March 7, 2009

When God’s Law Sucks

Abortion is a topic nobody wants to debate. There is just too much emotion involved. Roe vs. Wade remains among the most hotly debated decisions ever handed down by the Supremes. Abortion is a topic steeped in morality and ethics, colliding with a woman’s right to choice and privacy. Personally, I find even the thought of abortion repugnant, but I recognize the natural right of a woman to choose, and for her privacy in this choice. It isn’t my business, and neither should it be the business of the church.

But apparently Brazilian Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho thinks it is very much his business. So much so that he has ordered the excommunication of a 9-year-old girl, the child’s mother, and the physicians who terminated the child’s pregnancy, even though the pregnancy was the result of her rape by her stepfather. The shocking action by the Vatican followed an intense battle in which the church sought to have the courts intervene and stop the procedure.

Abortion is illegal in Brazil except in the case of rape or when a mother’s life is threatened by the pregnancy, and this case qualified on both counts. Who could rationally believe that a 9-year-old could remain health following the delivery of twins? Yet Sobrinho insists that the delivery could have been performed by C-section.

I worked in Brazil for a few years in the late 90’s and early 00’s, and I know the Brazilian folk to be mostly Catholic, and very devout. These are a good people who take their religion seriously. Still, when Sobrinho announced the actions of the church, many were infuriated. The influence of the church has been ebbing over recent years, and this latest stupidity is certain to have further detrimental effect.

Apparently popularity isn’t much on his mind, because Sobrinho says that Rome "is not going to open the door to anyone just to get more members," then comparing abortion to the Holocaust. "We know that people have other ideas, but if they do, then they are not Catholics. We want people who adhere to God's laws."

But when God’s laws suck, what is the option?


Mark said...

No man has the right to speak on abortion. It's like asking blind people to critique silent film. We're simply not equipped to judge on the issue, nor can we ever be. Pretty straightforward, really, not that I'm surprised to see further ham-fisted mysogyny from any religion.

Anonymous said...

I was going to say this ruling was insanely misogynistic. But, on second thought, it is simply insane. A nine year old, first of all, is a CHILD, not merely a womb to be filled. When a fetus (or two) means more than an already living and suffering child---I'd say Jesus would have slapped the crap out of the archbishop.

tgtsmom said...

Mark - I disagree that men have no right to a position on abortion. Father's are half responsible for the offspring they create and saying they have not right in the birth eliminates their responsibility for the human being they helped to make.

On the article itself, I have to say that I truely believe that the devil exists in all places and in many forms. Today he is dressed in the robes of an Archbishop.

Mark said...


If in the unhappy case of a man and a woman discussing a termination, the woman solicits the opinion of the man responsible, that's an entirely different thing from Male Authority Figures laying down case-law. But even with the man's input, it's not he who has to carry to term, with all the concommittant medical risks. In the absense of a sensible way to apportion "partial responsibility", I think that all a man should be entitled to do is lend support. It just doesn't seem fair any other way.