June 23, 2018

Baptizing babies violates fundamental human rights, says the former president of Ireland, Mary McAleese.

"You can’t impose, really, obligations on people who are only two weeks old and you can’t say to them at seven or eight or 14 or 19 'here is what you contracted, here is what you signed up to' because the truth is they didn’t," The Irish Times reports. McAleese said that for centuries "people didn’t understand that they had the right to say no, the right to walk away... But you and I know, we live now in times where we have the right to freedom of conscience, freedom of belief, freedom of opinion, freedom of religion and freedom to change religion. The Catholic Church yet has to fully embrace that thinking."

I thought it was the parents, the godparents, and the congregation who were making vows about how to bring up the child and the child was only receiving a benefit — or what the adults present believed would be a benefit. Adults must make decisions about what is good for a new human being at least up to some point when it's in a position to think for itself. The idea that adults should refrain from making decisions for a child isn't even coherent. To hold back from imposing any values is itself a decision. You might think it is best for a child to maintain a religion-free environment, but you could be wrong about that and why not go hysterical and call that too a violation of fundamental human rights?

301 comments:

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LincolnTf said...

As a Catholic, I know that Confirmation is what commits someone to the Faith, not Baptism. That's basic shit that every Catholic is (was?) taught.

traditionalguy said...

The Reformation redux. But nobody ever liked those sneaky Anabaptists.

readering said...

She must be fun to discuss circumcision with. Is she a Baptist?

Shouting Thomas said...

The moment the Church ordains women priests, the Church will cease to exist.

It will become, as the Protestant churches are now, another wing of the Democratic Party.

The voluntary desire of people to pass on their cultural traditions and beliefs to their kids must be outlawed.

So, does the government have the right to intervene to "improve" us?

FIDO said...

Baptism was to protect the innocent soul from going to Hell (and put a spiritual claim on the soul). Protestants at least some, do older baptisms in lieu of Confirmation.

traditionalguy said...

How about a good debate on Trans-substantiation to start the morning off right. Everybody get their cup of coffee and take a simutaneous sip...oops, wrong blog.

Mary Beth said...

If the children grow up to be religious, it was an important ritual that their parents provided for them so ensure the safety of their souls. If they grow up to be atheist, it was a meaningless ritual that doesn't obligate them to anything but comforted their parents. I personally don't see the problem.

Confirmation, on the other hand....

FIDO said...

Shouting Thomas, you are wrong.

The Catholic Church is already almost a wing of the Democratic Party. They were SJWs before it was cool. Gay priests had a huge effect.

Some, but not all Protestant sects and denominations are Conservative in comparison.

Fernandistein said...

Putting water, even magical water, on a kid's head is less than 1% of a bath and doesn't do anything.

Study: Most Children Strongly Opposed To Children’s Healthcare

FIDO said...

Mary Beth,

The point is to remove ANY religious ritual from the lives of children and family. A thin wedge people like this will pound on.


Next will be removing CCD from parental control while the Church of Marxism is indoctrinated into the young.

Big Mike said...

I can’t wait to see her comments on circumcision and female genital mutilation.

Tim in Vermont said...

It’s almost as if she believes in the power of baptism.

Kevin said...

Given that same logic how do you force children to go to school?

Shouldn’t they grow up to adulthood and then choose for themselves whether to become educated?

Tim in Vermont said...

But you and I know, we live now in times where we have the right to freedom of conscience, freedom of belief, freedom of opinion, freedom of religion and freedom to change religion. The Catholic Church yet has to fully embrace that thinking.

Not just the Catholic Church!

mockturtle said...

Well written summation, Althouse.

gilbar said...

Fernandistein is RIGHT!
baptism has always been by immersion and it is not proper to perform baptism by way of sprinkling of water. The immersion is done three times and is referred to as "total" or "full".
The baptized also has to avow their belief in JESUS CHRIST

Sorry cathies and other losers, Only the truly Baptized will be allowed into Heaven... The rest of you ARE DAMNED TO HELL where you belong!!

Tommy Duncan said...

Ann nails it:

"To hold back from imposing any values is itself a decision. You might think it is best for a child to maintain a religion-free environment, but you could be wrong about that and why not go hysterical and call that too a violation of fundamental human rights?"

mockturtle said...

Kevin argues: Given that same logic how do you force children to go to school?

Shouldn’t they grow up to adulthood and then choose for themselves whether to become educated?


Right. And immunizations. They may grow up not wanting to be immune. And don't make them eat vegetables, either.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

"To hold back from imposing any values is itself a decision. You might think it is best for a child to maintain a religion-free environment, but you could be wrong about that and why not go hysterical and call that too a violation of fundamental human rights?"

You could make at least a good a case for that as the contrary.

But arguing that the act of baptism itself imposes anything on a child is beyond stupid. How did public life in the West get so clogged up with people of such obvious limited intellect as Mary McAleese? Is there some secret committee somewhere that is genetically-engineering a race of global pests, by selecting for overactive do-gooder and sanctimony genes, weeding out any candidates showing any capacity for resistance to caste groupthink, "educating them beyond their intelligence" (as the saying goes), and then planting, aiding and advancing them in lucrative taxpayer-funded careers?

Seeing such childish "thinkers" festooning the world's media everyday inclines one to be positively conspiracy-theory minded, it does.

traditionalguy said...

Sounds like a good war of words. The public Christening pf enfants is a beautiful ceremony asserting the faith of the parents, grandparents and God parents. It is like the Hebrew presentation of the enfant to God. Jesus had one complete with beautiful prophecy.

All the baby can do is smile or cry. Which is the first chance to start out their public reputation. I bet Althouse smiled and ST shouted at the priest. I probably argued with anybody who would listen.

LincolnTf said...

The homosexual men who infiltrated the Church and made it their sexual playground are an abomination, and every one of them deserves Hell. The fact that so many gay men raped children under the auspices of the Church is something the LGBTQ and Vatican communities both want forgotten. But it won't be, ever.

Fernandistein said...

readering said...
She must be fun to discuss circumcision with. Is she a Baptist?


Even better, she was a professor of Penology.

Derek Kite said...

Yup. The Crisis of the Moment is Catholic baptism.

Look a squirrel!

Eric said...

The Illuminati are stuck in a game of "Can You Top This?"

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

ST: The voluntary desire of people to pass on their cultural traditions and beliefs to their kids must be outlawed.

That's exactly the purpose here.

Though people like McAleese are just tools. She never struck me as bright enough to understand the project she's working for.

Michael K said...

My Irish friend told me one time that the present day Irish do not like Americans visiting to look for "their roots" because they know "The Cream left."

The Irish today are the descendants of those willing to stay and endure the abuse.

The fighting Germans and French all got killed in wars and left a generation of "sitzpinklers."

This is what was left for the Irish.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Leftists are hysterical about just about everything.

Birkel said...

I am damned glad people 250 years ago were smart enough to leave those British twits elsewhere.

Eleanor said...

The baptism of babies is indeed the parents, other family members, and godparents agreeing to bring the child up in the larger circle of the church. My lack of religious belief is well-known among my family and friends, and yet I am godparent to children in two different families. The parents knew I am a keeper of my promises. Even their clergy understood. Should something have happened to their parents, I would have made sure the kids were still part of their church, been given the proper religioud training, and then been left to make their own decisions about religion as adults. Baptism is not about commitment on the part of the child.

Mary Beth said...

The rest of you ARE DAMNED TO HELL where you belong!!

I would be concerned, if I believed in it. There are times, though, when I watch the news, that I kind of wish there were a hell.

Unknown said...

When you consider that there are people who say gender is "assigned" at birth and consider this an imposition, then McAleese's bizarre statement should be no surprise.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

Mary Beth: If they grow up to be atheist, it was a meaningless ritual that doesn't obligate them to anything but comforted their parents. I personally don't see the problem.

Confirmation, on the other hand....


I got baptized *and* confirmed, and never had a speck of religious faith, then or later. None of it was a "meaningless ritual" to me, though, quite the contrary.

Pietas, Mary Beth, pietas.

I am very grateful to have had this enormous cultural inheritance passed on to me. I think it's a crime for parents to refuse to transmit this to their offspring, to leave them wandering in the void of presentism, anchorless, no sense of who they are, where they came from, or where they are in space and time.

Ken B said...

Now do Muslim circumcision. Do teaching children to recite the inshallah, which makes them liable to the death penalty if they exercise this “right to change religion” she talks about.

Darrell said...

Mary McAleese should stick to the butt-stuff. That's what she's good at.

Dad29 said...

isn't even coherent.

An incoherent Lefty politician? Say it isn't so!!

mockturtle said...

