Why would anyone in his right mind address the topic of religious malfeasance? To my mind, only a man in his right mind would – and should – address the issue. Why should anyone turn aside when the cloak of religion is blatantly employed to corrupt American politics and international affairs and undermine the welfare of the general public? Religious entities are fighting tooth and nail to impede social improvement, eagerly denying that there is an objective social entity (except, perhaps, for family and church) or improvement (other than in areas of personal gain and righteous feeling), recklessly violating an explicit compact with the nation.
Religious entities chose to aggressively enter politics, a grave error that noted spiritual leaders have lamented, warning of dire consequences for the principal purpose of religious exercise. One would assume that glorification of a deity would be the first objective of the enterprise, and one would hope that the betterment of congregants, and the population of the nation and the world at large, would be close in priority.
Yet, religious entities, perhaps only a boisterous minority, have become the last refuge of scoundrels. A Dickensian deep, dark depravity runs amok and unchallenged in religious leadership that perverts its calling. Entities that follow such leadership deserve to be stripped forthwith of all claimed exceptions and exemptions, as they have not only lost respect for, but all connection with, public decency, justice, fairness, right, blessedness, and reason. I humbly offer as evidence the religious group that harassed the funeral services of veterans. A few cynical religious consultants even conduct back-channel dealings with foreign powers of distinctly shady standards and practices to bring them to play in America’s work at home and abroad.
What say beings left to the mercy of such charlatans? Though many mute and oppressed inhabitants of earth are unwilling or unable to speak for themselves, weary ethical beings of gentle, clear logic, based on objectively verified and probable fact, say, “Time is up!”
First-hand, I have witnessed the effects on elders in Tennessee of a religious house that defaulted on its covenant with members of good standing and long service. Second-hand, I have discovered how a changeling reverend used and abused his old congregation – how a predator sapped the good will and wealth of men and women into their old age and returned nothing to them in terms of comfort or guidance in their years of frailty and infirmity.
As a people, as an ethical social church, we should ferret out these miscreants, drain the venom, defang the viciousness, and terminate their benefit of the privileges rightly afforded to houses of worship and social service whose leaders aim to respectfully contribute as a part of the general social body of the nation. As for respectables who claim that local individuals, families, organizations, institutions, and governments do good work more effectively than national government, they owe it to put up and do what they claim rather than expend all effort to block the progress of all other remedies.
Let there be no more inattentive overlooking and polite dismissals of religious malfeasance from this day forward. A rapacious politicized pastor is to God what a tiny, blank sticky note is to literature and history. The influence of these scam artists taints lives around the world: they worsen lives suffering under the thumbs of their villainous allies in countries such as Russia and Uganda. And the intent of this mischief has no relationship to the work of God and critical bearing on the undoing of it. These missionaries of doom turn logic and language upside down in extremes that would make Orwell blush in unholy familiarity. When those under the banner of religion choose to rant, plot, and meddle in every public forum – act to undermine our Constitution, our just policies, the integrity and vitality of our planet – religion forfeits its special place and protections and calls upon itself scrutiny, censure, and even taxation. Abhorrent are despoilers of good works and honest reputations. Fie on them and their minions – and may God save their followers and us all from their depredations and their devious and dangerous ways.