Politics

Songs of Sacrilege: Dear Father by Black Sabbath

black sabbath

This is the one hundred ninety-sixth installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is Dear Father by Black Sabbath.

Video Link

Lyrics

A childhood innocence was drowned in your tears.
The demons that you fought are feeding your fears.
The poisoned secrets of your life stand revealed.
The truth destroys you, its no longer concealed.

Dear father forsaken, you knew what you were doing.
In silence your violence has left my life in ruin.
Yeah, in ruin, yeah.

You preyed upon my flesh then prayed for my soul.
Belief betrayed by lust, the faith that you stole.
Indoctrination by a twisted desire,
The catechism of an evil messiah.

Dear father forgive me, I know just what I’m doing.
In silence this violence will leave your life in ruin.
Yeah, in ruin, yeah.

Preacher of theocracy hiding your hypocrisy.
Under false sanctity, holy phony empathy.
You have taken my life,
Now it’s your turn to die.

Can you sleep at night? When you close your eyes
Do you think of all the pain from your lies?
Or do you deny you’re responsible
For the victims of the sins you devised?

What you gonna tell them when they ask you? Well then
Is your conscience pure in your heart?
There is no exemption when you seek redemption
For all the lives that you’ve torn apart.

Your molestations of the cross you defiled,
A man once holy now despised and reviled.
You took possession while confessing my sins
And now you have to face whatever death brings, yeah.

Dear father forsaken, you knew what you were doing.
In silence your violence has left my life in ruin, yeah.
In ruin, yeah, yeah, yeah.
In ruin yeah.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Democratic Party is Godless Says Pastor Ed Young

ed young

That ladies and gentlemen is what we’re up against. It’s no longer a party. It’s some kind of religion that is basically God-less and as long as America, and this is represented by every Democrat I know, does not believe in the sacredness of the life in the mother’s womb God will not bless America or make us a great nation. [is it my imagination, or does every Evangelical political argument begin and end with abortion?]

— Ed Young, pastor of of Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, KHOU-11

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Socialism is Dying

socialism

If you’ve ever read anything written by any progressive over the age of forty, chances are pretty good that you’ve been exposed to a certain weary, self-indulgent, spiritually-agonized tone. It is very recognizable, like the smell of decay that’s characteristic of a swamp. By comparison, leftists under the age of forty are likely to have more-or-less the same tone that they were born with — the high-pitched tone of an infant that is not getting its way. Older leftists have usually run out of this youthful vigor, just like the rest of us. They do not participate in Antifa riots on the streets. They think about such youthful protests with a sense of nostalgia, remembering their wild, radical college days — whether they actually experienced them or not. Lost in a kind of communal introspection, they gather to have a coffee and a chat about how infinitely, heartbreakingly hard it is to endure the misery of the world. It would be vulgar to point out that a nice income and a nice house in a nice neighborhood can do a lot to ease this unbearable sense of soul-wrenching angst. Moral anguish can actually be quite comfortable if you can manage to do it safely at a distance.

….

The disease of progressivism is now widespread, though probably not the majority position some imagine it to be. It has infected all classes, from cynical elites who wish to placate the last shriveled remnants of their consciences to the cynical poor who wish to be made unpoor by a government willing to pick pockets on their behalf. The cultural decay is deep, giving people a false sense of goodness based of uttering magic words rather than on the difficult and costly work of genuinely moral behavior. The real obscenity of leftist virtue-signaling isn’t merely that it’s unproductive and self-serving, but that leftists are so blinded that their own hypocrisy is lost on them. What does virtue-signaling accomplished that could not be done more honestly with a secret gesture or a secret handshake? What does the middle-class progressive really want other than identification with “the enlightened,” the intelligentsia, and with those who wield power?

I will hardly be the first to observe that the left long ago lost the battle over facts. Ghettoes, crime, and overdose deaths are facts. The chaos in Western Europe is a fact. The degeneration of Detroit into semi-rural scrub forest is a fact. The “arc of history,” pretty as it sounds, is nothing but a literary dream. A castle of mere words. Socialism has always been, at heart, a literary façade for the same old centralization of power — a petty tyranny at the hands of self-appointed and self-righteous planners and intellectuals. It’s a lie. In its death throes it has even lost the charm of being a beautiful lie.

E.M. Cadwaladr, The American Thinker, The Sad, Sad Culture of Progressivism, October 29, 2018

Songs of Sacrilege: Holiday by Green Day

green day

 

This is the one hundred ninety-third installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is Holiday by Green Day.

