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Images (2) March 1, 2017

Posted by rogerhollander in Human Rights, Religion, Uncategorized, Women.
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Roger’s note: here are some funny and not so funny memes on the subject of religion.  Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” is my Bible on the subject, and I recommend it highly.  I have little use for organized religion and many of its beliefs.  My cynicism comes out strong in what I have selected here.  Enjoy.


Here we see the elegant and mocking fusion of science with Biblical history.  


“Money doesn’t talk, it swears.”  Bob Dylan



This is wicked.  I love it.


Sometimes that which unifies ain’t that pretty.


This too is wicked, but a powerful arrow slung at the Church for its protection of clerical child abusers.


Horror of horrors, Evangelicals at our door!


This is more like it.


And our friendly Muslim fundamentalists.


The poor murdering the rich.  Don’t tempt me.




GOP Outreach On Women Going About As Expected October 7, 2013

Posted by rogerhollander in Hillary Clinton, Right Wing, Women.
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by Abby Zimet

With a 12-point gap nationwide among women voters in 2012 elections, Republicans had vowed to “rebuild the party from the ground up” at this weekend’s California GOP convention. The grotesque anti-Hillary buttons caught by a San Francisco reporter – which were said to be both very popular and eventually, mysteriously removed – tell another, oblivious tale. Memo to GOP, especially those in thrall to the Tea Party: You can’t trash people and their rights and then expect them to vote for you. The buttons underneath these (commie=liberal, really) were almost as bad.


The Virgin Joseph? November 29, 2009

Posted by rogerhollander in About Virginity.
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Roger Hollander, November 29, 2009

“If men could have babies, abortion would be a sacrament.”

I buy 99% of my reading second hand at thrift stores.  I get some really good deals, and after a careful browsing of the back cover I almost invariably pick reading that I enjoy.  I find the best buys at the Bibles for Cambodia thrift shop in Guelph, which is why it is ironic that it was there that I inadvertently chose a “Christian” novel (“Deeper Water,” Robert Whitlow).  Its blurb suggested it was a “legal thriller,” which I love, but I missed the small print that read “Christian novel.”  So be it.  I decided to read it, I made it to the bittersweet end (the crime is solved, but the morally pristine heroine has not yet been able to chosen between her two born-again suitors), and I have no regrets.  The work was well written, the plot and the characters were believable, including the protagonist’s Evangelical family and her Evangelical lawyer associates.

Having once myself fallen into the throes of Evangelical Christianity (back in the early 1960’s, after which I took the message of Jesus seriously, left the hypocritical church and dedicated myself to Marxist humanist revolution), I felt the portrayal to ring true.  The author’s point of view was both Evangelical and fundamentalist, but mercifully lacked the narcissistic and jingoistic neo-Fascist political outlook of contemporary American Fundamentalism.

Two things about the novel struck me.  One was what I consider to be the ingenuous belief that the Christian god of the literalist interpreted Christian Bible concerns himself with the daily minutiae of each and every believer (imagine the mega giga’s on the dude’s computer).  But, beyond that, the obsessive preoccupation with the female protagonist’s virginity.  This we take for granted, but I decided to do some critical thinking on the theme.

First of all, I remember from my theological studies (Princeton Theological Seminary, 1963-1964) that some scholars use “maiden” instead of “virgin” for the original Hebrew and Greek word that traditional Bible translators translate as “virgin.”  “Maiden” would refer to an unmarried woman who is not necessarily, well, virgin, as we understand the word (that is, intercourse-free).

Contemporary Evangelical Christians, not to mention fundamentalist Muslims, Jews, etc. consider that their god is cognizant of the various marriage rituals, secular and religious, that constitute “marriage” in modern society, and that he insists that women shall not have had sexual intercourse prior to entering into that arrangement.  But hey, what about men?  Why not the Virgin Joseph?

Granted that if you asked a believer should a man be “virgin” before marriage, she or he would probably say yes, perhaps however with a sly wink on the side.  To the credit of the author of my Christian novel, he had his female Christian protagonist equally obsessive about her dress and manners so as not to tempt members of the opposite sex into sinful thoughts and desires.  What he doesn’t address, however, with respect to our heroine’s two Christian suitors, is the sexual attraction I would expect to be included in the attraction that induced them to become suitors in the first place (the author does constantly refer to her physical beauty).  Are we to believe that the attraction is strictly limited to the woman’s character and beliefs?  That certainly wasn’t my experience when I fell in love and married when I was an Evangelical Christian, and I cannot believe that I was an exception.  Where is Jimmy Carter when you need him?

