Well, you know what type of people assemble at internet forums.
And most bloggers only blog because they have something to bitch about. I don't think that most Europeans hate religion as such, but many have a "fuck if I care" attitude towards it. And of course the countless stories of child abuse associated with the catholic church made even more people cynical about it all. The one thing that annoys me about religion is when believers claim some sort of moral superiority. The above example plus the fact that millions upon millions all throughout history have murdered in the name of god pretty much put that one out the window I think. Of course I agree that you shouldn't kill, rape, torture, steal and the rest of it. But you don't need religion for that. All you need is a conscience.
"Religion",in the purest,most relevant definition,is a system of beliefs that one feels is fundamental to existence.In that more honest sense,atheism,evolutionism,humanism,capitalism and socialism are religions,for those who blindly and unquestioningly adhere to their theories,just as the more 'traditional' religions are.Of course you are correct that merely being religious is no reliable indicator of one's moral integrity.
As you may have guessed,the Vatican's shameful,guaranteed-to-continue legacy of sexual abuse is not limited to Europe.As a general rule,I've found that sexual abuse of women and children is far more common in religions such as Catholcism,Islam,Mormonism,etc.(haven't done a thorough compare/contrast study) where the minister--or WhateverTF title he/she has--has an inordinate amount of power and authority.In THEORY,at least,the spiritual minister is supposed to be God's humble servant,but there are so many immensely contrasting cases where said minister is treated as God's direct Messenger,and you are commanded to obey without questioning.In certain Islamic countries such as Pakistan,you may be executed on the first offense for 'blaspheming' some illiterate dead guy named mohammed who admitted that he was a mere mortal and that he had sinned during his life(i.e.,he wasn't perfect...as if we had any doubts
).Apparently,even a single witness is enough to effect that death sentence in Pakistan(so you could legally kill any non-Muslim you had a grudge against merely by concocting a lie,if you wanted),and the 'guilty' person is given no chance to repent of his/her 'crime'...but I digress...
As someone who worked in the prison system for years,I can speak with authority on the criminal mindset and many psychological patterns.Child molestors and other sexual predators virtually always scheme for opportunities to prey upon the vulnerable.If a rapist sees a drug lord's attractive daughter that he desires control over,he'll find someone ELSE to rape--no matter how strong his lust might be--because he fears the consequences of HIS becoming a helpless victim if he gets caught by someone who has the power to enforce brutal vengeance upon him.It's been the testimony of MANY pedophiles that they actually converted to Catholicism with aims on becoming a priest b/c they KNEW that the Vatican would shield them from prosecution.Indeed,the Vatican's M.O. has been to transfer the pedophile to another parish cuz,if they defrocked him,he might go public and claim that they were aware of his vile sickness and did nothing about it.As the RCC is more concerned about maintaining its pure,holy image(yeah,I know;try not to laugh at that sickening premise
),they'd rather transfer the pervert with the insane hope that he might be 'cured' instead of notifying the legal authorities who might then,in turn,inform the newspapers of what had happened.Even worse,the transferred perverts are not forbidden access to women and children in the new parish,and the parishioners are not warned of the threat in their midst
.There are countries who will criminally prosecute the hierarchy who shield a sexual predator,but it must be proven,beyond reasonable doubt,that they KNEW of his wicked deeds...and that's usually a big challenge to establish.
Let me close by saying that I don't hate all Catholics(I'd have to hate about 90% of my countryfolk to do that).I know quite a few "rank-and-file" Catholics who are sincere,decent people.However,to reach the UPPER hierarchy in the RCC,one must be complicit in the rampant,greedy corruption and abuse that they have perpetuated over the centuries.If you had ANY conscience at all,you'd reject seeking any sort of brotherhood with such lowlifes.....At the risk of sounding arrogant,I don't struggle to find female companionship but,even if aye DID,I would never marry a devout Catholic gal...it wouldn't matter if she were the most gorgeous Latina goddess with a pleasant personality: I couldn't live with myself if anyone taught our children to swear blind allegiance to those Vatican smegma...nor could I throw away my money by tithing to the slimiest thieves on the planet...just couldn't do it