Facing the Holy Double Standard

By Carl S ~

Have you thought about the incompatibility between what clerics and other Christian-morality figureheads preach and their private behavior? Since access to information of clergy immorality is available as never before, we see by what's exposed good reasons to doubt they actually believe what they’re preaching. How can pedophile clergy continue to rape children, cheat on their spouses, and lie outright as if truth has no meaning, meanwhile trusting they will get away with such behaviors? Do they really believe that an all-seeing deity-judge is watching them? How could they dare?

Christians may give us explanations in order to forgive and rationalize clerical perpetrators, as they did immediately following the first revelations of pedophilic clerical acts. They'd look at me, as one young man did, say "Carl, you just have to understand..." (Such believers, I've found, aren't interested in my points, but are preaching to me. And why do I "have" to understand?) I'm going to turn the mirror around so they can see what they're saying. I'm going to point out on this page there is the reality of a holy double standard pertaining to the priests, imams, rabbis, "reverends," exclusively, with a different set for their followers. Societies won't challenge this. (For quick evidence of this: anyone can find overt examples by reading about cult leaders and their adherents. Loyalty to religion is as strong as the loyalty still given to Warren Jeffs.

To understand how the systems supporting immoral behavior works, we need to look at the bigger picture. Loyalty to the religious institutions carries with it the assurance: "We protect our own." Cover-ups are part of the unwritten contract. Their ministers belong to Never Reveal Organization Forgiving. Don't assume otherwise; it has ever been so, from the beginning, right back to ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. "God" is a cover. Religion isn't so much like politics but politics itself.

In order to keep the faith, believers are willing to look the other way.The holy double standard doesn't mean so much "Do as I say, not as I do; " rather it is an assumption the claimants are entitled to respect even when they cross the boundaries of the morality others must follow; just because they speak for and are authorities of God. If you think about it, this makes perfect theological sense: just as God is exempt from accountability and explanations to his children, so too are his anointed leaders. (Remember: The first response to accusations of pedophilic priest cover-ups in Boston was, “Separation of church and state")

In order to keep the faith, believers are willing to look the other way. The churches count on their unwillingness, unless confronted with the unavoidable public shame brought about through public revelations. This is power itself. Even after so many years of these, there are still faithful Catholics. Morality is not the priority; being faithful to the tribe is valued more than personal conscience. Clergy know that as long as they are loyally playing the game by the internal rules set up for them, such as spouting the party line, they're safe. They don't need to believe the doctrines they preach; they have only to convince others to believe. Let's be honest. This is their job. It's what they're paid to do. We're dealing with practicality after all.

Religions feel neither shame no remorse for their immoral actions; these they reserve for their individual members to live with, and personally repent for. Every one of them. "Men of God" owe loyalty to their superiors and to one another, and not to moral codes. It's the system not mentioned. To quote from Catholic ritual: "As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, amen." No God needed, watching, intervening, caring, or otherwise involved. Ask the victims.