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current events, Religion

Open Letter to Rev. James J Scahill

James J Scahill is a priest who recently called for the resignation of the pope.  This is the letter I sent to him.  I would also like to address it to any of the faithful who have been bold enough to do the right thing and stand up for morality over religious loyalty.

Rev. Scahill,

I would like to commend you for your moral and brave decision to call for the pope’s resignation.  I realize you have received a great deal of praise and support for your statements, but I suspect that mine is coming from a rather different angle than most.

Allow me to introduce myself.  My pen-name is Hambydammit, and I’m an atheist blogger.  I am known as a harsh critic of all god-belief, and I believe that the world would be better off without it.  If you are interested, you can find my blog HERE.

Even though you and I are on opposite ends of the philosophical spectrum, we are both on precisely the same page when it comes to human atrocity.   I assume that you share the Catholic belief that morality comes from God.  I believe that morality comes from evolution.  But the bottom line is that both of us believe in morality, and what your Church has done to children is not moral.  It is evil.  Deplorable.  Worthy of punishment.

You might be right about the existence of God.  If you are, I believe that he is proud of you, and that he wishes more priests would lead their congregations in calls for justice.  On the other side, I believe that if God exists, he is furious with every priest who has harmed children, and even more furious with the systematic facilitation of continued abuse around the world.

The way I see it is this.  If there is a God, and he wants humans to act morally, then the moral thing for all Catholics to do at this time is to refuse to support a system that has been so grossly immoral.  Would God be more upset at good believers for quietly sitting in the pews and accepting atrocity, or for standing up for what they know to be good and virtuous, even when it involves confronting the very people who are supposed to be God’s mouthpieces on earth?  A god who would reward passivity while children suffer would not be worthy of worship.  He would deserve scorn and hate.

You and I will probably remain on opposite sides of the “God fence,” but at the end of the day, we’re both humans, and we both have a conscience  Neither of us can stand idly by while children suffer.  I am happy to be able to stand with you and call for the resignation of the pope.  I hope more decent religious people will have the courage to do what you have done.  Whether or not there is a god, there is justice that needs doing, and I am proud of you for being part of the solution.



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3 thoughts on “Open Letter to Rev. James J Scahill

  1. Decent non-religious people stand with you, Hamby.


    Posted by PaigeB | April 15, 2010, 6:29 pm
  2. I will be very interested to hear about any response you receive. I commend Father Scahill, and I appreciate your writing to him as well. This is an issue where people of all faiths, or none, can stand together. From what I hear, my old parish (at Boston College) has had almost nothing to say on the matter. I am thoroughly disgusted. I do know that many of those who stuck around after the Boston scandal have finally thrown in the towel. I agree with your POV – how is it possible to sit passively in a pew when the whole infrastructure is rotten to the core?

    Posted by Susan Walsh | April 17, 2010, 8:47 pm
  3. The pope can not resign. He doesn’t answer to anyone except God. To whom would he turn in his letter of resignation?

    Posted by BarneyBoy | April 19, 2010, 12:29 am

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