Wednesday, January 31, 2018

JUNGLEWATCH RESPONSE TO ISA KELLEY BOWMAN

A certain Isa Kelley Bowman has written a column in today's Guam Daily Post. (Note: The column, as found on the Post website, is written in two languages. Only the English is copied below):

'Este un Katoliku na tåno'' ('This is a Catholic country')
By Isa Kelley Bowman

Her name was Savita Halappanavar. She was only 31 years old. She was just seventeen weeks pregnant.

She was found to be miscarrying and was admitted to the hospital in Galway, Ireland. The doctors refused to treat her, which would have meant essentially providing an abortion, and she died horribly of septicema, or blood poisoning.

Allegedly, she was told, as explanation, "This is a Catholic country."

Don't accept that your faith means you must necessarily buy into divisive, intrusive rhetoric about "abortion."

Don Rubinstein has a fine article about the long cultural history of abortion in the Philippines and Micronesia. Anthony "Malia" Ramirez told him of the indigenous CHamoru practice and indigenous CHamoru terms.

Vivian Dames has written with great sensitivity about the need for a reconciliatory, maternal and compassionate discourse.

Many will come out to protest abortion as the killing of children. Yet those are the same who will also continue to support the church despite its own crimes against children.

Why were none of those children heard for so long on Guam? Can we not give ear to the vulnerable when they cry out?

My heart is absolutely broken.

The rituals of our sexuality comprise a greater and older cult practice than any religion, uncontrollable and indomitable.

We cannot treat this as a single, uncomplicated issue. I am concerned for the safety of women as well as children. I am concerned about teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and child abuse and sexual predators.

Why are we so loud about abortion and so silent about rape?

Until I hear the church come out in the full force of its passion to protect women and men and girls and boys against rape and abuse just as loudly as it protests abortion, there is no morality in its position.


As a PhD university professor, especially given what appears to be her expertise, Ms. Bowman probably regularly lectures on the evils of profiling, stereotyping, and the dangers of generalizing particular groups of humans. 

Yet, apparently for Ms. Bowman, Catholics are fair game, as it would be difficult to find a better example of profiling, stereotyping, and generalizing a particular group of humans, than her column in the Post. 

In order to engage Ms. Bowman's deductive fallacy (i.e. Catholics are a single robotic entity and have no right to protest abortion unless they protest other stuff), I'll have to blow my own horn. And I beg your indulgence to do so. 

There has been no one more visible in the fight against the clergy sex abuse scandal over the last four years than myself. And, likewise, there has also been no one more visible on the legislative front in the fight against abortion than myself. And both wars have cost me much. 

While most of the rest of the island was running for cover, I was publicly standing alone against the powers of Apuron for at least two long, lonely years. I was rewarded for my efforts by Apuron publicly threatening to sue me on the front page of the PDN in May 2016. The cost of Apuron's threat and his long war against me has cost me, my family, my businesses, my health, my whole life, more than most people will ever know.

And now that the truth is pouring forth, the threats from the Apuron camp have not abated. In fact, they have increased and become exponentially more personal, hostile, and costly. And while some are now speaking up, there are also "some" who I thought would "be there" (when worst came to worst, which it has) who were not. Such is the cost of standing for truth. 

Relative to abortion on Guam, after nearly 30 years of the local Catholic leadership doing absolutely nothing legislatively to engage the reality that Guam was the easiest place in the nation to procure an abortion, I and a friend started The Esperansa Project, and a very long, hostile, costly war with some of the most powerful people in the legislature followed. (Most of that war is documented at Esperansa.org and GuamOpenGovernment.org.)

Between 2008 and 2016, I personally spearheaded 12 legislative efforts to do something about the free-for-all abortion industry that was thriving on this island, and mostly thriving, not because poor women wanted an abortion, but because powerful men needed to hide the evidence of a similarly thriving sex-slave industry, as the investigation into the Blue House would at one point uncover. 

As for being a member of the Church that Ms. Bowman apparently despises, I don't recall anyone being more visible in the local press defending and sharing the Catholic faith as myself, a fact which can be easily verified in a search for my name in either of the two local newspapers, and as also catalogued on my blog TheMassNeverEnds.com.

But beyond me, the other Catholics which Ms. Bowman attempts to impugn and belittle have accomplished something no other Catholics in the world have done in modern history: rid themselves of an abusive bishop.  

With their walkers, wheel chairs, canes and rosaries, a small group of mostly elderly Catholics began to stand up to the most powerful man on Guam. And in doing so, they also began to stand up against the culture of silence imposed on them by oppressive and cowardly clerical bullies like the one they were now standing up against. 

And after more than a year of pounding the sidewalk in front of the Cathedral, Sunday after Sunday, during "Apuron's Mass," the sound of that pounding finally reached Rome. But not just Rome. That sound of pounding feet was also heard in the hearts of what is now more than 150 "children" who for decades lay quivering in the dark with horrible, suppressed memories, if not ruined lives. 

In other dioceses around the world, bishops were removed or disciplined only after the press or aggressive lawyers and legislators initiated an investigation. Not so, Guam. In fact, the press (for the most part), the lawyers, and the legislators did not get involved until the pounding and the crying got too loud to ignore. 

No. In Guam, the same Catholics who Ms. Bowman says have no right to protest abortion unless they also protest sex abuse are the very Catholics who did what no legislator, no media person, no lawyer, and no university professor had the guts to do.

And speaking of University professors, Ms. Bowman references her colleague, Vivian Dames, who she says "has written with great sensitivity about the need for a reconciliatory, maternal and compassionate discourse."

Ms. Dames is the wife of Dr. Gerhard Schwab, also a university professor, and who was once in the employ of Apuron during a time we are now learning he was raping nephews in the chancery bathroom. 

"In 1986, he moved to Guam, where he became married and continued in his professional work at the Archdiocese of Agana for three (3) years."Resolution No. 312-33 (COR)

And speaking of Ms. Dames' writing. Here is something she wrote:

"Lou (Leon Guerrero) attributes her becoming pro-choice to her Catholic education..."

- Dames, Vivian Loyola. Asian/Pacific Islander American Women, A Historical Anthology/Chamorro Women and the politics of Abortion in Guam, Ed. Shirley Hune and Gail M. Nomura. New York University Press, 2003. Pg. 375. 

How curious, that Dames' colleague and author of the subject column is criticizing the very church (i.e. "Catholic education) which produced Guam's foremost "pro-choice" advocate.


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