Pharyngula

At last! The Vatican takes action!

Finally, the church is beginning to clean up its act. The Vatican has announced that it is investigating three orders of nuns in Washington state — what perverted and revolting acts have these nuns committed to draw the ire of the Catholic church? I’m sure your imagination is working hard right now.

The Vatican says it’s following up on complaints of feminism and activism.

Oh, my god … heads will roll. They’ll be ostracized, exorcized, and excommunicatized. No mere buggery of children here, but feminism? Jesus is weeping in heaven above, and the angels are grounded with grief.

Comments

  1. #1 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    May 4, 2010

    It’s not clear why the local orders are being singled out. The Renton Sisters of Providence run a women’s transition house. The Tacoma Dominicans call themselves risk takers. They work to end human trafficking. The Vatican questionnaire also asks about the age of current members and the state of their housing. The Adrian Dominicans in Woodway are down to about 30 elderly members. Church investigators say they’ll report to Rome next year.

    That will stop the pedophilia. Besides, we all know that all the modern problems of society is the fault of the feminist, including pseudo-feminist elderly nuns.

  2. #2 Phledge
    May 4, 2010

    So…pretty much, they’re investigating the only thing that will put a halt to the ills of the church. Right.

  3. #3 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 4, 2010

    what perverted and revolting acts have these nuns committed to draw the ire of the Catholic church?

    Three Nuns die in a plane crash. Upon arrival at the Holy Gates, St. Peter meets them and says that they have to answer one question that will be verified in the Book Of Life before they can enter into the Heavenly kingdom.
    The question is “Have you ever touched a man’s Private?”

    The first nun steps up and the same question is asked to her….
    she replies I once touched one with my finger.
    St. peter goes away for a moment and comes back and states that she has not lied, and that in fact that on Sept. 11, 2001 she had a momentary weakness and did indeed touch a man’s private with one finger.
    He tells her to go and wash her hand in the holy water and enter into the gates of heaven!

    Now the second and third nuns start yelling at each other and soon end up rolling around in a dog eat dog fight…
    saint Peter says “ladies, we can’t be fighting like this if you are going to enter into the gates of heaven, so what is the problem? ”

    The third nun states ” I am going to wash my mouth out with that Holy water before she puts her rear in it !!!

    /rim shot

  4. #4 black-wolf72
    May 4, 2010

    Hey, it could be worse. They could be trying to understand humanism. *shudder*

  5. #5 Noir The Sable
    May 4, 2010

    When I saw that title, the very faint candlelight of my faith/optimism in other people and human nature was lit once more. “The Catholic Church is really owning up to their actions!” I had thought, ever so hopefully.

    Now that I’ve read the whole article, that candle’s been stomped out.

    *Facepalm*

  6. #6 Fortknox
    May 4, 2010

    This is amazing.

    It’s like Ratzi is an atheist secret agent that works from inside to destroy the church.

  7. #7 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 4, 2010

    It’s like Ratzi is an atheist secret agent that works from inside to destroy the church.

    Shit, the conservative members of the Catholic church eat this stuff up. If anything he’s strengthening his base after the however slight and mostly nonexistent liberalization that happened during the past Popes reign.

  8. #8 Blondin
    May 4, 2010

    I think they deserve spankings all around.

    And then… well, you know.

  9. #9 drumprof
    May 4, 2010

    For some reason…Frank Zappa’s “Catholic Girls” is coming (no pun intended)to mind right now…

  10. #10 mattheath
    May 4, 2010

    Fortknox.If we are doing conspiracy theories isn’t it traditional that we make him a Freemasonic secret agent?

  11. #11 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 4, 2010

    For some reason…Frank Zappa’s “Catholic Girls” is coming (no pun intended)to mind right now…

    Humm. Now I have Joe’s Garage on the brain.

  12. #12 blf
    May 4, 2010

    [I]sn’t it traditional that we make him a Freemasonic secret agent?

    Freemasons have a code of honour

  13. #13 Antiochus Epimanes
    May 4, 2010

    “Complaints of feminism and activism?” Who complains about that except for narrow-minded old reactionary misogynists … Oh. Right. That’s the Catholic hierarchy.

  14. #14 hermetically sealed
    May 4, 2010

    Maybe Mick Jagger needs to add another verse to “Sympathy for the Devil”?

    Good to see the Vatican has its priorities straight.

