Archive for November, 2012


WikiLeaks suspect Manning mistreated by military, psychiatrist says

Bradley Manning was held in solitary confinement despite expert’s claim he was no longer a suicide risk

Ed Pilkington in Fort Meade, Maryland

Bradley Manning

WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning should not have been held in such harsh conditions, his psychiatrist says. Photograph: AP

The psychiatrist who treated the WikiLeaks suspect, Bradley Manning, while he was in custody in the brig at Quantico has testified that his medical advice was regularly ignored by marine commanders who continued to impose harsh conditions on the soldier even though he posed no risk of suicide.

Captain William Hoctor told Manning’s pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade that he grew frustrated and angry at the persistent refusal by marine officers to take on board his medical recommendations. The forensic psychiatrist said that he had never experienced such an unreceptive response from his military colleagues, not even when he treated terrorist suspects held at Guantanamo.

“I had been a senior medical officer for 24 years at the time, and I had never experienced anything like this. It was clear to me they had made up their mind on a certain cause of action, and my recommendations had no impact,” Hoctor said.

The psychiatrist was testifying at Manning’s court martial for allegedly being the source of the massive leak of hundreds of thousands of confidential US government documents to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks. The 24-year-old soldier, who worked as an intelligence analyst until his arrest in Iraq in May 2010, faces 22 counts and possible life in military custody.

Manning’s defence lawyers are attempting to have the charges thrown out or any eventual sentence reduced by seeking to prove that the soldier was subjected to unlawful pre-trial punishment at Quantico. During the nine months he was in custody at the marine base in Virginia he was put on suicide watch and a “prevention of injury” order, or PoI, that kept him in solitary confinement and exposed him to extreme conditions that were denounced by the UN and Amnesty International as a form of torture.

Hoctor began treating Manning from the day after he arrived at Quantico on 29 July 2010, seeing him initially every day and then later once a week. At first he recommended that the soldier be put on suicide watch – the most stringent form of custody – given that he had mentioned killing himself while previously held in Kuwait and that nooses that he had made were found in his cell.

But within a week of seeing Manning he changed his recommendation, reporting to officers that in his medical opinion the soldier could be put on the lesser PoI status. His advice was ignored for a couple of weeks, Hoctor told the court. “At Quantico they often did not immediately follow, or sometimes did not follow at all, my recommendations.”

The failure to act on the doctor’s recommendation was an apparent violation of the instructions under which marine installations operate. The regulations state that “when prisoners are no longer considered to be suicide risks by a medical officer, they shall be returned to appropriate quarters.”

By 27 August 2010, Hoctor testified, he had spent enough time with Manning to recommend a further easing of conditions. From then on he advised in a regular weekly report that Manning should be taken off PoI altogether and returned to the general brig population.

“I was satisfied he no longer presented a risk. He did not appear to be persistently depressed, he was not reporting suicidal thoughts, in general he was well behaved.”

Specifically, Hoctor was convinced that Manning no longer needed to be subjected to restrictive conditions that included: no contact with other people, being kept in his cell for more than 23 hours a day, being checked every five minutes, sleeping on a suicide mattress with no bedding, having his prescription glasses taken away, lights kept on at night, having toilet paper removed.

Only on two occasions did Hoctor report that Manning appeared upset and should be put temporarily under close observation. The first incident occurred in December 2010 when Fox News erroneously reported that Manning had died, and the second in January 2011 when the soldier broke down in tears while in the exercise room.

Yet the psychiatrist’s recommendation that other than these isolated incidents Manning should be treated like other inmates was consistently ignored. The soldier was kept on PoI throughout the rest of his time at Quantico.

The blanket denial of his expert opinion was unprecedented in his quarter century of practice, the psychiatrist said. “Even when I did tours in Guantanamo and cared for detainees there my recommendations on suicidal behaviour were followed.”

