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Jan 19 2014

Sticking it to this pope

It’s good to see that I’m not the only one not falling for this grinnin’ pope. Gregory Paul talks about the Dark Side of Pope Francis.

That theoconservatives are being unsettled by Francis is a good thing. What is disturbing is how so many, but by no means all, liberals – including atheist Bill Maher – are being significantly seduced by the guy. A reason this is occurring is in part because the news media is as it often does is buying into a storyline that boosts ratings, so they conveniently stick to it without checking the objective facts that is supposed to be their job. 

Here is a question that Francis needs to be asked. Directly, and with follow ups to pin him down if he issues another nice little homily that dodges the issue. 

What is he going to do concerning abortion? Really do. Regarding its legality. 

Well, we know the answer to that one. Ophelia snagged a few recent quotes from this pope on abortion.

The ever so much more nice guy pope has pitched a big fit about women having the audacity to terminate their pregnancies.

He said it was was “frightful” to think about early pregnancy terminations.

Easy for him, isn’t it. It’s not his life that will be messed up and perhaps irreparably thrown off course by an unwanted pregnancy. He can afford to drool sentimentally over a process inside someone else’s body that he chooses to think of as a “baby” or even a “child.”

“It is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day,” he said in part of the speech that addressed the rights of children around the world.

Children aren’t “victims of abortion”, any more than killing sperm represents a slaughter of innocents. Oh, but he probably thinks the latter is true, too.

173 comments

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  1. 1
    David Marjanović

    Meanwhile, a speaker for the Vatican suddenly publishes numbers: in 2012 about 100 pedophile priests were fired, in 2011 about 300. “The publication of the numbers is unusual. The background is that, this week, a Vatican delegation had to provide a statement about the abuse of minors in the Catholic Church before the UN Committee for Children’s Rights in Geneva for the first time.” Source in German – it’s too late at night for me to look up a more direct source.

  2. 2
    Dick the Damned

    So long as he believes in the Bible Bogey, he has to take that line. He believes, (or, his job depends upon him pretending to believe), that his god-thing ordains each life at conception, so abortion can’t be allowed because it subverts that divine act.

    Superstition in the 21st C is still wrecking lives, the lives of real, adult people. And so much for the supposed omniscience & omnipotence of the aforementioned Bible Bogey.

    And here in Canada we look set to soon get a day to commemorate one of his recent predecessors! A private member’s bill to that effect has passed its third reading in the lower house & is ready to go to the upper house. WTF!

  3. 3
    samihawkins

    The defense of the pope is of a general type I see far too often: The idea that if a person or organization does good in one area than we should keep quiet about the awful things they do in other areas. That it’s wrong to criticize them because doing so hurts their efforts toward the good things.

    Is it good that he’s speaking up about income inequality? Yes. But it’s still terrible that his organization is the world’s biggest shelter for child molesters and I’m not gonna shut up about that fact just because I agree with him on something else. If doing so damages his credibility and makes it harder for him to campaign against the excesses of capitalism that’s a shame, but it’s his fault for supporting that awful policy not my fault for pointing out that fact.

  4. 4
    Al Dente

    I believe many of the people fawning over Pope Frank are overly impressed by him being a better PR spinner than Benny Ratzi.

  5. 5
    omnicrom

    I believe many of the people fawning over Pope Frank are overly impressed by him being a better PR spinner than Benny Ratzi.

    Got it in one. The new pope looks less like a Sith Lord and says empty things about how we should all just get along. It’s quite nice of the pope to invite Atheists to become Catholic, or tell the ultra-rich to be less evil (while sitting in an opulent palace at the head of a wealthy organization). Of course the proof is in the pudding. Is the new pope any less evil when it comes to women, gays, or children? Of course not.

  6. 6
    jim1138

    Suppose we went from the father having to pay a pittance in child support, if any, to a decent amount of child support as well as supporting the mother. I suspect that the laws being pushed would go from no abortion under any circumstances to the father being able to force abortion on the mother without her consent.

  7. 7
    Randomfactor

    who will never see the light of day,

    Not to mention the trillions doomed to the same fate by allowing women to decide whether or not they want to have sex. Every unfertilized egg in every nunnery…not to mention all the sperm in the, um, rectories…

  8. 8
    Inaji

    jim1138:

    Suppose we went from the father having to pay a pittance in child support, if any, to a decent amount of child support as well as supporting the mother. I suspect that the laws being pushed would go from no abortion under any circumstances to the father being able to force abortion on the mother without her consent.

    There’s a whole lot wrong here. Most men who are fathers care about their children, just as deeply as their mother does. (Yes, there are exceptions, both sides.) Child support laws and visitation laws are a fucking mess, and do more to fuck everyone over, including the kid[s] than to make things better for all parties. A lot of work needs to be done in those areas.

    None of that, however, speaks to the issue of abortion. It’s a mistake to think that all men would opt for a woman to abort, and laws now are more in favour of forced breeding. If a woman is a person, then she has the same right to autonomy as any other person, and that includes the right to terminate a pregnancy, which is where you go completely wrong, as a pregnancy is not a child. Also, it’s up to the person who is pregnant to make the decision concerning that pregnancy. The way you phrased things, you seem to think it should be up to men, one way or another.

  9. 9
    chrisv

    Action…not words! How about an apology and compensation for the women forced to work under slave conditions in those damned Irish convent laundries? Just for starters.

  10. 10
    Amateur

    Everyone reacted at the “mean Pope”, thinking, I suppose, that he misrepresented the “true” version of Catholicism. He looked bad; he had a suspicious background; he seemed to be covering up bad deeds. Who is surprised that such a man would be so hostile to all of the best qualities of the human experience, such a venal criminal as he obviously is?

    Yet the “nice Pope” preaches the same sick dogma and advocates the same blunt hostility toward women and promotes the same groveling at the feet of an invisible psychopath.

    It almost doesn’t need any advanced math to understand — rather, it would seem that such an understanding really is like “advanced math” to many people: Who is more threatening, the one who outwardly personifies the hostility and pathology of his cult’s doctrine, or the one who hides that hostility and pathology behind saintly antics and a fatherly demeanor?

  11. 11
    karmacat

    If this pope really cared about poverty, he would be supporting birth control. the more children a poor or even middle class family has the less likely they will escape poverty

  12. 12
    Inaji

    Amateur:

    Who is more threatening, the one who outwardly personifies the hostility and pathology of his cult’s doctrine, or the one who hides that hostility and pathology behind saintly antics and a fatherly demeanor?

    Trick question, right? They are both the same. Yeah, ol’ Frankie spins better, and it’s annoying as hell that so many people are tripping over their own tongues to lick it up.

  13. 13
    Kamaka

    All who have failed to quit the RCC heirarchy are implicated as rape enablers by coverup. Where’s the full disclosure, Francis? We’re waiting for the nice Pope to come through.

    Children are horrible little sinners who need correcting. That’s your creed, is it not? So if some of your clergy go too far…well, the seductive little sinners shouldn’t tempt the Dog Collars, eh?

    Oh, sorry Frank, I forgot you are Holier-Than-All. Forgive me for daring to call you out.

  14. 14
    Amateur

    Precisely, Caine, Fleur du mal. Definitely a trick question and definitely annoying that what seems to be important to so many people was the demonization of a particular personality, when it is the institution and its goals which should be addressed, its hostilities and sicknesses exposed.

  15. 15
    cag

    It’s a case of vile, disgusting, horrendous, disgusting, inhumane pope and vile, disgusting, horrendous, disgusting, inhumane, abominable pope. Sort of bad cop, worse cop.

    To think that the pope should be praised for his stance on poverty fails to recognize that this is a very self-serving statement. Poor people do not fill the coffers of the RCC.

  16. 16
    Gregory in Seattle

    New smiling face, same crap behind it.

    And I can’t believe no one has linked Every Sperm is Sacred.

  17. 17
    chigau (違う)

    demonization of a particular personality

    What does this even mean?

  18. 18
    sadunlap

    This reminds me of the recent (to me, anyway) revelations that priests in Eastern Europe during WWII advised their parishioners who took in Jewish children to fight to retain custody after the war when the surviving parent(s) attempted to take their own children back. The act of taking in Jewish children was about acquiring more catholics — not so much about humanitarian concerns. (Although a really devout Catholic could make the argument that they were saving the kid from hell, I suppose).