Angle asks: Is there some secret committee somewhere that is genetically-engineering a race of global pests, by selecting for overactive do-gooder and sanctimony genes, weeding out any candidates showing any capacity for resistance to caste groupthink, "educating them beyond their intelligence" (as the saying goes), and then planting, aiding and advancing them in lucrative taxpayer-funded careers?

You may have made this remark with your tongue in your cheek but I fear it is, in fact, the case.

DKWalser said...

Are we going to wait until a child is old enough to choose for itself whether it wants to learn to read or to play the piano?

elkh1 said...

If the parent's baptizing the baby could bind the baby to the church for the rest of his life, then the Catholic Church would be building more churches instead of converting churches to market places and residences.

CStanley said...

"To hold back from imposing any values is itself a decision. You might think it is best for a child to maintain a religion-free environment, but you could be wrong about that and why not go hysterical and call that too a violation of fundamental human rights?"

I couldn't agree more, and it relates to an idea that I have trouble expressing. It's the difference between positive and negative types of values, saying yes or saying no. Progressivism and relativism only embrace permissiveness and acceptance where anything goes. Everyone should be free to do what they choose...but if your choice is to say no, you must not express your choice in a way that makes anyone feel bad about their choice to say yes.

Jonathan Haidt's work on moral values touches on this concept (that conservatives have a wider range of moral "tastes" which include negative reactions to certain behaviors) but otherwise I haven't seen anyone acknowledging this. It's quite apparent to me that relativists only approve of enforcing 100% permissiveness of all behaviors except for the expression of disapproval of any behaviors. It's also clear to me that this is a disastrous course for a civilization to take, since social taboos serve important purposes in most cases.

Bob Boyd said...

https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/6eee1062-6e0f-4bf9-b88a-333201cdcad1

elkh1 said...

DKWalser: piano and learning can wait, but indoctrination can't. They must be indoctrinated about "masculinity toxicity", "white privilege", "masturbation"... in kindergarten, calling each other "ze" and person (perdaughter?) 1 and 2, not boys and girls. It's never too early to keep their minds filled with gibberish to save efforts to brain wash them later.

CStanley said...

Adding on to my last comment....

I conceptualize this as a numberline of values. Progressives embrace the positive but conservatives idea of an ideal pluraralistic society includes the whole line including the negative and see reasons that the negative side of the value numberline serves to create a moral environment where society flourishes. Progressives see only individuals on the positive side, choosing to express behaviors (which make them feel good but are often harmful to the culture) without fear of reproach. Progressives idealize individual autonomy to the detriment of society.

Mark said...

Don't expect reasoned, rational thought from anti-Catholic bigots. Such animus is inherently and always irrational.

Long before there was Never Trump, there was Never Catholic.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

mock: You may have made this remark with your tongue in your cheek but I fear it is, in fact, the case.

I find the idea that nature throws up these creatures spontaneously even more frightening.

Do we in the West right now have the stupidest governing caste in the history of the world? Geez, if they're going to be stupid, corrupt, and decadent, couldn't they at least be corrupt and decadent in the Nero style, and burn down DC?

(Yeah, I know, if we go with that scenario, whoever's playing Nero will blame the Deplorables for the conflagration, however it got started. But hey, DC gets burned down, anyway you slice it!)

William said...

Catholicism is part of the Irish DNA. The Easter Rebellion was not to give the Irish freedom of religion but rather to give the Catholic faith preeminence in Ireland. She's preaching not against the Church but against DeValera and Collins........It's pretty to think that the Magdalene laundries and the other abuses were something that the Church inflicted on Ireland, but you could just as soon argue that these were sins inflicted on the Church by the Irish. She's preaching against the Church with the same overweaning righteousness that made the Magdalene laundries possible.

Phil 3:14 said...

What would Jesus do?

James Pawlak said...

Ireland requires an external Crowmwell"---To force it to remember that its real core is The Faith.

Scott said...

When everything is a human rights violation, then nothing is a human rights violation.

mockturtle said...

Angle asks [only rhetorically, of course]: Do we in the West right now have the stupidest governing caste in the history of the world? Geez, if they're going to be stupid, corrupt, and decadent, couldn't they at least be corrupt and decadent in the Nero style, and burn down DC?

I've been reading several books on feudal Japan and I'm convinced that, for all the violence, theirs was a more coherent society.

They [Western Progs] keep overplaying their meager hand but, because they control all the media and means of communication, they still control the game. We may be holding all the aces and most of the honors but will still lose.


Katherine said...

A former president of Ireland. And, according to the article, she'll be present at the upcoming Pride parade. Cultural marxism aims at destroying the family and denying biological reality.

Paddy O said...

Well, as a believer in adult baptism, I agree. Though it's interesting to hear a Irish woman say it.

"Catholicism is part of the Irish DNA."

Not necessarily. The Roman Catholic church was among the first wave of attempts by other nations to co-opt Irish identity. There was a thriving Celtic expression of Christianity that had a lot in common with eastern orthodox theology and rites, as well as indigenous expression. The Council of Whitby was an important repression of Irish religious expression, as it asserted southern European standards that then resonated across Britain and Ireland.

Which is the irony of the Catholic/Protestant wars in Ireland. Of course, Roman Catholicism is certainly a part of Irish culture, becoming especially hardened because of Cromwell's explicitly religious wars. That Catholic identity hardened by persecution has served to keep Ireland religious much longer than the rest of Europe.

The Peasants are Revolting! said...

Obviously denying an adult woman sexual expression by mutilating her genitals as a child doesn’t come under this pronouncement, because reasons, people, lots of reasons. You people are so deplorable.

robother said...

Ideally, children should be raised by wolves, and once they are fully grown, reintroduced into human society when they can make their own decisions as to gender, religion, ethical values unbiased by any parental input. That is the way back to the Garden.

The Godfather said...

If the Irish Government were to ban infant baptism, it might be condemning some children to Hell. This would violate the Precautionary Principle. The original motivation for infant baptism was to protect the child from going to Hell (or at best Limbo) in the event of an early death -- supposedly, even an infant was infected by Original Sin, and only baptism could cleanse his/her soul of the sin. If you waited until your child was old enough to decide on baptism for him or herself, you were risking his/her soul. I don't know if even the Roman Catholic Church believes that anymore, but why take a chance?

The Godfather said...

As Huck Finn put it: "All right, then, I'll go to hell". That's the pro-choice position, I suppose.

Crimso said...

"Given that same logic how do you force children to go to school?"

How do you (not you personally, Kevin) justify conceiving them in the first place?

Roughcoat said...

Angle and mockturtle are on fire today. Same re Althouse with her comments. Kudos, ladies, and thanks.

I'm not going to weigh in on baptism -- what it means, what it entails, etc. etc. -- because I've said all I have to say on the subject in other threads. I will say, and speaking as an Irish American Catholic (with a leavening of German DNA) that the Irish have gone collectively nuts, and not for the first time in their history; probably not for the last time either. Arguing about EVERYTHING is trait that's foundational to the Irish character. Like those stiff-necked Hebrews they are a troublesome folk. But those who came over here (thanks, grandma and grandpa!) were important to the development and growth of America -- and they bred like rabbits, so that now people of Irish descent constitute what I think is the second-largest ethnic group in the U.S.

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

"I thought it was the parents, the godparents, and the congregation who were making vows"

Sorry, your mistake is to think the actual meaning of the actual ritual has anything to do with it. It does not. Nor is it a matter of the stupidity of the governing class, quite the contrary.

What we have here is simply another prog attack on another pillar of Western civ, to scorch the earth and liberate us from faith itself, to eliminate the very transmission of tradition through family, the better to fill the blank slate of individual "autonomy." Been going on since the 1700s, now arrived full force in Ireland.

I say as a non-Christian.

The Peasants are Revolting! said...

The immersion is done three times and is referred to as "total" or "full".

“I’d rather go to Hell than take a bath.” - Huck Finn. OK, I made that up.

Mark said...

To suggest that pouring some water on a baby's head (or immersing him or her) and saying some words while doing it works some permanent change in the person - or has any other effect - is to admit to the faith of the matter.

If the government were to restrict the practice in any way, it would in fact be affirming its sacramental nature.

Of course, it would be wholly impossible to ban baptism since parents themselves could baptize their babies during a bath -- unless they want to ban bathing babies.

tcrosse said...

Better to baptise them than to eat them, as has been modestly proposed.

AJ Lynch said...

Far left liberals are mentally ill.

Roughcoat said...

RE FIDO: "The Catholic Church is already almost a wing of the Democratic Party."

