Lurking in the heart of the religious communities who have taken over the Republican Party is a strange take on sex that keeps exploding into public view. The title of my new book Sex, Mom and God could have been Sex With Mom and God" because the sexual dysfunction that now IS the world of conservative religion is stunning. And these are the people who want to tell everyone else how to live.
The Roman Catholic Church has had its sexual "ethics" discredited ever since Giovanni Boccaccio called the Church's bluff when he wrote The Decameron in the fourteenth century.
Nothing has changed since. Boccaccio's wonderfully ribald satire at the expense of the Roman Catholic Church's gross sexual hypocrisy is as apt today as ever.
And the Rick-Perry-Bring-America-Back-To-God-Evangelicals find themselves in the same mess, from the sexual-scandal-mired Evangelical leadership to the nefarious enablers like the so-called Family and its C Street enclave of congressional adulterers. (The Family was founded in 1935 and is known for its long history of friendly dealings with dictators worldwide as well as for its clearly defined aim to infiltrate the U.S. government with Far Right Evangelicals who will, in turn, carry out a Reconstructionist-type of campaign to "reclaim" the country and world for a politicized "Jesus.")
As I prove in my new book Sex, Mom and God, if there is one thing all Christians should have learned by now, it's that they -- of all people -- should never, ever cast aspersions on anyone else's sex life. For instance the gay community should be honored that the Evangelicals lie about and bash them. With enemies like the Religious Right you need no friends.
This is a fact worth remembering as the Republicans plan to go all out -- again -- to use the "moral issues" as the means to obscure the fact that what they really are about is saving billionaires from paying any taxes.
So how moral are these people?
When it comes to pointing the finger, sexual "sin," the worldwide Christian community -- from the halls of the Vatican to some Evangelical "mega church" established in somebody's basement two minutes ago and now in a 50 thousand sq ft building -- is in the morally compromised position of a violent habitual rapist criticizing a shoplifter for stealing a candy bar.
We're talking not about "a few bad apples" but about them whole edifice of religion top to bottom.
An impartial inquiry into child abuse at Roman Catholic institutions in Ireland found that the top Church leaders knew that sexual abuse was endemic in boys and girls institutions. A nine-year government inquiry investigated a sixty-year period when more than 35,000 children were placed in a network of "reformatories," "industrial schools," and "workhouses." The children suffered physical and/or sexual abuse that more than two thousand witnesses confirmed to the commission. Church authorities in league with government enablers were placing children in these camps until the 1980s. Physical and emotional abuse was a built-in deliberate feature of these "homes" for young men and women. The inquiry proved that child rape defines Irish Catholicism as surely as the sign of the cross once did.
The state-ordered investigation into cover-ups by the Dublin Archdiocese revealed that church officials had shielded scores of priests from criminal investigation over several decades and did not report any crimes to the police until the mid-1990s. The Irish have learned their lesson: they are dumping the RC church as a governing "partner" and are busy secularizing their institutions like never before.
This was much the same behavior as happened in the United States: The Church's leaders spent much more time protecting their institution than their flock, let alone children. For instance, an acquaintance of mine in the Boston area, Cardinal Bernard Law, with whom I'd worked on various Massachusetts "pro-life" initiatives and fund-raising efforts, left Boston for Rome "in a hurry" after he was being investigated for enabling child-molesting priests to remain in ministry. These are the "bishops" who will be pointing to the "pro-life" candidates as the only people to vote for.
And this is the church that "conservative" bishops and priests in the Anglican and Episcopal communions in the United States and the United Kingdom have since been joining in droves because the Roman Catholic Church has preserved "pure" doctrine that condemns homosexuality as a sin!
And the Evangelicals who have now taken over the Republican Party are cut from the same cloth. "Family Values" is a code for hate of gays and women and blacks, at least for the black in the White House. And the list of scandals I document in my new book is so long it is utterly damning.
Nevertheless the moralizing will ramp up as the people prodding their flocks to vote family values will still be standing there next to family values candidates telling us why God wants us to vote for Wall Street.