Home > Health Care > ST. JOES: Women are baby factories

ST. JOES: Women are baby factories

Ladies, administrators at St. Joseph Hospital know what’s best for you.  Better even than you and your dumb old doctor.

It’s simple. The best thing for all you gals is the same — maintain your fertility  — regardless of the risks to you and yours.

The NCJ reports a “near-ban” on permanent birth control at the Eureka and other St. Joe’s hospitals:

Gynecologists are “incensed” by the hospital’s efforts to stop them from honoring patients’ requests to be sterilized, said Dr. Cherrie Andersen, and several doctors have spurned requests to take over as the next chief of staff for gynecology…

The new rules circulated at Thursday’s meeting said that doctors could not use a woman’s age, her psychological condition or the number of her previous pregnancies as medical grounds for sterilization. Doctors also would not be allowed to sterilize women whose future pregnancies might worsen serious heart, kidney or other conditions.

Sorry little Billy, Mommy suffered a pointless, preventable death because some superstitious geezers on Rome want it that way.

  1. What Now
    June 16, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Absolutely disgraceful.

  2. Anonymous
    June 16, 2012 at 6:15 am

    Remember, the next time you need treatment in a modern medical facility, ask yourself, “What would an iron age philosopher do?”

  3. Gil Yule
    June 16, 2012 at 7:23 am

    This is messed up.

    I hate it when the real world and its screwed up values come crashing in on my little, remote part of the world. First it was Walmart and now it’s the Catholic church. It’s been a tough week.

  4. June 16, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Go to Mad River Hospital. And be nice to the catholic hospital. Publicly shaming institutions usually does not work. They do carry the SART kit, which is a big plus.

  5. June 16, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Denying people health care is not nice. Even if the patients are women.

  6. June 16, 2012 at 8:27 am

    ‎”The new rules circulated at Thursday’s meeting said that doctors could not use a woman’s age, her psychological condition or the number of her previous pregnancies as medical grounds for sterilization. Doctors also would not be allowed to sterilize women whose future pregnancies might worsen serious heart, kidney or other conditions.”

    Now, is this a “ban” on doctors doing them without notice, or a “ban” if the procedure is requested by the patient. To me that make a world of difference.

    I would not want the doctor to be the one to decide, just the one to do the freaking surgery.

    Don’t any of you remember the forced sterilizations of the”mentally ill”, the “retarded” and native americans?

  7. Mitch
    June 16, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Mark,

    From the NCJ post linked up above [italics added]:

    Gynecologists are “incensed” by the hospital’s efforts to stop them from honoring patients’ requests to be sterilized, said Dr. Cherrie Andersen, and several doctors have spurned requests to take over as the next chief of staff for gynecology.

  8. June 16, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I missed that line.
    Just another reason I am an Atheist.

  9. Pope Benedick
    June 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

    If catholics (perpetrators) allowed sterilizations, women would stop producing little boys (victims).

  10. Giggles
    June 16, 2012 at 9:15 am

    It’s a shame that invasive elective surgeries can be performed (i.e. breast implants) without Rome going all weepy over “your body is a temple,” while they refuse to save the woman’s temple body if pregnancy creates risk while at the same time banning birth control.

    The “Hippo-crazy” of this whole thing amazes me. Good on the doctors who won’t be their titular head after this memo. Bad on the administrators of the hospital who put personalities and philosophy before their patients’ health and welfare.

    I suppose they won’t be doing anal inspections of teenage choirboys either; or perhaps that’s the next memo.

  11. Pope Benedick
    June 16, 2012 at 9:19 am

    “In 2004, the John Jay report tabulated a total of 4,392 priests and deacons in the U.S. against whom allegations of sexual abuse had been made.”

  12. Hmmm.....
    June 16, 2012 at 9:46 am

    St. Joseph’s hospital is a PRIVATE hospital. If you don’t like their religion or politics, maybe you could take your business elsewhere? Like Arcata? I think that sterilization is a voluntary procedure. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange have for generations provided charity care for this community and continue to do so. Don’t over look the good they do for us to focus on a faith-based decision that many in the community do not agree with.

  13. Me
    June 16, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I was about to comment but Hmmm beat me to it.

    It is their hospital. Don’t go if you don’t like it. Mad River is only 10 minutes away.

  14. Anonymous
    June 16, 2012 at 10:09 am

    So, H, you are a bigot. A religious bigot. Say it clear and say it loud. You don’t like the Catholic Church, its leadership, or its many non-profit
    hospitals that follow that religious directive. You see, the Catholic Church fundamentally believes its hospitals should protect life at all stages of life, including the potential for new life. You don’t agree. So, you post your bigotry and mock the Church leadership in Rome.

    What about tolerance, and encouragement of diversity? What about freedom of choice? You can choose sterilization and drive to Mad River Hospital, a private for-profit hospital, and obtain that service. But I think your post has nothing to do about that reality, you simply are a religious bigot and thought you’d out yourself.

    Good job. Message received.

  15. walt
    June 16, 2012 at 10:15 am

    . . .and when health care is TOTALLY privatized, and the private hospitals can say “No insurance? Go die on the street!”, “Lifesaving abortions? No Way!” and “Family planning? Vade retro, Satanus!” What if there IS NO ELSEWHERE?

