Friday, August 17, 2012

Quick Takes: If I'm annoying, will they sue?

{I seriously just spent hours on this Quick Takes, and it was done except for a couple of commas. Then, just as suddenly, it went away, and left me with one of the earliest drafts. I'm about ready to throw myself out a window. So, what you will get here is a very sad skeleton of what could have -- should have -- been.}





While conversations continue on three of the past four posts (with few readers actually able to see all the comments on this one, unless they see and click the "load more" at the bottom of the comments, or subscribe to the comments via email as I do*), it's weird to keep moving on, but move on I will -- because I'm progressive that way, ha ha! 

[Quick note: Just found out that one of my old, fun posts has been reprinted today on Catholic Lane! Stacy made "my" daughter a redhead, just like in real life, ha ha! And by the way, since the article first ran here, my daughter did bring home a "virtues" man!]


1) See the thing is, I don't care what atheists do (as long as they are not killing unborn human beings or taking away my religious liberties), so I have never understood why they can't just leave religious people alone as well. Generally, we should all just tolerate each other (in the correct sense of the word). How about that? But no, apparently that can't happen. I have watched the pesty "Freedom From Religion Foundation" folks wreak their havoc lately, folks whose primary agenda seems to be insinuating themselves into situations where no one is actually being hurt, and then causing all sorts of problems like bullies are wont to do. I do appreciate it when they outright admit that they are just being bullies:

A Pennsylvania atheist filed a grievance with the state's Human Relations Commission this summer after he learned that Prudhomme’s Lost Cajun Kitchen in Columbia was offering a 10 percent discount on meals to people who brought their church bulletin with them. 
“I did this not out of spite, but out of a feeling against the prevailing self-righteousness that stems from religion, particularly in Lancaster County,” John Wolff, a retired electrical engineer, told the  Intelligencer Journal of his decision to go toe-to-toe with the restaurant. 
“I don’t consider it an earthshaking affair, but in this area in particular, we seem to have so many self-righteous religious people, so it just annoys me.” 
In that case, the restaurant's owner refused to halt the promotion [you go, girl!]. And the matter is still pending before the secular Pennsylvania commission.  [emphasis mine]

Did you get that? Religious people "annoy" him, so he files a complaint, and the FFRF calls in its gang of lawyers to intimidate the proprietor and potentially ruin a family's business. These are not good people, dear readers! I hope our resident atheists here will denounce their bully tactics.


2) Oh, how I love this! Simcha says it so well. Anyone with lots of little ones, plus some older ones, will relate:




3) This blog, written by a woman for a beloved, lost sister, breaks my heart:


Julie's sister is shouting for the truth to be heard, but no one is listening. The Pill is like a sacrament in this culture, and no one cares if healthy young women die along the way.

We've said it before on this blog: The Pill Was Never Designed to Improve a Woman's Health (check out the stories in the comments, too).



4) Tolerance. I don't think it means what the Gay Liberation Network thinks it means:



God bless that priest! [I had a whole thing about the Family Research Council shooting here, too, and then "poof" it was gone! Sigh.]


5)  Look at this absolutely gorgeous quote!
But what I am suggesting is this - secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King - indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history - were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. So to say that men and women should not inject their "personal morality" into public policy debates is a practical absurdity. Our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Who could have said it? Rick Santorum? Robert P. George? Cardinal Dolan? No, it was Barack Obama… in 2006. I will not comment on this irony, other than to thank JoAnna for the reference.


6) Considering my own orientation, I vote this the best t-shirt of the year:


Introvert readers will understand. ;)


7) Orphan time! Meet Payton and Penny. I don't have a Reece's Rainbow link to give you, because their files were only available to RR for a short time. However, they are still adoptable (please email Shelley at shele337@gmail.com for information). What I can tell you is that they are in the Bad Place, and that is not good. I wrote an entire post on them on my Orphan Report, here.

Meantime, here are their photos and a few details….


Payton
Payton is eight years old and weighs 17 pounds. His main issues seem to be cerebral palsy and severe malnutrition. He could really use a mama and daddy, and his country is relatively easy for adoptions. This photo breaks my heart.

Penny

Penny is almost 12 years old and weighs just 21 pounds. Her main issues are internal hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, and rotted teeth. A woman who met her recently said, "There is a sweet little girl trapped in there!"

There are only two ways to save these children: 1) Please adopt one or both. 2) Please share their faces and information.

(PS: A wonderful lady who is adopting a child from the Bad Place recounts some of her experiences, here.)

+++++++

There is another child who is very special to me, because he is so very special to one of the regular bloggers, Brenda, at Life As We Know It. If you know Brenda at all, you know that she loves Miles and wanted to be his mommy, but she and her husband are not in a position to adopt at this time.


Yes, I am adorable!

And I am handsome!

Click my photo for more information!


I wrote an entire post on OR called "When Brenda Saw Miles…", which will give you a little more information on this sweet, worthy boy.

In a nutshell, three-year-old Miles has HIV, which is controlled by medication. He is in every way a normal little boy, developing beautifully. If he is adopted, he will live a normal lifespan and do everything that everyone else does. That is the situation with HIV today. It is not scary like it used to be. And HIV has never been transmitted via normal, casual contact or play. Ever.

There is an adorable video of Miles and extra photos, here.

I can't thank you enough for spreading the word or considering Miles for your own family.

+++++++

Also, please don't forget Oliver's matching grant which only runs for two more days! He needed $2,000 to get the full grant, and as of this posting he only needs $508.10! That is pretty darn great, but can we push him to the finish line? Donate here (tax deductible).

And finally, as Sylvia and her husband get closer to traveling to get their two little girls (it could be just six weeks from now!), they are scrambling to raise the rest of the needed funds. The facebook auction was a huge success, and now she is back to the Baby Shower/Giveaway, where any donation or sharing (facebook, twitter, blogs, email) will get you entered to win an iPad/flat screen TV/camera/Keurig or a host of other prizes. This is for real guys (I actually won an iPad in a recent giveaway… crazy!), and soon Yulia and Elaine will be orphans no more. Click here for more info!


Okay, everyone, have a fantastic weekend! And thanks to Jen, for hosting!



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*This is what you should see and click to get to all the comments when they run over 200 or so:



Note the "Load more…"  and the "subscribe by email". And, yes, I hate blogger. But the thought of switching over to something else makes me want to run in a cave and hide forever.


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100 comments:

  1. HaHa - Loved the Introverts T-shirt :)

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  2. I wonder what a gay man with a rainbow falg in the middle of a Catholic procession would be treated like. Provocation gets responses.

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  3. Leila, I would love to be in support of a restaurant owner to serve whomever they choose, unfortunately the Civil Rights Act is somewhat clear on it: “All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation . . . without discrimination on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

    What the owner should do is sponsor the church leaflet and put a discount coupon on it. I believe this would settle all the problems, but I'm no lawyer.

    My view would be to simply boycott places that discriminate (and this could well come under the definition of discrimination, assuming they only do it for churches).

    But maybe this will make it slightly more obvious:
    "Whenever I have a customer who looks as if they could be Muslim I charge an extra 30%. You know, either with the dark skin, or the funny headgear." or,
    "If someone's wearing a cross I'll reduce the price by a third because they're good people and should be rewarded."

    I think people should be allowed to do that, as do Rand and Ron Paul, but the government decided that discrimination against blacks was a big enough issue to regulate what private individuals can do with their personal property if they're considered to be a 'public place'.

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  4. Ok, I sense that already a debate is going heat up soon. But I just wanted to say that that video of the priest who is simply praying (unlike the others who were shouting and being much more disruptive) brought tears to my eyes. Notice how that woman was holding him back and he simply stood there. Most men would have pushed her away or much worse.

    Yes, I've wondered too--why does it bother atheists so much that religious people are religious? Why does it bother them that we believe in God?

