Down Under

If we’re going to pay attention to penises going places they shouldn’t, I find this a hell of a lot more important than the Petraeus scandal:

Australia is to hold a wide-ranging judicial inquiry into child sex abuse in the country, including investigations into religious organisations, state care facilities, schools, not-for-profit groups and the responses of child services agencies and the police.

The royal commission follows growing pressure for a national inquiry after a senior police officer last week alleged that the Catholic church had covered up evidence involving paedophile priests. However, the inquiry’s scope is expected to cover a wide range of institutions involved in the care of children.

In addition to the allegations of that officer, from New South Wales, the police in the state of Victoria also allege a pattern of hindering investigations, silencing victims and moving priests:

Deputy Police Commissioner Graham Ashton told the inquiry that the church had also hindered justice by failing to report a single case of child sex abuse in more than 50 years.

Let that sink in for a minute.

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143 replies
  1. 1
    Literalreddy says:

    At the meet up yesterday, we were talking about the Catholic church and this scandal. Johannes (I think that is his handle) was mentioned a theory he had and had just published a paper on.
    He thinks that the entire Catholic hierarchy (from the priests up) response to the sex abuse scandal is related to defending the idea that priests and other church officials are not subject to secular law and are only held liable to canon law.
    Hopefully he will comment with a better description than I gave since IANAL.

  2. 2
    red dog says:

    Hey at least they are looking into all pedophile cases. This from a country mostly founded by criminals and church controlled orphanages. The exposed shit heap will be enormous unless the cover-up is even bigger.

  3. 3
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Yup.

    I’m glad they are investigating and expanding their investigation to include more than Catholic priests. You don’t have to Catholic to be a pedophile.

    Go for it, Aussies!

  4. 4
    Waynski says:

    I’m just soooo happy for the Village media after months of not reporting on policy, of desperately ignoring Mitt Romney’s remarkably fatal flaws to keep the horse race going and all around not doing their jobs, here comes a story the sniggering teenagers are uniquely qualified to do… underwear sniffing of the powerful and privileged — you know, the cool kids. Catholic incest scandal? That’s so five years ago. Besides, it’s in Australia, so who cares?

  5. 5
    Schlemizel says:

    WAIT, WAIT, WAIT! Are you trying to convince me there really is a god?

    My guess is there are going to be a lot of new faces around Vatican City as some of the key players get spiffy new jobs that take them away from Australia.

  6. 6
    Yutsano says:

    Side note: you’re infringing upon Sister Sarah’s territory here.

    Having said that: at what point do we need to start a RICO prosecution here?

  7. 7
    Sargeant Pepper's Spray says:

    But…but…”Freedom of conscience!”

    Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh in a letter to his diocese, denounced what he said is Obama’s message to Catholics: ‘To hell with your religious beliefs; To hell with your religious liberty; To hell with your freedom of conscience.’

  8. 8
    Roger Moore says:

    @Literalreddy:

    He thinks that the entire Catholic hierarchy (from the priests up) response to the sex abuse scandal is related to defending the idea that priests and other church officials are not subject to secular law and are only held liable to canon law.

    That sounds about right. It goes along with their belief that they shouldn’t have to obey laws about providing birth control as part of employee health benefits or follow state laws about which couples are allowed to adopt children from state funded but church operated orphanages. They believe that the Church should be free to ignore any law they don’t agree with.

  9. 9
    DPS says:

    Look, someone had to molest all those children; they weren’t just going to molest themselves. We should be grateful to these institutions for molesting them so that we don’t have to, and then for covering it up so that we don’t have to think about it. And yet we treat these folks like they’re the bad guys! I mean, kind of treat them like they’re the bad guys. Sometimes.

  10. 10
    Parfigliano says:

    To he’ll with the catholic church

  11. 11
    Mister Harvest says:

    ‘To hell with your religious beliefs; To hell with your religious liberty; To hell with your freedom of conscience.’

    No, just to hell with your tax exemption.

  12. 12
    scav says:

    @Literalreddy: One problem that would need to be addressed is the length of time these things have been covered up. Somehow, I assume motivations must have varied over time and space (including this is what we have always done unthinking motivatoins). If this was purely under Ratzy’s reign, sure, he thinks the Papacy should be GodEmperor over the terrestial sphere, Bow befoe Zog and his Mighyt Red Slippers. Given that similar reactions are pervasive in all sorts of organizations, however, there’s solid reason to doubt that only the canon law motivation was operating in The Church ™.

  13. 13
    Roger Moore says:

    @Yutsano:

    Having said that: at what point do we need to start a RICO prosecution here?

    A generation ago.

  14. 14
    Comrade Jake says:

    For some reason I thought this would be about Elmo.

  15. 15
    geg6 says:

    @Sargeant Pepper’s Spray:

    And that fucker had the balls to write a post-election op-ed (which the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette dutifully printed) saying, hey! We love all yinz guys! Really! Don’t keep running away from the church! We love us some wimminz!

    Fuck that mother fucker. I can’t wait until the whole rotten edifice of that criminal conspiracy centered in Rome falls for good. It will be the best day the earth has ever seen and I hope like hell I’m alive to see it. I will dance over the wreckage with glee.

    ETA: They have already lost my sister and her family over their disgusting electioneering this year. Sister tells me that there are about six families that have quit and joined the Episcopalian Church in their town. Catholics are voting on the Church and Bishop Zubik with their feet.

  16. 16
    the Conster says:

    @Literalreddy:

    Well, canon law was the justification by the Bishops in Ireland, and the Gardai let them abuse that justification instead of investigating and prosecuting hundreds of allegations under civil law. Reading the Murphy Report is one of those things that will make you sick, then crazy. And that’s just one report for one archdiocese! It’s not working out so well for them though, ultimately. If there are any devout Catholics left in Ireland under the age of 50 in 5 years, I’ll be surprised.

  17. 17
    Literalreddy says:

    @scav: But for the Church, they have been doing this for (at least) nearly a century if not longer. From Johannes’ research, since about 1917 anyone report to secular authorities instead of the church about clergy crimes is/was subject to excommunication.
    Granted all organizations may have similar reactions to protect the people in the organization, the Church is only one which has historical precedents for the primacy of canon law for clergy over secular law going back to Beckett in the 1100s.

  18. 18
    wrb says:

    Odd how this just spontaneously pops up at Catholic churches on opposite sides of the globe.

  19. 19
    Yutsano says:

    @geg6: Pull their tax exemption. Now. They’re directly interfering in politics and covering up a criminal enterprise (or two). It’s past time for them to face up to the consequences of their actions. Let’s see how they feel when their primo real estate holdings are subject to property taxes.

