Sunday, March 21, 2010

Armageddon? Sexual Abuse and Deaths of Note

John Boehner, the minority leader of the House of Representatives, said yesterday that the health care reform bill is Armageddon because it will destroy America. What happened to words like bad, not so good, or wrong? Must everything be a disaster of global proportions in order to gain our attention? Extremes are part of the problem these days. Once you say something will destroy America, there really isn’t much room for negotiation or compromise. One is stuck out on a limb where it is either do or die. This is one of the reasons why media clowns like Glenn Beck are so popular. Everything, no matter how trivial, is the final straw, the one that will send our world crashing toward eternal damnation.

Switzerland has joined the growing list of nations caught up in the global scandal associated with the sexual abuse of children by agents of the Catholic Church. In the United States, the church has already paid more than $2 billion in compensation to the victims. In Ireland, the charges of abuse cover a period of more than sixty years, dating back to the 1930s. The pope has apologized for what he calls these “sinful and criminal” acts, but has yet to punish the offenders. The church seems to be continuing its “go and sin no more” charade, pretending that backward collars make pedophiles acceptable members of society.

Two deaths of note – Liz Carpenter, 89, a journalist and public relations person best known as Lady Bird Johnson’s press secretary, she was a feminist with a bawdy sense of humor, a breast cancer survivor and a surrogate mother in her seventies. Steward Udall, 90, Interior Secretary during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, was a defender of American’s natural resources. He helped the government preserve almost 4 million acres, including four new national parks, and was instrumental in saving Carnegie Hall from the wrecking ball.

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