I have a Pinterest account which I use for bookmarking and for posting things ‘I like’. A lot of my ‘pins’ started revolving around my political, social and religious views so I set up an ‘atheist, liberalist, vegetarian and progressive’ board. A while ago I posted this quote from Bill Maher.
A couple of days ago a woman commented on it:
“Percentage wise, there are more molesters in the protestant church. Well over 10%. Where as the Catholic church is under 6%.”
As you can imagine, this comment really got me angry.
Firstly, she was making this comment to an atheist! WHAT? Why would I care that one group of Christians are (apparently) molesting more than another? A religious group should NOT be molesting at all. A group of people that are apparently more trustworthy than us atheists on a high road to hell, should not be molesting AT ALL. If you declare yourself as a Christian you apparently follow a Bible that tells us:
“… Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:16
Suggesting that children are so important to Jesus that they should come to him, that the kingdom of his father belongs to them. Therefore aren’t children the innocents? Those that are protected by Jesus and God? So why is a Christian putting forth an argument that acknowledges that Catholics (I presume she’s a Catholic) are vile paedophiles, however also argues that Protestants are (apparently, ‘percentage-wise’) more perverted:
“Seriously, THAT’S your argument to an atheist? One group of Christians are dirtier, more rotten paedophiles than another?”
This was my response. Not one I’m proud of. Grammatically terrible and quickly tapped out on my iPhone.
Her response got my back up even more:
“My apologies, I didn’t know I was addressing an Atheist.”
Her original response (which I received as an email alert) stated that she didn’t realise she was addressing an atheist who couldn’t spell and that she would pray for me.
So why did this get my back up? Why do you think? Nothing about ‘actually I acknowledge that this was a really poor response. It’s terrible that molestation is occurring anywhere within Christianity.’ Oh no, she didn’t realise she was addressing an atheist.
Oh dear. Part of me knew I should have left it there. I know from other exchanges I have seen that you should just leave well alone. I have friends who are Christians that I can debate well with. We often get into situations where each of us has to go back, consult our Bibles (yes, I have a copy) and come back to continue the debate. This is healthy, this is fun, this is interesting. Debating someone online generally isn’t.
It was 4am, I couldn’t sleep because of high winds:
“aw you rewrote your comment when you realised that I CAN spell – and I’m no longer in your prayers? As for your argument – it’s not very well thought out is it? If you’re going to use percentages at least consider the numbers worldwide. 10% of the estimated Protestants worldwide is 67 million, whereas 6% of the estimated Catholics worldwide of 1.2 billion (it’s 4am – I really can’t work this out) is much higher. Don’t use percentages in your argument if it doesn’t support it!”
I should not have used sarcasm; I should have just stuck to the facts, I know that now! Then I used the first statistics I could find; school-girl error using Wikipedia:
Catholicism = 1.2 billion
Protestantism = 670 million
I couldn’t work out 6% of 1.2 billion at the time, I think it’s around 72 million?
The problem with statistics such as these is that these are ‘self-professed’ – usually garnered from national census’. However most figures that I have seen note that Catholics worldwide are around 1.2 – 1.5 billion whereas Protestants are seen to be around 400 – 700 million. So, as I argued, the use of percentages was moot. I think that I was hoping there could be a reasoned debate to follow. That we could discuss the use of statistics in debate, a discussion that perhaps arguing which denomination would win on Top Trumps for molestation was the incorrect way of going about things. Unfortunately I had entered the discussion in a confrontational manner and I regret that.
“I retracted my original statement because it was mean spirited. I wrote in haste. I did not however retract my prayers for you. I will not engage in an argument with you, as it will be fruitless for both. And, for the record, there are two accepted spellings of the word. I personally do not post or pin mean spirited or hateful “quotes” towards any group. Maybe that could be a new year’s resolution for yourself. Whether you can appreciate that is up to you. Sending you Love for your inner beauty.”
Now this response PISSED ME OFF.
WHY would an argument be fruitless? She started it – when she realised that I was right she didn’t want to engage in the debate because she knew she was wrong. So what did she do? Start insinuating that I’m mean-spirited, that I should set myself new year’s resolutions not to post hateful quotes … my quote was NOT hateful. Molestation of innocents is HATEFUL.
Even typing this riles me.
So I typed, what I hoped, would be the last exchange between us:
“Please save your prayers for the millions of innocents molested by the perverts who call themselves Christians.”
Which produced this FINAL response:
“Too late, I’ve already prayed for you. And I do pray for those who have been hurt by molestation. The thing is, its not just Christians who are doing the molesting. But I’m sure you already knew that. Have a wonderful New Year.”
Is it me or does her first sentence sound like a threat?
I really cannot be bothered to debate any more with this person. The question is not about how many people have been molested around the world by different religions, non-theists or different denominations. The fact is, the Catholic church have molesters in their clergy. The Catholic church COVER UP this molestation. They move molesters to other districts, they protect them. THAT’S THE ISSUE.
I am writing this because I am sad that the initial point of the posting was lost on this person. That they seem to think I am ‘mean-spirited’ because I wanted to debate the issue with them, or because I post atheist images on my ‘pinboard’. I’m not (although I can understand how I came across that way in my responses) I just didn’t understand how someone could post a response like that which was so, I want to say ‘ignorant’, but that sounds cruel, but I think you know what I mean?
Lesson learned – keep my religious debates to those with my friends.
btw. the link is here: http://pinterest.com/pin/275141858454255087/
please don’t spam her though – that’s not my reason for posting this blog – I just needed to get my thoughts and arguments down as succinctly as I can at 4am!