Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sitting on the Ecclesiastical Fence

Hello lovlies, it's been a while since I've blogged. I've found that Facebook groups and Twitter seem to be a better way at raising awareness about issues that concern me, but there are so many things I am compelled to expand on beyond my 140 characters on Twitter and the boredom limit on Facebook.

Recently I have existed in an almost permanent state of outrage, which hasn't been good for my health, nor has it been good for the soft wrinkle prone areas around my eyes. It has been good,however, for the manufactureres of generic ibuprofen as well as the people that produce Olay anti wrinkle products (although I've hear Hemeroid cream works wonders and is cheap as chips in comparison)

So instead of reading my usual paper or newsweek or anything likely to make my blood boil I bought an Irish fashion magazine. I was flicking through it, pleasently not engaging a single brain cell and here was an opinion piece on whether faith features in the lives of twenty somethings in Ireland. I generally pay little heed to these things in that sort of publication, but this magazine has a large and influential readership and it was more or less advocating sitting on the fence with regards defecting from the Catholic Church. Now...thats all fine and good...everyone has their reasons...but when the reason is, and I quote " [not] because I disagree with the church's view on contraception, nor is it solely the corruption, scandals and cover-ups, or even it's old fashioned values. It's not just because I live with my boyfriend "in sin" or because I don't attend mass. It's all of the above with the BIGGEST reason of all... I just don't feel any personal connection to the church...while belonging [feels] odd the thought of not belonging felt even stranger." well that's when the blood starts boiling again I'm afraid.
What I can't understand is how this woman can disregard EVERYTHING that she disagrees with because "not belonging" would feel strange. Call me naive if ya want but does the cover up of the habitual abuse of children not make you feel strange? How about the churches position on contraception making the fight against AIDS in africa 100 times more difficult ?
Or maybe just someone wholely unconnected to you believing they have a right to pass judgement on your personal life?

I can understand people not wanting to defect for family reasons perhaps, or because they are really afraid that there is a vengeful god and firey pits in hell. Personally I can't understand how anyone can still consider the Catholic Church to be a credible moral compass when one considers the absolute tripe that seems to spew without consideration from the mouth of the current pontiff and the other sith... clergy, but that's for each person to decide I suppose.

BUT...and this is the point of this whole thing...and it's a Huuuuuuge BUT ( so big, infact, Sir Mixalot couldn't resist it) this magazine is a glossy aimed at young, imancipated, working women. It has articles on sex, contraception, underwear, work environments... yadda yadda yadda. It is ultimately a post feminist-ish mag yet this article is encouraging young women to ignore the opportunity they have (well...had..but we'll get to that in a bit) to reduce the power and influence of this sexist, backwards institution. An institution that the womens liberation movement had to fight tooth and nail for every millimetre of progress made.Trailblazers such as Mary Robinson were instrumental and we elected her president of our nation twice and would have elected her again if she was allowed serve more than two terms. (She fought for the legalisation of contraception and divorce in this country.)
If all of the disillusioned and non-believing citizens of Ireland were to defect they would significantly reduce the power that this archaic institution still holds over Irish society, including it's government and it's policies (don't get me started on the blasphemy law). The Catholic Church claims to represent the majority of Irish people, which I think we all know isn't true in this day and age. The reason they can claim this, however, is because they base their numbers on baptismal records. So ya see it's VITAL that you defect if you don't believe in Catholicism and the infallibilty of the pope.

Unfortunately for us and conveniently for the Catholic Church, they have (all of a sudden) discovered a problem with the canon law that sets out the procedure for defection from the church. have had to suspend their services because, while this law is under review there is NO official way to defect, meaning it is not possible to leave the catholic church for the foreseeable future. If the revisions of this "law" go ahead it will nulify a large number of catholic marraiges (due to one or more partner defecting and then being rebaptised in order to marry in the church).It's obvious why this particular "law" is under review and it's disgusting to think that they would nullify people's marragies for that reason.

Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are some of the most basic civil rights we expect in a developed country and they are both freedoms that have been taken away this year by the Catholic Church and it's puppets in government. Maybe it's just me but it seems inappropriate for a fashion magazine to advocate apathy about an issue such as this. The article was published without any research being conducted and the ignorance of the writer and the editor was shamefully obvious. Self publishing in ignorance is barely admissable. Giving yourself the authority to write about something so important and not doing your research is not, whether it is an opinion piece or not. An opinion needs to be backed up with reason to be respected.

on the other hand I wonder if the writer had written a more hard hitting piece but it fell victim to the editing process and the editor was running scared of the dreaded Blasphemy law. That would also make sense, especially when you consider Ireland fell 9 place in the 2010 World Press Freedom Index.

I think from now on if I want to quiet the outrage wizzing around my head all periodicals will have to be banned.


  1. The same can be said for British people, with 26 unelected Bishops sitting in the House of Lords and the new ConLib government eagre to offload the burden of social welfare onto the church and charity groups. Defecting is essential.

  2. Oh dear, the writer of the article reminds me of a schoolgirl who is part of a gang whose actions she doesn't like, but won't leave because she'll feel left out...

  3. Thats precisely what my initial thought was...but (not wanting to generalise too harshly here) is that what you would expect from a "dedicated follower of fashion"?

  4. Hmmmm... Perhaps... well you could overgeneralise to the point of being potentially offensive and say that a "dedicated follower of fashion" is perhaps more likely to unthinkingly look to the external for a sense of identity, be it fashion trends OR religion.

    So (and I confess I don't know much about fashion) someone could wear something trendy because it's 'current' rather than actually liking it personally, and people can be of a religion for the sole purpose of 'belonging' rather than agreeing with (or even bothering to understand) the principles and actions of said religion.

  5. I think that's actually quite common.

  6. I think in a past life she belonged to the Nazi party but her best friends were Jewish and gypsies..

  7. she's going to learn not to put sticky tape on her hair and face.