Riiiight, the Bishops have the moral authority to investigate the Girl Scouts? Bitch, please!
This blog is about abuses by the Roman Catholic Church, and their newest fiasco. It is a rant. It is not kind. If you are Catholic, you might want to skip this one.
As always, if you or someone you know is being abused. Please please please call RAINN [1.800.656.HOPE, or go to http://www.rainn.org/ and you can speak with someone on their online help, through safe, secure IMs] or SNAP [1.877.SNAPHEALS/ 1.877.762.7432] , or your local child welfare office. Talk to someone you trust, have them go with you to speak with the police if need be. Just don't be afraid to speak out.
There is help out there, and I want you to find it! You aren't alone.
I've been asked why I tend to call out the Christians the most often. Why I rant and rave about them the most. It's very simple: those calling themselves Christians, in every denomination, Catholic and Protestant, make up the majority of religious people in the United States. The vast majority of our elected officials are christians; most of our cops, our fire-fighters, our policy makers, our teachers, our co-workers, and everyone around us. They are all christians. Therefore, they support and shore up the privilege that that religion has in the US. They benefit from it, in every form, and are guilty of every discrimination that takes place in the name of their faith. Every time they don't speak out against the evil perpetrated in the name of their religious, they are acting in support of it. Being the member of the majority religion doesn't protect you from disagreements; we Pagans, Atheists, Free-Thinkers, we're not going back in the closest. We're not hiding, and we're not forgiving. Most of us were raised in that faith, so we do know what the fuck we're talking about when we say, "No, you're not a good christian, you're not obeying your God, so stop trying to throat fuck me with your faith!"
So, That's why I call out christians, why I rail against them. If you're a christian, and you don't like it, then be brave, stand up, shout out, and push against the flow. Be a Real Christian, not a mouthpiece of the Far Right. Maybe live that whole idea: What Would Jesus Do? [Here's a hint, never go into your churches, for one. Jesus was a Jew!]
Imagine, if you will, an organisation that takes in billions of dollars every year. They spend a small portion of it in their locales and send the rest to their headquarters to be banked.
They have very strict employment policies; so strict in fact that if you discuss them with the wrong person-- although you've never signed an NDA-- you can be fired! Because of these policies, this organisation has trouble getting enough people to do the work, and often relies on unpaid, or low paid interns/volunteers.
They also have very strict rules of behaviour for their employees. Everything from what to wear, to how to dress, to what to say to whom. If they don't follow it, they can be punished by losing their jobs.
This organisation has been under fire for unethical and illegal practices. Not surprisingly the vast majority of people who patronise this organisation are completely ignoring the news articles about it, and are completely content to keep buying what they're being sold.
Oh, I know, I hear ya! What company hasn't been under fire for doing illegal shit, right?
This organisation has also taken it upon themselves to start an investigation into the Girl Scouts of the US.
This organisation is the Roman Catholic Church, represented here in the US by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and of course the Catholic in the pew who gives them money, power and legitimacy.
First, the RCC took it upon themselves to cover for, move and protect child rapists. No, I won't say “alleged”; you don't run if you're innocent. They ran, leaving urine trails behind them; they ran like cockroaches when you turn the light on them. They're rapists! The priests who abused the parishioners, the Bishops who protected them, the Cardinals who moved them around, and everyone who played “Hear no evil, see no evil” about it are as guilty as if they had committed those rapes themselves... and unfortunately there's indications that some of them did!
Then, as if that's not enough, the Church starts fighting the law in so many countries! They are above the law, you see, “we must obey God blah blah”... even when that means protecting evil men from justice. Of course, this utterly disregards everything their Jesus said about children, and protecting them [Better that he hang a millstone about his neck and drown than hurt a hair on the heads of these little ones. Paraphrased, Luke 17:2] Here in the US there's a trial going on in Pennsylvania, and I hope they all go to prison forever!
We have learned that rather than call the cops, these men have consistently called their superiors, and then “sent for treatment” anyone accused of molesting, raping or assaulting children. Paedophilia can't be treated with counselling... it's one of those things that doesn't go away!
