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As Long as We Remember...

June 14, 2013

Vatican & Pentagon Sexual Similarities

Roy Meachum

On Wednesday the U.S. Senate approved the continuing policy: commanding officers will make the final decision whether a sex assaulter shall be court-martialed – or not! This set off a storm among feminists – even a retired admiral and serving Sen. John McClain joined in.


Across the seas, new Pope Francis spoke openly of a “gay lobby” in the Vatican. Stories emerged that his predecessor might have resigned – the first pope in almost 700 years – because of a pending sexual scandal, almost certainly of a homosexual nature, in light of the new papal statement.


In other words, while unmarried clergy, both women and men have split the Roman Catholic Church, keeping the lid tight is a lobby that has taken upon itself to rule husbands and wives out-law; thus confirming many critics. I attended New Orleans’ Holy Cross College for seven years, as a boarder, as readers know. In that all-male ambience, there were suggestions of homosexuality, as you can imagine.


For almost as long, six years and almost exactly 11 months, I served the Army in a “creative” role: radio announcing and narrator of musical events. There were lots of gay people, both women and men, around. This was in the “old Army,” unless caught with no trousers or pants on, the commanding officer had the sole discretion whether or not to jail, and otherwise punish. It seemed to work – at that time.


This was in the period when uniforms served as a badge of attractiveness. The Vietnam War ended that era, along with the draft. Women flooded the ranks. A recent Pentagon report estimating that 26,000 service members were sexually assaulted last year, compared with 19,000 in 2011. Victims reported 3,374 incidents in 2012; there were convictions in 238 of those cases. Some justice!


For Roman Catholics, billions have gone to “buying off” boys and girls who were raped or sexually damaged by nuns, brothers and priests in acts of pedophilia. These did not include liaisons between consenting adults: homosexuality. This was meant to differentiate between the two. There are few children behind the walls that loom over the Tiber River.


What happens in Vatican City matters to an estimated 1,240 million men, women and children, even those of us who have joined other churches. The word “protestant” is relevant only in terms of Rome. In the New Orleans I grew up, I was familiar with Easter and Christmas Catholics, pinning the two days they attended Mass. In recent times, surveys equated members and non-members’ attitudes on birth control and abortion. It brings skepticism about whom the bishops and cardinals speak for!


Pope Francis’ admission about the Vatican’s “gay lobby” only distances real people from the church.


With conscription ended, the armed forces’ brass has no problem with the real public. I was separated before the all-voluntary military came into existence, hence the booming numbers of cases; some of them made against superior officers.


Shaking my bald head and gray beard, I find shocking the Senate decision made this week.


Ya wallah! O God!


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