Monday, March 29, 2010

Breaking the camel's back

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/india_knight/article7078888.ece

This annoyed me when I first read it, but having thought about it, I now find it interesting. India Knight seems to have stuck with he Catholicism even though she doesn't really consider herself religious. It gives her the warm fuzzies, which is what she feels the point of religion should be and it's mostly harmless.....until now, of course. The ongoing child rape scandal has changed her mind and it's where she draws the line.

I'm not sure why events like 9/11 didn't convince her that religion might not be all it's cracked up to be in the fuzzy department. Perhaps it's because 9/11 didn't seem like a betrayal of what Islam is supposed to be about, since (rightly or wrongly) we've come to expect that kind of thing. Catholics have doubly betrayed us firstly because of the institutional abuse of our children and our trust and secondly because they've spend most of their time over the last few centuries convincing us that they are the sole arbiters of good and evil and the guardians of morality. They've been so spectacularly successful at this that the myth has become part of the comfortable fabric of our lives. It's hard for most people not to instinctively think of priests as at worst benign if not positively benevolent.

I think the child rape saga has hit many people particularly hard because of this and the Vatican doesn't seem to understand the outrage it has caused. I'm sure many True Believers (TM) will rush to defend the church, categorising the abuse as isolated events and conveniently forgetting the church's and the pope's role in covering it up. I expect many more will murmur with disapproval but do nothing else. Is it too much to expect that the fence-sitters, like India Knight, will now critically scrutinise the Catholic church and stop treating it with special and undue reverence?

Probably, since inexplicably there are already plenty of atheists crawling out of the woodwork to defend the church.

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