On April 11, Pope Benedict XVI took a break from his busy schedule of hiding and protecting child rapists – and browbeating anyone who happens to disapprove of that – to forgive the Beatles.
The Beatles? Did I imagine the last 40 years? Am I seven again? Are the Beatles back together? No, wait … it’s 2010 and half of them are dead. Did the pope resurrect John and George? If so, I’d find that very odd. If the pope is going to be bringing people back from the dead, I would think he’d start with Michael Jackson. I mean, hey, they share some interests and at least they’d have something to talk about.
My first reaction to this news story was to laugh. Hard. This whole thing about Catholic priests fucking little kids has been going on for a long time now. It has always been horrible. How can you get more horrible than Catholic priests – in untold numbers, by the way – having sex with children and then being protected by the church? But since this ongoing scandal has expanded to include the Catholic Fuhrer, Joseph Ratzinger, who actively tried to cover for predatory priests before he became the Catholic Fuhrer – in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that his pope gig was a reward for doing such a good job of hiding the kiddie rapists – it left the realm of horrible and entered a rarified area of epic black comedy that is unparalleled in any other branch of show business. And now, the pope “forgives” the Beatles?
This, of course, begs the question, Who the hell does this guy he think he is?
What, we must ask, did the Beatles do that would require forgiveness – especially from a former Nazi and current pedophile-protector? What kind of unspeakable crimes were committed by John, Paul, George and Ringo? Was it the music? The haircuts? Was it because they helped introduce Eastern religion into Western culture?
According to the UK Telegraph, “the Church dismisses previous moral outrages including blasphemous remarks, drug taking and even the dissemination of Satanic messages through their music.”
“Blasphemous remarks” is a reference to John’s comment that the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus.” Of course, he was right — they were bigger than Jesus. When was the last time you saw a sea of screaming, crying girls pulling their own hair over the Prince of Peace? Was Jesus on The Ed Sullivan Show? No. Jugglers? Check. Acrobats? Check. Magicians? Check. A talking mouse? Check. Jesus? Um … afraid not.
“Drug taking?” Well, if it’s necessary for the Catholic church to forgive everyone who’s taken drugs since the 1960s, then I suspect it’s rather understaffed for that task and should send out a call for more pedophiles.
“Satanic messages?” Oh, puh-leeeeze! Did the pope actually fall for that backward-masking bullshit about evil messages in rock records that summon the devil, cause teenagers to become possessed and move furniture around the room? I can imagine him sitting on his throne in his big hat while some flunky plays records backwards, ear cocked, frowning as he listens closely. “Vait, vait, play zat back for me. I sink zat said sometink about zmoking pot vis Zatan.” Well, hey, if he fell for a one-testicled niece-fucking vegetarian copraphiliac, I guess he’ll believe anything.
If you do the math and add up all of the Beatles’ “offenses,” I don’t care how many different ways you rewrite the equation — they did not fuck any kids!
But the Catholic church doesn’t have to make sense because it’s … well, the Catholic church. They invented Christianity, they assembled the Christian bible, they commissioned all the art that has come to define the religion. In the Christian world, they are the cock of the walk, so to speak. And since the entire religion they represent doesn’t make a lick of sense anyway, why should we be surprised that the church’s former Nazi leader has spent much of his career protecting men who betrayed the trust of their flocks by fucking little kids and telling them it was something Jesus wanted them to do? (”Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for I want them to touch my penis.”) Why should we be surprised that, according to pope, the real villains here are the people who have the gall to talk about this and criticize those involved? Why should we be surprised when the pope’s right-hand man says the real problem here is not pedophilia but homosexuality, from which springs all sin and evil and perversion and lower back pain?
What infuriates me just as much as the skull-fracturing insanity of all this is the reaction that comes from so many of the religious – not just Catholics but the religious in general. They express disapproval, but it always comes with so many “buts” and “wells” and “ifs.” Yes, it’s awful, it’s sad, but it’s a sign of the times and, well, it’s proof that the devil is working hard in the church, and if it happens everywhere then we shouldn’t be so hard on the Catholic church, and blah blah blah blahblahblahblah. Even the protestants can’t get too worked up over this because they’re afraid that the spotlight now shining on the Catholic church might swing over in their direction next. You know why?
Because this isn’t a Catholic problem, this is a religion problem. Religion is a favorite hunting ground for sexual predators. It is teeming with juicy prey. These are people who already believe in talking animals, pregnant virgins, holy zombies and a big invisible punisher in the sky. Half the prep work is done! All of these churches and church schools are crawling with predators sniffing around for their next victim, and they’re also full of people who are ready and waiting to make things as easy as possible for those predators – and worse, to protect them while they continue preying on children! Why? Because they can’t bear the thought of letting anything get out that might tarnish the image of the church.
