"Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas John Paprocki says that any Catholic who votes for a Democrat very well may go to Hell, because a vote for any member of a party that supports sin makes the voter 'morally complicit.' Paprocki names the Log Cabin Republicans and 'pro-choice' (scare quotes his) Republicans as 'equally as wrong as their Democratic counterparts.'”
Then why are only Democratic voters going to hell? Besides, the claim cannot be true: they will only go to Purgatory, a place invented so that Roman Catholic priests in Mexico from Cortez to Calles could unburden the serfs (indigenous people) of their hard-earned centavos. Hitchens discusses indulgences in god is Not Great. Why would a good and all-powerful god put your loved ones in a special cyberspace where they must remain until the guy in a black suit and a little white collar takes your money to download them into God's hard drive?
And speaking of moral complicity, why do many thousands flock to the cathedrals each Sunday putting money in a plate so that child molesters would be given new parishes upon the discovery they have porked some acolyte or choir boy and, O.J.-like, forced civil litigation to redress grievances. If the coffers are running on empty it is because of the pay-outs to hopelessly-damaged young men who, if they remember the obscenities at all, feel lost in some horror movie. The current occupant of Castel Gondalfo knew all about the pedophile priests and did nothing to stop it. He had a U.S.-Vatican treaty to hide behind and he covered up lies and secrets and is thus guilty of obstruction of justice.
Back from Mexico or would have responded sooner. Catholicism and, to a greater or lesser extent, the Protestant religions, regard Satan as an angel cast out of Heaven for rebelling against God. He is known as the "Deceiver" because he leads people astray from dogma. You and I are obviously devotees of Satan in the minds of many of these people, as witness the Georgia politician who said that evolution is a doctrine from Hell. The O.T. God said, "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me," thereby acknowledging the existence of other Gods. But, hey, at the time the fictional Mosheh took down (actually authored) the Decalogue, there were many rival deities. (Mosheh probably was Mohammed's greatest inspiration: man makes god to obtain the allegiance of the masses: if God said don't do it, it packs more punch than merely saying "I order you to do this or that and forbid you to do this and that.") Baal, for example, many, many others. If Satan were to be seen as a God, then surely his powers would equal those of Jehovah, so the Christians fine-tuned him, making him a rebellious angel. Today, he is the bugaboo of the religion. As we all know, if you are going to unite a people, you must have, or create, a common enemy. Satan fills the bill.
I love a saying of Aleister Crowley, that the Devil is the God of anyone you personally dislike. Satan and Lucifer are merely the Egyptian Typhon and Set. All religions have them, and monotheisms are absolutely dependent on them, as they inspire fear and anxiety. They are necessary as bugaboos, a common enemy so unsettling they become the focal point as a common enemy.
Mainly, Satan is a crutch. Remember the black comedian who crossdressed in makeup and said, "the Devil made me wear this dress." If evil can be blamed on a boogeyman, he takes on extraordinary qualities, and as we all know, extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. Unfortunately, people go see little girls screw their heads counter-clockwise and come to a stop saying to a priest, "Your mother sucks cock in Hell," which only reinforces the either-or false dichotomy, what the late Aleister Crowley called the doings of Choronzon, Demon of Dispersion. (And BTW, the Anderson movie doesn't go into the fact that Hubbard's enlightenment on the road to Damascus was Crowleyanity.)
How can the priesthood be both celibate and sexually active with minors? I predict that the next Pope will issue a bull and make married clergy the norm.
Whatever moral authority the Roman Catholic Church may have exercised in the past was sacrificed to protect the church in the child molestation scandals of the last decade or so. So many priests (4000+) were involved with so many victims (10,000+) that no justification or excuse can be made. The church is an unquestionably evil institution and any good it may have done is far offset by the evil it has condoned.
I'm only a little surprised the RICO laws haven't been invoked. Seems like racketeering to me.
They certainly sacrificed whatever moral authority they had. But, I submit, that "moral authority" was, at best, a chimera. Over a millenium of bloodthirsty anti-semitism culminating in the Concordat with the Third Reich, the gleeful participation in the genocidal imperialism in the New World for fun and profit (including the slave trade), the intentional suppression of women and promotion of dysfunctional families with insane pronouncements on sex and reproduction, and now child torture and rape. The old Inquisition still exists. It's just been renamed as the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith. And with this blood splattered past, when can you expect the "mea culpas" coming from the church? Here's a hint. The church did apologize about the wrongful conviction of Galileo for stating the earth was not the center of the unvierse. It was in the year 2000; 358 years after his death and 28 years after the last man walked on the moon. I'm not holding my breath.
I cannot believe (and must know) that you and I agree so completely on this issue, I think I shall refrain from discussing it. You already say precisely what I would say.