Putting the Pope in his place

I watched the twitter messages coming through this morning from participants in the London Protest the Pope Rally. Seems to have been a lot bigger than expected. Original projections were for 2000 but during the rally the police reported 15,000 and organisers were claiming “almost 20,000.”

Many of the messages indicated that participants were actually feeling proud to be British, for a change. And that the rally was a welcome breath of rationality in a sea of sycophantic media reporting during the pope’s visit.

Just picked this video up from Jerry Coyne‘s blog Why Evolution is True (see Dawkins vs. Ratzi). It’s Richard Dawkins‘ speech to the Rally at Downing Street.

This man is amazing. Not only is he a terrific writer and his academic talks spellbinding. He also turns out to be an excellent rally speaker. Brief, too the point and humorous.

He really put’s the Pope’s diversionary and hypocritical tactics into context.

Well worth watching.

Enhanced by Zemanta

98 responses to “Putting the Pope in his place

  1. so the new word for nasty anti christian bigotry is “rationality” ? good to know

    Like

  2. Hey, you got it wrong, Ropata. There is nothing nasty about opposing child rape and it’s cover up. Or the distortion of history and medieval bigotry, that’s something to be proud of.

    No, the nastiness is coming from pope Benny and his mates, surely!

    Like

  3. You seem to have an odd obsession with the vicar of Rome Ken.

    Can anyone point me to some statistics that show the number of child abuse cases in the last 50 years broken down by profession? Or more importantly the proportion of people in a given profession who have abused children?

    Like

  4. “How dare Ratzinger suggest that atheism has any connection whatsoever with their horrific deeds” … like WTF… does he not realise how hypocritical this is?

    Like

  5. Who is the “vicar of Rome” Max? Vicar’s are the last people wh obsess me!

    I am sure you can rustle up those stats by yourself, Max, the internet’s a pretty useful place.

    But it sounds to me like you may be trying to downplay child abuse within the Catholic Church. Even pope Benny, who covered it up for so many years is being forced to acknowledge it occurred. He is expressing “shame” – not quite apologising, and not mentioning his cover up, but at least acknowledge it occurs and that it is shameful.

    Like

  6. The “vicar of Rome”? Roman Catholics refer to him as the “Pope” I believe… I have been unable to rustle up those statistics. But people still go on about the huge number of priests who abuse children.. and the question must arise in a rational person’s mind “huge compared to what…”

    No I am not trying to downplay child abuse in the Roman Church at all (that is a cheap tactic by the way) – but unless you have a deep emotional involvement one way or the other a scientific comparison seems like a reasonable thing to do. I hate it when an issue like this turns into rhetoric and rabble rousing rather that a real discussion of the issues.

    Like

  7. Well, Max, I suggest you look at the sats before making subjective and defensive comments.

    Child abuse in shameful for any profession. It is especially evil where the professional has some sort of privileged access and implied care for the child.

    It’s not the job of science to make value judgments about this sort of evil – we are quite able to do it within ourselves. I am certainly not going to get into an impartial study of the figures.

    Child abuse is evil – wherever it occurs and who ever does it. And I will condemn it whoever does it.

    Benny compounds this evil by his attempts to cover it up, to claim that secular authorities don’t have the right to investigate the abuse, and to come out attacking honest people in an attempt to divert attention away from the evil – an evil he has responsibility for.

    Like

  8. “Well, Max, I suggest you look at the sats before making subjective and defensive comments.”

    I now have done. Have you before making subjective and offensive comments? Or are the statistics irrelivant as long as it allows the church to be attacked?

    “Child abuse in shameful for any profession. It is especially evil where the professional has some sort of privileged access and implied care for the child.”

    Yeah. Obviously. Your points?

    “It’s not the job of science to make value judgments about this sort of evil – we are quite able to do it within ourselves. I am certainly not going to get into an impartial study of the figures.”

    OK so if the statistics showed that in fact only one Roman Catholic priest ever had avused children, that would not lead you to a different attitude than if you found 50% had? Please! There is a lot off scaremongering going on out there.. and you are basically saying that the mob does not need to know the facts. In actual fact you seem to be saying that you don’t care about the facts… but go figure.

    “Child abuse is evil – wherever it occurs and who ever does it. And I will condemn it whoever does it.”

    Good. So I expect you will be out protesting against accountants next week then? Plumbers the next?

    Like

  9. Interesting – you interpret specific criticisms of the church for harbouring child rapists, covering up child abuse, etc. as an attack on the church!

    Just imagine a criminal in the dock using that defense. “Your Honour the police are just attacking me. They have not provided statistics on robbery (or child abuse). They are just ‘making subjective and offensive comments?’ Poor me. Meanwhile I am going to attack the guy down the road for making Hitler possible.”

    I suppose this is another privilege religion gets? No one is allowed to criticise their institutions, leaders, or personal. No matter how evil they are. Because that would be subjective and offensive. Meanwhile people like Benny go around making extreme and offensive statements about others. Who does he think he is kidding.

    Come off it, Max. Grow up. No one is immune to being criticised for their crimes in our pluralist society.

    NOTE: I have removed a photo I attached to this comment which implied that a young priest Bennie was giving a Nazi salute. I have been informed that the photo had been cropped – that actually both arms were raised in a catholic salute/blessing or similar. I apologize for uncritically attaching the photo (it did seem a bit suspicious at the time and I notice it has also been removed from the site where I found it.). I apologize for this error in judgement – especially as I am critical of similar cropping of videos, quotes, etc. by others. Hopefully I won’t make that mistake agian.

    Like

  10. It would be more like claiming that parliamentary democracy is evil because of the high proportion of child molesting MPs. Most people would think this was absurd – but when you say the same thing about the Church suddenly their brains turn off.

    Like

  11. ken is just following the troll’s honoured tradition of rabble rousing
    rationality and science is the guise, anti christian venom is the motive.
    what’s next ken? throwing catholics to the lions?

