Why are atheists, big media so afraid of God?

02/09/2009

monkey1

One does tire of the seemingly endless tirades against orthodox Christianity undertaken by the so-called Mainstream Media – specifically major newspapers such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe, magazines such as Time and Newsweek, major news networks and, of course, National Public Radio.

The latest anti-religion screed comes courtesy of Newsweek, in a piece by noted atheist Christopher Hitchens titled “The Pope’s Denial Problem.”

Hitchens argues that by Pope Benedict’s recent decision to reconcile with the followers of the late traditionalist Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who rejected many of the changes advanced by Vatican II, he is in fact embracing the far-right fringe.

In Hitchens’ eyes, this is just further evidence that the Holocaust wasn’t a product of Adolf Hitler and German anti-semitism combined with Teutonic scientific and intellectual prowess, but rather the culmination of many centuries of anti-Jewish dogma by Christians, and his piece serves as an indictment of western religion in general.

Religion, in Hitchens’ views, appears to be no more than a scam to enrich and empower a handful of elites while subjugating the masses, a modern update on Marx’s “opiate of the masses” characterization.

Certainly, Hitchens is entitled to his opinion and few would argue that he is a talented and, at times, insightful writer. But Newsweek seems to treats his views on religion, rather ironically, almost as gospel.

Hitchens is not alone in his attack on the Christian faith. Much like the ongoing assault on Pope Pius XII, who critics claim turned a blind eye to the fate of Europe’s Jews during World War II despite significant evidence to the contrary, there is a small but determined group of intellectuals who have made it their life’s work to malign the Catholic Church specifically and orthodox Christianity in general.

And no matter what course of action the Church takes, it’s too backward, too sexist, too reactionary, too slow, etc.; ultimately, it really doesn’t matter what description is used, as long it’s critical.

The unfortunate aspect of the ongoing attacks on individuals such as Pius and Benedict, and the Catholic Church as a whole, is not only that they obscure the good works that good men and women, and their religious organizations do, but also that those leveling the charges have so little trouble finding willing lackeys like Newsweek to do their bidding for them.

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7 Responses to “Why are atheists, big media so afraid of God?”

  1. morsec0de Says:

    It doesn’t matter what good things the Church does. And it does good things. I won’t deny it. But those good things do not exist in a bubble.

    What would you say if I owned and operated a massive child daycare business. On the whole we do pretty well, we take care of the children, we help them learn, and we donate a substantial portion of our income to good charities.

    But then, several of our workers are accused and/or convicted of being pedophiles. A relatively small percentage, given the number of employees, but still a noticable amount. And rather than turn those people over to the police, we simply transfer those workers from one part of the business to another.

    Does that negate the good that we do? No. But one can’t ignore that horribleness merely because we do some good things as well.

    • southcarolina1670 Says:

      I agree the Church was wrong to turn a blind eye to the perversions of a handful of pederast priests, and everyone complicit in the cover-up, from local bishops on up the ladder, should have been relieved of their duties. They failed their followers by simply moving the wolves from one flock to another.

      However, to use your analogy, I think you would agree that it would be illogical to disparage each and every child care facility in existence simply because a handful allowed pedophiles to attack children.

      The good the Church has down over the past two millennia has far outweighed the bad. To expect the Church to be perfect is to expect the impossible. The fact is, the Church is staffed by men (and women) and, as such, is fallible.

  2. morsec0de Says:

    Ah, but there’s a difference.

    I can understand that no one is perfect. But if an organization continues to do horrible things, then it does start to outweigh the good.

    It would be different if the church publicly apologized, made reparations, stopped protecting the accused clergy members and started working with authorities to bring justice to the victims. Until they do that, then their good deeds will always be looked at with a massive grain of salt.

    • southcarolina1670 Says:

      I appreciate your concerns, but as I understand it, the Church has tried to make amends.

      Dioceses across the country have enacted sexual abuse policies and procedures, including the Diocese of Charleston in my home state of South Carolina, and numerous American cardinals and bishops have apologized on behalf of the Church for not acting sooner to remove pederast priests.

      I’m not saying that some of this wasn’t done in part to help the dioceses cover their rear ends, but actions have been taken.

      I suppose the questions that remain, at least in my mind, are why did this happen in the first place (specifically, the repeated abuse of children and teens by priests), and why did Church officials not take action when they first became aware of it? We may never know for certain.

      It’s definitely one of the more sordid chapters in the history of the Church and one no true Catholic can be proud of. But if the Church is willing to try and make amends, as I believe it has, I’m willing to stand by her.

  3. Mab Says:

    Don’t you all agree that Martin Luther had a point in saying that priests should be allowed to marry?!?

    This in itself would go a long way in eliminating the conditions under which these secret and abusive and illegal liaisons flourish.

    Is it only for financial reasons, really, that the Church wants priests, bishops, cardinals, and pope to remain unmarried? So that any property, etc. remains in the hands of the church?

    This is not very smart in the long run.

    In Mab’s Humble Opinion.

    • southcarolina1670 Says:

      Yes, the Church initially did initially prohibit priests from marrying in order to prevent church property from passing out of ecclesiastical possession following the death of a priest.

      But I don’t think that if priests were allowed to marry it would have prevented the most recent scandals, since the assaults that grabbed headlines were on teenage and pre-teen boys.

      Personally, a celibate life is not an option I could embrace for a lifetime, but I respect the Church’s view on that issue regarding priests, and have a great deal for priests who hold true to that standard.

  4. morsec0de Says:

    “But I don’t think that if priests were allowed to marry it would have prevented the most recent scandals, since the assaults that grabbed headlines were on teenage and pre-teen boys.”

    The question, one of many, is how much of that was circumstantial? Not the acts themselves, but the targets.

    Since alter boys are the only people that a priest would find under their power in relative privacy. Would sexual repression explode like that, regardless if the priest was actually a pedophile or not? I’m not sure.

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