    Banning abortion and birth control has always been about more catholic children or more potential converts. Period. If the catholic church were truly dedicated to “the sanctity of life” then Catholics would refuse military service like the Amish do.

  19. 19
    krubozumo

    Popes, religion, dogmas? Now that I am retired I can open up some and interact with my neighbors with a little less circumspection. Because I own land I am a citizen. I have been here more or less constantly for
    the last 19 years. Brasil is a catholic country though the assemblies of god are working like beavers to build up their own cult. The whole thing would be most amusing if it were not so tragic.

    So far every single place I have lived for a period of more than a few weeks the local priest has come around on a regular basis to drink my whiskey. Because I am a geologist they all have assumed I am an
    atheist. I tell them I am not, no more than I am an atoothfairyist. Next they tell me I hate dog. To which I respond you cannot hate that which does not exist. Then they claim they are concerned for my soul.To which I respond that my soles are fine, I have no planter’s warts, nor blisters, nor athletes foot nor trench foot though I do spend a goodly amount of time standing in water. It’s part of the job. At about that point is when they start to get angry. They are accustomed to having most people acquiesce to their authority.

    I always use an explanatory argument. E.g. – wait please, you don’t understand radioactive decay if you think that radiometric dating can be off by six orders of magnitude. Let me explain it to you. It goes no
    where of course, but it resets the boundaries of the playing field.

    There are not many like minded people around here with whom I can associate in peace but I have no
    particular problem mingling with the true believers on a regular basis so long as they are not hostile. I
    am not hostile towards them.

    From my perspective the RCC is pretty aggressively hostile. The guy in charge at the moment is just a new version of the same old fraud.

    If you truly want to see the good religion does and particularly the RCC, pay a vist to Peru and walk around the streets a little alone. Or Columbia, or Brasil or Venezuela or Argentina or …

    Then we can look at the effects of religion in Africa.

    Most people, I think if they used a cosmetic salve that resulted in peeling skin and superating wounds
    would stop applying it. But religion seems to be a freakish exception. The more perverse the consequences, the more the faithful cling to it.

    In a way it could be thought of as a kind of mental disease. Perhaps it should be. Perhaps it is.

    We should be working more systematically on a vaccine.

    Bom noite.

  20. 20
    rorschach

    His tweets (or whoever is behind the @pontifex twitter account) are almost Silberman-esque at times, like this one from the other day:

    Wars shatter so many lives. I think especially of children robbed of their childhood.

    I’d say, best case scenario for a high ranking official of a child rape organisation that oversees multiple wars current and past fought in its name to say some thing like this, or have it authorised to be said, is very very bad taste.

  21. 21
    rorschach

    Sorry, Silverman, as in Sarah, not Silverman, as in Dave.

  22. 22
    Inaji

    Chigau @ 17:

    What does this even mean?

    I think it means that when Ratzi was pope, people focused on him, the same way they are focusing on Frankie now, the first was negative focus, now it’s positive focus, but it resulted in the same thing: people stopped focusing on the RCC as a whole. When it was Ratzi, people were busy demonizing him. Now it’s Frankie, and people are busy praising him. It’s that old Catholic magic in action, pay no attention to what’s going on behind the man.

  23. 23
    Inaji

    sadunlap:

    Banning abortion and birth control has always been about more catholic children or more potential converts. Period.

    Not quite a full stop there. First and foremost, it’s about controlling women.

  24. 24
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Caine, 23:

    I’m not so sure. At least, let me rephrase: I’m not so sure that has always been the case.

    Frankly I think that the control of women was simply **assumed**. They didn’t have to do this to control women, women were (and should be) under control, the RCC assumed. Thus it wasn’t “about” controlling women. The control was already there and this was “about” what they would do with that control, rather than establishing/maintaining that control.

    In today’s climate, I would suspect that what it’s “about” is different in different places – in the US, it may indeed be “about” controlling women. In other places where women are controlled, they don’t need these laws to control women, these laws are just what they happen to be doing with their control.

    Does that make sense?

    And in any case, it’s only an opinion, and not a particularly informed one as regards a specific history of the RCC, an area where I’m weak.

  25. 25
    jeroenmetselaar

    It is all a matter of gradients, isn’t it? Francis isn’t as bad as Ratzi and he is right on some things (stopped clock etc..) and it is only fair to give him some credit for that.

    But when all is said and done he is still the pope of the catholic church. Cleverly manipulating opinions and history is what they do.

  26. 26
    Inaji

    CD @ 24:

    Catholicism has always had a vested interest in controlling women, the history of what they have done to women who aren’t being properly obedient is ugly.* Sadunlap is right about future church members and all that, but it’s more complex. Along with keeping women in their proper place, it’s been about keeping populaces in place – large families struggle keeping shelter and food on the table, and as they have no recourse in regard to breeding, they are easily kept down.
     
    *Which is sadly ironic, as there wouldn’t be a Catholic/xian church at all if it weren’t for women. In the beginning, xianity offered the most rights to women, they had the right to refuse marriage and childbirth, they could go to a nunnery instead. The church allowed for women to own property, too. Women spread xianity like wildfire. After a while, things got out of hand with the whole Mary business, which radically changed things, and the church started shutting down nunnerys and clamping down like nobody’s business.

  27. 27
    rorschach

    Francis isn’t as bad as Ratzi

    I don’t see any objective difference. Franky is more adept at dressing up Catholic evil with a little colorful flower bouquet, but he is in effect not budging on any Catholic dogma. You know, that stuff that makes people around the world suffer. Did you watch his minions dodge and block at last week’s hearing? Nothing has changed.

  28. 28
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    When Francis made his statements about abortion some time last week people were flabbergasted.
    They wetre flabbergasted because they believed in Fantasy Francis, the mythical elsusive liberal pope everybody heard of but nobody has seen.
    There was a small segment on the German news when the pundit pointed this out and the journalist he was talking to said “What did people expect? The pope is still catholic.”
    So, new paint, same rotten to the core building.

    Hey, and I made it here before David Wilford can show up to ignore me

  29. 29
    Al Dente

    Giliell @28

    Hey, and I made it here before David Wilford can show up to ignore me

    David Wilford will be around to tell us how mean we are by not admiring Frank in the way David Wilford thinks we should. David Wilford will tell us about Catholics in Minnesota voting for same-sex marriage which proves Frank is a good guy. David Wilford will then ignore all the examples we give of the RCC repressing women, GLBTs, children, etc. In short David Wilford will be David Wilford.

  30. 30
    Iain Walker

    This is the extract from Bergoglio’s book On Heaven and Earth that Wikipedia saw fit to use to illustrate his views on abortion:

    The moral problem of abortion is of a pre-religious nature because the genetic code is written in a person at the moment of conception. A human being is there. I separate the topic of abortion from any specifically religious notions. It is a scientific problem. Not to allow the further development of a being which already has all the genetic code of a human being is not ethical. The right to life is the first among human rights. To abort a child is to kill someone who cannot defend himself.

    Assuming that it hasn’t been taken wildly out of context and that it has been competently translated from the original Spanish, Bergoglio would appear to be as scientifically illiterate as any anti-abortion internet troll, and has the same mastery of logic as well. Not to mention a terrible liar – “I separate the topic of abortion from any specifically religious notions”? No, Senor Bergoglio, you don’t. You are demonstrably incapable of doing so.

  31. 31
    anuran

    *sigh*

    Tedious, smug, self-important AND stupid.
    Anyone who isn’t just like you is a no-good poopyhead. ‘Cause everyone has to have exactly your priorities and be just like you or they’re EEEEVVVVIIILLLL. The only real difference between you and you’re average fundamentalist is that you have a slightly different set of absolute hatreds and neat divisions into Us and Other.

  32. 32
    anuran

    And let’s face it. You wouldn’t care what any religious leader said or did. If they’re religious and involved with a religious institution they’re on the side of the devils, and any good they do is really evil. It’s been your consistent mindless screed. No areas of mutual concern. No overlap. Like the Shrub said “You’re either with us or against us.” One would really hope for better from you, but like racist Jews, homophobic Black people and so on the lesson you’ve learned from oppression is that you’d really be happier if it was your hand that held the whip.

