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OPENING COMMENTS:  The challenge here is not important, the deceits of Planned Parenthood are constantly in the news and even some of the YouTube videos posted here speak about PP deception. What is interesting is that during a discussion of Dr. Myers’ desecration of the Eucharist, one of his defenders (SOMG) revealed that she/he was an abortionist: “Finally, I challenge you and your readers to produce even one recent or current Planned Parenthood publication, in any medium, which contains even one lie about any medical question. I PROMISE THAT IF YOU SUCCEED IN DOING THIS, I WILL STOP PROVIDING ABORTIONS AND NEVER DO ANOTHER ONE AS LONG AS I LIVE.” The person remains anonymous, but makes so many comments that it rains down like spam. More derisive comments have been deleted.  Do not believe that the murderer of children has any real intention about joining the unemployment line just because Planned Parenthood cannot be trusted.

The following “Eight Great Deceptions of Planned Parenthood,” taken together, comprise one of the biggest lies ever perpetrated upon the American public. This lie continues to deceive the uninformed and the unsuspecting. (Excerpted in part from a 1994 CR Ministries publication.):

http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/planp.htm

(1) Deception: Planned Parenthood claims to advocate the freedom of women to choose if and when they will have children, without government interference. Fact: From the beginning, Planned Parenthood has sought mandatory population control measures. Over the years it has proposed our government implement “compulsory abortion for out-of-wedlock pregnancies,” federal entitlement “payments to encourage abortion,” “compulsory sterilization for those who have already had two children,” and “tax penalties” for existing large families.

(2) Deception: Planned Parenthood claims to serve the needs of poor women and low-income families. Fact: Planned Parenthood has always targeted minorities, the unwanted, and the disadvantaged for family limitation, contraception, abortion, and sterilization. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s “charity” was “to eliminate the stocks” that she felt were most detrimental “to the future of the race and the world.”

(3) Deception: Planned Parenthood claims to be a privately funded, non-profit family planning organization. Fact: Planned Parenthood helps ban families, not plan families. As an association of over 300 separately incorporated organizations worldwide, a vast portion of its funding comes right from American taxpayers’ pocketbooks. In 1993 alone, almost $160 million came from the Title X appropriations of the Public Health Service Act and from 18 other federal statues!

(4) Deception: Planned Parenthood claims its system of birth control is safe and effective. Fact: Absolutely none of Planned Parenthood’s birth control systems are 100% effective — from the pill or diaphragm to the IUD. A teen practicing “safe sex” with condoms has nearly an 87% chance of pregnancy. The Planned Parenthood system virtually guarantees women will get pregnant and in the end be “forced” to fall back on Planned Parenthood’s ultimate birth control practice — abortion.

(5) Deception: Planned Parenthood claims that it is in the forefront of the battle against sexually transmitted diseases. Fact: Through Planned Parenthood’s distribution of non-barrier birth control contraceptives to 80% of its clients, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, hepatitis, granuloma, chancroid, and even AIDS are being encouraged. Recent studies indicate the use of Planned Parenthood-favored birth control devices may actually enhance the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

(6) Deception: Planned Parenthood claims that sex education is a necessary and effective means of preventing teen pregnancies. Fact: Planned Parenthood’s sex education programs have backfired, actually increasing teen pregnancies. A 1986 Louis Harris poll of teens who took “comprehensive” sex education have a 50% higher rate of sexual activity that their “unenlightened” peers.

(7) Deception: Planned Parenthood claims its efforts to provide abortion services have at last removed the specter of dangerous back alley abortions from our land. Fact: Abortions may be legal, but they are not safe. A UCLA study by two obstetrical and gynecological professors conclude “abortion can be a killer.” Other complications are at least partially responsible for the steep rise in female medical care costs over the last decade.

(8) Deception: Planned Parenthood claims that its birth control, sex education, and abortion juggernaut is essential to control rapid population growth. Fact: Instead of worrying about Planned Parenthood’s “population bomb,” many researchers are concerned about a “birth dearth.” Fertility in the U.S. has been steadily declining for two decades. The worldwide birthrate is now falling faster than the mortality rate for the first time in recorded history.

FATHER JOE:  I do not believe you. I think you will always make wiggle room. But thank you for telling us THAT YOU ARE AN ABORTIONIST. Now it is clear why you are upset. Abortion is your “meat and potatoes”. I really don’t think I can tolerate baby killers on my blog. I will pray for your conversion.

http://www.all.org/db_file/1062.pdf

SOMG:  The perceived overlap between the RTL movement and the anti-contraceptive movement is extremely bad for the public image of the RTL movement. It causes many people who might otherwise think seriously and objectively about the rights of the unborn, and the obligations to it (if any) incurred by the woman at conception, to write you off without a hearing. If I were a RTL I would definitely advise funding some RTL but also pro-contraception organizations. Imagine how much more seriously potential converts and neutrals would take an organization like Crisis Pregnancy Centers when they claim their goal is to stop abortions, and how many more women they could lure in to watch their propaganda, if they handed out free condoms as well as free pregnancy tests.  You want to know what else is just god-awful for RTLism’s public image? The reliance on obvious medical lies (the breast cancer bugaboo, and the myth that RU-486 is dangerous). This stuff may bring in money but it excludes too many intelligent people from your audience.

FATHER JOE:  As for the overlap between the Right to Life movement and our anti-contraception campaign, it is linked by necessity. Birth control establishes a contraceptive mentality which in turn leads to the crime of abortion. Further, various forms of contraception, certain pills and the IUD are inherently abortifacient. The medical consequences from contraception are not lies but based upon sound research. Of course, those organizations like Planned Parenthood are quick to pay off their experts and doctors to ridicule any danger signs. Contraception and abortion is big business and many have become rich from induced sterility and the murder of children.

SOMG:  (* Shaking head sadly *) Father Joe, you wrote: “The medical consequences from contraception are not lies but based upon sound research. Of course, those organizations like Planned Parenthood are quick to pay off their experts and doctors to ridicule any danger signs.”  You have just accused PP, a recipient of Federal grants and gatherer of epidemiological data, of scientific fraud. Do you have any idea how big a scandal that would be if it were if it were true? If you could prove it, you could shut PP down and send some of their employees to prison. Your comment is an example of EXACTLY what I’m talking about: the RTL movement’s reckless use of obvious scientific lies. Don’t you see that you are wearing your detachment from reality on your sleeve? I already pointed out how this alienates potential converts and neutrals, I now add that this is especially true among health-care professionals, whose support would most benefit the RTL movement.  You’d do better with a different approach. How about something like this: “Yes, an abortion is much safer, cheaper, less painful and more convenient than giving birth, but most parents say parenting is the most intense and gratifying love-experience in human life. Don’t you want to enjoy it sooner rather than later?”

