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  #11  
Old 02-12-2013, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by yoko View Post
The problem is that they can totally disagree with what is going on within other churches but why should they not support their church?

I don't know if you go to church but most people consider that a safe place and place where there is a close knit community. It's not something that you say 'I disagree with what other people are doing at their churches. I'm going to quit going to my church to show them'.

Yes they all follow the same teachings but I don't think that world wide they are as close knit and connected as you think. If they're contributing to their community and youth in the area I don't think they need to punish their community to get the word across to another community they will never meet.

I mean yes they should speak out against it but most churches don't have much say when it comes to other churches a town over let alone different states or countries.
But every single parish sends money to the local diocese, archdiocese AND the vatican. It is centralized and each Catholic church is connected to each other. So, yes, if one gives money to their local parish they are in fact supporting the higher ups covering up the sex abuse. If one church is doing it, the other churches are in fact supporting it. It was never about individual parishes covering it up...it's about higher ups covering it up.

Each parish is not independent. Priests are pulled all the time. For example, St. Louis has a big Catholic community. Growing up all the Catholics I personally knew were progressive, parishes included. Guess we got to "out there" because they started switching priests around and moved in more conservative bishops who started preaching politics.

Also, the school I went to as a child, run by the local parish....one of the priests who was all the kids favorites because he was so fun and "cool"...he got moved suddenly. Yep, he was molesting a child at my school. The church and archdiocese pretty much convinced EVERYONE to keep it hush hush while they quietly moved him to a new parish. I found out a decade or more later while watching the news one night because his name came up...yep, he was molesting children that whole time!!!! So yes, supporting any Catholic church monetarily is currently supporting that.

I can guarantee that if right now, the majority of Catholics said "Yes, we are Catholic, but we are no longer giving ANY money until you get this taken care of" it would be a top priority. The faith itself I have no (ok little lol) problem with....its the corruption of the controlling people of it.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:58 PM
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Meh, it happens in other churches too.

In my town of about 60,000 I know of at least two churches (one "non-denominational/baptist" the other church of christ) where patrons of the church either molested a child or helped cover up the molestation of a child.

For whatever reason the catholic church just gets the brunt of the media coverage. These two particular instances that I know of were never handled legally, the church and its members covered up one instance and the other one was just not followed up on. The particular person in the second case moved away and the family of the child (or children) just decided to leave it alone.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:00 PM
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Oh it happens other places as well for sure. For me though, as a former Catholic, the level of abuse and denial and covering up was just so huge and deep that, yeah, not cool.

If someone knew their personal church covered a case up, and still supported the people in charge of doing it, I would have the same issue with them.

Also, for those parishes that are deemed "safe"...never know when the higher ups will move in a new priest because he molested someone somewhere else, so yes, all connected.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:16 PM
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For people who are meant to be so godly and good, they commit one of the biggest sins. I just don't understand it.. It's pathetic. These people shouldn't get the chance to do this, this needs to stop.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Greenmagick View Post
But every single parish sends money to the local diocese, archdiocese AND the vatican. It is centralized and each Catholic church is connected to each other. So, yes, if one gives money to their local parish they are in fact supporting the higher ups covering up the sex abuse. If one church is doing it, the other churches are in fact supporting it. It was never about individual parishes covering it up...it's about higher ups covering it up.

Each parish is not independent. Priests are pulled all the time. For example, St. Louis has a big Catholic community. Growing up all the Catholics I personally knew were progressive, parishes included. Guess we got to "out there" because they started switching priests around and moved in more conservative bishops who started preaching politics.

Also, the school I went to as a child, run by the local parish....one of the priests who was all the kids favorites because he was so fun and "cool"...he got moved suddenly. Yep, he was molesting a child at my school. The church and archdiocese pretty much convinced EVERYONE to keep it hush hush while they quietly moved him to a new parish. I found out a decade or more later while watching the news one night because his name came up...yep, he was molesting children that whole time!!!! So yes, supporting any Catholic church monetarily is currently supporting that.

