Marty’s photo of the day #4606: ’Tis the week before Christmas, and as has become my tradition, I’m going to dig out some of my photos from all over the world, showing the wealth and power of Christian churches, along with the hypocrisy they bring. But please, don’t blame me. I’m only stating inconvenient facts.

One such fact is that here in America Christian-Republican politicians frequently argue that the solution to many of our problems is to “Put God back into our schools.” What would that look like? Well, each time I write a book, I end up doing a ton of research. And each time I’m shocked by what I find. In the novel I’m working on now, “Barry and Beth,” my characters are contemplating the ethics of robbing a church in Minneapolis and giving the money to the poor. And they discover what I discovered:

The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis currently has 222 parishes and 495 priests. In that archdiocese alone, more than one hundred priests have been accused of child sexual abuse. Obviously, not every accused priest is guilty, some have been fired, and some are long dead. Even so, the archdiocese settled a lawsuit that required them to pay $210 million to 450 sexual abuse victims.

Later, my characters discover that the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis was able to get out of paying much of that settlement by declaring bankruptcy!

That brings me to this photo of the Duomo Cathedral, taken in Florence, Italy. Why is it that the Catholic Church can have such collective wealth and have the Pope as their leader, yet when it comes to sexual assault law suits they seemingly become individual churches able to declare bankruptcy? Didn’t Jesus preach that people should pay their debts?

And if we “Put God back into our schools,” what is to prevent the child sexual assaults and greedy behavior that has followed the Christian religion practically since the day it was invented?