Monday, April 12, 2010

With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion

I am of the belief that, if you do horrible things, or knowingly allow horrible things to occur when it is in your power to stop them, you should be held accountable, no matter who you are. That's why I believe that every Catholic priest who molested children should be in jail. That's also why I believe that the Pope should be in jail. That's also why I believe that, seemingly, half the Vatican should be in jail.

If your priest touches your child, he should go to jail, or into a body bag and I'd probably opt for the latter. But the Catholics just let that shit happen. They trust in their precious popes, and bishops, and sexless nuns, their Bill Donohues, and their personal priests. They trust that those people of "authority" have the best moral judgement, I guess because they know god so well. I'm flabbergasted by the naivety of it all.

Hey Catholics, you know who generally makes good moral judgements? The fucking police. Maybe call them next time.

I'm glad that someone is finally trying to hold these sex offenders accountable, but the fact that it took 11,750 cases of sexual abuse, 11,750+ lives ruined, all in the hopes of keeping the Catholic church from looking bad, is heartbreaking to say the least.

And let's not fail to notice how G.W. Bush stepped in to save the pope from accountability last time. To me, that makes George W. Bush an aider and abettor of child molesters. Which is just as bad as being a child molester. So rationally, George W. Bush is a child molester.

Here are a couple of gems from LOL god.

Leah has launched her new baby fashion blog, Lennon Closet, and it is adorable. Go check it out to see the best dressed babies and whatnot.


  1. Since you seem to enjoy harboring hatred for religions you have never belonged to and know select things about let me recommend Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer. For me it did not generate wrath towards the Mormons, but I am probably more forgiving than you.

    Really, Under the Banner of Heaven is super good and I think you would like. Krakauer said he wanted to write a book about the state of religion in the US, but the topic was too broad so he can up with a book on the history and subsequent mindset of those mormons.

  2. Hatred? Really?
    Maybe you should change your name from "show pony" to "high horse." Zing!
    And I'm not attacking a religion in this post, just an institution, but you probably know that since you're obviously a better person than me.
    The religion in question is Christianity though, which I very much belonged to.

    If the Red Cross had offered solace to child molesters, then I would be expressing the same disgust for them right now.

  3. My parents are Catholics. I think you know I was really into that stuff when I dated Andrew, and how I now look back on those days as being brain washed (comparable to someone who's left a cult). In that sense I'm really understanding of the whole "love the people, but don't agree with them at all" thing (I feel like I have a better phrase for that somewhere, but I can't think of it now). The point is, while I don't agree with Catholicism, I do think my parents believe what they do both as a coping mechanism and as a means of finding direction for their lives, not because they think what all of these (reported!! those are only the REPORTED cases!!) awful priests, etc., have done is okay. I appreciate your disdain for the assholes up to pedophilia (I wish I could better articulate how fucked up I think it is, and how obviously problematic it is, to keep adults celibate in the particularly strained, shame-inducing manner Catholics try to put on people) while not totally knocking Catholics as a whole. Blah blah blah. Even though you and I both think they happen to be wrong. You get what I am saying. la de da

    The only thing you're full of hatred for is douche bags.

  4. (...and Lady Gaga, who I'm sorry Taylor, is very very catchy. And maybe it's a machine making it so catchy, but the machine that is Lady Gaga totally does its job)

  5. Yeah, obviously most Catholics are not child molesters. Obviously, most Muslims are not suicide bombers. etc...
    But the epidemic exists inside the Catholic church, not the Baptist or the Methodist etc. so I think it's fair to address them as "Catholics" without having to qualify it with any kind of disclaimer.

  6. Fine, I am on a high horse. I find your entries on the Catholic church especially offensive. I think you are not careful when you write about Catholics and I think it betrays some rascism on your part(I realize Catholicism is a religion, or mere "institution" as you prefer, rather than a race, but I hope you catch my meaning.)

    But maybe I am wrong and you have the same angry passion towards each and every religious institution. Point me to your screeds against Muslims.

  7. On second thought, excuse me. My own experience of the Catholic church is of a sad floundering religion that only occasionally appeals to its younger members. So when I read your rants about Catholicism it just seems really depressing, like kicking an old feeble dying dog.

    My own experience of the Catholic church may not be all that common, and possibly not even so legitimate. I definitely do not need to be so defensive. Maybe it is a regional thing? Maybe you are all experiencing a much more vibrant Catholic church down there in the South? Regardless, I'm sorry for the angry words.

