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March 31, 2010

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Faith

The Catholic Church exists worldwide, so no...I don't think that the US could shut it down, per se. Could they shut it down in just the US? Hmm...According to some stats I found just after a quick search, the church has over 65 million members in the USA alone. I'm thinkin' there would be a shit ton of problems if the government tried to step in and shut down a church with membership numbers like that. And then you'd get the Messicans all riled up and willing to send any and all troops to fight a Holy War with anyone who wanted their help, and dude...95% of their country is Catholic. I would NOT want to try to piss off numbers like that. They're totally connected to us...if they bum-rushed the fence that separates our countries, they could totally knock it down, I'd think.

Jack Klompus

The one thing that bothers me about this is the inconsistency in how indignation is directed. I certainly recall Bill Maher defending and downplaying Michael Jackson. And I wonder if Matt Taibii feels public schools are "criminal enterprises?" After all, they have been caught covering for pedophiles on countless occasions. As a group, teachers are more likely to commit pedophilia than priests. Parents are more likely than teachers or priests. And as long as we're grouping -- homosexuals are more likley than any group. But who wants to single out teachers, parents, or gays? It's much easier to whittle it down to Catholics because it fits neatly into the atheist narrative.

And for the record, I am an atheist (married to a Catholic).

Vandelay

Isn't the issue that the church escapes a lot of investigatory actions because they are able to hide behind this veil of "moral superiority"? Nobody has any qualms about attempting to bring parents or teachers or Michael Jackson to justice.

Mr. Kruger

It's much easier to whittle it down to Catholics because it fits neatly into the atheist narrative.

"red hot catholic love" is part of the church's culture and has been for centuries. to normal ppl raping children is unthinkable but to the catholic clergy it's recreation and at best tolerable. this pope, like most before him, has the morals of a retarded lobster. just last year he goes to africa and spewing crap on how condoms do nothing to protect you from aids. how many ppl died or are dying because of that? granted you have to be pretty stupid to listen to him but being a devout anything instantly qualifies you for that and there's no shortage of stupid when it comes to religion.

big difference between random cases of teachers, gays and parents sexually abusing kids and the church is that with the church it's systematic- it's like a fucking policy they have.

Vandelay

I for one have never met a retarded lobster that I didn't like.

Assman

I don't know what RICO statutes are but this country can't really constitutionally shut down the entire fucking Roman Catholic Church, can they?

No. That church / state separation clause is pretty clear on that point. Making religions illegal is Germany's thing.

It's much easier to whittle it down to Catholics because it fits neatly into the atheist narrative.

I don't think that's an atheist agenda thing. Given that the Catholic church has a clear leadership structure, direct accountability and a moral high horse that they use to determine who their leaders and members are, they make themselves an easy target for these things.

If they were just a corporation that sold leather jackets and had a number of middle managers that liked to diddle little kids, it would be harder to determine who was at fault because I'm certain the hiring forms didn't come with morality clauses.

The Pope, who probably by no fault of his own just looks like an evil person...

I've said it before and I've said it again. If you see a person who looks like a dick, they're probably a dick. (Coach K) If you see a guy who looks like a huckster, he's probably on the take. (Charlie Rangel) And if you see a guy who looks like every evil person ever, don't be surprised to find out that he's up to some shit.

Jack Klompus

@Vandelay
"Isn't the issue that the church escapes a lot of investigatory actions because they are able to hide behind this veil of "moral superiority"?

No, I believe the issue (according to the sources you linked) is about how Catholics as a group aid and abet known pedophiles -- and moreover that Catholic leaders are not held accountable when an accused clergyman is "protected." Which I think is reprehensible. I don't think the Pope should have immunity. Churches, Catholic or otherwise, should not have a special set of rules or standards. But that works the other way as well. Non-clergy pedophiles avoid prosecution all the time using legal loopholes and by skipping jurisdiction. Schools routinely cut deals with accused pedophiles to resign voluntarily or accept transfer in exchange for silence. Some states have laws that allow teachers accused of pedophilia to continue teaching during an investigation. Then you have the ACLU and their defense of pedophile rights and pedophile groups (aka NAMBLA). So I think it's disingenuous to single out one group for aiding and abetting pederasts while ignoring others (especially where much higher incidents occur).

