Anti-Choice Terrorist Murders Doctor

Dr. George Tiller, an outspoken advocate for abortion rights and one of the few late-term abortion providers in the country, was shot dead in church this morning.

WICHITA, Kan. — George Tiller, one of only a few doctors in the nation who performed abortions late in pregnancy, was shot to death here Sunday in the foyer of his longtime church as he handed out the church bulletin.

The authorities said they took a man into custody later in the day after pulling him over on Interstate 35 in Johnson County, Kan., near Kansas City. They said they expected to charge him with murder on Monday.

The Wichita police said there were several witnesses to the killing, but the law enforcement officials would not say what had been said, if anything, inside the foyer. Officials offered little insight into the motive, saying that they believed it was “the act of an isolated individual” but that they were also looking into “his history, his family, his associates.”

A provider of abortions for more than three decades, Dr. Tiller, 67, had become a focal point for those around the country who opposed it. In addition to regular protests outside his clinic, his house and his church, Dr. Tiller had once seen his clinic bombed; in 1993, an abortion opponent shot him in both arms. He was also the defendant in a series of legal challenges intended to shut down his operations, including two grand juries that were convened after citizen-led petition drives.

On Sunday morning, moments after services had begun at Reformation Lutheran Church, on this city’s East Side, Dr. Tiller, who was acting as an usher, was shot once with a handgun, the authorities said. As many as a dozen other churchgoers were standing in the foyer near him when he was shot, the police said. The gunman pointed the weapon at two people who tried to stop him, the police said, then fled the church and drove off in a powder blue Taurus. Dr. Tiller’s wife, Jeanne, a member of the church choir, was inside the sanctuary at the time of the shooting.

The police in Wichita described the man who was taken into custody as a 51-year-old from Merriam, a Kansas City suburb, but declined to give his name until he was charged. The Associated Press reported that a sheriff’s official from Johnson County identified him as Scott Roeder.

Contine reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/us/01tiller.html?hp

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The church and child abuse

May 29, 2009

A recent report by the Irish government documents decades of mental, physical and sexual abuse of thousands of children in the care of the Catholic Church. But Eamonn McCann asks if the Church will ever really be held accountable.

Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid MartinDublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

TO DISCUSS the scandal of child abuse in the Catholic Church without factoring in the role of the Vatican is to miss the main point. Irish Catholics had been told in advance, by Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in his Holy Thursday homily, that the contents of the report of the commission of inquiry published yesterday would “shock us all.” But we may doubt whether all were sufficiently prepared for what’s emerged.

We are set for days of discussion of the different levels of culpability of priests, bishops, diocesan authorities, the institutional Church, society at large. Pope Benedict will likely issue a statement expressing dismay and distress. What he won’t do is accept any share of the blame.

Benedict will take the long view. It has been well said that while other institutions measure the passage of events in months, years, decades, the Catholic Church sees the world in a perspective of centuries. Benedict knows there’s nothing new in what’s been brought to light by the inquiry under Mr. Justice Seán Ryan. He will be confident that this, too, shall pass.

We used to be taught as children that the fact that the Church had survived all manner of scandals down the ages was proof positive that it was the One True Church. Benedict knows the history and will see yesterday’s headlines as another trial to be overcome with God’s help.

The oldest known instruction to Church officials, the Didache, dating from the second century, commands, “Thou shalt not seduce young boys.”

The earliest recorded gathering of bishops, the Council of Elvira, in 309, spelt out 81 Canons, of which 38 dealt with sex. Among those excluded from receiving communion were “bishops, presbyters, and deacons committing a sexual sin,” “those who sexually abuse boys,” and “people who bring charges against bishops and presbyters without proving their cases.”

Why would the Church have mentioned such things had they not already become problems?

Celibacy has had something to do with the proclivity for sexual abuse. Constrained to express their sexuality in secret, furtively, some have tended towards abuse of the vulnerable. When all sexual pleasure is deemed abominable, perversion and excess become nebulous concepts.