Let’s say a teacher at a Christian school gets caught diddling a child. The first thing they do is almost never to call the cops – and in the rare event that does happen, it only comes after a long huddle to decide how it’s going to be presented to law enforcement and to get everyone’s stories straight before the cops are brought in. Because the one thing that is paramount in the minds of all these people is the image of their church, the public relations damage that will be done if word gets out that one of their teachers or pastors or other employees has been raping children. The most common response to this is to cover it up. Have a somber, pious talk with those involved and explain to them how ugly it would be if the whole thing were made public. Explain that the only law enforcement that needs to be alerted is god. All that really matters is what god thinks. Bringing in the police will only complicate things and embarrass everyone, especially the poor child, who will be humiliated by the revelation that he or she has engaged in – Gasp! – sex! And if the parents of the raped child are trouble-makers, if they disagree with the pious leader who’s explained all of this to them and threaten to make some noise, then perhaps it becomes necessary to provide a little remuneration. And then the rapist is ushered off to another school, another church, someplace where no one knows what makes this guy’s dick twitch, so all the people there will give him a warm Christian welcome and embrace the new teacher or pastor or whatever, and by the way, have you met my children? Sometimes the child rapist is even promoted! Got a pervert teacher you need to get rid of? Well, the only opening in the system right now is a position as principal of an entire school. Will that do? Sure, anything, anything, just get him out of here and let somebody else deal with him. Once the offending teacher is removed, you would be appalled to know how many parents send their raped child, or other children in their family, back to the same school or church!
This goes on all the time, and not only in the Catholic church. I was educated in the Seventh-day Adventist school system and during my 12 years in two different Adventist schools, I know of at least four such incidents. And I know of plenty more in other Adventist schools. And those are only the ones I know about! The latest one occurred a couple of months ago at an Adventist academy in Auburn, Washington. That case involved an extremely rare occurrence – as soon as the principal learned that the bible teacher was having sex with an underage student, he called the police. Good for him! But I’d start looking for other work if I were in his position. He can no longer be trusted. He’s willing to throw the church’s image under the bus in favor of the safety of a student – and we can’t have that! I talked to an area reporter who was covering the story and when he asked the academy how long this bible teacher had taught at the school where he’d worked prior to this one, they refused to tell him and referred him to the state office. I laughed. Of course they don’t want to talk about this teacher’s employment background in the Seventh-day Adventist school system because they know what it will reveal! He’s probably been moved around from school to school. If this is the first time he’s been caught doing this, I will eat my foot.
But right now, the focus is on the Catholic church, and with good reason. The combination of hubris, back-pedaling, tap-dancing, blame-tossing and subject-changing that’s gone on in the last few weeks has provided more slapstick than a dozen Three Stooges shorts and enough infuriating bullshit to make the head of any thinking person with a shred of decency explode and splatter brains in all directions. If the Catholic church were a chain of daycare centers and this was going on, those centers would be stormed by law enforcement, there would be mass arrests and convictions, and the public would be ready to lynch those people in the street. But this is a religion. This involves things like faith and belief and we can’t interfere with that, can we? No, we must respect religion. We must show deference to an institution that demands belief in invisible beings and unprovable things. We mustn’t offend any of the believers … even if incalculable damage is being done to untold numbers of innocent, trusting children. Right?
The focus in all of this has been on the pope, the bishops, the priests. I don’t think that’s inclusive enough. There’s a very significant group that’s being ignored here, a vast army of blinder-wearing enablers who not only sit on their hands and allow this to happen, but who knowingly fund it with money out of their own pockets. And even worse, they continue to provide a seemingly endless supply of children for these cassocked monsters to rape. I’m referring to Catholics everywhere.
If a business or organization sends money to terrorists to fund terrorist activities – even if it’s done secretly, and even if that business or organization does not itself engage in terrorist activities – then it is considered a terrorist organization. Our government has seized and shut down such businesses and organizations once they’re discovered.
The fact that Catholic priests have been raping children and the fact that the Catholic church has systematically protected them from punishment and moved them to other churches where they can continue to rape children is not news. It’s newsworthy, yes, but it’s been going on for decades and nobody is surprised by it. We know this goes on. It’s no secret. It’s common knowledge. And knowing this …
If you are a Catholic who still attends church and puts money in the offering plate, you are supporting and funding this activity and you are complicit in the systematic rape of children and the institutionalized protection of child rapists. If you are a Catholic parent and you send your child or children to Catholic school or to a Catholic church, then you are offering up your children to known child rapists. You are knowingly putting your children in danger of being raped.
What, you think your hands are clean? You know this is going on! And yet you continue to give them not only your money but your children! That means you are involved. That means you are helping them commit their crimes. If you belonged to a fruit-of-the-month club and you learned that your dues were funding the production of child pornography, you would cancel your membership immediately and alert the authorities. You think this is any different? Actually, it’s worse. You think going to mass every Sunday and sending your kids to Sunday school and Catholic school is somehow a good thing given all we now know? Are you learning disabled? You’re no better than the very priests who tell children that Jesus wants them to have the experience of touching a priest’s penis. You’re no better than the priests and bishops and the very pope who protect those monsters. In fact, you are one of them.