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Well, that's unusual...

For what may arguably be the first time in its history, the Catholic Church has anticipated a new technology, rather than lagging a few centuries behind, as is more traditional.

Last year, Pope Sidious I Benedict XVI announced the addition of seven new deadly sins to the old list of seven deadly sins (which, frankly, I believe is flawed to begin with). On the new list is genetic engineering, which th Vatican defines broadly to include anything which changes DNA.

Eleven months later, researchers announced a major breakthrough in fighting HIV: a therapy that extracts the patient's cells, genetically alters them to make them resistant to the AIDS virus, and then re-introduces them into the patient's body.

The circle is now complete, as Darth Vader says. For the first time, with the newly updated list of deadly sins, the Catholic Church has a complete, end-to-end policy on HIV:

It's wrong to wear condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS, and it's wrong to use gene therapy to treat AIDS.

Like many other religions, the Catholic Church has long viewed HIV as a behavioral problem, and felt that rigorous control of sexual expression, rather than condom use or research, are the ideal solution. They don't go quite as far as to say that HIV is a punishment from God, but approaching HIV as a behavioral problem rather than a n epidemiological one still falls flat to me.

Folks who think that HIV is a consequence of an immoral lifestyle or a punishment for wickedness would do well to consider the case of a man who called in to the Playboy Radio talk show I was a guest on several months ago; he was HIV positive not because he'd had wild, deviant unprotected sex, but because he witnessed a car accident. One of the accident victims was thrown through the windshield and badly lacerated. In his efforts to save her life, he cut his hand on the glass and was exposed to her blood. She was HIV positive; now he is, too. Frankly, and I want to be very clear on this point: any omnipotent, merciful, benevolent god who is OK with that can suck my cock kiss my ass. If there is a god who would be fine with that, I think such an entity is manifestly and plainly not worthy of adoration.

But I digress.

Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other "sin" is invented nonsense. The idea of criminalizing lifesaving research by holding that certain forms of medicine are inherently sinful--and not just sinful, but mortal sins--that's a level of wrong I can't quite even find the words for.


Comments

( 53 comments — Leave a comment )
wookiemonster
Feb. 22nd, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
Well put :)
irismoonlight
Feb. 24th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
icon love.
clawbug
Feb. 22nd, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
Your implication that sucking cock is a bad thing/punishment/degradation aside...

...the Catholic Church is facing it's worst times these days. Biotech poses arguably the greatest threat to their quest for global social control and cohesion.

Especially the day we have a complete and coherent neurochemical explanation for all or most of the processes of consciousness, war will ensue.
ab3nd
Feb. 22nd, 2009 11:20 pm (UTC)
Seriously. Any god that thinks HIV transmission is OK can stay as far from my cock as it can get.
(no subject) - clawbug - Feb. 22nd, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tacit - Feb. 23rd, 2009 01:57 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - tacit - Feb. 23rd, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
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__rubyslippers
Feb. 22nd, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC)
I have respect for all religions .. however when things like this occur, I find myself well and truly baffled.
spiralflames
Feb. 22nd, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
my my. being "obscenely rich" is a sin? catholic CHURCH, you're going to h-e-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l.....
cjhm
Feb. 22nd, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC)
Hmmm well I have strong views on organized religions, period. Beyond the fact that we need a true separation of church and state, we also need to get to a separation of religion vs spirituality. One is giving the other a very bad name.
And nobody can truly know what someone's life experience will do for them. I have a g/f who used to be a drug addict / hooker in her younger days and now (after clean up, schooling etc) she is a counselor for street kids.
Your caller may still be alive in 20 years, and I hope he is, like my brother-in-law who has been HIV positive since 1997. And maybe by living with HIV, he will be a huge inspiration to others - we just don't know. Personally, all I can do is my part. And when someone comes to me and starts to cry about how awful their life is because their child is a crystal meth addict and living in a box in the street, I say to them "Hey - let me tell you my story and how I got through it...."

Odd - your post must have touched a nerve here, didn't know I was going to say all that. I'll shut up now :-)
petite_lambda
Feb. 23rd, 2009 10:38 am (UTC)
Thank you for saying it. Your girlfriend is an inspiration!
polylizzy
Feb. 22nd, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
I remember a number of years ago, a debate that I was embroiled in. It was about CULTS and what the USA devines as a cult.

one of the thing that cults do, (according to the criteria)? Control medical treatment.

I was raised Christian, Married into a Jewish family for a decade and a half and I have finally settled on the idea that I am agnostic. I have FAITH, I do NOT have religion.

I have always felt that the Catholic church had way too many uneducated hands in way too many issues to not be considered the worlds largest CULT.

There is a reason they call followers a "flock (of sheep)" sheep are dumb.
jonnymoon
Mar. 4th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
You can state that for any followers, such as Obama followers (also sheep). In fact, most Americans are sheep, as they follow just about any trend which blows on the wind.

