The Nuns’ Stories Vatican Condemned for Abuse of Nuns by Priests

Part 1: Reports Detail Sexual Abuse of “Sisters” by “Fathers”

Several reports written by senior members of women’s religious orders and by an American priest assert that sexual abuse of nuns by priests, including rape, is a serious problem, especially in Africa and other parts of the developing world.

The reports allege that some Catholic clergy exploit their financial and spiritual authority to gain sexual favors from religious women, many of whom, in developing countries, are culturally conditioned to be subservient to men. The reports obtained by NCR – some recent, some in circulation at least seven years – say priests at times demand sex in exchange for favors, such as permission or certification to work in a given diocese. The reports, five in all, indicate that in Africa particularly, a continent ravaged by HIV and AIDS, young nuns are sometimes seen as safe targets of sexual activity. In a few extreme instances, according to the documentation, priests have impregnated nuns and then encouraged them to have abortions.

In some cases, according to one of the reports, nuns, through naiveté or social conditioning to obey authority figures, may readily comply with sexual demands.

Although the problem has not been aired in public, the reports have been discussed in councils of religious women and men and in the Vatican.

In November 1998, a four-page paper titled The Problem of the Sexual Abuse of African Religious in Africa and Rome was presented by Missionaries of Our Lady of Africa Sr. Marie McDonald, the report’s author, to the Council of Sixteen, a group that meets three times a year. The council is made up of delegates from three bodies: the Union of Superiors General, an association of men’s religious communities based in Rome, the International Union of Superiors General, a comparable group for women, and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the Vatican office that oversees religious life.

Last September, Benedictine Sr. Esther Fangman, a psychological counselor and president of the Federation of St. Scholastica, an organization of 22 monasteries in the United States and two in Mexico, raised the issue in an address at a congress in Rome of 250 Benedictine abbots.

Five years earlier, on Feb. 18, 1995, Card. Eduardo Martínez, prefect of the Vatican congregation for religious life, along with members of his staff, were briefed on the problem by Medical Missionary of Mary Sr. Maura O’Donohue, a physician.

O’Donohue is responsible for a 1994 report that constitutes one of the more comprehensive accounts. At the time of its writing, she had spent six years as AIDS coordinator for the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development based in London.

Though statistics related to sexual abuse of religious women are unavailable, most religious leaders interviewed by NCR say the frequency and consistency of the reports of sexual abuse point to a problem that needs to be addressed.

“I don’t believe these are simply exceptional cases,” Benedictine Fr. Nokter Wolf, abbot primate of the Benedictine order, told NCR. “I think the abuse described is happening. How much it happens, what the numbers are, I have no way of knowing. But it is a serious matter, and we need to discuss it.”

Wolf has made several trips to Africa to visit Benedictine institutions and is in contact with members of the order there.

In her reports, O’Donohue links the sexual abuse to the prevalence of AIDS in Africa and concerns about contracting the disease.

“Sadly, the sisters also report that priests have sexually exploited them because they too had come to fear contamination with HIV by sexual contact with prostitutes and other ‘at risk’ women,” she wrote in 1994.

In some cultures, O’Donohue wrote, men who traditionally would have sought out prostitutes instead are turning to “secondary school girls, who, because of their younger age, were considered ‘safe’ from HIV.”

Similarly, religious sisters “constitute another group which has been identified as ‘safe’ targets for sexual activity,” O’Donohue wrote.

“For example,” O’Donohue wrote, “a superior of a community of sisters in one country was approached by priests requesting that sisters would be made available to them for sexual favors. When the superior refused, the priests explained that they would otherwise be obliged to go to the village to find women, and might thus get AIDS.”

O’Donohue wrote that at first she reacted with “shock and disbelief” at the “magnitude” of the problem she was encountering through her contacts with “a great number of sisters during the course of my visits” in a number of countries.

“The AIDS pandemic has drawn attention to issues which may not previously have been considered significant,” she wrote. “The enormous challenges which AIDS poses for members of religious orders and the clergy is only now becoming evident.”

In a report on her 1995 meeting with Card. Martínez in the Vatican, O’Donohue noted that celibacy may have different meanings in different cultures. For instance, she wrote in her report, a vicar general in one African diocese had talked “quite openly” about the view of celibacy in Africa, saying that “celibacy in the African context means a priest does not get married but does not mean he does not have children.”

Of the world’s 1 billion Catholics, 116.6 million – about 12 percent – live in Africa. According to the 2001 Catholic Almanac, 561 are bishops and archbishops, 26,026 are priests and 51,304 are nuns.

In addition to such general overviews, Martínez’s office has also received documentation on specific cases. In one such incident, dating from 1988 in Malawi and cited in O’Donohue’s 1994 report, the leadership team of a diocesan women’s congregation was dismissed by the local bishop after it complained that 29 sisters had been impregnated by diocesan priests. Western missionaries helped the leadership team compile a dossier that was eventually submitted to Rome.

One of those missionaries, a veteran of more than two decades in Africa, said the Malawi case was complex and the issue of sexual liaisons was not the only factor involved. She described the incident in a not-for-attribution interview with NCR.

The missionary said the leadership team had adopted rules preventing sisters from spending the night in a rectory, banning priests from staying overnight in convents and prohibiting sisters from being alone with priests. The rules were intended to reduce the possibility of sexual contact.

Several sources told NCR that religious communities as well as church officials have taken steps to correct the problem, though they were reluctant to cite specific examples.

Others say the climate of secrecy that still surrounds the issue indicates more needs to be done.

The secrecy is due in part to efforts by religious orders to work within the system to address the problems and in part to the cultural context in which they occur. In sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, where the problems are reportedly the most severe, sexual behavior and AIDS are rarely discussed openly. Among many people in that region of Central and Southern Africa, sexual topics are virtually taboo, according to many who have worked there.

Expressing frustration at unsuccessful efforts to get church officials to address the problem, O’Donohue wrote in 1994, “Groups of sisters from local congregations have made passionate appeals for help to members of international congregations and explain that, when they themselves try to make representations to church authorities about harassment by priests, they simply ‘are not heard.'”

The Vatican press office did not respond to NCR requests for comment on this story.

O’Donohue wrote that, although she was aware of incidents in some 23 countries, including the United States, on five continents, the majority happened in Africa.

Ironically, given the reticence of many Africans to talk about sex, casual sex is common in parts of Africa, and sexual abstinence is rare. It’s a culture in which AIDS thrives. Experts say the view derives from a deeply rooted cultural association between maleness and progeny – a view that makes the church’s insistence on celibacy difficult not only in practice but also in concept for some African priests.

AIDS rampant in Africa

Some 25.3 million of the world’s 36.1 million HIV-positive persons live in sub-Saharan Africa. Since the epidemic began in the late 1970s, 17 million Africans have died of AIDS, according to the World Health Organization. Of the 5.3 million new cases of HIV infection in 2000, 3.8 million occurred in Africa.

According to a graphic article on AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa in the Feb. 12 issue of Time magazine, “Casual sex of every kind is commonplace. Everywhere there’s premarital sex, sex as recreation. Obligatory sex and its abusive counterpart, coercive sex. Transactional sex: sex as a gift, sugar-daddy sex. Extramarital sex, second families, multiple partners.”