Hoctor said he openly protested about the thwarting of his expert opinion at a meeting with the commander responsible for the brig, Colonel Robert Oltman, on 13 January 2011. At the meeting Oltman informed the doctor that Manning would be kept on PoI “for the forseeable future”.

Hoctor said that the marine commanders should no longer pretend they were acting out of medical concern for the detainee. “It wasn’t good for Manning. I really didn’t like them using a psychiatric standard when I thought it clinically inappropriate,” Hoctor said.

The court heard that Oltman replied: “You make your recommendations, and we’ll do what we want to do.”

Earlier the court martial heard from Oltman himself, who told the judge presiding over the proceedings, Colonel Denise Lind, that he had chosen to overlook Hoctor’s advice because he didn’t fully trust the doctor. A few months before Manning arrived at Quantico, an inmate of the brig, Captain Michael Webb, had killed himself while under Hoctor’s care.

“I did not have the utmost confidence in Captain Hoctor,” Oltman testified.

When that lack of trust was put to Hoctor by Manning’s defence lawyer, David Coombs, the psychiatrist replied: “If they felt that way they should have got another person to do the job.”

Despite the unprecedented conditions that Manning was held under, Hoctor said the detainee coped quite well. “Most people would have found it very difficult, being watched every five minutes, but he did better than expected – I think he decided he was going to be strong.”


EDL Leader Stephen Lennon Charged with Mortgage Fraud

EDL leader Stephen Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) has been charged with multiple counts of mortgage fraud. So on top of being an anti-Muslim bigot and all around Islamophobe he’s also a suspected criminal who loves committing fraud through the tactic of false representation.

These charges are separate from the investigation relating to Yaxley-Lennon’s prosecution and (current incarceration) for illegally entering the US to attend Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s conference in New York in September 2012. (h/t: Jai)

EDL leader Stephen Lennon charged with mortgage fraud

(BBCNews)

Stephen Lennon, 30, is accused of three counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in relation to a mortgage application.

Mr Lennon is due before St Albans Magistrates Court on 7 December.

He will appear with five others, from Luton, Silsoe in Bedfordshire and Watford, who were arrested as part of the same investigation.

They face charges including fraud, money-laundering and possession of drugs with intent to supply.

One wonders about the silence of the Yaxley-Lennon’s US partners Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. No doubt they will continue their defense of the EDL leader and claim he is being persecuted due to politically correct multiculti influenced Sharia.

Related Posts

EDL leader charged with mortgage fraud (LutonNews)

EDL Leader Charged With Fraud (HopeNotHate)


Pope Ratzinger a Nazi Pedophile? Stop The Catholic Church From Raping Our Children

Via truelogic

The exhibit below depicts the Pope as a Nazi pedophile, and some folk ain’t happy with it.

The sculpture is a three-and-a-half metre tall stylised image of the Ratzinger in a state of sexual arousal with his hand firmly on the shoulder of two little boys. It has also been embellished with a Swastika-style crucifix.

The Catholic Church has a history of molesting children and supporting the Nazi’s.  The Pope thinks he and his church is untouchable while they hide their immoral acts from the world.  Time for them to be held accountable.

Below, A Christmas Gift for your favorite Christian:


King is a long-time supporter of the IRA, and in the 1980s proclaimed: “If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the IRA for it.”

On Muslims, King has reached his own fact-less conclusion

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, will begin holding hearings Thursday on “the extent of the radicalization of American Muslims.” Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has characterized the hearings as “a witch hunt.” Are they?

King also has said he believes the “self-radicalization” of American Muslims represents “a very small minority” of the overall community. What are the potential consequences of singling out one religious group?

All one needs to know about what is behind the King hearings can be gleaned by Peter King’s own statements regarding Muslims in the US.

How does Rep. King feel about Islam in the United States?

“Unfortunately, we have too many mosques in this country. There are too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully. We should be finding out how we can infiltrate [them].

How does King know so much about radicalization in the US? From a single source more than decade ago.

