Evils of Religion: 22 December 2011

Oops, looks like I missed a day yesterday. Oh well, on with today’s evil.

The Cloyne Report shows how the Catholic Church in Ireland used its influence to cover up child abuse as late as 1996. They did all this while claiming that the Catholic church had some sort of moral authority and that they knew right from wrong better than non-clergy and non-catholics. Well done.

I think Tim Minchin is appropriate here

Evils of Religion: December 13 2011

I thought I’d start linking to an evil of religion everyday.

(I know it’s the Daily Fail, but I’ve cross checked this and they have the best article…meh) 85 sexual predators arrested on evidence provided by 117 children

Staggering amounts of evil. So much evil, I don’t think I can quite get my head around it. It’s true that other organizations and individuals abuse children, but the problem with religious organizations is that they are authoritarian. When the people who have power commit these abuses, the only people who know are trained to not speak out against the abusers.

However 24 alleged paedophiles were not jailed. In some instances, the case against them collapsed when victims and their families backed out of giving evidence in court following pressure from the religious community, according to the assistant DA.

As far as I’m concerned, this is the worst part of religion. It isn’t just that it’s wrong, but that it hurts, bullies and ostracizes people until those who remain are too frightened to speak up in their own defense or defense of their families when evil happens.

Religious Love

Recently, the Catholic League was offering to adopt atheists. Lots of people seemed keen on the idea and I admit I wouldn’t have minded seeing the conversion attempts on some of the more outspoken and confident in the atheist movement. It would have been hilarious and brought a bit of holiday cheer to my scrooge-like attitude.

But my first thought was that I’ve had enough of abusive relationships in my life. Why take on another one?

Here is another fine example of the sort of “love” that is to be found in religious organizations.

Parents find lighter on 15 year old son, hire man from their church to beat him with a 1″ metal pole. Police believe that the man had been hired to do this to other children from the congregation.

Yep. That’s about what I’ve come to expect religious people to call “love”

Why President Obama is misguided about Plan B

I can see where he’s coming from here. I disagree with his principles even here, but he’s missing the main point.

President Barack Obama said Thursday it was just common sense to keep girls under the age of 17 from being able to buy a morning-after contraceptive pill off a drugstore shelf. Citing his own two daughters, Obama said: “I think most parents would probably feel the same way.”

I encountered a lot of this in California, when they were trying to pass amendments to restrict abortion access to minors. I find the idea that parents ought to control their post-pubescent daughters’ sexuality creepy and repulsive, but I don’t think it’s the main issue:

Not all girls will be safe if they tell their parents they’ve been having sex.

The under-18 access to birth control is not there to give an out to privileged girls who don’t want to talk about these things with their parents. It is there to prevent at-risk girls from being beaten, kicked out of their houses or sent off to christian prison camps.

By focusing on what “most parents” would feel, Obama is forgetting about the most vulnerable teenagers. He’s treating his own daughters as if they were less than they are, but putting whole populations at further physical risk and he ought to be called out on it.