Further, Time reported, women, taught from birth to obey men, feel powerless to protect themselves from men’s sexual desires.

Even accounting for promiscuity – which in fact, some experts have argued, is no less a problem in Western nations – the religious men and women raising the issue of sexual exploitation of religious women say the situations they report on are clearly intolerable and, in some cases, approach the unspeakable.

In one instance, according to O’Donohue, a priest took a nun for an abortion, and she died during the procedure. He later officiated at her requiem Mass.

Harassment common

In McDonald’s report, she states that “sexual harassment and even rape of sisters by priests and bishops is allegedly common,” and that “sometimes when a sister becomes pregnant, the priest insists that she have an abortion.” She said her report referred mainly to Africa and to African sisters, priests and bishops – not because the problem is exclusively an African one, but because the group preparing the report drew “mainly on their own experience in Africa and the knowledge they have obtained from the members of their own congregations or from other congregations – especially diocesan congregations in Africa.”

“We know that the problem exists elsewhere too,” she wrote.

“It is precisely because of our love for the church and for Africa that we feel so distressed about the problem,” McDonald wrote.

McDonald’s was the report presented in 1998 to the Council of Sixteen. She declined to be interviewed by NCR.

When a sister becomes pregnant, McDonald wrote, she is usually punished by dismissal from the congregation, while the priest is “often only moved to another parish – or sent for studies.”

In her report, McDonald wrote that priests sometimes exploit the financial dependency of young sisters or take advantage of spiritual direction and the sacrament of reconciliation to extort sexual favors.

McDonald cites eight factors she believes give rise to the problem:

* The fact that celibacy and/or chastity are not values in some countries. The inferior position of women in society and the church. In some circumstances “a sister … has been educated to regard herself as an inferior, to be subservient and to obey.”

“It is understandable then, that a sister finds it impossible to refuse a cleric who asks for sexual favors. These men are seen as ‘authority figures’ who must be obeyed.”

“Moreover, they are usually more highly educated and they have received a much more advanced theological formation than the sisters. They may use false theological arguments to justify their requests and behavior. The sisters are easily impressed by these arguments. One of these goes as follows:

” ‘We are both consecrated celibates. That means that we have promised not to marry. However, we can have sex together without breaking our vows.’ ”

* The AIDS pandemic, which means sisters are more likely to be seen as “safe.” Financial dependence created by low stipends for sisters laboring in their home countries or inadequate support for sisters sent abroad for studies. The problem of sexual abuse in Africa is most common, according to many observers, among members of diocesan religious congregations with little money and no network of international support. A poor understanding of consecrated life, both by the sisters and also by bishops, priests, and lay people. Recruitment of candidates by congregations that lack adequate knowledge of the culture. Sisters sent abroad to Rome and other countries for studies are often “too young and/or immature,” lack language skills, preparation and other kinds of support, and “frequently turn to seminarians and priests for help,” creating the potential for exploitation.

“I do not wish to imply that only priests and bishops are to blame and that the sisters are simply their victims,” McDonald wrote. “No, sisters can sometimes be only too willing and can also be naïve.”

* Silence. “Perhaps another contributing factor is the ‘conspiracy of silence’ surrounding this issue,” McDonald wrote. “Only if we can look at it honestly will we be able to find solutions.”

The American priest who gave a similar account of sexual abuse of women religious is Fr. Robert J. Vitillo, then of Caritas and now executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Campaign for Human Development. In March 1994, a month after O’Donohue wrote her report, Vitillo spoke about the problem to a theological study group at Boston College. Vitillo has extensive knowledge of Africa based on regular visits for his work. His talk, which focused on several moral and ethical issues related to AIDS, was titled, “Theological Challenges Posed by the Global Pandemic of HIV/AIDS.”

‘Necessary to mention’

He told the gathering at Boston College that nuns had been targeted by men, particularly clergy, who may have previously frequented prostitutes.

“The last ethical issue which I find especially delicate but necessary to mention,” he said, “involves the need to denounce sexual abuse which has arisen as a specific result of HIV/AIDS. In many parts of the world, men have decreased their reliance on commercial sex workers because of their fear of contracting HIV. … As a result of this widespread fear, many men (and some women) have turned to young (and therefore presumably uninfected) girls (and boys) for sexual favors. Religious women have also been targeted by such men, and especially by clergy who may have previously frequented prostitutes. I myself have heard the tragic stories of religious women who were forced to have sex with the local priest or with a spiritual counselor who insisted that this activity was ‘good’ for the both of them.

“Frequently, attempts to raise these issues with local and international church authorities have met with deaf ears,” said Vitillo. “In North America and in some parts of Europe, our church is already reeling under the pedophilia scandals. How long will it take for this same institutional church to become sensitive to these new abuse issues which are resulting from the pandemic?”

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The Details

The specific circumstances outlined in the O’Donohue report are as follows:

In some instances, candidates to religious life had to provide sexual favors to priests in order to acquire the necessary certificates and/or recommendations to work in a diocese.

In several countries, sisters are troubled by policies that require them to leave the congregation if they become pregnant, while the priest involved is able to continue his ministry. Beyond fairness is the question of social justice, since the sister is left to raise the child as a single parent, “often with a great deal of stigmatization and frequently in very poor socioeconomic circumstances.

I was given examples in several countries where such women were forced into becoming a second or third wife in a family because of lost status in the local culture. The alternative, as a matter of survival, is to go ‘on the streets’ as prostitutes” and thereby “expose themselves to the risk of HIV, if not already infected.”

“Superior generals I have met were extremely concerned about the harassment sisters were experiencing from priests in some areas. One superior of a diocesan congregation, where several sisters became pregnant by priests, has been at a complete loss to find an appropriate solution. Another diocesan congregation has had to dismiss over 20 sisters because of pregnancy, again in many cases by priests.

“Some priests are recommending that sisters take a contraceptive, misleading them that ‘the pill’ will prevent transmission of HIV. Others have actually encouraged abortion for sisters with whom they have been involved. Some Catholic medical professionals employed in Catholic hospitals have reported pressure being exerted on them by priests to procure abortions in those hospitals for religious sisters.

“In a number of countries, members of parish councils and of small Christian communities are challenging their pastors because of their relationships with women and young girls generally. Some of these women are wives of the parishioners. In such circumstances, husbands are angry about what is happening, but are embarrassed to challenge their parish priest. Some priests are known to have relations with several women, and also to have children from more than one liaison. Laypeople spoke with me about the concerns in this context stating that they are waiting for the day when they will have dialogue homilies. This, they volunteered, will afford them an opportunity to challenge certain priests on the sincerity of their preaching and their apparent double standards.

In one country visited, I was informed that the presbytery in a particular parish was attacked by parishioners armed with guns because they were angry with the priests because of their abuse of power and the betrayal of trust which their actions and lifestyles reflected.

