March 29, 2010

Mayhem in the name of God

Another day. Another slew of reports about mayhem in the name of God.
  • Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up Monday in twin attacks on the Moscow subway, killing at least 38 and wounding at least 60, according to the Associated Press. The carnage blamed on rebels from the Caucasus region follows the killings of several high-profile Islamic militant leaders there. The rebels receive moral and perhaps financial support from al-Qaeda.

  • The New York Times reports that 9 members of the Michigan-based Christian militia group were arrested and indicted on sedition and weapons charges linked to an alleged plot. They were reportedly planning to to murder law enforcement officers in hopes of setting off an anti-government uprising.
And, oh, this week is Holy Week. Holy Week for Christians is a perfect time for contrition -- except when you're the Pope. Then you're exempt. Reuters says Pope Benedict (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) is undeterred by the latest pedophile-priest sex abuse scandals. In his sermon on Palm Sunday, he credits faith as helping to lead "toward the courage of not allowing oneself to be intimidated by the petty gossip of dominant opinion."

Petty gossip my ass.

According to the Reuters article:
Until the mid-1990s, the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger seemed to share a widespread view in the hierarchy that sexual misconduct by priests -- even pedophilia -- could be cured by proper doses of Christian forgiveness and modern therapy.
Pedophilia is a crime. If they weren't priests, they would have been hauled in jail immediately. They can give these criminal priests all the "Christian forgiveness and modern therapy" they need -- but as long as they're locked away in prison and can no longer ruin the lives of children.

Pope Benedict headed an office (before his election as pope) that repeatedly didn't do the right thing when confronted by examples of flagrant sex abuse. In a letter to Irish Catholics, he blamed the Irish bishops for failing to apply church law to stop abusive priests. The Vatican has blamed the media for focusing on the pope. When you're the pope, you can blame everybody else.

British protesters in London are calling for the pope to resign. I don't know about the arcane rules of the Roman Catholic church, but if he were the CEO of a business, and he knew that sex abuse of children was taking place on his company's premises, he would lose his job in a heartbeat.

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