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DDickey

Bojaxhiu: Saint or Sinner?

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DD, now that YOU have revealed all, how could I have fallen into such error! Now this journalist, Greg Szymanski, where have I heard this name before? Is he a defrocked Orthodox priest? As all this is most reliable, please close this case and I shall amend my ways. Down with Mother Theresa! OK?

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This thread has really careened off-topic now, and I'll be sending it to the arena for those who wish to continue debating the relative merits of Bojaxhiu.

 

Antiochus III, I would suggest you take a visit to your public library to begin your quest for more information on AIDS in Africa.

 

And, no, I do not think that the AIDS virus is a conspiracy by the U.S.

 

-- Nephele

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DD, now that YOU have revealed all, how could I have fallen into such error! Now this journalist, Greg Szymanski, where have I heard this name before? Is he a defrocked Orthodox priest? As all this is most reliable, please close this case and I shall amend my ways. Down with Mother Theresa! OK?

 

Your argument is fallacious. Discrediting the journalist does not discredit the message. Susan Shields’s testimonial is more common than you’re probably aware; one can find a number of denouncements offered by former nuns and secularists on meeting Mother Teresa, and on spending time with her in Calcutta.

 

Doctor Robin Fox, editor of the British medical journal, The Lancet, visited Mother Teresa’s Home for Dying Destitute in Calcutta and was appalled by what he saw. Fox wrote about his experience in the September 1994 issue of the journal. Below is an excerpt.

 

There are doctors who call in from time to time but usually the sisters and volunteers (some of whom have medical knowledge) make decisions as best they can. I saw a young woman who had been admitted in poor shape with high fever, and the drugs prescribed had been tetracycline and paracetamol. Later a visiting doctor diagnosed probable malaria and substituted chloroquine. Could not someone have looked at a blood film? Investigations, I was told, are seldom permissible. How about simple algorithms that might help the sisters and volunteers distinguish the curable from the incurable? Again no. Such systematic approaches are alien to the ethos of the home. Mother Teresa prefers providence to planning; her rules are designed to prevent any drift towards materialism: the sisters must remain on equal terms with the poor. … Finally, how competent are the sisters at managing pain? On a short visit, I could not judge the power of their spiritual approach, but I was disturbed to learn that the formulary includes no strong analgesics. Along with the neglect of diagnosis, the lack of good analgesia marks Mother Teresa’s approach as clearly separate from the hospice movement. I know which I prefer.

 

Here are some more tidbits to swallow:

 

• In 1981 Mother Teresa journeyed to Haiti, to accept that nation's highest award, the Legion d'Honneur. She received it from the Duvalier family, and made a glowing speech in which she said that dictator "Baby Doc" and his wife Michele not only loved the poor, but were loved by the poor in return.

• In 1990 she made a trip to Albania, then the most oppressive of the Balkan Stalinist states, and laid a wreath on the grave of the dictator Enver Hoxha as well as on the irredentist monument to "Mother Albania". She was herself of Albanian descent (born in Skopje, Macedonia), but many Albanians were shocked by her embrace of Hoxha's widow and her silence on human rights.

• In 1992 she intervened with a court in Los Angeles, which was about to sentence Charles Keating, the biggest fraud and embezzler in American history. His S & L racket stole a total of $252 million, mainly from small and poor depositors. A strong Catholic and right-wing campaigner against pornography in his spare time, Keating gave Mother Teresa $1,250,000 in cash and the use of a private jet, in return for which she gave him many useful endorsements, including a character reference to the court. The court had asked Mother Teresa to return

Keating's donations, which may well have been stolen, but she never replied to the request.

 

Mother Teresa was a fraud and a phony. My problem with her is the same as with any huckster who gains fame for fooling people. But it’s taboo in the West to call a Catholic spade a spade simply because she was Catholic; religion is off the table in terms of criticism, even when the complaints are valid—and that, I think, should stop. We live in an age in which we’re forced to tolerate the intolerant, and we who find nothing sacred, who criticize those seemingly above criticism, are, strangely enough, not tolerated; we’re told to show respect and tolerance or we’re chastised or silenced. This, I think, is something that has to change. Discourse is all we have, and nothing, or no one, is above criticism.

Edited by DDickey

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We live in an age in which we
Edited by Northern Neil

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A very true statement, by Dawkins!

 

Sam Harris puts it, I think, much more eloquently. I am an admirer of Dawkins, though. Anyone who hasn't, should read Dawkin's "The Blind Watchmaker" and/or "The Selfish Gene." Fasntastic books.

 

As for everything you say, I agree completely.

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I know nothing about her other then was presented above and I don't like to much people like her but I have some arguments with the critics made.

1. Not spending money. For an NGO spending surplus money means expanding his operations and that takes time. Donations are uneven and hard to predict while expanses are constant so saving money for low periods it's wise. I'm sure that those money are handy now for the organisation when their marketing icon it's gone.

2. Low quality of medical support. The medic prefers a hospital to her place, but for the pacients it was an option beetwen bad medical asistence and no medical asistence. I know what I prefer.

