Picture of the Day for June 23, 2015: Regarding Climate Change, Pope Francis, and Three Republican Presidential Candidates

Posted by Elaine Magliaro


Click here to view more political cartoons by Politico’s Matt Wuerker.

This entry was posted in Climate Change Deniers, Climatology, Denialism, Humor, Political Science, Politics, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Science, United States and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

78 Responses to Picture of the Day for June 23, 2015: Regarding Climate Change, Pope Francis, and Three Republican Presidential Candidates

  1. I. Annie says:

    How dare the Pope pontificate on climate science! American politicians are angry!

  2. Aridog says:

    The problem isn’t injecting religion in to politics, but the injection of politics in to religion. I’m not an advocate of the latter concept. I don’t’ care how many pols cite faith, but I am discomforted by those who politicize religion…and call it faith. Maybe I misunderstand this phenomena. Wouldn’t be the first time 🙂

  3. Aridog says:

    I. Annie … I could care less what politicians think or get angry about. I simply think ole Pope Francis has far more germane issues to address than to waste our time, my time & your time, by saying what is obvious for blatantly political purposes. He needs to return to his original Jesuit ways and shut the flip up if he can’t address the real atrocities of the world. He might just want to start with pronouncements about the South Sudan. He’s free, under the 1st Amendment in the USA, to say what he thinks. We’d all like a cleaner earth environment…to suggest it requires a pontiff to activate is just obscene. My issue is that his opinion on climate is no more valid than mine on Rastafarian doctrine. Maybe we both could use a toke or two on a large blunt. 🙂

  4. I. Annie says:

    Aridog, the Pope’s voice is powerful and far reaching and as a man of faith and social conscience he obviously feels it’s his moral imperative to address the serious issue of climate change. There are some who don’t understand or want to believe it’s an important issue. They are wrong. I want my progeny to have a sustainable earth to live on in future.

  5. John G. says:

    Oh crap. One of the pack came over looking for a meal.

  6. Elaine M. says:

    I think the pope is right to address one of the most important issue of our times. Good for him! I’d say it’s better that the Catholic Church listen to scientists in the 21st century than to be the kind of religion that imposed house arrest on Galileo–one of the greatest scientists who ever lived–centuries ago.


    Pope Francis: ‘Revolution’ needed to combat climate change

    CNN)As a former teacher, Pope Francis knows how to deliver a stern lecture. On Thursday, he gave one for the ages.

    While slamming a slew of modern trends — the heedless worship of technology, our addiction to fossil fuels and compulsive consumerism — the Pope said humanity’s “reckless” behavior has pushed the planet to a perilous “breaking point.”

    “Doomsday predictions,” the Pope warned, “can no longer be met with irony or disdain.”

    Citing the scientific consensus that global warming is disturbingly real, Francis left little doubt about who to blame.

    Big businesses, energy companies, short-sighted politicians, scurrilous scientists, laissez faire economists, indifferent individuals, callous Christians and myopic media professionals. Scarcely any area of society escaped his withering criticism…

    Our care for the environment is intimately connected to our care for each other, he argues, and we are failing miserably at both.

    “We are not faced with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social,” Francis writes, “but rather one complex crisis which is both social and environmental.”

    The rich and powerful shut themselves up within self-enclosed enclaves, Francis argues, compulsively consuming the latest goods to feed the emptiness within their hearts, while ignoring the plight of the poor.

    The poor, meanwhile, find themselves on the run from natural disasters and degraded habitats, shunted to the bottom of the world’s pile of problems with decreasing access to its natural resources.

  7. Aridog says:

    Woof woof. I don’t disagree with I. Annie, but I suspect how I say it is the problem. Anyone who has read much of what I’ve written over the months and years knows I am a strong advocate for environmental protection, in our cities and in the wilderness, which I prefer when I can get away. I just separate those intentions from religion. I do acknowledge that I. Annie has a valid point about the reach and influence of the Pope, so if that really helps the cause for environmental concern, then I am all for it. If he really can do that and still address the other horrors in the world of humanity, then I stand corrected. There is no doubt in my mind that “it’s an important issue.”

  8. Aridog says:

    Elaine said …

    I’d say it’s better that the Catholic Church listen to scientists in the 21st century than to be the kind of religion that imposed house arrest on Galileo

    No argument from me there. You guys are insidious 🙂 …. and just may be changing my mind on this subject. There’s no point in commentary if not for the conversation and remolding of thoughts. I’ve posed my original position poorly and the responses here and elsewhere have modified it considerably. It is why I choose to participate at all…on the simple chance I may learn something and have my views modified or changed outright. I am fairly “new” to religion, and one reason for that long hesitancy as an agnostic/atheist was my view that religion didn’t address reality. Enough people have said it does, and civilly, so I change. That doesn’t mean I now like politics and religion mixed, but it does mean that I can learn from the ideas of others…and still wish the pontiff would address more of the violations of humanity than he does, so far. No doubt he will as time passes.

  9. Elaine M. says:

    Islands fight to stay above water amid climate change

    Rising seas, disappearing glaciers, melting ice, storm surges: The threat of climate change still feels distant to many people.

