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Penn and Teller - on Mother Theresa - I never liked her and recently learned that great minds agree  RSS feed

 
Dale Hodgins
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I'll come back to this later. I only became aware of Hitchens when his last major work came out. I first met Penn on The Celebrity Apprentice TV show. He was by far the brightest of the bunch. Here's the video --- enjoy ---
 
Burra Maluca
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I've never really learned much about Mother Theresa, but I do know that she has a huge following and people love to donate to her causes. And I think that's the problem - people like to donate to make themselves feel good rather than actually doing anything real to make a difference. Give someone famous some money to do something and you can just sit on your backside and feel good, basking in their glory.

There's also a tendency to put people on pedestals, whether they want to be there or not. And then decide that they shouldn't be there and start hurling rocks and rotten eggs at them (metaphorically, you understand). Mother Theresa does what she does, we do what we do. If we don't think she does it right, maybe we should start doing something instead instead of berating her for not doing it well enough.
 
Matu Collins
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Mother Teresa doesn't do much these days.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Burra Maluca wrote:I've never really learned much about Mother Theresa, but I do know that she has a huge following and people love to donate to her causes. And I think that's the problem - people like to donate to make themselves feel good rather than actually doing anything real to make a difference. Give someone famous some money to do something and you can just sit on your backside and feel good, basking in their glory.

There's also a tendency to put people on pedestals, whether they want to be there or not. And then decide that they shouldn't be there and start hurling rocks and rotten eggs at them (metaphorically, you understand). Mother Theresa does what she does, we do what we do. If we don't think she does it right, maybe we should start doing something instead instead of berating her for not doing it well enough.


I think all public figures who are entrusted with money should be held to account. In the case of Theresa, an accounting has never been given. This wasn't a matter of not doing it well enough. She did it very well. The money raising I mean. The poor dying rabble in her care were pawns in that process. Those who donated had their own reasons. For dictators, I assume it was public perception. For the millions of unknown people who gave money, I hope they were duped and didn't have any idea how that money would be squandered.

I like to look at something in it's entirety before passing judgment. Were some people in India helped by the sisters ? Probably. Were completely curable young people denied medical care and allowed to die rather than being given a ride to a hospital ? According to sisters who left the order, yes. Then there's the Aids epidemic. The Catholic church with Theresa as their poster girl, is responsible for millions of cases. They preached the evil of condoms and worked on African leaders to ensure that birth control and care for the sick would be denied. Aids was often dealt with as a punishment from god. Victims were implored to repent before death, while the living were denied information and protection. A culture of ignorance was promoted. This horrible human toll has to be part of any public accounting that measures the deeds of Theresa and the church as a whole.

The Catholic church has elevated many people to sainthood in recognition of their service to the poor. Although I am not religious, I can appreciate the work that they did. A man in a funny hat tried to pave the way to sainthood for the late Theresa. Both of them had more blood on their hands than do most dictators. I am a better person than she was, and I hope for the sake of the future, that most who read this are as well.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I thought this one would have gotten more traction. We have death, destruction and deceit accompanying the name of a pop cultural figure who was admired by millions.

Here's Christopher Hitchens with the documentary --- Hell's Angel --- He did this quite a while before her death and invited her and the rest of the organization to defend. They hid from him. Watch the clip before condemning it or defending the Catholic Church. ---
---

The two are inseparable. The church made her and she made the church a lot of money. She also made the church somewhat relevant and interesting to non Catholics. At a time when the public's attention should have been focused on the rampant rape of little boys by adults within the church, they were instead entertained by a jet setting, little old lady.
 
wayne stephen
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To be fair , Theresas' brand of Christian philosophy is not the only religious dogma that finds virtue in suffering . Buddha starved himself to death beneath the shade of a tree to demonstrate "right living".

"Life is suffering" - Buddha.

Hinduism and Bhuddism also teach suffering in this life is tied to past life transgressions and must be lived out in order to evolve spiritually :

"Rebirth, Hinduism maintains, is governed by the law of karma. According to this law, man is the architect of his own fate and maker of his own destiny. Karma signifies the way of life, that is, what we think, say, and do and it brings conditioning of the mind, the root cause of embodiment. It is the mind that produces bodies, gross or subtle. Remaining identified with the body-mind complex, the soul, though ever-free, follows its destiny and, as it were, experiences all pairs of opposites, such as birth and death, good and evil, pain and pleasure. Patanjali (the teacher of the Yoga system), in one of his aphorisms, describes the causes of suffering as five: ignorance, ego-sense, attachment, aversion, and clinging to life. Reality is neither good nor evil. There is nothing in the universe which is absolutely good or absolutely evil, that is to say, good or evil for all time. Good and evil are value judgments made by the individual mind in keeping with its inner disposition caused by past karma. If one asks, why does God permit evil, then the question will come, why does God permit good? According to the Hindu view, good is that which takes us near to our real Self, and evil is that which creates a distance between us and our real Self. The law of karma is the law of automatic justice. It tells us that no action goes without producing its result. The circumstances of our present life, our pains and pleasures, are all the results of our past actions in this existence and in countless previous existences. As one sows, so shall one reap. This is the inexorable law of karma" - Swami Adiswarananda

I think opium is a wonderful plant . Just ask anyone who has experienced true pain relief when they were in agony . Opium poppies will certainly hold an important niche in our horticultural future .
 
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