The Pope, custodian of Church teaching, is chief enforcer of clerical celibacy. So strongly is he committed to celibacy, he has seemed at times to suggest that the rule is part of the Magisterium, the infallible teaching of the Church, not open to amendment, ever.

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

AGAINST THAT background, the suffering of children can be seen as part of the price to be paid for proclaiming Truth in a world stained by sin. It is not that Benedict or any of his bishops are not genuinely anguished at the thought of the agony of the innocent. But viewed in the context of the grand narrative of heaven, for them, this isn’t a decisive consideration.

The first U.S. prelate granted a personal audience with Benedict following his 2005 election was Cardinal Bernard Law. Three years earlier, Law had resigned in disgrace as archbishop of Boston following revelations that he had systematically, over a number of years, moved predator priests from parish to parish, never alerting parents to the danger in which their children were being put.

Law’s case sparked a huge scandal. The Vatican had been bombarded with demands to explain why he was being retained in the ministry.

Yet this was the man Benedict chose personally to honor 12 days into his papacy. Whether with conscious deliberation or merely by instinct, he was making a point. The same approach emerged in his response to the report three years ago on abuse of children in Ferns, Wexford. In a 271-page document, retired Supreme Court judge Frank Murphy identified more than 100 allegations against 26 priests.

He found that, in turning a deaf ear to the pleas of the victims while hiding the abusers from the law, the diocese had been following standard instructions from Rome. Responding, Benedict described the behavior of the priests concerned as “incomprehensible” and declared that they had “devastated human lives and profoundly betrayed the trust of children.” But as to the finding against the Vatican, not a word of explanation, much less an apology.

In Ferns, as elsewhere, Church control of schools was key to the predators’ access to children. “That fairly leaps out of the Murphy report,” commented Mary Raftery, whose 2000 documentary States of Fear sparked the firestorm which the Church hopes will soon now die down.

Says Colm O’Gorman, one of the victims of Ferns’ adherence to Vatican policy: “We still have a situation where an institution that was so entirely negligent in how it addressed child protection in the past, has full legal responsibility for child protection in the majority of Irish schools…The State needs to do more in Ireland to take on that responsibility.”

But there isn’t a mainstream party North or South which would risk the wrath of the Catholic hierarchy by making any such move.

The topmost and implacable priority of Benedict’s Church is at all costs to retain control of the formation of the next generation of Catholic children.

It acknowledges the sin while resolving to retain the occasion of sin. It has no firm purpose of amendment. Priests may be prosecuted, bishops may resign. But the buck stops with Benedict.

First published in the Belfast Telegraph.

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Eight-year-old trans-girl barred from Catholic school

From Andrea B.
By Staff Writer, PinkNews.co.uk • May 19, 2009 – 15:17

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-12510.html

A trans girl has been barred from attending her Catholic school in Omaha, Nebraska, after officials objected to her wearing girls’ clothes.

The eight-year-old, who has not been named, was prohibited from transitioning at St Wenceslaus school.

“The child is welcomed to come, but it would not be acceptable to change the child’s gender and present as a girl,” said Omaha Archdiocese’s Chancellor, the Rev Joseph Taphorn.

Taphorn added that as the girl had already attended the school for three years as a boy, her new appearance as a girl would not help foster a good learning environment for other pupils.

The girl has been supported by her parents, who have decided she must live openly as a girl, rather than being forced to dress as a boy for school.

Speaking to WPTZ.com, the girl’s mother, a devout Catholic, said: “She’s been a girl since the beginning, everything about her, the way she dances and skips around and the things she’s attracted to. It’s more than toys and clothes.”

“One night, she said, ‘Every night when I go to bed, I pray my inside will match my outside. But it never happens,'” she added.

The girl will now attend a public school in the autumn where she will be permitted to dress as a girl.

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More Women Hating from the Catholic Church and its Minions

Imagine my surprise this morning when I read an Op-Ed piece in the local newspaper regarding a Catholic Woman Hating organization promoting the boycotting of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

What the fuck?  The Catholic are pro-breast cancer.  Now I know they are one of the major forces of superstition based misogyny and take the inferiority of women as a core belief.  That they do not thing women should have reproductive freedom and all that but organizing a boycott of the ubiquitous Pink Ribbon.  Tell mehey aren’t serious.

