The entire Internet was shocked last week when it was revealed that the Dutch Catholic Church castrated at least 10 boys for being homosexual in the 1950s.
The big question, of course, is why anyone was shocked by this. The long history of the Roman Catholic Church is of one atrocity after another, from the burning of the Library of Alexandria onward.
But the more recent history has hardly been free of incident, from tacit support of Nazis in Germany to criminal conspiracies to protect child molesters. The latter point bears some close investigation.
The relationship of the general population to the Catholic Church bears a similar cognitive dissonance to “stranger danger.” Nearly everyone knows — intellectually, anyway — that your kids are far more likely to be touched in an inappropriate manner by a family member than anyone else.
Yet, they stress about where to send their kids to day care based on the bizarre fabrications of children and district attorneys made during Satanic Panic, perhaps the worst moral panic this side of McCarthyism.
But instead of worrying about leaving little Timmy with an unmarried man in a dress, parents are now afraid of him being spirited away by a nefarious cabal of secretive generational Satanists. Still, I’m not telling you anything you don’t know.
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What is worth considering is the status of religion in the United States. Full disclosure: I’m a committed atheist of the Dawkins-Hitchens type. My opinion of organized religion and those who actively propagate its backwardness and bigotry is somewhere around what I think of bankers and drug kingpins.
However, it’s not my personal rancor on the subject that’s relevant.
Put directly, you can get away with anything in this country if you do it in the name of religion. Consider, for example, religious exemptions for anti-discrimination laws. If I started a business and publicly declared that I would not hire gays and lesbians, I would be ostracized in polite company and possibly subject to investigation by government authorities.
But if my business is shilling for Bronze Age superstition, I need no other explanation than that my book of archaic laws handed down from an invisible monster in the sky says that gays and lesbians are immoral.
Think about it in these terms: Replace the word “god” (or the name of a preferred deity) with “Battlecat” and see how ridiculous it sounds. Can’t eat meat on Fridays. Battlecat said so. Gotta go beat my wife with a stick no bigger than my thumb — it’s the will of Battlecat.
Sorry, little boy, Battlecat says there’s only one way to get rid of your unnatural urges, and it’s far better that you lose your testicles than burn in hell with Panthor for all eternity.
Religion Above the Law
If the Catholic Church were any type of organization other than a religion, the perpetrators of child abuse such as castration and molestation would be prosecuted within the full weight of the law. But you can bet the reprisals wouldn’t stop there.
The organization would be probed mercilessly, investigated thoroughly, with leaders and accessories before and after the fact put on the dock alongside the perpetrators. If the Catholic Church were a one-percenter motorcycle club, the federal government would likely invoke RICO to get the job done… and do we even need to talk about the fact that they don’t pay taxes?
I don’t expect any changes in this regard, sweeping or otherwise. Attacking the sort of bigotry, ignorance and lawlessness pushed and defended by organizations like the Catholic Church requires sweeping, systemic change of the fabric of our society.
All people like me can do is alert people like you to it in straightforward, direct and sometimes inflammatory language, trying to get you to break out of the fog created by normalizing such institutions.
This site is about weirdness in the world, and my beat is conspiracy. The most successful conspiracy is like a successful virus. It’s one that goes entirely undetected, as normal as water to a fish.
I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about certain proven criminal conspiracies to abuse children.