Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Is Sexual Dysfunction An Integral Part Of Conservatism?


When I mentioned the other day that easy and unaccountable sexual access to children is a perk of the Roman Catholic priesthood, the last thing in the world I was trying to imply was that most Mexican priests are child molesters. I have no way of knowing how many are and how many aren't. And I meant the comment to apply to all Roman Catholic priests everywhere, not just in Mexico where far right fanatic and pedophile Papal favorite Rev. Marcial Maciel was from. Sexual access to children has always been a perk to Catholic priesthood and fact that the Legion of Christ was a favored cult within the organization, bringing in billions of dollars in loot, wasn't slowed down one bit just because they were, clearly, an organized international pedophile ring.

Today there's a tempest in a teapot scandal here in America-- not over the deaf boys who were systematically raped by a Wisconsin priest and the typical Vatican cover-up (and complicity)-- but because the clownish head of the Republican National Committee was using Party funds to party with. An RNC spokesperson confirmed that Michael Steele is being investigated for using donors' contributions "at a bondage-themed club that features topless female dancers imitating lesbian sex." As typical of conservative politicians as this is, it is nothing compared to the scandals rocking the conservative theologians who run Roman Catholic Church, Inc. worldwide.

An Irish-Catholic friend extremely concerned about the predator priests scandals that have been unfolding in Ireland asked me to take a look at a post by Father Tim at Irish Central. Before I got to it, I saw a story about how a 15 year old boy may be headed to prison for having consensual sex with his 14 year old girlfriend. Priests who rape 8 year old boys, on the other hand, get transferred to another parish... at worst. Priests like Father Tim, the non-twisted ones-- may even be in a majority in the Church, but I don't hear much outcry to dump Ratzinger or prosecute him.
A great deal of the rage and shock felt by the public about the Catholic Church's self-inflicted child sex abuse scandal centers on a simple question: WHY didn't those in authority DO SOMETHING right away when they heard about THE PROBLEM?

Of course, many of those in authority DID do something right away: They either ignored it, blamed the victims and swore them to silence after wrenching, blame-switching interrogations, or transferred the offending priest to another parish or even another country where he was free to renew his evil acts. A few sought to send the priest, or the victims, or all of them, to a Church psychiatrist (a responsibility I know well) -- hopefully to both sort out the truth, arrive at a just solution consistent with canon and civil law, and to help begin the process of emotional and spiritual healing needed by all.

Sadly but honestly though, this latter path was the exception rather than the rule. And an even less-followed path was simply calling the police, although in Ireland particularly, the Church had built itself a very high pedestal from which to "rule" its flock -- which the police were part of. They were not in the business of arresting priests on the word of a couple of young, probably "misbehaving" boys.

I am sure it will not shock you to hear that the Church has a BIG problem with sex. In fact, the pedophile scandal has probably forced the Vatican to use the word "sex" more often in the past couple of months than it has in the past couple of centuries. There is little in the Gospels to help it offer the Faithful a very clear "What would Jesus have done?" about anything relating to sex -- much less, sex crimes. And they haven't gotten very far with just "Be fruitful and multiply" and the strong implication that sex is for having children (and, oh yes, expressing love).

People have asked me if I really believe that every conservative is sick and if conservatism tends to make people unable to deal with the real world. Well, not every conservative is sexually dysfunctional; after all, every rule has an exception. But last night I was reminded once again what the conservative mindset leads to when I watched a program, The Longest Night, about Austrian conservative Josef Fritzl who started raping his daughter when she was eleven, eventually drugged her and dragged her down to a soundproof cellar he constructed and kept her down there, as a sex slave, for 24 years, fathering seven children by her.
Authorities say Fritzl imprisoned and repeatedly raped his daughter, Elisabeth, for 24 years in a cramped and windowless dungeon he built beneath the family's home in the western town of Amstetten. Investigators say DNA tests show he fathered her six surviving children.

Another child died in infancy, and that prompted the murder charge. Prosecutors contend the baby boy might have survived if Fritzl had arranged for medical care [Fritzl pled guilty to murder, was sentenced to life in prison and is now planning to demand a retrial.]

In her opening statement, prosecutor Christiane Burkheiser accused Fritzl of repeatedly raping his daughter in front of the children. Burkheiser said Fritzl didn't talk to his daughter during her first few years in captivity and that he simply came down to the cellar to rape her.

"Josef Fritzl used his daughter like his property," Burkheiser said, adding that for her first delivery he gave her an unsterilized blanket to wrap up the infant and a book of childbirth instructions-- but only because Elisabeth urged him to.

She alleged that Fritzl once punished the young woman by shutting off electricity to the dungeon, and forced her to spend the first part of her captivity in a tiny space that didn't even have a shower or warm water.

"The worst was ... there was no daylight," Burkheiser said, adding it was also "incredibly humid" in the cramped space and the air was moldy and stale... Defense lawyer Rudolf Mayer appealed to the jury to be objective and insisted Fritzl was "not a monster," saying his client even brought a Christmas tree down to his captives, whom he considered a second family.

Am I saying that this is the other side of people like Paul Ryan and Jim DeMint? Absolutely. Just watch:

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At 4:35 PM, Blogger Spud Hamster said...

I believe that it might be more appropriate to label the behavior of the reprobates mentioned in this post "sexual depravity" rather than "sexual dysfunction". Those people who are sexually dysfunctional (ED, impotence, frigidity) have enough problems without being unintentionally associated with these EVIL people

At 9:26 AM, Blogger back_to_our_senses said...

I've been greatly enjoying your posts on the Catholic Church via digby. They are fascinating. Please keep it up!


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