“The only real testimony we have on it is from Sheikh Kabbani who was a Muslim leader during the Clinton Administration, he testified back in 1999 and 2000 before the State Department that he thought over 80 percent of the mosques in this country are controlled by radical Imams. Certainly from what I’ve seen and dealings I’ve had, that number seems accurate.”

King’s single source, Sheikh Kabbani, is a Sufi Muslim who has advocated for peace and tolerance in Islam but who by his own admission is not an authority on Islam in America and who has admitted to simply stating his personal opinion – an opinion that has been contradicted by both the FBI and by every scholar who has studied the matter. Oh, and by the way, Sheikh Kabbani has also claimed that any Muslim who advises the US government is also “an extremist.” But King is not interested in facts. He just feels like it must be at least 80%.

“It was 80 percent back in 2000. Based on the radicalization since then, it has to be — I have no doubt, I have problem at all in saying it’s 85 percent. If it’s not 85, it’s still 80.”

And King has reliable sources to back up his feeling.

“I can get you the documentation on that from experts in the field. Talk to a Steve Emerson… It’s a real issue … I’ll stand by that number of 85 percent. This is an enemy living amongst us.”

That’s Steve Emerson, the “expert in the field” who has turned Islamophobia into a multi-million dollar career. Emerson has been caught in so many lies and distortions that the media watchdog group Fairness in Accuracy and Reporting (FAIR) has devoted an entire page to debunking his wild and exaggerated accusations. In an in-depth report of his writings, FAIR concludes that, “Emerson’s willingness to push an extremely thin story–with potentially explosive consequences–is… consistent with the lengthy list of mistakes and distortions that mar his credentials as an expert on terrorism.”

Of course, King could try to speak to American Muslims himself. But it seems he has already reached his own, fact-less conclusions.

“I think there’s been a lack of full cooperation from too many people in the Muslim community. And it’s a real threat here in this country.” … They won’t turn in their own. They won’t tell what’s going on in the mosques. They won’t come forward and cooperate with the police.”

That comes as a surprise to the authorities King claims to be assisting with these hearings. “If he has evidence of non-cooperation, he should bring it forward,” says Los Angeles County’s Sheriff Lee Baca. “We have as much cooperation as we are capable of acquiring through public trust relationships.”

Perhaps all of this explains why even conservative outlets like the National Interest have criticized King’s hearings. The National Interest wrote, “The hearings should never take place, but if they do, the real promoter of anti-Americanism at home and abroad will be Rep. King.”

The bottom line is that King’s hearings were not about making Americans safer. They are about promoting his personal views about Islam and Muslims in the U.S. As such they lend false legitimacy to the anti-Islam hate groups that have flourished in the U.S. since 9/11. We saw a glimpse of this zealotry and hatred recently, when a large group of tea party protesters in Orange County surrounded a Muslim group’s fundraiser yelling obscenities and shouting “Go Back Home!” to the Muslims walking to and from the event. The scene looked much like a chapter of American history that most Americans reflect on with shame. The fact that a representative of Congress held hearings that could lend legitimacy to this type of bigotry is shocking.

Dr. Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, is a contributing editor at The Daily Beast


Good News For Animal Lovers: Factory Farming’s Days May Be Numbered

Two major grocery chains are ditching factory farmed meat — will the changes cause a ripple effect?

 

Photo Credit: © koko-tewan/ Shutterstock.com

This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org.

In one of history’s most stunning victories for humane farming, Australia’s largest supermarket chain, Coles, will as of January 1 stop selling company branded pork and eggs from animals kept in factory farms. As an immediate result, 34,000 mother pigs will no longer be kept in stalls for long periods of their lives, and 350,000 hens will be freed from cages.

Not to be outdone, the nation’s other dominant supermarket chain, Woolworths, has already begun phasing out factory farmed animal products. In fact all of Woolworth’s house brand eggs are now cage-free, and by mid-2013 all of their pork will come from farmers who operate stall-free farms.

Coles and Woolworths together account for a dominant 80 percent of all supermarket sales in Australia.