Why that is akin to being pro-breast cancer and I had a hard time believing that even Catholics would stoop that low.

But according to the following op-ed piece that is pretty much what they have done.

Norman Roberts: A pro-life Catholic supports Komen
11:54 AM CDT on Friday, May 29, 2009

As a committed pro-life advocate, I find myself in an awkward dispute with the Catholic Pro-Life Committee, an organization I normally support. You see, I am also an enthusiastic supporter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a group that does a great deal of good in raising money and advocating for research, prevention, early detection and treatment of breast cancer. I was recently dismayed to learn the Pro-Life Committee is cooperating in a scandalous campaign to discourage Catholic support for Komen.

Continue reading at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/viewpoints/stories/DN-roberts_30edi.State.Edition1.37f8d96.html

Susan G. Komen’s big sin was giving money to Planned Parenthood, an organization that does far more for women’s health than provide abortions and birth control.

But the Catholic Church  has never been long on empowering women and this is not the first nor will it be the last outrage perpetrated in the name of the invisible imaginary sky daddy

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In A Different Voice

One of the benefits of being anarcha -feminist autodidact is that I tend to thumb my nose at academic authority figures who tell me that I shouldn’t pull material from lots of sources.

Yeah right.  We are supposed to recognize the only possible relevant material written about our lives by the “transsexual” or “transgender” in the title.  Since we’re such a bunch of sick freaks nothing written about normborns could possibly be relevant.

So imagine my surprise when I opened a Carol Gilligan book I bought at Half Price Books titled In a Different Voice and read the following on page 14:

These observations about sex differences support the conclusion reached by David McClelland (1975) that “sex roles turn out to be one of the most important determinants of human behavior; psychologists have found sex differences in their studies from the moment they started doing empirical research.” But since it is difficult to say “different” without saying “better” or “worse,” since there is a tendency to construct a single scale of measurement and since that scale has generally been derived from and standardized on the basis of men’s interpretations of research data drawn predominantly or exclusively from studies of males, psychologists “have tended to regard male behavior as the ‘norm’ and female behavior as some kind of deviation from that norm” (p81) Thus when women do not conform to the standards of psychological expectation, the conclusion has generally been that something is wrong with the women.

That’s a pretty profound paragraph right there and is a variation on things I have been saying for 40 years.  I sussed early on that we were being considered mentally ill for things considered normal in women.  I also figured out really quickly that I was being treated as “the perfect transsexual” because I was this cute young girl and not some 45 year old father of two who may well have been suffering the same hitting of the wall where one either changes or suicides.

That one is a form of beauty skin privilege that creates credibility based on conformity to expected appearances rather than according to actual internal feelings.

We get labeled as deviant for the same behavior considered normal in women born female.  Why?  Because we are evaluated against male standards.

In 1969 when I was going to a bunch of psychiatrists that the social workers were sending me to as part of an attempt to get government funding for SRS the doctors I saw wrote these glowing letters saying I was an ordinary pretty Berkeley girl/woman and wasn’t the least bit psychologically disabled.

Which was pretty much the truth.  I was resourceful enough to make my way across the country and find one of the few public health clinics treating transsexualism anywhere in the world (in 1969) all the while living on pennies as a hippie radical.  Disabled I wasn’t.  My main problems at that point often had to do with being undocumented, an alien in my own country.

That aside the fashion magazines women buy reflect the same appeal that gets turned into AGP by the psychiatrists at CAMH and Northwestern

Lieu bill would allow transgendered people new birth certificates

By Gene Maddaus Staff Writer

Posted: 05/26/2009 07:33:19 PM PDT

Once an opponent of same-sex unions, South Bay Assemblyman Ted Lieu is running for attorney general as a strong supporter of gay marriage and an opponent of Proposition 8.