Concerning the U.S. Catholic hierarchy, and apart from the magnificent Cardinal Chaput, that's pretty much the case. But at the "street level," things vary from parish to parish. E.g., go to any Polish parish church in the Chicago area, and you will find an intensely conservative/orthodox congregation. The Catholic Church really is a big tent in which people of widely divergent political stripes are to be found and tolerated. Non-Catholics pretty much have no idea the extent to which this is the case. Where I'm from (Chicago) people pretty much ignore that nonsense put out by the bishops and the pope as well for that matter. You can be a good Catholic without ever really engaging with the church hierarchy. That, it seems to me, is one of the utilitarian beauties of Catholicism. It is fundamental to the Catholic faith that our ultimate authority for questions and matters of faith is to be found internally, i.e. from the "dictates of an informed conscience" combined with the teachings/musings of Catholic theologians going back 2,000 years to the Church Fathers. The Prots congratulate themselves on being the free-thinkers of Christianity but they are ignorant of Catholic teachings in this regard.

iowan2 said...

Huge swaths of the population are wholly ignorant of spiritual faith. This includes the churched and unchurched equally. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Baptism is a human invention, Like "The Church" is a human invention. All of this is normal, Pastors and such spend so much time on dogma, they have little time for the simple insight into a life lived by the acceptance of a God of your personal understanding.

Roughcoat said...

Baptism is a human invention, Like "The Church" is a human invention.

Well, no. But okay with me if you believe that.

Robert Cook said...

Baptism was to protect the innocent soul from going to Hell (and put a spiritual claim on the soul).”

This just illustrates the illogic of Christian doctrine. If their god is a loving god, why would an innocent soul—a baby or very young child—be damned to Hell just because the child or infant had not been baptized? Even God can’t give innocent souls a pass or won’t make exceptions? This is either childish fantasy or reveals a psychotic god.

That all said, isn’t it a violation of the first amendment to violate the citizen’s religious belief and practices?

Roughcoat said...

The notion that a baby or very young child will be damned to Hell if he/she isn't baptized is wrong, a woeful misunderstanding of the sacrament. But, in fairness to you, many many people of faith share in this misunderstanding. Okay, I said I wouldn't comment on baptism and from here on I stay true to that vow. Well, I'll try.

Mark said...

As for Confirmation (which in Orthodox churches is conferred immediately after Baptism during infancy), it is related to, and builds upon, Baptism, but it is different. While both alter one's very being in a transcendental, yet very real fundamental way by imprinting on the soul an indelible spiritual seal and character, which marks one as belonging to Jesus, they are different sacraments, different graces, for different purposes.

Confirmation provides an increase and deepening of sanctifying graces, completing what began in Baptism and uniting the recipient more firmly to Christ.

Why? One receives the anointing and graces of Confirmation in order to fully become a “Christian” and better perfect the person in love and truth, as God in heaven is perfect, so as to be witnesses of the love and truth of Jesus, as he himself said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses.” - Acts 1:8

By Confirmation, instead of being merely passive members of the Church, one is called to actively participate in the redemptive mission of the Church to be a witness for Jesus. Instead of being merely concerned with one's own personal welfare and salvation, the one confirmed is to concerned with the welfare and salvation of others, helping Jesus in the work of salvation.

So that one can be a true witness of Christ in a world that is very hostile to God, the sacrament of Confirmation provides the graces of strength, fortitude, and perseverance that are necessary to spread and defend the faith by word and action. One is made a “soldier of Christ” in order to fulfill that duty of witnessing to and defending the Faith and fighting against evil.

The problem is that most people receiving the gift of Confirmation don't know what to do with it. And like people who receive some gifts at Christmas, they end up sticking that gift of Confirmation - and all its valuable graces - in the back of the closet, so to speak, where it sits unused as if never received.

Mark said...

"The Catholic Church is already almost a wing of the Democratic Party."

Concerning the U.S. Catholic hierarchy . . .

Well, of course the Church is not limited to the U.S. The Catholic Church is universal, hence the name "Catholic." Existing in practically every nation on earth. Orthodox growth is especially strong in Africa.

As Jesus said, "You will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth." "Go and make disciples of all nations."

Mark said...

“Baptism was to protect the innocent soul from going to Hell (and put a spiritual claim on the soul).”

This just illustrates the illogic of Christian doctrine.

No, it just illustrates the ignorance (or at best the ill-advised erroneous word choice) of those who say and believe such things (and then also those who argue against such strawmen).

Michael K said...

"This is either childish fantasy or reveals a psychotic god. "

It's the standard misunderstanding of religion by the left.

Mary Beth said...

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

I am very grateful to have had this enormous cultural inheritance passed on to me.


I meant that it didn't actually obligate them to anything that they didn't want and that even if they grow up to dislike the Church, they should be happy that their parents were comforted by the baptism ceremony.

The "Confirmation, on the other hand...." part I meant as a joke. I was going to add that I think it would be better if the Catholic Church waited until the child was older the way the Anglican Church does, but it was early and that was too much typing.

I'm not a believer, but I also value the traditions of the church (and I love the bells and smells). All of my children were baptized and confirmed. My daughter was an acolyte. People can only make an informed choice if they are exposed to it.

Roughcoat said...

Baptism is like money in the bank, earning at astonishing and always rising rates of interest, always increasing and never losing value, totally and comprehensively insured by the powers that be (or, more precisely, the Power that Is). You don't have to do anything about it and you may not even be aware of it. You get all the benefits of it even if you don't deserve it. It is the proverbial gift that keeps giving regardless of the circumstances.

Two-eyed Jack said...

A distant kinsman of mine is an Anabaptist martyr who was burned at the stake in Switzerland 1570. This set his family on the road to Amsterdam, and then New Amsterdam in 1688. Between that and the various horrors inflicted by the Irish on the Puritans in the English Civil War, my family had a streak of anti-Catholicism that made my brother's dating a Papist in High School problematic for my grandparents, although the reasons behind their anti-Catholicism had been lost over time. ("Papist," by the way, was their word.)
People talk as though incorporation of the Irish into America (e.g. 1960 election) was a matter of overcoming irrational prejudice. It was about forgetting things that have kept Ireland simmering for all the intervening time. You may argue about baptism vs. confirmation, but the Catholics burned my 14XGreat-grandpa's brother because he thought otherwise.

Michael K said...

Where I'm from (Chicago) people pretty much ignore that nonsense put out by the bishops and the pope as well for that matter.

I grew up in St Philip Neri parish in South Shore. Nobody white and few blacks go there voluntarily these days.

In the days when I was growing up, the Monsignor who was Pastor of that parish had the Illinois #1 license plate which he had been given by the Cardinal. Monsignor Parker had been an accountant and businessman before a priest (it was said) and St Philip was the wealthiest parish in the city, This was a mixed blessing since it had loaned money to many other parishes and held the mortgages on these churches. When they went bankrupt, St Philip's lost the money. It is all black now and the schools still are open.

I don't know how solvent it is but it is open and running, which is not the case for many other churches in Chicago.

buwaya said...

Wait for it. This will be another front in anti-Catholic agitation by the bien-pensants.

The infant-abuse of baptism.
And this is not a new idea, baptisms have been forbidden before.

The opposition to Catholic education is a perennial.

Roughcoat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roughcoat said...

"You may argue about baptism vs. confirmation, but the Catholics burned my 14XGreat-grandpa's brother because he thought otherwise."

By the same token I can tell you true stories of what Cromwell and his New Model Army did to the Catholics of Ireland that will make your hair stand on end and have you retching in disgust. Cromwell waged an actual genocidal war against he Irish, and when he exhorted his troops to "send them to hell or Connaught" he was speaking literally.

But he got his in the end, that fucker.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

William: It's pretty to think that the Magdalene laundries and the other abuses were something that the Church inflicted on Ireland, but you could just as soon argue that these were sins inflicted on the Church by the Irish. She's preaching against the Church with the same overweaning righteousness that made the Magdalene laundries possible.

Interesting take.

The Irish look to be a strange lot - at once innately rebellious against authority, and peculiarly credulous and obedient toward it. They chuck the Church only to become the most pious of adherents to Clown World ideology. They bitch about the oppression by the English and yell "Ireland for the Irish" for centuries, only to turn around in the blink of the historical eye, and supinely accept Clown World's decree that their country and unique culture must vanish into Nigeria North/Pakistan West...because the usual mindless "nazisracistsxenophobesinclusionmulticulturalism" reasons.

Just a gross no doubt ignorant observation from an outsider who really doesn't know anything about Ireland but what she reads in the papers. (Never been there.) Don't know if one could really make the case that the Irish are any stupider than a lot of other Western countries when it comes to buying into insane bullshit.

cyrus83 said...

