Sex, Lies, & Videotape (“Discussion” w Angry Atheist)

Sex, Lies, & Videotape (“Discussion” w Angry Atheist) February 15, 2019

This took place in the combox of my blog post, “Catholic Sex & Heterodoxy Scandals: Long-Term Causes.” “HematitePersuasion” is an atheist. His words will be in blue.

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Do you believe, then, that the various abuses with then RCC are a modern phenomena? That this sort of abuse and coverup was absent, pre-Vatican II?

Looking at the pattern of abuse suggests to me that not only was it endemic, but the opportunity to abuse was engineered into Church culture (presumably by those seeking positions from which to groom and abuse).

Sin is always present to some extent at all times. It’s a question of degree. I think the degree was greatly increased after the sexual revolution, when there was an attempt of the homosexual subculture to not only become priests, but to also engage in sexual practices (as priests and sometimes bishops) that are immoral. How the Church failed to weed that out is the primary cause of the present scandal, per my reasoning above.

I appreciate your clarification; thank you. Although I would like to believe that this sort of widespread assault dates from the alleged licentiousness of the 1960’s, I find accepting that difficult, given the documented events of abuse as far back as 1807 (Magdelene Laundries). Abusers seek positions from which to abuse, and historically, the RCC has had many such positions. My suspicion is that it is the increased flow of information that has allowed the systemic nature of these abuses to surface, and the problem has been present for hundreds of years.

Obviously, the situation is not unique to the RCC, merely the length of time the RCC has existed. I doubt the RCC Is worse overall than any particular group (and probably better than the smaller charismatic splinter groups).

Well, in a culture (since the 60s) that glorifies and broadcasts everywhere so-called “free” sex and all kinds of immoral sex, does it not make perfect sense to expect to see much more sexual abuse, and that more would occur? Likewise, we have the explosion of pornography. This helps no one.

In a sense, but the additional sexual abuse I would expect to see is increased date rape. You appear to think that the past was a world where abuse didn’t happen (or happened much less often) — I suspect it happened at roughly the same frequency, but the hierarchy was able to suppress knowledge of it. I credit the increased flow of communication and ability of victims to stand up and acknowledge they were victimized (which was possible in part because of the sexual revolution). You appear (and forgive me if I am misstating your position) to credit the pre-Vatican II stricter social conventions and stronger enforcement of those conventions.

I have taken the liberty of paraphrasing what I understand your position to be; if I have anywhere misstated it, I apologize for my misunderstanding.

Once again: in a social scenario where sex is constantly glorified and “free sex” and sexual “freedom” is promoted to the hilt, there will be more sexual activity, hence more immoral sexual activity, including abuse. DUH! I don’t see how it is even arguable. There is simply more sex going on.

Maybe, but your asserting it as obvious doesn’t make it so. One’s natural inclination is to think the sky is blue, that the sun circles the earth, and the earth is flat. Once one starts delving into quantum realms, the nature of matter, time, energy and even distance turns out to be so different than our macroscopic-based intuition that I (for one) don’t even pretend to have a grasp of the situation beyond the equations. These sorts of grand generalizations sometimes turn out to be true. And sometimes they don’t.

There are quite a number of claims here. (a) more sex, (b) more sex you that you disapprove of, (c) more sex that qualifies as abusive (for some mutually agreeable meaning of abusive, (d) more sex has to mean that there is more sex that you disapprove of, and (e) more sex has to mean that there is more sex that qualifies as abusive (see caveat above). I will grant you (a) and and since you seem to disapprove of sex in general, (b) and (d).

(b) and (d) are irrelevant, because you do not get to make moral choices for others, nor decide if their actions contradict their morals.

I am dubious of (c) and (e). From my experience, predators are predators, and will abuse regardless. Whether or not they abuse more seems more dependent on opportunity (and manufactured opportunity, which these persons are talented in manufacturing) than social permission.

The birth control pill alone is a huge factor in promoting such sexual activity, and it took away the fear of pregnancy: one of the big motivators to abstain even for those who didn’t wish to simply because it was moral and right to do so.

This strongly suggests that some part of your objection to birth control is that it allows the immoral to avoid punishment. This admits that childbearing is itself is an imposition and hardship (otherwise, it would not be punishment).

It promoted homosexual sex, too, since it removed procreation from sex.

I am reasonably certain that risk-of-pregnancy was not a restraining factor for same-sex intimacies, and the claim strikes me as farfetched, to say the least. Gender attraction is currently thought to be a combination of nature and nurture, and set by early childhood (not a conscious choice). I certainly don’t recall ever waking up and thinking, oh, what the heck, I think I’ll be attracted to women, nor have I met anyone who has (or, the other way round).

