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Doing Unto the Least

...you do to Him

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, March 31, 2010.

My mother-in-law had a theory that the biggest atheist must be the Pope. After all, she'd say, his prayers aren't answered any more often, if at all, than our own. With all his power and church wealth, it must enter his crusty head that it's all a sham, even if he had not been informed before being fitted with the shoes of the fisherman. It was useless to argue with her, though I did because I knew everything, that the point of prayer was not to establish a hierarchy of favoritism with the deity, but to subject human vanity, however awkwardly, to the concept that there were powers and concerns greater than our own, and prayed requests were probably granted in relationship to a greater good. It was process beneficial to the supplicant. Something. We were young, and I love to argue with beautiful women.

But, this presupposes the prayers are for good things. What if the Pope and his Church are little more than institutionalized crime, and not only that, but those crimes against children, the traumatized, the weak and meek in their charge? What if the prayers heavenward are to let them continue, escape punishment, attract more victims? Forever and ever.

Here in Boulder, a local Catholic Church recently decided to hold a vigil outside a clinic that grants abortions, including late term. Since the clinic has been here for decades, and abortion is a favorite, all purpose punching bag for the Church, cynical folks did not wonder long what prompted the sudden need for a vigil. It was an attempt to deflect attention from the shelling the Church was taking, long overdue and well deserved.

The Vigil was not a huge success, given Boulder's pro-choice inclinations. For this supposedly Christian organization had disallowed the continuing education of a child in one of its schools, and this because - Heaven forefend! - the parents were lesbian. That was an ugly move. Deprive a child for the sins, alleged, of the parents? And the sins are, according to Leviticus in the Old Testament, only as awful as eating pork and unmentioned at all by Christ, who himself welcomed thugs and harlots and asked everyone to be good to kids, whom he suffered to come unto him? What we do to the least among us, he said, we do to him. Not just the least.

The Church helped Nazis escape to Latin America, bought its way into the heart of Mussolini, not only ignored the role its priests played in the Rwandan slaughters, but protected them and provided escapes, excuses, and employment for its pederast priests, murderers, slime buckets of the worst sort at the right hand of the Pope himself. Further, this pope, long after being a Hitler Youth and while in lesser employ, participated in covering up these and other crimes, not for anyone's soul or Christian charity but to protect the church, and the status of its priests. It's also reasonable to assume in some cases buying the silence of those with tales to tell about those above.

This is entirely amusing on academic, legal, and hypocrisy levels because the priesthood and bureaucracy of the Catholic Church is largely gay in personnel orientation if not always practice. That comes from many sources, anecdotal and police blotter, and includes arch-bishops as well as rural priests, but if you want to demand evidence, argue with the entirely religious and Catholic historian and apologist Thomas Cahill, who knows, and his opinion certainly conflicts with nothing in my own experience or, I would bet, with your own. I would only add that this is not just a creation of Catholicism, but religion itself, since palpably similar males emoting for the ages from church, mosque, and temple suggests religion grants the third rate opportunity for a sexual domination - our primary animal motivation - otherwise denied them by nature or society.

The local insult, compounded by the increasing revelations from all over the world of remarkably similar scandals of the Church going way back by evidence, and centuries back by reasonable supposition, took place as the Church honored the fifth anniversary of the death of John Paul the Second. That man's most alluring attraction, I continue to contend, is that he was the only Pope in my lifetime that came across as heterosexual, which women sensed right off.

Cahill calls the American church a joke, its bishops a fraud, and says it is likely doomed. Maybe. More likely, the selfish patriarchal motivations that underlies all religions will just be channeled into conservative Think Tanks and militias. At that point, the subject and need of prayer may be revisited.