Monday, September 03, 2007

Penn and Teller on Mother Theresa

According to Christopher Hitchens, "Millions of people died because of [Mother Theresa's] work, and millions more were made poorer, stupider, more sick, more diseased, more fearful and more ignorant."

Catholic apologist Bill Donohue admits, "Theresa wanted people to live in impoverished conditions so she could identify with the poor whom she's serving." More poverty, more suffering, more ignorance, more death, more souls for Christ FTW! Do you really wonder why the Catholic Church and Pope Ratzo are fast-tracking her canonization?

(h/t to The Atheist Handbook)

6 comments:

  1. I've finally got a new post on my blog -- and it's about Mother T.:

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  2. Dear People:

    The public response to the “revelation” that Mother Theresa was subject to doubts and long periods of spiritual dryness says more about the spiritual state of our culture than it does about her. People nowadays can't understand why she would remain a Catholic if she wasn't "getting off" on it. Where's the euphoria? Where's the payoff? If Catholicism was such a "downer" for her, why didn't she just move on? The idea of suffering for one's Beloved (human or Divine!) as being a high privilege is meaningless to such people.
    (Remember Don Novello's character of Guido Sarducci, gossip columnist for La O'sservatore Romano on Saturday Night Live? In one of his sketches he talked about a plan to remove the cross from Catholic churches because "the logo is a downer." I'm not sure people could understand the humor of that today.)

    It may be that God was calling Mother Theresa, who in "natural" terms was a "cataphatic" contemplative, subject to visions and auditions and sensible consolations, to a different vocation: that of the apophatic contemplative, who encounters God in the barrenness, mortification and dark night of all the faculties of the soul -- until he or she learns that the feeling of God's absence is the very SIGN of His presence. And she may not have fully understood everything that such a call might entail.

    We mustn't forget that Christ felt abandoned by God too: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Clearly he never doubted God's existence; atheists never feel "abandoned by God." And I'm sure that Mother Theresa never doubted His existence either; she simply mourned His felt absence, like John of the Cross, and Rumi, and so many other mystics always have. So what else is new? What else is new is that people are clueless nowadays about the fundamentals of the spiritual life.

    Sincerely,
    Charles Upton
    cupton@qx.net

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  3. Mr. Upton,

    It may be that God was calling Mother Theresa, who in "natural" terms was a "cataphatic" contemplative, subject to visions and auditions and sensible consolations, to a different vocation: that of the apophatic contemplative, who encounters God in the barrenness, mortification and dark night of all the faculties of the soul -- until he or she learns that the feeling of God's absence is the very SIGN of His presence.

    Or it may be that Mother Theresa seems to encapsulate a lot of the diagnostic criteria for Major Depressive Disorder with some Schizotypal Features thrown in for good measure.

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  4. If Catholicism was such a "downer" for her, why didn't she just move on?

    Even though you trivialize it, it's a good question, in the sense that a sensible person would have just moved on.

    It may be that...

    Stop right there. What may be isn't an argument for what is.

    [T]he feeling of God's absence is the very SIGN of His presence.

    This is a superficially contradictory statement.

    Christ felt abandoned by God too

    An author's description of a fictional character's feelings is neither evidence of nor argument for much of anything.

    BTW: Keep an eye on the blog this weekend: I'll definitely have something by Father Guido Sarducci.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow!

    People are blaming Mother Teresa for other people's poverty? It's not her fault that people were poor. Does she control their lives? Those people had choices. And Mother Teresa was doing something for love, for Jesus, she was doing something that others would not even care to do. What about you? What have you done to those poor people? Just ignore them and let them die?

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  6. Dog damn, anonymous, you are apparently incapable of actually reading the words that are written or hearing the words that are spoken.

    If you have something to say, address the actual piece, not a made-up version in your own head.

    ReplyDelete

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