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← Cardinal brands UK aid foreign policy 'anti-Christian'

Cardinal brands UK aid foreign policy 'anti-Christian' - Comments

Tryphon Tournesol's Avatar Comment 1 by Tryphon Tournesol

sigh...the only thing that becomes clear is that freedom from religion is much more needed in the the world than freedom of religion. Not that the bishop clarified that with an argument...

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 18:52:36 UTC | #604455

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 2 by Stafford Gordon

He's got religious freedom; he can give it up.

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 18:52:49 UTC | #604456

The Plc's Avatar Comment 3 by The Plc

He sort of has a good point. We should be gaining guarantees from countries we are giving our aid to, in order to make sure the money unconditionally goes into social programmes in order to benefit the populations lives, not into the military or business community in order to consolidate the power and privilege of political elites and western corporations, which has usually been the case in the past. But O'Brian doesn't show that he's making his point on pure principle, rather he's making sure his and his religion's interest is served.

Freedom of religion is an important right, I doubt there is little dispute there, but this must go alongside a more important freedom: freedom from religion. It'll be interesting to know if Cardinal O'Brian has any record of opposing secularism and human rights for say, gay citizens, at home in Britain. It'll be very interesting to know indeed..

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 19:06:37 UTC | #604463

Metamag's Avatar Comment 4 by Metamag

Comment 3 by The Plc :

Freedom of religion is an important right,

Freedom of being indoctrinated into believing nonsense that damages society and individuals is an important right.

Just so we are honest about what we are talking about...

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 19:14:18 UTC | #604467

ukantic's Avatar Comment 5 by ukantic

This is absurd. I can remember back to an earthquake that struck Pakistan some years ago. Tens of thousands of people in some of the poorest and remotest parts of the country had their homes turned to rubble just as a harsh winter was beginning.

Is Cardinal O'Brien seriously suggesting that people such as this: poor farmers, women and children, should be simply left to starve and freeze to death as punishment for the faults of their government - what have they ever done wrong?

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 19:18:53 UTC | #604472

Tryphon Tournesol's Avatar Comment 6 by Tryphon Tournesol

Nice thinking Metamag! Might be a really good idea to substitute such a thing for religion in every conversation. Especially when your friendly neighbourhood IDer calls you a evolutionist, instead of calling him (her, in my specific case) a religious loon, one can switch to nonsensicalist...mental note taken, thanks

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 19:22:41 UTC | #604474

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 7 by Alan4discussion

I seem to recall that "aid" from some religious charities comes with a missionary woo element in its requirements. Perhaps this is what the Cardinal is saying between the lines.

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 19:36:39 UTC | #604478

Alan Dente's Avatar Comment 8 by Alan Dente

'The cardinal's call came as a report by Vatican-approved agency Aid to the Church in Need suggested 75% of religious persecution around the world was directed against Christians, affecting 100 million people'.

Probably the funniest thing I've read all week. The very phrase 'Vatican-approved', when spoken aloud, tastes like thought-control... how can any organisation make that kind of claim about persecution? And what counts as persecution? And what about people that don't report persecution? Or people that persecute others because they themselves are persecuted?

Someone, somewhere needs a good slap for that meaningless comment.

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 20:07:12 UTC | #604492

Zelig's Avatar Comment 9 by Zelig

What, exactly, is the £445m being spent on and why?

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 20:18:02 UTC | #604496

Steve Hanson's Avatar Comment 10 by Steve Hanson

I love how Christians have a persecution complex, and it often goes hand in hand with persecuting others.

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 20:30:27 UTC | #604504

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 11 by Stevehill

I support the Cardinal.

As long as we also withhold aid from countries where doctors are intimidated, e.g. by threats of excommunication, from carrying out abortions necessary to save a woman's life.

I'm pretty pro-life on this one.

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 21:16:38 UTC | #604525

BowDownToGizmo's Avatar Comment 12 by BowDownToGizmo

Comment 9 by david2 :

What, exactly, is the £445m being spent on and why?

.

Comment 5 by ukantic :

Is Cardinal O'Brien seriously suggesting that people such as this: poor farmers, women and children, should be simply left to starve and freeze to death as punishment for the faults of their government - what have they ever done wrong?

The funding will almost certainly be going directly to the Pakistani government and NOT directly to aid programmes. I believe there's some sort of international legislation which means if governments give aid, it has to go directly to that countries government. This aid restriction has resulted in some of the most corrupt governments receiving large sums of money from overseas shortly before some of histories greatest genocides. This is a) why it shouldn't be sent at all and b) why if you insist on sending it, you should at least use it as leverage to achieve positive changes in that country.

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 21:20:04 UTC | #604527

frax71's Avatar Comment 13 by frax71

Comment 11 by Stevehill :

I support the Cardinal.

As long as we also withhold aid from countries where doctors are intimidated, e.g. by threats of excommunication, from carrying out abortions necessary to save a woman's life.