Neither did my author give any mention to his heroine’s sexual desires or fantasies.  Does he want us to believe that she was entirely an asexual being?  That Christians have no sexual drive until marriage, at which time it somehow automatically it pops into gear?  I don’t think so.  I think Evangelical Christians acknowledge sexual drives and categorize them as sinful (an offence against their god) before marriage but suddenly somehow transformed into a gift from god after marriage (to be used however, only according to the instructions from the manufacturer that come with the product; that is, with the approved partner, with anyone else we’re back to sinning).

Now let’s go back and look at what it means for a woman to be “virgin,” to abstain from sexual intercourse before marriage.  If she does not have sex with single or married men, then with whom are these men to have sex?  Well, for married men that’s a no-brainer, their wives.  But if unmarried virgin women are not to have sex with single men, and single men are not to have sex with either single or married women, then there is no escaping the logic the Christian god wants good Christian men as well to be “virgins” prior to marriage.

Fair enough.  But why then all the obsessive preoccupation with the Virgin Mary and absolutely no mention of the Virgin Joseph?  You cannot bring in the Old Testament patriarchal values or what Saul of Tarsus (who later became Paul the sexual moralist) wants us to believe about his god’s view of the different roles of men and women, to explain this.  Yes, Christian women are to be submissive and obedient to their husbands, but definitely not to either a single or married man who asks for sexual intercourse while she is still single.  She must remain virgin, and therefore logic allows for no other option for the Christian male to remain virgin as well.

While the Evangelical Christian (as well as Roman Catholics and other religious fundamentalists) will probably acknowledge this to be true, again what they cannot explain why in all their discourse, female virginity takes on the color of an absolute while male virginity hardly deserves a mention.

For me the answer is obvious, especially in light of the patriarchal (man controlled) structures, theologically and institutionally of virtually all organized religion.  It can be summarized in a single word.


In looking for an image to go with the article, this is what I found on Google under “male virgin”


Posted by rogerhollander in Health, Human Rights, Religion, Women.
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george tiller


 I had the privilege of knowing George Tiller.  It was a pleasure at the time, but it gives me pain now to remember the evening and dinner my wife Edie McFadden and I spent with George and his wife Jeanne in New York two years ago.


I would use these words to describe George: gentle, soft-spoken, courageous, committed.  He also had a quiet anger at American terrorists and outlaws who would not leave him in peace to practice medicine according to American law.


Thomas Aquinas spoke of “the virtue of anger.”  He saw the prophets of Israel and saw that they were bursting with anger.  He saw Jesus angrily attacking the temple of injustice, overturning tables and Thomas concluded that if these moral heroes were angry, then there is a virtue of anger.  It is a virtue, I would say, that most of us lack.  Thomas cited this quote from St. John Chrysostom: “Whoever is not angry when there is cause for anger, sins.”  Remember that quote.  It should be in every church and court house. 


Good anger is a virtue, said Thomas, because good anger respicit bonum justitiae, it looks to the good of justice, and those who are not angry in the face of injustice love justice too little.


The history of abortion rights in America is cause for anger.  In 1973, in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court  gave women the legal and constitutional right to abortion in problem pregnancies.


Such a legal and constitutionally grounded right, is like the right to vote the right to go to church or synagogue the right to go to school.  And to do all of that without being harassed, threatened, or murdered.  That’s what rights are.


Starting in 1976, some—-not all—-anti-choice activists became outlaws.  Since they could not change the law non-violently, they turned to violence and began a campaign of terror, egged on by right wing talk show hosts. They began by the  bombing of clinics, arson, anthrax threats, and hostile violent picketing and physical and verbal assaults at clinics. 


When this was not enough, starting in the 1990’s, they turned to murder and assassination.


The results so far in this domestic war of terror: seven doctors and clinic workers murdered………..one doctor murdered in his church, another in his kitchen.  The suspect Scott Roeder said from jail that more such events are planned.