“In another country a recent convert from Islam (one of two daughters who became Christians) was accepted as a candidate to a local religious congregation. When she went to her parish priest for the required certificates, she was subjected to rape by the priest before being given the certificates. Having been disowned by her family because of becoming a Christian, she did not feel free to return home. She joined the congregation and soon afterwards found she was pregnant. To her mind, the only option for her was to leave the congregation, without giving the reason. She spent 10 days roaming the forest, agonizing over what to do. Then she decided to go and talk to the bishop, who called in the priest. The priest accepted the accusation as true and was told by the bishop to go on a two-week retreat.

“Since the 1980s in a number of countries sisters are refusing to travel alone with a priest in a car because of fear of harassment or even rape. Priests have also on occasion abused their position in their role as pastors and spiritual directors and utilized their spiritual authority to gain sexual favors from sisters. In one country, women superiors have had to request the bishop or men superiors to remove chaplains, spiritual directors or retreat directors after they abused sisters.”

Those most directly affected are the women abused, wrote O’Donohue. The effects extend, however, to the wider community and include disillusionment and cynicism. The abused and others in the community “find the foundation of their faith is suddenly shattered.”

Many whose faith has been shattered are from families that look unfavorably on religious vocations and who “question why celibacy should be so strongly proclaimed by the same people who are seemingly involved in sexually exploiting others. This is seen as hypocrisy or at least as promoting double standards,” O’Donohue wrote.

Some observers say that in the wake of such reports, steps have been taken to address the problem.

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New guidelines

Wolf, the Benedictine leader in Rome, said, “Several monasteries already have guidelines in case a monk is accused of sexual misconduct, taking care of the individuals concerned, the victim included. I pushed this question in our congregation. We need sincerity and justice.”

A Vatican official told NCR that “there are initiatives at multiple levels” to raise awareness about the potential for sexual abuse in religious life. The official cited efforts within conferences of religious superiors, within bishops’ conferences, and within particular communities and dioceses.

Most of these, the official said, were steps the Vatican is “aware of” and “supporting” rather than organizing or initiating.

This anonymous Vatican official noted two signs that the culture in the church is changing. In specific cases, the official said, the response from church leaders is more aggressive and swift; and in general, there is a climate within religious life that these things have to be discussed. “Talking about it is the first step towards a solution,” the official said.

Church officials have not always, however, been open to such exchanges. McDonald wrote in her 1998 report that in March of that year she had spoken to the standing committee of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, the consortium of African bishops’ conferences, on the problem of sexual abuse of sisters.

“Since most of what I gave was based on reports coming from diocesan congregations and Conferences of Major Superiors in Africa, I felt very convinced of the authenticity of what I was saying,” McDonald wrote.

Yet, “the bishops present felt that it was disloyal of the sisters to have sent such reports outside their dioceses,” McDonald wrote. “They said that the sisters in question should go to their diocesan bishop with these problems.”

“Of course,” she wrote, “this would be the ideal. However, the sisters claim that they have done so time and time again. Sometimes they are not well received. In some instances they are blamed for what has happened. Even when they are listened to sympathetically, nothing much seems to be done.”

Worth talking about

Whatever positive steps have been taken, the problem remains a live concern for religious women. In an interview at her home in Kansas City, Mo., Fangman, the nun who raised the issue last September at a gathering of Benedictine abbots in Rome, told NCR that she had heard the stories about sisters being sexually abused by priests during informal discussions at meetings of abbesses and prioresses worldwide.

“The sisters who brought it up were deeply hurt by it and found it very painful – and very painful to talk about,” she said. Because of the pain that she and others were hearing, “we decided that it was worth also beginning to talk about in a more open way, and we had the opportunity at our regular meeting with the Congress of Abbots,” she said.

Fangman said her report to the Benedictine abbots was based on the conversations with sisters and on the material in O’Donohue’s reports.

Fangman’s talk was published in a recent issue of the Alliance for International Monasticism Bulletin, a mission magazine of the order.

O’Donohue’s report was prepared in a similar spirit: in hope of promoting change. She wrote in her report that she had prepared it “after much profound reflection and with a deep sense of urgency since the subjects involved touch the very core of the church’s mission and ministry.”

The information on abuse of nuns by priests “comes from missionaries (men and women); from priests, doctors and other members of our loyal ecclesial family,” she wrote. “I have been assured that case records exist for several of the incidents” described in the report, she said, “and that the information is not just based on hearsay.”

The 23 countries listed in her report are: Botswana, Burundi, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Tonga, Uganda, United States, Zambia, Zaire, Zimbabwe.

Her hope, she wrote, is that the report “will consequently motivate appropriate action especially on the part of those in positions of church leadership and those responsible for formation.”

Documents related to the above story will be available on the NCR Website

By John Allen and Pamela Schaeffer, National Catholic Reporter, 3/16/2001

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Part 2: Vatican Denies Priests Abuse Nuns

The Vatican has denied a report in the National Catholic Reporter that says sexual abuse of nuns by priests is a serious problem.

The article is based on five reports by senior members of women’s religious orders and a priest going back to 1994. The National Catholic Reporter said the reports have been discussed at top Vatican levels.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Vallis acknowledged there were isolated cases of priests sexually abusing nuns but said the problem is “restricted to a limited geographic area.”

While the Vatican did not name the geographical area, the report said most incidents of sexual abuse against nuns occurred in Africa where the nuns were identified as “safe” following the onset of the HIV and AIDS viruses devastating the continent.

Navarro-Vallis said the Vatican is working with the leaders of religious orders and he stressed the heroic work of many priests and nuns.

Fr. Bernardo Cervellera, director of Fides, the news agency of the Vatican’s missionary arm, said celibacy has always been a struggle for some priests but he was surprised at the accounts of sexual abuse.

He said: “I was a missionary for 25 years and I never encountered such a problem. Instead, I found priests and nuns who gave themselves wholly to people with leprosy, with AIDS … priests and nuns who live their love for Christ.” Ananova, Reuters, 3/20/2001

http://www.weirdload.com/nuns.html

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Priests with AIDS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Debate erupted nationwide after The Kansas City Star reported that Roman Catholic priests in the US are dying from AIDS-related illnesses at a rate 4 times higher than the general population and the cause is often concealed on their death certificates.

In a three-part series, the newspaper said death certificates and interviews with experts indicated several hundred priests have died of AIDS-related illnesses since the mid-1980s and hundreds more are living with HIV, the virus that causes the disease.

”I think this speaks to a failure on the part of the church,” said Aux. Bp. Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit. ”Gay priests and heterosexual priests didn’t know how to handle their sexuality, their sexual drive. And so they would handle it in ways that were not healthy.”

The Star received 801 responses to questionnaires that were sent last fall to 3,000 of the 46,000 priests in the US. The margin of error of the survey was 3.5 percentage points. 6 out of every 10 priests responding said they knew of at least one priest who had died of an AIDS-related illness, and one-third knew a priest living with AIDS. Three-fourths said the church needed to provide more education to seminarians on sexual issues.

Asked about their sexual orientation, 75 percent said they were heterosexual, 15 percent said they were homosexual, and 5 percent said they were bisexual.Two-thirds lauded the church for being caring and compassionate to priests with AIDS. Often, the church covers medical costs, gives them a place to live and cares for them until they die.