  20. 20
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sargeant Pepper’s Spray: To hell with poverty, let’s get drunk on cheap wine.

  21. 21
    scav says:

    Oh, it’s one hell of an enabling factor when faced with exposure and not being subject to secular law is a long-standing tradition (if perhaps more useful when the design of horse collers were high-tech) I just question it’s being the universal and eternal motivation for shuffling priests and avoiding embarrassment.

  22. 22
    wrb says:

    @Literalreddy:

    I’ve become convinced that it has been an ongoing semi-open secret within the church since the counter-reformation.

    Accounts of the debauchery of the priesthood before the counter reformation are ubiquitous. It was probably inevitable- kids with no inheritance and no calling were packed off to the monasteries for storage.

    When the church decided it had to clean up its image and ordered the priests and nuns to clean up their acts, were they really going to abandon their lovers and pleasures- or go underground?

  23. 23
    Culture of Truth says:

    that the church had also hindered justice by failing to report a single case of child sex abuse in more than 50 years.

    Am I supposed to feign surprise?

  24. 24
    gvg says:

    A lot of Church/State conflict had to do with which law was supreme. this all sounds like medieval wars…and the reformation.
    another aspect is Catholic confession sanctity. It’s always been kind of tricky with good reasons on both sides. In these cases all the good reasons are on the states side but it hasn’t always been that way historically.
    The current Pope is an authoritative fool and there are plenty in the church who clearly think that way, but their is also an old tradition of church law being supreme in the eyes of the most religious which it stands to reason are likely to be pretty common in the priesthood even if they aren’t otherwise bad men.
    In our society here and now we think are government is mostly good and well meaning whereas we no longer think that of the Catholic church. Other countries and other times have had the contrary view with also good reasons. Think of Jewish children hidden from hitler by this same church and Pre solidarity Poland.
    I have reached the point though here and now where I think those covering up this kind of crime are inclined to the same crime. It’s been continuing so many years past the initial revalations, more coverups after the first news…that I’m just about ready to throw them all in jail.
    They don’t seem to get that they ever owed these children protection. Nobody is real to them except brother priests.
    Notice I’m ignoring the fact no investigation has happened yet and presuming their guilt? I’ve never done that before. Sure I want them to have a fair trial…….but because of how many scandals I’ve already seem, I have to fake it to not presume guilt. The nonapology apologies really shock me still.

  25. 25
    Roger Moore says:

    @Yutsano:

    Pull their tax exemption.

    Fuck that. It’s time to drag the fuckers out of the Vatican, send them to some desolate prison for the rest of their natural lives, and turn the place into a museum. Or maybe we should just auction off their priceless art treasures to compensate their victims. In any case, destroy the whole criminal enterprise and never let it come back. Individual parishes that weren’t involved in the coverup can continue their existence.

  26. 26
    elmo says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    For some reason I thought this would be about Elmo.

    Hey!
    (my nym actually isn’t related to the muppet character – it was a nickname given to me when we had two people with my first name – Laura – in the office. My middle name is Maureen, often shortened to Mo. So I became “L-Mo.”)

  27. 27
    elmo says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Am I supposed to feign surprise?

    Let me help you with the shocked face: 8-0

  28. 28
    Richard says:

    The Catholic Church is the largest criminal organization on the planet.

  29. 29

    Children are most at risk from caretakers or others who have direct power over them. This investigation is worth doing broadly for whatever it might dig up, but I think only the Catholic Church is going to come out with more than scattered cases. Other institutions try to stamp out these crimes, not defend them.

  30. 30
    Yutsano says:

    @Roger Moore: Hmm…I wonder if Aviano has the personnel to live up to the task. After all Posse Comitatus only applies within US borders…

  31. 31
    J. says:

    @Comrade Jake: So did I. The phrase “tickle me” just got a whole lot more ticklish.

  32. 32
    scav says:

    @gvg: I was thinking the sanctity of the confessional was another vastly effective enabling factorin their cover-up toolbelt just as you wrote. The global scale of the church helped too, lots of room to shuffle people around in. The whole excommunication threat is a given. They have/had one hell of a avoid-detection hand of cards to play,

  33. 33
    Roger Moore says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Other institutions try to stamp out these crimes, not defend them.

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Lots of authoritarian institutions are perfectly happy to protect powerful criminals against powerless accusers. Just check out the LA Times’s recent expose on the Boy Scouts’ willingness to look the other way on the same issue, for example.

  34. 34
    Schlemizel says:

    @Mister Harvest:

    No, to hell with your bishops!

  35. 35
    kindness says:

    I say the results speak for themselves. It’s all Obama and the liberal media’s fault. The Catholic church surely isn’t at fault here.

  36. 36
    Waynski says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Ummm. Penn State?

  37. 37
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __

    Off-Topic, but it’s for a good cause:

    As a Northern Democrat, I would like to urge everyone to sign Alabama’s White House Petition to Secede.

    Buzzfeed also lists petitions for TX, FL, NC, KY, MS, and MT, many of which it is also tempting to support in their secession bids.

    However, each of those states has mitigating factors that make them marginally worth retaining in the union. Alabama, on the other hand … well, think of the money the nation could save, not to mention the benefits for our international ireputation.

    .

  38. 38
    Schlemizel says:

    @Roger Moore:

    This is a very good point. When I was a Scout leader they preached what they called “two deep” monitoring. The point being that no adult should ever be alone with a single scout. Yet we are discovering that when they learned of abuse and could hush it up & ignore it or bury the abuser.

    Every one of these pustules needs to be lanced and drained. Every one of these patriarchal enablers must be exposed and retribution for their crimes should be swift & terrible. An example must be made so that abusers will know they will never be safe, that they will be hounded to their graves & beyond.

  39. 39
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’ve always wondered: doesn’t the Catholic church ever do psych screenings to weed out candidates for the priesthood who might have these, ahem, unhealthy tendencies? (He asked innocently.) It seems such an obvious precaution to take.

  40. 40
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    This is, in a way, a continuation of the Stolen Generations inquiry: a lot of those Aboriginal kids were put in church-run residential homes. (The Vatican already had to apologise for the treatment of aboriginal Canadians subject to the same policies.)

    The influx of immigrants under the post-WW2 “white Australia” policy was heavily Catholic — Italian, Croatian, Polish, some Irish and British. (I have relatives there who fit that bill.) The issue here, again, is one of institutional power.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Bishops and Cardinals need to go to prison.

    End of discussion. If Ratzi so much as squeaks, the Italians should open up their air space for drone strikes on the Papal apartments.