    Not for residents of small, low-lying islands in the Pacific. Global warming has arrived, and it’s turned their nations — Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Kiribati and others — into slowly sinking ships. In some regions, the freshwater has turned salty, farmlands are barren and officials say rising waters will submerge entire nations by century’s end unless concerted action is taken.

    Concerted action has most definitely not been taken.

    As a result, many of these countries have resorted to extreme measures. They’ve engaged global legal experts to figure out whether a drowned nation still exists, have threatened legal action against coal plants a hemisphere away and have tried to drum up support for a case at the International Court of Justice. Quixotic as these tactics may sound, they risk alienating wealthy countries — the very ones they’ll rely on for humanitarian aid to help refugees from droughts and floods.

  10. Elaine M. says:

    Drowning Kiribati
    By Jeffrey Goldberg
    November 21, 2013

    Kiribati is a flyspeck of a United Nations member state, a collection of 33 islands necklaced across the central Pacific. Thirty-two of the islands are low-lying atolls; the 33rd, called Banaba, is a raised coral island that long ago was strip-mined for its seabird-guano-derived phosphates. If scientists are correct, the ocean will swallow most of Kiribati before the end of the century, and perhaps much sooner than that. Water expands as it warms, and the oceans have lately received colossal quantities of melted ice. A recent study found that the oceans are absorbing heat 15 times faster than they have at any point during the past 10,000 years. Before the rising Pacific drowns these atolls, though, it will infiltrate, and irreversibly poison, their already inadequate supply of fresh water. The apocalypse could come even sooner for Kiribati if violent storms, of the sort that recently destroyed parts of the Philippines, strike its islands.

    For all of these reasons, the 103,000 citizens of Kiribati may soon become refugees, perhaps the first mass movement of people fleeing the consequences of global warming rather than war or famine.

  11. I. Annie says:

    Aridog, climate science/ change and the concern that accompanies it isn’t merely politics. No one, except for fundamentalists, likes the idea of mixing religion and politics and I don’t think that this is what the Pope is doing.

  12. Aridog says:

    I. Annie … climate science is rife with politics, none the less, it is a legitimate concern. I will consider what you’ve said about the Pope’s intentions, and I hope you are right. So far I am still skeptical due to his focus on things I find less than religious, but that may be just me and a few others. We’re not radicals, just a bit perplexed about his focus. Less time speaking in the popular public arena and more time focused on the tragedies of faith in lessor places would change my mind easily. Since he is also the head of a tiny nation/state I may be asking for too much. I will still ask, however, when I feel the topical matter to be spurious to the real challenges to the church. As an old atheist I imagine my ideas aren’t exactly in line with theology. My reformation dates only back to Easter Sunday 2012, when I realized that I had prayed in times of great pressure, war or personal, such as Judi’s bout with an aneurysm of the brain…without attribution, thus I had to acknowledged it. So I did. Nothing ever scared me as much as that event did, not even being shot at, and I visited daily to watch her recover with zero impairment. She never lost her faith and the skills of gifted surgeons saved her life…and I truly believe it was a combination of both, with the skills supported by something greater than me. So here I am today…same curmudgeon, but changed inside. I’d like to think you have noticed.

  13. Aridog says:

    I. Annie … the “back story” I may not have cited is that my very best friend is a Catholic Priest. He never pressured me to convert from my godlessness, but simply ushered me along as we discussed biblical thought, of which we are both very well read. The day came when I opened my eyes and that was that.

  14. Elaine M. says:

    David Brooks’ baffling assessment of the pope’s encyclical: Too much Christian love
    The NYTimes columnist is “disappointed” with the pope for speaking out against self-interest

    New York Times columnist David Brooks is “disappointed” with Pope Francis for being too hard in humanity for turning our planet into something that is beginning to ”look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

    In a column penned Tuesday, Brooks cites an entire one sentence from the religious leader’s sweeping, 138-page encyclical on “care for our common home” and deems the entire document too…Catholic:

    “Hardest to accept, though, is the moral premise implied throughout the encyclical: that the only legitimate human relationships are based on compassion, harmony and love, and that arrangements based on self-interest and competition are inherently destructive.

    “…Moral realists, including Catholic ones, should be able to worship and emulate a God of perfect love and still appreciate systems, like democracy and capitalism, that harness self-interest. But Francis doesn’t seem to have practical strategies for a fallen world. He neglects the obvious truth that the qualities that do harm can often, when carefully directed, do enormous good. Within marriage, lust can lead to childbearing. Within a regulated market, greed can lead to entrepreneurship and economic innovation. Within a constitution, the desire for fame can lead to political greatness.”

    “Moral realists, including Catholic ones, should be able to worship and emulate a God of perfect love and still appreciate systems, like democracy and capitalism, that harness self-interest.” That includes you, leader of the Roman Catholic Church! Add some balance into your religious teachings, for God’s sake. And just to be sure that we aren’t overlooking the irony, this is David Brooks, the anointed preacher of How to Live and How to Think, telling you not to speak from an exclusively moralistic standpoint — apparently, it’s only okay to do that if Brooks agrees with what you’re saying.