  15. #15 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    May 4, 2010

    heads will roll

    Then they’ll have to cover that up…

  16. #16 Tulse
    May 4, 2010

    the conservative members of the Catholic church eat this stuff up. If anything he’s strengthening his base after the however slight and mostly nonexistent liberalization that happened during the past Popes reign.

    It’s much like with the Republicans — the Catholic Church has become captive to its radical conservative base, and as a result spends more effort to satisfy that base than to expand its reach and appeal.

    I’m lovin’ it.

  17. #17 Roestigraben
    May 4, 2010

    Feminist nuns? That’s gonna replace “Jewish Nazi” in my repertoire.

  18. #18 Molly, NYC
    May 4, 2010

    Feminist nuns? That’s gonna replace “Jewish Nazi” in my repertoire.

    Don’t know many nuns, do ya?

  19. #19 somewhereingreece
    May 4, 2010

    The Pope deserves each and every expletive thrown at him by Tim Minchin

  20. #20 Endor
    May 4, 2010

    “Don’t know many nuns, do ya?”

    LOL. Took the words right out of my mouth!

  21. #21 Roestigraben
    May 4, 2010

    Don’t know many nuns, do ya?

    No. But I’ve got a hard time imagining how women who have sworn allegiance to an order that will always be dominated by men and demand their subservience could possibly qualify as “feminists” in any meaningful sense of the word.

  22. #22 Victor
    May 4, 2010

    How dare they! Women wanting to be treated equally … pffft! That is just plain ridiculous. They probably learned it from the internet.

  23. #23 ecpaulsen
    May 4, 2010

    So what happens to NAMBLA if the church shuts its doors for good?

  24. #24 Endor
    May 4, 2010

    “But I’ve got a hard time imagining how women who have sworn allegiance to an order that will always be dominated by men and demand their subservience could possibly qualify as “feminists” in any meaningful sense of the word.”

    Let me help with that. The most active feminists I’ve ever know are nuns. And closet atheists/agnostics. When asked about why they chose to become nuns, one said something to the effect of “I could ‘marry christ’ and have the resources and freedom to be an activist, or I could marry a man and spend my life cleaning up after him and his kids.”

    Basically, in their view, domestic life is no less dominated by men who demand their subservience. At least as a nun, they wouldn’t have to live with those men too.

  25. #25 David Marjanovi?
    May 4, 2010

    Shit, the conservative members of the Catholic church eat this stuff up.

    Yes ? all three of them. See comment 16.

  26. #26 chgo_liz
    May 4, 2010

    To add to Endor’s post @ #24, this is not new. Imagine what life “choices” were available for women in Europe in the middle ages. The educated women in that time period were either the few royals from enlightened families or Catholic nuns. A lot of women who post on this blog might well have made the choice to become nuns back then, because it was as close to reading, writing, science and math as you could get.

  27. #27 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlhJkLoaLREvGWBjKzFVMpetAw91i17YYw
    May 4, 2010

    When it comes to the Catholic church, no perversion, bigotry nor stupidity is surprising.

  28. #28 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    May 4, 2010

    As for Endor’s point at #24, I am very fucking grateful that I do not have to make the choose to become part of an oppressive patriarchal hierarchy in order to have an education and not be a housekeeper.

    But I have to but this dig in, the most active feminists I know are lesbians. And I would rather hang with the lesbian rather then nuns. And I have little interest in lesbian nuns.

  29. #29 Roestigraben
    May 4, 2010

    Let me help with that. The most active feminists I’ve ever know are nuns. And closet atheists/agnostics. When asked about why they chose to become nuns, one said something to the effect of “I could ‘marry christ’ and have the resources and freedom to be an activist, or I could marry a man and spend my life cleaning up after him and his kids.”

    Do they actually have the freedom for activism? The article suggests that this is definitely not the case, and it’s not really surprising that the Church would crack down on activities that undermine its own concepts of social hierarchies. Seeking independence and self-fulfillment in a monastery might’ve been the only option available for women in the middle ages, but it’s not like femeinists haven’t succeeded in opening up new avenues in the last century.
    If a woman comes from a poor family, can’t obtain a decent education and would therefore have to choose between an independent life in poverty or becoming a domestic servant, OK, then maybe the option of joining a monastery doesn’t look so bad. But still, she’d be operating under the constraints of a system that is absolutely inimical to any feminist notions, have to conceal her real views, and have no chance to ever rise through its ranks. I don’t doubt your personal experiences, but I honestly can’t imagine that seeking independence under the aegis of the Church is the prime reason why the majority or even a substantial share of today’s nuns chose this path.