  33. 33
    jeroenmetselaar
    Francis isn’t as bad as Ratzi

    I don’t see any objective difference. Franky is more adept at dressing up Catholic evil with a little colorful flower bouquet, but he is in effect not budging on any Catholic dogma. You know, that stuff that makes people around the world suffer. Did you watch his minions dodge and block at last week’s hearing? Nothing has changed.

    I admit you have to look closely, have you tried a polarizing microscope?

  34. 34
    Iain Walker

    anuran (#31):

    Tedious, smug, self-important AND stupid.

    Well, now that you’ve introduced yourself, perhaps you’d like to actually comment on the post.

  35. 35
    woggler

    Once again, the fact that should he exist, his deity would be the Grand Master of abortion. For any child that dies before a first breath is taken, responsibility can only be put on his deity. That means he (as in He) is responsible for untold billions of abortions.

  36. 36
    chigau (違う)

    anuran
    There are no such thing as devils.

  37. 37
    killyosaur

    @sadunlop #18: explains what my great aunt had to go through a lot better. I was always told it was because the family that took in my mom’s cousin fell in love with her and wanted to keep her, did not know it was that much more insidious.

  38. 38
    godfreyj

    Iain,,

    It occurs to me that the use of initial capitals tends to reveal more about a person than he or she may wish (or intend).

    Often a cap confers more dignity or respect than is merited. I’m thinking of Pope, God, Queen, President, as opposed to pope, god, queen, president. PZ and other like-minded people will shun most if not all of the former, except when the holder of the post is being named, e.g. Pope Francis, President Obama.

    Lazy journos, on the other hand, never tire of singing the praises of “the Pope,” and indeed “his Church.” Such usage will, in the long run, have its effect on the mind of the gullible reader.

    And of course an interesting (and related) related phenomenon can be observed in anuran’s use of “Black” in his/her comment at 7.16.

    Damn, I’ll stop now. That’s more than enough amateur psychology before breakfast :0(

  39. 39
    Iain Walker

    godfreyj (#38):

    Often a cap confers more dignity or respect than is merited.

    True, but I also tend to call Bergoglio “Bergoglio” as a matter of consistency, since I always called Ratzinger “Ratzinger” because I could never remember which iteration of “Benedict” he was meant to be. (Also, I never got into the habit of calling him “Pope Palpatine” because he always looked more like Joe Pesci to me.)

  40. 40
    numerobis

    One thing that popes do is name bishops and cardinals. JP2 and B16 chose to elevate the most conservative priests available, setting the tone for a good long while. Francis is likely to soften up, which means we can look forward to a less-reactionary priesthood in the future — maybe by the middle of the century it will be something more like the Anglican church, if Francis’ next few successors continue liberalizing.

  41. 41
    brucegorton

    My take on the current pope:

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/opinion/columnists/2014/01/16/pope-francis-may-be-good-but-not-awesome

    I get the feeling a lot of the praise for Francis is coming from people who weren’t Catholics before becoming atheists, because a lot of the stuff I see him getting praised for isn’t exactly new to the Church.

  42. 42
    Daniel

    I’m an atheist Argentinian, and maybe I can say something about Bergoglio from a countrymen perspective.
    Does him think to change anything about abortion, women, prophylaxis… no, I don’t think so.

    What could be different?, the attitude towards people who thinks different. With homosexuals he will try to make peace, the same with people of other religions, and even us atheists. But with abortion, I don’t think so. The general opinion here in Argentina 8 to 2 is that shouldn’t be legalized (I will be happily surprised if turns out to be 7:3).

    Now, the question is what he will do, who will be their “chosen enemies”?. I think it will be economic injustice. Here in Argentina we have a long history of contradictions: rich country with poor people, nutritiousness being a country capable of produce food for 350 million people (we are 45), vast regions without tap water and enormous water reservoirs, from being one of the least unjust countries (economically) to one for the most in 40..50 years.

    So that’s why (I think) he is trying not to loose time fighting small battles (that can’t be won) and go for to big ones, being his priorities:
    Internal affairs: put order, less luxury and church closer to the people. Pastors in the streets, not in the pulpit. Face washing (that’s why the communication strategy is a priority).
    Recover believers: here in South America the protestant and alternative branches of christianity (I mean, everything non-catholic) have gain huge audiences at catholics expense. He will try to recover in Latin America, Africa, and be stronger in Asia. That’s why he will choose issues that resonate closer to third-world people (economic injustice).
    Economic injustice: not only as a medium to an end (to be likable to us in the third world), also as an end itself (for our unfortunate history with economy).

    That’s what I think he thinks, not my direct opinion. He is simple but doesn’t lack of political strategy and ability.

    First (long, long, loooooooooong) comment; after reading this blog for a couple years I guess I do all the commenting at once :)

  43. 43
    vaiyt

    @anuran

    What MORE does the Catholic Church has to do to qualify as “evil” in your book? Seriously.

  44. 44
    vaiyt

    So that’s why (I think) he is trying not to loose time fighting small battles (that can’t be won) and go for to big ones,

    The fight for bodily autonomy of women is not a fucking “small battle”!

  45. 45
    otrame

    O Hai, anuran!! Wandered over here from Slacktivist, have you?

    Folks, anuran is a persistent commenter over on Fred Clark’s blog who doesn’t like anything he has to say, turns everything into an argument about how bad Obamacare is, and how stupid commenters who agree with Fred’s decency are.

    He’s pretty tough, as chew toys go, and he has a nice noisy squeaker.

    Enjoy.

  46. 46
    Daniel


    So that’s why (I think) he is trying not to loose time fighting small battles (that can’t be won) and go for to big ones,

    The fight for bodily autonomy of women is not a fucking “small battle”!

    I think it is for him. If you ask someone here: what’s more important: the economy or reproductive rights?, most of the people will say economy. Nothing that I’m proud of, but it’s the reality.
    Even more, I think is probable that women are more opposed to abortion than men here.

  47. 47
    otrame

    Daniel, you are going to get your ass handed to you with a big pink bow on it.

    ( Goes to get popcorn)

  48. 48
    chigau (違う)

    Daniel #46

    Even more, I think is probable that women are more opposed to abortion than men here.

    What do you mean by “here”?

  49. 49
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    chigau,

    Argentina

  50. 50
    David Wilford

    Thanks for the comments, Daniel. It’s good to hear from places other than the U.S. and other western countries about the new pope.

  51. 51
    Daniel

    I mean here = Argentina. And yes, things do progress with time, people are more liberal in cities and more conservative in the country-side, but still we are far from convince the rest that abortion should be legal. I will be happy if we can achieve it in 10 years.
    With homosexuality however things go better (here in Argentina), they can marry and the public opinion is favorable. Is curious how Uruguay, sharing a lot culturally with us, is far ahead (they have legalized abortion and marihuana).

    Otrame, I know your feeling because I share it, I think that not having reproductive rights is being a medieval society. Is not easy to eradicate bad things so entrenched in culture.

  52. 52
    David Wilford

    Oops, make that other non-English speaking countries, not “western”.

  53. 53
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    I was about to ask “Who the fuck is this Anuran person, and why do they do nothing but insult PZ based on a lazy interpretation of the OP?”, but Otrame appears to have answered this pre-emptively at #45.

  54. 54
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Daniel, I also wanted to thank you for your thoughts.

    I know nothing about Argentina or this pope, but I do know things about prominent Catholics in the US, so I can see how you might have quite a bit of background that I lack. Thus getting your perspective is very valuable to me.

  55. 55
    leszekuk

    If someone “respects life”, they can hardly be happy about abortion, which terminates it. So no-one is surprised Francis opposes abortion. That is what popes do. This makes him evil? Insensitive to women, certainly, but not evil. There is just a lot he doesn’t get.

    Those who respect life have to be troubled about abortion. It isn’t what anyone wants. At the same time, they have to respect the rights of women to control their fertility. That is not something Francis can do.

    This is not a simple issue. Anyone who thinks it is is kidding themselves. Those who respect all life would find alternatives to abortion. Reasonable alternatives. Contraception, for one. I doubt Francis would go for that, but he should.

