Thursday 18th of April 2024

the sweet lure of fundamentalism .....


the sweet lure of fundamentalism .....

A pope who refuses to compromise .....

The Church may change its mind about some things, but abortion is not one of them.

The latest development on the subject, under Pope Benedict XVI, is nothing to do with the basic policy but rather with its ramifications for politicians and organisations such as Amnesty International.

The row with Amnesty marks a hardening of the Catholic Church's resolve to take on liberal figures and organisations which have formerly been seen as the church's natural allies; a greater readiness to insist that its convictions on subjects such as abortion, where the Church has no intention of compromising, are more important than alliances with people and groups whose roots and values are secular - values from which the church establishment feels estranged.

The essence of the Church's teaching on abortion is that a human being possesses a soul from the moment of conception. "Surely I was sinful at the time of my birth, sinful from the moment my mother conceived me," declares David in Psalm 51. Since sinfulness belongs to the spirit not to the body, the growing foetus must be in possession of a soul quite as much as the growing child.

The church's teaching on abortion, said Pope John Paul II in 1995, "is unchanged and unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written word of God."

A Pope Who Refuses To Compromise


Gus: I will leave the last words to the "aides":

"But the Pope's affirmation was swiftly softened by his aides."

the value of faith .....

‘Amnesty International is set to defy the Vatican and risk the wrath of Catholics around the world over its decision to back abortion for rape victims.

Leaders of the international human rights group meeting in Mexico are expected to reaffirm the policy adopted by its executive board in April after two years of soul-searching within the organisation.

The decision, which will also cover women whose health is at risk from giving birth, follows the use of mass rape as a political weapon in the conflict in Darfur. But Amnesty has infuriated the Vatican by expanding its definition of human rights to include access to abortion, prompting leading Catholics to accuse the organisation of having "betrayed its mission". Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has threatened that unless Amnesty's policy is reversed, the Vatican will call upon Catholics worldwide to boycott the organisation.’

Amnesty To Defy Vatican Over Rape Victims' Abortion Rights


The Pope is also practising what he preaches, our correspondent adds.

He is installing solar panels on the roof of the main audience hall at the Vatican and is paying for a forestry project to offset the Vatican's carbon emissions.


Gus: Sure the Pope is practicing sexual abstinence, and "offsetting" the Vatican carbon emissions, but the problem of climate change is definitely created by OVER-POPULATION... This over-population is driven by the capitalist system's (capitalism: not a social structure but a system of trade) relentless need for "increasing capital" in order to maximise the profits at the top of its pyramid... All in the name of "growth" (euphemism for greed) ...

Humanity at large needs to reduce population and reduce consumption to make a dent in the inexorable building of warming — and its extreme of heat and cold waves... Humanity needs to take care of the natural environment, including other species... The planet demands it.

Going up in my book...

Lord, my God, who am I that You should forsake me? The Child of your Love — and now become as the most hated one — the one — You have thrown away as unwanted — unloved. I call, I cling, I want — and there is no One to answer — no One on Whom I can cling — no, No One. — Alone ... Where is my Faith — even deep down right in there is nothing, but emptiness & darkness — My God — how painful is this unknown pain — I have no Faith — I dare not utter the words & thoughts that crowd in my heart — & make me suffer untold agony.

So many unanswered questions live within me afraid to uncover them — because of the blasphemy — If there be God — please forgive me — When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven — there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt my very soul. — I am told God loves me — and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. Did I make a mistake in surrendering blindly to the Call of the Sacred Heart?


Gus: these words written by Mother Theresa are those of a clever, intelligent and uplifted human — one who had made certain choices in her life, mostly dedicated to help the poor... They are questions that encapsulate the process of individual life, of cognition of our own consciousness, and of expressing our awareness, even in faith. Whether we relate to a god or not, we share the same angst upon uncertainty and knowingness of our finality while striving for greater happiness... In many ways, as we travel through life, we try to help other people as well as ourselves, but the more thruthful we are the more chance we have to be successful in our heart... But in the case of people like Geoge W Bush, they "try to help" by bullshitting and destroying... They live well, but we cannot envy their deceit nor the blood on their hands...

rejoice and confront?...

November 11, 2008

U.S. Bishops Urged to Challenge Obama


BALTIMORE — The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops told his fellow prelates Monday that while they should “rejoice” at the election of an African-American president, they should confront him over his support for abortion rights.

“The common good can never be adequately incarnated in any society when those waiting to be born can be legally killed at choice,” the president, Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago, said in an opening address to about 300 bishops gathered here for their national meeting. “Common ground cannot be found by destroying the common good.”

