marc jordanThe story above (the story that will follow if you’re reading this by RSS feeds) has filled me with such rage that I have to vent. I was listening yesterday to a heart-wrenching song by the excellent Canadian jazz/rock singer/composer Marc Jordan. The song is called Little Lambs and it’s about the sexual and physical abuse of children at many Orphanages in Catholic Quebec and other provinces at the hands of the church, over many years. It pretty well summarizes what I think of organized religion, including the current dreadful pope. The song never fails to bring tears to my eyes. Damn these religions that tell you if you confess your sins you’re absolved of responsibility. Damn the lawyers and the politicians and the executives who allow corporations and organizations and despicable individuals to destroy lives and inflict unbearable cruelty on the helpless. May they all suffer the fate much worse than hell: to face at the moment of their death the faces of children, full of loathing and disgust for what these worthless and pathetic excuses for human beings did during their pitiful, warped, wasted lives.

Little Lambs

On the highway – blinding snow
An hour North of MontrÈal
All night long the bells were still
Children rocking in their cells

Tell me that your love is true
And I will give my heart to you
Jesus don’t leave me alone
A little lamb without a home.

Down the hallways like a fire
Priests would come drunk with desire
In the silent night I cried
For the things that they denied

Say your rosary for me
Get right down upon your knees
Jesus left you all alone
A little lamb without a home.

So I dreamed of sailing ships
And families out on Sunday trips
Pillows for our heads of eiderdown
Don’t forget to say your prayers
Pray that you belong somewhere
Jesus left me all alone
A little lamb without a home.

Father Roy sits in his chair
Cups his hands and says his prayer
But tonight his tears fall down like rain
Let the walls come falling down
Let the flood cover this town
Jesus leaves us all alone
Little lambs without a home.

So now I’ve cried twice in 24 hours. Sometimes the sheer impossibility of ridding this world of pain, violence, suffering and cruelty becomes almost too much to bear.
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  1. Indigo Ocean says:

    It is a tricky thing striking the right balance so that we are both tuned-in/aware and vitalized enough to act. It is the same goal in meditation, to be both completely alert and completely relaxed. The way to achieve this in life, I think, is to carefully manage where we place our attention. Make sure that you take as much time savoring the beauty of life as you do keeping score on the atrocities. Huston C. Smith said to me at my MA graduation that life is full of both tragedy and beauty; the tragedy is inescapable, but we must try not to miss the beauty. I would add, without spirits that have been rejuvenated by the beauty of nature and loving relationships within a community of family, friends and hospitable “strangers,” how will any of us have the strength to overcome the diligent action of those with hearts decayed by fear, greed, and reckless disregard for others? Rather than saying that evil never sleeps, I would say it sleeps quite well, with no conflict, fully relaxed. That’s why it can work with full energy while its awake. We have more conflict because we have empathy and insight. The debate is not abstract to us. So we must work hard to counteract this inherent handicap in the situation. We must prioritize our happiness, work to create rejuvenating relationships, both with people and with nature. If we don’t we will be lost as one more vicitm of the cruelty.

  2. mrG says:

    I hear that white people sold others into slavery. Is this true? Then damn them all, “May they all suffer the fate much worse than hell …”Nowhere, to my knowledge, does any Catholic doctrine place priests outside and above humanity; to my understanding, the basis of theirs and all Christianities is a belief in the fundamental humanity of the Christ. Nowhere does it say that confession absolves you of responsibility; what it does say is that it affirms God’s love and that no redemption is possible without pennance.In the movie, “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” (highly recommended) the escaped convicts join up with the parish, but they still have to serve their sentences, it does not protect them from jail or absolve them from their debt to society, it only offers a possible meaning to that servitude.No group holds any monopoly in stupidity, greed, lust, cruelty or ignorance. None. The Seven Deadly Sins are equitably distributed throughout humanity without regard for race, creed, colour or occupation. There was nothing done in those Orphanages that was not done in state-run Residential Schools, or even, if the allegations be true, in totally average upscale suburban daycares. No group holds any monopoly, but the Catholics, the Unitarians, the Presbyterians, the Lutherans and all the other ‘ics and ‘ians will disagree with you one one very fine point of clerical order: Given pennance, all are worthy of redemption. Pigs and schools considered, that’s a powerful love-statement, that one.

