the hierarchy? If so, he’s a moron: does he think ‘oooh, here’s a scandal in Australia, ooh, and another one in Ireland. Oh, and yet another in the USA, oh, very nasty that one. Very sad. Very sad.’ and nothing else? Does he not realise that there are so many of these vile abuses of the trust and the persons of those given over into the Church’s case, that the only way it can be described is as a poison rotting through the core of the Catholic Church? That there can be no way that the highest ranks of the church are not corrupted by knowledge of what was going on?

    I can understand how an ordinary member of the laity (my own friends and relatives included) can push these revelations to one side, can hide the horror stories behind a firewall in their brains. But Donohue is an apologist of the Church. He is a writer who seeks to defend it! How can he ignore the actions of the church? (OK, rhetorical question. The answer: he’s a dishonest pillock)

    Sorry that this is a bit ranty. Okay, VERY ranty. But Donohue really irks me.

  22. 22
    Inaji

    Adding to mine @ 20:

    Also, they have no shortage of people still willing to hand them money. That is the reason to never stop bringing their evil into the light and talking about it very loudly.

  23. 23
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Caine,
    You’re totally right. Hell, charge them with whatever organized crime laws that apply, whatever brings those fuckers down.

  24. 24
    Inaji

    Audley:

    Hell, charge them with whatever organized crime laws that apply, whatever brings those fuckers down.

    Yep. And it will never be enough. Never enough to answer for the hundreds of years of funding wars, torture, murder and stealing. Assholes like Donohue can cram a porcupine down their throat and shove an armadillo up their ass for even thinking to defend such an institution of evil.

  25. 25
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Caine,

    Also, they have no shortage of people still willing to hand them money.

    Yeah. Sadly, I’ve got Catholic family who still see the Church as a good thing. *spits*

  26. 26
    Randomfactor

    I agree. However, considering the amount of loot they’re sittin’ on, that could take a very long time.

    At least make them commit the unforgiveable sin of dipping into capital.

  27. 27
    pjabardo

    The same thing happened in Spain. It started after the civil war where the fascists wanted to erase any influence from the godless reds – communists and anarchists. This went on well into the 80s. The catholic church never ceases to amaze me: nothing is too low for them…

  28. 28
    robro

    @Lord #21 — This is basic Alien PsychoMechanics 101. His Delusion Unit blocks out reality so that the Doublethink Processing Unit can continue functioning. He is aware of the stories, of course, but the DU has many tools available for dismissing them.

    @ Menyambal — Yep, it’s the largest under a single leader, at least. And, it’s highly organized and has a over a millennium of entrenchment and connections to governments. It’s so habituated to it’s faults and shortcomings, and the rationalizations so thorough, that the Church doesn’t even realize what it’s done.

    Worth noting that the article also reports that the Salvation Army is implicated in theses practices. Supports the notion that these practices were widespread among Christian “charities” and not specific to Catholics. It’s hard not to hit Catholics, but it’s good to keep sight of the others and not let them hide behind the big Church. For example, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest single Protestant church in the US, operated similar “homes” for unwed mothers and orphanages. One wonders if they engaged in similar practices.

  29. 29
    A. R

    I wonder if the government could go after the Pope under the RICO act. Walton!?!?!!?!?!!

  30. 30
    edwardseedhouse

    The Catholics are certainly not alone. The Anglican Church cultists in Canada kidnapped, with the backing of the provincial and federal governments, nearly all of the children who were descendants of the people already here when Europeans arrived (Known, oddly, as `Indians`) and put them in jails disguised as schools where they were brainwashed, fortunately not entirely successfully, to forget their ancestral heritage. Other protestant cults were involved in this as well.

    The Anglican Church cult (in which I was raised) did eventually apologize, but no one ever went to jail for these crimes.

  31. 31
    A. R

    edwardseedhouse: Umm… More explanation please.

  32. 32
    Rutee Katreya

    He’s referring to what happened to the indigenous peoples of Canada and the US. Numerous kids were taken from their home and forcibly educated to be like white people. Because hte problem was they just weren’t white enough.

  33. 33
    Part-Time Insomniac

    It no longer surprises me that the RCC is getting the heat turned up under its ass. What gets me is what they’ve done and likely would do just to keep their show rolling. They’ve cornered the market on being shady.

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Inaji

    Ruteekatreya:

    Numerous kids were taken from their home and forcibly educated to be like white people. Because hte problem was they just weren’t white enough.

    The problem was that these, er, people were savages. The solution? Oh, lock up the adults, better yet, kill ‘em, then kidnap the kids and stick them in a religion run orphanage/school and don’t worry about buggery, they’re just savages, after all. Who are they gonna tell?

    All the major Christian denominations have a fuckton to answer for when it comes to indigenous peoples. The legacy of that crap is still being seen and dealt with today.

  36. 36
    A. R

    Pteryxx: Thanks!

  37. 37
    Aquaria

    AR:

    #30 is talking about the odious “Indian schools” which took children from Native American parents by force and put them in boarding schools so they could be indoctrinated into whiteness. They were usually forced into christardery as well. These schools were most prevalent from the 1880s-1920s, but several thousand Native American kids in the US are still in them. The Canadian system has been as awful as the American, if not worse.

    A lot of kids have endured a lot of pain and suffering, up to and including murder, in these schools.

  38. 38
    patrickbarrett

    I don’t think anything the world’s largest criminal organization does could surprise me anymore.

  39. 39
    Ing

    The big draw was Englishman Richard Dawkins. He implored the crowd to “ridicule and show contempt” for people of faith. “Mock them, ridicule them in public,” he bellowed. Especially Catholics. Dawkins not only mocked the Eucharist…

    I listened to the speech. it is hilarious how he is intentionally misframing this for propaganda.

    Oh btw Billy, you got less time for mockery than the Mormons.

    Also missed the line “I respect you too much to not question whether you really believe that”

    His whole speech was about questioning believers about what exactly they believe…and Billy since 90% of your church use condoms he has a point.

  40. 40
    Pteryxx

    For example, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest single Protestant church in the US, operated similar “homes” for unwed mothers and orphanages. One wonders if they engaged in similar practices.

    I dunno about any *specific* church, but my point in linking the CPC article was that coercive, callous, and dishonest practices to force adoption are still going on in the US today, under Christian auspices. Several birth mothers interviewed in the OP article are describing practices in the US, too.

    It just happens to be Australia’s Parliament who carried out the investigation that headlines this story. It says Dan Rather is preparing for a major news report on May 1st covering forced adoptions worldwide:

    We have interviewed numerous women in the U.S. who told us that they were sent to maternity homes, denied contact with their families and friends, forced to endure labor with purposely painful procedures and return home without their babies. Single, American mothers were also denied financial support and told that their children would be better off without them.

    In some cases, they too were told that their babies had died. Many signed away their rights while drugged and exhausted after childbirth. Others were threatened with substantial medical bills if they didn’t surrender or were manipulated through humiliation. According to Fessler, these seemingly unethical practices were used against as many as 1.5 million mothers in the United States.

    (from the OP article)

  41. 41
    Gregory Greenwood

    Lord Mawkscribbler @ 21;

    Is he simply unaware of all these sickening stories being uncovered?

    The way I see it there are a few possible interpretations for his lack of acknowledgement of these horrors.

    1) If one is feeling generous, one could say that he is somehow unaware, or has managed to convince himself that all the incidences of child rape and the coverups thereof, the de facto abduction of minors along with the vast numbers of deaths caused by lying about contraception and all the other horror stories associated with the Catholic Church are all aprt of a massive conspiracy – a hatchet job done to discredit the mother church by teh ebil atheists/teh gheys/teh feminazis. Transparent ploys such as the ridiculous ‘gay infiltration’ attempt to deflect responsibility for the epidemic of clerical child rape onto the homosexual community tend to be lapped up by such people.

    2) Alternatively, it may be that he smply doesn’t care. The Church is his meal-ticket, and he knows it. He is somehow capable of turning a blind eye to the abuses of the church because his livlihood depends on it, and the only person in the world he truly carers about is one Bill Donohue, and so as long as he is alright the suffering of millions is of little consequence to him.

    3) Finally, it is quite possible that Donohue is so far gone, so mired in the hateful, dehumanising dogma of the church that he actually feels that all the church’s victims deserved it.

    Such a person might ‘think’ (I use that term loosely here) thusly:-

    “Victims of child rape? Why, they were clearly wanton child-demons sent by teh debil to seduce the godly, and so brought their rapes upon themsleves.”

    “Single mothers whose children are taken from them? Why, such base sluts are clearly unworthy of motherhood.”

    “Homosexuals who kill themselves due to theistic victimisation? It is not our fault that they chose such an immoral lifestyle, and that it destroyed them.”

    People who die from AIDS because thet don’t use condoms due to the Catholic Church’s claims that they are immoral? Everyone knows that condoms are a tool of evil secularists that are engineered with microscopic holes and actually cause AIDS. BHesides, AIDS id all the fault of teh gheys, anyway.”

    “Women who are forced to give birth against their will and may even die from preventable complications due to a lack of abortion servces caused by catholic demonisation of abortion? Those harlots should have thought of that before they spread their legs…”

    And so on ad nauseam. This is what religion can do to a person; drain the empathy out of them until they can look upon the suffering of their fellow humans, caused in part by their own hands, and feel nothing but contempt for their victims.

    I cannot say which one is dominant with Donohue, but I imagine that it is probably a mix of various quantities of all three, perhaps with a bias toward the monstrous, smug, judgemental, self-righteous piety of option number three.

  42. 42
    chigau (違う)

    I believe The Plan for residential schools was to Help™ the children to become Productive Members Of Society™.
    I don’t think The Plan ever included letting them use your bathroom, let alone marry your sister.
    Or vote.

  43. 43
    doktorzoom

    He is, I suppose, right in noticing that his own pet church is coming under a lot of flack. What he does not seem to realise is that IT DESERVES IT.

    At the risk of a Godwin infraction, clearly he needs to consider the possibility that They’re the baddies.

  44. 44
    Inaji

    Gregory:

    Finally, it is quite possible that Donohue is so far gone, so mired in the hateful, dehumanising dogma of the church that he actually feels that all the church’s victims deserved it.

    It’s not all that complex, really. Catholics are brought up to believe not only in the infallibility of the pope, but the infallibility of the church in general. Church is all. When Donohue goes ranty about people saying nasty stuff, it’s because he views the Church as the only actual victim.

  45. 45
    raven

    Finally, it is quite possible that Donohue is so far gone, so mired in the hateful, dehumanising dogma of the church that he actually feels that all the church’s victims deserved it.

    It’s simpler than that.

    Bill Donohue makes a huge amount of money lying for the Catholic church. It’s easy work since nothing he says has any connection to reality.

    You just have to be an amoral sociopath but that wasn’t any problem for Donohue.

  46. 46
    A. R

    doktorzoom: That’s not a Godwin. Remember, legitimate comparisons are often not subject to the law.

  47. 47
    raven

    I’ve always been neutral on adoption. Never thought about it much one way or another.

    From what I’ve seen lately, it is starting to look like something that could end up a nightmare for the adopted out baby.