    A priest at the retreat said it simply: Jesus bothers people. He is the most bothersome Person in History. People found Him so bothersome that they put Him to death. And still, when we talk of God, even just pray in public quietly as that priest did, or praying quietly in front of an abortion clinic, people flip us off, or yell obscenities. I think Jesus bothers people because He speaks the Truth--whether they know it or not, agree with it or not. Even people in Hell are in the utmost torment because they know the truth of why they are there and the truth of what they chose to reject. They still hate the Truth, but they can't ignore it any longer.

    There is no tolerance in this world for Christians, and the world wants to shut us up. Well it didn't work with Jesus, and as the world can see, more than 2000 years later, it's still not working.

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  5. When watching the video of the priest at the protest, I was struck by the fact that a few of the protesters just seemed to hold back and shuffle and not join in the "shouting down" behavior. Also, I agree that he was to expect confrontation, as he was not just standing on the sidelines but attempting to walk with the protesters. I think he was actually looking for some sort of provocation, perhaps with the intention of starting a dialogue with protestors.

    If you look closely, many of these protesters look a bit odd. I don't see anyone who looks like JFK Jr. or Kate Beckinsale...many GLBT people strike me this way. Many of them spent their lives as outcasts...I think people who disagree with their activities advocay need to never lose site of the fact that each and every one of them is a soul. You can certainly disagree, but don't claim they don't have a right to protest or pass off all of their vehemence as hatred or intolerance; most of them are deeply wounded people and have not been truly loved by their families and communities. Imagine how many were shown the door when they announced to their families they were gay.

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  6. I want to state that I don't think all GBLT people look "odd"; I know a few who are gorgeous and very well adjusted, but many have seemed to appear like the walking wounded to me.

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  7. I loved the Babyland post! I read it earlier this week and felt so much better and less like it was just me:)

    I still tear up every time I read your post about Miles. I hope our "no" leads us to help someone get to their "yes".

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  8. See the thing is, I don't care what theists do (as long as they are not promoting inequality or spreading proven falsities as facts)

    Just know that atheists feel much the same way as you do, only about different issues.

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  9. I agree that these people are wounded, and so many of them are hurting. But wounded or not, is it right to "hit back"? The priest was simply joining in his own quiet protest by prayer. He probably did expect some retaliation. I think he was just overwhelmed by the enormity by the anger.

    I applaud those (I guess) who didn't "beat down" the priest by surrounding him with angry words, obscenities, and physically holding him back. If this was the best they could do, then I guess good for them. But I can't condone the behavior, no matter what "rights" are being voiced. True Christians don't go screaming in others faces trying to be heard. Those who do, are not really true Christians, but just more angry people.

    I have to take care of the kids now, but that's just where I stand.

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  10. The priest in the video used to be our associate! Go, Fr. O! This town is nuts, and I marvel that anyone would want to make the Chicago Way the Whole Nation's Way!

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  11. Phoenix, he seems like a wonderful (and brave) priest! I have other videos, by the way, of violence against folks just supporting marriage standing on the street corners. People who actually stop their cars or stop walking, to attack the people holding pro-marriage signs on the sidewalk. Or who don't slow down as they throw things at the peaceful sign-holders' heads. I can show you those "tolerant" videos, too. This is just the video that was most recent.

    Did any of the atheists see news of the Family Research Council shooting recently? The mainstream media didn't feel much like covering it. Can you imagine if it had been a religious person shooting up a gay rights organization? The coverage would be wall-to-wall. I guess I'm tired of the hypocrisy.

    MH, your "looking like Muslim" statement is utter irrelevant, and of course anyone at all was able to go and get a church bulletin and bring it in for the discount. My point of course was that the atheist is trying to ruin a family business because religious people "annoy" him. And he has full backing of the FFRF. This is their bullying tactic, and it's shameful. And you should know it.

    Yes, Mary, they are wounded and lost, and the Church is the first to acknowledge that. If there is one thing that is obvious in so many of these protests, it is that. (By the way, we all are the walking wounded, as sinners.) Unfortunately, the more tolerant (and even accepting) the nation becomes, the more intolerant and angry and "wounded" they seem to become. Again, the avenging conscience (search it in this blog) is at play here. There will never be peace there. And it's not because of anything anyone did or did not do to them. I know of gay young people who have never known peace or happiness, and this is even after they've "come out" and become free. I know of folks who are very much accepted by their families and communities, and who are still primarily unhappy.

    It's funny, there have been many people in many societies including this one, and including around the world, who have been truly oppressed, but they did not act like the walking wounded. Many still had great joy and dignity, and while they did not have the "acceptance" of their society (unlike gays, who are celebrated here, in film, awards, media, schools, etc.), they did not hate themselves or lash out in hatred. And in America, that hatred does not come simply because someone is "oppressing" them, it comes just because someone disagrees.

    And, I can tell you exactly what would happen if a peaceful, praying gay person or pro-"choice" person joined the throngs of pro-life marchers every January, for example: That person would be embraced with joy and invited to stay and march along, and even have lunch. It would be the cause of much joy. After all, that is how Norma McCorvey (the "Roe" in Roe v. Wade) was won over to Christianity. She had been a lesbian and an owner of an abortion clinic with her lover, with great animosity towards Christians, when she was (as is the name of her book), "Won By Love" by the peaceful Christians who came to her clinic every day to pray outside. A great story, by the way.

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  12. Grundy, people "spread falsehoods" all the time. It's called free speech. Are you saying that the force of gov't should step in they believe that someone's "truth" (in other words their opinion) is not valid?

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    1. I was referencing efforts for the government itself to spread falsehoods like creationism in public schools.

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  13. Leila, there are cases that show giving favour to religious people is a breach of the civil rights act. Unless you want to claim activist judges are being intentionally hostile to religious people and institutions, then I think there is a legal case to answer.

    Whether there should be is a completely different matter.

    Incidentally, they say business has not been harmed by this case.

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  14. March Hare, business hasn't been harmed because people get that this is craziness (just like the Chick-Fil-A thing). But even if the restaurant is full every day, the cost of lawyers to defend against this mean-spirited, frivolous charge can ruin a small business owner. It's the legal fees that will kill her. But thank God she is a gutsy lady!

    And, you never said: Is it right that this man is harassing this women because religious people "annoy" him (his own admission for a motive!)? Denounce him, and FFRF's support of him, won't you?

    And, there is no "favor" when anyone can bring in a bulletin.

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  15. Just admit that the atheist is being a damned jerk.

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  16. He's being a jerk.
    They're breaking the law.

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    1. MH, the discount isn't for "being religious." The discount is for "bringing in an ad in a bulletin." Which anyone can do.

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  17. They aren't breaking the law if everyone can get the discount by bringing in the piece of paper. But thanks for admitting he's a jerk. It happens all the time here, and I dislike jerks who try to ruin people, very much.

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  18. I'm guessing the restaurant had a an ad in the bulletin. Every bulletin I've seen has a page or two of sponsors on it. With that said, it's typical practice for restaurants to offer a discount when they find out "how you heard about them" so to speak. It lets them know if their advertising is working. It's no different than discounts offered for specified groups, such as college students, ymca members, whatever.

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  19. The atheist in PA upset about the church bulletin discount? the one you call a jerk, Leila? Well, maybe you should be showing your Christian compassion for him, as he is a former Catholic:

    "Wolff said he was born a German Jew and was a devout Catholic from age 10 to 16. He said he became an atheist about 15 years ago when he became dismayed at the religious right."

    Shouldn't you be more concerned about "bringing him back into the fold" with you Christian love that apparently would embrace any pro-choice person who walked in protest alongside a pro-life rally?

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  20. Miss G, wait… did he come to eat in the restaurant, and if he did was he not shown love and hospitality? I am confused. Clarify?

    Thanks!

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  21. "Wolff said he was born a German Jew and was a devout Catholic from age 10 to 16. He said he became an atheist about 15 years ago when he became dismayed at the religious right."

    Shouldn't you be more concerned about "bringing him back into the fold" with you Christian love that apparently would embrace any pro-choice person who walked in protest alongside a pro-life rally?


