The concept of priest as “Father” goes back to the Catholic Church’s insistence that their followers can’t relate to / commune directly with their god, but must have an intermediary between the faithful and the deity. That person is in the special position of granting god’s forgiveness / absolution to their childlike flock; thus, the “father figure”. The title comes in particularly handy for priests who like to play a special fatherly role to alter boys and other unsuspecting children. Fathers are to be obeyed, after all.
“Eminence”, infers a position of superiority, great achievement, like an eminent surgeon who has made contributions to the profession, and who sets the standard by which all other surgeons are judged. But the Catholic Church endows the title “his Eminence” upon those who have risen through the ranks of delusion and reach the pay grade of Cardinal. The fact that Cardinals infamously conspired with Nazi’s, promoted bloodletting during the Inquisition, and participated in persecutions of Jews and “heretics” down through history never seems to result in their losing their title of “superiority”. How strange. How telling.
The most common protestant clergy title is "Reverend". The word “reverend” means worthy to be revered; entitled to reverence. But, far from being bestowed only on those who are truly “worthy of reverence” by act or deed, the title is granted to every third rate charlatan and whack job who ever graduated from a seminary.
Enshrined in the “Scumbags Hall of Fame” are many illustrious “Reverends”:
The Rev. Fred Phelps, The Rev. Pat Robertson, The Rev. Jerry Falwell, The Rev. Jesse Jackson, The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, The Rev. Al Sharpton, The Rev. Jim Bakker, The Rev. Jimmy Swaggart, The Rev. Jim Jones, The Rev. John Hagee, The Rev. Ted Haggard, The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, The Rev. Billy Graham, The Rev. D. Spitz , The Rev. Michael Bray, and thousands of unnamed men of the cloth “revered” for their faith healing, deception, and child molesting proclivities.
These vile homophobes, insane messengers of hate & fear, blatant race baiting opportunists and provocateurs, thieves, adulterers, scam artists, murderers & those who suborn murder, domestic terrorists, anti-Semites, pedophiles, hypocrites, and just plain whack jobs never seem to lose their “reverence” in the eyes of their flock and the media. Somehow their ordination entitles them to be permanently revered, at least in name, regardless of how despicable or egregious their acts are.
It’s like when you hear an accused murderer rapist referred to by a police witness as “the Gentleman”. It’s a complete non-sequitur, an oxymoron.
So, the next time some jerk off tells you he is “Reverend”, ask him to prove it. And if you shake his hand, count your fingers, then wash your hand … rinse, repeat.