But Lieu has also taken it a step further, authoring legislation that would allow all transgendered people born in California to get a new birth certificate reflecting their new gender – even if they no longer live in the state.

“To me, it’s about freedom and accuracy,” Lieu said. “If you have transitioned and now you are a woman, all your documents should reflect that.”

In 1977, California became the first state to allow transgendered people to switch the gender on their birth certificates. But a recent court case showed that California natives who move to another state may not have the same right.

The case involved Gigi Marie Somers, a 67-year-old Kansas woman who had undergone gender reassignment surgery in 2005. Kansas is one of a handful of states that does not allow transgendered people to switch their gender on official documents, so Somers, who was born as a male in Los Angeles, asked a California judge for a new birth certificate.

The judge ruled that as the law was written, only current California residents could apply. Somers appealed, and the state Court of Appeal reversed the ruling last month.

Lieu’s bill, AB 1185, would codify that ruling statewide. It passed the Assembly on a party-line vote of 48-30 Thursday, and is now headed to

the Senate. Assemblymen Van Tran and Steve Knight, who voted against the bill in committee, were unavailable to discuss the issue on Tuesday.The bill was sponsored by Equality California, a statewide gay rights organization, and was among the group’s top legislative priorities.

“It’s really important that your identity reflect your lived-in gender,” said Alice Kessler, the group’s government affairs director. “There’s not an enormously large group of people that this will affect, but for the people it does affect, it’s an enormously important thing in their lives. It’s a basic dignity issue.”

Equality California has not made an endorsement in the attorney general’s race, but Kessler said that Lieu has a perfect score on the organization’s report card.

Questioning the Truth bitch

From InterSex News

We are all led to believe that Dr Alice Dreger, the Truth Bitch, has been working away on a “History of what happens when doctors say nice and wholesome things to help the ungrateful masses and the ungrateful masses do not agree!”

What we actually read in her blogs and her articles is something that is quite intriguing. Basically Dr. Alice Dreger has this utopian vision of a world where intersex people can be fitted into nice neat categories and she has this role of overseeing the care of intersex people in her new utopia.

The problem is that she does not fully understand what intersex people really are. She seems to have this view that intersex people are children who are born with medical questions about whether they are male or female. For example a girl with XY chromosomes or a boy with XX chromosomes is in her view a “Disorder of Sex Development”. While there are many variations and conditions, she clearly aims to have them all categorised as children under this “DSD” scheme. This is not a bad thing in and of itself, while much has been said about the terminology of “DSD”, the idea of a set of diagnostic criteria is workable and probably would help ease a lot of confusion about many intersex variations. The problem starts when she gets into areas she simply does not understand, the lived experience of being intersexed perhaps eludes her the most. For good reason, she is not intersexed, and as she often likes to remind the world, she is a mother of a healthy child herself, with a nice job in a university.

She seems preoccupied with the notion that adults with intersex conditions or “DSDs” (To use her terms) can be split into two groups, the first group consists of those who conform to her diagnostic standards and have a life narrative that matches to her expectations.

The second group would be those who do not fit into her expectations, a group she dismisses as “Transgender”. This is perhaps the first characteristic of the Dreger utopia that looks a bit dystopic when looked at in more detail. For some reason she does have this very arbitrary set of expectations about who should be assigned to what sex. She will define a “DSD” and then define the sex they should be assigned. If she encounters an adult who does not live according to those expectations she then turns their history from that of an intersex history to that of a psychiatric disorder or that of a political trouble maker.

This is one reason she appears to have invested so much time and effort into defending Professor. J Michael Bailey, a psychologist at the Northwestern University of Chicago who has gained some notoriety for his discussions about transsexual people, or transsexual women in particular. He essentially describes them as men who are sexually aroused by being female. There is plenty of discussion about this and this does not fall within the scope of the article, but the one thing Bailey does provide is a sort of mental health waste disposal service where the labels of “Transgender” and “Mentally ill” can be applied quickly to anyone with a “DSD” who does not conform to Dr. Dreger’s expectations.

