In malpractice case, Catholic hospital argues fetuses aren’t people

Catholic hospital argues fetuses aren’t people – which is fine, of course, except that it seems that they were probably negligent in the case. And then there is the matter where they have the people around entire world worked up against birth control because a couple of cells must surely be a person already, what with having the DNA code combination. And the problems of the Church contributing to all of the nonsense that abortion is murder (throwing guilt in people’s faces). And problems of the Church contributing to the world’s overpopulation, the lack of women’s agency over their lives, the increased stress on people and society. And there are the women who have to die if they are in a Catholic hospital which won’t perform an abortion to save the women’s life – even if the fetus has died already.

It would be nice if the Catholic Church were forced to dissolve. Not likely with their trillions of dollars. Though if the Catholics around the world wised up to the hypocrisy and stopped contributing, it would be a start.

Republican Men and Rape

Richard Mourdock, Republican Senate candidate from Indiana, has joined the club of Republican candidates saying really stupid things about rape. His contribution:

“I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Said while debating Democrat Joe Donnelly.

From the Obama campaign:

“This is a reminder that a Republican Congress working with a Republican president Mitt Romney would (feel) that women should not be able to make choices about their own health care,” Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday morning.

The Republican platform calls for making abortion illegal – including in cases of rape and incest.

Other stupid remarks by Republicans include:

Todd Akin: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways of shutting that whole thing down” – mid 2012 Senate Campaign

Rick Santorum: “I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you… rape victims should make the best of a bad situation.” – January, 2012

Paul Ryan: “I’m very proud of my pro-life record. I’ve always adopted the idea that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life,” said during an interview with television station WJHL.

I, of course, agree with Obama:

“This is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women’s health care decisions,” he told Leno, without mentioning Romney by name. “Women are capable of making these decisions in consultation with their partners, with their doctors, and for politicians to want to intrude in this stuff often times without any information is a huge problem. And this is obviously a part of what’s at stake in this election.”

The Republican candidates have clarified that 1) they don’t understand reproduction and should shut up about it and 2) that their ideas are religiously based and have no place being forced on the population.

If we have freedom of religion – then while Ryan and Mourdock might think that “GOD” intends to create babies through rape, women who believe that “GOD” does not intend any such thing OR who do not believe in “GOD” whatsoever, should not have to be held down by the other’s religious ideas and beliefs.

I don’t think that the Christian Republicans have thought this through. I would be pretty shocked if one of them were to say that “GOD” had a hand in creating the holocaust, for instance. What all horrible things do they think that “GOD” intended to happen. Plus, I’m pretty sure that these Republican Christians would not want to be forced to comply with Muslim (or any other religion’s) laws.

The idea that the intelligent, educated part of the population should be subjugated by the wills of the ignorant, superstitious part (that makes up nonsense to deny women control of their bodies) is absurd.

Gloria Steinem – 2012 Humanist of the Year

I had read, probably in some of my feminist literature, about humanism having been rather sexist – if not now then in the past. So I was seeing what I could Google and I found this article about Gloria Steinem getting an award from the the Humanists – 2012 Humanist of the Year  (see thehumanist.org) . It looks like a sign that Humanists are trying to make a bridge with the Feminists. The subtitle of the Sept/Oct edition is, “Here come the Secular Women” (as if we/ they have not been around all along? – did they just find us?)

While there were some very supportive comments about the Steinem interview – there was also this:

“Bestowing a humanist award upon a feminist? Feminism is not humanism. Feminism is part of the problem that humanism would resolve….”

Link to article HERE

I thought this was interesting ->

2012 Humanist of the Year Gloria Steinem sat down with the Humanist magazine at the 71st Annual Conference of the American Humanist Association, held June 7-10, 2012, in New Orleans. The following is an adapted version of that interview recorded on Friday, June 7.

The Humanist: What do you think of the U.S. Catholic sisters who were reprimanded for not speaking out strongly enough against gay marriage, abortion, or the notion of women priests? They were actually faulted for focusing too much on poverty and economic justice.

Steinem: I was perversely delighted to see the Catholic Church and the Vatican go after nuns because I think they made a major error. People are quite clear in viewing nuns as the servants and the teachers and the supporters of the poor. You contrast that with the fact that the Vatican did virtually nothing about long-known pedophiles, and it’s just too much.

Their stance on abortion is also quite dishonest historically, because as the Jesuits (who always seem to be more honest historians of the Catholic Church) point out, the Church approved of and even regulated abortion well into the mid-1800s. The whole question of ensoulment was determined by the date of baptism. But after the Napoleonic Wars there weren’t enough soldiers anymore and the French were quite sophisticated about contraception. So Napoleon III prevailed on Pope Pius IX to declare abortion a mortal sin, in return for which Pope Pius IX got all the teaching positions in the French schools and support for the doctrine of papal infallibility.

