The War on Fetuses and Babies

Infant mortality is higher under Republican Presidents than under Democratic Presidents:

New research in the International Journal of Epidemiology by three scholars at the University of Michigan — Javier M Rodriguez, John Bound, and Arline Geronimus — extends this vein of research into a new area: infant mortality.  The longer-term trend in infant mortality in the United States is clear: infant mortality has declined sharply in the past 80 years.

What Rodriguez and colleagues investigate is whether, relative to this broader trend, infant mortality rates are higher under Republican or Democratic presidential administrations.  Drawing on data from 1965 to 2010, they find that infant mortality is, on average, 3 percent higher under Republican administrations (again, relative to the trend).  This is after accounting for other factors that could also affect infant mortality, such as trends in education attainment, the unemployment rate, and economic inequality.

Couple this with studies showing that fewer abortions have occurred when Democrats have the White House and any reasonable observer is compelled to ask, “Who are you calling ‘babykiller’, motherfucker?”

(via Kathleen Geier)

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68 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    They don’t care about results. They are the the right-wing version of purity trolls.

  2. 2
    WereBear says:

    Just FYI, the world of Fundy Christianity is undergoing a meltdown:

    Beginning on Sunday, PHC founder and chancellor Michael Farris posted a public statement about the recent disgrace of two important leaders within the religious homeschooling and “parental rights” movement, both of them because young women have come forward with testimony of sexual misconduct and abuse of power. Former Home School Legal Defense Association attorney Doug Phillips resigned last fall from the separatist group he had founded after it was revealed that he pursued a sexual relationship with a young woman, under 18, who was under his “authority.” Bill Gothard, leader of an influential Christian Patriarchy instruction program, is slowly being exposed as a predator who has for decades sexually molested young women sent to him, often at his personal invitation, to be his interns.

    Then Michael Farris wiped his Facebook account, and is now lying low after cancellation of a sexual abuse investigation at the college:

    Farris did not dispute the misconduct of these men, seeming to accept evidence of their “protracted patterns of sin.” Instead, he tried to distance his own kind of “leadership” from theirs. But his statement is very strange. Attempting to avoid criticism of the authoritarianism that undergirds his own position, it ends up reading as if he thinks these “leaders,” these powerful men, should rightly have such control over the women and children under their authority, and that maintaining this position of male authority is a “basic strength.” The only problem with these men is that their strength was allowed to “get out of control.” The statement then ends with a lighthearted punchline normalizing the idea that men naturally want to pursue young women, but are inhibited by the fear that their wives will shoot them.

    Patrick Henry College to sexual assault survivors: “If you were telling the truth, God would have kept you conscious”

    As I always say, psychos and con artists and abusers LOVE the crazy religion they have created. But things might be catching up to them.

  3. 3
    c u n d gulag says:

    Maybe the fetuses can sense that there’s a douche-canoe in the White House?

    I was born at the tail-end of Ike – but if I was conceived under Reagan/Bush I & Bush II, I might have self-aborted, if I could! ;-)

  4. 4
    Schlemizel says:

    @WereBear:

    If I were totally honest I’d admit that I’d like to pursue young women. But its not the threat of physical violence from my wife that keeps me in check. And, for the sake of this argument, we will ignore my lack of anything that might attract the attention of a young woman! The reason I do not act on this interest is basic human decency. I do not think I am special, I think most men have it and do not behave badly. This is not because of some words of a mythical sky wizard or the threat of eternal punishment at his hand. Its because they respect people and boundaries. It seems like many of the people drawn to positions of power in organizations devoted to sky wizards lack this same decency despite their professed belief and demand that everyone else adhere to the writings.

  5. 5
    Botsplainer says:

    @WereBear:

    Homeschoolers Anonymous is a great resource for learning about the patterns of educational, emotional and physical abuse, as well as being a great networking resource for the kids who have come from (and subsequently rejected) that environment.

    http://homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com

    Basically, the grand poohbahs of homeschooling took the smartest homeschooled kids and trained them to debate in favor of homeschooling. As any good student of rhetoric knows, to debate, you need to know everything about your opponents’ argument; the result was Frankenstein’s monster – the trained rhetoricists turned on their master once the proofs were examined, and HA came into being.

