It’s Religion, Stupid

 “They were here to worship God, several said, not to lament the failings of the humans who served him, and as far as they were concerned this Sunday was like any other. Father Hoye [the parish priest] said not a single parishioner had brought up the subject with him.”

That’s a quote from the New York Times report on the attitude of the Catholic Church about the abuse of children by the Church’s priests. 

The quote reveals the hypocrisy of religions, all religions. 

Religion is yet another human organisation.  Like a club where people gather for fun, for entertainment, for social get-together, or for any other possible reason like mafia gangs come together.    

Religion can mean screwing little children, as it happens in the Catholic Church whose priests seem to be terribly perverted.  Religion can mean killing thousands of innocent people, as it happens too often thanks to Islamic terrorism.  Religion can mean subtle ways of perverting people like taking out a “rath yatra” in the winter of one’s life, albeit in an air-conditioned vehicle.

Let me come back to the New York Times report.  One “Reverend Father” Ratigan is accused of taking lewd photos of girl children.  The principal of that Father’s school sent a complaint to his senior authority, the Bishop.  The Bishop sent the priest to some kind of a correction home.  The Bishop wanted to save the priest as well as the Church.  No problem with that so far, I think, if you take that as an exceptional episode.  

The problem is that child abuse is very common among the priests in Western Catholic churches.  The New York Times report says: “only three years ago, Bishop Finn settled lawsuits with 47 plaintiffs in sexual abuse cases for $10 million.”

Capitalism and religion, they go together.  You screw somebody, and you pay for it if questioned beyond your ability to defend yourself.  Read the history of mankind and you will find that that strategy has always worked. 

That’s lesson number one.

Lesson number two: Get some people together under the banner of religion and you can justify anything.  Like – we are here to worship and not to lament human failings…  we are here to kill and not to lament… 

Worst of all, say that we are here to forgive because religion is all about forgiveness. 

Forgiveness is a great virtue, I agree.  But why not forgive other people’s mistakes just as religion is eager to forgive the failings of its leaders?  That’s lesson number three: religion is meant to protect the interests of one section of people: the priestly class and the people who grease the palms [or elsewhere] of that class.

The New York Times report goes on to say that the bishop of the accused priest will have to pay a penalty for the priest’s crime.  The bishop’s crime is that as a leader of the diocese to which the priest belongs he did not report the priest’s crime to the legal authority.  I liked that about the American system.  The leader is responsible for the failures of his “flock.” 

If leaders are held responsible for the failings of the faithful, religion will soon disappear from the face of the earth. 

But if religious leaders and political leaders are the same what will the people do?

Clap hands standing on the roadside as a Toyota passes by masquerading as a religious chariot (rath)?!


About matheikal

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3 Responses to It’s Religion, Stupid

  1. Raghuram Ekambaram says:

    I would take exception to only one thing: Capitalism and religion, they go together. NO. They have BEEN together, starting together. Jared Diamond said it fine: when resources had to be distributed in self-interest (did you note the irony?), yet not engendering animosity, religion comes through, serving capital. This, I believe, is the meaning of the saying, “Religion is the opium of the masses.”

    Perhaps out of your many readers, I must be the only one who would have read this article ahead of your linking it. Good of you to have blogged on it, so forcefully. But, this happened only because you are not a religionist. That flock stays together against the OTHER.

    Raghuram Ekambaram

  2. Raghuram Ekambaram says:

    I remember reading the article but not sending it to you. In fact, I remember talking to myelf about the “Do not ever forgive,” stance of deathpenaltyists in the context of the Sunday sermon. I had rather paraphrased Diamond … a part of the credit you have given him comes to me :)))

    Raghuram Ekambaram

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