@Kruger
"big difference between random cases of teachers, gays and parents sexually abusing kids and the church is that with the church it's systematic- it's like a fucking policy they have."

Plain ignorance there. First of all, most priest sex abuse cases are man-on-boy. So doesn't that count as gay? Secondly, teachers and parents are both statistically more likely to sexually abuse a child than are priests (or clergy of other denominations).

Faith

"how many ppl died or are dying because of that?"

Meh...natural selection is a beyotch. (Which might sound odd coming from a Catholic, but I'm one of those weird types that thinks for herself, and fortunately never got molested...)

Newman

Please. Everyone knows it's not gay if they aren't fully developed.

Vandelay

So I think it's disingenuous to single out one group for aiding and abetting pederasts while ignoring others.

I dont really read enough of these cats to know that they give child molesters in other organizations a pass but I think I sort of agree with you that they're harder on the church because that's their wheelhouse. Thing is though, if the church is going to continue to be so bold as to define for people how to lead a moral life and actually dictate to people how they should live their life...I don't know that it's unfair to hold them to a higher standard. I could get behind the case that it's an even more reprehensible offense for clergymen.

Mr. Kruger

Plain ignorance there. First of all, most priest sex abuse cases are man-on-boy. So doesn't that count as gay?

(snarr face reaction) so your counting gays on both sides? what is that?

difference again: non-clergy gays, parents, and teachers are not all employed by a single organization that has a long and outstanding record of sexually abusing children.

Secondly, teachers and parents are both statistically more likely to sexually abuse a child than are priests (or clergy of other denominations).

i'm guessing all the world's teachers and parents far outnumber clergy members. so your statistics argument is obviously heavily skewed.

Mr. Kruger

Thing is though, if the church is going to continue to be so bold as to define for people how to lead a moral life and actually dictate to people how they should live their life.

the other thing that undermines their credibility is the arrogant whiny reaction they come out with every time. blaming the media with making up lies and rumors. it's sounds pretty slimy when there's been thousands of cases all over the world that have surfaced over the years and the pope and his buddies are still crying that they're the victims.

Vandelay

Unless of course it's an average. Source us up, Klompus.

Mr. Kruger

the world would be much easier to understand if we were all chickens and bunnies.

RJ

As a group, teachers are more likely to commit pedophilia than priests... And as long as we're grouping -- homosexuals are more likley than any group.

Klompus usually brings a reasonable perspective based on reality to the conversation, but this is bullshit.

I'd guess that most people in this country (even Taibbi and Maher) wouldn't insist on shutting down the Catholic Church. They'd probably be satisfied with eliminating the inexcusable tax-exempt status this hate group enjoys.

Vandelay

Actually, I had read that LBJ gave churches tax exempt status so they wouldn't involve themselves in policy where they view things as amoral (i.e. abortion). It's kind of like hush money and without it churches would dictate a lot more policy.

RJ

wouldn't involve themselves in policy where they view things as amoral

See: C Street; The Family

Jack Klompus

@Kruger
(snarr face reaction) so your counting gays on both sides? what is that?

No, you were discounting gays as a group and separating them from clergy. What I was saying was, sex-offender clergy are effectively part of the overall gay sex-offender group because the overwhelmingly majority of sexual abuse cases in the church involved a man and a boy (aka same-sex attraction). Obviously that doesn't mean that all gays are pedophile sympathizers; just as it doesn't mean that all Catholic clergy are.

"difference again: non-clergy gays, parents, and teachers are not all employed by a single organization that has a long and outstanding record of sexually abusing children"

Why is employment relevant here? All these groups have a long and outstanding record of sexually abusing children. You just seem to think that it is the rule and not the exception when it involves the church.

@Vandelay
"Unless of course it's an average. Source us up, Klompus."

Here's one. There are plenty of studies out there that have varying stats. The one overarching theme is that most cases go unnreported. and that goes for all cases -- clergy or not. But using basic human logic, it's pretty plausible to surmise that the sexual abuse incidence rates (aka averages) are going to be higher with teachers and parents because it involves both sexes.

