Skepchick Quickies, 6.14


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. The scientist channels his thoughts, so the Dodgers would win. Sounds reasonable to me. It must be true!

    I’m channeling a wooden swingset to be built in my backyard…… for my kids of course.

  2. Re: Benny the Rat
    “said it advised bishops to cooperate with the authorities in countries where required by law.”

    Only where they are required to? Not everywhere? So in countries where priests aren’t required to report abuse, it’s go-go-go?

    And does this mean that bishops require a papal intervention to follow secular laws?

    And of course, blame Satan. Good plan, that.

  3. Hmmm, OCD, the mental illness that may have been at the root of most major world religions… . Let’s see, ritualistic behaviors, obsessive cleaning and washing, innumerable rules and prohibitions based on irrational and imagined fears, repetitive mantras and prayers used to suppress intrusive thoughts, and marked anxiety and distress that can lead to anxiety and often paranoia concerning the acts and motives of other people; sounds like religion to me.

  4. You know, I don’t give a damn anymore what the Catholic Church plans to do about abusive priests. I just want to know what the proper legal authorities plan to do about the Catholic Church.

  5. @Aaron: You don’t care what punishment those people are going to get for sexually abusing kids? What? Because I sure as fuck do, perhaps more than what is going to happen to the curch as a whole — since the abused kids deserve justice.

  6. Read the story more carefully, the Pope didn’t say the church should work with legal authorities, that was a layperson’s group suggesting this to the church. Don’t worry, the Pope wouldn’t do anything so crazy as to follow the law. I noticed the Pope uses the phrase, ‘the little ones’, does that mean he thinks children are just small adults?
    The Church has always been fast to condemn individual civil rights but is so slow to stop child abuse. Now they are acting like they are trying to prevent child rape by scapegoating gays but they still are not talking about the fact that they are helping these priests abuse children by hiding them and buying off or threatening the victims.

  7. @marilove: What James Fox said. Pope B16 says he’s “promising to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again,” but fuck if I’m going to trust his word. Abuse in the Church is a systemic problem that needs to be addressed from without. I’ll listen to Ratzinger’s pleas for forgiveness when he’s on a witness stand.

  8. @Aaron: Right, and one of the best ways is to punish the people who do the abusing. If they aren’t punished, they will know they can get away with it. You can’t punish the entire church. It won’t happen. You HAVE to punish the individuals.

  9. The pope said the Devil was behind the scandal, saying it had emerged now, in the middle of the Vatican’s Year of the Priest, because “the enemy,” or the Devil, wants to see “God driven out of the world.

    In the age old method of all religions – avoid responsibility by blaming the devil.

  10. @marilove: I never said we needed to “punish the entire church” in lieu of targeting individuals. To clarify my comments: the problem extends beyond acts of abuse, to members of the church heirarchy who have aided and abetted the abusers. So when Pope Benedict XVI, who has himself been implicated in directly acting to protect an abusive priest, asks for forgiveness and promises that the Church has everything under control, I’m not particularly inclined to believe him. I want external investigation and prosecution, not only of the abusers, but also of those who protected them.

  11. “The pope said the Devil was behind the scandal, saying it had emerged now, in the middle of the Vatican’s Year of the Priest, because “the enemy,” or the Devil, wants to see “God driven out of the world.”

    Does anyone actually BELIEVE that crap?? I mean seriously, I quit saying “The Devil made me do it” when I was 6.

  12. @marilove: I agree, but I am leaning more and more towards punishing the organization.

    Hey, technically, the Church is a corporation, and thus, according to the Supreme Court, a person. Think we can have it arraigned on conspiracy charges?

  13. In one respect the Catholic Church has been seriously punished and hopefully will continue to be punished through monetary damages from civil law suits. Many millions of dollars have been awarded to victims of abuse and I see no reason why this should not continue and be part of the process in other countries such as Ireland and Germany.

  14. There are two distinct layers of badness in the sexual abuse in the church tragedy.

    The individual priests are responsible for their actions. The Church as an institution is also responsible for abrogating its responsibility to the communities it exists in.

    The law is equipped to deal with the first one, though their efforts have been hampered by the lack of cooperation from the church. Every perpetrator must be held accountable.

    The law is not equipped to deal with the second, yet it is just as important that it be addressed. Civil actions contribute but will never be enough on their own.
    Institutions themselves need to be held accountable as well.

  15. @James Fox:

    I have OCD and I would appreciate it if you don’t equate my illness with religion. Most people with OCD realize that their thoughts and actions are irrational, whereas most religious people have no idea that their thoughts are unrealistic. I’m sure that people with OCD have played a part in the development of religion, just as they’ve played a part in the development of nearly everything, simply by being a statistically significant part of the population.

    Also, people can stop practicing religion if they simply stop believing. This is not the case with OCD. I don’t like the implication that we’re just being irrational and if we just thought more critically our obsessions and compulsions would just disappear. If simply knowing that something is irrational was enough to make us stop doing it, then it wouldn’t be a disease in the first place.

  16. And on the less serious bra matter – it’s stupid, but obviously, the lawyer doesn’t fly much. Flying out of the uber-sensitive National Airport, my underwire always set the damn thing off.

    Get yourself a Spanx Bra-lleluja All-Hosiery Comfort Bra for your prison-visiting days and be done with it. It’s stupid and frustrating because it should be unnecessary, but that doesn’t change the fact that someone who mans a metal detector can ruin your day if they feel like it.

  17. @catgirl. As I am not a fan of religion myself maybe you would prefer an article written a decade ago in the New Yorker over the the Cracked article. The article was about “the doubting disease.” I think I recall that it was written by a scientist and was pointing out how useful OCD was for many professions: Lab research being a major one. As someone slightly OCD, I resonated with this author’s viewpoint because my OCD certainly helped me when I was an Assistant Editor in TV. I would recheck everything and make sure it was all done correctly, labeled properly, that I had found all the cameras and…well you get the idea. All the best AE’s I’ve known were at least a little OCD. If you have a New Yorker subscription I think you can access it. Here’s the link: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2000/04/10/2000_04_10_052_TNY_LIBRY_000020598

  18. @catgirl: I don’t think James Fox was trying to imply that all OCD people are also religious, or vice versa. As the article suggested, and he followed up on, it was arguing that some of the originators may have been OCD. Convincing other people to buy into your rituals is a separate matter, and only successfully happens a handful of times. Only a subset of the population (OCD or no) would even try it.

    Heck – maybe the originators had a specific combinations of genetics and life experience that led them down their unfounded path.

    I go back and forth on whether I believe the originators of most major religions actually believed what they were spouting – I usually end up thinking it’s probably a mix.

  19. I hate to sound like a total atheist jerkwad, but calling OCD a good thing because it created religion is a little like calling smallpox a good thing because it cleared out America. At best, religion and so on are interesting consequences of OCD (and a whole bunch of other factors, and the fact that the meme of religion is in and of itself really good at propagating). At worst… I’m just not seeing how one can work the “good” into this, sorry.

    Okay, maybe religion isn’t as bad as genocide. But you get the point. I hope.

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