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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sharon Owens is a Bloody Twit‏

I have no idea who Sharon Owens is and neither do I really care. She's probably not a truly bad person, however, this mindset in which "I have it all figured out" and then going on to cite poorly thought out, highly specious examples of what passes for your reasoning is all too prevelant these days amongst the phony smart and the intellectual wannabe's.

Ms. Owens writes that she has made her choice and that she is "leaving the Catholic faith". Fine, whatever. Best of luck to you. I was raised in a mixed faith household myself (Catholic-Baptist) in which I attended both services as a youth and I eventually settled on Presbyterianism in my adult life. How I came to that conclusion is a topic for another day and I guess, in a manner of speaking, that I sort of "left" the Catholic church as well. That being said, I still have a great deal of respect for an institution which produced such great thinkers the likes of Sir Thomas More, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas among many others.

I guess it's the reasons that Ms. Owens provides that causes me to take issue with her decision so let us examine some of them, shall we?

On the one hand, they (Catholics) know of child clerical abuse and the long-running cover-ups, yet they continue to send their children to Catholic schools

While I can't speak to statistics on the other side of the pond, I know that Catholics in this country (US) have examined the issue quite thoroughly and concluded that celibate, Catholic priests commit fewer abuses than Protestant ministers. While not one single instance of abuse is acceptable, a child is 100 times more likely to be abused by a school teacher than a priest and I don't hear Ms. Owens advocating homeschooling as a result of this US Depatment of Education statistic. Link.

They (Catholics) know about the women in Africa dying of Aids, yet they continue to drop loose change into charity tins, as if that’s going to feed all HIV orphans

I find it hard to believe that she is advocating that charitable giving to help these kids should be halted or is somehow misguided. Perhaps she is frustrated with the overall level of giving. If donations are meager, then start by contributing more yourself Ms. Owens. Who knows? Maybe you will start a trend.

I do not expect them (priests/Pope) to understand the complexities of a life lived at a more human level

Puh-leez! This is getting outright silly. They are every bit as human as any of us.

I don’t expect them (priests/Pope)) to understand how it feels to abort a pregnancy started by rape

Getting an abortion does not "unrape" the victim in this case and opting for the violent option destroys the one, truly innocent party in this tragedy. I am aware of only one study in which rape victims were interviewed after having an abortion and the respondents indicated, overwhelmingly, that the abortion procedure only made memories the sexual assault worse. Link

I don’t expect them (priests/Pope) to understand how it feels for a man or woman to come out of the closet after years of pretending to be happily single, or even happily married.

And just maybe there are priests that are struggling with homosexuality. Is that so much of a stretch? If they are in fact wrestling with identity issues, then might they know something about what it's like for someone else that is going through a similar situation?

All of this adds up to a lot of nonsense masquerading as an editorial. I wish her luck in finding some like-minded, ill-informed "moderate branch of Protestantism" congruent to her own way of thinking. Heaven knows there are plenty out there on this side of the Atlantic that have sold out and spout off the same left-wing talking points that she does.

P.S. Some of the more erudite readers of this blog might have noticed the old "Red Hand" (Unionist) flag of Northern Ireland on display up above. I regularly peruse the Irish newspaper The Independent for the Irish point of view. However if anyone is aware of another outlet that has decent editorials in Northern Ireland apart from The Belfast Telegraph (UK) then please feel free to post a link to it here.


Whateverman said...

a) whether priests/ministers of one sect are more likely to abuse than another sect is moot. The Catholic Church sets itself up as The Arbiter of Morality (re. they're supposedly a proxy for God). For such an institution to maintain this stance while shielding pedophiles, not to mention propagating an environment in which such abuse is conducted - is beneath contempt.

No one, not even critics of religion, claims that human beings are perfect. I would be curious to see statistics which show your claims IRT the likelihood of various groups abusing children (Catholic vs protestant vs secular teachers). However, even if I concede that godless school teachers commit the most crimes, this point would be moot IRT contempt for the Catholic Church. It's a fact that teachers don't set themselves up a 'God On Earth' when it comes to matters of morality. The hypocrisy of the Church is what justifies questioning it's authority.

b) I guess I agree with you about her justification IRT charitable donations.

I'm gonna stop trying to respond to each of your points, because it's getting cumbersome. Some of her rationalization makes sense to me, and some of it doesn't. I don't think you've demonstrated that "All of this adds up to a lot of nonsense masquerading as an editorial". Certainly, priests are allowed to struggle with homosexuality; I think they should be allowed to fight to change their lives just as the rest of us average folks do. However, the Catholic stance on abortion and birth control might work for more developed countries, but it's unwieldy (and that's being charitable) in third world countries.

