Friday, June 08, 2007

And Cranmer’s champagne is presented to…

…the Honourable Member for Mid Bedfordshire, Nadine Dorries MP.

Doubtless some communicants will have questions. Firstly, she was not even on the list of nominations, and secondly, she is a co-religionist of those who did Cranmer very great harm on that fateful day. So why is she deserving of the reward of which, owing to his lack of corporeal state, Cranmer is unable to make use himself?

It must be said that the ebay and charity options were considered, but these necessitated financial transactions and banking facilities unpossessed of His Grace. There were some very deserving political nominations, but Mrs Dorries has caught Cranmer’s attention with her fight to limit the time at which an abortion can take place from 24 to 20 weeks. In this quest, she is not only taking on Parliament, but daring to challenge the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church as well.

The Abortion Act of 1967 was introduced to legalise abortion in order to end the back street abortion racket. Or this was the claim. There were all manner of assurances that abortion would only be performed in extremis, but we are now in a situation in which 600 abortions are carried out in the UK every single day. We not only have one of the highest rates in Europe, but also the highest rate of teenage pregnancies.

The Act as it is presently worded permits abortion to be used as a last-resort form of contraception, and the imprecision of the wording permits termination for all manner of minor defects (like cleft palate, for example). Recent advances in medical technology not only render such abnormalities completely irrelevant, but they also permit many babies who are delivered prematurely at 24 weeks to survive. Clearly, the limit is in need of review.

Mrs Dorries is not only reflecting the shift in public opinion, but she is simultaneously confronting the absolutist, meddling, Scottish nationalist Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who insists on a total ban. Further, he has asserted that Roman Catholic MPs who do not assert the need for such a ban should be excommunicated. This hasn’t gone down to well with the Honourable Member for Mid Beds., who says: ‘I do not believe that the Holy Sacrament should be withheld from anyone for any reason. God is, above all things, loving and forgiving.’ For her, the Roman Catholic Church ‘needs to see that seismic change isn’t going to happen overnight. That the process of reducing the number of abortions which take place each day needs to be approached from a number of angles’. She continues:

We need to address the fact that the reason why so many unwanted pregnancies occur is due to the fact that so many young people are having unprotected sex. They think it is cool to have sex from a very young age, and that the majority of teenage boys think that the responsibility for the consequences of sex has nothing to do with them.

That the morning after pill costs £25 from a chemist and that is only free with an appointment from a GP, which can take up to four days rendering such a solution useless.

If you are a 16 year old in full time education or on benefits who realises that you may be pregnant and are faced with spending £25 or chancing your luck, you will probably chance your luck.

Addressing the high number of abortions which take place is not just about making statements to ban abortion.

Making dramatic statements such as withholding the holy sacrament from MPs who don’t vote to ban abortion completely will only serve to feed and galvanise the pro choice lobby. The comments made by Cardinal Keith O’Brien make the RC church look out of step with public opinion and extreme.


‘Extreme’ Catholicism raises its head again. And Mrs Dorries further accuses the Roman Catholic Church of ‘blackmailing MPs’ which is ‘almost as desperate a measure as resorting to a back street abortionist’. And she also accuses her church of ‘hypocrisy’ with regard to its views on contraception, without which, she asserts, the abortion rate would be even higher.

Cranmer happens to agree with the lady’s noble quest, and lauds her tightrope-walking religio-political confrontation. The path walked by Christians in Parliament is fraught with difficulty, and one invariably ends up satisfying neither group, and being pilloried by both. So Mrs Dorries is awarded Cranmer's champagne for her tenacity, eloquence, and for daring to challenge the arrogance of Cardinal O'Brien. But, of course, only a co-religionists is able to voice such concerns so forcefully. Were Cranmer to do so, doubtless he would be a ‘bigot’…


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Female contraception is available free on prescription - male contraception is not and carries VAT at 17.5%.

8 June 2007 at 10:26  
Anonymous bob said...

The comments made by Cardinal Keith O’Brien make the RC church look out of step with public opinion and extreme.

Unlike political opinion the convictions of faith aren't formed by public opinion.

It also seems that Ms Dorries combines Cranmer's two favourite traits - a Conservative who's not pro-Catholic.

8 June 2007 at 10:29  
Blogger Thomas B said...

Bob, I thought the point was that Ms Dorries is in fact a fellow papist, so how she can fail to be "pro Catholic" is beyond me.

I suspect, if you dig into Ms Dorries own views, she agrees with Cardinal O'Brien on the fundamental moral point being debated. This dispute seems to me to be about the steps required to achieve the fundamental goal - to reduce abortion in our society.

