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Topic: This is why I'm not religious

  1. #1

    This is why I'm not religious

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    Pope enters Italy fertility fray
    Monday, May 30, 2005 Posted: 1325 GMT (2125 HKT)

    Benedict stressed that the family was "fundamental" to Italian society.

    VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI stepped into an Italian referendum battle Monday, endorsing efforts by the country's Roman Catholic bishops to restrict assisted fertility treatments.

    The German-born pope contended that a referendum next month to scrap parts of a law that regulates assisted fertility treatments posed threats to life and the family.

    The pope spoke to the Italian bishops conference, which has called on Italians to boycott the referendum, scheduled for June 12-13.

    While it was his first foray into an Italian issue, the pope's support was not unexpected. Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the head of the Italian bishops conference, is the pope's vicar for Rome.

    The current law forbids sperm and egg donation, limits the number of embryos created with in vitro techniques to three and bans all embryo research.

    The referendums would abrogate the law's provisions on embryo research, the three-embryo limit, the ban on egg or sperm donation from outside the couple and the attribution of rights to the unborn.

    Opponents complain the law restricts scientific research and a woman's reproductive rights.

    The pope did not mention any details of the law, but he noted that the bishops were "committed to illuminating the choices of Catholics and all citizens" in the upcoming referendum. He emphasized the importance of defending the family and human life.

    The bishops are pressing Italians not to vote in the hope that a low turnout will doom the proposed changes to the law. At least 50 percent plus one of eligible voters must cast ballots to make a referendum valid.

    Benedict stressed that the family was "fundamental" to Italian society. But he said that even in this overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country, the family has not been immune to secular trends.

    "Even in Italy the family is exposed to the current cultural climate, therefore to risks and threats that we all know," he said.

    He cited the "tendency of the culture to challenge the unique character and the mission of the family based on a man and a woman" -- a reference to acceptance in some countries to same- marriage.

  2. #2

    Re: This is why I'm not religious

    To be perfectly fair to other religions and denominations of Christianity, these are Catholics... And this is just what they do. I try my best to ignore them when possible.

  3. #3

    Unhappy Re: This is why I'm not religious

    My congratulations, Nick. Punctual and veritable information, as I could verify just a few minutes ago from "La Repubblica" site, in my own country.

    The laicality of the state is indeed at high risk in Italy, and perhaps not only there.

    Only I wonder whether religiousness is to be confounded with Catholicism, though both may appear historically dangerous.

    Thank you very much.


  4. #4

    Re: This is why I'm not religious

    You're right, I'm probably making too general a conclusion.

    There's no greater gift than assisted reproduction, and for these people who don't even have to judge it - and then for people to actually listen to them - is just nuts.

  5. #5

    Re: This is why I'm not religious

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Batzdorf
    ....the ban on egg or sperm donation from outside the couple and the attribution of rights to the unborn.
    Bejezus. My niece wouldn't be born then!

    Isn't that tantamount to murdering an unborn?

    Am I the only one that sees the hypocrisy in this?

  6. #6

    Re: This is why I'm not religious

    No, but it's the sheer ignorant stupidity of it that I find overwhelming, much more than the hypocrisy. (It's a natural inclination to connect this to abortion, but I see them as two entirely different things. Entirely.)

    As I implied, these people have balls as ornaments. They'll never understand how having children is by far the greatest joy there is. All they know is that there's a new idea and they don't like it for whatever stupid reasons they've come up with.

    This is up there with the most wonderful advances in medicine ever, and these dolts simply write it off.

  7. #7

    Re: This is why I'm not religious

    Immaculate conception is such an endearing concept.

    But if the truth were known....

    Could we have a society without religion? Are there any? Maybe people need something to believe in to explain the unknown? I don't understand myself as I don't feel a need for for one "faith" or another. They don't even accept or respect each other's beliefs so who's to know which one would be right anyhow?

    However, clearly most of the world feels different than I do.

  8. #8

    Re: This is why I'm not religious

    Nick, this time your view seems to me a bit optimistic. Exponents of Italian government have already started to announce that it's time to reconsider the abortion law. This campaign has nothing to do with the rights to have children.
    I'm afraid the design is much more ambitious.

  9. #9

    Re: This is why I'm not religious

    Ah. My outrage at them being against sperm and egg donations obscured the abortion subtext.

  10. #10

    Re: This is why I'm not religious

    Isn't this just democracy in action, though?. As a group with an interest, no matter how cookie, they have a right to lobby the population. It is up to others who disagree with them to counter-lobby. If the majority of Italians agree with them then why should the law not remain as it is?

    What would corrupt democracy more is if a powerfull lobby (Christian, industry etc.) would influence government directly to change policy or law midterm, as happens everywhere, especially in the US.

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