There are also this article at Humanist.org that I liked, A Woman’s Place? The Dearth of Women in the Secular Movement by Susan Jacoby.

While some are happy to leave behind the idea of “God” – they still want to cling to the concept of the patriarchy / hierarchy. In my mind – the patriarchy is what most (organized) religion is all about. One hasn’t left religion behind until one can leave the patriarchy behind.

Another snip from the Steinem interview:

Jennifer Bardi: Do you consider yourself a humanist?

Steinem: Yes, a humanist except that humanism sometimes is not seen as inclusive of spirituality. To me, spirituality is the opposite of religion. It’s the belief that all living things share some value. So I would include the word spiritual just because it feels more inclusive to me. Native Americans do this when they offer thanks to Mother Earth and praise the interconnectedness of “the two-legged and the four, the feathered and the clawed,” and so on. It’s lovely.

The Humanist: So we need a more positive and inclusive term.

Steinem: Yes, because it’s not about not believing. It’s about rejecting a god who looks like the ruling class.

Earlier in the interview, Steinem said, “I believe in People, I believe in Nature” (as opposed to God). It sounds like she is essentially a Pantheist. I like the ideas of the the Pantheists (WPM). While there may be some sexism within the group – I haven’t seen it.

Limbaugh and Priests Against Women

“…Limbaugh has a decades-old persecution complex about women who hold any power in our society, and he feels no compunction about attacking them in extremely personal ways — even sexually — when they make him angry.” – Media Matters (“Meet The Three Women Rush Limbaugh Has DegradedSince Sandra Fluke”)

It doesn’t seem to take much – or anything – to make Limbaugh angry at women.

Here he has had a platform on Radio and TV where he can spew his hate against women. He has thousands or millions or listeners and then complains because of the influence of the “mainstream media.”

There is a Catholic priest who, as a response to Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood suggesting that women “Have a Say” about birth control – posted his own video. He tries to suggest the Catholic Church has little influence – and that the “mainstream media” is against them and for Planned Parenthood.

He rails against what he says are the lies of Planned Parenthood – without being specific. Meanwhile – he drops lies of his own – such as linking abortion and breast cancer. He characterizes the Catholic Church as a “Sleeping giant – no longer content to remain silent”.

It was not my impression that they have been silent. They have been protesting away at Planned Parenthood for awhile. Their vitriolic and polemic attacks stir up people who end up encouraging the idea as well as the result of abortion providers being murdered. This suggesting that abortion (and apparently birth-control, too) is murder is the way to get people riled up against something – paint the opposition as some exaggerated form of evil.

The priest considers this to be “the great battle of our age”. Unfortunately, he seems to be getting a lot of positive attention from right-wing extremist groups.

Patrinazis Vs. Feminists

This is how I see the Limbaugh Vs. Fluke rivalry. I expect that this is how Limbaugh, Santorum, Romney, Issa, and the rest would like us to see it (without the the Nazi part) – the restoration and elevation of Patriarchal values. They obviously think that patriarchal values are God’s gift to the world – which is no doubt how they see themselves. They would not dare suggest that this is about obnoxious men who like to see men dominate and control women’s bodies and lives – and to give men an advantage in work and with money.

Limbaugh has worked diligently to put women down – especially women who work to assert their rights. Anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to him knows this. He likes to refer to feminists as Feminazis. Feminists are not trying to force their power over others – but merely to claim it for themselves. So the nazi suffix to feminist is simply an absurdity. (Santorum brushed off Limbaugh’s remarks about Fluke as being “absurd”/ “entertainment”.

The thing about Nazis is that they did force their power over others – and it was white, male authoritarian power – based on Christian ideas. Hitler was raised as a Christian and while whether or not he was a Christian later in life is debated – he used Christian ideas to support his case. Hitler’s ideal that he was trying to establish was a Patriarchal, Thomas Kincadian, view of the world. He wanted to get rid of everything and everyone who did not fit his idealized patriarchal ideal. That included liberals, intellectuals, homosexuals, gypsies, Jews and physically handicapped and mentally ill people.

The Nazi regime was against the idea of helping anyone out who needed it such as those persons in nursing homes and asylums. Germans were encouraged to see them as a drag on society. They Nazis started with forced sterilizations and moved on to euthanasia once the war got going. (I included that because that is the attitude of many Republicans I know – the not wanting to help anyone – ignoring the fact that not everyone is self-sufficent).

(I didn’t intend to write about Nazis today, but Limbaugh’s reference to feminazis and my thinking about patriarchalism got me around to it).

