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Catholic Bishops Support Net Neutrality 304

Posted by samzenpus
from the nobody-expects-the-internet-inquisition dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This week, in their annual 'State of the Union' address, the President of the US Catholic Bishops Conference spoke on a number of issues, in particular a surprisingly strong statement in favor on Net Neutrality. 'As the Internet continues to grow in its influence and prominence in Americans' lives, we support legislation and federal regulations that ensure equal access to the Internet for all, including religious and non-profit agencies, as well as those in more sparsely populated or economically distressed areas. True net neutrality is necessary for people to flourish in a democratic society,' said Archbishop Timothy Dolan. It's always interesting to see the Catholic Church joining in a crusade that means so much to so many Slashdotters!"
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Catholic Bishops Support Net Neutrality

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  • Crusade? (Score:4, Funny)

    by PatPending (953482) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:25AM (#34937198)

    It's always interesting to see the Catholic Church joining in a crusade that means so much to so many Slashdotters!

    Crusade? Slashdotters were expecting the Spanish Inquisition!

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Well, it all got started like this:

      Mr Devious: Well, Father Morrison, in your terms of use (finds dogeared piece of paper in a coat pocket) you'll see quite clearly that none of your outbound packets will ever reach their destination.
      Father Morrison: Oh dear.
      Devious: You see, you unfortunately plumped for our 'Noconnect' network service, which, you know, if you never connect is very worthwhile...but you had to connect, and, well, there it is.
      Morrison: Oh dear, oh dear.
      Devious: Look... Father... I hate t

    • NOBODY expects...

      (That's what you wanted, right? Right?)

    • No one expects the Spanish InquiPLEASE UPGRADE your plan to MEDIUM TIER in order to RECEIVE MONTY PYTHON YOUTUBE CLIPS.

  • With friends like that, who needs enemies?
    • With friends like that, who needs enemies?

      It should read:
      With friends like that, who needs enemas?

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      With friends like that, who needs enemies?

      What did the Catholic church ever do to you to deserve that attitude? If you got molested by a priest, the church didn't hurt you, a man did. The coverups were done by men. Meanwhile there are millions of good people that actually make up the church.

      And no, I'm not Catholic.

  • You may be surprised (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MrKaos (858439) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:32AM (#34937228) Journal
    For the most hypocritical church on earth they're surprisingly progressive with some matters. I don't think they're that keen on Intelligent design either.
    • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:35AM (#34937246)

      No, Intelligent design is a radical Protestant scam. It is an attempt to save the Genesis account of creation at any cost, because if they don't, there's no original sin for Jesus to be sacrificed for rendering the whole of Christianity meaningless.

      • by Noughmad (1044096) <miha.cancula@gmail.com> on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:48AM (#34937312) Homepage

        On the other hand, the progressive Catholic church has moved on from the myth of original sin and has accepted that he died for Net Neutrality.

      • by MrKaos (858439) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @05:02AM (#34937362) Journal
        That's if you take Genesis literally, which proponents of I.D do. Not all people think that way. Only people who want to ram their spirituality down someone else's throat.

        I think Catholicisms objection to I.D is a matter of doctrine, that it actually limits the possibilities of the universe (which is described as the glory of God in the bible). Anything that limits the glory of God is blasphemous, therefore Intelligent Design is blasphemous.

        • by Dynedain (141758) <slashdot2@a n t h o n y m c l i n.com> on Thursday January 20, 2011 @05:34AM (#34937476) Homepage

          Actually the official position of the Catholic Church is that the Big Bang and evolution are the best models currently available to describe the universe that God created, and the process of how we came into being. There is no conflict between evolution and Catholic teaching, and the Big Bang was originally put forward by a priest, but dismissed by much of the rest of the scientific community as being too much like a "God did it" theory.

          ID isn't blasphemous to Catholics because it's limiting God. ID is just wrong because A) it isn't science. B) it assumes taking the BIble literally. Catholics theologians are fully aware of how the Bible has changed, is sometimes self-contradictory, and has been reinterpreted over the centuries, and so taking a specific translation and treating it as word-for-word literal truth is a simplistic and juvenile approach.