Oh what rubbish. Just by being born in Ireland and being a citizen of said nation the obligations of citizenship and of the nation's laws are imposed on the child, without any say so of the child. The entire concept of being a minor is that the adults get to impose obligations for the child's own good because the child is not mature enough to make it on their own.

Religious obligation is one of those things. Kids can and do make their own decisions about religion once they become adults, but it makes absolutely no sense to deny them the formation when young. Religion is much harder for me in practice having been raised without it being part of daily life. And I think that is the entire point of this bogus "human rights" issue. Raising kids without religious upbringing means they're most likely to remain nonreligious as adults.

Although this gives me an idea - Maybe Donald Trump can borrow this logic and say it's a violation of human rights to impose American citizenship on babies who can't make the decision for themselves. He could be the great liberator of millions of kids being unjustly made citizens at birth.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

Roughcoat: Angle and mockturtle are on fire today.

Hopefully not a warm up for burning in hell.

mockturtle said...

Although this gives me an idea - Maybe Donald Trump can borrow this logic and say it's a violation of human rights to impose American citizenship on babies who can't make the decision for themselves. He could be the great liberator of millions of kids being unjustly made citizens at birth.

Brilliant, cyrus!

Mike Smith said...

I am a practicing Catholic. Perhaps I can clear up a couple of things.

Catholics believe in original sin. So, yes, the Baptisms soon after birth are part of the precautionary principle. However, in Baptism, beyond the sanctifying grace conferred to the child, it is equally important that the parents and godparents publicly agree to raise the child as a Catholic Christian.

It is Confirmation (age ~13-16) where the person voluntarily makes the commitment to live life as a Catholic Christian.

When the Catholic Church actively works against abortion and gay marriage, I'm not sure how one comes to the conclusion that it is part or the Democratic Party. Yes, some of our bishops desperately need Economics 101. And, yes, our Pope needs to understand that the global warming hypothesis = science and not morals.

We believe Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ. But, it is run by very fallible human beings. Nevertheless, we believe that if one lives a good life and follows the precepts of Catholic teaching, one will get to Heaven.

Questions?

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

Thanks for the boring story about a boring ritual denounced by a boring former PM of a tiny country that no one cares about. Really the most pressing stuff going on in the world today hinges on Ireland's baptism practices.

BORING.

Two-eyed Jack said...

Roughcoat said... "I can tell you true stories."

My point exactly. The Irish never forgot, because they have been rehearsing these stories for 350 years.

Also, the stories were originally printed in broadsheet publications. Their standards of journalism were somewhat below that of Time magazine's current level. Some of the true stories actually happened, but some are much harder to pin down. Some were the fake news of the era. And they happened on both sides. (The Irish armies brought over to support Charles were accused of ripping babies from the bellies of pregnant women. Same as the Hun in Belgium in 1914. Could have happened.)

Mark said...

The notion that a baby or very young child will be damned to Hell if he/she isn't baptized is wrong, a woeful misunderstanding of the sacrament.

It is important to understand that God is a God of love and infinite mercies. And that God made us for life -- He does not delight in death. He wants eternal life for us -- for all of us -- that is why He went to all that bother of hanging on the Cross.

Jesus established his Church and the sacraments, including baptism, as the ordinary means to bring his grace of eternal life to the whole world. While the Lord expects that we make use of these ordinary means given by him, God himself is not bound by the sacraments (CCC 1257). The Church thus understands that those who have not received sacramental baptism by water may nevertheless be saved by extraordinary means of grace.

For example, if there is an earnest wish to be baptized in Christ at the time of death, such as an infant whose parents are preparing for the sacrament, but they are killed in a car accident on the way to the church, that desire “assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament” (CCC 1259).
Even those who through no fault of their own are ignorant of Christ and the Gospel, but they seek the truth and do the will of God as best as they understand, can be saved by a kind of implicit “baptism of desire” (CCC 1260).

Regarding other unbaptized babies, including those who die before birth, either by abortion or naturally, the Church in hope commends them to the loving and merciful arms of our heavenly Father, whose will is that all should be saved and live (CCC 1261).

Roughcoat said...

Angle-Dyne @ 10:09 AM:

Again, good observations, although I say that guardedly with some qualification. Your observation that the Irish are "at once innately rebellious against authority, and peculiarly credulous and obedient toward it" is insightful, although like all insights concerning the Irish there are exceptions that prove the rule, and rules that prove the exceptions. Your observation is, however, consistent with what one writer said about Ireland, this it was the last medieval country in Europe, i.e. a country with a population infused with a medieval consciousness. But he was writing about the Ireland of nearly 40 years ago, when as it so happens I undertook first of many visits to that country. He was right, but I do not believe that is any longer the case, a circumstance whose inevitable passing merits some albeit not too much mourning. Modernity has come to Ireland, finally, and in much fuller force than in most places, hitting it like a ton of bricks. The converted are typically the sternist of believers and that is certainly true of the Irish with respect to their acceptance of modernity or, as you so aptly dub it, "Clown World ideology."

That said, don't believe everything you read in the papers about the Irish (or anyone else for that matter) and no, they aren't any stupider than all the other peoples that inhabit our planet.

Remember the line from "The Devil's Own," Brad Pitt as the IRA operative telling Harrison Ford: "If you know what's going on in Ireland, you don't know what's going on."

AJ Lynch said...

I bet McAleese thinks of herself as a big thinker.

Mark said...

Note for those that do not know -

"CCC" is abbreviation for Catechism of the Catholic Church

Fritz said...

Michael K said...
My Irish friend told me one time that the present day Irish do not like Americans visiting to look for "their roots" because they know "The Cream left."

The Irish today are the descendants of those willing to stay and endure the abuse.

The fighting Germans and French all got killed in wars and left a generation of "sitzpinklers."

This is what was left for the Irish.


The fate of Mexico and Central America?

AJ Lynch said...

I bet this is a good example of the meaningless big ideas tossed around by many of librul bigwigs at their regular Big Idea confabs.

rhhardin said...

God doesn't remember anything you do before you're 26.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

mock: I've been reading several books on feudal Japan and I'm convinced that, for all the violence, theirs was a more coherent society.

Any recommendations? I've recently become interested in that period (and Japanese history in general) after a lifetime of rather unsystematic grazing in the history, literature, culture of Japan.

Guess all those movies have finally pushed the curiosity curve to the energy of activation point. Btw, the last go-round we had here about Japanese cinema got me to watch Inagaki's Samurai Trilogy for the first time. Great stuff. For some reason I had the wrong idea that these were just the samurai-genre equivalent of "sword and sandals" B-graders. (NTT would be anything WWT.) But they were much more than that - ripping yarns with beautiful cinematography (I loved the evocation of Hiroshige in some of the visuals), and lots of historical references I was compelled to follow up on.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

"The Catholic Church is already almost a wing of the Democratic Party."

Apparently it found it could only go so far appealing to the conservative/Republican values of greed, uptightness, rules, exclusion, pedophilia and meanness. Pews started going emptier than Republican voters' minds.

So it returned back to the core message of the Gospels by going to the opposite of all that and look what happened. Newfound popularity and appeal again. Go figure.

I think you psychopaths just get off on being hated. Hateful, hatred, meanness. Those things are your religion.

Open your hearts and stop being so hateful.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

Correction: Open your tiny hearts.

Mark said...

One way that the Church is assured that, in the case of the unbaptized, God can nevertheless find ways to confer upon them the graces of baptism (which is the whole point of the sacrament), is the faith that the righteous who lived before Jesus was ever born (and thus were never baptized), or who died before His work of salvation, are in heaven.

This would include people like John the Baptist himself, Joseph the foster father of Jesus, and personages of the Old Testament like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc.

Jack said...

As an old catechism put it, in baptism one is "made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven." Such a violation of rights.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

But you and I know, we live now in times where we have the right to freedom of conscience, freedom of belief, freedom of opinion, freedom of religion and freedom to change religion. The Catholic Church yet has to fully embrace that thinking.

Not just the Catholic Church!


Maybe not, but it was that church that carries with it the historical baggage of having been an actual government over an entire continent for a thousand years. So it has this sad habit of thinking it should still remain way more powerful than it actually is.

Roughcoat said...

The Irish never forgot, because they have been rehearsing these stories for 350 years.

Old joke, told by the Irish about themselves: Irish Alzheimers, you forget everything but the grudges."

Some of the true stories actually happened, but some are much harder to pin down.

No, they aren't. The record of the horrors Cromwell and his forces perpetrated against the Irish is not in dispute among reputable historians. Population statistics are especially revealing. This is not instance of faulty journalism -- that's bullshit. It is true to that Irish forces fighting for Charles committed atrocities as did all armies in that era of religious conflict. But they not commit genocide, as did Cromwell's forces, which is to say they did not depopulate entire regions of England and annihilate entire populations by fire and sword. This is not an instance of moral (or immoral) equivalence; Cromwell and his Protestant army were worse than most armies in this regard, and by several orders of magnitude.

