Nobody hates pedophiles more than the Rich and Shameless.
At least, they hate pedophiles when the pedophile is a priest.
Pedophile priests should be — and are — burned at the stake of public opinion, and their pedophile-enabling bishops along with them. That’s the verdict of the R&S set.
However, when the pedophile is a powerful director of successful films — who might conceivably be of benefit to their careers — we are reminded of the cinema “art,” these directors provide. As for the unimportant girl-child, well, she can’t give anybody a job or produce their play or anything of value. So what’s the beef? Put away the stake, douse the flames and quit the word processor. There will be no public hating today.
Here’s how the Rich and Shameless appear to regard these things:
Catholic priest caught with child pornography on his computer:
R&S: Burn/behead/draw-and-quarter him. At the least, send him, his bishop and the bishop’s dog to a maximum security prison for life.
Powerful director rapes a teen-aged girl:
Powerful director, at age 56, has an affair with and marries a girl he has raised as his daughter, and is accused by her sister of having raped her when she was seven:
R&S: This is just a bitter woman (the girls mother) who is trying to get this fine man, who, by the way, is a “great artist.” His “personal life” should not interfere with the professional respect he receives for his “art.”
Does anybody but me detect a wee bit of hypocrisy here?
I have no problem with sending pedophile priests to jail. I am as disgusted with the bishops who hid them and allowed them to continue in their abuse of children as anyone on this planet.
The difference between me and the Rich and Shameless is that I feel this way because of the children. I am not interested in using the sexual abuse of children as a leitmotif to try to define and destroy the Catholic Church. I also do not excuse priests who do this because they’re on “my” team. So far as I’m concerned, it’s all about the children.
These people, that I’m calling “Rich and Shameless” for lack of a better way to describe them, excoriate Catholic priests who sexually abuse children without mercy or limit. They extend this excoriation to the Church as a whole, drubbing all priests and bishops with the same filthy brush.
Then they turn around and deny and defend powerful members of their own community from well-founded accusations of egregious sexual abuse of children. They use specious denials, personal testimonies, accusations and claims of some sort of non-existent moral high ground to excuse who they want excused from whatever they do. It gets so ridiculous that they inevitably end up skewering themselves with their own dissimulations.
I don’t think that people who do this care about the sexual abuse of children. I think they use it when the sexual abuse fits their other objectives as a means of attacking people and causes they don’t like. I think they then turn around and dismiss it, to quote Shakespeare, as much ado about nothing when the accused is one of their own, even when the accusations against their own stink like an open sewer.
Their outrage over pedophile priests looks like a pose and a sham. Their reactions to pedophiles, both charged and credibly accused, who are also powerful directors, are exhibits a and b, pointing to that conclusion.
“A Christian murderer…It’s not me saying this, it’s the Lord. And there is no place for nuances. If you speak ill of your brother, you kill your brother. And every time we do this, we are imitating that gesture of Cain, the first murderer in History.” Pope Francis
I want to tell you two stories, both true, and both of which happened to me.
Back when I was running for office the first time around, I held a fund-raising party at a friend’s house. During the course of that campaign, I had been the target of a group of people who were strongly pro life. I had preachers at the largest churches in the district, preaching against me every Sunday. I had pro life people, walking door-to-door throughout the entire district, spreading outrageous lies about me.
For some reason, whenever a woman runs for office, the lies usually center around sex. I was denounced as a lesbian/prostitute/whore. I was also called a Communist.
When the fund-raising party took place, several of the pro life people showed up and took photos of the guests as they entered the house in what everyone thought was an attempt to intimidate them. They also made a point of writing down the license tag numbers on the guests’ cars.
That was back then, when I was pro choice.
Flash forward a couple of decades, and I am a converted Catholic, and what has been called the most pro life member of the Oklahoma legislature. (That’s the same Oklahoma legislature I was in back when I was pro choice.)
I hold another fund-raising event, this time a reception at the law office of a long-time friend of mine. Once again, I have been attacked by people who are passionate about the issue of abortion. Only this time it is the pro abortion people. I almost get censured by the Oklahoma Democratic Party. I am called a woman-hater/liar/whore. I am also called a (get ready for this) Fascist.
Now, at this fund-raising party, the pro abortion people show up. They — you guessed it — take photos of the guests as they enter the building, presumably to intimidate them, and write down the license tag numbers on the guest’s cars. The only difference between them and the pro life people who attacked me in my past is that they add the flourish of pickets with signs and chanting “traitor” at me in loud voices when I walk into the building.
