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Trump VS Pope

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I was reading an article in The Observer at the weekend by Stewart Lee where he was comparing Donald Trump’s meeting with the Pope as a ‘good vs evil’ encounter.  Trump in this scenario being likened to Satan, and the Pope being the ‘good’ guy.  Whatever your opinion on ‘the Donald’, I really don’t think he is completely evil any more than the Pope is completely ‘good’.  I mean, is Donald Trump really more ‘evil’ than the Pope?

 Look at it this way, the Pope has, for most of his life, been a member of the Catholic Church.  An organisation that has been responsible for the systemic rape, abuse and possible murder of the most vulnerable of children, on a global scale.  There is nowhere on the planet where the Catholic Church has been, that doesn’t have a legacy of the most appalling physical and sexual abuse of minors and that is a fact. I don't really think the title Pope, is short for Protector of Paedophiles, I think that's just a rumour...

Now, as far as I know, Donald Trump hasn’t done anything like that to children.  He does have his faults but paedophilia I don’t think, is among them and certainly not on the scale committed by the Catholic Church.  Now, Pope Francis is head of that organisation and he appears to be a ‘good’ person.  He makes a lot of statements about humanity and appears to say all the right things.  However, as a member of that organisation and now head, what has he done to root out the paedophiles?   Does he have a legacy of outing paedophiles or railing against the terrible abuses being carried out by the membership?

Jimmy Saville, who was once a much-loved ‘national treasure’, is now reviled for the rape and sexual abuse of children, young girls and vulnerable adults.  Would you worship in a church led by Jimmy Saville or even an organisation that regarded him as a ‘good’ person?   Yet, the Pope and the Catholic Church are still seen as something that should be respected? 

Jimmy Saville got away with the things he did because so many ‘good’ people stood by and either said nothing or covered up his behaviour.  This same man was given a knighthood and dined with Margaret Thatcher every Christmas at Chequers.  There is a clip of a video online where the great John Lyndon (aka Johnny Rotten) talks about Saville and what he gets up to.  The clip was never shown back in the 70’s, the powers that be, protecting Saville.  Yet, Johnny Rotten was held up by the media, at the same time, as a threat to the decency of the nation.

There is much that I disagree with Donald Trump about, but I don’t believe he is inherently evil.  He is certainly a product of his environment and upbringing.  Arrogant?  For sure!  Misogynistic? Definitely, but evil?  Well, who’s to say...yet?  And credit where credit is due, he did get rid of TTIP, that foul trade agreement that was going to hand over the nations of Europe to the corporate elite, as if they didn’t have enough of us already. 

Now, his trade deal with Saudi Arabia could be regarded as an evil act but the British government is the world’s second biggest arms dealer/supplier, and to some very dodgy states.  Are they evil or are they just 'protecting' the nation? 

There are acts of evil being committed around the world day and daily.  Some deliberately, some accidentally; like Theresa May, ‘accidentally’ losing that list of paedophile MP’s when she was Home Secretary or now, wanting to bring back a ‘sport’ that involves the hunting, terrorising and tearing to shreds of that most beautiful of animals, the fox.  Not to mention being part of a party that seems intent on grinding the poor, the vulnerable and the working class into the ground.

Which acts are more evil, and which people?  Those who commit the deeds or those who stand silently by and let them happen or help cover them up? 

By the way folks, election coming up, so don't forget to vote, the future of Reynard may depend on you...


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Weddin

Ritalin/The Observer

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 18 Aug 2021, 17:56

While I'm on the subject of articles in today's newspaper, there was a disturbing report on the quadruple increase in prescriptions for Ritalin for children in the last ten years (P4, The Observer, also see previous posting on Madness and Jon Ronson).

One interesting point in the article mentioned a report commissioned by the RSPB, which suggested an improvement in the behaviour of children diagnosed with ADHD, when exposed to outdoor activities in nature.

I remember reading an article some time back, not sure where now, but it was about patients in mental hospitals during the war.  Apparently, they moved them outdoors to make room for the injured soldiers coming back from the war, and what they found was, that being outdoors helped to restore the mental health of a lot of the patients, and in some cases, people improved so much that they were discharged and no longer needed treatment.

It seems like common sense that being closer to nature has a beneficial effect on our mental health, after all, we are animals and part of the natural world, even if we like to think we are in some way superior to the rest of the life on the planet.  Maybe, if we maintained our link to nature more, then we might have less stress and depression among the general population.  Unfortunately, when it comes to treatment  the medical model alone prevails.

It does require more of an effort to get in touch with nature these days especially for those who live in cities.  I was lucky enough to grow up in an area and at a time, when there was a lot less technology, fewer cars, and we had fields to run about in.  That same area now is surrounded by houses and industrial estates, and you couldn't move on the street for cars.  Which is really unfortunate for the children who live there now, they don’t even know what they are missing.  Another interesting statistic I read about a few years ago in relation to children’s mental health and well being, was that in the boom years in Ireland, that mental health problems in children increased in perfect correlation to the increase in wealth.  Maybe less really is more!

I also worked as an OTC assistant in a pharmacy a few years ago, and the two biggest sellers were Soluble Solpadeine and Nurofen Plus.  Both these items walked off the shelves daily.  Both contain codeine which can be addictive, and which can only be obtained with a  prescription in the US.  I also read an article not long ago, where a member of the Irish Parliament was calling for regulation to control the availability of these and similar products, because she said, the country was self-medicating with them.  As far as I know, nothing has been done about it yet.

This all makes for disturbing reading in relation to the health and well being of all of us and should really make us question what kind of society we are creating when we allow our children to be treated in this way.  If we continue down this road, then I think we are storing up some serious social problems for the future.  