    The RC church has a long way to go on this one, if it ever gets there. But it is not wrong to preach respect for life. It is just wrong in how it goes about it.

  56. 56
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Those who respect life have to be troubled about abortion.

    Respecting life doesn’t include respecting life of pregnant women. Gotcha.

    It isn’t what anyone wants.

    Au contraire. If I got pregnant now, I’d want an abortion. I wouldn’t be happy about the hassle, but I would be happy to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

    Contraception, for one.

    Contraception isn’t an alternative to abortion. Giving birth is an alternative to abortion.

    But it is not wrong to preach respect for life.

    Life, mystical life. Whose life, which lives? Certainly not of women.

  57. 57
    David Marjanović

    Because I am a geologist they all have assumed I am an
    atheist. I tell them I am not, no more than I am an atoothfairyist.

    I’m confused. Is the tooth fairy a thing in Brazil?

    Then they claim they are concerned for my soul.To which I respond that my soles are fine, I have no planter’s warts, nor blisters, nor athletes foot nor trench foot though I do spend a goodly amount of time standing in water. It’s part of the job.

    …Just out of curiosity, which pun do you use in Portuguese?

    I always use an explanatory argument. E.g. – wait please, you don’t understand radioactive decay if you think that radiometric dating can be off by six orders of magnitude. Let me explain it to you. It goes nowhere of course, but it resets the boundaries of the playing field.

    Wow, there are YEC Catholic priests in Brazil!?!

    I admit you have to look closely, have you tried a polarizing microscope?

    Thread won.

    I always called Ratzinger “Ratzinger” because I could never remember which iteration of “Benedict” he was meant to be

    The 16th.

    So that’s why (I think) he is trying not to loose time fighting small battles (that can’t be won) and go for to big ones,

    The fight for bodily autonomy of women is not a fucking “small battle”!

    That’s what you think, and what I think. It’s not what the pope thinks. He thinks it’s a medium one.

  58. 58
    David Marjanović

    This makes him evil? Insensitive to women, certainly, but not evil. There is just a lot he doesn’t get.

    But he talks about it anyway.

    It is not good at all when he talks about things he doesn’t understand.

  59. 59
    Inaji

    leszekuk:

    If someone “respects life”, they can hardly be happy about abortion, which terminates it.

    Fuck that noise, Cupcake. I respect life. That respect includes my life. I’ve been pregnant one time in my life, and I was using contraception at the time, so that deals with that bit of your idiocy. I had an abortion asap. All I felt was relief. I don’t owe you any fucking details, however, I will say that being forced to birth would have destroyed my life, and it wouldn’t have done any favours to the resultant child. *Pregnancy* is not a life as we know it. It has the potential to be a life as we know it, that’s all. Oh, and because I’m sure it will come up, adoption is not an answer to an unwanted pregnancy.

    You’re yet another idiot, who apparently didn’t learn one fucking thing from the last thread (and I do believe you flounced, did you not?), and simply want to derail this thread with your constant arse kissing of all things Catholic. Please, spare us.

  60. 60
    A. Noyd

    leszekuk (#55)

    This makes him evil? Insensitive to women, certainly, but not evil.

    Fuck you. Forcing women into reproductive slavery is not just being “insensitive.”

    Those who respect life have to be troubled about abortion. It isn’t what anyone wants.

    Fuck you, again. Don’t try to speak for me. If I got pregnant, I’d want an abortion and I wouldn’t be troubled about it in the least. It would be the most responsible and caring thing I could do for any potential offspring. Respecting life does not mean unquestioningly supporting the continuation of it for all things in all situations.

  61. 61
    leszekuk

    Respecting life doesn’t include respecting life of pregnant women. Gotcha.

    No, you haven’t a clue. If an abortion is what they need, fine. I don’t oppose their right to choose. I am pointing out that if someone claims to respect life, then they shouldn’t draw lines as to what life they rrespect and what life they don’t. A foetus has a right to life, but so does the woman bearing it. These are hard choices, and we shouldn’t pretend they are easy.

    Abortion isn’t an easy choice, and it should never be an easy choice. But it should be a choice.

    Au contraire. If I got pregnant now, I’d want an abortion. I wouldn’t be happy about the hassle, but I would be happy to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

    Your choice. I would never argue with you about that. I support that right. But I would argue, maybe there is a better way.

    Contraception isn’t an alternative to abortion. Giving birth is an alternative to abortion.

    Uh, no. Avoiding getting pregnant in the first place is an alternative to having to consider an abortion. There are certainly instances such as rape where avoidance isn’t an option. Women have rights to choose whether to carry a pregnancy to term, and I wouldn’t interfere with them. I do not oppose the right to have an abortion, and I lament the way that right has been abrogated in the US.

    Life, mystical life. Whose life, which lives? Certainly not of women.

    Absolutely the lives of women. In an ideal world, every pregnancy would be a wanted one. We do not live in an ideal world. What I would wish for is a world where abortion were legal, safe and rare.Where it occurs when necessary, and not otherwise.

  62. 62
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    A foetus has a right to life,

    Unevidenced slogan, dismissed as fuckwittery.
    If you want to discuss abortion, rather than the pope, take it to the Thunderdome.

  63. 63
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Where it occurs when necessary, and not otherwise.

    Yeah, right now it occurs for shits and giggles.

    “Hmmm, I have a couple of hours to spare between my manicure and afternoon shopping. I know! I should spend a relaxing time getting an abortion!”

  64. 64
    zenlike

    Anyone surprised pope-lover leszekuk is now spouting anti-choice slogans?

    No leszekuk, you are fucking wrong. You have no clue. It’s not a hard or difficult matter. Just stfu.

  65. 65
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    leszekuk,

    I’ll have to go to bed soon, so just in case I don’t forget.

    Make any woman you know a great favor and don’t give them “advice” if they come to you saying they are pregnant. Don’t offer them a “better way” if they say they want an abortion. If you can’t say anything compassionate, keep your fucking mouth shut and nod.

    Gah, what is it with people?!

    Uh, no. Avoiding getting pregnant in the first place is an alternative to having to consider an abortion.

    Uh, the meaning of the word alternative. Look it up.

  66. 66
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I could kindasortabutnotreally respect someone who took the tack of “I hate abortion, let’s work to reduce its need” by advocating for universal access to cheap-to-free high-quality contraception, non-shaming sex ed, helping people learn how to approach sexuality in a healthy and mutually supportive and affirming way, and advocating for social programs to help lift people out of poverty (so that “I cannot afford a(nother) child” isn’t something that you hear).

    The kindasorta because that person would be actually helping (rather than just scolding women).

    Notreally because that person would still be holding the fetus higher than the woman, and I’m not down with that.

  67. 67
    zenlike

    61, leszekuk

    I am pointing out that if someone claims to respect life, then they shouldn’t draw lines as to what life they rrespect and what life they don’t.

    So you never stepped on an ant?

    Idiot.

  68. 68
    leszekuk

    keep your fucking mouth shut and nod.

    I ignore foulmouths.

  69. 69
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Also, if you hate abortion and want to see it go away?

    If you want me to give you even grudging respect, you’d better be out there on the barricades, advocating for contraception access and sex ed, slamming people who slut-shame women and girls, and working to do things like raise the minimum wage and expand welfare.

    I mean, I’ll still regard you as a shithead for decentering the woman, but I’ll at least give you the time of day.

  70. 70
    Inaji

    Avoiding getting pregnant in the first place is an alternative to having to consider an abortion.

    I got pregnant while using contraception (more than one kind, not that you need to know that.) Are you actually capable of reading? An abortion is an alternative to being pregnant.

    Idiot.

  71. 71
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    leszekuk

    I ignore foulmouths.

    I would like to ignore fucking scumbags who try to deny me decisions about my own body, but unfortunately, I can’t ignore them because they are actively working about denying women the right to make decision about their own bodies!.

  72. 72
    Rey Fox

    I could kindasortabutnotreally respect someone who took the tack of “I hate abortion, let’s work to reduce its need” by advocating for universal access to cheap-to-free high-quality contraception, non-shaming sex ed, helping people learn how to approach sexuality in a healthy and mutually supportive and affirming way, and advocating for social programs to help lift people out of poverty (so that “I cannot afford a(nother) child” isn’t something that you hear).

