Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pope Makes Most Direct Statement about the Sexual Abuse Scandal Yet, But Says Nothing New

     Pope Bendict XVI made a statement about the Catholic Church's scandal of priest-perpetrated rape and sexual abuse of minors, but did not say anything about having been involved in the cover-up.  The Atlantic Wire reports:
     While on a plane to Portugal, Pope Benedict XVI issued his most interesting statement yet regarding the abuse scandal. "Today we see in a truly terrifying way that the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from outside enemies, but is born of sin within the Church," the BBC reports Benedict saying. The pontiff also apparently talked more of the need for penance and "purification." Yet the BBC is careful to note that he also said, in their words, "forgiveness should not be a substitute for justice."
     There are a couple of different ways to take this. Is the pope--perhaps for the first time--acknowledging the depth of the abuse problem, or is this another form of defense? [Click here for the rest of the Atlantic Wire's report and the different takes on the Pope's statement.] 
     My opinion: the church isn't being persecuted.  It's being prosecuted.  

     The pope and other Catholics need to quit using the language of persecution.  Persecution happens to those who don't deserve it.  The church and its leaders deserve to be challenged for their enabling and cover-up of rape, assault, and sexual abuse of minors.

     Secondly, don't get too excited over the language of "sin within the church."  There is nothing new there.  Benedict isn't saying that the church is sinful.  He's saying that there are sinful members within the church.  They caused the scandal.  This is not an admission of guilt on his part, but a pointing fingers at other persons within the church, who are guilty, whereas he and his "Mother" church are innocent.

     He failed to acknowledging the depth of the problem as he didn't mention the victims once.  Again, his focus was on the "persecuted" church, not the members of the church who have been wronged.  

     The penance language is what the church has claimed all along, urging pedophile priests to repent of their sins.  In the past, when the priest-rapists did repent, they were returned to their parishes to rape more children.  So, the whole track record on Catholic penance and repentance really isn't the best starting block for the Pope's plan.  Jesus' plan for repentance has had two thousand years to work, but has failed.  It's time for a new plan.

     Finally, the statement "forgiveness should not be a substitute for justice" means nothing until Pope Benedict turns himself over to the authorities of the world to stand trial.  Until then, it's all just smells and bells.

Judge Barbara Crabb's Angry Christian Emails, the Underbelly of the National Day of Prayer Ruling

     After upholding the constitutional separation between church and state in a U.S. district court decision that declared the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional, Judge Barbara Crabb incurred the wrath of prayerful Christians across the nation.

     The Supreme Court has noted often that the establishment clause is the result of the lesson learned from history that, when the government takes sides on questions of religious belief, a dangerous situation may be created, both for the favored and the disfavored groups.
     “Judge Crabb needs to be removed from her position,” wrote Bob Ferguson by e-mail. “She is a stupid bitch.”
     Al Kafer of Cleveland, who described himself as a “70-year-old Vietnam vet,” addressed her as “Babs” and wrote: “We could give a damn what some INTELLECTUAL PYGMY in a skirt in cheeseland says.” And he added a P.S.: “We are no longer taking your shit anymore.”
     “You mam [sic] are a disgrace to America,” wrote Michael Yeager. “Only an Anti-Christ individual would deny a national day of prayer. . . . Basically, you have committed treason against God who established our nation.”
     John in Texas (jkcope5427@sbcglobal.net) wrote: “I will be praying God removes her from office.”
     Many others said they were praying for her, as well.  Some told her she was going to hell.
     “Can you imagine what it will be like to live forever in Hell?” wrote David Lee (dflee10@inbox.com). “We have had enough of the Obamas of this world, and we plan on stopping them as we will also you.”
     One anonymous letter, addressed “To the Dishonorable Barbara Crabb,” said: “You Barbie are a disgrace to this country just as Obama is. . . . Enjoy Hell, you will be there soon. I pray for your kids.”
     These are the voices of Christians who on May 6, 2010, joined in prayer with President Obama, who defied the judicial branch of the government and,  in an unconstitutional act, proclaimed the National Day of Prayer.  (Oh, the ignorance of the email morons that condemned Obama along with Crabb, when Obama is on their side.)  Obama has already filed for appeal.  

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 6, 2010, as a National Day of Prayer. I call upon the citizens of our Nation to pray, or otherwise give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I invite all people of faith to join me in asking for God’s continued guidance, grace, and protection as we meet the challenges before us.
     The National Day of Prayer Task Force’s mission is to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, mobilizing the Christian community to intercede for America and its leadership in the seven centers of power: Government, Military, Media, Business, Education, Church and Family.
     It is a Christian organization with a Christian agenda, and our President has sided with them against the separation of church and state.  A professor of constitutional law, President Obama is quite the hypocrite and an enabler of certain Christians, who want to force their faith on the entire nation's "seven centers of power," infringing on people's private lives.

     Please email Judge Crabb and tell her you support her decision, especially if you are Christian, who should know from the lessons of history that separation between church and state is a healthy thing.  (Or do you support the Christian states where Muslims are being slaughtered?).  Let her know that we do not want the government taking sides on matters religious.  You may email her at wiwd_ecfhelp@wiwd.uscourts.gov or send a letter to the address at U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin.

     Also, please consider giving to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, plaintiff in the case, who will need every dollar they can gather in the coming years as FFRF vs. Obama hits the appeals courts.

George Rekers' Hypocrisy, Rachel Maddow's Response

     Rachel Maddow took it to George Rekers, Larry Craig, John Ensign, Ted Haggard, and the other public figures who preach their version of sexual morality, but live private lives of the very "sin" they publicly attack.  In doing so, she summed up the mission of this blog: 
     The miserable denial and lying in your own sex lives is your own miserable in-denial lying business, unless you make it the whole country's business by crusading against the thing that's true about yourself that you hate so much.
     Being gay can not be cured.  Being a contempatable pathetic hypcrite can be cured.
     Maddow's comments were made in the context of the George Rekers' rentboy.com scandal, but they could also be applied to the Catholic Church, the military, the Boy Scouts, etc.  

     In the video below, which I edited down to the new news about Rekers, Maddow reports on some of the political attacks that Rekers has participated in against LGBT persons, all while getting his anus massaged by strapping hot young men.