The move to open up the cages was fueled by “consumer sentiment,” and it has been synchronous with amajor campaign against factory farming of animals led by Animals Australia. The campaign features a TV ad, titled “When Pigs Fly,” in which an adorable piglet tells the story of animals sentenced to life in cramped cages, and then flies to freedom.

Meanwhile, in the United States, egg factory farms cram more than 90 percent of the country’s 280 million egg-laying hens into barren cages so small the birds can’t even spread their wings. Each bird spends her entire life given less space than a sheet of paper. And in a reality that does not please fans of Wilber or Babe, between 60 to 70 percent of the more than five million breeding pigs in the United States are kept in crates too small for them to so much as turn around.

There are laws against cruelty to animals in the United States, but most states specifically exempt animals destined for human consumption. The result is that the animal agriculture industry routinely does things to animals that, if you did them to a dog or a cat, would get you put in jail.

Gene Baur, president of Farm Sanctuary, explains: “Most of the anti-cruelty laws exempt farm animals as long as the practices are considered to be normal by the agriculture industry. What has happened is that bad has become normal, and no matter how cruel it is, normal is legal.”

But here, too, change is coming. Undercover investigations have led to a $497 million judgment against the now defunct Hallmark Meat Packing company, and to the recent temporary shutdown of Central Valley Meat Company over what federal investigators termed “egregious, inhumane handling and treatment of livestock.” California and Michigan have passed laws that will phase in a ban on battery cages for hens, andnine U.S. states have joined the entire European Union in heading towards a ban on confining pigs in gestation crates.

Worried that consumers are starting to find out the truth about treatment of modern farm animals and will demand further changes, industry leaders are pushing for “ag gag” laws that would hide factory farming and slaughterhouse abuses from public scrutiny. Recently passed laws in Iowa and Utah threaten jail time for anyone working undercover and taking pictures or video of animals in factory farms without permission.

What don’t they want us to know? What are they trying to hide? What would happen if the veil was lifted and we saw the level of cruelty that has become the norm in U.S. industrial meat production?

poll conducted by Lake Research partners found that 94 percent of Americans agree that animals raised for food on farms deserve to be free from abuse and cruelty, and that 71 percent of Americans support undercover investigative efforts by animal welfare organizations to expose animal abuse on industrial farms.

Most farmers don’t try to be cruel to animals, but they do worry about how to cut costs. And so long as consumers are kept in the dark about the real source of their food, farm owners have no economic incentive to do more than the minimum necessary to appease regulatory authorities.

Want to take action? Join the Food Revolution Network, an online community dedicated to healthy, sustainable, humane and delicious food for all.

Or join the Humane Society’s campaign for farm animal protection, or Farm Sanctuary’s work for animal welfare legislation. Or if you want to save 100 animals per year, you can sign up for PETA’s free veg starter kit.


‘Happy atheist’ Ricky Gervais rewrites Pat Robertson
By Nick Ramsey
Video here:-

On the latest edition of MSNBC’s The Last Word, host Lawrence O’Donnell relied on some wise words from comedian Ricky Gervais to rewrite some less-than-wise words from religious television host Pat Robertson.

In a recent edition of his show, The 700 Club, Robertson accused atheists of trying to ruin the Christmas holiday:

“Well, it’s Christmas all over again. Uh, the Grinch is trying to steal our holiday… Atheists don’t like our happiness. They don’t want you to be happy, they want you to be miserable. They’re miserable so they want you to be miserable. So they want to steal your holiday away from you.”

That flies in the face of something comedian Ricky Gervais, a vocal atheist, wrote about Christmas two years back. Just before Christmas in 2010, Gervais wrote an article for The Wall Street Journal explaining his atheism.