Video Link

Lyrics

[Intro]
Say hey!

[Verse 1]
Hear the sound of the falling rain
Coming down like an Armageddon flame (Hey!)
The shame, the ones who died without a name
Hear the dogs howling out of key
To a hymn called “Faith and Misery” (Hey!)
And bleed, the company lost the war today

[Chorus]
I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
On holiday

[Verse 2]
Hear the drum pounding out of time
Another protester has crossed the line (Hey!)
To find the money’s on the other side
Can I get another Amen? (Amen!)
There’s a flag wrapped around a score of men (Hey!)
A gag, a plastic bag on a monument

[Chorus]
I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
On holiday

[Interlude]
“The representative from California has the floor”

[Middle Eight]
Sieg Heil to the president Gasman
Bombs away is your punishment
Pulverize the Eiffel towers
Who criticize your government
Bang bang goes the broken glass
And kill all the fags that don’t agree
Trials by fire, setting fire
Is not a way that’s meant for me
Just ‘cause, just ‘cause
Because we’re outlaws, yeah!

[Chorus]
I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
This is our lives on holiday

I Plan to Vote YES on Ohio Issue 1

vote yes on ohio issue 1

Letter submitted to the editor of the Defiance Crescent-News on October 28, 2018

Dear Editor,

Local law enforcement, judges, and politicians have all come out against Issue 1 — the state ballot initiative that would reduce many drug crimes to misdemeanors and favor treatment over incarceration. The goal is to end the destructive warehousing of addicts in county and state prisons.

The main objection seems to be that if Issue 1 passes, drug users, knowing they will not face jail if arrested, will use opioids and other addictive drugs with impunity. If these people can’t be threatened by the powers that be with jail time, the thinking goes, they will have no reason to stop using drugs. Isn’t this already what is happening?

The costly, ineffective “war on drugs” has been fought most of my adult life — without success. Perhaps it is time to admit arresting and incarcerating non-violent drug offenders has not stemmed the tide of abuse. Instead, this war has left ruined lives in its wake. If the goal is to help addicts become productive members of society, we must move to treatment-first methodology. Issue 1 moves Ohio in that direction.

I spent several years in the 1970s volunteering at a drug rehabilitation facility. As a pastor, I came in contact with countless people who had substance abuse issues. In my dealings with these hurting people, I can’t think of one instance where incarceration (the stick) was preferable to treatment (the carrot).

The prison industrial complex opposes Issue 1 because it will cost them money. I would think it would be desirable and good for our society if we drastically reduced county and state prison populations and expenditures. The money saved could then be used to provide rehabilitative services, including drug treatment. It is shameful that the United States has the highest per capita incarceration rates in the world; that we put a premium on retribution and punishment instead of making people whole. The number one reason people ending up in prison? Drugs.

What I’ve noticed in current local discussions about Issue 1, and past discussions about medical marijuana and the opioid crisis, is the unwillingness by many to truly see and empathize with the people materially affected by these things. Why is this?

I propose we use the Bible parable of The Good Samaritan as our example of how to treat drug addicts. Love, compassion, a helping hand, and material support is what is needed, not punitive jail sentences.

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, Ohio

Text of Issue 1

 

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Why Jerry Falwell, Jr. Has an Ongoing Bromance with Donald Trump

trump aftershock stephen strang

For over two years now people have been asking me why I supported Donald Trump as a candidate for president of the United States and why I continue to support him now in his role as the chief executive of our great nation. After all, I was one of the only people from the evangelical camp who endorsed Mr. Trump even before the Iowa caucuses. I determined early on that what ailed the United States would require more than a PR and policy bandage. And if Trump were to get elected, he would need more than bandwagon support.

But to answer the question about my support, much of my motivation came from my background in business. My father came from a family of businesspeople who were not Christians, including my grandfather. But a series of personal tragedies resulted in his early death at the age of 55. My dad was only 15 at the time, and he became a Christian because of those sorrowful events. I think he might have gone into the family business if those things hadn’t happened. The point is that though the world knows the Falwell name chiefly in the context of my famous clergyman father, most Falwells have been successful entrepreneurs—businessmen and businesswomen.

