Dogmas that have outlived their usefulness can have devastating effects. They can even lead entrenched bureaucrats of all kinds to take advantage of their positions of power for their own personal benefit. The most shameful example of this within the sphere of religion is the priest sexual abuse scandal of the Catholic Church. Ultimately, this scandal grew out of the medieval Manichean dogma which considers sex, like other aspects of the human body to be sinful.
Sexual longing is, of course, a normal part of human nature, but the early church believed that faith in God could overcome it. They were certainly wrong on this score, but they never admitted their mistake until 2002. The ban on sex and marriage within the priestly bureaucracy had long ago spawned an incestuous culture of sexual debauchery which permeated isolated parts of the priesthood. It is estimated that 6% of the priests and nuns within the Catholic Church hierarchy sexually abused their young charges. The problem was first noted in the 1940’s by the American priest Gerald Fitzgerald, but nothing was done. The number of their victims worldwide is most likely counted in the hundreds of thousands.
It must be remembered that dogmas are laws made by men…Not by God! The celibacy laws were a dumb idea, but by the twenty first century, they had been in place for seventeen centuries. Sex is not just a powerful human motivator, but probably THE MOST powerful motivator of human behavior after the need for food and shelter. To ban sex entirely was asking for trouble and sexual abuse has been an evil factor eating at the insides of the church since medieval times. There has probably been a core of abusers within the church ever since the Council of Elvira in 304 AD. Being in positions of authority, these vested abusers became protectors of the very doctrine that was destined to become the undoing of so much of the good that the Catholic Church has done over the centuries.
It’s likely that the abusers themselves knew that what they were doing was wrong, at least at first. God speaks to a human soul through its conscience. But that “small voice” was too often drowned out by the enormous forces of sexual desire and the shelter that the church politicians had provided for each other.
Don’t blame faith in God for the failings of the organizations that claim to represent Him!