We all reason from premises, which in turn can be discussed and defended or overthrown. Needless to say, there are many assumed, unproven, unspoken premises in what you are arguing above. In certain moods, I would enjoy analyzing and puncturing many of them (I never know when I will get in such a mood, but it’s cyclical).

In any event, I have a strong sense that this discussion is going nowhere. I wasn’t sure why, but now I understand. It’s the hostility in your premises, that explode any constructive discussion before it can get off the ground.

It’s equally obvious that you 1) neither know, nor 2) can comprehend several key premises of mine regarding a sociological (and Christian: since I am a Christian) discussion of sex, and when and why it is moral or immoral. That’s clear in your latest reply.

Under no circumstances am I going to continue a discussion from another blog here; it is inappropriate. If you wish to have that conversation, I invite you to post it on the relevant blog where the meaning is less likely to be taken out of context.

I understand your premises; I disagree with them, because (as I explained) I find them contradictory and at some points, actively evil. I engage with you to better understand your point of view, and because it challenges mine. I find these exchanges valuable; I am truly sorry if you do not.

An international organization that uses its wealth, power, and influence for sexual abuse and to protect the perpetrators of it is, as an organization, evil. Not all the persons engaged in it are so, of course. But evil is done when good persons do nothing.

Apparently you are unfamiliar with the history of antisemitism and the RCC. I would invite you to stay ignorant; you will certainly sleep better.

Do you never tire of misrepresenting Christians with regard to what they supposedly believe or are ignorant of? I guess my “ignorance” of the history of anti-Semitism among Catholics is why I wrote this paper: “Anti-Semitism in the Church Fathers & Catholic History”.

Here’s a bit of (unsolicited) advice: if you want to dialogue with a serious, informed Christian, don’t keep lying again and again about 1) Christianity, and 2) any particular Christian’s alleged beliefs, that you pull out of a hat in a deluded farcical attempt at mind- and heart-reading. That doesn’t create good faith and a desire to engage in constructive dialogue. In fact, it makes it literally impossible. You have too much hostility towards what I believe and what Christians and Catholic Christians believe to engage in such a dialogue.

Perhaps your most ridiculous and idiotic speculation is the fairy tale that I supposedly “disapprove of sex in general.” Where did my four children come from? A stork? This would make the following comment and citation of mine from 1-23-17 quite surreal and inexplicable:

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We are quite aware that sex should feel good, thank you. You act like we’re a bunch of stereotypical sexually repressed Puritans or Victorians (and even they have been grossly caricatured). If you want the best sex you can have, and for a long time, NFP and committed, monogamous marriage and committed religious belief and practice is for you. Many studies have shown both things to be the case. As for Catholics and other committed Christians and sexual pleasure, here is a report about just one of many studies: “Devout Catholics Have Better Sex, Study Says: Catholics have more enjoyable sex, more often” (Elizabeth Flock, US News & World Report, 7-17-13).

I quote:

Devout, married Catholics have the best sex of any demographic group, the Family Research Council said at an event Wednesday, pointing to a collection of studies from the last several decades.

The socially conservative Christian group relied heavily on statistics from the University of Chicago’s last National Health and Social Life Survey, conducted in 1992, which found the most enjoyable and most frequent sex occurring among married people, those who attended church weekly – any church, whether Catholic or not – and people who had the least sexual partners.

“Those who worship God weekly have the best sex,” said Patrick Fagan, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a former George H.W. Bush official, in a talk hosted with the Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education Wednesday. “I want to see this on the cover of Playboy sometime.”

. . . Fagan told Christians in attendance that they “have to claim a place that’s very different in sexuality – and that by the way is very superior, even in matters sexual.”

(from my article, “Dialogue on NFP: Anti-Sex and Anti-Pleasure?”)

I also wrote way back on 7-4-01:

I’ve stated before and I will again: many, many studies have shown the sexual satisfaction of devoted Christian couples who are serious about their faith significantly higher than that of their “wild, liberated” counterparts (and they have much lower divorce rates, too). Why? Because sex with a person you really, deeply love and have a lifelong commitment to is infinitely more meaningful, and hence, exciting and enjoyable (sex being 90% psychological or non-physical), than with someone who may be gone the next week, and whom you know has done this with dozens of other partners.

You never know if they are fantasizing about some other, or thinking you are a lot worse of a sexual partner than some other. That is a recipe for disaster. We now know that co-habitation before marriage will significantly lower one’s chances for a happy, lengthy marriage as well. The sociological data is all there. One need not read the Bible to learn all of this (though it doesn’t hurt).

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Photo credit: miltonhuallpa95 (7-1-17) [Pixabay License / Pixabay]

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