    Key word, "dismay", is a word that applies to our emotional senses. Which means, according to your quote, that he left "the fold" because he was bent outta shape emotionally. Not intellectually.

    So he jumps from Catholicism cuz he's got issues emotionally, and thrusts himself to atheism. Tell me, how does one make this decision, logically:

    "I am emotionally dismayed at X, so I shall leap thusly into Y." Which weighs more to the "thinking brights of the world", emotional dismay or intellectual honesty?

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  22. MH- It is not discrimination.

    Discrimination would be to say "Any Catholics get $1 lunch- just bring in your baptism certificate. The rest of you- lunch is $500."

    Asking someone to bring in a Church bulletin, ANY Church bulletin and get a discount is not discrimination- especially considering most Church bulletins are free to the public and are normally sitting out where anyone can take one.

    Now if someone brought in a Church Bulletin from the friendly neighborhood Baptist Church and the owner wouldn't honor it----that may be discrimination.

    If the business refused to serve you UNLESS you brought in a Church Bulletin- that might be different as well.

    If a known Atheist brought in a Church Bulletin and the owner refused to honor the discount- that's different too.

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  23. "They aren't breaking the law if everyone can get the discount by "... attending a religious place of worship.

    It is straight up illegal.

    This story just gets better and better (and I'm against both parties here!)

    She [Prudhomme] added that the discount is merely a way to draw more business to her restaurant on a traditionally slow business day.

    A state representative suggested that she and her husband should sign an agreement saying that they would drop the church-bulletin discount and instead offer discounts to any civic organization in town she said, ‘Wait a minute — you’re asking my husband and me to give anybody coming through my door a discount?’

    Anybody? No, she just wants to give the discount to religious people. Flat out discrimination. Which I think she should be allowed to do, but the law disagrees.

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  24. Miss G- He's suing a business owner because a policy ANNOYED him.

    Not HARMED him. ANNOYED him. Not because he felt there was a deep unfairness in the situation but because there are a lot of "self-righteous religious people around."

    He sued a business owner- causing a lot of financial stress. (Even if the other side has no argument and you can get the case dismissed- that still costs a lot of money and takes time.) Lots of emotional stress, and ties up our court system with a silly case when the time and effort could be spent on something that actually needs the court's attention. Not to mention the problems it may cause the business and its reputation. All because he wanted to take those "self-righteous" people down a notch. He IS being a jerk.

    That's not to say he's not our brother in Christ, or that we wish him ill, or that we do not wish to see him in Heaven. Leila's just saying he's acting like a brat- and he is.

    Hmmm, you know the "you should show Christian compassion" argument comes up a lot- can we just start saying "Truth is a defense."? Ha!

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  25. MH, nonsense. To enter a church is not "attending a religious place of worship." If so, then every time an atheist sets foot in Notre Dame Cathedral he has just attended a place of worship and thus violated his own "beliefs". If you really think that, then I hope you never went sight seeing around Europe! And I hope you never attend a church wedding, or (as we do in America) go to the voting booth, many of which are set up in churches. Pure poppycock (do you Brits use that word? ;) )

    And these days, one can get the bulletin online. Print it out, I'm sure it will be honored.

    When my husband was an agnostic Jew, he would have had no problem bringing in a bulletin ad from my church and I promise you, not a single shop owner or restaurant owner would have given a rat's patootie if he were actually religious. As StarFire said, no one was checking baptismal certificates (and even that would not prove religiosity).

    I dare you to try it. Get an ad from a bulletin (don't care how) and then go use it. I am 100% positive that no one will stop you or even ask. I also guarantee that if you hand it to them and say, "I am an atheist", they would still honor the ad.

    And, yes, if everyone got a discount for coming through the door, it wouldn't be a discount anymore, now would it?

    But for someone to whom nothing has a purpose or an order or ultimate meaning, I can see why this whole thing makes no sense to you.

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  26. Not HARMED him. ANNOYED him.

    It's dawning on me that the left truly believes that if someone even annoys them, then they have been harmed.

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  27. You don't have to attend the place of worship. You merely have to have the bulletin.

    I don't know about your area- but I can print out 90% of the bulletins used in my area on the net.

    I find it key in the story she said the motive was to bring in business on a slow day (Sunday) not necessarily to reward the religious.

    Of course, she doesn't want to give a discount to everyone who walks in the door! If she wanted to do that- she would just lower her prices.

    She's trying to get customers to come in on Sunday. How would offering the civic organization discount help bring in business on a Sunday?

    It isn't discrimination because she said she didn't want to give everyone a discount....if that proves discrimination- every business owner in the country is guilty.

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  28. "It's dawning on me that the left truly believes that if someone even annoys them, then they have been harmed."

    New billboard for the Catholic Church:

    Harmed by the left since 33.

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  29. "MH, nonsense. To enter a church is not "attending a religious place of worship.""

    Pretty sure it is. Either that or we have different dictionaries.

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  30. Wow! I didn't know that the atheistic religion believes it's a violation of deeply held beliefs to enter into a church lobby! Again, is it disallowed for sightseeing, too? MaiZeke, Gwen, Zach, Michelle: Is it a violation of your beliefs to enter a church or place of worship?

    Please, if it is, I need to know, as this brings up a whole slew of new issues. I hope another atheist will respond! MH says it's so obvious that it's basically a dictionary definition.

    Thoughts?

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  31. MH is annoying me. I think I am going to sue. I am definitely harmed.

    ;)

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  32. Clearly non of the harmed atheists are into sports. We have all kinds of mantras for toughening up:
    Shake it off!
    Man up!
    Bring your A game!
    Walk it off!
    Go hard or go home!
    Want it to win it!

    Yeah, just a few years of sports would teach them that. Oh, nevermind. I remember now: "We're all winners and there are no losers. We don't even keep score anymore, because we're all equal and all the same."

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  33. "We're all winners and there are no losers. We don't even keep score anymore, because we're all equal and all the same."

    Which is pretty nonsensical when it's survival of the fittest. Or when there is no purpose, order, or ultimate meaning to life. Crazy stuff, smh.

    I need to get out and breathe some fresh air!

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  34. Miss Gwen, coupla things.

    First, have you ever seen how hundreds of thousands of pro-life marchers treat the shrieking, cursing, mocking pro-"choicers" along the side of the march? I have. They are very loving and they try to engage them in dialogue. Funny, some of the screamers have ended up later walking in the pro-life march in subsequent years.

    And, as for how Christians show their love: Sometimes a real love requires that we tell folks that they are being jerks or brats (ask my kids), or that their behavior is not good for them. Do atheists not do this?

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  35. I was referencing efforts for the government itself to spread falsehoods like creationism in public schools.

    Grundy, got it. Of course, I am a Catholic, so my issue would be not teaching atheistic evolution as if it were fact. It's not fact. So, while I am not a six-day Creationist at all, I would hope that schools would be allowed to teach all theories, not simply those that agree with the secular religion.

    Also, if you don't mind putting all your comments at the very bottom (not using the "reply" function) I'd appreciate it. Thanks! :)

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  36. Leila, you really must get a "Like" thing going--you know, next to the word Reply you could have a Like. Sometimes I just want to "like" what you've said--like that bit about the damned jerk!

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  37. MH, not only do you believe that nothing has a purpose, there is no right order, there is no ultimate meaning in life, but you also believe that man has no free will.

    So, why are we having this or any conversation? The whole thing seems absurd!

    Do you Catholics and others realize that this is actually what atheists believe about life and about themselves? Please, some atheist, correct me if I'm wrong here.

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  38. Sure, the guy's being a jerk. Keep in mind, though, that blanket statements like "These are not good people, dear readers!" are exactly the kinds of things you wouldn't want to be hearing from us.

    For what it's worth, I like churches. Their architecture is often gorgeous, and if I'm stuck sitting through something boring, I spend my time imagining what I'd do if I'd bought the building and was turning it into my house. Blasphemy or too much HGTV - who knows?

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  39. Thanks, Michelle!