It is worth noting for instance that David Alton's bill to reduce the time frame in which abortions can be carried out came with the full backing of the Catholic press and the Bishops. This was hardly a vote for a complete ban, but it was seen by most pro life activists as being a step in the right direction.

8 June 2007 at 10:39  
Anonymous Bob said...

Firstly, there's no such thing as a papist, so she can hardly be that.

The fact is that if she is a Catholic then she is being a hypocrite if she proclaims one thing in Church and another in Parliament. If she does not believe that the termination of life during pregnancy is wrong in all circumstances then she can't claim to be a Catholic.

In short, she's one or the other - she can't have it both ways, which is the point Cardinal O'Brien is making.

8 June 2007 at 10:46  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

"There's no such thing as a papist." Thomas b's meaning was perfectly clear. Pedant.

8 June 2007 at 12:07  
Anonymous oiznop said...

Interesting choice, Cranmer, and probably a political decision to placate some of your own Catholic communicants. they like to see their own being elevated.

Either that, or they can criticse her for not being a 'proper' Catholic.

8 June 2007 at 12:11  
Blogger Thomas B said...

Bob, I'm a papist.

The issue is not whether or not Ms Dorries believes "that the termination of life during pregnancy is wrong in all circumstances". I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt here.

The issue, at a purely political level, is to what extent Parliament can be persuaded to pass laws. I notice you completely ignored the point about David Alton's bill, which by no means proposed to "ban abortion completely".

8 June 2007 at 12:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In order to remove any further confusion from this thread, Nadine is not a Roman Catholic but is a believer and practicing Christian.

The Office of Nadine Dorries MP.

8 June 2007 at 12:28  
Anonymous bob said...

I ignored the point as it didn't really have anything to do with what I was talking about.

However, I think the fundamental difference between the two is that David Alton's bill is the first step in a campaign to eradicate abortion from the statute books. There's nothing to say that Nadine Dorries' campaign hasn't begun and ended.

I freely admit to being a pedant. In fact I'm am quite a happy pedant. I simply see no reason why the term Catholic, which is not derogatory, can't be used instead of the word papist, which, according to the Oxford English dictionary, is derogatory.

But obviously I'm in a minority of one here so I do hope she enjoys her champagne.

8 June 2007 at 12:39  
Anonymous Alexandrian said...

According to Wikipedia, "Nadine Dorries is a Christian and a regular church goer (Church of England)."

Is this incorrect?

8 June 2007 at 13:40  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Anti-Catholic Catholics are quite common; some of them write for the Tablet.

8 June 2007 at 13:47  
Blogger The Hitch said...

Just how does his grace propose to get the champagne to the fragrant Mrs Dorries ?
I can only assume that the government hasn't dared to include heavens sub post office in its planned cull.

8 June 2007 at 14:23  
Anonymous The recusant said...

Mr Bob,

'in a minority of one here '

Not so, there are over a billion of us and growing every day and there are at least two of us on Hi Graces Blog (so we’ve already got them outnumbered already).

8 June 2007 at 15:50  
Anonymous The recusant said...

Your Grace,

Mrs Nadine Dorries is that prime example of Tory Party at Prayer and Anglican, so have no fear about being considered a closet RC. But to get back to the lady in question and remind ourselves of a few of her recent quotes

“So, the Roman Catholic church has gone nuclear on abortion.”
“Which, whatever way you look at it, boils down to the Roman Catholic Church blackmailing MPs.”

On the face of it I see very little that is remarkable or outstanding about her, rather a simplistic analysis of Church teaching on abortion even by modern standards or from what we have come to expect of this current crop of battery fed MPs.

Your own analysis of Cardinal O’Brien however needs to be challenged, as to him being absolutist, is it absolute to know your faith and preach it? Is this not what you yourself have lamented from time to time in the present Anglican Communion, do you not admire the excellent Rt. Rev’d. Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali, for just this trait. As to his meddling, if his recent performance is typical then I say meddle on, did not the old testament prophets do likewise for Israel, not that he is a prophet but an occasional dose of Gideon would not go amiss. As for being a Scottish nationalist, well it’s not a burning offence is it?

But to your main charge, you claim he said:

“Roman Catholic MPs who do not assert the need for such a ban should be excommunicated.”

Here is a link to the full text of his speech Linked Here, I have explained excommunication in one of my previous posts so I’ll not repeat that here, suffice to say any Catholic advancing the cause of abortion insures excommunication 'latae sententiae' automatically, under the terms of the Code of Canon Law. Its not blackmail as the Member for Mid Beds mistakenly asserts, its Church teaching. This is the quote from the Cardinal that is upsetting yourself and all the MPs from the link above

“In making this call, I speak most especially to those who claim to be Catholic. I ask them to examine their consciences and discern if they are playing any part in sustaining this social evil. I remind them to avoid cooperating in the unspeakable crime of abortion and the barrier such cooperation erects to receiving Holy Communion. As St. Paul warns us “whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.”

