Catholicism's Hollow Claims of Moral Authority

The outgoing Archbishop of Westminster, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, had some choice words for atheists at the ceremony this week to install his successor:

“What is most crucial is the prayer that we express every day in the Our Father, when we say ‘deliver us from evil’. The evil we ask to be delivered from is not essentially the evil of sin, though that is clear, but in the mind of Jesus it is more importantly a loss of faith. For Jesus, the inability to believe in God and to live by faith is the greatest of evils.

…You see the things that result from this are an affront to human dignity, destruction of trust between peoples, the rule of egoism and the loss of peace. One can never have true justice, true peace, if God becomes meaningless to people.”

Like others who came before him, this cardinal views atheism as “the greatest of evils”, literally the worst act a human being can possibly commit. Too bad for the cardinal that, at the time he gave this speech, an enormous counterexample was staring him in the face:

Tens of thousands of Irish children were sexually, physically and emotionally abused by nuns, priests and others over 60 years in a network of church-run residential schools meant to care for the poor, the vulnerable and the unwanted, according to a report released in Dublin on Wednesday.

Tens of thousands of children, suffering horrific abuse, degradation, and brutal assault both physical and sexual, over a period of decades. The sheer scope of the problem makes it impossible to explain away as the result of a few bad apples; cruelty this widespread and this institutionalized could only come about as the result of evil and corruption deeply entrenched in the hierarchy of church power.

In a litany that sounds as if it comes from the records of a P.O.W. camp, the report chronicles some of the forms of physical abuse suffered in the boys’ schools:

“Punching, flogging, assault and bodily attacks, hitting with the hand, kicking, ear pulling, hair pulling, head shaving, beating on the soles of the feet, burning, scalding, stabbing, severe beatings with or without clothes, being made to kneel and stand in fixed positions for lengthy periods, made to sleep outside overnight, being forced into cold or excessively hot baths and showers, hosed down with cold water before being beaten, beaten while hanging from hooks on the wall, being set upon by dogs, being restrained in order to be beaten, physical assaults by more than one person, and having objects thrown at them.”

…Girls were routinely sexually abused, often by more than one person at a time, the report said, in “dormitories, schools, motor vehicles, bathrooms, staff bedrooms, churches, sacristies, fields, parlors, the residences of clergy, holiday locations and while with godparents and employers.”

As with the Magdalene Laundries, the history of Catholicism in Ireland appears to be an unbroken record of brutality. And as novelist John Banville observes, the church-sanctioned violence endemic to these schools was well-known and not a fluke: it was an inevitable development of Christianity’s wicked theology of inherent human depravity.

The doctrine of original sin was ingrained in us from our earliest years, and we borrowed from Protestantism the concepts of the elect and the unelect. If children were sent to orphanages, industrial schools and reformatories, it must be because they were destined for it, and must belong there. What happened to them within those unscalable walls was no concern of ours.

To their credit, some members of the Catholic church have apologized without reservation for these evils. Others, like Cardinal O’Connor, act determined to ignore them. Still others defend these actions: for instance, Bill Donohue, the professional bloviator who predictably flies into a lathered frenzy every time a movie or a novel says anything uncomplimentary about Catholicism, but who dismisses the church abuses in Ireland as “minor”.

The one conclusion we can draw from this horror with complete confidence is that Roman Catholicism’s claim to speak with moral authority is forever demolished, whatever bigots like Cormac Murphy-O’Connor say. When Catholic officials can ignore or minimize horrendous abuses like this – when they can downplay thousands of acts of incredible brutality against vulnerable children who were committed to their care – then they are bereft of ethics and of credibility, even if they refuse to admit this and continue to blather on as if their words carried any moral standing. Their attempts to tell us what constitutes the greatest of sins deserve nothing but derisive laughter. No matter how large and impressive their cathedrals, how ornate their robes, or how flowery their language, they are hollow shells of corruption. They deserve to be utterly ignored until their words have faded into the dust.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • http://www.wayofthemind.org/ Pedro Timóteo

    Great post, Ebon. If anything, you’re being too nice on them.

    This is not “a few isolated cases”, this is what Christianity is all about: the doctrine of sin and unworthiness, the teaching that worldly suffering is irrelevant and is, in fact, even *moral*, if it ends up in a soul saved.