    I do think it's fair to say that people who file lawsuits in order to bully or destroy hard-working folks are not "good people". Good people don't dedicate their lives to harassing and destroying others who are just trying to make a living and who wish no one any ill-will. Sorry, just my crazy opinion!

    Do you think the folks who do such things are good people?

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  40. Nubby- great point!

    In Girl Scouts, the leaders pulled me aside and told me I was being "too competitive" during our board games. My mom was there and got worried and asked what I did. (She assumed saying "too competitive" meant I was cheating or talking smack) The leader, with a very serious expression said "She's trying to win."

    My mother without missing a beat said "Well, it does make the game more fun when everyone tries their best." Alas, I was moved on to the crafts table.

    How very annoying......

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  41. StarFireKK, how sad, and oh boy, don't get me started on what the Girl Scouts have become. My mom was president of Girls Scouts of Southern Arizona for three years (and involved in GS leadership for decades, in addition to being a GS since childhood). She is a feminist in the best sense of the word. But today, she has nothing to do with them. They are certainly not the same great group for girls they used to be. Very sad.

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  42. #1: I honestly don't understand the FFRF. I mean, I get that they're sick of people foisting religion on them and I totally respect that... but then they foist their beliefs on others by preventing them from acting? With the Paul Prudhomme thing, why don't they just not eat at that particular restaurant?

    #6: I love the shirt. I'm off-the-charts on the I portion of my Meiers-Briggs test (I'm an IXFJ because my N and S flip every time I take it) and I'm a pastor's wife. It's not a good thing -- the Peace makes me want to crawl into a corner and I'm kind of glad to be able to leave after church with Daniel because coffeehour makes me twitchy.

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  43. I will only say this, regarding March Hare, (I've already said it to Leila):

    Don't Feed the Troll.

    Oh and I totally loved Simcha Fischer's post!

    And I really should get #6 for my husband and a priest friend of ours. Their both very introverted.

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  44. *They are

    I've got a sleeping child on my lap and I cut off the tip of one of my fingers yesterday, so it's wrapped in multiple bandaids. I'm not thinking straight.

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  45. Leila, I generally find it hard to write people off as a "not a good person". I would consider you a good person, without a doubt, but there are some aspects of what you believe that I find pretty horrible. And I know you find a lot of what I think to be pretty horrible.

    Honestly, I've moved away from a lot of the new atheists because of things like this. People let their sense of self-righteousness override their sense of decency sometimes, and while I understand the underlying sentiments, it can get to be too much. A gelato shop owner at one point put up a sign saying that attendees at a nearby atheist conference weren't welcome, but took it down after about 10 minutes and wrote a public apology on Reddit. Atheist blogs blew up over it and nasty things were said, and I did end up responding to PZ Myers over some unacceptably rude things he said about the shop owner. I wouldn't say that PZ is not a good person, though - good people can have some messed up priorities sometimes and it's important not to lose sight of the whole person.

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  46. Love the T-shirt.

    The story about the pill is tragic but you must realize that ANY medication can and does cause extreme or fatal side effects in rare circumstances. Many medications have varied uses-not just the pill. I wish women didn't use the pill at all because of the health risks (and there are other methods of birth control) but it isn't different than any other medication in that it has side effects. I take several medications (not the pill) with horrible side effects but they are necessary. (As aside--why do we call it "the pill?" I have no idea.)


    "It's dawning on me that the left truly believes that if someone even annoys them, then they have been harmed. " Leila, forgive me for saying so but I tire of you CONTINUALLY doing this--making huge generalizations because of what specific individuals do or say. On one of the recent posts you responded to MH by asking it was a "consensus of all atheists" (or something like that) in response to one specific point. If you are truly interested in tolerance and understanding the generalizations you make do NOT help.

    And about the pro-life protesters: PLEASE! I can't tell you the number I know who were viciously harassed by pro-lifers (not all of them to get abortions) as they walked into a clinic." That is no different than what the gay protestors were doing to the priest. And while I don't at all approve of the protestor's behavior it's very pompous of someone to pray over you because they believe what you are is evil. The priest, in his own way, was being very confrontative.

    @Becky: "There is no tolerance in this world for Christians" What a very odd statement. Much of the world is RUN by Christians. Christians are taking over the political process in this country. It seems like their is no end to "Christians'" (see how it is when someone generalizes about you?) desire to see themselves as persecuted.

    @Liela:
    "There will never be peace there. And it's not because of anything anyone did or did not do to them."

    Am I correct that you are suggesting that NO ONE has done ANYTHING to gay people to cause them to be angry?

    If so, you have no idea. None at all.

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  47. Michelle, thanks, and I can actually appreciate what you've said. That is very sad that atheists would not forgive someone who apologizes. That is a huge tenet of Christianity: forgiveness of those who have hurt us. The saints even forgave and loved their executioners and torturers. I'm gonna stay very silent regarding P.Z. so as not to say something unChristian! God will be his judge. All I can do is pray for the man. He was made in the image of God, too, and I won't concede even one soul to the devil, not even his.

    Johanne:

    "It's dawning on me that the left truly believes that if someone even annoys them, then they have been harmed. " Leila, forgive me for saying so but I tire of you CONTINUALLY doing this--making huge generalizations because of what specific individuals do or say.

    You are right that not everyone on the left thinks this way. But when I talk about the "left", I don't mean Democrats or self-professed "liberals" in general (most are clueless -- just like most Republicans -- about politics, agendas and advocacy). I mean the activists for the progressive cause. The movers and shakers and policy makers. In the arts, the media, academics, etc. Now, if most of that group are against what people like the FFRF are doing to harass peaceful citizens, then why are they not speaking out? Why don't I hear people saying, "These FFRF people do not speak for us" or "We atheists are not out to sue or complain every time we see a prayers in public, or "God" etched in marble, or when a school choir sings a Christmas song, or when a mom and pop restaurant gets sued for offering discounts to those who bring in a coupon from a church bulletin". I am waiting for those voices en masse. (I am glad to hear Michelle speak out.) But like I've said before (and pretty much every atheist or secularist on this blog confirmed in the comments), the left does not give a whit about our religious liberty. Not a whit. So I don't think I'll be hearing the FFRF being shunned by the nobler atheists any time soon.

    I'm terribly sorry if people you know were viciously harassed by pro-lifers. Those are not the pro-life sidewalk counselors I know (and the ones who changed the heart of Norma McCorvey, i.e. "Roe"). Shameful if that's the case. The people I know pray outside the clinics and offer the women real help. Then, they offer more help and support when they come out with their empty wombs… knowing that the real suffering comes later (and my friends are there in the form of retreats and counseling for years after the fact; many of them professional therapists). What the Church offers pregnant women in crisis and what the Church offers women who are post-abortive, is love and support. I wish you could see what is done for these women, and their testimonials. I have printed some here on the blog, but there is so much, all the time. It is overwhelming, this ministry, and does so much good, offering so much healing. Any "viciousness" has absolutely no place in the pro-life movement.

    By the way, if I had someone who I considered an enemy, and he prayed for me? I would be grateful and feel blessed by that, even if I thought he was dead wrong.


    To be continued…

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  48. "There is no tolerance in this world for Christians" What a very odd statement. Much of the world is RUN by Christians. Christians are taking over the political process in this country. It seems like their is no end to "Christians'" (see how it is when someone generalizes about you?) desire to see themselves as persecuted.

    Johanne, have you seen the Christian persecutions and killings that are going on around the world? Wait, the press doesn't cover that and the president never talks about it. But google it. Or search this blog. The persecution of Christians is real and bloody and ongoing. And in this nation, when Catholics had conscience rights, but the government now forcibly takes them away, under pain of fines and ruin and jail, then how is that not a move towards silencing and persecution? Hello? Even the bishops (usually quite liberal or neutral on public policy issues) are on high alert, incredibly alarmed!

    Also, could you give evidence for this: "Christians are taking over the political process in this country." What could possibly make you say this? As I've said a million times, all the movement and aggression is coming from one side. Anything Christians are doing at this point is defensive, and trying to preserve the status quo, not "taking over" anything. So, evidence of the takeover?