As you can see the Cardinal was placing the "moral" decision on whether to take communion on the individual Catholic and not threatening the formal excommunication of ferendae sententiae which I think your choice of words alludes to. Nowhere does the Cardinal say what you claim and so I ask you to retract that particular charge. The Cardinal did say however:

"I can't change the teachings of Jesus Christ. I can't change the 10 Commandments. That's what I'm ordained to teach and to preach: 'Thou shalt not kill."'

That Mrs Dorries objects to this says more about her that it does about the RCC. However lest she should think this is one out of control rogue Cardinal, Archbishop Peter Smith said this week Politicians who vote in favour of abortion should not take Communion, he would not bar them from taking Communion, but he would expect the politician involved not to seek it. The Pope also said recently in Mexico,'The pastoral reality is, as the that if a Catholic politician manifestly, clearly goes against the Church's teaching, then they ought to remove themselves from receiving Communion, because it would be a cause of great scandal.'

I recall a statement by Malcolm Muggeridge, where he goes right to the heart of the matter: "Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other."

8 June 2007 at 16:00  
Anonymous The recusant said...

Mr Little Black Sambo

"Anti-Catholic Catholics are quite common; some of them write for the Tablet"


8 June 2007 at 16:07  
Blogger Lilith said...

How do Catholics feel about Viagra?

8 June 2007 at 16:50  
Anonymous Voyager said...

How do Catholics feel about Viagra?

Well Lilith

If it helps you have a hundred babies a day I am sure it will be a necessity

8 June 2007 at 17:52  
Anonymous bob said...

The morality of using Viagra would depend upon the context. If used to overcome impotence within the context of a marriage then it is, I would think, morally permissible under Catholic doctrine. Using it outside of marriage as an aid to recreational sex would be morraly unacceptable under Catholic doctrine.

8 June 2007 at 18:00  
Blogger The Hitch said...

lilith I believe that they take a hard line on it.

It is an interesting question.
No doubt if a person were to take the stuff for the purpose of recreational sex then that would be a sin , but what if somebody were to take it for the sole purpose of procreation , thereby going against the will of God, if God had meant a chap to to have children then surely he wouldnt have cursed him with impotence, a condition rather like playing snooker with a length of limp rope instead of a cue.

8 June 2007 at 18:05  
Anonymous bob said...

The Catholic Church isn't anti-medicine or anti-science.

To stretch The Hitch's argument a little, if the Catholic Church were against Viagra because it saw it somehow as God's will that a man would be impotent, then it must, logically, be against all medical treatments for the same reason, which it isn't.

As I said above, to the best of my knowledge, the Catholic Church has no difficulty with Viagra within the context of marriage.

8 June 2007 at 18:20  
Blogger The Hitch said...

Bob I see your point , however , using your argument the Catholic church would allow the use of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS.
They do not.

8 June 2007 at 19:13  
Anonymous bob said...

The Church teaches a much more effective method to stop the spread of AIDS - abstinence outside of marriage. Just because it's unpopular and people seem to think sex is a human right, it doesn't make it any diminish it's effectiveness as a means of curbing the spread of AIDS.

The argument was made, I think, rather effectively by a former communicant here, Tom Tyler, who wrote the following in his blog:

A common fallacy
"The Pope's / Catholic Church's stance against the use of contraception (in particular, condoms) has contributed to the spread of AIDS (in the developing world)".

I can't count how many times I have heard that argument put forward, often by people who appear to be otherwise of reasonably sound mind. And in my opinion, it's utter tosh. Here's why I think so:

One. Unless you happen to be a Catholic, you are probably not going to give a monkey's chuff about a single word the Pope says about anything whatsoever. So, we're talking about Catholics only, here.

Two. Unless you are a practising Catholic who takes the whole Catholicism thing fairly seriously (that is to say, if you are a "Catholic" in name only, eg, you were brought up as one, but you do not particularly believe in it nor follow it any more), then you are almost certainly not going to be too bothered about following Church teaching on this or any other issue. It's a free country. So, we're talking about "serious", so-called "devout" Catholics only, here.

Three. So, we are left with the conclusion that large numbers of devout, practising Catholics are apparently under the impression that the Catholic Church's teaching is: "be as sexually promiscuous as you like, that is absolutely fine, so long as you don't wear a condom, because that is prohibited". Yeah, right.

