Saturday, June 13, 2009


Monty goes to an Episcopalian Church. It's more for the opportunity to get out of the house without repercussions and to socialize with other people than it is to service his faith. He is a self-described atheist, after all, though I think agnostic is more accurate. The church he and his in-laws (and I think wife and kids too) attend holds a service on Sunday and then a "coffee hour," which is a chance to mingle with parishioners and clergy over coffee.

He called me in a very upset state. The new pastor, who has only been in her new position for about four days, has told him, disguised as asking, that he is not welcome at coffee hour. She hasn't barred him from service, but the social bit afterwards. There are a few factors working against him on this point. One is that she does not know him, being new to the church. The other is that the FBI issued a press release, which was naturally run in local papers, about him entering his guilty plea. More on that in a bit.

His wife is trying to vouch for him to the leaders of the church, and there may be others to speak for him as well. He is trying to not talk about his feelings on the matter to anyone, so the pastor won't get the idea that he's asking other people to do this for him. I understand why the new pastor did what she did, but I'm not very happy about it. I think religious leaders have a duty to help people, but everyone's instinct seems to be to push away those most in need of their guidance. I wonder if that's why many people have a problem with organized religion, but I digress.

The FBI issued a press release. Of course they did, it's a victory in their crime-fighting war when someone admits to serious wrong-doing. While I've been trying to keep my eye on public records about this case, it's only been a half-hearted attempt. I would not have known about the press-release if he hadn't told me when I asked how the pastor even knew since she was new. He said that he wasn't really trying to hide anything, but was not pleased at the press release (for other reasons I won't divulge). "It included details," he said.

After our conversation ended, curiosity got the better of me and I hit the Internet. I pulled up the article and went away without reading it. I didn't think about it. I put some laundry in the washing machine and chatted with my roommate. I didn't think about it. I didn't weigh what reading the article might do: that, while I know the gist of things, it would provide details that I didn't have but could have if I asked Monty to tell me. When I came back to my computer, still not thinking about these things, I read it.

I instantly wished I had not.

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