    Am I correct that you are suggesting that NO ONE has done ANYTHING to gay people to cause them to be angry?

    When on earth did I say anything remotely like that?? OF COURSE there has been persecution of homosexuals, and bullying, etc! Of course! Just as there has been bullying (even murdering) of other groups. (My Church expressly teaches that homosexuals must be treated with dignity!) My point is that not every persecuted group (and there are MANY) feels so innately miserable about themselves. So innately angry, so innately self-loathing. Sometimes, there may be things that go on inside a person that are independent of what the culture thinks of their activities. I really think you should go back and read that entire paragraph, and the surrounding paragraphs, and put it in context. Thanks!

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  49. As for the Pill: It is not medication. When used for contraceptive purposes, it cures no pathology, and heals nothing. It is not medicine. It actually takes a functioning female body and throws a monkey wrench in it, making it derail.

    As for any pathologies that it supposedly fixes: It does not. It only masks symptoms. The Pill is the one tool that OB/gyns have in their toolbox for any and all cycle-related issues. It's just crazy! Dangerous steroids, which fix nothing and can kill and harm (again, read some of the testimony on my own blog post's comments, even by Miss Gwen), not to mention the weight gain, loss of libido, and other "minor" (non-lethal) risks… But why? Why not fix the pathology instead of slapping every girl and woman on the Pill? My own daughter had bad cycle issues, and I knew that if she went to any OB/gyn other than a faithful Catholic one, she would be instantly prescribed the Pill. Just like so many of her friends. Instead, she went an hour across town to find a faithful Catholic practice, and the first thing he said was we can fix your problem and I guarantee I will not be putting you on the Pill. Guess what? Progesterone has worked a wonder for her. No danger, no harm, no suppression of fertility or masking of symptoms. Just treatment, with no nasty or lethal side-effects. Praise God for Catholic docs who care enough to fix the pathology, not endanger their patients, and who treat a patient as an individual -- with a body and soul.

    Hey, everyone with cycle issues, google NaPro technology!

    And, I think they called it The Pill because it was supposed to free women from their shackles, make marriages stronger, make sex better, and revolutionize the world.

    Blech.

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  50. Michelle said, "Leila, I generally find it hard to write people off as a "not a good person". I would consider you a good person, without a doubt, but there are some aspects of what you believe that I find pretty horrible. And I know you find a lot of what I think to be pretty horrible."

    Yes...I concur!!! It is necessary to always try your utmost to see that everyone can do good and everyone can do evil. Yet it is the hardest thing to do. It is one of my great daily challenges. Mentally it is easier to demonize one's foes in even subtle ways.

    Focus on the behaviors. Even the most ruthless killer was once a helpless infant, and inside all of us lie the remnants of our childhood needs and insecurities. It's not easy...in fact it is near impossible to keep this in mind, but it is the only way to aim to be a true Christian.

    My (sort-of) grandfather once commented that the Palestinians lost their cause wholesale because they lost the moral high ground when they exchanged their rocks for grenades and bombs. Contrast this with South Africa, where the unarmed assemblies of school children protesting (and some being killed) lit the sentiments of the world on fire. I think there is great truth in this...but then again the poor Tibetans are not seeing much progress politically....but they do have the backing from some very famous people.

    Nevertheless, every time you vehemently disagree with someone...try to visualize that person as an infant for a moment...it might temper your response. I find it is not a "natural" skill to remain calm and firmly state your points while disagreeing with someone diametrically opposed to your views. Our faces naturally flush, our voices tend to peak and some of us even tremble. I seldom witnessed calm confrontation and disagreement modeled for me growing up, as my mother is hot-headed and my father fears confrontation and rejection more than all else. I think it is ESSENTIAL to teach your children that people can peacefully disagree and be assertive without being aggressive.

    The amazing, former abortionist Bernard Nathanson talked about how he was struck by the peaceful love he witnessed at pro-life rallies. And he was a pure intellectual.

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  51. Leila said, "My point is that not every persecuted group (and there are MANY) feels so innately miserable about themselves. So innately angry, so innately self-loathing. Sometimes, there may be things that go on inside a person that are independent of what the culture thinks of their activities."

    Actually, I know many women who identify as far-left feminists who act exactly this way. I even acted this way when I was younger. I succumbed to the trap of blaming "white men" for everything under the sun. While it is true that many men responded poorly to the suffragette movement and other laudable feminist efforts (I had a female professor who was forced to sit in the hall during her physics lectures at MIT, as the professor would not deign to lecture to a female), it is also true that all white men are not evil, nor are they the source of all evil.

    From what I have seen, the hardworking women who buckled down and became excellent at their jobs (and who sacrificed their family time to some extent) rose up the corporate ladder. Some of these women were lucky to pair up with men who took over their more traditional wifely duties...these situations look pretty good from my point of view. It was the women who wanted business to change to suit their desire to be present mothers, and to suit their communication styles etc (i.e. not conforming to acceptable male habits of chatting in the halls about professional sports) that were having all sorts of trouble.

    Yeah there were women who were overtly discriminated against... but much progress was made.
    I think we need a national discussion...should we mold business practices to fold around women's needs because we value women all level of business because it is either, good for business and/or good for women and society, or should we decide that if women want to hold power in business they must be able to compete tow to tow with men. It appears we have not had consensus about this, despite being fifty plus years post Mad Men.

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  52. I'm gone all day today, but wanted to say that I agree, Mary, and this is a confirmation of what you said:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/01/answering-miss-gwen-distinction-between.html

    Also, how funny that I do the same thing about visualizing people as babies or toddlers! I promise you, yesterday when I was writing about PZ and hoping not to think him purely evil, I envisioned him when he was just an innocent toddler… I weep for what happened to that toddler, but I know that God loves him as much now as he did back then, even if PZ has turned his back completely (but hopefully not permanently).

    There is a saint (forgive the paraphrase and no time to look it up) who said that if we think a person is in mortal sin, the only response is love. Why? Because if he ends up repenting one day, then we might very well be spending our eternity in Heaven with him, in fully unity with him (and he may even have a higher place than us!). Or, if he never repents, he will be spending his eternity in an endless, unthinkable torment, and we must pity him terribly and weep for him, not hate him. So, love is the only response.

    Okay, be back tonight or tomorrow. Hope it's a great discussion!

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  53. In re #1: I'm no lawyer (which probably explains my small salary,) ;) but morally speaking I don't think price discrimination is terribly problematic. I mean, price discrimination is okay with respect to sex (think "Ladies Night" at a bar), yes? If the shop's owner refused to serve people who didn't have a bulletin, or if he charged a higher price to people who didn't have a bulletin, then that might be a problem. But he's not charging a higher price to people who don't have a bulletin; he's charging the base price. Further, I think intentions are relevant to morality, and it doesn't seem like his intention is to *unjustly* discriminate, but rather to incentivize a morally good activity. But the key word there is *incentivize* - the shop owner isn't making anyone go to church, and he's not refusing to serve those who don't. Heck, if he wanted to offer a discount for bringing in a bulletin from a local mosque, or the local UU gathering, or the local atheist's club, I think those would be fine too. Those're my initial reactions...

    Sincerely,
    ~Benjamin

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  54. Mary, that was in response to your first comment. To your second comment I would say a hearty "Amen!" and also mention that you would LOVE reading John Paul II's writings on the feminine genius. Talk about starting the conversation! What he said echoes much of what you did, and is so beautiful, so deep, so meaningful. It has changed many women's lives, and yet unfortunately, there is a whole group of women (you can imagine) who would never deign (great word) to read a single word from a Pope, or if they did, it would be only to misquote, distort or malign.

    But, you would love it! I think it would really move you.

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  55. Leila, I’m a pretty lassez-faire person

    I wouldn’t think to challenge a restaurant over a church brochure but I also wouldn’t try to keep gays out of boy scouts.

    But if I did do these things I would expect retaliation, I would expect push back. I just vehemently don’t understanding lobbying so hard against a group of people having rights and being surprised when they fight against your rights. I just don’t understand that. It wreaks of a frightening superiority complex.