FATHER JOE:  Planned Parenthood is one of the most reprehensible organizations on the planet. They get public money and they support the campaigns of those who support partial birth infanticide and abortion on demand. They are a powerful lobby group and seem to own a number of politicians. They are not above deception and why you find this so surprising is beyond me. Their tactics and deceits are well documented by pro-life groups and fair-minded people. Not only are they dishonest about the dangers and effects of certain forms of contraception, but their strategies are also deplorable. While they supported abortion in cases of gender selection in the U.S., they opposed it in India where the majority of aborted children were female. At the Cairo Conference they convinced Egyptian officials that certain members of pro-life delegations (as from the Vatican, Guatamala, and other nations) were security risks so that they would miss important votes. They supported the government sponsored enforced abortions in China, particularly when they were given a hand in providing supplies and services. They have remained true to their roots in racism and eugenics. They are one of the chief enemies of the Catholic Church. The bishop of Lincoln Nebraska rightly excommunicated Catholic members of PP in his diocese.

SOMG:  You wrote: “They [PP] have remained true to their roots in racism and eugenics.” How? What do you think PP does today that is motivated by racism or eugenics? Regarding roots, PP was founded in the first half of the Twentieth Century, when racism was the norm and non-racists were considered weirdos. Racism was by no means the only strange idea floating around at that time–for example, the Catholic Church had this idea that women should not be allowed to vote, and successfully prevented France from extending voting rights to women until the 1940s.

FATHER JOE:  I don’t know much about such French regional issues. There were many Catholics (men) in the U.S. that supported the woman’s right to vote.

SOMG:  Also, Father Joe, you wrote: “Birth control establishes a contraceptive mentality which in turn leads to the crime of abortion. ” I hear that argument a lot. Currently one of the most anti-contraceptive-mentality countries on the planet is the Philippines, and they have a higher per-capita abortion rate than the USA (according to pro-choice groups AND RTL groups such as Physicians for Life AND national and international monitoring agencies). It’s difficult to measure details since abortion is illegal (both the provider and the patient are punishable by up to six years in prison and the government sends out pregnant police women as RTL spies) but the indications are that a large fraction of pregnancies which get aborted there are conceived by women attempting to use Catholic-approved family-planning methods such as NFP.

FATHER JOE:  NFP rates are as high as 98% effective. Pro-abortion groups add in those couples who deliberately use NFP to get pregnant to insure lower percentages. It is a deception. The problem in the Philippines is poverty, past exploitation by outsiders, and (while their use is immoral) the Planned parenthood giveaway of defective and leaky condoms (25-35% failure rates).

SOMG:  In the USSR during the 1980s, contraceptives were legal but because of the dysfunctional economy they were available only to high-ranking members of the Communist Party who had access to special shops. The result was a very high abortion rate indeed. It was not unusual to meet YOUNG women with more than ten abortions in their histories.

FATHER JOE:  Abortion was legal in the Soviet Union going back to the 1920’s. A defective view of the human person and the fall out from Communist dogma had a part to play in their rates.

SOMG:  Not that I care what you think but for the sake of truth I will tell you that abortion is not my “meat and potatoes”. It’s just one of the things I do.

FATHER JOE:  The fact that you are not upset bothers me. You take money to kill children. That is the bottom line.

SOMG:  And I’ll add another one: I challenge you and your readers to identify a single society in human history that ever reduced its abortion rate by banning contraceptives or making them less available. HAHAHAHAHAAHAH Father Joe is afraid to debate an honest expert!

FATHER JOE:  Sounds to me that you are losing it. Artificial contraception was once illegal in the U.S. and in much of the West. Christian churches were unanimous in condemning it until the Anglicans broke ranks back in 1930. Except for abortifacients, who is talking about totally banning artificial contraceptives today? The way you pose the question is deceptive. Contraception should be discouraged, chastity, virginity and NFP should be promoted, and abortion should be outlawed. And those in your profession should face prison time for homicide.

SOMG:  Father Joe, I agree with you that abortion is homicide. But it is JUSTIFIABLE homicide. Meanwhile I note that no one has addressed either of my two Planned Parenthood related challenges: to identify anything PP does today that is motivated by racism or eugenics, and to identify a single medical lie in any current or recent publication by PP. I bet no one will. Because you can’t, and you know it. Father Joe, you are not doing the RTL movement any favors by accusing PP of “eugenics” and “racism” without justification. Misusing loaded words like that is another way RTLs cause reasonable people to dismiss them without a hearing. Remember the Boy Who Cried Wolf? Another word RTLs hurt their cause by misusing is “genocide”. Also RTL jargon words and phrases like “abortion mill”, “pro-abortion politician”, “pro-abort” and “babykiller” should not be used except with other committed RTLs. To everyone else these words broadcast the message that the person saying them is not serious. Just friendly advice. I post it because I’m pretty sure you RTLs will not take it. These practices, which alienate potential converts and neutrals, also increase RTL fundraising, which is really what it’s all about. The RTL movement will never outgrow them. The only evidence I see to the contrary is the still-pretty-recent emergence of pro-gay RTL organizations. Strategically that’s a step in the right direction.

FATHER JOE:  Murdering babies is never justifiable homicide! And by the way, I did not appreciate your peculiar temper tantrum, endless spam of this site, and invoking atheists and fans of Dr. Myers to invade this site by placing a link on his blog and urging them to assault me. And I know a number of Catholic medical doctors who would seriously disagree with you. What are you and your pals trying to do here? Would people expect a site operated by a Catholic priest to promote sacrilege against sacraments or the murder of children? You disgruntled atheists are quite upsetting with your misaligned humanistic values.

Birth control does not prevent abortion. Indeed, it encourages abortion as a backup. It creates a contraceptive mentality that views the child as disposable. Notice the logical progression in this nation with the advancement of the birth control pill in 1960 and then abortion in the 1970’s. This did not happen by accident. There is also the matter of abortifacient forms of so-called birth control. But let us be candid, you support abortion as well and will make any argument to insure it remains readily available.

Sorry, the pill can fail as can a condom. Birth control also breeds selfishness and a lack of self-control. People cut corners and behavior is modified in the direction of laxity. They take chances because they want sex and someone forgot the rubber or pill. Presto-chango, pregnant!

Married couples have a duty to participate with God in their procreation of a family. Single people should remain virginal and NFP requires periodic abstinence. Such lifestyles are possible, but we are getting little help from a culture of death and a hedonistic society. I would have people act virtuously. The conjugal act was made for both fidelity and procreation; it was not fashioned as an impersonal act of recreation without consequences. Even if there is no conception, fornication, adultery and sodomy harm the persons who engage in such forbidden activities. Human persons are damaged when such great powers are exploited or used inappropriately.

SOMG:  I am [not] an athiest. I’m not.

DOCTOR M:  I hope you are not censoring anyone, especially SOMG. She is making real sense, and who would better know than a woman what is right about contraception and abortion?

I have been banned from a number of RTL and Catholic sites, just because I speak a truth you all do not want to hear. The irony is that Catholics are the ultimate Pharisees. You condemn about everything sexual people want to do and yet your priests molest children. You are all two-faced hypocrites! How about that priest in the news recently who not only paid for a girl’s abortion but drove her to the clinic. When you guys are in trouble I guess the rules no longer apply!

