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Old 03-29-2009, 09:22 PM   #1
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Religion = Evil?

Now, before anyone says anything, I am not flaming religion in this thread.

Hence the question mark in the title.

I do, however, want to hear what everybody thinks about this article I came across, and that is the reason I posted this in Debate forum, and not Worldwide News, Politics, and Religion, even though it easily could have gone there too.

Here's the story that inspired this thread:

A Consistent But Harsh Catholic Church


March 25, 2009

When a 9-year-old girl in Brazil was recently found to be pregnant with twins, doctors performed an abortion. In Brazil, the procedure is legal only in cases of rape or to save the mother's life, and doctors determined that both applied to the girl -- her stepfather was jailed on rape charges, and the 80-pound child was too physically immature to carry twins to term.

In response to this tragedy, a Brazilian archbishop pronounced the doctors and the girl's mother excommunicated from the Catholic Church, a decree met with incredulity around the world. Further fueling the outrage, the head of the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops added that the "real problem" was abortion, not the endangered life of the girl. Just days later, en route to AIDS-ravaged Africa, Pope Benedict XVI openly doubted the efficacy of condoms in halting HIV transmission. In both cases, it seemed that church policy trumped not only effective public health measures but compassion.

In Brazil, the church's actions suggested that the suffering of a young girl was of little concern compared with consistency on abortion. And ultimately, Rome acknowledged that the episode was badly handled. Writing in L'Osservatore Romano, Archbishop Rino Fisichella said the excommunications, which by church law are incurred automatically when abortion is procured or performed by adults, did not have to be blared to the world. Instead, the child "should have been defended, hugged and held tenderly to help her feel that we were all on her side."

And there are "sides." Brazil is in a tussle with Rome over abortion, contraception and HIV/AIDS prevention, and sympathy for the girl's plight threatened to shift public sentiment away from church decree. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva favors loosening restrictions on abortion and promotes sex education, deploring that
30% of girls ages 15 to 17 drop out of school pregnant. The government gives away billions of condoms yearly, and Lula once called for a "national day against hypocrisy" regarding HIV/AIDS. The truth is, Brazilian women have abortions; they simply risk their lives to do so. Health officials say that each year about 200,000 women are hospitalized after botched procedures, and about 1 million terminate pregnancies.

Fisichella's point, however, was one of emphasis, not policy; the church, he lamented, seemed heartless. The haste and subsequent hue and cry, Fisichella wrote, "impacted the credibility of our teaching, which appears in the eyes of many as insensitive, incomprehensible and devoid of mercy." Well said.
After all, the one person whose behavior did not expel him from the Catholic community was the girl's alleged rapist.

(Highlighted portions are my emphasis)

So...do you think the Vatican acted properly?
Do you think an 80 lb, 9-year old girl who was raped by her stepfather, got pregnant with twins, and had to get an abortion to save her own life, really needed the mental anguish of being excommunicated from her church?

Let me know what you think...

I intend to post more articles, and I encourage other people to post some of their own.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:25 PM   #2
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Catholicism in general is a bit odd. No offense to any Catholics here.

I think the problem here is the way the Brazilian archbishop acted, not religion.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:37 AM   #3
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The article mentions the Pope and his statement about condoms in Africa.
I'm sure you think hes an idiot for saying that, but your wrong.
In Uganda, once one of the highest areas impacted by AIDS has seen the largest reduction in AIDS, due to, absence education. Yes, the very thing you say Never works.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanMi View Post
The article mentions the Pope and his statement about condoms in Africa.
I'm sure you think hes an idiot for saying that, but your wrong.
In Uganda, once one of the highest areas impacted by AIDS has seen the largest reduction in AIDS, due to, absence education. Yes, the very thing you say Never works.
Abstinence-only education does not work.
This is why we have states like Mississippi, which have the highest teen pregnancy rates is the U.S., but also have posters like this in schools:
Mississippi's Abstinence logo.jpg

And of course, Sean, abstinence does work. It just shouldn't be the only thing taught to people...
This article I just found on the PBS website says it pretty well:

Groups such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) had plenty of documented evidence that teaching safe sex and promoting condom use had been successful in preventing the spread of the virus, especially among the young. "Uganda is gradually removing condoms from its HIV/AIDS strategy, and the consequences could be fatal," warned Tony Tate, a researcher with HRW's HIV/AIDS program and coauthor of a 2005 study on the effects of AIDS prevention in Uganda. "Delaying sex is a healthy choice for young Ugandans, but youth have a right to know that there are other effective means of HIV prevention."

So do I think that the Vatican is wrong in spreading misinformation about condoms (ex. latex condoms are commonly said by pro-abstinence advocates to be ineffective against the AIDS virus, and that the virus slips through microscopic holes in the condom; this is an absolute falsehood) and denying young adults the information necessary to protect themselves if they aren't abstinent?
Absolutely.
Also, the Ugandan AIDS rates have been going down for years, from 15% to 10% over the last decade, whereas abstinence only education programs came about during G. W. Bush's pledge of $15 billion towards AIDS funding in 2003.

So yeah, Pope = stupid.

And also, I see you didn't mention anything about what the main focus of the article was...
You're a pretty pro-life guy.
What's your outlook on it?
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ender View Post
When a 9-year-old girl in Brazil...After all, the one person whose behavior did not expel him from the Catholic community was the girl's alleged rapist....

