A few weeks ago, I drove past a church carnival. I was reminded of going to these when I was a kid despite the fact that my parents were Jewish. Some of these church carnivals can be pretty big events drawing lots of people from neighboring towns. Aside from my reminiscing however, I was reminded of something else too. I was reminded of when people were concerned that Michael Jackson had his own amusement park? Would I take my children to a church carnival? Hell no!
It isn’t just about the religion thing either although it would bother me that my money would be going to fund the church and by extension would fund the protection of sexual predators. It really does come down to the whole sexual predator thing.
I keep thinking that putting up a carnival is a good way for priests to meet little boys. Now I know that not all Catholic priests are sexual predators, but enough of them are that it has become a stereotype and the obvious punch-line to a joke. Plus, the church actively protects their sexual predators so we have situations where one priest can molest large numbers of kids without getting caught.
Now I don’t know if the clergy are actually staffing the rides and games, but it would almost be comforting if they were. Then we would know where they are and that they are not just walking around in the crowd eyeing potential victims.
In light of the church’s current image problem, they might want to re-think this whole carnival thing. I can’t really be the only parent who has these fears. Then again, there are millions of Catholics who still take enroll their kids in Catholic schools, take their kids to mass, and even continue to allow them to be altar boys.