Most priests, however, said the church failed to offer an early and effective sexual education that might have prevented infection in the first place. Two-thirds said sexuality either was not addressed at all or was not discussed adequately in the seminary. Three of four said the church needed to offer more education about sexual issues.

Fr. John Keenan, who runs Trinity House, an outpatient clinic in Chicago for priests, said he believes most priests with AIDS contracted the disease through same-sex relations. He said he treated one priest who had infected 8 other priests. As long ago as the early 1980s, he discovered that priests were contracting AIDS at an alarming rate. Other experts agree that the incidence of AIDS among priests stems primarily from sexual contact.

The Star said precise numbers of priests who have died of AIDS or become infected with HIV is unknown, partly because many suffer in solitude. When priests tell their superiors, the cases generally are handled quietly.

The newspaper cited the case of Bp. Emerson Moore, who left the Archdiocese of New York in 1995 and went to Minnesota, where he died in a hospice of an AIDS-related illness. His death certificate attributed the death to ”unknown natural causes” and listed his occupation as ”laborer” in the manufacturing industry.

After an AIDS activist filed a complaint, officials changed the cause of death to ”HIV-related illness,” the Star said, but the occupation was not corrected.

In Missouri and Kansas alone, at least 16 priests and two religious-order brothers have died of AIDS since early 1987— 7 times that of the general population. Many priests and medical experts now agree that at least 300 priests have died. That translates into an annualized AIDS-related death rate of about 4 per 10,000 — 4 times that of the general population’s rate of roughly 1 per 10,000 and about double the death rate of the adult male population.

Other statistics and experts suggest that those estimates are too conservative. A.W. Richard Sipe, a former priest who has spent more than 30 years studying sexuality issues in the church, thinks that about 750 priests nationwide have died of such illnesses. That would translate into an AIDS-related death rate 8 times that of the general population.

The deaths are of such concern to the church that most dioceses and religious orders now require applicants for the priesthood to take an HIV-antibody test before their ordination. There is no question the disease is taking its toll on an already-diminished pool of seminarians. For example, now-closed St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Mo., had 26 novices in 1967. Of the 7 who were ordained; 20 years later, 3 of them had died of AIDS.

Some priests and behavioral experts believe the church has scared priests into silence by treating homosexual acts as an abomination and the breaking of celibacy vows as shameful, the Star said.

Cardinals in the US and high-ranking church officials in the Vatican declined requests to discuss the newspaper’s findings. But criticism of the survey methodology and its assumptions was not slow in coming forward.

Fr. Jon Fuller, a Jesuit physician, said that it wasn’t fair to presume, nor was it “really relevant” how the disease was contracted. More important, Fuller said, is the question of when a person contracted AIDS. Because the virus has a long incubation period, a priest may have become infected before taking his vows.

Or contracted it while serving as missionaries in countries that have poor medical practices, like Fr. Luis Olivares, 59, pastor and an activist who ministered to poor immigrants in Los Angeles, who died of AIDS in March 1993. Doctors thought Olivares contracted HIV from contaminated needles while being treated for an injury during a visit to Central America.

Rebecca Summers, a Kansas City diocesan spokeswoman, said though priests take a vow of celibacy, the church is aware that not all priests are celibate. She said while the Star‘s findings were a “disappointment,” they were not necessarily a surprise. because the disease is so pervasive in society in general.

Other organizations, like religious broadcaster EWTN, criticized the size of the response, and how representative the sampling was.

Some priests seek support among other priests who have AIDS. The National Catholic AIDS Network (707-874-3031) can put priests in touch with others in their area.
Kansas City Star, 1/31/2000, 1/30, 1/29; Reuters, 1/31; AP, 1/30

http://www.weirdload.com/aids.html

Catholic Pedophile Priests: The Effect on US Society

The many flaws and omissions in the official report
still cannot hide that this is a crisis of historical proportions.


The National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People established by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has not had an easy time of determining the extent of the sexual abuse of minors within the American Roman Catholic Church. Not surprisingly, there has been considerable internal opposition. This resistance was so bad that long before its work was finished, its chairman, Frank Keating, was forced to resign after he compared the Church’s actions to the Cosa Nostra, which rather proved his point.

Unfortunately, however, these initial numbers are likely to be the only official accounting ever done by the Roman Catholic Church. As soon as the report was published, the UCCB acted swiftly to cut the National Review Board’s feet out from under it. For this was to be the preliminary report; the audits were to be completed and a larger report issued. Furthermore, the Board had planned further follow-up reports to follow the implementation of their proposals.

That will not happen now. And so the Church has squandered its last, best chance of ever coming clean.

Certainly the fact that the report was reluctantly commissioned by the bishops who have been responsible for the crisis does not reflect well on its credibility. Nor does the fact that they only reason they ever did so was due to the constant and unrelenting pressure since the early 1990s by victims and advocacy groups, and later, the news media — not to mention the drain on their treasuries from huge settlements and dwindling contributions.

Many dioceses with much to hide did not want to co-operate. Religious orders, the report acknowleges, were even worse. The results are still missing from some groups, and the rest are spinning their denials and minimalizations as fast at their highly paid PR firms can turn. And as it’s all self-reported, there is no guarantee of any kind of completeness nor accuracy.

The focus was criticized as too narrow, being concerned solely with child sexual abuse. Other situations where clerics have sexually acted out with adult women and men, nuns and seminarians, have not been looked at; nor the effect on any offspring they may have sired in the process. For that matter, the personal cost to victims and their families remains uncounted. How many lives destroyed through alcohol, drugs, unsafe sex or violence have there been? How much abuse has been repeated by its victims? How many suicides and ruined families? How can the total cost ever be calculated?

There has been much complaining by victims, also, that only a handful were asked to testify, that there was too little time and too many restrictions. Many, too, point out that not all victims have yet come forward by any means. Indeed, even if there are no new cases, just the repressed memories alone of the still-unrecognized victims will guarantee that these numbers will only increase over the next twenty years.

And nothing has been said about multiple abusers and rings who swapped victims around like trading cards…

Nonetheless, A Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States has generated a fog of figures, which cannot obscure the extent of this massive failure of institutional religion. It is indeed a crisis. Though this is a step forward, it is not the solution by any means, but a half-hearted admission that there is a problem.

Here are a few of the highlights.

  • US clerics (priests, deacons, bishops, etc.) accused of abuse from 1950-2002: 4,392.
    About 4% of the 109,694 serving during those 52 years.
  • Individuals making accusations: 10,667.
  • Victims’ ages: 5.8% under 7; 16% ages 8-10; 50.9% ages 11-14; 27.3% ages 15-17.
  • Victims’ gender: 81% male, 19% female
  • Duration of abuse: Among victims, 38.4% said all incidents occurred within one year; 21.8% said one to two years; 28%, two to four years; 11.8% longer.
  • Victims per priest: 55.7% with one alleged victim; 26.9% with two or three; 13.9% with four to nine; 3.5% with 10 or more (these 149 priests caused 27% of allegations).
  • Abuse locations: 40.9% at priest’s residence; 16.3% in church; 42.8% elsewhere.
  • Known cost to dioceses and religious orders: $572,507,094 (does not include the $85 million Boston settlement and other expenses after research was concluded). (Hartford Courant, 2/27/04)

It should be noted that 30% of all accusations included in these figures were not investigated as they were deemed unsubstantiated (10%) or because the accused priest was dead or inactive (20%). They do not include allegations that were “unfounded” or later recanted.

