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Items filtered by date: September 2016

In canonizing Mother
Teresa as a saint ("Pope declares
Mother Teresa a saint," Sept. 5),
the pope publicly confirmed the essential
tenets of Catholicism:
That God could have
stopped Catholic priests from raping
altar boys. But, overall, He didn't
want to.
And millions throughout
the world rejoiced in this good
news. Such is religion.
Granted, the pope didn't
frame the issue quite that way. But
it's true just the same.
One miracle is as possible — or
impossible — as another.
Preach that an omnipotent
deity can perform miracles, and
you also preach that at other times
He chooses not to.
e reality is that the priests really
did rape altar boys. And the reality
is God didn't stop them. There is
no excuse of "metaphor" to hide
behind here, as moderate theists so
often do when it comes to their
holy scripture.
Put simply, God was either unable
or unwilling to intervene. The
Catholic God purportedly is omnipotent
and hence was able to stop
the rapes — even though He didn't.
The Catholic God is also omnibenevolent.
So sitting out and
willfully letting the rapes continue
was also the right thing for Him to
In essence, that's what
every Christian believes — liberal
moderates as well as conservative
fundamentalists. Though few like
to admit it.
Such is the human brain on religion.
Christianity is not only
ridiculous and repugnant. It is also
deeply dishonest. No reasonable
earthly father would allow his children
to be raped, if he could readily
intervene to stop it. No
reasonable person would praise an
earthly father who willfully let
such rapes occur.
But substitute "Heavenly Father"
for "earthly father," and now His
faithful supplicants shout, "Laus
Let's review. In order for Mother
Teresa to be declared a saint, the
church needed to recognize that
she'd performed not just one miracle
but two.
The first miracle was the purported
healing of Monica Beresa, who
claimed she'd been cured of a cancerous
tumor by a beam of light
emitted from Mother Teresa's picture
in a medallion placed on her
abdomen. But her doctor stated
that it was a cyst caused by turberculosis,
not a cancerous tumor, and
attributed her gradual recovery
thereafter to her months of medication.
Even her husband declared
the miracle a "hoax."
Curiously, a call to put the
medallion to the test to cure another
tumor goes unanswered, despite
the suffering it presumably
would save.
Pope Francis recognized the second
purported miracle last December,
after a Brazilian man
recovered from a brain infection
when his wife prayed fervently to
Mother Teresa to heal him.
This is superstition of the lowest
order. Don't understand something?
"God did it."
Seeking intellectual respect, Pope
Francis recently declared that God
is not "a magician, with a magic
wand." But as the pope's canonizing
Mother Teresa shows, he's
happy to promote God's magic
when it makes for good PR.
It's nice that Mother Teresa miraculously
healed two people, according
to her church. How
unfortunate, though, that she didn't
bother to heal the many others who
have died under the care of her
Missionaries of Charity, often in
squalid conditions with poor medical
treatment, despite the unaccounted-
for millions of dollars
raised in her name.
The reality is, when an outcome
truly would require a miracle, then
intercessory prayer to saints and
gods never works. Never.
Pray for rain, as Gov. Rick Perry of
Texas once enjoined his state to do,
and sure enough, it will rain —
somewhere, sooner or later. But,
notes Marshall Brain, pray for an
adult human amputee to regrow a
limb almost instantly, just as
Mother Teresa cured the Brazilian
man, and it doesn't ever happen.
Ever.Apparently, Mother Teresa
hates amputees. Either that, or God
does. He'll routinely regrow limbs
for salamanders. But for people?
Meh. Not so much.
Primitive superstitious beliefs are
not reason to rejoice. Mass selfdelusion
is not reason to rejoice.
Rejecting reality is not reason to
They are reason to mourn.
Mother Teresa was no saint. In
more ways than one.
Gregory A. Clark – is an associate
professor of bioengineering at the
University of Utah who accepts
and professionally tries to develop
treatment approaches that are
based on evidence.

