Monday, February 17, 2020

Laying of Hands

This is a common practice among Evangelicals, the laying of hands upon the sinner to be healed and prayed for.  But it is common among most faiths as it is referred to in the Bible or as I call it the Book of Myths with many connotations.  I will let you the faithful or faithless examine the many contradictory and confusing reasons hands are laid upon you by reading this site, Desiring God. 

I of course read the word desire and go immediately into a more prurient meaning and in turn think they should change the concept of pray to prey as it seems no faith/religion is exempt from the practice of sexual abuse towards their congregants/members.

The Catholics have been busy praying and paying off the massive debt accumulated from Priests whose hands more than wandered away from the business of prayer.  Recently the more "modern" sect of Catholics were hoping that the New Pope, same as the Old Pope, would be open to indoctrinating women and allowing for some Priests to marry in those regions where it is difficult to find a fully vested individual willing to join the Priesthood with its archaic concept of celibacy forsaking family and all that material stuff that the Church requires.  Well no said the big Chief but remember when he was the breath of fresh air and enlightened hope? Well watch the Two Popes on Netflix or the New Pope on HBO they do offer a much better perspective of the convoluted politics of the Church.

But the nice thing is that while the morally superior Evangelicals have a direct channel to the White House they are not any better at keeping their hands off either.  Comforting, I know.  The Southern Baptists have long suppressed any sexual issues as of course a failing of the individual and victim blaming when any assault occurs as we learned at Baylor University when Kenneth Starr was abdicated from his throne of leadership.  Really is that not what it is with religion a type of Monarchy disguised as Theocracy?

And just like the Catholics the moving of leaders/ministers/perverts between Churches without a heads up is another common denominator that the Evangelicals do.  And yet the Reformists aka the Legalist sect of that faith hate Catholics and see them as the original Roman faithless as they were once polytheists and clearly way more fun.  They may be right after all! Who knew! Oh wait it was Christianity that destroyed the Empire, wrong again! In a continued effort to make themselves feel good enough, Christians find those who are worse than they.  They point fingers, they shame shame.  They  blame others, find scapegoats.  They exclude, persecute, and eventually plot to destroy the sinners.  Sounds great sign me up!

While always turning the mirror outward they can avoid looking at their own reflection. But the truth is that all Churches regardless of their origin need to clean their houses.   This article from USA Today discusses in length the damage done by the Southern Baptists and their own role in sexual abuse and more importantly the denial and covering up. Bless their hearts! But this quote stood out:  Once your faith is used against you, he said, it is hard to trust again.

I never was molested or touched by an Angel or any other less celestial figure.  I liked Church and Religion as it offered a perspective on community, love and kindness.  Funny I don't even recall the messengers, just the message and it has always resonated with me and then I realized that I don't need a Church or a 'father' figure to teach me empathy and compassion, I have that and had it all along.  Strong faith comes from strong teachers and they have nothing to do with being religious or faith based.  But then again I came to Atheism as a choice, like being a Vegan or Pescatarian or whatever choices one makes in life about their own well being.  Reading the book of myths, taking classes on the science of Theology as a just that a science made me change my views and beliefs about religion.  My choice and it was one that for years I even denied - I used agnostic or the phrase "spiritual but not religious." Here it is simply put: I am an Atheist.

But here is my last message to the religious: GO FUCK YOURSELF.   You will do way less harm and self love is the best kind of love.

ETA:  Immediately after posting this I went to read The New York Times and found this opinion piece.  I think it says it all about the bullshit of celibacy.

I Have a Story for Pope Francis About Priestly Celibacy

Who pays the price when a priest breaks his vow?

By Mimi Bull
The New York Times February 17 2020 Editorials and Opinions
Ms. Bull is the author of “Celibacy, a Love Story.”

Want the human story on priestly celibacy? Talk to someone who’s paid the price.

I am bitterly disappointed by the news that Pope Francis will not be relaxing priestly celibacy rules in remote parts of the Amazon. The idea — intended to make it easier to recruit priests in underserved areas — was supported by a Vatican conference in October, but in his papal document, released on Wednesday, Francis ignored their suggestion.

My interest in this isn’t the mild curiosity of a lapsed Catholic. I am the child of a priest who broke his vow of celibacy and left a legacy of secrecy that was devastating to him, to my mother and particularly to me.

To hide my father’s broken vow, I was told that I was adopted. I did not know until I was 35 that my “adoptive mother” was actually my grandmother and my “adoptive sister” was, in reality, my mother. But even then, I wasn’t told the whole truth. At the time, I was told my father had been a businessman from Pennsylvania.

If only I had known that my real father was the beloved young pastor of our local Polish parish in Norwood, Mass. He was a regular guest in our home, and we attended weekly Mass in his church. He died at the end of my freshman year at Smith College. I didn’t find out until the age of 50, on the day of my birth mother’s funeral, that the man I adored as “Pate” — my own nickname, short for the Latin “pater” — and the community knew as “Father Hip” was my father.

I was more fortunate than most children of priests. The man and woman I now know to have been my birth parents, chose to raise me, nurture me and, in the depths of the Depression, give me as normal a life as they could manage within a complex web of secrecy. My father chose to be involved in my life; he referred to himself as my “guardian,” and I found out after my mother died that he had held this title legally.

Nonetheless, all the secrecy took a toll on a sensitive child. I knew I was somehow different. I knew instinctively that there were things I could not mention casually — the frequency with which my mother, Pate and I got together alone, for instance, including trips to Boston for dinner. Secrecy became second nature.

I was well trained to revere priests, so the idea that Pate might have literally fathered me never occurred to me. I adored him and saw him frequently, but he was my parish priest and my “guardian.”

After he died, I paced the dormitory floors at night, experiencing something I had no word for. It was depression. At that point in my life, I had no idea he was my father, yet his death had a profound impact on me. Desperate to keep my scholarship, I kept my depression hidden — a lifelong habit that led to thoughts of suicide before I was able to be free of it. It affected my marriage, my parenting and my own creative use of a fine mind and education. I felt set apart and unworthy.

I also mourn how the secret affected my parents. My father died at 47, held back in a small parish and unable to fulfill his larger ambitions. Did my existence have something to do with the fact that he, as a mutual friend informed me later, was passed over for a position at a larger and more challenging parish? I’ll never know and can only speculate. My mother was burdened to her death with the truth she never shared with me or the husband she married six years after Pate’s death.

I am one of the 50,000 people from 175 countries who reportedly visit Coping International, a website for children of priests. I expect there is a vast spectrum of stories to be told, many much harder and more painfully unresolved than mine.

Some priests’ children are denied their identities and recognition by their fathers’ families. Others are rejected outright by their fathers and witness the hardships of their mothers’ complicated lives. These experiences shape us and stay with us.

I consider celibacy a serious and valid religious practice if it is entered willingly. It should be available to those who seriously wish to live a celibate life. For nine centuries, though, it has been the rule for all ordained Roman Catholic priests — and it must stop. To live alone and celibate is to deny the most basic drive. Not everyone who would make a fine priest is made for the celibate life.

While I was happy to see the church grappling with the issue, allowing married priests in remote regions would have been a tiny step. It would have done little to confront the root of the problem: the human toll that enforced celibacy has taken on priests and others around them.

What to do? We must lift the veil of secrecy and shine a light on the children born under rules of celibacy. Talk to us. Help us reclaim our identities, reclaim the halves of our families we have been kept from and help us remove the slur of “bastard.” Help us heal.

And join with us in urging Pope Francis to reform the celibacy mandate, so no other child has to suffer.

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