In Christopher Hitchens opinion, the reason that Mother Teresa is so highly revered amongst not only the Catholic community, but also other religious and even non-religion groups and individuals is:
Partly because that impression is so widespread. But also because the sheer fact that this is considered unquestionable is a sign of what we are up against, namely the problem of credulity. One of the most salient examples of people’s willingness to believe anything if it is garbed in the appearance of holiness is the uncritical acceptance of the idea of Mother Teresa as a saint by people who would normally be thinking – however lazily – in a secular or rational manner. In other words, in every sense it is an unexamined claim.
In his book The Missionary Postion, Hitchens labels Mother Teresa ” the “Ghoul of Calcutta” a “fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud” amongst other things, and there are others who share that same viewpoint for good reasons. Unfortunately most sheeple people will not even bother to listen to or consider these accusations.
In his above-mentioned post on his blog Atanu Dey on India’s Development, Dey writes:
What exactly is my main grouse with M. Teresa? I think that she was evil. She manipulated others and cheated them, and she did so on the backs of Kolkata’s miserable. She was the most famous “beggar lord” – a person who makes a living by taking the money that people give to beggars and using that money for some other purpose. In her case, it is suspected that the money is funneled to the Vatican so that she would get on the fast tract to being canonized.
And now we have this story reported in the news recently:
Catholic forces in New York City are not-so-quietly mobilizing a massive petition drive, protest, lobbying effort and media campaign to attempt to force the owner of the Empire State Building to light the building blue and white on August 26 in honor of Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday. Their efforts have even infiltrated the City Council of New York City, in the form of a resolution which was referred to committee at the council meeting on June 9.
The City Council resolution introduced by Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. would force the building owner to honor the New York City Catholic League’s lighting request.
According to the New York Post, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was infuriated by the owner’s refusal to light the building to honor Teresa. Quinn said: “I just think it’s a really wrongheaded decision.”
Anthony E. Malkin, who privately owns the Empire State Building, said the building “has a specific policy against any other lighting for religious figures or requests by religions and religious organizations.”
The New York Post (June 9) featured a full-page cover story and photo of the Empire State Building with a huge headline: “THE EVIL EMPIRE.” The Catholic League plans to demonstrate outside the Empire State Building on August 26 and has collected 40,000 signatures for a petition in support of the Mother Teresa lighting.
These Catholics are as bad, if not worse than the evangelical protestants when it comes to their lack of consideration for freedom of and freedom from religion. The building is privately owned. The owner can choose to do whatever he wants with this demand. He can honor it, or ignore it. And we know when there is “religious uprising” when they can’t have their way, there could be violence. They say so themselves.
The president of the Catholic League griped: “I think that too many Catholics have fallen asleep at the wheel. It’s time for people, the rank and file to say enough is enough. I hope it’s going to be nonviolent, I wouldn’t encourage violence but I know there’s a lot of anger.”
So they are pissed off because a private building owner will not light his building to honor a certain denominations religious icon, and a ghoulish one at that. What’s really mind-boggling is that the city hall is getting involved instead of just standing firm that it is not their business to promote or make special accommodations for any religion.
Speaker Quinn has additionally joined with Mayor Michael Bloomberg to declare August 26 a “day of service in honor of Mother Teresa.”
Quinn said: “The Empire State Building does not have final say on how Mother Teresa’s life should be honored. That’s why we in the Council are inviting all New Yorkers on August 26th, light up their own windows, homes, businesses in blue and white as a tribute to her. Lighting up the Empire State Building as a tribute to her would be great. But honoring such an inspiring woman does not have to be limited to a single building.”
Fine, light up your own damn windows any way you choose, honor and worship the Ghoul of Calcutta if you choose to on your own property, in your own deluded way. But should the city council be promoting or encouraging such a thing?
“It is inappropriate and unseemly for city council representatives to use their office to promote a denominational religious figure such as the nun, Mother Teresa,” the Freedom From Religion Foundation said.
I agree, it is inappropriate. Once again, a religious community has no respect for the separation of church and state and is trying to bully a private citizen to get its way using elected government officials.
As the article states, “August 26 has long been celebrated as Women’s Equality Day by feminists as the date in 1920 when U.S. women finally won the right to vote, enshrined as the suffrage amendment — the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
Let’s keep August 26th “Celebrate Women’s Equality Day”, Not birth of Mother Teresa, Ghoul of Calcutta day.