  6. 6
    Fuzzy says:

    Sorry but homeschooling is the best way to hide parental abuse there can be. No oversight plus no adult the kids dare to complain to. I know there are lots of great parents doing wonderful jobs but if you’re a pedophile or abuser then this is your perfect world.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Fetal suicide. Interesting theory!

  8. 8
    WereBear says:

    @Botsplainer: As any good student of rhetoric knows, to debate, you need to know everything about your opponents’ argument; the result was Frankenstein’s monster – the trained rhetoricists turned on their master once the proofs were examined, and HA came into being.

    It’s classic plotting: evil always sows the seeds of its own destruction.

    Yes, it is a good site; I tool around the “escaped from fundamentalism” sites fairly often. Mormon, Christian, Islam, Jew; an abusive cult is an abusive cult, and they are all the same, deep down.

    And that goes for the Southern Baptists too!

  9. 9
    Zam says:

    @Botsplainer: Fundamentalist debaters are fucking weird, they all have the exact same prepackaged lines. A roommate of mine fell into that world in college and often tried to argue with me over religion. His arguments felt as if he only had ever known one possible point of view and his answers were not from careful consideration of alternatives but was passed down from others who never examined the issue themselves.

  10. 10
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Baud: They don’t care about results. They are the the right-wing version of purity trolls.

    Yup. These are the folks who are supposed to be so good with the economy, too.

  11. 11
    Cervantes says:

    Re:

    Drawing on data from 1965 to 2010, they find that infant mortality is, on average, 3 percent higher under Republican administrations (again, relative to the trend). This is after accounting for other factors that could also affect infant mortality, such as trends in education attainment, the unemployment rate, and economic inequality.

    I read this last year before it was published. Here’s a better summary:

    Results: Across all nine presidential administrations, infant mortality rates were below trend when the President was a Democrat and above trend when the President was a Republican. This was true for overall, neonatal, and postneonatal mortality, with effects larger for postneonatal compared to neonatal mortality rates. Regression estimates show that, relative to trend, Republican administrations were characterized by infant mortality rates that were, on average, three percent higher than Democratic administrations. In proportional terms, effect size is similar for US whites and blacks. US black rates are more than twice as high as white, implying substantially larger absolute effects for blacks.

  12. 12
    Botsplainer says:

    @WereBear:

    We were in that environment for about 3 years, 96-99. I never was happy with my wife’s initial decision on that (homeschool paired with twice a week “cottage school”), but was far too passive and accepting to “get along”. She turned around on it, but it took a move to break the final hold.

    We were actually some of the more successful and diligent homeschooling parents, and steered well clear of the ideological bullshit (out of deference to my social liberalism), but when my oldest daughter entered public schools she was still behind in some critical areas.

    My observation at the time was that the girls were being trained to be subservient housewives without agency or monetizable skills, and the boys were being trained to be sole proprietor IT entrepreneurs, incapable of working well with anyone with ethnic, religious, schooling or value backgrounds different from theirs. Plus, I did some work for the cottage school leadership (loud and proud Christian Conservatives), and deemed them sleazy in their business practices.

    The environment was really poisonous.

  13. 13
    Ruckus says:

    @Zam:
    If you examined the issues, you wouldn’t believe the bullshit.

  14. 14
    BGinCHI says:

    All the GOP cares about is nature. They don’t give a fuck about nurture.

  15. 15
    Ruckus says:

    @BGinCHI:
    I think you are giving them too much credit.

  16. 16
    IowaOldLady says:

    Do the infant mortality and abortion rates correlate with economic conditions? Maybe D presidents lead better economies and that’s the underlying cause here.