    Yeah, but for some reason, they prefer to hang around here and wring their hands about how awful abortion is and how they respect a woman’s choice, but couldn’t that choice line up with my choice pleeeease? They’re pretty much completely useless.

  73. 73
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Avoiding getting pregnant in the first place is an alternative to having to consider an abortion.

    Too bad the RCC teaches that contraceptives immoral.

    Oh, wait a second. You actually that sex should be avoid.

    Too bad abstinence only education does not work.

  74. 74
    Rey Fox

    Where it occurs when necessary, and not otherwise.

    It’s necessary when the woman and her healthcare professional agree that it is.

  75. 75
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I ignore foulmouths.

    This blog is not for you. Most of us swear. A lot.

    So can that shit or deal with it.

    Don’t be such a hothouse flower, Cupcake.

  76. 76
    leszekuk

    So you never stepped on an ant?

    An ant is not a foetus. Of course a foetus is not a thinking, feeling human being. I don’t oppose abortion. Is there anything about “I support a woman’s rioght to choose” you do not understand?

    What I am arguing for is is respect for life. Not for contempt for it, which is what you seem to be advocating. This doesn’t mean every foetus has a right to live, far from it. We must consider a pregnant woman’s rights. She has a right to life, and so has the foetus. It is a moral quandry how to deal with that. Denying the moral question is sheer blindness.

    So far as I can see, the pregnant woman has the upper hand. She’s a living, breathing human being, the foetus is a ball of unconscious cells. No argument there. Still the choice is a trial for any mother. Can’t deny that.

  77. 77
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I respect people, leszekuk. How ’bout you?

  78. 78
    leszekuk

    Too bad the RCC teaches that contraceptives immoral.

    Oh, wait a second. You actually that sex should be avoid.

    Too bad abstinence only education does not work.

    Sweetums, I do not believe in abstinence education. I believe in contraceptives.

  79. 79
    Rey Fox

    Is there anything about “I support a woman’s rioght to choose” you do not understand?

    Just the part where you turn around and say how women should feel about their choice. Ignoring the women who have already spoke up on this thread and told you about it. Let’s just say your ability and inclination to truly respect someone else’s choices is not coming off very well.

  80. 80
    Inaji

    I ignore foulmouths.

    It’s rather obvious you don’t. You just like to whine about them, like you did at tedious length the last time. Remember regaling us with your adventures of going to various fora and posting things against the general tide, and being all proud of the names you were called? You live and breathe this shit so you can whine another day. You’re disgusting. And an idiot.

  81. 81
    Inaji

    Is there anything about “I support a woman’s rioght to choose” you do not understand?

    I understand that phrase, however, it’s quite clear you do not.

  82. 82
    Rey Fox

    I believe in contraceptives.

    Then you should be on the frontlines arguing against the Catholic Church and its enormous worldwide influence on womens rights and healthcare institutions. Not making mealy-mouthed defenses of their “respect for life”, which is clearly empty blather.

  83. 83
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    What I am arguing for is is respect for life.

    No, you are not. Life implies all life, not just human. If you eat anything, you are eating what was living. So you don’t respect all life. Just that YOU define.

  84. 84
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Oh sweetums, I almost feel sorry for you.

  85. 85
    chigau (違う)

    What does “respect for life” mean?

  86. 86
    leszekuk

    I respect people, leszekuk. How ’bout you?

    Then you would respect people who disagree with your views.Obviously you do not. None of you do. Another time out, I think, till PZ publishes another idiotic post. It’s not that I think he’s wrong about things. I approve his views about religion. It’s just I think that being gratuitously obnoxious isn’t going to solve anything.

    Ciao for now.

  87. 87
    zenlike

    leszekuk @ 61
    I am pointing out that if someone claims to respect life, then they shouldn’t draw lines as to what life they rrespect and what life they don’t.

    leszekuk @ 76

    An ant is not a foetus. Of course a foetus is not a thinking, feeling human being.

    So you do draw a line: collection fo cells with human DNA is life that needs to be respected, autonomous being withou human DNA is not to be respected.

    What I am arguing for is is respect for life.

    Meaningless drivel unless you believe in a human soul. Which most of here don’t. So you will not find anyone who agrees with you here. Bye Bye.

    She has a right to life, and so has the foetus.

    Why does a foetus have a right to life? Unless, again, you believe in a human soul, it doesn’t make any sense.

    Still the choice is a trial for any mother. Can’t deny that.

    Seeing that there a people here on this very board who where in that situation, who deny it, yes I can deny that, you pompous asshole.

  88. 88
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Sweetums, I do not believe in abstinence education. I believe in contraceptives.

    So fucking sorry to stay on topic. This post is about the epic ass kissing of the friendly faced pope.

    Also, Cupcake, call me sweetums again and there will be fucking problems.

  89. 89
    Inaji

    I believe in contraceptives.

    People can get pregnant while using contraceptives. Happened to me. Just how much of an idiot are you?

    The Catholic arse you kiss doesn’t approve of contraceptives. And contraceptives are not enough. Education, social safety nets, contraception, allowing women the right to choose sterilisation, rather than being patted on the head and told we don’t know our own mind, or to come back when we’re 35 and had 3 kids, and yes, abortion on demand, with no delays, no obstructions, and it sure as hell isn’t anyone else’s fucking business. You don’t know jack shit about the reality of women’s lives, anywhere. *spits*

  90. 90
    zenlike

    All hail blockquote failures: that first part after

    leszekuk @ 61

    is a quote of leszekuk

    I am pointing out that if someone claims to respect life, then they shouldn’t draw lines as to what life they rrespect and what life they don’t.

  91. 91
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Oh sweetums, simply having an opinion about something doesn’t mean you or your saintly opinion deserve any respect.

  92. 92
    Rey Fox

    Another tiny violin sonata for another useless tone troll…

  93. 93
    Inaji

    Before my abortion: “fuck, I have to get rid of this. Now.” After my abortion: pure, unadulterated relief and joy. Happy, happy, happy. Afterwards, thanks to PP, who would not sterilise me, as I requested from one doctor after another, because I was 17, agreed to a Copper-7 IUD, which rendered me happily sterile in short order. Yay for me, abortion + contraception = sterile. I was one of the lucky ones. You are an idiot.

  94. 94
    zenlike

    Shorter leszekuk

    I support a woman’s right to choose, but first let me repeat these anti-choice talking points with the exact wordings as used everywhere by the ‘pro-lifers’…

    And no, opinions don’t automatically deserve respect.

  95. 95
  96. 96
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Caine, how dare you speak for yourself when leszekuk was just trying to talk for all living things.

  97. 97
    Inaji

    Janine:

    Caine, how dare you speak for yourself when leszekuk was just trying to talk for all living things.

    My bad, I forgot I’m not a living thing.

  98. 98
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    anuran:

    Tedious, smug, self-important AND stupid.

    Thank you for describing yourself.
    Your whining about PZ has become incredibly tedious. So is your inability to think with sufficient complexity to get what PZ is saying.

    The only real difference between you and you’re average fundamentalist is that you have a slightly different set of absolute hatreds and neat divisions into Us and Other.

    That you can even say this speaks volumes about you.
    You’re seriously equating PZ with a fundamentalist?
    He’s standing up FOR human rights. He OPPOSES inequality. Absolut hatred? Give examples.

  99. 99
  100. 100
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    otrame @45:
    Thanks for the heads up.

  101. 101
    Inaji

    Tony:

    otrame @45:
    Thanks for the heads up.

    anuran has been hanging at Pharyngula for ages, whining and saying stupid shit. They are generally ignored by everyone. /derail

  102. 102
    A. Noyd

    Leszekuk (#61)

    These are hard choices, and we shouldn’t pretend they are easy.

    They’re not hard at all. Ending the life of an unwanted fetus before it has a chance to be conscious of pain and suffering is, to me, a great moral good.

    Avoiding getting pregnant in the first place is an alternative to having to consider an abortion.

    Why don’t you go educate yourself about how contraception works, and only come back when you know enough to feel bad about having said this. Or, better yet, don’t come back at all.

    Where it occurs when necessary, and not otherwise.

    Awww, and here I was, just about to go on a recreational abortion cruise.

