Sam Harris reads the Ryan report

Sam Harris has been (belatedly, he says) considering the unpleasant ways the Catholic church has with children, and the reasons therefore.

Consider the ludicrous ideology that made it possible: The Catholic Church has spent two millennia demonizing human sexuality to a degree unmatched by any other institution, declaring the most basic, healthy, mature, and consensual behaviors taboo. Indeed, this organization still opposes the use of contraception, preferring, instead, that the poorest people on earth be blessed with the largest families and the shortest lives. As a consequence of this hallowed and incorrigible stupidity, the Church has condemned generations of decent people to shame and hypocrisy — or to Neolithic fecundity, poverty, and death by AIDS.

That sums it up pretty nicely. The church prides itself on this ideology, which takes great care not to think about sex and sex-related issues in a reasonable way but instead simply recycles dogma year after year, decade after decade, century after century. This makes the church “our better conscience” – because it has this hypertrophied ability to invent stupid cruel useless moral rules that make nearly everyone worse off than they have to be.

Harris has been reading the Ryan report, and like everyone who reads that blistering document, he is staggered and horrified. And he is taking (joining) action:

I would like to announce that Project Reason, the foundation that my wife and I started to spread scientific thinking and secular values, has joined Hitchens and Dawkins (both of whom sit on our advisory board) in an effort to end the “diplomatic immunity” which the Vatican claims protects the Pope from any responsibility.

Hear hear.

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