Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Vatican’s Newest Crusade: Civil Liberties

We’ve heard all of the clichés. “A conservative is a liberal who just got mugged.” “A liberal is a conservative who just got subpoenaed to testify in front of Congress.”

And now: A civil libertarian is a pedophile priest cover-upper who just got searched by the police.

You can’t make this shit up. The Pope will be joining the ACLU any day now. Right???

Yesterday Belgian police raided the home and office of former Archbishop Godfried Danneels. They took his computer and several documents. Police didn’t say whether they suspect Danneels of being a pedophile himself or whether he just has personal records pertaining to a suspected pedophile.

The Vatican is furious about this invasion of civil liberties. Get ready for some strange bedfellows. This has to be a good thing. When the Vatican and the ACLU team up and join forces, they’ll be an unstoppable force.

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Blogger T. Paine said...

Harper, I realize you are saying this tongue in cheek, but yeah... I don't see it happening.

The ACLU seems to only be interested in protecting the rights of those that practice Islam, the religion of peace.

Christians are the ones against which they spend most of their time, money, and efforts castigating.

For the record, if the police had probable cause and a warrant, then they were in the right to do what they did. If not, then the Vatican is right in its protestations and I hope will take legal recourse accordingly.

I bet the ACLU would come to the defense if this happened in America to some Imam though.

June 25, 2010 at 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Let me apologize in advance.....


Go in peace..

I don't think I'm Comfortable with the church doing God's work here.

June 25, 2010 at 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little blackmail makes the world go 'round!

June 25, 2010 at 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

T Paine
If you knew the long history of the ACLU you wouldn't be saying that. Maybe you would since the ACLU has long come to the aide of Conservatives and Ultra Right Wingers who then turn around (after the fact) and denounce them and the rest of the liberals. ACLU bashing is always in the Conservative Agenda, even after they have taken advantage of their services.

Jewish ACLU lawyers would come to the help of the Klan and the Nazi's who then turn around and denounce Jews - Go Figure! (wait a minute don't even try).

As for this Incident, the Vatican has been acting like it's above the Law and this is a total Inside matter while they sit on their robes and do nothing. Praise to the Belgium Police who no doubt had to go through a lot of hurdles being that Belgium is a traditionally Catholic Country and the Vatican has a lot of power in those European countries.

The Vatican complaining the Belgians are acting outside the law, where would they get that idea.. the Spanish Inquisition perhaps?

Did you all know GW Bush signed a bill exempting the Pope from any Liability from these American Lawsuits?


June 25, 2010 at 6:40 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

There is a long tradition throughout much of Europe that churches and closely related places like rectories are sanctuaries. Police and soldiers by tradition stake them out and wait, but don't barge in. That tradition grew up in lands that had state religions and where religious persecution was carried out with gusto periodically. No constitutional or statutory protections for freedom of conscience about who, what, where, how or whether to worship. But there was that rather civilized tradition of usually honoring sanctuary.

So, I'm not surprised if Belgians generally and Catholics in particular are shocked and upset about what the police did.

I have no idea what Belgian law requires, if anything, in the way of court approval for searches and seizures, but you can't assume its system is anything like ours.

June 25, 2010 at 7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually Tom the line is:

A Liberal is a Conservative who has been arrested!


June 26, 2010 at 12:24 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

As long as all this arresting doesn't get in the way of production of Belgian waffles.

June 26, 2010 at 6:27 AM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

I don't believe that the Vatican believes in civil liberties any more than T Paine. They just want to protect their right to violate as many children's civil liberties as they can. And when they get caught, it's always the government's fault for wanting to punish their criminal activity.

June 26, 2010 at 6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pedophiles are the lowest scum of the earth. For way too many years(decades) the catholic church has hidden, excused, and facilitated their pedophiles. They have promised to take care of the matter, and have failed to do so.

I do not know the law in Belgium, but if the police suspected this retired bishop had knowledge of, or was involved in this slimy business, then they had every right to protect the innocent victims by confiscating his computer and records. They also searched some tombs looking for documents. If they find information re:pedophilia in those tombs...geez, how far is the catholic church willing to go to protect the scum of the earth?

Religion, should not protect a person from the law. And being some high ranking person in the religion should not exclude that person from the law.

The vatican doesn't need the help of the ACLU. They have the money to hire the best lawyers in the world, and they have enough money to bribe every single person from the top down.

I hope the police did this according to Belgian law, otherwise it makes the entire catholic church look innocent and picked upon by over zealous people.

June 26, 2010 at 8:43 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

I can't speak to Belgian law, but here it would come down to whether or not police had a warrant, and if so, was that warrant based on probable cause. Given the current makeup of the courts, if a policeman's ass itches, that's probable cause for anything.

Here's a cliche to add to your list: A conservative is a liberal who was just elected.