  3. Dave Pollard says:

    Gary: Believe in the church if it helps you get through the night, but please spare me the sanctimonious crap. We are all born innocent, and it is not in basic human nature to subject others to violence and cruelty. It’s a learned behaviour, and nowhere has this ‘learning’ been taught better for the past millennia than by organized religions — most of which have an uninterrupted history of abuse of power and bloodthirsty savagery. There is no excuse, no absolution, no redemption, for violence and cruelty to another living creature, especially one helpless to defend itself. I singled out the Catholic Church for particular scorn because the song was specifically about the Quebec ‘Duplessis Orphans’ who were nearly all in Catholic churches. The Catholic Church in Quebec, in cahoots with the Duplessis regime, forced ‘sinful’ unmarried mothers to give up their children, and then forced the abandoned babies into these Catholic-run torture chambers masquerading as ‘orphanages’, which the government then funded. The more unwanted pregnancies, the more babies stolen from their parents for ‘moral’ reasons, the more money for the Catholic church coffers. I also believe that this hopeless dim-witted reactionary pope, with his archaic and inhumane views on abortion and birth control and head-in-the-sand inaction on abuse of power by priests, has by virtue of this inexcusable dogma caused more needless human suffering and anguish than ten thousand Mother Teresas could ever rectify. My hope is that we will one day all be educated enough in critical thinking to reject organized religion entirely and become humanists. Then perhaps, the dreadful scourge of churches will we wiped forever from the face of the Earth. So redemption be damned — what we need is prevention.

  4. Daphne says:

    Society will not consider you a good parent if you don’t take your children to catechism classes. You are then “brain-washed” to believe in the existence of a good and righteous God.Then you grow up and see the world: the evil and the terrible–and you wonder where is God’s hand in all this? Then you realize, oh my god, there is no god…It’s all been made up by some people of long ago who wanted to terrorize the people into obeying them. The majority of people are gullible–and religion was born. Has anybody ever returned from the after-life and told us what heaven or hell was like? It’s all someone’s imagination written down and made to look like fact. King James’ version is the more popular…

  5. Dick says:

    You know where the good Doctor Omed & I stand on this one, Dave. Thanks for posting it.

  6. Bill Brandon says:

    Dave, not that I expect to change your mind, or the minds of others who have commented, but I’m going to say my piece anyway.A tiny fraction of people in authority sometimes abuse that authority. Sometimes priests do it. Sometimes police officers do it. Sometimes rabbis do it. Sometimes parents do it. Sometimes ministers in Protestant denominations do it. Sometimes atheists who lead governments do it. You name an institution, you can name examples of people in authority who did horrible things under the cloak of that authority granted them by the institution. The institution – police, church, corporation, whatever – did not sanction or authorize or condone the abuse. The other people who were members of those organizations or institutions or beliefs didn’t say it was ok by them. I don’t know too many atheists who will say that what Stalin did to millions of Russians was ok and correct. I don’t know many Canadians who will say that what was done to Native American children in Canadian boarding schools was a good thing. I don’t know any Catholics who will say that what a few priests have done is ok and correct. It’s not right to tar all unbelievers with the same brush, and it’s not right to tar all Christians/Moslems/Jews with the same brush.The vast majority of religious people and their ministers have not done these horrible things to children. We cry about the evil as well, and we take action to eliminate it when we find out about it. You don’t own the exclusive right to moral indignation, you know.Frankly, my impression is that you, and some of the other posters here, don’t have a problem with a particular religion so much as you have a problem with the expression of any authority other than your own. You’re welcome to believe that (as one poster has said) “the majority of people are gullible” and that you know best how to save the world, but you’ll have to pardon me if I don’t buy your judgment and condemnation, or your plan for saving my very un-gullibleself.

  7. Daphne says:

    Priests are the last people on earth you would expect the kind of behaviour described here. Who are you, Bill B. to say that “we” have the exclusive right to moral indignation, that “we” have a problem with the expression of authority other than our own, that “we” know how best to save the world?We are expressing opinions here. We are not ramming it down your throat. If you don’t like it, you’re not forced to buy it.By the way, the point of the discussion here is NOT about our singular abilities to express what we think.

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