Movie Review : Spotlight – Religion and Paedophilia

spotlight

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. 

 

 

 

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19 comments

  1. Bronnie · October 26, 2016

    I’m also godless, too many rules. I am intrigued by this film though as I think so much goes on that is covered up – it’s quite disturbing to think people think it’s OK and that God would approve. Thanks for the review, I shall check it out!

    Liked by 4 people

    • EnglishRosiee · October 26, 2016

      I love that you are godless too! We need to rally together against #teamgod !

      Film is excellent and its crazy how many people were behind the cover-up! Pretty sick what the fear of god can do these days!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. bexoxo · October 26, 2016

    First off, I saw this in theaters and loved it; it really is a great movie. Now onto the subject: I personally, have struggled my entire life with my dedication to the church. I grew up attending a christian daycare for the first 11 years of my life and I lived directly next to a church where my mom, brother and I would attend every Sunday. When I was about 10, the new preacher started stealing money from the church offerings and tried to blame my mom who was in charge of the finances; we stopped going. Then, during the beginning of middle school, I started going to a Wednesday night youth group. I rediscovered my relationship with God and for a good 6 months or so, I felt that I found my place in the world. That was until my dad had a heart attack. He survived, but at the age of 12, I started questioning why: Why would He allow this to happen? Why does He want people to suffer? So I gave up on Christianity, and to show my rebellion, became as close to a gothic chick as possible without actually worshiping the devil. I gave Christianity another shot when I met my ex. His mom was a pastor, so I began to frequent her church every Sunday for a couple of years. I was never fully vested partly because of my past experience and partly because they were the type of group that spoke in tongues, which, if you’re not used to, can be very unsettling. Then, I was raped. My attacker was a ‘man of God’; he went to church twice a week, quoted scripture verses on the reg, and prayed over everything. It is because of all this that I now consider myself an agnostic. A part of me still wants to believe in God, but at this point in my life, I just wanna say to him: Go fuck yourself!
    As for the church covering up priests raping children… as far as I’m concerned, there are more bad things than good things that come from the Catholic church now-a-days (spoken like a true non-Catholic). I agree with your sentiment that keeping the ‘people of the cloth’ celibate for all of eternity is partly to blame. But there will always be a few bad seeds in any group, so I try not to judge based on such facts. However, for the Archbishop to shuttle around known rapists to hide the fact that there was such wrong-doings, is beyond disgusting. He was only trying to cover his ass along with the ass of the Catholic church that isn’t just local or even national; it’s freaking international! And he knew that the entire denomination would get flack if news like that were leaked. I could go on for eternity about this, but I feel like I should stop now (I feel like I have possibly offended enough people for the day). If there are any questions you would like me to answer directly, feel free to ask.
    Also, if anyone reads this and will go and watch the movie, watch through the beginning of the credits: it lists hundreds of churches and locations of known instances of people of the clergy sexually abusing/assaulting children. Its horrifying to say the least.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EnglishRosiee · October 27, 2016

      Thanks for sharing your story!

      I think we can reasonably accept there are flawed individuals within a religious organisation but what the Spotlight story showed was how systematic the cover-up was. Even those that weren’t dirty perves weren’t willing to what was morally right. Maybe to them the justification of maintaining a facade of decency for their movement is more important than protecting innocent children. That was the biggest issue here and probably what makes people distrust religion.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Vegan Mystic · October 26, 2016

    I wanted to see this movie on the big screen but it never happened and as of yet, I am still to see the film. But I definitely will. A school friend of my ex-husband was abused by their priest when he served as an altar boy and he attempted suicide many times as an adult. He brought charges and highlighted the case in the media. My ex-husband thought the only reason he wasn’t targeted himself was because his father was a policeman. With regard to priests being allowed wives, this would not work in my opinion. I know of someone who works with sex offenders and has to hear them talk of becoming aroused at seeing little ones in nappies. Having a wife/partner around for sexual pleasure does not change this type of brain malfunction.

    God is not religious. God is within so none of us are Godless. People may sometimes forget this or ignore it but God is always within, the higher power awaits anyone willing to “tune in”. acknowledge it and work with it to develop higher consciousness. This is spirituality. A beautiful, loving way of being. Religion was man made to control the masses and keep people in line with rules and threats and the fear of burning in hell should a toe slip out of line. My parents are evangelical and some of the stuff I have to listen to…!

    Keep up your great blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EnglishRosiee · October 27, 2016

      Hi there.

      Thanks for your comments. Always good to hear different opinions.

