More Bad News for Catholics

I see a lot of “Christians” Biblesplaining on FB how we need to go easy on the Catholic church and its century-long history of making children available to pedophiles like an Old Country Buffet restaurant, because, God. Also, Jesus.

I’ve read people – good Catholics, mind you – blame the rampant pedophilia and victimization of children on the fact that lots of men who enter the priesthood are gay. You know. Because “gay” equals “pedophile.” Yeah, it’s the same thing. Except that millions of gay people who AREN’T priests manage to live their lives without anally violating little boys.

Other people of God suggest that it was a lack of understanding that raping children was…wrong. Can you cite for me a single era in history where forcing children to fellate grown men was an acceptable part of daily life?

The Catholic church has since its inception attempted to keep its people ignorant, obedient, docile, and silent. It told its people that its priests were Jesus on earth, placed them on a pedestal of unquestionable moral authority and sealed the deal by deeming the pope “infallible” – essentially God on earth.

That’s how it’s possible for a grown man to sodomize a young boy so badly that he suffered injury to his spinal column, with zero repercussions to the perpetrator.

All in the name of the Bible which the church has made every effort to insure its people don’t actually read.

But if they did, they might want to take a look at Matthew 18:6 for starters, then mosey on over to Luke 17:1-2, or maybe just take in the overarching import of the Gospels in which Jesus essentially says, “DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE AND TREAT PEOPLE AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED.”

But if you like to be raped by men who think they are above the law, by all means, go for it.

It is abundantly evident to any sentient being that those who are twisting themselves into knots attempting to defend the Catholic church are frightened to their very marrow that their church cannot withstand any challenge to its moral authority and that any endeavor to investigate its conduct must be stopped in its tracks lest the church be shown to have engaged in an ongoing, knowing, decades long cover up of the most horrifying and in-Christian of conduct.

Pope Francis has made no comment. The church has been largely silent, although some bishop from Indiana did tell CNN this morning that he’s personally devastated to learn that people he trusted turned out to be such villains. I feel so bad for him. He also thinks it’s too early to really do anything because the church doesn’t really have all the information, even though it apparently knew of these crimes as they happened and actively worked to keep the truth from coming to light.

There are good Catholics who love God and live Christ’s teachings. There are others who love the church because they need someone else to do their thinking for them and are terrified that if they question the church’s teachings, they will be doomed to spend eternity in hell.

The problem is, most of the latter think they are the former.

No one should ever presume to know the contents of another’s heart, but in this case, the clergy of many Pennsylvania dioceses have, by their actions, told us all we need to know about the value they placed upon the lives of children. But, then again, the church has never cared about the lives of children AFTER they are born…only before, and only as a means of exerting control over women in order to keep them so busy raising children they don’t have time to think about the fact that the church considers them second-class citizens, and for the purpose of growing its ranks.

Catholics should be outraged and should demand accountability. Most probably won’t, though some may quietly leave. The church should be very worried, but in its arrogance it simply trots out the same nonsense.

No one is above the law. I’m guessing that Jesus doesn’t approve of child rape. Wake up, Catholic church. Wake up.

Badly Done

While I’m normally as happy as a White Supremacist at a Klan rally anytime there appears to be credible, first-hand evidence of just how loathsome and unqualified our current president truly is, for me, the NYT Op-Ed went too far.

It’s not just the fact that unelected, unknown staffers are directing policy (albeit in the purported service of national security); indeed, the unattributed essay effectively suggests – and the soon-to-be released Woodward book certainly concludes – that there has been a “soft coup,” and that despite his blather, Trump’s power has been largely diluted by a handful of unidentified aides who, even more so than their boss, would appear to above the law.

It’s not even so much that the article was published without attribution, although that fact alone calls into question the motive, veracity, and moral conviction of the author. If one is going to speak out, I say, have the courage of your convictions and be willing to accept any fallout that may ensue. It’s difficult, moreover, to come to any firm conclusions about whether the author is entitled to our respect or our condemnation given that there’s no context in which to evaluate the behavior.

I can even tolerate the self-congratulation and martyrdom implicit in the Op-Ed, suggesting as it does that the auhor and his weary band of patriots are all that stand between our country and certain annihilation. I’ll even overlook the craven, obvious attempt to appeal to both Conservative Republicans (“Look! We’re actually carrying out the agenda you elected him to enact, except he won’t”) AND Liberal Dems (“Yeah, we think he’s a train wreck, too. #resist”).

What I can’t forgive, for starters, is that the author has now published to the enter world a portrait of chaos well beyond what even the most cynical and outraged of us could ever have imagined, and in so doing, has potentially placed our country at risk by exposing that we are, at present, a rudderless ship filled with people who hate each other.

Does the rest of the world know that Donald Trump is a petty, impulsive, uninformed, sociopath? Of course. Before today, however, they probably didn’t know that our country is now being run by nameless, faceless men and women who answer to no one. If that doesn’t suggest a country in crisis, I don’t know what does.

I’m not suggesting that Trump shouldn’t be held accountable for his pervasive incompetence and poor judgment, but there is a right way to do things, and there are processes in place to address Trump’s myriad deficiencies. There’s impeachment, if the Mueller probe turns up sufficient evidence of misdeeds, and there’s the 25th Amendment, which the cabinet would apparently entertain if there were evidence and an appetite to unseat a sitting president.

