In the New York Times, there was an article (In Million-Dollar Theft Case, Church Worker with a Secret Past) about a woman, Ms. Collins, working in accounts payable for the New York archdiocese who embezzled over one million dollars in the span of eight years. Part of Ms. Collins jobs was to write a large amount of checks for various supplies and other business related items. Because of this large volume of purchases she was able to write smaller checks in her son’s name and then change the books to make it look like they were written to a legitimate vendor. She was trusted because she seemed to be a good religious person who attended church and prayed often. She was discovered after an annual audit raised red flags for officials. Ms. Collins faces up to 25 years in prison for her actions.
This article raises interesting questions in relation to how people view and judge Ms. Collins because of her ties to religion. “Colleagues praised her quiet dedication and hard work, and noted that she prayed often” was the observation of someone who knew her well. The article would seem to suggest that those who normally attend church, pray, and are seen at other religious events are good people who abide by the law and whatever religious ideals they may have. However, this article seems to show something very different. Ms. Collins not only embezzled the money from the archdiocese but has a history of fraud in her past. She was only hired because they did not do a background check. If Ms. Collins can appear one way but be completely different behind closed doors then this can raise a lot of questions about assumptions we make concerning the religious.
If Ms. Collins can live such a two sided life, then how can we analyze other religious people? Ms. Collins did all the right things in the public eye. Prayed and went to church and appeared to be a devout Catholic to anybody casual observer. The flaw seems to be...
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