Even in the context of a nonprofit organization such as Liberty University, I have seen firsthand what applying business principles can do to save an organization. In the late 1980s and 1990s, when donations dried up, we had to create a business model that would keep Liberty alive. In the end not only did we eliminate the debt; we also prospered enough that we’ve now fulfilled many of the original visions my father had for this university. But Liberty’s success didn’t come through hazy or lazy leadership.

So that’s why I supported Donald Trump early, because the United States is drowning in $21 trillion of debt. Trump is a businessman. We haven’t had many businessmen who have become president. Instead, we get career politicians who are short on transformative thinking and long on political career preservation. Even though Trump hadn’t even decided what all his political views were at that time, I knew that a pragmatic businessman with common sense would come down on the right side of issues. Trump wanted to do what was best for the country. And if you start with that desire—to do what’s best for the country and for the common man—then you have no choice but to be a conservative. It’s that simple.

I’m proud I supported Donald Trump. And since he’s entered the White House, I’ve stayed in close touch with him, talking to him about once a month. It has become a close friendship. I’m so pleased with how he’s kept his promises. He’s appointed justices to the lower courts and the Supreme Court who I believe will uphold the Constitution. On matters related to religious liberty, the president has been a godsend. And his deregulation strategies have brought about prosperity for businesses and the American worker. He’s done all the things he said he was going to do—even with all the attempts to thwart his administration by fake Republicans in the Senate and all the folks on the left who will stop at nothing to overthrow a duly elected president.

You see, we needed somebody with resolve and backbone. Republicans and Democrats—the parties had become so much alike that you really couldn’t tell the difference. Many of them were—and still are—so scared of their shadow and criticism from the press that they waffle on every issue. They put their finger up and see which way the wind is blowing.

But Trump just marches ahead. He doesn’t care how much criticism comes his way. And the people don’t care either. The people don’t care what the press say anymore because they’ve lost all credibility. That’s what Americans have longed to see in their president—somebody who will stand up for the country, stand up for what’s right and not back down in the face of adversity.

Like Stephen Strang does in this book, I compare Trump to Winston Churchill during World War II. Everything looked lost in the face of the onslaught of Hitler’s military might. Churchill had to resolve to move ahead anyhow and to never quit. That’s what I see in Donald Trump, and I think that’s why people support him in spite of all the negatives that get thrown at him.

In this new book by my friend Stephen Strang, you will come to a great understanding of all that has been happening since election night. Strang shows how President Trump has exceeded the expectations of his supporters. And Strang reveals how the left, instead of acknowledging the genuine successes of the Trump administration, are growing in their animus toward the president. Refusing to acknowledge the roaring economy and a renewed sense of optimism and national pride, some on the left (and some on the right) are succumbing to “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” And so the rift between the left and the right has grown deep, and our national politics are more polarized than ever.

But Strang’s book strikes a chord of hopefulness because he believes (as do I) that these days are some of the most extraordinary times in the life of our nation. You’ll enjoy Trump Aftershock. But even more, it will prompt you to pray and work in your own community to “make America great again.”

Jerry Falwell Jr.
President, Liberty University
Lynchburg, Virginia

— Jerry Falwell, Jr, Forward to Stephen “I’ve Got a Book to Sell” Strang’s newest book, Trump Aftershock

You can buy Trump Aftershock here. I am sure regular readers of this blog will want to run out and buy themselves a copy. That’s sarcasm, by the way.

Video Link

Quote of the Day: Trump’s Economy vs. The Economy Most of Us Live In

robert reich

As White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow recently put it, “The single biggest story this year is an economic boom that is durable and lasting.”

Really? Look closely at the living standards of most Americans, and you get a very different picture.

Yes, the stock market has boomed since Trump became president. But it’s looking increasingly wobbly as Trump’s trade wars take a toll.

Over 80 percent of the stock market is owned by the richest 10 percent of Americans anyway, so most Americans never got much out of Trump’s market boom to begin with.

The trade wars are about to take a toll on ordinary workers. Trump’s steel tariffs have cost Ford $1 billion so far, for example, forcing the automaker to plan mass layoffs.

What about economic growth? Data from the Commerce Department shows the economy at full speed, 4.2 percent growth for the second quarter.

But very little of that growth is trickling down to average Americans. Adjusted for inflation, hourly wages aren’t much higher now than they were forty years ago.

Trump slashed taxes on the wealthy and promised everyone else a $4,000 wage boost. But the boost never happened. That’s a big reason why Republicans aren’t campaigning on their tax cut, which is just about their only legislative accomplishment.

