I have a poor attention span when it comes to watching movies at home. If you want me to concentrate on something then its best to drag me to the cinema and force me to sit there without any distraction. At home I am usually multi-tasking (and this is often fine for the average chick flick which require minimal concentration) so a movie has to be really interesting for it to receive my undivided attention. This was one of those rare occasions….
Spotlight is the true story of the Boston Globe’s ‘Spotlight’ team and their mission to uncover the extent of child abuse taking place within the Catholic Church. It all begins with a column accusing the Cardinal/Archbishop of Boston (the big boss of the Catholic Church) of having knowledge of one his minion priests sexually abusing children but sweeping it under the rug by moving the dirty perve from one church to the next rather than taking the necessary steps to have him put behind bars.
This single investigation opens up a can of works with the Spotlight team discovering a pattern of sexual abuse by priests in the Boston area and whats worse the depth ongoing cover-up by the church, because at this point the crimes date back decades and involve almost 100 priests just in the local context. Eventually, the journalists realise that the problem is so entrenched that it is no longer about exposing the perverted priests but about taking on the Catholic church. It’s a risky move considering the power of the institution and the fact that the majority of the Boston Globe’s readership is Catholic.
The movie won two Oscars, so you don’t really need me telling you that it is worth watching but I think whats most important here are the issues that it brought to light to a mainstream audience. While the news of paedo priests is nothing new to us. We know it goes on all over the place and its not just within the Catholicism. I doubt there is any religious movement in the world which hasn’t had its reputation tarnished by some sort of sexual scandal. And while peadophilia and sexual abuse isn’t just limited to religious organisations and many still argue that most perpetrators are members of the victims family, close friends, teachers, etc rather that religious leaders, the fact is we probably expect better of these people. After all, they do spend their whole lives dedicated to telling the rest of us fallen people how to live our lives in a way that God would approve of.
I’m a godless creature so naturally these stories simply serve to give me more ammunition against #teamgod. But I think sex scandals within all religions should make everyone question the relevance of certain aspects of these religious teachings and what exactly they end up promoting. Sure, we live in a world where hook-up culture is the norm and maybe there are a few of us that could do with exercising some restraint when it comes to the bedroom department but that said, sex isn’t something which should be demonized. As far as I’m concerned, celibacy isn’t normal for human beings. While we do have better capabilities when it comes to reasoning and controlling our desires at the end of the day we are just animals. And as animals we have sexual needs which need to be fulfilled. Artificially suppressing these desires in attempt to win favor with the Big G or for whatever reason isn’t healthy. Maybe it isn’t just the promotion of celibacy as an ideal that has led to a disproportionate amount dirty perves that we find hiding within religious organisations but its certainly a factor. Forgive my crude reasoning but I do think if religious folk were allowed to have wives, girlfriends, FWBs (or even pay for sexual favours) without feeling guilty about it maybe then they wouldn’t need to turn their attention to innocent children.
I am not idealistic enough to think if the religious folk were allowed to free somewhat more sexually promiscuous like the rest of the society all of the pervs would magically disappear. The problem is certainly more complex and not something that can be addressed in a single blog post (or movie) but we do have start somewhere and perhaps its time religious movements got with the times and started being a bit more self-reflective about their own people instead of just trying to convert the rest of us to their way of thinking.
Alrighty Rinsers. I am ready for some hate mail coming my way so do your worse. Why do you think so many disgustingly perverted people are found hiding behind religion? Or is it the religion that makes them that way? What do you think should be done to the perpetrators of such crimes and the movements that not only harbor them but actively work to conceal their misdeeds? Go wild in the comments below.