Hitchens: Mother Teresa was evil

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by obie, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. obie

    obie New Member

    Nov 18, 1998
    NY, NY
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    From Slate...

    My wife and I, both raised Catholic but not practicing now, were talking about the speed with which this beatification happened. We came to the conclusion that the whole thing is the RC Church equivalent of a bum rush, trying to overcome recent bad press by pushing a popular dead woman into the spotlight. But Hitchens, if the Catholics have the right theology and there really is a hell, he's now taking the express train there.
     
  2. Footer Phooter

    Jul 23, 2000
    Falls Church, VA
    Wow, he kind of hints at MT being a theif and a hypocrite. Unbelieveable.
     
  3. DevilDave

    DevilDave Member

    West Bromwich Albion/RBNY/PSG/Gamba Osaka/Sac Republic
    United States
    Sep 29, 2001
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    West Bromwich Albion FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If you want to argue that Mother Teresa's efforts were only a drop in the bucket with regard to addressing poverty in Calcutta, that's fine. Because it's true.

    But not-so-subtly calling her a con artist, and a fanatic who left the poor worse off because of her efforts??? That's more than a bit much. :mad:
     
  4. Attacking Minded

    Attacking Minded New Member

    Jun 22, 2002
    Isn't this just another example of the hatred and intolerance liberals have for those that disagree with them?
     
  5. bojendyk

    bojendyk New Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    South Loop, Chicago
    Hitchens has a whole book about her (I've only read parts of it). And while his position is certainly radical, it sounds like there is something behind it. Could anyone fill me in on it?

    I seem to remember one of the big criticisms being that her mission was essentially a place where people went to die, even though many of those people could have been cured with simple, easily available medications. If I recall it correctly, the book contained stunned comments by doctors and others who offered to provide her with those medications for free, only for her to refuse them.


    Does anyone know more about this? If this isn't true--and I certainly hope it isn't--I'd like to know.
     
  6. bojendyk

    bojendyk New Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    South Loop, Chicago
    Isn't this just another example of Attacking Minded's willingness to mischaracterize an entire political wing on the basis of one man's essay? One man, I might add, who fully backed the Iqaq war and is apparently pro-life?

    Did you even read the article?
     
  7. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

    Mar 1, 1999
    San Rafael, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    http://www.rotten.com/library/bio/religion/mother-teresa/

    If she is so great, then what happened to the tens of millions of dollars that was given to her? She didn't open any hospitals, and she did not give the suffering any treatment, even pain medication. Oh, but she had no problem getting the best treatment herself. And her strict morals always took a back seat when she was hobnobing with the rich and powerful.

    No.
     
  8. John Galt

    John Galt Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    Atlanta
    I followed the Barnes & Noble link to the book from the article. There's a review that says the work is controversial and lacking in scholarly detail (not heavily sourced). It recommends the book be placed with other different views of Mother Theresa.

    As to the substantive point, I cannot talk intelligently on whether Mother Theresa meets the Catholic Church's standards for sainthood, which is I think Hitchen's more subtle point rather than the broader issue of whether or not Mother Theresa did good works.
     
  9. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Help a poor Protestant out here.

    What is the scriptural justification for saints?

    Is what he's claiming true? (He's rather short of details, but I gather that he feels that his book provided those.)
     
  10. dawgpound2

    dawgpound2 Member

    Mar 3, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    I read that article a while ago and found it interesting, if not opinion-altering.

    For the record, I like Hitchens and his work. And I would say he and I are diametrically opposed politically.
     
  11. DevilDave

    DevilDave Member

    West Bromwich Albion/RBNY/PSG/Gamba Osaka/Sac Republic
    United States
    Sep 29, 2001
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    West Bromwich Albion FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Um, I am a liberal-minded Roman Catholic, but I know a lot of politically right-of-center Roman Catholics who would chew anyone out for badmouthing Mother Teresa (and by extension, the Catholic Church).
     
  12. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    Re: Re: Hitchens: Mother Teresa was evil

    There is none. And there doesn't have to be. Catholics don't believe in the Bible as the sole authoritative voice of Christianity.
     
  13. Cascarino's Pizzeria

    Apr 29, 2001
    New Jersey, USA
    Hitchens doesn't mention that he actually went to Rome to be the devil's advocate for Mother Teresa. He says that the pope got rid of the devil's advocate but he doesn't say when. I saw him on tv and when he was asked if his input had any effect on the Vatican's decision he replied "none whatsoever."

    I wonder what he'll dredge up about the Dalai Lama......
     
  14. champmanager

    champmanager Member

    Dec 13, 2001
    Alexandria, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Kazakhstan
    Well, this is the first I heard most of this and the first I even cared (and now only begrudgingly). But think about it. How many nuns are going to become A-list celebrities by being humble and meek? I, like Mr. Hitchens, am very curious as to the final destination of all that money.
    And yes, there should be a lot of curiosity among Catholics (and yes I was one, so I'm told, a long time ago) about the sudden flurry of saintliness in the final, lame-duck days of a dying pope. It's one thing to waive the five-year rule to give Roberto Clemente early entrance to the baseball Hall of Fame. But where does it end? Will we soon be praying to icons of St. Dom Dimaggio?

    And lets face it. There were lot of people interested in seeing an Albanian nun do well...
     
  15. Attacking Minded

    Attacking Minded New Member

    Jun 22, 2002
    Why, when I disagree with someone here on BS, do they think I didn't read the article? Of course I read it. Just because "Some people say" she refused free medicine or she was against birth control in the third world, does not mean that she is evil. This is mix of hearsay and ideology akin to the wacky right trading stories on the "assassination" of Vince Foster.
     