I'm pretty pro-life on this one.

Could you please explain what you mean by " pretty pro-life "

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 21:25:44 UTC | #604529

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 14 by Rich Wiltshir

Let's look at what he's really aiming for in this diatribe: a return to the dominance once enjoyed and abused by his filthy organisation! Their dominance has receded (a little) but abuse is the beast's nature.

Aid is good unless it, too, is abused. This is why the gift must be conditional and monitored. Let's meet both needs to our best ability: prevent the syphoning of aid to the coffers of goons who would deliver sorry as punishment for the good deed done!

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 22:25:29 UTC | #604550

old-toy-boy's Avatar Comment 15 by old-toy-boy

Any chance of getting Cardinal Keith O'Brien to go to Pakistan? do a bit of missionary work? That would make everyone happy? I will even put money towards it!

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 22:57:58 UTC | #604558

BigNoboDaddy's Avatar Comment 16 by BigNoboDaddy

Holy hypocrites concerned about human rights when it suits them. Or maybe children are not human: http://richarddawkins.net/videos/604453-holy-see-accused-of-flouting-un-convention-on-the-rights-of-the-child

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 23:16:30 UTC | #604563

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 17 by Stevehill

@frax71

At least 100 women in Nicaragua have avoidably died as a result of "robust" interpretation of Catholic doctrine on abortion. The state of Poland has been ordered by the European Court to pay damages to a woman blinded on similar grounds. Catholicism kills.

And that's before we start talking about AIDS and condoms...

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 23:33:39 UTC | #604569

ukantic's Avatar Comment 18 by ukantic

Comment 12 by BowDownToGizmo : .

Comment 5 by ukantic :

Is Cardinal O'Brien seriously suggesting that people such as this: poor farmers, women and children, should be simply left to starve and freeze to death as punishment for the faults of their government - what have they ever done wrong?

The funding will almost certainly be going directly to the Pakistani government and NOT directly to aid programmes. I believe there's some sort of international legislation which means if governments give aid, it has to go directly to that countries government. This aid restriction has resulted in some of the most corrupt governments receiving large sums of money from overseas shortly before some of histories greatest genocides. This is a) why it shouldn't be sent at all and b) why if you insist on sending it, you should at least use it as leverage to achieve positive changes in that country.

Two points:

Firstly - You are confusing two issues. Cardinal O'Brien is not complaining that the money is going to corrupt governments or that there is a lack of accountability as to its spending. He is complaining that the money is going to countries that are inherently anti-Christian or have bad human rights record. If other members of this forum want to set up a thread discussing the first issue, then feel free. However we are currently addressing the second issue as outlined by Cardinal O'Brien himself. In this case the issue of corruption and accountability are entirely irrelevant.

Secondly - I agree that it is not a good idea to give aid money to any government without insuring that it's being spent effectively and for the purpose stated. However, in this case I think you will find that our government has taken measures to ensure that it will be. For example, read this BBC article on the new aid initiative:

Britain doubles aid to Pakistan

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 23:35:58 UTC | #604570

reebus's Avatar Comment 19 by reebus

This is like Bill Gates refusing to contribute to as well as branding an abacus initiative as cheap and anti-windows.

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 23:39:32 UTC | #604571

BowDownToGizmo's Avatar Comment 20 by BowDownToGizmo

Comment 18 by ukantic :

Comment 12 by BowDownToGizmo : .

Comment 5 by ukantic :

Is Cardinal O'Brien seriously suggesting that people such as this: poor farmers, women and children, should be simply left to starve and freeze to death as punishment for the faults of their government - what have they ever done wrong?

The funding will almost certainly be going directly to the Pakistani government and NOT directly to aid programmes. I believe there's some sort of international legislation which means if governments give aid, it has to go directly to that countries government. This aid restriction has resulted in some of the most corrupt governments receiving large sums of money from overseas shortly before some of histories greatest genocides. This is a) why it shouldn't be sent at all and b) why if you insist on sending it, you should at least use it as leverage to achieve positive changes in that country.

Two points:

Firstly - You are confusing two issues. Cardinal O'Brien is not complaining that the money is going to corrupt governments or that there is a lack of accountability as to its spending. He is complaining that the money is going to countries that are inherently anti-Christian or have bad human rights record. If other members of this forum want to set up a thread discussing the first issue, then feel free. However we are currently addressing the second issue as outlined by Cardinal O'Brien himself. In this case the issue of corruption and accountability are entirely irrelevant.

Secondly - I agree that it is not a good idea to give aid money to any government without insuring that it's being spent effectively and for the purpose stated. However, in this case I think you will find that our government has taken measures to ensure that it will be. For example, read this BBC article on the new aid initiative:

Britain doubles aid to Pakistan

Let's get something straight, you asked "is Cardinal O Brien suggesting the poor shouldn't get aid because of their government's errors". This question in itself implies that the aid goes directly to the poor. My point was that the implication is false as the money gets handed first to the government of Pakistan. Vast amounts of this type of aid have been given across the globe and it has failed to significantly improve situations in most cases (please see William Easterly's "White Man's Burden" for in depth discussion of this).