    I wouldn’t want any child of mine adopted by Mormons, fundie xians, or the small number of hardcore Catholics that really believe all that stuff.

  48. 48
    Rey Fox

    “Englishman” Richard Dawkins? Is this to contrast him to the Catholic hierarchy, which is as American as apple pie?

    I think I’ve posed this question before, but might not have stuck around to see it answered: Could anyone help me out with the process of officially dropping my name from the Catholic membership rolls? I don’t want to be one of their numbers anymore, and I feel like writing a super-scathing letter to make it known. Is there any chance that this information would subsequently make its way to the local parish for the purpose of attempting to shame me back into the flock?

  49. 49
    Gregory Greenwood

    Caine, Fleur du Mal @ 44;

    It’s not all that complex, really. Catholics are brought up to believe not only in the infallibility of the pope, but the infallibility of the church in general. Church is all. When Donohue goes ranty about people saying nasty stuff, it’s because he views the Church as the only actual victim.

    Good point – the brainwashing that goes with many forms of religion is certainly pervasive. When we call catholicism a ‘death cult’ we do it for more than just the opportunity to annoy the Donohues of the world. The catholic church (in common with the vast majority of organised religion) is a cult, just one that has grown larger, richer and more influential than most.

    —————————————————————-

    Raven @ 45;

    It’s simpler than that.

    Bill Donohue makes a huge amount of money lying for the Catholic church. It’s easy work since nothing he says has any connection to reality.

    You just have to be an amoral sociopath but that wasn’t any problem for Donohue.

    So, you favour explanation number two from my original post @ 41;

    2) Alternatively, it may be that he simply doesn’t care. The Church is his meal-ticket, and he knows it. He is somehow capable of turning a blind eye to the abuses of the church because his livlihood depends on it, and the only person in the world he truly cares about is one Bill Donohue, and so as long as he is alright the suffering of millions is of little consequence to him.

    I know that remote diagnosis is definitely a bad thing, but one has to wonder about the capacity for empathy of a person who can spout such toxic and harmful lies as Donohue does for nothing more than a pay cheque, if that is what he is doing.

  50. 50
    gardengnome

    Love that photo of Dawkins on the CL site – you can almost see the horns sprouting… Incidentally, Dawkins is a well-known international figure, does describing him as an “Englishman” suggest even greater evil?

  51. 51
    becca

    We were rejected by Catholic Social Services when we were looking to adopt (I had been divorced, and my husband had a back injury that technically made him “disabled” – which he isn’t.). It’s stories like this that make me glad we adopted in an open adoption. I don’t think I could stand being afraid that my kids had been kidnapped from their birth mothers for my sake.

  52. 52
    A. R

    gardengnome: Well, since the whole British Empire thing, English people have been hated around the world. It’s even worse when you’re an American who is culturally English.

  53. 53
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    This artical made me cry. It makes me angry and a whole lot less tolerant of those around me who continue to espouse their catholic rubbish.

    @Rey Fox #48. I don’t know about officially, but Catherine Deveney (Aussie comedian) does a very funny routine called “God is Bullshit,” in which the denoument has her performing a “deconversion” (or is it de-baptism). I saw it at last year’s Melb comedy festival.

  54. 54
    Menyambal

    I have always found it odd that religious people do adoption, especially as an alternative to abortion. If they’d think about it in their worldview, they take the offspring of shameless, careless women who would happily kill their own children, and give the children over to be raised by people who God, in his wisdom, rendered childless.

    I could see a sermon condemning the practice in those terms, delivered by a fiery preacher.

    Mind you, that’s not my opinion. It’s just what they’d be saying if the money went the other way.

  55. 55
    Rumtopf

    I remember reading about the same disgusting things happening in Spain, here actually: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/10/17/catholicism-steals-a-generation-of-spanish-children/

    Like people are saying more and more, the RCC is the largest criminal organisation in the world.

  56. 56
    echidna

    Well, since the whole British Empire thing, English people have been hated around the world.

    Do you think so? I don’t get that vibe from any of the Commonwealth countries.

  57. 57
    epikt

    @Menyambal — damned dirty ape #17:

    I suppose it was inevitable that I read your first line as, “Catholicism is THE largest religious groping in the world”

  58. 58
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    A.R:

    Hmm, I was expecting this story to come out of Ireland or Canada before Australia.

    I heard about the cases in Spain last year on NPR. I agree with you that, in the U.S., the RCC ought to be prosecuted under RICO, and in other countries, under whatever similar legislation exists.

    (How did you not know about residential schools? If you’re American or Canadian, you should know.)

    Menyambal, gawd’s rendering of certain people sterile is one of those little details the fundies just work around, like eating shellfish or wearing blended fibers or giving to the poor. The only people who are bound to accept their natchurrrall physical conditions are women, or people too poor to afford medical care.

  59. 59
    A. R

    echidna: Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m also an American that has given me that impression (mostly in Africa and Northern India). Though some of my English friends report the same. I wonder if it has something to do with accent.

  60. 60
    charlessoto

    Made me think of this Atwood piece: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/20/handmaids-tale-margaret-atwood

  61. 61
    A. R

    Ms. Daisy Cutter: Feel free to blame the educational system int he U.S. for my ignorance of that particular horror. That or the fact that it’s been nearly a decade since I’ve taken a history class of any kind.

  62. 62
    Susannah

    Pteryx # 40:

    We have interviewed numerous women in the U.S. who told us that they were sent to maternity homes, denied contact with their families and friends, forced to endure labor with purposely painful procedures and return home without their babies.

    I had the doubtful privilege of visiting a group home for unwed mothers in the state of Washington, in 1958. My dad was accountant for the Christian organization that ran it, and had some business there. I just waited for him in the living room.

    What I saw was a bunch of teenage girls, just like me, but pregnant. They were doing normal things; reading, ironing, etc. But there was a quietness about the place, a sense of sadness; none of the busy chatter of my friends at school.

    I had never seen a pregnant teenager before, unless she was married. But at school, we knew of girls who went away to “visit relatives”, and came back quietly a year later, and a year behind their classmates. They never talked about it, but we knew they had “fallen” and were now suspect.

    None of them came back with children.

    By the way, mine was a Christian fundamentalist school. Maybe girls in the godless public schools could be brazen hussies who had babies openly, and even kept them. Not in our schools and churches; never!

  63. 63
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Ms. Daisy Cutter: Feel free to blame the educational system int he U.S. for my ignorance of that particular horror.

    The only reason I knew of this was I went to elementary school with Havasu, Hopi and Navajo kids. And at least one of the Navajo kids’ father attended an ‘Indian School’. Unwillingly.

    When I moved east, and mentioned this in an American history class, I was told to stop lying; those schools never existed and, if they had, they were needed to stop the bloodthirsty savages.

  64. 64
    Susannah

    I should add that, a few years later, I “fell” just as badly. By this time, though, I was out of college, so the father and I just got hustled into a quick wedding. Well before the baby was due, we were pressured into leaving the country. We came back with a 2 month old boy, telling people, on instructions from my parents, that he was only 1 month old. (As if that would fool any experienced parent!)

    I came out with the truth a couple of years later. Mom was terribly disappointed in me.

  65. 65
    chigau (違う)

    A. R
    I am Canadian.
    I never heard a whisper about residential schools in any history class.
    I’ve always known about residential schools.

  66. 66
    Pteryxx

    I didn’t even know about US “Indian schools” until Stephanie Zvan’s post a couple months ago; nor the Trail of Tears until an online friend with First Nations blood mentioned it. The complete silence on the icky parts of US history is shameful.

    I had never seen a pregnant teenager before, unless she was married. But at school, we knew of girls who went away to “visit relatives”, and came back quietly a year later, and a year behind their classmates. They never talked about it, but we knew they had “fallen” and were now suspect.

    None of them came back with children.

    By the way, mine was a Christian fundamentalist school. Maybe girls in the godless public schools could be brazen hussies who had babies openly, and even kept them. Not in our schools and churches; never!

    I live near a Christian fundie boarding school, and I’ve heard that a few girls there turn up pregnant every year. The adults shake their heads and clamp down harder on the abstinence-only. Nobody has ever mentioned to me what happens to those girls or their babies, but I have my suspicions.

  67. 67
    Rutee Katreya

    FWIW I know about those schools from AP US History, but I don’t remember if it was in the curriculum. Ate those damn textbooks up, always have with history.

  68. 68
    alisonstreight

    Here’s another horror perpetrated by the RCC.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duplessis_Orphans

    It adds yet another wrinkle to the removal of babies from their mothers.

  69. 69
    TimKO,,.,,

    If you kidnap a million children over decades, you’re a source of morality and goodness.

    It’s the same with being a serial killer (Stalin), a mass murderer (Pol Pot) or an organized crime kingpin (Dick Cheney).

  70. 70
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Ah, right, A.R, I forgot, it’s impossible to learn about anything in life unless you’re studying it in a classroom.

  71. 71
    crowepps

    Indian Boarding Schools — I highly recommend “My Name Is Not Easy” –

    http://www.amazon.com/My-Name-Is-Not-Easy/dp/1455879541/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

  72. 72
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    A.R.: Like chigau, I’m Canadian. And like chigau, the history of the First Nations genocide was not taught in the schools I attended. Except, like most of the people I knew, I’ve pretty much always known about residential schools. Shock! Learning can happen outside of classrooms! Especially when it comes to learning that nastier parts of history!

    Back in the 50s, in rural New Brunswick, my aunt got pregnant at 14. My grandmother gave her a range of options, ranging from “visiting an aunt”, getting a “new baby sibling”, or actually having the kid, with the provision that finishing school would be a part of the plan regardless. My aunt chose to marry the guy, have the kid, and they’re still together. It was considered beyond shocking in the community and especially the church that my grandmother had even given her a choice instead of packing her off to have the baby forcibly adopted out.

  73. 73
    Pteryxx

    Ah, right, A.R, I forgot, it’s impossible to learn about anything in life unless you’re studying it in a classroom.

    It’s a lot harder, yeah. I might’ve been unusually isolated, but I never heard adults talk about racism or any sort of history of oppression. Far from it – I unearthed some of my old children’s books that are about the White Missionaries bringing enlightenment to various dirty brown savages. (All I learned was that other people live in strange and interesting ways, and Christians take credit for science and medicine.) I never saw any of this on TV, movies, news, books or magazines that I was allowed to read. Even in college I never heard a peep – I just thought it was very strange that there were only 3 black students in a class of 1000, and when I went to talk to them, other *white* students pulled me back and said “Don’t talk to them, you should be afraid!” I just thought they were being ridiculous.

    Sure, if I’d known to be suspicious, I could have searched and found this stuff out; but how would I have known to be suspicious? I might be unusually sheltered or naive, sure, but I’m hardly the only one:

    The National Assessment of Educational Progress—commonly called “The Nation’s Report Card”—tells a dismal story: Only 2% of high school seniors in 2010 could answer a simple question about the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. And it’s no surprise. Across the country, state educational standards virtually ignore our civil rights history.