Here’s my point: How, exactly, would a person on the sidelines be able to tell these two groups apart?
Answer: They’re can’t.
Both groups justify their behavior with claims that they are behaving badly out of a desire to create a greater good. The pro choicers claim that they are motivated by their love for women. The pro lifers say that they are motived by their love for unborn babies.
But if there is love in either group, you can’t see it by watching them. Their motivation appears to be hatred of one another.
In my humble opinion, if you can’t tell the difference between the behavior of pro life people and pro abortion people, then the pro life people are doing something wrong.
Evidently, my earlier post about slander and hate in political campaigns, felt like a personal attack to at least a few Public Catholic readers. That was not my intention. I know how hard it is to keep your religion when you are dealing with evil, and abortion is evil, right down to the ground. It perverts everything it touches, including good intentions.
It is the easiest thing in the world to convince yourself that sin is not sin if it is committed in the name of doing good. Politicians do this all the time. It’s why nobody trusts them. Politicians have extraordinary verbal skills and a good dose of legal sophistry at their disposal. They can spin up explanations about their own behavior and use those explanations to give themselves a green light to do just about anything. They excuse immoral behavior by claiming a moral imperative to behave immorally on just about every weasel vote they take.
Anyone who engages in the political battles of this world — even volunteers and well-wishers — is positioning themselves for a blast from the temptations of power. There are plenty of power brokers out there working full-time to grease the slide of ordinary people into the same self-congratulatory self-excusing self-justifications that politicians use.
But the truth itself remains untouched. In the end, the only ones we fool are ourselves.
What I’m trying to say is Do not let the evil of abortion and the venality of politics overwhelm your goodness and destroy your Christian witness. Do not tell yourself that sin is not sin if it is committed in the name of fighting abortion. Do not tell yourself that maliciously spreading ugly stories and gossip about other people is ok if it’s done to keep a pro abort out of office.
Because it is not ok. You may not do evil for a good cause. You also may not do evil because someone else did it first. It is wrong. It is sinful. For your own sake — for your own soul — do not become hardened in this sin of personal character assassination.
Several commenters have objected to the use of the phrase “murder with words” to describe the deliberate destruction of another person’s reputation for malicious purposes. I have looked into the eyes and seen the faces of people from both sides of the argument as they spit out vile epithets at me. I saw who sent them in their eyes. I never doubted that they were trying to hate me to death, that the only thing between their hate and actual, physical murder was fear of the law. The experience gave me an understanding of what Jesus meant when he said that a person who hates his brother or sister is a murderer, and no murderer has eternal life within him.
Think for a minute. Consider the dark pleasure that you feel when you are venting your righteous rage. Ponder the ugliness that enters your soul, along with the anger that accompanies it.
I spent a good bit of time in church this weekend, praying about my own righteous anger over fallen Catholics in high places. I knew that I could not and would not take to the various forums that are open to me and begin calling them names and putting out Photoshopped versions of their faces, replete with horns and ugly expressions. I had no temptation to degrade them as human beings or to spread ugly stories about them to punish and hurt them.
But I knew that the anger I felt could fester into bitterness, and that this bitterness would separate me from the one place above all that I want to be, which is in a state of grace. I want to do what my Lord Jesus Christ requires of me. So, I prayed about this anger before it had time to grow roots and begin to own me.
It is ok, it is fine, in fact, to deal with issues and facts and to point out the areas where you disagree with a person. It is ok, when the facts themselves warrant it, to say something such as President Obama is the most pro abortion president in history. I think there is sufficient factual evidence to warrant that statement, and I also think that it pertains to his job performance.
As their employers, the American people are obliged to have opinions about their elected officials’ job performance. Judiciously considering the facts and making reasoned judgements about how our elected officials perform their jobs is part of our charge as citizens of this Republic.
It is also imperative that Christians engage the larger culture through their work, their politics and their ministries. We are called to be the light of the world. We need to go into the world and be that light.
But trashing another person for the pleasure of hurting them — which is the real reason people repeat ugly, personal stories — is sinful. Trashing another person as a tactic is just as sinful. I am not talking about legitimate political criticism. I am talking about attempts to destroy someone’s reputation by spitefully spreading personal stories about them in what amounts to a political vendetta. Use any excuse you want, that is a sin. If you will just look into your own heart, at the darkness it puts there, you will know it for the sin it is.