3. AIDS in Africa. If those people did not listen to her preaching about sex partners why did they listen about the use of condoms? It's not like she said "don't use condoms when you go to a brothel!". What could a catholic leader say anyway?

4. Human rights. Human rights are not part of the catholic dogma and were outside the scope of her activity. There are already to many championing those. Anyway, dictators receive honors from many people including leaders of democracies. If hostile to the leaders she could not do her bussiness there. BTW in 1990 Albania was the only "Balkan Stalinist state" and the regime was reforming not opressing.

Edited by Kosmo

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I know nothing about her other then was presented above and I don't like to much people like her but I have some arguments with the critics made.

 

1. Not spending money. For an NGO spending surplus money means expanding his operations and that takes time. Donations are uneven and hard to predict while expanses are constant so saving money for low periods it's wise. I'm sure that those money are handy now for the organisation when their marketing icon it's gone.

 

But she was spending money. She opened nunneries across the world in her name. She opened foster homes and homes for the dying everywhere. The point is that she had raised millions of dollars under the pretense that it would go to those who needed it; to those she was charged with helping. That money didn’t go to them at all. In providing for them, she wanted no money spent. She believed in relying on God’s providence. If they needed something, money wasn’t to be spent because, she hoped, or more truthfully, she hoped God would provide it. Not, it should be noted, for their sakes, but for her sake. Because she wanted to believe and yet she found no reason to believe other than the basic desire to do so.

 

2. Low quality of medical support. The medic prefers a hospital to her place, but for the pacients it was an option beetwen bad medical asistence and no medical asistence. I know what I prefer.

 

First, there is little distinction between "bad medical assistance" and "no medical assistance."

 

Men and women, young and old, wound up dying under her care, sometimes in cases in which they would have been spared with simple antibiotics or relatively simple medical procedures. Once someone went to her facility, they were not allowed to leave; nor were they allowed visitors; no one with whom they were familiar or intimate were allowed to visit then. Under no circumstances were they allowed to be transported to a hospital. People needlessly died because Mother Teresa was seeking confirmation of God’s existence, of Jesus’ existence. If you don’t find that sentence appalling, please, read it again. And again. And again. Until you realize the breadth of her crimes.

 

3. AIDS in Africa. If those people did not listen to her preaching about sex partners why did they listen about the use of condoms? It's not like she said "don't use condoms when you go to a brothel!" What could a catholic leader say anyway?

 

The point is: Christian missionaries are condemning condom use on a continent plagued by AIDS. Catholic dogma insists that contraction of AIDS through premarital sex is less sinful than using a condom to protect oneself from contracting AIDS. But allow me to address you question more head on: She, and people like her, condemn condom use in African villages, to villagers whose only exposure to condoms, and the knowledge thereof, comes from Christian missionaries. They are exploiting people’s ignorance in order to disseminate their socio-political ideology. It is appalling; it is immoral.

 

4. Human rights. Human rights are not part of the catholic dogma and were outside the scope of her activity. There are already to many championing those. Anyway, dictators receive honors from many people including leaders of democracies. If hostile to the leaders she could not do her bussiness there. BTW in 1990 Albania was the only "Balkan Stalinist state" and the regime was reforming not opressing.

 

This line of reasoning has the distinction of both appalling and baffling me. Human rights are part of Catholic dogma. The entire theological message behind the anti-abortion movement, for example, is predicated on human rights. But let’s say that you are right. Let’s say that Catholic dogma existed outside of the notion of human rights. This is no excuse. It’s not even an argument. Under that line of reasoning, you could excuse everyone from Osama bin Laden to Hamas to the Nazi party because “human rights were outside of their scope of activity.” Again, I’m baffled. Absolutely baffled.

Edited by DDickey

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You are better informed so I'll give up but on the last point because I don't understand why you are so buffled and apalled.

Catholicism predates any formulation of human rights. Today's catholic dogma it's that of Toma d'Aquino.

Local catholic churches supported many dictatorial regimes in S. America, and also the fascist Spain and murderous Croatian ustasa.

The Nazy party and is notorious leader held relations with all states and religious organizations including the catholic church of his country and also with the Vatican.

The Duvaliers were recognized as Haitian leaders by all states including the US and the UN and other important democracies and organisations because international relations are based on the pursuit of national interest and not in an endless crusade for human rights. If Mother Theresa wanted to make something in Haiti she had to be nice with the leaders so that Tonton Macoutes were kept away.

Putin was the star of the last Nato meeting a month ago despite being truly a dictator and a mass murderer in Cecenia, China will soon host the Olympics despite being a dictatorial country that had just put down 2 rebellions of minorities, the dictator of Pakistan was a key US friend, the Saudi and other arab countries are further away from human rights then the medieval Inquistion etc

Why should MT be expected to do what great powers did not do?

After all the Queen gave Idi Amin a walk with her carriage thru London.

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You are correct on all of these points, Kosmo. But, I believe that the point being made here is that like all these figures, Mother Teresa also has a tremendous case to answer, and that the whiter - than - white public image she has is / was just as much a front and a lie as that of many other public figures and polititians.

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