    Generally speaking, the farther away from the South—and the smaller the African-American population—the less attention paid to the civil rights movement. Sixteen states do not require any instruction whatsoever about the movement. In another 19, coverage is minimal. In almost all states, there is tremendous room for improvement.1

    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/publications/teaching-the-movement

  74. 74
    A. R

    Ms. Daisy Cutter: You would be surprised at what you can not learn when you spend your childhood in a Conservative (in the traditional sense) family in the rural Midwest with your nose firmly planted in biology texts.

  75. 75
    joed

    Until the 1970′s there were laws in several U S States that allowed the State to actually “sterilize” a young woman if she was deemed out of control by the court. Basically the sterilizing was performed on white girls that ran around with negro boys. California was big on this and most southern states to naturally.
    These laws may still be on the books in some states but they would not be used today, would they?

  76. 76
    joed

    EUGENICS FOR THE MASSES
    These “sterilization” laws stemmed from the old Buck vs Bell (1927) Supreme Court decision.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_v._Bell

    The ruling was written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. In support of his argument that the interest of the states in a “pure” gene pool outweighed the interest of individuals in their bodily integrity, he argued:
    “ We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.

  77. 77
    chigau (違う)

    In Alberta we also had a Eugenics Board.
    They approved sterilizing the “mentally deficient”.
    I was taught about that in school; it was presented as a good thing.
    (google it youselves, I’m bleaching my computer)

  78. 78
    Pteryxx

    Ms. Daisy Cutter: You would be surprised at what you can not learn when you spend your childhood in a Conservative (in the traditional sense) family in the rural Midwest with your nose firmly planted in biology texts.

    ^ this. Except I wasn’t rural or in the Midwest.

  79. 79
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    joed@ #75 It was also policy against First Nations women (mostly) in Alberta and BC until 1972. Also frequently done without the knowledge of the women/girls. Quite a few women found out what that operation they’d had ad children were when they went to a doctor to find out why they couldn’t conceive.

    As far as whether it’s impossible now? Your assessment is cute.
    http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/appeals_court_overturns_judge_who_ordered_sterilization_for_schizophrenic_p/

  80. 80
    Inaji

    Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    Ah, right, A.R, I forgot, it’s impossible to learn about anything in life unless you’re studying it in a classroom.

    Not that I’m in the mood to defend A.R’s particular density, however, there was a concerted effort to hush up what was being done to indigenous people altogether, not just the kidnapping and brainwashing of children. It still goes on to a great extent, in that it’s not widely taught, and unless someone finds out about it, there’s no obvious body of work about it.

  81. 81
    A. R

    Now the eugenics stuff I do know about. I think I first read about it in o0ne of those biology texts. (I still have them all somewhere. They’re all probably horribly obsolete by now though)

  82. 82
    Snivelling Little Ratfaced Git

    My parents adopted my sister (at about 1 month) in 1969 through one of Sydney’s major public hospitals. We were deemed to be a ‘good’ family – my parents already had three boys, my dad had a steady job, and we lived in a normal house in the suburbs. We loved her, and continue to love her simply as our daughter/sister.

    My sister’s mother, on the other hand, was unmarried. Immediately following my sister’s birth, she was told that the baby had died. From what we understand her own mother was complicit in the deception.

    My sister found her birth mother about ten years ago, and they now have a decent relationship (no, it didn’t ruin her relationship with our mother). Her birth mother was somewhat surprised when my sister contacted her, because she still believed her to be dead.

    I can’t imagine the anger she must continue to feel for the years of pain, courtesy of such institutionalised horrors.

  83. 83
    Erp

    Admittedly sterilization of unwilling women (and men) was one thing the Catholic hierarchy was opposed to in the 20th century so one check mark on the plus side for that (it was also opposed to laws banning interracial marriages). The other side is they also opposed allowing contraception for willing women and men (except for abstinence).

  84. 84
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    @Erp,

    They had also stopped burning people at the stake. Should we give them a positive mark for that as well?

  85. 85
    Inaji

    Erp:

    Admittedly sterilization of unwilling women (and men) was one thing the Catholic hierarchy was opposed to in the 20th century so one check mark on the plus side for that

    No, it’s not a check mark on the ‘plus side’. There is no plus side when it comes to the Catholic Church. They have actively committed evil acts for hundreds of years. They are still actively committing evil acts. As for them being against sterilizing people against their will? Try again.

  86. 86
    timgueguen

    The history of eugenics in Alberta is a good example of how the idea was popular across the political and religious spectrum. The eugenics program was introduced in 1928 by the United Farmers of Alberta government. When the Alberta Social Credit Party became the government in 1935 they expanded the mandate of the Alberta Eugenics Board. The SoCred Premier, William Aberhart, was known as Bible Bill because he first came to fame as a Baptist preacher and one of the first radio evangelists in Canada. His successor as SoCred leader and Premier, Ernest Manning, continued the program.(A student of Aberhart, he appeared on Aberhart’s broadcasts as a preacher, and continued to do so even after entering politics.) It was the Progressive Conservative government of Peter Lougheed that finally dismantled the Board in 1972.

  87. 87
    sadunlap

    @ ERP #83

    Admittedly sterilization of unwilling women (and men) was one thing the Catholic hierarchy was opposed to in the 20th century so one check mark on the plus side for that

    It’s not about women’s rights, it’s about creating more Catholics.

    This was not humanitarian nor altruistic on the Catholic Church’s part. The Church has a long history of trying to “make more Catholics.” Priests as late as the 20th century pressured doctors and midwives into choosing the baby when only the mother or baby could be saved in a difficult childbirth. The Church has greater chances of obtaining more years of membership in the church from the baby than from the mother.

    But mostly the church works by obstructing contraception, opposing sex education, and, well, stealing children to raise them as Catholics. In the immediate post-WWII period Jewish parents in Nazi occupied territory who entrusted their children with Catholic families during the war found that the foster parents refused to give them back. On the advice of their priests the families took in the children and on the advice of the priests they resisted returning them.

    Sometimes what looks progressive and humanitarian on the surface does not look so great when you delve into the larger context.

  88. 88
    amoeba

    “It wouldn’t surprise me to hear the same thing happened elsewhere,” continues Siewert, “…the U.K., the U.S., Canada and Ireland. So you could, I think, expect that those countries also had these sorts of practices.”

    It did happen in the UK, the children were often also subsequently abused.

    An interesting history while from an Australian perspective reveals that forced migration or through duplicity directed at the children and the children themselves. Often achieved by falsely informing the children they were orphaned and painting an unrealistic and untrue picture of their likely future in their future country.
    This has been going on for centuries! Destinations, essentially much of the British Empire and it included both former colonies in North America!
    Yes, the Catholic Church Vatican’s worldwide network of paedophiles were involved, but they weren’t the only organisation.

    A similar outrage happened in Spain too.
    Spain’s stolen babies and the families who lived a lie

    Assignment: Spain’s Stolen Babies: 03 Nov 11.

  89. 89
    Midnight Rambler

    It’s already well-documented in Ireland, where many of the “orphans” were children forcibly taken from single mothers. Many said that the emotional abuse was worse than the physical or sexual abuse (which was also pervasive). Some bits from the 2009 Ryan Report (warning: severely disturbing, especially if you read the rest at the link):

    – I can take any abuse, but the worst thing was having no one. Seeing other kids going out with their families and not knowing why I had no one. I was lied to: told that my parents were dead. I only found out in my 50s that they were alive.

    – I could stand the beating. The worst thing was the mental abuse: being put in there in the first place and not understanding why.

    – I had my identity taken away. I was known by a number only.

    – The worst thing was the emotional removal of self: it still has a huge effect on my life.

    – The worst thing was the sense of being an orphan and being incarcerated and criminalised: the monotony; the ball-aching mind-aching hopelessness.

    – Feeling like a “nobody” and that everyone was better. Always feeling insecure.

    – Constantly being told I was worthless and shouldn’t have been born.

    – Being taken into the office and told my foster mother had died and then immediately sent away again.

    – I overheard someone say that my mother had died the night before. When I asked about it I was ignored and dismissed. My friend was beaten so badly for wetting the bed that I watched her die. I was constantly starving. I had to bribe my carers with bread so I wasn’t beaten.

    – The constant fear. I was called into the office and told my mother had died. I actually felt relief that it wasn’t a punishment.

  90. 90
    simmy

    Yes the catholic church is a vile organisation but it’s not just them that was doing it. In 1975 my mother escaped a violent relationship with my father and wound up being a pregnant homeless 17 year old. With no social security to help back then, women who did not have family who could help them were pretty much forced to accept “help” from religious institutions.

    She ended up at the Anglican run Mission of St. James & St. John in Melbourne, and from what she has told me there was practically no choice but to give up your baby if you wanted to keep staying there.

    At the hospital after she had given birth to me she wasn’t even allowed to see me or touch me. Luckily for her there was a Dutch nurse there who took pity on her and took her to see me once before I was whisked away to be adopted out. This meant so much to her that she named me after the nurse although it was changed again when I was adopted. It was 27 years before she saw me again. I know they meant well but these organisations have a lot to answer for.

  91. 91
    Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff

    simmy . . . simmy . . (takes a deep breath) . . .

    THEY.

    DIDN’T.

    MEAN.

    WELL.

    !!!!!

    They MEANT to PUNISH the girl for being pregnant out of wedlock.

    They MEANT to STEAL a child from its mother.

    They MEANT to PUNISH a child for its parentage.

    All of the justification for this rotten, sickening abuse of mothers and children came directly from their Holy Book of Fucking People Up. Dominate and abuse women. Punish the free exercise of sexuality and sexual pleasure. Condemn people for the “sins” of their forbears. And on and on.

    NO.

    These people didn’t mean well. They meant to apply the foul and disgusting tortures of their scummy little book upon anyone too weak (usually women and children) to resist — and they did it. In spades.

    *spits*

  92. 92
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Midnight, just when I think the catholic church cannot sink any lower, another piece of evidence comes along to sicken me further.

    I’m starting to get the feeling that I am in the process of watching an atrocity on the scale of mass murder or war crimes, but that it is being revealed in slow motion. It feels almost surreal

  93. 93
    Beanoglobin

    What simmy said.

    I’m no fan of Catholicism (the ‘baby sale’ scandal in Spain is hideous, and an all-Catholic enterprise AFAIK). However, I feel that in the Australian case, the Catholic church is a convenient scapegoat for cultural practices that we don’t want to admit were once endorsed by almost everyone – practices such as automatically taking away the child of a young, unwed mother, and/or telling the child, post-adoption, that they were an orphan or had been found abandoned.

    All this was widely accepted as making the best of a bad situation by many different organisations. Google ‘Unlocking the past: The experience of gaining access to Barnardo’s records’, and have a look at the PDF it brings up (this covers the UK only, but the attitudes discussed were pretty universal, and once even considered enlightened – compared to leaving unwed, pregnant teenagers to jump in the river, or letting babies born into poverty starve).

    This was a time during which it was also a frequent practice to withhold the diagnosis from a terminally-ill person, whilst telling the family to prepare for their death. Many people genuinely believed that telling someone a ‘noble lie’ was altruistic, especially if they were from a disadvantaged background – in which case, you could safely assume that you’d be told an awful lot of improving lies.

