Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Pope, the Moral Zeitgeist, and Children.

With the latest bit of hot water the church is in with regard to priests diddling kids and the Catholic Church covering it up, I'd like to point out that the Church is immoral. Not the obvious way, clearly diddling kids is bad and even if the stock lame denials the apologists for the Church give lip service to the badness of molestation.

Interestingly, when defenders advocate an innocent until proven guilty stance or argue that such matters should be dealt with restraint and without jumping to conclusions, they are being tacitly immoral. The US law (codified in the 6th amendment) of innocent until proven guilty and giving people their day in court doesn't apply to people who diddle children!

If you touch a child, the general view is far more Biblical. With regard to children, we're fine ruining people's lives with the accusation, forcing you to live in the streets for the rest of your life (sometimes everywhere in a city are too close to schools, etc), or if you go to prison having the general population shank you to death. Murderers get to wait decades on death row before dying in prison. If you touch a kid, you end up stabbed to death by bloodless hands. This is generally the moral zeitgeist with regards to touching children, and most defenders of the Catholic Church are going against this when they advocate that priests shouldn't be condemned in cases where there's very little evidence (often just an individual who said that the priest molested them), but that's enough. When it comes to touching children, we shrug at the murder of a man.

The Catholic church is reviled for covering for pedophile priests. The fact that they fail to put children ahead of their own self interests causes them far more trouble than they would ever expect. Most of society puts children before the rule of law. When defenders of the Church argue that we should embrace the rule of law because it appears to defend their interests, they aren't really understanding that kids are above the law. They are putting their religion, their faith, and their God before children and that's a huge mistake.

Some people suggest that maybe celibacy is the problem with priests. I think that that is tangentially correct for the wrong reason. Celibacy is the problem, not because it prevents priests from having a proper understanding of sex but rather because it stops them from understanding parenthood. Because if these "Fathers" were fathers, they'd understand why societies are far more fire and brimstone than 6th Amendment when you fondle children. They would better understand why the church protecting pedophiles is such a deeply immoral thing. There's a reason why "think of the children!" is such an effective rallying cry, because we really do think of the kids. When the Church administration says "think of the priests!" or the defenders of the church says "think of the law!" they are both woefully shortsighted as to the values most people have.

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