Monday, January 7, 2019

Commentary re: Religious Issues, Hot Off Press: Catholic Abuse, Evangelicals & Trump, LGBTQ People & Church, U.S. Catholic Resistance to Pope Francis

"Whom Would Jesus Shoot?," Karen Fiorito

From the graphic above through the tweets and article excerpts below, some valuable commentary on a wide range of matters religious (and political) I've gleaned from social media or browsing the internet in the past several days. Hans Zollner's good statement on the spiritual damage done by sexual abuse of minors dates from a year ago, but is receiving attention right now because Mark Stephen Murray tweeted this article again today.

Hans Zollner, SJ, "The Spiritual Wounds of Sexual Abuse": 

Those who have been subjected to unspeakable suffering by representatives of the Church and who report the crime and wish to be heard are too frequently simply turned away or reprimanded for being troublemakers who would do better to keep their mouths shut. This can also lead to serious spiritual trauma over and above the psychological and physical trauma of abuse. Yet the incredible burden this entails is not clear to everyone in the Church, even to those in positions of responsibility. One would presume that those whose mission it is to preach the Gospel would understand better than anyone the extent to which some events – in this case, one causing extreme trauma – can weigh upon the core of a believer’s spirituality. And yet it is surprising how rarely this is the case. 

In many ways, it's little surprise that Graham and Falwell have found affinity with Donald Trump, as they are frighteningly similar animals; men cradled from birth in wealth, position, and privilege; buffeted heavily by the deep coffers of others, and handed riches and influence most people will never possess—rarely, if ever considering that they may not be worthy of it.  
Though Trump hasn't read the Bible, let alone studied it enough to politically weaponize it the way Graham and Falwell have, in many ways the reverends are men cut from the same cloth as this President: though benefitting from every conceivable blessing and advantage this planet has to offer, they are fueled by a narrative of their unceasing persecution, believing that they are being continually assailed by the very people whose backs they've been standing on the whole time: the marginalized, the oppressed, the underserved—"the least of these," Jesus speaks of incarnating him.

She stood on stage in front of over 5,000 people. She told of a phone call she received where her life changed forever. It was her daughter on the other end, "Mom, I think I am bisexual." 
She turned to her church, her community, for support. She was told that she had to choose between her church or her daughter. 
Her voice cracked as she shared of the life she knew dissolving. She loves her community and she loves her daughter. 
She paused on stage, all 5,000 of us collectively held our breath. With tears in her eyes she said, "I chose my child!" 
The room exploded with applause. 
– Ana Canova

The article links to Ana Canova's recent TED talk about her choice to love her child, when her church sought to set her against her child. 

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