I regularly visit a blog called “Deep Thoughts” written by internet friend and fellow free thinker “Mojoey.” Many of his posts are dedicated to exposing clergy who were recently indicted, arrested or convicted for theft, violence or sexual misconduct. It’s a worthy mission. http://mojoey.blogspot.com/
Time and again I have been stunned at the response of the congregations of these ministers, to the accusations leveled against them. But no more. Now I have come to expect it.
Invariably the congregations will side with the accused pastor while ignoring his history, the evidence, and the pain of the victims. From taking up collections for bail money, to searching the internet for blogs or newspaper reports in order to post their defense of their shepherd’s innocence, to overtly blaming and demonizing the victim -- there seems to be no limit to their capacity to elevate the accused and cloak him as the victim/ martyr.
I've tried to imagine something similar in a non-sectarian world. Would a secular club, fraternity, corporation, or non-profit organization solicit money from its members to post $350k in bail for a convicted sexual predator leader of the organization who has been indicted for committing multiple child rapes, the same crime he was convicted of 25 years previously? I can't think of a single historical example. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014648646_ministersex01m.html
So what makes the church going rush to the defense of, and dig deep into their own pockets for such people? I’ll proffer three reasons:
- First, religionists imbue their shaman with demigod like status. After all, a man who acts as a conduit between them and god must be pure of heart and thus must be falsely accused.
- Second, because they are so dependent on their shaman, so invested in him as an oracle and anchor in their lives, that fear of his loss is overwhelming and takes precedence over justice.
- Finally, they are so gullible that they can be easily manipulated by the perpetrator’s friends and family to ignore the hand writing on the wall, irrespective of the preponderance of evidence against him and veracity of his accusers. Perhaps Satan is behind the victim’s accusations.
This speaks volumes about the effect of religion on their minds. It so fills the psyche that it leaves little room reasoned judgment or logical discernment. It is “group think” run amok.
I imagine if Pontius Pilate gave them the choice between setting free an impoverished homeless man arrested for stealing food, or their ex-con minister accused of new multiple child rapes, it wouldn’t be too difficult a decision for them. Pathetic theist lemmings.