Cardinal George’s remarks were a repudiation of the “common good” approach to the abortion issue that President-elect Barack Obama and Democratic Party leaders, including some prominent Roman Catholics, honed in the recent election.

Advocates of the “common good” approach say that, rather than outlawing abortion — which has polarized the American electorate for decades — they will try to reduce abortions by strengthening the social and economic safety net to enable more women to bring their pregnancies to term.

Cardinal George said in a news conference that while the bishops supported “social welfare programs that come to the aid of the poor,” they also would continue to lobby for legislative and legal restrictions on abortion.

see toon on top...

authoritative misconception

Vatican Issues Instruction on Bioethics


The Vatican issued its most authoritative and sweeping document on bioethical issues in more than 20 years on Friday, taking into account recent developments in biomedical technology and reinforcing the church’s opposition to in vitro fertilization, human cloning, genetic testing on embryos before implantation, and embryonic stem cell research.

The Vatican says these techniques violate the principles that every human life — even an embryo — is sacred, and that babies should be conceived only through intercourse by a married couple.

The 32-page instruction, titled “Dignitas Personae,” or “The Dignity of the Person,” was issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal office, and carries the approval and the authority of Pope Benedict XVI.

Under discussion for six years, it is a moral response to bioethical questions raised in the 21 years since the congregation last issued instructions.

It bans the morning-after pill, the intrauterine device, and the pill RU-486, saying these can result in what amount to abortions.

The Vatican document reiterates that the church is opposed to research on stem cells derived from embryos. But it does not oppose research on stem cells derived from adults; blood from umbilical cords; or fetuses “who have died of natural causes.”

The document does not prohibit the use of vaccines developed using “cell lines of illicit origin” if children’s health is at stake. But it says that “everyone has the duty” to inform health care providers of personal objections to such vaccines.

The church also objects to freezing embryos, arguing that doing so exposes them to potential damage and manipulation, and that it raises the problem of what to do with frozen embryos that are not implanted.


 read more at the New York Times and see toon at top... nuf said.

popologistis homosexulus

Pope Benedict XVI has said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

He explained that defending God's creation was not limited to saving the environment, but also about protecting man from self-destruction.

The Pope was delivering his end-of-year address to senior Vatican staff.


Gus:  Like the Taliban, like many Muslims, it shows the Pope as well does not understand humanity. Poor humanity... So much to give so little acceptance of the gamut of its uncertain reality... Pity. Even our pollies are hell-bent on making sure the "different" are not accepted as they should... May we become more accepting  in our taking care of our self, taking care of others and taking care of our environment — out Little pebble in the grater universe...

What? God does not exist?...

A Catholic priest has been criticised by parents in a city in northern Italy for telling their children that Father Christmas does not really exist.

Father Dino Bottino, the parish priest of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Novara, let out the secret at a children's mass earlier this month.

A local paper published complaints from dozens of parents. "You've ruined my children's Christmas," said one mother.

But an unrepentant Fr Bottino called it his duty to set the record straight.

"I told the children that Father Christmas was an invention that had nothing to do with the Christian Christmas story," he said.

"And I would repeat it again, if I had the chance," he added.


Gus: Yes, and there are many other characters that do not exist...  I would tell the good Father Dino Bottino that god, in whichever format — from Allah to Godot — is the product of our crazy imagination, but then that would be mean, wouldn't it?...

At least with Father Christmas, we can make a commercial success out of red cloth, tinsel and fake white beards...

abort the church scholars

Brazil's influential Catholic Church has raged against an abortion carried out on a nine-year-old girl who had been pregnant with twins after allegedly being raped by her stepfather.

An archbishop for the northern region where the termination was conducted, Father Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, told reporters the church was excommunicating all those responsible for the abortion: the medical team and the girl's mother.

The operation - carried out on Wednesday because of doctors' fears the slender girl might die if she carried the foetuses to term - was a crime in the eyes of the church, he said.


When will the Nazi-church stops its bleating hypocritically about protecting life at all cost in any ugly devilish situation? Wasn't it this pope Benedictus who praised and shook the hands of the biggest murderer on earth, G.W. Bush? A murderous president who signed the death warrants of about 160 American criminals and send packing the lives of at least 100,000 Iraqi directly and more than one million indirectly? 

see toon at top. The pope and his intolerance need to be exorcised...


One of the world's most prestigious medical journals, the Lancet, has accused Pope Benedict XVI of distorting science in his remarks on condom use.