In short, the only group of people who are likely to be following the Catholic Church's teaching on condoms (and thus encouraging the spread of AIDS) because the Pope says so, are in fact the very same group of people who are least likely to be engaging in the kind of activity through which AIDS is spread in the first place, because the Pope says so.

8 June 2007 at 19:21  
Anonymous Observer said...

the Catholic church would allow the use of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS.

So all non-Catholics use condoms ? I find that a fascinating piece of research.

Is that just in Europe or the USA as well ?

In Africa I believe men do not like to use condoms, nor to use natural lubrication rendering women subject to abrasion and infections.....but your theory is that these men are actually devout Catholics following Vatican rules doggedly.


So among homosexuals we can assume barebacking is only common among Catholics whereas non-Catholics use condoms

This is one of the more amusing pieces of prejudiced "research" but no amount of bigotry could make it appear true

8 June 2007 at 20:26  
Blogger Newmania said...

I gather that abortion is a religious as well as political question. I am not clear what insight acquaintance with the history of ideas would do for you here and God himself is oddly silent to my knowledge.

I would be quite interested to know why it is exactly that the Catholic church is against contraception which on the face if it seems quite absurd and why then the point of conception is chosen arbitrarily as having great significance . I gather a detailed knowledge of the multiple and variable possibilities at this stage makes such a position even more insupportable. Then again , the argument based on the ability of the child to live unaided is weak indeed . The child as I well know would die given five minutes in which I did not ensure he ,( at two) was not eating a live plug or fairy liquid . I`d give the dear thing an hour or two unaided. Then again many teenagers I see are clearly so entirely dependant on the assistance of the social services that to pursue them along the road with a baseball bat might well be argued as a reasonable extension of the principle of self supporting.
I have thought about this a lot and come to the conclusion that logic will not avail and into this vaccuum we pour religion. Sadly religion seems to provide no satisfactory framework to me .
BTW I was present at the grand prize giving as a fawning courtier and cheered your Grace`s marvellous message . I also spoke at length to Nadine who is delightful company.

Returning to the irginal moral question i find abortion a rather unpleasant though but hardly unspeakable. On what basis might it viewed as such ?

8 June 2007 at 22:28  
Blogger Newmania said...

Bob your argument is simple enough and I am sure we have all come across it . However since the world does not consist of people who are consistent in their adherence to catholic doctrine ,as is entirely clear from the pattern of birth I Catholic countries , I do not think it will stand up. If I tell my child not to play in the road and yet he does do I stand there and advise that he must follow all my commands and in that context he would not presently be run over , or do I leap in and save him from the speeding fiend bearing down upon him. Clearly the latter .The Catholic church does great harm for this reason as it well knows . It is easy to construct moral paradigms in which doctrine will suffice , it is difficult confronted with real people . You have taken an easy way out and you are pretending there is no problem. Of course there is , your argument will have to be more subtle than that.

8 June 2007 at 22:37  
Anonymous Colin said...

His Grace ought to applauded for this impressive demonstration of logic.

Last month, he published an article claiming that the killing of animals for medical research is an animal holocaust.

In consequence, he now called the killing of thousands of unborn humans a human holocaust.

Oh sorry, I forgot that the evil Catholic Church was thinking along these lines. Hence, the killing of thousands of humans (here an ultrasound picture of a 24 weeks old baby) is a "noble quest" because "extreme’ Catholicism raises its head again".

8 June 2007 at 22:47  
Anonymous bob said...

Newmania - just because people fall short of the ideal does not mean that the ideal lacks any merit. By your logic we should do away with honesty in politics as the expectation is that all politicians are liars. People are being murdered every day so let's solve that problem and decriminalise murder. I actually think that it's a good thing to have the Church say that this is the ideal and it is possible to live up to it even though it's difficult, but I'm an optimist that way.

You also assume that the Church's position is based solely on doctrine without any philosophical foundation. You can read Humanae Vitae for yourself. It's freely available and I'm sure you'll enjoy denconstructing it, but it will provide you with a complete and well reasoned argument for the Catholic Church's position.

As an athiest you're very entitled to your world view, and more power to you. I don't agree with it and more power to me.

8 June 2007 at 22:54  
Anonymous Colin said...

BTW, Your Grace, a excellent choice. After all, she is a beautiful lady. Let's hope that she will reciprocate your favours. Hhm, I see some problems related to your lack of corporeal state. Not unsolvable though.

8 June 2007 at 23:10  
Anonymous Colin said...


"In Africa I believe men do not like to use condoms,"

That's correct as far as I know. But what is the meaning of "nor to use natural lubrication"?

Sexual stimulation or intercourse causes an involuntary natural lubrication in women. How should they be able to avoid that?