    Re home schooling, you’d have had to hold a gun to my head to make me do it, but I have a friend who home schooled her son in late grade school because he was floundering a classroom. She and her husband were both teachers, and she didn’t think of herself as sheltering him from a sinful world or anything. It seemed to work out well.

  17. 17
    McJulie says:

    The thing driving the anti-abortion movement is really the patriarchal impulse — who has “ownership” of the reproductive capacity. The right wing cannot deal with the idea that women are individuals who own their own bodies and control their own reproduction. Any talk of child welfare is a rhetorical trick. It’s how they convince themselves (and others) that they’re the good guys.

  18. 18
    slippytoad says:

    @Botsplainer:

    and the boys were being trained to be sole proprietor IT entrepreneurs, incapable of working well with anyone with ethnic, religious, schooling or value backgrounds different from theirs.

    Meaning they are capable of running little one man computer stores, just about. Any other IT work REQUIRES dealing with people from very different backgrounds. So, as with all these Potempkin Christian replacements for the real thing, it doesn’t suffice.

  19. 19
    Botsplainer says:

    @slippytoad:

    Meaning they are capable of running little one man computer stores, just about.

    Pretty much that. And let’s face it, once they’ve run through their list of acquaintances from their tiny, nondenominational church and their family on slinging together home Ethernet or wifi networks, connecting $400 WalMart laptops to broadband connections, installing decency filters and key logger software to trip up wayward spouses, it’s hard to put together a revenue stream adequate to support even a shitty strip mall storefront.

  20. 20
    BGinCHI says:

    @Ruckus: Even their homophobia is about nature.

    Unfortunately their environmental stewardship is interested in neither. Except for the fact that they think the nature of nature is that some dude in a long robe with a beard who lives in the sky is making all the decisions.

  21. 21
    BGinCHI says:

    @IowaOldLady: Has the GOP ruined Iowa’s schools yet? They used to be so damned good.

  22. 22
    WereBear says:

    @Botsplainer: Lawsy, sure sounds poisonous! Good for everyone that you kept that influence away from kids, especially girls.

    One of the things that draws me to ex-Quiverfull blogs and the like is my own experience with coercive religion. I reached my teens and realized I would never fit into their cookie-cutter image of women, and decided to figure out my own approach.

    And the Baptists were only half as crazy as the patriarchal stuff that goes on now.

    While the girls tend to rebel at the end of adolescence, I was reading just last night that the boys realize the dimensions of their trap in their 30’s… when it is so much harder to pull free.

    And, of course, so many never do.

  23. 23
    Ruckus says:

    @Botsplainer:
    Is that a description of the start of a meth users career? A life of desperation to have something, anything, that has meaning and purpose or at least isn’t stupefyingly boring?

  24. 24
    IowaOldLady says:

    @BGinCHI: They’ve cut funding to the universities, which means the tuition has gone up enough to reduce accessibility. K-12 seems to be doing all right, though it’s hard for me to say because I don’t have a child in the system. My friend who home schooled had a good system available to her but her son had special needs.

  25. 25
    Ruckus says:

    @BGinCHI:
    I hadn’t caught on that you meant the make believe nature in their heads, not the one we all live in.

  26. 26
    Cervantes says:

    @Ruckus: I agree.

  27. 27
    BGinCHI says:

    @Ruckus: I meant their attempt to fix the nature of things so that no one else can have any say in how things work, are interpreted, and so on.

    Straight patriarchal playbook, with a side of authoritarianism.

  28. 28
    BGinCHI says:

    @Cervantes: Keep reading.

  29. 29
    Cervantes says:

    @IowaOldLady:

    Do the infant mortality and abortion rates correlate with economic conditions? Maybe D presidents lead better economies and that’s the underlying cause here.

    No, the difference ( R vs. D) remains “after accounting for other factors that could also affect infant mortality, such as trends in education attainment, the unemployment rate, and economic inequality.”

  30. 30
    Cervantes says:

    @BGinCHI: Story of my life.

  31. 31
    Botsplainer says:

    @WereBear:

    While the girls tend to rebel at the end of adolescence, I was reading just last night that the boys realize the dimensions of their trap in their 30′s… when it is so much harder to pull free.