          • are fully aware of how the Bible has changed

            The Bible, both sides, actually has the most copies in the original ancient languages of any book from that era. It is actually the most widely copied book from the ancient world we have. The variations of the original versions are insignificant. Furthermore, the Old Testament in particular has been very well-preserved. The Jews did an unbelievably good job there. We have copies of Genesis that go back over 3,000 years that are the same as copies from 1AD and the

            • by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @08:25AM (#34938136) Journal

              Yeah. I think the Vulgate was the main source for the KJV translators.

              It's problematic to use the term "original version" when discussing the Bible. At best we tend to have what would be described as the oldest sources available, and in some cases these oldest sources appear themselves descended from earlier unknown sources. I'm not sure what you're defining as insignificant here, and whether you're talking about the canonical Bible or its individual books?

              The Bible, as in a canon of collected works, has been pretty stable for a long time now, but it's not as if 2000 years ago the Bible fell from the sky in its current form. There have been a number of canons and apocrypha. It took hundreds of years to arrive at what would be almost universally accepted as the canon we know today. That canon itself has been pretty consistent for at least 1500 years, and the KJV dates from the 16th or 17th century century (can't recall which), so it is wrong to claim that the *Bible* itself has changed a great deal. It is however perfectly correct to highlight the incredible quantity of apocryphal works and what appear to be later additions to individual books. I think the more important thing to look at is how interpretations of the Bible have changed.

              I like to use KJV and NIV side-by-side. NIV is a bit dry and at times over-simplified, but far easier to comprehend. KJV alone can be a bit misleading, such as in Exodus (I forget the verse) where the word "gift" in the KJV is more correctly translated as "bribe". That wouldn't make sense to a KJV reader unless they were very careful to read the verse in its correct context.

            • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Thursday January 20, 2011 @08:34AM (#34938188) Homepage

              Furthermore, the Old Testament in particular has been very well-preserved. The Jews did an unbelievably good job there.

              A large amount of Christians worldwide disagree. The Orthodox Church uses the Septuagint because it is believed that the pointing in the Masoretic Text was altered in order to suppress Christian interpretations. As far as they are concerned, a reliable Hebrew text is no longer available.

              We have copies of Genesis that go back over 3,000 years that are the same as copies from 1AD and the middle ages.

              I'm sorry, but that's just bollocks. The only attestations of the Hebrew language we have from that period are epigraphical. Biblical texts date from centuries later.

              The Catholic church relied on the Vulgate which is a trashy translation into Latin.

              "Trashy"? The Vulgate was actually a polished, literary translation that was meant to supersede the amateur translations that Latin-speaking Christians had used to date. The Protestant reformers and the Eastern Orthodox Church had a great deal of respect for Jerome's work (they simply didn't think it intelligible to their modern audiences).

              The Bible sitting on my shelf is about as accurate of a translation as you can get from what Paul and Luke actually wrote in Koine Greek and Aramaic.

              An Aramaic ur-text is a controversial theory, and usually only ascribed to the Gospel of Matthew. Paul and Luke were Hellenized and spoke Greek as their mother tongue. They likely wrote nothing in Aramaic, and even if they did, there's no manuscript of it to translate from.

              • What we DO have is what wound up being very surprising - the Dead Sea Scrolls (the 1 AD stuff), which wound up being very similar.

                You also need to take into account how Hebrew oral tradition was passed down. It wasn't the telephone game - there was some precise memorization that had to take place.
            • by Asic Eng (193332)
              Most people who say "the Bible has been changed" are speaking out of ignorance.

              Well, today the catholic church is quite clear on which gospels of the new testament belong to canon. That wasn't the case in the first 300 years of Christianity - there weren't any in the beginning, and then there was a period where you had quite a lot of them. Which of those should be believed was a matter of considerable debate. After those 300 years of changes, you could say the text became stable, that's true - that's a fa

            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              They're using the New International Version at my church, but I personally rely on my King James. Why? Because some time in the seventies I was given a copy of a new translation, supposedly from the original texts, called "The Way". In its list of the ten commandments it said "do not lie". But that's not what the bible I've been reading all my life says. Mine says "do not slander" (Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor). If your grandchild gives you a horrid looking thing she's proud of, no

          • by MrKaos (858439)

            Actually the official position of the Catholic Church...