    Like

  12. So Ropata, you are quite happy with child rape? You are happy to see crimes covered up, criminals moved around to avoid arrest. You are happy to see people condemned as evil for their innate sexuality? You are happy to see policies imposed which promote the spread of AIDS in Africa? You are happy to see lies told about the evils of Nazism.? You are happy to see lies told about large sections of our society claiming they are responsible for Nazism? And all by a guy who was a member if the Hitler Youth.

    Because you are silent on these crimes. You are mot blogging about them. And you attack me for daring to post about 200,000 people in the UK who have the moral strength and honesty to condemn these crimes.

    Pathetic. Where do you get your ethics from?

    Like

  13. Max – you really expose yourself with this statement:
    “It would be more like claiming that parliamentary democracy is evil because of the high proportion of child molesting MPs. Most people would think this was absurd – but when you say the same thing about the Church suddenly their brains turn off.”

    Now go back and read my post. Did I say anywhere that the church or religion was evil? Did I?

    I suspect child rape by MPs is far less common than by priests. Only heard of one in our parliament -(an ex MP for the Christian Party actually).

    Now, I have said child abuse is evil. Any MP, accountant, scientist, street cleaner or priest who molests children is evil. They are criminals, should not be protected and should be prosecuted for their crimes.

    Now – notice I did not say anything about the institutions these people belonged to or their professions.

    I will add, though, profession is especially important in some cases – teachers, counselors, priests, ministers, etc. These people often have privileged access to children and when they break the confidence society places in them by abusing the child we see this as especially evil.

    I think it is your brain that has turned off, Max, because you are turning a blind eye to a specific class of child abusers and the people who have covered up their crimes.

    Like

  14. if a different perspective is so offensive to you perhaps you need to change the tagline of this blog. if you want to indulge in a vile spite fest it’s your prerogative,

    Like

  15. ps. i only blog when i feel like it, i plead the fifth amendment

    Like

  16. So my concern for children and labeling their abusers as evil, etc., you consider “vile spite?”

    Hmm. Where do you get your morality from?

    Like

  17. Most of the abuse cases that I have heard about have been in Western Democracies, where is perhaps easier to bring them to light.

    I wonder if we know anything about what is going on in developing countries in Africa and remote parts of South America, where the priests are given great power and status.

    Like

  18. Richard Christie

    M wrote

    Good. So I expect you will be out protesting against accountants next week then? Plumbers the next?

    and is missing the point by a country mile. Don’t for a moment delude yourself that you wouldn’t hear howls of protest and indignation if the professional bodies that represented such practitioners were caught out blatantly covering up malpractice within their ranks.

    Child abuse is perceived as far worse activity than financial skullduggery or poor work practice and the church’s self-serving justification for sheltering the abusers of children is simply despicable, especially so as the church claims to be in the business lecturing on moral behaviour. There is no question who is riding on the moral hypocrisy ticket.

    Like

  19. Ken,
    I see you put a photo of the Pope doing the Hitler salute.
    Was this picture taken when he was a child?

    Had it ever occurred to you that an entire generation of children had been brainwashed by one of the world’s most effective propaganda machines?

    Do you think that this child committed a crime by being a member of the Hitler Youth? What do you think would have happened to him if he had refused to do that salute?

    Have you paused, just for a minute, to think that this generation of German children had been victims of one of the most horrendous abuses of all, mind control?

    Like

  20. Sure JJ, and notice few people are making much of his background. More relevant is the many ways the Church supported Hitter’s regime.

    But even more relevant us the outrageous claim Bennie made that Nazism was based on atheism! That wad incredibly outrageous and childish. An attempt to divert attention away from his role in covering up the child abuse. And the other criticisms of his policies.

    Do you support the popes behavior with that silly claim?

    Like

  21. Ken:

    Re your angry rant. My comments were about the content of your blog – ie. the Dawkin’s speech which the blog was about – not you. Don’t take it so personally. And yes – people – many people do attack the church as a whole because of the actions of a few of its members. Do you do this? Only you can answer that. Look inwards – I could not possibly comment.

    As for the fact that you have ‘heard’ about more priest molesters than MPs who do the same thing. You seem to be taking newspaper reports as your evidence. Some scientist! Go look at some scientific studies before you make suck ill informed claims.

    Like

  22. Max, I thought my “rant” was more principled than angry. Mind you I think we have a right to get extremely angry about child abuse. It is one of the most evil things one can do and can effect an individuals whole life.

    You seem to want to pretend all this is just a figment of the media’s imagination. That is a disgusting attitude of neglect toward young children, to deny the evil which is so damaging because of your institutional loyalties. Disgusting.

    And Bennie was disgusting for trying to hide the facts.

    I can assure you my knowledge and experience of child abuse and it’s long term consequences is not academic. It’s personal.

    As for abusive priests – I have a relative who was sexually abused by a catholic priest as a child. When he grew up and married the same priest had an affair with his wife. He suffered emotional stress from that for the rest of his life. He was in therapy until his death. So don’t try to claim to me that it doesn’t happen or that it is not important. Too many people have personal stories and are aware of the damage caused.

    The lives of innocent children are just far too important for people like you to impose their own denial on the public or to bad mouth those like Dawkins who are people of principle and are prepared to stand up against this evil.

    Think about the children!

    Like

  23. …anti christian bigotry…

    Can anyone point me to some statistics…

    The issue is priests raping children.
    Rape.
    By priests.
    The priests were protected…by the Catholic Church.
    This went on for decades.
    Everywhere.

    Yet rather than face up to it, rape enablers want to play word games on the internet.
    Distract, deflect and bean count.

    You people are filthy.
    Those monsters raped children.
    Why do you play games with that legacy?
    Fuck you.

    Tim Minchin – Pope Song

    Like

  24. Ra Ra Ra! Moral Outrage! Ra Ra Ra! Holier than thou! Ra Ra Ra! You don’t care about children! Ra Ra Ra!

    Evidence is what I want Ken – not table thumping irrational emotion driven rhetoric.

    Like

  25. Although I am sorry to hear about your and your friends suffering, this is just anecdotal evidence. And you, as a scientist, know that this is not a reliable way to come to a conclusion about my question.

