17 October 2009

Catholicism and pedophilia

Loaded subject, right. Totally.

So in the news recently is Bishop Lahey, a bishop from Nova Scotia, who has been charged with owning child porn. Disgusting. (Though, honestly, with all the priests who are actually raping children, the "poor guy" has to be shaking his head).

As soon as the subject comes up, someone always brings up the "Well, if they let priests get married, this wouldn't happen as much" canard. Excuse me while I call bullshit. For several reasons: 1) Married men are abusers too. Many a father and stepfather has abused his kids. 2) Celibacy doesn't cause pedophilia. There are plenty of celibate people who don't fuck kids or collect child porn. If suddenly you couldn't have sex again - without breaking some self-inflicted ban on it, I might add, would you decide that children were a good alternative that didn't somehow violate your vow? No? I thought not.

All/most child abusers were abused as children - not to be confused with 'all/most people who are abused as children will become abusers', I might add. If the church wants to stop the child abuse, they will STOP THE CHILD ABUSE. Find out a priest is abusing a kid? Call the cops. If you're insistent on covering it up, and clearly the church is, then take the priest out of the parish and put him somewhere where there are no kids. Break the cycle! Because right now, the church is known to be a safe haven for pedophiles. There are men who become priests simply because it gives them access to children. There are men who become priests because priests abused them and it's what they know to do.

Stop the insanity. Stop the priests from hurting kids. Stop all men from hurting kids, and within a generation or two, it won't happen any more. Or at least not nearly as much.

15 October 2009

H1N1 Fun

Well, my household is down with H1N1. I got it first, 9 days ago now, and I would say I could probably go back to work tomorrow, but because I work around a lot of elderly people, I'll give it another few days before I do. What a miserable bloody flu that was. The only one I've had that was worse was the Beijing flu that went around in 1992. That one laid me up for 6 weeks because I got pneumonia in both lungs and a sinus infection from HELL.

So, I've been looking after sick kids. Snap is okay, Crackle is grumpy, threw up once, isn't sleeping worth a damn, and has had a fever off and on, but is otherwise okay. And Pop? Oh my poor little Pop. He's 7 months old and just can't understand why he feels like crap. His one eye is goopy and his cry is so crackly and pathetic. Fortunately, he's the happiest baby on the planet, so it only really gets him upset when he's tired. Otherwise, he's pretty content.

And all that leads to, I've not been following the news or blogs much. I read some of my favourites, like Broadsides (though if they don't fix their damn code, I'm going to quit!), Dammit Janet, Canadian Cynic (even though he insists that it's okay to call specific women 'cunts', I can deal) Unrepentant Old Hippie and Dawg's Blawg pretty much without fail, but other than that, meh.

So what hit me in the news this week was how my demographic, that is, healthy, young women, is being hit hard by H1N1, and they can't figure out why. Let me provide my hypothesis: BECAUSE WE'RE OVERWORKED! We work too much and don't get enough sleep. Is it any wonder we're hit harder than any other group? Seems like a duh moment to me.

Anyway, my husband has Crackle out with him and Pop is sleeping, so now that I've had a little break and cleaned up the living room, I'm going to try to have a nap. What do you think the odds are? 300:1 against? Yeah, that's about right.

09 October 2009

What the flaming hell?

Theoren Fleury gets my applause today. It's damned hard to come out as a survivor of sexual abuse. It's even harder when the damned media keeps calling it a "confession". WTF? He has nothing to confess - he's the victim (I suppose it's nice to know they don't limit their victim-blaming to female victims.) And yes, it would have been nice if he'd have done this before, when Kennedy needed the support, but damn it to hell, he's a victim, he can tell the world when he's ready and not before.

Here's a giant FUCK YOU to the assholes out there who are giving him shit for (a) talking about it; (b) talking about it now instead of years ago.

03 October 2009

Radical hospitality

Well, I'm furious. Livid. Incensed. Absofuckinglutely ready to go on a rampage. Fortunately, I am out of the situation in which I could actually rampage.