    The Catholic church invented a lot of kooky things, but they can’t take the credit for lying to someone or overriding their wishes ‘for their own good’. That one has been around forever, and when resources are tight but the demand for help is still there, it sprouts anew.

  94. 94
    Q.E.D

    Kidnapping children

    Sexually abusing children

    Covering up for paedophiles

    Contributing to the spread of HIV/AIDS by combating condom use and lying about the efficacy of condoms

    Denying healthcare to women

    Oppressing LGBT people

    Working hand in hand with most of the worst murderous dictators of the 20th Century

    What atrocity will be sufficient for the Vatican to loose its special privileges and immunities?

    What will it take for Countries to break off diplomatic relations with the Vatican, better yet stop recognizing it as a Nation? What will it take for prosecutors to treat the Vatican like any other global organization conspiring to commit crimes and atrocities? When will police forces beat down doors with search warrants and start confiscating record and computers? When will Interpol track down paedophile priests and National police lead rapist priests away in handcuffs? When will the Pope be tried in the International Criminal Court?

    Seriously, it’s a question. I’m at a loss.

  95. 95
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    QED: You forgot to ask when is the Swiss Guard going to pack it in and go home, instead of being muscle for one of the worst organized crime syndicates in all of Southern Europe.

    In addition, surely some European countries are onto the scheme well enough that they are adopting legislation to make the RCC pay taxes…?

  96. 96
    Q.E.D

    Beanogoblin @93

    However, I feel that in the Australian case, the Catholic church is a convenient scapegoat for cultural practices that we don’t want to admit were once endorsed by almost everyone

    Nope. The “goat” in “scapegoat” is innocent of the wrongdoing it is blamed for.

    And, to quote Stephen Frye “What is the point of the Catholic church if it says: “Well we didn’t know any better because nobody else did” Then what are you foooooooor?

  97. 97
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    And given the claims by many religious apologists, that western society is built on Christian values, you can’t now say that the largest Christian cult can claim to not be responsible by virtue of “we wiz just following orders guv” . If it was considered acceptable to treat women and children so abominably, it is because Christian values were so pervasive through society. I suggest that the fact we now find it abhorrent, is because we have thrown off the yoke of Christian morals, and are starting to think for ourselves, and find that Christianity, and particularly the catholic church are sadly wanting in the moral/ethical department. At least some of us do. If you think the catholic church is not really all that responsible, then I ask, what is wrong with you?

  98. 98
    DLC

    I smell Children!

  99. 99
    Holms

    Look up ‘tolen generation(s)’ for more horror.

  100. 100
    Louis

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaait a second. This “Catholic Church” thing of which you speak, it’s done stuff like this before? And worse? Hey, I’m beginning to think this organisation might not be a good thing. Perhaps someone should do something about it. I mean it’s not like this sort of thing has been cracking along for generations or anything is it?

    Don’t tell me that nice German man in the big hat is telling me lies. That would make me sad.

    Louis

    P.S. Since I already knew about this, like many of you, I am struggling to react appropriately. My rage levels are already at “Being Cut Up By Arseholes On The Motorway” and verging towards “Being Behind Old Lady At An ATM Who Is Trying To Withdraw Money Using A Library Card”. If I read much more about the wickedness of the Catholic Church I may reach “Encountering Piers Morgan”. I’m off for a lie down with a cold poultice for my forehead and a six pack of benzodiazepines.

    P.P.S. Bill Donohue engages the Apologetomatic for Catholic atrocities? Oh look, grass is green, water is wet. Hideous troglodytic semi-person is weaselling for his masters. I’ve shat better things than Bill Donohue. Even after a night on the Guinness featuring some heavy kebab action with double chilli sauce.

  101. 101
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    That’s another form of what was discussed earlier up the thread about US & Canada, only in Australia. In this case, the government was most culpable (hence Kevin Rudd’s apology), but as I said before, the defining influence in Australan society during that era, (and therefore the political landscape) was the churches. And indeed, many of those doing the government’s dirty work were church adoption organisations. Not just catholic, the Anglicans were also heavily involved.

  102. 102
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    The real question Louis, is have you shat worse things than the donohue?

  103. 103
    Beanoglobin

    quoderatdemonstrandum @96

    Nope. The “goat” in “scapegoat” is innocent of the wrongdoing it is blamed for.

    In literal, historical terms, this is so, but AFAIK in common speech, ‘scapegoat’ generally refers to anything that carries the whole load of blame, when it wasn’t responsible for the majority of it. Often the scapegoat is far from squeaky clean, which is why it’s selected in the first place.

    And, to quote Stephen Frye “What is the point of the Catholic church if it says: “Well we didn’t know any better because nobody else did” Then what are you foooooooor?

    I realise that Fry was making a point about how a claim to be the source of all moral wisdom is rather simple to performance-test. But blameworthiness of the Australian Catholic church is not based on the idea that, if their moral instruction comes direct from a benign God, they ‘should have known better’ – that’s a solid point in rhetoric, but it can’t make them culpable for all the suffering caused by a policy that was standard practice.

    If they actually, in outcome terms, did *worse* than any of the other such organisations active at the time, they can be considered culpable. Yet no data is offered in the Australia-based story for the purpose of comparison – there is just a string of terribly sad anecdotes, drawn from Canada and the US as well as Australia, that often don’t specify the denomination of the place concerned. If many Christian hospitals or refuges, involving Anglicans, Catholics, and the Salvation Army were doing this, it’s arguably a Christian thing, but not exclusively a Catholic thing. If, as a mother from Pennsylvania said, “it was social policy”, it might easily have been a near-universal thing at the time.

    I do think there are some Catholic organisations that did similar work involving pregnant women for which it’s possible to say ‘guilty as charged’. In some countries – for example, Ireland – their record is so grim that a lot of these institutions probably did more harm than if they hadn’t been there at all. In others, such as Britain, Denmark (mostly Lutheran, but with a fair sprinkling of Catholics), and from what I’ve read, Australia and the US, it seems more in line with general practice at the time. That practice admittedly doesn’t look good compared to the current – and still far from marvellous – performance of modern Western democracies in which there’s some form of social provision, attempting to bring up a child outside wedlock is an economically and socially doable project, and divorce is available to more than a privileged few.

  104. 104
    Louis

    Catnip, #102,

    Only once. I achieved “Bastard Love Child of Margaret Thatcher and Rupert Murdoch” after a contracting explosive food poisoning in India. Food poisoning so impressive it nobbled a few of the locals I was with (so this wasn’t merely Weedy Westerner Delhi Belly, this was the real deal). My advice, never EVER let some dodgy friend of your father in law’s order take out from a restaurant in rural Punjab and decide that sampling a dish described as “Chicken in Milk” is a good idea.

    Being a human Catherine Wheel is not amusing. Well, it’s amusing for everyone else…

    …On the upside, my in laws panicked and sent me to the local hospital where they stuck me on a drip chock full of Indian strength elephant antibiotics. I’ve not been sick these last 9 years. ;-)

    Louis

  105. 105
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    I forgot, it’s impossible to learn about anything in life unless you’re studying it in a classroom.

    So I can safely assume that you know everything I know on whatever topic comes up, eh?

  106. 106
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Reading this post (and rereading it) leaves me stunned (and (given everything else the RCC has done (and other sects of the death cult)) I really shouldn’t be). I hope the Roman Catholic Church is part of the current mass extinction.

  107. 107
    truthspeaker

    A. R says:
    27 March 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Hmm, I was expecting this story to come out of Ireland or Canada before Australia.

    Well, it did come out of Spain before Australia. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/16/spanish-baby-snatching-accuse-nun

  108. 108
    frog

    And if it is attacked more than other religions, it’s only because it commits more crimes than others.

    –>I’m sure most other churches would love to keep up, but the Catholics have that extra 1000-1500 years of organizing and indoctrinating, aided by them having a central authority to coordinate all the crimes and cover-ups.

    I’m sure churches with decentralized authority are as full of the desire to commit similar crimes, but their reach is smaller. I wonder how those numbers would stack up if it were possible to aggregate them.

  109. 109
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Caine: Understood. That said, I can’t fucking stand “I NEVER LEARNED IT IN SCHOOOOOLLLL HOW DO YOU EXPEEEECT ME TO KNOOOOOW IT?!”, which is trotted out not only for atrocities that were hushed up but for just about anything that should be common knowledge.

    Pteryxx, you may not have learned about such things as residential schools when you were a child, but you seem to have admirably educated yourself since.

    Joed: “Promiscuous” women of all colors have frequently been hospitalized to “protect their virtue.” I hadn’t heard that women who weren’t poor and/or of color had been sterilized, but it’s not shocking.

    Also, I can’t remember who said it, but it’s interesting how all the fetus-huggers remember Margaret Sanger being pro-eugenics…. yet they don’t remember any other of the many, many public figures of her era who were, some of whom are still remembered with respect, like Holmes is.

    Sadunlap:

    Sometimes what looks progressive and humanitarian on the surface does not look so great when you delve into the larger context.

    This should be carved into a plaque and the plaque used to beat the fucking Harvard Humanists over the head until the concept sinks in.

    Midnight Rambler: The Ryan Report is a horrorshow. Some media commentators have compared the abuse that went on in Irish orphanages to that perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge. I have to agree.

    Simmy and Beanoglobin: What everybody else said. Stop making excuses for immensely powerful institutions that arrogate the power to dictate morality unto themselves by claiming, in effect, that because every other institution had jumped off a bridge the RCC had to as well. “They were no worse than anyone else” is a piss-poor excuse. And over the centuries their wretched book of fables has helped perpetuate the sort of authoritarian mindset necessary to accept such atrocities.

    Nice strawman, Naked Bunny. No, I don’t expect everybody to know everything on every single topic. However — taking Caine’s caveat into account about the suppression of the information — some things should be widely known, and atrocities committed by one’s own society in the recent past are among them.

  110. 110
    Worldtraveller

    So..the RCC thought Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a guide?

  111. 111
    Ing

    The Catholic church invented a lot of kooky things, but they can’t take the credit for lying to someone or overriding their wishes ‘for their own good’.

    Actually an organization built around lying to people for their own good most certainty can take blame for when they (shockingly) actually do that.

    You know frankly I want to know where you think the idea that “single mothers cannot be trusted with children” actually came from?

  112. 112
    Ing

    Stop making excuses for immensely powerful institutions that arrogate the power to dictate morality unto themselves by claiming, in effect, that because every other institution had jumped off a bridge the RCC had to as well. “They were no worse than anyone else” is a piss-poor excuse. And over the centuries their wretched book of fables has helped perpetuate the sort of authoritarian mindset necessary to accept such atrocities.

    I want to add that their “morals” also greatly contributed to the situation.

    When they use their influence to affect the culture so that single motherhood is seen as shameful and that sluts gotta be punished, and then get caught doing horrible things because of that they scarcely can claim “everyone else was doing it!” when they were damn well trying their hardest to convince everyone else to do it!

  113. 113
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    . . . the suppression of the information . . .