  8. I love how in the Behind the EP video for How Do You Do It, when Matt is showing his living room studio, all I can hear is you rehashing your "Yo MTV Raps" hilarity in the background. :)

  9. Show Pony,
    I would like to believe that the Catholic Church is the sad floundering thing that you perceive it to be, and in the states, maybe it is. I wonder why you'd find my "rants" against the Catholics especially offensive if you feel that way though. This particular rant is about the thousands of priests who molested kids, the catholic parents who thought it was a better idea to go to their bishops rather than law enforcement when they realized what was going on, the bishops who then merely transfered these child molesting priests to different parishes where they worked with even more children, the pope and Catholic hierarchy that was made very aware of the problem and did virtually nothing about it, the Catholic League who would love to blame the victims, and our former president who stepped in and granted the pope head of state immunity to save him from legal accountability.
    So...who is worth defending in this story?
    Everyone, save the president, in this story is catholic, and the story itself is made possible largely because of how the Catholic church operates. Like I said, if it had happened in any other church or institution, I'd be berating them right now, but it didn't. And honestly, probably couldn't have as easily, because most other churches don't have the bullshit hierarchy, or the mass delusion that the church is higher than the law.
    So, in short, get offended all you want, I'm not going to stop hating on child molesters or their holy enablers.

    And since I was raised in the Christian church, I know way more about it, so that's why I'm able to be more critical. I've only recently started reading the Koran, but I can guarantee you that it feels like almost every page has got at least one mention of how they should hate the infidel. I think it is a vile, hateful, and ignorant book, but not too terribly different from the Old Testament. Maybe when I know more about Islam, I can satisfy your hunger for screeds.

  10. Semper Reformanda?
    The Catholic Church needs to repent as an institution and acknowledge this problem for what it really is. They have been pretending that it would just go away for way too long, and if they keep doing so it will destroy them, especially in the eyes of those they are trying to minister to. The Pope and Bishops really need to encourage their priests to turn themselves into the police. They should also look into why the desire to sexually abuse children is so common among priests... I can't imagine that celibacy is the only reason.

  11. "a sad floundering religion that only occasionally appeals to its younger members."

    That's probably because they're molesting them.

  12. Look, I don't know if you were interested in opening this conversation, or if you were merely venting your own opinions, but I am pretty sure you all are getting fired up about things that happened forty, fifty years ago in the Catholic church. They've come to the media in recent years because those kids/victims have grown up, made it public. And fine, that is a tragedy. What I am saying is that the church does not have the power it used to. the catholic church has lost its relevance to modern catholics and therefore this issue has lost any pressing relevance as a current topic. there's no point in getting so fired up about this scandal right now because it's not ongoing, it's a different and weaker church these days. You are effectively saying "Hey (great-grandparents of modern...)Catholics, you know who generally makes good moral judgements? The fucking police." Seems nasty, pointless and unnecessary to me.

    I don't love your explanation of why various "institutions" are evil. Really, I wouldn't care to read about your anger towards Islam and the Koran. I don't see what is productive about your negative half-formed opinions about historical "institution". Maybe share these opinions with your wife and spare the public?

    Additionally, you are twisting semantics if you pretend you know what it is to be a Catholic because you were raised a Baptist. Textbooks may call them the same 'religion', but they are not the same cultural experience, their members do not share world views. The fact that you pretend they are the same religion at all makes me seriously doubt the depth of your understanding of religious participation, regardless of your claims that you were some fastidious Christian. But then again, lack of depth is my overall observation regarding the more popular manifestations of Christianity these days i.e. the religion/"institution" you were raised in.

    I know this and my other responses have been rude and inflammatory. I am sorry if it was excessively so. I feel this particular entry and others you have written have been rude and inflammatory, and I should respond accordingly. The mere fact that you maintain a blog is not reason enough for me to patsy around. That and all my rudeness being said, I am still interested in your response or I would not have continued reading your blog for as long as I have.

  13. OK, this is how free speech works: I get to say whatever I want, however I want on MY blog. If it is offensive to you, then you don't have to read it, and in that way the public can spare itself.

    Why don't you tell all the Catholics how dead their religion is and see what they say? And it's a very weak, and delusional argument to insist that just because I wasn't raised in a religion, I couldn't possibly understand it, let alone critique it.

    I'm TRULY TRULY sorry that you don't seem to think child molestation is a big deal, even if it happened 40 years ago. Because you know what, many if not most of those molesting priests are still active, which is why these people have started coming out. You may as well be telling all these people to "walk it off."

    Well, everybody, let's not get "fired up" about these people abusing their authority in the worst possible way, because it was 40 years ago and it couldn't POSSIBLY happen again, because Show Pony says it's really not a big deal.

    I generally, try and be as polite as I can here, but your argument disgusts me. How the fuck can you be so flippant about the sexual abuse of children? Do you think I give a shit about how stupid catholics or muslims or baptists can be while we're talking about the sexual abuse of children? Do you think I give a shit what you think about twisting semantics? THE ISSUE IS THE SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN, and I am hard pressed to think of a more terrible crime, but you have the gall to say "oh it was 40 years ago, the catholic church doesn't matter anymore, there's no point in getting upset." What the fuck?

