Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Apology Apologetics

We’re sorry that the Pope just doesn’t know what a proper apology looks like. An apology is a request for forgiveness for harm done. However, a proper apology requires that the person apologizing admit to the harm he has caused and display an understanding of the impact on the victim. A proper apology requires a demonstration of learning to show that the perpetrator has changed his ways and will avoid making the same mistake in the future. A proper apology means taking responsibility for one’s own actions. Such an apology is a sign of moral maturity and growth as a human being. The Pope’s July 19thapology” to victims of the Catholic church’s pedophilic predilections simply doesn’t measure up. We’re sorry that anyone thinks the Pope has offered a valid apology.

The Pope did not bother to address the victims of the Church’s crime. Instead, he issued his pretend apology to an audience of bishops and seminarians. He certainly didn’t admit his own wrong doing. Ratzinger actively perpetuated a long-standing policy of official secrecy of sex abuse claims by clergy and issued an order for clergy to obstruct justice in sex abuse claims. We’re talking tens of thousands of victims over more than forty years. Simply put, the Catholic Church is a racket.

His attempted apology, said in part, “Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice.” He certainly didn’t want to draw any attention to his own role in this sordid affair or that of the Catholic hierarchy. Remember that in 2005, he requested diplomatic immunity in the US for his crimes to evade a lawsuit where these facts would be front-page news for weeks. That would be bad for business. Besides running a pedophile ring, he is the head of the pretend nation called the Vatican. We’re sorry that the Pope has no intention of taking responsibility for his actions. We’re also sorry that the Pope, presumably the very best that Christianity has to offer, doesn’t even meet remedial standards of moral behavior.

We’re sorry that the Pope’s edicts put the Catholic hierarchy in the US in a conflict of interest. Were they to follow the Pope’s order and actively impede criminal investigations, lie, blame others, and claim church-state separation to avoid taking responsibility for their actions? Or would they do the right thing, follow US law, and side with the victims in bringing the criminals to justice? We all know the answer: “screw the victims.” Let us count the ways. We’re sorry that the Catholic hierarchy is all too happy to sell out children to save their own sanctimonious butts. We’re sorry that anyone looks to the Catholic church for moral advice.

We’re sorry that the media will dutifully print the latest moral ramblings of a cad in a funny hat, but they give a free pass to a foreign head of state who is actively controlling his Bishops here in the US. These stooges are systematically violating our laws with impunity. In this age of “the war on terror,” you would think that someone would give a shit about some actual harm done to Americans on US soil by foreign interests. We’re sorry that the media aids and abets such blatant contempt for our country, our citizens, and our laws by simply ignoring it.

We’re sorry that the Catholic laity still amply funds the Catholic church despite their systematic abuse of children. We’re sorry they don’t get to watch the real-life kiddie porn they’ve funded with their tithes. We’re sorry that so many people are happy to sell out children for magic crackers and make-believe trips to see Jeezus after you die, somewhere over the rainbow. We’re sorry that the rest of Christianity is so enthralled with the concept of “religious tolerance” that they’re happy to overlook the problems of their Catholic brethren, so that the Catholics will do the same when they perpetrate their own immoral acts. We’re sorry that Christians are largely ignorant of the long history of crimes of their religion.

We’re sorry the Bible says nothing negative about pedophilia. Children are disposable property in the Bible, owned by their father. We’re sorry that believers worship a god who is either too powerless to help children or who gets off watching the show. We’re sorry that believers think that because they worship such a god, they have done their part to make the world a better place. We’re sorry it never occurs to them that maybe their god doesn’t exist, they should stop being dupes, and maybe stop the harm.

We’re not sorry for the secular courts and twelve-member juries of ordinary people who have done more to clean up this sorry mess than God and all of Christendom with its empty claims of moral authority and power.

There is a little lesson in there somewhere.


  1. I've always thought it was very telling that the Biblical laws against incest (which are quite detailed) include no father/daughter or uncle/neice prohibitions.

    Lev. 18:9-14; Lev. 20:17,19

    I'm open to someone pointing it out if I'm making an error here, but when I read the whole list of which close relations can't sleep together--that just seems to be so obviously missing.

  2. Found this site, thought it was interesting and that I should share the "wisdom"...


  3. My thoughts precisely. Ratzinger's monotone, emotionless mumblings were nothing approaching true contrition. Not that surprising, really, from a man who basically used to run the modern Inquisition and has actively intervened to shield child rapists.

  4. Shameless blog plug here, but this is what I was able to get printed in my local rag-Sexist Dictator

  5. I just read the article Ms. Harris posted and HO.LY.CRAP. Someone please tell me that load of horse manure wasn't written by a Christian older than 16. That's like, a high school essay from a home-schooled, fundamentalist teenager, right?... right?. That can't possibly be one of those "air-tight arguments" from "sophisticated people of faith" I keep hearing about?.

    I mean, your average first-grader wouldn't be satisfied with that useless assortment of words they're calling an argument:

    *adorable tiny hand raised* "but, why did god make them make babies with their relatives? couldn't god just create more people, Mr. Theologian, sir?."

    Y'see? even little Abigail gets it. Unbelievable.

    I don't know why I act all surprised. This is exactly the kind of nonsense I ran away screaming from, the second I graduated primary school. And yet it still hits me like a mule kick to the stomach whenever I see idiocy like this.

  6. Interesting link, nal. So, we're to use our judgment to discern which way to interpret the laws of the Old and New Testaments, however muddled they seem to be, but in the end it's still God's law that we are following? What a huge hoop in logic the writer is jumping through! Doesn't he realize that he's saying that it isn't the commandments that we should be basing our morality on at all? If we are to use our judgment in deciding what parts of Hebraic and Christian law to follow and how, then why not just say it plainly? We shouldn't take the Bible at face value, but rely on our own values!

    Sounds like a good plan to me, but I'd rather dispense with having to worry about what parts of the Bible are applicable to modern life and use my judgment to come up with new rules that I don't have to decipher. Who knows, maybe my rules will even be coherent.


  7. I brought the topic of inbreeding in the Bible to the Atheist Experience in 2006.

    I agree with Tracie: I don't know of any prohibition against a father and daughter having sex in the Bible. I didn't know about the lack of uncle/niece.

    You would think that God would know that laundry lists of do's and don'ts aren't a good way to try to live your life. They certainly don't add up to a good system of morals.

  8. Seriously, if I was making an anti-incest list, it seems that #1 would be: Don't copulate with your own children. And "Don't copulate with your brother's/sister's OR their kids" would be right up there as well. (Even _with_ that, I wouldn't criminalize it if both parties are over 18--but I would probably raise an eyebrow and harbor a mental "YICK!")

    It might be due to my own personal prejudices/assumptions, but I seem to recall hearing the idea that incest is generally in the form of "older male relative molesting young girl relative". If it isn't a mischaracterization, then dads and uncles should definitely be on the immediate short list of "Don't sex young girls you're related to!" And that makes me even more bewildered by their absence in the Bible lists.


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