Archive for the ‘God’ Category

Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal

April 5, 2010

Like most folks, I have been watching the Pope struggle through the various sex-abuse claims in Ireland and Europe. It reminds me of watching George Bush’s press secretary explain why war in Iraq was a good thing; no matter what he says, the truth keeps coming back and bitch-slapping him.

What’s bugging me about this is not the sex abuse in Catholicism. That beast is on its knees (so to speak). Any pedophile priest with a modicum of intelligence is too scared to move, let alone abuse again. The hammer is coming down finally. It has to, or the faith will not survive this time.

What bothers me about it, though, are the conditions that led to the abuse. Catholicism set up a system wherein the local priest supposedly represented the power of Rome and, by extension, the power of God on Earth. There was a time when local priests were the unquestioned authority in any small town or village. No one would dare make accusations, even if true, against these guys.

While we can all sit back a bit and say that these crimes are finally coming to light, I see a far darker cloud on the horizon: Islam. Muslims still maintain a system that is eerily similar to the hierarchy that allowed Catholic pedophiles to prosper. The local imam is revered the same way Catholics revered their local priest a generation ago. As such, the opportunity for abuse exists, especially within fringe elements of Islam. [Let’s face it, if they can talk a teen into strapping a bomb to himself and blowing up a restaurant, there’s room for other abuses as well].

As with Catholicism, many Muslims believe that the reputation of the faith is far more important than the “petty crimes” any individual might commit. This was the defense bishops used to play a shell game with pedophiles, and it strikes me that the sentiment (if not the practice) is definitely part of modern Islam.

I’ve always believed that Islam is a faith waiting for its Martin Luther: a person who can create real change, moderating the angry rhetoric born of politics and strife. When that happens, Islam will become just another religion, not an arm in the battle for economic and political superiority. I worry that when this happens the same floodgates that have exposed Catholic indiscretions is going to show the same abuse of power in the male-dominated structure of Islam.

What bothers me about this is not that that Muslims would have to face the darker nature of such a system. That’s just life. What worries me is that the abuses they might have to confront twenty years down the line are likely happening now, today, under the same guise of holy men with ultimate power.

To suspect a much is not “an attack on Islam”. It’s a recognition of the fact that Islam, like all religions, is populated by and governed by humans. As such, they are susceptible to the same failures and abuses that all human endeavors face. It’s just another aspect of life on this planet that everyone– Muslims included– have to one day face.

Written by Wm. Hopper, author of
thumb-heathens-guide-front-cover The Heathen’s Guide to World Religions.

(Not for Sheep.)


The Theft of “Good”: How Christianity Stole Decency

December 11, 2008

You’ve heard it a thousand times: “How can you have Good without God?”

Christians love to point out that the word good is derived from the word God. What they fail to point out is that the word God is not Christian. The Christian names for God are from the Greek (theos), Hebrew (Eli), and Latin (Dei). Most scholars agree that the word GOD actually comes from the Sanskrit gheu, meaning “to invoke or to sacrifice to”. Basically, then, what the Christians are saying is that you can’t have good without sacrificing to some ancient Vedic god from India.

I love it when they try semantic arguments.


What really ticks me off about things like this is that there’s an overt theft going on that no one seems to notice. It works like this:

Every time Christianity finds a human trait or action that is beneficial to society (say, giving food to starving children) they decide that they own the concept. From that time on, the action becomes a “Christian act”, and the non-religious are left out of it. Their logic works like this: Giving food to starving children is a Christian act.  Atheists are not Christians. Therefore,  Atheists do not give food to starving children.

For a thousand years Christianity has owned the English lexicon, and they’ve used it to portray anyone who is not Christian as an evil bastard who’d kick a starving child or throw widows out of their homes. “Good” is equal to “Christian” in their parlance. If you are not Christian, you can not be good.

It’s moronic. The problem is, it works.

You will not get elected to any office of power in the USA without saying you are religious. If you are trying to do business anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line, you have to go to church. That’s where the deals are done. That’s where the networking is. Why? Because people only trust those they meet at church, simply because they say they are Christian.

Religions can show people that they’re being bastards, but it doesn’t prevent it. Regardless of religious affiliation, people are people and will do as they please. In the end, whether you are good or not has a lot more to do with who you are than the god you worship.

Written by Wm. Hopper,

The Heathen’s Guide to World Religions.NOT FOR SHEEP.