    This is sick, but if one can imagine their mindset, their way of thinking *is* logical: if child abuse leads both the abuser (because he never renounced Christ or “the holy spirit”) and the child (because he or she can’t free him/herself from the shackles of religion) to “heaven”, then it’s actually a good thing. After all, what’s a human life compared to eternity? But… atheism? That one leads to eternal suffering, and may even end up dragging others there (their worst fear is not a Dawkins or a Harris, but a nice, happy, accepted atheist as your neighbor). What could ever be worse?

  • http://fancy-plants.blogspot.com fancyplants

    Over on BBC Radio 4 in the UK, we have the Today programme, which each day at about 7.50am has a ‘Thought for the Day’.article, which is usually given over to a religious representative of some faith or other to spend 5 minutes talking about something, often with topical and/or moral leanings. The program has come under some criticism from non-theists for its reluctance to choose anyone who isn’t religious to do it. (I often ‘start the Jesus stopwatch’ to see how long it takes before the story of the day mentions some deity – it rarely makes it past 20 seconds.)

    This morning’s article took me by surprise because it must be as close as they have got to a more balanced view in a long time. Since the Today programme wont be available outside the UK on the IPlayer, I’ve done a transcription of it here, it seemed relevant since it mentions the same passages by the Cardinal.

    ==================

    Clifford Longley, Religious Commentator

    Thought for the day, Today Programme, Radio 4, 25 May 2009 (about 1:47:30 in) – UK only

    I get a sense that our society is re-appraising the value of virtue.

    We are finding, in the city, in parliament, in journalism – in truth, everywhere else too – that going to the very limit of what the rules permit, isn’t good enough. As the archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster have been saying over the weekend, we need an internal moral compass as well – to be precise, we need a conscience.

    We need it in order to apply to our lives the four cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, moderation and courage. Whether we do so successfully depends crucially on what sort of people we are. If we are virtuous, we will act virtuously, and become more virtuous in the process. Well, that’s the theory, anyway. Am I saying, ‘only religious people can be virtuous’? Certainly not. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor said controversially last Thursday that ‘for Jesus, the inability to believe in God and to live by faith is the greatest of evils.’ Evil is a word with many shades of meaning, but this seems to come close to saying that atheism is wicked. I beg to differ.

    One of the most virtuous men I’ve know was my own father – he was an out-and-out atheist; a Dawkins before his time. Though he disagreed profoundly with my own choice of faith – I’m of the same persuasion as the Cardinal – my father certainly wasn’t evil. Indeed, a Catholic theologian once said that virtue in an atheist is more admirable than virtue in a believer, for a virtuous atheist pursues the good purely for its own sake, whereas the virtuous believer hopes for his reward in an afterlife. There’s a sobering truth in that. The opposite side of the coin is that wickedness is more wicked when committed by a religious believer – it destroys trust. Many Irish people have abandoned the Catholic faith in recent years, and I would not be surprised to hear of more doing so in the light of recent events, because of the scandal of children being abused sexually or sadistically by priests or nuns, so the inability to believe in God may have a lot to do with the dreadful example set by some of those who do believe.

    And I also think that the inability to believe in God can, paradoxically, be a source of grace – even something like a gift: It’s as if God switches on the light for some people, but for others he deliberately leaves it turned off, so they have to create their own light – they have to discover for themselves how to be moral and virtuous, and why it matters.

    Believers and non-believers together have the urgent task of promoting the ideas of virtue in order to moralise our entire economic system and the whole society before it all finally falls apart.

    While I’m not overly plussed by his theory of God making it so atheists don’t believe because they don’t have to, it’s nice to find a voice against the dissent in the unlikliest of places.

  • http://inthenuts.blogspot.com King Aardvark

    I’m a civil engineer (in training) and the office I’m in is having a lunch presentation from a supplier who deals with cathodic protection systems (ie. prevents your steel from corroding by use of sacrificial anodes, etc). Except the email announcing this presentation had a typo: Catholic Protection Systems.

  • Lux Aeterna

    God, please save me from your followers

  • http://dbellisblog.blogspot.com/ David Ellis


    Believers and non-believers together have the urgent task of promoting the ideas of virtue in order to moralise our entire economic system and the whole society before it all finally falls apart.

    Economies don’t need “moralization”. They need sensible policies, regulation and oversight.

  • mikespeir

    Of course, to the fellowship I grew up in this comes as no surprise. To them, the Roman Catholic “church” is apostate.

  • http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com Tommykey

    They deserve to be utterly ignored until their words have faded into the dust.

    Maybe so, but you know they won’t be. There’s too many of them and they have too much influence. My family, friends, neighbors, and parents of my kids classmates still dutifully send their children to catechism school on Saturdays and celebrate their communions.