    My oldest daughter turns 24 this year, and is doing just fine (a little slow through college due to working, and getting ready to graduate with a business degree). I find myself wondering what those other kids, particularly the boys, are hoping for their future.

  32. 32
    Ruckus says:

    @BGinCHI:
    So we agree.

  33. 33
    wuzzat says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I worked as a writing tutor at a state university in the midwest in the 90s. Every incoming student who didn’t pass the entrance exam for English 101 was required to take “Developing Writing” and go to tutoring sessions on a weekly basis. We had more homeschooled kids than athletes and, unlike the athletes, every single one of those kids was shocked that they weren’t naturally excelling in all of their classes. I am sure that there are ways to make homeschooling work, but for the most part, those kids are being put at a terrible disadvantage compared to their counterparts in the public school system.

  34. 34
    Ruckus says:

    @WereBear:
    Don’t know if it’s just me but I had already started looking at what my life might be before I turned 18. But I had the draft and a war going on at the time to help focus my viewpoint. But I do remember lots of my friends not seeing very far ahead, just letting life, beer, drugs and girls kind of happen.

  35. 35
    So the story goes. says:

    So, fewer people give a fuck when Democrats are elected. Who is the sex posi party now, bitches?

  36. 36
    So the story goes. says:

    So, fewer people give a fuck when Democrats are elected. Who is the sex posi party now, bitches?

  37. 37
    BGinCHI says:

    @Ruckus: Yep.

  38. 38

    @Schlemizel:
    I would like to fill out my book collection. I don’t shoplift the local bookstore. Yes, it’s exactly the same. It’s not a matter of what you want, no matter WHAT you want. It’s if you’re the kind of asshole who will hurt people to take it when you get the chance.

  39. 39
    zoot says:

    these kinds of things strike me as really bizarre, i.e., I can’t see the connection between presidential party and fetal deaths and abortions. Do women really consider the party of the president as part of their abortion decision? Does the party of the president alter how doctors treat fetuses? Is there supposed to be some sort of divine intervention to kill fetuses when the a republican is president?

    Even as an avowed republican/conservative hater for all their cretinous vile actions, their psychopathic personality traits, and massive indecency, I’m not seeing the connection to republican malfeasance.

  40. 40
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Cervantes: Then I got nothing.

  41. 41
    Botsplainer says:

    @zoot:

    Even as an avowed republican/conservative hater for all their cretinous vile actions and psychopathic personality traits, I’m not seeing the connection to republican malfeasance.

    General economic conditions become the correlating factor.

  42. 42
    mai naem says:

    I believe homeschooling can be done with a lit bit of supplementation – a pain in the butt to put everything together and figuring out the correct chronological order to present the information. But , jeebus, most careers involve dealing with lots of other people and, in general, the more successful you are, the more people you are going to have to deal with. That socialization you can’t provide in homeschooling.

    BTW the stuff on Gothard(really,where do the RWngers get these names) is kind of ewwww creepy. 60+ yr old man hitting on and having control over 16 yr old girls???? Yuck.

  43. 43

    @Botsplainer:
    No, this already filters those out. Presumably the difference is regulation and enforcement. The difference is small because there’s only so much of that which can be changed at a time.

  44. 44
    Ruckus says:

    @Botsplainer:
    There may be other issues, power, intent, fear to name a few although economic uncertainty or instability would probably rate up there.

  45. 45
    mai naem says:

    I don’t know what the big deal with the abortion rates is. Its strictly economical. When the economy’s good, you feel you can afford a child – you are more likely to have the kid – when the economy is bad – you are more likely to abort because -duh- you are less likely to be able to afford the hospital co-pays, the diapers, the bassinett, the stroller and other baby crap, the time off work, the day care etc etc I bet pet adoption rates go down during a bad economy too.

  46. 46
    WereBear says:

    @Botsplainer: So glad to hear about your girl.