    This shit has gone on long enough.

  42. 42
    Schlemizel says:

    @JGabriel:

    I much prefer letting Texas go. Not only are they a bigger drain on the Federal Treasury they would become a huge homeland for nut cases, Randtards, freepers, – I want to go into the Blazing Saddle rant at this point but you get the idea 8-{D.

    There would be an exodus of losers and lemons into Texas and smart people out. After that I’d seal the borders & watch them descend into madness. It would be the final time we had to hear about people going Galt.

    My alternative is that Minnesota be allowed to join Canada. Morans would flee & a few brights might move here but it would be a big win for both Canada and Minnesota!

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    The problem they’ve got is one that the US Army has faced. They need warm bodies to fill billets, and they lower or ignore standards to fill the billets.

  44. 44
    Culture of Truth says:

    I’ve always wondered: doesn’t the Catholic church ever do psych screenings to weed out candidates for the priesthood who might have these, ahem, unhealthy tendencies?

    It’s exclusively celibate men with access to boys. Their hiring criteria self-selects for pedophiles.

  45. 45
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @JGabriel: Bull-effin’-shite!

    As a resident of Florida, we don’t want or need their economic refugees.

    Shamelessly Stolen Without Attribution:

    With the Blue States in hand we will have firm control of 80% of the
    country’s fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92%
    of the nation’s fresh fruit, 95% of America’s quality wines (you can
    serve French wines at state dinners) 90% of all cheese, 90 percent of
    the high tech industry, most of the US low sulfur coal, all living
    redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

    With the Red States you will have to cope with 88% of all obese
    Americans and their projected health care costs, 92% of all US
    mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99%
    of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all televangelists, Rush
    Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

    We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

    38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed
    by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we’re discussing the death
    penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% that
    Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you
    are people with higher morals then we lefties.

    We’re taking the good weed too. You can have that crap they grow in Mexico.

  46. 46
    geg6 says:

    @Roger Moore:

    This. FTW.

  47. 47
    Chris says:

    @gvg:

    A lot of Church/State conflict had to do with which law was supreme.

    Ah yes, laws of God versus laws of man.

    As the dear sweet Catholic grandma of one of my family friends once told a lady she found sitting in “her” seat at mass: “Listen, madam, in heaven things may work differently, but down here, there has to be order!”

  48. 48
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Schlemizel:

    I much prefer letting Texas go. Not only are they a bigger drain on the Federal Treasury they would become a huge homeland for nut cases, Randtards, freepers …

    All true, but TX will probably go Democratic in a decade or two, and that’s 38 electoral votes for our side. Plus, if you think the past week’s schadenfreude was delicious, just think how good it will taste the first time Fox News announces that Texas has been called for the Democratic candidate in a Presidential election.

    THAT will be hilarious.

    Edited to add:

    There would be an exodus of losers and lemons into Texas and smart people out. After that I’d seal the borders & watch them descend into madness. It would be the final time we had to hear about people going Galt.

    I really don’t see why this function can’t be performed by Alabama at less loss and more benefit to the nation.

    .

  49. 49
    Seanly says:

    @Roger Moore:

    That may be part of why the cover-ups occur. The more important question is what is going on within the church that is produces so many monsters. Reference Louis C.K.’s video about the Catholic Church…

    It also seems to me that if they do cover it up because of secular vs canon law, then wouldn’t there be some punishments or dismissals of some of these monsters? Instead it is just a steady stream of horrible people who face no repurcussions for their abuse.

  50. 50
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @JGabriel:

    I don’t agree that Mississippi is worth keeping.

  51. 51
    Chris says:

    @scav:

    The whole excommunication threat is a given.

    Which oddly isn’t actually sound theology: the Church doesn’t excommunicate you, you excommunicate yourself through your own actions, the only thing the Church can do is recognize it and officially make a note that it’s happened (sainthood works the same way). “Be careful or we’ll excommunicate you” isn’t a valid threat given that they have no say in the matter.

    But oh well.

  52. 52
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @JGabriel:

    Had an argument with a guy at the bar last week about gaming-out an attempt at Texas secession.

    The argument basically came down to one thought: If Texas could throw oil refining into a free-fall for simply one year, their bargaining position to would be very good. They wouldn’t have to actually win, only survive for that year. If LA tried to go with them, what sort of oil capacity would the rest of the country be left with? Could Mexico, Canada, and OPEC nations fill that void without pushing gas up to $5-7 a gallon?

  53. 53
    geg6 says:

    @Waynski:

    The difference being that Penn State has never been guilty of an ongoing conspiracy over the course of at least fifty years of abusing children, putting orphans into slavery-like conditions, hundreds of perpetrators, and a systematic shuffling of troublesome priests from campus to campus to avoid prosecution. In addition, Penn State does not go around telling everyone how they should live their lives and trying for force people to follow their religious dogmas. Oh, and the perpetrators and conspiracists at Penn State have been/are being prosecuted to the full extent the law allows. Unlike, say, the Catholic Church. Or the Boy Scouts, for that matter.

    Say what you will about Penn State, but they have taken full responsibility, are negotiating settlements with little argument, and taking their punishment and living with it.

  54. 54
    mamayaga says:

    In addition to the problem of pedophilia, there appears to be an unfortunate tendency among humans for the powerful to exploit the less powerful sexually. Knowing this, we should be attuned to the fact that strongly hierarchical institutions are quite susceptible to both sexual harassment/coercion and pedophilia if children are part of the less-powerful group. Hopefully, there has been some progress in combating sexual harassment/coercion in the workplace by holding both the institution and the individual abuser responsible, to the extent that even very large corporations will ditch a CEO if he misbehaves. The same principle should apply to institutions that cover up pedophilia. Covering it up should be more costly than not for both the institution and the abuser. So far we’ve mostly failed this test with both the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts, to name just two.

  55. 55
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The problem they’ve got is one that the US Army has faced. They need warm bodies to fill billets, and they lower or ignore standards to fill the billets.

    Because Allah forbid any women or married men be allowed to fill the billets.

  56. 56
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Arm The Homeless:

    As a resident of Florida, we don’t want or need [Alabama’s] economic refugees.

    There really won’t be that many AL refugees. Alabama forced out most of its black population in the early and mid 20th C. with draconian sundown laws. They forced out most of the liberal population through despair, and they’re forcing out most of the Hispanic population with harsh anti-immigrant measures.

    .

  57. 57
    maya says:

    The Australian PM can expect a forward of the letter sent to Obama from Pope Manfred Von Richthofen about violations of their religious freedoms, etc., etc., any day now.