  • http://adoptanatheist.blogspot.com/ Vince R

    Well, according to Mary Kenny, a well known professional writer and blogger on Guardianonline UK, there is not really such a serious issue here because, I kid you not, although she has met many priests, she has not been “consciously aware” of meeting such a thing as a “paedophile priest”. Weird cop out huh? This is a quote from her latest insert:

    “I have known scores of priests in Ireland, England, France and the United States. I have known whiskey priests and priests with a weakness for food – I was astonished, once, to be ushered into the presence of a busy priest in New York City who was so vast that my surprise must have shown in my face. I have known funny priests and pompous priests and priests who were a fabulous hand at Bridge. I have known priests who were, it was said in the parish, brilliant with money; and priests so unworldly they would have fitted perfectly into a hippy commune.I have known clever priests garlanded with academic degrees; and simple country lads who were sincere, if not brainy, priestly pastors. But I have never consciously known a paedophile priest.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/may/20/catholic-abuse-ireland

  • http://piepalace.ca/blog Erigami

    I get a kick out of the statement

    For Jesus, the inability to believe in God and to live by faith is the greatest of evils.

    That’s self-preservation at its best. If we think of Catholicism as a meme, we can see that such a statement help the meme’s ongoing survival. It’s essentially telling followers that they can commit any sin, so long as they continue to carry the meme (and presumably spread it).

  • http://piepalace.ca/blog Erigami

    I recently saw Deliver Us from Evil which documents what the Catholic church (allegedly) did in California to protect the monstrous Father Oliver O’Grady from prosecution while he repeatedly sexually abused children.

    The most interesting part of the documentary comes at the end, when O’Grady, who was raised as a Catholic in Ireland, talks about the abuse he received at the hands of his older brother, and implies that he received the same from local Catholic officials. Given how widespread the abuse in Ireland was, it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that the nuns and priests who did awful things to the children in their care had themselves been abused as children. (That doesn’t excuse what they did, if anything it makes it more heinous, as they would know the pain they were causing)

    It makes me wonder how far back the chain of abuse goes. How long have these institutions been used as a reservoir of victims?

  • http://adoptanatheist.blogspot.com/ Vince R

    fancyplants | May 25, 2009, 9:47 am
    I liked your insert and yes, the comments by Clifford Longley are very disarming. But I am plagued by an annoying sense that he is simply inviting me onto the lip of some slippery slope. I want to know what makes him tick deep down. When he drops the rhetoric, what does he actually mean? I must say this type of “leaning over the fence” to the other side is the most difficult thing I grapple with. He seems so sincere, but there just has to be a Jesus ACE up his sleeve, somehow. It’s a slippery slope he’s offering, how do we deal with it?

  • Scotlyn

    I was away in Germany for a few days, and coming back to Ireland, the airwaves are full of this story. I have never heard Irish people express such anger at the church in public (although behind closed doors, it has always been another story!). It is as though floodgates have opened. It is true to say that in one way “everyone knew.” But so long as no one spoke, it was possible to pretend that no one knew. Now there can be no more pretend… it’s definitely shaking things up around here…

  • bassmanpete

    But I have never consciously known a paedophile priest.

    I’m 64 and have never consciously known a paedophile, full stop. Does that mean I’ve never met one? I doubt it. Or maybe she meant known in the biblical sense and she was unconscious at the time!

    It makes me wonder how far back the chain of abuse goes. How long have these institutions been used as a reservoir of victims?

    Probably since not long after their inception.

  • http://fancy-plants.blogspot.com fancyplants

    [T]he comments by Clifford Longley are very disarming. But I am plagued by an annoying sense that he is simply inviting me onto the lip of some slippery slope. I want to know what makes him tick deep down. When he drops the rhetoric, what does he actually mean? I must say this type of “leaning over the fence” to the other side is the most difficult thing I grapple with.

    I never looked at Longleys’ passage as being anything less than a well-intentioned alternate view to provide to the listeners, at least some of which would have gone along with Cardinal O’Connor’s blatherings. He did after all (apparently) have an atheistic father whom he talks about with warmth and admiration, which points at least to some sincerity in the things that he says. I’m not suggesting that it was all good and it did grate a bit that they had a theistic guy defending non-theists, but he stood up from the other side of the fence on national radio and highlighted the fact that atheism is not the enemy to society that some think it is, right at the point where people are looking at the Catholic priests scandal and having their world view on ‘faith’ and ‘good’ shaken up a bit.

