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Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

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"At the Pearly Gates" - Alexander Cockburn reflects on death of Christopher Hitchens *Relevant to the self defeating anti-christian sectarianism on this site!

category international | miscellaneous | other press author Friday April 27, 2012 10:23author by Ciaron - Giuseppe Conlon House - London Catholic Worker Report this post to the editors

An Envoi for Christopher Hitchens "At the Pearly Gates" by ALEXANDER COCKBURN

On April 20 there’s a memorial for Christopher Hitchens at the Cooper Union in Manhattan.
There’s a PEN tribute, also in Manhattan, on April 30.
Here’s my own little envoi.


Antechamber to Heaven, a large reception room in the Baroque style. A door opens and an angel ushers in Christopher Hitchens, dressed in hospital clothing. The angel gestures for CH to take a seat. He is about to do so when he espies a familiar figure reading some newspapers.

CH Dr. Kissinger! The very last person I would have expected to encounter here. All the more so, since I don’t recall any recent reports of your demise.

HK You will no doubt be cast down by the news that I am indeed alive. This is a secret trip, to spy out the terrain diplomatically, assess the odds.

CH You think you have the slightest chance of entering the celestial sphere?

HK Everything is open to negotiation.

CH Have you threatened to bomb Heaven — secretly of course?

HK Very funny. As a matter of fact, Woytila — Pope John Paul II, I should say — has kindly offered to intercede at the highest level. And talking of negotiation, perhaps we could have a quiet word.

CH What about?


Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicworker.org
author by Doubting Thomaspublication date Sun May 06, 2012 14:03Report this post to the editors

A God who delivers.


author by publicanpublication date Sun May 06, 2012 02:30Report this post to the editors

One socio-psychological experiment in the USA doesn't prove much about global compassion trends, Doris Day. Shrinks and sociobabblers are given uncritical publicity in media. Compassion is laudable at an individual level - helping a guy up when he's down is a sign of fellow feeling and doing a good turn. Compassion at a global level also requires political policy changes, so if people feel that the liberal capitalist system disadvantages millions they should lobby for change.

The Fairtrade organization is marking its anniversary around now. Christians, some Catholics in England, were among those who started up that practical and campaigning movement. Several commercial companies have been prompted to review their ethical stances towards suppliers of commodities and the living conditions of workers who harvest rice or pick tea and cocoa fruit.

In 1984-85 there was a terrible famine in Ethiopia. A pop singing guy called Geldof of Belgian-Irish parentage organized an international Live Aid fundraiser involving rock musicians. So many millions of dollar-pounds were raised. Statistics showed that the highest per capita money donations came from the christian Irish. The Observer and other secular newspapers noted this at the time.

Compassion comes from many quarters and transcends boundaries of belief and disbelief. There's no need for a denomination-based compassion pissing contest.
Meanwhile compassion isn't enough. There's a need for love, empathy and action.

author by Doris Day - Cenobite Worker Movementpublication date Sat May 05, 2012 23:27Report this post to the editors

Once again the religious are weighed in the balance and found wanting.

"Love thy neighbor" is preached from many a pulpit. But new research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that the highly religious are less motivated by compassion when helping a stranger than are atheists, agnostics and less religious people.

In three experiments, social scientists found that compassion consistently drove less religious people to be more generous. For highly religious people, however, compassion was largely unrelated to how generous they were, according to the findings which are published in the July issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

The results challenge a widespread assumption that acts of generosity and charity are largely driven by feelings of empathy and compassion, researchers said. In the study, the link between compassion and generosity was found to be stronger for those who identified as being non-religious or less religious.

"Overall, we find that for less religious people, the strength of their emotional connection to another person is critical to whether they will help that person or not," said UC Berkeley social psychologist Robb Willer, a co-author of the study. "The more religious, on the other hand, may ground their generosity less in emotion, and more in other factors such as doctrine, a communal identity, or reputational concerns."
Compassion is defined in the study as an emotion felt when people see the suffering of others which then motivates them to help, often at a personal risk or cost. ...

Related Link: http://medicalxpress.com/print255014467.html
author by Ciaronpublication date Thu May 03, 2012 23:07Report this post to the editors

I'm back in Dublin. I'll be wandering around downtown Friday, (probably most of the weekend as well) catching up to friends. If anyone spots me (it's small place, I'm a white boy with dreadlocks down to my butt) and wants to discuss these issues, feel free to stop me in the street. I'll try to get back to this thread chronologically when I've got the time.
Yours in the spirit of Bill Hicks

author by mephisto - (the eternally damned)publication date Thu May 03, 2012 16:36Report this post to the editors

again, a reasonably good post Ciaron. As you say, I hope we can agree to disagree if it comes to that. I find it somewhat difficult arguing against the "knee jerk deferential leap of faith thought processes" promoted by religious belief with someone like yourself. I think you are an exception to the norm in religious people. You defy many of the usual patterns normally exhibited by religious people I have encountered and you focus and collimate your "leap of faith deferential thinking" into a very narrow beam aimed at just your god, while remaining anything but deferential to the false gods in our reality. Quite the ass kicker really when it comes to our lords and masters! I also find your candidness admirable and uncommon in religious people I have encountered. Alas "Ciarons" are the exception rather than the rule in my experiece.

Much of my Ire is towards the imposition of institutional religious teaching and a particular kind of dangerous deferential thinking pattern on young impressionable children, mostly through the "fear of god". This is something which personally I had foisted upon me (under direct threat of expulsion at one point!).
I still remember the terror my catholic education initially instilled in me. Someone in the sky constantly judging me through a certain kind of warped sexually obsessed lens, like some celestial pervert watching me everywhere including on the toilet, threatening to burn my skin off perpetually if I don't do what he wants no matter how at odds with reality it seemed. Powerful and frightening stuff to a young child!!

Yes, I think we both agree more than disagree on the errant behaviour of the institution of the church itself and it's blatant abuse of a delicate position of trust and power over the vulnerable. I too had a gig as an altar boy in a catholic school, received compulsory 1 on 1 sex education from a dubious priest in an isolated room, etc. but nothing particularly untoward occurred luckily for me, (Even then I had the good sense to keep pieces of large furniture between myself and this person at all times!)

So I think it's safe to say, although nothing like what you describe, for me the terror I felt at a young age due to catholic teachings was nevertheless very real.

But long after the priest had gone and the enforced learning had ceased, what remained was guilt and learned thought patterns of how to respond to authority figures. This is the insidious time bomb left behind which stays with you and interferes with your interactions with authority if you do not actively "exorcise" it.

The idea of the "leap of faith" being a good thing, The idea that certain ideas are "sacred" and questioning them will bring disapproval from your peers. The idea that certain ideas are "exceptions" and should not be subject to the same rigour and scrutiny one normally apples. The idea that none of this matters and it's all just some kind of temporary staging point or testing ground for the real gig: the next life in paradise. All very pathological notions embedded like little intellectual ticks deeply in our brains.

If you isolate the "ticks" and control them as you seem to have done to a certain extent, then their collateral damage on your behaviour and thought processes can be minimised. You no longer present an impediment to the movement of society towards more enlightened and caring communal structures. And in your own private time, you have your own individual interaction with your own invisible friend and don't force it on anyone else. Good.

However experience tells me that religious converts rarely can contain themselves from trying to spread their thought virus. And most people cannot compartmentalise its influence on their thought processes as well as you have.

deference to authority, acceptance of the destruction of the environment, acceptance of the class system, a misguided belief that justice will come in the next life. Great difficulty energising large segments of the population into active defence of democracy, as they defer to authoratitative sounding government propaganda.
Treating your whole life as some kind of gambit to get you into paradise. etc. etc.
Deep set wrong thinking patterns colour everything you think about.

Ciaron, If everyone engaged for social justice like you do, then religion would pose somewhat less of an obstacle but they don't. You are the exception not the rule. But even you, it seems, have accepted some catholic positions and behaviour without properly questioning them.
For instance, Abortion. Is a life of suffering for its own sake, really a good thing without exception? Shouldn't we, as your idol bill hicks suggests, instead focus on "having a neat world to come to" instead of forcing women to give birth when natures little traps have inevitably caught some of them out?
Surely quality of life rather than quantity is a worthwhile stance on this matter?
rather than having as mr hicks says here:
this holier than thou "we have the gift of life" attitude, perhaps we need to be pro life in the sense of the actual life already here and not just obsessing about potential lives of zygotes because the church says so.
Mr hicks is also known to point out the hypocrisy of pro life protesters killing doctors at abortion clinics. Somewhat of a contradiction too.