  58. 58
    pastormaker says:

    @red dog: Um, the country was founded in 1901, and I doubt the vast majority of the founders were criminal in the the way you mean.

  59. 59
    Chris says:

    @Seanly:

    The more important question is what is going on within the church that is produces so many monsters.

    Are they in fact producing “so many monsters?” My impression was that the priesthood didn’t produce more child molesters than any other profession. It’s just that in most professions people don’t cover that shit up and scream bloody murder and “HELP! HELP! I’M BEING REPRESSED!” when journalists expose it or policemen come knocking.

    Or are the people doing the cover-ups the “monsters” you’re referring to?

  60. 60
    majorfrankburnsesq says:

    @Yutsano: Obviously you know as much about tax laws as you do about lacrosse. Stop exposing your laughable ignorance, and watch as I harp on existing tax policy while ignoring the children being raped in quantity. Oh, and the Vatican brass aren’t the church. Parishioners like me whose desperate embrace of alternative reality rivals Republicans’ are the real church.

  61. 61
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony:

    I don’t agree that Mississippi is worth keeping.

    Mississippi has the largest per capita AA population of any state in the nation, and I don’t want to leave them to the untender mercies of their Confederacy-worshipping compatriots.

    Furthermore, I think we want to hold on to a state that borders the Mississippi river delta.

    .

  62. 62
    Schlemizel says:

    @JGabriel:

    Alabama may not be big enough to hold them all 8-{D

  63. 63
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @JGabriel:

    Alabama demographics seem to tell another story. AA and Hispanic people are quickly increasing in AL. They are 5th and 7th in the number of Women and AA, respectively.

    Surrounding states would see a major wave of refugees, especially single women and mobile young AA. This in of itself isn’t all that informative, but when you consider that FL has a large percentage of low-skill service sector jobs, we would be a veritable magnet for them.

  64. 64
    LanceThruster says:
    Deputy Police Commissioner Graham Ashton told the inquiry that the church had also hindered justice by failing to report a single case of child sex abuse in more than 50 years.

    Let that sink in for a minute.

    So it’s a bad thing that the church record was perfectly spotless until this recent explosion of abuse?

    Wait. What?

    Oh…that’s different.

    If religious institutions and big money athletic programs no longer have the clout to shield pedophiles from their victims, where are they supposed to hide in plain sight now?

  65. 65
    Schlemizel says:

    @geg6:

    You are missing more than a zero when you say “50 years” The RCC has been dealing with sexual abuse issues for a very long time.

    As far back as the Council of Elvira in 309 C.E., official documents reveal a Church preoccupied with regulating the sex lives of its clergy.

    The never-ending flow of legislation emanating from official quarters proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that from its earliest days the Church has been trying to contain the abuse of minors by the clergy and cover up the resulting scandal.

    Here is a list of just the first few – with year issued:
    60 Didache – an early Christian manual on morals and church practice.
    220 Writings of Julius Paulus.
    309 Council of Elvira.
    438 Theodosian Code – a collection of general constitutions of the Church.
    530 Digest of Justinian, Volume IV – a comprehensive set of passages from juridic text books and commentaries.
    533 Institutes of Justinian – a revised and modified edition of earlier institute.

  66. 66
    JGabriel says:

    @Arm The Homeless:

    Alabama demographics seem to tell another story. AA and Hispanic people are quickly increasing in AL. They are 5th and 7th in the number of Women and AA, respectively.

    Hmm. That complicates the picture.

    So, you’re saying then that we shouldn’t let any of the states that want to secede withdraw from the union?

    I don’t know. I’m getting real tired of all these ungrateful secessionists that suck up federal dollars then bitch that spending is too high. Seems like we should be able to let at least one state secede and let the rest of the secessionists flock to it.

    .

  67. 67
    Roger Moore says:

    @Seanly:

    The more important question is what is going on within the church that is produces so many monsters.

    It isn’t necessarily that the Church is creating monsters as much as it is attracting them. Catholic priests are given access to children, tremendous respect, and institutional support that treats them as the aggrieved party if they’re ever accused of wrongdoing. That’s a situation that will pull in any child rapist who sees it.

    And I agree that the cannon vs. secular law aspect is only one part of the culture that protects these people. I get the feeling that they’ve been defensive at least since the Reformation and tend to treat any criticism as an attack on the Church that they reflexively resist. And there’s definitely a fear of scandal and the all-to-common belief that any scandal can be avoided by burying the evidence as deeply as possible. It’s a toxic mix.

  68. 68
    Chris says:

    @JGabriel:

    I’m fully aware of how hypothetical all this is, but,

    If you let the Deep South go its own way, political refugees aren’t what you need to worry about. Economic refugees are. Without the flood of blue state money funneled down there from Washington, the entire place turns into a third world country within a couple decades. And with jobs and much better living conditions in the U.S. of A, people start migrating there regardless of their politics or culture.

    (Bibles are nice, burning crosses are nice, but you can’t eat them or put them in a bank account).

  69. 69
    Schlemizel says:

    @maya:

    Its Pope Simon by the way:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nuiN.....BLURKS.jpg

    He was Cardinal Bar Sinister previously

  70. 70
    Culture of Truth says:

    My impression was that the priesthood didn’t produce more child molesters than any other profession

    My impression was it attracted them, not produced them.

  71. 71
    Brachiator says:

    @mistermix:

    I find this a hell of a lot more important than the Petraeus scandal

    I hate when anyone pulls this lame rhetorical device, as though there can be only one important news story at a time.

    And as much as I might enjoy a bit of Catholic Church bashing, some rage has to be directed at the despicable, but predictable way in which some people in power seem to get away with horrific abuse of children, without regard to religious affiliation.

    Over at the BBC, while another executive has resigned, there don’t seem to be many criminal investigations taking place, and the chief abuser was allowed to die with honors:

    The BBC’s head of news, Helen Boaden, has “stepped aside” — joining the fallout from a scandal over child sex claims that on Saturday claimed director general George Entwistle.
    __
    Entwistle resigned after a report on BBC’s Newsnight led to a former conservative politician being wrongly accused of child abuse.
    __
    According to the BBC, Boaden was director of BBC News and Entwistle director of BBC Vision when a decision was made late last year not to broadcast a report on allegations of child sex abuse by former BBC presenter and comedian Jimmy Savile.
    __
    Tribute programs to Savile, who died last year, were then aired over the Christmas and New Year period.
    __
    The BBC is the subject of multiple investigations into claims that hundreds of people, some as young as 12, were sexually abused by Savile

    In addition, potential moral culpability never gets in the way of career advancement:

    Meanwhile, The New York Times has reportedly confirmed that ex-BBC director-general Mark Thompson would take over as chief executive of that company as planned on Monday despite questions about his tenure at the broadcaster.
    __
    Entwistle took over as director general from Thompson on Sept. 17.
    __
    Times columnist Joe Nocera has accused Thompson of “appearing willfully ignorant” about the the Savile scandal and questioned whether he is the right man for the job.

