What he said:

Earlier this week in the Star Phoenix there was a letter to the Editor where the author attempted to condone (or at least badly explain) the pedophilic priest epidemic by blaming the “sexual pollution” of our day and age.

Today, the paper published this letter of response, which I just love.  Here’s the letter’s forceful conclusion:

The only sexual pollution society needs to be rid of are the pedophiles who use the confessional as a torture chamber and those who support them, financially and otherwise.

Both letters are worth the read!  Here’s hoping the author of the latter will join ranks with us Freethinkers in town.

What she said:

The ostensibly principled position these folks are taking is that they want smaller government.  They want government to do less.  And just because so many of them are retired Medicare and Social Security recipients who get to their protests in national parks via public mass transit, don‘t let that get in the way of their anti-government message.

When you are shown to demonstrably not believe something you say you believe, that‘s hypocrisy.  And reasonably speaking, it should undermine your claim that you‘re acting on principle.  You can‘t say you hate government-run health care, for example, and then profess your love for Medicare.  It is one or the other.  Or you don‘t make any sense.

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Misogyny and the Anti-Choice movement

The anti-choice approach on late abortions is consistent with one viewpoint: the misogynist one. Let’s assume for a moment that the motivation behind anti-choice activism is not a love of life or a belief that a fertilized egg is the same thing as a baby. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, they’re motivated by a belief that the main role of women in this world is to be baby machines, and that women should mindlessly reproduce even if it kills them. Is this viewpoint consistent with the focus on late abortion?

Absolutely! If this is how you feel, you’d be extremely interested in portraying women as callous, stupid, and mercurial, then you’d be all about portraying late abortion as something that happens because stupid, heartless, fickle women change their minds 6 months into a pregnancy. You wouldn’t be interested in the truth about the medical indications that lead to late abortions, because in your mind, if they can’t have babies, they should die trying. You’d relish the opportunity to use graphic imagery and language to shut down people’s rational thinking, and get them to react to an “ick factor.” And you’d be indifferent to the suffering you caused real women, like Tiffany Campbell, who had to abort much-wanted pregnancies because of fetal abnormalities—their feelings don’t matter to you as much as the production model of their uteruses.

Misogyny: The Real Root of Opposition to Late Abortion
Amanda Marcotte

Read the whole article, it’s worth it.

What he said, part 2:

re: Catholic child-abuse sex scandal — PZ Myers, on why we should (always!) “tell on the church”:

So this is our sacrilege for the day: speak the truth, decry the crimes of those in authority, challenge the dogma that says we are sinful beings redeemed by the suffering of another.

Sunday Sacrilege: The greatest blasphemy of them all

What he said:

Richard Dawkins, on whether the Pope should resign:

No, Pope Ratzinger should not resign. He should remain in charge of the whole rotten edifice – the whole profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gorging, truth-hating, child-raping institution – while it tumbles, amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and preposterously crowned virgins, about his ears.

from Ratzinger is the Perfect Pope

What he said:

David Frum, a Republican (!!):

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.

Waterloo
by David Frum