Monday, June 18, 2012

Just how much institutionalized malfeasance would you excuse, and why?

Vocal and persistent comments supportive of the Catholic Church from apologists posted to USA Today’s online religion news stories got me thinking: exactly how much illegal, illicit, and unconscionable behavior would I tolerate before I would withdraw my support from an organization to which I belong?

I’m not a big joiner.  I tend to do my own thing.  But, I do belong to a few organizations, mostly freethinker oriented.  I pay my annual dues, get their newsletters and communications, respond to certain appeals to action or for donations, and attend meetings from time to time.  My life doesn’t revolve around these groups, but they provide me with a connection to the atheist community, an information flow which I find helpful for my writings and activism.  They are also on the front line in keeping creeping theocracy and religious intrusion at bay.

But what if one of these national organizations were engaged in cover-up of ongoing illegal activities of its paid employees?  What if a meaningful number, or even just a few of  the employees of one of these groups were  engaging in slave trade, or running a child prostitution ring, or purveying child porn, or simply molesting children or the mentally infirm?  And what if the senior executives of that organization knew about these activities for a long time and let them go on with nary a slap on the wrist, or just turning a blind eye?

What if the organization decided to keep the authorities out of the picture; took matters into their own hands by moving the guilty staff to other branches of the organization;  paid off or threatened victims with some action by a “higher authority” whatever that might be?

What if those people who committed the crimes were kept on the payroll, given retirement benefits, while their activities were swept under the rug for decades by their bosses, and their bosses’ bosses?  What if that organization’s modus operandi of cover up was an unwritten operating standard in order to preserve the organization’s credibility, prestige, membership, and financial solvency?

When this all unraveled;  when it became exposed; when years of massive abuse, institutionalized cover-up, denial, lies, and ruined lives floated to the top like so much sewage in a cesspool and continued to bubble up to the surface ten years after the organization promised to clean house and end it  ...  could you continue to proudly proclaim your allegiance? 

Could you slough it off? Could you justify your membership by saying “It’s just an aberration, it could happen anywhere,” or “it was only a few people, and some of the hierarchy,” or “I don’t believe it - most of the victims are probably lying,” or  “My organization is no worse than that other organization.” ? 

Could you keep paying dues, contributing to support something which has at its root a sickness that is so engrained and so deep that it continues the deviant destructive behavior today in offices all over the country, known to management yet still kept under wraps, hushed, ignored?  Wouldn’t that make you an active participant in promulgating a great evil?

I for one could not ignore it.  I could not support it. I could not allow my name to be included among that group’s membership. I’m better than that.  My life is not dependent on any one group so that my instinct for justice, and my outrage against abuse of power in its most heinous form, could be ignored or justified.  I would protest loudly and resign in indignation.

“But,” some might say, “you’re taking a myopic view.  The organization is bigger than a few miscreants, and their supervisors, and their supervisors’ supervisors who perpetrated these wrongs and allowed them to go on.  Look at all the good the organization has done. Besides, it was launch by THE truly great freethinker of all time. You can’t just leave because of this.”

Yeah...I can. 

You see I wouldn’t be leaving an organization that was allowing its pumped up self importance to become its sole raison d'etre at the expense of its conscience and morality and those it promised to serve -  the organization will have left me long before I left it. 

Catholics cannot understand or absorb this.  Or worse, they justify it or down play it and continue to enable their secretive den of self serving shaman. They are so tied to this misogynistic fraternity of sickness, subterfuge and supernatural delusion that they fear their life (or soul) is in the balance and thus demands their continued support.   Damn the laity and paid apologists who make a career out of lying in defense of the church permitting the perpetuation of its ills.

The Vatican has had its way manipulating people for almost 1700 years. Fight it as they may, the end of their influence is just coming into view. The enablers’ transparency cannot hold back the tide of reality.   The sooner it gets here and washes away the filth that is the Catholic Church, the better off the planet will be.


Chatpilot said...