Eh, but that's cool, they're the One True Church ™ and so they have about a billion adherents (yes, I mean that literally, according to the CIA World Factbook one third of the world is Christian, and 16% is RCC. That comes out to be roughly 1.12 billion people [that's 7 billion multiplied by 16%, very simple maths, nothing complicated]). The RCC has told their followers in Africa that condoms cause AIDS, so even though there are countries devastated by that epidemic, they're following their beloved el Papa and not protecting themselves from a virus that is killing them. They are dutifully having AIDS infected babies, and dying... martyrs, I guess, for the cause of the Roman Catholic's vendetta against birth control.*
However, that wasn't enough. That control, telling people that using IVF is against God, that fertility treatment of any kind is arrogant, and sinful. Telling people that abortion is going to send them to hell, that it's never all right to limit your family, no matter how badly your health is affected. That universal health coverage is evil and wrong; the starving children are to be ignored, that war is A-OK! That's not enough for Ratzinger.
Then, he went after the nuns here in the US.
He instituted an investigation into the Women Religious here in the US (isn't that the coolest phrase, women religious?!) The results came back a few weeks ago. The Nuns here in the US were reprimanded for not spending more time railing against equality and LGBT protections, and were instead feeding the poor, clothing the naked, working to stop the war.
Yeah, he reprimanded them for being christians. They weren't Republican enough, those Nuns! How dare they be so feminist! How dare they feed the hungry and protest the war! They need to be out there in their flying-nun costumes screaming at women outside clinics! They should have been screaming and protesting against women's ordination! No gay marriage for anyone!
You know, instead of being Christian, and doing what their Jesus said: Love your neighbour.
I wish I was joking. I wish I was making fun, exaggerating. I wish it so bad! You can get a decent idea from the article Jezebel published about it
Now, I'm not Catholic. Never have been, never wanted to be. The closest I ever came was studying the Orthodox Church, and deciding it wasn't for me. I've always been uncomfortable with the idea of a Pope, or any One Single, Solitary Religious Leader Who Totally Speaks With The Voice Of The Almighty! [Another reason why the LDS church was an instant “flee from this shit” for me.]
I know that the Magdalene Laundries were horrible places of abuse. I know the Sisters there perpetrated the abuse, and turned a blind eye to anything done by the priests.
I know that generations of school children were taught their Hail, Mary's and Our Father's by severe woman arms with yardsticks and paddles.
I know that the nuns were and are not innocent of the abuses of the children of the RCC.
I also know that the vast majority of nuns work in the community where they live. They work with homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, food banks. They protest the wars in the world by camping out near nukes and pouring their own blood on to the ground! That's some heavy protesting, don't you think!? Pouring out your own blood in protest of the death and destruction that missiles bring.
I know that they work with LGBT kids who are on the streets, and even distribute condoms freely to these kids, who are often sex workers. These nuns are on the streets with us, you and me, and see the day-to-day shit that falls on normal people.
The bishops reprimanding them, the Cardinals so afraid of their power amongst the laity, they aren't. They're the ones in the pretty dresses and I love the Cardinals' red hats! They're the ones prancing around like ageing drag queens, utterly surrounded by money, power and prestige. They have no clue what it's like to be a normal person, or even a real christian.
Yet, they have the power to tell the nuns to knock it off.
But that's not enough. Not nearly enough. The nuns are reeling; the Cardinals are happy; the laity is confused. Now it's time to get those Girl Scouts!
Nope, still not joking.
Mary E. Hunt wrote a fantasticopinion for Religious Dispatches about this one. The Bishops here in the States have decided that Girl Scouts USA is a hotbed of lesbian, feminist, pro-abortion, anti-family, anti-church, pro-women activity. Or something like that!
So these men, who can't even behave themselves, have decided that they need to investigate these girls, this organisation. Because they don't know if they “want to be associated with” the Girl Scouts.