8 June 2007 at 23:16  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

As you know Your Grace, I am a teacher, and have taught in a few schools in the inner-city. Very little sex education takes place in schools and children as young as twelve, are up to all sorts without any understanding of the consequences. It is quite normal for us to have at least one pregnancy a year and that's just the girls!

I think it all starts with the children. And this topic is no different.

Colin - Your ultrasound baby picture is in poor taste. If you are Pro-Life, then use an argument to defend your position, don't tug at heart strings with silly baby photos.

8 June 2007 at 23:32  
Anonymous Colin said...


You asked "Returning to the irginal moral question i find abortion a rather unpleasant though but hardly unspeakable. On what basis might it viewed as such ?"

Because it is immoral to kill humans, especially when they are helpless!

It's ridiculous to claim that the killing of humans outside the uterus is a crime but inside it suddenly is morally acceptable. If your daughter had been killed at the sixth month of her life in utero, would that be more acceptable to you than killing her four month later ex utero?

8 June 2007 at 23:34  
Blogger Cranmer said...

It is quite normal for us to have at least one pregnancy a year and that's just the girls!

Ms Snuffleupagus,

Just the girls? What, pray, is it normal for the boys to give you?

8 June 2007 at 23:43  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Your Grace - What I mean is that the boys may get girls pregnant elsewhere, but we tend not to know about it. I worked at 3 boys schools before my current mixed comprehensive. Two of them were Church of England and one was Catholic. Because it tends to be the girl's 'problem' when she falls pregnant, pregnancies were never an issue at any of these boys schools, in spite of the fact that the boys were up to all sorts.

At least at my current school there is some sex-education, if very little. At my last 3 schools, it was considered 'ungodly' to discuss sex in any way whatsoever and the children were basically banned from having this type of education.

8 June 2007 at 23:52  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Snuffleupagus,

"Colin - Your ultrasound baby picture is in poor taste."

You seem to imply that the killing of humans is better taste than showing the picture of the victim. His Grace showed pictures of cute animals and called their killing an animal holocaust. The babies being killed are just as cute but showing this fact is poor taste, in your view.

I have written myself several medical expertises permitting abortions and I probably would do the same for the teenage pregnancies at your school. Hence, I am hardly a hardcore Pro-Life fanatic. (You seem to have a ready-made label for everything, Snuffy, always claiming the moral high ground for yourself, don't you.) Unfortunately, I know what fetuses look like. The majority of the people who talk about the issue of abortion have never seen a picture of the victims of their alleged progressivism. I also know many patients who wouldn't destroy their life by having a baby but consider it inconvenient. Not long ago, I had a controversy with a colleague. A mother with a pregnancy in the seventh month wanted to have an abortion fearing to give birth to a handicapped child because of Rhesus incompatibility. I was supportive of the parents' wish because I feared that a mentally handicapped child would be an unacceptable burden for the child and the parents. The gynecologists objected and said they would have to kill the child on purpose and that they would refuse do that. Instead they proposed to use the latest technology of intrauterine blood transfers. I told them that I objected because the method had only been tested in a few cases. But they were able to convince the mother to have the baby. The end of the story was that two months later the mother gave birth to a healthy child. You should have seen how happy she was. And I felt stupid.

Since you like to talk about humanity and selflessness. I am wondering what kind of humanity this is which permits the killing of helpless humans instead of being at least so unselfish to carry the baby for nine month and then give them away for adoption?

"At my last 3 schools, it was considered 'ungodly' to discuss sex in any way"

Why should sex education be ungodly?

9 June 2007 at 00:26  
Blogger The Hitch said...

Colin, is English your first language ?

9 June 2007 at 00:44  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Sadly religion seems to provide no satisfactory framework to me . Nor it appears does the absence of religion, your post at 10.28 is incomprehensible

9 June 2007 at 05:38  
Anonymous Voyager said...

.The Catholic church does great harm for this reason as it well knows .

Interesting statement which requires you to prove two things

a) your great harm thesis

b) your claim that full knowledge of this great harm is integral to the Church position

I shall be interested to read your structured exposition - skeleton arguments ?

9 June 2007 at 05:40  
Anonymous Voyager said...

As an athiest you're very entitled to your world view

I am afraid he is not, not even in Islington. Proof is required Newmania, that proof which underlies your claim to be an atheist. I simply don't believe you.

9 June 2007 at 05:42  
Anonymous Observer said...

"nor to use natural lubrication"?

Sexual stimulation or intercourse causes an involuntary natural lubrication in women. How should they be able to avoid that?

That is your experience Colin, but it requires certain activity prior to that even to elicit that response.

