Over the weekend, Pete Davidson said what I think is probably one of the most true (the truthiest?) things that’s ever been said on late-night television. In the “Weekend Update” segment of Saturday Night Live, Davidson appeared (as himself) and discussed the litany of sexual abuse charges facing rapper R Kelly.
As we posted about yesterday, Davidson starts his segment by saying R Kelly is a monster, and deserves to go to jail forever. And while everyone deserves due process, if he is found guilty in court, I don’t see any problems with that statement.
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But, as Hemant Metha of Friendly Atheist reported, the Diocese of Brooklyn took exception to what Davidson said next:
“If you support the Catholic Church, isn’t that, like, the same thing as being an R Kelly fan?”
The crowd was a bit uncomfortable with the joke-that-wasn’t-really-a-joke, but Davidson continued:
“I don’t really see the difference, only one’s music is significantly better.”
I’ve been saying this exact same thing for years (no, really – I said it here, here, here, here, and probably in a bunch of other places that you can find using Google). Knowing everything that we know about the methodical sexual abuse of children that’s run rampant in the Catholic Church for centuries, and the systematic cover-up and silencing of the victims after the fact, your continued support of the Catholic Church is tacit approval of their past.
It’s similar to supporting a local sports team who, year in and year out, is terrible. Showing support (in terms of buying merch, or in the case of the Catholic Church, tithing) only tells them that their commitment to excrement is just fine, and there is no need for any type of radical changes.
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Of course Bill Donahue, the president of the Catholic League (you know, the guy who thought it was important to point out that not all victims of Catholic Church sexual abuse were actually raped if they ‘weren’t penetrated’? Yeah, that guy) took offense to the remark, calling it “bigoted” because why doesn’t anyone ever stop and think about the feelings of the straight white male anymore?
In doing so, he libeled all priests. He did not compare the alleged predator to an alleged predatory priest—he compared Kelly to the entire Catholic clergy. His bigoted remark deserves to be condemned by everyone.
Truth hurts, doesn’t it, Bill?
And as Hemant pointed out in his article, the Diocese of Brooklyn was not amused either:
Apparently, the only acceptable bias these days is against the Catholic Church. The faithful of our Church are disgusted by the harassment by those in news and entertainment, and this sketch offends millions. The mockery of this difficult time in the Church’s history serves no purpose.
The clergy sex abuse crisis is shameful, and no one should ever get a laugh at the expense of the victims who have suffered irreparably. The Diocese of Brooklyn strives every day to ensure that sexual abuse by clergy never happens again.
That’s one of those “lol, wut” moments. The Catholic Church – the majority religion in the United States (with 1.2 billion members around the globe) – thinks there’s a bias against them. That’s cute.
I also love that they said this is a “difficult time” for the Church. Yeah, because THE CHURCH should be the people you feel bad for, not the tens of thousands of victims of sexual abuse by the very same church.
Maybe if the Catholic Church didn’t engage in cover-ups for decades, I’d have a little more patience for them and would push back on Davidson’s words. I worked for the Indiana Department of Child Services for over half a decade as a Family Case Manager. I know that abuse and neglect happens nearly anywhere – even at schools, childcare facilities, and yes, churches. It goes without saying that the blame for the crimes themselves always lies with the perpetrators. However, if the reaction of supervisors (or church clergy in this instance) is inaction, then a second crime has been committed and those in charge have proven themselves to be incapable of leadership roles.
Here’s the full clip of Davidson’s segment on SNL: