Protecting the constitutional principle of the separation of state and church
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Freethought Today

Vol. 19 No. 9 - Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. -
November 2002

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Needed: Board of Clergy Examiners

By James P. Gould, M.D.

Clerics have been guilty of literally thousands of felony rapes of minors within the past 30 years (a minor cannot give consent to sexual intercourse).

Reasons for voting for a Board of Clergy Examiners analogous to boards for physicians and other professionals in every state in the United States are as follows:

(1) Church leaders are neither trained nor equipped for criminal investigation.

(2) Clerics as well as their leaders and laymen boards have a vested interest in continuing the cover-up.

(3) In over 30 years in the practice of medicine in six states, I have yet to recall a physician being accused of felony rape of a minor. We doctors are subject to state boards under the aegis of the attorneys general of the various states which are responsible for controlling and preventing physician misconduct.

(4) The track record of the church hierarchy in controlling clerics as well as themselves has gone from disastrous to catastrophic. Yet church leaders are neither despondent nor contrite.

(5) Whoever believes that either clerics or (especially) their leaders will report sexual misconduct to the authorities will also be expecting to see Santa Claus at Christmas time and the Bunny at Easter, not to mention the Great Pumpkin in October.

The people must demand that state legislators pass laws establishing Boards of Clergy Examiners such as we doctors are subject to in the practice of medicine. The Clergy Boards would address only criminal violation of state law. Doctrine and dogma would not be covered.

James P. Gould, M.D., lives in Des Moines, Iowa, and runs the Abdominal Pain Institute. He has proposed statutory wording for adoption of an Iowa Board of Clergy Examiners.

November 2002 Excerpts