    Your damn right the gays don’t care about your freedom of religion and I don’t know why that shocks you so, you don’t care about their sexual rights. And please don’t comment that sexual rights don’t exist, you presumably have a right to have sex with your husband and have as many children as you please, those are indeed sexual rights.

    I know what gay rights parades are and because I find the environment unsavory, I choose not to go. I also wouldn’t patronize a restaurant that was trying to appeal to a religious philosophy I didn’t agree with, but I wouldn’t go and rudely protest or shut the business down and whine that I was treated unfairly.

    ~CS

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  56. I also must disagree that liberals or whatnot are afraid of or disdainful of prayer. I think people find prayer offensive because they believe in its efficacy, not because they don’t. I for one appreciate it when people pray for good things, but I would find it horribly offensive for someone to ask GOD for something ugly on my behalf.

    To these people what you are praying for is evil, can you understand that? You are asking God to invalidate their marriages; you are asking God to take away their children because you deem their lifestyles unfit Are you honestly saying that if people were praying that YOUR marriage be broken up that your children be stripped from you because they THINK they know better you wouldn’t be gravely offended?

    I certainly would, even if they were praying to a God I didn’t believe in. I wouldn’t want a cult or religious leader praying to Allah or Buddha or Satan for that manner to enter my heart and destroy my life. No sir.
    ~CS

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  57. CS, that's good that you wouldn't go in and try to shut businesses down.

    Our nation was founded on the idea of religious liberty (not sexual "rights") and that is why it is treacherous that a huge chunk of the citizenry don't care about religious liberty. It really does strike at the very foundation of who we are as a nation and why America exists. I believe it's what made us the greatest, freest nation on earth (as well as the most productive and most generous), and we are very much in danger of losing that.

    Also, where do rights come from?

    You and others keep saying that we are trying to "take away" rights, or fight against others' rights. But I keep mentioning that all the aggression, all the movement, has come from one side. We have moved not one thing. We are simply acting in defense of this huge "movement" to redefine marriage and whittle away religious liberty. This is the order it came in: 1) The gay "rights" movement started to push aggressively to redefine marriage (you are so young that you don't know that ten or fifteen years ago, there was no thought of gay "marriage" as a serious thing… it was not on anyone's radar screen.) 2) Americans who liked marriage just fine started saying, "What? Um, we don't want marriage redefined, thanks." And started making their voices heard on that. The push from the left came harder and harder, to the point that some legislators and judges redefined against the people's wishes. And these unjust laws made it impossible for the Church to operate in certain states as they had for a hundred years (foster care, adoption), and they shut their charities. A blow to freedom of religion (other foster care and adoption agencies were available to gay people, but that was not enough… they wanted total acceptance or else Catholic charities be damned). Again, the push and the aggression is all coming from ONE side. The rest of us are simply responding.

    And, truly, I don't care at all if someone prays for my soul. I know plenty of Protestants who think Catholics are hellbound. If they pray for my soul, I would never, ever get violent or nasty with them. I would think them very misguided, but I would totally understand where they were coming from. Never would I shout them down or hassle them. I'd probably have a bit of a soft spot for them, and feel sad that they didn't understand what they were fighting against. Maybe we just have different views on that.

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  58. I know what gay rights parades are and because I find the environment unsavory, I choose not to go.

    Many, many adults take children there. Home Depot set up a crafts booth at one, for kids. You have more sense than they do. It is unconscionable that little children should see such displays of overt sexuality and nudity that goes on with laughter and no shame, as if it were healthy and good in general, but esp. as if it were good for children.

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  59. Leila, I used to give you the benefit of the doubt that either I was being unclear or that you were misreading/misinformed, but I'm losing faith on this.

    "Progesterone has worked a wonder for her. No danger, no harm"
    This is not true. It may well be much safer than the pill, but to claim it's perfectly safe or has no side effects is a complete untruth. I use that term because it's obviously something you've looked into and must have seen the dangers.

    [less seriously] "Wow! I didn't know that the atheistic religion believes it's a violation of deeply held beliefs to enter into a church lobby!"
    At no point did I suggest that entering a place of worship was a problem for non-religious people. This a rather annoying distraction that is based on a complete falsehood.

    I have tried to be charitable where possible but it's becoming clear that you're intentionally not following suit.

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  60. March Hare:

    What are the dangers of progesterone? What are the harmful side effects? You are talking to someone who has watched (over three years now) countless of the infertile bloggers (who supported my start in blogging) save numerous pregnancies after recurrent miscarriages and reduce the difficult symptoms of PMS/PMDD/PPD. What side effects are you talking about? I will ask my daughter's doctor, who is an occasional reader, and see if he has any insight.


    At no point did I suggest that entering a place of worship was a problem for non-religious people.

    Then what was your point all along? You were saying that atheists would have to "attend" a house of worship (and you meant, "enter the doorway"), and that such a thing would somehow discriminate against you as an atheist (because the implication is that no atheist would deign to do such a thing… because of the offense it would cause.). If that's not your implication, then what on earth would be the problem with someone putting a discount in a church bulletin? Sorry, so confused. Surely it's me.

    Actually, I think I have treated you with a great deal of respect and charity. Some folks have suggested that you are a troll. I think you are truly interested in the discussion, and so have continued to engage you. I hope I am right.

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    Replies
    1. This is Leila's daughter's doctor, just thought I would take a moment to respond about the differences between progesterone that Leila is talking about and birth control pills (which also contain progesterone - but a very different kind). Progesterone when timed appropriately with a women's menstrual cycle can be a VERY effective and safe treatment for multiple different problems including many that Leila listed here, but also pain, heavy bleeding, PCOS, infertility, recurrent miscarriage to name a few. The type of progesterone that Leila is referring to is bio-identical progesterone. "Non bio-identical" progesterone (such as the kind found in birth control as well as medications like provera - generic medroxyprogesterone) are commonly known to cause weight gain, increase bad cholesterol among other problems. Bio-identical progesterone when used as directed (and timed with your cycle) does not have these dangerous side effects. It definitely has side effects though, the main one being fatigue, followed by nausea. Overall this medicine is VERY safe, and often very effective. Many times much more effective than birth control (with limited risks - unlike birth control). You are correct that all medications have risks and side effects, but I can guarantee you that when given the options between the two risks anyone would choose bio-identical progesterone over birth control pills. Hope that clears up some of the confusion

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  61. Leila,

    The nation was indeed founded on religious liberty, and white supremacy for that matter. The fact that this country wasn’t founded on a different class of rights and ignored women’s rights and civil rights is no reason to ignore or subordinate them. The idea that religious rights are the most important rights is baseless.

    What are the different theories of the genesis of rights? Nature and God usually.


    ~CS

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  62. “You and others keep saying that we are trying to "take away" rights, or fight against others' rights. But I keep mentioning that all the aggression, all the movement, has come from one side. We have moved not one thing. We are simply acting in defense of this huge "movement" to redefine marriage and whittle away religious liberty.”

    I can’t think of a cause I'm less sympathetic to Leila. I mean, really. And its not because I’m a gay activist either. No one is making you shut down. No one is closing your doors. If you would rather cease to exist than serve the gays, fine. But that’s a choice you made. Don’t blame the government.

    I don’t even like it when gay rights are compared to civil rights because I do see a distinction, but goodness do you sound like a Jim Crow Southern. “We are not taking away others rights. We have not moved not thing. We are simply acting in defense of this huge movement to redefine civil rights and whittle away at the principles America was founded on”.

    Having a traditionalist stance is only defensible if it was a good stance to begin with.

    ~CS

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  63. “And, truly, I don't care at all if someone prays for my soul. I know plenty of Protestants who think Catholics are hellbound. If they pray for my soul, I would never, ever get violent or nasty with them.”

    I am not talking about Protestants who are still Christians.

    I am talking about people praying to a different God or perhaps Satan.

