Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Friday, May 16, 2008

Which Is Worse?

A couple disturbing stories slipped past my desk today, both of which highlight religious immorality, but in slightly different ways.

The first took place in a small village in Northern India, where two people (including one pregnant woman) were brutally murdered for daring to defy the traditional and religious requirements of their culture. Their crime: falling in love and attempting to procreate, even though they both are from the same village. Apparently, people from the same village are considered to be the equivalent of siblings, and so falling in love with your high school sweetheart is essentially incest.

The second took place a little closer to home; one of the 40 (40!) pastors at Prestonwood Baptist Church here in Dallas was arrested for soliciting sex from whom he thought was a 13-year old girl. He arranged a meeting, showed up with a bunch of condoms, but discovered that he'd actually been talking dirty to the cops. It's been said before, but there have been so many Christian leaders discovered to be closeted kinksters, homophobic homosexuals, and outright pedophiles that this is really becoming quite the cliche. I wonder how long it'll take before the default assumption about Christian pastors is that they're one of the above, and just really good at hiding it?

Now, both of these are horrible, although the double-murder is substantially worse than the attempted statutory rape. However, I find the responses in both situations to be interesting in their differences. The Indian village that committed the atrocity is actually proud of what happened, and is defiantly resisting any suggestion that what occurred was immoral. On the other hand, Prestonwood has issued a press release acknowledging that what their pastor tried to do was wrong. And yet, both seek to resolve these immoral situations with the superstitious and traditional contexts which spawned them- making it hard for me to determine which is ultimately worse.

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At 5/17/2008 7:08 PM, Blogger Athena declaimed...

In some ways, it's a false dilemma to ask "Which is worse," since both are utterly deplorable. What they both have in common to some degree is the complicity of the community in violence directed against others. Religious communities who protect abusers at the expense of the abused are murdering souls and preying on the innocent. However, there is hope for the victims of abuse--they can become survivors and overcomers of the evil that someone else laid upon them. There is no more hope for this couple in India. So murder is worse than institutionally protected abuse of minors...but not by much.

At 5/22/2008 12:55 AM, Blogger mdf1960 declaimed...

Frankly, I think it is deplorable that someone was set up to have sex with a 13 year old who did not exist. There was no victim here. The pastor did not attempt to have sex with a real person. Of course, the guy is creepy but this is not a crime. But what about the police officers posing as little Lolitas? Isn't there something wrong with them?



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