It should have been written, "We the SHEEPLE."
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heart_open
Feb. 22nd, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC)

"One of the accident victims was thrown through the windshield and badly lacerated. In his efforts to save her life, he cut his hand on the glass and was exposed to her blood. She was HIV positive; now he is, too."

Unfortunately, the result of his actions (contracting HIV) would be considered by many Catholics a punishment. It was God's will that the victim be involved in the accident as part of His divine plan and how DARE anyone interfere with God's plan by trying to save her life! Sadly, their reasoning doesn't hold water (does any religious dogma, for that matter?)..."Love thy neighbor" and all that.

Did Jesus (and also God) not teach love, compassion and mercy? Why, then, in a moment of compassion and mercy, in an attempt to save the life of anther, would that man's actions be considered unacceptable and worthy of damnation? This only reaffirms my long-ago decision to abandon religion and religious dogma, and I firmly agree that any God who believes the resulting consequence of that man's actions is acceptable is not only unworthy of worship and adoration, but is, for all intents and purposes, a fuckwad.

tacit
Feb. 23rd, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, the result of his actions (contracting HIV) would be considered by many Catholics a punishment. It was God's will that the victim be involved in the accident as part of His divine plan and how DARE anyone interfere with God's plan by trying to save her life!

Hmm. To be fair, that sounds more like Evangelical Protestantism than Catholicism. Modern Catholics don't have a problem with medical intervention per se, only with specific classes of medicine.

Still, I get what you're saying; the notion that one person coming to the aid of another would incur divine wrath is pretty reprehensible.
redselchie
Feb. 22nd, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
you're getting your information from fox news now? lol - I thought you knew better Franklin!

This is old news. As I recall, they weren't (and aren't) considered "New sins" - but really more suggestions on how to conscientious living. And it wasn't by the Pope, but by one of the Bishops, and mentioned in jest.

You really need to be carefull when you read *anything*- but especially so-called "proclaimations" from the Vatican. 9 times out of 10, the press gets it wrong. Simply because a Bishop makes a stupid statement, doesn't mean it is now policy of the Vatican, or that it comes from the Pope.

Edited to add: The official view of the Vatican on genetic engineering, is that it needs to be done responsibily. For the Vatican, that means - *adult* stem cell research is fine; embryonic stem cell research, is not. The research you quoted is, I believe, adult stem cell research, which is really where most of the advances are coming from.

If you ever wanna know what the Catholic teachings are - go to the source! - and not fox news, mkay? :D

Edited at 2009-02-22 11:50 pm (UTC)
tacit
Feb. 23rd, 2009 02:12 am (UTC)
Heh. Fox News isn't the only source, though. A quick Google search turns up over a million references to the same story, by Reuters, AP, ABC News, and the BBC, among others.

Regardless of where these particular new sins may fall in Catholic doctrine, the fact remains that the Vatican opposes, in broad terms, several entire classes of medicine, including gene therapy, stem cell research, genetic engineering, and many forms of fertility medicine (including IVF).

The issue with gene therapy isn't related to the issue of stem cell research. Gene therapy uses no stem cells at all, adult or embryonic. Instead, it involves creating strands of DNA using a technique such a PCR, introducing that DNA into a specially engineered virus, and using the virus to transfer the DNA into the person's cells. Once this is done, that person's DNA is permanently altered. This constitutes "genetic modification," which is specifically, directly condemned by Bishop Gianfranco Girotti.




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alrighty then! - redselchie - Feb. 23rd, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
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clawbug
Feb. 22nd, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)
Re: There's another one they're fuzzy on.
Then obviously they are suffering for...eh...SOMEONE ELSE'S SIN! Yes, that's it.
31504
Feb. 22nd, 2009 11:40 pm (UTC)
"Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other "sin" is invented nonsense."

Exactly. Although I think hurting oneself is also a sin. I'm important, too.
redhotlips
Feb. 23rd, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)
"which th Vatican defines broadly to include anything which changes DNA."

so that makes bacteria a sin?
sweet!
now I have an excuse to go to confession every day!


(yes, I joke, I kid)
antayla
Feb. 23rd, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
Having read most of the Bible, I often wonder how many Christians stop to consider that their God might just be ummm, an evil hypocrite? Or perhaps merely human :P.
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kindredsgirl
Feb. 23rd, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
ha ha

Pope Sidious

Oh YES!
fleabear
Feb. 23rd, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
I concur.

One of my acquaintances in fandom, Selena, who owns Yard Dog Press boils the ten commandments down to one--don't be an asshole. I think that goes hand in hand with your definition of sin.
joreth
Feb. 23rd, 2009 10:41 pm (UTC)
Funny, that's what tacit once said to me when I bemoaned my history of boyfriends who all tend to leave the same way, by calling me a bitch. He said "you're not a bitch, it's really easy not to piss you off ... don't be an asshole!"

Seems like a good rule of life in general to me!
( 53 comments — Leave a comment )