Posts Tagged ‘Religious Abuse’

The words ‘Catholic Church’ are now, to many, synonymous with ‘scandal’, ‘whitewash’, ‘cover up’ and ‘immoral’. This week’s letter from the Pope to the Irish church highlights his continued short sightedness.

Catholics are among some of the most intolerant of all religious groups. Their stance on issues like homosexuality, abortion and contraception has always been steadfast. Behave in such a licentious way as to be attracted to someone of the same sex and you’re heading for an eternity in hell. Have sex for any reason other than to procreate and God, apparently, frowns upon you. Suffer a horrible rape and bear a child and to abort the pregnancy is abominable.

When compared with the unquestioning forgiveness granted to paedophile priests the church’s unwavering position on the above issues is nothing short of hypocritical.

At the heart of this issue of abuse is the very structure of the Catholic Church. The church is like a powerful nation, a nation which is governed by a dictator. The dictator answers to nobody on this planet, he is the ultimate authority and believes he is only accountable to god. As god exists only in his mind, the dictator has absolute control. Underneath the dictator are a host of officials granted the job of running local affairs. They are forced to abstain from normal sexual relations, suppress their natural sexual desires, and then allowed unlimited contact with children. This nation has a set of laws which were drafted up thousands of years ago at a time when everyone thought the Earth was the centre of everything and the most important place in existence. These laws are not subject to any form of social evolution. They are the same as they were when they were written, they cannot, and will not be changed. It matters not what we learn about the workings of the planet; it matters not that we now understand quite well how homo sapiens work and think; it matters not that the world has recognised it’s need to relegate certain things to history. None of these things matter, the law is what it is and it will remain so.

At the heart of this dictatorship is a small group of powerful people who consider their job to be the absolute protection of the international community’s opinion of their nation. They will stop at nothing to ensure they don’t get bad press and to ensure they are viewed as a friendly nation. Their agents operate secretly and swiftly to silence those who may damage their reputation.

Is it any wonder then, that a group as powerful as the Catholic Church continues to be involved in such horrific scandals? How can they possibly keep up with the rest of the world when they continue to live in the dark ages? Are they completely blind to the consequences of suppressing sexuality, making it a taboo subject, and forcing their officials to pretend they don’t have desires? And how can they route out the problem causers when they believe that merely offering a word of regret and repentance up to the sky fairy will fix their perverted desires?

We know all too well how those that are capable of abusing children are very rarely ‘rehabilitated’. Left freely they often go on to re-abuse. They have a serious malfunction in their conscience that either enables them to ignore it, or worse, leads them to believe they’re doing nothing wrong in the first place. The enlightened among us know that a priest is no different from the rest of the human race. We know that such perverts need more than sending on a ‘retreat’ by their Bishop.

In normal civilised society most of us could not readily forgive a child abuser. Not so the church. They repeatedly allowed the sick bastards back into service because they’d been ‘fixed’ by god.

What is needed here is a mass cull of clergy. Every single person who has been implicated in this scandal needs to be totally stripped of all their duties. Every person who has aided and abetted these criminals should be shown the door. This included those bishops who helped cover it all up; “I did it because my boss told me to” is not a valid defence. My moral compass would stop me from being able to do it, so the church who, after all, think they are the pillar of morality, should have known better.

The Pope’s pitiful letter to the church this week shows us he is no better than those in Ireland. We’ve already found out he himself failed to report sexual abuse when it was brought to his attention. He helped cover up the same sort of crimes whilst in Germany. The church may be trying their hardest to distance Benedict from responsibility but it does not watch.

For the Pope to stand any chance of fixing this issue his letter should have clearly pointed out the need to sack the guilty. It should have outlined a procedure for instantly suspending anybody suspected, whilst being investigated. Sure, people are ‘innocent until proven guilty’, but when kids are involved it should be a case of ‘not allowed near children until proven innocent’. This concept is one the church appear to have a problem with. Benedict outlined in the letter his ideas for fixing this crisis. His solution: to use Lent as an opportunity to do lots of praying, and to use Fridays for the next year to do more praying. Oh, and to do a tour of Ireland. This, apparently will:

“…lead to a rebirth of the Church in Ireland in the fullness of God’s own truth, for it is the truth that sets us free.”

The Pope is completely blind to the fact that he himself is part of the very problem.

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Thanks to Sean The Blogonaut for alerting me to another Mercy Ministries update.

Firstly If you don’t know what Mercy Ministries is or you don’t know about the horrendous ways they deal with people; then check out Ruined By Mercy and Sean has a good overview here.

Last year, in one of the best pieces of news I’d heard all year, Mercy Australia was forced to close it’s doors. The revelations of deception and misleading their clients was the final nail in the coffin.

A number of residents have since written to Mercy requesting that their records be released. This is a basic right under the law of most countries. They attempted to use the Freedom Of Information Act in order to secure the release of their personal information.