  16. Anonymous
    June 16, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Horribilizing, walt, are we? And in Latin? Cool.

    In our free society, even if all health care is privatized, smart guys like walt will go into the Surgi-center Sterilization biz and become kazillionaires (credit for wordsmithing to NCJ).

    See, the Catholic Church only wants to protect potential new life in their own hospitals, so guys like walt can become the Nazi-doctors of the New Age. Looking at the best pro-sterilization experiment on earth, let’s see how the whole China-policy works out when some billion boys are fighting over the few million girls.

    Do not despair, walt, there will always be an “elsewhere.”

  17. Mitch
    June 16, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Well, yes, I suppose St. Joe’s, being a PRIVATE hospital, is free to decide what sort of procedures they will offer. It’s a free country.

    But the United States, being a PUBLIC government, is free to decline to pay for Medicare and Medicaid services at a hospital that refuses to treat black people.

    It should also be free to decline to pay for Medicare and Medicaid services at a hospital that refuses to provide a full range of legal and (to some) desirable medical treatments. Yes?

  18. Anonymous
    June 16, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Progressive hate fests are something to behold.

  19. Anonymous
    June 16, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Issues like this always bring out the crazies. Equating the right to elective sterilization to Nazi doctors is NUTS. Redwood Memorial is also owned by the Sisters, btw, so the only non-religiously affiliated hospital for the north county is tiny Mad River. Either they should provide a full spectrum of health care or sell the hospitals and get out of medical care. They should not be allowed to receive taxpayer monies while denying legal health care because of their own religious bigotry.

  20. High Finance
    June 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Religious bigotry raises its ugly head among the liberals here.

    St Joe is a private Catholic hospital. While we don’t agree with their decision or understand it, they have decided sterilizations goes against their fundamental religious doctrine.

    Mad River is still available.

    The threat that Mitch proposes to use is a dangerous one. Under that pretext the federal government could force almost any business to do anything. That is a dangerous path to start on. Remember Mitch, the next administration is likely to be a Republican one. Do you really want them to start dictating policies to private businesses ?

  21. Hmmm.....
    June 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Equating elective sterilization to necessary treatments is also NUTS.

  22. June 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    “That is a dangerous path to start on. Remember Mitch, the next administration is likely to be a Republican one. Do you really want them to start dictating policies to private businesses ?”

    As if the Republicants have not dictated public health policy to the detriment of societyas a whole before…(Reagan and the mental hospitals as a prime example)

    Lets try to keep religion out of public discord and out of healthcare.

    Lets start by removing the tax free status that churches have…how does that sound HiFi?

  23. High Finance
    June 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I am not anti religious Mark. Churches deserve the same tax free status that many other non profits enjoy.

    Or would you be in favor of removing the tax free status from The Sierra Club, EPIC and the Northcoast Environmental Center ?

  24. June 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    No, just for the adults with imaginary friends…

  25. 2 cents
    June 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    No Hmmmm – It’s not. If the woman needs a procedure to save her life it is not elective to her. And they ARE going to refuse procedures that might be life saving – what do you think ‘worsening a heart condition’ might mean?
    As usual, the debate rages, among males! It’s obvious, perhaps ‘Giggles’ and possibly an anonymi or maybe even two, might be female. Who the Hell are y’all to say? Screw you.
    I hope many women tire of all of this and wake up to the fact they can just sleep with women. BEST BIRTH CONTROL OF ALL!
    Those who are already attached – I hope this political takeover of health issues is not long lived.
    The forced sterilizations ‘of the past’ (do a little research) continue to this day and they give the church no worries. War is fine too! The death penalty is …..
    And yes, folks if Romney gets in who knows! So friggin’ vote! All these dopes who would deny abortion and/or sterilizations will! .

  26. 2 cents
    June 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    And it’s SUPPOSED to be ‘public dicourse’ not “public dis cord” fer chrissakes! Though as a Fruedian slip it’s sort of amusing (unfortunately apt for this blog, sorry H.).

  27. Thirdeye
    June 16, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Some nonprofits are tax-exempt and some aren’t. Churches should not be. They are, and always have been, political organizations. If they do charitable work, let that amount be deducted (with full and transparent documentation). When the Sierra Club, NEC, and EPIC engage in litigation for fun and profit, those proceeds should be taxable also.

  28. What Now
    June 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Considering the Catholic Church a “non-profit” is to strain credulity.
    The Institute For religious Works (the Vatican Bank) has been caught laundering money for arms deals and other shady operations as recenty as this year.
    The Catholic Church is one of the largest stock holders in Italian armaments manufacturers as well as joint European military research and devlopment corporations.
    The Committe In Defense of The True faith (precviously known as “The Inquisition”) is alive and well “educating” thrid world countries on the evils of contraception and community betterment.
    The Throne of St Peter is an institution of unmitigated evil.

  29. Mitch
    June 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    HiFi,

    What I mention is hardly a new threat. If you’ve been in the mainstream of American society for the past sixty years or so, it’s not even something anyone considers a “threat.”