    The Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, the BBC, Penn State; complicity of social service and law enforcement officials. A lot of houses need to be cleaned, not just religious ones.

  72. 72
    Schlemizel says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I don’t think the RCC produces more necessarily. What it has done is nurture them, protect them and promote them to greater positions of power.

    The shame is not that it happened, these sorts of sick people exist in every walk of life. But the church empowered them to act on their urges and when discovered they protected the abusers and kept them safe while often moving them to new territories to ‘hunt’. They even promoted these people knowing they were criminals. If there really were a god these people would be very very afraid

  73. 73
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Chris:

    If you let the Deep South go its own way, political refugees aren’t what you need to worry about. Economic refugees are. Without the flood of blue state money funneled down there from Washington, the entire place turns into a third world country within a couple decades.

    That would be kind of the point; they can apply for re-admission to the union after being chastened by their own ineptitude. And I don’t want to let the entire deep south secede, just one state. AL seems like the best choice, but I’m willing to entertain other options.

    (Obviously, I’m not serious about any of this. It just gives me a peg from which to slag Southern Conservative and racist idiots who want to leave the country, despite getting far more from the rest of us than what they contribute in return.)

    .

  74. 74
    Guess Who says:

    There’s more to this Petraeus story than meets the eye…and Darrell Issa and his committee will get to the bottom of this. I can’t believe Obambi didn’t know until (quite conveniently) after the election, that defies credulity. Looks like it’s time for a nice, loooong fishing expedition lead by Captain Issa. Second term scandal, here we COME!

  75. 75
    scav says:

    @Chris: Well, it’s not as though my gob will be smacked or dropped if I discover the god-botherers aren’t following the rules on their own tin. The words written in red might as well be written in invisible ink for all they’re adhered to in actual point of practice by those most loudly wielding the book containing them.

  76. 76
    Helen Bedd says:

    Here’s a case in the U.S. that takes the church’s knowledge of child abuse back to 1927..

    The important detail “Northern Arizona was a dumping ground for abusive priests. It fits a pattern where the church would send pedophiles to isolated Hispanic or Native American parishes across the country.

    http://knau.org/post/catholic-.....rn-arizona

    There’s currently an ongoing investigation in Montana that involves, among other things, children living on the Reservation.

  77. 77
    MikeJ says:

    @JGabriel: The independent country of Alabama wouldn’t be a member of NATO. I don’t see that the US would be under any obligation to help them if, Cuba for instance, wanted some elbow room. Not that I think Cuba would want to do so, but they are twice as populous as Alabama and nearby too.

    Imagine the irony of seceding to escape Obama’s tyranny and being occupied by Cuba.

  78. 78
    Chris says:

    @JGabriel:

    That would be kind of the point; they can apply for re-admission to the union after being chastened by their own ineptitude. And I don’t want to let the entire deep south secede, just one state. AL seems like the best choice, but I’m willing to entertain other options.

    Heh, if only. But that’s why it’ll never happen… on some level enough of them know that the gravy train comes from DC and don’t want to let go of that. Bismark was right when he said the welfare state was the best insurance against revolutions.

  79. 79
    Helen Bedd says:

    @Brachiator:

    Ironically, the Vatican gave Jimmy Savile an award: a Papal Knighthood

    http://news.yahoo.com/english-.....14668.html

  80. 80
    Yutsano says:

    @Guess Who: Oh good. While you’re busy chasing that shiny object, we’ll get on with the business of fixing up the messes left over by Dubya.

  81. 81
    geg6 says:

    @Schlemizel:

    I don’t disagree, but one would expect that, with all the social changes of the 20th C. (a large one being the protection of children instead of the exploitation of them that was rampant before that time) and with Vatican II coming in at mid-century, the Church had a chance to clean themselves up and chose not to do it. Instead, they doubled down and have continued to get more hysterical and delusional every year since.

  82. 82
    Roger Moore says:

    @scav:

    The words written in red might as well be written in invisible ink for all they’re adhered to in actual point of practice by those most loudly wielding the book containing them.

    Didn’t you know that the red ink indicates those parts are optional?

  83. 83
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    MikeJ:

    Imagine the irony of seceding to escape Obama’s tyranny and being occupied by Cuba.

    The best part would be informing them that, after careful consideration, we have taken their arguments for isolationism seriously, and will be testing the ramifications of taking an isolationist stance on them.

    .

  84. 84
    Chris says:

    @geg6:

    I think Vatican II was the same kind of landmark event for the Catholic Church as, say, the civil rights triumphs under Johnson, or Roe v. Wade, in the United States: a triumph for the forces of modernization, but one that inevitably led to a massive conservative backlash, which has dominated politics ever since.

    (The only difference being that that backlash looks like it’s finally beginning to unravel in America: I’m not seeing it in the Vatican. Shit moves much, much slower in the RCC).

  85. 85
    scav says:

    @Roger Moore: Dropped out of Sunday school as soon as my mother had achieved sufficient distance from her mother. I remember the supreme theological importance of flat animals in felt and not much besides. Thanks for the exegesis.

  86. 86
    Yutsano says:

    @JGabriel: Imagine the squeals when we tell Texas and Alabama they can’t keep their new shiny military toys. Oh and good luck and don’t let the door hit ya on the way out.

  87. 87
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @MikeJ:

    Imagine the irony of seceding to escape Obama’s tyranny and being occupied by Cuba.

    Red Dawn IV: Roll Tide!

  88. 88
    Culture of Truth says:

    GOP: FROM RECESSION TO SECESSION IN 4 YEARS

  89. 89
    Roger Moore says:

    @geg6:
    I think the key thing to understand is that the reformist faction wasn’t able to keep control of the Church for long enough to complete the changes that were started with Vatican II. Instead, the church wound up in the hands of conservatives like John Paul II and Benedict XVI who have been working to undo as much of Vatican II as they can.

  90. 90
    Culture of Truth says:

    Democrats 2014: “We Secede Apart or We Succeed Together”

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yutsano:

    Oh, we’ll let them keep those military toys … for a cash payment. Sorry, no IOUs — we’ve seen your tax receipts, so it’s cash on the barrelhead.