On the surface you seem to have a live and let live attitude to homosexuals in that "it's up to them what arrangements they have with the state" and "why would they want it anyway". But built into this stance is a "they can't marry in the catholic church" and an ignoring of the important point that the state has taken on some catholic notions so it is not quite just a case of "its up to them what arrangements they make with the state". First catholic / religious ideas need to be completely exorcised from state legislation before this becomes possible no? Also that stupid blasphemy law. And religious teaching in schools IMHO. We don't want that "deferential thinking" "some ideas are sacred and not to be criticised" thought habit propagated using state funds do we?

What would Jesus say? Would he prevent gay men who love each other from marrying? I doubt it! and would he prevent two decent married gay people from adopting a child and giving it a caring upbringing? I doubt that too. Normal male female parented families can be hell too if one or both parents are assholes / drunks / drug addicts / sociopaths etc. etc. I'd imagine a sandalled granola munching socialist like Jesus would not want our kids being primed to defer to authority either. He had a tendency to question economists of the day and authority figures and dogma according to the story. (whether he actually existed in reality is another days work of course! ;-).
Jesus also had a soft spot for women. Some serious biblical scholars even claim he married mary magdelane at the wedding of cana. (see "the holy blood and the holy grail"). So I also doubt he would have had any problem with women priests, or priests getting married. In fact it is well documented that the true reason for the celibacy idea was to save the vatican money as they did not need to pay for the upkeep of their priests families etc. It was purely a commercial decision which no doubt played a part in the warping of catholic priest's sexuality and their tendency towards secret sexual abuse of children.
Muslims are similar in how they muddy their patriarchal cultural norms with what their holy book actually says. For example, the koran only says a woman should be modest in her dress. It never says she should wear a sack with eyeholes in the blazing sun. I'm pretty certain Jesus would not have forced women to wear that garb.

The fact is, good guy and all as you are, I think you have an ethical blind spot here and you do yourself an injustice in aligning yourself somewhat with many of these arbitrary and ethically dodgy institutional rules of catholicism and IMHO subtly supporting these rules in your posts, many of which Jesus himself likely would have rejected on ethical grounds.

Can't you just follow the simple example of Jesus and worship your god (if you really must!) 1 to 1 directly without aligning yourself with any particular middleman church on earth (and their particular book of manmade social rules) Ciaron?

Frankly, I believe we should all just have the courage to face our rather arbitrary and meaningless reality square on without crutches like gods or afterlives. The fact is there is no real justice in the world. Bad people get away with it. There is no afterlife court where all misdeeds are punished. nice idea but a fantasy. So rather than waiting for what may never come, lets just try to make this world as good as it can be for people and run it like life actually mattered instead of as some sort of temporary staging post before the real event. And lets be ethical beings, not because god told us to or because we will be rewarded in the afterlife, but because it makes sense in the long run since this really may be all there is. Lets take no shit from our bosses or leaders or their corporate friends because this is not a rehearsal. Lets never again support the wars of these bastards because our life is all we may actually have and the same goes for the people on the other side of the fence.
We don't need a medievil book or a reward system, or the lie of an afterlife in paradise complete with halos, virgins , {insert bullshit here}, etc to distinguish right from wrong. Just a half decent somewhat enlightened upbringing and education which teaches us to take full responsibility for our actions, a strong habit of empathy, and a serious habit of critical analytic thought to be applied equally to ALL theories and ideas, religious, economic, military, scientific or otherwise.

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Wed May 02, 2012 12:49Report this post to the editors

Who has said this?

Thats a straw man argument and decoy from the systemic and institutional nature of the manifestations throughout the Roman cult's authoritarian pyramid.

It is just one manifestation of the perversions consequent to the irrational supression of data inimical to a preconceived comfort-blanket belief-system that retards healthy psychological development to mature independence of mind.

It results in psychological morbidity, superstition, paranoia, infantile thinking and dependence on toxic dogma for a falsified, anti-life masquerading as pro, allergic to openness to reality and natural human vulnerability to its own frailties.
Projection and generalisations result in deflection of responsibility onto the VICTIMS of the perversions, and a glorification of one's own purity confronting the corruption of the 'other'.

Religion in general carries these tendencies, and scientific dogmatism can tend to similar rigidies in thought and action. The retension of a consciousness that we ALL have blind spots is the only possible way to balance; the essence of health, both physical and psychological.

Its not a matter of abandoning the total self, just recognising that the picture is NEVER complete, and no one creed fits all, as religious(and other ideological) fundamentalists tend to clutch.

Denial does not obviate fact.

author by Still Disgustedpublication date Wed May 02, 2012 12:48Report this post to the editors

Plenty of abuse back in Australia for Ciaron to deal with. You are playing down what happened. You are not putting it in the context of the control the RCC had over society in Ireland and even in Australia. The RCC were able to set up Rape Camps.

A RETIRED Irish priest has been charged with the rape and indecent assault of children in Sydney and the New South Wales Central Coast between 1972 and 1987.

Fr Finian Egan turned himself in at a police station in the northwestern Sydney suburb of Ryde yesterday morning, accompanied by a lawyer. The 77-year-old was subsequently charged with 17 offences relating to alleged assaults on four children.

The charges include one count of rape and two of indecent assault over an alleged attack on a then 17-year-old girl in 1972. Fr Egan has also been charged with committing indecent assaults on a 14-year-old boy and girls aged 11 and 16.

Two of his alleged victims hugged each other as the priest hobbled into the police station on a walking stick.

Nikki Wells was 11 at the time she was allegedly assaulted by Fr Egan.

“It’s been 33 years in the making,” she said. “It’s been the majority of my life that I’ve been waiting for this day.

“The last four years I’ve been advocating for his arrest. It was such a relief to see him walk into the station.”

Another of his alleged victims is the daughter of Irish immigrants.

The arrest of Fr Egan has come two years after police began investigating complaints from at least five alleged victims.

Detectives say their inquiries are continuing. Fr Egan has already been the subject of an internal Catholic Church investigation.

In 2008 he was allowed to say Mass in Ireland despite the allegations of sexual abuse against him. He was also given exemptions on at least seven other occasions to conduct weddings or funerals in Australia while supposedly banned from doing so.

Bishop David Walker of Sydney’s Broken Bay diocese, who gave Fr Egan the exemptions to conduct Masses, has previously admitted he did not inform the church authorities in Ireland that he was under investigation and was banned from ministry in Australia.

In 2009 the Catholic Church inquiry upheld claims against Fr Egan brought by two sisters who said he repeatedly groped them in the 1980s when he was their parish priest.

Fr Egan, who has previously denied all the allegations, has been released on conditional bail and will face court on May 23rd.

Related Link: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2012/0502/122....html
author by Ciaronpublication date Wed May 02, 2012 12:06Report this post to the editors

I'm trying to respond to these comments/ responses chronologically with limited time, even tho seem way off the original post in relation to Cockburn critique of fellow athiest Hitchens (remeber them?)

"May God forgive those like Ciaron who try to play down the role Cayholic clerics played in Child Abuse and its cover up."

How I have I "played down" or covered up". I just posted a link to an Australian website dealing with these issues in the church that will give you an INFORMED opinion not just an opinion or an hysterical prejudice.

I have argued that sexual abuse is prolific across society, it is a distraction to define it as a merely Catholic problem.

The church bureaucracy cover up of the abuse itself looks a lot more considered and premeditated than the individual abuse itself. That's how you measure the degree of crime/ sin/ however you like to define it....eg. from manslaughter to first degree murder etc

author by Disgustedpublication date Wed May 02, 2012 10:14Report this post to the editors

New information emerges and the Vatican rush to the defence of brady saying he was just a Note taker. Lies! Brady had a doctorate in Canon Law at the time, he was an investigator.

May God forgive those like Ciaron who try to play down the role Cayholic clerics played in Child Abuse and its cover up.

Speaking on RTÉ Morning Ireland earlier today, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter described the cases detailed in last night's programme were "tragic and disturbing incidents."

He said the programme highlighted the need for reforms such as those currently being introduced by the Government such as the Withholding of Information Bill, which was published last week.

In last night's programme, Brendan Boland, who was abused by Smyth as a 12-year-old, claimed that information he gave on to a Catholic Church inquiry team, which included Cardinal Brady, was not passed on to parents of some of the victims of the paedophile priest.

Mr Boland from Co Louth recounted how two of these victims, a boy from Belfast and a boy from Cavan, continued to be abused by the priest after the inquiry group, which comprised three priests, completed its work.

The programme expands on information disclosed in 2010 about how the information compiled by the canonical inquiry in 1975, to which Mr Boland gave evidence, was not passed on to gardaí. That disclosure led to calls for Cardinal Brady to resign.

Last night’s programme contains new information that parents of the victims who were identified by Mr Boland to the 1975 inquiry were not informed about this abuse. ...