@Assman
"I don't think that's an atheist agenda thing. Given that the Catholic church has a clear leadership structure, direct accountability and a moral high horse that they use to determine who their leaders and members are, they make themselves an easy target for these things."

Certainly an easy target for atheists. But really it comes down to children trusting adults in a position of authority (and that trust being exploited for the most horrific of things). Aren't parents and teachers in that position moreso than clergy?

randi

I don't really know how to respond to the comments above as I have no statistics. However, as a former Catholic (12 years of Catholic school, thankyouverymuch), I think the part that sickens me the most is the sheer hypocrisy. Why the strong stance against homosexuality when it is pretty clear, pedophilia aside, that there is clearly some man-attracted-to-boy sexual activity going on in the church. Did the priests "choose" to be gay like the church insists homosexuals do? The fact of the matter is the Catholic belief system is archaic and, in my opinion, continues solely because of followers that are willing to rock some blind faith. Technology and science be damned.

Assman

Aren't parents and teachers in that position moreso than clergy?

Definitely, but name a case where a principal said a teacher could stay in a school after being accused of diddling a kid. And parents get called before the DCFS if anyone even remotely hints that they might be on the poke.

I'm not anti-Catholic or anti-religion, but I definitely know what it looks like when leadership makes a clear effort to look the other way, rather than resolve immediate concerns.

And, we've got history books to aid us in this. The Catholic Church has famously taken centuries to offer official apologies for its past atrocities and excommunications. It's not unreasonable to expect that in 2412, they'll come out saying they were wrong in this matter too.

Mr. Kruger

What I was saying was, sex-offender clergy are effectively part of the overall gay sex-offender group because the overwhelmingly majority of sexual abuse cases in the church involved a man and a boy (aka same-sex attraction).

i don't know about it being a gay thing. prison rape isn't so much about getting laid as it is establishing dominance. i think a lot of the priest rape on kids is the same thing. and the really sick thing is it was tolerated. how the hell does a priest get away with molesting 200 kids and no one does a damn thing about it.

H.E. Pennypacker

Then you have the ACLU and their defense of pedophile rights and pedophile groups (aka NAMBLA).

The ACLU does not endorse NAMBLA or its practices; they were defending the right of free speech. "Love the sinner, hate the sin" kind of thing, I suppose.

Why the strong stance against homosexuality when it is pretty clear, pedophilia aside, that there is clearly some man-attracted-to-boy sexual activity going on in the church.

If the Church was being fair and consistent in its teachings -- a stretch for these guys, I know -- they would've fired the priests for being gay, or at least fired them for doing gay stuff. This happens all the time: if you're a teacher in a Catholic school and you come out as gay, you get fired for not "upholding Catholic values."

I think a crucial part of all this is the celibate clergy thing. Hundreds of years ago, the Church got sick of having to house, feed and clothe priests' kids -- they were the upper crust of society and were dutifully fruitful and multiplying -- so the leaders scoured scripture, picked out some passages and said, "Aha! We can twist this to mean that priests can't have sex! We're off the hook!"

It would be interesting, though, to compare sexual abuse rates between denominations... do Lutherans have the same problem? How about Seventh-Day Adventists? Hell, what about Jews and Buddhists and Rastafarians? I'd be curious to see the numbers on this, but have no idea where I'd look to find them, if they do exist.

Vandelay

I think a crucial part of all this is the celibate clergy thing. Hundreds of years ago, the Church got sick of having to house, feed and clothe priests' kids -- they were the upper crust of society and were dutifully fruitful and multiplying -- so the leaders scoured scripture, picked out some passages and said, "Aha! We can twist this to mean that priests can't have sex! We're off the hook!"

I can't tell if you made that up or not. Is that true?

Mr. Kruger

Actually, I had read that LBJ gave churches tax exempt status so they wouldn't involve themselves in policy where they view things as amoral (i.e. abortion).

churches have never been taxed. see u.s. constitution, first amendment.

they apply for 501c3 tax exemption status for whatever reasons benefit them but they are not forced to fill out those forms.

