Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before. . . | Bleader

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before. . .

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Los Angeles Times, February 8, 1906. Conservative culture warriors sometimes argue that present-day clerical sex abuse is driven by the surrounding conditions of unprecedented sexual license that infect our holy men—who are only human, after all. The argument is rubbish. More pious diddlers get busted nowadays because we permit ourselves to talk about sex and sexual abuse, is all. What's especially interesting about this particular article is that there seems to have been a local news blackout on two of the three scandals addressed. I can't find reference to them in any Chicago or Midwestern papers. I call cover-up!

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Oh golly, he's been banished to a retreat! Of those miserable souls exiled to the Episcopalian Gulag, none ever returned to describe its harsh conditions.

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According to the New York Times, Simmons was, in addition to being the pastor of the First Baptist Church, president of two collapsed banks. There was a "run" on both institutions (i.e. depositors took all their money out at once) on the day before he offed himself. But he was also facing a church investigation "on the gravest charges." I'm inferring that word got around about his sexual transgressions and that's what started the run on the banks. But obviously a full exposure of his extracurricular activities was not going to play in Peoria (even if Simmons did).

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A gold watch and a horse and buggy? Well, that sure beats the going rate of a stick of gum.

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Crikey, I hope this guy was better at pounding the pulpit than he was at spin control. The reference to his dad and a heredity weakness suggests he was pleading amnesia caused by congenital syphilis as a mitigating factor. Ugh.
P.S. You can stay up to date on Bad News From the Past by following me on Twitter. Code name: CliffDoerksen.

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