April 26, 2010

Atheists Against Child Rape


Much has been made in the media of Richard Dawkins' and Christopher Hitchens' support for a campaign to have the Pope arrested when he visits the UK. It irks me that only atheists seem to be asking for accountability. Isn't child rape usually something that everyone finds upsetting? Are we really expected to ignore it simply because it has been perpetrated and systematically concealed by the Catholic Church? Is that really how worried we are about offending the religious?

According to the BBC, human rights lawyers in the UK are preparing charges against Pope Benedict XVI for his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. It seems like all Dawkins and Hitchens are asking for is that the Pope be treated as any other individual would who was suspected of committing such crimes. How did this get to become even mildly controversial? Aren't we supposed to be treated equally under the law?

It is telling that the few Catholic leaders who have spoken out have been reprimanded by their church. Evidently, one must not question the church even when it comes to raping children.

This isn't about atheists trying to stick it to religion; it is about justice. What I cannot figure out is why those of us unfettered by religious delusion seem to be alone in calling for accountability. Is the smoke screen of religion really that thick? And yes, I suppose that is a rhetorical question.