However, the revelations in the documentary are likely to put further pressure on Cardinal Brady and the church authorities, particularly over the disclosure that parents of the children were not informed of the abuse.

A Belfast man, who as a boy was abused by Smyth, appeared on camera but with his face shielded.

Mr Boland said he told the inquiry about the abuse of this boy when he spoke to the inquiry in 1975. However, the programme stated that the parents of the Belfast boy were not informed of the abuse and he was sexually abused for a further year after the inquiry by Smyth.

In addition, Smyth abused the sister of the Belfast boy for seven years up until 1982. He also abused four of the boy’s first cousins for a period up until 1988.

Reporter Darragh McIntyre said he spoke to all the children identified by Mr Boland to the inquiry, and discovered that four of them were abused by Smyth and two continued to be abused after the inquiry.

Related Link: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0502/....html
author by Olliepublication date Wed May 02, 2012 08:03Report this post to the editors

Mephisto makes a thoughtful response to my post on analytic thinking. He seems to suggest that economic experts (and others?) have taken on a social role formerly dominated by Catholic priests, and that nowadays citizens who don't know about economics defer to the experts as a kind of learned instinct.

There are experts and experts, of course; but the centrist capitalist media give their preferred economic experts star billing, indeed overexposure.

The sermonisers today are media op-ed writers. Their sermonising is repetitive. It rubs off on so many citizens by dint of its repetitiveness - like repeated propaganda. Citizens in western democracies are media-saturated. A small country like Ireland is supersaturated by repetitive media which show little diversity of opinion on the big questions. Supersaturation inhibits analytic thinking about alternatives.

Members of the psychological profession are given more deference than seems healthy by media editors. Psychological counsellors and commentators today have the 'spiritual' public role that priests had up to a few decades ago. And yet psychology has exhibited so much dubious science with its succession of 'schools' and faddist theories. Think of Freud's unscientific mystification, or false memory syndrome, or Janov's screaming therapy etc.

Stan above gets it wrong when he says that in Ireland and other countries societies are dominated by the christian rich. International capital is multi-faith and has its fair share of atheists and agnostics. Capital is not christian, muslim or atheist - it has its rules, priorities and ethos based on competition, 'the market' and the desire for profits. Some muslims favour interest-free banking systems - instead of awarding deposit interest the banks in some Arab countries have monthly raffles and award money prizes to depositors whose accounts are in credit. Some christians support people-preferred schemes like Fair Trade goods. But mainstream international capitalism adheres to values that have no religious motivation. Some religious teachers have written about business ethics and social responsibility, but in vain. Capital pursues its own value-free agenda.

I won't post any more on this thread. I think Ciaron and mephisto have a more pertinent argument going at the moment. Let them continue, without temper tantrums.

author by Ciaronpublication date Wed May 02, 2012 07:11Report this post to the editors

"mephisto" - (the eternally damned)

"evidently not much "forgiveness" coming from the christian corner for expressing a few blasphemous opinions!"

It's truth AND reconciliation buddy! You speak your truth with the lights you got and I'll speak mine with the lights I got. Hopefully this process will help me clarify my present position and help you clarify your present position (trust these are not set in stone?). It will aso help me gain increasing clarity on your position and hopefully you gain clarity on mine. Otherwise it is merely laziness to hang onto the security of cliches and the dialogue is a waste of valuable time. We can always agree to disagree while showing respect to the other.

Keeping in mind the context, this discussion happens on a small Ireland where people were recently targeted with execution for merely identifying as Catholics. But I guess that maybe 90 miles north of y'all...a world away. Not sure if anyone was bumped here in the last 30 years for merely identifying as an athiest, wicca, punk or anarchist? That's the context in which the anti-Papist hate speech takes place on this site.

"From the organisations that gave you: ....widespread systematic child rape"

Rape (& sexual abuse) is prolific in our world.
To promote it merely as a Catholic problem/ issue is misguided or a lie or a feint by people who have something to hide.

The people in my extended family who were raped (a child and also a adult with major disabilities) were abused by medical professionals. In my case, I was sexually assaulted by a police officer in custody. A lot of it has to do with power, deference and lack of accountability in whatever setting.

The Catholic priesthood is in severe trouble these days (it knows it is in trouble) due to the culture of submissive deference, lack of accountability and power dynamics. As far as the priesthood becomes a privatised choice career path for managerial elites it is a long way from the articulated ideal of shepherd and servant of the community.

Catholics and priests have no monopoly on falling for the desert temptations of power, wealth and status ...check out trade unionism, Irish republicanism, feminism, rap, punk. Sections of these dissident movements have fallen for these 3 temptations. The Catholic church has been around for 2,000 years. Empire has had more time to screw with us. But there are radicals in all these once dissident traditions that keep the faith and face persecution from empire and collaboraters form within their movements. The rads in praxis often have more in common with each other than the sell outs in their own tradition...whether that been Buddhist agnostics, feminsists, Christians, punks. A little tolerance would go a long way amongst the rads who use this site and on the street.

These temptations have corrupted much of the priestly vocation and that it is why it is collapsing. Marriage is collapsing for other reasons. There are some authentic radical marriages and priests out there, they need our support. Let the rest collapse and start again, build from the bottom. These sacraments can only exist in the context of community. Empire attacks community at every opportunity....atomising and isolating us.

"But "heaven forbid" a few blasphemous paragraphs"

I have never raised the issue of blasphemy. In recent history, Christians are generally tolerant see responses to "Life of Brian" v "Satanic Verses" V "jokes about Stalin, Mao or Kim"

"the collusion of the catholic establishment perhaps have anything to do with some people losing considerable respect for religion and being rather angry at it?"

You think I'm not angry?

As a 12 year old altar boy (I served 8 years), I experienced initial grooming for sex by an abusive priest who raped other altar boys in my group http://tinyurl.com/c7tvuwt
This is within my life experience. The offender was promoted to run the Catholic Media Office and was an informant for the Queensland Special Branch.

A school I taught at boys had been recruited for a child porn ring. A few token perpetrators were on trial when I arrived on the scene. The kids who had been 13 were now 16 giving evidence. Those sentenced were a liberal trendy radio ABC DJ and the cop who had a daily TV program warning kids against strangers (& with trusted access to schools and youth groups) http://tinyurl.com/bszh38h . As I said this shit is prolific across society inside and outside the church, the cops, the music industry, the health professions etc. It is a distraction to use it for your anti-Catholic agenda

"With the widespread growth of radical Islam, and the growth of rabid right wing christianity in the US..... "

If you seriously want to understand this phenomenon (and how it partially relates to the failure of liberalism amongst other things) watch this fine series by Adam Curtis "The Power of Nightmares" (neo cons & jihadists...not very "radical"...but like peas in a pod!)


author by mephisto - (the eternally damned)publication date Tue May 01, 2012 13:20Report this post to the editors

"The moulders of opinion in these societies have used/still continue to use Analytic Thinking to devise and implement their neoconservative agendas"

I have no doubt that nasty scheming is aided greatly by clear analytic thinking. But the problem is not really that. The problem is that while our sociopathic lords masters and high priests use analytic thinking as a tool against us, at the same time they prevent us from using it right back at them. It is a two edged sword. And our lords and masters and high priests know this all too well.

The problem is that, more often than not through habit, we don't engage our analytic thinking and instead we defer to authority without questioning when presented with for example, bad economic arguments or fake science arguments instead of saying "wait a minute x does not imply y, back that up" or going away to inform ourselves before accepting statements at face value. All too often Our public representatives present really shoddy unscientific and illogical arguments that do not stand up to the most basic levels of analytic thinking, and they try to frame debates in very narrow ways that serve their interests, which the most basic analysis would unmask, yet all too often our knee jerk habit of deference to authority without questioning kicks in instead of raised eyebrows and skepticism and use of analytic thought to dissect the credibility of ideas presented and the limited framing of debates.

For example, we know with just a little analytic thought, that austerity alone will result in contraction of the local economy in a feedback driven "death spiral", economics 101, yet we don't question the mantra from politicians and the media that this will lead to more jobs etc. or the constant use of GDP as a measure instead of GNP which reflects the local economy. Or that if we loan huge amounts of money to banks at 1% and sell our government soverign debt bonds at a yield of 5.7%+, then the banks won't just borrow the money, buy bonds with it and stop taking any risks by loaning money to small business in the local economy, the worst of all worlds, (wheras even if they just handed out all the money to citizens on the streets it actually WOULD circulate in the economy)

Yet they get away with stuff like this all the time without people smelling a rat or properly even questioning it.

They do this because people say "I don't know economics so I'll defer to the greater knowledge of enda kenny or michael noonan or their high priest economic apologist on this matter" or maybe the "gods" in the troika, or the tv presenter god.