    I suspect that the ‘switch’ metaphor he used backfired slightly – although he worded it to sound like those with the ‘light switched on’ are better people, it also implied that those with that light needed it otherwise they would have no moral compass, where as those without (atheists) are able to find their morals without such outside pressure.

    He seems so sincere, but there just has to be a Jesus ACE up his sleeve, somehow. It’s a slippery slope he’s offering, how do we deal with it?

    Is there anything to deal with? If what he said highlighted the disconnection between religious beliefs and morals to a few million expecting something else to mull over with their cornflakes then so much the better. Its definitely a step forward. The Mary Kenneys and the Stephen Greens of this world are the ones to concentrate on.

  • MikeK

    Obviously, Archbishop Murphy-O’Connor feels the Church more threatened by folks who think for themselves rather than Pedophile Priests and unlike Mary Kenny, I suspect he undoubtedly knows plenty of PedoPriests, having likely taken their confessions, patted them on the head and said, “Now be a good boy for now on but if you cannot make sure you come back and see me for Absolution immediately afterwards. It’d be a tragedy if you died between the act and confession and went straight to hell with those vile evils who are unable to believe in God. Have a nice day and see you at dinner.”

  • NoAstronomer

    My grandfather was a guard at a PoW camp and quite frankly I’m a little upset at the comparison since he was the most decent individual I ever met. And not at all religious.

    Mike.
    Who is playing things up a little.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism Ebonmuse

    In fairness to Mary Kenny, she doesn’t claim that there are no such things as pedophile priests, only that she’s never knowingly met one. And she does say that anyone convicted of such a crime ought to be defrocked and punished to the fullest extent of the law, so there are no grounds to accuse her there.

    However, there is one passage that I think offers an unintentional glimpse into the Catholic mindset on this issue:

    …A writer has to know something about a subject before offering a commentary: either from her own experience and knowledge, or from the acquisition of some expertise by specific research.

    Maybe I have flinched from the subject because it is so ghastly and depressing. But it also hasn’t come my way.

    Although she doesn’t attempt to excuse these crimes, one might be forgiven for reading this passage as an admission that she’s consciously avoided the subject until now – as indeed many Catholics have. And it was precisely this kind of institutional squeamishness, on a wide scale, that permitted this abuse to go on as long as it did and do as much harm as it did.

  • Staceyjw

    Every time I think I can’t be any more disgusted or appalled by the Catholic church, something like this hits the news. Sickening, but not surprising. I hope they all go to prison for life.

    Abuse like this is also hidden and ignored because the orphanages and such are taking care of kids no one else can, or will. The simple fact that these places provide services free (financially) makes people reluctant to do anything about what goes on in them. They figure (often rightly) that even though the kids may be abused, there is no other place for them. Imagine the resources it would take to shut these places down, and fund new ones. I’m not excusing these actions, just pointing out why these places always exist. Whenever a community is underfunded/impoverished (or cheap on social issues like this) the church often steps in and provides some sort of services (I wont go into the why of it). Those that need the services are extremely vulnerable to abuse, as the “helper” weilds power over critical things, and feels any of their actions are justified by their “charity”. We see the same behaviors with a few big religious charites that deal with homeless or addicts.

    Nothing in this world is truly free. Someone always pays in one way or another. Our attitudes towards the marginilized parts of society allow this abuse to continue- we don’t think they are worth helping (or even worth treating with human decency), and that leads to complacency. Until we can treat orphans/mentally ill as humans deserving of decent living situations (and put our money where our mouth is), these religiously funded places will flourish.

    Religion wields massive power and influence over the worlds poor, in part because they go after the most vulnerable poeple in the name of “xtin service and love”. HAH! Like a missionary to a starving nation that only feeds and shelters those that accept “christ”, these organizations are designed to thoroughly indoctrinate as many people as possible.

    So sick, so sad, so typical of religion.

    Staceyjw

  • Thumpalumpacus

    “And it was precisely this kind of institutional squeamishness, on a wide scale, that permitted this abuse to go on as long as it did and do as much harm as it did.”– Ebonmuse

    Forgive my cynicism, but rather than the term “squeamishness”, might I suggest “defensiveness”? Afterall, the pedophelia scandal here in America was the subject of a widespread — if decentralized — cover-up. My point is that their core loyalty is to the institution, not their flocks, and that this instinct is so deeply ingrained that they tolerate evil in their midst — indeed, protect and harbor it by moving miscreant priests around one step ahead of the law. In both the American and Irish cases, the silence is damning.

