Latest Activity

Chris B commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"So they are totally unable to get a true general picture of their subject.."
23 minutes ago
Chris B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"That's a horrible story, Davy, and she worked against a lot raising so many children! Life is…"
26 minutes ago
Ruth Anthony-Gardner commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"Some people organize their sense of themselves and the world by thorough compartmentalization.…"
1 hour ago
Ruth Anthony-Gardner commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Interesting personal story, Davy. Thanks for sharing. I'm in favor of reparations for those…"
1 hour ago
Ruth Anthony-Gardner replied to Adriana's discussion Science Bits, News, Videos in the group Science!
"Since we can't effect what happens in the alternate universes, this entire premise makes no…"
1 hour ago
Mrs.B commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"Puzzling, for sure."
10 hours ago
Chris B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
" Not just bikes - a Canadian about the Netherlands"
12 hours ago
Stephen Brodie commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Davy I'm not ashamed of my part in the British Empire because I was born after the dam thing…"
12 hours ago
Davy commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"My mother had cerebral palsy which caused her to only have limited use of her right arm. She had to…"
13 hours ago
Davy commented on A Former Member's group The Burgeoning Family Tree of Monkey Men and Women
"Here is something might interest you Some of Europe’s Oldest-Known Modern Humans Are…"
13 hours ago
Loren Miller commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"I want to put on the table, not why 85% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject…"
16 hours ago
Grinning Cat commented on Loren Miller's group Quote Of The Day
"Homophobia/biphobia, transphobia, racism, and sexism are tied into the "I'm OK,…"
17 hours ago
Joan Denoo commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Ian, it seems to me that if we have not learned from our colonial history we will destroy living…"
20 hours ago
Joan Denoo commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Stephen Brodie, I watched a video the other day that states it is not the owner of land that…"
20 hours ago
Ian Mason commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"European countries started external colonisation only when they had established the idea of the…"
21 hours ago
Chris B commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"And you even weren't in my classes, Joan! But I'd love to see you there, or anywhere."
21 hours ago
Joan Denoo commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"Chris B, you provide such thoughtful and energetic teaching to your pupils. I hope you can get back…"
22 hours ago
Joan Denoo commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"We exist at a time and place where royalty and religion have no place or purpose. There is no need…"
22 hours ago
Joan Denoo commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"The "land grab" of England known as the "Norman Conquest," carried on…"
23 hours ago
Mrs.B replied to Neal's discussion 400 men cut their testicles off believing it would help them meet God. in the group Imagine No Organized Religion
"Oh, ain't religion grand!"
23 hours ago

We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

The 2015 movie Spotlight didn’t win the Best Picture Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences purely on the strength of its production values or the performances of its A-list cast, led by Michael Keaton as Boston Globe Spotlight editor Walter “Robbie” Robinson and Mark Ruffalo as reporter Mike Rezendes. Personally, I believe it also earned that honor by representing in dramatic form their investigation into one of the most egregious stains on human society: the sexual abuse of children by priests of the Roman Catholic Church and the further perfidy of the church’s attempts to hide those crimes from the world. Indeed, the movie doesn’t even stop there. In the Spotlight team’s examination of both the crime of child sexual assault and the conspiracy to cover up the evidence, they are confronted with the fundamental question which is at the heart of the entire matter in the person of abuse victim Phil Saviano:

When you're a poor kid from a poor family, religion counts for a lot, and when a priest pays attention to you, it's a big deal. He asks you to collect the hymnals or take out the trash, you feel special. It's like God asking for help. So maybe it's a little weird when he tells you a dirty joke, but now you got a secret together, so you go along. Then he shows you a porno mag, and you go along. And you go along and you go along, until one day he asks you to jerk him off or give him a blow job, and so you go along with that too, because you feel trapped because he has groomed you. How do you say “No” to God, right?

That last is truly the $64 question, isn’t it? How does anyone turn away from what has become an integral part of your culture, particularly in a city like Boston where something like 53% of the population is Catholic or at least identifies as such?

While I have never been sexually abused, I’d like to offer my answer to Saviano’s question. How does anyone say no to god under such circumstances? The initial steps are pretty obvious. Perhaps by first of all recognizing what actually happened. That event wasn’t some dream. It was real. A child was molested and worse, by someone that child implicitly trusted: a priest. Stipulated, with the enormous emotional trauma that is associated with sexual abuse, coming to that conclusion can take years or decades, and from what I have heard and seen from actual victims, this is frequently the case.

The next step is confrontation and the pursuit of justice. This isn’t just a matter of someone being wronged; a crime was committed, and that means the involvement of law enforcement and the judicial system. Too often, this is an even harder nut to crack, because with the time it took to come to terms with that horror, the statute of limitations has likely expired and with it any chance of recompense through the criminal justice system. Certainly a civil suit seeking damages is an option and one which has been employed multiple times to gain some form of payback. That extracts a price of the Catholic organization, but it fails to mete out justice to the actual perpetrators. That failure in large portion is why I suspect the pattern of abuse continues, even with exposure in the press and media such as this movie.

Such steps address the church and the culprits, but that still leaves out the real causative element: god, itself. It is the invented concept of god which empowered those priests and bishops and archbishops and cardinals to gain the trust of their parishioners, to take the actions they did, and to use the doctrine of their religion to so frighten their victims that their crimes could be repeated again and again and again and almost never be challenged. Remove the idea of a god and, while such systematic abuse might still be possible, it would be far more difficult to accomplish on the same scale.

How do you say, “No” to god? By realizing that god is a lie, that it is an invention designed to put individuals under control of presumed authorities for the purpose of arrogation of power. Saying no to god at least begins the process of saying yes to oneself, to self-empowerment and self-ownership and a rejection of this persistent fantasy which in the final analysis enslaves rather than serves the individual.

Ultimately, saying “No” to god means recognizing that god simply doesn’t exist.

Views: 37

Nice Comment

You need to be a member of Atheist Universe to add comments!

Join Atheist Universe

Comment was by Loren Miller on December 21, 2020 at 10:41am

Hey, Stephen.

I must have played my Blu-Ray copy of Spotlight at least a half a dozen times since I got it.  It pisses me off every time I play it, too [part of the reason why I play it!], because I know that this crap is STILL going on, repeated revelations of this sort and others notwithstanding.

Granted that I've talked and written about this issue until I'm blue in the face, and yet very little seems to have been done about it, certainly at the criminal level.  In my opinion, THAT is what is needed.  The church's coffers certainly have felt the impact of angered parents, but seriously, how many priests have actually been incarcerated as a result of these abuses?  Not bloody many that I know of.

Until there is a personal toll paid on the part of the Catholic Church, I don't see a whole lot changing.

Comment was by Stephen Brodie on December 21, 2020 at 10:35am

I've seen the film Spotlight and in my opinion, was a very important movie. Sadly it wasn't seen by as many people as I would have liked.

As a young child, I attended a Church of England High Church school(Anglo-Catholic) and luckily I wasn't sexually abused but the Nuns or crows as we kids called them used to beat us with canes. I told my father about their beating and he went to the school to complain and the Nuns denied hitting us, children. Thankfully the Nuns went back to their nunnery and we were taught by ordinary teachers afterwards.

© 2021   Created by Atheist Universe.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service