Frank says they’re sorry but…

I wrote my column for The Freethinker yesterday. I wrote it about the pope’s visit to Ireland. The whole subject makes me rather cross.

The sentimental view of religion is that it makes people good, meaning kind and generous and compassionate. If that were true, surely there wouldn’t have been such an enormous gulf between how the Sisters of Mercy (oh the irony of that name) saw their administration at Goldenbridge and how the survivors saw it. Surely, surely, a religion talented at making ordinary people peculiarly kind and loving would not come up with physical and verbal abuse of captive children seized from impoverished mothers as an example of its holy work.

Also, religion is supposed to be timeless and absolute; it’s supposed to create the standards and values, not dumbly follow those that already exist. Yet how did the “Sisters of Mercy” explain the rampant sadism at Goldenbridge?

You’ll never guess.

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