    Look, Dave, I get it. The encyclical delivered a hard dose of truth, and that “immense pile of filth” line almost sounded designed to be incendiary (although it was not, apparently, quite as biting in other languages). And you’re right: in the United States, many “rivers and skies are getting cleaner” — though we should probably acknowledge that there’s a concerted Republican effort happening right now to prevent the EPA from continuing to make our air and water safer.

  15. swarthmoremom says:

    http://crooksandliars.com/2015/06/right-wing-called-pope-francis-their “By now, most of us know there’s no loyalty among conservative thieves and liars. Conservative media can make you a darling one day and rip you to shreds the next, which is what they’re trying to do to Pope Francis right now.

    After all, an encyclical such as the one Pope Frank published last week may not be ignored by Catholics under any circumstances. It carries the same weight as Moses descending with the tablets to obedient Catholics, who are also Christians, by the way.

    That means that it is a transformational document which will bring change whether conservatives — largely fueled by right wing oil interests — like it or not.”

  16. swarthmoremom says:

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/13/climate-change-conservatives-catholic-teaching “A majority of Republicans in Congress deny the existence of climate change and oppose regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Among the ultra-conservative Tea Party set, climate change scepticism reaches epidemic proportions, about 80% of those on the far right, according to the Pew research centre. Only one of the nearly 20 Republicans running for president will acknowledge the danger of climate change, another long-shot contender, Lindsey Graham.”

  17. blouise17 says:

    Is the Pope bigger than Big Oil? Stay tuned

  18. Elaine M. says:


    This one’s for you:

  19. Elaine M. says:

    Catholic And Evangelical Leaders Call On Lawmakers To Fight Climate Change

    Close to 100 faith leaders are calling for lawmakers to act on climate change, urging elected officials to heed the words of Pope Francis and pass legislation that can help slow the advance of global warming.
    On Tuesday, a group of religious leaders took out a full-page advertisement on the back page of Politico to offer resounding support for Pope Francis and his recently-released encyclical on the environment, a landmark work of Catholic teaching which argued that governments have a moral obligation to address human-caused climate change.
    “As Catholic and evangelical leaders, we are deeply inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical addressing our shared responsibility to be prudent stewards of creation,” the ad reads. “As citizens of the most powerful nation in human history, we have a unique responsibility to promote sustainable development, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and build a thriving culture of life that protects human dignity.”…

    The advertisement listed around 90 prominent faith leaders, particularly Catholic college presidents such as Villanova University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, as well as two former heads of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Sister Simone Campbell, a Catholic nun and leader of the Catholic social justice lobby NETWORK. People from other faiths were also listed, such as Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox, President & CEO Evangelical Environmental Network, Brian McLaren, prominent Christian author, Jim Wallis, an evangelical pastor who heads up the faith-based advocacy organization Sojourners, and famed protestant theologian Walter Brugemann.

  20. swarthmoremom says:

    http://www.triplepundit.com/2015/06/interfaith-power-light-gets-charge-popes-encyclical/ “For 15 years and counting, Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) has worked to turn people of all religious faiths onto the idea that addressing climate change by deploying renewable energy technologies. Renewables can not only deliver clean, affordable electrical power, they say, but it can also address unemployment and spur socially beneficial development in communities nationwide.

    San Francisco-based IPL received a big boost in the form of Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change, which the Pope presented in a crowded St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on June 18.

    The people’s rally that took place during the Pope’s presentation gave “quite powerful witness that Jews, Muslims, Christians and people of all faiths can all work together based on common interest,” IPL president and founder, Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, told TriplePundit. “The Pope is telling everyone that we all share this planet and have a moral obligation to care for each other and all God’s creation.”

    With a membership that reaches across some 18,000 congregations, each with around 400 members, the people-power IPL brings to the climate change and renewable energy “table” is substantial. Hundreds of those congregations have taken advantage of IPL’s solar finance guide to have solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems installed with no up-front payment. The faith-based nonprofit believes the Pope’s encyclical will spur many more to do the same.”

  21. Elaine M. says:

    Right Wing Called Pope Francis Their Friend Until Climate Change Encyclical

    By now, most of us know there’s no loyalty among conservative thieves and liars. Conservative media can make you a darling one day and rip you to shreds the next, which is what they’re trying to do to Pope Francis right now.

    After all, an encyclical such as the one Pope Frank published last week may not be ignored by Catholics under any circumstances. It carries the same weight as Moses descending with the tablets to obedient Catholics, who are also Christians, by the way.

    That means that it is a transformational document which will bring change whether conservatives — largely fueled by right wing oil interests — like it or not.

    It goes without saying that they do not like it one bit, but it’s almost comical to see the very same media figures who went on and on about a “war on Christianity” now waging their own in the name of their billionaires.

  22. po says:

    I am loving this pope more and more…and weren’t I already betrothed to another, I would look really hard into Catholicism.
    Nice to see that Desmond Tutu has help now, for too long he was doing all the heavy lifting, about human rights, about environmental rights, both of which are really just one and the same.
    Environmental degradation is caused principally by the few, who gain the most, and the consequences, drought, flood, health issues, affect the most/poor the most.
    The pope is doing exactly what he is supposed to do! Do we imagine that Jesus AS would have remained silent in the face of this looming doom?