Erik is correct about the ACLU.

June 26, 2010 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

TP: The Right sure does hate the ACLU. And this reveals more about conservatives than you'd ever imagine. Republicans/Conservatives have spent decades preaching about "individual freedom" and "limited government." The ACLU actually practices and lives these words, and the Right hates them for it.

Conservatives scream "We The People!" when a large corporation's profits are threatened, but the rest of the time -- i.e. when an individual's rights are jeopardized -- there isn't a sound out of them.

As Erik points out below, the ACLU defends the constitutional rights of Nazi and skinhead protesters, Rush Limbaugh's privacy, etc. If the Right thinks the ACLU is "liberal," then that must mean "Big Government" liberals are more concerned about individual rights than "Limited Government" conservatives.

Tim: "The church doing God's work," LOL. Or maybe there's a passage in the Bible that says "And the Lord said, diddle that child."

Erik: The irony here it just too much. The Catholic Church has probably trampled on more people's rights, over the past few centuries, than all of the world's armies and dictators put together. And now they've discovered civil liberties.

SW: I'm assuming, without knowing, that the Belgian police were acting within Belgian law. If not, like the commenter below says, that archbishop and his fellow priests will look like victims.

Randal: Ditto for their chocolate.

Anonymous: You're right, the Catholic Church has been promising to "look into this" for decades; probably longer. I too hope the Belgian police acted within the law, so this archbishop and whichever priests he has records on, don't look like martyrs and start getting public sympathy.

TomCat: You're right about liberals getting elected and then deciding those corporate donors aren't so bad after all.

June 26, 2010 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Lew: Sorry, I skipped your comment. The Vatican being worried about civil liberties, riiight. Maybe the Pope's copy of the Constitution has an amendment guaranteeing priests the inalienable right to diddle.

June 26, 2010 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

I don't think anybody responsible for the Spanish Inquisition cares one iota about civil liberties.

I'll bet you didn't expect that!

June 26, 2010 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Lew: I guess Spanish Inquisitors and Salem Witch-Hunters have rights too.

June 26, 2010 at 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

I would have pointed out that the ACLU regularly comes to the defense of T. Pain's ideological brethren, but that's been nicely done already. So let me say that I am proud to be a member.

June 26, 2010 at 6:48 PM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

"Pedophiles are the lowest scum of the earth." I agree, Erik, and there is no excuse whatsoever for this.

If there is credible evidence of such, then the person responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and the harshest punishments allowed should be given upon conviction.

Those that helped hide the crimes of those accused should be held accountable as accessories to the crimes. This goes for any person regardless if they are a public school teacher, a cop, or the Pope himself.

That being said, there absolutely have been horribly pernicious abuses in the Catholic Church and I make no excuses for them. They have done much though to reform the system so that future abuses are very unlikely to occur.

Further, the statistics show that abuses there are no higher than for any such case where groups of children are involved, whether it be the Boy Scouts, other religious faiths, or public schools. That being said, one abuse is too many.

Criticism of the Church is still justified though, but to think that the Catholic Church doesn't absolutely stand up for freedom and human & civil rights is foolish. The church is omnipresent in helping the poor and oppressed throughout the world. It should not be condemned in its entirety because of a statistically miniscual number of its clergy acted in inexcusable evil acts.

Every large group will always have its detractors and deviants; the Catholic Church sadly is not exempt.

I am dissapointed in the demagoguery from you Erik, as you typically are even-handed and objective in your comments.

I expect the asinine and hateful rhetoric from Lew and Jolly Roger, but not from you.

Further, I am tired of the liberal red meat and hyperbole from you, Mr. Harper. Originally I thought that this was a forum for open and honest debate. Evidently such is not the case.

You all evidently want people to confirm your preconceived notions and not have a debate of ideals. That is fine; I will no longer hinder your echo chamber accordingly.

By the way, Mr. Graves, I typically found your short comments to be exceptionally funny, if not always politically accurate, sir.

Cheers and so long!

June 28, 2010 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

I was wondering what happened to TP. It appears like he's pouted off to Limbaugh Land.

I noticed ever since he lost his "Lie Challenge" he's been scarce. Now it seems he's had enough "asinine and hateful rhetoric" diabolically presented within truthful statements. How DARE we bad mouth the Church and praise the Satanic ACLU!

I guess it's just impossible to "have a debate of ideals" with such evil socialist trickery.

Not to worry, he will find a comfy nest, stuffed full of the ideals of Beck's and Limbaugh's racism, child mocking, and lies.

July 6, 2010 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Dave: And not only that, but the comment from Erik that Paine was yelling at him about, wasn't even written by Erik.

It's OK with me either way; he can comment here again or he can take his ball and go home.

July 6, 2010 at 4:50 PM  

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