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Talk:Mother Teresa

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Sentence ambiguity[edit]

This sentence is unclear. do we mean using her fame to help her in her work, or using her fame to help herself? "His accusations include that she was primarily a political opportunist, abusing her fame and charity to spread her religious message, rather than help her.[2]" I don't really want to change it, as I've not read the book.--Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 16:37, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

I believe the sentence was trying to imply "help her [humanitarian work]." I've changed it. Blue Talk 16:51, 18 August 2011 (UTC)


All too often I come across a RationalWiki article that's just full of hate. Yeah, she was pro-life. But whether you like it or not, in the pro-life paradigm it's not just about oppressing women. It comes from a belief that life begins at conception. I don't think it does, but you have to understand where a lot of their vehemence comes from. They are convinced you're killing babies. And seriously, Mother Teresa? Don't we have better people to pick on?

Anyways, I want to be a good sport, so here's a Mother Teresa joke my uncle told me a long time ago:

After Mother Teresa died, she went to heaven. Upon her arrival St. Peter lavished her with praise and personally guided her through the pearly gates into her new domain. As they walked towards some sort of initiation chamber, Mother Teresa heard horrific shrieks of agony coming from behind some doors. Troubled, she asks St. Peter about what is going on. He opens one of the doors to reveal an angel driving a pick through a man's shoulder with a hammer. Mother Teresa is horrified, and St. Peter explains:

"This is a necessary step for entering heaven. Holes must be made so we can place wings on you."

"That's monstrous! I think I'd rather go to hell than be subjected to that" Mother Teresa replied lividly.

"Hell?! No! They'll rape you and sodomize you for all eternity!" warned St. Peter.

Mother Teresa retorts, "Well at least for that the holes are already there!"