Jack Klompus

@Assman
"but name a case where a principal said a teacher could stay in a school after being accused of diddling a kid."

Fine. I'm sure there are a higher percentage of cases where a principal did the RIGHT thing. But that seldom makes the news because it's not scandalous enough to be newsworthy. And really, it's not just the principal that holds the keys. Sometimes the principal is the one accused. Sometimes the principal doesn't have the power to make sure that accused teacher never teaches again. And of course, sometimes the accused teacher is not guilty. Still, it doesn't take much googling to find cases wherein teachers have been able to continue teaching after having been accused of sexually abusing a student. School administrators have just as much motivation to keep such scandals out of the headlines.

"I'm not anti-Catholic or anti-religion, but I definitely know what it looks like when leadership makes a clear effort to look the other way, rather than resolve immediate concerns."

I agree 100%. They are clearly not cooperating the way they should. What I was getting at was that people like Hitchens, Taibii and the rest of the people Vandelay linked to aren't interested in the Catholic church replacing their leaders with ones who will take a stronger position against sexual assault. They, as atheists, are taking full opportunity of the situation as a way to diminish an entire religion. I agree with much of their criticism, but I don't agree with their selective indignation. It only serves to feed their egos.

Vandelay

It's not unreasonable to expect that in 2412, they'll come out saying they were wrong in this matter too.

Actually, the Pope just apologized to Ireland for this earlier this month upon which Sinead O'connor promptly and publically told him to go fuck himself.

Jack Klompus

@Pennypacker
"The ACLU does not endorse NAMBLA or its practices; they were defending the right of free speech."

That's correct, and a suitable press release snippet. However, by proxy they ARE endorsing NAMBLA. But that's not really the point. The point is, while NAMBLA may not promote child rape, their stated mission -- to abolish age-of-consent laws -- DOES offer convenient protection to pedophiles. The parallel I was drawing was that while the Catholic Church doesn't condone pedophilia, their institution (and agenda) effectually protects pedophiles. The ACLU is also a staunch defender of child pornography under the premise of free speech. Again, they may not condone child rape, but they are inadvertently aiding and abetting. Still doesn't mean the ACLU nor NAMBLA are (necessarily) "criminal enterprises."

"It would be interesting, though, to compare sexual abuse rates between denominations... do Lutherans have the same problem?"

That's a good point. From the stats available, it looks to be about the same rate of occurrence. However, it gets less magnified because, as many here have pointed out, the Catholic church tends to be a vocal group. So I do think some of the magnfication they get in terms of criticism is warranted. But I also think some of it is not.

On a side note (thanks to your point), there's the question of political ideology here in the U.S. The link Vandelay provided from RudePundit seems to suggest Catholics and Republicans are in lockstep. Baptists and Mormons -- yes. But Catholics are pretty evenly split. In fact, Catholic voters favored Clinton, Gore, and Obama.

Mr. Kruger

The parallel I was drawing was that while the Catholic Church doesn't condone pedophilia, their institution (and agenda) effectually protects pedophiles.

the first part of that statement is irrelevant, no? who the hell gave the church the right to police itself. that's what this hoodoo voodoo crap leads to.

Assman

Actually, the Pope just apologized to Ireland for this earlier this month upon which Sinead O'connor promptly and publically told him to go fuck himself.

Wow, church must have hired an efficiencies expert.

They, as atheists, are taking full opportunity of the situation as a way to diminish an entire religion. I agree with much of their criticism, but I don't agree with their selective indignation.

If they were doing this as atheists, wouldn't they use the opportunity to bash all religion, and not just Catholics?

Jack Klompus

@Kruger
"who the hell gave the church the right to police itself."

Nobody. What are you even talking about? The issue is about an organization's responsibility in dealing with serious issues before worrying about good P.R.

@Assman
"If they were doing this as atheists, wouldn't they use the opportunity to bash all religion, and not just Catholics?"

Not necessarily. The smart ones know that their message gets clouded if they try to paint with too broad of a brush. When atheists talk about terrorism, they're not saying "you see, this is the problem with Buddhism..."

Schmuel

Popin' Ain't Easy

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