As long as we’re on the subject of Brendan O’Neill…let’s stay on it a little longer. I neglected him last year when he was making contorted attacks on critics of the pope and the Vatican. Allow me to make amends now.
He made a heavy-breathing correction to claims of how many priestly rapes there had been, then he explained why he did that.
Why point out these basic facts? Not to defend the Catholic Church, which clearly has a sexual abuse problem, or to minimise the suffering of those individuals who ”only” suffered being verbally abused, shown dirty photos or fondled over their clothing by priests – all of those acts are abhorrent and potentially punishable by law.
No, it is worth pointing out the reality of the extent of allegations against the Catholic Church to expose the non-rationalist, anti-humanist underpinnings of the current fashion for Catholic-baiting among the liberal, opinion-forming classes. The wildly inaccurate claims suggest that modern atheism has zero interest in applying the tools of rational investigation and critical questioning, and is hellbent on using the politics of fear to invent a fantastical rape-happy ogre, in contrast to which it can pose as the pure defender of childlike innocence and integrity.
What a ridiculous specious malicious perverse claim. The people who oppose the Catholic church’s habit of protecting child-molesting priests are not doing anything anti-humanist. It is the Catholic church’s habit of protecting child-molesting priests that is anti-humanist. Opposing that habit is not “Catholic-baiting” and it’s sheer demagoguery to say it is. It’s not just atheists who oppose that habit – at least I certainly hope it’s not, for the sake of the self-respect of non-atheists – and opposing the habit is hardly slam-dunk evidence of zero interest in applying the tools of rational investigation and critical questioning. As for the politics of fear – really? It’s “atheists” who go in for that in contrast to the Catholic church? Please. And spare us the crap about “the pure defender of childlike innocence and integrity”; there’s no need for sentimentalism about children to think they shouldn’t be sexually abused by adults in positions of ulitmate power.
What a crappy crappy thing to do – defend the sinister self-interested self-protecting thugs and smear the people who would like to make them stop the thuggery. What a shameful toady Brendan O’Neill is.
In the past, it was the Catholic Church, especially during the Inquisition, which demonised its enemies as depraved perverts. Now, the so-called New Atheists have adopted these tactics in their drive to depict religion as the greatest evil of our age.