This is religious deference instead of attacking the ideas themselves analytically, questioning whether it's credible the troika or noonan don't know economics 101 or what GDP is, how they can gain from our servitude under the ESM and the selling off of our state assets to private companies, ergo, whether they are lying, whether they are friends or enemies etc. A little anaytic thinking is all thats required to smell a rat and detect that we are being conned.

Sure, I agree that logical thought is value free and only takes you from A to B but it can allow you to ascertain someone else's required A in order for them to logically get to B, hence unmasking their ulterior nefarious motives, wheras woolly deferential "leap of faith" thinking is somewhat useless in this respect.

We all need a premise to come to a conclusion, its true. And good premises such as "life matters" and "suffering is bad" and "community / co-operation is good", "we all need clean air, water and a renewable stock of nutritious food to survive long term" etc. These "values" or "premises" come from a good upbringing where we learn to empathise with others and take their needs into consideration in our logical evaluations, and other "values" such as the courage to face our reality, and to take responsibility for our own actions or inactions. If however, we happen to be a sociopath, as a larger than average percentage of corporate CEO's or politicians are, then we are unable to do this so our decisions will often not have the good of other people as an important premise in our logic.

A sociopath can use either logical argument or appeals to religious deference to weave a spell, but only analytic thought can be used as a tool to untangle their often complex webs of false ideas and misdirection, wheras, "unquestioning leap of faith" deferential thinking leaves you totally screwed

So yes, we need good tried and trusted ethically sound premises, as the basis for our analytic thought. But as few of these as we can get away with because each new premise is also open to a possible error which we can only partially use logic to deconstruct. Instilling those values by discussion and example is the job of good parenting.
We also need a good solid habit of questioning ideas freely, critically and analytically using this minimised set of ethically sound premises as a base. Good Parenting is crucial in a healthy society and without this we are in serious trouble. (Perhaps we need an official manual!!)

Its very easy for this delicate process to go astray if others have a vested interest in it doing so. For instance, what dodgy government in it's right mind would ever wish for a nation of active critical thinkers who were using a tried and tested ethically sound set of premises as a basis for their evaluations?? None, that's who.

So instead we get an educational system which teaches us several hours daily during our important formative years, a pattern of "deferring to the powerful". Teacher says stuff. we respond on cue, we get rewarded. we question it using our own strong set of ethical premises, we get our ass kicked. We forget a lot of the stuff. But much of the actual "stuff" we learned never mattered much anyway. However pretty soon we have absorbed how this game works and playing it becomes a strongly internalised habit.

We pray to a god we cannot question or we go to hell for eternity. same thinking, same rules. Between that "spiritual miseducation" and our "Secular miseducation" Pretty soon we are socialised into a malleable flock who can be made to believe pretty much any old shite authority wants us to without proper critical analysis. Thus, we are then primed to defer to the guy in the wig or the idiot on the tv that tells us that austerity is the only way, the ESM is good for us, take this new expensive drug for your non existent illness, buy this product. The war on Iraq was justified, Shut up, work hard, consume, don't question, look at the bread and circuses we gave you. Persecute and ridicule any non conformist "loony left" leaning analytic thinkers or shell to sea protesters you come across between getting pissed and the next episode of geordie shore, etc. etc.

Regular doses of TV /media propaganda "top up" our indoctrination and habits of thought, booze keeps us poor, stupid and confused, profitable pharmaceuticals zombify the remaining mentally ill malcontents and non conformsts and the mass hallucination continues while our environment is strip mined by corporations, military industrial complex makes war on poor people for profit, the food we eat is destroyed, all with barely a whimper from the deferential thinkers watching the bread and circuses provided, guzzling their beer, or going to mass on sunday while the man in black rapes their kids without punishment.

"Ah, shure the next life will be much better anyways", they say to themselves. As they deferentially allow this one go to shit to profit the sociopathic elites, or surrogate "gods" or whatever.

Welcome to the brave new world. Leave your analytical thinking at the door.!

As for "Lateral thinking", which is likely what Ollie was describing in his examples such as the "eureka" moment, that is a very different thing altogether than "deferential thinking" and "not questioning as a virtue" which is the kind of thinking I have a problem with regarding religion. It is lateral thinking which gave us many leaps in science, great works of art etc. Lateral thinking as a tool, as championed by edward de bono, is very useful indeed. However it is most useful when it is coupled with a well prepared and disciplined mind which can critically evaluate each the new possibilities generated by a session of lateral creative thought. As the saying goes "chance favours the prepared mind"

Lateral thinking as a tool coupled with analytic thinking and a minimised set of solid ethical premises feeding into our logic is a good standard to strive for.

author by Support The Real Catholic Radicalspublication date Tue May 01, 2012 13:09Report this post to the editors

This is the institution that told us that it was unable to control child rapists in its ranks because it couldn’t just issue orders. Remember Cardinal Cahal Daly writing to the parents of a victim of the hideous abuser Brendan Smyth: “There have been complaints about this priest before, and once I had to speak to the superior about him. It would seem that there has been no improvement. I shall speak with the superior again.” Remember the stuff about how bishops were lords in their own dioceses and religious orders were their own kingdoms?

When priests were raping children, the institutional hierarchy was wringing its hands and pleading “what can we do?” The Vatican was very busy and very far away. But when a priest makes some mild suggestions that women might be entitled to equality, the church is suddenly an efficient police state that can whip that priest into line. The Vatican, which apparently couldn’t read any of the published material pointing to horrific abuse in church-run institutions, can pore over the Sunday World with a magnifying glass, looking for the minutest speck of heresy.

An institution so stupid that it thinks its Irish faithful is more scandalised by Brian D’Arcy than by Brendan Smyth is not worth anyone’s anger. It is doing a far better job of destroying itself than its worst enemies could dream of.


author by Stanpublication date Tue May 01, 2012 13:02Report this post to the editors

Your points are irrelevant and ignore reality. The Christian rich in Ireland want to cut welfare and state services. The Christian rich in the UK want to cut welfare and state services. The christian rich in the US want to cut welfare and state services.

In the West its the christian rich who are the rulers, not atheists.

author by Atheistpublication date Tue May 01, 2012 13:02Report this post to the editors

no I'm not actually a bigot.
Frankly I don't even care if fr marty mcfly looks at naked women / men / sheep.
But I do find it pretty hard to believe his claims of innocence. It's a bit far fetched really. So do his superiors evidently.
I'm just highlighting the feet of clay of the religious establishment (and it's minions) and it's total hypocrisy in judgementally setting norms of behaviour that they and their accolytes quite often fail to adhere to themselves, infusing society with artificial guilt for responding to what are just normal human impulses, thus aiding in the twisting and distortion of our natural sexuality.
Redtop hounding of sexual deviance often originates from the fertile ground of teachings like those of the catholic church. It is only fitting that they and their priests are "hoist with their own petards" whenever possible. We all have sexual impulses, some stronger than others. Its part of being human. We have to deal with them as best we can. Sometimes it's not easy. The catholic guilt shit doesn't make it any easier. So fuck them I say.

author by Olliepublication date Tue May 01, 2012 04:26Report this post to the editors

@ Dorothy Day. Analytic thinking may decrease religious belief, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist among religious believers. Many believers have contributed to philosophy, sociology, the sciences and other areas of knowledge.

Some imaginative thinking outside the box of rigid logic and observable facts can contribute to further knowledge. In the physical sciences the 'inspired guess' has led to new insights. Much scientific experimentation has also led to accidental discoveries, such as the accidental discovery of the telephone and the discovery of penecillin. Not forgetting Archimedes's 'eureka!' guess about bodies displacing an equal volume of water.

But all this repeated argumentation about the necessary decline of religious belief in order for socialist ideas and movements to make headway in Irish society fails to take stock of the failure of socialist movements to advance currently in existing highly secularised western democratic societies. England and The Netherlands are advanced post-religion societies, yet their tenor of mainstream politics tends to be predominantly centre-right, occasionally oscillating towards centre-left, which is usually much of a muchness anyway. These and other 'western democracies' have bought heavily into neoconservative capitalist ideology regarding 'market forces', deregulation, privatisation, shrinking of public service employment, abandoning minimum wage legislation - and other measures that depress low income citizens and communities. The moulders of opinion in these societies have used/still continue to use Analytic Thinking to devise and implement their neoconservative agendas

Analytic Thinking is good for intellectual development, but it is a value-free method of thinking. Many analytic thinkers feather their nests and support right-leaning social policies. Some other thinkers choose to support causes that favour the disadvantaged and the oppressed. Personal moral orientation is what decides a person's politics and life choices, not her capacity for analytic thinking.

author by Dorothy Dazepublication date Mon Apr 30, 2012 23:33Report this post to the editors

The Shame Of The Catholic Church. BBC2 Wednesday 2 May 9 pm. Daragh MacIntyre reveals new evidence which illustrates the role of the Catholic Church hierarchy in covering up Child Abuse.