Motherfucker! They don't know if they want to be associated with an organisation that has proven over and over again that they're full of integrity, inclusiveness and wants to teach girls that there are opportunities out there for them! There is something gravely wrong with a church hierarchy that doesn't want girls and woman to reach their potential, that doesn't want us to grow, to be ourselves, to be strong and independent, to be real people!
There's something wrong with the parishioners, too.
I've asked before, and I'll ask again:
How in the hell can someone call themselves a Catholic in this day and age?
Unless you're so conservative, so pre-Vatican II, so Ratzinger cloned that you think they're honestly truly right; how can you support an institution so corrupt, so arrogant, so evil?
How can Catholics stand by every day knowing there are kids who were raped, their lives ruined, while the priests went on to another parish, and more innocents to pillage?
How can Catholics go to mass, give their money, knowing it will go to the monolith known as the Vatican-- and often used to defend these child rapists in court, or buy yet more red Prada shoes for the Pope?
How can anyone call themselves a christian and not stand up against the injustice and inequality that is rampant in the RCC?
I know the average Catholic in the pews is supportive of marriage equality, and often women's ordination. I know that almost every single Catholic woman has used birth control, or is using it [the rest probably will at some point]. I know that most Catholics look at the world in a truly catholic fashion, a Universal way, inclusive and loving.
Yet, they call themselves Catholic, and don't stand up railing against the Pope and his ilk when he claims to speak for their God.
If the Pope speaks for God, I never want to meet that guy. He's an evil, self-centred, nasty, genocidal, hateful deity, and I don't ever want to see such a Personage.
Which leaves me to believe that Catholics might not like what the Pope says, but maybe they're afraid he's right, after all? Maybe they feel that they don't know for sure, and want to be certain, so they'll stay Catholic, and get absolved, just in case?
Maybe modern-day American Catholicism is a gigantic display of Pascal's Wager...
It's that, or they agree, and just aren't admitting it.
So, that leaves people like me, who aren't Catholic. We're the ones standing with the sisters, supporting nuns in a faith we don't agree with, giving our support to the Girl Scouts, even if our kids aren't in it. We're the ones railing against the anti-condom stance; the ones giving them out on Catholic campuses, sending more money to buy them, to protect the kids out there. We're the ones who aren't afraid to call out that prancing little fuck who calls himself the Rottweiler of God.**
I have been confused by the actions of the people who go to Catholic churches for many years. Protestants seem to be able, and more than willing, to stand up against things they can't agree with, things that are immoral (I know, not always) and leave for another church. Why is it so hard for Catholics to do the same? Why can't they walk away from an institution that doesn't give a shit about any of them, just as long as they're making babies and sending in those tithes?
If I was Catholic, I'd have resigned my membership decades ago. If I needed the pomp, then I'd go to the Orthodox or Episcopal church instead.
I have to hope it's a fear of hell, or some elaborate version of Pascal's Wager.
I don't want to think that millions of people actually agree with Ratzinger, that they want to punish nuns and little girls, instead of getting rapist-priests out of the pulpit and into prison.
I have to believe that. The alternative is unthinkable.
*If I was a conspiracy theorist, I'd postulate that the Church actually has vendetta against people of colour, or perhaps the entire continent of Africa. That continent has a large population of rural and poor Catholics who follow the teachings very faithfully; unlike the US and most industrialised nations. Here in the States we have “cafeteria” christians, who pick and choose what teachings they prefer, almost always ignoring completely the “don't use birth control” and “LGBT are bad, mmkay?” parts. Maybe, in this conspiracy theory the Pope is trying to eliminate Africans? Maybe he's got a thing against non-whites? He was a member of Hitler's Youth, after all, and we all know how much Hitler hated anyone who wasn't his brand of white...
If I was a conspiracy theorist, that is.
As it is, I'd say he's probably just a terrified old man who sees the church he rules changing in ways he can't control. So he's exerting control where ever he can. It's scary to see your privilege go away, isn't it Benedict Ratzinger?
**That utterly pisses me off, too. I love rottweilers, always have, they're big fluffy teddy bear dogs, not evil, nasty biting dogs who hurt people.