The Curmudgeon


Friday, March 23, 2018

Paschal Lump

As the Christian calendar approaches its holy crux, there is cause for rejoicing in Paraguay, where a fourteen-year-old rape victim has given up her soul to God while squeezing out a new soul for Jesus and the Virgin. The rapist is in custody, where his sins are presumably being forgiven. According to health ministry figures, almost nine hundred girls between the ages of ten and fourteen gave birth in Paraguay in 2015, including one ten-year-old rape victim who, like certain residents of Grenfell Tower, survived to enjoy the dubious fruits of a government pledge on accommodation. Danger to the mother is grounds for abortion in Paraguay, so in cases involving transfiguration and ascension Mother Church is no doubt eager to bestow all due credit upon the fallibilities of the secular arm.


  • At 7:14 pm , Blogger Emma said...

    I know all religion is creepy & all, but Catholicism seems like a legitimate, medicable mental illness.

  • At 9:14 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    To paraphrase the great Saki: the mentally ill are generally content to damage themselves, and do not vulgarise their condition by attempting to damage others.

  • At 4:46 am , Blogger Emma said...

    I feel like the great Saki probably didn't know very many addicts?

    You're right, though; schizophrenia isn't optional or a sign of moral or intellectual failing, whereas ten minutes of thought ought to destroy the human ability to practice Catholicism with a straight face.

    Also I just realized that, in the extremity of my excitement over finally having a working computer again, I left a comment under a week-old post here — please feel free to delete it if you like, I'm not a comments-positive absolutist.

  • At 12:03 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    I wouldn't have thought that addicts necessarily proselytise for their addiction. They might resort to getting other people hooked so they can sell to fund their own habit, or commit crimes for the same reason; but I wonder to what extent such entrepreneurial zeal is a product of The War On Drugs™ as opposed to the condition of being addicted.

    I wouldn't dream of deleting your comment. Though Anonymous would no doubt demolish the proposition with the rigorous logic we have witnessed, a comment unreplied-to is not necessarily a comment unread or unappreciated.

  • At 12:57 pm , Blogger Emma said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 12:59 pm , Blogger Emma said...

    a comment unreplied-to is not necessarily a comment unread or unappreciated
    I thought it might be "a comment that derailed a settled discussion," but that's all fine then.

    Any time I hear someone talk about the great karmic or psychological benefits of prayer and Christian fellowship, I think, "this person has never visited the Appalachian Valley."

    As for the 'mental illness' comment, which I am now mildly regretting, I think perhaps we have different culturally-defined visions of what metal illness and addiction look like. I think of addicts as manipulative and dangerous people who steal from and distress their families rather than seek treatment for their problems — but, as you astutely pointed out, that formulation is complicated by the way the US handles street drugs, and also our quasi-religious views on drug treatment programs. I also believe that violent, abusive, and controlling people are themselves controlled (in part) by mental illnesses and long-assimilated cultural narratives that define the way they think. From my perspective, Catholicism is the mid-point on that spectrum, a hierarchy of grifters who are either deluded or dishonest profiting from & victimizing people who might be comprehensively downtrodden in many ways — but who should still know better than to listen to a Catholic priest.

    I think maybe European cultures in general don't see abuse/patriarchality/mental illness in that light. Among other things, of course.

    [I had to repost the comment because Blogger cleaned my HTML5 tags. Sorry.]

  • At 3:12 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    You may possibly be aware that Europe has recently fallen out of step with Britain; but here on the mainland the official view seems to be that addiction, like poverty and mental illness, is a self-willed character flaw which can be overcome by discipline, gumption and hard work. The way to facilitate this, as with most social problems, is to make 'em poor and lock 'em up, while the Established Church makes its relevance felt with occasional tut-tutting noises.

  • At 10:21 pm , Blogger Emma said...

    I am definitely aware that the UK and the EU are undertaking a parting of the ways politically — but I didn't know the exercise included a comprehensive refutation of all European culture, too. I have always heard British people refer to themselves as "European," so I thought that was an okay thing to type (and also I've seen European people from all over the continent express digital disbelief in the American model of mental illness). Well, I guess I know better now! Conservatives and their politically-correct language, what a bunch of monsters.

    That sounds more or less like the local method for applying social justice, too, except for the Established Church part. We here in the US of A have enabled the snake-handlers, and they benefit handsomely by standing in-between the poor, the ill, the addicted, and the government services that actually have a chance in hell of helping them — to the beautiful tune of millions of dollars cascading into the collection plate. I wonder if you've ever heard about the battles over "religious exemptions" re: our semi-functional publicprivate healthcare system? Those happen (partly) because the Jesus Hospitals don't think they ought to have to follow the government's laws even though they cash the government's checks. The same thing happens in the religiously-motivated rehab industry, not to mention in the enormous number of Christian charities who benefit from federal spending but don't have to save any receipts. I understand why people in the most desperate extremity rely on religion in these contexts, just as I understand why an 11-year-old rape victim might defer to the judgements of the Catholic bureaucracy when it comes to family planning. I'll be damned if I can figure out why everybody else humors the sacred vampires, though. They can't even produce a version of their holy book that agrees with itself; how can you legislate the whims of a God that can't even make up its mind?


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