There are many different hues to the religious experience…

Visit the sick
Help the poor
Feed the hungry
Console the depressed
Defend the innocent
Fight against injustice
Bring as sense of the spiritual to people
Witness to the ineffable mystery of God’s existence

There are others things too. I have known many religious who did many things in a quiet and unobtrusive way that few know about except those whom they helped. The best clergy like to keep such things as quiet as possible.

Despite my recent ranting on the failing of the clergy, I think I should also mention the good things they do in the world. Yes, there are many problems with the sexual mores of many Catholic clergy. Pretending these do not exist will only exacerbate the problem. Still, such things do not negate the goodness that comes out of Christianity. In my recent studies of the World War II era, in particular Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, the one thing I am constantly reminded of is the importance for societies to have some sort of moral system and laws to live by. If those systems and laws are purely man made, with no reference to the religious traditions at all, then those societies are usually doomed to descend into a sort of moral anarchy, chaos and destruction. The devastation of WWII is proof of that.

My issues are not with religion itself, the existence of a religious clergy, or institutions of religion, but rather with what I see as hopelessly outmoded, excessively rigid and dangerously ignorant views on human sexuality.

Still, I do need to be reminded every now and then that religions do many good things as well.