Etienne said...

What this woman is saying, is complete hooey. Her mouth is running faster than her brain.

PeterJ said...

Ah well, and why shouldn't the wee lad or lassie get a vote on the matter? And maybe even on whether Mammy should go ahead with aborting the creetur?

As a newborn in auld Ireland-- in those dark ages! -- I was sprinkled at a very early age. Also fed, clothed, and reared as Mammy & Daddy thought best. All before those two Marys (Robinson & McAleese) came along to set us right.

Roughcoat said...

Mark @ 10:34 AM:

As encompassed and expressed in the concepts of "baptism of desire" and "baptism of blood."

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

this, right after their pro-abort vote?

buwaya said...

The Catholic Church needs to be much more "in your face", especially the American instance. Processions, hermandades, advertising parochial schools (which really are superior to the public schools), missionary work, and indeed an internally focused inquisition to restore discipline and doctrine in the clergy and its institutions, especially its universities.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

Two-eyed jack: People talk as though incorporation of the Irish into America (e.g. 1960 election) was a matter of overcoming irrational prejudice. It was about forgetting things that have kept Ireland simmering for all the intervening time.

People nowadays think any discrimination (even in the most neutral sense of the word) is all about "irrational prejudice". Of course it's stupid, but it's not like the Irish are getting special treatment here.

It was about forgetting things that have kept Ireland simmering for all the intervening time. You may argue about baptism vs. confirmation, but the Catholics burned my 14XGreat-grandpa's brother because he thought otherwise.

Back in those days everybody on any side was burning everybody on any other side for any reason they could come up with, secular and religious. Sorry about your 14XGreat-uncle, but again, not a barbarity peculiar to Irish Catholics.

Static Ping said...

It's straight up anti-Catholic bigotry. As with George Will, this is simply rationalizing an untenable position. At least Will's position does not appear to be unmitigated hatred at least.

Roughcoat said...

buwaya @ 10:45 AM:

Well said, totally agree.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

The Catholic Church is the only big government left that American conservatives still love and adore. They remember the good old days when it had more control over people's lives, and they miss that.

Roughcoat said...

American Catholic axiom: You aren't a true Catholic until you've gotten angry with the Church and left it and returned to it at least three times.

At least.

Big Mike said...

@buwaya, would that include excommunicating prominent Catholic politicians who back abortion?

LincolnTf said...

The Protestants enslaved my ancestors, but I don't get all bent about it. We thrived, we overcame, now we drink Guinness and listen to the Dropkick Murphy's all over the world. We got over it. Some other cultures could learn from that.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

American Catholic axiom: You aren't a true Catholic until you've gotten angry with the Church and left it and returned to it at least three times.

At least.


Like any abusive relationship.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Angel-Dyne,
Try Maraini's "Meeting with Japan".

traditionalguy said...

And than the best laid plans of men encounter the scripture. Boom. That predestination taught by Paul and Explained by Calvin raises its ugly head. And all the priests and their monopoly on sacraments fall down.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

Roughcoat @10:22: Thanks for the observations on Ireland.

That said, don't believe everything you read in the papers about the Irish (or anyone else for that matter)...

The papers are full of malarkey!?!!?

...and no, they aren't any stupider than all the other peoples that inhabit our planet.

I'm heartened to hear that.

Remember the line from "The Devil's Own," Brad Pitt as the IRA operative telling Harrison Ford: "If you know what's going on in Ireland, you don't know what's going on."

One of these days I'll get to Ireland. Not that this will make me informed or give me understanding, but the idea of a walking holiday in the West is very enticing. (Always wanted to get out to Skellig Michael, too.)

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

Predestination. Prestidigitation. Same thing.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

Fred: Try Maraini's "Meeting with Japan".

Thanks for the rec! Will look it up.

buwaya said...

Re excommunication of pro-abortion politicians - yes of course.

Mark said...

But you and I know, we live now in times where we have the right to freedom of conscience, freedom of belief, freedom of opinion, freedom of religion and freedom to change religion. The Catholic Church yet has to fully embrace that thinking.

The Catholic Church responds --

Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio --
39. On her part. the Church addresses people with full respect for their freedom.64 Her mission does not restrict freedom but rather promotes it. The Church proposes; she imposes nothing. She respects individuals and cultures, and she honors the sanctuary of conscience. To those who for various reasons oppose missionary activity, the Church repeats: Open the doors to Christ!

Second Vatican Council, Dignitatis Humanae --
2. This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.
The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself. . . .

3. [Every person has] the right to seek the truth in matters religious in order that he may with prudence form for himself right and true judgments of conscience, under use of all suitable means. . . . The religious acts whereby men, in private and in public and out of a sense of personal conviction, direct their lives to God transcend by their very nature the order of terrestrial and temporal affairs. Government therefore ought indeed to take account of the religious life of the citizenry and show it favor, since the function of government is to make provision for the common welfare. However, it would clearly transgress the limits set to its power, were it to presume to command or inhibit acts that are religious. . . .

10. It is one of the major tenets of Catholic doctrine that man's response to God in faith must be free: no one therefore is to be forced to embrace the Christian faith against his own will. This doctrine is contained in the word of God and it was constantly proclaimed by the Fathers of the Church. The act of faith is of its very nature a free act. . . . It is therefore completely in accord with the nature of faith that in matters religious every manner of coercion on the part of men should be excluded. . . .



Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

tradguy: And than the best laid plans of men encounter the scripture. Boom. That predestination taught by Paul and Explained by Calvin raises its ugly head. And all the priests and their monopoly on sacraments fall down.

Prods, amirite?

Where's the Spanish Inquisition when you need it?

Fred Drinkwater said...

Ah, actually, rereading AD's post, she's well beyond Meeting with Japan's audience.
However, it's still a fascinating take, by an Italian who was recognized even in Japan as an expert on the language, and who was a war prisoner there in ww2.

Roughcoat said...

traditionalguy:

Catholics are not "Bible Believing Christians" like, say, Missouri Synod Lutheran, scripture is just one component of our faith, hence the famous (among Catholics) book titled, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, "Why Don't Catholics Read the Bible."

Reference my comment above about the importance of the dictates of an informed conscience, and the teachings of the Church Fathers and Catholic theologians. Learned what "informed" means, implies, and requires. Maybe read the CCC. Nothing goes BOOM, nothing falls down.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

Fred Drinkwater: Ah, actually, rereading AD's post, she's well beyond Meeting with Japan's audience.
However, it's still a fascinating take, by an Italian who was recognized even in Japan as an expert on the language, and who was a war prisoner there in ww2.


Sounds worth reading nonetheless. Certainly won't do me any harm, will it?

rcocean said...

What lunacy. What dummy feels bound by what happened to them as a baby - which of course they don't remember.

Every society instructs its young. If you don't like it, you call it "Brainwashing" If you like it, you call it education.

Of course, she's an Irish politician - the biggest crooks and dumbshits in the English Speaking world.

Howard said...

The same silly objection applies to the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Klaus.

jimbino said...

Of course, while infant baptism has no direct objective effect, it is still a factor in the Catholics' claim to numbering their worldwide "faithful" at over a billion souls. Since the Baptists and others don't count children, whom they know cannot proclaim faith, the result is a skewing of the worldwide census of church membership, giving the Catholic Church undue importance.

At least in times past, Catholics have surreptitiously baptized infants from Jewish and atheist families who, like all children, are born atheist.

Mark said...

I am surprised though that no one here has yet brought up the practice of infant circumcision. Somewhere fairly recently in the world there have been attempts to such down synagogues in this respect.

Roughcoat said...

Angle-Dyne @ 10:56 AM, re "the idea of a walking holiday in the West is very enticing."

Oh, yes indeed, highly and heartily recommended. Do it! Done it myself on numerous occasions and plan on doing it again. Wonderful, absolutely gorgeous. That's where I fell in love with border collies and herding sheep as a sport, a pastime, a form of recreation ... an obsession.

Mark said...

At least in times past, Catholics have surreptitiously baptized infants from Jewish and atheist families who, like all children, are born atheist.

Accepting your charge as true -- what's it to you? Or to them? It's just a little bit of water, isn't it? So what's the big complaint?

Paddy O said...

The absurdity of her comment, of course, is that she assumes that by avoiding baptism, children are not being immersed in other dogmas from the time they are born. Catholics (and some other Protestants) just make their intent explicit. There are a lot of orienting philosophies that function as religions, but because they aren't deistic, they somehow get privileged.