  23. bettykath says:

    Good for the Pope.

    I got a surprise sermon yesterday. I asked what the big trucks were that were passing the house on a long dirt road at the rate of about 3-4 a minute (and they do this 24/7). They were fracking trucks. Whaaaat? I wasn’t to go there. Person fully supported the fracking b/c we really need the energy and all the stuff about earthquakes and poisoning the water are all LIES!!!. I tried to get a word about promoting solar but was cut off. Then the sermon began. It seems that all the environmental destruction and devastation is exactly what the scriptures prescribe, as are all the wars, in preparation for the second coming. My eternal soul is in danger. “If you would read the scriptures, oh, that’s right, you don’t believe in God, but you should read the scriptures, it’s all there. If you don’t accept Jesus, you’re going to hell.” “But there is no such thing as hell, or if there is it’s reserved for those who are truly evil and I’m not evil.” “Doesn’t matter how ‘good’ you are, if you don’t accept Christ as your savior you;re going to hell, but maybe not the worst hell b/c it’s layered, just like heaven is layered. It’s all there in the scriptures. I’m really worried about your soul for eternity.” There wasn’t a rational thought and there would not dissenting opinion b/c it’s all in the scriptures, no other sources are allowed. I can usually hold my own in a discussion, but only if I’m allowed to speak and the other person is a bit willing to listen. Damned hard to make a point when the other person does all the talking and has a closed mind. Disappointing.

    Rant over.

  24. blouise says:


    I have a friend like that. She was raised Catholic but sometime in our 20’s she hooked up with a fundie church. She spent all her free time at Church and bible study and was constantly trying to save me. It got very tedious but one of my strengths/weaknesses is loyalty so I stuck with the friendship. Sometime in our early 40’s one of her fellow parishioners reported her for some minor infraction. She asked me, “Why am I hanging out with these yokels?” and quit the Church. She went back to school to finish her Masters/PHD and now is a professor of design engineering at a University close to me. She drinks, she parties, and religion is never mentioned.

    There’s hope

  25. bettykath says:

    Yes, there’s hope. Someone else was heavy into fairly fundamentalist church until he and his girlfriend were told they could no longer live together unless they were married. That happened several years ago and I don’t think he’s been back since. The person yesterday has been of a fundamentalist bent for several years but fairly recently seems to have gone off the deep end. It’s all emotion, which she will deny since her information all comes from the scriptures. (as translated three or four times and selectively interpreted hundreds of times). Actually, I did get her to pause. I managed to get out that I wasn’t worried about it (heaven or hell) because I believe in reincarnation so I’ll have more lives to sort it out. lol

  26. blouise17 says:


    Reincarnation is also my preferred belief system. I wonder what your and mine earlier connection was.

  27. bettykath says:

    blouise, hmmmmm.
    There are some people I wouldn’t mind having as part of a future life but as I understand it, it’s more likely that those I least want are the ones I’ll have in order to work out whatever it was that made us not get along in this life.

  28. Aridog says:

    po says:

    I am loving this pope more and more…and weren’t I already betrothed to another, I would look really hard into Catholicism.

    Interesting. When I finally admitted I had engaged in prayer over the years under crisis, I had a choice to make…Catholicism won (except for their charismatics) but the alternatives were Buddhism or Judaism. REally. I’ve a fair bit on knowledge of both…first hand. You & I may be quite different, but still a bit the same…I assure you my final choice to lose the atheism was wrenching, but unavoidable. My favorite masses are always in the nearby Mexican parish, clustered with another I was baptized in, simply because, orthodoxy be damned, the Priest’s homily is always directed to children whom he gathers around him on the altar platform…he even used our dog “Ari” when alive as part of his presentations on living things or all kinds…and “Ari” was very good with up to a 3 dozen kids all clamoring to pet him and hug him. I think his message was good then and now, partially because I’ve seen what war and hatred can do to children around the world…up close and personal.

  29. blouise says:


    Karma … like poor Nicole and O J … and Jason?

    My view is that I, the higher self, decide and that often we return not so much for ourselves but to help others. Sometimes just to have a good time. I figure it has to do with how old the soul is.
    As I said, it’s my belief system so I fashion it to suit my desires. It’s also constantly changing as I experience new things. I don’t recommend it for anyone but it works really well for me.

    I gotta tell you, I’m going to wait awhile before coming back again. I’m really tired of assholes. 😉

  30. Elaine M. says:

    I gave up Catholicism a long time ago. Like many religions, it treats woman as second class citizens.

  31. I. Annie says:

    The most rabid fundamentalists seem to be the ones who come into it as adults from other more mainstream religions. Most of the young people I grew up with in the fundy church left it, as I did, as soon as we were of age.