Sad to tell, this domestic war of terror has had an evil success.  In 85% of the counties of this nation, there is no abortion provider.  And we have let it happen.


This evening, as we gather in memorial, a single man, Scott Roeder, is held in prison in Kansas for this murder. The guilt, however, extends far beyond him.


The guilt extends to all of us here tonight who have not been angry enough to practice effective non-violent resistance to this very successful and malicious war of terror.  In the memory of George Tiller I issue to all of us tonight a fervent Call to Effective Political and Non-violent Action.


Let me list those who, with us, share in the guilt of this murder:


First, I cite the police and FBI nationwide who have been lax.  Reports went to the police and FBI during the week and the day before the killing about Roeder breaking the law and violating clinics.  Absolutely nothing was done.  In my opinion this screams out sexism.  Abortion related violence is a WOMAN THING and it simply is not taken as seriously as if it were a MAN THING.  In my view, if men got pregnant, clinics would be protected like an army fortress and police would make sure that no one would threaten or harass men as they went there to exercise their legal rights as citizens.  There would be none of the current nonchalance.


On an almost daily basis, pickets outside Planned Parenthood offices and abortion clinics cross the line between protected free speech and violence. Violence is defined as harm done or threatened.  Pickets here in Milwaukee practice violence by threat, shouting at clinic workers: “We know where you live!” or, with the same effect: “We know you Mary,” a tactic used by organized crime to intimidate. They scream insults at patients entering the clinic—in most clinics most clients are not there for abortions but to get the health care that Planned Parenthood provides for the poor—-and the pickets rejoice when they see these women reduced to tears.  What they are doing is shouting “Fire! in a crowded theater,” to use Justice Holmes famous analogy. That is violence. Where are the police?


Conclusion: Every day that pickets gather outside these offices a police person should be there to arrest anyone who turns free speech into violent and assaultive threats.  We must insist on this.


Secondly on the guilt list is the medical profession: The AMA and the Medical Society of Wisconsin and other state medical societies have sinned by their lack of outrage and effective leadership as their fellow professionals were murdered, tortured and harassed.  Let them also hear this call to action.


Also guilty are the religious leaders.  All the world religions, including Roman Catholicism, have a strong pro choice position existing alongside the no choice position.  Both positions have the weight of religious authority and Roe v Wade respects that religious freedom of choice.  It recognizes that the right to abortion is a religiously grounded civil and human right.  Yet religious leaders, almost all men, fan the lethal fury of fanatical terrorists. Their pious hands are not clean when these people act out violently.  Most of these religious leaders do not even know the openness to abortion choices in their religious traditions, and should be sent back to school.  At the least they should say a prayer to St. Antoninus, canonized a saint in 1523, who supported abortion when a woman’s health was endangered, a common condition in his day. He was thus approving of a great number of abortions.


 President Obama at Notre Dame called for “common ground” with anti-choice people.  He was wrong.  There is already common ground.  It is called Roe v. Wade.  That is the common ground for the law of this land and the anti-choice people are using pressure, threats and violence to prevent women citizens from acting within that law.


This is what angered George Tiller.  This is what killed George Tiller.


This gathering this evening does Dr. Tiller no honor if we only shed tears and issue lamentations, but do not adopt the spirit of the African American civil rights movement.  Let their cry be ours.  “We’re all fed up.  Aint going to take it no more……no more……no more!!!”

Vatican–friends to Holocaust Deniers, enemies to feminists January 29, 2009

Posted by rogerhollander in Religion, Women.
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www.skepacabra.wordpress.com, January 28, 2009

(cf. https://rogerhollander.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/roy-bourgeois-threatened-with-excommunication/)

female-submissionJust last week the Pope un-excommunicated a Holocaust Denier. And yet now I come across this story from last month about them excommunicating a man, Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois, for. . .

. . .refusing to disavow his belief that God calls women to the priesthood.

THAT MONSTER! So what else does this demonic beast believe?

“Women have such gifts, such compassion, such wisdom, which we need if the church is to be vibrant,” Bourgeois said. He believes it’s unconscionable for the hierarchy to reject their call, especially when churches are being closed and the number of priests is constantly shrinking.

Now that’s going too far! As every Catholic knows, the only good woman is a woman being burned at the stake. . .and Mary Magdeline because she put out for god.