    The federal government commonly enforces equal rights by dealing only with private businesses that commit to supporting those rights. When you do business with the federal government, you sign on to a set of terms and conditions so extensive that the task of agreeing to them is computerized — meet ORCA: https://orca.bpn.gov/

    If you want to discriminate, whether for religious reasons or others, feel free — it’s a free country. Just don’t expect to do business with the people of the United States, as represented by our government. That seems a fair trade, especially for all the Tea Partiers who are upset that the government is too involved in our lives. Why would you want to do business with the Federal government if you feel it’s a bad thing?

  30. Mitch
    June 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    The Throne of St Peter is an institution of unmitigated evil.

    Oh, please. Have you never noticed the Catholic church do anything good? I join you in wishing it would abandon some of its medieval conservatism, especially around sexuality and gender issues. But “unmitigated evil?”

    But it is this very same love that makes the Church constantly concerned for the true temporal good of mankind as well. Never ceasing to recall to her children that they have no lasting dwelling here on earth, she urges them also to con tribute, each according to his own vocation and means, to the wel fare of their earthly city, to promote justice, peace and brotherhood among men, to lavish their assistance on their brothers, especially on the poor and the most dispirited (cf. Libertatis Conscientia, Conclusion).
    (Paul VI, Profession of Faith, 443 444)

    Does the Catholic church fall short? Yes, by miles. It’s a bunch of humans.

    You might want to learn more at this web site: http://www.thesocialagenda.org/

  31. 06em
    June 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Here’s an interesting background on St. Joe History:

    http://www.northcoastjournal.com/101900/cover1019.html

    Just how many CEOs have they had in the last 20 years?

  32. What Now
    June 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    “Oh, please. Have you never noticed the Catholic church do anything good? ”
    Only when there;s aulterior motives, Mitch.
    Having travelled extensively in Latin america I’m quite aware of just what “good works” the catholic Church has done in recent times, especially in quashing liberation theologists and working with military dictatorships and foreign government intelligence agencies.
    traveling Europe, I’ve visited tyhe sights of many og their older atrocities.
    You can elect to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” with all the rest of “Gawd’s chilluns” in determing which version of Abraham’s hallucination you wish to patronize and kill people for but your new age woo woo crap wears thin.

  33. Anonymous
    June 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Don’t over look the good they do for us to focus on a faith-based decision that many in the community do not agree with.

    That’s a BS answer. It’s like the tired refrain of any church… “Oh, look at the good charity work missionaries do.” Uh huh, charity work prefaced by proselytizing to the native population. Look at all the charity work secular organizations do in the third world (Doctors without Borders, Amnesty International, etc.). And in our case, look at what a secular private hospital does, Mad River, a for-profit hospital no less. MRCH does charity work, and it doesn’t withhold medical services based on ancient ideas about women’s bodies.

  34. Carla Baku
    June 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    “See, the Catholic Church only wants to protect potential new life.”

    What a bizarre notion. So, they want to protect a non-existent thing, even though the woman in question is seeking to prevent that thing from coming into existence in the first place.

    When my daughter was stillborn at 38 weeks, I came within a whisper of dying from massive blood loss. It was IMPERATIVE that I never attempt another pregnancy. By following the so-called logic of “potential new life,” I would be denied the choice to save my own ACTUAL, existing life.

    Yes, we can all travel up to Mad River Hospital if we want to have our health care choices be OUR CHOICE instead of the Catholic church’s choice. But I don’t see that it is bigoted to open a discussion about the contraceptive mandates coming between doctors and patients, and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to do some hard critical thinking about just what these kinds of rules mean in the lives of actual human beings. No, I don’t understand a precept that forces a woman to keep bearing children, whether or not she can afford them, let alone survive them. If the theology can’t stand up to reasonable debate, then perhaps it’s more deeply flawed than one might care to admit.

  35. Anonymous
    June 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    It’s all about power and control. All the patriarchal religions use sex, fear of eternal torture and promises of eternal bliss to control their members. No amount of charitable work could cancel out the evils they have always engaged in to amass always more wealth and power. Their perversion of the golden rule is an abomination.

  36. Mitch
    June 16, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    What Now writes:


    You can elect to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” with all the rest of “Gawd’s chilluns” in determing which version of Abraham’s hallucination you wish to patronize and kill people for but your new age woo woo crap wears thin.

    My new age woo woo crap? Maybe you’re referring to my belief that no institution or person is completely good or completely bad.

  37. High Finance
    June 16, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Like I said, the religious bigotry is rampant here.

    Shame on all of you.

  38. Mitch
    June 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I’m in shock, but HiFi and I agree.

  39. Anonymous
    June 16, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Like I said, the religious bigotry is rampant here.

    I’m in shock too. Criticism of religion is not bigotry. Pointing out the vile acts systemic in a religious structure is not bigotry. Stating facts is not bigotry. Oh, but we must put religion on a pedestal above criticism. Uh, no. Not anymore.

