Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Challenge Ralph Piss to a Debate

This open letter to Ralph Piss has also been posted as a comment on his blog (following his post "Sarah Palin Poem #232").


The history of conflict between us is well known to anyone who reads my blog or yours. As I'm sure you know (but won't admit), I have always welcomed our exchange of ideas, when it has qualified as such. I have done much to help you, despite the considerable ideological gap between us, and despite the countless vitriolic statements you have made about me.

In my view, though, you went too far recently, when you attributed statements to me which you know I never made, and then published an entire website devoted to insulting me and highlighting said statements, and then expanded upon your original lie. I have asked you to remove the fabricated "quote" from your blog and website. That was more than two weeks ago, and you have failed to comply.

As I see it, the only way for us to settle this is in person. On the Internet, it's far too easy to make extreme statements without ever having to look someone in the eye and be accountable. That is why I am challenging you to a debate. My suggestion is that we meet in a neutral location and hold a civil, unmoderated debate in two parts. The first part of the debate will concern our positions on the major social and political issues of the day, and the second part will focus on our personal conflicts. I hope you will accept my challenge, and I welcome your input regarding the venue, the format, and the rules.

Let's have this out once and for all, Ralph. It's the best thing for us. It's the best thing for America.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lock Up Your Sons -- There's a Priest in Town

In yesterday's crooked -- and, as it turns out, successful -- attempts to send the health care bill back to the House, Senator Tom Coburn proposed an amendment which would prevent child molesters from receiving Viagra. But if Senator Coburn is really concerned about child molestation, and not just about thwarting progress in health care, perhaps he should argue for the abolition of the Catholic church.

Even without the recent revelations concerning Germany and Wisconsin, it's been clear for a long time that the Catholic church is, in part, a child sex ring. It permits and facilitates the rape of young children by grown men. And whenever this evil is discovered, the church has a long history of simply transferring pedophile priests to new locations, where they inevitably strike again. We now know that Reverend Lawrence C. Murphy of Wisconsin molested two hundred deaf children, and that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- in between his time in the Hitler Youth* and his career as the current Pope -- labored to protect not the children but their assailant. The New York Times reports that internal correspondence "shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal."

Church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed! It was, to them, an open question, whether a supposed role model who had violated two hundred children was still fit to be a Catholic priest. Not only that -- their decision, ultimately, was to let Father Murphy continue with his divinely-inspired investigation of the pre-pubescent penis. "I simply want to live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood," Murphy wrote to Ratzinger near the end of his life. "I ask your kind assistance in this matter."

Sure, no problem, Murph! Don't worry about it. We understand. In addition to the hilarious phrase "the dignity of my priesthood," Murphy's request for Ratzinger's "assistance" shows an astonishing lack of remorse. He wrote that he had "already repented," which I guess means he apologized to his imaginary friend. But not to the children he abused, not to their parents, not to their community, not to the large number of good people who trust and admire their religious leaders.

The tendency of Catholic clergymen to rape children is a logical result of religious arrogance and ignorance. The church thinks it's above the law. The church thinks that there is a God, and that they are closer to God than anyone else -- a dangerous delusion in an individual, but a catastrophic one in an institution. The church is accountable only to an entity which does not exist -- or, at best, whose existence can never be proven, who never says anything or rules on any case, who by his apparent absence allows humans to do whatever they can get away with in their own consciences. Father Murphy was clearly unburdened by conscience.

Moreover, the church keeps its clergymen in the unnatural and untenable state of sexual celibacy. In every priest there is a lifetime of repressed physical need, accompanied by a deep sense of moral infallibility. In addition to this, they are surrounded by young children who are under their care and control. Their proper job, which is itself highly suspect, is to indoctrinate these children in the ancient mythology and superstition of one of human history's most violent and repressive cults. It's a toxic situation, and it has wrought another kind of Crusade, against children.

The Catholic church, and its leader, must be prosecuted. If it were anything but a church, it would have been shut down long ago, and all those who have facilitated its crimes would be in prison, where they belong. Imagine for a moment that this legacy of systemic child abuse had taken place not in the Catholic church but in Chuck E. Cheese restaurants. Imagine that Chuck E. Cheese employees were constantly molesting their young customers, and that Chuck E. Cheese management was willfully protecting these employees from prosecution, transferring them to a different restaurant when the heat got too hot. There wouldn't be a Chuck E. Cheese left in America. And who would lead the crusade against them? Religious moralists.

* It's often considered bad form to point out that the Pope was a member of the Hitler Youth, and last year I took some heat for mentioning it on Daily Kos. The standard defense goes that when Ratzinger was growing up in Germany, participation in the Hitler Youth was compulsory. Uh-huh, whatever. It still seems to me that when selecting a world leader for all Catholics, the church might have gone to the trouble of finding someone who had never had any affiliation with the Nazis. Might have been nice.