Dr. Dreger often seems to repeat the mantra that people who are transsexual and ashamed of it opt to be defined as intersexed in order to avoid the pathologization of being transsexual. Which is interesting because she clearly supports the pathologization of transsexual people. If your life does not conform to Dr. Dreger‘s strict criteria, you are in a no win situation, you are suddenly a “Transgender seeking to avoid being pathologized by people like Professor. Bailey”. But Dr. Alice Dreger has clearly ensured that it is all set up like this anyway by supporting Professor Bailey and his work in the first place.

Where was it ever said prior to the founding of the Intersex Society of North America that transsexuals were lower down some pecking order from intersex people? While there were certainly some transsexual people who claimed to have an intersex history (Some who helped Dr. Dreger set up ISNA for example, which is curious – more on that later). There were not any significant numbers of such people. Dr. Dreger also describes those who do not fit her expectations as “Transsexuals seeking intersex privilege”. A very strange thing for a self proclaimed intersex activist to say given that she likes to remind us all that intersex people suffer a life of unwanted surgery, secrecy and shame. How is suffering a life of unwanted surgery, secrecy and shame a privilege?

She could argue that people are more sympathetic to intersex people than they are transsexual people, well yes, but then Dr. Alice Dreger is engaged in making sure that this is even more the case. It is almost as if she has been setting the situation up so she does not have to make a real argument. She just repeats the situation as it now is, the situation she has been instrumental in bringing about.

This is the point where you have to step back from the debate and ask a few questions she probably won’t be able to answer. In terms of activism ISNA used to claim that before anyone could consider themselves to be an intersex activist, they either had to be a lesbian who was born fully female or provide endless documentation to prove they were intersexed. It was during this time the strict criteria first started to appear. But as a woman who boasts endlessly about her heterosexual status (Not that lesbianism has anything to do with intersex anyway) who was involved with Denise Tree (Who has to this day never explained what her diagnosis actually was and yes she is now seen as the very thing Alice Dreger despises, a transsexual claiming to be intersexed) and “Cheryl Chase” (Bo Laurent) another individual with about 5 other aliases and at least four contradicting narratives about her intersex history.

Dr. Alice Dreger became the main player in an intersex organisation she claimed to be “The genuine article” as a heterosexual woman, with two people who certainly would not measure up to her strict criteria as people with “DSDs”. Today she claims that “intersex” is a word to describe a political identity, and was never a medical term, which is odd because it was used prior to her promoting the “DSD” terminology and a lot of medical literature did use “intersex”. She also claims that “intersex” is a demeaning term used today by transsexual people seeking legitimacy. Yet today she still describes herself as an “Intersex activist”. So is she a closet female to male transsexual seeking legitimacy?

There is also her almost obsessive commentaries in various sexology discussion groups insisting that transsexual people have no innate sense of being male or female that would contradict the sex into which they were born, she was even instrumental in making sure Professor. D. Swaab’s study on the BSTc in transsexual women never gets a mention in any academic publication she has any influence over. It is as if she is still trying to drive home the notion that “Transgender = mental illness”.

It all starts to look less like some utopia and more like some very oppressive form of gender policing. And this gender policing does seem to have a very bizarre system of reward and punishment. The reward is that you get to be defined as a physical illness, but it is probably not a reward most people would want. “I award you with being a Disorder of Sex Development“. How does that act as a reward? The punishment is to be deemed as some “Gender Identity Disorder”. This utopia is beginning to look a little hollow; there is no benefit in it for anyone because wherever you are placed within it, you are deemed to be some sort of disorder that has to be managed. OK the levels of (Engineered) cruelty may differ, if you are seen as a “Disorder of sex development” you don’t get psychologists and sexologists classifying you as some “Gender identity disorder that has to be stigmatized”.

The reality of this is that either way you lose, she wins. There are a few other strange contradictions with the way Dr. Dreger presents her utopia.

She clearly has a problem with identity politics.

