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Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Boy Scouts vs. the Catholic church

An AP article yesterday lauded the hiring of a gay Eagle Scout, Pascal Tessier, to serve as a Boy Scout summer camp leader in New York:

The national organization changed its policy in 2013 to allow openly gay youth as scouts, but not adults as leaders, after a bitter debate over its membership policy. The change took effect in January 2014.

It's easy to see how the Boy Scouts of America arrived at this decision. There were over 2000 cases of sexual abuse in the BSA before 1994, and in just one such case, the BSA had to pay out $18.5 million. 

The Left has, of course, hammered the Boy Scouts for not allowing openly gay adults to serve in supervisory positions. From a New York Times article dated June 10, 2014:

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. on Tuesday sharply criticized the Boy Scouts of America's policy that bans gay scout leaders, calling it “a relic of an age of prejudice and insufficient understanding.” In remarks to the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a gay-rights group, Mr. Holder said, “The continuation of a policy that discriminates against gay adult leaders, by an iconic American institution, only preserves and perpetuates the worst kind of stereotypes.”

Another New York Times article from June 29, 2014, waxed about how wonderful it was that openly gay Boy Scouts marched in the Gay Pride parade in New York City. The article quoted only people who were opposed to the BSA's policy of excluding openly gay adults in supervisory positions. 

Yet at the same time that the liberal press has excoriated the BSA for not allowing openly gay troop masters, they've also mercilessly attacked the Catholic church for its history of child molestation by priests.

The excoriation of the church has slowed somewhat in the past two years, since the relatively liberal Pope Francis ascended to the papacy. But over the previous ten years, the Times featured numerous front page articles about the scandal. The paper's message is always the same: why did the church not do more to prevent this abuse? 

What exactly would the Times have had the Catholic church do to prevent further abuse? Ban all priests suspected of being homosexuals? 

There's a huge dichotomy -- okay, let's call it what it is, hypocrisy -- between the Times' stance on gay troop leaders and gay Catholic priests. 

More recently there have been a number of breathless headlines about how Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings pilot who just killed 149 people, had suffered from depression, and how the airlines should have known -- or did know -- about his illness ahead of time. The strong implication is that they should have grounded him based on that knowledge.

But wouldn't that constitute discrimination against those who suffer from depression? After all, the vast majority of depressives never kill anyone else.

Depressives as a group tend not to agitate for protection against discrimination. (They're probably too depressed to do so.) But what if airlines and other companies did discriminate against them? Would they be justified in doing so?

At what point do victims' rights override the rights of those claiming discrimination?

Don't expect a consistent answer from the New York Times. 


Anonymous said...

This is a good post. Our society is (sadly) way too liberal now. I have a co-worker who's husband was molested as a boy, by his Boy Scout leader. Her husband was psychologically harmed by the experiences that he had due to the Boy Scout leader. Fortunately, the Boy Scout leader was caught and went to prison for his crimes against boys.


Pavonine99 said...

The funny thing is that most child abusers don't seem to be "gay"-many of them are married or have girlfriends (or are otherwise celibate), and don't seek out adult same-sex relationships.

As for mental illness, half of all Americans will qualify for a diagnosis at some time in their lives. That's a lot of people to label potentially too unstable to fly.

It doesn't seem that the kind of discrimination some are proposing would really help prevent much of anything in either case.

John Craig said...

Birdie --
Thank you.

That's unfortunate, but at least that guy went to jail for his crimes. There've been a lot of molester who've just gotten away with it.

John Craig said...

Pavonine --
The molesters with wives or girlfriend are always the most surprising. When someone appears celibate, I always figure, there has to be SOMETHING going on.

True, about half of all Americans. But the very strong implication of all the recent headlines about Lubitz is that he should never have been allowed at the controls of a commercial jet. In retrospect, that's obviously true, but on exactly what grounds would they have been able to prevent him before? The combination of depressive and suicidal and narcissistic (this last is key) should have disqualified him. But narcissists constitute a pretty healthy chunk of the population, and nobody ever tests for that anyway.

