It's About Time a Bishop Was Indicted
As regular readers know, I've devoted considerable time to writing about the child-molestation scandal engulfing the Catholic church. The core of this story isn't that there are child abusers within the ranks of the clergy, but that their superiors within the church have consistently enabled and protected them by hushing up their crimes, failing to report them to the authorities, and continually moving them to new parishes where they could prey upon new victims. As the saying goes, it's not the crime, it's the cover-up.
This is just what we should expect from an institution premised on hierarchy, secrecy, and unaccountability. The Catholic church still conceives of the relationship between itself and its parishioners as the relationship between a king and his subjects: the bishops and cardinals have complete power and make all their decisions in secret, and ordinary Catholics are expected to be quiet and obedient - or as the Pope once put it, to follow the church's decrees "like a docile flock." And even after all the lawsuits, convictions, and consent decrees, the church's higher-ups still think in this mold - that "avoiding scandal", or in other words, avoiding damage to the church's public image - is the most important factor, outweighing even the need to protect children from sex predators. Late last week, we had further appalling confirmation of that.
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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