26 November 2010

CHRISTIANS BEHAVING BADLY #21: hiring a hitman

In my attempt to show that being religious
is not a guarantee of moral behavior,
this is just one post in my series of reports featuring
the bad behavior of religious people, past or present....

A former Roman Catholic priest has been charged with plotting to kill a teenaged boy. Unfortunately for the priest, the 'hitman' he tried to hire was an undercover police officer. On 11/23/10, John Fiala, 52, was charged in Texas with one count of criminal solicitation to commit capital murder. Bail was set at $700,000.
Apparently Fiala offered a neighbor $5000 to kill the boy. The neighbor called authorities who sent an undercover agent to speak to Fiala. Their conversation was caught on audio and video tape.
The teen's lawyer said the priest met the boy in 2007 and started giving the 16-year-old gifts including a computer and a car.
The boy filed a law suit in April accusing Fiala of raping him at gunpoint later that year and also filed against the church for covering up the priest's behavior. The sexual abuse continued through 2008 during private catechism classes and in hotel rooms.
The youth reported that Fiala had threatened him with physical violence and death. He also threatened to harm the boy's girlfriend and family if he ever revealed what had happened. The threats often came via daily text messages with Fiala threatening to kill himself and telling the boy they would 'go to heaven together.'

Finally in October 2008, the boy told a school counselor who reported the abuse to authorities, however Fiala was not arrested nor indicted on counts of sexual assault on a child until September 2010, and then he was freed on bond.
After the priest's arrest in the murder-for-hire plot, the teen, his family and lawyer are relieved the man is now in jail.

In Omaha, NE, the archdiocese has revealed that in 2002 a minor reported sexual abuse by Fiala which had taken place in the mid 1980s. Apparently nothing was done, except for moving the priest to another parish, as had/has been the Catholic church's practice. Finally when the San Antonio archbishop learned of the police investigation in 2008, Fiala was removed from active ministry.

Look for other posts showing the bad behavior
perpetrated by Christians and members of other religious groups.

For more information on the above topic search for "John Fiala" online.

17 November 2010

New Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1

Mark Twain's outspoken views on religion were often suppressed by his only surviving daughter and by Twain's own biographers. Twain directed that some of his writings not be published until 100 years after his death. This year, 2010, marks the 100th anniversary of Twain's passing. Finally, the autobiography that Twain wished to be published is being published in 3 volumes. The first was made available, just this month.

Here is one of the many things Twain had to say about religion in the new version of his autobiography:

"There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing, and predatory. The invention of hell measured by our Christianity of today, bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the deity nor his son is a Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilled."

An excellent review of the new autobiography can be found at:

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