I can guarantee that if right now, the majority of Catholics said "Yes, we are Catholic, but we are no longer giving ANY money until you get this taken care of" it would be a top priority. The faith itself I have no (ok little lol) problem with....its the corruption of the controlling people of it.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:57 PM
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This may not be a popular opinion, but... A growing group of psychologists are stating that pedophilia is a sexual orientation. I think that a lot of pedophiles know their "orientation" is unacceptable so they turn to the church hoping to be "cured" of their affliction. Catholic priests are supposed to be celibate and I'm sure that drew a lot of pedophiles to the priesthood. I don't think they became priests to find victims, but to find a way to save themselves. But because they failed to address or acknowledge the underlying issue of their attraction for children they set themselves up to fail. It was wrong of the catholic church to hide and cover-up these crimes and had they addressed the issues earlier they would have prevented a lot of anguish for those children.

Being a victim of sexual abuse is one of the most soul-destroying and shame-filled thing that can happen. The community pities you, your friends and family don't know what to say or do and as a child you don't completely understand. Often the child isn't even sure what occurred is wrong, just that it felt weird. The reactions of the adults (parents and family) are often more traumatizing than the actual incident.

As for religion, I tend not to subscribe to any one belief system. I find too many people use their beliefs to bludgeon/hate/murder others. I think that if you look through many religions you'll find universal truths that they all contain and those are what I base my life on. Religions are fascinating to me because despite all the differences between them, the similarities are astounding.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:03 PM
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The OH's mom is a nutjob Catholic. She said that you can't fault the church for the child molestation, because it happens in all sorts of organizations and not just the church...
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:49 AM
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The OH's mom is a nutjob Catholic. She said that you can't fault the church for the child molestation, because it happens in all sorts of organizations and not just the church...
This line of reasoning is ridiculous (I know you said nutjob but still...it's mind boggling).

This is what gets me about the Catholic Church pedophilia debate - it's not such a big deal because other places do it and cover it up too? No, it's still a big deal. And it's an even bigger deal because it's a HUGE organization that is supposed to have things like morals and ethics covering up the exploitation and physical/mental trauma of children. I would have so much more respect for the Catholic Church if they'd step up and say "Hey we screwed up. All the priests that are suspected of pedophilia, we're turning over all evidence to the local police and will cooperate fully in any investigations. We're providing counseling for all victims and we're issuing a statement that we don't support this and we think it's wrong. And we were wrong for covering it up for so long." And yes, Catholic Churches are all connected, like Greenmagick said. Supporting one basically means supporting the entire organization - and when that organization at best turns a blind eye to pedophilia and at worst supports/enables it...it's not something I'd want to be associated with, even on a small scale.

To answer the original question - I was Christian until high school (around age 15 or so). A lot of the knowledge I have about religion came from the church and the rest is from reading on my own and/or debating with religious friends. The thing about religious debates though...you have to go into them knowing that the odds of you actually changing someone's mind are miniscule at best. So you can be fully prepared and make good points and KNOW what you're talking about but it doesn't really matter. Nothing will change. And your stepdad doesn't sound like the most open minded person to begin with. :|
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  #19  
Old 02-13-2013, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by CatStina View Post
The OH's mom is a nutjob Catholic. She said that you can't fault the church for the child molestation, because it happens in all sorts of organizations and not just the church...
If I decided to conceal what I knew about the sexual abuse of children and not report it to the police, I could possibly end up in prison myself. I was baptized Catholic and did go to a local church several times as a kid. I'm an atheist now.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:24 PM
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I'm Christian but not Catholic.

But I will say that most of my catholic friends get annoyed whenever someone brings up the molestation thing. It's not that they don't think it's horrible and something that needs to be take care of it's more that people think Catholic = child molesters.
Nobody I've ever met thinks that all Catholics are child molesters, regardless of their belief system. The problem that they have is that the Catholic church (not Catholics, but the Catholic church and its administrators) is that they seem to just brush this stuff under the rug and ignore it. Plus, there were little to no consequences.