    Not sure about other nations, but here in the US one of the big culprits for the suppression of information is American Exceptionalism. Admitting that the US Government has ever done anything wrong (internment of US citizens of Japanese descent, the Indian Schools, the Trail of Tears, the intentional destruction of Native American culture and memory, the Navajo concentration camps, the SCOTUS decision making it legal for the US Government to abrogate a treaty with a Native American Nation if the Army or the BIA thought it in the best interest of the Native Americans, My Lai, Sand Creek, Wounded Knee) would, in the eyes of major textbook buyers (such as Texas), be unpatriotic. Many school systems view the teaching of civics and history as a chance to force-feed school children a very narrow, nationalistic, and exceptionalist view of what the USA actually is. Thus uncomfortable reality gets shuffled past the margins into invisibility. Where it often remains unless someone picks up a hint of what we, as a nation, have actually done and, more important, follows that hint.

    I do not look down upon, nor do I blame, anyone for not being aware of attrocities committed by the US government. I am an historian. I spend my life pulling at little threads here and there and quite often discovering majoy events about which I knew little. If all a US citizen has is the civics and history courses taught in many, if not most, schools, I am amazed that anyone in the US knows as much about US history as they do.

    I cannot speak to Australia’s situation. Is the treatment of aborigenal Australians treated the same way? Is the riot and massacre of Japanese POWs also ignored? Our collective ignorance of what has been done by ‘our’ governments, or done by religious groups with the tacit or explicit knowledge and approval of the government, is scary, inexcusable and wrong. But it is also understandable.

    Sorry for the sermon.

  114. 114
    Ing

    @Ogvorbis

    My elementary school texts actually treated things like the Trail of Tears and Japanese Interment as unresolved issues that required a point/counterpoint side bar with arguments for and against them.

  115. 115
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    And blockquote fail. All after the first elipsed sentence is me.

  116. 116
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    My elementary school texts actually treated things like the Trail of Tears and Japanese Interment as unresolved issues that required a point/counterpoint side bar with arguments for and against them.

    That’s an improvement over not even mentioning them. I was in middle and high school from ’78 to ’85 and our textbooks treated the Native Americans as an obstacle to be removed rather than actual, y’know, people.

  117. 117
    beergoggles

    This should come as no surprise after the whole Magdalene Laundries atrocity. If they can enslave women and the children born to them when those poor deluded people came to them for help, it’s only a small streach to go out there and kidnap the rest of the children belonging to “unworthy” people.

  118. 118
    Ing

    I was in middle and high school from ’78 to ’85 and our textbooks treated the Native Americans as an obstacle to be removed rather than actual, y’know, people.

    That’s pretty much how my text treated them to with some token well maybe it was harsh. Manifest Destiny was promoted along with all the genocide as ultimately a necessary evil because other wise the America we know would not exist.

  119. 119
    Q.E.D

    Beanogoblin @ 103

    But blameworthiness of the Australian Catholic church is not based on the idea that, if their moral instruction comes direct from a benign God, they ‘should have known better’ – that’s a solid point in rhetoric, but it can’t make them culpable for all the suffering caused by a policy that was standard practice.

    Okay, so the Catholic church was not the sole architect of this horrorshow, it was merely a co-conspirator with the State in the policy of ripping children away from their mothers because they weren’t married, christian, white or rich enough.

    Now take a look around and see how the Vatican has behaved in every other situation where a christian country was committing civil rights violations against its people: Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Franco’s Spain etc. The Vatican and local church always side with power and against justice.

    So your “everyone was doing it” defense starts looking pretty crap when the catholic church reliably, chronically, repeatedly picks the immoral thing the State wants to do, which aligns with its own dogma, over protecting poor, powerless, people. They do this repeatedly in different countries over different time periods.

    So are they just slow learners when it comes to injustice? Or is injustice baked into their dogma which often aligns neatly with retrograde policies and totalitarian regimes?

  120. 120
    Ing

    To be fair there is the Social Justice whatcha call it theology that promoted dissent or protest or revolution in South America….which would be a good feather in their cap if the Vatican wasn’t against that theology and the priests who promote it.

  121. 121
    Pteryxx

    Pteryxx, you may not have learned about such things as residential schools when you were a child, but you seem to have admirably educated yourself since.

    Thanks for the compliment, but I don’t think I should get much credit in the context of widespread cultural ignorance. I read Scienceblogs before the Cracker desecration and started commenting here during Elevatorgate, and I *still* didn’t know about most of the awful stuff on Ogvorbis’s list until THIS YEAR. Some of y’all remember me freaking out on TET because I just kept uncovering atrocity after atrocity on Wikipedia, when I had no idea recent and current history was full of bloody examples. It’s only because of FTB, mostly Crommunist, Stephanie Zvan and Walton, and other scattered voices such as George Takei, that I got a clue and started researching these things on my own. In all the rest of my ADULT life, it never came up. My point being, it shouldn’t take a completely dedicated no-holds-barred community to daylight systemic atrocities that are still going on to this day. That’s too much to expect for most decent people out there who aren’t reading FTB or similarly discomfiting sources.

  122. 122
    Q.E.D

    Ing @ 120:

    Liberation Theology. It’s proponents have been ruthlessly stamped out by the Vatican from the 1950s up to the near present by Ratzinger.

    Libereation theology was more worried about social justice than sin so it had to go

  123. 123
    Ing

    Ah yes. Still doesn’t stop them from promoting it as a good thing they did in Catholic School.

  124. 124
    Q.E.D

    @Ing

    Really? Ratzinger actually excommunicated a couple Liberation Theology priests and barred many of them from catholic churches and universities. Pope JPII had no love for them either (“damned commies”).

    In fairness, Liberal Theology types were kinda close to Marxist revolutionaries trying to overthrow the South American tyrant du jour with which the Vatican always had an excellent relationship.

  125. 125
  126. 126
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Ing:

    I want to add that their “morals” also greatly contributed to the situation.

    True, that; I implied that with my reference to the bible but likely wasn’t clear enough.

    Ogvorbis and Pteryxx: I hear what you’re saying. On the other hand… some people are just intellectually incurious, to a degree I can’t wrap my head around. Or intellectually curious in limited areas and can give a flying fuck about any others.

  127. 127
    Ing

    The Catholic Church whining about being treated unfairly on this and how other people in the culture did it too just reminds me of the MST3K skit where Crow is trying to burn ants with a magnifier glass right next to his oil soaked rag collection.

  128. 128
    jarredcaldwell

    A close friend of mine wanted to be a high school history teacher. I remember being in high school with him, and he even wanted to be one back then. The only person I have ever met that knew more about history was his father.

    When we went to college together, his dreams of being a high school history teacher died. He was told that no history teacher could talk about the bad parts of American history, and that history classes are meant to instill a sense of patriotism.

    My friend is a WW2 buff, and one thing he always wanted to teach was that the average man and women of the Nazis were good people, and that good people could easily be suckered into following a movement as horrible as the Nazi party. Heck, look at your average Catholic who still supports the Catholic church today. They’re not bad people, they’re just blind (willingly or not) to the atrocities. He was told – very strongly – that no such talk would ever be allowed in a high school.

    The other problem he had was that have of his core classes to be a history teacher were P.E. classes, because almost all schools require their history teachers to also be coaches. My friend didn’t want to be a coach, he wanted to be a history teacher.

  129. 129
    Pteryxx

    Ms. Daisy Cutter: I agree, and I didn’t mean my story to be an excuse, but more of a case study; because as far as I can tell, I was never a person who didn’t care or wasn’t curious. There just was never sufficient signal above background to alert me that something NEEDED STUDYING.

  130. 130
    Pteryxx

    When we went to college together, his dreams of being a high school history teacher died. He was told that no history teacher could talk about the bad parts of American history, and that history classes are meant to instill a sense of patriotism.

    O_O …HOLY CRAP. It’s like historical abstinence-only.

  131. 131
    truthspeaker

    jarredcaldwell, your friend could have taught in the school district I grew up in, but I get the feeling they are atypical in their approach to teaching history.

  132. 132
    A. R

    Ms. Daisy cutter:

    Or [extremely] intellectually curious in limited areas and can give a flying fuck about any others.

    That would have been me. I spent most of my primary and secondary education obsessed with biology, and after that, school has taken up absurd amounts of my time. Most of the information I’ve obtained about subjects outside of my field has come from my involvement in atheist, and blogs like this one.

  133. 133
    A. R

    atheism, not atheist. Hail Tpyos.

  134. 134
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    On the other hand… some people are just intellectually incurious, to a degree I can’t wrap my head around. Or intellectually curious in limited areas and can give a flying fuck about any others.

    Which is why I wrote that the person has to be aware the thread exists and then be willing (or able) to follow it. Which may not necessarily be intellectual incuriousity. It may be economic obstacles — it is really tough (not impossible) to read up on things when you are working three jobs to keep your family in a shitty apartment. So while I regret that many people cannot chase down reality (in any country), no way am I going to blame them and claim it is lack of curiousity.

  135. 135
    Beanoglobin

    Ing: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream So I Comment Instead @111

    You know frankly I want to know where you think the idea that “single mothers cannot be trusted with children” actually came from?

    I don’t think that “single mothers cannot be trusted with children” (or the Magdalene Laundry motto, “sluts gotta be punished”) was ever the main reasoning behind forcing unmarried women to give up their babies – nor did I use that phrase or anything that could be interpreted that way.

    I think that the reasoning was more along the lines of “Single mothers will probably love their children, but they’ll still have poorer prospects, they will find it harder to marry, and their children are more likely to inherit poor prospects. If the child is adopted, they may well have a better chance in life, and the young woman will – if she’s lucky – be able to live as if she never got pregnant, and get married”.

    Note: I don’t say the above situation is marvellous. But I reckon that in the culture of the time – in which, among other things, men had vastly better earning capacity – it was true, and is to some extent still the case today. I also don’t think that this line of reasoning, which is based on access to opportunity, and invokes no judgment on the mother’s personal suitability as a parent, came out of any particular religion.

    Do you?

  136. 136
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    If their moral instruction comes direct from a benign God, they ‘should have known better’ – that’s a solid point in rhetoric, but it can’t make them culpable for all the suffering caused by a policy that was standard practice.

    If they are the source of morality, they should have goddamn known better than the current practice. They should have known the current practice is horrible.

    I think that the reasoning was more along the lines of “Single mothers will probably love their children, but they’ll still have poorer prospects, they will find it harder to marry, and their children are more likely to inherit poor prospects. If the child is adopted, they may well have a better chance in life, and the young woman will – if she’s lucky – be able to live as if she never got pregnant, and get married”.

    As a single mother in a Republican hell hole you are being way waaaay to generous.

    Seriously, fuck them and fuck you for defending them. And yes, explaining away is a way of defending them from the backlash that they deserve in full.

    They didn’t just all of a sudden start hating on us calling us “sluts” that need to be punished and indorsing forced births. That attitude has been around a long, long time and still is today.

    But I reckon that in the culture of the time-

    Just excuse your racist grandmother. They grew up in a different time. They don’t know any better, she’s not really a racist.

    I also don’t think that this line of reasoning, which is based on access to opportunity, and invokes no judgment on the mother’s personal suitability as a parent, came out of any particular religion.

    That’s because that is not and never has been their goddamn reasoning.