            Yeah I've made the same point many times before originally made by Pope John Paul II [umkc.edu]. So if I.D is not evolution how is what you are saying different? I said That's if you take Genesis literally, which proponents of I.D do.. Sure I can accept that no one knows if the Big Bang happened or not. Are you agreeing with me that I.D is not evolution and that the catholic church are not too keen on I.D, or are you trying to make a different point?

            ID isn't blasphemous to Catholics because it's limiting God.

            Well actually ID is quite offensive to some catholics. It's one thing

          • by fredrated (639554)

            I'm out of my mind right now, but feel free to leave a message.....

            Or, as my mother puts it, "Of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most".

          • by MrKaos (858439)
            I knew it was out there somewhere, this is the actual address where PJPII clears up the Catholic Churches relationship with evolution and science.

            Address of Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (October 22, 1996)

            WITH GREAT PLEASURE I address cordial greeting to you, Mr. President, and to all of you who constitute the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, on the occasion of your plenary assembly. I offer my best wishes in particular to the new academicians, who have come to take part in your

          • by williamhb (758070)

            ID is just wrong because A) it isn't science.

            Pedant mode: you shouldn't conflate "wrong" with "not science". The US constitution, today's newspaper, "I think therefore I am", my son coming in to tell me he's had a bad dream -- none of these are science (I'm yet to peer review my son's claim to have had a bad dream!) but that alone does not make them wrong. Whether or not ID is "wrong", and whether or not ID is "not science", "not science" is not the same as "wrong".

        • by IrquiM (471313)

          That's if you take Genesis literally, which proponents of I.D do. Not all people think that way. Only people who want to ram their spirituality down someone else's throat.

          That argument doesn't work. Either you believe it or you don't. If you don't take the Genesis literally, you don't take the sin he died for literally either. You can't choose! Either you believe in I.D. or you're a poor christian, and Jesus died in vain.

      • by CRCulver (715279)

        It is an attempt to save the Genesis account of creation at any cost, because if they don't, there's no original sin for Jesus to be sacrificed for rendering the whole of Christianity meaningless.

        The Christian account of sin entering the world does not depend on a literal understanding of Genesis. See Richard Swinburne's Responsibility and Atonement [amazon.com] (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989) for an argument that it matters little whether "Adam" was the literal figure in Genesis or simply one of our hominid ancestor

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In fact roman church has no sympathy for intelligent design, young earth mith, creation myths and so on.

      They accept evolution theory too. Since evolution theory has no provision to say that there is any objective and gives no characterization to evolution church takes it's freedom to just say that it could be God to be driving it. The genesis could just be interpreted to be an allegoric account.

      Roman catholic church is not stupid. They just want to stop scientists from studying human genetics(no problem wit

    • For the most hypocritical church on earth they're surprisingly progressive with some matters. I don't think they're that keen on Intelligent design either.

      I'll bet they're not as hypocritical as Slashdot.

    • by jgtg32a (1173373)
      Sure Catholics believe in ID, God invented physics and then we showed up.
  • by igb (28052) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:36AM (#34937248)
    They're alluding to equality of access (for example, subsidy to get penetration into rural areas at rates at least comparable to dense urban, and hosting on non-discriminatory basis to ensure freedom of --- in their case religious --- speech), rather than what Slashdotters mean by net neutrality.
    • No, it is the same (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @05:52AM (#34937536) Journal

      First they came for Google, and I did not protest that Google was treated differently on the web, because I was not Google.

      Then they came for the farmers, and I did not protest that farmers could not get the internet, because I was not a farmer.

      Then they came for protest sites, and I did not protest because... welll I don't protest and who cares those trouble makers can no longer afford an online presence.

      Then they came for me and even if there was anyone left to protest, there was no place left to do it. Like the newspapers, the radio and TV before, the internet had become corporate run, purely for profit and removed any usage of the voiceless to be heard.

      The Internet is not just a gimmick anymore, it has become as essential for democracy, freedom and equality as education, food and medicine. We have strict regulation to ensure equal access to lifes essentials. I think it might be time to put access to free information on an equal basis as a basic human right. Better that then let the American ISP who are without principle ruin yet another media.