    (#76)

    Is there anything about “I support a woman’s rioght to choose” you do not understand?

    Yeah, it’s the way you keep tagging contradictory bullshit starting with the word “but” on to the end of that phrase.

    Still the choice is a trial for any mother. Can’t deny that.

    Stop saying that. There are plenty of women in this thread like me and Caine who either have had or would seek an abortion without feeling like it was any sort of trial at all.

    (#86)

    Then you would respect people who disagree with your views.Obviously you do not.

    Ahem: “Still the choice is a trial for any mother. Can’t deny that.”

    Fucking hypocrite.

    Ciao for now.

    How about “ciao for forever”?

  103. 103
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    Still the choice is a trial for any mother. Can’t deny that.

    By the time a woman’s a mother, it’s too late to abort.

  104. 104
    dianne

    An ant is not a foetus.

    But it IS a life. An independent life, no less. For someone who claims to have “respect for life” you sure dismiss the ant’s claim quickly.

  105. 105
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    leszekuk:

    If someone “respects life”, they can hardly be happy about abortion, which terminates it. So no-one is surprised Francis opposes abortion. That is what popes do. This makes him evil? Insensitive to women, certainly, but not evil. There is just a lot he doesn’t get

    I know people have ripped into this, but I just had to add my 2 cents:
    You’re just as bad at reading comprehension and deeper thinking as anuran is. The life that the pope supposedly respects, is a fetus. He (and anti-abortion activists) want to give full personhood and all the rights that entails to a fetus. A fetus lacks self awareness, the capacity to feel pain or pleasure, and cannot exist on its own. They are not people in any way, shape or form. They can *potentially* become people (though even that is not a foregone conclusion), but they do not and *should not* have the same rights as an existing, independent human being…such as the woman that carries them.

    Why do people say the pope is evil?
    He demands that women act as incubators.
    He demands that women never act in their own interests, to pursue their own goals when it comes to reproductive autonomy.
    This insinstence on robbing women of their bodily autonomy and right to self-determination is what marks the pope as evil. He actually believes he has the right and responsibility to determine what women can and cannot do with their bodies. His beliefs are those of the church’s, hence the opposition to contraception and abortion from the RCC.

    Those beliefs result in women being denied a basic human right: that of bodily autonomy.
    That is a right all human beings possess, not just men. To rob, or attempt to rob, women of that right is to view them as not having all the rights that humans do…i.e. they are less than human.

    That is evil.

    Do you understand or do I need a bigger spoon to feed you with?

  106. 106
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    leszekuk:

    Where it occurs when necessary, and not otherwise.

    That is to be determined by the woman, with the only person offering any advice being her doctor.
    The need to either have an abortion or desire to continue a pregnancy should be decided by the woman in the situation. No one else. No guilt from society and religious organizations should be heaped upon her either.

  107. 107
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    leszekuk:

    I ignore foulmouths.

    Oh, dear me.
    I have a vewwy, vewwwy, bad word in my nym.
    Does that mean you’re not going to speak to me? I’m devastated.

    You don’t like people who use naughty words, but you’re find being an apologist for the Raping Children Church?
    Your priorities are out of whack fuckface.

  108. 108
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    This is not a simple issue. Anyone who thinks it is is kidding themselves. Those who respect all life would find alternatives to abortion. Reasonable alternatives. Contraception, for one. I doubt Francis would go for that, but he should.

    It is an extremely simple issue. If you cannot compel the donation of a kidney, you cannot compel the donation of a uterus.

  109. 109
    brucegorton

    Sweetums, I do not believe in abstinence education. I believe in contraceptives.

    Which the Catholic Church, including the current pope, opposes.

    The Church also, in practice, opposes abortions when the pregnancy threatens the health of the mother. After all, that’s how it ended up excommunicating a few doctors a few years back for performing one on a nine year old who had been repeatedly raped by her stepfather.

    Funny how your preaching about contraceptives seems to fall apart in such cases eh?

    Frankly I think abortion should be allowed on demand because I don’t think of women as being walking incubators I can just randomly call ‘sweetums’ on the Internet.

    If it ain’t my body I don’t get to say what goes in it.

  110. 110
    dianne

    That is to be determined by the woman, with the only person offering any advice being her doctor.

    Proposed amendment to this statement:…and anyone else whose advice she chooses to ask. Everyone not in the above categories can keep their opinions to themselves.

  111. 111
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    What I am arguing for is is respect for life. Not for contempt for it, which is what you seem to be advocating. This doesn’t mean every foetus has a right to live, far from it. We must consider a pregnant woman’s rights. She has a right to life, and so has the foetus. It is a moral quandry how to deal with that. Denying the moral question is sheer blindness.

    So far as I can see, the pregnant woman has the upper hand. She’s a living, breathing human being, the foetus is a ball of unconscious cells. No argument there. Still the choice is a trial for any mother. Can’t deny that.

    Even if we propose that the fetus has the same rights as a conscious, biologically independent person, guess what? They don’t get to use someone’s body without that someone’s consent either. See the kidney example above.

  112. 112
    David Wilford

    brucegorton @ 109:

    In the case of fetal alcohol syndrome, I think we should have a say about what does go in.

  113. 113
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    In the case of fetal alcohol syndrome, I think we should have a say about what does go in.

    Show me the evidence where you get a say in any medical decision…or shut the fuck up, as your OPINION is dismissed.

  114. 114
    David Wilford

    Here ya go, Nerd:

    http://www.cspinet.org/booze/fas.htm

    Warning labels and high taxes are an appropriate response to a societal problem. Still, a rate of 1-2 FAS births per 1000 is too high. We have gotten serious with drunk driving over the past 30 years, and FAS needs our attention too.

  115. 115
    Al Dente

    David Wilford @144

    Pregnant women are discouraged from drinking large amounts of alcohol. It is not illegal for them to do so if they’re otherwise legally qualified. So Nerd is right, your opinion is simply an opinion.

  116. 116
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Warning labels and high taxes are an appropriate response to a societal problem. Still, a rate of 1-2 FAS births per 1000 is too high. We have gotten serious with drunk driving over the past 30 years, and FAS needs our attention too.

    Look DW, if your OPINION means anything show me the evidence where you are the legally recognized third person in the room, besides the doctor and the woman. What penalties would you do, and by what legal reasoning, keeping in mind, your concern/tone trolling here is offensive to most of the regulars, and if you find something offensive and requiring, say restraints, so can we. And you must OBEY.

    So, where is your evidence you can do anything….

  117. 117
    omnicrom

    Come on David Wilford: Step it up. Leszekuk is beating you at the mealy mouthed apologist game.

  118. 118
    Inaji

    In the case of fetal alcohol syndrome, I think we should have a say about what does go in.

    So, you think legislating a woman is okely dokely. Colour me unsurprised. Here’s a thought, how about if your mind your own fucking business, and grant women the right to mind theirs?

  119. 119
    David Wilford

    When the consequences of FAS are suffered by the child for the rest of their life, intervention may be warranted. Certainly education, prenatal medical care and counseling are good and necessary. But if a cop picks up a pregnant binge drinker, just saying the child’s future welfare is none of our business is a cop out.

  120. 120
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    David Wilford:

    But if a cop picks up a pregnant binge drinker, just saying the child’s future welfare is none of our business is a cop out.

    Why is it a cop out?

  121. 121
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    But if a cop picks up a pregnant binge drinker, just saying the child’s future welfare is none of our business is a cop out.

    AGAIN, where is your authority to make that decision? Since you linked to no legal decisions, it can and will be dismissed as fuckwittery.

    What part of this being a scientific (evidence driven) blog do you have trouble with? Your unevidnced OPINION can be and usually is dismissed. You can’t seem to get your act together.

  122. 122
    David Wilford

    Tony, it’s a cop out because not intervening in cases where it’s clear that further alcohol abuse is likely means birth defects for the child.

  123. 123
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Still, a rate of 1-2 FAS births per 1000 is too high. We have gotten serious with drunk driving over the past 30 years, and FAS needs our attention too.

    Frankly, given that women are by and large not stupid (certainly no more so than men, generally speaking) and that information about the effects of alcohol on developing fetuses is very well disseminated, I suspect the number of women who drink substantially during pregnancy who don’t have a clinical alcohol dependency problem is probably negligible, and I agree with you that access to and quality of addiction treatment and general psychiatric services needs to be greatly improved and supported.

