“But It’s Such a Small Percentage…”

I grew up Catholic, and when I was about 18, the Boston Archdiocese (which was the diocese I grew up in) was being ‘rocked’ by one of the most infamous child sexual abuse scandals in church history.  I will start off by saying, that my interest in this is as an observer, and not that of a victim.

When the scandal was happening, it seemed to affect many of the aspects of my life.  I was graduating from a catholic high school, my mother worked for the church, and because a majority of my family, and the people I interacted with were catholic, it was a consistent topic.

One of the things that I learned during that time was the level of denial associated with it.  There was a big sense of detachment, and even though many people I know disliked/disapproved/or even hated Cardinal Bernard Law, there was a lack of correlation between ‘my church’ and ‘the church.’

It’s natural, and to some extent I get it. If you’re raised exclusively with the idea that the church is right, and the church is good, it becomes very hard to break out of that.  Now, my father is not catholic, and while he was always pretty good about not directly contradicting the things I was being ‘taught’ growing up, there was just enough dissent and questioning that I wasn’t “dead behind the eyes” when it came to following that stuff.

One of the things I used to hear during that time, was “it’s only 7% of priests, the majority are good.”  Now just for clarity sake, 7% was the number I used to hear, and I looked today while writing this to find what percentage, and the best information I could find was also 7% but that was from The Huffington Post, which I don’t really trust as a news source.  So for the sake of this argument, just assume whatever percentage number you’d like, because that’s not the main point that I want to make.  The point that I want to make applies even if it’s 1%.

So here’s the problem I have whenever I hear about the “it’s only (enter small number here) of priests.”  That only applies to rapists and molesters, and assumes that all others are innocent, and good.  However, Cardinal Bernard Law, whom I will probably reference a few times throughout this as he is one of the more visible names, and he’s the one who was in charge of my particular area, wasn’t ever accused (that I’m aware of) of raping or molesting kids, so he doesn’t count toward that %, and I would imagine that if we had a definitive list of all the people who shuffled priests around, and were otherwise complicit, that there would be other names that had never been directly accused and therefore aren’t brought into that ‘statistic’, but they’re certainly not innocent or good.  In fact even after all of the scandal blew up in Boston, Cardinal Law managed to live out his life in Rome, in the church in a high and ‘respected’ position in the church.

So, I get that people want their religion, and ‘their churches’ to be defended against these accusations.  As much as I dislike the guy, I even get why Bill Donahue of The Catholic League, feels the need to write an op-ed about every slight against the church, I always consider this: there is The Church, and there is The Faith (or the Faithful).  My mom, and my sister, and many other people in my family are part of “the faith,” and they’re good people, and I get that I’m one of the few people who makes a distinction so when the Church is attacked, they feel attacked too, but they shouldn’t be.  They shouldn’t be put in the position to have to defend something that they feel makes them and their lives better, against attacks of child molestation, or admit that everything is a corrupt sham.  It’s not either/or.  Believe in Jesus, try to follow his works, even believe in transsubstantiation and all of the other Catholic specific things you believe in, but don’t give this organization a pass. Don’t write off that organizationally they’re not a good organization.  That doesn’t mean that they can’t be, in fact, the good people of “the faith” deserve them to be a good organization, but they’re not right now.

One last thing, on the rare occasions that I go to church (I don’t believe in catholicism either as “the Faith” or as “The Church”, but occasionally there are weddings, or baptisms) their are certain types of priests who talk about “Easter and Christmas Catholics” and how the churches aren’t as full as they once were.  I would imagine it’s a lot of people like me, who are only going on those days to support people they love, and not because they believe in your organization.  If you want to attract more people, don’t use guilt and fear (they used to work wonders but the world is changing) try actually making your church desirable to new people.  Make your ‘brand’ something that people don’t have to either defend, or be ashamed to admit they once were part of.  BE BETTER.  It’s a long process, but there has been very little (to those of us on the outside) effort to really improve.

$20 Gift Card Giveaway!

Hey, if you’re interested in a chance to win $20 in a gift card of your choice for free, check out the blog post below to find out how! Also below are this weeks updates as to what’s been going on over at Chocolate Diamond Media.

Chocolate Diamond Media

This month, we’re doing a gift card giveaway!  On August 31st, we’re going to put all of the names of our YouTube subscribers (you have to be a visible subscriber to be entered to win, any and all gmail accounts are eligible) into a hat, and pull out a name to give away a $20 gift card.

So what do you have to do to win?

  1. Subscribe to our YouTube account
  2. Make sure your account is visible to the channels you subscribe to
  3. Be lucky enough to have your name pulled
  4. Stay subscribed for future giveaways!

It’s that simple, and as of right now, there are only 10 people visible, which means that your odds are great!

Check out this month’s episode of Back to Film School, all about audio recording.

If you’re interested in any other topics for us to cover please feel free to let us know in…

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Constant, Stationary, Thunderless Lightning!

