Pat, this phenomenon (fighting back) is proceeding apace. What do you think the (mostly Catholic-evangelical) "religious rights" movement is all about? I mean, they keep screaming about Obama and others denying them their 1st amendment rights.
They want the right to discriminate and to dominate as it comes to church law vs. criminal / civil law. It's not likely that they'll get their way, either, so expect more tantrums and threats of hell. If by some chance a representative of the RC church wants to issue threats more specific and putatively potent, said representative and his church both will suffer accordingly.
What they scream about, under the phony guise of religious persecution, is being required to recognize equal rights to other humans which they are adamantly opposed to doing; gays, women, people of color, and (may the spirit of the magic zombie forbid) children to be protected from abuse - though admittedly, children are low on the totem pole, even among non-believers. Animal rights activists give more attention to stray dogs and cats than they do raped and homeless 8 year olds. But I digress on a point that admittedly sticks in my craw - children's rights.
They don't want to be "forced" to have their insurance policies cover contraception, but want to be tax exempt when they enter the marketplace, and given a special consideration over everyone else engaged in the same commercial activity.
Right on! When I hear of or see on TV any kind of violence (physical or mental) to a child I break down and cry. Hurting a child in any way is the Number One NO NO. That is about 50% of my gripe with the RCC: their protection of known pedophile priests. The other 50% is its extensive history of mass slaughter, from the Arian Bishops prior to Nicea in the 4th century to the pogroms against everything from witches to Gnostic sects, Jews, Muslims, you name it, that fucking church has more blood on its hands than Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot and Dick Cheney all put together.) I hope you do not mean "fuck 'em" literally. Personally, I would rather put their heads in garrottes. You do know that when the National Razor was brought out following the first days of the French Revolution, the common people took the heads of the clerics along with the aristocracy.
Man will never be free until the last king is strangled by the entrails of the last priest. Denis Diderot.
Of course you know, Pat, that when the National Razor was brought out to separate the titled nobles from their heads during the Terror following the French Revolution, the priests got sliced right along with the landed rich.
There seems to be a general decline in trust in institutions, but the decline for religious institutions is particularly steep following child abuse crimes and coverups in the Catholic Church and numerous sexual and financial scandals among televangelists. The John Jay report on priestly abuse counted over 10,000 victims of 4300 priests. That is not something to brush off easily.
Swaggart and Haggard and the others who have been exposed as hypocrites does not help. The fact that these are people whose role is to provide moral leadership to their congregations must weigh heavily in turning people off.
People are better off trusting their own instincts and doing their best. They won't be perfect, but I doubt that many of them will molest children.
I'm just looking over the image of the original post. There doesn't seem to be anything peaceful about the guy in my eyes. It does look really silly. Do they believe they are some type of royalty, or higher up on the totem pole than everyone else? I never thought about that.
Of course they are higher up on the totem pole. Religion is a business, pure and simple. It is also a Ponzi scheme. Those at the top get the goodies. Look at the Pop. He retires to Castle Gondalfo whenever the wishes, and he has his fingers on the purse strings for a vast empire that once even, in Italy at least, included small countries. Look at the Twelve Apostles of the Mormon fraud. Look at the televangelists of the megachurches with four or five McMansions and a fleet of fine cars. Remember, one of them when exposed as a fraud actually had air conditioned dog houses. What a con!
Can't speak for the Mor(m)orns, but as a former Catholic (and yes, former - under canon law I legally excommunicated myself from the church), yes they do think they are the royalty that they once used to be during the medieval period. As James said, they rule over an empire of the deluded. And formerly, over a temporal empire that included lands, titles, hereditaments (think Borgias), and a standing army. They still own a shitload of real estate, banks, international accounts that are tax exempt, and snarl and gnarl when anyone threatens their exempt status.
The photo James posted is just one of the minions of degeneracy. Want to see the true face of unmitigated evil? Here it is.
Having researched the Vatican's Sicilian connections, I was not surprised to see that the plot of Francis Coppola's third installment in the Godfather saga turned on a housecleaning with bodies hung from bridges and papal assassination. That the Vatican has the U.S. in its pocket, so to speak, is nowhere more apparent than in its relations with the State Department. The Church long ago obtained diplomatic status and, to my knowledge, is the only religious organization to enjoy such an exalted status. What this means, of course, is that they, e.g. smuggle drugs in diplomatic pouches and, worse, shelter pederastic priests simply by invoking privilege. Thanks for the picture of the old Nazi.