    If someone was praying for your marriage to end, for your children to be taken away from you, for you to accept Satan into your heart, this would not offend or disturb you.

    I think if a bunch of pro-choicers surrounded pro-lifers at a march and prayed for all their babies to be aborted it would cause a stir.

    ~CS

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  64. CS, I do think that marriage was good to begin with, yes. And I do think that religious liberty is a God-given right. And I don't believe that any government has the right to tell religious people that they either have to do what the government says (violate their consciences) or go (literally) to hell. It doesn't matter if you like it or believe it or not. Because people like you (and the gov't) don't care, and don't believe it, that's the very reason why religious liberty was to be protected in this nation. Sorry, you don't get to say, nor does the gov't, what my beliefs should be for me to be a member of this society.

    I can’t think of a cause I'm less sympathetic to Leila.

    Exactly, which is all the more reason that Catholics are going to fight. Precisely because we know that people do not care about our religious liberties or our charities being able to operate without violating our beliefs. Your statement absolutely embodies what I wrote here:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2012/04/listen-up-they-dont-care-about-your.html

    I totally get it.

    By the way, I like what the Founding Fathers put together. It's something novel, incredible. It was unprecedented. And even though the nation was surely anti-Catholic back then, too, including some of the Founders, I don't discount them and diss them they way you often do. I absolutely love the Founders and their documents and their breathtaking idea for a nation. Praise God I'm an American. Hopefully, I can still keep some of my freedoms, especially the foundational one: Freedom of Religion.

    I'll leave you with this question: What are those rights that we were given by God and nature?

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  65. I think if a bunch of pro-choicers surrounded pro-lifers at a march and prayed for all their babies to be aborted it would cause a stir.

    Really bad analogy. The priest was praying for those people to make it to Heaven. Horror of horrors! He must really hate them if he wants to see their souls saved for all eternity.

    Have you ever heard the prayers of the Rosary? Beautiful, and always for the highest good of others.

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  66. I can’t believe I forgot the share my birth control story,

    Very recently I noticed myself having heart palpitations on birth control. As soon as I noticed them, I stopped birth control. Two months later the slight pains were still persistent, and I made an apt with my (republican) cardiologist

    When I spoke to him over the phone and told him I went off the BC pills because I thought they were the culprits, he went ballistic. The first questions we asked were not about the heart pains, rather they were about my birth control usage. What are you using for birth control. You know the side effects of not taking the pills (i.e. pregnancy) are normally worse than the side effects of taking them. All of this advice was dispensed before doing any tests.

    When I finally went into see him he performed several checks and maintained the entire time birth control was not the problem and that strokes and clots were rare. After deciding there was nothing wrong with my heart my cardiologist admonished me PSA style, all while my mother was in the room, against the dangers of not taking birth control.

    ~CS

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  67. CS, that's an interesting story, but I am not sure what the point is that you're trying to make? Is it that the Republican doctor is very pro-birth control? (Most Republicans are pro-contraception, and most doctors, for sure.)

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  68. I am trying to make the point that Birth control is widely overprescribed and doctors are not concerned about its dangers and side effects, (which granted is unfortunately true for many prescription drugs)

    As someone who is pro-contraception theoretically, I still believe we need to be honest and proactive in informing women about its dangers.

    Two doctors and my own father were skeptical of me going off of birth control without knowing if it was problematic to my health. Thats a problem

    ~ CS

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  69. Here are the prayers of the Rosary, if anyone is interested:

    The Our Father:

    Our Father, Who art in heaven,
    Hallowed be Thy Name.
    Thy Kingdom come.
    Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
    And forgive us our trespasses,
    as we forgive those who trespass against us.
    And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil. Amen.


    The Hail Mary:

    Hail Mary,
    Full of Grace,
    The Lord is with thee.
    Blessed art thou among women,
    and blessed is the fruit
    of thy womb, Jesus.
    Holy Mary,
    Mother of God,
    pray for us sinners now,
    and at the hour of death.
    Amen.


    The Glory Be:

    Glory be to the Father,
    and to the Son,
    and to the Holy Spirit.
    As it was in the beginning,
    is now,
    and ever shall be,
    world without end.
    Amen.


    The Fatima Prayer (optional):

    Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.

    And some others which are optional in there.

    Here's the basic "how to pray the Rosary":

    http://www.newadvent.org/images/rosary.pdf


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  70. CS, I like we can agree! I think you are right, it's very problematic.

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  71. Thank you, Dr. Czerkes! I wish all doctors knew this!

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  72. Leila
    SIX of the nine supreme court justices are Catholic. I don't think you can claim that the government is against you when the most powerful court in the nation is predominantly Catholic.

    No one is telling you what your beliefs need to be for you to be a member of this society. You can believe whatever you want.

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  73. "You can believe whatever you want."

    So can a man in prison.

    This is about living our faith, not just believing it.

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  74. "Thank you, Dr. Czerkes! I wish all doctors knew this!"
    No acknowledgement that what you previously stated was false?

    "And I don't believe that any government has the right to tell religious people that they either have to do what the government says"
    Like taking their kids to hospital when they get ill rather than praying for them? Or giving them epilepsy treatment rather than calling for an exorcist? You can do what you like to yourself, but when it comes to those in your charge I think the government has a right to limit certain religious practices (like circumcision!)

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  75. Here's where Leila begins to understand that MH is in fact a troll (as others have warned me).

    I said that unlike the Pill, progesterone poses "No danger, no harm, no suppression of fertility or masking of symptoms. Just treatment, with no nasty or lethal side-effects."

    My definition of danger and harm are, well, danger and harm. And when I said nasty or lethal side-effects, I meant some pretty serious stuff (hint for you should have been that the word "nasty" was right next to "lethal"; you know…. bad, dangerous (hey I said that!) stuff. You know, blood clots, stroke, death and all….

    Like taking their kids to hospital when they get ill rather than praying for them? etc….

    Actually, MH, that is an example of when someone else's life is in the balance; the state has a duty to protect citizen's lives, or protect them from bodily harm. You are being disingenuous, though, because you know that a Catholic business who refuses to participate in the sin of paying for others' contraception is endangering no one, as those ladies are utterly free to go get those products on their own. And you know it. This HHS mandate is a made up "crisis" for women…. strange how no one ever had a problem getting their butts to Wagreens before, or had trouble paying the $9-40 a month to subsidize their own sex habits, without my getting involved.

    I know, I know, I'm talking crazy talk.

    It might be time for me to let you go on your way if you can't see that that in these cases we've been discussing, the gov't has no right to tell religious people what to.

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  76. Leila: "No harm."
    MH: "It may well be much safer than the pill, but to claim it's perfectly safe or has no side effects is a complete untruth."
    Leila's doctor: "It definitely has side effects though, the main one being fatigue, followed by nausea."

    I clearly did not try to engage in pill vs bio-identical progesterone debate, I am totally unqualified. But I am qualified to call you out when you state a complete mistruth as you did above. Whether the risk of potential side effects of bio-identical progesterone are worth taking depends on your current symptoms and should be a discussion you have with your doctor, but those possible side effects are real and harmful - unless you think nausea and fatigue are somehow not harmful?

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  77. Leila becomes upset with me for stepping in and stepping out, but really I don't have this much time to spend going over the same arguments with her. But this seems to be something that I need to step in on and support March Hare. I hope that Gwen, CS, Zach and Michelle will too.

    I definitely do not see March Hare as a troll, and for Leila to categorize MH as such reveals more about Leila than it does about MH. She has categorized me and Gwen and CS and I think Zach as trolls as well, all of us who started out (like MH) in a fashion that was honestly just trying to put across our point of view. When we say that Leila is incorrect and unfair and deliberately misconstruing and do not back down -- she comes back with we are a troll! There really is no acceptance that our opinion is in any way valid.

    As I said after the (almost) LA times article, Leila, perhaps the reasons your conversations follow the same trajectory ( ... and you're a troll, and you're a troll, and you're a troll ... ) have less to do with the myriad atheists you 'debate' with, and more to do with you.