Personally, I think if someone is a sociopath, that should disqualify him from all sorts of occupations. But no one ever tests for that, either, and the fact is, sociopaths are often the most adept at getting the most desirable jobs.

So where does that leave us? With Lubitz at the helm of a commercial jetliner and Obama at the helm of the government.

Pavonine99 said...

There's a test called "The Dark Triad" that measures a person's degree of narcissism, sociopathy, and machiavelianism. In my ideal world, if someone scored above a cut-off on that test or one like it, they'd be barred from high-risk occupations and monitered in some way.

John Craig said...

Pavonine --
You and I live in the same ideal world.

(Too bad it's not the real one.)

Jokah Macpherson said...

The Boy Scouts and Catholic Church need to try to be more like Hollywood, where, you know, no boys were ever sexually abused. Ever.

John Craig said...

Jokah --
Ha! Yes, exactly.

Anonymous said...

A thought about the press treatment of the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal....

A few years ago Michael Graham hosted a talk radio show in the Boston area. I can't find the statistics on a quick web search, but as I remember - Graham stated that the number one group responsible for child sex abuse is.... public school teachers.

How many people could answer that question correctly?

And I remember a New York Post article (Nov 2011) referenced on this blog - synopsis "Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’ office says it has arrested and charged 89 Orthodox Jewish men with child sex abuse."

Lets do some simple math. According to Wikipedia there were 4392 US preists against whom allegations of child sex abuse were made (not arrests, allegations).

from general web reference:

Catholics are 23% of US population; (4392 alleged) / (320 million US pop)*(23%) = .01%

Jews are 23% of the population of Brooklyn, and Orthodox Jews are 10% of all Jews. (89 arrested) / (2.6 million Brooklyn)*(23% Jewish / 10 for Orthodox) = 0.15%

How many people were aware of this Orthodox Jewish scandal, which appears more severe than the Catholic preists?

How is it that the Catholic priests got so much attention, and these other groups are rarely mentioned?

In my opinion there is a tremendous media bias against Christians in general, with an even greater general bias against Catholics.

- Ed

John Craig said...

Ed --
You're of course completely right. The NY Times is nothing but a bunch of biases masquerading as a respectable newspaper. They have given very little attention to the Orthodox Jewish sex scandals, despite the fact that it is "local" news for the newspaper.

Steven said...

Perhaps the church could have stopped having alter boys and the priests not allowed to be alone with children.

John Craig said...

Steven --
That's a possibility -- along with the Boy Scouts no longer having scouts who are boys and not allowing troop leaders to go camping with them.

Steven said...

That is something that they could have considered, though perhaps they'd consider the institution of alter boys too important.

Is this not a strange bit of reasoning by Ed? He finds what percentage priests with allegations against them are of the entire US Catholic population, rather than the priest population or rather than including all allegations against Catholics. Then he compares that to all allegations against Orthodox Jews. How absurd.

John Craig said...

Steven --
I don't think what Ed said was ridiculous at all. He directly compared the Catholic population to the Orthodox Jewish population to see which had a higher percentage of religious abusers. You may not remember the Orthodox Jewish scandal in NYC (Brooklyn) from a few years ago but the people involved were rabbis. The difference is that when former altar boys came forward to complain about having been molested, they weren't castigated by their fellow Catholics. The Orthodox girls who complained about having been sexually abused were threatened with expulsion from their communities not only by the rabbis but by many of the influential elders. They simply didn't want the state or federal authorities involved; it was eerily similar to Muslims in this country who feel they should be judged by Shariah law rather than American courts.

Steven said...

If he wanted to make a fair comparison, surely he should have got the number of allegations or convictions against all Catholics, like I presume he did with the Orthodox Jews. If his number for Jews was just rabbis, I take it back.

Whenever there are men or older boys in positions of power over children, there wil always be some sexual abuse, in whatever religion or type of institution.

I think the decision not to have gay scout leaders will save some boys from being molested by the small fraction of gay men who are pederasts and they would probably disproportionately take the role. I assume it is mostly gay pedophiles who abuse boys, while the straight ones would abuse girls. Good decision Imo, though totally un pc. Protecting children is much more important than being a good liberal.

