Archive for August 13th, 2010

It’s Different When It’s the Good Guys

Aug 13, 2010 in Politics

Let’s take a moment to imagine how outraged our right-leaning friends would be getting over the Pope’s refusal to accept the resignation of two Irish bishops who actively covered up child abuse if the whole affair took place under a slightly different set of circumstances. “Religion of peace, my butt!” they’d be saying on blog after blog; “by your fruits shall ye know them,” they’d quote. But when the systemic, ongoing sexual abuse of children happens to be within the Catholic church, it’s a different tune they sing. Suddenly, it’s “no human being is perfect,” and a newfound (and very temporary) interest in forgiving trespasses. Sometimes they’ll even go with a “how much do we really trust the so-called victim?” line, hoping we’ll forget that we’re talking about children here. Certainly they enjoy shifting the dialogue over to their objections about homosexuality; anything to take the focus off the obvious question here. But can you imagine the pitch, the sheer volume, if this story were taking place in Syria, or in Lebanon, or in Iran? It would be all the proof any of our outraged friends would need; it would be the final nail in the coffin of Islam.

Instead, let’s be clear: they don’t care. They’ll tell you that it’s the fault of the individual priests who abused the children; certainly not the fault of the bishops who covered it up, or of the pope who gives the bishops a pass for doing it, or of the Church that has actively been letting child rapists walk away free & clean for centuries. Let us speak plainly. When it comes down to a choice between self-interest and the children with whose care it has been charged, the Catholic church has made its priorities plain. The moral cowardice of the American right in ignoring this, or, when they speak to it at all, suddenly focusing on the responsibility of the individual who commits the offense instead of the organization that sanctions and conceals it — it’s breathtaking. You can’t have it both ways, friends. This isn’t an isolated case. It’s the organization.