No doubt this programme will be dismissed as anti Christian sectarianism.

author by Doris Daypublication date Mon Apr 30, 2012 20:17Report this post to the editors

Its all just fairy tales. Use your brain and escape from the religion virus. Christ, Allah, Spaghetti Monster, Tooth Fairy, Santa, they are all just myths.

A new University of British Columbia study finds that analytic thinking can decrease religious belief, even in devout believers.

The study, published today in the journal Science, finds that thinking analytically increases disbelief among believers and skeptics alike, shedding important new light on the psychology of religious belief.

"Our goal was to explore the fundamental question of why people believe in a God to different degrees," says lead author Will Gervais, a PhD student in UBC's Dept. of Psychology. "A combination of complex factors influence matters of personal spirituality, and these new findings suggest that the cognitive system related to analytic thoughts is one factor that can influence disbelief."

Researchers used problem-solving tasks and subtle experimental priming – including showing participants Rodin's sculpture The Thinker or asking participants to complete questionnaires in hard-to-read fonts – to successfully produce "analytic" thinking. The researchers, who assessed participants' belief levels using a variety of self-reported measures, found that religious belief decreased when participants engaged in analytic tasks, compared to participants who engaged in tasks that did not involve analytic thinking. ...

Related Link: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-04-analytic-decrease....html
author by another atheistpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2012 16:50Report this post to the editors

Mr Atheist has not got the first clue whether or not the priest was innocent or not so just reveals his bigotry.!

author by atheistpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2012 14:20Report this post to the editors

Oops! A Catholic priest in Co Tyrone has apologised unreservedly after indecent images were inadvertently projected onto a screen during a meeting of parents at a primary school last month.

"The images were shown at a First Communion meeting at St Mary's Primary School on 26 March.
He said the memory of what he described as "this awful episode" would remain with him always.
“I deeply regret my failure to check, in advance, my presentation I had no knowledge of any offending imagery existing in it,” Fr Marty McFly (er..McVeigh) said:
“After the images were inadvertently shown, I immediately removed the memory stick from the laptop. In my shock and upset and in my concern to ensure that the images would never be shown again, I destroyed it later that evening.”"

Yeah right Marty ;-) Bet you wish you had a de lorean outside with Christopher Lloyd in it now!!

I guess they had better start giving computer literacy courses in maynooth next semester!

Pervert priest Fr Marty McFly is currently on "extended sabbatical". Thailand is nice this time of year I hear. Gary glitter highly recommends it.

Special request for you Fr. Marty:

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video

author by Pro Choicepublication date Sun Apr 29, 2012 18:23Report this post to the editors

Heres a 16 yr old girl who decided to have the baby. No room at the school for her. Her Choice was not acceptable to the Catholic establishment either.

“Not a dumping ground”: Pregnant girl turned away from school

THE OMBUDSMAN FOR Children Emily Logan has recommended that a school which refused entry to a pregnant girl apologise for the way she was treated.

The mixed Catholic ethos school in Munster was subject to an investigation by Emily Logan, after the girl and her mother filed a complaint to the ombudsman’s office, reports the Sunday Times.

The girl’s mother said that that her 16-year-old daughter was refused entry to the school based initially on the fact that she was pregnant, and subsequently because she had given birth and was a young single mother.

The girl had attended the school for an interview in 2009 and understood that she had been accepted after she was advised to get a uniform and books. Emily Logan’s report details that the girl’s parents felt the school should be informed of her pregnancy. The school principal then placed a call stating that the girl would not be accepted at the school because she was pregnant. When the teen’s mother wrote to the school the principal responded:

Your letter surprises me. A neighbour called at your request and stated that your daughter was pregnant. I was shocked and told her that I did not take in such girls. She conveyed the message to you.

Related Link: http://www.thejournal.ie/not-a-dumping-ground-pregnant-...2012/
author by mephisto - (the eternally damned)publication date Sun Apr 29, 2012 18:17Report this post to the editors

Christopher Hitchens is a mass of contradictions.
On the one hand, once a socialist, on the other a supporter of Imperialist war
On the one hand decrying the barbarism of the inquisition
On the other supporting the greater barbarism of cynical Imperial war

I think Cockburn is correct in many respects in his rather funny piece about CH.

Personally I have great reservations about getting behind someone like Hitchins, whether he disliked religion or not.

However, Just because Hitchens was somewhat less than consistent in his value system, does not make any of the 3000-5000 deaths at the hands of the inquisition any less wrong.

Those were deaths caused by actions of men based on weak premises lacking in evidence: i.e that there actually was a god and he cared about stuff such as whether the little bugs on this rock fornicated, did not fit in socially or were kinda odd or spooky in their behaviour (=>witches) and whether these bugs believed in him or not.(leaving aside the political machinations of course)

As were the deaths caused in Iraq, in my book if not in any of Christopher hitchens's.

In my experience, weak premises lacking in evidence need to be challenged strongly as they very often go hand in hand with atrocities, exploitation and suffering.

Weak premises lacking in evidence are allowed to go unchallenged often because habits of woolly thinking, excessive deference to authority or "certain ideas being unquestioned" are the social norm.
How much more woolly thinking can you have than "god told me to do x so it can't be questioned" or "Iraq are working on WMD so we need to starve their children then bomb them into oblivion to protect ourselves". or even the "Blair special" which combines both of these notions in one supersized nonsense buffet. And as for the deference, well as Julian Assange put it, Is god not the ultimate dictator? A habit of deference to god is also a habit of deference to authority isn't it? (with some notable exceptions of course! ;-) Who is to say a god's motivations are any better or worse than our own? Thats rather like a bacterium concluding that human motivations must be so much better than its own. But they're mostly not much are they?

Such dangerous thought patterns and knee jerk unquestioning behaviour when god is cited are not confined to the christian faith. Muslims are guilty too. Their book is considered the exact words of the prophet and as such, sacred and can never be questioned. Smiting of unbelievers and taxing of other faiths until they convert to Islam is not just an option. Jihad is an integral part of their beliefs. Here's a fun propaganda video about them which Hitchens probably would have liked:
Hitchens could not be accused of supporting radical Islam. In fact he opposed it to the point of complete hypocrisy.

I guess while I'm at it, I should give equal time to the zionists of Israel but just thinking about those guys makes me want to puke. So instead, here's an amusing video of mark regev whom I think an apt representative for all that is wrong with zionism. It may seem somewhat off topic, as this matter is all tied up with lots of other stuff too, but the squabbles over jerusalem and the general acrimony between zionists and muslims certainly has strong religious underpinnings too.

The fact is, in our run up to the next dark age, there is currently another war going on. A war on clear thinking, and religious notions such as "certain ideas should not be questioned as they are sacred" or "I'll get really offended if you try to discuss x and I'll start wrecking the place" are qualitatively little different than government war/financial propaganda which has similar characteristics, i.e. "you daren't question it" and if you do "there will be trouble" and in fact prior religious indoctrination feeds quite nicely into the huge amounts of propaganda pumped into us later on in our lives through the media. A religious background such as that of middle american christians or catholic Ireland is fertile ground to plant such propaganda as we're often quite relaxed about the notion of "sacred ideas that shouldn't be questioned" and we can be easily programmed to "get angry if anyone dares question certain ideas". Perfect mindsets for the propagandist to exploit.

One way to protect ourselves from such "mental exploitation" is to have no "sacred ideas", to treat all ideas the same way, subject to the same rigour and scrutiny, and to treat ideas as entities existing separate to our own sense of self. That way, if an idea turns out to be flawed then we just improve on it or discard it without it having to take it personally, or kill/beat anyone up over it.
It's high time the human species started to act in this manner. It's basically just the scientific method as aspired to, and occasionally practiced even, by the corporate sponsored scientific community

As a person who strives to be rational, and working off the arbitrary premises that life matters and unnecessary suffering should be kept to a minimum, as I've stated before I find Chris hitchens stances to be somewhat inconsistent. Personally I wouldn't want him as a figurehead for atheism!!

If the point of you posting this link is in the spirit of Claud Cockburn as interpreted by Alexander Cockburn in this article you linked to i.e to encourage "respect and mutual striving for a better world." between the religious and non religious., well that's all very well if you naively believe that that is the noble intent of religion. However, I personally do not believe this. In fact, IMHO religion thrives on suffering in this world. Otherwise we might not look so readily to the next one. Nor might we accept our suffering in this life so readily either without it. Ask yourself when do people turn to religion in greatest numbers? Currently many people are very angry with the church but overall we are experiencing a rise in the numbers of the faithful, despite all that has happened in recent times. You might describe this as "giving solace", but personally I'd describe it as "retreating into fantasy" and "not facing reality and dealing with it".