    Note: Despite your rather nasty misrepresentation of me I, like most sane people, an just as disgusted by child abuse as you are. To imply I am not to score points is pretty low Ken – even for you.

    But my question was not “is child abuse bad” but “do priests commit more abuse than other professions”

    Like

  26. I, like most sane people, an just as disgusted by child abuse as you are.

    No you’re not.
    Sane people talk about child rape.
    They are disgusted by it.
    They talk about it and refuse to be distracted by assholes on the internet going off about “statistics”.

    Can anyone point me to some statistics…

    (puke)
    😦

    The Catholic Church knew about the rapes. Some of them were reported.
    Others came out later.
    The institution that is the Catholic Church knew about it.
    They knew about it.
    All the way to the very top.
    They knew.
    For decades, they knew.

    They did not call the police.
    They did not fall on their knees before the children and their parents and beg their forgiveness.
    They did not fumigate their own house.

    Instead, they protected the pedophiles.
    They did everything they could to avoid the scandal.
    They played musical chairs.
    They allowed the priests to go to another parish where they could unzip and get back to work.

    Ireland.
    Doesn’t get more Catholic than Ireland.
    Irish children were sweet meat for the Catholic priesthood.
    The children were Irish. The children were Catholics.
    They were raped.
    Countless times.
    Yet people like you want to behave like Donahue.
    Take your questions about “statistics” and shove ’em.

    Bill Donohue defends child abuse (1/2)

    Like

  27. the false accusations are flying thick and fast
    pope admits failures .
    of course this sort of rhetoric against christianity is as old as the faith itself.

    “Our epoch will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity. It will last another hundred years, two hundred years perhaps. My regret will have been that I couldn’t, like whoever the prophet was, behold the promised land from afar. We are entering into a conception of the world that will be a sunny era, an era of tolerance.”

    “Christianity is the worst of the regressions that mankind can ever have undergone, and it’s the Jew who, thanks to this diabolic invention, has thrown him back fifteen centuries.”

    “The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity. Bolshevism practises a lie of the same nature, when it claims to bring liberty to men, whereas in reality it seeks only to enslave them. In the ancient world, the relations between men and gods were founded on an instinctive respect. It was a world enlightened by the idea of tolerance. Christianity was the first creed in the world to exterminate its adversaries in the name of love. Its key-note is intolerance.”
    http://conservativecolloquium.wordpress.com/2008/12/14/hitlers-war-on-christianity-quotes/

    Like

  28. of course this sort of rhetoric against christianity is as old as the faith itself.

    What is wrong with you?
    Children were raped.
    The Catholic Church did everything to avoid a scandal.
    Why don’t you get it?
    Where is your sense of decency?

    Children were raped and you are waving your hands about “false accusations”.
    Truly gross.

    QandA May 25th – response to question on Ryan Commission Report

    Like

  29. by the same token cedric you are a heartless child murderer because i haven’t seen you out picketing abortion clinics 24/7. you are a callous oppressor of africa because you are white (presumably). you must also tacitly endorse mao zedong’s holocaust of china because you aren’t campaigning against evil chinese imports

    please stop trying to tar everybody with your broad brush condemnation.
    this thread is a great counterexample to the hypothesis that atheists are rational or logical

    Like

  30. I thought Richard Dawkins made the point pretty well. Particularly the point about the popes authority. For me, this is one of the main issues here. They think that they are the gatekeepers to a higher authority, and this attitude has resulted in the cover up of very serious & damaging criminal behaviour. But it doesn’t stop there. They also think that they are the gatekeepers to morality.

    The arrogance is astounding, the bald faced lies are astounding. It probably comes from years of living isolated in gilded palaces. When are the churches going to pay tax like other people and organisations?

    Like

  31. “I, like most sane people, an just as disgusted by child abuse as you are.

    No you’re not.”

    Yes. I am. Please don’t insult me. It is pointless and counter productive. Thanks,

    Like

  32. look up some facts evidence statistics it’s a terrible scandal and a tragic soul destroying crime, but please remember the media like to play up the most dramatic angle possible.

    Like

  33. So Ropata – you think child rape is a “terrible scandal and a tragic soul destroying crime”?

    Yet when I criticise it and it’s cover up you accuse me of indulging “in a vile spite fest”?

    There is some hypocrisy there somewhere.

    Ropata, where do you get your ethics from?

    Like

  34. Richard Christie

    Yes. I am. Please don’t insult me. It is pointless and counter productive. Thanks,

    I agree that words ought not be put in other’s mouths.

    Max, we’ve heard your opinions regarding manner of outside (the church) criticism of child abuse at hands of clergy. I find the argument “don’t attack the church because abusers appear in all walks of life” rather empty, given the church’s self proclaimed role, but heck, maybe that’s just me and other angry athiests.

    How about giving us your clear opinion on Ratzinger’s handling of the abuse itself, and do you really think he is fit to continue in his current role? If yes to the latter, why so?

    Like

  35. Max, your description of the evidence as “anecdotal” is misleading. That implies it could be fictional. But the evidence is well established. The Irish report or even the statement of the church in Belgium where they admit that every congregation suffered examples of child abuse.

    So, it’s not anecdotal, its well established, despite attempts to cover it up.

    Now you pose the question “do priests commit more abuse than other professions.”

    I am looking at this from the perspective of the child and it seems to me a stupid question. One aimed at diverting attention. This actually just adds to the psychological stress of the child, and the adults survivor, because it promotes a strong felling of abandonment. A feeling that “these people just don’t care what happened to me.”

    However, if one wishes to make such an investigation go ahead. As well as “other professions” (I suspect the incidence for priests is higher than for accountants) could I suggest that the incidence of these crimes amongst members/official of religious organisations be compared with those in similar jobs but not members of religious organisations. Preferably non-believers.

    This data would be interesting. We have a situation where religious organisations are subsidised (through tax exemption) by the rest of the community. If it is found that such organisations tend to have a higher incidence of these crimes this would add to the already overwhelming case for removal of that privilege.