I can attest to this because I am a human being. I know about the dark pleasure of hurting someone with words because I have felt it. I can tell you, based on my sinful experience that this is a grave sin that not only inflicts helplessness, humiliation and scalding pain on the person you attack, it dips your own soul in the blackness of evil. It is from the pit.
The question is not whether or not “everybody else is doing it.” Of course they are. Our whole culture is rotten with the politics of personal destruction. That is not a question at all.
The real question is: When people look at pro life advocates, will they be able to tell a difference between us and the pro abortion advocates?
Unless the answer to that is a clear-cut and resounding “yes,” we will never, no matter how hard we try, convert this culture to Christ.
After I wrote this, I found these comments from Pope Francis on this subject. From CNA/EWTN:
.- During his morning Mass homily in Santa Marta, Pope Francis focused on the topic of gossip – saying that when we participate in this sin, we imitate Cain’s gesture in killing his brother Abel.
The Pope began his homily Sept. 13 by echoing the words of Jesus in the gospel reading, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
He spoke for a few minutes on the virtue of humility, adding that Jesus addressed those who practice the opposite and who foster “that hateful attitude towards one’s neighbor when one becomes a ‘judge’ of his brother,” calling them “hypocrites.”
“Those who live judging their neighbor, speaking ill of their neighbor, are hypocrites, because they lack the strength and the courage to look to their own shortcomings.”
Pope Francis said that the “Lord does not waste many words on this concept,” and that “he who has hatred in his heart for his brother is a murderer.”
The Pope added that in his first letter, John the Apostle emphasizes that “anyone who has hatred for his brother is a murderer, he walks in darkness, he who judges his brother walks in darkness,” and that those who judge or speak ill of others are “Christian murderers.”
“A Christian murderer…It’s not me saying this, it’s the Lord. And there is no place for nuances. If you speak ill of your brother, you kill your brother. And every time we do this, we are imitating that gesture of Cain, the first murderer in History.”
During this time when there is so much debate and discussion about war amid cries for peace, the pontiff pleaded that “a gesture of conversion on our own behalf is necessary.”
“Gossip,” he cautioned, “always has a criminal side to it. There is no such thing as innocent gossip.”
Quoting St. James the Apostle, the Pope imparted that the tongue is designed to praise God, “but when we use our tongue to speak ill of our brother or sister, we are using it to kill God…the image of God in our brother.”
Here’s a little something to kick around this fine morning.
Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown student who testified before Congress about the high cost of her contraceptives, is taking her celebrity to a new level. She’s announced that she’s running for retiring Congressman Henry Waxman’s seat.
According to Breitbart, one of her opponent’s in the race will be Wendy Greuel, a former candidate for mayor of Los Angeles. According to the same Breitbart article, Ms Fluke will have the backing of “national Democrats.” If this means the full backing of the national Democratic Party machine, she will have plenty of money and professional help for the race.
I don’t care for these machine races from the national parties, no matter who the candidate is or which party is doing it.
What these nationally-funded races are, in essence, is an attempt by organized national party machines to take control of a congressional district or a senate seat or some other office for their own ends. This leads directly to the election of puppet people politicians.
It also takes the particular office away from the people of the district. The citizens of the district are nothing more to their elected representatives than numbers in polling data. Their concerns do not matter to the person elected to represent them, who will represent the interests of the national political party who put him or her in office.
It will be interesting to see if national money and fame can buy a Congressional seat for a young woman, who, according to the article I’ve referenced, does not even live in the district.
The birth control advocate who shook up the 2012 presidential campaign does not live in the 33rd district, but is eligible to run for the seat. She will be facing off against local Democratic stalwart Wendy Greuel, who narrowly missed winning the Los Angeles mayor’s race last year, among others.
Fluke stirred controversy by fighting to force Georgetown Law School to offer free contraception as part of its insurance coverage for students and faculty, despite the institution’s Catholic principles. She was scheduled to be a witness called by Democrats at a congressional hearing in 2012, but was blocked by Republicans. When conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut”–a remark for which he later apologized–a star was born.
Immediately, Fluke became a national symbol of the Republicans’ so-called “war on women,” and campaigned for President Barack Obama. When pressed, however, she admitted knowing little about the actual low cost of birth control, and eventually enthusiasm faded to the point where she had trouble drawing crowds for rallies.