In any case, all these figures are widely suspected to be grossly underestimated. For example, the late Fr. Tom Economus, former President of the Linkup, a national survivors’ advocacy group, said back in the mid-90s that he knew of “1,400 insurance claims on the books and that the Church has paid out over $1 billion in liability with an estimated $500 million pending.” (Emphasis added.)

He also said that over 800 priests had been removed from ministry and that there might be as many as 5,000 with allegations against them, which is not that far off. He often claimed that by far the most calls he received from all victims of any kind of clergy abuse were those from males who suffered abuse in their youth in the Catholic Church. Certainly the numbers, which show that the highest number of victims were 12 year old boys and that 80% of the abuse was homosexual in nature, validate that anecodotal evidence, too. In fact, while the numbers of young children and girls did not vary much, the report shows an astounding six-fold increase in the abuse of boys aged 11-17 between the 1950s and 70s. And the figures for males stayed high through the 1980s.

Could it be that once the exits were opened by Vatican II, the good priests who could departed to marry, and the maladjusted ones who remained were left to their own devices?

In any case, Fr. Tom Doyle, a canon lawyer with more experience than any in these cases, has raised many questions over the validity and methodology of the study. He has said that he thought many cases were still hidden, pointing out the low numbers for the 1950s.

‘”It’s not over with,” Doyle said. “The heart of the matter is: Why was there this massive betrayal? Why did they move [abusers] around for years, when they knew what they were doing? Why have they continued to re-victimize the victims by stonewalling, and why they have never turned in any of these known pedophiles?”‘(Hartford Courant, 2/26/04)


Additional Information from other sources

  • Four in 10 US Catholic nuns report having experienced sexual abuse, (a rate equivalent to that reported by American women in general), a study by Catholic researchers supported by major religious orders, has found. The study found that sisters have known sexual abuse less in childhood, dispelling what the authors call an “anti-Catholic” canard that girls fled to convents to escape sexual advances. During religious life, close to 30% of the nation’s 85,000 nuns experienced “sexual trauma,” ranging from rape to exploitation to harassment. A total of 40% reported a least one experience of that kind. NCR, 1/15/99 See The Nuns’ Stories for details.
  • The Wisconsin Psychological Association’s survey found offenders distributed among the following professions: Psychiatrists 34%, Psychologists 19%, Social Workers 13%, Clergy 11%, Physicians 6%, Marriage Counselors 4%, and Others 14%.
  • The Center for Domestic Violence found that 12.6% of clergy said they had sex with church members. 47% of clergy women were harassed by clergy colleagues.
  • The Presbyterian Church stated that 10-23% of clergy have “inappropriate sexual behavior or contact” with clergy and employees.
  • The United Methodist research (1990) showed 38.6% of Ministers had sexual contact with church members and that 77% of church workers experienced some type of sexual harassment.
  • The United Church of Christ found that 48% of the women in the work place have been sexually harassed by male clergy.
  • The Southern Baptists claim 14.1% of their clergy have sexually abused members.

http://www.weirdload.com/stats.html

Evils, Atrocities and Injustices of the Torah

The following is a very SHORT list of sadistic acts that are commanded, allowed, or threatened by God and his “righteous” men.  All of these verses can be found in the Torah.  (which are the first five books of the Bible.)  I have put them in chronological order so that you may verify them as you read along.  (Keep in mind that the scriptures literally have an atrocity on every other page.  So this list will keep evolving as I work through the Pentateuch yet again.  To compile a full list may take months, so feel free to check back in later.)  God entraps humans by placing the tree of knowledge in the garden and telling Adam and Eve not to eat of it.  This is rather similar to placing a toy in front of a child and telling them they are not allowed to play with it.  God created us with instinct, rebellion, and curiosity.  Soon he punishes us for only doing what is part of our nature.  Genesis 2:16.47

God now commands that all women must have health hazardous labors for Eve ate the fruit. In no way shape or form is it just that I must pay for the sins of my ancestors. Genesis 3:16

God caused sibling rivalry by favoring Abel over Cain, with absolutely no attempt at justification.  This act of favoritism led to Abel’s death.  Genesis 4:3-5

Genesis 7:23 He killed, intentionally, every man, woman, and child on the planet save eight of them.

God commands Hagar go back into servanthood and bear children for her master though she does not want to.  Genesis 16:7-9

Genesis 19:23-25 God burns down a whole city (women and children included) simply because they were supposedly homosexual.

Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and that the Lord slew him.  How was Er wicked? The Bible doesn’t give us this bit of information, only that Er was wicked in the sight of the Lord.  Genesis 38:7

Genesis 38:10 God murders Onan for refusing to commit incest with his sister in law.

Exodus 12:29 God repeatedly tells Moses exactly what calamity he will next visit upon the Egyptians if the Pharaoh does not allow the Israelites to be set free from slavery.  Then he tells Moses (also repeatedly) that he will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will refuse to allow the Israelites to go, thus bringing a calamity upon his own people, as well as showing him the awesome power of the Israelites’ Lord.  This occurs over and over, bringing calamity upon calamity upon the Egyptian people.  What is troubling about this verse is that when god “hardens the pharaoh’s heart” he is interfering with the Pharaoh’s free will and ultimately bringing punishment on the Egyptians for something they are not responsible for.  As a final punishment god decides to kill all the first born of Egypt.  The lord reduced himself to murdering innocent kids when he could have simply freed the Israelites himself with his “omnipotent” power.

God punishes children for the sins of their fathers, unto the third and fourth generations.  Punishing a child for the sins of their ancestors is not very just. Exodus 20:5&34:7

God endorses slavery. He even set up laws as to how slavery was to be carried out, and goes as far as Okaying beating them.  Exodus 21:2-6

God sanctioned the selling of ones daughter.  How can any being tell another to literally sell their child into slavery?  Disgusting!  Exodus 21:7

Exodus 22:18  God orders the death of witches, sorceresses and anyone who practices magic.  Sadly enough, this verse was justification for the Inquisition.

Exodus 32:27 God ordered to be killed, 3,000 Israelites for no greater crime than worshipping a golden calf.  I don’t know about you but death is a pretty harsh fucking punishment.

Leviticus 20:9-10 God commands death for cursing out ones parents and death for adultery.  Gee, with these types of laws the population should be almost nil by now.

Once again god is a homophobe, or at the very least, a bigot.  Leviticus 20:13

Handicapped people must not approach the altar.  Leviticus 21:16-23

Leviticus 26:30 “And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shill ye eat.”

Leviticus 27:28-29 God ordered and allowed human sacrifices.

Numbers 16:27 God buries alive Korah and his family.

Numbers 16:35 God killed 250 Levite princes who disagreed with Moses’ leadership. He was so bloodthirsty that he wanted to slay more until he was talked out of it.  Later he put a plague upon 14,700 Jews who thought there was something wrong in killing 250 princes.