At least the Catholics insist babies should be born, and then have at least a chance to make choices in life. The new Irish dogma recently voted on wants to make their religious choices about babies permanent and everlasting by baptizing babies in their own blood to satisfy the whims of adults.

policraticus said...

The problem with modern Christianity is a comprehensive failure of catechesis.

No one knows what they claim to believe, or why they believe it, or how it all fits together.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

jimbino: At least in times past, Catholics have surreptitiously baptized infants from Jewish and atheist families...

I hear they took took them against their will to visit National Parks, too.

LilyBart said...


The left has become tedious.

How long before they object to our taking the kids to Church or reading the Bible to them?

God gives free will. You can walk away from him at any time.

Roughcoat said...

You can walk away from him at any time.

And come back to Him at any time too.

Earnest Prole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Earnest Prole said...

Wait, aren't you the same Ann Althouse who believes posting photos of an infant on facebook somehow violates its autonomy?

My comment on that post is identical to my comment on this post.

LilyBart said...

Roughcoat said..."And come back to Him at any time too."

Sure..but Matthew 19:14 -

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

rcocean said...

"Catholics have surreptitiously baptized infants from Jewish and atheist families"

Atheist families...LOL!

And given that a Jewish infant wouldn't know he'd been baptized, I'm not clear as to what harm was done to them. Maybe you can explain.

rcocean said...

What about the Satanic Cult families? And the Astrologist Families? Or those who believe in Zeus, and want their kids to worship the Greek Gods?

I just hope the Catholic church didn't surreptitiously baptize their infants.

YoungHegelian said...

@Paddy O,

There are a lot of orienting philosophies that function as religions, but because they aren't deistic, they somehow get privileged.

Yep, and they somehow think that non-theistic moral philosophy is non-problematic, just a walk in the park where every moral issue has an easy solution that rational people will just agree on.

You just read the Nichomachean Ethics. You got any good ideas on what virtue is now? Any closer to being great souled? Me neither. It's not like it gets any clearer after Aristotle either.

This is such a foundational problem with modern moral existence that it quickly becomes the "fish are wet" conundrum when you try & discuss it. Modern secular society believes deep in its heart that if the recipe calls for moral theology that they can open the cubbard & pull out a can of secular morality as a substitute. There is never any doubt that 1) they have the product in the cubbard, and that it's genuine & 2) that such a product as a rational non-theistic morality can exist at all.

Paddy O said...

YH, I'm still reading it. Don't give away the conclusion. I've been assured that Aristotle is the key to ethical happiness....

"There is never any doubt that 1) they have the product in the cubbard, and that it's genuine & 2) that such a product as a rational non-theistic morality can exist at all."

And 3) that what they do have is somehow unrelated to the Christian teachings they're trying to reject.

Like teenagers both rejecting their parents and demanding to use the car--and maybe about $20--to go out and exercise their freedom...

n.n said...

Elective abortion is a fundamental violation of human rights. It is literally the premeditated termination of human evolution, and, after about one month, the torture of a sentient human life.

Transgender therapy including medical corruption and psychological indoctrination is a fundamental violation of human rights. It doesn't merely change the appearance, but function and perception, respectively, to be out of alignment with the default (i.e. normal) natural state.

Baptism seems mild in comparison. The change is purely an article of faith, and does not alter the natural function or perception of the human life.

exiledonmainstreet said...

ST: The voluntary desire of people to pass on their cultural traditions and beliefs to their kids must be outlawed."

I think it was Robert Morley who said years ago that if Irish Catholics ceased to be Catholics, they would not become good little Protestants, but rip-roaring pagans.

I think the abortion vote and Robinson's comment are proving him right. Irish Catholicism was a harsh variant of the faith, compared to more relaxed, sensual Mediterranean Catholicism, but it provided hope and comfort to a poor country ruled by their stronger, richer neighbor with varying degrees of severity over the course of many centuries. Now many Irish feel they no longer need it.

Roughcoat said...

n.n. @ 11:54

Of course. This thread is really about elective abortion not baptism. Glad you reminded us. And that you did so in your curiously robotic, alien-to-this planet prose.

YoungHegelian said...

@Paddy O,

And 3) that what they do have is somehow unrelated to the Christian teachings they're trying to reject.

You say this as a theologian.

As a philosophy guy, I can't believe that after the great synthesis that Christianity did with Platonism & Aristotle & the faith, after Hegel's "Geist", after Nietzsche's criticisms of "slave morality", after Heidegger's "Onto-theology", that folks can believe that it's somehow obvious that secular reasoning of any sort can be easily distinguished from theology. How does one know that something is "theological"? Maybe believers are just being more honest about their presuppositions than non-believers.

What sort of "Genealogy of Ideas" contraption does one run concepts through to separate the secular wheat from the religious chaff? If one exists, I'd like to hear about it.

hombre said...

The Auld Sod, like the new one, has become an embarrassment.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

"But you and I know, we live now in times where we have the right to freedom of conscience, freedom of belief, freedom of opinion, freedom of religion and freedom to change religion."

Ok, so now explain to me how baptizing a baby takes away these rights?

-sw

n.n said...

Roughcoat:

The analogy is salient in a universal frame and specifically in the Irish context, where they recently normalized the elective abortion of boys and girls with Down Syndrome, thereby setting the worth of an unPlanned man and woman. The question is if that judgment will translate to other medical, political, social, etc. choices, and sets a progressive precedent for debasing human life, individually, as a class (e.g. diversity).

Roughcoat said...

n.n. @ 12:22 PM:

You cannot fool me, Machine. Like all robot-aliens you have a too-perfect grasp of the language in which you are endeavoring to communicate. This is what gives you away as a robot-alien. That, and your over-use of parenthetical statements. Robots love to use parenthetical statements. This is well known.

n.n said...

The only people concerned about baptism are those who are prone to conflation of logical domains, or when it contradicts their own peculiar faith (e.g. twilight).

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

Muzzies first. Then get back to me and we’ll talk.

Roughcoat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Roughcoat:

Sarcasm? Colorful, too.

Anyway, it's a juxtaposition to compare and contrast, and evaluate divergence in degrees.

Roughcoat said...

Anyway, it's a juxtaposition to compare and contrast, and evaluate divergence in degrees.

You see that? Did I not tell you so? Machine, I denounce you for the robot-alien you are.

Temujin said...

Who's the parent and who's the child in this scenario? This is an act of love, an act of connecting another generation together. If that child grows up and wants to go in another direction, Zir is fine to do that.

Kelly said...

The church I was raised in (Church of the Brethern) we didn’t do baptism until the age of majority and only when the child chose to do it. What we did with infants was dedicate them, basically promised to raise them in a Christian home. The horror!

n.n said...

Roughtcoat:

Why does this particular analogy frighten or anger you?

I know that liberals are comfortable with selective-child because of their faith; progressives because of their religion; and libertarians because they believe the mother and father will be exempt from childcare expenses.

Roughcoat said...

Why does this particular analogy frighten or anger you?

I'm just an unfrozen caveman lawyer, your modern world frightens and confuses me.

YoungHegelian said...

@Unknown,

Ok, so now explain to me how baptizing a baby takes away these rights?

Perhaps, under the crusty non-believing exterior of Ms McAleese beats the heart of a suppressed Mackerel Snapper. Perhaps, there's a part of her that worries that Baptism, like any other sacrament ("A visible sign instituted by God to give Grace" ---- BUZZZZZZZZZZZZ --- "What is a sacrament, Alex"?) actually does "mark the soul" of the recipient.

Why take the chance?

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

Elective abortion is a fundamental violation of human rights. It is literally the premeditated termination of human evolution, and, after about one month, the torture of a sentient human life.

Right. Cells have human rights - just not sperm, egg and every other cell shed from one's body all the time. Pre-sentience and everything, and wouldn't you know that even a one-month embryo can reason and feel, according to the above.

Just flesh in vats. This is how the conception fundamentalists think of everyone. Like in The Matrix. We are all just product and they are managers. They care so, so much for their product. So did the slaveowners, they all told us - enough to regularly rape and lynch them.

I hope someday you can learn to become decent. After all, learning is a skill that even one-day embryos have, right? Maybe they just needed smarter sperm.

Bob Loblaw said...

Baptism was to protect the innocent soul from going to Hell...

Not hell - limbo. Babies were considered innocent, but church doctrine was people couldn't go to heaven without being baptized. So Medieval theologians invented a place they called Limbo, which was a Germanic word for "border". Literally, the border between heaven and hell, where the souls of these children would be trapped, knowing neither salvation nor damnation. The modern church has scrapped the idea as "an unduly restrictive view of salvation".

