A lot of you know that Pope “Palpatine” Benedict “led Vatican investigations into abuse for four years before assuming the papacy in 2005.” You may know that he makes a habit of [p2p type=”slug” value=”pope-benedict-xvi-more-closely-tied-with-sex-abuse” text=”not addressing these issues”]. Pretty incredible, considering the intentional cover-ups and reassignments of acting pedophile priests that are revealed constantly. But now he is pretending to be unaware of abuses that occurred in his homeland, Germany.
“Nonsense,” said Father Doyle, who has served as an expert witness in sexual abuse lawsuits. “Pope Benedict is a micromanager. He’s the old style. Anything like that would necessarily have been brought to his attention. Tell the vicar general to find a better line. What he’s trying to do, obviously, is protect the pope.”
It gets better, too: The super-conservative Catholic church is idiotically maintaining that its mandatory celibacy for priesthood has no influence on child abuse & child rape (AP).
I feel so ashamed that so much of my extended family places their trust, faith, and money in the hands of this evil, corrupt institution!
More here on the New York Times, which is where today’s quotes are to be found. Hat tip to @vjack for first covering this.
A common defense of theism and religion in general is that, while irrational faith-based belief has no grounding in reality, it’s fine because it helps people cope with real life.
The most obvious response is to point out that religion hurts people besides the believer:
On May 21, 2005, LaRose haunted by what appears to be a sad and hard life began drinking heavily. Depressed over her father’s recent death, LaRose in an attempt to take her life, swallowed eight to 10 prescription muscle relaxers. Failing to kill herself, Colleen LaRose was now at a crossroads in her life. After months of receiving counseling for depression and alcoholism, LaRose apparently found spiritual rebirth in the form of Islam. Unfortunately, the brand of Islam that gave her purpose to live was a brand that advocated death to America, the West and Israel.
— When looks can kill: The Story of Jihad Jane AKA Colleen Renee LaRose
More subtly, but just as valid, is the observation that religion doesn’t even necessarily make the believer happier.
While the most common “benefit” of belief is “coping with death,” studies have shown religious types actually have the hardest time coping with their own death.
But if that didn’t convince you, read on.
People I know in real life have been very much hurt by their religion. A family member, for example, is incapable with dealing with human sexuality in any but the most conservative context, to the detriment of this person’s personal life.
A number of friends of mine have broken up with significant others because they found they loved them “more than they loved Jesus.” (This kind of blows my mind, since that means their closest relationship is with an imaginary, Aramaic-speaking friend who wants to send most people to hell.)
As recounted in The God Virus, religion can even make priests miserable. The author of the God Virus tells of a priest so overcome with Catholic-inspired guilt over his occasional masturbation — that he ends up hating himself for it, unable to think of much else.