In Nigeria, the pastor of Deeper Life Bible Church, a pentecostal church in Orhiomwon, Fidelis Eze, has admitted that he took two 11-year girls home and had sex with them, yet he denies doing anything wrong, saying they “consented”.
According to Edo State Police Commissioner, Foluso Balogun, who laments the rising incidence of child rape in Nigeria, “This (pointing at Eze) is a pastor. He defiled two young girls; it is very nauseating.”
Eze told reporters “It was sometime last year which was when the two girls (Joy and Anthonia) came to my house. It was Joy that brought Anthonia to my house. It was the same day that I had sex with them and they agreed. The father of Joy got to know and he called me and I pleaded for forgiveness and since then I have not seen them again, they even packed out of our vicinity. It was this year (July14) that the father came with policemen to arrest me.”
Eze claims that he was possessed by an evil spirit which made him molest the two girls. He also says he’s been vindicated because supposedly, the father of one of the girls “forgave him”. The police are not so charitable, he’s being prosecuted for his crimes.
Now for the theists among us, I know what you’re saying. Why do I pick on the clergy? Surely it doesn’t matter which profession molests a child, the child is still molested, right? The unfortunate fact is that only the clergy is in a particularly advantageous role in society when it comes to access, respect and power over children. Let’s take a look at this trifecta of evil:
- The clergy is taught to be respected across wide swaths of American life, parents teach their children to listen to, respect and obey their priests and ministers and to turn to them in moments of crisis, both religious and physical. True, this respect and obedience also extends to a select few other occupations like police, firefighters and teachers, but they do not share other detrimental aspects.
- The clergy has unfettered access to children at virtually all times. Parents trust and respect the clergy to do what is in their children’s best interests and have little problem leaving their children in the care of men of the cloth, even in situations that they’d be uncomfortable leaving them with other professions. Teachers may have some access to children, but usually only in controlled conditions and rarely in very private situations where abuse can occur.
- Finally, the clergy has a particular hold over the minds of children, whereas a teacher or a police officer can offer an earthly threat to a child should they disobey, a priest or a minister can offer a heavenly one. Clergy are often looked upon as being closer to God and thus, having in “in” with the almighty. A cop can out you in jail, a teacher can give you detention, many people look upon the clergy as people who can see to it you’re sent into eternal perdition. That’s a powerful incentive to not only comply with a minister’s wishes, no matter what they want to do, but also to keep quiet about the whole situation after the fact.
Only the clergy possesses this trio of characteristics that makes them so potentially dangerous. It doesn’t mean that priests, rabbis and ministers are necessarily more likely to be pedophiles or child molesters, although for some sects like Catholicism, the fact that the priests are necessarily sexually deprived requires that they turn their sexual frustration somewhere, the reality is that they have the opportunity, access and power to impose themselves upon the innocent.
Worse, perhaps, is the fact that many will concoct excuses to defend these evil men, simply because they are “men of God”. On several blogs, I have seen comments saying that it cannot be rape if they consented, but almost universally, 11-year old children are incapable of offering informed and legal consent to any sex act, especially with an adult, therefore their consent, whether it happened or not, is irrelevant.
It should be no surprise that I continue to find these horrific cases of rape, murder and abuse performed by the religious, in the name of their religions. If I couldn’t, it wouldn’t be a Religious Horror Show, would it?