    Like

  36. I am not a member of the Roman Catholic Church. I find the abuse that children and adults have suffered due to some priests in the church shocking. This needs to be dealt with. I find the cover ups shocking. These need to be dealt with. If the Pope is prosecuted and found guilty by a court of law – so be it. But when I see people’s wrecked lives being used as a political point scoring tool to attack religion as a whole, and Roman Catholicism in particular I find this pretty sickening as well. The church does a lot more good than harm.

    It is up to the Roman Catholics to decide who is to be their vicar in Rome. But I will not be making my decision based on the rhetoric of people who have made it clear that they want to destroy religion (the new atheists) and use other people’s suffering as a tool in order to do so.

    Like

  37. Max – why didn’t you express you feelings about these crimes right at the beginning. Why attack me and Richard Dawkins for doing so?
    Why interpret anyone raising the issue of these crimes as using “people’s wrecked lives?”
    Why interpret our concern for these children and the survivors as an “attack on the Church as a whole?”

    And why do you assume that people who are concerned about these crimes “want to destroy religion?” Why use the term “the new atheists” which is a theological invention?

    I am afraid this is just an example of the privilege which religion claims for itself. Anyone who dares raise these sort of issues is accused of wanting to destroy religion and responsible for Nazism!

    That is really sick.

    We live in a pluralist society where no-one is immune from criticism. The church is certainly skilled at dishing it out and they should be adult enough to also accept criticism.

    It is childish to make the claim that people who are concerned with human rights and the covering up of crimes are out to “destroy religion.” That is just stupid.

    Many of the people in the London rally were probably themselves catholic or had a catholic upbringing.

    Why are you so defensive and why do you attempt to divert attention away from the real issues?

    Like

  38. Lots of questions there Ken:

    “why didn’t you express you feelings about these crimes right at the beginning.”

    I did. You ignored it.

    “Why attack me and Richard Dawkins for doing so?”

    As I have made clear it was the use of the issue as a political football I have an issue with. Obviously no one likes child abuse. Obviously this is an issue which should be hit with the full force of the law. Treating victims as a means to an end as Dawkins does is hardly respectful.

    “And why do you assume that people who are concerned about these crimes “want to destroy religion?” ”

    Because they say so openly.

    “Why use the term “the new atheists” which is a theological invention?”

    It is a term which people like Dawkins and his three buddies use about themselves. So I use the same term they do. It is probably a media invention rather than a theological inventions – but it is one that the new atheists themselves have embraced.

    “Anyone who dares raise these sort of issues is accused of wanting to destroy religion and responsible for Nazism!”

    I have said nothing about Nazis. I say they want to destroy religion because they themselves say they want to destroy religion. Besides it is you who have made the connection between the Nazi statement and the child abuse issue. No one in the Church made this connection.

    “We live in a pluralist society where no-one is immune from criticism. The church is certainly skilled at dishing it out and they should be adult enough to also accept criticism.”

    Sure – but that does not mean that they cannot defend themselves against accusations. Like you say we live in a pluralist society – try to remember this before you accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being a child molester, rape enabler, etc etc. Ie. Try to have a rational discussion without falling into anger and character assassination. Cheers.

    “It is childish to make the claim that people who are concerned with human rights and the covering up of crimes are out to “destroy religion.” That is just stupid.”

    As I have already explained: I say these people want to destroy religion because in their books, debates, interviews, and press statements they say they want to destroy religion. I don’t think most of the new atheists would have any issue with someone saying this, so I am not sure why you do.

    “Many of the people in the London rally were probably themselves catholic or had a catholic upbringing.”

    Probably true. Your point being?

    “Why are you so defensive and why do you attempt to divert attention away from the real issues?”

    I think you are the defensive one here Ken – and I think you are also the one ignoring the issue. I am sorry you are angry about this, but you really are putting a lot of words and ideas into my mouth that I have never said. If you want a rational discussion I am happy to answer any questions you have, but only about things that *I* say – not things you make up and pretend I said.

    Like

  39. Max – its extremely obvious here that you provide not a scrap of supporting evidence for your allegations about me, my post or Dawkins.

    These are all open, unsubstantiated allegations which demonstrate the problem presented by religious sensitivity to criticism.

    You put words into my mouth, my post and Richard Dawkins – completely without evidential support.

    If anything in what you say is true it would be simple to provide evidence. But you don’t.

    Come on – quote me, Dawkins or any of your other suspects of saying we want to “destroy religion.” Come on – your claim that in “their books, debates, interviews, and press statements they say they want to destroy religion.” Examples should be easy.

    As for your claim that you expressed concern for the victims “at the beginning.” This is what you wrote “at the beginning.”:

    You seem to have an odd obsession with the vicar of Rome Ken.

    Can anyone point me to some statistics that show the number of child abuse cases in the last 50 years broken down by profession? Or more importantly the proportion of people in a given profession who have abused children?

    This expressed concern for the church and Bennie – not for the helpless and innocent children.

    Like

  40. “Max, your description of the evidence as “anecdotal” is misleading. That implies it could be fictional. ”

    No. I am not saying it is fictional at all. I am saying that it is hard to get an idea of the proportion of people who commit offenses within a certain profession from anecdotal evidence – particularly if the media happens to over report abuse from a certain subset of the population. I am sure the anecdotes are true – but they do not allow one to develop an accurate picture of the issue as a whole.

    “I am looking at this from the perspective of the child and it seems to me a stupid question. One aimed at diverting attention. ”

    Not at all. If is a *different* question. The question of how it effects the individual is of course important and needs to be and should be asked. This does not however mean that we should not also ask questions about the big picture. We can do both.

    “This actually just adds to the psychological stress of the child, and the adults survivor, because it promotes a strong felling of abandonment. A feeling that “these people just don’t care what happened to me.” ”

    Our government releases statistics on every sort of crime that happens – from child abuse to assault to fraud. Does the fact that they want to be able to get an idea of crime from a big-picture perspective mean that they have abandoned the victems? Of course not. In actual fact knowing where abuse happens the most is essential knowledge to know how to stop abuse from happening. I can’t see any reason why anyone would be against child abuse statistics being gathered and compared.