  32. blouise17 says:

    …treats woman as second class citizens. – Elaine

    That is so true and pretty much across the board. Congregationalism is fairly good about women but it was a struggle to make it so. If Christians had stuck with Jesus instead of that born again, Paul, things might have been better for women. Of course, without Paul, Christianity might never have made it out of Jerusalem.

  33. Aridog says:

    I should add that “Ari” wasn’t particularly good with little kids normally…he didn’t dislike them, he just usually avoided them. But on those Sundays, when called to come out from the sacristy, he always came and let the children adore him…even lying down with them and nuzzling them. He was one tough dog, not one to mess with…but he “got it” when asked to be kind to children, even when it wasn’t his normal disposition. He was always bigger than any of the kids, so he also taught them to not fear what isn’t really a threat….it took some kid-courage to just be near him for some, but they all adapted. In short, he was a smart dog who kept his people well protected and did as asked most of the time…and always when in church. Of course there were some who thought his participation on the altar was sacrilegious, and they’re the folks who want to make faith painful, not joyful. “Ari” was always a joy. I miss him to this day for all of his wonderful quirks. So does “Dera” dog…his constant companion….so I make sure I give her more time than ever, because she earned it keeping “Ari” young for as long as she could.

  34. bettykath says:

    blouise, lol. I know I have been here this time to help some others. It sure wasn’t for the fun and games. And I see connections, things that were probably decided by others, maybe with me. I haven’t thought of this in a long time.

    Sometimes I think we are like some other civilization’s ant farm. Ants have their own societies, their own wars, and sometimes colonies get wiped out for reasons they probably don’t understand, as in, we act as their god/s when we wipe out a colony or individuals. Or maybe we’re the fairly sophisticated robots of another civilization that is testing out its own theories of social interactions.. Could some diseases be the fault of bugs in the programming? Or maybe just part of the experiment.

  35. Aridog says:

    As far as Catholicism is concerned, I think the treatment of women depends up the parish and the Priest/Pastor. It’d be nice if universal, but what wouldn’t be? In the parish(s) I attend women are featured prominently and respected … perhaps a necessity in multilingual services. None are nuns for that’s worth…just ordinary parishioners. There are more women than men who give their parts of the day’s homily, be it Spanish or English, and occasionally Polish, and I find that satisfying. With what I’ve said earlier about children, where women are a part of the production (so to speak) I suspect my experience in my parish(s) may be unique. I’d like it if more parishes did the same. When it is all said and done, my faith is between me and my G-d, and the services are just part of the whole pantheon. It took me a very long time to even acknowledge a G-d, so call me a student at this point, because that is what I am.

  36. blouise says:

    Sometimes I think we are like some other civilization’s ant farm. – bettykath

    Lol … with a serious tone because it very well could be. Elaine and I are both down with a reoccurring bug right now. This is her third time and my second.

    I’m going on an adventure in a few weeks with my massotherapist to a place called Lily Dale. I’ll let you know what, if anything, happens.

  37. Elaine M. says:

    Women are not allowed to be priests. The church is against any form of birth control.


    Catholic Bishops and Religious Rights vs. Women’s Rights…and Women’s Health

    From the National Women’s Law Center:

    The Center’s report, Below the Radar: Ibis Study Shows that Health Care Providers’ Religious Refusals Can Endanger Pregnant Women’s Lives and Health, demonstrates that certain hospitals, because of their religious beliefs, deny emergency care, the standard of care and adequate information to make treatment decisions to patients experiencing miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies. The study and report focused on cases where no medical intervention was possible that would allow the patient to continue her pregnancy and where delaying treatment would endanger the woman’s health or even life. These hospital treatment practices violate federal laws and regulations that are intended to protect patients and ensure the delivery of quality health care services at hospitals receiving Medicare funds…

    “Most women assume that when they go to a hospital they will be offered the best medical treatment options for their diagnosis,” said NWLC Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger. “But this report paints a chilling picture of women with ectopic pregnancies or suffering miscarriages who are not offered the full spectrum of medically appropriate treatment options because they have gone to a hospital whose religious affiliation conflicts with the provision of those options. To make matters worse, women denied certain medical options may never even be told that these options could, for example, improve their chances of having a healthy pregnancy in the future. Women who fail to receive appropriate treatment or to be informed that preferable options would be provided in another hospital can suffer serious harm with long-term adverse consequences to their lives and health.”

    The reports highlight stark cases where doctors noted a discrepancy between the medically-accepted standard of care for miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy and the treatment provided by hospitals due to their religious affiliation. For example, while the standard of care for certain ectopic pregnancies requires patients to receive the medication methotrexate, doctors in the study reported that their hospitals forbade the use of the drug. Instead, patients were either transferred to another hospital or required to undergo unnecessary and invasive surgery to resolve their condition, thereby being denied the standard of care.

    One doctor in the study reported several instances of potentially fatal tubal ruptures in patients with ectopic pregnancies at her Catholic-affiliated hospital. She said that her hospital subjected patients with ectopic pregnancies to unnecessary delays in treatment, despite patients’ exhibiting serious symptoms indicating that a tubal rupture was possible. These patients, therefore, were denied emergency care to which they were legally entitled.