  92. 92
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: And upgrade contracts paid out ten years in advance. And we upgrade them like we upgrade the Israelis: no the really brand new stuff, but just enough to keep the planes flying. Oh this could get FUN!

  93. 93
    Brachiator says:

    @JGabriel:

    There really won’t be that many AL refugees. Alabama forced out most of its black population in the early and mid 20th C. with draconian sundown laws.

    What? There’s more to what’s been called the Great Migration than sundown laws, which had more to do with residential segregation and racial intimidation than forced migration.

    Mississippi has the largest per capita AA population of any state in the nation, and I don’t want to leave them to the untender mercies of their Confederacy-worshipping compatriots.

    Do you really think that you are qualified to dispose of the lives of black people as you indulge fantasies of “permitted” secession? All this stuff reeks of condescension and the same kind of racism that you supposedly oppose.

  94. 94
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @JGabriel:

    I take the point, and it’s all just counting the number of angels dancing on the head of pin, but the prospect of secession has been burning up the interwebs, and not just from the usual suspects.

    I fully expect the trend of increased militia numbers to continue at faster and faster speeds. The next gambit will be to re-frame the GOP as the natural home of white voters as a counter-balance to the Dems, who are now the home of POC and youth.

  95. 95
    YoohooCthulhu says:

    @wrb:

    I’ve become convinced that it has been an ongoing semi-open secret within the church since the counter-reformation.

    I think this is unfair. I think part of the issue is that child sexual abuse is just *extremely* common and has been for a long time; it’s just been something that wasn’t addressed in polite company before.

    The Catholic Church just has the unique problem of being a very insular separatist community, which allows things like this to run rampant. But I *doubt* misbehavior is confined to sexual abuse of children–I’m sure drug addiction, adultery with spouses of parish members, and petty embezzlement are ALSO extremely common in the Catholic Church.

  96. 96
    OmerosPeanut says:

    Can we not come together as Burkean conservatives in agreeing that IOKIYAP: It’s OK If You’re A Priest?

  97. 97
    Yutsano says:

    @OmerosPeanut: Not until BoBo tells us this. And not a second sooner. Hayekian modesty and all that.

  98. 98
    Surreal American says:

    @Guess Who:

    My guess is that Issa will attempt to investigate how President Obama managed to stick Petraeus’ dick into a woman who’s not the general’s wife.

  99. 99
    👽 Martin says:

    Looks like everyone hates religious liberty now.

  100. 100
    JGabriel says:

    @Brachiator:

    @JGabriel:
    Mississippi has the largest per capita AA population of any state in the nation, and I don’t want to leave them to the untender mercies of their Confederacy-worshipping compatriots.

    Do you really think that you are qualified to dispose of the lives of black people as you indulge fantasies of “permitted” secession? All this stuff reeks of condescension and the same kind of racism that you supposedly oppose.

    So you think we should let Mississippi secede then?

    (ETA: Brachiator, these aren’t my fantasies. These are the fantasies of people who have submitted actual petitions to the White House to secede. I’m just mocking and satirizing them. And if I come across as condescending to Confederacy-worshippers, well, I guess I’ll just have to find a way to live with that.)

    .

  101. 101
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @Mister Harvest:

    No, just to hell with your tax exemption.

    And to prison with your pedophiles and enablers.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @YoohooCthulhu:

    I think this is unfair. I think part of the issue is that child sexual abuse is just extremely common and has been for a long time; it’s just been something that wasn’t addressed in polite company before.

    I have to agree with you that institutional child abuse is NOT reserved to Catholics — there have been many reports of it in other settings, especially juvenile detention centers, schools, etc.

    IMO, part of the problem for the Catholic Church is that it is naturally resistant to social change, so they’re at least 30 years behind the times in acknowledging that child sexual abuse is a problem and that it exists within their ranks. Most other institutions have changed with the times so while you still find it happening in, say, a Baptist church, it’s usually not widespread among all of the Baptist churches in that region (which, of course, is also a function of the fact that Baptist churches tend to be more loosely affiliated with one another than Catholic churches are).

  103. 103
    Roger Moore says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Red Dawn IV: Roll Tide!

    ITYM Crimson Tide II: Electric Boogaloo.

  104. 104
    blingee says:

    The butthurt continues on the Twitterzzz. Main difference in the conspiracy theories from before election is that now it’s more ALL CAPS. It’s a beautiful thing.

  105. 105
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I think we should hold out for GOOOOLD!

  106. 106
    Gex says:

    @Literalreddy: I thought that was obvious.

    They have no interest in defending child abuse. But to cooperate with the authorities means they are one of us, not above us.

  107. 107
    trollhattan says:

    @Schlemizel:
    If Texas goes they’re taking Oklahoma with them, damnit!

    And that’s my final offer.

  108. 108
    Andre says:

    My stepfather was one of the kids abused by priests in Australia, so we’re watching this development with interest. We’re cautiously optimistic, but not doing backflips yet.

  109. 109
    Yutsano says:

    @Andre: Peace unto him. This can’t be an easy revelation for him to re-live.

  110. 110
    Eric U. says:

    When Graham Spanier was charged in the Penn State scandal, it made me hope that Pennsylvania will expand this approach to other institutions like the Catholic Church. I’m not holding my breath.

  111. 111
    Gex says:

    @Culture of Truth: It’s not just their hiring requirements that make them a target for pedos. The fact that they have demonstrated, time and again, that the institution of the Catholic Church will do everything it can to protect you AND get you access to ever more children.

    Just like tax exemptions make religion a honeypot for con men, the Church’s policies make it a honeypot for pedos.

  112. 112
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Most other institutions have changed with the times so while you still find it happening in, say, a Baptist church, it’s usually not widespread among all of the Baptist churches in that region (which, of course, is also a function of the fact that Baptist churches tend to be more loosely affiliated with one another than Catholic churches are).

    And I suspect you’ll find that a random Baptist church is less likely to cover up for a Baptist minister than the Catholic Church is to cover up for a priest. Protestant ministers are generally much more accountable to their congregations. The congregation hires the minister and is free to fire him or her if they’re unhappy.

  113. 113
    Brachiator says:

    @JGabriel:

    So you think we should let Mississippi secede then?

    I think this talk of secession is a bunch of bullshit. And it reeks of two bunches of whte fools who both believe that they have the natural right to determine where and how nonwhite people should live.

    A modest proposal: Let’s say that this secession could actually happen. Then white Northern Democrats who back such a plan should liquidate all their assets and give them to blacks, Latinos and other groups who would have to leave the South. And don’t look to the feds to offer you assistance or relief. If you think it is such a wonderful thing to cause so much social disruption, then you should be willing to make a mighty sacrifice in order to bring it about.

