Tag Archives: abuse

Poor Deprived Children

CNN laments:

“Many of the children [wept up in a raid earlier this month on the Yearning for Zion Ranch run by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] have seen little or no television. They have been essentially home-schooled all their lives [and may be ahead of public-school students their ages]. Most were raised on garden-grown vegetables and twice-daily prayers with family. They frolic in long dresses and buttoned-up shirts from another century. They are unfailingly polite….[T]hey have little knowledge of pop culture”

Oh, the humanity! Those poor, deprived children! How ever have they survived? Have they any hope of being normal American citizens?

Continue reading

Mythical 81%

On November 23, the Catholic League released the following to the press.

"According to news reports, the Vatican document says that while homosexuals must be respected, the Catholic Church 'cannot admit to seminaries and to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, who present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or who support the so-called gay culture.'"

"There is little doubt that most practicing Catholics will welcome this decision. The Vatican is prudent not to have an absolute ban on admission of homosexuals to the priesthood: there are too many good men with homosexual tendencies who have served the Church with distinction. But there is a monumental difference between someone who is incidentally homosexual and someone for whom the gay subculture is central to his identity. Only those blinded by sexual politics will fail to make this distinction."

With this much I am in agreement.

"As I have said many times before, most homosexual priests are not molesters, but most of the molesters are gay. The John Jay Report made this clear: 81 percent of the victims are male and almost as many are postpubescent. This is not called pedophilia – it is called homosexuality."

OK, I've seen this mythical 81% floating around the net for quite some time now and it's been bugging me. If I understand correctly – please inform me if I'm wrong – most of the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests were altar servers. If that's the case, then it only makes sense that most of the victims were male. Though female altar servers have been permitted for a few decades, there are still far fewer of them than male servers. The fact that most of the victims were post-pubescent might be more indicative of a demographic shift in altar servers rather than a preference among perverts.

If I am right about most of the victims being altar servers, then this is clearly a probaballistic fallacy. The probability of a server being male is very high. The probability of a victim being a server is very high. Therefore, the probability that the victim is male is also very high.

I am less sure that most servers these days are post-pubescent, but let's assume they are. By the same logic, the probability that a random victim would be a post-pubescent male would be quite high.

Throwing around this 81% figure is misleading. Remember, "there are lies, damned lies, and statistics".

"The Catholic laity are justifiably angry with molesting priests and their enabling bishops, few in number though they have been. What this document does is to send a signal – those who cannot seriously commit to a celibate lifestyle have no legitimate role to play in the priesthood. This stricture should apply equally to heterosexuals."

If Mr. Donahue is right about what the document says, I totally agree with him. Some folks don't agree with his reading, though.

An Electronic Leash for Sex Offenders

[Gutter Ball Master's mini bio has been added to the "Who are my guest bloggers?" page. – Funky]

I recently heard that GPS devices have been proposed for use on sex offenders where I live in the Baltimore, MD area.

Tracking Criminals From The Sky

"WASHINGTON — Some call it 'Big Brother,' but this year, Maryland lawmakers agreed to consider global positioning tracking of criminals including sex offenders — something they are doing in 32 states and Washington, D.C."

In other states:

"Beginning June 1, San Bernardino County, Calif., will start monitoring its adult sexual offenders using traditional tracking devices along with global positioning system (GPS) technology provided and serviced by Sentinel Offender Services. Offenders are expected to pay up to $15 per day for the monitoring, so that state taxpayers are not covering any of the program's funding. Additional money from the offender fees will support the hiring of additional probation officers in the county. The state's Riverside County is also considering implementation of the devices for high-risk felony offenders in order to prevent them from coming within five miles of a school or place where children gather. Probation officers will use GPS-equipped cell phones and a secure, Internet-based system to track an offender at all times, and an alarm will alert officers if an offender breaks the bracelet or ventures more than 30 feet from the device."

"A new Oklahoma law also requires habitual sex offenders to wear GPS monitoring devices for the rest of their lives. Ohio's budget funds lifetime GPS monitoring only for people classified as sexually violent predators."

"Many other states use GPS monitoring for selected people on probation or parole but the monitoring ends with the sentence."

The benefits of the GPS devices are obvious:

[WBAL-TV 11 News Deborah Weiner]: 'How does being tracked by a satellite effect your decisions today?'

'James': 'For me, it keeps my mind on top peak — make sure I'm doing the right thing.'

"'James', convicted of molesting an 11-year-old girl, is now working."

"After a registered sex offender was charged in March with killing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, Florida legislators quickly mandated tougher prison sentences for people who commit sex offenses against children and required lifetime GPS monitoring after serving time."

"Missouri Sen. Matt Bartle liked the Florida legislation so much that he copied and expanded it to include repeat sex offenders who commit crimes such as exposing oneself to a child that would otherwise be punishable by seven years or less of imprisonment."

On the other hand:

"But some civil-rights experts and defense attorneys contend such requirements are too onerous and attach the stigma and inconvenience of electronic anklets and GPS transmitters to those who may never commit a crime again."

The GPS technology is not foolproof, however.

"Authorities in Boise, Idaho, say paroled child-sex offender William Lightner cut off a GPS bracelet and fled on July 23. Near Tallahassee, Fla., Kenneth Lamberton was wearing a GPS monitor awaiting a child-molestation trial when authorities allege he tried to force one girl into a sex act in March and another to expose herself in April."

"Both men had been assigned passive GPS devices that send information once a day. Florida is switching to the active GPS devices, which instantly alert authorities to any violations."

Kansas City civil-rights attorney Arthur Benson already is challenging Missouri's lifetime sexual offender registry.

"'While these laws are often couched in terms of protecting the public against repeat offenses, at heart they are vengeful, punishing acts,' Benson said."

So, should the tracking of these criminals be done this way? Should they be tracked at all? What former sex offender is not "high-risk"?

(Please keep any discussion civil: this can be a touchy issue.)

That’s What I Said

It seems at the religious media are catching up to the story about sexual abuse
in schools I posted on June

Quiet About Teacher Sex Abuse

(AgapePress) – Most of the media covered the sex abuse scandal within the U.S. Catholic
Church with diligence and zest — and rightfully so. The U.S. Conference of Catholic
Bishops found in its report on the scandal that nearly 11,000 cases of sexual abuse
occurred by priests and deacons over a 50-year period.

So why has the media been nearly silent over a draft report commissioned for the U.S. Department of Education, which states that between 6 percent and 10 percent of the nation’s school children have been sexually abused or sexually harassed by school employees and teachers?

Still Learning

As bloggers go, I’m still basically an infant. I haven’t been doing this very long
and I don’t really associate with the blogging crowd outside of a few sites on my
blogroll. In other words, I’m still learning a lot about this crazy little thing
called blog.

For instance, I’m just now discovering just how important comments are. I don’t
get many, so I suppose it’s understandable that I missed their full worth. Anyhow,
it seems clear that a blog without a comments system is only half a blog.

There is, IMHO, a fascinating discussion going on at GetReligion
about the impact, or lack thereof, of stories about the global priest scandal in
the Dallas Morning News.
There a few folks on my blogroll who I’d love to see weigh in on the issue, including
(but not limited to) Narwen,
Fr. Mike, and
Jeff Miller,

Catholic gun didn’t go off: Silence greets Dallas News series

Once there was a man who lived in a lighthouse on the foggy Atlantic.

That’s the start of a very, very old sermon illustration. I thought of it this past
weekend as I read the first chunks of the sprawling Dallas Morning News reports
on the globalization of the clergy sex-abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.