Numbers 21:1-3 God utterly destroyed the Canaanites at Hormah as a favor to the Jews.

Numbers 21:27-35 God abetted Moses in utterly destroying the Amorites at Heshbon – “…the men, the women, and the little ones.”

Numbers 31:17-18 God commands Moses to kill all the Medianite people including children and women.  To top it off he commands that the virgins be saved for later raping by Moses’ soldiers.

Deuteronomy 3:3-7 God ordered Moses’ army to “utterly destroy” 60 cities, killing all the women and children within!

Deuteronomy 7:12 God ordered the Israelites to kill all the people of seven nations.  He even adds, “show no mercy unto them”.

Deuteronomy 20:16 God orders that we kill everything that breathes in the cities that he gives us for an inheritance

A bastard can’t attend church “even to his tenth generation.” As if denying an innocent child rights to worship isn’t cruel. Deuteronomy 23:2

http://www.evilbible.com/evils%20of%20the%20torah.htm

Biblical/Pentateuch Intolerance:

I see so many religionists rant and rave about how Atheists are “not tolerant of believers and have no respect for their faith”.  To non believers this claim is absurd.  For intolerance of various religions is the foundation of Judaism, Christianity, Muslim and many other orthodox communities.  Matter of fact, the Bible and Pentateuch commands religious intolerance in MANY verses, even to the point of KILLING people for their beliefs.  Here then, are a few choice verses that show just how intolerant these religionists are of other believers and nonbelievers.  We shall start with the two verses that helped to inflict one of the biggest mass murders in history, the Inquisition.

Woman with “familiar spirits” must be stoned to death.  Leviticus 20:27

“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Exodus 22:18

Kill those who are not Christian or Jewish:

You must kill those who worship another god.  Exodus 22:20

Kill any friends or family that worship a god that is different than your own.  Deuteronomy 13:6-10

Kill all the inhabitants of any city where you find people that worship differently than you.  Deuteronomy 13:12-16

Kill everyone who has religious views that are different than your own.  Deuteronomy 17:2-7

Kill anyone who refuses to listen to a priest. Deuteronomy 17:12-13

Kill any false prophets. Deuteronomy 18:20

Any city that doesn’t receive the followers of Jesus will be destroyed in a manner even more savage than that of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Mark 6:11

Jude reminds us that God destroys those who don’t believe in him.  Jude 5

Ignorance is bliss.  Christians should not practice free inquiry nor socialize with non Christians:

Don’t associate with non-Christians.  Don’t receive them into your house or even exchange greeting with them.  2 John 1:10

Shun those who disagree with your religious views.  Romans 16:17

Paul, knowing that their faith would crumble if subjected to free and critical inquiry, tells his followers to avoid philosophy. Colossians 2:8

Judge other religions for not following Christ:

Whoever denies “that Jesus is the Christ” is a liar and an anti-Christ. 1 John 2:22

Christians are “of God;” everyone else is wicked. 1 John 5:19

The non-Christian is “a deceiver and an anti-Christ” 2 John 1:7

Anyone who doesn’t share Paul’s beliefs has “an evil heart.” Hebrews 3:12

False Jews are members of “the synagogue of Satan.” Revelations 2:9, 3:9

Here are my two personal favorites:

Everyone will have to worship Jesus — whether they want to or not. Philippians 2:10

A Christian can not be accused of any wrongdoing. Romans 8:33

http://www.evilbible.com/BiblicalIntolerance.htm

Why the Christian God is Impossible by Chad Docterman

Introduction

Christians consider the existence of their God to be an obvious truth that no sane man could deny. I strongly disagree with this assumption not only because evidence for the existence of this presumably ubiquitous yet invisible God is lacking, but because the very nature Christians attribute to this God is self-contradictory.
Proving a Universal Negative

It is taken for granted by Christians, as well as many atheists, that a universal negative cannot be proven. In this case, that universal negative is the statement that the Christian God does not exist. One would have to have omniscience, they say, in order to prove that anything does not exist. I disagree with this position, however, because omniscience is not needed in order to prove that a thing whose nature is a self-contradiction cannot, and therefore does not exist.

I do not need a complete knowledge of the universe to prove to you that cubic spheres do not exist. Such objects have mutually-exclusive attributes which would render their existence impossible. For example, a cube, by definition, has 8 corners, while a sphere has none. These properties are completely incompatible: they cannot be held simultaneously by the same object. It is my intent to show that the supposed properties of the Christian God Yahweh, like those of a cubic sphere, are incompatible, and by so doing, to show Yahweh’s existence to be an impossibility.
Defining YHWH

Before we can discuss the existence of a thing, we must define it. Christians have endowed their God with all of the following attributes: He is eternal, all-powerful, and created everything. He created all the laws of nature and can change anything by an act of will. He is all-good, all-loving, and perfectly just. He is a personal God who experiences all of the emotions a human does. He is all-knowing. He sees everything past and future.

God’s creation was originally perfect, but humans, by disobeying him, brought imperfection into the world. Humans are evil and sinful, and must suffer in this world because of their sinfulness. God gives humans the opportunity to accept forgiveness for their sin, and all who do will be rewarded with eternal bliss in heaven, but while they are on earth, they must suffer for his sake. All humans who choose not to accept this forgiveness must go to hell and be tormented for eternity.

One Bible verse which Christians are fond of quoting says that atheists are fools. I intend to show that the above concepts of God are completely incompatible and so reveal the impossibility of all of them being true. Who is the fool? The fool is the one who believes impossible things and calls them divine mysteries.
Perfection Seeks Even More Perfection

What did God do during that eternity before he created everything? If God was all that existed back then, what disturbed the eternal equilibrium and compelled him to create? Was he bored? Was he lonely? God is supposed to be perfect. If something is perfect, it is complete–it needs nothing else. We humans engage in activities because we are pursuing that elusive perfection, because there is disequilibrium caused by a difference between what we are and what we want to be. If God is perfect, there can be no disequilibrium. There is nothing he needs, nothing he desires, and nothing he must or will do. A God who is perfect does nothing except exist. A perfect creator God is impossible.
Perfection Begets Imperfection

But, for the sake of argument, let’s continue. Let us suppose that this perfect God did create the universe. Humans were the crown of his creation, since they were created in God’s image and have the ability to make decisions. However, these humans spoiled the original perfection by choosing to disobey God.

What!? If something is perfect, nothing imperfect can come from it. Someone once said that bad fruit cannot come from a good tree, and yet this “perfect” God created a “perfect” universe which was rendered imperfect by the “perfect” humans. The ultimate source of imperfection is God. What is perfect cannot become imperfect, so humans must have been created imperfect. What is perfect cannot create anything imperfect, so God must be imperfect to have created these imperfect humans. A perfect God who creates imperfect humans is impossible.
The Freewill Argument

The Christians’ objection to this argument involves freewill. They say that a being must have freewill to be happy. The omnibenevolent God did not wish to create robots, so he gave humans freewill to enable them to experience love and happiness. But the humans used this freewill to choose evil, and introduced imperfection into God’s originally perfect universe. God had no control over this decision, so the blame for our imperfect universe is on the humans, not God.