There's a sickly looking homeless couple who comes by our place about once a week and collects our empties. While they're here, they look through to see if anyone else has left any recycling out. Our strata is trying to get rid of them. The old busybody who lives in the unit three doors down went out and told them to bugger off. They told him that I said they could come to my place to get my empties. I confirmed this with the old busybody who told me "But you don't want those kinds of people coming around here". Don't EVER tell me what I want or don't want. Ever. I said that I would ask them not to go through any one else's recycling, but that they were welcome to come to my place for mine. If he or anyone else caught them going anywhere else, fine, ask them to leave. But they are welcome at my house any time.

I will not compromise on this unless they start doing damage. As it stands right now, they walk around looking for recycling. They are poor; they are sick; they are homeless. What kind of Christian would I be if I sent them away when I'm in a position to help?

So help me GOD, I will NOT compromise my ethics just because some old asshole doesn't like the looks of "those people".

Trans-phobia and religion

In an article that actually refers to the transman by the right pronouns (for a nice change), we learn that a Catholic school board in Edmonton fired a man for letting them know he was changing his declared gender.

The Catholic school board is publicly funded, so they shouldn't be able to fire a teacher for being trans. However, if they're anything like the Regina Separate school system, they have a "conscience clause" in their contracts that allows them to fire an employee for behaving in a way that isn't consistent with the Catholic faith. So a legal challenge may fail.

On the religious issue, it violates the Catholic faith to live as a gender that doesn't match one's sex organs. (Men in dresses telling others not to cross-dress, I know). It comes down to Deuteronomy 22:5(King James Version) The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so [are] abomination unto the LORD thy God.

So, the first thing to look at when studying the Bible is the historical context. Why was this a rule in that day? Was it that God hates queers? No, not so much. Was it that the writer of Deuteronomy hated queers? Again, probably not (though he probably wasn't as accepting of it as God). So what gives? One theory is that it had to do with pagan rites in which the worshippers dressed as the opposite sex. So it is possible that the rule had to do with idolatry and worship of pagan gods, which of course, would have been an abomination. Another theory is that dressing as members of the opposite sex would be an issue with regard to the property laws of the day. Because property was very much tied into the Jewish religion, and women and men had different rights, dressing as a member of the opposite sex would be a major problem.

And then there's that word abomination. It doesn't mean what most people think. I mean, today, child molesters are abominations, right? But keep looking at Deuteronomy, and you'll see it's used 16 times (KJV), most often in terms of idolatry. And of course, there's the oft-quoted Leviticus 11:12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you. So, God hates shrimp, right? Right? Now, sure, it says that the water creatures shall be an abomination unto you, not unto God. But that doesn't mean that I'm supposed to go out and make all the non-scaled, non-finned water creatures into fish, or destroy them, now does it? No, it doesn't. It simply means that I shouldn't eat them.

The Jewish people who still keep kosher don't require, or wish to require, anyone who is not Jewish to keep kosher, even thought the scripture says non-kosher food is an abomination before God. So if the bible says that queerfolk are an abomination before God, it says NOTHING of you. It doesn't say you must also shun them. It says God will. You are not God. Get over it.

I do not take the Bible literally. It is impossible to live biblically, ethically, and legally. Impossible. And stupid. People who claim to view the Bible as literal truth are simply ignorant of what is actually in there, and just listen to the shit their pastors spew. Harsh, I know, when I'm a self-declared tolerant person, but I do not, and will not tolerate hate. And that is what those people teach. There is nothing more against the spirit of Jesus's teachings than hatred and intolerance.

For me, the Bible is part historical document, part transcribed oral tradition, part divinely-inspired writing. I try to live in a way that I think would make the Jesus figure happy. Beyond that, I'm just guessing, hoping, and believing. And I don't for second believe that Jesus would want someone to lose his job, his livelihood and his dignity because his gender didn't match his sex.