It said the Pope's recent comments that condoms exacerbated the problem of HIV/Aids were wildly inaccurate and could have devastating consequences.

The Pope had said the "cruel epidemic" should be tackled through abstinence and fidelity rather than condom use.

Correspondents say the attack from the Lancet was unprecedentedly virulent.

Speaking during his first visit to Africa, the Pope said HIV/Aids was "a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem". 


The pope's ignorant remarks shall be fought with vigor and virulence. 

the church has no right to excommunicate...

 Brazil rocked by abortion for 9-year-old rape victim
Church excommunicates mother and doctors – but not accused rapist Declaring that "life must always be protected", a senior Vatican cleric has defended the Catholic Church's decision to excommunicate the mother and doctors of a nine-year-old rape victim who had a life-saving abortion in Brazil.

Cardinal Giovanni Batista Re, who heads the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, told reporters that although the girl fell pregnant after apparently being abused by her stepfather, her twins had, "the right to live, and could not be eliminated".


The church is a horrible organisation... It has no right to excommunicate anyone in the name of god...

see toon at top...


all so interested in my vagina...


'I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina but no means no,' said female member of Michigan state legislature

A DEMOCRAT representative who ended a speech at a debate on abortion with a quip about her vagina has been banned from speaking on the floor of the Michigan state legislature.

Lisa Brown, said she was against an abortion bill that would have banned all terminations after 20 weeks regardless of whether a woman's life was put at risk by her pregnancy.

The mother of three said the bill would be contrary to her Jewish beliefs - which prizes a mother's health above the rights of an unborn child - and that abortion was none of the state's business.

Read more:


see toon at top...


even christ was not so full of himself at that age...

An 11-year-old boy in US has been ordained as a minister in his family's church, and also preaches at a number of local churches. He is the latest in a long history of American child preachers - so what is the appeal?

Ezekiel Stoddard's head pops up only just above the lectern as he stands to deliver his sermon.

He turns the pages of his notes with a flick of the hand and a flourish, and speaks quickly and insistently, punctuating his words with a regular "Amen" or "Hallelujah", as he hops from verse to verse.

He's 11 years old, but dressed like a gentleman.

"Are you ready?" he says a few minutes in, looking up at the crowd of eager faces. "I said 'Are you ready?'"

He repeats the question five times, before booming: "Are you ready for the resurrection of Christ?"


Obviously, this kid has only read the expunged bible for kids... He should start reading the gory stories and vengeful bits in between... and the bits that have no meaning, as well... Ahhh the youth of today...


moir cartoon 29/08/12

may the force be the "love" of this planet...


It cannot be forgotten that religious freedom is the basic right on which many other rights depend. The freedom to profess and practise one's religion without danger to life and liberty must be possible to everyone. The loss or attenuation of this freedom deprives the person of his or her sacred right to a spiritually integrated life. What nowadays passes for tolerance does not eliminate cases of discrimination, and at times it even reinforces them. Without openness to transcendence, which makes it possible to find answers to their deepest questions about the meaning of life and morally upright conduct, men and women become incapable of acting justly and working for peace.

Religious freedom has a social and political dimension which is indispensable for peace! It promotes a harmonious life for individuals and communities by a shared commitment to noble causes and by the pursuit of truth, which does not impose itself by violence but rather "by the force of its own truth" (Dignitatis Humanae): the Truth which is in God. A lived faith leads invariably to love. Authentic faith does not lead to death. The peacemaker is humble and just.

Thus believers today have an essential role, that of bearing witness to the peace which comes from God and is a gift bestowed on all of us in our personal, family, social, political and economic life (Matthew 5:9; Hebrews 12:14). The failure of upright men and women to act must not permit evil to triumph. It is worse still to do nothing.


Aaaahhh, if all was so simple which it is not... As I have mentioned here time and time again, it is not for me to stop people to believe in whatever, including Mrs Santa Claus and/or bunyips or allah... But it is my duty to stop such beliefs interfere with what should be our secular society... Who am I to disagree with the pope? The pope leads one and a half billion people, Mohammed has the same numbers of followers, and Gus Leonisky has no clues as to whom is on the same page as he is... Two, three people? Who knows... But three billion people can be wrong... Can a few hundred people relatively be right?... But, in these proportions, Gus is overpowered while being completely under-exposed...

Transcendence is a con trick. It's the acceptance of a lie in which we believe we are worth more than what we are. The idea of transcendence can be created by the modification of our consciousness — which is quite easy to do, via beliefs, transe or drugs. Take your pick...