    Like

  41. Examples should be easy: Do a youtube search.. It is easy.

    Like

  42. The only people being defensive are those that covered up the abuse of children, and those that think it impolite to even mention that fact. Once again religion is presumed to be deserving of special respect which it not only hasn’t earned, but which it most certainly does not deserve. An organisation that was not religious, if it had behaved this way, would have been outlawed in any decent society.

    Like

  43. Look at your irrational knee jerk response to my first post Ken. I said:

    “Can anyone point me to some statistics that show the number of child abuse cases in the last 50 years broken down by profession? Or more importantly the proportion of people in a given profession who have abused children?”

    And you replied:

    “…it sounds to me like you may be trying to downplay child abuse within the Catholic Church”

    This does not follow at all of course. If the statistics show that abuse is really prevalent among celibate clergy – and celibate clergy are say five times more likely to abuse children than married men then this would be vital information to know, and would be a good indication that the Roman church should follow the Anglicans and allow the clergy to marry. Without statistics these sorts of things can not be know. You made a knee jerk assumption about what I was saying and have been in attack dog mode ever since. Take a deep breath and think about it.

    Like

  44. It doesn’t matter if the statistics for child abuse are the same for the Catholic church as for the general population – that wasn’t the only crime. The fact that the abuse was systematically covered up is arguably far more serious.

    Like

  45. I find the abuse that children and adults have suffered due to some priests in the church shocking.

    But think of the horror if people use this as an excuse to attack religion itself! Can’t have that, so let’s ask deflecting questions about statistics.

    This needs to be dealt with.

    All in the fullness of time.
    Perhaps later.
    Just as soon as we’ve delved into the far more important issue of statistics.

    If the Pope is prosecuted and found guilty by a court of law – so be it.

    But think of the horror if people use this as an excuse to attack religion itself! Can’t have that, so let’s ask deflecting questions about statistics.

    The church does a lot more good than harm.

    Fuck you.
    What good does the Catholic Church do that mitigates child rape? Seriously, fuck you.

    But I will not be making my decision based on the rhetoric of people who have made it clear that they want to destroy religion…

    Catholics are the ones yelling the loudest.
    It’s not an atheist conspiracy.
    It’s the Catholic parents and adult victims who are standing up to be counted.
    Listen to them.

    Proof Pope Hid Pedophile Priest!

    Like

  46. Richard Christie

    Look at your irrational knee jerk response to my first post Ken. I said….

    Max, in your admonishment of Ken above you omit your first sentence

    You seem to have an odd obsession with the vicar of Rome Ken.

    Now, why would you do that?

    Like

  47. Richard Christie

    If the Pope is prosecuted and found guilty by a court of law – so be it.

    Fat chance. The faker is a head of state, not even Dubya Bush could spin an excuse for his arrest.

    Like

  48. “Look at your irrational knee jerk response to my first post Ken. I said….
    Max, in your admonishment of Ken above you omit your first sentence
    You seem to have an odd obsession with the vicar of Rome Ken.
    Now, why would you do that?”

    It was a joke. “vicar of Rome” is a mildy offensive term that protestants use to refer to the Pope. The term places the Pope on the same level as any other priest from any other tradition, denies that he has a special god given authority, and denies papal infallibility. It was in fact a reference which supported much of what Ken said, and so was not really relevant. I guess the reference was not understood.

    Like

  49. Cedric. Since you are determined to just put words in my mouth your comments are not worth replying to – but I have read them. Cheers.

    Like

  50. Max – you are putting words into people’s mouths left, right and centre. But facts are something you have problems with .

    My request for evidence to support you attacks on me, Dawkins and my blog post get the response:

    “Examples should be easy: Do a youtube search.. It is easy.”

    I’ll interpret that as an indication of surrender, shall I? Your examples just don’t exist.

    Meanwhile the children and survivors suffer and religious commentators don’t give a stuff. Too busy defending their institutions and diverting attention.

    Like

  51. “I’ll interpret that as an indication of surrender, shall I? Your examples just don’t exist.”

    Interpret it how you like. I don’t play those games of “go fetch” is all. If you want to do some research and find out the truth feel free to. If you are happy with your beliefs and don’t feel you need to – also not my business.

    I feel from your other comments that you have completely ignored or misunderstood what I have said – but again – not my business.

    Like

  52. Max – if you had any evidence at all except your own bias, you would present it.

    Just saying! Absence of evidence is evidence of absence in your case.

    Meanwhile the issues created by child abuse and it cover up continue. As do other similar problems attributed to the Catholic Church and its leadership.

    Like

  53. As I said – not interested in the online “go and find me stuff I want” game. You are capable of doing this yourself. Good luck in your quest and God bless!

    Like

  54. Oh, I am not concerned for myself, Max. I have already satisfied myself on these questions – long ago. After all they do relate to me.

    But clearly you will continue to believe these silly claims, in the absence of evidence, but relying completely on bias.

    But the problems continue while you use such tactics to divert your attention from them. Children and survivors continue to suffer, cover ups continue and anti-humane policies are still promoted.

    Like

  55. Good luck in your quest and God bless!

    Understanding Christianese-Lesson 1

    Like

  56. “Oh, I am not concerned for myself, Max. I have already satisfied myself on these questions – long ago. After all they do relate to me.”

    In all seriousness I am sorry.

    “But clearly you will continue to believe these silly claims, in the absence of evidence, but relying completely on bias.”

    I find this point ironic given I was the one who said I wanted statistical data – but ok.

    “But the problems continue while you use such tactics to divert your attention from them. Children and survivors continue to suffer, cover ups continue and anti-humane policies are still promoted.”

    I honestly think that more data would help to protect people from abuse. If you disagree that is fine, but I think we have the same basic aims.

    Like

  57. I honestly think that more data would help to protect people from abuse.

    Thats’ what you honestly think?
    Honestly?

