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The SF Chronicle’s John Carrol covers the “darker side of the Catholic Church,” specifically Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

His point, basically, is that the Roman Catholic priest pedophilia scandal is way overblown, and it’s all the fault of the church’s enemies, including those who are “pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage and pro-women clergy.” He does not describe the mechanism by which these enemies mounted their attack on the church, but he does allege that if the church held other, more liberal views, the whole pedophilia thing would have been played down.

“Played down” is exactly what Donohue thinks should have happened. It’s not that big a deal, particularly since it all happened a long time ago, and besides, it’s been fixed now. I am paraphrasing.

Then there’s this charming paragraph: “The refrain that child rape is a reality in the Church is twice wrong: let’s get it straight. They weren’t children and they weren’t raped. We know from the John Jay study [conducted in 2004 by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice] that most of the victims have been adolescents and the most common abuse has been inappropriate touching (inexcusable though this is, it is not rape). The Boston Globe said of the John Jay report that ‘more than three quarters of the victims were post-pubescent, meaning the abuse did not meet the clinical definition of pedophilia.’ In other words, the issue is homosexuality, not pedophilia.”

I don’t really have anything to add.  Read the whole thing, and if you can stomach it, read the ad itself.

The Pope signed a donor card back in the 1970’s, but his body is no longer his.

“It’s true that the pope owns an organ donor card … but contrary to public opinion, the card issued back in the 1970s became de facto invalid with Cardinal Ratzinger’s election to the papacy,” Vatican Radio quoted from the letter.

In 1999, six years before he was elected to the papacy, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger disclosed that he always carried an organ donor’s card with him and encouraged the practice as “an act of love.”

Vatican officials say that after a pope dies, his body belongs to the entire Church and must be buried intact. Furthermore, if papal organs were donated, they would become relics in other bodies if he were eventually made a saint.

Seems to me it would better than bionics!

The speech which turned even some of his own against him, although his first speech against the war was at a Clergy and Laity Concerned conference at the Riverside Church on April 4.  I don’t know what made this one worse in some peoples’ eyes.

Jim Wallis’ reflections.

Sara Palin’s reflections.

I’ll be asking for callers to describe their relationships with the religion, what they believe it represents, and tie the discussion into the season as to the meaning of Christmas.  I expect to get plenty of the obligatory “Christmas is a ripoff of paganism, yada, yada, yada…” but I intend to carry the discussion beyond the usual ranting.  It’ll be my third show on the topic, and this one will focus on the substance and symbolism of Christmas itself.

Special invitation to those who are currently Christian.  I’d like to integrate a little balance into this, so I would really appreciate a call or two from Christians.  Don’t mind some of the anticipated wounded callers, I will assure civility and I won’t allow critical examination to degrade into bigotry.  In the past I have hung up on callers who have pushed the issue.

And as a side thread, I’ll ask each caller if he or she has a favorite Christmas carol and why it is your favorite.

Yeah, I know.  “Bah humbug!”  Try not to be too much of an Angry McAngrypants.

A friend emailed this to me.  It’s the third part of a youtube documentary by an Aussie charismatic Christian disturbed by what he is labeling “New Age Paganism” in the younger charismatic crowd.  Bethel Church is located in Redding, and it looks like they get pretty wild there.

I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I didn’t realize that there were rules about proper conduct when moved by the Spirit.  It really doesn’t seem unlike the videos of tongue speakers and snake handlers I’ve seen, except maybe the druggie analogies.  At one point the camera is heading down a hallway and the narrator asks, “can you imagine walking into a room that sounds like this??”  Well, no I can’t and I wouldn’t.  The whole thing does remind me of the final scene in the Bacchae, and I am male.  But I just can’t help but detect a bit of snootiness in the Aussie’s narrative.  Does he act dignified when speaking in tongues?  Who knew there were rules?

From the Baccae:

Stranger: Ah! Would you like to see them in their gatherings upon the mountain?
Pentheus: Very much. Ay, and pay uncounted gold for the pleasure.
Stranger: Why have you conceived so strong a desire?
Pentheus: Though it would pain me to see them drunk with wine-
Stranger: Yet you would like to see them, pain and all.[2]

Fortunately I can see them from the safety of my computer.

I just don’t quite know what to make of this quote from New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan posted by Atrios – responding to evidence that Pope Benedict XVI had participated in the cover-up of child abuse by clergy.

The leader of the nation’s second-largest diocese urged his congregation to pray for the pope, saying he was suffering some of the same unjust accusations once faced by Jesus.

I just don’t remember that part of the Gospels.  Was it mentioned in the Book of John?  John was always my least favorite of the Gospels.

Don’t worry though.  The Pope won’t be intimidated!

That’s as reported by the country’s Prime Minister.  I hope that was hyperbole.

Kind of puts our quake into a little perspective, not to minimize.

Addendum: Pat Robertson says the Earthquake was caused by a pact with the Devil.

About 10 years ago he said that Orlando, Florida might be hit by a meteor if they passed some gay rights ordinance.  Some still have parties every year waiting for it to hit.

Meanwhile, if you want to chip in here’s a good organization to give to.

Second addendum: Limbaugh chimes in. It’s really f—-ing incredible!

Third addendum: This statement from CBN clears up any misunderstandings about Robertson’s statement.

Robertson’s comments were based “on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion …where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed,” the statement said.

Fourth addendum: This was posted on the KMUD programmers email list.

Kmudders… In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, please donate generously to any of these organizations, or any of your own choosing. Please forward to your friends and family. Jah Bless…

Haiti Relief … (This is artist Wyclef Jean’s non prophet, working in his home country of Haiti) or you can Text “YELE” to 501501 for an instant $5 donation, charged to your phone) (list of links )

Hume’s advice was delivered on his Fox News program.   It is a striking event on several levels, particularly as Fox is trying to convince everybody that it is a bonafide news organization.   I may have something to say about it later.

In the aftermath of the Fort Hood incident, the American Family Association wants Muslims out until “Muslims give us a foolproof way to identify their jihadis from their moderates.”

If they get their way (they won’t) and they reinstate the draft I can see teenage kids across the country walking into the induction centers and greeting the draft officers with “Assalamu Alikum.”

Apparently not satire.  Conservatives unhappy with modern translations and I guess concurring that the King James version is a bad translation, want to write a “conservative Bible” with certain principles upheld.  I’ve only skimmed the post and I haven’t hit any of the links, so maybe the Kos poster is overreacting.  I was aware that it is believed the adulteress parable was added later, but it is believed to have been added in like the 12th century or something, long before anything even remotely amounting to “liberal bias.”

The elimination of Luke 23:34 (exclamation of forgiveness while on the cross) would seem to be more problematic for the fundamentalist as it was in the original.  Conservative theologians have often argued that it wasn’t an expression of forgiveness, but rather a reference to a Psalm.  But to eliminate it?

It’s not the first time a fundamentalist has proposed something like that.  The granddaddy of fundamentalists, Martin Luther, wanted the entire Book of James stricken because it professed salvation by works rather than mere faith and baptism (of water and spirit).

More later.

I’ll try to look a little closer and comment later.


July 2020