Mercy’s initial response was to simply quote their legal counsel’s advice saying:

“The Freedom Of Information Act (NSW) 1989 applies to information held about individuals by a NSW government body/agency and the Freedom Of Information Act (Cth) 1982 applies to information held about individuals by Commonwealth government departments and public authorities. Both Acts also go into detail which government bodies are excluded from application of both the Acts. As a not for profit organisation would not fall within the ambit of the Acts these individuals have no right to have access to their files pursuant to these Acts…The individuals’ records should be disposed of in accordance with the rules under which Mercy Ministries was set up and/or licensed as it is not governed by the State or Commonwealth record keeping laws except for any health information that must be retained pursuant to the law.”

That’s their ‘legalese’ answer. In lay-man terms that translates into:

“using the law you mentioned; we don’t have to give you anything, so we won’t. Plus, now we know you want it we’re going to destroy it.”

Its quite clear the moral thing to do would be to release this information to those it concerns. You’d think an organisation that purports to base it’s dealings on Biblical and Christian principles would recognise they have a moral duty to comply with these requests. Apparently not with Mercy. Their approach was “Can we get away with refusing?…If we can; we will”. What other reason could there be other than Mercy thinking the information might be damaging to Mercy. Otherwise known as Mercy have something to hide.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that the residents requesting the information were not happy with this response. Someone has since logged a complaint with the Information Commissioner, prompting an investigation. The Commissioner then informed the complainant that while Mercy was correct in its assertion that they had no obligation under the Freedom Of Information Act, they were still bound by the Privacy Act and under this Act they had to release the information. I don’t believe Mercy weren’t aware of this which, in my opinion, explains their very specific ‘not-under-this-law’ response.

The most recent update to this story, courtesy of Sean, is that as soon as there is a whiff of an investigation Mercy play ball. They are apparently now prepared to release the information requested by the ex residents.

This story highlights 2 major things that most of us already knew about Mercy. First; their claim that:

“Mercy Ministries is committed to being an effective and well-respected global organization dedicated to transforming lives of generations searching for truth and wholeness”

…is totally false. They may be able to cite examples of ‘success’ stories but these people are clearly responsible for their own ‘success’ and owe no thanks whatsoever to any divine intervention. The sheer number of damaged lives, irrespective of how many ‘Jesus Warriors’ they churn out, means that the program is far from “effective” (Mercy’s distorted, manipulated 90% success rate claim is laughable). Mercy are far from a “well-respected global organisation” (apart from within the Bible belt in the USA which doesn’t count in my book).

The second thing this tells us about Mercy is that they have no regard for anybody who doesn’t leave the program shouting from the rooftops about how good Mercy is. If you leave on a bad note they don’t want to know you, will go out of their way to avoid revealing what they did to you while you were there and will only play fairly when the government force them to.

Mercy Ministries is an evil organisation with a money hungry fame hunter at the helm who are only concerned with their own interests.

Today this blog was listed on The Daily Reviewer for the post on Mercy Ministries I wrote a while back.

According to their home page:

“The Daily Reviewer selects only the world’s top blogs (and RSS feeds). We sift through thousands of blogs daily to present you the world’s best writers. The blogs that we include are authoritative on their respective niche topics and are widely read. To be included in The Daily Reviewer is a mark of excellence.”

I am constantly amazed at the places I end up getting mentioned. Cheers Daily Reviewer!

The Telegraph – Popes Brother Admits Slapping Choirboys

This is not in the least bit surprising. I think I’m now at the point where the Catholic church can do whatever they want and I will not be surprised.

It makes no difference to me that this guy is now saying he is sorry. The fact he thought he could throw his weight around just because he was in charge goes against the very essence of what they tell us Christianity is about. This guy worked in a place where yet more abuse allegations have surfaced and quite frankly I don’t believe he knew nothing about it.

The Catholic church is one of the world’s biggest evils.

The above is a question I’ve heard asked and discussed many, many times. In short, the answer is yes.

Religion is a personal choice, it’s one that adults choose for various reasons. These reasons usually boil down to the fact that it makes the follower feel better. Whatever the reasons for following religion, the important point here is that an adult is capable of making such a decision. Putting aside the fact that the overwhelming majority of religious people I’ve met are incapable of discussing their religion using logic and reason, they are still (usually) of sound enough mind to make an informed choice.

They can learn about evolution and choose to reject it. They can learn about the age of the earth and choose to believe it’s as old as the Bible says. They can ignore the hypocrisy and stupidity of the Bible/Qur’an or whatever other book they read and choose to follow it blindly. They can turn away from religion if they want. Most children in religious families do not have this option. They are simply told what to believe. In other words, they are indoctrinated. They are labelled as a ‘Christian child’, a ‘Muslim child’ or a ‘Catholic child’. As Richard Dawkins points out in The God Delusion we’d be appalled if we referred to a child as a ‘Labour child’ or a ‘Tory child’. We’d object to a child being used as an extension of their parents political belief. We’d say a child isn’t old enough to understand which political party they belong to. Why is religion any different?

Let’s remember we set an age of consent for sex, the reason being that children are not mature enough to consider the consequences of their actions. There is a minimum age for voting because children are not capable of understanding politics enough to make an informed vote. If children cannot do these things then they can never be expected to understand religion. I know plenty of adults who are still not able to decide what they believe.