Trump and congressional Republicans refuse to raise the minimum wage, stuck at $7.25 an hour. Trump’s Labor Department is also repealing a rule that increased the number of workers entitled to time-and-a-half for overtime.

Yes, unemployment is down to 3.7 percent. But jobs are less secure than ever. Contract workers – who aren’t eligible for family or medical leave, unemployment insurance, the minimum wage, or worker’s compensation – are now doing one out of every five jobs in America.

Trump’s Labor Department has invited more companies to reclassify employees as contract workers. Its new rule undoes the California Supreme Court’s recent decision requiring that most workers be presumed employees unless proven otherwise. (Given California’s size, that decision had nationwide effect.)

Meanwhile, housing costs are skyrocketing, with Americans now paying a third or more of their paychecks in rent or mortgages.

Trump’s response? Drastic cuts in low-income housing. His Secretary of Housing and Urban Development also wants to triple the rent paid by poor households in subsidized housing.

Healthcare costs continues to rise faster than inflation. Trump’s response? Undermine the Affordable Care Act. Over the past two years, some 4 million people have lost healthcare coverage, according to a survey by the Commonwealth Fund.

Pharmaceutical costs are also out of control. Trump’s response? Allow the biggest pharmacist, CVS, to merge with the one of the biggest health insurers, Aetna — creating a behemoth with the power to raise prices even further.

The cost of college continues to soar. Trump’s response? Make it easier for for-profit colleges to defraud students. His Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is eliminating regulations that had required for-profit colleges to prove they provide gainful employment to the students they enroll.

Commuting to and from work is becoming harder, as roads and bridges become more congested, and subways and trains older and less reliable. Trump’s response? Nothing. Although he promised to spend $1.5 trillion to repair America’s crumbling infrastructure, his $1.5 trillion tax cut for big corporations and the wealthy used up the money.

Climate change is undermining the standard of living of ordinary Americans, as more are hit with floods, mudslides, tornados, draughts, and wildfires. Even those who have so far avoided direct hits will be paying more for insurance – or having a harder time getting it. People living on flood plains, or in trailers, or without home insurance, are paying the highest price.

Trump’s response? Allow more carbon into the atmosphere and make climate change even worse.

Too often, discussions about “the economy” focus on overall statistics about growth, the stock market, and unemployment.

But most Americans don’t live in that economy. They live in a personal economy that has more to do with wages, job security, commutes to and from work, and the costs of housing, healthcare, drugs, education, and home insurance.

These are the things that hit closest home. They comprise the typical American’s standard of living.

— Robert Reich, Alternet, Here’s the Truth About Trump’s ‘Great Economy’, October 21, 2018

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Trump Honors Evangelicals More Than Any President Before Him

evangelical support for donald trump

Cartoon by Monte Wolverton

After the election, I read several books about Trump, and they didn’t even mention the evangelical vote. And yet that was decisive in Trump’s win. As it turned out, 81 percent of all evangelicals [Strang is wrong here. 81 percent of voting Evangelicals voted for Trump, NOT 81 percent of all Evangelicals] —Bible-believing, born-again, church-going Christians—ended up voting for Trump. Part of that had to do with the fact that Trump was running against Hillary Clinton. (Whatever negative things you can say about Trump, Clinton would have been 10 times worse, in my opinion.)

….

But Trump has turned out to be quite a surprise. He’s proved himself to be a champion of religious freedom, he seems to be very respectful of evangelicals, and he even seeks counsel from them. Evangelical leaders have said they have more access to him than to any president in recent history.

What generally happens is that Democrats running for president don’t reach out to the evangelical community. They tend to write them off. The Republicans, on the other hand, reach out to evangelicals during their campaign but, once elected, don’t talk to them or even honor their promises to them. But Trump has been very different in that regard. In short, the last few years have been a refreshing change.

I believe this has been a largely untold story, which is why I decided to write Trump Aftershock. My heart in writing the book is to highlight what God has done through Trump since he was elected. Just think of how Trump moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, negotiated with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and most recently, freed American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey for two years. These are the aftershocks of Trump’s election and, by God’s grace, more are yet to come.

— Stephen “I Have a Book to Sell” Strang, Charisma News, How Trump Honors Evangelicals More Than Any Democratic or Republican President Before Him, October 17, 2018

His Hunger for the Church

st peters

Guest post by MJ Lisbeth

More years ago than I care to admit, I read Richard Rodriguez’s Hunger of Memory. Not long afterward, I went through a period when I hated the book because people (or, more precisely, people whose opinions I detested) embraced it. I was young enough, chronologically and emotionally, to get away with things like that.