I doubt you will even post me, such is often the response of peanut-brains. Agree or else! You are all about name-calling, particularly this Michael. Call me a godless atheist or call me a baby killer or call me a sex fiend and you think you have won the debate. SOMG makes a basic challenge and like roaches you all go running for the darkness in the cracks because you cannot stand the light. She is right and that makes you afraid and sick.

I am an atheist and quite proud to be counted among the sane percentage of humanity. There is no god or goddess or great force. People are nice and some female people I would rate as exceptionally nice, but in the final analysis, we are all just meat. My physicist friends would say okay to that but add that we are meat with mostly empty spaces. Man determines his own destiny and he can determine what is right and wrong. We need no longer be slaves to evolutionary biology or our fertility. As for abortion, a clump of cells is unimportant to me and killing a fetus means no more to me than putting down a laboratory rat. Let us put away sentimentality about such things. Yes, babies are cute, but so are puppies and I have done some pretty terrible things to them, too. It does not matter. There is no soul and no angry god who is going to judge any of us. When we die, the lights go out. That is all. While I am here I hope to make a difference, avoid pain aand have some fun.

SOMG made great challenges and there has been no response because no challenge is possible:

1. Every organization has nuts, although the Catholic Church seems to have more than its share. There is nothing about Planned Parenthood today that smacks of racism or exploitation.

2. The only liars about contraception and abortion are in the RTL community. Our medical advances, drugs and other interventions are all beneficial to women. No one gets cancer from the pill. Planned Parenthood has been wronged here and the priest and his mob should both apologize and make restitution with hefty donations to PP!

FATHER JOE:  Your extremism and insanity speaks for itself. Turning back to SOMG, is there something wrong with you? Not only do you claim to be an abortionist, which is the most reprehensible occupation on the planet, but then you agree that abortion is murder but assert that it has to be done anyway. Where is your moral center? You get mad at me because you write more posts than I can possibly moderate in a timely manner. It really represents a kind of spamming. You forced this discussion into another thread about sacrilege against the Eucharist and yet you are offering strawmen challenges about contraception and abortion. You purposely go to a site where I have never posted trying to incite an angry response so that they would come back to this blog and fight your battles for you. Do you know how many vulgar postings followed you back here? In one breath you seem apologetic and then in the next you make a slur against the Catholic priesthood (deleted I should add) that more than insinuates that they are all pedophiles. Nevertheless, you still see yourself as the poor victim. I suspect you get banned from sites, not because of the logic and facts from your reasoning, but because you are a nasty and impolite person. I am a straight-talker myself, but I know moderation and do not try in any fashion to hijack someone else’s blog or webpage. I will pray for you.

SOMG:  I agree with some, but not all, of Dr M’s post– content and style. I think the reference to pedophile priests should only be made as a reply to an accusation that abortion providers molest their patients more than other health-care workers do. Or maybe to make a point about cover-ups often being worse than what is covered up.

FATHER JOE:  How does this match up to the very next post where you write:  “Thought for the evening: Whether you’re more likely to be molested by an abortion clinic worker or a Catholic priest depends very much on your gender— which nobody can deny.”  You do not need to debate me or anyone else, you can debate yourself! Most priests are good and chaste men, faithful to their celibacy, and dedicated to caring for the flocks. They neither abuse nor kill children. Abortion is always child abuse.

SOMG:  Also, I am not at all clear WHY Dr M is so sure that “there is no god or goddess or great force.”

FATHER JOE:  Actually, atheism is a more compatible world view with abortion than any conventional theism. If there is no author of life then one cannot get into trouble for usurping his authority and destroying the mortal lives of children.

SOMG:  It seems to me that if there WERE one, it would probably be able to conceal its existance from us if it wanted to. Therefore feeling sure there isn’t one does not mean that there isn’t one. Occam’s Razor certainly argues against anything omnipotent, but who says the god or goddess or great force has to be omnipotent? Maybe there’s a limited god or goddess. The only true human answer to any question about anything supernatural is “I don’t know.” That includes the answer to whether or not we are just meat.

FATHER JOE:  The notion of a god or gods not being all powerful was a more primitive stage in our religious development. You would have us backtrack. Christians, Jews and Moslems are unanimous: God must be infinite in all his perfections, all powerful, all knowing, everywhere present, all loving, etc. The gods of ancient mythology were not true deities but hypothetical middle-creatures under the lordship of Zeus. They had no real existence. Plato theorizes a helper creator entity just less than a god called a demiurge. But again, this thing was not a true god. If God is all powerful then you can only have one; otherwise their authority would overlap and clash. A proof that God is “omnipotent” and “one” is derived from creation itself: the distance between being and non-being or existence and nothingness is infinite. Only one who is the source of being and life could bring forth creation out of nothingness.

When you say that the only true answer about God’s existence is “I don’t know,” you firmly plant yourself on the fringe boundaries of atheism. The agnosticism you profess is a variation or type of classical atheism. However, if you truly did not know and left the God-question open, then the possibility exists that God is real and even that Catholics might be right. You are betting otherwise because your views and the destruction of children at your hands would not put you into get standing with him.

SOMG:  Father Joe, you wrote: “Murdering babies is never justifiable homicide! ”

FATHER JOE:  Yes, I stand by what I said. One can never directly intend to kill innocent children, even those in the womb. The Church believes that an embryo is imbued with a mystery or soul that makes the entity a person with a right to life.

SOMG:  However, killing embryos and fetuses sometimes is [justifiable]. Not because they’re non-persons–they’re persons, all right–but because the pregnant woman owns the life-support functions. And the uterus. And the nutrients, oxygen, and water which the fetus takes from her bloodstream and uses for its own metabolism. And the bloodstream into which the fetus injects its metabolic end-products for her to process or excrete. And the cervix which the fetus is preparing to stretch wider than any human orifice should stretch. (What other body tissue has to stretch linearly more than tenfold its normal length?) And the belly which the woman has a more-than-one-in-five chance of having slashed open.

FATHER JOE:  A mother shares her body with her child. It is immoral for a mother to choose not do so. Her right or dominion over her body is not absolute. She has already given herself to a man so as to get pregnant. The conjugal act represents a self-surrender that may be extended beyond the fidelity of marital love to embrace the fruit of procreation. Even if the act of intercourse and conception was coercive, the child is innocent and a mother may not escape her vocation of love. A mother is supposed to give her whole self to the demands of her child. After birth, a child has claim upon her breasts to receive life-sustaining milk. Would you contend that a woman might withhold her milk?

SOMG:  Got it? The fetus is in the unfortunate but not unique position of needing something to which it is not entitled and which it can only obtain by another person’s charity.

FATHER JOE:  Your view of motherhood is one of the most offensive things I have ever heard. A child in the womb or at the breast is entitled to his mother’s body, not because of charity, but out of justice. This is basic moral philosophy 101. Her choices and those of the father brought the baby into existence. Nature and the God of nature have constructed a woman’s body so that it is geared to bringing forth and nurturing human life. Abortion and infanticide is a gross violation of the natural order.

