Committing Adultery On G-d

The First Essential Scary Truth

A couple of years back, an old friend who happens to be a practicing Orthodox Jew shared his dirty little secret with me: he is an Atheist.  Although not surprised, he was always openly attacking people of faith for believing in fairy tales, I asked him why he still went to Shul to pray three times a day, not to mention keeping kosher, wearing the proscribed clothing etc.  He thought about it for a moment and replied, “I’m hedging my bets.”

My pal considers himself a man of reason and logic.  He studies the Talmud daily and in non-religious life works as a lawyer.  However it seems he’s heard the Torah read one too many times as the very G-d he claims not to believe him has spooked him into questioning his lack of faith.  So although I think he’s staking out a bullshit lukewarm position, I do understand his reticence to step up to the plate; the G-d of the Old Testament is one angry, pissed off, vengeful dude who might have you thrown into the sea long before he finds the means to forgive the transgression.

I was thinking about my pal and his little secret earlier today when I read the article below.

(From the New York Post.)

An Episcopal Church panel — including the nation’s top bishop — gave a randy priest a mere slap on the wrist for having secret trysts with a parishioner.

The Rev. Ginger Strickland, 33, a newly ordained assistant minister at Manhattan’s landmark Church of the Incarnation, will receive training on “appropriate relationships and essential boundaries between clergy and laity,” the panel ruled.

And her medical-student ex-lover, Eric Campano, 34, will get up to six months of “professional pastoral care, including psychological and/or psychiatric care,” at the church’s expense.

The Post on Sunday reported that Campano had filed a formal complaint against Strickland, charging that she had seduced him while she was counseling him at the American Church in Paris.


She was his pastor there, and he was her youth-ministry volunteer, he said.

They slept together in her bed at the rectory, and when she left for the United States they continued the affair via Skype with naked chats — which she conducted via church computers, Campano said in his complaint.

But the panel was not convinced that the relationship “shifted from one in which two persons were dating each other by mutual consent to one between a member of the clergy and a person under her pastoral care.”

That’s because their trysts started several months before Strickland was ordained as a deacon in June 2011, and ended shortly before she was ordained a priest the following December.

That’s when she told Campano that she needed “space” and that further contact would complicate her ministry.

Still, the panel said the church needs to do more to protect its flock.

The church, the panel said, needs to “provide a safe place for all people, and for . . . all clergy to be acutely aware of the importance of boundaries between them and persons clearly or even marginally under their care.”

The three-member panel was led by The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the US Episcopal Church — the first woman in the top post.

Campano told The Post he wasn’t surprised that Strickland won’t be publicly disciplined.

“It’s typical in these cases that the church offers psychological treatment to the survivor of sexual exploitation and rehabilitates the clergy member’s reputation,” he said.

“So the survivor appears crazy and the clergy member appears morally pure.”

Strickland did not return calls for comment. Her boss and rector, the Rev. Douglas Ousley, said he had no concerns about her behavior.

Quick note to Mr. Campano: it’s one thing to commit adultery but, if the Jews are right, I’d be very, very careful pally.  Her significant other has real anger management issues.



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