Archive for the ‘Abortion’ Tag

Five Suggestions for the Catholic Church   Leave a comment

I have some suggestions for the Catholic Church that I hope I will elaborate on in future posts, but for now I just want to get out there:

1. Take the incidence of suicide, bullying, and denial of medical care that affect LGB people at least as seriously as their sexual preference. And if taking one thing seriously requires legal action, then so should the other. Or at least the action should be proportionate to the time and resources spent on taking legal action.

2. Take the incidence of suicide, bullying, and denial of medical care that affect trans and intersex people at least as seriously as the possibility of their using a public restroom.

3. Launch an investigation into the abuse cover ups that is at least as wide in scope as the investigation of the LCWR for not being vocal enough about abortion and birth control.

4. Stop accepting bad science about abortion and birth control as fact. There should be a debate about the long term effects of birth control and it is prescribed too freely. But that is an entirely different matter from quoting woefully inadequate studies as if they were the final word. More research needs to be done, so either do it (and do it well, preferably through a third party) or shut up.

5.Reclaim your teachings about the poor and marginalized. The Catholic Church used to consider a living wage to be more than just a post-it note attached to the back of a book about sexual issues. Either human dignity is the driving force of Catholic moral teaching or abortion is. If it’s the latter, please continue what you’re doing. But if it’s the former, then please start acting as if all matters of human dignity were interrelated. Please.

There you go. None of these suggestions require removing the least word from current Catholic teachings. Any or all of them would make the Catholic Church look more consistent because all of them are things Catholic Church teaching  essentially call for. I love the phrase “human dignity.” I use it all the time. And it comes from the Catholic lexicon. I didn’t make it up, the Catholic Church did. The Catholic Church should take its rightful place as a leader on issues affecting human dignity (like denial of medical services to LGBT people, which is shockingly common), and I hope it will.


Repost: Snide, but…   Leave a comment

Content Note: Abortion, Pregnancy

Slacktivist writes here about legislation that would absolutely result in fewer abortions. Will the “Pro-Life” movement pick it up?

Posted 08/11/2012 by reluctantliberal in Uncategorized

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Why I Won’t Be Returning to the Catholic Church Anytime Soon   4 comments

I’ve started reading a number of Catholic blogs. Ideally, I’d like to do for Catholicism what Slacktivist does for Evangelicalism. That is, I’d like to offer an informed critique from a former insider. In that spirit I’d like to offer the reasons I won’t be rejoining the Catholic Church anytime soon.

1) Gender Issues

The Catholic Church falls decidedly in the Complimentarian camp when it comes to gender. Men are men, women are women, and while their dignity is equal their roles are different.

I don’t really agree with this. Gender is a societal construction (a deeply embedded one, but still). Even if males and females do tend towards different things biologically, individual variations still mean that there will be plenty of people and relationships for whom fixed gender roles are wrong. Making those gender roles the only acceptable option for people has caused untold damage to people who naturally tend not to fit those roles.

Oh, and by the way, Adam and Eve might have been created male and female, but biology has other possibilities. Some people literally can’t fit into the male-female dichotomy, and I’ve yet to see a good Catholic response to those people.

2) The Reproductive Aspect of Sex

There are some couples who should be couples, but should not have children. For example, a couple where one or both of the people involved have serious health issues which make it difficult for that couple just to get by. There are people with health conditions that would prevent them from providing a child with the care and attention that child deserves.

Furthermore, removing the procreative aspect of sex doesn’t necessarily poison the loving aspect of sex. That’s not how sex works. That’s not how the human brain works. Removing a possible but unlikely possibility from an individual act doesn’t greatly affect the way performing that action affects us.

3) Hell

The doctrine of eternal hell is pernicious and false. It is not Biblically supported, it is not in keeping with the actions of a loving or just God, and it makes people who believe in it worse people. Just read one of the Church Fathers talking about their enemies suffering in hell and tell me it doesn’t harm people’s souls.

4) Hierarchy

A little bit of hierarchy seems to be necessary (seems to be). The extent to which the Catholic Church is hierarchical is corrupting, though. You can tell the difference between practicality and corruption based on whether or not the people at the top of the hierarchy listen to people at the bottom of the hierarchy. The Catholic Church (at least in the United States) doesn’t listen women or children, or anybody who doesn’t share the same priorities. The Catholic Church has even started ignoring the poor. You can tell that the Catholic Church has put too much effort into the abortion debate because it is paying less attention to other issues of human dignity than before it invested everything into abortion. Now the bishops are going after the LCWR (Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which was subjected to a “doctrinal review”), not over what the LCWR is teaching, but because isn’t giving abortion and gay marriage enough attention. The bishops aren’t just enforcing doctrine, which is understandable. They’re enforcing priorities.

5) The Collapse on Other Human Rights

The right to life, according the Catholic Church, comes prior to all other rights. That’s true in a chronological sense, but other rights are too fundamental for all of the attention to be placed on one or two issues. The Catholic Church, which used to side with the poor and the marginalized, isn’t really doing that anymore. The current conservative Catholic alliance with the pro-death penalty, anti-gun law, anti-social safety net, anti-health care GOP has politicized the Catholic Church while compromising its commitment to the poor.