Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Predation is as predation does...

I was notified of this website, Stop Baptist Predators, the mission of which is "to break the silence of Baptist clergy sex abuse."

Sexual abuse is its own phenomenon, a truly non-sectarian problem and while I think it's crucial to keep the "Catholic sex abuse" scandals in perspective, I think it's even more important to attack the offenses on their own grounds. Using sex abuse to bludgeon the Church is like using incest to undermine the family as an institution, or like saying that, since the majority of accidents and death happen at home, people should not live in homes.

I have heard people argue that "the Church" or "religion itself" is the perfect breeding ground for sexual abuse, because it has a strong authority structure, deals in moral pressure, relies on internal governance despite outsider hearsay, etc. This argumentation is flawed, because those woeful traits are endmemic to prolonged social human existence. The very measures devised to protect children are themselves a strong authority structure, are based on moral outrage, demand a large degree of investigative autonomy despite external lobbying, etc., so it's just a matter of time before those measures, once codified and universalized, will generate the same woes. The problem is the human heart, which sounds like a cliche, but only because it's so simple as to be scandalous. You can't argue you are trying to improve society by undermining the core features of its maintenance.

1 comment:

Crude said...

I wonder why the people who talk about how most religious people are 'functionally atheist' never use those words to describe the acts of molesters in the Church.