Thursday, May 27, 2010

Priests Get Multiple Choice, But Nuns Get Essay With No Partial Credit

One of the aspects of commercial grade religion that always put a fly in our mustard was the idea that the big J was always testing our faith. Every time something bad would happen we were always told it was because we had to have our faith tested again. Passing the test usually revolved around sitting down, shutting up and not asking too many questions.

Cripes, thinks us, if this guy is all knowing, all seeing why does he need to go all quiz crazy on our barely post pubescent,scrawny buttocks? Mr. Constant our illegal immigrant ninth grade algebra teacher used to tell us he needed to test us because that was the only way he could see what we were thinking, but JC is supposed to be able to read our thoughts and stuff, right? At least that's what Sister Victorine used to tell us when she caught us staring at Elizabeth Arlen's chest.

Mmmm...those blouses, so tight and the buttons straining to stay fastened. And when she would lean forward, the gaps...erm...where were we? Oh yeah, testing. Well, all this is by way of saying we can sympathize with Sister Margaret McBride who had like a super cumulative final exam thrown at her:
Last November, a 27-year-old woman was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. She was 11 weeks pregnant with her fifth child, and she was gravely ill. According to a hospital document, she had "right heart failure," and her doctors told her that if she continued with the pregnancy, her risk of mortality was "close to 100 percent." The patient, who was too ill to be moved to the operating room much less another hospital, agreed to an abortion. But there was a complication: She was at a Catholic hospital. But the hospital felt it could proceed because of an exception — called Directive 47 in the U.S. Catholic Church's ethical guidelines for health care providers — that allows, in some circumstance, procedures that could kill the fetus to save the mother. Sister Margaret McBride, who was an administrator at the hospital as well as its liaison to the diocese, gave her approval.
Now, see this lady is a nun and stuff which means she takes all that church says this and church says that yadda yadda seriously.  Probably even listens to the pope. Probably. We have to believe this wasn't easy for her, even with Directive 47. We also have to wonder why god would decide to test her faith by threatening to kill this poor mother. Didn't he get enough of that blind obedience action with Job? Seriously. What's this guy's major maladjustment anyway?

Back to the story. Probably figuring that if mom dies an 11 week old fetus isn't exactly looking at collecting social security some day, Sister McBride decides to save the mom. It was the logical thing to do, but still, nuns are like weapons grade catholics, so we're sure sister wasn't like, "OK off the kid. Now watch this drive."

Oops. The logical thing to do. Big mistake.
The woman survived. When Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted heard about the abortion, he declared that McBride was automatically excommunicated — the most serious penalty the church can levy. "She consented in the murder of an unborn child," says the Rev. John Ehrich, the medical ethics director for the Diocese of Phoenix. "There are some situations where the mother may in fact die along with her child."
OK, now explain this to us Padre: God tests your faith by making you attracted to young boys, then puts you in a position where you can succumb to that temptation--which you do. Repeatedly. Apparently that's a pass because god sends you to another parish where you can start all over again. but, god presents you with a choice of letting one person die or two, you chose one and whamo, that's a big fail and you get kicked out of class.

We don't mean to be disagreeable or anything, but somebody is going to have to show us the answer key here.


scripto said...

Your problem is that you think things like this are supposed to make some sort of sense. Given our upbringing I sure you realize, as I did at the age of 12, that there is no right and wrong as far as the Church goes. There's just wrong. After listening on NPR to the self righteous diocese spokesman/twit explain the bishop's actions I was more pissed off than when that other dickhead threw two little girls out of school because they had two mommies. I don't even know why I'm hanging around the Cafeteria. I'm pretty much an atheist anyway.

Ironicus Maximus said...

Your problem is that you think things like this are supposed to make some sort of sense.

Well, that's certainly one of our problems. Depending on who you talk to, not one of the more obvious ones. Anyway we long ago gave up on finding any rationale in commercial grade religion, and were willing to ignore the whole thing. Now, however we're coming around to PZ's view that these people are just doing too much damage and need to be told to STFU.

scripto said...

Sorry. It's my problem too. And I should know better. I'm not sure PZ's World of Unbelievers would be any better or more rational than this one. Life's too short to think about what you're doing. I'm not too sure we don't just act and then rationalize it immediately afterword. Just so we can pretend someone's in charge.

Anyway, I like the rituals. Especially when somebody dies. Do you know of any openings in the Episcopal Church?

Sidhe said...

Alas, my problem too. I hurt my head trying to determine the sense of things and with religion, it just never ceases. Try to put it away and then you get another big, illogical news story like this and wham-o! I'm back to considering the illogical with the fervency of a bishop at an altar boy convention.