Sunday, June 30, 2013

Religious corruption

We all know about the well-publicized and extensive culture of sexual and physical child abuse that has taken place in the Catholic Church over most of its history.  In places as far apart as Ireland, Quebec, Italy and the USA there have been thousands of documented cases and law suits.  Now that they have less fear, people are coming forward who were sexually abused as children by their parish priests or by Church elders. 
In addition, the Vatican has been involved in several financial scandals; for example, the former head of the Vatican Bank, Roberto Calvi, absconded and was found dead hanging from London Bridge in 1982 (I am not making this up!) and it was not detemined if it was suicide or murder.  Since then there have been rumors of further scandals, until a few days ago when it was announced that the Bishop of Salerno, Nunzio Scarano, has been suspended by the Pope and is under suspicion of embezzling money from the Vatican Bank where he was in charge of foreign investments and was caught trying to smuggle m$17 out of Rome in a suitcase.  Yes, the new Pope claims he wants to eliminate corruption, good luck with that.
It is not only the Christian Church that is involved in extreme scandals, here in Israel Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Metzger (we have one for the Sephardim as well) has been put under house arrest and has resigned his position after being charged with embezzlement and corruption.  Apparently there were also rumors about his ethics before he was elected Chief Rabbi, but they appointed him anyway because an honest Chief Rabbi is hard to find.
But, these kind of crimes pale in comparison to those endemic to Islam, where Ayatollahs and Imams call for the death of millions of people every day.  Ayatollah Khamenei, who is the actual Head of State in Iran, the so-called Supreme Leader, has numerous times called for the destruction of Israel with nuclear weapons, that Iran under his leadership is fast developing.  Many Sunni religious leaders, including the spiritual leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf Qaradawi, has called for religious war against the heretical opponents of extreme Islam.  The use of violence is routinely preached in the Mosque as a part of Islamic culture.  Recently  Imam Sheikh Maher Hammoud of the Quds Mosque in Sidon was arrested by the Lebanese Army in a clash that took 16 soldier's lives for inciting violent insurrection in Lebanon against the Shia.
If anyone has any illusions about religious leaders or believers being somehow morally superior to the rest of us, forget it.  I have seen no evidence to indicate this.  Those of us who are not believers should have no illusions about the true piety of believers.


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