    Can’t tell what you think.
    But I can tell you what it looks like.
    The first thing that you mentioned was statistics.
    Not the rapes.
    Just statistics.
    That was your focus and you kept at it.

    No I am not trying to downplay child abuse in the Roman Church at all (that is a cheap tactic by the way) – but…

    Yeah, right. Sounds familiar….

    “Now, I’m not a racist (that is a cheap tactic by the way) but…”

    If you disagree that is fine, but I think we have the same basic aims.

    Concern trolls always have the “same basic aims”.

    Like

  58. Cedric. Why do you think governments collect crime statistics? It is hardly a controversial claim that collecting data on crime patterns is useful for crime prevention.

    Like

  59. Of course governments collect statistics Max – that’s a trivial statement. (Incidentally Benny’s organization and Bennie himself have not exactly helped that function have they? They have tried to deny governments their proper role in detecting, recording and prosecuting these crimes)

    But for someone to attempt to divert attention to this desire for statistics away from the reality of child rape and it’s coverup is a disgusting attempt to deny.

    Victims of these crimes need to have the fact recognized and acknowledged. To deny the crime, and even worse blame the child for it, is a complete abandonment of the victim. That has huge and lasting psychological effects and is, I believe, inhuman. Bennie and his organization are inhumane.

    But, Max, you are not being honest here. You have made charges against me and Dawkins (we wish to destroy religion!) claiming evidence but not providing it. As a victim of that slander I can assure you it is a lie – and yet you tell me to look for the evidence which is all over the place! You obviously can’t produce any evidence, can you?

    You make yourself look silly – and dishonest. Unfortunately that seems to go with religious apology.

    Like

  60. “But for someone to attempt to divert attention to this desire for statistics away from the reality of child rape and it’s coverup is a disgusting attempt to deny. ”

    As I explained above you can do BOTH. Is this complicated? Or are you just really determined to paint me as a rape enabler?

    And I never said anything about you wanting to destroy religion Ken. I have no idea who you are so how would I know. Do a google search on Dawkins though and you will get what you want.

    Like

  61. No, you do the search , Max. I am already familiar with Dawkins’ ideas in this area. The are not as you claim. I don’t know of anyone who wishes to destroy religion – that is a stupid and dishonest claim. As you well know because you avoid a responsibility of supporting your claim with evidence.

    You now claim that this accusation excluded me. Well it certainly didn’t at the time. It was a general statement aimed at my post and atheists, or so called new atheists, in general. In what way do you imagine my views are substantially different to those “people” as expressed on their books, interviews, lectures, articles, etc.? I am happy to stand alongside these people in the knowledge that this sort of claim is a lie. As you well know – otherwise you would have rushed to produce the evidence. You know you can’t.

    Max, your opposition to my post and the Dawkins’ speech suggest that you are in affect a rape enabler. That is demonstrated by your desire to divert attention away from the crimes of the Catholic church, pope Benny and guilty priests.

    Why else attempt to divert attention?

    Like

  62. Since you are such a nagging baby Ken:

    Like

  63. As for your other comments about me being a rape enabler – that is a pretty sick accusation to make about anyone Ken.

    Your basic tactic seems to be “Agree with me or else I will accuse you of being morally depraved.” or “If you question anything I say you are as bad as a rapist” A lot worse that what even the worst of fundamentalist churches do. You make this charade of believing in reason and science, but in reality you just use bullying and insults to try to win arguments. This is clear to everyone. EPIC FAIL.

    Like

  64. Thanks for the “evidence” Max. All 4 sec highly edited out of context from a discussion between Lawrence Krauss and Dawkins. I posted this video some time ago (https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2008/04/23/lawrence-krauss-richard-dawkins-discussion/). It’s bloody good – you should watch it. Then you might see how dishonest such editing is, maliciously so.

    Care to tell us what organization is responsible for such heavy and dishonest editing? It’s a pretty dishonest thing to do – extracting 4 sec from a lengthy discussion and hiding the context. Very dishonest. And anyone presenting this as “evidence” should feel shame. It’d pathetic!

    And tell me, Max, have you bothered watching any more than this 4 sec?

    If not have a look at the above link.

    So I reject that “evidence” – having actually watched the whole discussion.

    What about something in context. An article, book, or similar where we can actually view the context.

    You really haven’t got anything have you? This is so pathetic.

    Like

  65. Quote-mining a video – that’s a first for me. It just oozes dishonesty.

    Like

  66. As for your other comments about me being a rape enabler – that is a pretty sick accusation to make about anyone Ken.

    If the shoe fits, then you get to wear it.

    You want to talk about statistics.
    You want to talk about Dawkins.
    You want to talk about how mean is Ken.

    Talk about anything…except the rape of children.
    Mention it only in passing when you are forced to.
    Continuously try and re-direct the conversation onto anything except the rape of children by priests and the cover-up engineered by the Catholic Church.
    This concern trolling is getting old.

    Quote-mining a video – that’s a first for me. It just oozes dishonesty.

    Fascinating in a sad awful way. Why do they do it?
    Are their followers that dumb? That desperate?
    (Yeah, probably.)

    This is…the internet.
    People can google this stuff instantly and verify if it’s a quote-mine or not.
    The only people that will get suckered by this garbage are gullible, incurious morons.

    A 4-second youtube video? Four bloody seconds? Oh yeah. Sure.
    Nothing curious about that. Nothing suspicious here.
    No reason to look any further and dig a little deeper.
    😉

    This is not the first time Dawkins has been “creatively re-interpreted”.
    Dawkins vs Lennox. Refuting Lennox,

    Like

  67. If you look at the undoctored version of that photo you see Ratzinger is not saluting Hitler.

    Richard Dawkins has argued that in many instances sexual abuse of children is not all that harmful:

    “Being fondled by the Latin master in the Squash Court was a disagreeable sensation for a nine-year-old, a mixture of embarrassment and skin-crawling revulsion…As soon as I could wriggle off his knee, I ran to tell my friends and we had a good laugh, our fellowship enhanced by the shared experience of the same sad pedophile. I do not believe that I, or they, suffered lasting, or even temporary damage from this disagreeable physical abuse of power.

