The Collapsed Pedestal of Churches’ Moral Authority

Churches are seen as pinnacles of righteousness and arbiters of justice. At least, they promote this image of themselves and try to make their followers see them that way. For some churches, perhaps it’s true. Perhaps they are truly good Christians and not corrupted hypocritical monsters who disgrace Jesus’s teachings for personal gain and exploit his name as a shield against true justice and righteousness. Churches of different denominations have faced scandals, sometimes as individual congregations and sometimes as organized groups. It’s often the strictest, most judgmental churches, the ones that order people on how to live their lives and attempt to terrify them with the divine horrors that shall befall them if they don’t obey, who are host to sinners and criminals themselves. It is all the more galling when authorities of those churches are exposed as deviants and criminals, or people who condone and cover up the crimes of others.

The Southern Baptist Convention was exposed this year for having allowed and covered up decades of abuse within its congregations. Church leaders were known to have committed child molestation, rape, and other acts of sexual abuse against their congregants. Rather than punish the offenders, the church shamed and further abused the victims. Girls and young women who’d been impregnated by their rapists were pressured to get abortions, despite the church’s militant anti-abortion proselityzing. People who’d been abused were pressured to stay silent and threatened with violence if they revealed what was done to them. Rather than punish the powerful who committed sins and literal crimes in Christ’s name, and protect the weak and powerless whom Christ championed, the church protected the abusers and attacked the abused. This hypocrisy and cruelty should earn them a place in the worst hell of their own imaginings.

Of course, we cannot talk about hypocrisy and church scandals without discussing the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has the most well documented history of abuse and violence, particularly against children, of any organized group in the world, let alone one which purports to be God’s earthly representatives for all that is good and right. The Catholic Church is known to be guilty of the rape and murder of many thousands of children, and we can assume they’re guilty of far more over their centuries of domination.

Speaking of the Catholic Church, how are they not a target of conspiracy theorists like Qanon believers? The Catholic Church has a ritual in which they “symbolically” eat flesh and drink blood, and they have a proven history of raping children. They are literally a cannibalistic pedophile ring. Just because they pretend to be good and not satanists, they get a pass? A quick googling will turn up far more reported cases of child rape and murder at the hands of the Catholic Church than by any Satanic church or Tom Hanks. Nevertheless, there are those within the church who spread conspiracy theories against others. A real case of the pot calling the kettle black, in which the kettle is actually clean stainless steel and the pot is a cast iron burned black as fuck.

The fact that any member of the Catholic Church feels they have the authority to make any kind of moral judgment is absurd. The bishops who banned Biden and Pelosi from communion for their political support of abortion rights is ridiculous. I can think of dozens of reasons to ban both of them from any number of events, but a representative of an institution responsible for the suffering and deaths of so many children has no leg to stand on to judge them or anyone.

Churches of all kinds have committed horrible crimes and been havens for horrible criminals. In addition to the traditional churches, you know that anyone preaching
“prosperity gospel” is guilty. Any televangelist is certainly guilty. They could be guilty of any number and combination of sins and crimes. But apart from the standard sins and crimes of being liars, hypocrites, frauds, thieves, cheaters, and con artists, any church that gives cover to abusers, rapists, and murderers is worthy of no respect or authority.

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