Gervais also wrote a follow-up three days later taking questions from Wall Street Journal readers. It is from that second post that O’Donnell found the right words to rewrite Pat Robertson’s claims on atheists who “want to steal” Christmas from Christians. Gervais wrote that he celebrates Christmas in the following way:

Celebrating life and remembering those that did, but can no longer… They are not looking down on me but they live in my mind and heart more than they ever did probably. Some, I was lucky enough to bump into on this planet of six billion people. Others shared much of my genetic material. One selflessly did her best for me all my life. That’s what mums do though. They do it for no other reason than love.

Gervais ended his piece by wishing “Peace to all mankind. Christian, Jew, Muslim and Atheist.” That led to O’Donnell’s conclusion, “the happy atheist Ricky Gervais is actually more Christ-like than the Reverend Pat Robertson.”


50 Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church

The Church uses its resources to oppose social progress and positive change all over the world.

 

Photo Credit: AFP

Last month in Ireland, Savita Halappanavar died, and she shouldn’t have. Savita was a 31-year-old married woman, four months pregnant, who went to the hospital with a miscarriage in progress that developed into a blood infection. She could easily have been saved if the already doomed fetus was aborted. Instead, her doctors did nothing, explaining that “this is a Catholic country,” and left her to suffer in agony for days, only intervening once it was too late.

Savita’s death is just the latest in a long line of tragedies directly attributable to the doctrines and beliefs of the Roman Catholic church. I acknowledge that there are many good, progressive Catholics, but the problem is that the church isn’t a democracy, and those progressives have no voice or vote in its governance. The church is a petrified oligarchy, a dictatorship like the medieval monarchies it once existed alongside, and it’s run by a small circle of conservative, rigidly ideological old men who make all the decisions and choose their own successors.

This means that, whatever individual Catholics may do, the resources of the church as an institution are bent toward opposing social progress and positive change all over the world. Every dollar you put into the church collection plate, every Sunday service you attend, every hour of time and effort you put into volunteering or working for church organizations, is inevitably a show of support for the institutional church and its abhorrent mission. When you have no voice, there’s only one thing left to do: boycott. Stop supporting the church with your money and your time. For lifelong Catholics, it’s a drastic step, but it’s more than justified by the wealth of reasons showing that the church as an institution is beyond reform, and the only meaningful response is to part ways with it. Here are just a few of those reasons:

1. Throughout the world, Catholic bishops have engaged in a systematic, organized effort going back decades to cover up for priests who molest children, pressuring the victims to sign confidentiality agreements and quietly assigning the predators to new parishes where they could go on molesting. Tens of thousands of children have been raped and tortured as a result of this conspiracy of silence.

2. Strike one: “What did the pope know and when did he know it?” The current pope, when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was personally implicated in a case from the 1970s in which at least three sets of parents reported that a priest in his diocese had sexually abused their children. In response, Ratzinger assigned the priest to therapy, without notifying law enforcement, and washed his hands of the matter. That priest was back on duty in just a few short days and went on to molest more children.

3. Strike two: In 1981, again when the current pope was Cardinal Ratzinger, he got a letter from the diocese of Oakland asking him to defrock a priest who had acknowledged molesting two children. Ratzinger ignored this letter, and several followup letters, for four years. Finally, in 1985, he wrote back saying that more time was needed, and that they had to proceed very slowly to safeguard “the good of the Universal Church” in light of “the young age of the petitioner” — by which he meant not the victimized children, but the pedophile priest. (By contrast, when a rogue archbishop ordained married men as priests, he was laicized six days later.)

4. Strike three: In 2001, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote a letter, De Delictis Gravioribus, to all Catholic bishops advising them how to handle accusations of sex crimes by priests. There was no recommendation to contact the police, but rather an instruction for them to report such cases only to the Vatican and tell no one else: “Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret.

5. Some church officials, like the American friar Benedict Groeschel, have blamed the epidemic of child molestation on sexually wanton boys who tempt priests into assaulting them.

6. They threaten to cut off funding for immigrants’ rights advocates because they sometimes work with gay-rights advocates. Preventing immigrants from getting legal and medical aid is less important than ensuring the church isn’t contaminated by even indirect contact with anyone who helps gay people.