There are also two houses of Congress, replete with committees, that have the power to investigate executive wrongdoing, though, admittedly, the neither Mitch McConnell nor Paul Ryan (nor any Republican Congressman seeking re-election, really) would seem inclined to break ties with the president…at least not before the midterms. Still, one wonders whether, if a “high-ranking adminstrative official” approached Congress with documented evidence of Trump’s lack of fitness (and sanity), someone might take action.

It seems as though their could have been a more productive manner in which to address the Trump Problem, because, when you think about it, what does this Op-Ed accomplish but to stoke ever more discord and uncertainty? What are we, as a nation, to do with this information?

At it’s best, the article informs all Americans – and the rest of the world, too – that the White House is in freefall. It proposes no solutions and offers no hope that anything is going to change. It’s beyond dispute, moreover, that the essay places our country in a weaker position geopolitically and further polarizes our already polarized country.

What’s most concerning- to me, anyway – is the staggering hypocrisy – and arrogance – inherent in the article. The author calls out Trump for being a tyrannical despot who believes himself to be utterly unaccountable, and yet, what is the author and his cohorts but precisely that? We don’t know who they are or what they’re doing, we have no information about their agenda, and we have no ablity to check their actions – because we don’t know who they are, or what they’re doing. Trust me, the author exhorts us. We know what we’re doing. Don’t worry your pretty little heads about what’s happening behind th scenes.

But isn’t that same unbridled exercise of unchecked power the very thing that the author is railing against in Trump (aside from his pettiness, lack of intellect, and impulsivity)? He or she purports, by means of secretive actions the public will never know about, to curb the dictatorial streak Trump would let loose if he could, by acting like – well, a dictator. Stated differently, if you oppose Trump for being a power-mad despot, you can’t logically or credibly support those who would attempt to undermine and subvert the democratic process by which the people select their leaders.

But here’s the worst part of it all – the thing that sticks in my craw: It’s a pretty good bet that whoever wrote that article was a Trump True Believer way back when, someone who was on board from the start or else hopped on the Trump Train when it became politically expedient to do so. This person may have campaigned for him, may have been a factor in Trump’s getting elected.

At the very least, we know that this person was aware of serious concerns as to Trump’s fitness practically from Day One, but instead of going through proper and well-established channels to address those concerns, determined that a small group of unelected individuals should essentially take over the executive branch indefinitely, and unbeknownst to the entire country which, by the way, is not how a democracy is supposed to work.

And so, the very person who has finally decided to blow the lid on what’s really going on in the West Wing, the person who apparently knows better than anyone else, the person who wants us to believe he/she alone can save the country if only we will continue to look the other way, is very likely one of the same peoplewho helped put Trump in the Oval Office in the first place. To my mind, anyone who seriously thought that Trump was a good choice to run our country is the last person who should be running it for him.

Badly done, Anonymous.

Thursday Night in Montana

July 6, 2018

Our president took to the campaign stage on Thursday evening hoping to deflect attention from the very public resignation of embattled EPA Department Secretary Scott Pruitt, and he did so in his usual ultra-classy fashion: By calling people names and giving Vladimir Putin a virtual blow job. Also, Russia and North Korea are honorable, long-time allies, while Canada and France and Germany and the UK are security threats who present a clear and present danger to our way of life. Who knew?

After criticizing everyone from John McCain to George H.W. Bush (apparently, Trump is the ONLY person in the United States that didn’t understand the “Thousand Points of Light” speech that 41 made, oh, I don’t know, like, thirty years ago), Trump turned his ire to Elizabeth Warren, insisting that she take a DNA test to prove that she actually has Native American blood. (Note to Trump: How ’bout YOU take a DNA test to prove you’re not a used condom filled with ass sweat and toe cheese?)

So here’s what he said:

“We will take that little kit and say, but we have to do it gently. Because we’re in the ‘#MeToo‘ generation so I have to be very gentle. And we will very gently take that kit and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn’t hit her and injure her arm even though it only weighs probably two ounces. And we will say, I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test so that it shows you’re an Indian.”

This quote is so offensive, disturbing, so disgusting, and so creepy, I am not sure where to begin, but I’ll try.

First, anyone who has been alive since the 1980’s understands that the indigenous peoples of the North American Continent prefer to be called “Native Americans,” not “Indians.” Not quite as bad as using the “N” word, but pretty insensitive nonetheless. The only reason anyone ever called them “Indians” in the first place is because Columbus got lost but was too stupid to understand that he hadn’t actually made it all the way around the world to the country of….India. Maybe when they taught that at the military academy Trump’s father sent him to (because he couldn’t stand him), Trump was out getting treated for bone spurs.

Second, we all know that Donald Trump hasn’t given a single dollar to charity since 2008, even though he’s made plenty of promises to plenty of people that he would – click on the links below to get a sense of just how frequently Trump makes the big gesture but then fails to follow through. Why would anyone do anything in reliance on Trump keeping a promise (other than those who voted for Trump believing that by doing so, they would become instant millionaires, living in a gold-plated penthouse with a supermodel wife – and hey, why aren’t they more pissed?)

Third, he tells the crowd what they should do to Elizabeth Warren – and damned if it didn’t sound like a bunch of lacrosse-playing frat boys talk about the gang rape they’re planning for the evening. I don’t know that I’ve heard anything creepier outside of “Silence of the Lambs.” Apparently, all Trump has learned about the #metoo movement is that if you say you’re going to do it “gently,” they may not realize their being raped and won’t scream for help (sounds like the way a pedophile talks as he unzips his pants). That, and, if you do it “gently,” it doesn’t count.