    In some of the miscarriage cases described in the Ibis Study, the standard of care also required immediate treatment. Yet doctors practicing at Catholic-affiliated hospitals were forced to delay treatment while performing medically unnecessary tests. Even though these miscarriages were inevitable, and no medical treatment was available to save the fetus, some patients were transferred because doctors were required to wait until there was no longer a fetal heartbeat to provide the needed medical care. This delay subjected these patients to further risks of hemorrhage and infection and could have violated their right to receive emergency medical treatment under federal law.


    When Catholic Health Care Systems Own Your Doctor: The New Threat to Affordable Birth Control for Women

    Patricia Miller has a chilling article over at Salon titled When the Catholic Church owns your doctor: The insidious new threat to affordable birth control. Miller’s article opens with a story about a woman named Angela Valavanis. According to Miller, Valavanis’s first bad encounter with the Catholic health care system happened just after she delivered her second child at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois. The Catholic hospital “refused to allow her OB/GYN to tie her tubes because of Catholic restrictions on the procedure.” When she went for a postpartum checkup with her OB/GYN, Valavanis asked about going back on the Pill because she hadn’t gotten the sterilization she wanted while she was in the hospital. That’s when “she got another shock.”

    Valavanis said, “My doctor told me that she couldn’t prescribe birth control because she had sold her practice to a Catholic health system.” Valavanis said her “mouth dropped open.” She added, “I was so confused to hear those words coming out of the mouth of an OB/GYN.”


    An OB/GYN who can’t prescribe birth control? It’s not some bad joke. It could be a reality if your doctor’s practice is purchased by a Catholic health system that then imposes the Ethical & Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, a set of rules created by the U.S. Bishop’s Conference that prohibits doctors from doing everything from prescribing the Pill to performing sterilizations or abortions.

    Miller noted that Valavanis’s “experience may be just the tip of the iceberg.” She said that health systems—which are a collection of hospitals and ancillary services—“are acquiring physician practices at an unprecedented rate.” She added, “The percentage of doctors who were employees of health systems increased from 20 percent to 26 percent between 2012 and 2013 alone; more than 40 percent of primary care doctors like OB/GYNs are now employed by health systems directly, and experts don’t see the trend slowing.”

  38. bettykath says:

    blouise, I looked up Lily Dale. Looks like an great adventrue. yes, let me know what happens.

  39. Elaine M. says:


    I think that I am finally on the road to recovery. I have to get better. My second grandchild will be baptized this coming Sunday. I’ve got to help prepare for the family gathering here after the christening.

  40. blouise17 says:


    I enjoy doing events like that. I’m sure you’ll be ready to give it your all. Sadly there will be no more Christenings for me unless a great grandchild comes along. We are even all done with college graduations till 2031. Wonder if I’ll make it. 😉

  41. blouise17 says:


    If you’d like, you can request my email from Gene, then write and I can tell you all about it offline

  42. One lives to be of service.

  43. In the vein of the discussion, I’m not sure about reincarnation (call me agnostic) but I am sure about the conservation of energy.

  44. blouise17 says:

    conservation of energy.- Gene

    Yes! That is the real message. The question is what form, if any, does that energy take. Is it just Mind or something else.

  45. bettykath says:

    Thanks, Gene. That was quick or time flies when you’re sufficiently distracted.

  46. bettykath says:

    Is it just mind or something else….. I think it’s something else. I don’t believe we come back as the same person, the same soul, but not the same person.

  47. blouise17 says:

    Thanks Gene … we’ve hooked up

  48. blouise17 says:

    But in the interim … what is the form?

  49. bettykath says:

    Well, we don’t know everything. I know that there is more. I’ve experienced it. A friend has experienced it in a different way. My nephew experienced it when he was about two. It’s energy, pure energy. imo.

  50. blouise says:

    I agree ‘re energy … we’ll share offline

  51. Aridog says:

    This will be my last comment I think on this thread. I need to respond to Elaine M’s well put together comment at 6/24 7:22 PM, subsequent to my remark about how women are treated in my parish. In saying what I am about to I know I risk the “wrath” of many long time Catholics.but please consider that I am a relatively new Catholic, open to more evolution in the hierarchies, and I have a serious pet peeve….and that is the collection of Bishops and their effect on policy both within a diocese and above that level. They are “staff” (advisors at most) and not part of the “chain of command” (so to speak) between an Archbishop and his diocesan Pastors…however, all to often they presume to speak for the Archbishops, issuing edicts, and in some cases assert they control who gets to see and have counsel with the Archbishops. The media seems to play along citing Bishops as rule makers. I’d be quite willing to at least consider woman Priests if it could be done with out all the LBGT+ political paraphernalia. Again I resist religion & politics as a sound mix. I have great respect for Bishop Gumbleton here, even though he softly melded religion and politics, not always to my liking…but that was long before I ceased being an atheist.

