Actually its not just the church that looks depraved, its pretty much most men. And rich people and governments. And corporations. And the media. In fact, if you're not on that list you probably weren't in the book. In other words Ashby has created a whole society where it makes perfect sense to treat androids as if they're just robots, after all theyre just robots..
For all that its full frontal there's nothing lurid or gratuitous in Ashby's telling. Javier the main character here is the proverbial world weary mostly-a-prostitute-just-to-get-by prostitute but he's also optimistic and loving. Very loving in deed, on account of his programming: the androids have a built in "failsafe" which means they tend to shut down if there's any threat to a human. It's a particularly nice-as-in-vicious riff on the Asimovian laws.
Actually, ponder that 'failsafe.' Its a clever narrative device that allows Ashby to constrain these "machines" to human dimensions and tell a comprehensible story with empathy, but
oh, i seem to have run out of space.
Title: iD: the Second Machine Dynasty
Author: Madeline Ashby
Publisher: Angry Robot, 2013.
Reviewed by Paul, Birkenhead Library