Religion

Religious Org Adds Rape-Apologist to Board of Directors

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My fellow atheists, you are not going to believe what the religious folks are up to. This week, the Executive Director of Catholic Alliance International added Larry Prowse to the organization’s board. If you don’t know Prowse, let me tell you a little about him: he was a pretty big name on the Catholic speaking circuit, having written a few popular books on God and morality. But in the past decade, several women have come forward saying he sexually harassed them, one of whom said he trapped her in a hotel room at a Catholicism conference and waved a condom in her face. He was previously a lecturer at Boston College but several female undergrads came forward saying that he was predatory. The school had to ban him from the campus, at which point he transferred to Trinity Washington University. A few years later, he resigned from Trinity after more women accused him of sexual assault while on a speaking tour in Australia.

All of that would be bad enough, but in 2016 Prowse publicly defended John Geoghan, a priest convicted of raping more than 130 children and sentenced to ten years in prison. Prowse said he didn’t believe the victims’ accusations, stating that he knew Geoghan well and had never seen him touch a child inappropriately. “I support a man whose character I believe I know,” Prowse told reporters. “If you want to condemn me for that, so be it. I don’t feel tarnished in any way by my relationship with John; I feel raised by it.”

So yeah, we have a guy who has been credibly accused of sexual impropriety by a dozen unrelated women over the course of many years, and who went on the record to defend a convicted pedophile. So why would Catholic Alliance International put him on their board? Well, the president of the organization argued that Prowse “has been an active Catholic for decades and he is a personal friend of the Pope.” He went on to say that Prowse was “an early victim of the woke movement” and that he’s never actually been charged with a crime. He railed against Prowse’s “predominantly female” critics that are part of “cancel culture.”

I mean…wow. Can you believe that? How disgusting does the leader of a nonprofit need to be to continue to honor someone just because he’s famous and is friends with the pope, when the guy is on the record as defending a convicted pedophile and who women around the world have said is a sex pest? Can you even imagine being so close-minded and blindly idolizing someone?

And if you think all of this is bonkers, wait until you hear the best part: I screwed up a few of the details. This entire story happened, but it’s actually about Atheist Alliance International, not the Catholics. And it’s about Lawerence Krauss, not Larry Prowse. He was banned from the campus of Case Western, not BC. And then resigned from Arizona State University, not Trinity. And he publicly and ferociously defended the convicted pedophile rapist Jeffrey Epstein, not John Geoghan. 

Michael Sherlock is the executive director of Atheist Alliance International, and he really did say that Krauss is a victim of “wokeism”. Fun fact: when you Google Michael Sherlock, the first hit is a statement from AAI shortly after he took over as leader, in which they condemn him calling religion “retarded” on Twitter and then calling a woman some word they deemed to be “completely unacceptable profanity.”

If you’re an atheist who would be disgusted at a Catholic organization lionizing someone like Prowse, please have the integrity to be equally disgusted at Atheist Alliance International. This is why Atheism, as any kind of movement, has ultimately failed: they left the edgelords in charge and now it’s just a bunch of sex pests with no self-awareness sitting around calling religious people slurs and wondering why women don’t come to their conferences anymore. Be better.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor.

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