Today Fluke practices as a “social justice attorney” and has the backing of senior national Democratic figures for the seat.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The first video is Lisa Marie Presley, singing In the Ghetto with a recording of her father. The second video is a medley of old versions of You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog, Love Me Tender and When My Baby Left Me, original Elvis style.
Don’t try to fight Satan by using Satan’s weapons.
Slander and personal malice are Satan’s weapons.
Ergo, do not use personal attacks against other people, even when they are pro abortion, pro gay marriage, or some other pro or anti that gets your riled.
Stand up for what you believe, and be willing to pay the price for doing that, even if it means that you will be the target of slander, malicious lies, and character assassination yourself. That’s to be expected if you follow Christ. These things are, after all, Satan’s weapons.
I’m not saying this in a general way. I am referring to a specific situation that is arising and needs to be put down before it goes any further. I’ve read several personal attacks on Senator Wendy Davis, the filibustering Texas Senator, now gubernatorial candidate, who rose to national fame last spring.
The way this sort of thing usually happens is that the opposition candidate or the opposition political party does “research” and comes up with these things. They don’t want to slime themselves by saying it, so they give it to their “operatives” in the field to say it for them. That way, their operative is the one who looks like a dirt bag, while the candidate or political party gets the benefit and keeps their skirts clean. This is how President Obama ran his viciously misogynist campaigns against both Senator Hillary Clinton and Governor Sarah Palin.
These attacks on Senator Davis that are circling in the pro life blogosphere have the appearance of being plants by political actors who are using the pro life movement to do their dirty work. I would, as we say in Oklahoma, bet the ranch that the stories have their source in either the opposition political party or the opposition candidate’s camp.
This is a disgusting mis-use of the pro life movement. Not only that, but the stories being circulated about Senator Davis are not worth talking about. The ones I’ve read focus on picayune differences in a couple of dates from when the Senator was young, and — get this — complaints by her ex-husband that she never loved him and was only using him for money.
My feeling about the things I’ve read about Senator Davis is that they do not speak to her ability to do the job, and they do not reveal anything that puts the lie to her basic platform for running for office. Surely there are things in her official record as an office holder that would make a legitimate discussion about her worthiness for the office of governor of Texas.
I rather doubt that Senator Davis has performed her office in a way that jibes with the beliefs of all Texans. If her position on abortion is consistent with her other votes, she may have a number of big-city, rich-district positions that most Texans disagree with. These would be legitimate political issues that are worthy of discussion in a political campaign.
Back when I was pro choice, the pro life people attacked me mercilessly — and inaccurately — about my character, sex life, back ground, etc. They honed in on me personally and just plain made up lies about me and my personal life. Some of these lies still circulate to this day.
What they did not do was defeat me at the polls. In fact, what they succeeded in doing was convincing me, my campaign supporters and the vast majority of my constituents that they were an unsavory and dishonest bunch of people. They did such a good job of this that later on, after my conversion, when the Holy Spirit asked me to change my position on abortion, I was terrified. I knew my pro abortion friends would turn on me, and I had no idea where to go otherwise. I didn’t know any nice pro life people to turn to.
How many people have we kept trapped in their pro choice positions by this kind of behavior?
It saddens me when I see pro life people jump off the high road and into the sewer of political slime. We speak for the cause of the sanctity of human life. Most of us follow a risen Lord, Who is the Lord of all life. We defame our cause and the Lord Jesus Christ whose name we bear when we behave this way.
Senator Davis will have serious economic backing in her campaign. She will also have the well-deserved enthusiasm of every pro choice person in this country. She’s brave. She’s beautiful. She’s intelligent.
She is, in short, a worthy opponent. She could win this election.
If pro life people continue down this road of slandering her personally instead of offering voters a positive alternative, I guarantee that she will win. We need to focus on the issues that the voters of Texas care about and we need to do it in a way that is worthy of the noble cause and the innocent lives we are defending.
I am not saying that Senator Davis is going to win. I am saying that we will not defeat her in this election by sliming her.
Stop with the malice. It maims your higher thinking faculties and defames our cause. It is also a sin.
Slander is murder with words, even when the victim is pro abortion.
Do not use Satan’s weapons to fight Satan.
I respect Glenn Beck’s honesty in this interview.
His regrets are well-placed. A number of other people should have the same regrets. But he is the only person I’ve heard who has the courage to admit his mistakes like this.
Hopefully we can learn from him. Stand by your principles. But do not let hatred and malice drive you. It is much easier to harm people than it is to heal them later.