  40. walt
    June 16, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    There’s a difference between between bigotry (hatred of blacks, catholics or jews), and a mistrust of the hierarchy of the Catholic church or the state of Israel or even the American government. If I were a boy molested by a priest, and the Catholic church defended him and allowed him to molest others, I would have a MAJOR attitude about the Catholic church that would have NOTHING to do with bigotry.

  41. Anonymous
    June 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Shame on High Finance and Mitch.

  42. Mitch
    June 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I’m surprised that so many are ready to call the Catholic church an “unmitigated evil.” All I’ve said is I think that statement is ridiculous.

    If that is to be my shame, so be it. Bigotry is bigotry.

  43. Walking the Walk
    June 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    The Catholic church is like a lot of churches, organized to co-opt the power of God for the benefit of Man. They must claim an extraordinary exceptionalism, not unlike that of today’s US in the world. Our way or the highway. Love it or leave it. Heaven or Hell. Fair and Balanced.

    Take a close look at Humboldt’s current political scene. Think the Catholics aren’t organize politically in Humboldt County? Ask Betty Chinn. Or Frank. Or Rex or Matt or…

  44. Dr. Kervorkian
    June 16, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Getting back to St.Jo’s and all the charitable work, gosh, you need to consider how the health care system works. Non profits don’t make profit, but they sure as heck cover their costs.

    For every charitable patient who is seen, the health insurance and deductables of more affluent patients are used to average out the cost. Go ahead, ask how much a procedure is if you have insurance, then if you don’t, then if you are destitute. Charitable work sometimes comes at a cost.

    And, yes, I believe that accepting federal money thru medicare or medical makes you subject to doing what society as a whole decrees, rather than the Pope. Remember the pharmacist who won’t dispense birth control? Or the Christian Scientist who doesn’t believe in medication? Should we all succomb to their particular form of nonsense, if they happen to be the sole hospital provider in your area?

  45. Agogymous
    June 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Cut off all government funding for St. Joseph’s corporation and it’s network of Coercive Care. The doctors and nurses can work fine with Mad River. Opening hospital branches in Eureka and Fortuna should be no big problem. Real Estate is cheap enough at the moment.

  46. What Now
    June 16, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    How dare the “Kumbaya-ers” be apprised that the emperor has no goddamned clothes.
    ANOTHER of their precious fairy tale delusions shattered.
    Pitiful.

  47. High Finance
    June 16, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I despair trying to reason with the close minded, but if all of you who think the government should be able to dictate to St Joe’s what they can and cannot do because they receive government funds for other services please think this through.

    That same faulty logic would say the government can tell all retirees on Social Security what to do. They could tell all contractors who do work for the government what other services they must perform. All government employees would be at the whim of the government.

    Do you receive a government pension ? Better be ready to hop to the man’s orders. Get food stamps or welfare ? Be prepared for orders.

    Big Brother is coming.

  48. Big Brother
    June 16, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Hi Fi, the cons have been cutting and trying to cut more out of funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide a range of health care services for women. Why’s that? Oh, because they think the government should be able to dictate what these health care providers can and cannot do because they receive government funds for other services

    Please, think this through, to the best of your ability, Hi Fi. Big Brother is here and already giving orders to women about health care decisions she may make for herself, in consultation with her doctor.

    Seriously Hi Fi, think this through.

  49. firesidechet@hotmail.com
    June 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    The next thing you know underprivileged Harvard law students will be demanding that we pay for their contraception.

  50. Mitch
    June 16, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Walking,

    I’m not sure what you are saying. Is Betty Chinn an example of unmitigated evil?

    All,

    I’m not about to defend the Catholic church. I recognize many of its flaws.

    I don’t think it’s an unmitigated evil. I think it is a group of limited human beings attempting to do good in the world as best they can. Like all hierarchies, it is subject to human nature. Power corrupts.

    I believe it has done much good in the world, and has been one of the few institutions to speak up for the rights of all in a world that has become willing to put dollars ahead of people. I think what it has to say about the sacredness of each person is a message that we need to hear… unfortunately, that important message has been out-shouted by the dogmatists who insist that a soul enters the egg at conception.

    Where I think the church fails (like almost all religious groups) is when it insists it is the one true path and insists its leadership has a direct pipeline to God. Every disaster the church has presided over arises from that, while its good works generally come from trying to simply emulate Jesus. On the one side, the unspeakable arrogance of thinking you have the only pipeline to the godhead. On the other, humility and compassion. Two sides of human potential, both in evidence within the Catholic church and almost all religious institutions.

    I dearly wish more of the church’s efforts went to defending human life after birth and less to its insistence that a fertilized egg is morally identical to an innocent child or a pregnant woman.

    But when people use terms like “unmitigated evil,” it does suggest to me that they’ve lost all ability to reason about an entity. To me, that sort of hatred is bigotry, as bad as anti-gay bigotry, or anti-immigrant bigotry, or anti-color bigotry or anti-ethnicity bigotry.

  51. Bad Sisters
    June 16, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    The Vatican has appointed an American bishop to rein in the largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States, saying that an investigation found that the group had “serious doctrinal problems.”