Here is why the argument is weak. First, if God is omnipotent, then the assumption that freewill is necessary for happiness is false. If God could make it a rule that only beings with freewill may experience happiness, then he could just as easily have made it a rule that only robots may experience happiness. The latter option is clearly superior, since perfect robots will never make decisions which could render them or their creator unhappy, whereas beings with freewill could. A perfect and omnipotent God who creates beings capable of ruining their own happiness is impossible.

Second, even if we were to allow the necessity of freewill for happiness, God could have created humans with freewill who did not have the ability to choose evil, but to choose between several good options.

Third, God supposedly has freewill, and yet he does not make imperfect decisions. If humans are miniature images of God, our decisions should likewise be perfect. Also, the occupants of heaven, who presumably must have freewill to be happy, will never use that freewill to make imperfect decisions. Why would the originally perfect humans do differently?

The point remains: the presence of imperfections in the universe disproves the supposed perfection of its creator.
All-good God Knowingly Creates Future Suffering

God is omniscient. When he created the universe, he saw the sufferings which humans would endure as a result of the sin of those original humans. He heard the screams of the damned. Surely he would have known that it would have been better for those humans to never have been born (in fact, the Bible says this very thing), and surely this all-compassionate deity would have foregone the creation of a universe destined to imperfection in which many of the humans were doomed to eternal suffering. A perfectly compassionate being who creates beings which he knows are doomed to suffer is impossible.
Infinite Punishment for Finite Sins

God is perfectly just, and yet he sentences the imperfect humans he created to infinite suffering in hell for finite sins. Clearly, a limited offense does not warrant unlimited punishment. God’s sentencing of the imperfect humans to an eternity in hell for a mere mortal lifetime of sin is infinitely more unjust than this punishment. The absurd injustice of this infinite punishment is even greater when we consider that the ultimate source of human imperfection is the God who created them. A perfectly just God who sentences his imperfect creation to infinite punishment for finite sins is impossible.
Belief More Important Than Action

Consider all of the people who live in the remote regions of the world who have never even heard the “gospel” of Jesus Christ. Consider the people who have naturally adhered to the religion of their parents and nation as they had been taught to do since birth. If we are to believe the Christians, all of these people will perish in the eternal fire for not believing in Jesus. It does not matter how just, kind, and generous they have been with their fellow humans during their lifetime: if they do not accept the gospel of Jesus, they are condemned. No just God would ever judge a man by his beliefs rather than his actions.
Perfection’s Imperfect Revelation

The Bible is supposedly God’s perfect Word. It contains instructions to humankind for avoiding the eternal fires of hell. How wonderful and kind of this God to provide us with this means of overcoming the problems for which he is ultimately responsible! The all-powerful God could have, by a mere act of will, eliminated all of the problems we humans must endure, but instead, in his infinite wisdom, he has opted to offer this indecipherable amalgam of books which is the Bible as a means for avoiding the hell which he has prepared for us. The perfect God has decided to reveal his wishes in this imperfect work, written in the imperfect language of imperfect man, translated, copied, interpreted, voted on, and related by imperfect man.

No two men will ever agree what this perfect word of God is supposed to mean, since much of it is either self- contradictory, or obscured by enigmatic symbols. And yet the perfect God expects us imperfect humans to understand this paradoxical riddle using the imperfect minds with which he has equipped us. Surely the all-wise and all-powerful God would have known that it would have been better to reveal his perfect will directly to each of us, rather than to allow it to be debased and perverted by the imperfect language and botched interpretations of man.
Contradictory Justice

One need look to no source other than the Bible to discover its imperfections, for it contradicts itself and thus exposes its own imperfection. It contradicts itself on matters of justice, for the same just God who assures his people that sons shall not be punished for the sins of their fathers turns around and destroys an entire household for the sin of one man (he had stolen some of Yahweh’s war loot). It was this same Yahweh who afflicted thousands of his innocent people with plague and death to punish their evil king David for taking a census (?!). It was this same Yahweh who allowed the humans to slaughter his son because the perfect Yahweh had botched his own creation. Consider how many have been stoned, burned, slaughtered, raped, and enslaved because of Yahweh’s skewed sense of justice. The blood of innocent babies is on the perfect, just, compassionate hands of Yahweh.
Contradictory History

The Bible contradicts itself on matters of history. A person who reads and compares the contents of the Bible will be confused about exactly who Esau’s wives were, whether Timnah was a concubine or a son, and whether Jesus’ earthly lineage is through Solomon or his brother Nathan. These are but a few of hundreds of documented historical contradictions. If the Bible cannot confirm itself in mundane earthly matters, how are we to trust it on moral and spiritual matters?
Unfulfilled Prophecy

The Bible misinterprets its own prophecies. Read Isaiah 7 and compare it to Matthew 1 to find but one of many misinterpreted prophecies of which Christians are either passively or willfully ignorant. The fulfillment of prophecy in the Bible is cited as proof of its divine inspiration, and yet here is but one major example of a prophecy whose intended meaning has been and continues to be twisted to support subsequent absurd and false doctrines. There are no ends to which the credulous will not go to support their feeble beliefs in the face of compelling evidence against them.

The Bible is imperfect. It only takes one imperfection to destroy the supposed perfection of this alleged Word of God. Many have been found. A perfect God who reveals his perfect will in an imperfect book is impossible.
The Omniscient Changes the Future

A God who knows the future is powerless to change it. An omniscient God who is all-powerful and freewilled is impossible.
The Omniscient is Surprised

A God who knows everything cannot have emotions. The Bible says that God experiences all of the emotions of humans, including anger, sadness, and happiness. We humans experience emotions as a result of new knowledge. A man who had formerly been ignorant of his wife’s infidelity will experience the emotions of anger and sadness only after he has learned what had previously been hidden. In contrast, the omniscient God is ignorant of nothing. Nothing is hidden from him, nothing new may be revealed to him, so there is no gained knowledge to which he may emotively react.

We humans experience anger and frustration when something is wrong which we cannot fix. The perfect, omnipotent God, however, can fix anything. Humans experience longing for things we lack. The perfect God lacks nothing. An omniscient, omnipotent, and perfect God who experiences emotion is impossible.
The Conclusion of the matter

I have offered arguments for the impossibility, and thus the non- existence, of the Christian God Yahweh. No reasonable and freethinking individual can accept the existence of a being whose nature is so contradictory as that of Yahweh, the “perfect” creator of our imperfect universe. The existence of Yahweh is as impossible as the existence of cubic spheres or invisible pink unicorns.

Should any Christian who reads this persist in defending these impossibilities through means of “divine transcendence” and “faith,” and should any Christian continue to call me an atheist fool, I will be forced to invoke the wrath of the Invisible Pink Unicorn:

“You are a fool for denying the existence of the IPU. You have rejected true faith and have relied on your feeble powers of human reason and thus arrogantly denied the existence of Her Divine Transcendence, and so are you condemned.”

If such arguments are good enough for Yahweh, they are good enough for Her Invisible Pinkness.

As for me and my house, we shall choose reality.

http://www.evilbible.com/Impossible.htm

Ritual Human Sacrifice in the Bible

(Why does God want me to burn animals and humans?)

