(OKLAHOMA CITY) Various fundie homo-hating religious denominations have been doing a great deal of proselytizing the last few years. We've all been converted by proxy whether we knew it or not. No, it's not the Mormons in this case, though they do have their own ways--that's for another story.
I'm choosing two Catholic abuse stories that got my attention recently.
By allowing religious followers to set beliefs taken from their religious books into the civil law books everyone in this country is an honorary member of the Catholic religion, vassals of the Pope in Vatican City.
This means all of us are party to the enabling of child abusers even as these religious corporations enjoy a vast tax-free financial fraud, endorsed by the IRS.
These tax-sheltered frauds are as crooked as Bernie Maddof has been proven to be. They have entered the public arena advocating for their particular religious dogma, using it to overturn or prevent the recognition and implementation of civil rights for all of this country's taxpaying citizens.
No where in the Constitution is there an orientation test one is required to pass in order to receive the rights, benefits, and privileges guaranteed to all citizens under the law.
However, there is a First Amendment requiring that civil law does not recognize religious dogma, period.
Below is a link to a story about a relatively cheap monetary settlement made by the diocese of Maine to close the book on one abuse case even as the diocese spent over twice that amount to make sure Catholic dogma rules the private lives of not just the gay/lesbian residents of Maine, but all of us regardless of where we live.
Joe Sudbay of http://gay.americablog.com has recently written "The Catholic Diocese of Maine has been doling out a lot of money lately. There was that $550,000 spent on the anti-gay campaign. And, there was another $200,000 paid to the victim of a sexually-abusing priest:
"A lawyer has confirmed that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland made a $200,000 settlement on Nov. 5 with his client, who said she was molested by a priest in 1976 in the rectory of St. Michael's Church in South Berwick.
"The settlement money came from insurance, said Sue Bernard, spokesperson for the diocese. The diocese received its first complaint about Vallely in 1978 and took action.
"Took action? The Church leaders enabled abusers for decades. Yet, these same abuse-enabling church leaders are setting social policy for America. That's sick."
( http://tinyurl.com/yd29uxb )
And then there's the stalling by the former archbishop of New York City when pressed in a deposition as to why he did nothing to investigate a child abuse complaint brought to his attention when he was a mere bishop, not a prince of the church, in Connecticut--
"Cardinal Edward M. Egan, then a Connecticut bishop, ...was questioned about cases of child molestation committed by priests under his supervision. When a lawyer taking Egan's deposition asked why the bishop had failed to intervene immediately in cases involving complaints about a predatory priest, Egan told him, "I didn't make a decision one way or the other. I kept working on it until I resolved the decision." " ( http://tinyurl.com/ykkwyow )
Such preaching and teaching about the sanctity of marriage from an institution that knowingly shuffled child abusers around in a holy shell game of deception is beyond the overused word of hypocrisy. It's more clearly described as a license--a permit to do what it pleases in regard to civil criminal activity, above the law, and above the clouds in their minds, wreaking emotional and physical damage on innocent people. Just how christ-like is that?