    Also, if it involves no judgement on the personal suitability of the parent, did they take away children from alcoholics? Gamblers? Men who beat their wives? so why then single out single moms?

  137. 137
    Inaji

    J_A_L:

    so why then single out single moms?

    Oh, oh, I know! Because single mamas had those juicy li’l infants that could be sold and branded Catholic, it was win win all around, amirite?

    As for you, Beanoglobin – take your weak, stupid apologetics for the Catholic church and shove ‘em up your ass. Feel free to shut the fuck up, too.

  138. 138
    Beanoglobin

    Quoderatdemonstrandum @119

    So are they just slow learners when it comes to injustice? Or is injustice baked into their dogma which often aligns neatly with retrograde policies and totalitarian regimes?

    You write as if I’ve suggested exonerating the Catholic church for everything bad it’s ever done. I’m not some bizarre hybrid strain of atheist Catholic apologist.

    Catholicism is responsible for plenty of horrors, the most glaring ongoing one being all the damage done by its uniquely strong opposition to contraception, especially barrier contraception. It cannot excuse its abysmal cover-up on discovering that it had recruited paedophiles and (often overlooked, even now) sadists. Popes like to give the impression that they still wield, via the moral authority of God, the power of someone at the head of a seven-nation army. When they encounter someone who actually commands even a fairly modest army, they tend to agree with everything they say, which is sound strategy, but rather destroys the illusion.

    But I suggest that in some countries – such as Australia – the response of Catholic hospitals and hostels to unmarried women who had just given birth looks rather similar to that of other such organisations, and also reflected the fact that such women were in a situation where if they kept the child, their family was likely to be a vulnerable, isolated one, for reasons which Catholicism did not actually invent.

    I like to kick Catholicism whenever it’s obviously to blame as the root cause. I’m reluctant to do so when it’s not.

  139. 139
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Catholicism is responsible for plenty of horrors, the most glaring ongoing one being all the damage done by its uniquely strong opposition to contraception, especially barrier contraception. It cannot excuse its abysmal cover-up on discovering that it had recruited paedophiles and (often overlooked, even now) sadists.

    And the stealing of children is among those horrors.

    I like to kick Catholicism whenever it’s obviously to blame as the root cause. I’m reluctant to do so when it’s not.

    So unless they are the root cause of this, they get a free pass?

    So you kick those that start shit but not the ones that join in?

    So you defend the person that makes a racist joke, because someone else said it first?

    Because the Church didn’t direct start or say outright “This is our idea, let’s steal children!” you don’t fucking blame them for doing it?!?

    Oh wait, you do actually believe that shit..

    But I suggest that in some countries – such as Australia – the response of Catholic hospitals and hostels to unmarried women who had just given birth looks rather similar to that of other such organisations,

    I’m sorry but if a group of people kidnap someone, they are all guilty whether or not they started it, whether or not it was their idea.

    and also reflected the fact that such women were in a situation where if they kept the child, their family was likely to be a vulnerable, isolated one, for reasons which Catholicism did not actually invent.

    Therefore, they can steal their children and not get blamed for it, since everyone was doing it! Those silly little sluts couldn’t possibly take care of their own children right so lets tell them their child died! Oh we are such the center of all morality! And the best part is dumbfuck assholes, even some atheists, one will still defend us. Thus the Church wins.

    Way to go asshole.

  140. 140
    tiffanys

    This issue was in the news in Canada lately – there were a few articles in the National Post. Like this one.

    It was really interesting/depressing to hear that many of the mothers were told that their babies died. And even more disgusting is when some were made to bond and breastfeed the babies before giving them up (to make them suffer more for their “wrongdoings”). It’s all just really sick.

  141. 141
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Beanoglobin, your apologetics for the catholic church’s criminal activities is offensive. You have ignored the arguments that several people have made, pointing out that the catholic church was not only the self proclaimed moral leader, but was also the instrument of oppression and torture. On both levels they deserve to be punished in a just society to the fullest extent. That does not lessen the fact that others were also culpable, but this thread was specifically about the catholic church. Had you pointed to similar transgressions by the Anglicans or various governments as others have done, and drawn parallels, then you would not be looking so much like the nasty Donohues of this world. If you seriously don’t see what is wrong with your defence of the church, then I ask again, what is wrong with you?

  142. 142
    feralboy12

    and also reflected the fact that such women were in a situation where if they kept the child, their family was likely to be a vulnerable, isolated one, for reasons which Catholicism did not actually invent.

    Okay, now replace “a vulnerable, isolated one” with “Jewish” and get to work defending that.
    The Catholic church has a long history of assuming they know what’s best for individual families, and that they have the moral authority to define what a proper family is. They still do that shit.

  143. 143
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    @Ogvorbis. Looks like I’m about the same age as you. When I was at school in Australia, I remember learning about the genocide of the original Tasmanians – being wiped out by white settlers. I also learned about the fact that aboriginals did not get the vote until a referendum in 1967 changed the constitution to acknowledge that they were not only people but were actually Australian citizens also. Prior to that they were stateless, and considered wards of the state. That was the justification that was used to kidnap the children of indigenous women and place them with good white Christian folk. that was not in the text books, and did not come out to be public knowledge until probably another decade. The apology to those affected by the policy took another 2 decades to ensue. The current “intervention” in the Northern Territory is widely known, but unfortunately, apathy seems to mean that the government can still get away with being paternalistic towards minorities.

    Oh yes, and (on a tangential axis) I did learn about the white Australia policy in school in 1982, only 10 years after it had been abolished.

  144. 144
    Beanoglobin

    Catnip, Shameless & Impudent, @141

    Had you pointed to similar transgressions by the Anglicans or various governments as others have done, and drawn parallels, then you would not be looking so much like the nasty Donohues of this world.

    I said, @103:

    If many Christian hospitals or refuges, involving Anglicans, Catholics, and the Salvation Army were doing this, it’s arguably a Christian thing, but not exclusively a Catholic thing. If, as a mother from Pennsylvania said, “it was social policy”, it might easily have been a near-universal thing at the time.

    First it’s a terrible thing to say ‘it looks pretty much as if they all did it’ (which I did, and several people said ‘why are you saying that’s an excuse?’). Then it’s a terrible thing not to say ‘it looks pretty much as if they all did it’. It surely can’t be both.

  145. 145
    Ing

    I don’t say the above situation is marvellous. But I reckon that in the culture of the time – in which, among other things, men had vastly better earning capacity – it was true, and is to some extent still the case today. I also don’t think that this line of reasoning, which is based on access to opportunity, and invokes no judgment on the mother’s personal suitability as a parent, came out of any particular religion.

    Then you’re either being disingenuous or are horrendously dense.

    I don’t think that “single mothers cannot be trusted with children” (or the Magdalene Laundry motto, “sluts gotta be punished”) was ever the main reasoning behind forcing unmarried women to give up their babies – nor did I use that phrase or anything that could be interpreted that way.

    I think that the reasoning was more along the lines of “Single mothers will probably love their children, but they’ll still have poorer prospects, they will find it harder to marry, and their children are more likely to inherit poor prospects. If the child is adopted, they may well have a better chance in life, and the young woman will – if she’s lucky – be able to live as if she never got pregnant, and get married”.

    Funny, why the hell do you bend over backwards to give the most generous interpretation of that. Note that you didn’t say anything that I didn’t, except I was blunter.

    When someone kidnaps children, abuses children, covers up abuse, and has a systematic pattern of doing so, why do you actually think they deserve the most generous interpretation? Note this isn’t an org that does good works usually so yeah. This is the org that did the same shit to Jewish children they ‘saved’ during the holocaust. You’re not asking us to give the benefit of the doubt in this case, you’re asking us to presume that this is like the one time in a long pattern of abuse they actually had good intentions

  146. 146
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Beanoglobin,

    Apologies if I misrepresented you, but it seemed that you were saying the Catholic church was being made a scapegoat when everyone was doing it, and therefore, we shouldn’t be so harsh on them. What I was trying to say is that, if you had instead said “the Catholic church are deserving of much reviling, and so are….[insert other organisations in here]” then you may well ave found a different response. Indeed, if you look through the thread, you will see others (myself included) who have used the opportunity to point out the similar despicable behaviour in other organisations (including governments).

    So yes, it can be both, depending on how you choose to spin it.

    A person or organisation’s culpability in a crime is in no way diminished by nature of there being shared culpability.

    The point repeatedly made by myself and others is that, as the largest Christian sect, and as self proclaimed guardian of morals, the church is doubly culpable & deserves to be highlighted as the evil organisation it is.

  147. 147
    gravityisjustatheory

    Beanoglobin:

    Imagine an organization with a good heart, that thinks single mothers would lack the resources to raise their children effectively. How would such an organization behave, and how would it go about ensuring the children recieved the care they needed?

    Now imagine an organization that considers women who become pregnant out of wedlock to be wicked people who deserve to be punished (and the children to be almost as bad), and which thinks it has the right to act as judge and jury (and possibly executioner) to those concerned, and that cruelty is justified in dealing with such “sinners”.

    Now consider: which better describes the behaviour of the Catholic Church in this?

  148. 148
    Beanoglobin

    feralboy @142

    Okay, now replace “a vulnerable, isolated one” with “Jewish” and get to work defending that.

    Becoming vulnerable, isolated, or poor, or being born so, is generally considered an unfortunate, undesirable, but possible fate by everyone. Some people blame others for being in such situations or even for being born into them, even though they didn’t choose them.

    Being born Jewish is considered an unfortunate, undesirable fate by anti-Semites. I am not sure how many anti-Semites believe than a non-Jewish person can really become Jewish, or a born Jewish person ever stop being so, even if they’re adopted at birth. Perhaps some do; I don’t know.

    But I still can’t obligingly produce the find-and-replace strawman that would gratify you.

  149. 149
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Being vulnerable, isolated and poor is not an invitation to the most socially powerful organisation in the world to abuse you. The fact that these women were vulnerable, poor, and isolated means they should have been shown compassion, and given assistance to make informed decisions, even given support, so they could properly look after their child. This just compounds the evil of the church’s behaviour.

  150. 150
    Beanoglobin

    Ing: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream So I Comment Instead @145

    I also don’t think that this line of reasoning, which is based on access to opportunity, and invokes no judgment on the mother’s personal suitability as a parent, came out of any particular religion.

    Then you’re either being disingenuous or are horrendously dense.

    I could be wrong, but I think you are probably reading the above as ‘the Catholic church made no judgment of an unmarried mother’s suitability as a parent’, which would be pretty dense. It seems inevitable that they would do so, and consider it made the case for forced adoption even stronger: perhaps she’d have a better chance of being a good mother when she got a little older, and married.

    You’re not asking us to give the benefit of the doubt in this case, you’re asking us to presume that this is like the one time in a long pattern of abuse they actually had good intentions

    Why should it even be the one time? The number of ghastly outcomes that have been precipitated by people who reckoned they were making the right – if difficult – decision, is gigantic. The flipside statement, that something done with harmful intentions is likely to do harm, seems to unfortunately be very reliable.