How you worked out from this that I meant that Cardinal O Brien was complaining about international aid in general I don't know.

Now you add an article that states that the British will be on the ground to check it all gets spent right and proper. Auditing is not a solution to an inherently flawed approach to improving the quality of life of the poor.

I will concede however that the top-down versus bottom up approaches to international aid discussed here is a topic of academic debate in the economics world, I am merely more won over by Easterly's arguments than by those of Jeffrey Sachs.

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 23:56:38 UTC | #604579

frax71's Avatar Comment 21 by frax71

Comment 17 by Stevehill :

@frax71

At least 100 women in Nicaragua have avoidably died as a result of "robust" interpretation of Catholic doctrine on abortion. The state of Poland has been ordered by the European Court to pay damages to a woman blinded on similar grounds. Catholicism kills.

And that's before we start talking about AIDS and condoms...

Sorry Steve, completely misinterpreted your point. You could also have pointed out Brazil where approx 100 women are awaiting trial ( according to Geoffrey Robertson in his book The Case of the Pope ) for having an abortion which is illegal there even in cases of rape and incest

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 01:03:46 UTC | #604594

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 22 by SomersetJohn

The only religious freedom I would actively support is the freedom to leave a religion without having to fear violence, intimidation, threats, persecution or eternal residence in a blast furnace.

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 01:44:08 UTC | #604602

Michael Gray's Avatar Comment 23 by Michael Gray

Comment 11 by Stevehill :

As long as we also withhold aid from countries where doctors are intimidated, e.g. by threats of excommunication, from carrying out abortions necessary to save a woman's life.

The USA is an egregious example of this obscene phenomenon.

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 02:02:18 UTC | #604606

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 24 by Neodarwinian

So Britain is to peg it's foreign aid on a world wide delusion? Why?

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 02:07:01 UTC | #604608

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 25 by aquilacane

A Roman Catholic cardinal has accused the UK government of operating an "anti-Christian foreign policy".

My scribble on the matter

very cross

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 04:04:27 UTC | #604622

alaskansee's Avatar Comment 26 by alaskansee

I too agree with the Cardinal, not the christian whine but the demand for progress for aid. Didn't we, the west, just spend years propping up Egypt's president?

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 04:49:51 UTC | #604630

ukantic's Avatar Comment 27 by ukantic

Comment 20 by BowDownToGizmo :

Let's get something straight, you asked "is Cardinal O Brien suggesting the poor shouldn't get aid because of their government's errors". This question in itself implies that the aid goes directly to the poor.

The article I enclosed clearly shows that this aid to Pakistan is being monitored to ensure that it is being used for the stated purpose. Therefore, in a way it is going directly to the poor as opposed to being used for other undesirable purposes. If we followed COB's advice and withheld this money on the basis that we do not agree with their governments treatment of Christian minorities, then these poor and needy people in Pakistan are going to suffer as a result.

My point was that the implication is false as the money gets handed first to the government of Pakistan. Vast amounts of this type of aid have been given across the globe and it has failed to significantly improve situations in most cases (please see William Easterly's "White Man's Burden" for in depth discussion of this).

COB is not complaining that governments are getting aid money and misusing it or that it is ineffective, he is complaining that we are giving money to governments that are anti-Christian and have poor human rights records.

How you worked out from this that I meant that Cardinal O Brien was complaining about international aid in general I don't know.

I think by now I have made it more than abundatly clear what I believe COB is complaining about and it isn't international trade in general.

Now you add an article that states that the British will be on the ground to check it all gets spent right and proper. Auditing is not a solution to an inherently flawed approach to improving the quality of life of the poor.

I added the article to give a more balanced view of the situation because by stating that the money would "NOT" go directly towards the aids programs, you seemed to be implying that the government would use the money for other purposes, some of which sound quite sinister seeing as they apparently involve genocide. The article clearly dispells such a notion.

As for the auditing; surely if the government commits X amount of money to a project for the poor and by strict auditing manages to show that X amount of money has actually been spent, then surely that is the end of the matter. Whether or not it was used effectively is entirly irrelevant to COB's complaint.

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 11:22:21 UTC | #604667

Beethoven's Avatar Comment 28 by Beethoven

I agree that we should not give aid to pakistan without demanding any changes that lead to secularization. We should make aid conditional on rescinding the blasphemy law etc etc

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 15:03:39 UTC | #604714

petengeth's Avatar Comment 29 by petengeth

We should also stop aid to countries where the catholic church prevents the use of condoms to prevent HIV spreading. That isn't persecution it's murder.

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 16:48:19 UTC | #604740

RealRiff's Avatar Comment 30 by RealRiff

We shouldn't be giving aid to countries that can afford to run nuclear weapons programmes anyway.

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 18:51:39 UTC | #604764