7. In a sign of how ridiculously disproportionate and unhinged the church’s martyrdom complex is, the current pope has compared expanding the rights of women and gay people to the murderous anticlerical violence of the 1930s Spanish civil war.

8. They’ve used their official UN observer status to team up with Islamic theocracies like Iran and Libya to oppose calls for family-planning services to be made available in the world’s poorest nations.

9. They’ve gone to desperately poor, AIDS-ravaged regions of Africa to spread the life-destroying lie that condoms don’t prevent transmission of HIV.

10. In the mid-20th century, they appointed a special papal commission to study whether Catholicism should permit the use of birth control. When the commission almost unanimously recommended that they should, they ignored that recommendation and doubled down on their absolute ban on contraception.

11. They excommunicated the doctors who performed an abortion on a pregnant 9-year-old who’d been raped by her stepfather.

12. They did not excommunicate the stepfather.

13. Savita Halappanavar wasn’t the first: Catholic-run hospitals are willing to let women die rather than get lifesaving abortions, even when a miscarriage is already in progress and no possible procedure could save the fetus.

14. They refused to provide contraception or abortion to women who were abducted and forced to work as prostitutes, and then filed a lawsuit complaining it was violating their religious freedom when the government took away their contract.

15. In Poland, they ordered politicians to vote for a law banning IVF and threatened to excommunicate any who didn’t comply.

16. They were a major source of the pressure on the Komen Foundation that led to its disastrous decision to cut ties with Planned Parenthood.

17. They’ve announced an inquisition into the Girl Scouts to get to the bottom of its association with morally suspect groups like Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam.

18. They’ve been one of the major forces attacking Obamacare, filing lawsuits arguing that non-church Catholic employers should be able to decide whether or not employee health insurance plans will cover contraception. This is effectively an argument that a woman’s employer should be allowed to force her to pay more for medical coverage, or even place it out of her reach altogether, based on his religious beliefs.

19. In Australia, they allegedly derailed a police investigation of an accused pedophile, putting pressure on higher-ups to get an investigating officer removed from the case.

20. They demanded that Sunday school teachers sign a loyalty oath agreeing to submit “will and intellect” to the proclamations of church leaders.

21. Some top church officials, including the current pope, have advocated denying communion to politicians who support progressive and pro-choice political ideas. Notably, although the church also opposes preemptive war and the death penalty, no conservative politician has ever been denied communion on this basis.

22. They’ve cracked down on American nuns for doing too much to help the poor and not enough to oppose gay marriage, condemning them for displaying a seditious “feminist spirit.”

23. In Germany, where parishioners pay an officially assessed tax rate to the church, they’ve tried to blackmail people who don’t want to pay the church tax, threatening to fire them from jobs in church institutions. In some cases, if the person opts out but later loses the paperwork, they demand on-the-spot repayment of decades of back taxes.

24. In America, bishops have compared Democratic officeholders, including President Obama, to Hitler and Stalin and have said that it jeopardizes a person’s eternal salvation if they don’t vote as the bishops instruct them to.

25. They fight against equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. It’s not enough for the Catholic church hierarchy that they refuse to perform church weddings for gay and lesbian couples; they want to write that prohibition into the civil law and deny marriage equality to everyone who doesn’t fit their religious criteria, and have invested vast amounts of money and effort into doing so. In the 2012 election cycle alone, the church spent almost $2 million in an unsuccessful fight to defeat marriage-equality initiatives in four states.

26. They’ve compared gay sex to pedophilia and incest and called for it to be forbidden by law, saying that “states can and must regulate behaviors, including various sexual behaviors.”

27. They’ve shut down adoption clinics rather than consider gay people as prospective parents. The church’s official position, apparently, is that it’s better for children to remain orphans or in foster care than to be placed in a loving, committed same-sex household.

