2002-08-08 / This Week's Attitude

This Week’s

Who Can You Trust? Is A Question That Lingers
By Neil S. Friedman


Who Can You Trust? Is A Question That Lingers

Current events in the last year lends the obvious question: Who can you trust?

Recent events have seen an unprecedented erosion of trust in religion, business and government.

At the top of the list of violators is the Catholic Church, which has shamed itself by concealing de-cades of allegations of sexual misconduct by priests and the subsequent cover-up by bishops and cardinals.

After the scandal went nationwide, the Church hierarchy created an "appropriate code of conduct" for priestly discretions. If they even had to discuss what to do with pedophile priests, then something’s seriously amiss within the Church’s chain of command.

And why establish a code of conduct? Don’t men whose allegiance is to God already have rules to govern their lives?

Now that they’ve taken their heads out of the sand, Church leaders think they deserve praise for their belated action and expect churchgoers to flock back into pews.

Sorry, but it’s too little, too late—from the local parish to the hallowed Vatican halls.

It was twisted irony that Pope John Paul went to Canada for a youth rally when it’s been Catholic youths who’ve been allegedly been victimized for years by priests. And the Pope’s schedulers refused to allot time for His Holiness to meet with some of the abused victims. Another example of the Church’s refusal to acknowledge its sins.

Thankfully, the devout haven’t lost faith in their Creator, just towards the earthly minions carrying on His work.

Another religion that has had its image battered of late is Islam. Not only did a bunch of Muslim fanatics cause the loss of thousands of innocent lives at four locations in the U.S. eleven months ago, but Muslim lunatics continue their frequent suicidal ram-page in Israel. (And Israel isn’t guiltless in its retaliatory attacks that take innocent lives.)

Their myopic motives aside, Islamic fundamentalist fanatics seem to believe they’ll wind up in Paradise because they’ve sacrificed for their pathetic cause.

I don’t know much about Islam, but from what I’ve heard and read, there isn’t one word in the religion’s sacred text—the Quran—that implies killing innocents guarantees an idyllic afterlife.

But what is just as appalling is the sound of silence from Islamic leaders, who’ve yet to condemn the deadly acts in the U.S. and Israel.

Two major religions have failed-miserably-and violated the very words each espouses.

Trust in government, which is often questioned, was boosted after September 11, but has since de-clined.

Where were our intelligence services? Why did they have little—if any—inkling about those terrorist attacks?

President Bush recently orchestrated a massive government overhaul, consolidating eight agencies in-to a new Cabinet post and the largest government reorganization in 50 years, but he blatantly ignored including the FBI and CIA.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose trust, along with the enigmatic Central Intelligence Agency, has substantially aroused suspicion over the lack of interagency cooperation in the weeks preceding the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington DC, needs stringent security and examination in light of a decade of blunders before 9/11.

Some of America’s major corporations have egregiously violated the trust of its employees and stockholders by engaging in questionable legal and blatantly illegal accounting procedures that has widen-ed a credibility gap that has deflated the nation’s econ-omy.

The post-9/11 atmosphere around the nation—especially in New York City—demonstrated that average citizens were ripe for a revival of trust. Too bad our preeminent institutions — government, busi-ness and religion — didn’t use that juncture as the perfect opportunity to rebuild reservoirs of trust that have since been terribly shattered.

"In God We Trust" is imprinted on American money, but beyond that everything’s questionable.

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