--User:Brxbrx/sig 13:11, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

It's got little to do with pro-life and everything to do with the fact that the Missionaries of Charity effectively embezzle money to found ministries and churches, and even when that money does go to the "homes of the dying" it isn't spent on any kind of medical or palliative care as people are left in squalor and often chained to their beds until they finally die. And then she actually said she wasn't interested in care or relieving them of pain because their suffering made her feel closer to God. At best, she was deluded, abused and a political toy for the Catholic Church, at worst she was actively one of the worst sadists and mass murderers of the late 21st 20th Century. ADK...I'll seize your broadsword! 13:27, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Armond, either you have your centuries wrong -- we're still in the early 21st, after all, or you're arguing that Teresa was worse than Hitler/Stqalin/Mao/Pol Pot....I'm no fan, but isn't that a little over the top? B♭maj7 “We are moving too fast for any label to stick.”-CLRJ 13:51, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Wasn't she? She blatently tells people she is doing good, then turns around and says "good means suffering". She was collecting money to let people lie on the ground and suffer. Whey they said they hurt, she said with loving compassion that "she knows, and it makes them closer to god". Then kissed them on their brow and moved to the next poor soul suffering on the cold floor. Hitler said "I'm going to kill every fucking jew." you knew to run away. STalin said "fucking follow me without question or die". you knew to fucking run away. She said COME TO ME AND LET ME HELP YOU. you ran TO her.
She was given money to make wells for clean water that never got made. MILLIONS of dollars.
She was given money for drugs to aid in basic care and sickness. Including simple and inexpensive things like asprin to lower fevers and reduce pain. She had NONE of that in her "clinics". audits now find no money was spent on any medical supplies. (or very near to none.)
She hired a few nurses, but most were simply nuns administering love, not drugs, not blankets, not care. just "love" what ever love is, without drugs, blankets and care.
She had an account in new york (found after she died) with 40 million dollars in it, that had been given for care of the poor and sick. It's not that she hadn't gotten around to giving it out. She had really never taken any money out of that account for over 10 years since she started collecting it.
Nurses have come forward saying she blatantly gave 1/2 portions of food to THE SICK AND DYING, who's body's needed food to heal, and to the children saying to them "You should remember how grateful you are to have anything. Your suffering, your pennance makes you closer to god". Pennance, while starving to death or dying of illness or just trying to grow up. Pennance.
Because of my work in religious studies, I had the great pleasure to work with many hindus in school. Even when she was alive, they knew she was not the saint the US made her out ot be. and now? few in india have any respect for her, cause she and her church stole from them; she and her church pushed a religion onto them they did not want, for the promise of care that never came. That is vile. and any attempt to say "but look at all the good she did" should be met with "show me one good thing she did".Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 14:18, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
And what really chafts is that this is exactly what the catholic church has said for decades, to either cover it's own delight of money and power - while abusing the poor, or just cause they believed it -- depending on who said it. Since Augustine, there has been a strong undercurrent in the Catholic church that says one should suffer for god, suffer to be closer to jesus, suffer to understand the meaning of life. Augustine councils that at minimum, while you probably shouldn't be doing "cutting" or other literally starve yourself, he says you should never have a life of pleasure, and the only experienced pleasure should be directly related to your relationship with god. You should eat nothing but bread and rice and meat without season, for those are pleasures of the flesh; you should not be enjoying your sexuality, but just making babies; you should drink only water, etc. Life is to praise god, not to be enjoyed. This thread expands and turns into the idea of hair shirts, and sleep deprivation, month long fasts, and year or more long enforced silence of monks and nuns. All while those at the top are total tools of their human whims. Was theressa a sadist or mass murderer? Probably not, but she was a creature of the Suffer for God mindset. And i cannot find it in me to say "that's something to be praised".
I have pink eye again. Once I can blink without hurting I'll look some stuff up and either agree with you or offer some counter arguments.--User:Brxbrx/sig 14:55, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
@WfG Good post!, @Brx: that's a lame excuse. The unbusinesslikeman of business 14:56, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
"I have to do more research into the matter and I'm a little distracted ATM" is a lame excuse? Wtf is your problem?--User:Brxbrx/sig 15:03, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
I recall you getting pink-eye before, that's all, and it seems like you are trying to pass off on a semi-immediate response by feigning illness. A similar effect is when asking a lady out she replies "I have to go wash my dog" or somesuch. If you do have pinkeye, then I am truly sorry. The unbusinesslikeman of business 15:05, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
If he has pink eye, he has pink eye. if he's tired, or at work, or just doesn't give a shit right now - that's ok too. It's not a "lame excuse". It is what it is. Brxbrs, start with the mayor of Calcutta's "withdrawn" complaint against her. He withdrew it becuase she died days after he filed it. But he has publicly stated he stands by everything in the complaint. From there, look into the NYT's review of the New York bank account. As for the comments of how she treated her people? Ask an indian. Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 15:56, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
The 'Holier Than Thou' episode of Bullshit! has a good overview of Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity, notably it contains interviews with nuns who joined the mission and quit in disgust. And Hemley Gonzalez's Facebook page is amassing quite a dossier of photographic evidence and interviews testifying that the Missionaries of Charity are full of shit (if you can stomach Gonzalez's smug and self-serving grin in many of the photos). ADK...I'll employ your noun! 16:06, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Turns out, I have a corneal abrasion. I had pink eye a month ago, so I figured I just didn't clean up enough when I noticed similar symptoms. I had given myself a corneal abrasion then as well, because I wouldn't stop fucking with my eye (I thought the sensations from the conjuctivitis were caused by something being stuck in my eye, and I had spent much time trying to purge the elusive something- woops). I thought it might be the same one as back then, but the doctor said corneal abrasions should heal in a few days. Last month I had also neglected to pursue a follow-up appointment, but this time the doctor insisted. Tomorrow I will obtain some anti-inflammatory eye drops and I should be able to blink comfortably. Seems the pharmacy was all out today.--User:Brxbrx/sig 19:38, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
MT will be happy you are suffering. But I'm sorry you are. that does not sound fun. take care, you can follow up on this any time. It's not like most of us have a life. or they might, I don't.Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 19:48, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Yikes, get better soon.--ADtalkModerator 23:59, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Jam it with a cocktail stick repeatedly. It'll bring you closer to God. ADK...I'll bescumber your cubicle! 00:00, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
In terms of flaming hypocrisy with regard to "do-gooding," Mother Teresa is right up there with Stalin, but in general they are not comparable. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 00:07, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
They rank differently on different scales. Mother Teresa certainly thought, nay knew, she was doing Good with the Capital G. She had the religious fervor to carry it out fully convinced what she was doing was right and for the best. At least most despots are admittedly self-serving and probably aren't too in denial that they cause a lot of harm - they just tend not to care, and would think it doesn't count when you do it to certain groups of people. If you want to talk about direct acts and body count, then Stalin wins, obviously. But for sheer flaming hypocrisy Teresa certainly comes out on top. ADK...I'll neuter your magnet! 00:22, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Stalin was like that; he killed, or deliberately caused the death of, millions of people while concurrently claiming to be "liberating" them from "oppression," etc. There was some of that with the Nazis as well; while Hitler did not go as far as to pretend to be acting in the Jews' interest, the Nazi government did pretend that they were being sent for "special treatment" rather than a trip to the gas-chamber. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 00:33, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
But indications suggest Mother Teresa actually, wholeheartedly believed that, rather than just used it as propaganda to cover up the truth. ADK...I'll absolve your microscope! 00:40, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
If that is actually true, then she was not a hypocrite, just a very grievous sinner. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 00:43, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Hmmmm. I suppose that could get her off the hypocrisy accusation on a technicality. But what she claimed to do wasn't really propaganda to cover the actual squalor of the homes for the dying, it was something else and it just seems far worse. ADK...I'll redeem your disaster! 00:48, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm personally of the opinion that Hitchens was far too harsh on MT, but raised a lot of good points. That's why I tend to give her the benefit of the doubt as far as believing what she was doing was the right thing, but it was horribly, tragically wrong for what was needed. The worst kind of evil never realizes it's evil because it believes in good faith that it's doing absolutely the right thing. EVDebs (talk) 16:46, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Pippa (talk) 17:33, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Enhanced, of course, by a religion that praises suffering, austerity, and poverty in the name of "god". Unless of course, you are the pope.Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 17:41, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Just a question, from where did Hitchens get his evidence? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 04:25, 5 July 2014