The Bible, especially the Old Testament, is filled with numerous stories of animal and human sacrifice.  God, we are told, likes the pleasing aroma of burning flesh.  Animal sacrifice is much more common than human sacrifice, but both occur and are “pleasing to the Lord”.

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, has Abraham preparing to sacrifice his son to God.  “Take your son, your only son – yes, Isaac, whom you love so much – and go to the land of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you.” (Genesis 22:1-18)  Abraham takes his own son up on a mountain and builds an altar upon which to burn him.  He even lies to his son and has him help build the altar.  Then Abraham ties his son to the altar and puts a knife to his throat.  He then hears God tell him this was just a test of his faith.  However, God still wanted to smell some burnt flesh so he tells Abraham to burn a ram.

Even though he didn’t kill his son, it is still an incredibly cruel and evil thing to do.  If Abraham did that today he would be in jail serving a long sentence as someone’s prison-bitch.  It amazes me how Christians see this story as a sign of God’s love.  There is no love here, just pure unadulterated evil.

The first seven chapters of Leviticus have extensive rules regarding animal and food sacrifices.  These offerings are supposed to be burnt so that God can smell them.  If you read through these it seems clear to me that the priests were getting their followers to make a big feast for them every week.  The priests were very particular about what kind of food to bring and how to prepare it.

Even more peculiar is God’s obsession with first-born sons.  In Exodus 13:2 the Lord said “Consecrate to me every first-born that opens the womb among Israelites, both man and beast, for it belongs to me.” Later it says that you can redeem (replace) an ass with a sheep and that you must redeem a child for an unspecified price.  It is clear from the context that “consecrate” means a burning sacrifice.  These priests are guilty of theft and kidnapping.  Since any sins in the Old Testament were punishable by death, these priests used the threat of death to extort food and money from their followers.  What do we call a scum-bag that threatens to kill your kids unless you pay a ransom?  A kidnapper!  If these priests were alive today they would be in prison with Abraham.

However, in Leviticus 27:28-29, the Lord allows for no redemptions.  “Note also that any one of his possessions which a man vows as doomed to the Lord, whether it is a human being or an animal, or a hereditary field, shall be neither sold nor ransomed; everything that is thus doomed becomes most sacred to the Lord.  All human beings that are doomed lose the right to be redeemed; they must be put to death.” I must admit that I am a bit confused by this contradiction, but it might only apply to slaves in your possession.  Not that it makes any difference.  A human sacrifice is a human sacrifice, and it is just sick.

Bible Passages About Ritual Human Sacrifice

Jephthah Burns His Daughter

“At that time the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he went throughout the land of Gilead and Manasseh, including Mizpah in Gilead, and led an army against the Ammonites.  And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD. He said, “If you give me victory over the Ammonites, I will give to the LORD the first thing coming out of my house to greet me when I return in triumph.  I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.

“So Jephthah led his army against the Ammonites, and the LORD gave him victory.  He thoroughly defeated the Ammonites from Aroer to an area near Minnith – twenty towns – and as far away as Abel-keramim. Thus Israel subdued the Ammonites.  When Jephthah returned home to Mizpah, his daughter – his only child – ran out to meet him, playing on a tambourine and dancing for joy.  When he saw her, he tore his clothes in anguish.  “My daughter!” he cried out.  “My heart is breaking!  What a tragedy that you came out to greet me. For I have made a vow to the LORD and cannot take it back.”  And she said, “Father, you have made a promise to the LORD.  You must do to me what you have promised, for the LORD has given you a great victory over your enemies, the Ammonites.  But first let me go up and roam in the hills and weep with my friends for two months, because I will die a virgin.”  “You may go,” Jephthah said. And he let her go away for two months.  She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never have children.  When she returned home, her father kept his vow, and she died a virgin. So it has become a custom in Israel for young Israelite women to go away for four days each year to lament the fate of Jephthah’s daughter.”   (Judges 11:29-40 NLT)

God Commands Burning Humans

[The Lord speaking] “The one who has stolen what was set apart for destruction will himself be burned with fire, along with everything he has, for he has broken the covenant of the LORD and has done a horrible thing in Israel.” (Joshua 7:15 NLT)

Josiah and Human Sacrifice

At the LORD’s command, a man of God from Judah went to Bethel, and he arrived there just as Jeroboam was approaching the altar to offer a sacrifice.  Then at the LORD’s command, he shouted, “O altar, altar!  This is what the LORD says: A child named Josiah will be born into the dynasty of David.  On you he will sacrifice the priests from the pagan shrines who come here to burn incense, and human bones will be burned on you. (1 Kings 13:1-2 NLT)

He [Josiah] executed the priests of the pagan shrines on their own altars, and he burned human bones on the altars to desecrate them. Finally, he returned to Jerusalem.  King Josiah then issued this order to all the people: “You must celebrate the Passover to the LORD your God, as it is written in the Book of the Covenant.”  There had not been a Passover celebration like that since the time when the judges ruled in Israel, throughout all the years of the kings of Israel and Judah.  This Passover was celebrated to the LORD in Jerusalem during the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign.  Josiah also exterminated the mediums and psychics, the household gods, and every other kind of idol worship, both in Jerusalem and throughout the land of Judah.  He did this in obedience to all the laws written in the scroll that Hilkiah the priest had found in the LORD’s Temple.  Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the LORD with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses.  And there has never been a king like him since. (2 Kings 23:20-25 NLT)

Human Sacrifice

Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself.  As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; (Wisdom 3:5-7 NAB The Book of The Wisdom of Solomon is mostly in Catholic versions of the Bible.)

Child Sacrifice

And this became a hidden trap for mankind, because men, in bondage to misfortune or to royal authority, bestowed on objects of stone or wood the name that ought not to be shared.  Afterward it was not enough for them to err about the knowledge of God, but they live in great strife due to ignorance, and they call such great evils peace.  For whether they kill children in their initiations, or celebrate secret mysteries, or hold frenzied revels with strange customs… (Wisdom 14:21-23 RSV)  The Book of The Wisdom of Solomon is mostly in Catholic versions of the Bible.  This passage condemns human sacrifice but acknowledges that it did happen by early God worshipers.

Humans are Fuel for Fire

As for you, son of man, prophesy: Thus says the Lord GOD against the Ammonites and their insults: A sword, a sword is drawn for slaughter, burnished to consume and to flash lightning, because you planned with false visions and lying divinations to lay it on the necks of depraved and wicked men whose day has come when their crimes are at an end.  Return it to its sheath!  In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, I will judge you.  I will pour out my indignation upon you, breathing my fiery wrath upon you, I will hand you over to ravaging men, artisans of destruction.  You shall be fuel for the fire, your blood shall flow throughout the land. You shall not be remembered, for I, the LORD, have spoken. (Ezekiel 21:33-37 NAB)

Burn Nonbelievers

“Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods.  In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully.  If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock.  Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it.  Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt.  Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction.  Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you.  He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors.  “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

So the next time some Christian tells you about the “love of God”, show them this page and ask them “Why does God want me to burn animals and humans?”

http://www.evilbible.com/Ritual_Human_Sacrifice.htm