Were you to simply engage in an act of coitus without any further ado, you would not have lubrication but sheer abrasion....that is of course to rely upon your premise that natural lubrication is commonplace in all females.

9 June 2007 at 05:47  
Anonymous Observer said...

Two of them were Church of England

There is no such thing as a Church of England School especially at Secondary level. It is a misnomer and a fraud.

It is a normal LEA School with a Church of England wrapper to placate the middle class, but it is simply a normal comprehensive and the Church has no control over admissions and gets soft loans from the Treasury just to put its name above the door.

Being an Erastian Church the C of E is good for franchising

9 June 2007 at 05:51  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Yes true Observer, but it being a Church of England school does have more impact than you suggest. The ethos of the school changes, the rules can be different and the intake different.

My own experience is that it meant that the middle class you mention did NOT send their children there. But then that is because I am speaking from an inner-city point of view and the middle class people around here tend to read the Guardian, are agnostic/atheist and would never send their children to a Church school.

Colin - I did not claim the moral high ground! I take your point about Cranmer's animal photos and yours. I also agree with a lot of what you say. And it would seem that you are not anti-abortion at all times, (which I thought you were) and therefore there is no label to fit you.

However, I do not think it a straightforward matter to refer to adoption as an option. You are well aware that adoption is hugely problematic and complicated. Also, I am concerned by the way you dismiss the mother's involvement as if it should not be considered.

I have always been a fan of Judith Jarvis Thompson's essay: A defence of abortion, where she writes about a violinist having to use one's kidneys for 9 months to survive and discusses whether one would be morally obliged to let the violinist use one's kidneys for 9 months in order for him to survive.

There are some very good refutations of her argument of course but the point is that the subject is a complicated one and cannot be summed up as easily as you seem to suggest Colin.

I have no idea why sex education should be ungodly, but that was the understanding at all 3 schools.

The Hitch - I believe Colin to be German. Is that right Colin?

9 June 2007 at 10:22  
Anonymous The recusant said...

I would contend that oddly enough, the success of HIV medications seems to be contributing to the African epidemic not the RCC position on contraception, mainly because complacency has led to increased unprotected sex. The people most at risk are young girls, men who have sex with men, prostitutes, and injecting drug users.

If we are honest the term “unprotected sex” refers directly to lack of condom use. “Injecting drug users” are sharing needles used for illicit drug consumption. “Man-to-man” sex is sex between unmarried male partners. Hemophiliacs stopped getting infected with HIV when their transfusion blood was checked starting in 1985. Women and girls get HIV from infected male partners who are unmarried, or infected partners lacking fidelity in their existing marriage. HIV/AIDS is a plague that seems to be acquired from poor behaviour. If Jesus cured someone of HIV/AIDS today, He would say, “Go, and sin no more.” But how many would listen to that advice? The answers are very obvious, but most are willing to chance getting the disease because they will not be separated from perceived pleasure.

The words, abstinence and fidelity, are missing from the vocabulary of the sexual hedonist. Without a doubt abstaining from sex until marriage and then faithfulness to your spouse after, seems to completely curtail the killer disease and works every time. The ironic part is that commentators have pronounced that the Catholic Church is killing ‘millions’ because of its teaching on chastity and fidelity in marriage, and needs to change its policy on banning condoms in the fight against HIV/Aids.

But it seems a brief examination of the HIV/AIDS rates of those African countries with a large Catholic population shows that the Church’s accusers have not done their homework, or are deliberately misreporting the facts. Available statistics show that countries with large Catholic populations have significantly lower rates of HIV/AIDS infections than countries with mostly non-Catholic populations.

World AIDS/HIV figures from 2003 show Burundi (62% Catholic) had a 6% AIDS infection rate, Angola (38% Catholic) had a 3.9% rate, Ghana (some regions 33% Catholic) had a 3.1% rate, Nigeria (Muslim and Christian) had a 5.4% rate, and Uganda (33% Catholic) had a rate of 4.1%. Countries with low Catholic populations, such as Botswana (5% Catholic), had a 37.3% AIDS rate, and Swaziland (20% Catholic) had a 38.8% rate. Faced with these facts will those who readily trot out the same old canards change their opinion, I doubt it, to do so would mean admitting the RCC might just be right, and if on this then on what else?

An obvious answer seems to be abstinence and fidelity. It’s known they always work when they’re tried. But amazingly, many will say that’s not realistic, and you can’t stop kids from having sex when they want. But that doesn’t seem true of everybody, because some kids are waiting until marriage. And they’re staying faithful after marriage. The really weird thing is that these people that practice abstinence and then fidelity are not getting HIV/AIDS, but they’re getting sex!

