The real enemy


Many years ago, I remember waiting anxiously for Sinead O’Connor’s performance on Saturday Night Live. A coworker had loaned me a cassette tape of her album titled I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got a while earlier, and I had been hooked ever since. The bald head, the enormous doe eyes, the quivering but powerful voice; this appearance in front of a huge national audience would certainly solidify her place in pop history. Moments later, I was dumbfounded as she sang of child abuse and angrily exclaimed, “Fight the real enemy!” while ripping a photograph of the pope to shreds. The deafening silence that greeted her as NBC faded to commercial was an ominous glimpse of what was to come. In less than four minutes, Sinead had plummeted from superstar to one of the most reviled pop singers in the world.

The fallout was still evident days later when she was scheduled to perform a tribute to Bob Dylan. As Sinead took the stage to sing “I Believe In You,” a song about faith, she was booed for several minutes. In a chill-inducing gesture of defiance, she again launched into “War.” This was clearly a woman on a mission.

Now, some eighteen years later, it seems that the singer once labeled “blasphemous” knew what she was singing about. We have been bombarded month after month by stories of sexual abuse and coverups by the largest Christian denomination on earth. The Catholic church has paid out billions of dollars to settle cases with alleged victims, and the efforts to keep said cases under wraps seems to have went as high as the Vatican.

In a recent posting on her website, Sinead addressed a papal letter that instructed Catholics to return to the Church.

The Pope’s letter repeatedly suggests that for the healing of victims and our nation, we should return to the church, and claims the church is the only avenue through which we may be in a relationship with Christ, which is a blasphemy in my opinion.

Why should we remain or return to a relationship with an organiation which has so little respect for its victims or the rest of us, that it keeps lying to our faces and treating us like half-wits, which we are if we let them get away with it?

We are in an extremely dysfunctional relationship with an organization which is actually still abusing all of us.

Three weeks ago we were told by the bishop of Ferns, that it was our “God given duty” to help them pay their legal bills and compensation to victims!

We were told it would be “unchristian” of us not to do so.

We were told it would be “in the interests of the future welfare of children” for us to cough up, along with all our little old ladies and gentlemen.

This is abuse.

The only way the victims or the rest of us will get that confession is by boycotting them in order to bring them to their knees. And not go back unless they fully confess.

If they don’t confess they are finished. It is only a matter of time.

Confession is their one slim chance of survival.

The fact is, we don’t need them to get to God, or to have a relationship with Jesus.

We never did need them.

And the beautiful position we are now in, is that they need us.

We should illustrate this fact, all caring catholic people, by boycotting them until they confess and show palpable remorse.

I believe Sinead was a prophetess sent to reveal an ugly truth, and much like the prophets of old, she was ridiculed, mistreated, and maligned for her honesty. It’s a shame that more of us weren’t listening back then when it might have made a difference.