    If white racists believe that they can find someplace to accept them, they can leave. This happened before with Southerners who moved to Brazil after the Civil War. Northern Democrats who would accomodate racists in any way can go along with them.

  114. 114
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    My impression was that the priesthood didn’t produce more child molesters than any other profession

    My impression was it attracted them, not produced them.

    I haven’t kept up with the research, but at least not far back the thinking was that people who are sexually abused as children are more likely to be abusers when they are adults.

    If that holds, then it is quite likely that the Catholic Church is a pedophile factory.

  115. 115
    WereBear says:

    @Roger Moore: And I suspect you’ll find that a random Baptist church is less likely to cover up for a Baptist minister than the Catholic Church is to cover up for a priest. Protestant ministers are generally much more accountable to their congregations. The congregation hires the minister and is free to fire him or her if they’re unhappy.

    While that is true, it does not work the way you think it would. What generally happens is that the woman/child is not believed and shunned out of the church, while the “good” congregants rally around their Man of God.

  116. 116
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Pat McCrory says he will work to both lower tax rates in NC to those of “surrounding states” and to improve customer service for citizens and businesses in state agencies.

    :|

    He’s a former mayor and he knows what government mostly does and what taxes mostly pay for: customer service that can’t be outsourced. And of course, with a non-unionized state workforce, wages can’t be pushed any lower. With a Republican legislature, he sees absolutely no repercussions in promising the impossible.

  117. 117
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Roger Moore:

    And I suspect you’ll find that a random Baptist church is less likely to cover up for a Baptist minister than the Catholic Church is to cover up for a priest. Protestant ministers are generally much more accountable to their congregations.

    Uhhhhhhh not in my experience, no

    The only advantage the Catholic Church has is the ability to evade the law by shuffling offices around

    As far as abusing their offices for purposes of sexual assault, Protestant clergy do it too and with abandon

  118. 118
    PurpleGirl says:

    @JGabriel: Can they have non-residents sign the petitions? Won’t non-resident signatures be deducted from the count? Or are you encouraging us to sign so as to screw up the process?

  119. 119
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Brachiator:

    If white racists believe that they can find someplace to accept them, they can leave. This happened before with Southerners who moved to Brazil after the Civil War. Northern Democrats who would accommodate racists in any way can go along with them.

    Fair enough. I won’t argue with that.

    .

  120. 120
    Roger Moore says:

    @PurpleGirl:
    I think you’re taking the whole thing way too seriously. I’m sure the petitions will be treated with all the seriousness they deserve, i.e. none. Until there are actual articles of secession being considered by state legislatures, the President will feel perfectly justified in ignoring them.

  121. 121
    trollhattan says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Me likie.

    It occurs to me that they’d basically be forming Bangladesh Junior, and the first one went so well, why not? Also, too, they can bet one another which will get wiped out by sea level rise, first.

  122. 122
    aimai says:

    @Helen Bedd:
    Not so much ironically as–inevitably.

    aimai

  123. 123
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @WereBear:

    What generally happens is that the woman/child is not believed and shunned out of the church, while the “good” congregants rally around their Man of God.

    Working with rural people to whom this had happened, I saw more than one of them go back to the church as it was the only place where they could get enough food to feed their families

    The relationship between the power of local right-wing Protestant churches and the devastation of the social safety net in the South is extremely complex – and there’s a reason why the right’s alliance is what it is

    I think a lot of folks who don’t see these churches and their towns close up don’t understand exactly how severe the double standard is for the moral policing of congregants compared to the freedom of a minister or a wealthy, connected congregant to publicly and flagrantly sin

  124. 124
    Chris says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Remove the safety net completely, and these people will be all that’s left. A cheerful thought.

    Which of course is why they scream so loudly about encouraging “dependence” on government: it means someone somewhere isn’t depending on them.

  125. 125
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Chris:

    Which of course is why they scream so loudly about encouraging “dependence” on government: it means someone somewhere isn’t depending on them.

    Exactly so. Ministers realize that church attendance drops when people don’t need the food pantry. I’ve actually heard a fiery sermon on this topic, offered as evidence of the lack of faith within the congregation.

  126. 126
    Mnemosyne says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    It ain’t just Christians, either:

    Ultra-Orthodox Jews Shun Their Own for Reporting Child Sexual Abuse

    Basically, the more hierarchical — and yes, patriarchal — an organization is, the more likely it is that they’ll have problems with abuse by administrators or clergy, because the members of the community fear being shunned or rejected if they come forward with accusations.

  127. 127
    WereBear says:

    @Mnemosyne: For that matter, I’ve read accounts of Amish communities that would absolutely astonish and disgust you.

    Closing ranks, indeed.

  128. 128
    maya says:

    @Brachiator:

    If white racists believe that they can find someplace to accept them, they can leave.

    Isn’t Rushbo assembling a convoy of mothballed Liberty ships to haul all their fat white asses to Costa Rica?

  129. 129
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Basically, the more hierarchical—and yes, patriarchal—an organization is, the more likely it is that they’ll have problems with abuse by administrators or clergy, because the members of the community fear being shunned or rejected if they come forward with accusations.

    I would argue the cause is different. In all of these cases – Catholic clergy, ultra-orthodox Judaisim, Amish, the population is in decline. It’s a catch-22. They either hasten their own community demise by ejecting misbehaving members, or they cover up those acts and try and maintain their community ranks, and hope that when the scandal breaks that they don’t lose more members over the scandal.

    Only growing communities can easily afford to be virtuous within their ranks.

  130. 130
    slightly_peeved says:

    @maya:

    Given anyone who voted based on religious affiliation would be voting for our devoutly Catholic leader of the opposition over our unmarried atheist prime minister, I believe our PM would give the minimum of fucks about any sternly worded letters from the Catholic church.

  131. 131
    Jason says:

    In Australia, this initiative comes after a big lawsuit against the order of St John. Dr Mulville, a psychologist employed by the order, has now turned on them, alleging that they have hidden and concealed records many records and claims that 70 percent of the order’s members are suspected child abusers. This explosive news was the spur to Gillard announcing this, although I’m sure the decision process took much longer and she’s been waiting for a moment to announce it. It looks very much like this order, at least, was basically operating as a giant pedophile cell; pretty disgusting, and the Australian people are not happy about it.

