Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thou Shalt Rape, Torture, and Exploit

It's an old story, I know--as old as the Bible--but I would be remiss in my duties if I failed to take this chance to slam home another banderilla into the proverbial Catholic Bull because, once again, folks--and I know this won't come as a surprise--Catholic Church, Inc. has a scandal on its hands.

Fear not, churchlovers because, once again, nothing will happen as a result (well, except perhaps for a 'no admission of guilt' bribe to prevent prosecution...).

Organized religion is just such a beautiful thing. The Catholic Church, Inc. gave all those poor Irish schoolchildren the best real-world education private-school tuition could buy:
“A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions,” the report says. In the boys’ schools, it says, sexual abuse was “endemic.”
The story only gets worse:

"Some 30,000 children were sent to such places over six decades, the report says, often against their families’ wishes and because of pressure from powerful local priests. They were sent because their families could not afford to care for them, because their mothers had committed adultery or given birth out of wedlock, or because one or both of their parents was ill, drunken or abusive. They were also sent because of petty crime, like stealing food, or because they had missed school.

Many of the former students said that they had not learned their own identities until decades later. They also said that their parents had unsuccessfully tried to reclaim them from the state."
I'm almost afraid to keep reading this article--I don't want to get to the part where the children were fed to lions and forced to participate in unnecessary experimental brain/organ/limb transplants.

I kept reading. It got more detailed, worse:
“Punching, flogging, assault and bodily attacks, hitting with the hand, kicking, ear pulling, hair pulling, head shaving, beating on the soles of the feet, burning, scalding, stabbing, severe beatings with or without clothes, being made to kneel and stand in fixed positions for lengthy periods, made to sleep outside overnight, being forced into cold or excessively hot baths and showers, hosed down with cold water before being beaten, beaten while hanging from hooks on the wall, being set upon by dogs, being restrained in order to be beaten, physical assaults by more than one person, and having objects thrown at them.”
"Girls were routinely sexually abused, often by more than one person at a time, the report said, in “dormitories, schools, motor vehicles, bathrooms, staff bedrooms, churches, sacristies, fields, parlors, the residences of clergy, holiday locations and while with godparents and employers.”

But don't worry, folks--the Pope is totally on top of it and the church elders owned up to everything, begged for forgiveness, etc:
"The Vatican had no response. But leaders of various religious orders — who often argued during the investigations that the abuse was a relic of another time, reflecting past societal standards — issued abject apologies on Wednesday, taking care to frame the problem as something that is now behind them."
Oh, brother. I can hear the raised voice in the Vatican boardroom right now, post-gavel-bang:
"Parry! Parry, I say! You know damn well everyone will forget about this very soon and we will continue to have numberless followers, be the richest landowners in the world, never have to pay taxes, and continue to do whatever we want. Just don't say anything, don't admit to anything, and...maybe stop raping for a few weeks or so, til this all blows over."
Not only that, but a group called the Christian Brothers, who ran many of the rape clubs, I mean Catholic schools, was successful in their lawsuit to keep the names of the rapists and torturers a secret. How could they succeed in this? What possible justifiable reason is there? Are they worried people might beat/rape them to death in the streets? I mean...they kinda deserve it...

Question of the day:

What will it take for people to realize they can be as religious as they want to be without affiliating themselves with an organization that foments abject abuse of power?

The one positive thing to come out of this story is the fact that I found out this website exists:

Well done, Terence McKiernan--keep on fighting the real good fight.


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