I just watched this recent TED video of religious historian and author Karen Armstrong talking about the importance of the Golden Rule and how we need to re-engineer a world based on compassion. It’s excellent and I highly recommend it.
Speaking of compassion, I’m re-launching my charity “Geeks Who Care” in Brisbane this month and I’m hoping some people will join us for the first Brisbane catch-up. The idea of GWC (which I tried to get off the ground just before I left Melbourne in 2008) is that geeks have a special skill-set that I think can be used to improve people’s lives in ways that mere mortals cannot. We know how to make the interwebs work, how to promote things via social networking, how to build websites, make podcasts, refurb PCs, build mesh networks, etc. I want to see geeks doing more when they get together than just nerding out about new tech. We need to be giving back to the society that let’s us be geeks in the first place. So, anyway, details of the Brisbane meeting are here (yes it’s a Facebook page) and if anyone wants to gets stuff started in other cities, go for your life. Let’s share idea and learnings as we go.
The Vatican was kind enough this week to give yet another excuse to SHUT THEM DOWN PERMANENTLY.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the UN, made a statement assuring the UN human rights council that Catholic priests involved in having sex with young boys aren’t really engaged in paedophilia, it would "be more correct" to speak of ephebophilia, a homosexual attraction to adolescent males.
"Of all priests involved in the abuses, 80 to 90% belong to this sexual orientation minority which is sexually engaged with adolescent boys between the ages of 11 and 17."
Ohhh that’s okay then…. you stupid fucking asshole.
Apparently Archibishop Clueless made this statement after an international representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, Keith Porteous Wood, accused it of covering up child abuse and being in breach of several articles under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Archbishop Clueless also accused other churches of having an equally bad track record of child abuse, something that Irwin Zalkin refuted when I interviewed him earlier this year.
Clueless went on to say that “available research” showed that only 1.5%-5% of Catholic clergy were involved in child sex abuse. As The Daily Irrelevant noted:
And that’s your defense of what happened? Really?
The USA has easily the largest percentage of their population incarcerated or on probation of all countries in the world.
There are 1 in 32 people in the US either behind bars or on Probation, and that’s for ALL convictions combined.
That’s less than 3%. And the vatican has the fucking nerve to say it’s “only” 5%.
Folks, I ask again – when are we going to shut the Catholic Church down? It’s a disgrace. At the very least, in Australia, we should be having a Royal Commission into the levels child abuse perpetrated by the Catholic clergy in Australia over the last 70 years, like the one they recently concluded in Ireland.
When I interviewed Dr Wayne Chamley from Broken Rites a few months ago, he suggested that if we had a Royal Commission into Catholic child abuse in this country we would discover TENS OF THOUSANDS of victims.
Let’s do something about it. If we don’t, history will judge us as a bunch of spineless, assholes with no integrity.
Oh sure, everyone seems more than happy to throw the book at Polanksi, but go after the Catholic Church? Oh no, we couldn’t do that.
(link to the story via The Daily Irrelevant – thanks Russell)
As some of you may know, my girlfriend Christine (aka @fddlgrl) is a “formon” (that’s an ex-Mormon, I have to thank Mr Deity himself for introducing me to that term). She grew up in Utah in a tiny, mostly-Mormon town, the full deal but she broke away from the church when she was about 18.
Anyway I know she’s had lots of debates with active church members about Prop 8 (the Californian law, sponsored in large part by the Mormons last year, which banned gay marriage) and whether or not Mormons are allowed to speak out against it without being ostracized. This clip supports her argument that Mormons can’t speak out without fear of retribution. This guy tried expressing his disappointment with the LDS’ church’s support of Prop 8 and watch what happens.
So what does this tell us about religious organisations like the Latter Day Saints? They don’t appreciate it when people inside the church start thinking for themselves. Why not? What do they fear? That one person actually thinking for themselves might start a trend? If they aren’t scared, why not let the guy speak his mind? If they are so sure of the moral superiority of their position, why not allow, in fact ENCOURAGE, free and open debate?
Because, my friends, religion is an act of mind control. It exists to pray on the minds and the wallets of the weak.
This is the same reason Father Peter Kennedy was defrocked from the Ca$holic Church earlier this year and why Father Bob Maguire in Melbourne has been told to resign. They had the temerity to think for themselves instead of obeying orders and sticking to the script.
If you are a member of either of these religious “institutions”, I invite you to argue with me in the comments section below.
Angie – you are my new hero.
Angie goes online and chats with Mormon missionaries – then posts the whole discussion on her blog, complete with witty and acerbic asides. You go, girl.
Angie the Anti-Theist: Chatting with a Mormon Missionary: Take 8.
Yet another Catholic leader turns out to be a paedophile – Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado. The only problem is that he’s dead and he escaped punishment. He also apparently had an affair with a woman, fathered her child, and misused funds.
Maciel was the founder of the Catholic congregation called the "Legion Of Christ", which claims to have 70,000 members.
The Independent has a length article on him.
Last week I wrote a post on the recent report out of Ireland about the true extent of child abuse committed by the Catholic Church from the ’30s through to the ’70s.
A few people on Twitter tried to suggest there was no connection between abuse in Ireland and in Australia, so I invited Dr Wayne Chamley from Broken Rites onto the show. Broken Rites is an Australian advocacy group that works with victims of religious child abuse. He believes that if we had a Royal Commission into Catholic child abuse in this country we would discover TENS OF THOUSANDS of victims.
By the way folks, don’t forget – if you are looking for an easy way to listen to the G’Day World archives (all 381 episodes!), and you’ve got iTunes installed, go to our page on iTunes. While you’re there, give the show a quick review!
Podcast: Play in new window | Download