Why Priests Fuck Children

For years now we’ve been hearing about priests who have molested children. Nearly every week there are new reports of people who have finally come out to tell stories of how they were taken advantage of by their religious leaders in their youth. It’s a fact that the Catholic Church has provided safe haven for these offenders and covered up their crimes. However, I find strange the implication that the church is somehow the source of the problem rather than merely a conduit. Many people are, clearly, missing the point: Priests are not more likely to be child molesters. The truth of the matter, I believe, is that there was a time when child molesters were more likely to become priests.

Please indulge me in my theory:

Imagine you’re an adolescent or young adult during the late 50s or early 60s. All your friends are chasing girls, going to the drive-in and making out in back seats up on Lookout Point on Friday nights. But you’re not interested in chasing girls. You don’t have the same feelings and urges as your friends. You have different urges. Scary urges. The kind of shit that keeps you awake at night wondering what the fuck is wrong with you and asking yourself why.

You know these feelings are wrong. You know you’re not normal. But you fake it. You go out with girls and pretend to be into them but never quite get past first base because, right about that time, they start to feel there’s something not quite right about you. They must be able to smell it on you because you creep them out. Or maybe they can sense you’re not really into it, and that turns them off. In any case, you give them the willies. The guys tease you about still being a virgin. Speaking of guys, you’re not interested in them either. It’s not like that.

So, one day your dad catches you masturbating under the blankets. He scolds you and tells you you’ll go blind or some shit, but as he’s leaving the room you notice he’s got this little smirk on his face because he knows you’re that age now where all you can think about is girls. But in the back of your mind you know that if your dad knew what you were really thinking about, he’d drag you ass out behind the barn and put a bullet in the back of your head, tell the neighbors you ran away or joined the military or something and spend the rest of his life falling asleep with a mostly-empty bottle of Kentucky bourbon in his lap, trying to chase away all those ghosts and just forget. You know you can’t confide in him or ask him what’s wrong with you or what you should do. You can’t tell him. Ever. You can’t tell his friends or your friends or anyone for that matter. You’re alone with your problem in a world that doesn’t take too kindly to weirdos and people who are different. Oh, you’re different alright, but you know you better just keep your mouth shut about it.

You see, there was no treatment for that kind of thing back then. There were no therapists – no psychologists. You certainly didn’t talk about that kind of thing.

One day you asked your regular doctor, and what did he say? “I can’t help you, kid. This is between you and your God.” And maybe one day you got up the courage to tell your mom and she just crossed herself and told you to get your evil ass to a church, pronto. And that’s pretty much it, isn’t it? It’s the only option. That’s what people DO with shit they don’t understand and don’t know what to do with. They take it to church. Your priest says you need to dedicate yourself to God. So that’s what you do because it’s the only thing you CAN do. You join the priesthood and take an oath of celibacy. Problem solved.

Right?

You and I know it doesn’t work that way. That sicko just joined up with one of the most secretive organizations there has ever been. Now, he has authority. He has people’s trust. But even more, he can be alone with children and nobody gives it a second thought. And the worst part, they’ll do whatever he says and they won’t ever tell because he speaks for “god.”

And how did we get here? Because people thought religion made good medicine. Unfortunately, many people still do.

Instead of sticking our heads in the sand and blaming the authority of one particular church, perhaps we should learn a lesson from all these monsters that were enabled by faith. We need to stop promoting religion as a cure-all for life’s problems. Sure, even the most jaded (or jaundiced) atheist can agree that the placebo effect of religion can help those desperate few with chemical addictions who can’t find the power inside themselves to quit on their own without a “higher power” guiding the way. Fine. But does religion cure child molesters? Fuck no. We know that you can lock them up, give them drugs, therapy, counseling and, if you let them out, they’ll keep coming back to do “it” again and again.

The cases involving priests and children provide the most obvious proof we have, but make no mistake about it, religion is prescribed daily and most inappropriately. Religion makes for piss-poor medicine. At it’s best, it’s a placebo. At it’s worst, it provides a vehicle, or even justification, for sick and harmful behavior. The danger of missing this point, is the danger of creating more shadows in which monsters will hide.

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