    I think that even more damage might well have been done because the people responsible for forced adoptions in these circumstances were usually sure they were making the best bad decision – a decision the person themselves could not make. I never said religions weren’t often paternalistic.

    Funny, why the hell do you bend over backwards to give the most generous interpretation of that. Note that you didn’t say anything that I didn’t, except I was blunter.

    I don’t think I’m being unduly generous: the outcome of these forcible adoptions was very often traumatic, the woman was left grieving and bereft, and the child felt robbed of their history. Possibly the least generous thought of all is that intent barely matters, compared to outcome.

  151. 151
    Ing

    Possibly the least generous thought of all is that intent barely matters, compared to outcome.

    Intent that is based on delusion or bigotry is hardly an excuse.

  152. 152
    Beanoglobin

    Catnip, Shameless & Impudent @149

    Being vulnerable, isolated and poor is not an invitation to the most socially powerful organisation in the world to abuse you.

    True. It’s a much more open invitation – a standing invitation for the whole world to abuse you, and to keep the siphon of opportunity and happiness going until there’s nothing left.
    In cases such as the notorious Magdalene Laundries, the Catholic church seems to have plunged in enthusiastically with its own siphon. In the case of the unmarried mothers in the article, it did something rather different, something that other organisations were doing too, and something that was considered, at the time, to be one way of protecting the mother and the child from a poverty and exclusion spiral.

    The fact that these women were vulnerable, poor, and isolated means they should have been shown compassion, and given assistance to make informed decisions, even given support, so they could properly look after their child.

    They didn’t necessarily start off from poor backgrounds, but they risked going there. The thing is that only the support – serious, regular financial support, covering household expenses, education, and medical bills – would have made a great deal of long-term difference, and it would have had to go on for at least a couple of decades.
    Maybe they should have solved the problem for a generation or so, and hocked the Vatican for parts. The place is hideous.

  153. 153
    Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff

    For those who are defending the Catholic Church, saying that “single mothers were considered not to be as good by anyone in society” . . . . you’re completely full of shit.

    Remember the death rates from only decades ago? Millions of single mothers were created when their husbands were killed in workplace accidents or died of untreated/untreatable diseases. And these children of widows weren’t wept over, nor were the widows discriminated against the way “single mothers” were.

    The war against “single mothers” was, and remains, a war specifically against the free sexual expression of women, nothing more and nothing less.

  154. 154
    Beanoglobin

    gravityisjustatheory @147

    Imagine an organization with a good heart, that thinks single mothers would lack the resources to raise their children effectively. How would such an organization behave, and how would it go about ensuring the children recieved the care they needed?

    I don’t think the Catholic church has a ‘good heart’. It’s the faith equivalent of a multinational corporation, with a generous seasoning of Empire. It’s famously grasping when it comes to finances, it’s a literally Byzantine shop of wheeler-dealing whose appointed leader doesn’t really control it, and it never admits liability when something ghastly has happened, ever.
    I also think that because its sheer size and influence, we somehow – wrongly – expect that it should do better than any other religion, and ‘set an example’. Why should it? It’s based on the same universal cognitive biases as any other religion; it’ll perform no different, simply for being bigger.
    I must break off now, as it’s 2am over here, and I need sleep.

  155. 155
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    A.R, #132: Your comment doesn’t make you look better, just willfully ignorant.

    Ogvorbis, obviously economic privilege is an issue for some when it comes to satisfying their intellectual curiosity, but I’ve met a lot of dullards whose parents weren’t hurting for money.

    Beanoglobin, I’m sure that being “even-handed” in this case makes you feel good inside, but it makes you look obtuse and callous.

    If there weren’t a cultural imperative in place saying that women may not have babies unless they are in the possession of a man, their prospects wouldn’t be as poor and they wouldn’t have to fucking worry about getting married. Honestly, some sperm donors are so worthless that their offspring are better off without them around.

    Becoming vulnerable, isolated, or poor, or being born so, is generally considered an unfortunate, undesirable, but possible fate by everyone.

    An organization that actually gave a shit about such women and their offspring would help support them — not rip the infants away so that Deserving Married Het Middle-Class White Couples could have them.

    I like to kick Catholicism whenever it’s obviously to blame as the root cause. I’m reluctant to do so when it’s not.

    Read up on feminism and you’ll be able to understand how much xtianity, at least in the West, contributes to “the root cause.”

    I also think that because its sheer size and influence, we somehow – wrongly – expect that it should do better than any other religion, and ‘set an example’.

    Who the fuck is “we” here?

  156. 156
    interrobang

    I’m an adoptee, born in 1975 to an unmarried teenaged mother in Alberta (Canada). Between these revelations about a concerted effort across Canada to remove “desirable” newborns (I am white and have blue eyes, and what’s wrong with me generally doesn’t show up until past the neonate stage) from their birth mothers and place them with “good” families, the stuff upthread about the political climate in Alberta being such that the Eugenics Board was only abolished three years before I was born (not that it’s changed much — if you like the Harperoids, you’ll love the Wild Rose Party), and so on and so on, I’m just at loose ends.

    To quote a great sage and eminent wise man, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

  157. 157
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    I don’t accept that “we” (whatever that really means) expect better of the catholic church than other religions. However “we” should be demanding that they shift their standards out of the level of criminal low life and up to where community standards should be. It is not lost on me that in every field, every advance has been made outside of the church and the church has been dragged kicking and screaming behind. If the church is any better than it was (big if), then it is not because of the church lead the way, it’s because people like “us” thought about it and decided that we can do better, and the church is lagging way behind. Why do they lag? Because people who could be calling them out on their low moral position instead apologize for them and find excuses like “it’s the way things were at the time.”

    There is no excuse for this catholic behaviour.

    They didn’t necessarily start off from poor backgrounds, but they risked going there. The thing is that only the support – serious, regular financial support, covering household expenses, education, and medical bills – would have made a great deal of long-term difference, and it would have had to go on for at least a couple of decades.

    And your point is? Yes this is exactly what they could have done, however, you still miss the point. Most women who are single mothers do not end up being burdens on the church or anyone else. They get jobs, work hard & do their best for their child. And if given just enough of a break, they end up ok, as do their kids. Mostly what they need is a support structure around them to help with the major hurdles. The same as the rest of us. Most of all, they need to be accepted as equals, and not slut shamed. It’s amazing, when people are given respect, how much they can achieve, and how much happier they can be.

  158. 158
    Inaji

    Catnip:

    However “we” should be demanding that they shift their standards out of the level of criminal low life and up to where community standards should be.

    Not this part of “we”. This part of “we” thinks the whole rotten, corrupt enterprise needs to be pulled down and every fucking cent of the loot parceled out to the millions of victims. The Catholic Church has been a force for evil from the very beginning. There’s no point expecting any good from it.

  159. 159
    A. R

    Ms. Daisy Cutter: I highly doubt that not taking the time (of which I have extremely little) to actively seek out information about something of which I had no idea existed makes me “willfully ignorant.” You comments would seems to imply that not knowing about this particular low point in North American (though the reading I’ve been doing seems to indicate it was more prevalent in Canada than the US) makes me somehow equivalent to those who support(ed) it. Perhaps that is my interpretation. Feel free to clarify.

  160. 160
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Caine, you mirror my views on that also. The only way I could see the Catholic Church atoning to the point where they have reached that level of acceptable morals is when every church and cathedral has been converted to pubs, apartments or shops, when every child raping priest is behind bars, and when every bishop, arch bishop and cardinal has been charged with racketeering, & the pope tried for crimes against humanity. When every asset of the organisation has been liquidated and the proceeds used to improve the lives of the victims of the clergy. Then we can move our efforts to the next outrage.

    I think my point was more incredulity that some people still think the catholic church is except from ethical (and legal) behaviour.

  161. 161
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Exempt dammit!

  162. 162
    A. R

    Caine: Agreed. Though I do wonder what the best course of action would be regarding the various historical, architectural and artistic treasures the church owns. I personally like the idea of making most of the buildings museums.

  163. 163
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    perhaps she’d have a better chance of being a good mother when she got a little older, and married.

    So you basically just said single mothers aren’t good mothers and need to be older and married to be a good mother.

    FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU.

    Funny how you respond to EVERYONE else EXCEPT the person identified as a single mother…

    Most women who are single mothers do not end up being burdens on the church or anyone else. They get jobs, work hard & do their best for their child. And if given just enough of a break, they end up ok, as do their kids. Mostly what they need is a support structure around them to help with the major hurdles. The same as the rest of us. Most of all, they need to be accepted as equals, and not slut shamed. It’s amazing, when people are given respect, how much they can achieve, and how much happier they can be.

    QFFT

  164. 164
    amoeba

    BBC – After 44 years, one of Spain’s stolen babies is reunited with her mother

    Manuela Polo never believed her seventh child had died at birth as doctors told her. Now she has proof she was right

    ….A nun who ran an informal adoption agency in Madrid, Sister María Gómez, is among those to have been formally questioned by investigating magistrates over suspected involvement in baby trafficking networks. Single mothers, those with many children and mothers of twins seems to have been especially targeted on the basis that they did not deserve, or need, their babies. One child taken from a single mother by Sister María was told, wrongly, that her mother was a prostitute. Money also often changed hands.

    Exhumations carried out in graveyards in the northern Basque country have revealed that at least three families were given empty coffins to bury….

    http://is.gd/UcQDTB

  165. 165
    amoeba

    Brain-fart alert! The above report attributed to the ‘BBC’, was actually from the Guardian.

  166. 166
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    I do not buy for one second you pulling this excuse out of your ass to defending them.

    It stinks to me like people who defend racists are usually fucking racist.

    You defending them saying it was common thought at the time to help single women reeks to me like you hold the same opinion about single women being bad mothers.

    Hence my outrage at you.

  167. 167
    feralboy12

    @beanoglobin:

    But I still can’t obligingly produce the find-and-replace strawman that would gratify you.

    Okay, I can’t find a good reference for the Catholic church specifically taking Jewish children away from their families, so that might be considered a strawman.
    I did, however, find lots of references to 300,000 children being taken from their parents in Franco’s Spain, a lot of references to residential schools and treatment of First Nation children, including blatant attempts to stamp out their connections to their culture, and of course there is this story here. It’s not always about poor kids; the justification has often been the “moral betterment” of children, the assumption that they’re not being raised the best way if the parents aren’t following the proper religious path.

    But I suggest that in some countries – such as Australia – the response of Catholic hospitals and hostels to unmarried women who had just given birth looks rather similar to that of other such organisations, and also reflected the fact that such women were in a situation where if they kept the child, their family was likely to be a vulnerable, isolated one, for reasons which Catholicism did not actually invent.

    I like to kick Catholicism whenever it’s obviously to blame as the root cause. I’m reluctant to do so when it’s not.

    So what is the “root cause?” Whether or not other religious organizations have done such things, the Catholic church had its own justifications, and integral to that was, and is, its unshakable belief in itself as supreme moral authority. They do this shit in the name of the church, and for that, they deserve to be kicked.

  168. 168
    Q.E.D

    beanoglobin,

    Your “it was the cultural norm at the time” defense is bullshit:

    The catholic church was still child trafficking babies in 1989. It started under Franco but lasted 50 years.