    A royal commission is a big deal; it has some powers similar to an American special prosecutor, and others similar to a congressional investigative committee. There have been other royal commissions into child sex abuse, most famously the Wood royal commission, but none with such a specific focus on clerical abuse and with terms of reference broad enough to really get to the bottom of things (Royal Commissions are strictly prohibited from extending their terms of reference, which prevents Ken Starr syndrome (and also protects the powerful!) I expect in the spirit of ecumenicalism and to avoid charges of selective anti-catholicism, the royal commission will quickly have its terms widened to include all clerical abuse. Not a good time to be a bishop, that’s for sure.

  132. 132
    Mnemosyne says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I would argue the cause is different. In all of these cases – Catholic clergy, ultra-orthodox Judaisim, Amish, the population is in decline.

    Take a look at the NYT article I linked to — the population of ultra-Orthodox is actually up, in part because of their high birthrate.

    I would say it has much more to do with the group’s investment in keeping themselves separate from mainstream culture. Once you’ve made that choice, it’s hard to go back to the local police and say, “Oh hai, we need your help after all.”

    ETA: Also, too, for people in particularly insular communities the the Amish or Ultra-Orthodox, it’s probably pretty easy for them to rationalize that abuses like that happen in the decadent outside world, not in their community, so therefore anyone who claims to have been abused must be lying. Sort of like how the Soviet Union let a serial killer operate with impunity for years because serial killers were a product of the decadent West and couldn’t possibly exist in socialist Russia.

  133. 133
    Schlemizel says:

    @Andre:

    I can’t imagine the pain. Backflips wouldn’t be possible for me I think in the same situation. Unless the villain were being eaten alive by termites.

    “Nothing you do FOR a child is wasted.” = G. Keillor

    “Nothing you you TO a child should be forgiven.” Me

  134. 134
    Chris says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I think it’s more than that – admitting fault with their hierarchy weakens that hierarchy’s moral authority to preach how everyone else should behave, which at the end of the day is what these churches are all about. (That may or may not be true, but it’s how they feel). So instead they choose to sweep it under the carpet and define any criticism of crimes committed by members of the hierarchy as an attack on the church.

  135. 135
    Roger Moore says:

    @👽 Martin:
    I don’t think the Amish population is in decline. They take the “be fruitful and multiply” part of the Bible seriously, and few enough people are leaving their communities that they’re growing by natural increase. I’m not sure about the Hasidim, either. What those two communities have in common- and what they hold in common with the Catholic clergy if not the Catholic laity- is a feeling that they’re isolated communities best by powerful outside forces they’re trying to hold a bay. I think it’s that defensiveness that makes them instinctively circle the wagons at what they sense as attacks.

  136. 136
    Brachiator says:

    @JGabriel:

    And if I come across as condescending to Confederacy-worshippers, well, I guess I’ll just have to find a way to live with that.

    Your snark was unclear, and this is why I said you appeared to be condescending towards blacks and others who would suffer if these secession fantasies were made real.

    I wasn’t much concerned with any condescending to Confederacy-worshippers.

    @maya:

    Isn’t Rushbo assembling a convoy of mothballed Liberty ships to haul all their fat white asses to Costa Rica?

    He is stupidly playing up to his listeners, selling the fantasy that, much like Romney’s ancestors, sullen white people could set up their own little independent duchy in Costa Rica or some other location. Maybe the island from Lost.

  137. 137
    Darkrose says:

    I’m not entirely opposed to letting Mississippi and/or Alabama secede, provided that:

    1) They pay the full costs of relocation for anyone who doesn’t want to secede;

    2) Once the relocations are complete, all ties with the U.S. government are severed. No Social Security, no tax money–you want to go Galt, have at it;

    3) The secession must be for a pre-negotiated minimum time. After that time, you’re welcome to come crawling back.

    These clowns think they can make a go of it on their own? Fine. Give them a chance to prove it.

  138. 138
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Most other institutions have changed with the times so while you still find it happening in, say, a Baptist church, it’s usually not widespread among all of the Baptist churches in that region (which, of course, is also a function of the fact that Baptist churches tend to be more loosely affiliated with one another than Catholic churches are).

    If the Baptist Church had had as much institutional power as the Catholic Church, I would be willing to bet that the degree of abuse would be as great.

    But there is not much point in going too deep in alternative history speculations. There is another aspect of the Catholic Church’s defensive response that has not been much remarked on.

    Church officials, and perhaps some of the Church faithful, see the Church as under attack, even if the pressure is reasonable. And the Church hierarchy believe that they have a duty to preserve the Church, even if this puts them at odds with secular authorities.

    And I also think that there is a belief that since a priest is supposedly called by a deity, even if the priest commits grievous acts, he may still still merit some protection. I think that this sentiment explains why some priests who have been convicted of sex offenses are still buried in consecrated ground after their deaths. The Church appears to be unable to acknowledge the depth of a pedophile priest’s offense, or to imagine that some acts might not only require secular punishment, but perhaps also negate the special calling to be a priest.

    The theology itself compounds the problem. This may be an issue with other religions as well.

  139. 139
    Citizen Alan says:

    @JGabriel:

    However, each of those states has mitigating factors that make them marginally worth retaining in the union.

    I LIVE in Mississippi and I’m struggling with a reason as to why the rest of the U.S. would want us. The logistical hassle of sharing control of the Mississippi River with a foreign power is virtually the only thing that springs to mind.

  140. 140
    sm*t cl*de says:

    Deputy Police Commissioner Graham Ashton told the inquiry that the church had also hindered justice by failing to report a single case of child sex abuse in more than 50 years.

    There’s a quota??

  141. 141
    sm*t cl*de says:

    I haven’t kept up with the research, but at least not far back the thinking was that people who are sexually abused as children are more likely to be abusers when they are adults.

    The idea that every child who was abused is destined to grow up to be an abuser made an appealing narrative, and was a good way of further punishing the victims, but it was never based on any evidence.

  142. 142
    El Cid says:

    It’d be nice to assume that if there hasn’t been a large-scale eruption of some systematic child and child sex abuse scandal it’s because there weren’t any.

    Now I can only assume that if some week passes without the coming to light of some massive scandal of dozens if not hundreds of children and young people being sexually or otherwise abused, it just means there’s one more went another week undisclosed.

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    Persia says:

    There was some kind of scandal with teachers a while back, and the Australian goverment decided the Thing to Do was ban all depictions of sexual activity involving minors. I think some literature was exempt, but the whole thing was a big clusterfuck. As far as I know, there are still people in the Aussie fanfic community who have good reason to fear prosecution if they read an improperly labeled story with descriptions of fictional underage people fooling around.

    I am shocked, utterly shocked, that that didn’t clear up the sex abuse issue right away.

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