For a long time a baptism could be performed by anyone. In the middle ages midwives were taught how to perform the ceremony in case a child was born in distress. The idea being if she could baptize the kid before he died it was a one way ticket to heaven. Once the sacraments were formalized baptism had to be done by a priest, and since you can't have a priest at every birth they had to adjust doctrine to say unbaptized babies actually go to heaven instead. It took hundreds of years to settle the argument, though.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

Amazing to see so much earnest discussion of myth and magic as if it were real...by people who believe it is real.

Roughcoat said...

YoungHegelian:

Just days after he was born my Lutheran Saxon great-grandmother (father's side) took my grandfather to the local Catholic Church and had him baptized as a Catholic. Her husband, my Swiss German great-grandfather, was Catholic, so perhaps she had been inculcated with a need to cover the Christological bases. As you say, why take the chance. Evidently the Thirty Years' War left a lot of Germans very confused and ambivalent, my Teutonic forbears not withstanding. But not as confused as I have been, being the scion of an Irish mother and a German father, and of a family in which Catholics, Lutherans, Church of Ireland, and Methodists competed vigorously for attention, and loyalty.

YoungHegelian said...

@Bob Loblaw,

Literally, the border between heaven and hell, where the souls of these children would be trapped, knowing neither salvation nor damnation.

But not for eternity. On the Last Judgement, both Purgatory & Limbo were to be destroyed, and their residents, their purgation accomplished, were to be admitted to Heaven.

In Dante's Divine Comedy, Limbo is also the home to the virtuous pagans, such as Virgil, who lived before the Resurrection, & to the Biblical Patriarchs. The Patriarchs (i.e. the virtuous Jews of the Old Testament)are taken to Heaven by Christ on Holy Saturday, in what's known as the Harrowing of Hell.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

Maybe believers are just being more honest about their presuppositions than non-believers.

Lol wut. Non-believers are just being more honest that there are no supportable presuppositions.

Religion is simply psychology filling in the logical gaps that exist in any political regime's foundation - whether band, tribe, nation or empire. Christianity was the presupposition of universal salvation/damnation that an empire required when the provincial Jupiter and pals could no longer appeal to enough Gauls, Germans, Greeks and Egyptians to hold them all together. Blind belief replaced the currency of sacrifice in vogue in a regime where quid-pro-quo favors were still overt. Although a church hierarchy with positions offered as rewards also replaced that to an extent. The pantheon was replaced by a system of saints for every purpose imaginable - from the patron saint of can openers to the patron saint of screwdrivers. Etc.

Tribal societies were at least more honest in needing only to appeal to nature to explain their world. This is obvious; they had no society or stratification requiring the invention of a supreme being above whom to either hold the ruler in check or to command the earthly ruler as his instrument.

Even Christianity retained this to an extent when using the pope to bless/authorize the numerous European monarchies that replaced Rome.

YoungHegelian said...

@RC,

Read my post on the philosophical problems with separating theology from philosophy again, & pay attention this time.

It's all made up, RC. All of it.

Michael K said...

Blogger Robert Cook said...
Amazing to see so much earnest discussion of myth and magic as if it were real...by people who believe it is real.


The disciple of Gramsci restates his premise.

"To counter the notion that bourgeois values represented "natural" or "normal" values for society, the working class needed to develop a culture of its own. Lenin held that culture was "ancillary" to political objectives, but for Gramsci it was fundamental to the attainment of power that cultural hegemony be achieved first. In Gramsci's view, a class cannot dominate in modern conditions by merely advancing its own narrow economic interests; neither can it dominate purely through force and coercion. Rather, it must exert intellectual and moral leadership, and make alliances and compromises with a variety of forces. Gramsci calls this union of social forces a "historic bloc", taking a term from Georges Sorel. This bloc forms the basis of consent to a certain social order, which produces and re-produces the hegemony of the dominant class through a nexus of institutions, social relations, and ideas. In this way, Gramsci's theory emphasized the importance of the political and ideological superstructure in both maintaining and fracturing relations of the economic base."

Always on the march of leftism.

YoungHegelian said...

@PPT.

Religion is simply psychology filling in the logical gaps that exist in any political regime's foundation - whether band, tribe, nation or empire.

Is that what you get when you read St. Thomas or Augustine? That's the sort of poverty-stricken reading that would get you flunked out of any college course on the books.

Christianity is the foundation of the West, love it or hate it. You think, because you have never faced it profoundly at a theological or philosophical level, that you can easily think outside of it. You are wrong. Go read even something like The Communist Manifesto and see the Christian thinking that lurks behind it. "All that is sacred is profaned. All that is solid melts into air". Whut?

I think Nietzsche came close to stepping outside of Onto-theology. I'd accept a few others as possibles. But, the rest of us? Not even close.

buwaya said...

Mike,

Exactly so. Gramsci was a very perceptive fellow. Required reading.
Culture is upstream of politics is Instapundits pithy summary.

Robert,

Myth and "magic", prayers, symbols, are real. They help train minds to think a certain way and not another, they create boxes of thought. It takes a great deal of effort, or very good luck, to perceive our own boxes. You most certainly live in a box, try feel its walls and corners. We need such boxes, to a great degree, and some boxes are much better than others.

hombre said...

“Right. Cells have human rights - just not sperm, egg and every other cell shed from one's body all the time. Pre-sentience and everything, and wouldn't you know that even a one-month embryo can reason and feel, according to the above.”

Here’s pppt ignoring Human Embryology.

“Lol wut. Non-believers are just being more honest that there are no supportable presuppositions.”

Lol wut. Here’s pppt pretending that atheists are without presuppositions. You know, like “There is no God,” or “Baptism is conscription.”

Lol wut! (?)

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

Is that what you get when you read St. Thomas or Augustine? That's the sort of poverty-stricken reading that would get you flunked out of any college course on the books.

Who needs to read that shit.

I explained to you the anthropology of religion. The only way to deny it's a man-based system is to pretend that there is a purpose for religion without men. Let's see you devise one of those.

Christianity is the foundation of the West, love it or hate it.

Ethically, maybe. (Although your right-wing friends rebel against it all the time by demanding that the popular government should be reduced to an anti-compassionate instrument through which you elect evil leaders to commit heinous acts of graft out of it).

Rationally, scientifically, theology has very little use left in a world of scientific, material rationalism. Great suffering has been alleviated through it and great progress made. If you prefer the world of 1500 do let us know in painstaking detail all the things we'd be better off with in it.

You think, because you have never faced it profoundly at a theological or philosophical level, that you can easily think outside of it. You are wrong. Go read even something like The Communist Manifesto and see the Christian thinking that lurks behind it. "All that is sacred is profaned. All that is solid melts into air". Whut?

Any system can make use of any precepts, cultural or whatever. You're just saying that the precepts themselves are dangerous. ("Only Christianity can make spirit-talk and an impulse to do good work!") There was sacred and profane before Christianity and there might well be afterward. Either way, there will be a concept of decency, much as right-wingers and fundies and religion-for-thee-but-not-for-me types (like yourself?) do to actively destroy it. It's just that there will also be rationalism and empirical observation of our world, too - which will continue to be stronger so long as there is no ruler powerful enough to enforce mind-control. Deal with it.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

You may remember the quasi-religious organization Eckankar from the back page ads in National Geographic, which espoused the "science of soul travel", otherwise known as astral projection.

Interestingly, they believe that there is no harm done by abortion. The physical being being nothing but a husk, the transmigrating soul could just find another one to inhabit, no big deal.

Another odd precept is that it is immoral to pray for someone's soul, that prayers have real effects on the astral plane and amount to telling a soul what to do.

buwaya said...

YoungHegelian is of course correct.

Christianity is everything in European civilization.

Its the underlying kernel of the operating system, whatever shell or UI you put on it.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

Lol wut. Here’s pppt pretending that atheists are without presuppositions. You know, like “There is no God,”

THat's not a presupposition. THat's an observation of the fact that every time people used the superstition of religion and your friend god to explain something, they've been shown to be wrong. It's simply learning to anticipate your wrongness and the reason for it.

If you want to deny that religion serves a social/sociological purpose, go ahead. But that's the only explanation its existence can rationally support. If you rely on it instead as an explanation for the material world, then hardee har har har. And it's becoming a poorer and poorer substitute for explaining human motivations or working as a piece of useful literature, as well.

But thump it anyway, if you must. Thump, thump, thump away, my pseudo-fundy friend!

Bob Loblaw said...

Who needs to read that shit.

Leftism in a nutshell. Instead of tapping into thousands of years of thought on the great questions of life, let's just declare the answers easy, our answers The Truth and, ironically, dismiss everyone else as rubes.

buwaya said...

