An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Corruption’

The Catholic Church, Then and Now

The Catholic Church deserves some credit for what it had done a very long time ago.  Through the power of faith, it is true that we were able to come from the marauding barbarism that had taken over Europe in the Dark Ages.  Societies have been formed since long before Christianity existed by people coming together over a system of beliefs, which are often a ground-work for their continued growth as a culture.

Patton Oswald was right when he said that religion gave us writing and agriculture and fire and civilization.  However, the key thing that isn’t addressed is that what was once then, isn’t now.  The great truth of the Catholic church and what it once stood for has been washed away.  Granted, it has always been a corrupt institution.  There isn’t a single system of power that exists in this entire world that isn’t.  But it’s corruption was once off-set by what it gave back to society.  Such is not the case anymore.

Looking far beyond the Dark Ages, it cannot be denied that the corruption of the Catholic church has consumed it, and now it is nothing more than an institution that does so much more harm than good.  Before looking at the current examples, let’s take a trip back through history, and look at some of the more historically famous things that the Catholic church has been responsible for.

  • 17 million African slaves were killed by slavers, which the Catholic church explicitly said was okay in 1836 and 1839.  These were official stances of the church, who favored slavery.
  • In the 15th and 16th Century, and probably well after that, there were countless deaths after Pope Innocent VIII was the author of “The Declation Against Witches.”
  • The Catholic church killed over 1 million innocent people in their Crusades to conquer The Holy Land (their term, not mine)
  • The Spanish Inquisition killed over 350,000 people, all of whom were innocent, in order to suppress and silence those who were not in league with the church.
  • The Catholic church had a very large participation in the the Rwanda ethnic cleansing.
  • They continued to support a bloody and violent regime in Zimbabwe because they gave the church support.
  • They supported the Croatian genocide of the Serbs.

Oh wait, look at the dates of all this.  This goes way back.  This goes all the way back to the Dark Ages.  Huh, well, scrap what I said before.  There was an order given to society, but at the same time, dating back to the beginning, the Catholic church has been nothing more than an organization of corruption and murder.

Today, on the other hand, there isn’t so much murder, but there is still a whole lot of corruption.  What are some of the more famous modern example of their corruption?  Some really modern ones?  Well, here’s another neat bulleted list.

  • Mother Teresa, a woman who is revered by Catholics, non-Catholics, and even atheists like myself, advocated for no women’s reproductive rights of any kind.  She advocated for people in Africa not being able to use condoms, which would have exponentially helped in keeping the amount of AIDS cases down.  Her hospitals were poverty-stricken Third World nightmares, even though it has been shown that with the amount of money she had, she could have easily made them into very great palaces of health.  She also advocated poverty, which is why she didn’t funnel any of her untold and vast amounts of money into those hospitals.
  • Over 5,000 priests and deacons are currently still active within the Catholic church, with there being public knowledge of their sex crimes against children.
  • The Vatican keeps records of all the sexual abuse crimes committed by priests and who has been abused.  They pay off the abuse victims and their families, often adding the threat of excommunication if they go to the authorities.
  • The Pope is expressly tied to the conscious efforts to keep the sexual abuse of the church under wraps, showing that this corruption comes down right from the top.
  • When SNAP (Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests) came to the International Crimes Court to finally bring the hammer down on the Vatican and make them pay, the Vatican PR machine did everything in their power to vilify SNAP’s lawyers and those who were coming out against the sexual abuse that is rampant in the church.  They almost took a Stockholm Syndrome approach, telling the victims of sexual abuse that it wasn’t as bad as they thought.
  • They are still working day and night to stop safe sex in third-world nations, along with abortion rights for women.
  • They will let abstinence-only education be taught in Catholic schools (and we wonder why religious areas have the highest rates of teen pregnancy).
  • At the Irish Sisters of Mercy, over 13,000 children were found to have been brutally physically abused.
  • A plethora of financial crimes associated with the Vatican Bank, such as the laundering of 23, million euros.
  • Oh, and the raping of all the kids.  Don’t know if we covered that.

The Catholic church is a corrupt organization, and the simple reality is this – this needs to stop.  It is high-time that the Catholic church felt the long-arm of the law.  They are completely exempt from taxes, yet they and all the other Christian organizations have a stranglehold on government.  This is an organization that couldn’t be more corrupt, yet couldn’t have more power.

On some level, it almost makes sense why the governments of the world are afraid to go after them.  This still is an incredibly powerful organization.  Their giant opulent palaces across the world should be testament to that.  There is a lot of money that governments need to finance their own corruption.  It is a giant network of corruption that infects this entire planet, and nobody will fight back against.