I can only hope that the time is coming when we will start facing up to our social responsibilities and really start addressing the issues that are affecting the population, because if David Cameron wants to build a big society then he would do well to remember, that in order to build anything you need to start with a solid foundation, and the foundation for any society is the well-being of its people.

 

 

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Cathy Lewis, Tuesday, 8 May 2012, 23:09)
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Marriage again!

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 18 Aug 2021, 19:15

Well, our feminist is on the rant again I see.  You don’t want to take her too seriously, she  gets a bit carried away at times.  However, she does make you think about some of the issues around marriage.  There are so many ways of  looking at it, and I was going to take a different angle on this, but I was watching the news the other night, and they reported a story about Fr. Brian D’Arcy having been censured by the Vatican for expressing some views in support of marriage for priests, or against celibacy, if you prefer to look at it that way.  Fr Brian is well known in Ireland and writes a column in a newspaper called the Sunday World, and he sometimes does a stint on the little ‘spiritual’ section, on the Chris Evans breakfast show. 

As someone who was brought up Catholic, I’d like to throw out a few ideas around the issue, and would be interested in what other people think.  I have also been watching the BBC 2 series Divine Women, and have found it interesting how the early Christian Church operated, compared with all the patriarchal rules and regulations that have been imposed upon it since. 

So consider this…..within the Catholic Church, when a man or woman wants to become a priest or a nun, they have to go through years of study to prepare themselves before they are allowed to make that lifetime commitment, and in effect, when they do, they become married to God.  Now, on the other hand, any gombeen with a notion to, can give 3-6 months notice, do a pre-marriage course or not ( I don’t think they are compulsory) and then get married. 

Within the Catholic Church, there is no divorce, and there is certainly no re-marrying in the Church, if you have been divorced.  Now just for arguments sake, lets concentrate on the nun’s perspective on this.  A nun wears a wedding ring and is considered a bride of Christ.  She can leave the Church, which many have done, and she can then get married in Church.  Why is that allowed?  She is able to divorce herself from God and re-marry in Church, even though she went through all those years of training in preparation for taking the vow or taking Holy Orders, as it is called.   

 But an ordinary woman or man, cannot do the same, even though they may have had little or no preparation at all before marriage. Is there a double standard operating here?  Is marriage to God, not as important as marriage to another human being?  Holy orders and marriage are supposed to be sacraments, in the eyes of the Church, how is it possible within the law of the Church to be able to marry God, then leave him/her or it, and then marry a person in the Church?

 And there’s another thing, if any of you have watched the Big Fat Gypsy Wedding series on Channel 4, I wonder if you think like me, that there is something immoral about allowing sixteen year olds to marry.  What does anyone know about anything at sixteen not to mention, the realities and responsibilities of a marital relationship?

What is marriage supposed to be about?  What is it’s purpose?  We were taught at school, a Convent Grammar, that the purpose of marriage is to have children.  So, if you can’t have children are you entitled to get an annulment?  Or if you know beforehand that you can’t have children, should you not be allowed to marry? 

I’m just asking these questions because I’ve actually come to believe that there is something unnatural about the whole situation or maybe it’s more about the whole approach to marriage.

 I’ve been on this whole spiritual journey for many years now (I may have mentioned it in one or two other posts) and the more I look at these things the less sense they seem to make. Among my friends there has recently been a plethora (great word that by the way, I remember it from The Three Amigos, if I recall correctly!)  a plethora of relationship break-ups, and all the break ups were instigated by the females, funnily enough.  Some of the couples were married, some not, but all involved children. 

 A few months back there was a great story in the Observer newspaper about a woman who was approaching her forties, she wasn’t in a relationship but wanted to be a mother.  If you know the story you can skip ahead but if you don’t, read on, because it’s really interesting.  What she did was, she advertised for a man who wanted to be a father because she wanted the child to have parents who were both interested in being parents.  She wasn’t having much luck, as most of the men she interviewed shared different ideas about parenting.  Then a friend recommended a gay man who they knew also wanted to be a father.  They got together, had shared ideas about parenting and so they decided to go ahead and have the child.  And this is where it gets really interesting…..he fell in love with her, even though he had lived his whole life as a gay man and had never had a romantic relationship with a woman.  They are now very happily married and the child is about two years old. 

 Isn’t that a fascinating story!!! 

So maybe the conversation we should be having before marriage is not what colour the bridesmaids should wear, or who to invite, but how to bring up the children?  Because the pre-nuptial agreement, which is very popular among the rich, to protect their assets, is something I believe could be brought in and extended to cover not just the monetary assets, but every aspect of the marital relationship from childcare to housework, and in case there is a breakdown, living arrangements, finances, and contact arrangements for the children. 

 People think about their monetary assets but give no consideration at all to what will surely be their greatest asset, their children!!

We jump into these situations assuming everything will work itself out in time and the real issues are seldom addressed before the wedding, then it’s too late afterwards and when I look around me, I honestly don’t see very many genuinely happy marriages.  That is not to say that marriage can’t work and there aren’t good marriages out there but I don’t believe the preparation is anywhere near adequate for the task ahead and I really believe that parenting is something that should be taught in schools.

 I also think that no girl should be allowed to marry under the age of twenty-five, and I would make that twenty-nine for a man.  I know people have got married at younger ages and stayed together but I really believe that it needs much more thought and preparation than it is currently given and I think with a few changes, we might have less marriages but the marriages we would have, would be better, and there would be fewer divorces.

 

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Cathy Lewis, Sunday, 29 Apr 2012, 12:15)
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