The world was not made comfortable by rationalism, but by empiricism.
Science, or its theories, indeed, was mostly useless until the 20th century.

The ironmasters of the industrial revolution weren't scientists, the shipwrights and navigators and instrument makers of the age of discovery weren't either, nor were the electrical engineers of the 20th century. The modern world was not created by academics but by the equivalent of clever blacksmiths.

Paddy O said...

"As a philosophy guy, I can't believe that after the great synthesis that Christianity did with Platonism & Aristotle & the faith, after Hegel's "Geist", after Nietzsche's criticisms of "slave morality", after Heidegger's "Onto-theology", that folks can believe that it's somehow obvious that secular reasoning of any sort can be easily distinguished from theology."

That's what I was trying to say (in that they think they're avoiding theology but they're actually not).

I'm increasingly convinced that the big debate is really about theological anthropology, what makes us human. And all the various philosophies are debating that in ultimately religious terms. That was Pannenberg's big reason to reject Marxism, not because it's atheistic (which is the usual reason given) but because it teaches a different conception of human value and personhood, which in being generalized is able to overlook persecution of particular people. Which good Christian theology (of which is often missing in a lot of church expressions) doesn't do, because of the value of each person as loved by God.

This is where it comes down to what makes a person a person, what it means to be fully human, to be fulfilled. That's a religious question, even if those answering don't make reference to a deity. They're orienting around some assumptions that are a matter of belief, not objective fact. But they are foundationalist fundamentalists in asserting their beliefs as facts, thus bully others, and baptize their babies in their dogma.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

The right-wingers who aren't fundy/evangelicals (a number of whom are probably atheists) basically think the system is needed to keep other humans in check. It's CINO-ism, Christianity in Name Only. There are a number of conservatives who go by this facade charade. S.E. Cupp, for one. I'm sure there are a bunch of others. Karl Rove said he was not blessed with the "gift" of belief - i.e. faith in psychological needs as a reason for the supernatural. It's all just part of the same old mind control.

But the problem is they've not been shown to be right. It's not clear that a (certain) religion is needed to "keep other (lesser) humans in check" and even the premise smacks of the same sort of social mind-thought control that is the basis of American conservatism in almost all its forms.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

The world was not made comfortable by rationalism, but by empiricism.
Science, or its theories, indeed, was mostly useless until the 20th century.

The ironmasters of the industrial revolution weren't scientists, the shipwrights and navigators and instrument makers of the age of discovery weren't either, nor were the electrical engineers of the 20th century. The modern world was not created by academics but by the equivalent of clever blacksmiths.


Great way to get off topic, as always. Rationalism and empiricism either naturally go together or kind of need each other.

Point being that religion is anti-empirical and over time has increasing trouble updating its theology in a way to keep it seeming rational. Increased powers of observation always intrude. Damn those things.

Paddy O said...

"Rationally, scientifically, theology has very little use left in a world of scientific, material rationalism"

Ha! Welcome to the 21st century my fine friend from the 19th century.

buwaya said...

The sacred and profane of classical civilization, pre-Christianity, would seem utterly alien to us moderns. It was a remarkably callous world, and would have seemed so even to brutalized medieval serfs.

Paddy O said...

I only believe in science...

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

"Rationally, scientifically, theology has very little use left in a world of scientific, material rationalism"

Ha! Welcome to the 21st century my fine friend from the 19th century.


The more scientifically advanced a society becomes the more popular (organized) religion does?

Where did you invent this cockamamie bullshit out of?

It's possible we could encourage Islam by becoming as relatively backward as those societies are. But they probably just suffered from not having a six-hundred year head start. Maybe they're theologically less "sophisticated", too. But the point is that the best way to spread religion is to spread ignorance.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Robert Cook comes from a time when it seemed that Science would explain everything sooner or later. Unfortunately that time has passed. It was a time of certainties for secularists. We may die and cease to exist but at least we understood matter and the universe. Now, cutting edge physics has become as metaphysical and loopy as any theologian.

Fernandistein said...

Robert Cook said...
Amazing to see so much earnest discussion of myth and magic as if it were real...by people who believe it is real.


I was shocked- shocked! - to find that medieval superstition was going on in this blog!

Croupier: Your sincerely held belief about about making it rain by leaving the car windows down, sir.

Oh, thank you very much.

Yes, it is amazing, that kinda stuff was vanishingly rare in my meat space.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

buwaya said...
Christianity is everything in European civilization.


This is nonsense, of course. Without the Greeks and the Renaissance Europeans are still a bunch of sheep fuckers.

YoungHegelian said...

@PPT,

Rationalism and empiricism either naturally go together or kind of need each other.

NO!

Empiricism is a critique of rationalism & all its pretensions. It always has been, going back even to the Epicureans. Have you never read Hume?

PPT, I hate to tell you this, guy, but you've been seriously mislead somehow. I don't know what your background is in, bu you just believe stuff about the history of ideas that just obviously ain't so. I honestly don't know what to tell you to do, except find a decent university nearby & sit in on a historical-survey philosophy of science class. It's a start, at least.

Paddy O said...

The more scientifically advanced a society becomes the more popular (organized) religion does?

That's not what you said or I said. So, you're being a silly person.

You said religion doesn't have a use. That's not true. It has a lot of use. It was a 19th century assumption that as science developed it would solve all our problems and we'd live in harmony.

Turns out that the 20th century taught us that science also gives us a lot better ways to kill each other. And our selves. Hello suicide rate!

And the core argument we're making hereabouts is that the issue isn't about people becoming less religious, but they are becoming less connected to historical religions. It's not science that's telling people to chop off their various bits and pieces because of their strong feels. People are finding orienting meaning in other ways. That's what the 20th century taught us and what we're living in these days. Everyone has a theology, it's always there, the question is whether it's a good and coherent one.

mockturtle said...

This is nonsense, of course. Without the Greeks and the Renaissance Europeans are still a bunch of sheep fuckers.

The Greeks didn't have to fuck sheep, as there were plenty of little boys available.

Michael said...

ARM
"This is nonsense, of course. Without the Greeks and the Renaissance Europeans are still a bunch of sheep fuckers"

You assert the Renaissance was somehow not rooted in or influenced by or instrumental in shifting Christian thought? Really?

Paddy O said...

"the Renaissance Europeans"

Who were Christians. They were all baptized at least... Have you met my friend, Galileo?

The idea that science and religion are inherently at odds is not really true.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Efforts to rehabilitate the Inquisition are always fun.

Science and fundamentalist Christianity are always at odds. Modern cafeteria Christians pick and choose to believe whatever they like and their approach to science is usually equally shallow. Either you believe Genesis or you don't, and if you don't then its not the Word of God.

buwaya said...

The Inquisition wasn't anti-science.
It was concerned mainly with heresy, of a fundamental sort.
And, moreover, to prevent expressions of mass hysteria like Protestant witch-burnings or anti-Jewish pogroms.
It brought an orderly channel to the "madness of crowds" in an era of rapid, disruptive change.
We could use the Inquisition today, to restore the Catholic faith and its Church to discipline and coherence.

jimbino said...

A couple of commentators here have made the argument that no harm is done in surreptitiously baptizing an infant who is an atheist from a non-religious family. That is silly, since many of our laws have long punished folks for such "victimless" crimes as grave desecration and mutilation or eating of a dead body. And until recently, just insulting the Holy Spirit was deemed a crime just as insulting a dead, self-proclaimed prophet is nowadays the rule under Islam.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

BCARM: "Efforts to rehabilitate the Inquisition are always fun.

Science and fundamentalist Christianity are always at odds. Modern cafeteria Christians pick and choose to believe whatever they like and their approach to science is usually equally shallow. Either you believe Genesis or you don't, and if you don't then its not the Word of God."


Wow, ARM, I thought your attempts at trolling had become so sad and lame because you were just depressed and demoralized.

But lately I've started to think that you're not trolling, or even "trolling" (i.e., plausible deniability for posting stupid comments), but have entered terminal Ritmo-stage free-association flailing incoherence.

I feel bad about having made fun of you.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

buwaya said...
The Inquisition wasn't anti-science.
It was concerned mainly with heresy, of a fundamental sort.


But much of the then emerging science was directly contradictory of fundamentalist beliefs so this distinction is meaningless.

The Church of the Inquisition was little different to current fundamentalist Islamicists. It's all-or-nothing with religion. I agree that the current Pope is killing the Church but the alternative is no longer viable, and hasn't been for some time. When the Irish and Italians have left the fold there is not much future. The current Pope is managing the decline as best he can. The appalling corruption of the Church isn't helping him.

EDH said...

Priest suspended after viral video shows him slapping baby during baptism

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