We’re #1, we’re #1!


Archbishop John C. Wester of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Susan Montoya Bryan/Associated Press

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe in New Mexico said that it had reached a $121.5 million settlement agreement to resolve a bankruptcy case that stemmed from clergy sex abuse claims, one of the largest such settlements involving the Catholic Church in the United States.

The proposed settlement would be used to compensate survivors of sexual abuse…

The settlement affects approximately 375 claimants, Dan Fasy, a lawyer who represents 111 of the victims, said on Wednesday. It is among the top five payouts in abuse litigation involving the Catholic Church in the United States, according to BishopAccountability.org, which tracks abuse cases against the church…

In New Mexico, about 74 priests have been described as “credibly accused” of sexually assaulting children, while the priests were posted to parishes and schools by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, according to The Associated Press…

The archdiocese said the settlement money would be used exclusively to compensate victims and would not be used to cover the archdiocese’s legal costs or other expenses related to the bankruptcy case.

While we’re discussing solutions, it might be more relevant to examine what programmatic changes are being made within this organization to prevent anymore recurrences of what is damned near a tradition.

Southern Baptist leaders routinely silenced sexual abuse survivors


Ronnie Floyd, Southern Baptist official

For 20 years, leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention — including a former president now accused of sexual assault — routinely silenced and disparaged sexual abuse survivors, ignored calls for policies to stop predators, and dismissed reforms that they privately said could protect children but might cost the SBC money if abuse victims later sued.

Those are just a few findings of a bombshell, third-party investigation into decades of alleged misconduct by Southern Baptist leaders that was released Sunday, nearly a year after 15,000 SBC church delegates demanded their executive committee turn over confidential documents and communications as part of an independent review of abuse reports that were purportedly mishandled or concealed since 2000.

The historic, nearly 400-page report details how a small, insular and influential group of leaders “singularly focused on avoiding liability for the SBC to the exclusion of other considerations” to prevent abuse. The report was published by Guidepost Solutions, an independent firm that conducted 330 interviews and reviewed two decades of internal SBC files in the seven-month investigation.

“Survivors and others who reported abuse were ignored, disbelieved, or met with the constant refrain that the SBC could take no action due to its (structure) — even if it meant that convicted molesters continued in ministry with no notice or warning to their current church or congregation,” Guidepost’s report concluded.

Surprised? I’m not.

Nothing new in organizations of any size, guidance or professed belief in an uniting ideology. Regardless of what that belief says about the value of truth.

The Fightback against Far Right, Anti-Abortion Nutballs


Stephanie Keith/Getty

The far-right is celebrating what it sees as the impending collapse of abortion rights in the U.S., labeling women “witches” and “whores” and declaring “Christ is King” across social media.

“Christ is King” is a familiar phrase in Christianity, especially the Catholic Church, but it’s been co-opted recently by “America First” Christian ultra-nationalists, who have chanted it at political rallies and anti-abortion marches and used it as a rallying cry online. Now it’s being used to signify support for the demise of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide, after Politico published a leaked draft opinion by the Supreme Court Monday…

While the far-right have typically been anti-abortion by virtue of their position on the political spectrum, there’s been a recent uptick in interest in the issue among optics-savvy right-wing extremists. Those groups and individuals, in their efforts to mainstream their ideology, have sought alliances within established right-wing movements—including the well-oiled, deep-pocketed anti-abortion movement.

Sad news describing linkups, transplantation, revitalization of some of the worst nutball elements on the Right. Still…interesting, info everyone needs to be clear on which flavor of dementia you encounter while battling for womens’ rights.

Religious nutballs own our Supreme Court

From the National Women’s Law Center

Tonight, a draft Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked. The language in that opinion is outrageous, irresponsible, and shocking—and the unsurprising culmination of a decades-long plan to end our right to abortion. It also confirms what we’ve already known: the Supreme Court has been politicized and weaponized by extremist politicians who want to take away our rights.

If the opinion that was leaked tonight is finalized, our fundamental right to reproductive autonomy, agency, and freedom will be eroded beyond recognition, and 50 years of settled law will be obliterated.

Any Justice who signs onto this opinion is fueling the harm and violence that will happen to people who become pregnant in this country.

If you only do one thing tonight, support abortion funds who are fighting to ensure people have access to care no matter what the Supreme Court says. Follow this link for a list of abortion funds to support.

I’ll be honest: the road ahead is scary. But we will never stop fighting for a world where our bodies, lives, and futures aren’t controlled by the court, anti-abortion extremists, or politicians who try to shame us. Until then, we will need all of you, and all of us, today, tomorrow, and beyond.

In solidarity…

By the age of 22, I had twice broken a religion-based, crap law, in my birth state, Connecticut. A state that bragged on itself as the Constitution State, BTW. I’d paid for one illegal abortion. I had a vasectomy. Oh yes, in particular, representatives of the Holy Roman Catholic Church in my state, doing their G_d’s Will, didn’t want any opportunity available for individuals to thwart what they considered heaven-sent law.

And, now, the highest court in this land is preparing to overturn settled law on the basis of their religious and political beliefs. Screw science, screw virtually unanimous studies about women’s rights or a legal system that supports choice over an ideology leftover from the Dark Ages.

A Supreme Court that picks a political side in this manner is no longer free and progressive. They should be judged with the contempt they deserve. They don’t deserve the respect one might show to an ignorant animal.

Edward A. Campbell [eideard]

Republicans decide Nazis had the best idea when they came up with burning books

The Republican-led Tennessee state House passed a bill Wednesday that would require public school librarians to submit to the state a list of book titles for approval, as a GOP lawmaker suggested burning books that are deemed inappropriate.

During a contentious debate on the bill in the House, state Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D) asked state Rep. Jerry Sexton (R) what he would do with the books that he and the state consider inappropriate for libraries.

“You going to put them in the street? Light them on fire? Where are they going?” Clemmons asked.

“I don’t have a clue, but I would burn them,” Sexton replied.

“That’s what I thought,” Clemmons said…

Book burning is emblematic of authoritarian regimes, and it was notably carried out in Nazi Germany. One of the most prominent examples in history occurred May 10, 1933, when students in German universities set fire to more than 25,000 books that were deemed “un-German,” according to the U.S. Holocaust Museum. The action came after some 40,000 people gathered to hear Joseph Goebbels, chief propagandist for the Nazi Party, deliver an address declaring “No to decadence and moral corruption,” according to the museum.

Under the Tennessee House bill, librarians would be required to submit to a state-run commission a list of book titles in their collections for approval. The Tennessee state Senate approved a different version of the bill. After differences between the two are resolved, it will head to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) to be signed into law.

This new formerly-known-as-the-Republican-Party will now literally carry their torch forward to advance racism, discrimination on gender, politics and sexual identity. All the bigotry historically favored by the Nazi Party…is now embraced as the heart and soul of the Republican Party.