Time for another update prompted by an encounter online.
For this one I'm going to start with a short story...
The scene; a road. It's night and the streetlights glow yellowy white. A woman walks along the road, she would be apprehensive of walking alone like this, were it not for the policeman standing the opposite side of the road, keeping guard. As she nears an alley halfway down the road a man jumps out, grabbing her and pushing her against the wall. He forces her to the ground, grapples with her clothing and rapes her. Throughout this the woman is pleading to the policeman across the road to help, her screams echoing in the night, eyes wide with fear.
The policeman stands and watches, rocking on his heels as the screams ring out, echoing on the brick walls.
The rapist, his urges sated, runs off into the night, leaving the woman scratched, bruised and traumatised. Picking herself up, she stumbles away, glancing back only to look at the policeman, noting the number on his shoulder.
Some years later, the rapist realises what he has done and, feeling the guilt overwhelm him, decides to hand himself into the police. As luck would have it, the policeman the rapist goes to is the very one who witnessed the attack. The policeman asks if he is truly sorry, the rapist says he is. Will he apologise to the policeman? The rapist will. So the policeman, rather than escorting him to a cell to await punishment, pats him on the head and says everything is now okay, all is forgiven, and sends him on his way with a reward.
What of our victim? She was so traumatised she became a recluse, unable to go out. Her health declined, she lost her job, her friends, her home and her faith in the police. She decides to start a campaign against the police, in particular the officer who stood by and watched.
The policeman doesn't like this. It's an affront to him, he wants the woman to admire him. So he decides to find her and teach her a lesson, with torture. The life she has been leading since the attack is nothing compared to the misery, pain and suffering the policeman inflicts upon her, hour after hour, night and day, week after week, year after year until she cannot remember when it began.
But that policeman? It's not his fault, he was within his rights.
So, what was the point of this rather distressing story. It's not exactly believable, is it? Well, compare it to what I was told only recently online on a Christian Facebook page.
I asked a simple question: If a child is molested by a priest and, as a result of that systematic abuse, loses his faith, grows up rejecting or even hating the god he now blames for standing by, and then, as many former child abuse victims do, commits suicide, will he go to Hell? Further to this, what becomes of the priest?
I was shocked and disgusted by the response. You're probably ahead of me here.
I was told that the priest was clearly not a true believer (no, they wouldn't be, would they) if they abused a child, but they could repent and be forgiven their sins and so go to Heaven.
However, their victim, the child who was so traumatised they never recovered and many years later committed suicide would go to Hell unless they first repented for their sins to God. The same God who has stood by, like our fictional policeman, and watched as they were abused. The same God who has watched them suffer with the aftermath and reach a point they cannot go on.
And many Christians, though thankfully not all, see no problem with this!?
How completely and utterly morally bankrupt can a person be to defend a doctrine such as this and how much cognitive dissonance must it take to not see the extreme twisted vulgarity involved?
As an atheist I'll freely admit I am not perfect, but I would never condone something so poisonous, so antithetical to all I hold right and just. And I would never bend my knee to a god I thought had such a disgusting disregard for his creation. I'd rather go to Hell with the victim than rub shoulder with the abuser and his self serving protector.
Child abuse victims are statistically far more likely to commit suicide later in life.