    I find myself wondering what those other kids, particularly the boys, are hoping for their future.

    If my experience is any guide: hoping the Rapture will come soon before despair and misery drive them to sinning and the Lake of Fire.

  47. 47
    WereBear says:

    @Botsplainer: General economic conditions become the correlating factor.

    I’m reminded of the autobiography of the cartoonist John Callahan, who became a paraplegic at the age of 21. He noted that under Democratic administrations, his wheelchair would get repaired right away, while under Republican ones… not so fast.

    Multiply a level of care, a few million times, and I can see how lives on the edge… could easily slip over.

  48. 48
    StringOnAStick says:

    Years ago I worked with a young man who had been homeschooled, mainly because his parents wanted to be more involved with their kids. Each worked 1/2 time in order to do so. This kid was the most thoughtful and mature 18 year old I’d even encountered; willing to consider your arguments and reassess what he thought based on new information.

    Here’s the main difference in his home schooling: his parents were old hippies, not religious fundies. His parents were both very well-educated, and they made sure their kids were too and that they were exposed to an even broader range of topics than the kids at the local schools (how rare is that, eh?). He and his sister were not kept in a sealed off world, they were on school sports teams starting quite young. He had no trouble getting into college and functioning at the expected level (he was actually above average in achievement), but I think his experience as a home schooled kid was way, way different than the reality-denying indoctrination of religious home schooling. All fundamentalism is bad, the brand name doesn’t matter.

  49. 49
    StringOnAStick says:

    @WereBear:

    If my experience is any guide: hoping the Rapture will come soon before despair and misery drive them to sinning and the Lake of Fire.

    That right there is why I see this indoctrination as a form of child abuse, with life-long consequences. Anyone with depressive tendencies is going to internalize this guilt and fear, and suffer their whole life because of it.

  50. 50
    Botsplainer says:

    @WereBear:

    If my experience is any guide: hoping the Rapture will come soon before despair and misery drive them to sinning and the Lake of Fire.

    Speaking of The Lake of Fire, Bro. Jed Smock and Sister Cindy are still out there preaching on campuses.

  51. 51
    WereBear says:

    @StringOnAStick: Here’s the main difference in his home schooling: his parents were old hippies, not religious fundies.

    Precisely. I know a home-schooling family with a 14 year old boy who is sweet, helpful, and so-obviously happier than most kids that age. But his mom is homeschooling to broaden the children’s experience, not narrow it.

    The fundies have lowered standards to the point where anyone can declare they are homeschooling and lock the kids in the basement for all anyone knows.

  52. 52
    WereBear says:

    @Botsplainer: Of course they are. He’s fulfilling the dreams of his entire generation by making a living yelling insults at young people.

  53. 53
    Baud says:

    OT: mistermix, if you’re still here, I got an alert that Netflix will start paying Comcast for better streaming on cable.

  54. 54
    Botsplainer says:

    @WereBear:

    I always liked Cindy and her tales of being a disco gal.

    A face that only Bro Jed could love.

    http://www.brojed.org/cms/bro-.....age-photos

  55. 55
    Gex says:

    @Botsplainer: That and policy matters too. Policies that encourage family planning, neonatal care, early parenting classes, parental support, child nutrition, SNAP, S-CHIP, etc. make a difference in what happens to people in the real world. Policies that tell people to just suck it up and let whatever is going to happen happen aren’t going to give you better results than policies that try to mitigate risks or do things better.

  56. 56
    dcdl says:

    @Botsplainer: I have a friend that home-schools. She is always switching curriculum. She used to be involved with the christian home-schooler’s, but decided to opt out. She does Charlotte Mason and various other curriculum’s.I don’t know how well her boys are doing. Normally she doesn’t like to do the OAKS test that is required in my state. Always blames the standards when her boys don’t do good. I do know that her boys do not do good in a group setting.They only do well with one on one contact. The crazy thing is the school where her boys would go is one of the top elementary schools in the state. In fact where she lives the other elementary school is just as good. The middle school and high school also gets high marks.

