Sometimes it keeps me up at night, wondering about the strange understanding of the First Amendment “freedom of religion” we have in the US.
That clause of the First Amendment was put into the Constitution for a reason. Most States had their official State religion, and some were afraid of their faith losing that official status. Worse yet, what if the federal government were to decide that some strange denomination that you didn’t like should become the official federal religion, superseding that of any State? So they put it into the First Amendment: “Hey, feds, back off. Don’t force me to follow your faith; don’t prevent me from doing mine.”
Between the US federal courts, popular opinion, the passage of time, and politically correctness, we have arrived at this wacky “anything goes” mentality.
Of course, anything does not go. The Mormons found that out when Utah wanted to become a State. Whether polygamy was part of their religion or not, it was not happening here. So, the Mormons gave up on polygamy and put statehood in its place.
So, if your faith requires sacrificing virgins to your sun god, or ritual cannibalism, or robbing banks, or anything else blatantly illegal, it just doesn’t fly under the First Amendment. Of course, when it comes to Islam, a lot of people still don’t get it. You could say that this is what 1389 Blog is about.
Once those airplanes hit those buildings on 11 September 2001, Islam crossed the line. However, we got all these messages from the excuse squad. We just didn’t get it. Islam was this “religion of peace.” We are supposed to accept honor killings. You know, “religion of peace.” A Muslim terrorist–in the US military–shoots up his fellow troops. Don’t blame the “religion of peace” because it is “workplace violence.”
Islam may be harmful to your health! But then, other faiths can be as well.
Let’s take those pesky Jehovah’s Witnesses. They come to your door; well, don’t let them in if you don’t want to talk to them. They twist the Bible into something that it does not say, which in itself is proof that Sola Scriptura is not going to work. Good! It would be so easy to say, “Let them be.”
However, the Jehovah’s Witnesses do one dangerous thing. They refuse blood transfusions. This might be OK to let it be, if they would leave it at that and keep it to themselves. But they spread this nonsense far and wide, so that people get the strange notion that there is some safe alternative to a blood transfusion.
We had an incident once in my own family that almost cost us the life of an elder family member. Simply put, it happened like this. The healthcare instructions clearly gave one person the responsibility to handling the healthcare decisions for the elder in question. Anything “major” required this person’s permission. But, there was an emergency need for two (or three?) units of whole blood. Transfusion done. Elder lives. However, the person with the responsibility complained, “Hey, that is major. They should have called me first!” Wow! Fortunately, the individual in question talked to the rest of the family before complaining.
We had a major family pow-wow. It kept coming up, “But the Jehovah’s Witnesses never have transfusions. Why don’t they do whatever they do for them until they can find me?” Doing some researched, I contacted an old friend who happened to have done a lot of volunteer work helping to keep the blood supply safe. After hearing what he had to say, I asked him whether the Jehovah’s Witnesses have a death wish and he said, “Yes.”
Another time, I took another relative to the hospital for a minor procedure. While wading through the hospital papers, we found a special waiver form to refuse any sort of blood transfusion. This person almost signed it by mistake. That was the scariest part of the whole procedure for this family member, who nearly fainted when he realized what paper was almost signed.
Now, I need to apologize to my Roman Catholic friends before we go any further. I really don’t want to sound offensive. You folks are such dear people. Unfortunately, something very nasty has happened in your church. Pedophile priests in Rome have been busted for a male prostitution ring right in the Vatican.
Maybe I am missing something, but it sure looks to me as though this celibacy thing has backfired…again! Look, I really don’t care what ya’ll do as long as it does not affect me or the public at large. But, here it is. With only a very few exceptions, you folks stopped ordaining married men as priests about 900 years ago. It sort of worked out OK. Well, it looked as though it worked out OK. It looks as though sex scandals within the clergy has been a fact of Roman Catholic life for a long time. Darn, it just happens to have started at about the time the Roman Catholic hierarchy began to enforce celibacy for all its priests.
Now there is a problem with this pedophilia thing. It doesn’t just pollute your clergy, it pollutes society at large. When a priest gets his secretary pregnant, it is bad enough. It is bad for the priest. Bad for his secretary and baby makes three. However, it is a fumble that can be recovered. Women have been single mothers since time began. People have been adopting unwanted children since forever. Sinners have repented and gone on with life since Adam and Eve.
However, child sex exploitation does so much damage to society. What happens to a teenage or pre-teen prostitute? It is not pretty. Many of them carry the emotional scars throughout life. Many become infected with sexually transmitted diseases. Many become pedophiles themselves when they grow up.
So, would it kill you to drop the celibacy thing? Couldn’t you go back and do things like we all did a millenium ago? Ordain married men. Weed out your homosexual clergy. Don’t go fishing for future priests in dangerous waters. Both the Orthodox Church parish priests and Protestant ministers are mostly married men. Since it works for most of Christendom, why can’t you Roman Catholics give it a try? Say, for about 200 years or so? Give it a real chance. Bet it will end your homosexual priest problems. What do ya’ll have to lose?