      • by thijsh (910751)
        Well spoken! About time for a right to Internet access [wikimedia.org]... It's a required step for net neutrality. It's not too late to be the 6th country to declare this a basic human right!
        Strangely even France is on the list who if countries who have legal precedent for this right, especially given the recent three strikes and you're off the net move...
    • I agree. They are are trying hard to refocus the argument from equality of suppliers to equality of consumers. Totally different issues.
      Sadly, ppl read the words 'net neutrality', but disregard what is said.
  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jmerlin (1010641) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:36AM (#34937252)
    Honestly? It's not about WHO supports net neutrality, it's that its idea isn't hijacked, bastardized, and killed by politicians and lobbyists. Spread the information, defeat misinformation. I couldn't care less that a religious organization approves or agrees.
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Alex Belits (437) *

      The idea is just fine. It's actually the only thing that makes sense, because otherwise there would be nothing but paid spam and DRM'ed cable TV on the Internet.

      Politicians who are trying to play on crap about "government regulation" are welcome to build their Libertarian paradise in Somalia.

    • by MrKaos (858439)

      WHO supports net neutrality...

      World Health Organisation support Net Neutrality as well?

  • I wonder if the bishops would speak out against regulation that would give priority to traffic to and from "religious and non-profit agencies".
    I also wonder whether they regard atheïst websites as "religious and non-profit agencies".

  • by stretch0611 (603238) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:41AM (#34937284) Journal

    Religious groups have long been in favor of Net Neutrality; they need to get their message out to the masses just like individuals. Many of them fear not being heard if censorship is allowed. In addition, many would not like paying exorbitant fees like the access fees that network providers want to to charge to carry their traffic.

    It is the mass media and the corporate executives that want to drown out any voice but their own. They want to drive up the price of access to for their own greed and to avoid having to compete on a level playing field. How can anyone afford Netflix if Comcast forces their bandwidth costs to skyrocket. The same goes for VOIP services or any future idea that may compete with their monopoly (or duopoly as is the case.)
     

    • The problem inherent here is that there is an amount of government control exercised - which means that censorship could happen as easily on the internet (a la "fairness doctrine") as it could under corporate control. That's the paranoia about net neutrality on the right.
  • On the 8th day God created teh Internet.
    And He saw that it was good and fair, and neutral. And his minions supported it. Then twisted the original idea. Then wrote many books about it. Which were translated. And edited. And then it was not so good anymore. But nobody dared to admit that.

    -- Call me an offtopic flaming troll - I just had to get this out of my system :-)

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:43AM (#34937698) Journal
    If you read the letter, you will see that it is NOT about net Neutrality. It is about trying to get net access to all, basically, the poor.

    This has NOTHING to do with ensuring that there is no discrimination amongst providers. It has everything with ensuring that there is no discrimination amongst consumers in ability to get to it. THat is all.

    This is a BIG difference.

    The odd thing is that the church could simply pay for the access for their poor parishioners. But, they do not want to do that. They want the GOV. to do that.
  • IT technicians support transubstantiation.
  • current public reputation of the Catholic Church, I'm not sure their support helps the cause much. I could see it being spun by Idiocrats as two dark forces joining in their pro-pedophillia advocacy. Stupider arguments have been made.
  • by HeckRuler (1369601) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @11:00AM (#34939560)
    Whoa. Hold on a minute. Did the editors read something I didn't?

    we support legislation and federal regulations that ensure equal access to the Internet for all

    Man, I hope that's a quote from his speech, because the grand sum total of the article on the Internet is:

    As the Internet continues to grow in its influence and prominence in Americans’ lives, we support legislation and federal regulations that ensure equal access to the Internet for all, including religious and non-profit agencies, as well as those in more sparsely populated or economically distressed areas. True net neutrality is necessary for people to flourish in a democratic society.

    Notice that legislation and federal regulations are nowhere in there. And there's an important distinction between whats written and what was said. We have a (mostly) neutral network. That's how it was built and how everyone assumes it works. That's part of what makes the Internet a Good Thing. Network neutrality regulation is the enforcement thereof. Because we can all see the horizon here, and with the consolidation of the big ISPs, and especially now with telcom companies buying media companies, we can all see that they'd want to break down NN just to make a buck.

    But no-one wants regulation for regulation's sake. What we want is the networks to remain neutral.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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