I’ll confess that, today, at least one of his notions resonates with me, an unrepentant liberal. He exposed the contradictions of Affirmative Action, at least as it was practiced in the late 1970s and early 1980s — and, to a large extent, as it’s still practiced today. He described the ways in which he benefited because, as he says, of his surname. But by the dint of having earned a bachelor’s degree from Stanford and continued his studies at Columbia and Berkeley, he had more in common with his fellow scholars — most of whom were white and at least upper middle-class — than with the poor Mexican-Americans among whom he grew up.

He thus became the darling of William F. Buckley and characters even more odious because there’s nothing they love more than someone who shares their attitudes and whose skin is darker than theirs. It allows them to say, “See, I told you so!” But another part of Rodriguez’s biography has endeared him to me at least as much. And it resonated with me at least as much.

That part of his story is his, and his family’s, relationship with the Roman Catholic faith in which he was raised. At the time the book was published, he still considered himself a member of the church, although, as he says, the modern adaptations of it — prayers in English instead of Latin and folksy guitar music instead of Bach compositions — were at least somewhat alien to him.

Still, he said, he continued his affiliation with the church — in the face of friends and colleagues who chided him for showing up late to Sunday brunch because he’d been to mass — because, in spite of all of its changes, it provided a “liturgy” (which I take as a churchy way of saying “narrative”) to his life. That, and what he feels the church gave his Mexican parents.

Of all the institutions in their lives, only the Catholic Church has seemed aware of the fact that my mother and father are thinkers — persons aware of the experience of their lives. Other institutions — the nation’s political parties, the industries of mass entertainment and communication, the companies that employed them—have all treated them with condescension. In ceremonies of public worship, they have been moved, assured that their lives, from waking to eating, from birth until death, all moments — possess great significance. (pp.90-91)

That, to me, sounds like another “Mother Teresa” argument: Whatever abuses she, or any other representative of the church, or the Church itself — committed on the poor, the sick, the weak — or others in any way vulnerable — is justified by the “good” they or the Church did. That the church itself has been so complicit in conscripting young men (like his father’s forebears) to conquer lands (like the ones in which his parents and he grew up), slaughter the natives of said lands, and to enslave captives brought to those lands — all the while providing said conscripts a standard of living not much better than the natives who were sent to slaughter — seems to have escaped the notice of a supposedly educated man like Rodriguez.

Even if, as he wrote, the Church was aware of people like his parents as thinkers — which I don’t doubt they were—he still gives the institution far too much credit. If you are starving, the person who gives you anything to eat, even if it’s stale or tainted, can seem like a savior or hero. Really, it’s no different from the appeal of any number of despots from Julius Caesar to Mao had for proles and peasants — or that drug dealers have for young people who see no way out of the ghetto or, more important, the moment in which they are living.

One can be forgiven for idolizing a person or institution that seemed to offer charity and solace to one’s poor parents and family. One can even be forgiven for venerating such a person or institution when he, she or it offered a place, however servile, within a world that isolates, rejects and alienates people who are poor, weak or foreign. But if such a person acquires an education, formally or otherwise, that person will see, in time, that the person or institution who took him or her “seriously” or “protected” him or her from bullies or other dangers — or simply provided a meal, room or job—may have had other purposes for such seeming acts of charity. Those acts may have been attempts to recruit the recipient for something, or simply to buy his or her silence.

The latter seems to have had an effect on Rodriguez. While he says he dislikes the “modern” church, he doesn’t dislike it enough to leave it — even after coming out as gay, as he did a decade after Hunger of Memory was published. That, as a gay man, he can still cling to a religion that so blatantly opposes non-heterosexual love — no matter that the Pope says, “Who am I to judge?”— is, at least to me, a mystery even beyond that of the faith itself.

It might just be that he’s been so rewarded within the community of the Church, and by secular as well as religious conservatives, for his apologetics. The conservatives have rewarded him with grants to write, speaking engagements and other things that have allowed him to sustain his life since he left his PhD studies — because he realized he was benefiting from his surname. As for the church — well, I guess it’s what’s made him the commodity he’s become: a gay Hispanic Catholic conservative. Where would he, his talents notwithstanding, be without it?