I agree with you 110%! The Catholic church under the banner of a non-profit religious institution have been using their status as a means to perpetuate all manner of crime and filth. Thankfully many of the latest victims to their crimes have not been muffled and they have started to speak up and expose these criminals out in the open.

It would be nice to see these creeps go to jail and be treated exactly like your typical pedophile or embezzler or thief. Their position in the church should not have any bearing on their criminal activities unless its to make their charges even more severe for abusing their office.

Dromedary Hump said...

Thanks Chat...
Yes, I agree. There is something particularly insidious about those who would use their supernatural god conection to take advantage of the weakest of mind and will.

But even one level lower are the high guardian's of the Chruch who spit on the victims and cloak the misdeeds because their first duty is to the instituion.

One has to wonder if they ever give thought to what they tried to hide from the world is seen by their "god." And if so, what kind of mentality allows them to convince themselves that their god endorses their coverup / subtrifuge?

Anonymous said...

James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) The Amazing Meeting (TAM) comes to mind about a skeptical rationalist organization that has not been dealing well with complaints about sexual harassment and seems it’s collective leadership (and vocal membership) have their collective heads up their collective (male) asses. This is seriously jeopardizing female participation in rational and atheistic movements. They need to craft very clear no tolerance sexual harassment policy and ENFORCE it.

However (and this is not to belittle the above issue), does the above example come close to the criminality of RCC or Penn State…

- Fastthumbs

Dromedary Hump said...

No, I don't think it's on the same scale, Fastthumbs. But I would have a serious problem joining those orgs since the issue has become so evident as to become an impediment to its credibility. There's no room for misogyny in freethinker organizations. Zero.

Anonymous said...

Catholicism and it's leaders have always been a cancer on this planet.

All those that continue to go to a catholic church and donate money that will be used by the Vatican to give to pedophile priests as golden parachutes and towards lawyers fees to protect these scum should be utterly ashamed and filled with guilt.

The Vatican's influence is waning rapidly and they know it.

Ratzinger and the rest of his hypocrite, criminal minions with their ridiculous penis hats should all be taken care of the old-fashioned biblical way...a good stoning.

Den!s said...

Yes it does seem like they make believe that the church can never do any wrong, and they will do whatever is necessary to ensure nothing be allowed to sully the church's holy name.

... and another thing.... What is this canonical law wherein priests are judged from within the church rather than the courts of the land?

helga said...

Couldn't agree more! Please allow me to sum up with a little poetic license...

Beware of Men in Dresses

Beware of men in dresses
Who feel the need to pray
EXCEPT those wearing make-up
(Or, if they happen to be gay!)
Avoid all men in dresses
Unless they are in Drag
And mince around in high heels
and call themselves a 'Fag'
Steer clear of men in dresses
Meaning Clergymen, not Lay
They wear gowns whose very fabric
Society should FRAY!
Run a mile from men in long frocks
Be they Bishops, Priests or Popes
UNLESS they are Cross-Dressers
and act in Prime-time Soaps
If a man you know wears dresses
UNFROCK him! Bid Goodbye!
'Cos if she's not a Queen or Tranny
Then I fear…..the END is NIGH....

Helga Hewston

LuWeeks said...

Not to mention the organization is tax exempt, yet launched a campaign to attack a health care law and its primary proponent on the basis that it violates their religious freedom not mandate offering employees an optional service that 95% of the organization's members support, that is defined by its leaders as against their alleged imaginary leaders laws.

Dromedary Hump said...

Helga..great poem. You are now the atheist camel blog poet laureate.

den! must be the catholic version of Sharia Law ;)

Luweeks... unfortunately tax exemption will be there until there are more atheists in congress and in the gen. population than there are theists. I estimate around 80 - 100 yrs.'s that waning influence that is spurring the intensified apologist efforts, and the Catholic church's indignation even further. The best defense is a strong offense they figure. They'd have to be blind and even stupider than they are not to see the writing on the wall.

krissthesexyatheist said...

Nice work buddy. When cognitive dissonance appears so does faith. Awesomeness