    Her day consists of having her boys do their schoolwork on the computer. On average they do schoolwork for three hours a day. She thinks I home-school in the sense that I do extra work with my boys if they are having trouble in a certain areas and that I take them to museums and other educational things. I consider it being a parent.

    There is also a good charter school locally that has been around for about 13 years or so. It is considered a traditional charter school She had her sons in it for about a month. Took them out, because she thought it was to regimented.

    She’s already having problems explaining math to her oldest when he has issues.

    I try not to talk about school stuff with her.

    I do not understand why someone would secular home-school if you live in an area with good public schools, private schools, &/or charter schools. Unless you have an education background I don’t understand why generic parents think they know more than professionals.

  57. 57
    pluege says:

    @Botsplainer:

    This is after accounting for other factors that could also affect infant mortality, such as trends in education attainment, the unemployment rate, and economic inequality.

    guess you missed this part – that means after discounting for general economic conditions.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gex:

    Policies that encourage family planning, neonatal care, early parenting classes, parental support, child nutrition, SNAP, S-CHIP, etc. make a difference in what happens to people in the real world.

    I think this is more likely where the difference comes in, because IIRC infant mortality is tied pretty closely to prenatal care for the mother. If the state cuts off or limits access to prenatal care, infant mortality will go up.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @zoot:

    Does the party of the president alter how doctors treat fetuses?

    It alters how patients can get medical care from doctors, such as by limiting people’s access to Medicaid services. Democrats tend to expand access to healthcare; Republicans tend to limit access. So I’m not at all surprised that infant mortality is higher under Republicans since they make it harder for women to get the prenatal care they need to have a healthy baby.

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WereBear:

    While the girls tend to rebel at the end of adolescence, I was reading just last night that the boys realize the dimensions of their trap in their 30′s… when it is so much harder to pull free.

    After reading about the Quiverfull and other patriarchal Christian movements, I’m not surprised it usually takes boys longer to pull out of it. IMO, the bad parts of it become obvious to girls at a much younger age, as they realize that their life of homeschooling and taking care of younger siblings and subordinating themselves to the male authority figure is all they have to look forward to.

    But, in some ways, boys have it pretty good. They don’t have the housework or childcare responsibilities their sisters have, and they get to look forward to being the boss of their own household one day. It takes longer for them to realize that it’s a crappy deal for them, too, because the perks are (temporarily) more obvious than the drawbacks.

  61. 61
    wenchacha says:

    @WereBear: My sister fell under the influence of Gothard, back in the late 70s. She took his teachings way too seriously, i.e., parents remain in authority until a woman is married, women should not pursue marriage because God will select the proper match, etc., etc.

    She never married, as a result. She is filled with judgments of other peoples’ actions, and it makes it tough for her to enjoy activities where people may be drinking or using language not found in church. For all that, she has probably begun to do some soul-searching about her choices. She is not nearly as wedded to these ideas as she used to be, but she has spent much of her life on the sidelines.

    Screw the whole bunch.

  62. 62
    WereBear says:

    @wenchacha: Perhaps the news about his abusive practices will loosen the hold further.

    If our culture understood spirituality better, these kinds of things would not torment so many vulnerable people.

  63. 63
    PIGL says:

    @Botsplainer: Zoiks! The first picture made me think instantly of the character for Anton Chighur in the movie adaption of No Country for Old Men….except he was carrying a bible, not a brain liquifier. Oh, wait a minute……

  64. 64
    Cervantes says:

    @zoot:

    Even as an avowed republican/conservative hater for all their cretinous vile actions, their psychopathic personality traits, and massive indecency, I’m not seeing the connection to republican malfeasance.

    Two things: (1) As pointed out earlier, the difference (R vs. D) remains even “after accounting for other factors that could also affect infant mortality, such as trends in education attainment, the unemployment rate, and economic inequality.” (They also took into account differences in poverty rate; as well as differences in tobacco use.)