It’s funny that parents consider themselves powerful enough to stop their kids from drinking poison, but they claim they are not powerful enough to stop kids from having casual sex, even though HIV/AIDS will kill their kids the same as poison would.

9 June 2007 at 12:39  
Blogger Lilith said...

In Africa many women have their love tunnels sewn up, or rather, their labia sewn up over the entrance. Expecting the men to wear condoms in addition to this major obstruction seems a bit much.

How do Catholics feel about stitched-over love tunnels?

9 June 2007 at 12:48  
Anonymous The recusant said...

Doctors in England testifying before the British House of Commons said abortion is a serious risk to a woman's mental health and can make her six times more likely to consider committing suicide. The doctors cited medical studies backing up their assertions as they commented on a bill to make the information available to women. Dr. Trevor Stammers, who practices at St. George's University of London and teaches medicine there, said he supported the measure to make women aware of the risks and dangers associated with abortion. He said that in 26 years of medical practice, all of which come after Britain legalized abortion in 1967, he has seen numerous women come to him with physical or mental health problems resulting from their abortion. 'The most recent research has shown very clearly that abortion presents a serious risk to the long-term mental health of women and why it is therefore important to know which women are being offered abortion on mental health grounds,' he told lawmakers, according to a report in the Evening Standard newspaper. Dr. Robert Balfour, a consultant gynaecologist, agreed with the analysis and pointed to a study of 5,000 women in Finland conducted between 1987 and 2000 showing that those who had an abortion after an unplanned pregnancy were six times more likely to commit suicide than women who carried their baby to term. The newspaper reported him saying that evidence for mental health problems following an abortion is apparent in his hometown in South Wales. Balfour indicated that there were more psychiatric admissions and suicides among women who had abortions than those who gave birth.

9 June 2007 at 13:30  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Recusant - With regard to your stats above, you are not taking into account the influence society has on the thinking of such women. Maybe women's mental health is at risk as a direct result of the abortion, or maybe it is more complicated than that, and includes the guilt they feel because of society's current position on, and view of abortion.

9 June 2007 at 13:46  
Anonymous Observer said...

In Africa many women have their love tunnels sewn up,

From memory Africa is a Continent and has 900 million inhabitants....what exactly does many mean in your mindset ? Could you perhaps be more specific as to numbers and tribal affiliations ?

9 June 2007 at 14:31  
Blogger Lilith said...


According to the United Nations children's agency UNICEF, around 130 million of the world's girls and women have been circumcised and 3 million face the risk of circumcision.

It's outlawed. But still happening.

9 June 2007 at 14:44  
Blogger Lilith said...

In fact, quite rightly, it is grounds for seeking asylum in the UK...

9 June 2007 at 14:45  
Anonymous bob said...

Female circumcision and what you colourfully describe as having the love tunnel sewn up are two different things, are they not? So the figures for one tell us nothing about the other.

9 June 2007 at 14:57  
Blogger Lilith said...

Ha ha your funny Bob. Would the details of the procedure help you decide where abouts this issue comes in the great moral debate over women's bodies and what they should and should not be allowed to do with them?

9 June 2007 at 15:48  
Anonymous bob said...

I wasn't making any statement about the morality of the act (which is immoral, as if that needed to be said) but merely that you started talking about one thing, and when you were asked for figures, produced statistics for another. Both are forms of genital mutilation, both are wrong. But Observer asked you about what you called love tunnel sewing, not female circumcision. That was my point. I was being pedantic again, I suppose.

9 June 2007 at 16:01  
Blogger Lilith said...

I am afraid that the two proceedures go together Bob. And statistics have always been my soft underbelly.

9 June 2007 at 16:03  
Anonymous bob said...

Then I stand corrected.

9 June 2007 at 16:06  
Anonymous Observer said...

lilith it seems your mind drifts....around 130 million of the world's girls and women

They all I take it live in Africa or do you have a reason for adding yet more extraneous detail ?

9 June 2007 at 16:27  
Blogger Lilith said...

My mind is most labile thank you Observer....does the precise location of these women affect the morality of this question? Because I am unable to tell you the exact locations of the women behind the UNICEF figures I guess I should leave all you boys to pontificate..(BOOM BOOM) You get back to discussing abortions. I am sorry I interrupted. Abortion plays into the deepest fear of men whereas genital mutilation is just a bit kinky.

9 June 2007 at 17:09  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Lilith - What do you mean by 'Abortion plays into the deepest fear of men'?

I am so grateful to have you here by the way - I was the only female in this argument which seemed wrong, given what we are talking about!

9 June 2007 at 17:51  
Anonymous The recusant said...

Miss Lilith,

In answer to your question

Catechism of the Catholic Church at paragraph 2297 states in part:

"Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law."