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Fact is any time there are jobs where adults are over kids you're going to have some sick people do things to the kids. It could be a priest, it could be a teacher, it could be a daycare worker but SO many see the word Catholic the only thing they ever associate with that word is 'child molesters'.
Yes, it could happen in any job, and I can't say that it is or isn't more prevalent in the Catholic church because the church is more in the spotlight than, say, a daycare job. The reason it gets so much flack is because the Catholic church claims to be a source of morality and a direct connection to god. They claim to be THE moral compass, the highest role model, and pedophilia is about as far away from morality as you can get. And again, when people association Catholicism with child molesters, we're not thinking that every Catholic is a child molester, but that we're disgusted that the higher-ups in the church could stand to just turn the other cheek while this stuff happens. Not to mention with your school example, those people are prosecuted by the law, but that doesn't happen with the church.

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But being a Christian isn't easy either. There are a LOT of aggressive in your face atheists too.
Do you realize how many "in your face atheists" there are compared to in your face Christians? Do you realize the level of in-your-face Christianity versus in-your-face atheists? There's a comic somewhere that compares militants in various belief/non-belief systems: militant Muslims and Christians resort to anywhere from violence and killing to going door-to-door, picking you out, and telling you you're going to hell, you're a horrible person, you're a-moral, you're not trust-worthy. A militant atheist sits around drinking beer talking with other atheists about the state of religion and morality. Have you ever had an atheist approach you (without prompt) and tell you that you're a horrible person or you deserve to be tortured for eternity? Or that you're not a worthy human because you don't have a relationship with an invisible man in the sky? Some atheists are becoming more vocal, and we're coming out about the corruption and hate that religion spews. We're coming out against bigotry and hatred, dismissing science, blocking progress, and such things. We're coming out against blind faith and the hatred against and distrust that comes with not accepting such blind faith.

If you think there's a "war on Christianity", take a step back and look at how completely engulfed in Christianity this country is. Despite having a separation of church and state, we still have a National Day of Prayer, and a National Prayer Breakfast. We still have the addendum in the Pledge of Allegiance that says "under god", even though it wasn't added until the 1950s in response to the communism scare. Everything around is religious.

Atheists are the most distrusted group of people in America (http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releas..._MIG_2816.html). Why? We haven't done anything. We haven't bombed women's clinics or murdered gynecologists, we haven't done any kind of terrorist act in the name of atheism. No, not every religious person is a bigot or a terrorist. Most are perfectly good people. If you don't want us to judge you because of your beliefs, why are you going to judge us on our lack of belief?

If you get aggravated or annoyed with someone challenging your beliefs, maybe you should take another look at your beliefs. Beliefs should be challenged: either you'll come to a new realization or your beliefs with be further strengthened. Either way, it's win-win, right?

Quote:
And speaking from a Christian *not Catholic* stand point I understand why someone would be defensive after being constantly told by popular media and peers that you are stupid for believing in a bedtime story and automatically being associated with sexual predators.
Popular media and peers are very pro-religion. They largely support these "bedtime stories" as you called them.

Quote:
I wouldn't say a TON of people are jumping ship. But I do think it is a lot harder to tell people that you are Christian when the mob mentality tells you it isn't right or cool.
As the one study I linked to showed (there are many more like it, all with the same conclusion), religion is the right and cool thing. Being a bad person isn't, though.

DISCLAIMER: A lot of the things that I said in there - especially in my big huge rant - are not directed at you or anyone here in general. They are general rants about being an atheist that I commonly run into, similar to your rants about being a Christian/Catholic. Just wanted to give some input from the perspective on the other side of the fence! I am a staunch atheist and VP of the largest grassroots Atheist community in NC, so I'm pretty passionate about defending atheism, equality for all, and separation of church and state, hence my ranting about lots of that stuff.
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