Overall, I can't criticize Ms. Owens rationale. Some of her reasoning I disagree with (or find uncompelling), while some of it I agree with most heartily.

Froggie said...

I do agree with Owens that any sane person should run from organized religion as fast as they can. Organized relgion is clearly the only threat of fscism apparent in the USA.
They would throw out the constitution and institute biblicl law; throw out science and rely ob biblical myths as history.
When facsism comes to America it will be carrying a cross and be draped in a flag.

Every religion in the USA is guaranteed the absolute right to worship as they please- tax exempt. There has never been an impingement on those rights, yet to hear them write and talk, they claim to be constantly discriminated against.
It is idiotic and totally absurd beyond description.

Supergreensunbear said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Supergreensunbear said...

Hi JD, thanks for the comment you left on my blog. I've read a little and it seems you are very passionate about your blog's subject.

Sharon Owens is a Northern Irish Author and Columnist, she writes romantic fiction, my wife reads them and they are pretty good if you like that genre of fiction.

I'd have to first say that in my opinion she isn't a twit. The Catholic Church has many issues it ignores or fails to address in this part of the world. The independent abuse report in the Republic of Ireland spoke of several hundred testimonies and concluded that there was Endemic' rape and abuse of Irish children in Catholic care. Can you defend the Catholic Church in Ireland of this - it was condemned by the church itself incidentally but yet nothing was done and at the time it was covered up.

If you'd like to read my view on the Pope's recent visit to the UK: http://life-in-ni.blogspot.com/2010/09/popes-and-fears.html

Katie said...

I've just stumbled across your blog...and though I've not read much, I think I can safely say 'Hooray'!
I'm not catholic...but so far, the brief snippets I have seen, I'm impressed.

I'm following.

The Maryland Crustacean said...

Kudos from a fellow traveler who no longer practices the Catholic faith in which he was raised, but who still deeply respects its history, traditions, and overall positive impact, even with all its well publicized shortcomings.

The Catholic Apologist said...

Hey JC, great post.

As for "dropping loose change in the collection for women in Africa" she should understand Catholics have never been heafty givers in the offering to ANYTHING. In addition to a book written on "Why Catholics can't sing" there is a book written called "Why Catholics don't give."

For many reasons the concepts of financial giving were never concepts that were pushed in Catholocism. (And yet how many times have you heard the old worn out addage "I don't go to Church becasue all the priest does is talk about money." (What Church is that? I have been to many and have only seen priests avoid the topic like a plague.) JC, I go to Church as you know all the time- and I have yet to hear a talk on money. Most priests would rather simply ignore the topic of money all together and have the parish in debt, then motivate their people to give more. Priests have enabled the people's apathy towards giving by the priest themselves acting guilty when they have to talk about money "I hate this topic..." "I am really sorry I have to bring this up...." "I know you all don't want to hear this..." How about "This is what the Bible commands?" Maybe they should start there. There's a thought! You can never go wrong when the Bible is the starting point!

Certainly I would agree that there needs to be meaningful and substantial reform in this area---but isn't it ironic? This person is leaving becasue money is NOT PUSHED ENOUGH in the catholic Church, and how many people have left BECASUE THEY CLAIM IT IS PUSHED TOO MUCH?

Why can't people make up their minds? Does the Church push money too much, or doesn't it push money enough? Sheesh!

What does this tell you? We can't win. Push giving, the people get mad. Don't push giving, people get mad.

The Catholic Apologist said...


The Catholic Church does not set itself up as "God on Earth" but rather the "Body of Christ." The pope is not "God on Earth" but rather the visible expression of God's invisible headship over the Church.

This is to say that the Church is the means by which Christ is present in the world, and the means by which Christ continues the work of redemption. The Catholic Church makes no secret of the fact that it is a Church is sinners. In fact- it is very public about the fact that the Church is a hospital of sinners, not a museum of saints. Sir, if there were no sinners in the Church, what need would the Church have for Christ?

As for shielding child abusers--indeed, there was and is no excuse for that. As to your comment on the "hypocrisy" I have dealt with this on my own blog "The Rockin Apologist." I invite you to stop by and read the post.

Whateverman said...

Hi 'Apologist,

I think it's a very fine line between the way you characterized it (re. "the Church is the means by which Christ is present in the world") and the way I generally did ("{the church is} a proxy for God"). The argument would be semantic hell :)

veggiedude said...

I stopped being a Catholic at age 13 because I decided I was atheist, but I still had to go to Catholic school till age 17. All religions are rubbish. Take your Qarans and Bible and stuff it.

JD Curtis said...

All religions are rubbish. Take your Qarans and Bible and stuff it

Which commits the classic atheist error of lumping all religions in together as if they were all of equal weight and value when nothing could be further from the truth.