    The Vatican’s assessment, issued on Wednesday, said that members of the group, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, had challenged church teaching on homosexuality and the male-only priesthood, and promoted “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

    The sisters were also reprimanded for making public statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/19/us/vatican-reprimands-us-nuns-group.html

    Morals. Hmmm… but….as Pope Benedick at 9:19 am said…

    “In 2004, the John Jay report tabulated a total of 4,392 priests and deacons in the U.S. against whom allegations of sexual abuse had been made.”

    Yeah, but… those evil sisters work for the poor, advocate for women’s health and for marriage equality. Well, the Catholic faith just won’t have that…

  52. Thirdeye
    June 16, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Bigotry is extreme prejudice. Making a judgment based on the track record of an organization is judicious, not pre-judicious.

    The Catholic Church is not simply “a bunch of humans.” It is a hierarchy with absolute authority vested in one person and that authority extends to the details of its constituents’ lives. That’s totalitarian. It seeks to extend that authority beyond its constituents’ lives through political influence. The saying about absolute power corrupting absolutely has seldom been more applicable.

  53. What Now
    June 16, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    I am the only person who used that phrase Mitch, and noone else need accept YOUR pinning it on them because you’re unable to deal with substantive issues that opthers raise.
    I don’t believe I’ve “lost all ability to reason” nor was my comment bigoted.
    My comment was based on careful study of the Curch’s history, it’s current political and economic policies and it’s insistence that it and it’s clerical members are not accountable to any governments even though the Vatican itself is presented to the world as a governmental body and soverign state.
    If you wish to iginore the Curch;’s history from the 4th century of the common era through to The nazi Pope one need only make a careful examination of the current fiascos involving knights of Christ, Opus Dei, The Institute for Religious Works, and the hierachy that is dominated by many that find the clerical’s inexcusable acts to be “normal” within the confines of their time; ie, castrating Dutch boys who exhibited homosexual tendancies in 50’s and 60’s, turning over Jesuit priests to Latin American dictators upon request in the 80’s, moving predator priests around as late as LAST YEAR, and a current Pope who has (and is) sheltered international fugitives within the walls of Vatican City.
    Kumbaya to your heart’s content, Mitch and continue to drink their Kool -Aid as they present it to you.

  54. Mitch
    June 16, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    What Now,

    My response has been to your phrase. I interpret silence as tacit agreement.

    I’m not sure what you mean by my being ” unable to deal with substantive issues that others raise.” Mostly, I agree with them, and recognize the seriousness of the church’s failings.

    I also recognize that the Catholic church has used its platform and power to speak up for human rights and the inherent worth of the individual, in ways not all that different from our founding fathers, who also fell far short of their ideals.

  55. What Now
    June 16, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Evidently you and drth Finance have much in common, Mitch.
    As long as an institution is only morally and ethically bankrupt they’re faults can be overlooked.

  56. Mitch
    June 16, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Good night, sleep well.

  57. Anonymous
    June 17, 2012 at 7:19 am

    I’m so very disappointed in Mitch.

  58. June 17, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Visit the good sisters at Redwoods Monastery, on a significant level (not a fly by) and then tell me there are no good works in the catholic faith. It’s like saying “MEN ARE PIGS” based on the actions of a few. Stop being scared of ‘religion’ and figure it out for yourself. If you think life stops at your definition and your senses and your education, I am truly sorry thats how you live.

  59. Mitch
    June 17, 2012 at 8:28 am

    7:19,

    I’m sorry you’re disappointed, but I’ve been hissed at in public meetings by those I usually find myself in agreement with.

    If you read my comments on the thread, you’ll see that I believe St. Joe’s should not interfere with its patient’s desire to have any medical procedures, that I recognize the Catholic church has many flaws, and that I don’t believe it is an unmitigated evil, because I do not believe any human being or institution is an unmitigated evil or an unmitigated good.

    In reply, I’ve been told of the bad things the church has been responsible for and been instructed that it has never done anything good, except when ulterior motives were involved.

    (Before someone brings up the German Nazi party of World War II fame, let me say I have no intention of defending that institution, or Hitler. I suppose I’ll also need to point out that, yes, during the crusades, lots of people were killed. I just read that a million freed slaves died of disease and starvation during and after the civil war because the Union wouldn’t help them — I don’t think that makes the United States an institution of unmitigated evil.)

    In my continuing opinion, an inability to accept that the Catholic church has done any good in the world (except for ulterior motives) can only be explained by two things, which both reduce to bigotry.

    The first is anti-Catholic bigotry, plain and simple.

    The second is a sense of “team loyalty,” which seems to insist that the “good guys” be drawn entirely with one color and the “bad guys” entirely with another color. That’s a failure of thinking that, in the end, amounts to a willingness to tolerate bigotry, as long as it’s against one’s perceived enemies.

    I try not to participate in that. It’s a mode of thinking that I’ve always found very damaging and very commonplace.

  60. Old-Timer
    June 17, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Eureka’s well-known “Catholic Mafia” has been a problem here for decades. Unfortunately, their cult controls our medical facilities.

    No more General Hospital. No more County Hospital. Only the Catholics, with their patriarchal, unconstitutional, anti-Americanism.