  30. #30 phoenixwoman
    May 4, 2010

    Always remember:

    Espousing liberation theology, or anything that might lead to wholesale improvement in the lives of poor people, is far more likely to get you kicked out of the church than forcing yourself on several hundred boys and girls.

    Look at the career of the famous “squatter bishop” Jacques Gaillot. The only reason he hasn’t been excommunicated is because JPII and Ratzi didn’t want to make a martyr of him — so in 1995 he was instead officially transferred to “Partenia”, a titular see that hasn’t had a physical existence since the 5th century. However, this wound up backfiring as Gaillot had a bunch of web-savvy friends; they set up a virtual diocese for him called Partenia, and got online — and got access to a worldwide audience — before the Vatican did.

  31. #31 mattheath
    May 4, 2010

    Basically, in their view, domestic life is no less dominated by men who demand their subservience.

    Which (together with feminism) is why orders of nuns aren’t recruiting like they used to (at least in the West). Which is why the RCC are cracking down on feminist nuns. It’s kind of like East Germany educating the working classes.

  32. #32 b.richard.martin
    May 4, 2010

    Are they showing their wrists? It’s becasue they’re showing their wrists, isn’t it? Or could be something even more terrifying and horrible to the imagination…showing their ankles!!

  33. #33 Capital Dan
    May 4, 2010

    Rev. BigDumbChimp | May 4, 2010 2:44 PM

    Humm. Now I have Joe’s Garage on the brain.

    TURN IT DOWN!!!

  34. #34 Roestigraben
    May 4, 2010

    I don’t doubt your personal experiences, but I honestly can’t imagine that seeking independence under the aegis of the Church is the prime reason why the majority or even a substantial share of today’s nuns chose this path.

    Having said that, I just realized that the vast majority of today’s nuns probably live in countries where the conditions for women aren’t too different from those in the middle ages, so scratch that. But I still don’t think it’s an important motivation for women in the developed world.

  35. #35 DeusExNihilum
    May 4, 2010

    GOD HELP US! THEY’LL BE VOTING NEXT!

    But seriously, I can’t help but think that the Catholic church has been taken over by some sort of parody virus. Kids get raped, they do nothing but whine, A few nun’s ‘might’ be thinking about equality and they can’t act quick enough…I mean, i know they’re deluded, and stupid, and amoral-out-the-ass, but when they hit rock bottom they just grab a spade and dig a little further. It’s ridiculous!

  36. #36 Natalie
    May 4, 2010

    Roestigraben @ 29

    Do they actually have the freedom for activism?

    My experience has been that a nun’s opportunity for activism is highly dependent on her home church and/or diocese. If the area is more liberal, or at least has a more liberal Catholic population, the Church leaders never hear complaints about the liberal nuns and priests. The Catholic Church I was raised in did, IMO, follow the idea of serving the populace quite well. The church is humble, and what they have is freely provided to the poor and homeless. The demographics have been changing as more and more immigrants of Mexican and/or Guatemalan extraction move to the area, but the Catholic traditions in those areas does tend to be flavored with liberation theology and thus more liberal.

    I’ve known some activist nuns, particularly in the realm of peace activism. There are 4 sisters in the Twin Cities area (biological sisters and all nuns) who are rather well known for their dedication to protesting at Alliant TechSystems (DOD contractor). They are all rather elderly but are still arrested regularly for trespassing and similar offenses. I can’t imagine what it’s like to arrest a 75 year old, 4 1/2 foot tall nun.

    Anecdote: one of these sisters, Kate, was a teacher at the Catholic school I attended until the local Catholic school system was reorganized and my school closed. The most distinct memory I have of her, other than learning probably too much about El Salvador for my age, is that she wouldn’t let us call the card game “War” by that name.

    I’m not completely certain about newer nuns, but I think the sisterhood was probably very attractive to women who came of age before the societal changes of the late 60s-70s. I can certainly imagine a Catholic woman from a relatively conservative family choosing a convent as a way to cultivate an intellectual and service-oriented life without the pressure to get married, have children, and keep a perfect house. I’m not sure if younger feminist Catholics are attracted to the sisterhood, but my bet is “no”. All of the liberal activist nuns I’ve known would be in their 70s or 80s today.