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  78. I'm sorry, MaiZeke, but I don't recall ever calling you a troll, or Gwen, or Michelle or Zach. I admit my memory is faulty (a LOT) these days, and there are thousands of comments that I cannot keep track of. In fact, sometimes I see an old post of mine and I promise you, I don't even remember writing it!

    Someone else suggested that MH was a troll. I didn't believe it until recently, when I began to consider it. You are stating that I have called all the atheists on this blog "trolls", but maybe you could refresh my memory and cite some evidence of that? I don't believe it's true. But I will concede if you can show me.

    Thanks!

    And, maybe you could answer the question: Why is it "bad" to kill "potential life"? (You said abortion is "bad", which I agree with, but I'm trying to figure out why. If there is no human being that is being killed, then what is the moral problem with it?)

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  79. MH, I will repeat for you what I said before:

    I said that unlike the Pill, progesterone poses "No danger, no harm, no suppression of fertility or masking of symptoms. Just treatment, with no nasty or lethal side-effects."

    My definition of danger and harm are, well, danger and harm. And when I said nasty or lethal side-effects, I meant some pretty serious stuff (hint for you should have been that the word "nasty" was right next to "lethal"; you know…. bad, dangerous (hey I said that!) stuff. You know, blood clots, stroke, death and all….


    Fatigue and nausea, when it occurs, is rarely "harmful" in the sense I meant. I get a little stomach ache sometimes when I take OTC meds for a headache, but I don't consider that "harm". We may have different ideas of "harm", but then again, I have asked Gwen and others to define "harm" (in the context of the gay "marriage" debate), and I don't think they have yet defined it. But on that issue, many atheists and I have differing understandings of "harm" as well.

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  80. Yeah, I agree Maizeke, MH is anything but a troll. I always find it particularly cheeky of Leila to write posts and comments asking for atheists to state their opinion about this or that, then feign outrage, disgust and despair all the while making absurd generalizations...and yet I often find myself commenting. Really, it's atheists who fuel so many of the discussions around here.

    And before you say it Leila, I'm not going to "cite" evidence. Maizeke and I have been around here long enough that you now exactly what we're talking about.

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  81. Miss G, did I call you a troll? I thought that was the question.

    Why do you and MaiZeke stay?

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  82. Now, now.... play nicely children.

    MaiZeke, and Miss Gwen look at the last exchange between Leila and MH. Over whether or not "fatigue and nausea" is harm in the same light as stroke, clots and death.

    To insist Leila admit she error by saying there were no side effects for the side effects which are common to almost all medicine reeks of the "gotcha"-style of arguing and is very characteristic of trolling behavior.

    It doesn't matter if Leila said there were no side effects or no lethal side effects. It was a petty point to argue- it brings nothing useful to the debate and exasperates everyone. Most of us would agree there is a difference between death and fatigue.

    Common etiquette dictates you don't beat a dead horse on issues like that because......we all mis-speak now and then. It is called being charitable. Didn't your parents call you out when you did stuff like that as a kid? Mine sure did.

    I'm not saying this to make MH feel bad but to point out saying Lelia (or any of us) call people trolls just because we disagree with them is a little disingenuous.

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  83. StarfireKK,

    You are too funny!!! you wrote this seriously?

    "It doesn't matter if Leila said there were no side effects or no lethal side effects. It was a petty point to argue- it brings nothing useful to the debate and exasperates everyone. Most of us would agree there is a difference between death and fatigue.

    Common etiquette dictates you don't beat a dead horse on issues like that because......we all mis-speak now and then. It is called being charitable. Didn't your parents call you out when you did stuff like that as a kid? Mine sure did."

    Read the other blog posts from the past 2 years and all the comments and then come back to the conversation.

    Troll is not a designation for MH. Following the lead of JoAnna from previous converstions, MH is merely expressing a difference of opinion

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  84. Thanks, StarFireKK. They are being petty, because they all got the point.

    Gwen, if you think some of my questions are petty, tell me which ones. I will explain where I'm going with the question.

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  85. StarFireKK, it was not a petty point. If it was a simple slip it could easily have been corrected by saying "in comparison to the pill it is virtually harmless" or some such, but the assertion was quite clear that it had no danger and no harm.

    As you would notice if you read Leila's follow up to my initial challenge where she could have made a simple correction instead of stating: "What are the dangers of progesterone? What are the harmful side effects? You are talking to someone who has watched (over three years now) countless of the infertile bloggers (who supported my start in blogging) save numerous pregnancies after recurrent miscarriages and reduce the difficult symptoms of PMS/PMDD/PPD. What side effects are you talking about?"

    It would have been something I'd have let slip, but it happened to occur at the same time as a few of my positions/points had been mischaracterised and I wanted to know if it was part of pushing an agenda or a genuine mistake.

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  86. "virtually harmless" and "no danger, no harm" is understood by most folks to be the same thing in a conversation such as we are having.

    I mean, really, March Hare? This is the level of discourse? Why not answer the question about personhood, and tell me why you get all metaphysical when it comes to abortion, instead of sticking with hard science? That's a question which has no answer, and which is not easily understood, outside of the context of "one only questions the personhood of someone he wishes to harm."

    Let's go to the real questions, shall we?

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  87. No Leila, virtually harmless in comparison to another, apparently dangerous, drug is NOT the same as being harmless itself.

    You made a call, a call based on pushing an agenda (which may actually be a beneficial one) whereby you intentionally or otherwise lied about something that you have been involved with and should know about, which was wrong and refuse to acknowledge your mistake and castigate those who call you out on it.

    Fair enough, it's your blog, it's read by mainly Catholics, it's not a medical blog by any means and it's your choice how you want it to proceed. I would have hoped that you'd want an audience to at least try to keep you honest even if they occasionally overstep the mark and become argumentative, but we function better when our beliefs are challenged.

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  88. Sorry, MH, nope. Everyone except you got what I meant, and I'm going to guess that even the other atheists had no problem understanding. It's called common parlance.

    Obviously, as a given (which means there is no need to say it), anything and everything can be harmful. In fact, the word "harmless" would not describe anything in life if we push it to the extreme, so we (you) need to jettison the word. We can say that drinking water is harmless (and everyone would understand), but alas, water itself can be "harmful" if one drinks to much and upsets his tummy (in fact, drinking too much water can be deadly in some extreme cases). But ordinary folks know exactly what I meant. You must be extraordinary. ;)

    If you have to parse each word and then call it a "lie" when I say something that every else "gets", then I don't know what to say to you. You must have been all giddy over Bill Clinton's "it depends on what the definition of 'is' is."

    Anyway, is this what you do with your time normally? Because I think it's sort of a waste of time, if you forgive me.

    "...we function better when our beliefs are challenged." To what end? You said that nothing has a purpose, there is no order to anything, and in the end there is no meaning to anything at all. So, "better functioning" seems kind of pointless, really. But if it makes you feel good….

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  89. whereby you intentionally or otherwise lied about something

    Hmmm, so you know, it hit me last night, "Dude called me a liar". Now I am a lot of things, but I am not liar. Lying is a sin (and it's always "intentional"); some of us believe in sin and take it very seriously. For you to accuse me of lying because you don't understand common parlance (or feign confusion) is really not cool. I think you may have crossed a line here, MH.

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  90. Yes I did, I could have done it in another conversation but I thought it more likely that I was being ambiguous or in some other way unclear on my point. However I totally stand by this one as it is a clear case of you not being genuine and given that is a medical topic that could potentially harm people if they think you're accurate then I feel it's more than fair to call you out on it.

    If my input is no longer welcome on your blog then I'll bow out. But having looked into this a little deeper it seems that there are severe*, but very rare, risks involved in all hormone treatment, but I think that even the more common, but still rare, side effects as mentioned by your doctor definitely constitute harm.

    *e.g. Increased blood pressure leading to increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

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  91. March Hare, yes, if that's your response to my last two comments, then we are not able to dialogue as reasonable people do. And I don't really cotton to folks calling me a liar. So, it's definitely best that you bow out. I wish you all the best!

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