    This is all too reminiscent to me of the bureaucracy I dealt with in federal service, in uniform and as a civilian DA employee….actually down right disturbing. Nobody is supposed to speak to generals directly? The chain of command is general to commanders to unit officers, both commisssioned and NCO….it does not included the bloated staff hacks assigned at several levels. Hogwash…and I have personally written thank you snail mail notes from some of those generals, to a lowly sergeant & his commander no less, for what I said directly and proved to be right. My contacts were private one on one and none published for any aggrandizement on my behalf. None. No responding commanding general wants law breaking and lying done allegedly on their behalf.

    More recently I have been more or less directly involved in an ugly contretemps when the local Bishops have clearly not had the over all church’s mission of spreading light…e.g., they seek to close more parishes, gain more control, in urban areas, even the successful ones, and have gone to the extreme to bringing criminal behavior insinuations in to the mix….e.g. hiring private investigators to follow and surveillance of ordinary Priests, not wealthy ones, just those who wish to keep their parishes open and vibrant, which they are….many debt free after long struggles to retire the debts….and most with increasing children participation. Among those accused and investigated were some staff, like my better half who serves as a business manager of a parish cluster…e.g., keep their records and books consolidated to the point where if the Arch Bishops demanded consolidation of parishes in to one, our cluster could accomplish that in 48 hours…while most others claim it would take them two years of so.

    Motivation for this “close & grab” scheme is simple…once a parish is closed the diocese takes over the properties and retains all proceeds from selling them off…no former parishioners receive anything for their years of service and faithful support….even by means to distribute to the newer consolidations. In the cluster arrangement, funds are shared between the parishes and not sequestered in some slush fund. It occurs to me that some female Priests and Bishops might ameliorate this issue….but I’m not yet knowledgeable enough to know how to peacefully promote that outcome. In short, these Bishops are ignoring Pope Francis’s comments about money and lucre….right under his nose. When it impacted my best friend (a Priest) I grew incensed, and when it reached my better half, I became angry and arranged for tough attorneys to represent them both. plus some Canon Lawyers joined the fray from the west coast. Bishops rendering criminal accusations when those they interview are without counsel, presumably, but they got a surprise tutoring on how American justice is supposed to work when the lawyers intervened.

    I am aware that I’m perhaps not the “good Catholic” in many eyes, but innovation is a key for church survival, so I am open minded within reasonable limits. I cannot give more details out of privacy concerns for those involved. I just wanted Elaine M to know that a few of us out there don’t disagree with everything not handed down for centuries, so long as the spirit of the church is retained….and politics and greed left out of the equation.

  52. All I can say is, ‘Thank goodness for the Episcopal Church.’

    We have women priests. In fact, Daily Kos contributor Wee Mama offered to come down from Iowa to assist with Brandi’s memorial service.

    Of course, there are some politics, but nothing like the huge amount of infighting in the RNC.

  53. swarthmoremom says:

    Politics will always be involved. The catholic church has not had a liberal pope since 1978. There is a lot of catching up to do. The sex abuse scandals have nearly destroyed many dioceses. Most of the bishops in place were appointed by the last two conservative popes and reflect their ideologies. I think Frances would like to do more but it will take time to replace these conservative bishops and cardinals with more progressive ones. The newly appointed cardinal in Chicago is quite liberal.

  54. blouise says:


    My husband’s funeral, which has not yet taken place due to the number of people who are coming and the distances and planning involved, will have no religious overtones at all. After 51 years together, I know better than to deviate from his instructions. He was raised Catholic but left as soon as he reached maturity.

  55. swarthmoremom says:

    blouise, My brother in law did not deviate from my sister’s instructions either.

  56. swarthmoremom says:

    blouise, It seems like many have non religious memorial services these days.

  57. This is probably a good subject for a separate post and discussion, but I would like to come back to the “conservation of energy’ and “coming back.’

    Brandi was convinced that in some previous life she was Native American. She loved to go to Pow-Wows at the old fort at Sycamore Shoals. She made friends with a number of the folks at the Pow-Wows. Enough so that she got herself invited to join a Drum Circle. Unfortunately, they met and practiced in a town more than an hour drive from here, and she was in school at the time. No way could she make the meetings and practice sessions which conflicted with her class schedule.

    Who am I to tell her it was nonsense. The rhythms spoke to her in a way I never could understand.

    I had a strange experience myself one afternoon in Guntersville, Alabama. I was visiting my friend Frank Ryder at his WW1 aircraft museum. I have always had a deep affection for the British SE-5a Scout airplane. Someone had a near-museum quality replica for sale. Frank was keeping it at his museum for him. I wanted to buy one so bad I could taste it. Frank encouraged me to get in and see how it fit. He said I could have taken it up for a test flight, but the weather was awful, with storms and fog.

    When I got in and settled into the cockpit, I had the strangest feeling. I could close my eyes and my hands fell naturally on every switch and control. Even the machine gun slides and triggers felt “natural.” I knew the “feel” of everything, even though I had never even seen one close up before….SE-5a airplanes aren’t exactly ubiquitous. For many days afterward I had recurring dreams of maneuvering wildly in an SE-5a, looking over my shoulder at a German airplane diving on me from six-o’clock high.

    Anyone got any explanations?

  58. Elaine M. says:


    I’m like Tex. I left the church around the time I turned twenty.