  16. bojendyk

    bojendyk New Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    South Loop, Chicago
    Okay, you read the article. My mistake. But you didn't respond to my original complaint, which is that you used Hitchen's comments about MT to indict "liberals."

    Re: the Dali Lama (sp?)--I'm almost positive that I remember reading an article by him in the Nation (I mean, I remember reading the article, but I can't say for sure whether he wrote it) six or seven years ago in which the writer mentions that a lot of the DL's positions are nearly as radical as the Pope's. I don't remember the details, but I think the positions might have involved abortion, or maybe birth control. Anyone?
     
  17. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Here's a link to a really interesting, no, fascinating piece that was on Morning Edition last week - in which it was reported that Mother Teresa actually felt spiritually abandoned by God for the greater part of her life (thus enduring the so-called 'dark night of the soul'), in essence living in doubt, if not despair.

    http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=1464889

    I don't know exactly how this would fit in with Hitchens' writings about her and her mission, but it's worth listening to and thinking about nonetheless. I think it's fair to say that many came to think of her, while living, as an actual saint on earth (and I think that is the image Hitchens is trying to de-mystify), but it seems that her relationship with the Divine was far more complex and tenuous than that. And it wasn't a sort of doubt that lasted for a few months or even a couple years, but for decades.
     
  18. John Galt

    John Galt Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    Atlanta
    Because your post was non-responsive to the facts about the author and the article.
    1. Hitchens is not a liberal.
    2. Hitchens did not call MT evil. He said she did not deserve canonization as a saint in the Holy Roman Catholic Church. I dare say you and I might also fit that category without being classified as evil.
    3. There is no evidence of (a) hatred (b) intolerance or (c) disagreement in any of Hitchens article. He critiques MT in relation to the question of sainthood. He never suggest he disagrees with her views on abortion or divorce, merely her stridency. He never claims she should not have been running the Sisters of Mercy, only that she should have done it better.
    4. Your post addresses none of the substantive points of the article. It's a knee jerk condemnation of liberals. Probably just a macro you cut and paste for every point, regardless of applicability.
    Accordingly, one concludes you must not have read the article. You say you did. Therefore, I conclude you must not have understood it.
     
  19. Attacking Minded

    Attacking Minded New Member

    Jun 22, 2002
    I don't play the BS point - counter point games because I find that the facts have nothing to do with why someone is arguing their position. When the author writes this, "She was a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud, and a church that officially protects those who violate the innocent has given us another clear sign of where it truly stands on moral and ethical questions." It tells me two things. He is a fan of alliteration (fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud) and thinks she was evil. Then again, perhaps he believes people that cause suffering due to being fanatics, frauds and fundamentalists are not evil. I would.
     
  20. John Galt

    John Galt Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    Atlanta
    OK. Still doesn't explain why you would lump Hitchens in with "all liberals." I'll back off now, though, because it's a distraction to the real issue.

    The Hitchens take on Mother Theresa, raises a question that might be unfair. If she set up a hospice intended to provide compassion for the dying is it appropriate to criticize her for not doing more for the living? We have hospices here whose sole purpose is a comfortable place to die. Should they be criticized because of their mission? I don't know enough about the Sisters of Mercy, but it sounds like the criticism is akin to blaming a soup kitchen for feeding alcoholics without providing rehabilitation services. That's not their mission.
     
  21. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Attack, it isn't a coincidence that people do that. You write about articles, usually condemning them, without referring to anything in the articles. Like John wrote, you either didn't read them or they are too complicated for you.
    Hey now, hey now now
    Sing this corrosion to me
     
  22. Attacking Minded

    Attacking Minded New Member

    Jun 22, 2002
    Let's entertain another possibility outside of my possible ignorance or idiocy. It could be that I disagree with the entire premise of many of the arguments on the BS forum. Again, I think that many of the articles, like this one condemning "MT", posted on BS are nothing more than liberal writers looking for a reason to trash someone they don't like.

    I came to this sort of thinking while discussing the alternative energy articles a few weeks ago. What I found was that even after I cited some good sources and made (what I thought) were some pretty good arguments, the subject went back to the same arguments. So I must conclude that what most people write on this forum has nothing to do with the facts. They just hate Bush, the Catholic Church, Reagan, The Man, Detroit Automakers, etc. and write whatever makes sense in order to justify that hatred.
     
  23. bojendyk

    bojendyk New Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    South Loop, Chicago
    You're absolutely right! People who hate Bush, etc., write pieces that tend to "make sense" and "justify the hatred" for them.

    I don't know about you, but I prefer postings that make sense and that justify their positions. The ones that don't make sense or that can't justify their positions, well, I don't like those so much.
     
  24. obie

    obie New Member

    Nov 18, 1998
    NY, NY
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    .. But Hitchens isn't liberal. He was hardcore for the Iraq war, even moreso than a lot of people who work in the Pentagon, and has praised Bush's first half of his term repeatedly. He's also called Henry Kissinger a war criminal. He's nearly impossible to put a firm label on politically.

    You just assumed that if it was an opinion with which you don't agree, it must be a leftist political statement. Learn about Hitchens and be a bit more open-minded about what he's saying before trying to squash it into a liberal / conservative box.

    I posted it here not because of any lib vs. con argument. I just found the article fascinating because MT is assumed to be a saint and here's a guy who is willing to ask the questions that the RC Church used to ask all the time before they raised a person to sainthood. (The Devil's Advocate role still has some value, if they'd be willing to rescucitate it.) How long has she been dead, six years? That's lightning quick for these things to happen. And John Paul II has canonized more saints than nearly every other pope combined. Even the most conservative Catholic could look at his record and conclude that he has devalued the currency of sainthood.
     
  25. cosmosRIP

    cosmosRIP Member

    Jul 22, 2000
    Brooklyn NY
    He's a pro-war, Clinton hating liberal.
     

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