|Cartoon by Martyn Turner|
Fintan O'Toole tweeted:
"[Ireland] locked up more people in psychiatric wards than Stalin's Soviet Union did."
Andrew Sullivan said:
"The Magdalene Laundries were really a kind of gulag for sexual miscreants."Another called it "Ireland’s architecture of containment". Then put it like this:
"You had these industrial schools, the Magdalene laundries, the mother and baby homes, all with different remits, but the basic model was to contain and segregate anything that was deemed morally inferior by society, whether that’s children, unwed mothers, the women in the Magdalenes, etc. The mother and baby homes were different in that they were regulated by the state and had to be accredited adoption societies, at least by 1952, which is when that became legal in Ireland. They received stipends from the day they opened, from the government. They were receiving the equivalent of an industrial wage at that time for each mother and baby, from the state. If that were the case, why were so many of these women, like my mother or Philomena Lee, expected to earn their keep if the state were in fact funding that? It really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Obviously there was some profit being made there, not to mention what half of our parents paid. That’s another story unto itself. Adoptive parents were “donating” huge amounts of money."Andrew Sullivan then said:
"These homes were both labor and internment camps."And:
"It is a reminder of how foul and dangerous the union of church and state can be."Andrew Sullivan on the mass grave
"Let us call this what it is: a concentration camp with willful disregard for the survival of its innocent captives, a death camp for a group of people deemed inferior because of the circumstances of their birth. When we talk of mass graves of this kind, we usually refer to Srebrenica or the crimes of Pol Pot. But this was erected in the name of Jesus, and these despicable acts were justified by his alleged teaching."And in another post:
"I blame the crippling, toxic, near-insane fixation on sexual sin as the core ideology at work here. A view of sex that is riddled with shame and disgust, in which simple human nature must be so expelled and exterminated it requires a secret mass grave to keep the lie in place."
"These children were treated as sub-human because Tuam Crosstheir births violated a Catholic doctrine that there can be no sex outside of marriage. The young women – denied contraception, of course – were equally subject to horrifying stigmatization, hatred, and inhumane rules that took their children away from them. None of this would have ever taken place without this doctrine, and the insistence that it be enforced without exception and relentlessly. No society has ever lived up to this standard, but in Ireland, where the church was fused with the state, they gave it about as good a try as possible. And in order to enforce it, in order to inculcate shame at the deepest level imaginable to prevent human love, passion and sex breaking out, cruelty was necessary.He also said:
"Whenever a society attempts to impose without exception an impossible abstraction on fallible human beings, such cruelty will always be necessary. You can check the roster of totalitarian and theocratic regimes for the results."And:
"The neurotic suppression of sexual need and pleasure is not a virtue. It is a pathology that leads directly to vice – to the corpses of eight hundred infants in a septic tank and to the shattered souls and violated bodies of two hundred deaf boys in Milwaukee."And:
"Sex is so primal a desire that the only way to get human beings to conform to the only valid Catholic norm, you have to brutalize gay people and women who have had sex before marriage. Or more to the point, you have to make illegitimate children, their mothers and gay people invisible."Andrew Sullivan also said:
"Here’s what the ideology of sex-hatred has wrought in the Catholic Church: gay men were emotionally shut down and traumatized by their own nature in their adolescence and then persuaded or driven to become priests to conceal their sexual orientation, after which their sublimated, fucked-up and distorted sexual identities lead them to rape thousands and thousands of innocent boys and youths; young women who dared to explore their own sexuality in the absence of any “evil” contraception are wrested from their homes and lives, forced into effective labor camps, had their children brutally taken from them, and then allowed to die in a mass grave. At what point will the perpetrators of this insane sexual phobia come to terms with what it practically means in the lives of millions?”Andrew Sullivan then said:
"No society has ever lived up to this standard [that there be no sex before marriage], but in Ireland, where the church was fused with the state, they gave it about as good a try as possible."
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>We locked up more people in psychiatric wards than Stalin's Soviet Union did.</p>— Fintan O'Toole (@fotoole) <a href="https://twitter.com/fotoole/statuses/476353628547321856">June 10, 2014</a></blockquote>
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