  37. #37 tsg
    May 4, 2010

    TURN IT DOWN!!!

    I HAVE CHILDREN SLEEPING HERE! He used to be such a nice boy, used to cut my grass….

  38. #38 irenedelse
    May 4, 2010

    phoenixwoman #30:

    Always remember:

    Espousing liberation theology, or anything that might lead to wholesale improvement in the lives of poor people, is far more likely to get you kicked out of the church than forcing yourself on several hundred boys and girls.

    Spot on. And remember who was in charge of stamping down on the Liberation Theology bishops and priest: Mgr Ratzinger, then trusted disciplinarian sidekick of that nice humanist pope John Paul II.

    Look at the career of the famous “squatter bishop” Jacques Gaillot. The only reason he hasn’t been excommunicated is because JPII and Ratzi didn’t want to make a martyr of him — so in 1995 he was instead officially transferred to “Partenia”, a titular see that hasn’t had a physical existence since the 5th century. However, this wound up backfiring as Gaillot had a bunch of web-savvy friends; they set up a virtual diocese for him called Partenia, and got online — and got access to a worldwide audience — before the Vatican did.

    Anothing thing about Mgr Gaillot: his disavowal by the Vatican felt especially unjust to the Catholics because apart from keeping a high profile in the media, he was otherwise a perfectly obedient and devout servant of Mother Church.

    Witness a confession he made recently to the French press, in the midst of the revelations about the pedophilia affairs: he admitted than in the 1980s, he had employed in his diocese a priest known to the hierarchy and himself as a pedophile. A sadly typical affair: the priest had been moved from a Canadian diocese because he had been repeatedly accused of molesting young boys, but the Church managed at the time to prevent “scandal” and simply sent him to another country. Where he probably did more of the same. And Mgr Jacques Gaillot, who was at the time bishop of Evreux, in France, said nothing about it either and just put the man in charge of a parish. Until, years later, he had the grace to feel bad about it and say publicly that “regretted” his error.

  39. #39 Natalie
    May 4, 2010

    Oops, I meant to link this feature the local weekly rag did on the sister sisters (in 1999, which seems like way too long ago): A Change of Habits. The woman who taught me, Kate, was 69 when the article was written, making her 80 if she’s still alive.

  40. #40 great.american.satan
    May 4, 2010

    Did somebody say lesbian nuns? Oh man, I’m in trouble again….

  41. #41 Knockgoats
    May 4, 2010

    When asked about why they chose to become nuns, one said something to the effect of “I could ‘marry christ’ and have the resources and freedom to be an activist, or I could marry a man and spend my life cleaning up after him and his kids.”

    How about not getting married or becoming a nun, and getting a useful job? That was possible even a century ago.

  42. #42 Roestigraben
    May 4, 2010

    @Natalie #36,

    I was thinking specifically about activism for feminist causes when I wrote that – the article doesn’t specify what kind of activism drew the ire of the nuns’ supervisors, but I don’t think they would’ve gotten in trouble for advocating pacifism or environmentalism, two goals to which the Church at least pays lip-service. But if nuns start campaigning for gender equality, they’d probably look first to the institution they themselves are part of, and that’s not going to sit well with the patriarchs in charge of it.

  43. #43 Ol'Greg
    May 4, 2010

    How about not getting married or becoming a nun, and getting a useful job? That was possible even a century ago.

    Not that possible unless you had wealth already I don’t think. You could get a “useful” job but it would be very unlikely that you could support yourself with it.

    That being said I had a great aunt that worked as a draftsman, an unusual job for a woman then, but AFAIK the pay for “women’s positions” was generally less under the assumption that they would have a man paying too and their labor was worthless.

    Plus as working for your living and facing the stigma of a working woman you would probably not have the time or money to help anybody else.

  44. #44 Natalie
    May 4, 2010

    Roestigraben @ 42 – Understood. I did note when I was looking around the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet St. Paul page that they list “Heterosexism and Homophobia” as one of their action points. Frankly I’m surprised they haven’t gotten in trouble with HMC for that.

    I suppose the feminist nuns I’ve known have been less interested in specific action for “feminist causes” and more driven by a general desire for equality which includes women. But again, these are typically women of a different generation and their context is necessarily different from mine.

