Information Filters

January 8th, 2112: 
I am editing this to add a link to

And to add this introduction: 

Fear and discomfort 
are two fierce guardians
at the gateway to the truth
of who You are

I’ve been thinking a lot about cognitive dissonance lately. 

And one of the things I’ve been thinking, with my non-academic mind, is that the expresson “cognitive dissonance” does not clearly communicate that ” … it is psychologically uncomfortable to hold contradictory cognitions.”

So I suggest “thought discomfort” as an alternative.

Thought discomfort can create information filters. If stuff doesn’t fit in with our existing ideas about ourselves and the world, it doesn’t reach our brains: “If I don’t know it, it doesn’t exist.” 

And OUR discomfort, that WE are feeling, is transformed into crap that we splatter our surroundings with. Information filters can make us forget that people who are doing or being something that makes us uncomfortable also are fellow human beings, sisters and brothers under the skin. 

Here is an example: 

In the blog “Sociological Images”, I found this article:

Responses to UCLA Student’s Racist Rant

“Many of you have probably seen the recent anti-Asian rant released by UCLA student Alexandra Wallace. In it, she says that “hordes” of Asians who are admitted to UCLA inappropriately bring their parents along and obnoxiously speak foreign languages in the library (“Oooooooh! Ching chong, ling long, ting tong!? Ooooooh!”). And she compares them to herself, the “polite, nice, American girl that my momma raised me to be.”

Much of the response to this was decidedly sexist:

 “I bet her grades match her cup size.”
“i have big tits and gave the dean a blowjob to get into UCLA is all I hear.”

The article links to an article in the blog “What Tami Said”: 

Stop being “shocked” by “isms”
Amongst other food for thought, she writes:  
I submit that if you are truly shocked in the face of racism and sexism and homophobia and transphobia and other injustices, then you are as big a problem as the perpetrators of same.

And this brings me to another article in “Sociological images”:

Thoughtful Response to “Asians in the Library” Rant

Here we find a considerate video response by slam poet Beau Sia, who rewords the nice American girl’s reactions in a way that …
“stands out as a real examination of the white privilege and fear that underlies the racism that Alexandra Wallace displays,” rather than just trying to degrade or mock Alexandra in whatever way possible:

A transcript of what Beau  Sia says: 
Didn’t you hear me say that I’m not politically correct? I said that, but you’ve all been misinterpreting me so let me be clear. There are hordes of Asians at my school and it’s starting to freak me out. They act in a manner I wasn’t taught growing up and I don’t want to question who I am and how I was raised so they are starting to be a real problem for me. I don’t understand their language, their culture, the way they hold family sacred and shared and instead of consider whether or not that is threatening to me, I’d rather the things they do, the people they are be wrong.

It’s so hard maintaining fitting in when these Asian people clearly aren’t. They’re so not the TV I’ve seen, so not the stories I’ve read, so not my experience where I’m from, and I’m letting their existence jeopardize my idea of the world and I don’t like it.

And I’m not afraid to personally address those who’s behavior is affecting me so. I’m just choosing to find solidarity in my beliefs on the internet to prevent the course of questioning my statements would cause me. If someone directed similar comments towards whom I’ve had to represent in my life.

I don’t want to have to consider why I’ve based my observations on a number of Asians smaller than some Asian families. Or what exceptions I’d have to consider if I didn’t use blanket assumptions. Or if there’s a conflict about the world changing that I don’t want to face, because of the face I was born with. There are so many more important things in my life. I don’t want to have to explore my relationship to everything around me.

And there are many who think the way that I do. And, you know, from what I know of America, these Asian people are not supposed to be this way. And I’m not talking about the laws of this country. Requirements for citizenship or taxes paid in full. Nnn-nn!

I am talking about what I’ve been programmed to think family is. How manners prove native, who should decide how identity must conform, for whom identity must conform, and why identity must conform. If only these Asians would learn English! If only they understood. That I’m here too. That I share this place with them. That I belong here. That the hordes and swarms invading the system I’ve learned remember who I am as the world changes. I’m so afraid I’ll have to fend for myself. Without what I’ve been told was mine.


Fear. As I see it, that is lurking behind the discomfort. The discomfort is our protection against feeling this fear. And the only way I know to get rid of the fear and discomfort, is to face them.

It is said that  “Paradox and Confusion are the two fierce guardians at the gateway to the truth of who You are.” 

I say that 
fear and discomfort 
are the two fierce guardians at the gateway to the truth of who You are.