SOMG:  Father Joe, you wrote: “you agree that abortion is murder but assert that it has to be done anyway.” Abortion (at the pregnant women’s request) is not murder. It is justifiable homicide. I explained this in some detail but instead of refuting my argument you deleted my post. You won’t win hearts and minds to your cause that way.

FATHER JOE:  I deleted nothing. Maybe it went out with the spam? Killing innocent children is murder. Any distinction for some lesser charge of homicide is playing semantics.

MICHAEL:  SoMG, why didn’t your mother abort you? She could have done it very easily and chose not to. Thank God that there was someone in your family that valued life, otherwise you wouldn’t be here making an ass of yourself.

SOMG:  Michael, my mother did not abort me because I was a wanted, planned pregnancy.

FATHER JOE:  By the same sad reasoning, if your mother changed her mind today, we would be allowed to perform a retro-active termination upon you. Crazy!

SOMG:  No, because I am no longer inside her body or using its life-support functions or engaging in bloodstream-to-bloodstream exchange with her or getting ready to subject her to medical/surgical trauma.

FATHER JOE:  Once you strip away the right to life of a person, the mere matter of temporality or changing circumstances is hardly sufficient to restore it. No, the life ethic must be consistent: from the womb to the tomb. Otherwise, no one is safe.

August 1, 2008

SOMG:  What do you mean by the “life ethic”? Do you mean that no person must ever be deliberately killed?

FATHER JOE:  While it may not always be evident by the manner we struggle with political questions, I subscribe to the notion of a consistent life ethic. I would give greater gravity to the issue of abortion and the right to life of innocent children. However, I believe that the value of human life is incommensurate and must be protected from all challenges: abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and/or assisted suicide, the death penalty, and unjust aggression and/or war. Given how very amoral you are, I am not surprised that you needed me to define what I meant by life ethic.

SOMG:  Father Joe, doesn’t the policy of not forcing people to donate blood against their wills strip away the right to life of the patients who need transfusions? We allow some people to kill other people by withholding potentially life-saving tissues, for reasons of mere convenience in the majority of cases. Why doesn’t this violate the ethic of life and make us all potential victims? It seems to me if you’re willing to force a pregnant woman to endure full-term labor and delivery for what you call the ethic of life, then you should also be willing to force a person of either gender to donate a kidney. Donating a kidney is safer and does less long-term damage than having a baby. You shouldn’t even consider allowing eligible people to refuse to donate blood.

FATHER JOE:  The situation of body integrity and pregnancy is unique and cannot be compared to the contributions made by blood donors. Giving blood or donating an organ is more intrusive to the person than collecting food for the local pantry, but it still falls under the virtues of charity and generosity. A mother’s obligation to her child falls under justice. The child has a right to the mother’s body as the cradle of life and the primary means by which that life is sustained. Every child needs a womb, not everyone needs a blood transfusion. The same could be said for organ transplants.

It would be problematic to require people to give blood or to surrender their organs. It would be preferable that they did so from an altruistic sense of responsibility to the community and of moral obligation. The decisive point for the woman is before she becomes a mother, not afterwards. Once she becomes pregnant, she is obliged to do all she can to insure that the child (a human person dependent upon her) comes to term. Neither the child’s life (who has no voice of his own), nor the mother’s takes precedence.

Further, in the case of an unborn child, it might be argued that abortion “takes away” from the child, that which he or she needs to survive. The person who wants a blood transfusion or a kidney is having nothing taken away; his problem is one of “reception”. Of course, this reasoning does not completely express the difference. A person who needs blood or an organ might die without a donor. He dies because of inaction, not because of a direct act of killing. Abortion is more than separating mother from child. The child must be murdered in the womb before the head emerges. If the unborn child emerges alive from the womb then the abortionist is lawfully obliged to contact a doctor and efforts must be made to save the premature child.

An aborted child is chopped up in the mother’s womb or burned by a saline solution or has the cranium crushed or is sucked out in pieces. A child should not be murdered in the womb simply because the mother feels inconvenienced. You really are comparing things that are quite different. I am reminded of a Monty Python skit where people are going door-to-door, signing up others as organ donors. One man signs up to give his heart. Immediately they prepare to cut him open. He thought they meant to take it when he was a natural cadaver; but no, they meant, RIGHT NOW! Just as one would not have the right to kill one man by taking his heart out so that another man might live; so too can the child not be killed so that the woman might continue to pursue her selfish lifestyle.

You are confusing a number of crucial ethical points. I suspect you are doing so deliberately in order to cloud the issues at hand. First, in the case of a mother and her child, there is a relationship between persons, not just between body parts. Second, mandatory blood or organ donation would tend to treat the human body as a thing and as community property (actually, it would probably go to the highest bidder). There is no immediate person to person relationship or intrinsic entitlement. Third, most pregnancies come through the consent of a woman to a man’s advances. Mandatory donation violates such consent and wrongly alienates a person of his or her body integrity and self-determination.  The difference between this and rape is, again, the immediate and personal relationship of dependence by the innocent child upon his mother.  Direct homicide is always wrong and is murder.

SOMG:  You wrote: “She has already given herself to a man so as to get pregnant. The conjugal act represents a self-surrender that may be extended beyond the fidelity of marital love to embrace the fruit of procreation. ” Two things I have observed about the meaning of the sex act: it varies widely from individual to individual and from sex act to sex act; and, when one person tries to decide the meaning of another person’s sex act, the result is almost always bad, except when it’s a parent deciding for his/her child, and often even then.

FATHER JOE:  How we might mentally and emotionally approach the conjugal act can vary but it has a natural meaning that cannot be subtracted or redefined without doing damage to persons. The reason that it is sometimes called the marital act is because it is meant exclusively for married couples. No one else is entitled to it. It has a two-fold meaning, fostering the fidelity or unity of the couple (fides) and it must be open to the generation of new human life (proles). Christians know marriage not simply as a natural relationship but as a sacrament, a mystery that binds them closer to Christ.

SOMG:  You wrote: “Even if the act of intercourse and conception was coercive, the child is innocent and a mother may not escape her vocation of love.” Please emphasize that point as much as you can. When you write letters to politicians, please begin them with “I think abortion should be illegal in cases of rape.” If you go to RTL demonstrations, write that on a big sign and carry it. Chant “NO RAPE EXCEPTION” over and over again. You’ll be being honest and making me happy at the same time.

FATHER JOE:  While you are being sarcastic, I do stress this point although the cases of pregnancy from rape are extremely rare and small. The child is not responsible for the sins of his parents. Abortion should be illegal in all cases, including situations of purported rape. I knew a girl who was the product of rape. Her mother thanks God every day that she did not make the tragic mistake of abortion. She is a wonderful girl and a joy to know. You would have killed her. I know another young woman who is missing half of her body. It was destroyed by the saline solution used to abort her. She lived anyway, with one arm and half a face. If you see her from the side, one is struck by her beauty. Then she turns her face and one can see what you did to her, or if not you, your associate murderers.