Published in International
Wednesday, 05 October 2016 09:34


For most of the twentieth
century, economic issues have been
the dominant driver for Presidential
elections. Commander-in-Chiefs presiding
over a vibrant and productive
period are rarely supplanted; their reelection
is virtually assured. Only
imminent national security issues
even remotely challenge money as
the prime motivator for those headed
into the election booths.
Though the aforementioned
national security issues exacerbated
by loose immigration enforcement
are looming large and for some will
be a deciding factor, what Americans
are feeling in their billfolds and
purses will once again make the decision
between Trump and Clinton.
It’s my guess it will be Trump.
We are at a fork in the roads;
a time when it has become necessary
to choose whether we will continue
down the long road to increasing socialism
or maintain our prominence
in the world as the foremost practitioner
of free market capitalism.
There are many who really
believe the government should provide
for their welfare but they are
still the majority; at least among
those who vote. If all the people living
in America were counted it
would probably go the other way –
more government paternalism, or in
the case of Clinton – maternalism!
. But fortunately for us at this
narrow juncture those who participate
at the ballot box still outnumber
those who do not. And those who
still maintain a good work ethic;
those who believe that working
harder and smarter than others deserve
greater rewards still predominate
but America is probably the
only Western nations left where this
is so with the single possible exception
of Australia.
Those that believe in greater
returns for greater effort are the most
productive element in our society.
They carry many who have
grown accustomed to hand-outs and
freebies whether it’s an Obama
phone, free food or subsidized health
insurance. And these same folks tend
to be better informed as well. And
because of this they understand and
see how the rest of the world has
fared with more socialism. Right
now, as you are reading this there are
places in the world that were prosperous
not too long ago but right
now are horrible places to live.
Venezuela is a prime example, but
there are others and many of them
are in Europe. If not for the wholesale
destruction of currency value
through printing and devaluation
they would already be in far worse
Here in the USA we have
been spared due to the Reserve Currency
status of the dollar. But the incessant
printing, now viewed by
most competent economists as far
overdone, is threatening to do us in.
All fiat currencies depend on the
faith of the people in the attributed
value of the denomination printed on
the paper. When that fails, the currency
fails. It has happened before
historically and it will happen again
the question is when.
If Trump is elected we will
likely face some contraction in our
presence on the world stage but because
of our treaties and the status of
reserve currency we are the ONLY
nation who can renegotiate trade
deals and other financial obligations
with some degree of immunity if not
outright impunity. Trump understands
the art of the deal because he
understands how to deal from a position
of strength. His entire life has
been based on this principle and it
hard to argue degrees of success with
a man whose name hovers over
many of our major cities and who
flies between them in a jet as good at
Airforce One. Remember… he does
it on his OWN NICKEL, not from a
The problem with handouts
is they always come with a price and
that price over the years has been to
turn over to the government many of
our hard earned civil liberties for
temporary financial help that is
never enough to let a person rise to
self-sufficiency. That can only come
from self-reliance earned by sweat,
determination, motivation and yes,
to some extent Lady Luck. And Lady
Luck is not a card often found under
Socialism where there is no fair
shuffle of the deck and al end results
prearranged and codified in the interests
of “fairness.”
Trump is going to win because
the people inherently understand
that with Clinton they will get
what they want to hear but not what
they need. Trump will restore free
market forces at least for a while.
I doubt anyone can forever
stem the inevitable redistribution of
resources and realignment of how
we govern ourselves. That will be
decided by the laws of supply. The
Earth now has more people than it
can indefinitely sustain given the finite
nature of our planet and its resources.
The day of reckoning
cannot be avoided given current
technology and know resources of
energy, biomass, water, etc. but
electing Trump will give Americans
a short reprieve by generating maximum
efficiency only obtained by
motivating the human spirit to excel
and so far in human history the best
means to that end has been free market
capitalism – the very basis of
American Exceptionalism.
Carl Conley, J.D.

Published in Editorials

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