Is ...[edit]

... there anyone on Earth whom RationalWiki does not despise? Let Them Eat Cake (talk) 19:20, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Carl Sagan? :D
Anyway, "RationalWiki" is a bunch of bytes and can't despise anything. As for the community, it is not monolithic. Most of the users have their own priorities and hobbyhorses. As a result, article coverage, quality and style are uneven and there's no unified editorial tone, except the general "not very reverent". If you have issues with a particular article, point out the specific problems you see.--ZooGuard (talk) 19:31, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
You trying to say that someone who founded a charity that specifically doesn't help people and squandered all its money building monasteries and convents, all because the suffering of others made her feel close to her own imaginary friend, isn't someone worth despising? I suppose, at best, we can have sympathy for her if you assume she was fairly innocent and just the victim in a massive publicity game by the Catholic Church, but there's not masses of evidence for that being the only angle. Scarlet A.pngtheist 19:59, 10 August 2012 (U
I suppose a more accurate question would be: "Is there any religious person on Earth whom rationalwiki does not despise? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 04:05, 5 July 2014


This made Hitchens deeply unpopular ..." err, what "this"? Looks as if there's a quote missing. (and the tone of the article is all too nice to the evil old bag) Scream!! (talk) 20:04, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Not only that, but:
This article appears to be an embarrassing jumble of paragraph fragments strewn about with no real coherence and vaguely pointed in the direction that Mother Teresa was promoting causes she shouldn't have. The writing style is all over the place as well. It is also very uninformative about things she has done, focusing just on random things she has said or promoted (and even that only in passing and not in detail). In short, it looks more like someone's notebook than a real article. Nullahnung (talk) 20:20, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Mother Teresa as an example...[edit], not of a saint, but how (self) promotion as a saint, even in today's world of easy access to countervailing information provided by sceptics who actually checked up on the facts surrounding her life, continues to be what shapes the public image of Mother Teresa. This illustrates why fundamentalist/literalist claims relying on the virtues and miracles wrought by the saints of the past can be safely rejected. Of course saintliness is irrelevant to questions of accuracy in terms of claims about God/gods or history anyway, but the claims, such as the disciples being too saintly to lie or otherwise distort any facts regarding Jesus, a cornerstone of literalist apologetics, are thus suspect even if we were to disregard the fallacious reasoning they employ. Mother Teresa, her image and her actual deeds and statements and not least the ways she has been embraced and employed by not only the Catholic Church but by other Christian groups as well thus constitute a highly pertinent historical analogy with all those far less well-documented saints whose lives come down to us in the form of hagiographies written in a far more credulous age. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:26, 5 September 2016 (UTC)


A red error notice has appeared saying, "Cite error: <ref> tags exist for a group named "note", but no corresponding tag was found." What's wrong? Proxima Centauri (talk) 13:26, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

fixed it I am not the Ombud's man 13:42, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! Proxima Centauri (talk) 13:58, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
You're welcome. I am not the Ombud's man 15:09, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Albanian nationalism[edit]

"Mother Teresa herself never offered any excuse for these actions, and had furthermore nothing to say when her portrait was being flouted by pro-Greater Albania zealots in Macedonia and Kosovo."

I find this sentence rather strange (although I suppose it is Hitchens' view rather than RW's). Irredentists see themselves as completely altruistic freedom fighters working for the cause of justice, and it seems very strange to me to expect one to apologize. Hell would probably freeze over before any one of them would voluntarily apologize for their beliefs or actions, and if such a thing did happen, their in-group would probably consider them traitors.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 07:07, 11 October 2017 (UTC)