ON NUN ABUSE & ABORTION, CATHOLICS & CHURCH OF SATAN CONCEIVE BAD FAITH
The Roman Catholic Church employs forced abortion as a response to nun abuse. And the Church of Satan’s founder prescribed sterilization to prevent abortion.
What is it about the word “church” that provokes the appetite to control other people’s bodies? Whatever it is, it apparently takes to religious principles like a chainsaw to bubble wrap.
Both organizations are making something of a hash of their supposed values with these policies, after all. But an active uterus seems to have that effect on people.
In religion as in economics, it seems nothing matters more than seizing the means of (re)production.
Pope Francis confessed this week that the Roman Catholic Church has a problem with nun abuse. Although their previous inertia on this point suggests they don’t really think it’s much of a problem at all.
“There have been priests and even bishops who have done this,” the supreme pawn stiff told an AP reporter on Wednesday.
Continuing with his papal bull, Frank added, “I think it is still taking place, because it is not as though the moment you become aware of something it goes away.”
Given his rep as a great communicator, you’d think he could sound less nonchalant about this. But I guess after so many sex abuse scandals it’s hard. Why get the blood pumping over mere nun abuse when another travesty is doubtless due any day?
For example, a PBS correspondent had this to add: “There are nuns who have been forced to have abortions [by] these priests and bishops.”
And AP’s Nicole Winfield confirmed, “Even the priests themselves were paying for the abortions.”
This update might come out a bit late, because now I have to fly into space and punch the moon in rage.
You’ll pardon my outsized response. It’s just I’m a tiny bit miffed because in the past the Vatican has been, ahem, just a little bit overbearing with its anti-abortion politics.
“In principle, Catholic Christians believe that all life is sacred from conception until natural death,” according to the divinely uninspired Catholic News Agency (taking the time to announce a fact that’s news to no one at all).
See, when you want access to healthcare as a means of controlling your own body, “life” is too sacred for that. But if the patient is unwilling and the fetus conceived non-consensually, that’s fine (but only for us). The lord’s mysterious ways continue to mystify.
So that’s Team God on this one. Regular readers of our irregular opinions already know what we as Satanists think: your body, your choice. Simple. (Our policy on nun abuse is also simple: don’t.)
But not all Satanists agree.
I admit, until this week I had never bothered to look into Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey’s abortion politics. Partly because I thought there’s not enough ordnance in the world to make me give a fuck, but also because I naively assumed he wouldn’t care.
Well, never too old to fuck up every possible assumption.
“Abortion is unnatural and unnecessary,” old Anton wrote in his monthly column for Insider magazine in 1971. “How can we even consider the senseless annihilation of our unborn children?”
In his Satanic Bible LaVey preached that humans are “just another animal.” But animals imbued with a Catholic-like sacredness of fetal life? I guess he was the first guy ever to try to make an omelet without even breaking eggs.
In his necrotic 1998 book Satan Speaks, old Anton put the “us” in uterus once again, stating “a stupid, irresponsible woman should not have the right to decide what she does with her own body.”
He commands that men should decide the outcome of pregnancies if they are deemed “responsible.” As a check on “overpopulation,” LaVey advised forced sterilization for people he didn’t like.
This seems, ah, a touch at odds with Church values about individualism, to the degree that the Church has any values.
In the introduction to the first edition of the Satanic Bible, Burton Wolfe proclaimed, “Satanism advocates unrestricted freedom to the extent that one’s preferences do not impinge upon another’s.”
Like the “unrestricted freedom” to be sterilized or forced into non-consensual birth, apparently?
Present-day LaVey bae Peter Gilmore has walked this one back, telling CNN in 2013, “We generally consider abortion to be the purview of the woman carrying the child.”
But this itself flies in the face of Gilmore’s previous position that Satanists must remain strictly orthodox to the views of his departed patron.
It seems that no matter what the alleged religious perspective, entities on the political right can always be counted on to align against the most bare standards of bodily autonomy.
The good news is that you can indeed be a Satanist without giving up power over your own organs. And if you for some reason feel bizarrely inclined, you can be a Catholic and maintain that right too.
But it seems we’ll never be free of aging and dead authority figures telling us otherwise. And so Satan’s example of what to do about dodgy and cerebrally bankrupt authorities maintains its premium.