    Happy “Father’s” Day. If there is a God may it have mercy on you,

  61. Anonymous
    June 17, 2012 at 9:02 am

    There are undoubtedly decent Catholics (and decent Muslims and even Nazis) who do good work and truly believe in the teachings of their religions. However, organizations which gain wealth and power by terrorizing children to control the adults they will become are evil to their core, no matter how many orphans they feed. The “good fathers” in Mexico stole hungry indigenous children and fed them, but enslaved the parents when they tried to get their children back. Doing good (feeding children) to achieve evil (enslavement) may be an extreme example, but is enslaving a person’s body with chains that much worse than enslaving a person’s mind with the terror that breaking rules will result in eternal agonizing torment?

  62. Down the Road
    June 17, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Let’s study this edict of St. Joseph’s carefully. More church going
    Catholics is an investment in the future of the church. 10% tithe.
    The more tithers, the more money. Simple. It is all about control
    and money.

  63. Mitch
    June 17, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Anon 9:02,

    Within Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, is there any branch that does not threaten the believers with punishment from God? Why single out Catholicism?

    Anyone in a religious hierarchy who doesn’t believe the basic faith of the religion yet still acts without complaint according to the hierarchies’ directives is, at best, a coward. But I expect that most members of most religion’s hierarchies are believers. I think they are wrong, but I don’t think they are evil, and it’s an important distinction to me.

    One reason the distinction is so important is that someone who is mistaken but is acting in good will can be brought around, while someone who is evil cannot. Throughout history, we have seen institutions recognize their errors and attempt to correct them. The larger and more powerful the institution, the longer it takes. Same with people.

    To use one of What Now’s more awful examples, I wouldn’t call someone evil for castrating gay kids if they act out of a sincere belief they are doing the right thing. I’d call them tragically mistaken — not every outcome that is horrible is due to evil.

    On the other hand, the sociopaths who molest children deserve the label “evil,” because they know what they are doing is damaging. The bishops who allowed (and probably allow) the acts to continue also deserve the label “evil.”

    But the label “unmitigated evil,” applied to a person or institution, implies it never does anything but evil.

    Mostly, I think the church (like almost all religious institutions) is guilty of arrogance, dangerous arrogance. Our best defense against that arrogance is a political system that recognizes the autonomy of the individual to decide how to live their lives.

    The reason the abortion debate is so painful is precisely that there is disagreement about whether the fetus is an individual deserving of autonomy at the expense of a pregnant woman’s autonomy to control her own body.

    I don’t believe the fetus has the same moral rights as the pregnant woman, but I can understand how horrifying abortion must seem to those who think there’s an immortal soul trapped inside a fetus.

    In the same way, I can understand those who do not want to participate in sterilization, given that it would be “interfering with God’s will.” But in a free country, a personal belief that you know “God’s will” isn’t meant to be a winning argument.

  64. Anonymous
    June 17, 2012 at 10:04 am

    The difference in the religions is that the Catholic Church demands that children born to church sanctioned marriages be handed over to them for indoctrination, that unbaptized people (including newborn babies) are denied a place in their mythological heaven. The people who believe this evil propaganda are enslaved by it. If you believe the Bishops and Popes believe the crap they sell their flock, you haven’t done much study of the history (or current events) of this abomination that calls itself a church. All religions are about enslavement but not all are so willing to descend to the level of inhuman depravity to achieve such great success.

  65. Mitch
    June 17, 2012 at 10:37 am

    10:04,

    Isn’t genital mutilation of every male newborn required of Jews?

    Aren’t rape victims stoned under the laws of Islam? Don’t Islamic countries call for homosexuals to be crushed under walls, and isn’t departure from Islam considered grounds for the death sentence?

    If you are suggesting that Catholic bishops, in general, don’t believe the Pope is God’s representative on earth, I’d be curious to see your evidence. If it’s primarily that they do or allow awful things, I’m not sure I see the connection, but perhaps you have better evidence than that.

    It’s not news to me that religions try to impose their views on their believers, or that they indoctrinate the children born to their adherents. The relevant question, I think, is “do those who do the indoctrinating sincerely believe they are spreading God’s word?”

    If they don’t, I think they are evil. If they do, I think they are mistaken.

    In either case, I think a free society must always insist that its laws be made via democratic debate, and should not grant any special privilege to claims that some but not others know the mind of God.

  66. Anonymous
    June 17, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Maybe Mitch can provide a list of those members of the Catholic Church’s hierarchy who put their beliefs above their loyalty to the church vis-a-vis sexual abuse scandals which have been rampant throughout their sordid history.

  67. Mitch
    June 17, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Incidentally, I spent three miserable years worth of after-school Hebrew school in a feeble attempt by my religious leaders to indoctrinate me. The last day I entered a synagogue except for a family obligation was the day of my Bar Mitzvah. (You could argue that was also a family obligation, as I thought it was pure BS at the time.)

    I don’t think Catholic education would have succeeded any better than Hebrew school did. At some point, people have to take responsibility for their own beliefs. If you were raised Catholic in America and don’t believe in the dogma, you can leave the church. That’s not a luxury people have in countries under the control of mullahs.

  68. Mitch
    June 17, 2012 at 10:55 am

    10:41,

    I can’t. The church’s response has been consistently shameful, apparently valuing the institution more than the children in its care.

