Mother Teresa – Saint or Monster?

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Mother Teresa is often pointed to as an example of a good, moral human being, along with Gandhi and others. But the truth may be something quite different. Over time Mother Teresa has received much criticism for her actions and the actions of her organization.

Hitchens was the first to question her, calling her “a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud” and exposing that the Vatican has made some considerable effort to make her a saint, bypassing the 5 year waiting period for her beatification and coming up with a cringe-worthy ‘miracle’ in order to justify making her a saint. In their supposed miracle, a woman named Monica Besra claimed that a beam of light emerged from a picture of Mother Teresa and relieved her of a cancerous tumor. Her physician, Dr. Ranjan Mustafi, says that she didn’t have a cancerous tumor in the first place and that the tubercular cyst she did have was cured by a course of prescription medicine.

Christopher Hitchens had this to say about her in a 2003 critique:

“Mother Teresa was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.

And she was a friend to the worst of the rich, taking misappropriated money from the atrocious Duvalier family in Haiti (whose rule she praised in return) and from Charles Keating of the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Where did that money, and all the other donations, go?

Many more people are poor and sick because of the life of Mother Teresa: Even more will be poor and sick if her example is followed. She was a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud, and a church that officially protects those who violate the innocent has given us another clear sign of where it truly stands on moral and ethical questions.”

Mother Teresa has been accused of baptizing patients before death, regardless of their religion, and providing inadequate conditions when helping the sick, from failing to sterilize needles properly to not separating people with infectious diseases from those without. But her treatment of the sick, which in some reports include her denying medical care to patients to offer their suffering as a gift to her God, is not the only questionable thing about her. Acting as if they were poor whilst hoarding away donations is another thing Mother Teresa and her organization is accused of.

When Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 she insisted the 190,000 prize fund be donated to the poor, but a study released in the Journal of Studies in Religion/Sciences claims that she had suspicious financial arrangements.

I cannot find much proper evidence to back up these claims, but I will leave several links for anyone who wishes to further research the topic.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/04/mother-teresa-myth_n_2805697.html

Mother Teresa a Fraud? New Report Calls Her ‘Anything But a Saint’

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2003/10/mommie_dearest.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/aug/06/suzannegoldenberg

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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4 thoughts on “Mother Teresa – Saint or Monster?

  1. Sainthood is a particular standard with a particular definition.
    Additionally, sainthood is uniquely Catholic.
    Consequently, for an atheist like Hitchens, to discredit that which is already defined by a particular religion requires a level of religious bigotry and raw hatred that would absolutely stun anyone with any sense of ethics and morals.
    This post, and Hitchens, simply prove what is well known: atheists are incapable of objective morals.

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    • No, SOM, it is not “bigotry” and “raw hatred” to show that the claims of a religion are false. Discrediting frauds is one of the best things any human can do. As much as you might like to pretend otherwise, the claims and “definitions” of a religion aren’t some sacred cow that no one can question. You try, as usual, to make false claims that you and only you have the correct “ethics and morals”.

      There are no “objective” morals. There are morals that are commonly held by humans and atheists hold to them as much as any other human being, including Christians who can’t agree on what morals their god supposedly wants. Still waiting for you to provide evidence that your god exists at all, SOM.

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      • club,
        Hitchens the atheist doesn’t get to redefine the Catholic definition and standard of what it means to be a saint.
        Hallucinating alternative realities to get atheism to work out, is what atheists do.
        So it is no surprise that you think a Hitchens hallucination can actually show you something worthwhile.

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        • It appears that Hitch was quite happy with the definition of saint. He does a great job at pointing out that it is utter nonsense and that Mother Teresa was a monster. It’s the hypocrisy of the Roman Catholic sect and its followers that they would have had a fit if some one acted like Theresa if they weren’t a nun.

          You, as usual, make more baseless claims with your claims of “hallucinating alternative realities”. Alas, those supposed hallucinations are supported by facts. The facts are that saints and the claims made about them are nonsense.

          I do wonder about the nonsense about saints. Catholics pray to them to get special favors but those prayers are never answered. Christians claim that their god has a “plan” but how is that if praying for your favorite saint to nag god will get this god to change its mind? And how does it work with the claims of saints healing people when the Pope himself won’t even go to Lourdes or pray to saints but has the best modern medicine that stolen gold can buy??

          Still waiting for you to show evidence that your god exists, SOM. Still waiting for you to answer questions that you’ve run away from.

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