  45. #45 speedweasel
    May 4, 2010

    The educated women in that time period were … Catholic nuns

    Maybe, for particularly small values of ‘educated’

  46. #46 MATTIR
    May 4, 2010

    I went to a Catholic boarding school run by nuns for two years in the 1970s. Via Facebook, I connected with a bunch of my classmates and discovered that the classmates (except for me and a couple others) are all conservative Catholic Republicans, while a substantial number of the nuns have left the order and come out as lesbians. The school was fabulous for me for a variety of reasons, but I have been horrified at the tremendous social cost these women must have endured to provide that care. Plus I’ve been pretty amazed that my classmates seem totally unaware of how bad it much have been for the nuns to deny important aspects of themselves.

  47. #47 'Tis Himself, OM
    May 4, 2010

    Rev BDC #7

    Shit, the conservative members of the Catholic church eat this stuff up.

    The conservative elements of the Anglican church are primarily in Africa, so are many of the conservative elements of the RCC. The African bishops are worried the liberalism found in North American and Western European Catholicism will spread to Africa. The concern is African women, including nuns, will think they’re as good as men. So seeing the Vatican cracking down on American nuns will encourage the African bishops.

    African Catholic clergy aren’t into raping children. They usually prefer to rape nuns. If the nuns start objecting to rape then that’ll cause a scandal. The faithful get excited about scandals, particularly sexual scandals involving supposedly chaste clergy. The bishops want to keep the faithful in “pray, pay and obey” mode.

  48. #48 drumprof
    May 4, 2010

    TURN IT DOWN!!! I HAVE CHILDREN SLEEPING HERE! Sorry I brought up Catholic Girls…Tough day today….DON’T YOU BOYS KNOW ANY NICE SONGS???…

  49. #49 Sastra
    May 4, 2010

    Atheist and author Dale McGowan (who wrote the delightful novel Calling Bernadette’s Bluff) once said that he knows a lot of “Catholic feminists,” and feels the same way towards them, as he would feel towards a black guy in the Ku Klux Klan. He wants to grab them and ask “What? DIDN’T YOU READ THE BROCHURE???

  50. #50 irenedelse
    May 4, 2010

    @ Sastra: I know myself some Catholic feminists and social activists, and I often feel bad for them. They are regularly dumped on by the Church’s authorities for being, well, too humanist, and at the same time lumped by non-Catholics with the rest of the RC Church and its horrible policies.

    Maybe it’s masochism.

  51. #51 Walton
    May 4, 2010

    I don’t know any nuns, but I occasionally see a few on the streets of Oxford. I’ve never seen a nun who looked younger than fifty or sixty. I doubt Catholic orders are able to recruit the way they used to.

  52. #52 mas528
    May 4, 2010

    This is ridiculous, although if you’re a catholic the nuns is a no-no.

    The Vatican and Ratzenbugger remind me of the subject of some of Art Buchwald’s columns.

    He had a regular column in the 1970’s during Watergate. My memory is hazy, but either he was investigated by the AG for a White House leak or he was accused (in jest) of being a secret policy advisor for the Nixon Administration.

    He explained when he way writing the parodies, he always tried to come up with things that were so perverse that no one in their right mind would attempt them.

    In the next days, sure enough, they would do something close to he wrote about.

  53. #53 amglasgow
    May 4, 2010

    Jesus would be weeping, surely, if he existed, but not because of the nuns.

  54. #54 Al B. Quirky
    May 4, 2010

    Whilst advocating the Catholic church be subjected to an external investigation re pedophilia, is a stance to be supported, one questions whether the empathy with the victims is genuine or is the motive borne of malice, especially when the High Priest of Pharyngula expresses the desire to brainwash 1st graders into believing gay marriage (and by extension, anal intercourse) is ‘normal’, which if implemented would of course favor pedophiles who may see those same 1st graders as sexual prey.
    Meanwhile, PZ’s fellow GAC presenter C. Deveny hopes 11-year old Bindi Irwin “gets laid”
    What is it with lefties, pedophilia and hypocrisy?

  55. #55 aratina cage
    May 4, 2010

    the desire to brainwash 1st graders into believing gay marriage (and by extension, anal intercourse) is ‘normal’, which if implemented would of course favor pedophiles who may see those same 1st graders as sexual prey.
    -Al B. Quirky

    Fuck you, you sad piece of shit.