Last Series of Comments & Responses

SOMG: Today Planned Parenthood follows demand for their services. The fact that minority babies get aborted disproportionately is because minority pregnant women disproportionately choose abortion.

FATHER JOE: What you write is not true, they do target certain minorities and locate their clinics in particular neighborhoods so that they can more easily get access and influence the poor and minorities. These women are also desperate and uneducated. They easily believe the lies they are told. There is also a great deal of money that is allocated by donors just to minorities. Unless they can find immigrants and blacks willing to destroy their children, then they cannot get access to this profit in flesh.

SOMG: And Father Joe, my joke about whom you’re more likely to be molested by is only a slur on priests if you believe that abortion clinic workers molest their patients more than other health care workers. They don’t.

FATHER JOE: Abortion is murder and it requires untold agony for the unborn child. Every abortion is child abuse. Ever abortionist is a child abuser.

SOMG: Father Joe, you wrote: “The situation of body integrity and pregnancy is unique and cannot be compared to the contributions made by blood donors.” What utter nonsense. any two things can be compared. I’ll bet ten million dollars that if you mention any two things, I can compare them in less than fifteen seconds after reading them. I can even compare apples and oranges: apples are crunchier. See?

FATHER JOE: The nonsense is your failure to understand the logic of this discussion. The word “comparison” is used as in the expression, “there is no comparison”. It is used here in reference to finding a parallel or likes between abortion and giving blood or organ donation. Instead, there is an obvious disassociation in that one refers to an operation of exclusion and (in)justice and the other to donation and charity.

SOMG: You have not explained why a killing person by withholding potentially-life-saving blood donations does not violate the “ethic of life” and put us all in danger. Please do so, or admit you can’t.

FATHER JOE: It has already been explained. Abortion is the direct and intentional killing of a human person. It not only deprives the child of his right to a connection to his mother but more than a simple separation, the child must be destroyed before being evacuated from the mother’s womb. The mother and child are complete; left alone there is no deficit and after nine months she will give birth to a healthy child. A person needing a blood transfusion is not immediately or organically connected to another person. Indeed, there is a whole process by which a proper donor with the right type of blood must be discovered. A person who does not get the blood or the needed organ might die, but such happens not because of a direct act of homicide. Instead, there is a privation. It is the result of passivity, either because someone did not come forward or because the needed organ or blood was never available (as with certain cadaver organs). The ethic of life corresponds to such persons if he or she should wrongly seek euthanasia as a means to escape their pain. It would also apply to those unsavory people who think they can buy organs from the poor or have people assaulted so as to steal their organs. Such things are happening and here the ethic of life corresponds to those manhandled donors.

SOMG: You wrote: “An aborted child is chopped up in the mother’s womb or burned by a saline solution or has the cranium crushed or is sucked out in pieces. ” Not with medical abortion. Which, I am proud to say, I helped bring into the medical mainstream (in a small way).

FATHER JOE: I am beginning to wonder if maybe you are just a wannabee-abortionist? There are only so many means that an abortion can take place and my short list is pretty exhaustive. Abortifacient drugs and certain chemicals might cause spontaneous miscarriages, but abortionists must make sure than the discharge is dead. Otherwise, even the state might reckon the operation to be murder.

The so-called “medical abortion” puts the weight of the crime more heavily upon the mother and is not the usual manner they are carried out. So called “medical abortions” can take up to 21 days and must take place early in a pregnancy. The mother takes a slow acting poison called Methotrexate, often through an injection. 72 hours later she has to insert Misoprostol pills up into the vagina. Mild to severe cramping will occur within the next dozen hours or so. Many mothers suffer nausea and headaches. After the cramping comes the bleeding. Some women have failed to contact a doctor when bleeding is excessive and it has cost them their fertility or even their lives. Many women feel severe depression after these induced miscarriages. I am sickened that you feel proud about perfecting this form of murder.

SOMG: It is not at all obvious what obligations to the conceptus the sex act confers. Many women seem to accept only the obligation to give it life-support until they find out it’s there and get to an abortion clinic. This raises the question: who is better off, a baby who gets conceived and aborted, or someone whose conception is prevented altogether? At least the conceived and aborted unborn gets to enjoy a short, intrauterine life. Wasn’t the worst threat by the Nazis to the Jews (and by O’Brian to Winston Smith in 1984) to erase them from history, to alter the very fact of their ever having existed? Why are there no demonstrators shouting “Chastity is murder”?

FATHER JOE: Oh my goodness, you are insane! Human life is present from the first moment of conception and imbued with the profound mystery that Christians call the soul. Most women still appreciate their responsibility to nurture and protect that life; the womb is no cheap motel room from which they can be evicted and murdered. Dead babies will never thank their mothers for the few weeks or months they were allowed in the womb before their destruction! Abortion is an attempt to erase human beings from history. However, Christian faith tells us that the souls of these children will survive the abortions. How will their mothers and abortionists, like you, speak to these children, knowing that you have their blood on your hands?

Your rumblings are becoming increasing incoherent. You are comparing yourself to Nazis murdering Jews and Orwell’s Big Brother erasing people who get in the way of the totalitarian order. Winston was broken you must remember, he betrayed a person he loved, all because his interrogator found that which most made him afraid. Planned Parenthood promotes a fear of pregnancy and promotes promiscuity and sterility as the ultimate ways to fit in. Language is distorted as in 1984. A baby is a fetus and an abortion is a termination. The truth is hidden behind double-speak.

Winston betrayed the woman he loved, and you would have women betray their children. You have placed to cage upon the heads of pregnant women. You are the devilish tempter, urging them to not care, to support murder:

“Yet the cage with the rats was not two metres away from him. They were enormous rats. They were at the age when a rat’s muzzle grows blunt and fierce and his fur brown instead of grey. ‘The rat,’ said O’Brien, still addressing his invisible audience, ‘although a rodent, is carnivorous. You are aware of that. You will have heard of the things that happen in the poor quarters of this town. In some streets a woman dare not leave her baby alone in the house, even for five minutes. The rats are certain to attack it. Within quite a small time they will strip it to the bones. They also attack sick or dying people. They show astonishing intelligence in knowing when a human being is helpless.’”

I have deleted some of the comments because they seemed convoluted and non-topical. SOMG wanders from Nazis to Orwell to Dr. Suess. He then hops up and down about the eight great deceptions of PP and impugns Michael who posts comments here.

SOMG: And I do not “lack morals”. My morals are just different from yours. Nor do I post comments “like a spammer”. I post them like a blogger. My goal is not to disrupt your site but to improve your (and your readers’) intelligence. So far there seems to be plenty of room for improvement.