However, I certainly do believe in "respect and mutual striving for a better world" amongst human beings, . But for me personally, religious notions are anathema to this goal, pathological brain damaging memes, reality avoidance mechanisms, and obstacles to clarity of thought and the ruthlessness in the plane of ideas required to tackle the very concrete problems we are facing in this world by our paralysed social structures and out of control globalised corporate financial and military monsters that look likely to destroy the environment and sink us as a species, leaving "gods chosen" as just a brief blip on the geological record.

Thanks for the link to the article. It was rather humourous.

Hitchins did get a few things right though. The fact is, Henry Kissinger WAS an evil dickhead!! ;-)

author by Pro Choicepublication date Sun Apr 29, 2012 13:25Report this post to the editors

In Religion and War Resistance in the Plowshares Movement By Sharon Erickson Nepstad, Ciaron admits that he is anti abortion. Does Ciaron still believe that women should be forced to continue a pregnancy against their will. This is a war against women carried out by a patriarchal society led by christians.

These christians should be criticised on Indymedia.

There is a war, a war against women, its a worldwide war. Your church has succeeded in imprisoning women for having abortions, mostly in Latin America. What will you do for these prisoners.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:51Report this post to the editors

..to address the issue raised by the Cockburn article?'

Do you mean the '..self-defeating anti-Christian sectarianism on this site', Ciaron?

I think you'll find the Christians don't need any lessons in sectarianism from the piss-takers among the Indyians.

The Vatican cowboys, like the Sanhedrin they inherited their modus operandum from(along with the Roman priestcraft practitioners), set up their sect and have defended it more virulently against all comers and alternative interpretations since they vetted and edited the records to propagandise their 'flocks' with their imperial perversion of the original simple injunctions into a cannon law battery of jesuitical spin for institutional preservation uber alles. from the Celtic church in Ireland to the Albigensians to the Mulims(who honour the MAN as prophet) to the Caribs, native Americans and Africans the program has been sectarian persecution and extermination, oh and of course a reasonable consideration when the spoils were being divided by their 'faithful' conquistadors. The man never asked for worship, all he said was share your wine and bread if you want to commemorate. Then the prestidigitators took it over.

The original doctrine was one of lateral, cooperative equality and the general sharing of possessions in recognition of the obligations corollary to posession; and the man himself seems to have been totally non-judgemental, whether of hookers or tax-collectors or centurian soldiers.

His main problem came from Caiaphas, the pope of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem.....Pilate wanted to let him free until the priests whipped the crowd into line for his rendition, torture and execution. Just as the papacy has been doing to other challenging heretics for millennia.

Right down to Franco and the Vatican rat-line escape for Nazis to reorganise their imperial ambitions in mutated forms, the butchery and deceptions continue behind the often good work of their well-intentioned believers.
Tea Party anyone?They'll nail you to it if they catch you Ciaron: to that T cross.

No offence, and full respect, but I suggest you re-assess. None of us are in-fucking-fallible. Even JC lost the cool with the wuncha bankers in the public space of the temple.
I reckon if he were to fly in on the cloud he'd head for the sanctuary of the mosque for a bit of egalitarian peace from the Christian sectarianisms.

maybe thats the reason the mulims are the new commies in our McCarthyite days...oh and was he not another Roman Catholic oxymoron?

author by wageslave - (moderator)publication date Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:38Report this post to the editors

"doug" is not an indymedia editor as far as I know. His posting breaks our guidelines in several respects. I've hidden one like it before already for this but if I hide it again I would also have to hide your peer review response too Ciaron.

For this reason, I'll leave it up to you. Say the word (here/ by email) )and doug's posting on this thread will be removed along with any responses.


author by Ciaronpublication date Sun Apr 29, 2012 09:01Report this post to the editors

What do we know of Doug?

1) We know he is a coward that is self evident = makes personal attacks from the safety of anonymity.

2) We now know he is a considered liar.

Cherry picking & spinning a request for donations to organise a specific series around Easter 2011 of events in Dublin into an accusation of ongoing embezzlement by moi.

3) He has an interesting curiousity regarding the present health of the CW in Ireland. A movement we now know from the WikIleaked cables from the U.S. Dublin embassy considered the most significant anti-war threat in Ireland at the time. A movement the Irish government spent millions securing air side Shannon from.

We recieved one cheque from that specific appeal to fund specific events staged in the hope of kick starting solidarity with Bradley Manning & reviving the CW in Ireland. The major costs was flying long time U.S. C.W. resisters Frank and Steve in and out of Ireland from London. 50+ attended the Manning themed meeting staged in co-operation with Afri at Wynns Hotel on the Fri night. The hope was that it would kickstart a solidarity campaign with Manning who was shipped through Shannon and whose maternal grandfather was from Dublin. 100,000 people marched through Dublin against a war that both Assange and Manning will pay with the rest of their lives in solitary for opposing. Those who marched incited Bradley, Julian and others to nonviolently resist the war and then abandoned them. That pisses me off.

The CW retreat day attracted 8 serious people. The sing along in the pub a dozen.

Young people from Seoma Spraoi who met me in the street apologised for the crucifixion themed party, I accepted that apology and have drawn a line under it. I attended a recent anarchist network meeting at the venue. It was a meeting that was respectful of faith and no faith anarchist traditions and backgrounds.

Is Doug an Irish garda, British constable, BAe funded privatised spook, American? Possibly, a lot of these folks make a living and justify their careers and existence by spinning, inflating and harassing people like me. Many of them have me on google alert and pop up on the most anonymous threads on indymedias.

The handler of "Alan Fossey" .....BAe spy/ innfiltrator who played a major role in bringing down Liverpool CW in the '90's, real name Alaister former Brirtish Army Sgt attached to 14 Intelligence Compnay in N.Ireland left army after returning to original unit...is one who has me on google alert and he is retired! Harrassing me in retirement is a hobby for him to pass the time. Same behavior lots of varying motives.

Is Doug the sock puppet/ indymedia editor from the crucifixion party thread posting under different names here. Probably.

I hope to have the time to get back to address some of the issues raised here. Would someone like to address the issue raised y the Cockburn article?

I'm off to mass in Harringey which is packed to the rafters by men, women and children from the impoverished south and far east and a few old Irish guys. We have a great priest from Tipp. who told his last parish "if you work for BAe, don't put money on the plate. We really don't want blood money!"

All good
Bless Ciaron

author by Dougpublication date Sun Apr 29, 2012 01:44Report this post to the editors

I gave the link to that, nothing hidden. Questioning St Ciaron isn't only done by cops.

Why would cheques for solidarity work be made out to an individual? I know of no solidarity campaign which operates in this manner..

Ask some of Ciarons former comrades about his unaccountable style of dealing with money. He may not be enriching himself but you never know where the money is going to or what hard luck story Ciaron falls for and hands over your money to some chancer.

Where is Dublin CWM? Ciaron could explain why it doesn't exist anymore.

author by mephisto - (the eternally damned)publication date Sat Apr 28, 2012 23:56Report this post to the editors

While I might disagree with him about some religious ideas, I don't think Ciaron is dishonest in that way and I know any money that was donated to him would be used for worthwhile purposes. Anti war activism is in everybody's interests including the Irish people and if we as a people are not willing to stand up against our airport being used to facilitate the killing of afghan people or Iraqi people or whoever is next, then we can at least donate to support the efforts of activists who do.

good post BTW Ciaron.

author by pig alertpublication date Sat Apr 28, 2012 22:56Report this post to the editors

Taken from events page of DCW site in relation to Bradley Manninig solidarity in Ireland, opposition to Queen and Obama events 2011
Full quote edited by Doug the spook
"Cost: Donations to defray costs would be appreciated but not essential. Make cheques payable to "Ciaron O'Reilly".

author by Dougpublication date Sat Apr 28, 2012 22:42Report this post to the editors

Very odd. Send your cheques for Dublin Catholic Worker to someone who is based in London. and make them payable to Ciaron O’Reilly.
Does Dublin Catholic Worker even exist, does it produce accounts? Why would funds meant for an organisation be made payable to an individual?

For some reason this brings Gordon Nuttalls modus operandi to mind.

>Cheques are payable to Ciaron O’Reilly.
Contacts http://dublincatholicworker.org/

author by Ciaronpublication date Sat Apr 28, 2012 22:11Report this post to the editors

Jim Harte
"The Catholic Church has written to 385 schools requesting the pupils "sign a petition against gay marriage."

