You might think it a bit strange that since I started blogging my anti-religious rage, I haven’t mentioned the huge sexual abuse scandal that’s rocking the Roman Catholic Church. You might think that I would be salivating at the chance to tear the RCC a new one, since it’s the most obvious and wide-spread target for my particular brand of smug, arrogant smack-down. Yet I have been strangely silent about the whole thing. Am I biased because I grew up Catholic? Am I picking on all religions except Christianity?
Hardly. The reason I haven’t mentioned anything about the abuse cases is because everyone is talking about them. You don’t need me throwing my opinion into the fray like a drop in the ocean. The RCC has the longest and worst track record of any religious organization. They have so infiltrated the world that it’s impossible to pull their roots of influence out of daily life. The reason Christianity is entrenched so many places in the world is because the political wing of the church partnered with the military arm of the Roman empire and spread the disease of blind religious faith all over an unprepared world. At every turn, we can see examples of the Church standing in between mankind and philosophical and technological progress, demanding that we plug our ears and shut our eyes to the evidence simply because they don’t want to lose their political influence. I stopped believing in the Church years before I stopped believing in God.
One of the purposes of this blog is to highlight the fact that all religion is evil. The only way to derive good from religious belief is to ignore most of its teachings, and pay lip-service to the neutral ones (fasting, holidays, saints, church services, prayer, etc.). This type of lukewarm religious practice one step away from secularism that people (myself formerly included) are for some reason terrified to take. Well of course the reason is obvious: it’s been drummed into us since our great-grandparents were in the womb.
Religion tells us to turn off our critical mind and simply accept assertions as truth because a “holy” person says so. It puts knowledge of YahwAlladdah in the hands of priests or rabbis or imams or gurus or other men (it’s usually men), which imbues them with some kind of sacred authority. It exhorts us to implicitly trust those people because they are somehow more virtuous and wise than we poor sinner laypeople.
And then they use that trust to fuck us, both figuratively and literally:
Nithyananda Swami, a Hindu holy man, stepped down last month as head of a religious organization based in the southern city of Bangalore. His announcement came after a video apparently showing him engaging in sexual acts with two women.
It’s not an isolated incident (as the RCC clearly shows us) or peculiar to one religion. As the famous saying, known as “Lord Acton’s dictum” states:
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” (emphasis mine)
No person is holy simply by virtue of their specialness. Mother Theresa was a bigot. Gandhi was a religious zealot whose teachings would have bankrupted and destroyed India. Abraham Lincoln was a white supremacist. Christopher Hitchens is an alcoholic. Richard Dawkins probably has more than a couple of skeletons in his closet. We should not enshrine an individual person for their good ideas and then conveniently gloss over their bad ones. Ideas should be judged on their own merits, and the authors should not be equated with those ideas. We should no more accept the idea that the Pope is “holy” than we should suggest that Voltaire or Shakespeare or Mozart were “holy”.
Religion has a taboo about sex, which is famous all over the world. Sexual repression is a hallmark of any religion. So is sexual exploitation. The RCC’s crime isn’t that it raped and molested children (although that is absolutely a crime), it’s that it did so while preaching from a stance of superior morality. It told millions of Africans to keep it in their pants, whilst simultaneously covering the tracks of its own employees who failed to do so themselves. But as I’ve said and will continue to say: this is a problem of religion, not a problem of a religion. The things that are good about religion do not require religious faith of any kind, only the insightful actions of thoughtful people.