However, there is reason to hope.  There are groups coming together, refusing not to let themselves be ignored, and calling for justice against the Catholic church, until the abuse stops.  This organization needs to feel the hammer of the law, and until that happens, there needs to be a conscious effort against them.

Catholics, remember – we. are. watching you!

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Something America Forgot: Absolute Power Corrupts

It is very true, you know.  The people of this country seem to have totally forgotten that having unlimited power and virtually no oversight is a guaranteed way to breed corruption.  But why does that matter?  What effect does it have on the world right now?  Well, to answer that question, one has to look at the police forces of America.  In this post, several stories of police corruption are going to show this very contention.

The first story is from New York City.  The story goes that a black man named Jatik Reed.  He was stopped by cops, claiming that they saw him smoking marijuana, and had a bag that supposedly had Crack residue inside of it.  The police then claim that he threw a punch at them, so they proceeded to brutally assault him.  Of course, video footage was released showing that this was an unprovoked attack.

All over the country, the police are filmed doing stuff like this, but one interesting reaction was during the case in Florida.  Police surrounded the parked car of Raymond Herisse.  They fire at his car with abandon, killing him and wounding several bystanders.  One witness describes that the police were shooting until their guns were empty.  With a half-dozen cops shooting the standard-issue Glock pistol that police are issued, that is a potential of 90 rounds going into the car of a man who is parked and from all evidence, never shot back or opened fire.  It was a revenge-killing.

The reason that this story is important is because one man filmed the cops with his phone.  When the police saw this, they went over and took the phone from him, smashing it on the ground.  Luckily, the footage survived of the police murdering this man because this man who filmed them was quick enough to hide the SIM card in his mouth, even as the cops assaulted him and took his camera.

All over this country, stories come up of the police arresting people and even sometimes charging them with crimes for filming them breaking the laws that they are trying to protect.  It is a right that is guaranteed that the average citizen can film the police, as a measure of ensuring justice, but the bigger question is – what is it that they want to hide?

Perhaps it is stories like one that happened in Fulton, Missouri.  The SWAT police there raided a house, looking for drugs, and decided that they would shoot the family dog.  When it got off of its chain, the police shot the dog six times with their pistols, and twice with shotguns.  But the story doesn’t end there.  The police went over to the puppies of this dog, who were in a cage.  They pepper-sprayed the puppies, and the were even about to shoot them.  Of course, they only found enough marijuana in this man’s house to get him a misdemeanor charge.  Pepper-spraying puppies, for a misdemeanor.

That’s another thing – murdering a family’s pet is nothing new.  There is an entire blog that shows the instances where the police have murdered a family dog.  But what would have happened had the cops who pepper-sprayed the puppies gotten filmed?  What would have been their punishment?  Well, in all likelihood, nothing.  They wouldn’t have gotten punished at all.

It can’t be denied that there is little to no fire that the police in this country’s feet are being held to.  It is every week that a story comes out of some cop who arrests a girl for “abusing 911” when her dad was having a seisure, or brutally assaulting somebody on the street, or pepper-spraying puppies.  These cops do these things, and little to nothing happens to them.  In fact, the legal system of this country is complicit in this abuse of power

For those who deny that, here is another story.  In the city of Philadelphia, there was a police officer named Michael Paige.  He forced a man, named James Harris, to give him oral sex in his police cruiser.  When charges were pressed against him, the judge came to the decision that Harris was lying, and that this was consensual sex that he was claiming was sexual assault.  This cop forces a man to perform oral sex, and he has no punishment whatsoever.  The legal system is absolutely in favor of this abuse.

Finally, a story from all over the country.  Police are seizing people’s assets, not even charging them with anything.  They pick targets who are poor enough so that they can be reasonably sure that this person will not fight back against them.  They take their stuff and auction it off to make money.

America has created a culture where we are giving badges and guns to people, requring very little training for them.  They are given nearly-infinite authority over other people, and are now being affirmed that the hammer of justice will not come down on them when they do something wrong.  Why do people think that such a position wouldn’t attract some total and complete deranged lunatics?  Why do they think that there wouldn’t be a large number of people in that profession who are sociopaths, looking to exercise their authority over others?

Absolute power corrupts.  This is something history has taught us.  And yet, we are not hearing anything from the public.  When one comes onto a website and says something, or video footage is released, what is the reaction?  For the most part, blind compliance.  People simply choose not to listen to it, or claim, “it’s just a few bad apples.”

The problem goes deeper than that, and until we get some oversight on the cops, and hold their feet to the fire, this kind of rampant abuse will continue, and Officer Paige will force more men to blow him.  More puppies will get pepper-sprayed.  And more people will get beaten on the side of the road for no reason.

Of course, they will do that, with the parents of all the children saying, “the police officer is your friend.”

Peace out,

Lefty

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