Laura G Owens ~ Writer

Humanity. Health. Happiness.

Tag: Pope Francis

It’s time the anti-poverty Pope blesses birth control.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis and birth control

It’s not easy to criticize the coolest Pope, ever.

Pope Francis smiles for selfies, Tweets, says yes! to the Big Bang and evolution, waves from his popemobile and against tradition, washes (oh the horror!) the feet of women on Holy Thursday.

I’m not Catholic but when this Pope speaks, I listen. I don’t expect to agree with everything he says but by God, he makes me want to.

Still, Pope Francis’s command to end world poverty doesn’t square holy with me when the church still insists artificial contraception goes against the “natural laws of God” to go forth and multiply.

What’s natural about nuns feeding starving belly-bloated children in remote villages while helping malnourished mothers push out baby number 6,7 and 12?

Simple compassionate math says when you make more kids you make more mouths to feed. Never mind couples who don’t want a houseful. Plenty opt out altogether which Francis in his wisdom of raising a family, lovingly calls a “selfish choice.”

Scolding birth control is an archaic man-made patriarchal mandate that commands women to be involuntary breeders and over populate the planet…..

No contraception makes sexy time better?

Of course most modern Catholics don’t believe every sperm is sacred. “They’re well aware of the Vatican’s pronouncements,” wrote Frank Bruni in his piece, “Be Fruitful, Not Bananas,” They just prefer to plug their ears.”

Some wishful thinkers think the church offers wiggle room for married couples to use their “individual conscience” about family planning but the reality is, contraception is still a mortal sin and an act of “individual disobedience.”

So when the sympathetic priest counsels a couple he’s forced to speak out of two sides of his mouth, “Sure, go ahead and pop on that condom, take birth control, but just so you know (smiling sadly), I’m obligated to tell you you’re headed for eternal Hell.”

I’m a former Methodist, now a Unitarian Universalist (your basic heretic) so I don’t grapple much with doctrine. If a teaching doesn’t jive with common sense and Golden Rule 101, I balk.

In the article “Contraception, Conscience and Church Authority” George Sim Johntson reminds that the good Catholic doesn’t just grin and bear His will, she heroically conforms to it.

“The implicit message is: God’s will is something you deal with while gritting your teeth.”

“But since gritting your teeth is not fun, and God doesn’t want us to be upset about the choices we make, then follow your conscience. There are so many fallacies here; it would take a book to address them. A short response is that saints not only heroically conform their lives to the will of God, but also love that will. Are we not called to imitate them? If we do, even the sex might be better. As Benedict XVI points out in Deus Caritas Est, eros is most fully itself when governed by agape.”

Wow, that’s quite a stretch. Unprotected sex as an aphrodisiac.

I’ve never met a woman who says she gets turned on by the thought of an unwanted pregnancy at the end of her partner’s orgasm. Making a baby when you don’t want a baby isn’t titillating, it’s terrifying.

But religion is masterful at managing cognitive dissonance. You just think you don’t want a baby or you can’t afford a fourth, but yield to God’s will rather than your own selfish needs and the blessings will appear.

Full post at: Huffington Post

 

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This Pope is dope

Of the people, for the people

Of the people, for the people

dope  adj. cool, nice, awesome

 

Title too flip for the highest Catholic?

Just wait, some hip-hopper will pen a positive rap about Pope Francis.  He’s street. He’s of the people, all people. At least in tone, because when I stop swooning and take a look, his policies on church law haven’t changed.

The Pope hasn’t reversed a single issue, birth control, abortion, same-sex marriage, women in the priesthood or divorce (minus his recent change to the annulment process to make it more convenient and less costly) but his soft radically loving tone almost convinces me he has — or that the church will one day.

The Pope even has a receptive audience with some who think God is a hoax.  (“15 Surprising Things Atheists Are Saying about Pope Francis”). 

As an atheist (not speaking for all of them), I’m a huge fan of this pope. I think people need to find their own reason to be good to others. For some, it is god (whichever flavor he/she/it may be). Others find that they want to be good for other reasons. I’m just glad that the big C found a leader willing to try his best to not just preach to his crowd, but try to show them how. ~ Anonymous

Religion skeptics read this Pope as an empathetic listener rather than a sanctimonious hand-slapper.  He says come one come all, embrace each other especially the least among us and in a Christian Nation, atheists are by the denomination pie, one of the least among us.

His language is careful and loving. He doesn’t ask how dare you dis the Vatican?  His focus is instead on workable solutions for the poor, the uneducated, the disenfranchised, the ostracized, the misunderstood.

If he scolds it’s to ask, why we ignore so many poor?

Pope Francis

In other words, he sounds like Jesus.

Every Pope has a big following but this one has a gift of gently coaxing people into self-reflection, into relying on one’s conscience to guide our actions.

This is as impressive as walking on water.

The world likes Pope Francis.  And when we like someone to show respect, we consider their point of view, even as we vote against it.

Pope Francis is making unlikely friendships. 

I don’t agree with many of the Catholic laws (I was Methodist now I’m Unitarian Universalist) but I admire Pope Francis for cutting through the pomp and hierarchy and for avoiding divisive language.

He reminds us he’s human, and so he’s not closer to God than you or me or the atheist (should he/she ever want God proximity).

On gay priests Pope Francis said, “Who am I to judge?” Seems a few religion cynics might be saying the same thing about him.

If we get down to it, Pope Francis hasn’t changed his stand on church laws. “The pope has often delivered popular comments on unpopular church policies that sound like realized reforms. But so far no alterations of doctrine have taken place; widespread impressions that the rules have changed haven’t matched reality.” New York Times, Op-Ed. “The Pope, Catholics and Birth Control.”

He is, though, changing how people talk about views in opposition to church doctrine so I listen, and then I hold out hope for future reform.

The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians–when they are sombre and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths – Sheldon Vanauken 

Pope Francis

 

 
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