Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Let's Rip on the Catholic Church

Let me start by saying that one of my very favorite people in the world, the woman I named "godmother" even though she technically wasn't one, was a devout Roman Catholic all her life. I try to let you know if I'm objecting to a theist, a group of theists, or a theist institution. Today, I'm gonna hate on the Vatican, and probably Phil Donahue. (That nozzle is asking for it.) Oh, and any Catholic who's still paying tithe. Now that the lame-ass disclaimer is out of the way, let's jump into the fun.


Sure, it's almost old hat to talk about now. (Wow, did I really just use a 1930's expression in my 21st century blog? Why yes, I believe I did.) It's as if we're desensitized to the awfulness because it's so damn prevalent. To me that means we have two problems - the fact that priests molested children, and the fact that the Catholic Church gave them the means and opportunity to do it again. And again. And again.

Any Catholic still giving tithe is paying for the Vatican lawyers who are trying not to pay damages to sexual abuse victims who were anal raped by "men of God". (Likewise, any Jehovah's Witness who pays tithe is paying for lawyers to protect pedophile laymen, not just clergy.) Furthermore, the priests themselves aren't being sentenced to prison for this. Now, I happen to think statutes of limitations on sexual abuse crimes against children are unreasonable as they currently stand. Sometimes it takes years - decades - to come forward. That doesn't mean the abuse was insignificant; it often means that the abuse was particularly damaging to the individual.

Repeat pedophiles of young boys are more likely than pedophiles of young girls to attempt to form a "relationship" with the boy, centered on non-sexual activities, and to then abuse that close bond and (in the case of clergy) position of authority to often manipulate and guilt the child into participating in sexual acts. This extra level of manipulation can prevent someone from coming forward about their abuse for years, and sexual abuse is one of the most under reported crimes. I think we should do everything we can to make it easier for real victims to get real justice, whenever they're ready for it.

And here's the real kicker: The Vatican ain't sorry. "Your kid get ass-raped for years by the man you called "Father" and thought had a batphone to heaven? Meh. Too bad. Here's some cash if you'll shut up about it." There's the constant down-playing of the damage done to victims; the original cover ups and the shuffling of priests from parish to parish, so that they wouldn't get in legal trouble and could continue molesting more kids; the hush money to parents of victims; and every Catholic who's still giving money to the Catholic Church after we've heard these hundreds thousands of cases.

2) Sex, Birth Control, and HIV

I understand that Yahweh is obsessed with how people address their menstruation, ejaculate, and foreskins. But the wholesale slaughter of thousands of Africans - the intentional lies about condoms - is inexcusable. If the Vatican bishops, et al. want to live a life of celibacy, that's their choice. But if they do, then there are three areas of life they have no expertise and should not comment on - sex, marriage, and parenting. If the Catholic Church stayed out of all these areas (and I'm including homosexual marriage, transvestism, single parenting, multiracial couples, anal butt plugs, whatever) I probably wouldn't have (such) a strong desire to kick Pope Nazi in the family jewels.

But noooooooo. The Church has to butt in where it does not know what it is talking about. Or else it intentionally lies and manipulates. We know for a fact that abstinence only education works about as well prayer (or the rhythm method). And yet we've let bullies like the Catholic Church and others decide that the United States shouldn't help out any health clinic, around the world, if they decide to talk about family planning. Note - I'm not even saying abortion. This global gag rule includes clinics that talk about birth control, that give accurate information about STDs and condoms. Why would Catholic priests tell their African congregations that condoms come pre-infected with HIV, or that if they don't stay celibate or fidelous in marriage, that they deserve whatever disease God gives them? It's not like the pedophile priests have to worry about getting infected by the virgins they rape. (Which is really not so different from the African superstition "virgin myth" that if an HIV-infected man rapes a virgin girl, he'll be cured. This has led to the rape of girls as young as one month old - all by men with HIV.)

If you want to believe in the virgin birth and Holy Mother Mary and your pantheon of saints, go for it. But recognize what you're paying for if you tithe to the Catholic Church. You are paying for child rape, lying, manipulation, hush money, lawyers, and the near-genocide of Africans. There are probably some people out there who won't shop at Wal-Mart because they don't like how they use their money, but do give tithe to the Catholic Church. Be aware - this is what the Vatican spends tithe money on:

1) Protecting and enabling pedophiles
2) Lying and leading thousands to their deaths
3) Gold encrusting their palace

If you like the work of St. Vincent de Paul Society, see if you can donate directly to them. Ask if any of the money donated gets sent to the Vatican. Or donate to one of the charities I have in the side links (over there ----->) or to any number of other charitable organizations. I don't know about you, but I don't want any of my donation dollars going to protect the lavish lifestyles of child-rapists and the wholesale deception of an entire continent, currently ravaged by HIV infection.

And if you haven't already done so, please take a couple of minutes to sign the petitions in the upper right corner of this page. Every signature counts, and I greatly appreciate all my readers for taking part in "slactivism" (my favorite new word!)