FATHER JOE: You are an apologist for degeneracy and the murder of innocent human beings. Sorry, I call that a person with a lack of morals. And, you do post comments like a spammer. Indeed, a number of your posts have ended up in the junk bin of my spam detector. You have upset people and then you mock the people who comment here saying that in regard to brains “there seems to be plenty of room for improvement”. I must say, that is something of my sentiment in your regard, although the problem may not be a lack of neurons or IQ. I have more than a suspicion that baby killers are under a mental and spiritual cloud perpetrated by demonic influences. I have to think that only poor souls who are slaves to demonic obsession would say the kind of things you say.

SOMG: Janine, you wrote: “To [SOMG] a fetus is no more than an unwanted tumor in a woman’s body…” Wrong. I agree that fetuses are persons and abortion is homicide, remember? Janine, how do you think you should be punished for having your unborn child killed 23 years ago? Death penalty? Life in prison? How?

FATHER JOE: Yes, I am more than convinced that you are the puppet to some devil. I pity you, really I do. You can actually say with a straight face that FETUSES ARE PERSONS and then that ABORTION IS HOMICIDE. Nevertheless, you continue to advocate and to perform such egregious acts against human persons. Even Hitler denied the personhood of Jews. Most abortion supporters try to avoid or deny the matter of personhood. Janine has known a conversion of heart and mind and I do not like how you speak to her. You sought to deliberately hurt her. I would hold doctors and technicians liable for their acts, but these poor women are victimized as are their children.

And with that I hereby exorcize the demon SOMG! Begone!

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Hannity’s America on Fox News, Ainsley Across America, 9/9/07 — Special investigation to expose fraud and deception from Planned Parenthood, including coverage of the abortion clinic in Aurora, IL. Interviews with Eric Scheidler and Vince Tessitore.

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Animation showing how the contraceptive pill causes embryonic abortions.

To read more about the contraceptive pill visit: http://www.epm.org/articles/bcp3300.html

To learn more about Natural Family Planning visit:
1. NFP OUTREACH: http://www.nfpoutreach.org
2. NFP International: http://www.nfpandmore.org
3. Couple to Couple League: http://www.ccli.org
4. Family of the America’s:
http://www.familyplanning.net
5. Pope Paul VI Institute
http://www.popepaulvi.com

If you would like a broader philosophical basis for how the pill harms women, men, and society in general, read Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical HUMANAE VITAE: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pau…

For insights on God’s plan for sex and human dignity, read Pope John Paul II’s LOVE & RESPONSIBILITY and THEOLOGY OF THE BODY.

Please cut and paste the link to this video and disseminate across your email list. If you can help change a person’s mind on contraception you’re really helping a person see that the body is not a “thing” separate from the soul.

Lastly, in so much as you might be a non-Catholic Christian, recognize that the Catholic Church has been developing doctrine and teaching rightly on contraception from the beginning. Allow this historical truth to touch your heart and try to see it as an example of Christ fulfilling his promise in John 16:12 – “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” The divisions in the Body of Christ are a scandal and we all need to stand in the fullness of truth if we are going to defeat the culture of death and live in a world of peace.

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Planned Parenthood of both New Mexico and Eastern Oklahoma/Arkansas accepts money from a racist donor to target African Americans for abortions because “there are way too many blacks in America”.

1400 African American babies are lost to abortion each day.

African American women account for only 12% of the female population but submit to over 36% of abortions.

This is no accident: Planned Parenthood targets minorities, putting over 79% of their clinics in minority neighborhoods.

Their founder, Margaret Sanger, designed the organization to use sterilization and abortion to control minority populations. And today, Planned Parenthood of America sets up special funds across the country to target minority women.

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Planned Parenthood of both Idaho and Ohio accepts money from a donor who openly shares his racist agenda to “lower the number of Blacks in America.”

In America today, an African American baby is almost as likely to be aborted as it is to be born.

African American women account for only 12% of the female population but submit to over 36% of abortions.

This is no accident: Planned Parenthood targets minorities, putting over 79% of their clinics in minority neighborhoods. Their founder, Margaret Sanger, designed to use sterilization and abortion to control minority populations. Today, Planned Parenthood of America sets up special funds across the country to target minority women.

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COME TO JESUS

EUCHARIST INSIDE OUT

YOU ARE MY GOD

BREAD OF LIFE

FIRST CHRISTIANS & REAL PRESENCE

JESUS CHRIST IN THE EUCHARIST

EUCHARISTIC PROCESSION IN NEBRASKA

GOD ON THE STREETS OF NEW YORK

CORPUS CHRISTI IN CHICAGO

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P Z Myers

P Z Myers

Paul Z. Myers, a biology professor at the University of Minnesota urged young people to steal hosts and to send them to him for desecration. This week he posted a photograph on his blog of the consecrated host nailed to a Koran with a banana peel and coffee grinds thrown into the mix. He said that afterwards he threw it all into the garbage.

Myers refers to the Eucharist as “the cracker” and defines it as “this silly symbol of superstition”. In response to those good people who pleaded with him not to defile the Eucharist, he was blunt and brutal, “Your personal sense of the sacred in a piece of bread dough is absurd to me and imposes on me no sense of obligation.” Speaking about the situation he writes: “Catholicism has been actively poisoning the minds of its practitioners with the most amazing bulls%*t for years, and until recently, I had no idea that a significant number of people actually believed this nonsense, or that the hatred was still simmering there, waiting for an opportunity to rise up in misplaced defense of absurdity.” He is the one using hatred, atheistic or not, as the engine for his campaign against the Church.

The school’s chancellor, Jacqueline Johnson, said that the active link between the university webpage and his blog had been deactivated. She admitted that his views “do not reflect those of the University of Minnesota, Morris, or the University of Minnesota system.” He is in clear violation of their policy and a faculty member was dismissed in 2001 for violating it: “Section 10.21 (b) of UMN’s Tenure Code — A tenured faculty member can be terminated or suspended for ‘unprofessional conduct which severely impairs a faculty member’s fitness in a professional capacity.’”

How can Myers continue to carry out his mission as an educator? Good Catholic families and other decent people, Christian, Jewish, Moslem, or with no religion, will want nothing to do with him. Parents will take their children out of the school. Alumni will take their donations and support elsewhere. He has forfeited any respect that a student must have for his teacher. Thus, there is no answer I can imagine but termination. Myers did this to himself. He only has himself to blame.

The code of Conduct for the University of Minnesota is clear. The school faculty are REQUIRED to be respectful and “must be committed to the highest ethical standards of conduct” (II:2). That conduct is spelled out: “Ethical conduct is a fundamental expectation for every community member. In practicing and modeling ethical conduct, community members are expected to: act according to the highest ethical and professional standards of conduct [and] be personally accountable for individual actions” (III:1). We are told that teachers must BE FAIR AND RESPECTFUL TO OTHERS: “The University is committed to tolerance, diversity, and respect for differences. When dealing with others, community members are expected to: be respectful, fair, and civil . . . avoid all forms of harassment . . . [and] threats . . . [and] promote conflict resolution.” (borrowed from Jimmy Akin)

However, the chancellor added that while she believes “behaviors that discriminate against or harass individuals or groups on the basis of their religious beliefs are reprehensible,” that they had to affirm “the freedom of a faculty member to speak or write as a public citizen without institutional discipline or restraint.”