She does seem to insist on unbiased, neutral perspectives in any discussion with intersex activists who do not agree with her because, according to Dr. Dreger, they identify as “intersex activists” (As she herself does curiously enough). Her latest article that really goes into her problem with identity politics has “Feminist Theory in action” in the title. This is where the greatest mystery of all seems to make a little more sense. ISNA was an organisation run by “Lesbians” for “Intersex”, and we are not talking the present day third wave feminism (As you may have guessed) either. But the second wave feminism as espoused by Germaine Greer and Janice Raymond. You know the feminism I am talking about, the feminism that was synonymous with lesbians huddled in female only spaces telling everyone else not to invade their sacred space, and really being angry when there is even a whiff of colonisation from any outside groups. Now think of this carefully when reading “Feminist theory in action” by an “intersex activist” who is very much a woman who breeds and tells the world about it.

This is where we get on to those “Acceptable DSD narratives”. You may notice that the one theme that runs through all her writing is that she likes to talk about boys who were made into girls and grew up wanting to be men. These are acceptable, if it just happened to be the other way round, that is someone was assigned male as a child by surgery or hormones etc. and someone rejected being male, well they are “Transsexuals using intersex to gain legitimacy”.

What sort of “Feminist perspective” is that? It is as if she is saying that boys are better off than girls and in order to make a child with a “DSD” conform, assign them male. Which does not address the core problem which is that the very conclusion she makes is sexist.

And this is where you see the dystopia for what it really is. Much of what she says makes little or no sense when you look at it at on its face value, but it does when you put it into a context of someone who clearly does not like any deviation from a norm.

Another contradiction (and perhaps her biggest) is the way she berates the sort of men who go onto emailing lists and online support groups looking to get a thrill out of those mysterious intersex people. Two contradictions arise from this.

She herself creates a mystique around intersex people. She constantly talks about the “Majority of intersex people” and “The real intersex people ” as if she is always holding conversations with some mysterious and enlightened group of intersex activists who are invisible, for most of the time, claiming that those people who describe themselves as part of a grass roots community are all interloping transsexuals or genuine “DSDs” who have been deceived. But who is she talking about? The AISSG? Well I am a member of the AISSG myself, And many of them were not all that keen on her “DSD” model either. So who does she mean? Cheryl Chase/Bo Laurent and Denise Tree/Kiira Triea? It would seem that way considering the praise she heaps on them in her blog. But they have not exactly made their own histories clear while demanding that others do. The other contradiction lies with her clear distaste for men who appear on gender variant, or intersex websites to get a cheap thrill. And yet there she is supporting Professor. J Michael Bailey a man who is notorious for that sort of behaviour.

This where any analysis of Alice Dreger seems to end. It is a drainage pipe full of contradictions that ends up in the gutter. It is quite possible that her attacks on the present day intersex support groups who simply do not agree with her will probably result in her ruining her own reputation. ISNA is gone. It was not quite the beacon of intersex activism she claims it was and people who speak in many different languages, worldwide are going to see her writings in English as irrelevant and spiteful.

She objects very strongly to the word “Interloper”. Well perhaps she can explain what she really is. She is not an impostor because she makes no pretence of being anything other than a fertile woman. Which does beg the question, what is her interest in this subject? She is a very strong advocate of pre natal screening and abortion; perhaps she is nervous about the possibility that she may be a carrier of one of these “DSDs”. Well thankfully for her child, it has not been passed on if this is indeed the case.

Her interest in intersex people and her need to control the lives of intersex people does leave more questions than answers. When she said she was going to focus on “Little people” and cut her ties with intersex activism the comments that ran around the emailing lists were something like “Oh she is going to pick on someone else now? Well at least it is not us!”

Instead of attacking people or dismissing their experiences as “Transgender” to feed into a prejudice she herself was instrumental in promoting, she perhaps needs to consider how all this is beginning to reflect on her, she may be a prominent figure in the history of intersex activism, but as it stands, she appears like a petty minded dictator who cannot let go of the past. ISNA is gone. People no longer consider her involvement as relevant and her DSD model has caused more anger than anything else.

Progress and Politics in the Intersex Rights Movement, Feminist theory in action.

Dreger A, Herndon A 2009.

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