Monday, December 19, 2005

Excuse Me Father For I Have Sinned. I Committed Six Mental Reservations. Oh Wait. They Don't Count

Why is it that all the best parts of religion are kept secret? No, we're not talking about Mormon underwear. Can you imagine how helpful this would have been in high school?

The Catholic Church teaches it is a sin to lie, but the doctrine of mental reservation allows for circumstances when it may be better to avoid the truth to serve a higher purpose.

Yeah, like staying out of jail. Do you think Tom DeLay and Scooter Libby wish they were Catholics right about now?

And the beauty part is, even being under oath doesn't count. This is so much better than crossing fingers--and less obtrusive in a court room as well.

Kelly Clark, an attorney for several church sex scandal victims, said questions could put San Francisco Archbishop Levada in the position of balancing his answers between the requirements of federal law and his moral obligations under church doctrine.

"If he gets a choice to decide what covers his butt best we're not going to get anywhere," Clark said. "At that point he might as well be Jack Abramoff."

Vatican attorney Jeffrey Lena said the archbishop's civil oath should be sufficient to ensure honest answers. "It's not necessary to inquire whether there is a personal philosophy that causes him to lie," Lena said. "We can just rely on the oath to tell the truth."

A personal philosophy that causes us to lie. Now that's what we're talking about. Get Mehlman on the phone.

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