    As I think I’ve said, though, the crimes of individuals within the church, even the church’s criminal response to those crimes, is not evidence that the bishops and Pope do not sincerely believe they are God’s pipeline.

  69. Anonymous
    June 17, 2012 at 10:57 am

    “Isn’t genital mutilation of every male newborn required of Jews?”

    Many of the Jewish “rules” were, like many ancient beliefs, designed to force people into what was perceived to be good for them. Circumcised genitals are easier to keep clean; pork, rabbit and shellfish can be deadly. Rape in the Muslim world wouldn’t be possible if the women were obeying the “rules” about never being in the presence of unrelated men or in public without a male member of their household. Did you miss all those sections in the Old Testament about rape and the value of women? Forcing a woman to marry her rapist while her father is compensated for her violation with a few pieces of silver could be a fate worse than death. Controlling the most powerful urge in every species (sex) isn’t easy so they’ve gone to great extremes to do so. The more patriarchal they are, the more controlling of sex and women they are. Haven’t you noticed?

  70. Anonymous
    June 17, 2012 at 11:04 am

    If they truly believed they were “God’s pipeline” or anything they preached (that they would suffer an eternity in hell for their “crimes”) they wouldn’t violate their own “rules.”

    When Muslims gain a majority on the Supreme Court (or the city council) and try to make their religious doctrines the law of the land, I’ll start to worry about them.

  71. Mitch
    June 17, 2012 at 11:09 am

    10:57,

    Perhaps I’m missing your point.

    I don’t believe in the Abrahamic god. I think religious hierarchies are, in general, damaging.

    I think the institutions, like individuals, are examples of human arrogance mixed with human compassion. I wish the superstitions on which they are based would fade away more rapidly than they are fading away. I wish the charlatans within the institutions were exposed.

    I think each does good and each does harm and, in general, most of the people within each framework are trying their sincere best to do what they believe is the will of God. And I think problems similar to those we see in religions occur when secular institutions try to control people’s lives.

    I just don’t think the term “unmitigated evil” is appropriate for any religious institution, including Judaism, Catholicism and Islam.

  72. Mitch
    June 17, 2012 at 11:11 am

    11:04,

    If they truly believed they were “God’s pipeline” or anything they preached (that they would suffer an eternity in hell for their “crimes”) they wouldn’t violate their own “rules.”

    That’s precisely where we disagree.

  73. Mitch
    June 17, 2012 at 11:16 am

    “When Muslims gain a majority on the Supreme Court (or the city council) and try to make their religious doctrines the law of the land, I’ll start to worry about them.”

    The nation survived JFK pretty well. The current supreme court has thoroughly demonstrated its majority’s lack of integrity, regardless of the religious affiliations of the members of the majority. I don’t think Catholicism can be blamed for the fact that we have a crooked court.

  74. Anonymous
    June 17, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I don’t want religion to say how I should live; I want government to tell everyone else how they shall live.

  75. Anonymous
    June 17, 2012 at 11:34 am

    At least government is elected by the majority to make those decisions and not dictatorships like religious and corporate organizations, 11:29.

  76. Amy Breighton
    June 17, 2012 at 11:48 am

    At least we all agree in miracles….for example, how anyone can believe, or trust, in a God that chooses man as a vessel of communication.

  77. What Now
    June 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    “Why single out Catholicism?”
    Because THEY’RE the SOB’s dominating health decisions WITH THE ASSIATANCE of public funds in this community and attempting to dictate givernemnet and social poilcy in this country.
    You wanna’ deconstruct the crimes and dangers of any other ridiculous cults descended from the smoldering foliage myth you can count me in any time.

  78. What Now
    June 17, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Amy Breighton says:
    June 17, 2012 at 11:48 am
    “At least we all agree in miracles….for example, how anyone can believe, or trust, in a God that chooses man as a vessel of communication.”

    Thank you for that, Amy!
    Best laugh I’ve had in ages!
    Belss your heart.

  79. Mitch
    June 17, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    You know what else is “smoldering foliage,” What Now?

    Us.

    We are constantly burning but never consumed, and you might want to look at a drawing of the lungs to see a tree. It never hurts to reflect on the tiny little voice sometimes coming from that smoldering foliage.

  80. Amy Breighton
    June 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    St. Joes’ mandate applies to vasectomies too, right?

  81. Anonymous
    June 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Vasectomies can be done in a doctor’s office.

  82. What Now
    June 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Mitch, I’m quite aware of the analogy of lungs and trees.As the greeks believed, trees were the lungs of the earth.
    I, too, was over exposed to judaism (albeit Sephardic and not Ashkenaz) and I set-off catholic studies under the tutelage of an uncle in my teens.
    Travelling and constant study has lead me to conclude that the biggest single tragedy of our specie was the occurance of bringing that hideous semitic racist myth of Abraham out of the desert.

  83. Mitch
    June 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    It would certainly be an interesting parallel history, Stephen, if the pagan dictator of Egypt had kept his slaves. (I assume you’re Stephen, What Now, but maybe there are two of you in Humboldt hung up on the “hideous semitic racist myth of Abraham.”)