So...do you think the Vatican acted properly?
Do you think an 80 lb, 9-year old girl who was raped by her stepfather, got pregnant with twins, and had to get an abortion to save her own life, really needed the mental anguish of being excommunicated from her church?...
It's a terrible story, and not one I haven't heard before unfortunatly. Let me just straight up say though, I do not agree with abortion at all, and that's an absolute fact. The only case where it applies are cases of double effect - where you inadvertantly abort the foetus to save the mother's life (eg. chemotherapy, can't naturally or unnaturally concieve, foetus in fallopian tube etc.)

And it's upsetting that the Church couldn't do more to support. Christianity is here to build, not destroy. We accept people of all sins (a sin being an act that isn't Godly, not an act that is evil) into us because that's what Jesus did. I am not an expert on Catholic teaching whatsoever though, but they take authority from more than just the Bible so I can't say what inspired that event.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NutMan View Post
Catholicism in general is a bit odd. No offense to any Catholics here.
qft. There is an obvious divide between Catholics and Protestants/Non-denominatonal. I get the feeling they look towards more tradition than scriptural. Anyway, this isn't a theology thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ender View Post
Abstinence-only education does not work.
I think I kinda get what you're coming from. I get the impression that humans are naturally sexual. You raise a guy and girl outside of this world naturally and introduce them they'll have sex, I assume. Teaching abstinence without an outside force or idea to pressure them into it (God, society, etc.) won't work imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ender View Post
And of course, Sean, abstinence does work. It just shouldn't be the only thing taught to people...
I think sensible sex should be taught over all. This including contraception and sex at a comfortable and steady age. In a perfect world we would be abstinence until marriage but that would be foolhardy. I think sex even past the bare legal age can still have psychological and emotional.

This article I just found on the PBS website says it pretty well:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ender View Post
Groups such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) had plenty of documented evidence that teaching safe sex and promoting condom use had been successful in preventing the spread of the virus, especially among the young. "Uganda is gradually removing condoms from its HIV/AIDS strategy, and the consequences could be fatal," warned Tony Tate, a researcher with HRW's HIV/AIDS program and coauthor of a 2005 study on the effects of AIDS prevention in Uganda. "Delaying sex is a healthy choice for young Ugandans, but youth have a right to know that there are other effective means of HIV prevention."
I'd just want to point out not to judge Christianity on Catholic teaching. Even though Catholicism is a wonderful denomination, it isn't the denomination.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ender View Post
So do I think that the Vatican is wrong in spreading misinformation about condoms (ex. latex condoms are commonly said by pro-abstinence advocates to be ineffective against the AIDS virus, and that the virus slips through microscopic holes in the condom; this is an absolute falsehood) and denying young adults the information necessary to protect themselves if they aren't abstinent?
Lies aren't the way forward. Neither is deceit or hate. By spreading any of these we can't expect to transcend ourselves. And I sincerely hope that you are misquoting them or they have some 30 year advanced new research we don't know about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ender View Post
Pope = stupid.
lol, bit of a overstatement, but yeah.
With regard to the title of the thread, I'll simply put. Religion isn't evil, humans are fallable.
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:01 PM   #6
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oh, boy i said absence. thanks for knowing what i meant and correcting me. It was a late night.

We went over this before, I do believe sex education should be based on a larger variety of topics, not only abstinence.
But abstinence education has worked in Uganda. I'm not saying we should deny other forms of sex ed over there, people will have sex sometime in there life.
And i don't believe that abstinence-only education would work very well here in America. Yes, some may live by this, but how American culture is, teens are subject to so much sex-related things on tv, movies, magazines, etc.
But in Uganda, they do not have alot of these 'influences', so abstinence education works well there.

Sorry to be off-topic.

This is a disturbing story, no doubt about it. But an atempt (by the article) to demonize the entire religion.
I don't know how abortion ever got started in society, i sometimes wish it never was because people would actully think before having sex. (ofcourse excluding rape, incest)

The rapist not being the one who is being focused on by the local Catholic church pisses me off because he is by far the person who did the worst 'sins'. So they have the microscope on the wrong people.
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:08 AM   #7
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That's not necessarily true, SeanMi. Some religious people who do the proper, decent thing and refrain from having sex before marriage never meet someone they like, thus never have sex. The ones who stay true to it their whole lives never masturbate either. The amount of sexual frustration they must experience would be extraordinary, however, they believe it's worth it. Did you hear about the ninety-nine year old virgin?
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:15 AM   #8
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That's not necessarily true, SeanMi. Some religious people who do the proper, decent thing and refrain from having sex before marriage never meet someone they like, thus never have sex. The ones who stay true to it their whole lives never masturbate either. The amount of sexual frustration they must experience would be extraordinary, however, they believe it's worth it. Did you hear about the ninety-nine year old virgin?
If there that into what they believe in, more power to them.
I know i could never do that though.

99 year old virgin....that must be painful lol
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:34 AM   #9
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Well, I think it was stupid of them to kick her out because of abortion. Because having a child at a young age like that would be a threat to the babies and could lead to death for the girl and the twins.

And if the twins did not die, who would take care of them? Their father? I don't think so... Their grandmother maybe. But it would be hard for her since her daughter died and the twins would probably have medical conditions.

It is not the religion, it is the people (If that makes sense)
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
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The amount of sexual frustration they must experience would be extraordinary, however, they believe it's worth it.
Amen to that brother, to both parts. <_<

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99 year old virgin....that must be painful lol
Aye, little less than fresh down there.

And if it were only done by Earthly means, I dunno how long I would cope.
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