Here’s something you don’t hear every day – there’s more crime in religious houses of worship (churches, synagogues, monasteries, mosques, convents, cathedrals and chapels) than there is in adult businesses (strip clubs, sex shops, brothels, massage parlours, gay clubs, gaming houses and gambling clubs) – at least that’s what one report from Australia has shown.
To be specific… “The data showed 85 people were assaulted in places of worship, compared to 66 at an adult entertainment premises… Places of worship also took the lead in sexual offences (16), theft from motor vehicles (33), resisting arrest (7) and liquor offences (10). Harassment and threatening behaviour at places of worship (30) was over 50 percent more than at places of adult entertainment (13).” That’s right, there’s more sex crime in churches than in sex clubs.
None of that should be all that surprising. How many wars have been fought in the name of religion? How many millions of people have been killed in the name of religion? The Spanish Inquisition? Fatwas? On the other hand I’m having a hard time thinking of a war fought to defend “adult activities”. Hitler put gay men in the death camps – but that sorta proves my point – the person doing the “deviant act” wasn’t the one doing the killing.
The other aspect is that churches tell you there’s something wrong with you and you need to change. That means people wind up repressing their urges. The problem with Catholic pedophile priests shows what happen when you take that approach. In contrast, sex businesses accept you for who you are (for the most part) and you give a legal outlet for your urges.
If you need even more evidence check out Joe.My.God.’s “This Week In Holy Crimes” series of blog posts. It’s truly amazing how screwed up some religious leaders are.
That said, religion done right can be a good thing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a brothel or a sex shop or a massage parlor be a community center, or do social work, or pressure politicians on behalf of their community, yet I’ve seen churches do all of those things. But all of those things are also done by non-religious community organizations. So while I wouldn’t advocate replacing churches with strip clubs, I do wonder if we wouldn’t be better off replacing them with community centers.