    Here’s how I interpret the Passover myth — a small, weak voice of wisdom appears to a highly unlikely candidate, telling him to unify the multiple aspects of his personality that are enslaved to a dictatorial ego. Remarkably, he manages to do this, only to find that when he lets up, his ego returns to a worship of wealth rather than compassion. He loses himself to anger in response and as a result can never quite attain the complete insight he desires. But the possibility endures.

    It never ceases to amaze me that this powerful myth is taken as a literal statement by both believers and non-believers.

    I agree it’s a tragedy when the world focuses on the most trivial aspects of things and ignores the depth of what is offered.

    Instead of searching for timeless and universal wisdom, our hierarchies build themselves around a commitment to the narrow-mindedness of a particular group of people in a particular era, and take pride in remaining trapped in that narrow-mindedness, sometimes to the extent of imitating the dress style of another place and time as proof of their worthiness. It’s an unfortunate aspect of human nature, I think.

    I think almost every group thinks it’s god’s chosen people, so I’m not prepared to hold Judaism to blame for the western world’s self-centeredness.

  84. Anonymous
    June 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Judaism is the foundation of Christian and Muslim religions. Are there others with histories that rival these for brutality and oppression?

  85. Mitch
    June 17, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    7:38,

    Despite Buddhism’s praise of peacefulness, I can refer you to Zen at War, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_at_War.

    The Japanese Shinto religion prior to World War II was highly nationalistic and militaristic. You’ve heard of the Rape of Nanking, I’m sure, and that wasn’t due to any Abrahamic religion.

    Here’s an item from the UK newspaper The Independent on a Hindu mob attacking Christians: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/holy-war-strikes-india-955502.html

    I suspect you’ll find that wherever any religion has attained worldly power, the humans in charge of it at some point have convinced believers to fight.

    Jainism might be an exception.

    Religious scholars or even students of comparative religion might know of others.

    Religious texts can almost always be used to justify war, despite their words of peace.

  86. Anonymous
    June 18, 2012 at 5:13 am

    A spat of violence here and there isn’t on the same scale as the Abrahamaic religions violence throughout their histories, from their beginning to now.

  87. walt
    June 18, 2012 at 5:58 am

    Aggressors of every stripe have wrapped themselves in religion, even before biblical times. But atheists gott mittuns too!

  88. High Finance
    June 18, 2012 at 7:33 am

    So what the religion haters are trying to tell us is that all athiests are warm, fuzzy peace loving people ?

    A knowledgeable thinking person would conclude that those people in history who killed in the name of Christ where not really Christians but posers.

  89. ExArcatan
    June 18, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Why is it that those most vociferous against abortion are those who are most vocal against nationalized health care? Once a baby is born, corporate profit by insurance companies is more important than healing the sick and saving the lives of the very sick?

  90. Agogymous
    June 18, 2012 at 7:47 am

    “A knowledgeable thinking person would conclude that those people in history who killed in the name of Christ where not really Christians but posers.”

    As taught to local elementary and high school students, the

    St. Bernard’s “Crusaders”…?

  91. tra
    June 18, 2012 at 8:17 am

    ““A knowledgeable thinking person would conclude that those people in history who killed in the name of Christ where not really Christians but posers.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

  92. Mitch
    June 18, 2012 at 8:38 am

    5:13,

    “a spat of violence” ?!

    I’d laugh, but that comment is too sad.

    I don’t challenge your statement that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have been behind much violence in the world. I do challenge any statement that they are uniquely violent, or that they are the primary source of violence in the world. Remember gladiators? The Nazi Party was not based on any Abrahamic religion and it was pretty violent, wouldn’t you say. Attila’s activities were not founded in an Abrahamic religion.

    Unfortunately, it is not surprising that religions which seek to convert others and appear in violent cultures tend to spread by violence. Judaism does not seek conversion. Both Christianity and Islam do.

    The siting of a universal characteristic of humanity within a particular “bad” group coupled with a reduced ability to acknowledge that characteristic outside the “bad” group is a standard mental process of the bigot.

  93. June 18, 2012 at 9:47 am

    The health care system must be socialized. That means that the main health care provider in this region cannot be a private entity, non-profit or not.

    Since the Reaganomic wave of privatization of county hospitals in the late 80s and 90s (this happened not just here but all across the country) health care costs have risen almost exponentially. We need to revisit the model of government provided, adequate and affordable health care for everyone.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  94. Anonymous
    June 18, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Judaism has never been interested in conversion.

    Numbers
    31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
    31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

  95. Mitch
    June 18, 2012 at 10:03 am

    9:53,

    You’ve more or less made my point about Judaism and conversion.

    And take a look at Heraldo’s headline for this thread. Some things haven’t changed much.

  96. Anonymous
    June 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    “it is not surprising that religions which seek to convert others and appear in violent cultures tend to spread by violence. Judaism does not seek conversion. Both Christianity and Islam do.”

    You think killing the “others” is less violent than trying to convert them Mitch?

  97. Mitch
    June 20, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Anonymous 11:49,

    No, nor was I suggesting that. Read the entire comment.

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