Monday, March 12, 2007

How Religion Creates Sexual Predators

Life, death, sex and rebirth are all part of the natural order.

For human beings, the idea of death is so unbearable that we turn to the supernatural for comfort.

In most theologies, the natural and the supernatural coexist and counterbalance one another in harmony.

But in western theologies, Christianity in particular, the natural and the supernatural worlds are at war.

The most tragic casualty of this war on the natural world is sex. Sex, and everything associated with sex, is dirty and sinful.

But sex is an essential part of our selves. Without sex, we would literally cease to exist. Aside from being an essential component of our being, sex is wonderful. Sex is the direct or indirect motivation behind most of what we do. Sex is the reason we get up in the morning, and the reason we go to bed at night.

To pretend that sex is not an essential part of who we are is futile at best. To demonize sex, as Christianity has done; to make it shameful and villainous and dirty, is downright dangerous. No Christian church can compete with Catholicism when it comes to the demonization of sex, which is why no Christian church is as guilty of the level of sexual crimes against the innocent as the Catholic church.

When we take one of the most enjoyable pleasures in nature, as well as one of our most primal drives, and shroud it in a cloak of sin and shame, we are alienating a vital piece of our selves from our existence. We create a powerful kernel of self-loathing deep within our own psyche because we desperately want to enjoy that vile sinful act which God has forbidden us to have (except in the most practical of circumstances, and not for the sheer joy of it).

Of all the people who participate in this cycle of hating themselves for being human beings, the most dangerous are those in power. The laws of biology and physics have dictated that those in power shall be male, and the laws of the church have cemented this hierarchy into place. But it's difficult to have confidence in your own moral authority when you have that kernel of self-loathing gnawing at you from the inside; to chastise another human being for doing what you so desperately want to do yourself (or what you do, but have to hide because your trying to convince everyone that it's a terrible thing to do). Moreover, you can't be honest with yourself about your desires, after all, God can see right through to your soul!

Enter the scapegoat: Women.

The object of your own desire?


Evil, lustful, temptresses! Pluckers of the forbidden fruit, beguilers of the faithful Adam. Witches: consorting in the moonlight with the vile serpent. They must be controlled because they are evil by nature.

So now, in a vain attempt to gain the favor of our supernatural god, we have twisted and suppressed our most powerful drive (without diminishing our desire to pursue that drive), and we have villainized half of our species (our mothers, our daughters, our wives, our sisters).

There's no way to come out of this without psychological damage. This is sexual predator psychology 101: self-loathing, women hating men in positions of moral authority. Of course children are going to get hurt! Children are easy to intimidate and manipulate, especially when their tormentor is a vessel of the almighty God.

Thankfully in America, we have a rule of law that is just secular enough that the church will not escape from these crimes unscathed. It is because of victims seeking justice in American courts against the Catholic church that we can all see the true spiritual sickness that western religion perpetuates in the form of systematic and institutionalized sexual assaults on innocent children.

But the San Diego Diocese may have found a way to slink out of the public spotlight by filing bankruptcy. Not to keep from compensating their victims, but to keep their victims from having their day in court; to keep all of us from witnessing the gruesome details of their crimes.

Because, let's face it, the surest way to end this sick and twisted cycle of sexual abuse is honesty; and that's the last thing the Catholic church wants.


sinincincinnati said...

I just want to bring your attention to the books by Leonard Shlain, MD.
He thinks women began losing ground with the rise of the alphabet.
Notice it's the West that uses the alphabet as compared to the East that uses pictograms.

Damion said...

The religious mindset is one of split personalities, I would say bordering on schizophrenia. In the truly fanatical, you have the perception of the self; this idealized image of a twisted perfection, suppressing and demonizing the basic urges which are the instincts and feelings that make us human. This is what leads to the tortured soul and onto the sadistic practices of flagellation and all the other horrendous things that we do to ourselves and others in the name of god.

Now, in the case of the masses, religion is used for control. In San Diego and Boon county Kentucky they have creationist museums. One of my favorite exhibits is a life size sculpture of adam feeding a velociraptor an apple. I won't even begin to dissect what is wrong with that picture. What is plain to see here is that we are dealing with: an intellect that has been retarded in its development.

That brings us to faith, and it is through faith that one dumbs-down an individual. Faith is the suppression of reason and with reason suppressed, why, anything is possible. Zeich heil!

BlackSun said...

Good points Heather. I've raised similar allegations in the following posts:

This religious repression by men of women's sexuality is a prime example of the denial of the shadow which you describe.

Many times women are also complicit in this repression, because they have become comfortable with the state of affairs. They have accepted the male guilt trip and projection.

Hence the proliferation of archetypes such as 'slut' to describe promiscuous women. While men who are promiscuous are considered heroes.

Nice blog. I'll be adding you to my blogroll.

Heather Annastasia said...


Thank you so much. I like you blog, so your comment really means a lot to me.

I completely agree that women become complicit in the sociological cycle of hating women, and it gets to the point where both males and females are the victims as well as the perpetrators.

Our culture is getting better, because we are more secular, but can you imagine growing up in a culture where girls' genitals are mutilated at the age of five or six because it's the only way to keep the little sluts pure for their future husband/owner?

Can a father in that culture ever feel the joy of holding his baby girl without remembering that deep in her tiny heart, she's just a dirty whore?

Can a mother look into her daughter's eyes without feeling the sting of her own self-loathing?

Does a little boy in that culture ever get to experience the innocent adoration of a big-eyed little girl, or are those feelings muddled with fear and loathing?

I shudder to think about what it must feel like to be that little girl.

A very short and excellent novel, if anyone is interested, is Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi.

vjack said...

Excellent post! I think you really nailed the link between religious delusion and problematic sexual issues. I found you from Carnival of the Godless.

Heather Annastasia said...

Yea Carnival of the Godless!

Deep Thought said...

Wow! Have you ever read any actual Catholic of Orthodox theology of sexuality? It is both the dominant strain of Christian theology on earth and totally unlike how you have portrayed all 'Western theology'.

Further, we all know there is no such thing as a sexual predator fueled by a lack of personal power who seeks it in its absence through predation... Right? 'Cuz if that did exist, then your theory is a little weak. And thank heavens there are no atheist or female sexual predators, huh?

Heather Annastasia said...

Deep Thought,

Good points, thank you.

First, I would like to point out the obvious fact that there are many forms of sexual predators and many motivations fueling their actions. I have outlined one of the more common scenarios when it comes to repressing sex and sexuality.

Now, as far as actual Catholic Orthodox theology, you must understand that there has always been a gap between the ideas written down in the ivory towers of the church and the ideas that are actually preached at the local parishes. "Catholic orthodox theology" is a large and varied body of work written by some of the most brilliant and educated minds in history., and yes, I've read quite a bit of it. At it's core, every piece of accepted Catholic doctrine since St. Augustine (who was one of the driving forces behind this basic principle of Catholicism) has reviled sex and sexuality except as a means of reproduction.

I think the most important thing to remember here is that you can judge a tree by the fruit it bears. It's not just that so many priests get caught raping and molesting children, it's that the higher-up officials respond by covering up the crimes and relocating the priests so they can continue to rape and molest children. Then, after decades and decades of overseeing the rape and molestation of hundreds of children, when Cardinal Barnard Law was finally being investigated for his role in these crimes, he gets promoted to the Vatican where U.S. authorities can't touch him.

So I don't think theories or theology have any bearing here; it's quite obvious what these people do. An just because they're not the only people on earth who molest children, does that mean they should be able to get away with it?