Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Two Hundred Seventy One Men

Two hundred seventy one celibate men. There are currently 271 active Catholic Bishops in the United States. I'm not sure if that includes the Cardinal from Baltimore who is the "Pro-Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher" or a few other guys with similarly arcane chivalric titles. But I'll settle on 271     give or take one or two.

Centuries ago, these bishops were the hierarchical equivalent of their secular peers; dukes and barons. Indeed, these people represent the core of the Roman Catholic Church's aristocracy. These fellows need a reminder that here, in this country, we enjoy a clear and unambiguous separation of church and state. It's in the same amendment to the Constitution that provides these folks with religious liberty.  These guys also need a reality check; Their experiences and the seminary don't prepare them to be experts on human sexuality or women's reproductive health.

They don't get to make those decisions for anyone else!

Furthermore fellas, get a grip. Religious liberty means that the Roman Catholic Church is no more than the equal of every other religion or no religion at all. That has been at the core of our culture and our society for 236 years!

Now if these folks think that they should be political power brokers; If they want to continue to meddle in our legislative and electoral processes then they should reincorporate as a 501(c)4 to remove the tax deduction from donors.

As a fully tax exempt organization, the entire citizenry of the United States is subsidizing their bishopy enterprises. 

That means that I, as an agnostic gay Jew, am financially enabling the Church's repression of me. It's time for our nation to more closely examine the preferential treatment of organizations that add no more, and possibly less, to our society than any other enterprise.
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