Thursday, September 07, 2006

Praying On It

These two articles appeared in the newspaper on the same day this week. This is why I don't go to church any longer:

A group of women and children escaped a religious commune in the Ozarks where the leaders had been molesting young girls. The girls were told their bodies needed to be prepared for "service to God." One 63-year-old pastor told a child he was giving her "angel kisses" as he touched her sexually. The molestation perpetuated by this group has been occuring since the late 1970s.

In Norfolk, VA a Baptist minister is accused of having a sexual relationship with the wife of a married couple he was counseling. The wife says the minister "mentally manipulated" her into a sexual relationship by telling her that her husband was having an affair.

I am so sick of reading garbage like this -- literally every month there is something in the news about some religious asshat who has forced or manipulated women and children into unwanted sexual situations. It's disgusting. It doesn't seem to matter what religion -- they've all been affected.

Shortly after my husband and I started attending a church when we lived in upstate NY, one of the priests was removed for molesting children. I know there are child molestors everywhere, but it sure seems like there are more than their share involved with religion. Maybe because it is easier to manipulate people, especially children. They can pretend to be "holier than thou" and convince confused children that God wants them to do these things.

I've just gotten so disillusioned with traditional, organized religion for this reason. At this point, I believe I can pray at home just as well as at a church. I don't know that I can walk into a church now without wondering if one of the pastors is preaching about living a clean life on a Sunday morning and then molesting a child that evening.

Has the recent publicity regarding religious leaders committing illegal or inappropriate sexual acts affected how you view your religion and church?


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