another scandal, more lives destroyed


[The Bible] doesn’t clean things up and give us a sanitary, Walt Disney version of what happened. It shows us, for instance, how the great King David succumbed to lust and envy and committed an atrocious act against his friend in order to steal his wife. All of this violence and sin shows why humanity needs a Savior, who is Jesus Christ.

In a recent discussion about abortion with some Christians, one of the them explained to me why he believes the brutality of the Old Testament can be reconciled with the notion of a benevolent deity and the kinder words of the character Jesus Christ. This outlook on the world sums up one of the Christian beliefs that concerns me the most, in terms of the harmful outcomes it can generate. A belief that we humans are ‘bad’ creatures who need our creator deity to ‘save’ us.

This type of attitude can only lead to a lack of a sense responsibility for our own behaviour – a kind of ‘it’s not me, I was made bad, and even the great hero King David succumbed to lust’. I’m convinced this damaging belief is a huge driver behind the many abuse scandals and the lack of responsibility that we see particularly from the Catholic Church time and time again.

In Scotland, the latest scandal (following the resignation earlier this year of the most senior UK Catholic cleric for pressurising subordinate priests to commit ‘inappropriate acts’ – link here), is a BBC investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse by monks at a Catholic boarding school in Scotland in the 1960s. You can read the seriously disturbing testimonies of former pupils on the BBC website – link here. I can’t even bear to paste quotes from the victims here because they’re too upsetting and shouldn’t be read out of their full context.

The men who commit these atrocities and ruin other people’s lives are victims of a belief system that denies them an outlet for their natural sex drive, then tells them sexual desire outside of marriage is evil, and finally lets them know they are bad people who may not be able to control themselves. This is not an excuse. Without exception, these men are educated adults, who should be able to recognise the absurd position those beliefs place them in or, at the very least, seek professional help before they reach out and destroy another person’s life.