  56. #56 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    May 4, 2010

    empathy with the victims is genuine

    It’s genuine, unlike you and your feeble attempts at humor. You have nothing but idiocy, as shown by the concept that gay marriage is bad and leads to pedophilia. Where is your evidence? Also, where is your evidence that the medieval warming was a global phenomenon? You ran away when you had to produce it, like the loser you are.

  57. #57 John Morales
    May 4, 2010

    ABQ:

    the High Priest of Pharyngula

    :)

    the desire to brainwash 1st graders into believing gay marriage (and by extension, anal intercourse) is ‘normal’, which if implemented would of course favor pedophiles who may see those same 1st graders as sexual prey.

    → “the desire to brainwash 1st graders into believing gay marriage (and by extension, anal intercourse) is ‘normal’, which if implemented would of course favor pedophiles who may see those same 1st graders as sexual prey.”

    (Because hetero couples don’t fuck, unlike teh ghey.)

    Oh yeah, also, what Aratina said.

  58. #58 OurDeadSelves
    May 4, 2010

    … which if implemented would of course favor pedophiles who may see those same 1st graders as sexual prey.

    So… you’re not smart enough to know the difference between homosexuality and pedophilia, huh?

    Figures. Why aren’t trolls ever intelligent enough to hold a conversation with?

  59. #59 'Tis Himself, OM
    May 4, 2010

    Tell me, Anal B. Quirky, why is it you homophobes are fixated on anal intercourse?

  60. #60 csreid
    May 4, 2010

    ABQ:

    It almost looks like you were just trying to cram as many bigoted lies about gay people into a comment as possible. Seriously.

    Why do you think gay marriage and anal sex are so closely related? Do lesbians not exist? Also, straight couples have anal sex. Do straight men who like anal sex also prey on young boys?

  61. #61 Ing
    May 4, 2010

    “Whilst advocating the Catholic church be subjected to an external investigation re pedophilia, is a stance to be supported, one questions whether the empathy with the victims is genuine or is the motive borne of malice, ”

    Is it hard to talk with Ratzinger’s balls in your mouth?

  62. #62 Shplane
    May 4, 2010

    #54

    Wow. Just… wow. What the fuck?

  63. #63 MAJeff, OM
    May 4, 2010

    Wow. Just… wow. What the fuck?

    You’re surprised a right-wing fuck is an anti-gay bigot?
    I should think it’s pretty much a given. These folks are without value.

  64. #64 alysonmiers
    May 4, 2010

    Feminism is basically anti-matter to Catholicism. I’m not surprised that the Vatican chooses to investigate this.

  65. #65 ereador
    May 4, 2010

    I agree, alysonmiers, that’s true. What surprises me is they don’t hide the fact they are investigating it. You’d think they would want to lay low, so to speak. Maybe as some have suggested, they are pandering to their base, so to speak.

  66. #66 Shplane
    May 4, 2010

    #63

    No, no, it’s just… What the fuck was I just reading? High Priest? Brainwashing? Is this the script for a Chick Tract or something?

  67. #67 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    May 4, 2010

    I seen ABQ did another hit and run, refusing to stay and present any evidence for his claims. Repeated behavior like that should invoke the banhammer…

  68. #68 Deluded Creodont
    May 5, 2010

    I HAVE CHILDREN SLEEPING HERE! He used to be such a nice boy, used to cut my grass….

    Next thing you know, we’re going to have Sexual Harassment In The Workplace.

    Oh, wait, we’re already talking about the Catholic Church.

  69. #69 Lyr
    May 5, 2010

    I saw a quote the other day that sums this whole thing up pretty well…

    “A translation of the Judeo-Christian Bible that does not offend women is analogous to a translation of Mein Kampf that does not offend Jews.” — William R. Harwood

  70. #70 paulmurray
    May 5, 2010

    So two nuns are in the bath. One asks the other “where’s the soap?”, and the other replies “Yes, it does, doesn’t it?”.

    My mum told me that one when I was a lad, and it wasn’t for years and years that I worked out what it was about.

  71. #71 John Morales
    May 5, 2010

    paulmurray,

    So two nuns are in the bath. One asks the other “where’s the soap?”, and the other replies “Yes, it does, doesn’t it?”

    What’s it about?

  72. #72 Al B. Quirky
    May 5, 2010

    @55
    why, do I look like a squid?
    @56, 58 & 61
    you have a comprehension problem – big time – also logic/deductive deficiency
    @59
    I don’t like it happening to 1st graders.
    @60
    How many logical fallacies can you fit into one post? BTW, I didn’t say anything about ‘gay people’, liar.
    @62
    thank you :)
    @63
    Bigot!