  • Rebecca

    What interests me most about this post and some of the responses are the parts of it that hang on things that have nothing to do with the Catholic Church.

    I agree that paedophilia is ABHORRENT and that any attempt by the church to cover it up is horrific, immoral and completely bizarre coming from a religious organisation. Of course as Christians we believe that we are all flawed and can all be forgiven, but it saddens me immensely that anybody in the Catholic church could give the impression that this was ‘acceptable’.

    However there are some bizarre claims here:
    The first commenter says
    “if child abuse leads both the abuser (because he never renounced Christ or “the holy spirit”) and the child (because he or she can’t free him/herself from the shackles of religion) to “heaven”, then it’s actually a good thing.”
    But that is completely contrary to what the church teaches. NOBODY in any of the mainstream churches would begin to claim that having suffering inflicted upon an innocent child is good for them or would lead them to heaven. Likewise the abuser.

    ‘Erigami’ also quotes
    “For Jesus, the inability to believe in God and to live by faith is the greatest of evils.”
    Although I’m not sure from where. It’s an interesting claim bearing in mind that, as far as I’m aware (and I’d be more than happy to accept a quotation) Jesus speaks very little of atheism or life without the Father. In fact, as far as I’m aware, he doesn’t actually address it at all. How then can anyone claim that according to him it was the ‘greatest of evils’.

  • The Tofu

    The quote is from the OP and was originally said by Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, The Archbishop of Westminster.

  • nfpendleton

    “For Jesus, the inability to believe in God and to live by faith is the greatest of evils…

    …One can never have true justice, true peace, if God becomes meaningless to people.”

    These are but two of the barbed teeth on the tick-like pinschers of the x-ian meme. These concepts help create a feedback loop out of which many people cannot free themselves. And the parasite lives another day…

  • Domyan

    I liked your insert and yes, the comments by Clifford Longley are very disarming. But I am plagued by an annoying sense that he is simply inviting me onto the lip of some slippery slope.

    Well, it was not really that bad, if you consider the intended audience. Most of the theists were so long shielded from reason that for things to make sense to them, God must play a central part. Apparently, most of the Christians currently believe that atheists denounce God because they want to sin or are too arrogant to believe in anyone smarter than they are. I much prefer this notion that atheists are chosen by God to add variety to the world and even some virtue that would otherwise be lacking. Don’t get me wrong, I still find the explanation ridiculous but I wouldn’t mind theists believing it as it would be a small step in a right direction. It is really hard for us to change anything is everything we say is dismissed out of hand because it was uttered by those evil God-haters.

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  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com OMGF

    Rebecca,

    But that is completely contrary to what the church teaches. NOBODY in any of the mainstream churches would begin to claim that having suffering inflicted upon an innocent child is good for them or would lead them to heaven. Likewise the abuser.

    Church teachings are notorious for being interpreted the way that the interpreter wants them to read for one. Secondly, Mother Theresa herself claimed that suffering is good for the soul and helps one get to heaven (which is partly why her clinics were so abhorrent). It’s not a leap to think that causing suffering in others might be seen by some as helpful in getting another to heaven, and that which helps save another could easily be seen as good in itself.

    Also, next time read the OP.

  • Scotlyn

    The lesson here is about power. Power corrupts. Power does what it likes. The church had almost absolute power in Ireland in years gone by. Now it doesn’t, which is why we have reached this moment of truth now, and could not have done before this. I have lived both in Ireland and in the US over the past 20 years, and I find that the general social tone in Ireland is of a society on the way to becoming increasingly secular, whereas, in the US, it has been possible to feel that the general social trend was towards increasing religious influence in public life.

    However, just because religion wanes in its power to inspire fear and an unwillingness to question its dark heart, does not mean that there are not other areas of life in which power still hides darkness behind veils of secrecy. US president Obama, for example, has elected to continue to prop up with secrecy, the dark heart of rape and abuse that has taken place, with official sanction and protection, in detainee centres throughout the US’s international sphere of armed influence.