  14. Whoa guys. Moral indignation and polemics doesn't make a strong argument. Calm down.
    Show Pony,
    I am sympathetic to your frustration about this whole thing. Catholicism is almost universally despised in the media and among trendy intellectuals, and I'm sure that feeling constantly berated on all sides can begin to wear on you. I am not a Catholic, but I have a great respect for a lot of Catholic philosophy and theology. As a believing Christian, I often experience the same feelings, and it can cause me to react unfairly and emotionally even where someone on the other side has made a good point. Part of being intellectually honest is the willingness to acknowledge when people within your own tradition fail to live up to their own standards, and when a person from outside your position has made a fair criticism. Taylor's post did come off as a screed, but that doesn't mean that he isn't right here. He is. Over the years, some Priests have abused thousands of children and there has been an organized effort on behalf of the Church to cover it up. This is a serious injustice, and is gravely offensive to God. The church needs to acknowledge this problem, repent, and address it in every way they can faithfully do so.
    I'm sure you will agree that as a good Catholic, your primary allegiance is not to the Catholic Church. Your primary allegiance is to God. Don't confuse that- or you will find yourself trying to defend the indefensible.

    Obviously this is your blog, and it's your prerogative to say whatever you want however you want... I understand it's none of my business, and I apologize if this is out of line. But..
    I think it will be to your benefit if you were a little slower to be 'fired up'. It is very easy to convince yourself of something (or anything, really) if you allow yourself to be worked into an emotional fervor. I think this kind of tendency is what has made many of the 'New Atheists' so popular. Their arguments are awful, but they are very good (maybe especially Sam Harris) at working on our moral sensibilities in such a way to convince us of their thesis. What they actually say almost always amounts to a blatant non sequitur, but by the time you get through some of their books you don't even care. The church has certainly been guilty of this as well.
    I say all of this only because I struggle with it too, and it's pretty crazy what kind of conclusions you can convince yourself of if you allow your heart to do your thinking for you. Anyway... I hope I'm not coming off as self-righteous or anything like that. I just think it's something to watch out for.

    Something to think about: Why do you think that engaging in sexual activity with children is 'abuse'? This seems to be a presupposition left over from Western Christendom. In many cultures, throughout much of history, certain kinds of sexual activity with kids was viewed as a positive moral good. For example, in Ancient Greece, older men would often take young boys as lovers in order to be sexually educated, usually with the consent of the parents and even the child. Now, I know that we both think this is disgusting and despicable... but by what standard would you argue that this is immoral?

  15. Well, I'm sure you realize that that is not at all the same kind of thing we're talking about but still...gross. I also think you're going out of your way, and beyond reason, to play the devil's advocate.
    Having never lived in ancient Greece or studied it in depth, I'm not going to weigh in on that. But as far as "Why do I think that engaging in sexual activity with children is 'abuse'?"
    Have you ever heard a rape victim talk? How about someone who just had consensual sex with an adult as a child? In my very limited time as a psychology student, I have. Even when it's "consensual" you still have an adult taking advantage of a young person who doesn't know how they feel exactly, just yet. Almost everyone of them report having emotional trauma that keeps them from healthy relationships later in life. It's not a hard case to make that it's not healthy for children to have sex with adults. Consent is almost completely irrelevant.

  16. Thanks for the comment, Hinkle. I was pretty angry from the beginning.

    I really am not trying to make any points about pedophilia. Please don't be so sorry for my opinions regarding child molestation, because they follow standard social conventions: pedophiles are criminals, file it under the category of things that are bad. Of course the Church needs to apologize for the pedophilia scandal, but they only just got around to apologizing for the Inquistion (as absurd as that is) so what are you going to do.

    I am not the only one saying the Catholic church is relatively struggling.
    Here I am changing the subject to the point I really wanted to make from the very beginning, but was too angry. The Mormon Church is the healthy Catholic church of today. I love it, and am repulsed by it. I really think Under the Banner of Heaven is worth reading.

    However, this is the point that got me so upset: I still cannot see why it is a bad argument to say you cannot understand what it the cultural experience of people who have lived within religions that you have not. Can you easily comprehend what it is like to experience life as a homosexual or racial minority, etc.? I think religion, and even on the level of Christian sects, are analogous to this. Maybe you have some frame of reference because you were raised in Christianity, but I don't think you've put enough time into understanding Catholicism and therefore I think Catholics (or Mormons, or Muslims, should you choose to write about them in a similar manner) deserve a little more respect.