Perhaps he would have hunger — and his memory would be different.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Democrats are Just Plain Evil

rush limbaugh democrats evil

For years Republicans have not got it about the Democrat Party: They are just plain evil, along with a reprobate mind. The violent protests are perpetrated by the Democrat Party, and until these people start going to jail, it will only get worse.

The Democrat Party has a history of lawlessness – they own the KKK and started this organization to hinder the advancement of black Americans. The Democrat Party promoted the idea of single moms raising children without a dad.

Here are some people that should be in jail – Barack Hussein Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder. Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, George Soros.

President Trump and the First Lady are the most transparent people I’ve seen in my lifetime. President Obama claimed the same thing, yet told the press what they could and could not ask.

I believe Americans are waking up, and I hope the Democrat Party becomes extinct. If not, the United States of America as we know it will be destroyed internally. Without America in the picture, other nations will fall like dominos into the Social-Communist hellhole. Ultimately, what started in the Middle East will end in the Middle East. God and His people will be victorious.

— Ken Langdon, World News Daily, Democrat Party: Just Plain Evil, October 14, 2018

“But He’s a Good Person”

brett kavanaugh

Guest post by MJ Lisbeth

During his Senate confirmation hearings, Brett Kavanaugh testified about the good and great things he’s done throughout his life: He has “mentored” many female students; 21 of the 25 clerks he hired while a US attorney were women. Why, he even coaches his daughters’ basketball team!

I have no reason to doubt that he has done whatever he can to offer women opportunities in the law, politics, academia and other areas. I also am willing to believe him when he says he is committed to equality or even when he says he’s tried to live an “exemplary” life.

I would also believe such statements from any number of other men. Moreover, I have known many other men who, throughout their lives, gave of their time and resources to help women, as well as men and children, in any number of ways. In fact, I know of one in particular who gave over his life to helping and guiding other people.

He was a priest in the parish where I grew up. Nearly everyone sang his praises: He was a fixture, not only in the parish, but in the community as a whole.

It seems that at that time, a priest stayed in a parish longer than he stays now: Some priests spent most or all of their careers in the same place, hearing the first confessions, offering the First Holy Communion and confirming young parishioners — and their children — and grandchildren. You would also see them on playgrounds, in nursing homes or walking the streets of the neighborhood. They visited the old and sick, sometimes giving of their meager means to help.

Also, in neighborhoods like the one in which I spent my childhood, priests were the de facto therapists and social workers. Most of the men were blue-collar workers and the women homemakers; many were immigrants and few had more than a high-school education. That meant they couldn’t afford, or didn’t know how to access, therapists, and even if they could or did, they never would trust them, or for that matter, social workers, in the same way they would confide in a priest.

The particular priest I’m thinking of right now did such things, and more.

And he sexually molested me.

Now, anyone who doesn’t know that probably knows only what a “good and Godly” man he was to them. Were I to tell them, then or now, what Father did to me, it probably wouldn’t change their perceptions of him. In fact, some would turn on me — or, for that matter, anyone else who might say that he did to them what he did to me.

(I, of course, have no way of knowing whether he abused any other kids — or assaulted any adults. But, given what we’ve seen, it isn’t hard to imagine, for me anyway, that he did: Sexual predators rarely, if ever, prey on only one person.)

So, even though I thoroughly sympathize with — and believe — Christine Blasey Ford, I understand why other women signed a letter of support for Judge Kavanaugh. Most were his high school friends or classmates and said, in essence, that the young man they knew “would never do anything like that.”

That is how most sexual predators are able to go undetected for decades.  If someone treats you well, you are less likely to think he or she is capable of harming another human being. That is especially true if that someone has some sort of standing in the community — whether through family or professional connections, academic or professional accomplishments or as a spiritual leader.

Brett Kavanaugh may well have been someone who “has always treated women with decency and respect,” as the letter relates. He may also be the rigorous scholar, conscientious teacher, caring mentor, impartial jurist, loving father — and champion of women’s equality – that he proclaimed himself to be.

That is, he might be all of those things — to people not named Christine Blasey Ford. Or Deborah Ramirez. Just as the priest in my parish was a godly, saintly man to many people in my community — but not to me. Or, perhaps to some other kids or, for that matter, adults who have not yet spoken up.

It’s difficult to understand the complexities of the human mind – what makes people “tick,” what goes on inside them. As a result, none of us ever knows what evil lurks in the depths of those we think we know – even those who are “good people.”