(one-sided) conversations with Sir Richard

I concur that you are a brilliant man
(not some selfish gene flash-in-the-pan)
so I’d like a rational discussion with you
re your rationale I find somewhat askew

While I’m fundamentally with your position on God
I find your fundamentalism disturbingly odd
Yes, I was importunately sermonised in my youth
but would never label it child abuse

There are many true victims of that aberration
which has little to do with attempted ‘salvation’

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27 thoughts on “(one-sided) conversations with Sir Richard

    • He does raise some vallid points, Cin, so I understand the ‘kind, of’ qualification, but what I perceive as his extreme flippancy on the question of paedophilic child abuse is utterly abhorrent to me. Also, a label of child abuser could never apply to the person close to me who has been guilty of constant sermonizing since I was a child, as negatively as it may have impacted my life and our relationship. I probably learnt to question things a lot more as a result, actually…

  1. Great read, and I’m sure Sir Richard would relish the chance to reply, bb, ๐Ÿ˜‰ I suppose one track minded would be a better description that selfish. I wear my gene’s with pride, um. do they make my bum look big? ๐Ÿ˜€ xPenx

    • ha, ha – as a friend, I would have to say, “No! Of course not!”

      He is a very fascinating man – and I would love to sit down for a private chat over a cuppa ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Great poem bluebee and raises a number of issues. I think he is treading on dangerous ground when he trivialises sexual abuse, though there is a scale of severity (obviously) but comparing sexual abuse with the so called abuse of being a catholic is a bit weird – I will have to think some more about it. I do believe being brought up a strict catholic can be damaging to the psyche, however it depends on the individual, and nowadays the concept of hell has all but disappeared (unless fundamentalist) so is irrelevant.

    • You’re right, Gabrielle, very dangerous, but then he has never been afraid of doing that, sometimes to the point where he seems almost not to be real – I find it really fascinating. And I agree (from experience) that (attempted ๐Ÿ™‚ ) religious indoctrination of a child can be quite damaging (and can really tear families apart), but so can a lot of other ideologies, opinions etc that abound in the different groups we are part of as children – Your comment “to think some more about it” certainly resonates – it’s something I’ve been doing for a long time ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Haha – I know what you mean – in fact the issue of ‘is it abusive to indoctrinate with fundamentalist catholic beliefs such as hell’ I have been thinking about for at least a quarter of a century and even had discussions with a psychiatrist or two, but I have not given as much thought to the sexual abuse issue as comparative abuse (ie., comparing the two). Can never think too much about an issue (well maybe you can ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

  3. There must be an especially hot place in hell reserved for those who abuse their positions of trust and authority, whether as parent, teacher, or religious leader. Exhorting and annoying – well, that’s the job of a parent and is something very different, agreed.

    • Although I’m fortunate enough not to have had my trust abused by an authority figure as a child, it does seem to be a sadly ubiquitous problem, Monica. (And, yes, I guess it is a parent’s job to be annoying – one they seem to do awfully well when we are children/adolescents ๐Ÿ˜€ )

  4. A very interesting poem, BB,, and a very interesting discussion.
    I feel that to equate catholicism in any way with child abuse is a mistake. True, things have happened which have made that equation in the minds of people, but it must be said that for every child abuser there are thousands who are working to build up childrens’ lives and self images to give them a sound start in life.
    I am a Catholic who is also an engineer. I spent my life in factories with a wide variety of good people from all religions and walks of life, and I was the richer for it. I was brought up in “the old school” but I do not feel very damaged (but then, who am I to judge!).

    A very thoughtful and thought provoking poem BB. Thank you.
    John

    • I agree that it is a mistake. Your comments indicate that your considerable experience in life has taught you that good people come from many different backgrounds and ideologies. I don’t subscribe to religious faith, but I find Richard Dawkins’ stance on this matter just as preposterous as the notion that one needs to have faith or religion to lead a moral and altruistic life. Simplistic labelling of this sort really boggles my mind.

      Thank you for your valued comments and insights on this subject, John ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Very good. I think the problem with RD (yes, that’s right – I called him ‘RD’) is that he gets rather carried away and attacks Christians in general as if they all share the views of a fundamentalist few.

    That said, I agree with him totally re. the epistemological shortcomings of Christianity, even if I do reserve the right to disagree in some ways with his intended extension re. the ethical shortcomings.

    • Absolutely, Edward. I find him as extreme (and emotional in his responses) as some of the people he attacks. While I don’t subscribe to religious beliefs, and think that religion has much to answer for and too often obstructs the path to critical thinking, I see the value that it can bring to people’s lives as much as, say, philosophy, art or science. We are all struggling to find meaning and a way to deal with the human condition. Thanks for your comment.

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