  169. 169
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Ogvorbis, obviously economic privilege is an issue for some when it comes to satisfying their intellectual curiosity, but I’ve met a lot of dullards whose parents weren’t hurting for money.

    I give up.

    Ignore all I have written as, obviously, the only thing I am doing is aiding and abetting those who hide history.

  170. 170
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Shorter A.R: “I’ve been too interested in one or two technical subjects to give a shit about other people, and how dare you judge me for it.”

    Considering how quick you’ve been to second-guess people in other threads that such-and-such event or comment wasn’t really racism or some other ism, I don’t have a great deal of ability to read you charitably at this point.

    IDGAF if this is “out of line”: Don’t go into clinical practice, please. We have enough empathy-deficient assholes in white coats who look at patients as problems to be solved and not whole people.

    Ogvorbis, GMAFB. You’ve met such people, going by your own personal anecdotes. Do I blame, say, a high school student from and in a conservative town/county/state for not knowing about the residential schools? No. Do I blame grown-ass adults who have access to the internet, comment on political sites or news stories, and somehow never bother to dig deeper than Fux Nooz or CNN? Yes, I do.

  171. 171
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Also, Ogvorbis: Do I blame, say, the schoolteachers and administrators you encountered as a child who berated you for calling attention to their factual errors or for believing you could help improve the world without leaning on an imaginary friend like a crutch? Fucking right I do.

    At what point one’s lacunae of critical information becomes one’s own fault is arguable, but when one is creating the same lacunae in impressionable young children, the benefit of the doubt should go right out the window. Same thing when one is a politician, a judge, a prosecutor, a doctor, or any other person of power whose lack of knowledge in these areas can hurt other people.

  172. 172
    Beanoglobin

    Just_A_Lurker @163

    So you basically just said single mothers aren’t good mothers and need to be older and married to be a good mother.
    FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU.

    Read again. I said that that might well have been part of the reasoning of the people making forced-adoption decisions. I do not agree with it.

    It’s still a widely-held idea that having a death penalty for murder keeps down the murder rate. I can understand why people think this – but I don’t agree with them, and it ‘s not borne out by observation.

    It was common, up to a surprisingly short time ago, for religious organisations in the West to engage in forced adoptions. In poorer countries, it’s still going on, right into the C21, sometimes still under a religious aegis, and sometimes for profit. When the motive was not rather clearly financial (no further explanation required), it was often considered the best thing for the mother and child, even in the teeth of the mother’s objections, even if she was tricked into it.

    And I can understand why people thought that. But I do not agree with them and am not defending them, and I can read for myself what the women and children on the sharp end of those decisions thought about them.

  173. 173
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Read again. I said that that might well have been part of the reasoning of the people making forced-adoption decisions. I do not agree with it.

    I explained in my next comment moron. I don’t believe you. Did you honestly not see that? Yeah, right….

    But I do not agree with them and am not defending them,

    Yes you are defending them and you pinged on my own personal radar as believing this shit about single mothers.

  174. 174
    Beanoglobin

    Feralboy12 @167

    I was aware of the Spanish scandal. The financial motive seems to have driven the numbers through the roof, targeting any woman who could safely be coerced, whatever her age.

    So what is the “root cause?” Whether or not other religious organizations have done such things, the Catholic church had its own justifications, and integral to that was, and is, its unshakable belief in itself as supreme moral authority.

    I am wary of offering suggestions, in case someone leaps out and says ‘Never mind the Catholic church, you just want to defend and promote all forms of human meanness. PS: Fuck You.’

    I fully agree that young unmarried mothers need a support structure – a considerable one, if they’re to pursue their education to any level where it will be of significant economic benefit. They need enough of a break, but enough of a break – historically, and even now – involves quite a lot of input, and has been more than society was generally prepared to give in the past. My hypothesis is that rather than trying to change society, never a fast process, many people who forced adoptions on young women, did so because they reckoned that no support structure would be there for them.

    Why wasn’t it there? I suggest, a combination of natural stinginess, limited resources, and the tendency to think that if someone is suffering for making a mistake, then that mistake must be a blameworthy one, one that only a bad person would make (AFAIK, this is a well-known cognitive bias). I don’t contest that ‘slut-shaming’ exists, but from what I’ve read and heard in the course of my life so far, the main sneer cast at a single mother is usually that she already has a competitor for time and attention whose care will be her priority, and therefore no man will want her (since I have been assumed to hold every poor opinion I describe, I’ll say that have personally found that not all men consider unrelated children to be loathesome, and that many of them aren’t into competing for the same sort of attention a child gets).

    All this is one of the sub-reasons that religion irks me: it diverts attention from a host of messy, life-related reasons why people make decisions. It’s so tempting to blame religious ideology for everything, especially one as boomingly arrogant as Catholicism.

  175. 175
    chigau (違う)

    The support structure a single mother needs is “a man”?‽

  176. 176
    Beanoglobin

    The support structure a single mother needs is “a man”?‽

    The support structure is obviously somewhere decent to live, and childcare. Both are hard enough for her to get even now, and in the past, they’ve been nearly impossible.

    I followed that by describing at some length an attitude I do not hold, and one I deplore, but which I’ve fairly frequently encountered, on and offline. I imagine most people are familiar with it.

    I realise that many contributors to this thread are very regular, and I am not, but I still grow a bit tired of the habit of picking out a few words from what I write, and stapling them together.

  177. 177
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    “Picking out a few words from what I write” is the cry of a person who does not want to recognize that certain phrases they turn are extremely telling.

    You aren’t getting raked over the coals because you’re a n00b. You’re getting raked over the coals because you’ve been waltzing all over the field with the goalposts in your arms to cut the RCC some utterly undeserved slack.

  178. 178
    A. R

    Ms. Daisy Cutter: Firstly, the very fact that I took the time to research it after I learned about it should tell you something. Secondly, how, exactly, does refusing to jump to the fist conclusion that comes to my brain make me unempathetic? And yes, I’m going into research, I’ve done clinical work, and I hated it. But just saying that you don’t care that it’s over the line doesn’t make it not over the line, which it was. Thus Ms. Daisy Cutter –> killfile.

  179. 179
  180. 180
    WharGarbl

    @chigau
    #175

    The support structure a single mother needs is “a man”?‽

    In cases where child-support is involved, “a man” would likely be part of that support structure.

  181. 181
    A. R

    In cases where child-support is involved, “a man” would likely be part of that support structure.

    Only if he pays and/or had no/a bad laywer.

  182. 182
    Inaji

    Miss Daisy Cutter:

    Shorter A.R:

    The thing that bugs me is the obvious lack of curiosity. Time after time, A.R sees a comment in a thread, then asks a question of the commenter, automatically expecting that person (or others) to provide the education, as they seem to be incapable of actually searching a subject themselves.

    I don’t mind if someone doesn’t know about something, that happens (especially in the U.S.), but for fuck’s sake, get on your keyboard, idiot, and do some searching on your own. A.R acts like using a search engine is an impossible task.

  183. 183
    A. R

    obvious lack of curiosity

    Eh? This has happened one or twice. Hardly “time after time.” And in this case, the reference was not exactly profligate with search keywords. I did do quite a bit of research after the first comment was explained though. Very disturbing.

  184. 184
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    I don’t contest that ‘slut-shaming’ exists, but from what I’ve read and heard in the course of my life so far, the main sneer cast at a single mother is usually that she already has a competitor for time and attention whose care will be her priority, and therefore no man will want her

    You are privileged.That is not the main sneer. Trust me.

    They are taking the no man will want her because she is a slut with a child and dressing it up for you. Stop failing for it. Slut shaming.

    Also, the no man will want her is because she is used goods, will try to trap you will a child, has baggage etc. That is more realistic of what single mothers face. Not to mention welfare queen….

    Maybe you should just shut up and think about this. You are just making it worse.

    In cases where child-support is involved, “a man” would likely be part of that support structure.

    As would, the father, uncles, cousins, any male relative of the mother qualify as a man in her support structure.

  185. 185
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Caine: Right, it’s not a crime to not know about x, but it’s awfully lazy not to research it yourself if you have a computer to hand, and it smacks of “I don’t give enough of a fuck about this.” I tend to cut people in meatspace more slack (yes, there are smartphones, but I’m not sure of the etiquette of interrupting the conversation to look something up).

    For me the ne plus ultra example of this attitude is this comment in Sikivu Hutchinson’s post about the American Atheists billboard. When told that perhaps he should do some reading on the subject to learn why so many people found the billboard offensive, Tony Lloyd replies,

    Why?

    It’s a simple enough question why not just answer it? It’s interesting, I’m curious, but it’s not that interesting: I have no desire to research the history of modern America in detail…

    I do react badly to this idea that one should have an in-depth knowledge of a subject before one advances any opinion or asks any question. You may not have meant it to read as “ignorant Limey, until you understand America just butt out”; that’s how it reads though.

  186. 186
    Inaji

    Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    It’s interesting, I’m curious, but it’s not that interesting: I have no desire to research the history

    In.A.Nutshell.

  187. 187
    simmy

    Hairhead @ 91

    These people didn’t mean well. They meant to apply the foul and disgusting tortures of their scummy little book upon anyone too weak (usually women and children) to resist — and they did it. In spades.

    Which in their fucked up religious eyes was meaning well or doing good by their religion. Or do you think these people really don’t believe what they say they believe? Do you really think these people view their own beliefs as “foul and disgusting tortures”? I didn’t say I agreed with them.

    Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform @ 109

    Simmy and Beanoglobin: What everybody else said. Stop making excuses for immensely powerful institutions that arrogate the power to dictate morality unto themselves by claiming, in effect, that because every other institution had jumped off a bridge the RCC had to as well.

    Holy misunderstanding batman! Or have you confused me with bloody Ann Widdecombe? Pointing out that other organisations were doing this is in NO WAY making excuses for the Catholic church. That’ll be the fucking day. Did you know that I still meet people who view the Anglican church as some kind of smiley, happy-go-lucky benign form of christianity when it is\was anything but that. Many are shocked to learn that they also were involved in the adopting kids out shit.

    “They were no worse than anyone else” is a piss-poor excuse.

    Never said that, never would, and if that’s what you got from my post then you completely misunderstood me. I was pointing out that other denominations were involved in this too because you rarely hear about it in the media, at least not to the same extent as you do for the catholic arseholes. Why the hell not? I want them ALL raked over the coals for this shit, not just the Catholics, but the Anglicans seem to have avoided facing the same level of public scrutiny that the Catholics get for this crap. They don’t deserve to.

  188. 188
    amoeba

    More happening in Spain.
    It would be nice if some of the bastards involved were held to account for what they did.

    An elderly Spanish nun has become the first person to appear in court in connection with the alleged theft of newborn babies, mostly during the Franco era.

    Thousands of babies are thought to have been taken from parents in hospitals and given to other families, starting in the 1936-39 Civil War, but there have been suspected cases as late as the 1990s.

    Sister Maria Gomez Valbuena, 80, is accused of stealing a mother’s newborn daughter at a Madrid hospital in 1982.

    I don’t know if the video is viewable outside the UK, but it’s worth seeing.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17699437

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