The Pope’s nearly here. I hope you’ve all got at least one can of Pontiff-B-Gone spray on hand, particularly if you live near somewhere he’s scheduled to stop.
Tim Minchin recently made his own homage to the pedophile-harbouring AIDS-worsener free to download from his website. If you haven’t heard it, it’s very catchy, in a NSFW kind of way:
I shared this with the lovely Katey yesterday, and she shared it with her friends elsewhere. One of these was not quite so amused, and put up a rather feeble defence of His Popiness. She protested that everything bad being said about the Popal office actually happened under the last guy. She also suggested that she’d never judge others based on their religious beliefs anyway.
I didn’t get directly involved in the argument myself, but my ensuing rant read like this (slightly adapted for readability):
Anyone not willing to judge others on their religious beliefs is very short-sighted as to the kind of dangerous and evil insanity that religious beliefs can encompass. Also, judging people is funny, so she just sounds dull.
And she’s not even right about it all going on under the last Pope’s watch. There have been documents coming to light with Ratzinger’s name on them where he’s specifically directed cardinals under his command (before he was pope) to act with “discretion” and consider the image of the church and bollocks like that. [I didn’t have links at the time, and was sloppily imprecise in my description, but multiple articles by Christopher Hitchens on Slate have covered this in depth.] He’s made very clear his stance against any efforts to bring his child rapist friends to justice.
And even if she were right, how much would that excuse him? Surely if your organisation has had as much public scandal surrounding child abuse in the past as this one, then when you’re taking over the reins of the entire business you wouldn’t just hope it’d all blown over and do your best not to mention it. Surely you’d make damn clear that you were going to take an active stand against any more child rape under your watch and haul any more perpetrators over the coals with absolutely zero tolerance from now on? I imagine anyone in a similar position in a non-religious financial corporation would have to say something like that, if their company was even still standing after as much institutional pedophilia as has been uncovered in the Catholic Church.
And how much did she protest John Paul II’s involvement in the covering up of sex abuse at the time, anyway? She’s happy to lay all the blame on him for all this crap now.
I think the third paragraph point especially deserves hammering home. The crime in question is the sexual abuse of many, many children, over many, many years, by numerous representatives of a supposed moral authority. Even if it had all been stopped now, and the current boss hadn’t actually been responsible for any of it, and the loose ends were all satisfactorily resolved, I still would not want to hear them whining about how they’re totally blameless and it’s so unfair how much criticism they’re getting for something that’s not even happening any more.
Even if the new guy had done everything right and fixed everything, at least 90% of the things he says should still be assurances that the child abuse formerly endemic in his institution was abhorrent, and will be rooted out unhesitatingly from this point on.
But Benny Sixteen has not been blameless and impeccable in his efforts to set right the wrongs that are his responsibility, even if they might genuinely not be his fault. So we really don’t want to hear whining about how rough a time we’re giving him, and how we keep banging on about this child abuse business, while there are still rapists in his church.