  73. #73 christophe-thill.myopenid.com
    May 5, 2010

    The Feminist Nuns of Washington State! What a great “nunsploitation” movie this would have been! Why didn’t an Italian moviemaker think of it, back in the 80s ???

  74. #74 TB Tabby
    May 5, 2010

    With a name like “Al B. Quirky,” I’m not ruling our a Poe here.

  75. #75 Shplane
    May 5, 2010

    #72

    No, no, that was an insult. Do you bother to think at all before posting, or are you just slamming your dick against a keyboard at random?

  76. #76 GravityIsJustATheory
    May 5, 2010

    Why aren’t trolls ever intelligent enough to hold a conversation with?

    Because their brains are made of silicon, and don’t work well at room temperature.

    We should try cooling them to near absolute zero, and see if that turns them into geniuses.

  77. #77 Sclerophanax
    May 5, 2010

    Sadly, the Catholic church is being true to the teachings of their holy book here. After all, the Bible doesn’t condemn pedophilia anywhere, but it makes it very clear that women are to be subservient to men. It’s truly anything but a good book.

  78. #78 Cerberus
    May 5, 2010

    Endor @24 and Natalie @36

    Yeah, when your options back in the Mad Men days were heavily limited and careers for women, especially middle class jobs were heavily foreign and openly fought against by the ruling elite, being a nun to retain some (albeit mostly illusory) freedom to run your own life and mobilize for positive social change probably made sense. Also, before queer activism, being “different” (aka lesbian) meant you could be sent to or otherwise encouraged to join the sisterhood as being an out gay woman was still relatively foreign until the brave work done by women in the late 60s and throughout the 70s and 80s.

    As would be expected, as the world grew up, women could stand on their own two feet on the immense victories of those who had gone before and while the rest of western society grew up in leaps and bounds on women’s rights, suddenly the catholic church lost its slim margin for being “slightly better” than the alternative.

    The general agitation from the “women who do all the real work of the Church” in all religions is a main reason for a lot of the crackdown against “feminism” from the patriarchal religions, because feminist gains in society are starting to creep literally inches away from their doors and even women in conservative religious households are starting to wonder about the houseslave trap and why women get to do all the work but hold no official positions in the Churches.

    Janine @28

    And this. Lesbians have always been a strong component of feminist pushing and feminists tend to have a large component of feminists. Indeed that has been one of the longest running attacks against feminism for years. The argument goes that “proper” people have to be “on-guard” against feminism because it’ll turn all your daughters into dykes who will never be able to marry or provide grandchildren. It’s the root of the “hairy-legged” feminist stereotype, “man-hater”, and the “they’re attacking housewives” lies. People have mentioned that sexism often underlies homophobia, but here is an example where the homophobia underlies the sexism. As always, it’s all connected.

    And it’s worth pointing out regarding the Original Topic, that they got McCarthyed over resisting human trafficking. That’s the most no-shit feminist issue we have in the western world. Even conservative professional anti-feminists often put out a word against human trafficking (often by claiming that feminists can’t complain about any inequalities until they devote all their time and energy into stopping this problem (but only in far away middle Eastern countries and not with regards to supplying the underage prostitute population or mail-order bride population for conservative men)).

    The Catholic Church is the vileness that is The Patriarchy Manifest. But it is worth noting just how off-kilter they’re shit is. They’re so frightened of a nun revolt or feminism finally improving the lives of those they are trying to ruin that they are now arguing for one of the most widely denounced crimes around and treating those who dare fight against it far worse than they would ever dream treating those who continuously rape children.

    No matter how bad you think the Church is…it’s worse.

    ABQ @54, 72

    Hey, idiot who thinks it’s hilarious to do a poe-style parody troll that’s too close to the real thing? The point of parody is informative exaggeration. When the target of your parody is insane, you need to step it up a notch. Here’s your master class. Hint, just repeating the boiler plate responses and being mildly antagonistic isn’t being a parody troll, it’s been an asshole.

    It’s being a real troll.

    If you’re not being a parody troll, well then…what’s Bizarro Earth like?