To place the meaning  of life and morality in the same breath is another con-tick... There can be "morality" without meaning to life, though we can create our own relative meaning to it... We often call this ethic or whatever, but this extrapolation can exist without a meaning... The only purpose for me here is to maintain and provide contentment as much as possible for as many as possible, while not destroying the place... Ethical humanists, existentialists and atheists can actually act justly without the props of religion or the hoopla of a superior she-god...  

Religious freedom can foster peace, but the acceptance of others, with or without religion foster this peace at its most. Truth is only relative to our point of view thus truth is not god in this universe... Evil is not an entity but a human misunderstanding of reality in order to explain pain and our actions that inflict pain on others.

The reality is that we live on this small planet on which evolution and devolution took place until "we" became humans — homo sapiens. As simple as this. No purpose to it... "being there" is just "being there"...

Evil only exist in our erroneous interpretations of what happened in which pain was involved... As soon as we invent an omnipotent god representing good, we have to invent  evil to explain the phenomenon of pain and actions that inflict pain... And our desire to use this ability... The bible is full of desire to inflict pain (defeat) on other people, on the assumption god told us "they were up to no good " — worshipping "fake" gods... The Q'ran wants us to kill the infidels because they are so... What a lot of codswallop... Pain and contentment are part of nature... Our "transcendental" choice is to find ways to manipulate pain at levels at which we "decide are best"... Few people enjoy pain.

As a social species, we have generally decided to minimise pain and improve contentment... Here we use many artifice to do so, from religion, money, entertainment, technology, illusions and so forth... All of these artifices have historical embedding that have been used to prop up this levels of contentment, including "morality" that dictate movements in our interrelationships... And this "morality" has changed, even within the bible — and from the bible time to our present day interpretation thereof — though many people like to quote from it as if it was hundred per cent proof... It's not. It has many passages of wanton ugly aggression under the "command" of god (as an excuse for it) — contrary to peace presently preached by the pope... The racks of the inquisition were not fictional... These writings and actions may have suited those times long gone (though really other actions may have been more beneficial to humanity) but we have moved on, for better or for worse... I think for the better, but we're still dragged back by the rehashing of interpretations of these old conflicts and religious beliefs... while our new-self is still hell-bent on destroying the planet... We should love this planet... But from what I see, a "lived faith" falls quite short from doing this... To the contrary, this "lived faith" has been at the forefront of the "conquest" of the planet by homo sapiens... a conquest that has misunderstood the planet and life — and is destroying the whole lot, unkindly..

Why don't we make the most of being here... now. 

Gus Leonisky

idiotic republicans, absolutely...


Turn the "Republican Congressman Saying Ridiculous Thing About Abortion" sign back to zero! During a debate last night, incumbent Illinois congressman Joe Walsh declared that he's against abortion rights without exception, including life of the mother, a position on which elaborated later:
Asked by reporters after the debate if he was saying that it’s never medically necessary to conduct an abortion to save the life of a mother, Walsh responded, “Absolutely.”

“With modern technology and science, you can't find one instance,” he said. “... There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing.”

Needless to say, Walsh's claim is as false as a giant crate of false teeth manufactured by False Teeth Incorporated. Ectopic pregnancies are but one example of a condition that may require an abortion to save the mother's life.
See toon and story at top...


more morons in the US republican party...

Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said Tuesday that pregnancy that results from rape can be “something that God intended to happen.”

“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said at a debate. “And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

(Video of the remark has been removed from YouTube but is available here from CSPAN.)

Mourdock appeared to be choking up as he made the comments. He also noted that, while he doesn’t believe in abortion in the case of rape and incest, he does believe it should be used to save the life of the mother.

Democrats immediately pounced on the comment, suggesting that Mourdock was saying God intended for rapes to occur.

“The God I believe in and the God I know most Hoosiers believe in, does not intend for rape to happen — ever,” Mourdock’s opponent, Rep. Joe Donnelly (D), said in a statement. “What Mr. Mourdock said is shocking, and it is stunning that he would be so disrespectful to survivors of rape.”

Mourdock’s campaign clarified after the debate that Mourdock was not saying that God intends for rapes to occur.

“God creates life, and that was my point,” Mourdock said in the statement. “God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that he does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick.”

Democrats also noted that Mitt Romney cut an ad for Mourdock this week, attempting to tie the GOP presidential candidate to Mourdock’s comment. Romney’s campaign quickly distanced itself from the remark.

too real…...