  59. blouise17 says:

    Elaine and SwM,

    One of the ice breakers I would use in meetings was to create small groups. Two of the most successful categories was “Nurse as a parent” and “Attended Catholic Schools” The people in those two groups bonded immediately.

    Another reason Tex’s funeral is waiting in the wings is the granite memorial bench I am having built for him. There we are following a Jewish tradition which is to unveil the bench during the ceremony. The bench required an 8 week lead time.

  60. Regarding memorial services. Brandi made her wishes clear when she could still talk. She was struggling with words, but made circles in the air with her hands saying she wanted “pictures that go in circles.” After much struggling she managed to get out, “Presentation.” I asked her if she meant like PowerPoint. She said that’s what she meant. She said she wanted me to tell her story, and for her friends to tell stories about her. She wanted people to remember her with happy thoughts, and to be sure to bring drinks and food. She wanted music, especially her favorite music. I told her it sounded like she wanted something between a cèilidh and Irish Wake.

    She said yes, that is what she wanted.

    Fr. Shaefer said that knowing Brandi, he thought it was a grand idea. He mostly sat on the sidelines, watching. Her friend and teacher, Pipe Major Jon Shell, played jigs and reels on her Gibson Fireside Pipes. We told stories, drank 12 y/o single malt Scotch and some wine, while a couple of hundred pictures of her life scrolled constantly on a screen at the side of the room.

  61. I. Annie says:

    My close encounter with something that could be reincarnation is with my youngest granddaughter. She is named after my mother, Ava. My mother would do this odd funny little side to side movement of her tongue to entertain the grandkids, which of course they loved and which distracted her various grandchildren over the years until her death. My mother always wanted one of us to name our daughters after her, but none of us did. When my daughter named her youngest daughter Ava, after my mom, I knew my mother would’ve been very pleased. Baby Ava from the time she was about six months old started doing thatexact same funny little thing with her tongue. Not one of us were able to do it, so Ava didn’t learn it from us. She also has very similar personality traits to my mother and we all have wondered about my mother reincarnating ( if there is such a phenomenon) into the first little girl baby named Ava in her family. That is something she would do.

  62. Annie,
    The new little girl in our family is due on or about Brandi’s birthday in October. They have decided on a name: Keaghan Nicole.

    Keaghan is a Gaelic name that roughly translated, means “little fire.” That spelling is the feminine; boys name would be Keegan. Original Gaelic spelling would have been Aodhagáin. I don’t think you will find many coffee cups or key rings with that on it.

    No other girl in our family had ever been named Nicole, as far as we can determine. Maybe somewhere, somehow, we will get a glimpse of Brandi Nicole in her. It certainly would make things easier for the rest of us. As most everyone knows, when we adopted Brandi Nicole, we kept the birth names her biological parents gave her.

  63. bettykath says:

    For both my mother and father we had picnics for their children and grandchildren. We’ve managed twice now since about 1966

  64. blouise17 says:


    That’s exactly what we are doing. A huge picnic on site with lots of music from The Eagles and Warren Devon. The cemetery is a Memorial Garden Park and encourages such festivities. Since the number of people coming has grown so large, they are also doing the catering. After food, music and sharing of eulogies, we will all retire to the local pub that I have rented for the night.

    His death was unexpected and a terrible shock but the celebration of his life will be joyous.

  65. gbk says:


    Tex’s funeral sounds like it will be a wonderful gathering; reaffirming the gift of life, health, and love. I wish you the same, and tip a pint for me.

  66. blouise17 says:


    Thank you. You know how much your help in creating those digital recordings meant to him.

  67. I. Annie says:

    Chuck, it would be a true blessing to see the Brandi Nicole personality in another little girl, she was an amazing young woman and a great soul.

  68. blouise17 says:


    And they will be played so you’ll be there in spirit. 🙂

  69. mespo727272 says:


    Very sad to hear about Tex’s passing but steeled in that sadness by the wonderful plans for the memorial service. Best to you and all who loved Tex so intently as he so obviously deserved to be.

  70. gbk says:


    Thanks, that’s very nice to know. Hold true, and know that myself, and many others will have you in our thoughts.


  71. blouise17 says:

    Thank you
    He loved to read your comments when we were all over at that other place.

  72. po says:

    Blouise, how did I miss the news of Tex’s passing?
    So sorry for your loss.

  73. blouise17 says:

    Thank you, po. I kept it quiet. It was supposed to be a simple surgery but he never came home. It was, if such a thing is possible, a good death in that he was fully conscious and able to spend time with each of our daughters and 6 grandkids. I think you would have appreciated the gentle spirituality of the entire process. Still the shock is often overwhelming and there are times I feel untethered to reality.

  74. I. Annie says:

    Blouise, I’m terribly sorry to hear about your husband’s passing, my condolences. I recall you speaking about Tex. He sounded like a wonderful man.

  75. Elaine M. says:

    Tex must have been a very wise man too. After all, he married Blouise!

  76. blouise17 says:

    Elaine and Gene,

    We were two A types who meshed

  77. blouise17 says:

    I Annie,

    Thank you

Comments are closed.