    That WAS what you were getting at, right?

  124. 124
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Tony, it’s a cop out because not intervening in cases where it’s clear that further alcohol abuse is likely means birth defects for the child.

    DW, your unevidenced OPINION is dismissed again. Cite legal authority to force the woman, or shut the fuck up. Your concern is noted, but not the way you wish. Just another example of your non-sequiturs and irrelevancies.

  125. 125
    David Wilford

    Azkyroth, if you want to ignore the problem of pregnant alcoholics, feel free. But that population is mainly responsible for FAS afflicted children. So while education, feces and prenatal care are good and necessary, it is not enough.

    FYI, this on zebrafish being used in the effects of ethanol on development is interesting:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/15451038/

  126. 126
    chigau (違う)

    David Wilford
    After the cops intervene with the drunken pregnant woman … then what?
    and what form does the intervention take?
    if she resists do the cops beat her into submission?

  127. 127
    David Wilford

    I have no idea how that typo got in there about feces, when I meant counseling. Tablet keypads are not great to use, obviously.

  128. 128
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Azkyroth, if you want to ignore the problem of pregnant alcoholics, feel free. But that population is mainly responsible for FAS afflicted children. So while education, feces and prenatal care are good and necessary, it is not enough.

    So, I draw attention to a measure that would actually improve a situation and you describe this as “ignoring” it.

    Well, um…

    “Apple triangular chartreuse derive boogaloo innervate fallafel.” Is my pronunciation up to snuff? I’m just learning your language here.

  129. 129
    David Wilford

    chigau, what it might take to prevent further binge drinking varies depending on the circumstances. Maybe there is family elsewhere that can help. Maybe there is a shelter that can provide supervision. It would not require cops beating them though.

  130. 130
    chigau (違う)

    David Wilford
    I use a tablet and I use Preview and I actually read the Preview, then I correct my errors.
    —–
    Azkyroth #128

    “Apple triangular chartreuse derive boogaloo innervate fallafel.”

    Can’t argue with that.

  131. 131
    David Wilford

    My apologies, Azkyroth, for my unkind assumption that you were missing my point.

  132. 132
    David Wilford

    chigau, I preview too but something was obviously done wrnog on my part.

  133. 133
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    David Wilford:

    Tony, it’s a cop out because not intervening in cases where it’s clear that further alcohol abuse is likely means birth defects for the child

    So you think you have some say in the reproductive decisions of women.

    You know I really didn’t need another reason to dislike you.

  134. 134
    chigau (違う)

    David Wilford
    My Ivory Tower is a storey-and-half post war bungalow.
    What is yours?

  135. 135
    David Wilford

    Tony, to the reproductive decision, no. To the decision to cause birth defects to their child, yes.

  136. 136
    chigau (違う)

    So if she wants to cause birth defects in her “child”, can the cops beat her, then?

  137. 137
    ChasCPeterson

    Apple triangular chartreuse derive boogaloo innervate fallafel.

    ain’t it the truth

  138. 138
    vaiyt

    Come on, David Wilford. That trick is old. It’s just “Think of the children!” with another name. You make a stupid proposal with a superficially good intention, people oppose the stupid proposal and you accuse them of being against good intentions.

    There are better solutions to fetal alcohol syndrome that don’t involve giving the police authority over women’s pregnancies.

  139. 139
    brucegorton

    @David Wilford

    You can provide information, you can provide recommendations but ultimately – her body, her rules.

  140. 140
    A. Noyd

    Azkyroth (#123)

    I agree with you that access to and quality of addiction treatment and general psychiatric services needs to be greatly improved and supported.

    Access to abortions, too. How many FAS babies are born to women who wanted to abort because they know they’re addicts but had no realistic way to get one?

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    David Wilford (#127)

    I have no idea how that typo got in there about feces, when I meant counseling.

    Accidents like that are bound to happen when you’re so full of shit.

  141. 141
    David Wilford

    chigau @ 136:

    No, that’s what counseling is for.

  142. 142
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Another threadjack by David Wilford. They topic was the pope and abortion, and he turned it into an evidenceless screed about fetal alcohol syndrome.
    Monitors….

  143. 143
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Leszekuk

    These are hard choices, and we shouldn’t pretend they are easy.

    Nope. For me it’s really easy: I won’t have another child. End of story. I won’t pretend it’s a heart-wringing trial and soul-searching decision making. My decision is made. Not only in my best interest but also in that of my family. But obviously you do not accept that women can hold an independent opinion and therefore need to ask you about this.

    David Wilford

    In the case of fetal alcohol syndrome, I think we should have a say about what does go in.

    Hey, you’re not only a pope-worshipper, but you’re actually in favour of full-on slavery for women. How else would you enforce your proposal? No more alcohol to any woman ever in case she might be pregnant? Forced invasive tests? Forced abortion?

    When the consequences of FAS are suffered by the child for the rest of their life, intervention may be warranted.

    Let’s just throw all women into fertility prison and tie them to bunks. Because, you know, walking can be risky for the fetus. I fell down the stairs while pregnant. Surely women need to be kept from doing such dangerous things!

    But if a cop picks up a pregnant binge drinker, just saying the child’s future welfare is none of our business is a cop out.

    Do the words “bodily autonomy” mean anything to you? What do you want to do with her? Throw her in prison for something that is completely legal for adults to do? Lock her up in hospital until delivery?

    Tony, it’s a cop out because not intervening in cases where it’s clear that further alcohol abuse is likely means birth defects for the child.

    Hey, why don’t we ban people over 35 from fucking? Because of their age they’re risking chromosomal abnormalities.
    You’re getting more disgusting by every post. It’s clear why you like the pope that much: you hate women just as much as he does.

    But that population is mainly responsible for FAS afflicted children.

    Therefore it is totally OK to strip women of their rights and treat them as willingless slaves to whatever is in their uterus. Got you.

    Maybe there is family elsewhere that can help.

    Right. We need to get her father or husband. You know, her legal owners. If that doesn’t work, just lock the b*tch up in the shelter.

  144. 144
    Anri

    leszekuk @ 76:

    Still the choice is a trial for any mother. Can’t deny that.

    …in a blog post with women literally all around him telling him it isn’t always.

    Keep up that good work listening to the women there, idiot.

  145. 145
    dianne

    David, what intervention are you proposing to reduce the risk of FAS? Bearing in mind that FAS often occurs due to a woman drinking before she realized she was pregnant and that a woman drinking later in pregnancy may be dependent and suffer withdrawal symptoms up to and including death if she is suddenly stops drinking.

  146. 146
    dianne

    For me it’s really easy: I won’t have another child. End of story. I won’t pretend it’s a heart-wringing trial and soul-searching decision making. My decision is made.

    Me too. It’s not a hard decision at all given that I don’t want to die and leave my current child without a mother. I expect it’s an easy decision for quite a lot of women, whatever the embryo worshippers want to believe. Or want them to believe, rather: Once you have the rhetoric about it being inevitably a “hard decision” it’s a no-win situation: If you find choosing abortion a difficult decision then they were right and shouldn’t abortion be illegalized to spare you such hard decisions? If it wasn’t, then you’re unnatural and unfeeling and surely society doesn’t want people like you making decisions about babies, right?

  147. 147
    dianne

    So while education, [counseling] and prenatal care are good and necessary, it is not enough.

    I’m just going to ignore the numerous bad jokes I’m tempted to make about the typo and ask you again: What are you proposing in addition to/instead of the above? What should the cop do with the pregnant binge drinker he picked up? Why did he pick her up anyway? Again, bearing in mind that any legal penalties for drinking while pregnant will act to discourage women from voluntarily seeking counseling for their alcohol problems.

  148. 148
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    BTW, David Wilford’s little power-trip fantasy is already happening in the USA: Pregnant women who are suspected to take drugs are involuntarily commited without any access to lawyers or any means to address the situation. All for their own best and that of the fetus.
    Here’s the statement of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Pregnant womwn with health problems need care, not incarceration

  149. 149
    dianne

    @148: Exactly. And the result is that fewer pregnant women with drug issues (including alcohol) are willing to talk to their doctors about these issues because they’re afraid that they’ll be incarcerated if they do so. Even if they’ve been clean for months or years prior to pregnancy. As a way to prevent FAS and other teratogenic exposures, depriving women of bodily autonomy is a bust. As a way to control women, it’s at least moderately successful.