I will go as far as to say that gay men should understand the statistical logic of this safeguarding effort and not be offended or take it to imply gay men are generally pedophiles.

John Craig said...

Steven --
I don't think anyone is saying that a high percentage of gay men are pederasts. But the percentage of them who are is far, far higher than among heterosexual men.

Gays are, depending on whom you listen to, 2%, or 5%, or maybe even 7% of the population. (Alfred Kinsey's 10% estimate has long since been discredited.) Yet fully 50% of pederasts are homosexually inclined. Given the percentage of homosexual males in the population, that's a very stark difference.

Steven said...

I don't think anyone is saying that either but those who object to the policy will say that it conflates homosexuality with pedophilia (it doesn't and they should understand that) or implies that gay men are pedophiles (again, it doesn't). They will then say this is ignorant or prejudice.

Anonymous said...

one must distinguish pederasty from pedophilia.

The Catholic priest scandal was mostly about pederasty. 78% of the victims were over the age of 11 ....just 6% were under the age of 8.

Most Pederasts are homosexuals...while pedophilia seems to be a unique sexual orientation. Pederasts prey on 11-14 year old boys.

28% of the priests victims were 15 to 17 years old...which does not even quantify as pederast behavior. Pederasts prefer prepubescent boys , thus would not target boys above age 13...

teenagers , 14-17 year olds, are more likely to be targeted by homosexuals than heterosexuals. this is why the boy scouts do not want them sleeping in tents with 15 and 16 year old boys. Do they allow female scout leaders to sleep with 15 year old boys in the woods ?

John Craig said...

Anon --
I just looked it up, you're right, I hadn't realized that "pederasty" referred to an interest in boys from puberty up to age 14 or so. (I did know that pedophiles preferred prepubescents.)

Anyway, good point.

As to your other point, I've never heard of boy scout troop leaders being women, so I don't think that's an issue (or at least I've never heard of it). I've also never heard of Girl Scout supervisors causing any problems. Women as a rule just don't seem to prey on little girls, so that's never been an issue either.

Anonymous said...

the reason many fail to see the connection of homosexuality and pedophilia or pederasty is many convicted child molesters consider themselves heterosexual.

Look at Sandusky, the Penn State coach, even after his conviction he is considered a heterosexual (because he had a wife) although 100% of his victims were boys.

John Craig said...

Anon --
I wondered about Sandusky: how often did he have sex with his wife? They had ix doped children, and as far as I know, no biological children. And one of those children, a son, later testified that Sandusky had molested him.

It's crazy that these homosexual pederasts or pedophiles are considered heterosexual.

Anonymous said...

Most sociopaths have a Madonna-Whore complex, so the significant other gets neglected regarding sex.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
Hard to imagine Mrs. Sandusky ever got much attention from her husband in bed.

Anonymous said...

Steven has a point – there is no indication of how many of the 89 were rabbi’s. And for the comparison I was making – to make it pure – it would be priests to rabbis.

I spent about 5 minutes searching the web and doing those calculations – it deserved a little more thought.

The entire comparison is not pure, but I see mitigating factors:

- allegations vs. arrests: I would think that there is a higher standard for a police arrest vs. an ‘allegation’; further, with money at stake, and the Catholic church paying out, I’m sure there was at least some ‘piling on’.
- with my current calculation, it was a15 to 1 favor of Orthodox Jews offending vs. priests. So if ~90 / 15 = 6 of the Orthodox Jews arrested were rabbis, then the ratio would be equal.
- timeframe: I think the Catholic priest scandal ended up with allegations covering a very long period; my guess is that the 89 Orthodox arrests were all current; this again inflates the magnitude of the Orthodox scandal

And part of what makes each scenario a scandal is the cover-up. The Catholic Church covered up; and the Orthodox rabbis covered up – this is a direct comparison.

Overall I stand by my point – the Orthodox Jewish scandal was a large one, and it got no national attention (ask any general person you know if they heard about it); on the other hand ask anyone which organization they think was the king of pedophilia and they would probably answer “catholic church’.