    So then we get to (2) your (very reasonable) question: what explains the effect? Well, the authors don’t claim to know. From their conclusion:

    Further research is needed to determine whether the association is causal, and to identify mechanisms.

    Not satisfying, perhaps, but that’s where they left it.

  65. 65
    J R in WV says:

    @Botsplainer:

    No, they corrected for economic variations. I would think it’s because when your boss believes that your organization can make a difference, you the employees believe you can make a difference. So you provide better health care, and there is more formal support for that kind of work

    When your boss hates the possibility that you can make a difference, if you do a good job and make a difference you could get fired, but you certainly won’t get a pat on the back and a raise. And the budgets for health care may be corrected for, but how do you correct for haters being put in management positions?

    Haters aren’t going to stay late to be sure their agencies are doing a superlative job in neonatal health care, are they?

    Another point: During every Democratic administration going way back, since the numbers were collected, the economy (Dow Jones index, employment numbers, all those statistics and more) improves more than during any Republican administration. This analysis is (of course) using economic statistics developed by the government agencies that manage/regulate/control the economy, because where else can you get honest economic data.

    Even the very rich part of our population does better with Democratic administrations in control. So their work against the election of Democratic leadership runs counter to their best interests. They’re willing to sacrifice their expected gains in order to bring us the authoritarian leadership that will f**k up the economy and ruin many people’s future.

    Thanks, rich Republicans, for the sacrifices you make for your nation! /snark

  66. 66
    J R in WV says:

    One more thing, on the topic of authoritarian religions.

    Of course people with hidden strains of power-crazed sexual urges will seek out organizations they can depend upon to put them in formal control of the kinds of weaker people they crave to dominate. Look at the kinds of people who get arrested for inappropriate contact with boys and girls!

    Youth ministers for pentacostal churches; Rabbis in very orthodox lubavitch judaism, where parents who discover child sexual abuse are shunned from their families if they reveal those crimes to a prosecutor.

    Coaches in middle school, camp managers, the list goes on and on.

    Not every youth minister wants to have forced sex with their charges, but it looks like more than the national average does. And the higher up the ladder of control in their chosen religion they go, the stranger the ideas they come up with to strengthen their control of their targeted population.

    Authoritarianism in religion was one of the many things the biblical Jesus Christ taught against, if you read his teachings. The authoritarianism was added by the writers of the gospels, and the leaders of the early church. Along with the hatred of sex, which was added by people tormented by their own individual sexuality.

    I was able to see this as a very young person, in part because my parents weren’t religious, even though they participated in Unitarian-Universalist meetings for many years. I just read the bible I got while the family was still attending Presbyterian sunday school.

    It didn’t make any logical sense – in one chapter there were a lot of specific rules laid down. In a later chapter, god’s chosen violated really serious rules, seemingly at god’s instigation. So, what, do the rules count, or not?

    So I’m never surprised when a minister or teacher is caught with their pants down. If you build a system where adults have lots of control over kids, and some adults have anti-social sexual desires regarding children, shouldn’t you expect those anti-social adults to cluster in the programs where they will have lots of control over their chosen young targets??

    The big surprise to me is that parents involved in a mega-church where one of these warped adults gets caught NEVER see the relationship between the authority-ridden teaching of their church and the authority used to attack their kids. Never!

    To an outsider the connection is so obvious, yet authority-seeking adults will never admit that there is any connection between their understanding of religious teaching and the abuse they expose their children to. Warren Jeffs, anyone? Perversion of religious teachings to further Jeffs’ own access to sexual relations with multiple young girls. And the parents were OK with that!

    Amazing! I’ll stop now. Sorry to rant on so long…

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    BubbaDave says:

    WRT the study, I wonder how much that’s affected by contraception? I mean, it seems obvious that the abortion rate would be reduced if contraception is readily available– would that also have an effect on infant mortality? If the only women having babies are those who really want them, because the uninterested are getting their contraception on, wouldn’t that tend to lead to more prenatal visits, better dietary choices during pregnancy, etc — and thence to healthier newborns

  68. 68

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