South Carolina Roman Catholic priest Jay Scott Newman is stomping all over the line between church and state by telling those among his parishioners who voted for Obama that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion for doing so.  Why, do you ask?  Because Obama is pro-choice, and any good Catholic should know that voting for a pro-choice candidate “constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil”, as Newman put it.

Are you kidding me?  So, if you are a Catholic living in Greenville, South Carolina, and you voted for Obama, you don’t get to stand in line at church and have the dirty old man in the robe and big hat stick a stale cracker in your mouth – which is apparently some huge spiritual honor?  Honestly, I don’t get these people.

Isn’t this Newman guy stepping out of bounds here?  Overstepping his authority?  Making a very pointedly political statement from what is supposed to be a politically neutral post?  Isn’t this precisely why we don’t tax religion, so that we can have this clear separation?

TAX RELIGION! TAX RELIGION! TAX RELIGION! TAX RELIGION!

(Sorry, couldn’t help myself there…)

The Associated Press reported that “[d]uring the 2008 presidential campaign, many bishops spoke out on abortion more boldly than four years earlier, telling Catholic politicians and voters that the issue should be the most important consideration in setting policy and deciding which candidate to back. A few church leaders said parishioners risked their immortal soul [emphasis added] by voting for candidates who support abortion rights.”

So, let me get this straight – abortion, a private and legal medical procedure, is more important than the state of the economy, or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or education, or the environment?  What planet are these people living on?

What I’d like to know is this – if Newman thinks that voting for the black guy puts your immortal soul at risk (because you know, coming from the South, this probably has a lot to do with all of this) because the black guy happens to support the idea of, for instance, gang-raped teenagers ridding themselves of unwanted pregnancies, then where do you draw the line?  What if you are really good friends with some guy at work, and then somehow over the course of your friendship you find out that he knocked up a girlfriend in college and they had an abortion?  Does that mean you can’t be friends with the guy anymore?  I mean, by your own dogmatic definition, didn’t this man take part in something “intrinsically evil”?  What if you find out that the doctor who performed the hysterectomy on your mother that saved her life also performed an abortion on some woman who didn’t want to give birth to a Down syndrome baby?  Does that mean you and your mother took part, by association, in something evil, by supporting the work of a doctor who was involved in evil, naughty stuff?

I’ll tell you what the real evil is – it’s the mind control, mind control, mind control practiced by the leaders in the Catholic church.  Think this, do that, eat this, drink that, avoid this, uphold that.  On and on rambles the list of arbirtrary rules – and as long as people will tolerate it – namely, the moderates, who don’t dare rock the boat or point the finger or *GASP!* question their faith – the sheep will nod their heads, and the tax free money that subsidizes the lives of assholes like Newman will just keep rolling in.

Recovering Catholics.

June 3, 2008

You’ve heard the old joke, “I’m a recovering Catholic”, but the joke is turning sour – especially in this day and age of uncovering deceits and lies that have kept hidden the horrors and abuses committed by the hands of pious, “celibate” Catholic priests.

I’m not about to tell you anything you don’t already know – that the Catholic church’s choice to move known abusers to other parishes is the most egregious abuse of trust and power that can be imagined; that millions of tax-free dollars have been spent in order to make this all happen; that even more millions of dollars have been shelled out in legal settlements, which will never fully help these poor victims fully heal from their scars and traumas.

What I want to address is the core of the matter, that which you will not soon hear anyone in the mainstream media even dare to mention – why does there seem to be such an epidemic of child sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests? Why is it that one is not surprised to hear about another scandal when they so frequently appear?

I think it’s rather obvious and simple: religion, particularly Catholicism, has an obsessive need to control and, in the case of the clergy, suppress the sexual instinct. Catholic priests are asked to unnaturally bury their very healthy and natural sexual urges and desires in order to be more “pure”, to have a closer communion with god. However, the experiment has so obviously backfired – the more fervently you try to hide or deny the sex drive, the uglier it will be when it finally manifests.

Why do we not hear of Buddhist monks sexual molesting young children? Perhaps it happens; I’ve not yet found any account of such. The Buddhist “faith” (if you can really call it that, but that’s another matter) doesn’t seek to deny any feeling or instinct; rather, the aim, through mindful meditation, is to fully acknowledge and then transform that sexual energy to be used in another way.

The Catholic church would be wise to face the reality of human sexuality sooner rather than later – before more young lives are irrevocably scarred.