A local "religious leader," a guy who slaps together a "religious" event in front of the Capitol Building every year--even has the gall to call it "Clamor to God"--goes through a nasty divorce where he hounds his ex-wife through the media and fights alimony with claims his multi-million dollar "empire" doesn't pay him anything more than a "small salary."
Another church here, one with a "creationist" museum that ranks up there on the reality scale with wax fruit, has long been infamous for selling its front row seats, for, you know, the exposure and networking potential.
Jimmy Swaggart. Oral Roberts. Jim Bakker. Ted Haggard. Fill in the list with other names, cuz brother, there are plenty. Toss in the local guys who sleep with underage children and "annoint" virgin brides-to-be with their "holy" staffs. Thrown 'em all in there. Then set the whole freaking pile on fire. Give 'em...Hell.
As a species, We've had religions since the first proto-human looked up and around and realized s/he felt small. And throughout that history, humankind has had millions of religious leaders. Some were good, many were forgettable, but some were just scum. And these scum are the ones that gut whatever souls Our societies may have.
That a priest was caught fondling a woman is, to Me, a public relations coup compared to the hundreds of priests who have violated--and violate--children. The ink and airwaves dedicated to this "religious leader" and his wretched antics were too many beyond what's needed to proclaim "He's a fraud." Same with Swaggart, Bakker, Roberts, Haggard with their various sex scandals, some giving, some receiving, and the local boys who in that and other ways pollute Our society with their fraudulent presences.
To Hell with them. To Hell with those who pander to their excesses, who absolve them of blame, who worship the ground they walk on and feed their massive craven egos with money. To Hell with all of them. Because they give Us Hell.
And if, like I, you don't believe in Hell, give them not indifference, but open scorn, the sneering disdain of the truly righteous for the cowardly vermin, the disdain they and their pathetic followers wear so boldly and cannot sustain because cowardly vermin simply cannot ever be truly righteous.
We have a society that is crumbling and these leaders are like glittering rotting fish in the moonlight, attracting the eye with their foulness while the night grows dimmer and the storm approaches. The ones We should heed are quiet, for true good doesn't yell or shout or clamor or weep falsely on thousands of TV sets. The good walks with grace while the scum stagger in their luxury digs.
The next time some priest ruins a child's life or some pastor has a gay fling or some church leader destroys a community, remember that the good is out there, always, and though the media and their idiot followers will rush to the story like dogs to vomit, the good, though often harder to find, is infinitely more worthy of Our attention.
The Jenius Has Spoken.