This means that as far as she is concerned he can say or do anything without concern about his position or punishment. Here we find typical anti-Catholic prejudice and propaganda, with a side-order of disrespect to our Islamic brothers and sisters.

CL President, Bill Donohue

The Catholic League noted that the university had violated it’s own policy on expressions of bias that require discipline. Bill Donohue astutely remarked, “Just as African Americans would not tolerate the burning of a cross, and Jews would not tolerate the display of swastikas, Catholics will not tolerate desecration of the Eucharist.” He has lodged a formal complaint:

Expressions of disrespectful bias, hate, harassment or hostility against an individual, group or their property because of the individual or group’s actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion…can be forms of discrimination. Expressions vary, and can be in the form of language, words, signs, symbols, threats, or actions that could potentially cause alarm, anger, fear, or resentment in others…even when presented as a joke.

The University must now take action and apply the appropriate sanction. We are contacting the president, Board of Regents and the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office at the school, as well as Minnesota’s governor and both houses of the state legislature; the Catholic community in Minnesota is also being contacted. Moreover, we are also contacting Muslim groups nationwide.

Hate Crimes by University of Minnesota faculty cannot be tolerated. Contact them and let them know. Unless an unforeseen miracle happens, it seems that Professor P. Z. Myers has to go.

President Bruininks

President Robert H. Bruininks

202 Morrill Hall
100 Church Street S.E.
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Via phone: 612-626-1616
Via fax: 612-625-3875

Via e-mail: upres@umn.edu

Chancellor Johnson

Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson

309 Behmler Hall
600 East 4th Street
Morris, MN 56267

320-589-6020

E-mail: grussing@morris.umn.edu

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“If we make a big deal about it, matters might become worse, look at how Bill Donohue’s involvement has fueled this crisis.” Such was the response of one churchman when queried about the silence from the Church’s shepherds in the face of the desecration challenge by P.Z. Myers and the copy cats after Cooks pilfered a consecrated host. However, such passivity has apparently done little or nothing to stop or slow down the continuing fad by angry atheists and fallen-away Catholics to steal and defile the Eucharist. There is no reasoning with these people. They spout rhetoric about science and reason but are all about anger and retribution. Certain atheists are using this anger to assault the Church.

What are the offenders upset about? The topics range from Church hypocrisy and child abuse to dissent upon matters like homosexuality and condom use. The reasons vary, but the evil effects are the same. Christians are ridiculed as “cracker worshippers” and the central mystery of the Catholic faith is directly assaulted.

These acts of sacrilege, like arrows, fly through the centuries and afflict Christ’s sacred heart in his passion and on the cross. While the risen Christ can neither suffer nor die again, his sacrament of love can be maligned and desecrated. The substance behind the accidents or appearances, remains unscathed by misdeeds. It is for this reason that my greatest sadness is for the perpetrators. I grieve that they do not have the gift of faith.

I am saddened that they would resort to hurtful and disrespectful methods instead of dialogue to get their message across. Acts of religious terrorism hurt innocent people of faith, the ones who rightly love the Lord and adore him in the Blessed Sacrament. These atheist rascals do not seem to care about this.

I have been wondering lately if our passivity toward pro-abortion politicians and other celebrities who seek communion might have set the stage for the current predicament. By allowing them to receive, we have tolerated a “spiritual” blasphemy or sacrilege. Those who enable and/or promote and/or receive financial gain from the slaughter of children are honored in Catholic circles and are given Holy Communion. Giving the bread of life to the chief movers and shakers of the culture of death, largely out of a fear of political retaliation but also to preserve a shallow or artificial peace, may be even worse than the “material” desecration of the Eucharist that we are now witnessing. In the case of pro-abortionists, we have people who claim to believe but seem to have no fear of God or of his judgment. In the latest situation, we have true and not simply practical atheists, who violate the basic meaning of the sacrament because they do not believe it is anything but a wafer of wheat.

Why is it that silence and passivity so often rule the day in the Church? We see it in these issues around the Eucharist and in the treatment of rogue clergy, heretical teachers and pedophiles. We are desperately afraid of scandal and are always about damage control. And yet, such an attitude in itself can be scandalous.

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I cannot remember ever NOT being pro-life. Maybe that is why the reasoning of some seems so very foreign and peculiar to me? Right after I was ordained, I spoke with a pregnant woman who was contemplating abortion. As far as I could figure, her selfishness had blinded her to the truth. She argued: “I could never adopt my baby out to strangers. I could not do that to him! If I can’t raise him, no one will have him!” Her reasoning seemed twisted. How was killing the baby better than adopting him out to a good family who would love and care for him? She made up all sorts of nightmare scenerios. “What if they abused him? What if they were mean to him?” Eventually she aborted, not once but seven times. Today she mourns that she has neither a husband nor a family. Doctors tell her that she will never conceive again. She weeps and there is no consoling her. She came too late to the truth about her actions. She had murdered her children.

Posted here is a clip of a young girl with a baby singing SANDMAN’S COMING. She is going to sell her child for $200. The song comes from a musical, FAUST, by Randy Newman. Linda Ronstadt sang the original version and it regards a distraught mother who despairs and kills her child. Unlike the clip version, the Sandman was originally death. Here again, between the two versions we see choices. Ideally a woman, along with the child’s father, should raise a child. But sometimes, especially when a young immature girl gets pregnant, the best solution is probably adoption. Abortion is never an answer. Once conceived, that child is a human person with an eternal destiny. That child has an inherent God-given right to life. The problem with exchanging a child for cash is that it reduces the child to a commodity or a thing. It is little different from slavery. I know one woman who gave up her children because her new boyfriend said that he did not want another man’s brats in his home. The woman gave them up.

I have known mothers who were drug addicts. Their children were born already addicted and would go through terrible withdrawal. I recall a girl at school when I was young who gave birth in the bathroom and left her baby there. We have all heard stories about infants left in dumpsters. How could people do such things? We medicate against fertility as if it is a disease. Millions of babies are aborted as if they are simply tumors. After all this, we can still ask how mothers can so fail their babies? We have enabled the situation where mothers (and fathers) run away from their responsibilities.

Here directly above is an incredible statement from Sherri Shepherd, not simply about abortions, but about her faith and that her babies are waiting for her in heaven. Wow!

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HH = HOST HOSTAGE (a young man whole stole a host and sent it to Dr. Myers for desecration)

FJ = FATHER JOE (a priest upset about the desecrations and disappointed in the people who would do such things)

HH: “I know that you have been hurt, but you seem uninterested in how you have hurt others, including me”

FJ: I have spent my life trying to bring healing to others and you stamp me as guilty of deliberately and callously hurting people?

HH: I too am a little disappointed; in that you chose to remove the link to PZ Myers’ website.