Absolutely brilliant!!!!! I love the way it reminds the adults, who are familiar the Dick and Jane books, of THEIR innocence. And HOPEFULLY realize that denying abortion, in cases of rape and/or incest of a child or teenager, is just as criminal as the original crime!!!!!








moderating moderation….

Facebook’s Antiabortion Censorship Is a Reminder of the Perils of “Content Moderation”

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Facebook has started censoring posts about mailing abortion pills. It’s a reminder that even if you support the idea of tech censorship now, sooner or later your views will be targeted.


When it comes to tech censorship, Jacobina nd others have constantly stressed that while it may seem like a temptingly easy solution to a host of problems, the idea looks less appealing when you start to look at the practicalities — practicalities like: Do you trust algorithms and faceless tech bureaucrats to judge what counts as acceptable speech and what doesn’t? Or, would you still want tech companies to do this if the rules they’re following are written by people who don’t share your politics?

A recent story is a perfect example of this dilemma.

According to Vice, Facebook has been removing posts from users and even temporarily banning them from the social media platform if they mention the fact that abortion pills can be sent in the mail. Interest in abortion pills soared after the Supreme Court officially overturned Roe v. Wade last week, effectively criminalizing abortion in whole swathes of the country.

The news outlet both heard from users who had been censored for making such posts, and made similar posts themselves using a burner account, with posts getting flagged for removal instantly or within minutes. The Associated Press got the same results in its own independent investigation, in which it found that Instagram — which is owned by Facebook, or Meta, as it’s now rebranded — was also near-instantly censoring posts that talked about sending abortion pills across state lines.


The culprit seems to be Facebook’s policy barring “attempts by individuals, manufacturers and retailers to purchase, sell or trade non-medical drugs, pharmaceutical drugs and marijuana,” as well as firearms — though according to Vice, a post saying that “painkiller pills can be mailed” went up without trouble. Likewise, the AP found that posts about mailing “weed” and “a gun” were left intact. It suggests that contrary to its own policy, Facebook is specifically targeting talk about mailing abortion pills for censorship, possibly for fear of running afoul of right-wing state laws following Roe’s death that make doing so illegal.

All of this should serve as a cautionary tale about the perils of tech censorship for liberals, who have tended to be the most enthusiastic supporters of such policies, led astray by a false media narrative that online misinformation is the root cause of the past few years’ political disruption. As Jacobin and other left-wing voices have stressed, tech censorship might seem like a simple solution for misinformation, but in practice, it’s arbitrary and inconsistently enforcedgets things wrong while being immune to accountability, and has been hugely damaging to independent media, particularly the left-wing press.

And as this case should remind us, what tech companies decide to censor and what not to censor is largely shaped by the intentions of those who hold power at any given time. It doesn’t matter a whole lot that Facebook spox Andy Stone is a longtime Democratic Party apparatchik who likely holds a variety of conventional liberal views on issues like abortion. In a world where the Supreme Court is dominated by a hard-right supermajority that can simply rewrite the law to fit its political beliefs, Facebook will clearly have incentives to push its censorship policies in a more conservative direction no matter what the personal beliefs are of the people who run it.

Tech companies’ more liberal-leaning censorship efforts in recent years have largely been prompted by pressure from Democratic lawmakers. Even if you agree with those efforts, eventually power in Washington will shift to Republicans, most likely after the upcoming midterms, and very possibly in 2024.

With liberal politicians and commentators having established in the public mind that social media platforms can — in fact, that they should — regulate people’s speech, the Right can and likely will use that same tactic to force these companies to go after their particular bugbears, ones most liberals won’t be happy about: things like antifa, Black Lives Matter, criticism of Israel, or, as in this case, abortion advocacy. If you find this alarming, the best way to protect against this is to advocate for and firmly cement very strict limits on these companies’ ability to censor, or at minimum, establish some kind of democratic oversight of it, perhaps by putting such firms under public ownership or treating them as utilities.

The question is whether liberals will learn this lesson. It’s far from clear they will. Following the news of Facebook’s removal of the abortion pill posts, Kara Swisher, a prominent liberal supporter of tech censorship, tweeted sarcastically that it “turns out they can moderate content.” Of course they can — except now they’re “moderating” things that prominent liberals care about.






One day someone, possibly a member of Parliament, was annoying Gough Whitlam, then prime Minister of Australia:

"What about abortion, Gough? Tell us about abortion. Give us your policy on abortion."

Gough responded:

"In your case it ought to be retrospective..."