The Nazis were also against abortion – but their argument against it was for the male dominated family. (Which is probably what Republicans are mostly after). Steinem noted: “Under Hitler, choosing abortion became sabotage; a crime punishable by hard labor for the woman and a possible death penalty for the abortionist.”

Recently this was quoted in an article on Alternet (and Truth-Out) by Mike Lofgren – A Conservative Explains Why Right-Wingers Have No Compassion

The preservation of the family with many children is a matter of biological concept and national feeling. The family with many children must be preserved … because it is a highly valuable, indispensable part of the … nation. Valuable and indispensable not only because it alone guarantees the maintenance of the population in the future but because it is the strongest basis of national morality and national culture … The preservation of this family form is a necessity of national and cultural politics … This concept is strictly at variance with the demands for an abolition of paragraph 218; it considers unborn life as sacrosanct. For the legalization of abortion is at variance with the function of the family, which is to produce children and would lead to the definite destruction of the family with many children.

So wrote the Völkischer Beobachter of October 14, 1931.

[The Völkischer Beobachter (“Völkisch Observer”) was the newspaper of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP or Nazi Party) from 1920. It first appeared weekly, then daily from 8 February 1923. For twenty-five years it formed part of the official public face of the Nazi party.] – note from wikipedia

From uspolitics.about.com:

Abortion has existed in almost every society…Today, almost two-thirds of the women in the world may obtain a legal abortion.When America was founded, abortion was legal. Laws prohibiting abortion were introduced in the mid-1800s, and, by 1900, most had been outlawed….
As it happens – the mid-1800s was when the women’s rights movement was starting up.
Antiabortion legislation was part of an antifeminist backlash to the growing movements for suffrage, voluntary motherhood, and other women’s rights in the 19th century. From Feminist.com
So basically – it should be easy to see that to be anti-abortion is to be for control of women.
ANTI- abortion (and birth-control) = CONTROL of women = Patrinazis
The people who want to control women are the most Patriarchal of Churches and white men (and women) who have grown up with the idea that to control women is normal and they like the privileges and status the Patriarchy awards them. These men (and women) don’t really care about the truth – or in trying to see the world through other’s perspectives – they are happy with things as they are they don’t want changes to the status quo.
Feminists and women like Sandra Fluke who stand up for the rights of women present a challenge to their status quo and so the role of people like Rush Limbaugh is to do what he can to try denigrate, demean and demonize these women and what they stand for.
Sixty-seven percent of the people in the country have accepted that fact that at least in some instances, women should be allowed to choose to have an abortion.
And, of course, it’s not just abortion anymore that is under attack – but contraception in general. It is difficult to believe that as late as 1965 contraception was illegal even for married couples. The Eisenstadt v. Baird case in 1972 opened contraception up to unmarried couples as well.
So essentially, this has been accepted by most people for 40 years – but not by Rush Limbaugh, or Rick Santorum, or Mitt Romney.
Pope Paul VI in 1968 declared birth control to be evil in his Humanae Vitae (the following is from wikipedia):
Paul VI does not allow for arbitrary human decisions, which may limit divine providence…
Every action specifically intended to prevent procreation is forbidden, except in medically necessary circumstances. Therapeutic means necessary to cure diseases are exempted, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result, but only if infertility is not directly intended. This includes both chemical and barrier methods of contraception. All these are held to directly contradict the “moral order which was established by God”. Abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, is absolutely forbidden, as is sterilization, even if temporary.
The acceptance of artificial methods of birth control is then claimed to result in several negative consequences, among them a “general lowering of moral standards” resulting from sex without consequences, and the danger that men may reduce women “to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of [their] own desires”; finally, abuse of power by public authorities, and a false sense of autonomy.
One thing that the Pope and others do not allow for is the satisfaction of women’s desires. Women are not expected to enjoy sex. With the rhythm method that the Catholic Church recommends and allows – since they consider it natural  – women have to have sex when they are least aroused – not when they are naturally aroused (when they are ovulating). So it’s not natural at all.
And the thing with Limbaugh and his insults is that he is trying to return women to the dungeons of the Dark Ages when women were supposed to pretend that they did not care for sex. Any woman who suggests that she does enjoy sex has to be roundly ridiculed and denounced. (Do these people have any idea of how ridiculous they sound??? ) Because in the Dark Ages (before 1972) only men could be sexual beings – men were (are) allowed to enjoy and boast about how many partners they have had. Whether the partners were willing or not is not the issue. Whether the partners got any enjoyment out of it or not is not the issue.
Honestly – I think that the Catholic Church, Limbaugh, and the likes of Santorum encourage homosexuality. For men – women are demeaned and thought of as unsexual. For women – men such as these present men as assholes who don’t think that women should have a sexual life (and who would want to control them at best). Plus – with homosexuality – one need not worry about birth control. Problem solved.