Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Reality to Vatican: Are you listening?


The Vatican hates abortion. That has been made abundantly clear. Now they're advocating that their millions of followers withdraw support from Amnesty International, who they claim have been swayed by the evil forces of the pro-choice movement. Actually, Amnesty International doesn't have a public position on this issue, but they do support the fair treatment and safe harboring of women who have had abortions, and the health interests of women, which, to the misogynistic Vatican's dismay, may include a woman's right to have an abortion if she so chooses. So the Catholic Church's problem with Amnesty International isn't so much that they support abortion, but that they don't preach the evils of abortion like Catholic officials do at every opportunity. Some Catholic charities do good work, but I'm always wary of religious groups going to third world countries offering relief. The people in these countries are rarely Christian, and we know how some religious types love to spread their faith, especially in exchange for good deeds. The late Pope John Paul II, for his part, was a vocal opponent of capital punishment and the Iraq war, but he also called the right to choose "the culture of death" and opposed changing church doctrine in any way, even in recognition of women's rights and the changing world. Vatican officials also oppose UNICEF's practice of giving post-conception spermicides to women who have been raped. Terrible, right? Giving aid to traumatized women is unthinkable in Vatican doctrine if it leads to the termination of a pregnancy. Catholics in Los Angeles, in the midst of priests in its diocese finally going on trial for abusing children, are worried that their Hispanic population is going to evangelical churches. Just another organization trying to hold onto its followers, all while preaching a doctrine straight out of the Middle Ages. And my parents wonder why I want nothing to do with this institution.

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