      So maybe allowing the priests wives wouldn’t necessarily stop them but it may have worked for even just a few. What about condemning homosexuality? That could also be a factor that makes these priests suppress their true identity …. Clearly there are disproportionate number of religious folk (not just Catholics) involved in this disgusting behavior.

      Religion does need to take some of the blame for this. Especially the need to cover-up this stuff. It is hypocritical.

      You have to believe in the idea of god to believe he is within all of us. If you don’t believe in god….then you can essentially claim to be godless! Just saying!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hopelessly Romantic Cinderella · October 28, 2016

      Totally agree with you about religion being a way of controlling people through fear. And these peadophilia incidents show this to be true. Whats worse priests/clergy are essentially unelected but appointed by the church/mosque/whatever and there morals are often questionable – SO who the hell are they to tell people what to do. Thank (I won’t say God as I don’t believe in that) godness people have access to other views/opinions now through the internet and we don’t have to believe this shit we are spoon fed by religion. Yet, we see from movies like this one these perverted scum bags now how to expertly pick their victims – children, innocent people, looking to be loved. DISGUSTING.

      Like

  4. Her Majesty · October 26, 2016

    It is misunderstanding of Christianity and possibly religion that leads to all these cases. The views of religion that people have especially Christianity are so flawed because they advocate for rigidity. This is due to humanity’s flaw that constantly seeks for perfection so much that we end up putting a yoke on people that it not in line with the actual views of the bible. As for celibacy being a cause for abuse and paedophilia that is by no means true. I am not Catholic but I do believe that one chooses to be a priest and live celibate a gift which even Apostle Paul states is given to very few. It is their fault for trying to keep a facade of holiness when noone requires them to. They should be put in prison for using their position to manipulate people.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. EnglishRosiee · October 27, 2016

    I agree that it is not totally to do just with religion but also about power. The problem is that these priests feel the need to use the fear of god to justify their perverted behaviour and brainwash/manipulate their poor victims! And religion is so entrenched in peoples minds across the board that they almost seem to forget what is really right and wrong! Craziness!

    Like

  6. EttaD · October 28, 2016

    I think my comment got lost somewhere! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • EnglishRosiee · October 28, 2016

      Oh no!

      Like

      • EttaD · October 28, 2016

        I posted one a few days ago, but it’s gone. Will try to post again later, if I can remember all of what I had written 😉 lol!

        Like

      • EnglishRosiee · October 28, 2016

        Oh no! I checked spam but nothing there either

        Liked by 1 person

  7. EttaD · October 28, 2016

    This is the jist of what I said.
    Why do you think so many disgustingly perverted people are found hiding behind religion? Disgusting perverts are everywhere, politicians, doctors, lawyers, the only difference is the church pulls more attention it’s supposed to be a sanctuary.

    Or is it the religion that makes them that way? Religion cannot make a person perverted, all it does is gives them a hiding place.
    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? They should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

    Liked by 2 people

    • rinsebeforeuse · October 31, 2016

      You are right about the world being full of perverts. But I think they hypocrisy with religious leaders is because of the type of work they are supposed to do. Would you ask a doctor not to perform life saving surgery on you because he was a dirty perve? Probably not! But the essence of a priest/iman/rabbi, etc job is to offer moral/spiritual guidance to people – how can we trust a perve to do that?

      I think the church (and the others) as an institution needs to be held to account . We should send in observers/secret agents to find out what else going on within these organisations and they should be made to pay compensation to the victims to. If a mum or dad was suspected of child abuse social services would be in there taking the kids away in a flash – the same should apply to the church and anyone found to be concealing these crimes should face heavy punishments too.

      Like

  8. angelacampbellx12 · October 31, 2016

    Hi I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award!
    https://angelacampbellblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/the-sunshine-blogger-award/

    Like

  9. bklynboy59 · November 4, 2016

    Wow you really know how to get people started don’t you LOL.
    Ok for what it’s worth …no disrespect but …I understand that you are a non conformist which is your right. Religion is supposed to be based on God’s word the bible, even the bible said not all religion would be right and pleasing so we see that today. Those that feel they need to be without sex are rare indeed and many of those who are religious and yet lead sex lives make it bad for others to believe that religion is upright. So the question is which is more important Religion or spirituality? A spiritual person would not do the things you outlined that they do every though these so called priests and others are religious. If you believe in Christ and believe what he taught then you know he spoke out against those that claim one thing and lived another.
    Like I said you know how to get people started LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Oh Lord… | BEXoxoBlog
  11. Pingback: Open-Mindedness in Dating : Could it be a Bad Thing? | rinse before use

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