9 June 2007 at 18:35  
Blogger Lilith said...

Ms Snuffleupagus, the "deepest fear of men" is that their own mother would have aborted them, given half a chance.

When so many crimes are committed against the bodies and spirits of so many women and girls it has always incensed me that the "murder" of a foetus arouses so much MORE ire, particularly in men.

It would be nice if there were no need for abortions.

The "innocent persons" is an interesting qualifier, Recusant. Surely these filthy sluts getting themselves knocked up are not INNOCENT???? Surely, they are inherently lascivious and sinful?

9 June 2007 at 19:04  
Anonymous Observer said...

Lilith if you could structure a logical position we would all be the wiser, as it is we have moved from HIV infections as such resulting to a large degree from sex without foreplay, to your personal agenda of risible statements on abortion.

Do you have facts to support your contentions or are these simply the ramblings of an incoherent mind ?

9 June 2007 at 22:19  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Observer - Clearly the issue lies with whether or not a foetus constitutes a person (innocent or not). But even then, if this can be shown to indeed be the case, an argument needs to be built to show why this person should rightfully make use of another person's organs for 9 months in order to survive. The onus is on you in both instances to build these arguments.

Lilith makes a good point about crimes against women that perhaps go unnoticed by men who fight for the rights of foetuses. Though I'm not sure about the validity of the psychological reasons she suggests as an explanation for this behaviour. It is of course impossible to provide proof of any of this. But she has given me pause for thought.

10 June 2007 at 00:27  
Anonymous The recusant said...

Lilith I tried to answer your question is a serious manner even though your use of colourful language is somewhat out of place on His Graces blog and the points you make are banal. Are you wedded to the idea that all men are all misogynous women beaters; if this is your experience I suggest you change your current crop of friends.
Your silly goading does not deserve further response.

10 June 2007 at 07:11  
Anonymous Observer said...

Snuffleupagus is another who is off on some errant track. We started off discussing HIV in Africa but you soon lost interest in that to focus on abortion. Sorry if the issue of HIV in Africa bored you I shall not discuss it any further

10 June 2007 at 08:19  
Anonymous bob said...

an argument needs to be built to show why this person should rightfully make use of another person's organs for 9 months in order to survive

It always seemed strange to me that when a child is born it is absolutely dependent on others for it's survival, and neglect to do this would constitute murder. However, when inside the womb, and equally dependent upon another for its survival the same rules don't apply.

10 June 2007 at 09:58  
Blogger Lilith said...

I adore men Mr recusant. And they get so cross... I thought this thread was about giving away champagne! My mistake...its that banal, incoherant mind of mine playing up again... I really should just stay on the Entertainment Pages....I am just not rational enough to discuss matters religious and moral.

PS....God is a Woman..I have lots of evidence....

10 June 2007 at 10:00  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Observer - I'm not sure what you mean about being on an errant track. I entered this blog post talking about abortion with Colin. I then picked up the thread later with yourselves. I never wrote about HIV in Africa but am happy to do so if this is the preferred subject for discussion. What does it matter anyway if the subject for discussion moves around a bit?

Bob - Good point. I am struggling to come up with an argument to counter it.

10 June 2007 at 11:15  
Anonymous Spellchecker said...


Case Proven...."incoherent"

10 June 2007 at 12:50  
Blogger Newmania said...

that proof which underlies your claim to be an atheist. I simply don't believe you

I am not an atheist , I did not claim to be an atheist. I find atheism most unsatisfactory. I don1`t know what I am actually

12 June 2007 at 13:46  
Anonymous Bloggers for the freedom to criticise religious cults (such as Christianity) said...

This blog is censored

14 June 2007 at 08:01  
Blogger Cranmer said...

It most certainly is not,Mr bloggers-for-the etc., etc.

His Grace has policies on his own blog, and you ought to acquaint yourself with them before you presume to censor.

14 June 2007 at 13:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is nothing like extreeme catholicism on this subject

if the baby is not a baby, than what it is?if the conception is not when humane life begins, than when it is?24weeks later?when women wishes to began?

from that point, the "morning after pills" argument that Mrs Dorries is giving shoes just how uninformed she is---abortion made by a pill or in the hospital is still an abortion, so "map" is not lowering the numbers of abortions

there was amazing question about the "right" of baby to "use" mothers organs for 9 mths!?!
the simular question can be asked about the rights of born baby using time, money, milk, work, care, slipless nights of a mother (without which would be dead in few hours)
if the baby has no rights to "use" mothers organs before the birth, why woud (the same baby) have rights of using them arter?

28 June 2007 at 22:32  

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