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Don't even think about it

Cross-posted from Tom Toles's new blog.

There's an old conundrum about a treasure buried in a field. But the rule is that the treasure will only be there if you don't think about a white horse while you're digging. Nobody gets the treasure. That story reminds me of my Catholic education, which, to oversimplify just a bit, was that you could get to heaven as long as you didn't think about sex.

Now, what kind of organization would come up with a pernicious puzzler like that to fill young minds with? An organization with a problem about sex. How big a problem? Well, now we know. I don't know if the origin of the problem has anything to do with the Church's rule about celibacy. I do have an opinion (hint: duh), but clearly there was a problem about inspecting the eyes of others for a mote of dust.

Now the question is how does the Church right these wrongs and re-establish its credibility? The traditional measures -- admitting the problem and punishing the wrongdoers -- are all well known, and have been and will continue to be avoided, as they usually are. Beyond that is the question of what kind of conceptual damage this outstandingly vile behavior does to an organization that purports to represent God's grace and guidance. People can answer that question for themselves.

My own plan for getting to heaven is to think as little as possible about organized religion.

See today's Toles cartoon and Toles sketch.

By Tom Toles  | March 29, 2010; 10:02 AM ET
Categories:  Toles  | Tags:  Tom Toles  
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Blaming the catholic priesthood's culture of pedophilia on their vows of celibacy is yet another excuse among the many offered for behavior that is offensive and unacceptable to everyone except members of NAMBLA. After the church has spent millions to hush up these abuses, how can anyone attend their services or give them more money for their slush funds?

Posted by: dnahatch1 | March 29, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

For hundreds of years, the Catholic Church has been a brotherhood of pedophiles. With each Pope the problem kept being pushed down the road.

This despicable Pope stated that he wouldn't be intimidated by this. What kind of religion supports and hides pedophiles? The Catholic Church.

God will get them not just for this but for all the things they have done to people around the world, especially walking in lockstep with the likes of Hitler and Mussolini - and for what? MONEY.

Posted by: aaniko | March 29, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

The cartoonist says, "My own plan for getting to heaven is to think as little as possible about organized religion."

Spoken just like an average 15 year old (of slightly below average intelligence).

Posted by: thebump | March 29, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

The priest's don't practice celibacy just ask the alter boys.

Posted by: scon101 | March 29, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles' views about organized religion are not typical of a 15 year old boy of below average intelligence as thebump's snarky comment states. They are very typical of many of the adults of baby-boomer age with whom I am acquainted. Organized religion, and not just the Catholic Church, has disappointed and does not meet our needs.

Posted by: midwestlady1 | March 30, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The Catholic church has created the climate under which priests sexually abuse those whom they are intended to serve. Yes, its unscriptural doctrine of vows of celibacy is at the root of these crimes. The Apostle Paul's council in 1 Corinthians 7, regarding marriage and celibacy, has been perverted into a doctrine or law bound upon the church by men looking to enrich themselves through the theft of the inherited family fortunes of childless clerics.

The same Apostle Paul warned against this very perversion in 1 Timothy 4. He called these men "hypocritical liars"' who "abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons." He said that they would "forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods," both of which the Catholic church has implemented. They forbid clerics (priests and nuns) to marry and have implemented rituals that impose dietary restrictions as religious law.

The single greatest illustration of this is in the qualifications of bishops and deacons, both of whom must be "the husband of but one wife" and their wives must "be women worthy of respect." A bishop "must manage his own family well" and "his children obey him with proper respect." For if he "does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?" Likewise, a deacon must "must manage his children and his household well."

It is so patently apparent that Roman Catholicism has perverted Christianity and the church. Even a child can understand all the wrong teachings perpetrated by the Catholic church in the name of God by a man who sits on the "Throne of St. Peter" as if that is supposed to make his words infallible. When compared to scripture, these teachings are exposed as the fraud that they are. Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death."

Posted by: old_sarge | March 31, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I thought the cartoon in the post was right on the money. Anyone who is defending the Catholic Church right now, is morally and spiritually gone off course. That includes members of the church, clergy and the leaders of the church. I can hardly believe that people still bring their children to mass, to school, to allow them to work as altar boys, or in any way come in contact with a priest. How many people have to suffer before people wake up?

I don't want to hear that there are some priests in the church who are above reproach. That is irrelevant. There is NO trust that people can have in the church or their leaders and yet, the clergy and leaders are evidently the last to see that.

After all the damage and pain and suffering that has happened to people at the hands of priests, do you hear the clergy or the leaders of the church, crying over these victims? Are they hanging their head in shame? No, they are rising in indignation to protect the perpetrators of these crimes and trying to cover their backsides. Does that not speak volumes about who they are?

Last point, put yourself in the place of a young innocent child who has the misfortune to be abused by a priest in the Catholic Church. If you grew up after this abuse and discovered that it was a well known fact that this happened frequently in the church, that everyone on the planet was aware of it, wouldn't you be asking yourself, why did my family allow me to be anywhere near a priest? Why would they risk it?

People must recognize that this will continue to happen and no one is going to correct it in the Catholic Church and anyone's apology is useless when the damage has been done. If someone is so confused that they don't realize that God gave children parents to protect them even from the clergy of the church, then they ought to examine their own understanding of God.

Posted by: lizzz | April 1, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

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