Chocolate Diamond Media

This has been a crazy week, and we actually uploaded two new videos this week.  The first was a planned video about Mike Birbiglia for our Moment of Inspiration series, and I thought that was going to be the only upload Tuesday night, and then I went outside to walk my dog, and saw what is the strangest natural phenomena I’ve ever witnessed (and I also saw a tornado this week), lightning that was exactly what the subject line described, ‘constant, stationary, thunderless lightning!’  I was outside with the dog for like 5 minutes watching, before going back into the house, grabbing my camera and capturing our second video upload of the night.

(I didn’t edit the footage at all, other than stopping the recording about 45 minutes before the lightning stopped.)

I had hoped that our Moment of Inspiration video would be this week’s highlight, but I kind…

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My Son Says I’m The Incredible Hulk

There is a numb tingle across my lips and body,
my eyes are unable to focus,
it is urgent, I need to focus, my brain and my eyes,
but my eyes are unable to focus.
Light swirls with darkness, and everything is fuzzy.

I’m told hours have passed, then days,
…but I counted the seconds, and it’s only been a minute.
The temperature has shifted rapidly,
my spine is cold, and my skin is hot with sweat.

What happened while I was gone?
Where did I go?
Why can’t I get a hold of myself?

Good Humor on the Right

A couple of years ago, a family member sent me a video of a ‘millenial’ talking about how she graduated from Harvard earlier in the week, got a job, showed up late the first day due to partying, and was fired, and proceeded to tell the ‘white man’ boss that she was to be respected.  It was portrayed as a first hand account, and clearly supposed to be taken seriously, and when I responded with “um… this seems fake, she’s at least my age” (technically a millenial, but I’m in my thirties so the graduating from Harvard and going out partying the night before a job didn’t ring true in the slightest) “I think this is just to spark outrage,” the response I got was “no shit Sherlock, it’s called satire.  That’s why it’s funny.”

But here’s the thing, it wasn’t funny, and I don’t mean “I didn’t like the angle” so it wasn’t funny, it was just objectively poorly executed and not funny.  There is a real political satire/humor deficit between the two sides.  The left has so many funny people that the unfunny are washed out, and so it seems to further intensify the ‘quality’ of the humor, and refines the tastes of those in agreement, but the right really has so little.  Dennis Miller, I’m told is pretty funny, I’ve enjoyed the little that I’ve seen of his stuff, but I’m not aware of where to find more (contemporary) stuff from him.  So when you get someone who you agree with, and they’re making fun of the other guys, you tend to find that funny if you have nothing else.

So where am I going with this?  Steven Crowder.  Now, I’ve talked about how I think Milo Yiannopoulos is entertaining, and occasionally he’s funny, but Steven Crowder is the first person, that I’m aware of, who is definitely on the right (Joe Rogan is in a kind of nebulous non-affiliated place, that’s why I’m not including him) who is pretty consistently funny.

Crowder’s impression of Young Turks’ creator Cenk Uygur is hilarious, and let me just say, I mostly like what I see from Cenk, but Crowder’s impersonation is spot on, and he finds the naturally exaggerated parts and mimics them perfectly.  “OF COURSE!”

What’s really impressive about Crowder, in addition to his ability to be funny, is that he is coherent while being funny, and he’s researched.  The first time I watched a “Change My Mind” segment, I was amazed at how deep he’d dove into the subject matter ahead of time.

The “Change My Mind” segment is also a good example of something that he’s doing, that I’m not aware of anyone else, left or right doing, and that is consistently airing unedited these pieces.  That’s not to say that there is an inherent fairness, ultimately whether it’s him, or Sasha Baron Cohen, or The Daily Show, the ‘house’ has the advantage, by going in prepared, but by not editing them, he shows his own confidence in his points, and he does tend to come out looking pretty good.

Now, I disagree on at least 50% of everything I’ve ever heard him say, but I do think he’s a really interesting voice in our political satire/commentary culture, and importantly he’s funny.  So, here’s the thing, that is both a good thing for conservatives, because humor can definitely make your points stronger.  I want to see the smartest, and funniest people on both sides making their points.  I think we only improve by getting the best people, with the best minds on both sides.  I don’t want dumb, or unfunny right leaning people to represent the right, because both sides can motivate each other to be better, but only if they’re on equal footing.

But, the right actually having a legitimately funny (and intelligent) voice is also a bad thing, for all of the unfunny conservatives who’ve been getting the default laughter of people who just happen to agree with them.  He’s raised the bar, and hopefully we’ll see more come out, because disagreeing with someone doesn’t inherently upset me, but thinking they’re unfunny, when they clearly think they are funny, upsets me more.  We need good comedy, and I hope we continue to get it.

A Bonus Short Film This Month!

Chocolate Diamond Media

I’ve been trying to keep with 1 short film a month as a minimum, to assure that we’re putting out a reasonable amount of content, while at the same time not committing to too much, and letting the quality (or the improvement) slip.  This month, I have been working on the regular film that will be out on Tuesday, but I also had a film that I wanted to make that was time-sensitive.

So this month you’re getting the main film, but a couple of days ago, we also released another film, that is a comedy take on what we (originally Paul of World’s Best Media) think must be going on behind the scenes every time Tom Cruise takes on a new Mission Impossible, and more importantly a new, bigger-than-the-last stunt.  It must be a really tense life walking that particular line.  Check it out:

Let us know what…

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