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In the name of god.

January 7, 2009

It absolutely appalls me, what people do in the name of God. I try to be loving and understanding, and remember that there are plenty of people who do good in the name of the church, but more and more of what I read, namely the horrors that priests and nuns– those who are technically supposed to be upholding the word of “God”– have done to other human beings, to children, to victims of rape and incest, just makes me more and more disgusted. A brief explanation in case you don’t know.

The Catholic church’s Magdalene Asylums (also known as Magdalene Laundries) existed all over the world, from around the 1640’s, run by convents to take in “sinner” women who were previously prostitutes, so that they could do penance and eventually go to heaven. In Ireland, after a mass grave was found in the 1990’s (yes, they were still running until then), an investigation started, and a few women came forward with some stories: Stories about the complete abuse that they suffered, stories about how it was no longer prostitutes that were sent to these places by the church, about how victims of rape and incest, and those who gave birth before marriage, girls who were too pretty and would cause ‘temptation’. These women were beaten, imprisoned, forced to work constantly in the laundries (how the places made money) every day without being paid a dime. They were denied physical contact with each other, not allowed to speak. Out of the few women who came forwards to speak, all of whom had managed to escape, only one had a healthy sex life. The rest of them were still terrified of sex. These weren’t prostitutes, these were women who were too wild, who had become pregnant (because of the lack of sex education and contraception), who were too pretty. One woman had been sent to a laundry because she had been raped (her fault, obviously), where she then suffered years of sexual abuse by the priests there. There’s more– much more. A couple of good documentaries are out, and if you can find it, an article by Sam Jordison titled “Irish Gulags for Women” is a succinct, well written, and depressing as hell article on the matter. I’ll see if I can find it to post it.

350px-magdalen-asylum2

How can people let these horrors happen? How is a persons’ trust in the authority of the church so absolute that when their son comes home and says he’s been raped, he’s obviously lying and deserves a severe beating to the point of unconsciousness (this happened a few years ago, when a ten year old boy came home saying that he’d been raped by a priest, his father beat him unconscious repeating “PRIESTS DON’T DO THAT”.

How can a church that is so powerful not use their powers for good? To encourage people towards personal freedom– to encourage people to think for themselves and to question for themselves, and to come with questions and enter into discussions, and to evolve as human beings. To do good in the world, not because of fear of some dark fiery pit, but because of a developing internal moral compass that tells so much more than a man who never has sex can. And no sex! I don’t say this lightly, or jokingly, or because of the pleasures that they are missing out on. I say it because there is something so fundamentally beautiful and human about the act of love making. To unite yourself with a loved one, to share your energy with them. The uniting of male and female (here I speak of the energies in the body, not necessarily of human sexes) is a truly mystical experience, one that cannot be duplicated by prayer or by telling others what to do and think. In fact, all human experiences are. We have bodies, wonderful fleshy fatty blood filled earth filled air filled bodies. We are so purely of this earth that for aeons this planet has been referred to as “mother”. Gaia. The being from which we all are born, and all go back into when we die.

gaia

This is the beauty of the feminine, something which has been completely neglected in two thousand years of church rule, where “mother” has gone from meaning virgin, beauty, fertility, decay, and death, to “a woman in a black smock who keeps her hair covered and doesn’t allow herself to enjoy the pleasures of the planet. Oh yeah, and she tells you what to do, what to think, and that you’re going to hell”.

This abuse goes far deeper than even the physical atrocities that have been committed for two millennia, it is an absolute violation of our basic rights as beings who have free will, and the right to exercise it. With the church in charge, we no longer have personal freedom. With our thoughts being corrupted with ideas of “saints” and “sinners”, and the thought of post-life punishment for anything done “wrong” (wrongness, decided by WHO?). A violation of our connection with the earth that nourishes us. This earth energy is what provides our Intuition, and when developed becomes a compass. The church has cut off our compass, and then directed us to Rome to find the way. Free will? I don’t think so. Teaching a man to fish? No, these are handouts that are barely enough to feed us for a day, so that we keep having to come back, over and over again.

Who allowed this horror?

Well, we did.

And it makes my blood boil. It makes me so angry that I want to do something about it, and then it makes me so frustrated that there is nothing that I can do about it. These institutions are powerful because of the people who believe in their power, and who need structure, who need somebody else to take responsibility for them. And if I were to try and enlighten them, then I would be just as bad as the evangelist who tries to convince others of the ‘true’ way.

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