Saturday, April 13, 2024

I Never Thought of it As a Property Issue


I always thought that whoever would hurt one of these, the least of God's children, it were better a millstone were around their neck--so why not a civil payment which is only rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar's? And also--rendering unto the community the price of violating the community's trust--making meaningful restitution.  After all, for what was done to any of His children, was that not also done unto God? And isn't the payment for that more severe? Is repentance not a part of forgiveness? Should one avoid recognizing a great wrong? 

How is there supposed to be forgiveness without repentance? 

The argument seems to favor the Church as an institution even if it institutionally covers up crimes. Would such a boon be extended to the Mafia? To drug cartels? And yet here we are, with an institution covering up grave crimes against human bodies, and the justice system trying to keep these institutions alive despite the damage done. 

You know what isn't property? The bodies of young children who are introduced to a spiritual system that is supposed to instruct their morality, but instead involves them in a horrific sin. The agency that permits that, and then prefers the cover-up to the owning up, and escapes a penalty, will only permit it again, in the illusion that they serve a greater good--which they certainly cannot and have not. 

Deference to the idea of religion sanctifying even horrors reduces us all as moral actors. Piety or sanctity is no fig leaf when the harm is clear. We separate Church and State in some ways, but we cannot separate human beings from being on the hook legally for real crimes. Their engagement as a part of a religious enterprise should not insulate them. And their institution must also suffer civil judgement. We cannot, as a society, enshrine a place for abuse against young humans and pretend it is OK. It is fundamentally never, never OK.

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