    …reports of child abuse cover a multitude of sins, from mild fondling to violent buggery, and I am sure many of those cases now embarrassing the church fall at the mild end of the spectrum …just because some pedophile assaults are violent and painful, it doesn’t mean that all are. A child too young to notice what is happening at the hands of a gentle pedophile will have no difficulty at all in noticing the pain inflicted by a violent one. Phrases like ‘predatory monster’ are not discriminating enough, and are framed in the light of adult hang-ups.”

    Like

  68. Richard Christie

    If you look at the undoctored version of that photo you see Ratzinger is not saluting Hitler.

    That’s interesting.
    Ken, where did you find the cropped version and its caption?

    And that’s not an outrageous essay from Dawkins. Child sexual abuse is an extremely emotionally charged area and subject to many political and social agendas. Caution should be exercised over many of the claims and counterclaims made in regard to the amount of psychological damage it causes.

    Like

  69. Get a sense of humor Ken! You will give yourself a heart attack!

    Like

  70. Shit… is Dawkins a member of NAMBLA??? Is sure sounds like it… what a sicko!

    Like

  71. And yes the doctoring of that photo shows just how desperate some people are to lie to discredit the Holy Church. What was the word again… oh yes… PATHETIC!

    Like

  72. Max,
    The was a time when Ken would argue in good faith – – but this is a pure ad hominem attack.
    We should not be too surprised that this is what you get for attempting to represent Christ:
    “Crucify! Crucify! Crucify!”

    Like

  73. Yes Ropata. The Lord did ward us this would happen. So no surprise really 😉

    Like

  74. Richard, I got it from this site: http://westonlockley.livejournal.com/27873.html. However I notice this had now been removed – replaced with a photo of Bennie in his Luftwaffe uniform. Perhaps someone also passed on the problem to that blogger.

    I must admit when I saw the photo it did pass through my mind that this could have been a religious salute rather than a Nazi one.

    However, if no one objects I will delete the photo and amend the comment to make clear that the photo had been cropped, something I was not aware of but sorry for uncritically using. I apologize for that – fortunately it was in a comment rather than a post where I hope I would have taken better care.

    However, it doesn’t change the fact that Bennie was well out of order to blame Nazism on atheism. He after all knew he was lying about this having himself been a member of the Hitler youth. He knew what the situation was.

    Like

  75. Thanks, Django, for bringing my attention to my mistake with the photo. I see that it has also been removed from the site where I found it. I have removed it from my comment and apologized for the mistake.

    As for your second point quoting Dawkins re catholic sex abuse of children. I can’t see the point you are making. His article seems pretty sensible to me.

    Like

  76. Max, I do have a developed sense of humor. Perhaps it’s too sophisticated for you to recognize! Mind you, I don’t find child abuse and violation of human rights humorous.

    But, you aren’t concerned about me though. You are avoiding my request for information on who produced that extensively cropped video misrepresenting Dawkins. You also refuse to respond to criticism of the ethics of producing and using such a obviously selective piece of evidence (all 4 sec if it). And no response to a request for proper evidence.

    Yes a clear attempt at diversion.

    Like

  77. Dawkins statement minimizes the impact of sexual abuse – and in the context that passage appears he minimizes sexual abuse SPECIFICALLY so he can point out how evil it is to raise children in their parents religious faith. Basically he says that it is better for children to be sexually abused than to be raised in their parent’s faith. This is the ravings of a man so twisted by his hatred of religion that he has lost all sense of proportion.

    Ken, I am bored of your “go get me evidence” game. You I suspect like me have the books of the new atheists on your shelves and have watched their interviews and debates. The fact that I do not jump to attention and obediently go find you quotes says nothing other than that I am not willing to satisfy your ego and play your power trip games. I have seen you do this on many other blogs and it is a fruitless game. Get over it.

    And also – try to see the lighter side of life a bit.

    Like

  78. Richard Christie

    Max, Dawkins’s statement does not “minimalise the impact of sexual abuse” at all, as much you might wish that were so.

    Dawkins is saying that the long-term damage that arises from abuse will lie on a continuous scale, its severity dependent on the nature and circumstance of the abuse. A self-evident but often unpopular message given the hysteria that can surround the subject. Those delivering the message are frequently and dishonestly labeled apologists for abuse or even, as you illustrated, members of NAMBLA.

    Dawkins compares damage due to abuse with the fear of damnation, the guilt and denigration-of-self that is generated by the threats and dogmas inherent in many of the religious teaching inflicted on children in order for them to comply or, as you put it, be raised in their parent’s faith.

    I think Dawkins overstates the damage of the instilled fear aspect, but I am in agreement that religious instruction, when foisted upon the immature minds of children, is a reprehensible practice.

    Like

  79. That is fair enough. My NAMBLA jibe was just doing what Ken does in the opposite direction to point out the idiocy of most of what he says. I don’t really think that Dawkin’s is that bad… but I do think that passage and how he uses it in a little twisted still.

    Like

  80. Max, of course you pretend to be bored. You have played your best card – all 4 sec of it and you are so ashamed of that you won’t provide information on the source or who was responsible for such dishonest cropping. If you have relevant books they would be easy to quote and easily checked. Come on – don’t be shy!

    Regarding the quote from Dawkins. I think it is obvious there is a range in abuse both sexual and religious. Have a look at the interview with Jill Mytton who specializes in counseling victims i
    of religious abuse. Very relevant: https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2009/02/07/psychological-abuse-of-children/

    Like

  81. Ken – already answered that. Not into your power trip game. I have played it before. Boast your ego some other way! Cheers.

    And, Ken, if a Bishop or a Priest had said what dawkins said you would be foaming at the mouth about how they were child abuse enablers. You are a hypocrite.

    Like

  82. Another fail on your part Max.

    Like

  83. Right – I see I was spot on!

    Like

  84. And having demonstrated that you are willing to use fabricated documents, that you are willing to misrepresent people’s views, and that you will allow someone you worship to say things that you would crucify a religious leader for, I think it is very clear where you stand – your case has totally collapsed – and that is the last I have to say on the matter! God bless – and fare well.