I'm a Catholic anarchist I don't vote or sign petitions, so whatever my position is on anything I don't hope to back it up with the violence of the state.

I am unmarried. My understanding of the sacrament of marriage is that it is between a man and a woman as a stable setting to bear and raise children. I came from such a stable setting, I was very fortunate.

50% of marriages collapse ( the stats in Australia, anyways, are the same for Catholic and non- Catholic marriages). Why some gay rights advocates seem to be in a rush to duplicate a failed heterosexual arrangement is beyond me. I haven't really given it much thought. I don't think the sacrament of Christian marriage should have anything to do with the state. What arrangements non-Christians wish to make with each other and the state I guess is up to them. I guess it has a lot to do with the passing on of private property (....or dividing it up once the arrangement collapses?). As a radical christian I don't believe in private property.

"The British Humanist Association intends to take the matter to court"

Good for them. In the scripture disciples are instructed to avoid courts.
Best advice I got from my best high school teacher was "Don't let school get in the way of an education."
Ivan Illich SJ R.I.P.

"Will the Catholic Workers oppose this?"

You'd have to ask them, there is no HQ
"The Catholic Worker is the only movement started by a charasmatic founder. that I know of, that when the founder died...ther was no struggle for secession!"
U.S. academic, can't remember his name

author by opus diablos
Does your 'god' have no sense of humour?

Me and our god have a good sense of humour.
The best form of humour is self depreciating humour. Humiliation is not humour it does not lead to humility. It leads to violence or curling up and dying....see Alice Miller.

"If he gets back and finds them Christians wearing the fucking cross round their necks"

....see Bill Hicks, my hunch was that he was a radical Christian...he sure prowled the stage like a southern Baptist Lenny Bruce. I'm a big Bill Hicks fan..one of my missions is to introduce radical Americans to his work. Amazing how few know of him, his work was better know in England.

The cross was the symbol of the Roman empire used specifically to execute dissidents. The thieves either side were bandidos,

The power of the cross was defeated by Jesus. I wear dreads because I don't want any white boy favors in racist Queensland. I wear a cross as a way of saying to the state "do your worse, is that all you got? fuck you!" I'm not going to have my behavior determined by your sticks (cross, prison, blacklists whatever) or your carrots (now that the Irish have become white, welcome to the comfort zone, forget how your people were tortured so recently, refuel our torturers at Shannon etc etc)

I've no quarrel with JC, its his perverted followers who hide behind the good work of so many who have a non Vatican agenda.

"I like your Christ, I don't like your Christians!" Gandhi

"Besides, anyone who changes water into vino has to have a good bone in is his body somewhere..get past the deification shit...the Vatican has been crucifying heretics for 2 fucking millennia"

Jesus was served up to the imperial Romans as a heretic. He was a radical (Latin for "returning to the roots") Jew. He was not a Christian. If we are following Jesus why should we expect any better treatment from our Church bureaucrats or the empire than he got?
"If you're going to follow Jesus, you got to look good on wood!" Fr. Dan Berrigan SJ

by Emily - Action On X
"Be really radical and stand up for a womans right to life."

As a radical Christian, I am a pacifist (and an anarchist) I support the right to life of all men and women unborn, alive, undead (on death row)

Related Link: http://ciaron.wordpress.com/
author by Real Personpublication date Sat Apr 28, 2012 19:01Report this post to the editors

Just tell us when you will support a Womans Right To Life in Ireland. You were involved in Abortion Clinic blockades in the US. Do you do that in the UK? Will you come over here to stop abortions if they are legalised?

What are CWM going to do about the Catholic Church Hierarchys homophobia in Britain?

Yeah you do good work and have done hard time, but what you do doesn't challenge the institutions of the Catholic Church.

Look at the Redemptorist priests and Fr Brian D'Arcy who have been effectively silenced because they do challenge Rome on issues like the Churchs homophobia.

author by Ciaronpublication date Sat Apr 28, 2012 18:18Report this post to the editors

Would anyone like to address the issues raised by (the thought out athiest) Alexander Cockburn that initiated this thread?
Ya seem to be duckin' and divin' lads. Bit of a trait in the free state in my experience.

Anonymous personal attacks on real people = cowardice.
Seems fair game for anonymous posters to attack anonymous posters.
And leave the real people to duke it out.

I really don't want to repeat the lab rat role of last Easter here.

author by mephisto - (the eternally damned)publication date Sat Apr 28, 2012 14:26Report this post to the editors

Never doubted the degree of Ciaron's activism. We could certainly do with more like him in that respect.

Question is, Does he do it for the reward of eternal life in heaven at the side of his creator?. Or does he do it to get on telly with Julian Assange?. Or does he do it merely because it is the right thing to do? Does it really matter as long as it gets done? Questions only he can answer for himself I guess.

I won't claim to be an Uber Activist like Ciaron undoubtedly is. However what I do, I do anonymously and because I believe it is the right thing to do. No other reason. When I die, that's it and there will be no virgins or eternal bliss awaiting me in the next life. We shouldn't need that kind of self serving ego crutch to do the right thing. Its just an absurd notion. And it sets a bad precedent for the kids too!

author by francis hughespublication date Sat Apr 28, 2012 13:16Report this post to the editors

Guys just to balance things up here and to stop things before they descend into madness, some good comments from everyone here but I dont think we should preoccupy ourselves with this time wasting. I dont know what I am, maybe agnostic, bit spiritual, but I hate either extremes, the secularists or theists takin a superiority moral high ground.

All i know is that action is louder than words and ya have to hand it to Ciaran, he is one of the most active activists goin, ya do see him everywhere, so although the debates are useful sometimes. we could do with more of his ilk out on the streets and not tryin to be 'cool' and 'radica'l makin fancy posters or whatever, although it was a bit humourous I have to say.

Peace and solidarity

author by A27 New York Timespublication date Sat Apr 28, 2012 07:39Report this post to the editors

On Tuesday afternoon, on the steps of Federal Hall, in Lower Manhattan, where Occupy Wall Street protesters have been contained in recent weeks, Loren Hart, a conservatively dressed man of 33, sat reading a newspaper as he held a sign that gave quiet expression to pervasive grievances: “The economy is failing us. Our climate is worsening every day. Perhaps we should make some serious changes.” Mr. Hart arrived in New York from North Carolina in October to join the Occupy movement with the expectation that he would stay a few days, but he has felt unmotivated to leave.


author by mephisto - (the eternally damned)publication date Sat Apr 28, 2012 04:01Report this post to the editors


Evidently not much "forgiveness" coming from the christian corner for expressing a few blasphemous opinions!

From the organisations that gave you: widespread systematic child rape, the crusades, deathbed conversion for mass murderers, rapists etc, Indulgences for the corrupt, witch burning up the wazoo, the horrific torture of heretics, support for the likes of pinochet, more Aids deaths in Africa for the sake of using a condom, that women be treated as second class citizens, that homosexuals are abominations etc etc etc. ad nauseaum

But "heaven forbid" a few blasphemous paragraphs or a funny video that highlight some inconsistencies in the theory that god exists and created the universe.

I wonder did the systematic child rape taking place in this country over many years with the collusion of the catholic establishment perhaps have anything to do with some people losing considerable respect for religion and being rather angry at it? I think that alone certainly constitutes grounds to question the basis of the teachings of such an establishment and whether it deserves any place in our lives, and maybe even a little ridicule. No, indymedia will never be allowed to live down a little blasphemy but by contrast we non christians are expected to forgive and forget institutionalised child rape (not to mention all the other stuff!). Nice.

We currently have a medievil blasphemy law on our statutes with a possible fine of 100,000 euro. For what? In case we dare to suggest that religious ideas be treated exactly the same as any other scientific theories for the origin of the universe?. That the requirement for scientific evidence be every bit as rigorous for the ideas to command respect. ? This is no longer the middle ages. Personally I will continue to blaspheme publicly to highlight this ridiculous law.

One dark age was enough. Surely we don't need another? With the widespread growth of radical Islam, and the growth of rabid right wing christianity in the US, you'll likely get your way eventually if this is indeed the world you'd prefer to a more secular one, but perhaps some of us aren't in as much of a hurry to get there as others.

Until then some of us will choose to criticise religious ideas lacking proper evidence in the same way we would criticise any other theory lacking proper evidence. No special treatment. If you want respect for your belief in a deity, then lets see some evidence. Then I'll respect it.

Funny thing is, It is you that feels aggrieved and under threat by people speaking out against your particular religious beliefs when in reality, it is secular ideas and free expression of such ideas that as far as I can see, is what's really under threat. In reality people get far more stick for expressing atheist ideas than they ever do for expressing irrational religious beliefs.

