Religious authorities want us to believe there's a Big Brother in the sky watching our every move and who will hold us accountable in 'eternity'. If that were true, they'd also believe "they" are being watched and will be held accountable. Do they act like they believe that?
Image by antkriz via FlickrI don't mean do they avoid human faults like losing their tempers when being cut off in traffic (that happens to everyone). I mean the big things, like covering up child molestation and other major (if I can use their term) sins.
I had an issue with a church (involving a major abuse of authority for a normal institution, but since no children were raped in this case I guess it isn't a huge one for a church) which had hired one of the many consultants that exist to paper over these things. As far as I can tell, this consultant's operating philosophy is "when church leadership wrongs you, you go to them, totally submit and accept that their word on the subject is final, and then they will use their moral and spiritual superiority to 'heal' your broken relationship with them." It's the usual self-serving dog and pony show; leaders hire outside consultants to come in and tell the followers what the leaders want them to hear.
I emailed the consultants a complaint about how this issue was handled. One of them screwed up and did a reply-all instead of a reply to a bland, generic email another of them sent me (names removed, I'm not going to identify anyone or specify the wrongdoing involved):
Thanks for your wise response, XXXXX. You are the soul of discretion.
These kinds of inquiries are almost always a quagmire, so I’m glad you kept it brief. You’re a smart guy!
On the issue itself, it’s sad to see how churches deal with these situations. We are in for a painful accounting upstairs someday.
In the context of their evangelical beliefs, take a good look at what they're saying. The Supreme Being, Lord of the Universe, who will judge all to the point of casting many into Eternal Hellfire is expected to subject them to "a painful accounting" over something. If you honestly and sincerely believed that, would your top priority be "discretion?" I say not.
I'll consider believing there's a god watching me when they start acting like they believe there is a god watching them. Right now they act like the institutional church is all there is.
Filed Under: Opinion