Humans have evolved so that children listen to their parents unquestionably. If we tell them Santa delivers their Christmas presents, they believe us. If we tell them the tooth fairy will collect their broken teeth, they believe us. If we tell them God created the Earth in 7 days, started with Adam and Eve and requires us to live our entire lives according to the Bible, they believe us. If we tell them it’s wrong to be gay, they will believe us, and then experience absolute turmoil when they realise they are gay. To take a young mind and fill it with such rubbish can only ever be abusive.

The religious will obviously disagree. They argue that it’s their right to bring up their child according to their belief. But that is just the point. It is their belief.

This is one of those issues where society as a whole displays double standards. They scorn at the Westboro Baptist Church for making their kids stand with ‘God Hates Fags’ signs and they would no doubt scorn if a parent brought their child up as a witch or devil worshipper. They would be disgusted if a nutter who thought he lived his life in servitude to an alien god from Venus taught his young child to do the same. But some of these are the same people who will fill their child’s mind with their own delusions. What they are doing is taking their own life choices and imprinting them on their children. Children are so open to being imprinted, the Westboro Baptist church are a prime example of this. The children of the Phelps’ family believe exactly what their parents believe because it’s all they’ve ever been told. Could there be a better example of how dangerous this can get?

There will always be a small number of slightly liberal Christians who will not force their children to believe as they do. They are, however, a small number. All too often I read or hear stories of those who were forced to attend church, forced to pray and severely chastised if they even dared speak against the Lord! The fear of punishment is enough to qualify as forcing.

Can it ever be right to teach an innocent child that if they’re attracted to the same sex they’ll burn in hell? Based on nothing more than your own interpretation of an ancient text. Is it just me who sees this as atrocious? Children should be allowed to be innocent, to think about playing and having fun and not worry about going to hell. The sort of psychological damage this can, and does, do to kids is awful. I personally know of so many people who went through absolute turmoil, and some, complete ex-communication from their families, all because they reached an age where they realised that their whole childhood had been built on a lie. Because as they got older they realised their religion was incompatible with the realities of life. This issue is often magnified in Muslim families, where some are prepared to resort to murder if a family member turns from their religion. These families are completely self centred if they put their own opinion before loving their family.

I will be accused of thinking the way I do purely because I’m an atheist. I refute this. To impose any of our beliefs on our children in such a way that they do not question what they are told is indoctrination. This is not reserved for religion alone. We should encourage our children to think for themselves and not just pass on our own beliefs. It is equally abhorrent to bring a child up reading their horoscope, force feed them racist or homophobic views, tell them they belong to a particular political party, imprint our own bad eating habits on them (how many fat kids do you see with fat parents?), pass on our irrational phobias or our modern obsession with our image (how many kids do you see wearing makeup and mini-skirts?).

We need to question the parental ability of people who force their own beliefs on their kids. At the end of the day what is our job as parents? To give our children the start and the skills they need to be ready for life as an adult? Or is it to turn out mini clones of ourselves who think and act exactly as we do? Too many parents are choosing the latter.

Thanks to Sean at Sean The Blogonaut and John at Against Biblical Counselling for bringing this into the open.

Not content with the lives they’ve already ruined, and the public admittance of their deception, Mercy are on a push to infect even more vulnerable girls with their message of lies and abusive practices. This piece of news shocked and disturbed me to the core. Mercy Ministries are now going after the victims of sex trafficking.

Just think about that for a second. Victims of sex trafficking are possibly some of the most vulnerable people on the planet. They have usually already suffered years and years of the most horrendous abuse imaginable. Many were sexually abused as children and have spent their lives believing they are worthless.

The thought of the loons at Mercy getting their hands on these poor girls scares me shitless, it really does. It’s impossible to fully comprehend the potential harm Mercy’s program could inflict on these people. Many trafficking victims are from countries where belief in the gospel is widespread, these people are perfect potential Mercy disciples.

I can’t repeat how potentially dangerous this situation is. Mercy need stopping and stopping fast. It’s so sad the trafficking victims have no protection under law from cults like Mercy who want to recruit them.

Mercy are partnering with Natalie Grant on this issue. This gives Mercy ‘credibility’ in the eyes of Christians. Natalie Grant is a well known and pretty successful American Christian singer and it’s often the case that when Christians see a name they know attached to something they automatically trust it unquestioningly. It worked with Mercy and Hillsong in Australia. If Natalie Grant is incapable of seeing Mercy for what it is then this partnership also completely eradicates any shred of respectability that she may have had. Her judgement and logic are clearly incredibly flawed.

On a second note Mercy is planning expansion and is building another home in the USA. Florida is the chosen state. Mercy is spreading like a disease, and truth is the only known vaccine.

Watching Dispatches tonight, yet another reminder of innocent people having their lives ruined because of religion.

Children are pronounced witches by psycho ‘leaders’ and then horribly tortured. Villages form a mob around English charity worker and some crazy man threatens him with a machete. Crazy guy says he’ll kill the homeless ‘witch child’ he’s trying to help. Parents spend all their money paying ‘witch deliverance ministers’ to ‘cure’ their child.

It’s just ridiculous. These people need proper education and the ‘deliverance ministers’ need shooting.