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Theocracy and the Rape of Children

Posted by libhom Saturday, April 03, 2010

This is a submission to the annual Blog Against Theocracy blogswarm.

There are a lot of things about the Vatican that don't get the attention they deserve. One of them is the fact that it is a pure theocracy. It has a dictator, the Pope, who is selected by a group of Cardinals appointed by previous Popes. That dictator has absolute power over the Vatican's foreign and domestic policy.

Because the Roman Catholic Church claims that their dictators are infallible, any Roman Catholic who questions the dictates and behavior of that pontiff is automatically suspect and sinful in the eyes of her or his church.

Under these circumstances, it isn't that difficult to see how difficult it is to root out any kind of corruption from such a structure. The area of Vatican corruption that is finally getting some of the media attention it deserves is the Vatican's coverups of the rampant child molestation in the Roman Catholic clergy.

Revelations of Vatican coverups are popping up all over the world. One of the most recent ones was the discovery that a now dead Bishop in Tuscon tried to get child raping priests fired only to have the Vatican block him. This is terrible, but it is equally commonplace.

Theocratic corruption is hardly limited to the Vatican. The Taliban sold heroin and banned all music they couldn't make money off of. We know about the litany of corruption among televangelists who would like to set up America as their own private theocracy.

People are correctly concerned about the dangers to human freedoms posed by theocracy. What gets lost is that in theocratic governments, dissent is suppressed and people are brainwashed into thinking they are evil when they question anything. This sets up a system where any kind of corruption that humans are capable of inventing can take hold. It also creates an environment where it is incredibly difficult to stop those corrupt practices, whether they be financial or physically brutal. This problem is by no means limited to the Vatican.

 

7 comments

  1. Utah Savage Says:
  2. While I was reading this I was listening to This American Life. The program was devoted to the Catholic Church's history of protecting the institution against the victims of sexual abuse. It's as old as the church itself.

    Momonism is no different. And Utah is perhaps the only state in the Union that is a true theocracy. The Mormon Church owns and governs Utah.

     
  3. Lew Scannon Says:
  4. I often think of capitalism as a religion (one that worships money) where those most favored by their god (the rich) are protected from the crimes they commit as well.
    Institutionalized pederasty should not be allowed to continue with impunity, and should stand as a lesson as to why we should never allow a religion to dominate our political landscape as much as Catholicism or Capitalism do over ours here.

     
  5. Shaw Kenawe Says:
  6. Eventually, we'll catch up to Europe and the Scandinavian countries where the only people in churches are the very old and the very young.

    I'm waiting for American Catholics to wake up and split from the corrupt organization in Rome. It is the Mafia with crosses.

     
  7. Oso Says:
  8. Mafia with crosses is right.

     
  9. mandt Says:
  10. "where the only people in churches are the very old and the very young." On spot SK. Most Holy Redeemer in San Francisco is called Church of the gay nineties because all the men are gay and all the women are over ninety! Good post GLH

     
  11. Batocchio Says:
  12. What gets lost is that in theocratic governments, dissent is suppressed and people are brainwashed into thinking they are evil when they question anything. This sets up a system where any kind of corruption that humans are capable of inventing can take hold. It also creates an environment where it is incredibly difficult to stop those corrupt practices, whether they be financial or physically brutal.

    Exactly. I tried to make the same point with my post - the power structure itself leads to corruption.

     
  13. The unique aspect of religious autocracy is that its influence is both trans-national and tolerated. While specifics of Catholic instruction may vary from country to country, the core tenets of papal infallibility and the demand for absolute submission to the church's authority as supreme are universal. The same is true for other authoritarian religions, substituting the authority of their texts for that of the Pope. Thus, an organization located in one geographic place may strongly influence the political sphere within a far distant and entirely independent nation, and do so with impunity. If this type of influence was attempted by any other sort of organization, it would be a cause for war.

     

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