  • Brian

    Why do atheists argue the bible so much or even at all. Why even use the word A-THEIST, when humanist would be more distinctive. Murder is bad, stealing is bad, lieing is bad, abusing your spouse physically,emotionally, monitarily, & sexually is bad, the mere idea of morality is at the entire heart of the debate. Bad is bad and good is good period and end of the arguement, But not of the story. All governments have laws that if not adheared to punishment will follow and all wars are fought by groups of men that claim religiosity that is false and christians along with atheists are fooled into going along with them. God has nothing to do with anything that causes problems on earth people are and to argue over weather or not god exists is proof that atheists are very foolish people especially when both sides have so much common ground to stand on and form a more stablized world because of common beliefs. This is 2009 the debate is over and god himself will step aside because we all have free will, so what if you believe when you die the BULB is burned out and when I die I move on to something else. Good grief get over it and get on with LIFE !

  • Brian

    What are the main complaints from atheists.

    God does not exist.
    There is no life after death.
    Evolution is the only explaination allowed.
    A history of church oppression.
    Christians that are blithering Idiots.

    Please help me understand why so many homosexuals gravitate toward atheism and are accepted when they violate evolution theory.

    And what other beliefs do atheists detest in christians.
    P.S. What do atheists think about war, criminals, morality, capitalism, justice, self evident truths & natural laws.

  • Janet Greene

    The problem is deep within the mindset of christianity. I was abused physically and sexually by my evangelical pastor-father. He said it was ok as long as he didn’t kill me – that would be wrong. It was only my body being abused, but it was to save my eternal soul. This is the reasoning of christians. Protestants are no better. James Dobson, the power-hungry fundy who advises presidents, wrote in a book that it’s ok to beat children between the age of 18 months and 12 years. So I guess as long as the children in your article were between those ages, god condones it. It’s unbelievably SICK. And the churches, even when they condemn the specific behaviour, don’t get to the root of the problem so it continues. That is the concept that the soul is separate from the body, and that any means to “lead people to christ” is acceptable.

  • http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com Tommykey

    Please help me understand why so many homosexuals gravitate toward atheism and are accepted when they violate evolution theory.

    It is my impression that a large segment of gays are religious, and strive for greater acceptance by their churches.

    As for evolutionary theory, wtf are you talking about?

  • Leum

    P.S. What do atheists think about war, criminals, morality, capitalism, justice, self evident truths & natural laws.

    Atheists are a wide and varied group, who can boast (or shamefully admit) to including Ayn Rand and Karl Marx. As such, we can only speak of what some atheists believe. If you want to know what Ebon believes, I suggest searching the archives of Daylight Atheism and its parent site, Ebon Musings.

    Some articles that may be interest to you are “The Ineffable Carrot and the Infinite Stick,” “Rule the World,” and Ebon’s running series “On the Morality of:.”

    But that’s just one atheist. There’re plenty who disagree with Ebon, some of them even post comments here. Atheism can never act as anything more than a foundation (or a clearing of rotten foundation), and the structures built upon it are as many and varied as those built upon religion.

  • http://www.myspace.com/driftwoodduo Steve Bowen

    Brian

    Good grief get over it and get on with LIFE !

    Which is somewhat the point! The OP is about the hypocrisy of the Catholic church in abusing children on one hand and condemning atheists on the other. Although a secular children’s institution may well have immoral individuals working within it, only a religious one could get away with being so systematically evil for so long. Only the religious could think abuse is “good for the soul”

    Please help me understand why so many homosexuals gravitate toward atheism and are accepted when they violate evolution theory.

    Not really on topic but I think there are two fallacious assumptions here. One as Tommykey says is that gays are not obviously any more atheist than any other segment of society. The other is that homosexuality does not have a Darwinian Explanation.

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    Brian,

    Why do atheists argue the bible so much or even at all.

    Because so many people actually believe in the myths related in it and try to foist it upon others or commit horrible deeds (like in the OP) because of it or use it as a shield when they do commit horrible deeds.

    Why even use the word A-THEIST, when humanist would be more distinctive.

    Humanists and atheists are not necessarily the same thing.

    This is 2009 the debate is over…

    Yes, it is, and the theists lost. Now, we just need to get the theists to recognize that.

    What are the main complaints from atheists.

    “Complaints?” Nice try.

    And what other beliefs do atheists detest in christians.

    “Detest?” Nice try.

  • Yahzi

    Please help me understand why so many homosexuals gravitate toward atheism and are accepted when they violate evolution theory.

    Homosexuality does not violate evolutionary theory.

    If your choice is between raising 2 kids of your own, or raising 6 of your brother’s kids, guess which one is the evolutionarily more successful strategy?

    Or, to put it another way, only the alpha male and female wolves mate; the rest of the pack usually does not. Are you saying wolves violate evolutionary theory?

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