Pharyngula

BBC gives child rape apologist air time

The Pope had a Christmas message for the world this year: we should forgive Catholic priests for raping children because everyone else was doing it. He invented a peculiar history that bears no resemblance to the late 20th century I lived in.

“In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children,” the Pope said.

“It was maintained — even within the realm of Catholic theology — that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than’ and a ‘worse than’. Nothing is good or bad in itself.”

The Pope said abuse revelations in 2010 reached “an unimaginable dimension” which brought “humiliation” on the Church.

I grew up in the 1970s. Some of you did, too. Does anyone remember anyone influential saying that child-rape was a reasonable practice? How about anyone on the fringe making vague suggestions that children can give permission to participate in sexual activity? I don’t know of any substantial culture at that time that would have endorsed such a thing; NAMBLA was little more than a freakish collection of perverts who got far more attention than their numbers warranted. If there was anything that was universally reviled, it was the creepy pedophile.

So here’s the Pope pretending that they were living in an environment that somehow condoned child abuse, so the priesthood somehow went along with it? Madness.

I also am not impressed by his regret that the church was humiliated. That’s not an appropriate response at all: church members were the perpetrators of the crime, and the Pope still can’t seem to empathize with the victims…you know, the kids. They always seem to get forgotten when the pontiff pontificates on the abuses of his church.

The other night, I saw this ghastly little documentary called Hell House, about fundagelical nutcases who put on these elaborate morality plays around Halloween, to scare people into Christianity. They have this same moral blindness. I was struck by all the horrible little scenarios they put on: woman goes to rave, is given date-rape drug and is raped; woman gets pregnant, has abortion, bleeds to death; etc., etc., etc. In every case I was struck by the fact that it is the victim who suffers and is abused and dies, and who is then sent to hell for eternal punishment because she doesn’t believe in Jesus. I was expecting in these cases to see them end in an orgy of punishment for the drug-dealer, the rapist, the abortionist (all played by men, by the way), but no…they all get forgotten in the denouement, their behavior isn’t damned, it’s all about the victim being punished for her victimization. That’s religion for you.

Anyway, after listening to this ethical rapscallion invent fantasy stories to justify the abuse of innocents, the BBC, in a fit of moral blindness themselves, offered him a radio spot to blather on some more. What were they thinking? The good news, though, is that he didn’t flaunt his moral turpitude this time. Instead, he highlighted the intellectual vacuity of the church, by talking about the nonsense of their beliefs.

He added that God “often surprises us” in the way he fulfils his promises.

“The child that was born in Bethlehem did indeed bring liberation, but not only for the people of that time and place — he was to be the saviour of all people throughout the world and throughout history.”

It was not a political liberation, achieved through military means, he added, but rather “Christ destroyed death for ever and restored life by means of his shameful death on the cross”.

I just wish people could see through the platitudes and realize that these oft-repeated claims make no freakin’ sense. A guy getting killed 2000 years ago did not end death, you may have noticed, a shameful death is not turned into a point of pride by waving corpses-on-a-stick in our faces, and Christianity has been an agent of ignorance and servility for millennia now, never a cause for liberation.

Shame on the BBC for giving this flabby-brained antique a megaphone and a spot on the airwaves.