    Like

  85. God bless – and fare well.
    Understanding Christianese-Lesson 2

    Like

  86. Reminds me of the “compassion” some Christians were expressing for Christopher Hitchens with his illness.

    Somebody made the comment:

    “Your cloak of love doesn’t quite cover your body of hate!”

    Like

  87. Ken do you know any actual christians or do you just “inform” yourself from media hysteria?

    The Church is intolerant in principle because she believes; she is tolerant in practice because she loves.
    The enemies of the Church are tolerant in principle because they do not believe; they are intolerant in practice because they do not love.
    Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (1877–1964)

    If you read the reports from the Pope’s visit, and what he actually said, the attention-seeking atheist protestors were put in their place – – in a small corner of irrelevance!

    Like

  88. Ropata I had to laugh at that post from the nzconservative. It told us that if the “holy father” assured us that atheism was behind Nazism we should believe him. After all he was there. He knows what the facts are. Benny was a member if the Hitler Youth so must know what was happening.

    Beware if holy books and people. They can justify the worst evil.

    Like

  89. “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”-Voltaire

    Like

  90. So Ken is called out on the cropped picture he used, apologises and rectifies the error, while Max continues to defend his cropped video then runs away in a hissy fit. Hmm, there’s a lesson in morality there somewhere…..

    Like

  91. dave d, it is your crowd of dawkins worshippers who are ridiculous and in deep denial
    cedric, indeed it is absurd to believe a universe sprang from nothing
    ken, i can rely on you to take the most distorted view … and i find it ironic how you feel compelled to sermonise on morality to christians, after you have failed to engage honestly but written endless ad hominems

    Like

  92. indeed it is absurd to believe a universe sprang from nothing…
    …because everybody knows a sweaty magic football sock blah, blah, blah etc.
    (shrug)

    Like

  93. … to believe a universe sprang from nothing

    Who actually says that they believe this anyway?
    Spare me your “creative interpretations” and decietful paraphrasing.
    You’ve done it too often already.
    It’s tiresome.
    Who actually says that they “believe the universe came from nothing”?
    Give us an actual quote…in context.
    Confused? Let me help you with that.

    Why the Kalam Cosmological Argument Fails

    Like

  94. no i’m not confused cedric, just responding to your voltaire quote
    do you have a complete and consistent theory of everything ? wow cool
    sorry don’t have time for endless youtubery

    Like

  95. no i’m not confused cedric…

    Then don’t create strawmen.
    It’s dishonest.
    That’s what you always do.
    You did it at least three times in the Hawking thread.
    You never directly quote people.
    You just create misrepresentations, attribute them to your opponent and then proceed to knock them down.
    That’s the very model of a strawman.
    That’s how a strawman works.
    For example: … to believe a universe sprang from nothing…
    Nobody around here is saying this.
    Nobody.
    That’s just from your fevered imagination.
    (That’s why I included the video, by the way)
    That’s why you cannot directly quote somebody actually saying this.
    Here’s another:
    do you have a complete and consistent theory of everything ? wow

    No. There is no “wow”.
    I never claimed this. Nobody here has. You are just setting up a strawman.
    It’s childish.
    You create your own question and then create your own response and…you get to “win”.
    Hmm.
    If your arguments were any good, you would not have to resort to this.
    I certainly don’t.
    I faithfully quote you. All the time.
    The more, the better as far as I’m concerned.

    The “Straw Man” Fallacy

    Like

  96. i only paraphrase in order to distil the essence of your long winded essays
    sorry if you feel misrepresented, but i can’t keep up with all your multi-threaded rants

    Like

  97. BTW i do enjoy your comments, so i regret that i cannot always respond as comprehensively as you would like.

    Like

  98. i only paraphrase in order to distil the essence of your long winded essays

    So…the reason why you never quote people directly and repeatedly accuse them of making claims that they never actually said or intended is because…you’re just short of time?
    It’s somehow always the fault of the other guy?

    You’ve just written yourself a blank check to continue creating strawmen.
    That’s dishonest.
    Would you accept such a feeble excuse from somebody else in opposition to you over a different topic? Really?
    Don’t insert your own “Making a strawman is wrong but…it’s ok if I’m running short of time and I personally believe that my opponent is long-winded” rule.
    If you play by this new rule invented for your own convenience then the other guy gets to use it to and…everybody loses.

    The fun begins when atheists run around claiming they have the ultimate answer…

    Yet nobody actually said this. Or even anything like this.

    …people go through to deny even the possibility of a divine Creator.

    Like who? I certainly don’t deny the possibility of a “divine creator” or something. As far as I know, neither does Ken.
    Why didn’t you ask one of us directly?

    Cedric, claiming the “ultimate answer” is exactly what Hawking/Mlodinow are doing.

    If that’s “exactly” what they were doing then I need more than just your say-so. You may have a mistaken impression. If you want to convince me that they are claiming to have the “ultimate answer” (which would indeed be very shocking if true) then I’d need the “exact” quote where they actually said “exactly” this.

    …it is your crowd of dawkins worshippers who are ridiculous…

    “Worshippers”? People “worship” Dawkins? You genuinely believe that?
    Let’s just mark that one up to colourful hyperbole and say no more about it.

    …indeed it is absurd to believe a universe sprang from nothing…

    Except that I don’t make such an argument and as far as I know, nobody else around here lately has done so.

    You reckon you have me (or someone else) dead-to-rights on some issue?
    Great.
    Then ask me (or them) about it directly.
    If I give you a confirmation answer then “TA-DA”, you have a direct quote straight from the horse’s mouth.

    If somebody actually said something objectionable or logically flawed then quote them and attack that.
    Go for it.
    I’m the last person to stop you.
    Just stop making things up from your own personal impressions.
    Stop making strawmen. That’s all I’m asking from you.

    You Might Have A Strawman if…

    Like

Leave a Reply: please be polite to other commenters & no ad hominems.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s