Raymond Ibrahim: Are Catholic Molesters and Islamic Terrorists “Abusing” Their Religions?
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
While recently discussing how President Obama’s relationship to Islam is undermining U.S. security, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly offered up some strange analogies:
Barack Obama has deep emotional ties to Islam. Now to
some extent I can identify with Barack Obama on the religious issue. As
a Roman Catholic I was appalled when the priest pedophilia scandal
broke. There’s absolutely no excuse for the Catholic Church covering up
many horrendous crimes….
However, like Barack Obama I do make the
distinction between the faith and the people who abuse it. But here’s
where I depart from the president. I went after the American Catholic
leaders of the church with a vengeance…. President Obama should do what
I did. Aggressively call out those who abuse the Muslim faith, who
commit atrocities under a religious banner.
O’Reilly’s claim that “I do make the distinction between the faith
and the people who abuse it” presumably means that he distinguishes
between Catholicism—which does not promote the molestation of
children—and those who “abuse” it for such ends.
Yet how exactly did pedophilic priests “abuse” the teachings of
Catholicism? Is there some biblical scripture or church mandate that is
ambiguously worded enough for them to twist in a way that justifies the
molestation of boys, the way intolerant and violent Muslims are
supposedly always “twisting” the Koran?
No. Such priests were not “abusing” their religion. They were directly violating
it in both spirit and letter. That’s why they did it in secret and
hiding, in the dark, and not “under a religious banner.” That’s why,
unlike the jihadis, they were unable to write and issue lengthy
treatises (fatwas) littered with scriptural references
justifying their behavior. And that’s why O’Reilly—and many other
Catholics—were rightly “appalled” and vociferously condemned it.