Over many years during which I thought religion had some value, I tried several Christian denominations, even to the point of being one of the Catholics attending that denomination/church. Eventually, each church provided some revelation that persuaded me to walk away. I regret none of that, and I learned much from the experiences.
My wife was always my partner in these endeavors. One condition for us to give a church a try was that it had to be flexible enough to fit our thinking. These included Episcopalian, Methodist, First Christian, and other welcoming groups. Most were “main line” Protestant.
Some denominations were not going to see us except as walk-ons at weddings, funerals, or other events related to friends or family. LDS and J-Witnesses (I still consider these cults) were not ever even possible considerations. Other fundamentalist bible thumping groups were likewise considered and dropped almost immediately. These would include denominations like Church of Christ, Pentecostal (Holy Rollers), Evangelicals, most independent non-denominational (whatever that is) types, and of course, good old Southern Baptist (home of the hypocrite).
If drinking beer, dancing, and mixed sex swimming were considered sinful, that group was dismissed in a New York minute. Ironically, the only church in which I ever spoke from the pulpit was Southern Baptist. As the minister and I stood at the exit, worshippers filed out shaking our hands. They also kept giving me money. When I turned the cash over to the real preacher he said, “You may have missed your calling, Bill.”
Lately, the Southern Baptists have been kind enough to give me a reason to blog about them. And guess what? It involves sexual misconduct and a high-level coverup. Well, I tell you what! I’ll just swan. Bless their (formerly racist?) little hearts. Read all about it HERE.
Apparently, the once saved, always saved, and largest single Protestant denomination in the U.S., comprising one-tenth of American Protestants, and the world’s largest Baptist denomination, has been taking lessons from the Catholic bishops on how to turn a difficult and bad situation into a major scandal perturbing and embarrassing all 14.1 million of its faithful.
While I am not exclusively in the business of either attacking or defending religion’s hypocrites, anyone who thinks sexual misconduct only lies with pedophiliac Catholic priests and pompous bishops is woefully wrong.
Church and religion are the ideal turf for sexual crimes because, well, as everyone knows, you can trust a Christian much more than an atheist, right? And then there is God, who will take care of it all, right?
I keep quoting Hitch. “Religion poisons everything.”
Have a wonderful June. (Pride Month, Nat’l PTSD Awareness Month, International Mud Month; and today [3 June] is National Repeat Day.)