That conservative Christian who offed himself in an autoerotic embarrassment? That’s simply sad, and reflects poorly on a repressive culture. This story, of a Catholic priest who collaborated in kidnappings and torture, is just plain evil, and is something completely different.
Christian Von Wernich, 69, was chaplain to the Buenos Aires police force. He used this position to obtain confessions from prisoners, which he then passed on to police who tortured them at secret detention centers.
Von Wernich was convicted of complicity in seven murders, 31 cases of torture and 42 abductions in the Buenos Aires region; a mere smattering of the estimated 30,000 disappearances during the military junta’s countrywide purge of leftists.
And before everyone starts suspecting I think all religious people are repressed sexual obsessives or mass murderers, I’ll clarify: I don’t think these people are messed up because of religion. I think they’d be messed up if they were atheists, too. But what we can clearly see is that religion doesn’t help, and may in some cases make a problem worse. Religion, far from being a force for morality in the world, is a mask that promotes the appearance of normality while allow some truly wretched ideas to fester beneath.
The mask is crumbling, though, and at least more young people are seeing through the illusion.