FJ: As for the website link, I try to avoid links to sites that employ vulgar language or long polemics against the Church. As terrible as your YouTube video was, you did not use nasty language as certain others did.

HH: It’s all the more strange, given that you are an active contributor to Dr. Myers’ blog.

FJ: I have never left a comment at his blog. I clicked your link and that was the first time I saw it.

HH: Also, you seem willing to link to my video on YouTube, showing the ‘cracker’ next to a condom! I don’t quite see the logic, but it’s your blog here, and of course you can do as you see fit. There is, of course, a small cost.

FJ: The video is very offensive and sad, but pretty tame without the dialogue. It does remind Catholics that the threat to the Eucharist is real. It furthered the discussion on my own blog, but as I said, I had never seen Dr. Myers’ website.

HH: I’m not interested in hurting people.

FJ: No, I think you are interested in hurting people. I think you want to return pain with pain.

HH: I’m interested in raising consciousness; both among Catholics and the wider community, that it’s time for a change in the ‘Zeitgeist’; that it’s time to hold religious people and religious organisations accountable (and responsible) for their actions; that just because you hold a cross in one hand doesn’t mean that you can do anything you like with the other; that the Roman collar isn’t a ‘get-out-of-jail-free card’.

FJ: What you have done polarizes the various sides. We are not talking about sober debate but about acts of religious terrorism. Much is said about threats from Christians, probably mostly idle, but people like yourself have gone out of your way to light the match to the emotions. As for your agenda, I fail to see how atheism represents the raising of human consciousness. Rather, I see it as the ultimate digression into absurdity, an embracing of nihilism and despair.

HH: You say I’ve hurt you. I certainly regret that (if you’re being honest about that then I really do). But I do wonder if you’re equating ‘hurt’ with being forced to grapple with some inconvenient questions.

FJ: Any desecration against our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament pains me. But added to this is my concern for your standing before God. I have practical questions about how we might have better ministered to people like you; but, I would not revisit Catholic doctrine or morality. Such matters are fixed. Truth is not molded into our likeness; rather, we are to discern and then apply ourselves to truth according to its terms. Sometimes this is easy and sometimes it is very hard.

HH: In any case, you by your support for the Catholic Church’s policies, that I’ve mentioned before, are hurting me and others. I think I have the right to hit back; if only to wake you up! You feel you have a ‘God given right’ (literally) to use your influence to impose your particular take on morality on the rest of society. I know from my experience living in Ireland (through national debates on divorce and contraception) that, given the opportunity, the Church will stomp all over the moral rights of minority religions and secularists. And, no, I’m NOT doing the same thing……please think a little before you accuse me of that.

FJ: The Church teaches what she feels is in the best interest of others. Like any good parent, she wants her children to be happy and to be in a right relationship with others and with God. Excusing what she knows to be sin and/or immoral would be a failure to love on her part. When people get married they promise each other and God that they will remain together as husband and wife, no matter what. Christ and his Church only insist that we keep our promises. Contraception was condemned by most all churches until 1930. I am firmly convinced that it damages the conjugal union and that it is the handmaid to abortion. It cripples fertility and treats a natural power as a disease. The Church is only one voice in society, but she has the right to profess what she feels is the truth passed down through the centuries.

This, in itself, does no damage to your rights. You and fellow atheists can also express yourselves through dialogue, politics and the media. However, this is not the same as disrupting religious services or absconding with the Eucharist for purposes contrary to what Christ and the Church give to it.

HH: I’ve read a number of your contributions to PZ Myers’s blog and I’ve taken a lot of it on board.

FJ: As I said before, I have never contributed to his blog. Decency would never allow me to write anything on that site.

HH: This may sound a little patronising, but my best guess is that you have a significant problem in understanding that a lot of atheists like myself have a DEEP DEEP sense of morality.

FJ: Given that you are evidently reading someone else, you really are not in a position to say much or anything about me. I tend to think atheism is somewhat crippled in assigning moral weight, given the total disavowal of divine positive law or an objective source for morality. Non-Christians can have strong moral positions, though. The late Pope John XXIII appealed to men and women of good will to respect the natural law in creating a more just and peaceful civil order.

HH: Unlike the greater part of yours, it’s not handed down from on-high. When one leaves the Church one has to forge one’s own sense of what is wrong and what is right. It’s no longer on a plate. EVERYTHING I believe in is as a result of being forced to think deeply about each issue. It’s about setting up some basic foundational principles on which one builds one’s position on everything else. It’s about appreciating the importance of ensuring that those principles are not built on sand. It’s about the joy of trying to do the right thing (and it is a joy!).

FJ: There is no such thing as a morality isolated from the community, no matter whether it be secular or religious. We try to find our own way, but no one walks absolutely alone. What happens is that we decide with whom we will walk. Placing myself in your shoes for a moment, I would contend that stealing hosts from a church or desecrating them is wrong— even if I thought the whole business was silly and that the hosts were still merely pieces of unleavened bread. Here is an instance where I question your moral reflection and activity. We should not become anarchists, doing what we want no matter how offensive to others. What you do in your bedroom might upset me but I have no right to enter your bedroom and invade your privacy. The Mass is the love story for Catholics, and you defiled the object of our love. You can ridicule or debate against the real presence, but defiling the sacrament goes too far.

HH: It’s about the joy of realising that human beings are, by nature, ‘good’. It’s a joy denied to the religious.

FJ: No, this is not true. The Church would say that God’s creation is good although we are hampered by original sin. Maybe because of your Irish background you associate Catholicism with the heresy of Jansenism; but this would be a mistake.

HH: You asked me in a previous reply if I was sure that there wasn’t ’something more’. I’m absolutely honest when I say that I’m 99% sure that there isn’t. I sympathise with Christopher Hitchens when he says that he would hate if there WAS an ‘after-life’; a ‘celestial North Korea’, as he puts it! It took me some years of deep thinking, in my twenties, to come to terms with the fact that when I die I will be no more. It may sound awful to you, but it’s something that time, and some reflection, reconciles. It makes one appreciate the real significance of the Golden Rule; a principle on which Christianity holds no monopoly.

FJ: I must still insist that while I can respect the honest reflection of an atheist, regarding both the scientific and philosophical questions regarding existence and absolute meaning; you show little sign of acknowledgment that people with comparable intelligence might come to very different conclusions. It seems to me that atheism has regressed since the days of Bertrand Russell and the civility with which he debated the Jesuit Copleston.

HH: I did the right thing on July 13th and, no, I don’t think I really hurt you……………if you were to be really honest.

FJ: Your final assessment then is that I am a liar. As a priest who is dedicated to the service of God at the altar and his Eucharist, I am offended and pained beyond words by what you did. As a priest, I am also very concerned about how this affects others, including you. This act will have an impact. It will change you. I am not talking simply about repercussions from the God you reject, but about the callousness in your character— the person you are becoming. You did hurt others. You hurt me. And when we stop caring about such things, we give it a name, “evil”.

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