You may want a world where everyone believes in god but might I suggest you look at history and be careful what you wish for. Because you are very likely to get it as far as I can see. A tissue of reason is all that stands between us and our baser natures. History shows on the other hand, that religion, although often taking the credit for our better behaviour, is in reality, the ultimate excuse to do wrong.

Might I also humbly suggest you not be so presumptuous as to consider it necessary to stand up for god. If (he/she/it) exists and is everything you believe (he/she/it) is then either (he/she/it) is above being remotely concerned with some pissass website dissing the notion of (he/she/it)'s existence or else if (he/she/it) is concerned, then (he/she/it) is certainly capable of taking action on (he/she/it)'s own considering (he/she/it) created the universe and all. Either way, logic would suggests there's really no need for your intervention on (he/she/it)'s behalf on the matter.

I take it (he/she/it) didn't ask you personally to do so of course. I mean (he/she/it) does talk to people from time to time doesn't (he/she/it)?. People such as Tony Blair etc. Apparently god told him to go to war in Iraq. Y'know, one of the wars you so vehemently opposed (correctly IMHO) Of course if religious ideas are above question then we shouldn't question mr Blair on this should we?. In fact if we just accept this on the grounds that religious statements are above criticism, then does logic also say that by protesting the Iraq war, you were going against the will of your own god?
But then logic has little to do with a blind unquestioning leap of faith does it?
Not too surprising to hear religious pronouncements from world leaders though, since it's extremely difficult to run for office in the US (or elsewhere for that matter!) with a high probability of success if we dare to strongly question religious notions. Is that a good thing too?

Oh, and Ciaron, FYI, December 25th is NOT jesus's date of birth. That is just not true. Look it up if you don't believe me! It is however Isaac Newtons birthday!! ;-)

I'm afraid we'll never see eye to eye on this particular topic. If you choose to throw the indymedia baby out with your personal religious conviction infused bathwater then I guess that's your personal choice. However it's not as if Indymedia even publishes articles about religion all that often. At most it's just a handful per year. Do try to keep it in perspective.

If you still feel the need to justify your own beliefs by attacking a website then so be it but don't expect it to go unchallenged.

as a long time regular reader, I see that you have made considerable use of this website over the years to highlight your causes etc. This is as it should be but I must ask, if you have availed of the facility a lot, yet are making pronouncements as to why it is not getting funding and criticising it because it also publishes opinions that you disagree with, yet at the same time you continue to take advantage and make good use of its facilities (only possible through the efforts of unpaid volunteers who keep it going and donations from the public)
but you yourself have not donated to this site then that might be construed as somewhat hypocritical no? Have you actually contributed financially to this site Ciaron?? If not, why not?? If so then perhaps you are in a position to talk about the fall off in donations and the possible reasons for that. If not then perhaps you aren't really.

BTW, I do hope you will enjoy your experiences posting your information on the likes of P.ie or facebook when Indymedia has withered away through lack of funding and public participation. I do hope you'll remember you were one of those kicking it while it was down when the right wing shills are upon you in droves on P.ie, or your facebook account is closed citing "terms of use violation" etc.

I might in response offer a few possibilities for indymedia's current lack of support (apart from the usual personality politics): Recession and austerity for one. People have reduced their charity output in difficult times, and a big eyed child looking at them from the corporate TV takes much greater precedence for what remains than some "lunatic lefty fringe" anarchist website talking about open publishing (what's that?) when we have facebook to do that already. The long term pitfalls of relying on the likes of facebook are not properly understood by many people and it's corporate financed bells and whistles and slick interface are alluring. The bang up job the media have done in relegating left leaning ideas to the scrapheap and branding sites like this as "the loony left" has not helped much either. Neither have the regular trolls bent on its destruction for whatever reasons. This site may have it's issues but if the public allow it to die off then at some point I fear they may regret their short sightedness.

yours in (secular) solidarity!

BTW, I hope you weren't too "offended" by Julian Assange's question to Nasrallah about god being the ultimate dictator! ;-)

One last question Ciaron. You'd think since the bible was the word of god channeled through man and he ,y'know, created the world etc. that he might have mentioned to them somewhere that it was not actually FLAT!! Just saying!

author by Emily - Action On Xpublication date Sat Apr 28, 2012 01:47Report this post to the editors

If you are looking for injustice in Ireland then just look at womens rights. Women who are carrying non-viable foetuses are forced to go to the UK for terminations. The Catholic Church hospital ethics committee in Cork refused to allow a woman suffering from cancer to have a termination. Her doctors said an abortion was necessary to save her life, but no go from your Church. She had to go to England, her life has been shortened due to the delay.

Why won't the CWM come out and support legislation to implement the X Case Judgement? Be really radical and stand up for a womans right to life.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri Apr 27, 2012 17:58Report this post to the editors

while I second your verdict on the puerility of some of the posts and threads I do think you'd be better employed criticising the silence of the church on our collaboration with the sectarian and racist oil wars you oppose, rather than some rag-week stunt...

Does your 'god' have no sense of humour?

If he gets back and finds them Christians wearing the fucking cross round their necks and living in, literally, palaces, after advising otherwise, I dont think it is pranks that will piss him off.

You reckon Robert Emmet or Ken Saro Wiwa want to be greeted with a fucking GALLOWS when they reach the pearlies?

The catholicity of the Roman cult is an imperial catholicity, NOT what the man had in mind, any more than making the kids suffer when he asked the children BE suffered to approach him.

I've no quarrel with JC, its his perverted followers who hide behind the good work of so many who have a non Vatican agenda.

Besides, anyone who changes water into vino has to have a good bone in is his body somewhere..get past the deification shit...the Vatican has been crucifying heretics for 2 fucking millennia...each one for doing what JC attempted to do, get our heads out of the money hole and use our intelligence cooperatively as a HUMAN family...its the fucking Vatican perverted that into its manipulable NUCLEAR holy family.

author by Jim Hartepublication date Fri Apr 27, 2012 15:12Report this post to the editors

The Catholic Church has written to 385 schools requesting the pupils sign a petition against gay marriage. The British Humanist Association intends to take the matter to court, as they believe it violates the 1996 Education Act which forbids the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject.

Personally, I think this represents a new low in the Catholic Church's history. I don't think they would try a similar push in Ireland, because their position here is just a tad more fragile here. Also I wish the British Humanist Association all the best..

Will the Catholic Workers oppose this?

Gay Community News : Church Urges Catholic Pupils To Sign Anti-Gay Marriage Petition

author by Video Gitmopublication date Fri Apr 27, 2012 14:44Report this post to the editors

April 21, 2012 - NYC

VIDEO GITMO (12 mins)
-Occupy Wall Street Movement encounters Catholic Workers in Union Square/ NYC (hangin' out there since 1933)

Above link to a 12 min. video recording of a NYC Catholic Workers leading "Close
Guantanamo" vigil in Union Square.
Featuring NYC Catholic Worker Carmen Trotta.

Related Link: http://witnesstorture.org/
author by Ciaron - Giuseppe Conlon House London Catholic Workerpublication date Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:45Report this post to the editors

I've posted the above article in response to two threads that ran on this site over the past year.

1) Crucifixion party At Seomra Spraoi

2) Belated Merry Xmas And A Happy New Year To All Our Readers And Contributors

I do realise that some folks use this and other indymedia sites as a therapeutic circle jerk
It is sad to see the demise of the site in relation to the dynamic role in once played
during the anti-capitalist and anti-war (among others) movements of yesteryear.
Reflected clearly in the slow trickle of cash donations to sustain the site
compared to past appeals.

I wasted a lot of time intervening on the Crucifixion party At Seomra Spraoi thread
before realising one of the main sock puppets was indeed an indymedia editor
(not sure if that is still the case?)
...so I did not step up to revive my role of lab rat
in the Feature (feature...go figure?)
"Belated Merry Xmas And A Happy New Year To All Our Readers And Contributors"
thread and ensuing debate.

Anyways I assume grownups still visit this site and I think Alexander Cockburn
who I have met while I was once on bail in New York
and a second time while on bail in Dublin.
Alexander also agreed to publish Harry Browne's fine book on the Pitstop Ploughsares action at Shannon,
3 trials and acquittal that followed
addresses the self defeating anti-Chrsitian sectraianism of both the late Hitchens
(God rest his soul!)
and this site.

Cockburn celebrates the christian-left dialogue of his father's generation
a dialogue which informed the American New Left, more significantly liberation struggles in Latin America and more recently the Occupy movements in the U.S. and London.

So there ya go
Ciaron, former Dublin now London

Related Link: http://www.londoncatholicwotker.org
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