28. They barred an anti-LGBT bullying group, anti-teen-suicide foundation from a Catholic school ceremony, explaining that the group’s mission is “contrary to the teachings of the Catholic church.”

29. They told a teenager he wouldn’t be allowed to go through confirmation because he posted a pro-gay-rights status message on Facebook, and they expelled a preschooler from a private Catholic school because his parents were lesbians.

30. They have a history of dumping known pedophile priests in isolated, poor, rural communities, where they apparently assumed that local people wouldn’t dare to complain or that no one would listen if they did.

31. They’ve given huge payouts — as much as $20,000 in some cases — to pedophile priests, to buy their silence and quietly ease them out of the priesthood, after specifically denying in public that they were doing this.

32. When the Connecticut legislature proposed extending statute-of-limitations laws to allow older child-abuse cases to be tried, the bishops ordered a letter to be read during Mass instructing parishioners to contact their representatives and lobby against it.

33. To fight back against and intimidate abuse-survivor groups like SNAP, the church’s lawyers have filed absurdly broad subpoenas demanding the disclosure of decades’ worth of documents.

34. In the Netherlands, some boys were apparently castrated in church-run hospitals after complaining to the police about sexual abuse by priests.

35. When a Catholic official from Philadelphia, William Lynn, was charged with knowingly returning predator priests to duty, his defense was to blame those decisions on his superior, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, thus acknowledging that the corruption reaches to the highest levels of the church.

36. When confronted with hundreds of complaints about child-raping priests spanning decades, a Dutch cardinal used the same “we knew nothing” excuse once given by Nazi soldiers. Several months later, it was reported that this same cardinal had personally arranged to move a pedophile priest to a different parish to shield him from accusations.

37. In one case, Mother Teresa successfully persuaded the church to return a suspected pedophile priest to duty because he was a friend of hers. Eight additional complaints of child abuse were later lodged against him.

38. In yet another case, they appointed a priest with a history of child molestation to a board that advises the church on what to do when they get reports of priests molesting children.

39. And after all this, they’ve had the audacity to plead for money and ask parishioners to pick up the tab for legal costs and settlements.

40. They abducted tens of thousands of babies from unwed mothers who gave birth in Catholic-run hospitals all over the world throughout the 20th century, forcing drugged or helpless women to give their newborn children up for adoption against their will.

41. They tried to have the Indian skeptic Sanal Edamuruku charged with blasphemy and imprisoned for debunking a claim of a miraculous weeping statue.

42. They publicly supported the Russian Orthodox church’s decision to have the punk band Pussy Riot charged and imprisoned for blasphemy.

43. Their finances are a disorganized mess, lacking strong accounting controls and clear internal separations, which means parishioners who give to the church can have no assurance of what the money will be used for. According to an investigation by the Economist, funds meant for hospitals, cemeteries and priests’ pensions have been raided to pay legal fees and settlements in several diocesan bankruptcies.

44. They’ve said in public that the sexist prohibition on women priests is an infallible part of Catholic dogma, and hence can never be changed.

45. They’ve silenced priests who call for the ordination of women and other desperately needed reforms, exhorting them to instead show “the radicalism of obedience.”

46. They’ve excommunicated at least one priest for advocating the ordination of women.

47. They lifted the excommunication of an anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying bishop who also thinks women shouldn’t attend college or wear pants.

48. When it comes to the question of who’s financially responsible for compensating the victims of sex abuse, they argue that priests aren’t employees and therefore the church bears no responsibility for anything they do.

49. They canonized Mother Teresa for doing little more than offering a squalid place for people to die. Outside observers who visited her “Home for the Dying” reported that medical care was substandard and dangerous, limited to aspirin and unsterilized needles rinsed in tap water, administered by untrained volunteers. The millions of dollars collected by Mother Teresa and her order, enough to build many advanced clinics and hospitals, remain unaccounted for.

50. They announced that voluntary end-of-life measures, such as terminal patients’ directives for when they wish to have a feeding tube removed, won’t be respected at Catholic hospitals.