Today’s Grilled Atheist selection comes from somebody close.
Dear Brother Sam,
I saw this Cathy Lynn Grossman piece in USA Today online. Here’s one of the questions she puts to atheists. “What about all the immense good -- social services and health care just for starters - provided to millions by the Catholic Church?”
Dear Sister Somebody,
That’s what passes for an argument among big time theists these days? Goddamn. Well, let me just hunker down and see can’t I dash off a little something by way of short but dignified reply.
Dear Sister Cathy Lynn,
I can’t imagine a theist wanting to engage on the subject of what all the Catholic Church has done. And I’ll leave it for others to weigh the human costs against the “immense good" you ascribe to the Catholic Church. But doing good doesn’t obviate bad acts. What about all the immense good -- social services and health care just for starters - provided by the Familia drug cartel? Should they get a pass on the murders and kidnappings because they offer social services?
Should rights be apportioned according to the amount of social benefit individuals and groups provide? Maybe we could issue credits. Feed ten children for a week and get forgiven for ten past acts of sectarian barbarism. Provide health care for ten old people and you’re allowed to erect one medium-size cross on public property. I’ll admit it sounds reasonable, but implementation could be tricky. For one thing, the Catholic Church starts out in the hole. And it’s a hell of a hole.