  79. #79 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    May 5, 2010

    ABQ, still no evidence, making you a big time loser. All you have is bad intelligence and attitude. You know that. Otherwise, you would not be such a idjit bigot. To bad PZ won’t moderate his posts and only put up those with real evidence. Then we would never hear from this loser again.

  80. #80 redrabbitslife
    May 5, 2010

    Echoing the comments of others here:

    Growing up in a small very Catholic community, my very first exposure to feminism, activism, and the true embodiment of those lovely fairy stories about goodness and helping the poor and underprivileged was the nuns.

    Nuns founded and ran community hospitals across the globe, including St. Mary’s and Hotel Dieu in Montreal, both first class institutions.

    They work directly to help the disenfranchised. They’re not all sadistic and insane like Mother Teresa (OK, some actually are, but they’re not the rule, I think).

    I can’t say what the original reasoning for many of them joining the orders; when I worked in a village in Southern Africa, I lived with local nuns there and they said to me precisely what Endor at #24 and others have said: “I could get married and be a slave to some man, or I could join the orders and be a teacher and do charity work.” There wasn’t really a third way. Hell, I was 24, and I got a ridiculous amount of “where’s your husband?”

    While the Christian Brothers back in St. John’s were running Mount Cashel orphanage and ruining the lives of the children therein, the sisters were teaching me math and science and evolution, were finding funding for kids who couldn’t afford books, and were making a safe place for kids who got the shit kicked out of them at home.

  81. #81 Endor
    May 5, 2010

    “How about not getting married or becoming a nun, and getting a useful job? That was possible even a century ago.”

    This was basically what I said to them. The response was that going to college wasn’t an option and working a menial job was akin to being trapped in marriage. The reality is though that getting and keeping a “useful job” isn’t always easy and isn’t always possible. Or, the alternative is simply better ? get room and board while doing what you actually want to be doing.

    It was a subversive act as well, as these are closeted atheists/agnostics. It’s their belief they can change (or, more to the point, hasten the destruction of) the Church from the inside.

    Who know if or how that’s successful.

  82. #82 Endor
    May 5, 2010

    “They’re so frightened of a nun revolt or feminism finally improving the lives of those they are trying to ruin that they are now arguing for one of the most widely denounced crimes around and treating those who dare fight against it far worse than they would ever dream treating those who continuously rape children.

    No matter how bad you think the Church is…it’s worse.”

    QFT. Fighting human trafficking is virtually the only issue on which all branches of feminism agree – one of the only things on which basically all sane, decent people agree and here we have the dude who calls himself the god’s moral authority on earth trying to stop those fighting it, while implicitly (and arguably explicitly) condoning the rape of children.

    Misogyny that strong is impossible to comprehend.

  83. #83 ChrisD
    May 5, 2010

    Al B.:

    one questions whether the empathy with the victims is genuine or is the motive borne of malice

    How about both? I empathize with the victims and wish the priests a mere eternity in hell after suffering as much as they can with their mortal life. It’s borne of malice toward kiddy diddlers, and a hope that there will be some sort of relief for the victims by the perpetrator’s facing Justice.

    One questions if you make grossly uninformed general claims about everyone because of your distaste for what those people stand for. The answer seems to be yes.

    when the High Priest of Pharyngula expresses the desire to brainwash 1st graders into believing gay marriage (and by extension, anal intercourse) is ‘normal’, which if implemented would of course favor pedophiles who may see those same 1st graders as sexual prey.

    Education which you disagree with is brainwashing. Gays are more likely to be paedophiles. Being gay isn’t ‘normal’.

    Fuck off.

  84. #84 JSug
    May 5, 2010

    Let me make sure I’ve got this straight:

    Accusation: Priests are diddling children.

    Church Response: Spend billions of dollars to silence the victims, while obstructing justice and withholding the names of the accused for decades, all in the name of protecting the reputation of the church.

    Accusation: Nuns are sheltering battered women, and helping to fight human trafficking.

    Church Response: Immediate, high profile investigation by the Vatican.

    Bravo!

  85. #85 Al B. Quirky
    May 5, 2010

    @79
    If you don’t like my attitude, you can stick it up yer ass.

  86. #86 Kieranfoy
    May 5, 2010

    @Al B. Quirky #85

    What is it with you and the rectal fixation?

    For Sithis sake, just go and get buggered, and get it out of your system.

  87. #87 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    May 5, 2010

    We all know poor AssBeQueer has issues. He doesn’t let it stop him from seeming incoherent and stoopid though…

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