With the Rapid City Diocese dancing a liturgical polka around the issue of whether or not Mulloy’s past transgressions warrant his suspension, they remind us of a matador skillfully dodging an angry bull. “Can’t prove he did it, can’t prove he didn’t – better to be safe than sorry,” seems to be the mantra here, and good on them. At least someone’s erring on the side of caution.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, we have the South Dakota Republican Party, who appear to be practicing a more refined version of the fancy footwork we’re seeing from the church. They’ve turned a deaf ear to the criminal charges against one of their own, Joel Koskan, and have yet to issue a public statement denouncing his unspeakable acts against his adopted daughter.
It’s a curious thing indeed, when the church is taking a stronger stance on allegations of sexual misconduct than a major political party. It’s a twisted world where the protectors of our faith (who have, let’s be honest, had their fair share of scandalous slip-ups) seem to be playing it safer than the protectors of our political ideals.
It should be noted, however, that neither the church nor the Republican Party should be applauded here. This isn’t a competition about who is doing less to protect our communities against sexual predators. Instead, it’s a stark reminder that those tasked with serving our communities and modeling good behavior too often fail to do so.
So, let’s tip our hats to whoever posted that billboard in Rapid City. As we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words – and in this case, might be worth more than endless empty statements from those in power. It’s a sobering call to action, a plea for accountability – and it’s about time someone put up a giant billboard to remind us all of the monsters that could be lurking in the most unsuspecting of places.
Let’s take this moment to remind ourselves that it’s not enough to simply suspend the accused from their duties. Let’s not silently hope for the issue to blow over while we carry on practicing our political or religious beliefs. Let’s make our voices heard and ensure that those who commit heinous acts are held accountable.
In the end, whether it’s from a religious pulpit or a political platform, the message should be the same: sexual abuse is unacceptable, and those found guilty should face the full force of the law. How’s that for a billboard message?