Now in the Netherlands: Clerical shame instead of responsibility

As a person who was sexually used within the Catholic Church as a child, I am hoping that Church authorities will take their share of responsibility for what has been happening all over the world.

What I keep getting is “shame”. Which is just an emotion. A soggy and cloudy and unhelpful emotion.

From CBS News:

Dutch archbishop apologizes as report says thousands abused


Archbishop of Utrecht Wim Eijk apologized to victims on behalf of the entire Dutch Catholic organization and said the report “fills us with shame and sorrow.”

He said he felt personally ashamed of the abuse. “It is terrible,” he said.

Victims blast upcoming Catholic abuse report

I’m posting a newsletter from  SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

For immediate release: Wednesday, Nov. 30
Statement by Lieve Halsberghe, SNAP Belgium,, +32 475 910918

We’re highly skeptical of reports about clergy sex crimes and cover ups commissioned by the very same bishops who ignored and concealed those crimes.
No one should describe or consider this upcoming report “independent” in any way.
The only reliable way to investigate clergy sex crimes and cover ups is by secular authorities who have the power to force church officials to cooperate. Anything short of that is dreadfully flawed and likely done as a public relations move for the church hierarchy
Bishops are smart, well-educated men surrounded by bevies of smart, well-educated advisors. They repeatedly made self-serving, reckless and callous decisions about the safety of kids. But they claim they just made “judgment errors,” or “lapses” or “oversights.” We greatly fear and strongly suspect this commission will mischaracterize bishops’ actions in the same minimizing, self-serving fashion.
That’s the problem when Catholic appointees allegedly investigate Catholic bishops – selfish choices are depicted as well-intentioned “mistakes” and people are left with the impression that deliberate cover ups are simple mistakes. The results are inevitably skewed in favor of the church hierarchy and the truth is severely compromised.
Kids will not be safer in the church if we can’t even accurately describe what’s going on.
We are far from convinced that Dutch bishops are “reforming.” It’s still crucial that more, truly independent, state-sponsored investigations into widespread clergy sex crimes and cover ups take place so that all those who committed and concealed this devastation – past and present – can be exposed.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 23 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is
Contact – David Clohessy (+1 314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Blaine (+1 312-399-4747,, Peter Isely (+1 414-429-7259,, Barbara Dorris (+1 314-862-7688 home, +1 314-503-0003 cell, Lieve Halsberghe, (, +32 475 910918)

Advice against rape: “You have to think that there is a person in there."

one of the Norwegian blogs I follow, I came across a post that fits perfectly
in with my previous posts, and w
the author´s permission, I have translated it.
Marit Elisebet Totland is a politician with a wide range of experience.
Here is a link to the original article, called 

And here is a translation: 

Marit Elisebet
Totland :

“You have to
think that there´s a person in there”

reporter in the national TV program “Puls” is talking with boys who have
committed rape, and asks how one can prevent this. One guy
answers that it helps to think that “there is a person in there”.

is completely correct. There is a person in there. But I find it disturbing that
this has to be underscored. Isn’t it self-evident?

our culture so body-fixated that we have to remind ourselves of what is most
important? The visible body is a living human being with thoughts,
emotions, evaluations and borders, and it has 100% value, regardless of what
others might think?

it´s not just borders that children and young adults need to learn about, but the
unconditional value of human life. That is the cornerstone. When we have a firm
base of knowledge about human dignity and worth, we can transform that
knowledge into respectful action, regardless of race, sex, religion, health,
age … the list is endless. 

Rape in the US military

Yesterday I posted some links under the heading “Men and Shame”.
And in today’s “Guardian” there is an article by Lucy Broadbent, called …

Rape in the US military: America’s dirty little secret

“A female soldier in Iraq is more likely to be attacked by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire”

And how is the US military like the Catholic Church? In the article, Greg Jacob, policy director at the Service Women’s Action Network, says:

“Rape is a universal problem – it happens everywhere. But in other military systems it is regarded as a criminal offence, while in the US military, in many cases, it’s considered simply a breach of good conduct. Regularly, a sex offender in the US system goes unpunished, so it proliferates. In the US, the whole reporting procedure is handled – from the investigation to the trial, to the incarceration – in-house. That means the command has an overwhelming influence over what happens. If a commander decides a rape will not get prosecuted, it will not be. And in many respects, reporting a rape is to the commander’s disadvantage, because any prosecution will result in extra administration and him losing a serviceman from his unit.”