  150. 150
    Iain Walker

    leszekuk (#61):

    if someone claims to respect life, then they shouldn’t draw lines as to what life they rrespect and what life they don’t. A foetus has a right to life, but so does the woman bearing it. These are hard choices, and we shouldn’t pretend they are easy.

    I see others have already punctured your hypocrisy quite effectively, but I just wanted you to know that should you ever find yourself infested with intestinal parasites, I shall be more than happy to hold your hand over the internet while you agonise over the decision to protect your health.

  151. 151
    David Wilford

    Nerd @ 142:

    Agreed, given the apparent rule here about derailing or whatever. Perhaps if PZ thinks the topic of FAS is worth discussing he can make the appropriate post. (There is that zebrafish research related to FAS that I posted a link about earlier, so there’s a related tangent.) FYI, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a worldwide issue:

    http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/89/6/11-020611/en/

  152. 152
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Hey, and we enter another round of David Wilford ignoring everything women say.

  153. 153
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @DW

    I agree that FAS is a great and terrible, if very rare, evil; but I’m curious. Other than ensuring the cheap-to-free and ready availability of counselling, addiction services and abortion services, and ensuring free and global availability of practical sex-ed and information regarding the effects of various drugs, legal and illegal, on your body and on any foetus you may or may not be carrying; what measures would you propose to combat said great and terrible evil?

  154. 154
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    “FYI, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a worldwide issue…”

    Not at all patronising.

  155. 155
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    David Wilford, take the FAS discussion, still evidenceless that YOU make any decision, to the Thunderdome. You know the rules. You threadjacked for a topic unrelated to the pope and alcohol, and refuse to take it to the proper forum. Show you actually have some integrity and do so.

  156. 156
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Dang, that should be pope and abortion in #155.

  157. 157
    Nick Gotts

    Hey, why don’t we ban people over 35 from fucking? Because of their age they’re risking chromosomal abnormalities. – Giliell

    Mandatory testing of every mixed-sex couple in case they share deleterious recessive alleles would also seem to be indicated.

    Oh, but wait!!! That would affect men!!!11!eleventy!!! Scratch that, then, obviously.

  158. 158
    dianne

    Well, to bring it back to the pope…The Pope encourages women who are pregnant to be “good Catholics” and take communion, including wine. Or, in the Pope’s world view, the blood of an ancient middle easterner of unknown infectious disease status. He’s hardly one to talk about encouraging behavior that puts the fetus at risk. (Though, to be fair, the amount of wine taken at communion is unlikely to be enough to put the fetus at risk.)

  159. 159
    Nick Gotts

    dianne@158,
    The pope, of course, also insists that if couples have sex at all, they should not use contraception or abortion, even if they have chosen not to have children because of known risks of fetal abnormalities.

  160. 160
    David Wilford

    The RCC’s dogma that says it’s sinful to have sex for the pleasure of it kind of misses the point about why it’s pleasurable in the first place. There’s nothing inherently morally wrong with seeking out pleasure, and that goes for sex too.

  161. 161
    dianne

    @Nick 159: Yeah, I guess that a couple of ccs of alcohol irrelevant when you’re encouraging Tay Sachs carriers to have kids together. Which should make any rational person aware that the Pope is no friend of children, babies, or even fetuses.

  162. 162
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    There’s nothing inherently morally wrong with seeking out pleasure, and that goes for sex too.

    This has nothing to do with the topic under discussion. More non-sequiturs.

  163. 163
    fabianocaccin

    Just for the record, some of the local papers have reported that His Holiness intends to make room for a “more decentralized” administration of the RCC, stepping aside in his unrelenting humbleness and allowing a greater autonomy to lower figures in the clergy, which 1) are not in the limelight as often as he is, 2)are mostly the same appointed by the Rat and 3)are free not to walk the walk while he talks the talk. He’s a PR man, a willing figurehead and hehappens to be good at it, though anyone would shine coming out of Ratzinger’s shadow.

    #39 Iain Walker

    I never got into the habit of calling him “Pope Palpatine” because he always looked more like Joe Pesci to me.

    B L A S P H E M Y !!!

  164. 164
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    fabianocaccin

    Just for the record, some of the local papers have reported that His Holiness intends to make room for a “more decentralized” administration of the RCC, stepping aside in his unrelenting humbleness and allowing a greater autonomy to lower figures in the clergy, which [...]are free not to walk the walk while he talks the talk.

    I was thinking about this too.

    I believe this will do much more harm in very conservative countries and communities that it will do good in more liberal ones. So, on balance, we’re fucked.

  165. 165
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    The RCC has tried to escape responsibility for sex-abuse-coverup* in part by claiming decentralization while still holding clergy, including bishops, accountable to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and canon law generally.

    This may be (primarily) a political move to allow local bishops to be more flexible to local context, but it’s hard to escape the fact that this is happening right when scrutiny of the coverups finally reaches the Vatican. Are some in the Vatican trying to insulate accountability? I wouldn’t be surprised. Could the Pope be one? Yes. I don’t know how likely it is, but I certainly don’t know that he couldn’t have factored that into his decision.

    Thus this decentralization, coming when it does, will remain suspicious to me until I see how it plays out in practice. Given the length of time it takes for info inside the Vatican to come out, I suspect I will have to remain suspicious for a long time to come.

    On the (small) plus side, decentralization of power might very slightly undermine the tendency to support dictatorial authority. Who knows.

    *To clarify my position: they aren’t directly responsible for the sex abuse, but they are responsible for the coverup and its consequences…and those consequences include additional sex abuse that wouldn’t otherwise have occurred.

  166. 166
    fabianocaccin

    #165 @ Crip Dyke, Right Reverend etc.

    There is going to be NO decentralization. The whole schtick is meant to keep attention focused on the little good man in white while everyone else works in peace, away from prying eyes. This way he’s never going to be responsible for anything done to patch up the church-as-it-should-be. The blunder with Ratzi’s administration was to overestimate the tightness of their grip and act in the open (for instance, trying to reinstate mass in Latin: seriously, they expected us to LEARN?)

    Rule of thumb: if you know their names, they are in charge but NOT in power.

  167. 167
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @fabianocaccin

    This way he’s never going to be responsible for anything done to patch up the church-as-it-should-be.

    Accountability avoidance is indeed my real fear. I fear that it motivates the action and I fear that will be its primary effect.

    Sigh.

  168. 168
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Fabianocaccin

    Oh, and “Crip Dyke” is fine. The honorifics really aren’t necessary.

  169. 169
    David Wilford

    A start, perhaps, but the Vatican can’t evade responsibility by continuing to avoid disclosing the part it played in covering up child abuse:

    … For decades, those at the highest levels of the nation’s third-largest archdiocese moved accused priests from parish to parish while hiding the clerics’ histories from the public. The documents, released through settlements between attorneys for the archdiocese and victims, describe how the late Cardinals John Cody and Joseph Bernardin often approved the reassignments. The archdiocese removed some priests from ministry, but often years or decades after the clergy were known to have molested children.

    While disturbing stories of clergy sexual abuse have wrenched the Roman Catholic Church across the globe, the newly released documents offer the broadest look yet into how one of its largest and most prominent American dioceses responded to the scandal.

    The documents, posted online Tuesday, cover only 30 of the at least 65 clergy for whom the archdiocese says it has substantiated claims of child abuse. Vatican documents related to the 30 cases were not included, under the negotiated terms of the disclosure.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Sex-abuse-files-on-30-Chicago-priests-going-public-5160860.php#page-1

  170. 170
    vaiyt

    Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a worldwide issue

    You know what is a worldwide issue? Women being denied bodily autonomy. Asshole.

  171. 171
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Yawn, still no link to the pope or abortion seen with DW and his threadjacking FAS bullshit.

  172. 172
    rorschach

    I agree that FAS is a great and terrible, if very rare, evil;

    That’s actually not true. Prevalence is around 1:1000 births overall, and around 4% for births to heavy drinkers. Not rare at all.

  173. 173

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