Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
For reasons that are still quite unclear to me I was born a Jew this time around. Judaism has certainly been very much a beloved part of my cultural experience but it has never fed me spiritually. As a child I would go to temple alone, not because of any parental pressure. Quite the contrary, as my father would frequently state that “God is wherever you find him” he didn’t need to go “to shul”. (The sub-text was that since he experienced himself as God, going to temple would be redundant.) Today my re-occurring experience of a typical service is that the front of the room is a race to see how fast everything can be said and done and the back of the room is a great place to catch up on social events and do some business. What I have learned over time is that I am much more interested in the direct experience of the divine rather than the prescriptions. As such I don’t really practice any religion but since Hinduism comes the closest to what has evolved for me I am officially a Hinjew. I bore you with these too many words just to set a context for what follows. I have absolutely no axe to grind with any religion’s fundamental beliefs as written, except to the extent that any religion believes that their way is the only way to God or salvation. I do have a great deal of difficulty with many religions as practiced.
Perhaps an overly simplistic characterization of the American political landscape is that our government has become the shill for multinational corporations. The work of our legislators appears to be the pursuit of the legalization of how much the corporations can take before the population will revolt. There is no secret that the legislators owe their jobs to the large contributions their corporate benefactors have bestowed upon them. (For some reason the names of Joe Lieberman and almost everyone else who is about to vote against a real public option or single payer insurance system in
What is prompting this particular diatribe is an article that I read in the Canadian Globe and Mail newspaper when I was in
What outrages me is the way the upper echelons of the church have responded to the revelations about the abuse of parishioners by priests. It appears to me that the Church's response is the same as the tobacco industry's to cancer or Exxon to oil spills: deny, delay, use lawyers to make the process both expensive and painful, attempt to blame the victim. But most of all never truly admit guilt or wrong doing and protect our assets at all costs. Don't fire offending employees just transfer them to other branches. In such a "holy environment" how could we ever expect the morality of the populace to exceed that of the "moral authorities"? As
Imagine a story in which a woman is savagely raped and beaten by a policeman. She is left by her attacker and begins to weakly call out for help. At long last another policeman arrives as the woman struggles to stay alive and sane. At that moment the second policeman blames her for the crime and rapes her again. That is what it is like to be a victim of childhood sexual abuse by a priest and then have the leaders of the church do practically nothing or deny the events even took place. If this is how the Pope acts how can we expect anything more from Glenn Beck?
I again want to emphasize that I am not criticizing Roman Catholicism at all. There is so much of beauty in what Christ was and had to teach us. I just find it hard to believe that he died for our sins so that Bishop Raymond Lahey of the archdiocese of Antigonish could get his child porn in peace.