On Her Red Mass Polemic: A Response to Mrs Foster

ANOTHER week in Australia, another round of ‘outrage,’ ‘growing calls’ (invariably on Twitter) and vilification of anybody who isn’t favoured by the country’s noisy and histrionic mobs. We have already dealt with one of the new year’s most disgraceful examples: feminists wanting Bettina Arndt “stripped” of her Order of Australia. On Thursday I discussed how other leftists want Margaret Court’s name “stripped” from the tennis arena named in her honour. Somebody should write a paper on the deeper implications of such violent hate speech, akin as it is to a rapist’s. Women who refuse to toe the line are to be stripped, ritually humiliated and ostracised. Australian feminists sound increasingly like ISIS mols policing a camp for captured ‘brides.’

By contrast, Chrissie Foster’s outrage is substantive. In the 1990s, her two daughters were sexually abused by Melbourne priest Fr Kevin O’Donnell; both girls suffered indescribable anguish and injury as a result. One of them, Emma, later committed suicide. On sexual abuse and the Church’s past failure to deal with monsters like O’Donnell, she is entitled to an open mike in any forum. This week, however, she reiterated arguments made in The Australian earlier this month about the traditional “Red Mass” for the legal fraternity held at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Tuesday. Mrs Foster says judges and lawyers should not associate themselves with Archbishop Peter Comensoli – whom she likened to a notorious criminal – or a church whose priests declare they will not obey new laws forcing them to report sexual abuse revealed during sacramental confession. I dealt with these hateful laws in November. Samuel J did so here (brilliantly) in 2012. Chrissie Foster:


In 2003 Catholic priest Michael McArdle swore an affidavit stating that during confession he had disclosed more than 1500 times that he was sexually assaulting children. He made this confession to 30 different priests over 25 years. Not one of those 30 priests stopped him. For decades they just forgave him. This is precisely the situation Comensoli says should remain. What finally stopped McArdle was not the church, but a child going to the police. The church could have reported him to police decades earlier and saved countless children.

 
There is in fact no evidence that McArdle’s claims were true and they weren’t accepted as credible by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. If anything, the McArdle case exemplifies the uselessness of such laws. McArdle swore the statement about having confessed his crimes 1500 times as part of a plea-bargain to reduce his prison term. His priest-dobbing was an easy way to establish (false) bona fides for remorse and cooperation. Added benefits for the criminal – and, by definition, such an informant (to police) will always be a criminal – are that authorities will tend to believe him, that he can spread the blame to others (always appealing to sociopaths) and that his story will be utterly unprovable. Mrs Foster’s adamant belief in the necessity of compulsory reporting of sacramentally confessed abuse is both ill-founded and anachronistic. Preponderantly, clerical sexual assaults are now historical crimes. As I wrote last year, these new laws haven’t been passed to protect children; their sole purpose is to incite hatred of Catholics. Mrs Foster’s second error is her probably innocent acceptance of wilfully popularised statistical legerdemain:


In Australia the child abuse royal commission established that of all complaints of child sexual abuse in religious institutions the Catholic Church attracted most with 61.8 per cent of the complaints. The next worst was the Anglican Church with 14.7 per cent. The Catholic Church has had a much larger problem with child sex abuse than any other religious organisation in Australia.

 
Not true. The Royal Commission established nothing of the sort. During most of the twentieth century, the Catholic Church ran more schools, orphanages, hospitals and institutions of social welfare than most of the other denominations combined. In absolute terms, it isn’t surprising that instances of abuse – alleged and established – are more copious in the history of the Catholic Church in the key investigative period of 1950 to 1989. Proportionately, however, ministers and personnel of the Uniting Church (including its antecedents) were easily the worst offenders in this criminal category. That’s according to the Royal Commission’s own statistics. As Gerard Henderson points out, “a child was safer in a Catholic institution than a Uniting Church institution any time after 1950.” That the absolute figure should have been promoted bereft of historical and mathematical context is not surprising. The Royal Commission and the media had no desire to make headlines at the expense of the Uniting Church – formerly the Australian Democrats at prayer – let alone at the expense of the ghosts of Methodists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists past.


“Disgraced priests of yesteryear do not constitute the Church and do not encapsulate the spirituality of a people or a place.”


Neither personally nor as a writer do I believe in stridently rebutting victims of monstrous crimes. Mrs Foster and her late husband Anthony worked passionately for the betterment of children’s safety. What they were put through might be described as unspeakable were it not for the fact that the perpetrator and his enablers should not escape being spoken about, as once they would have. That silence was the crime-honoured sine qua non for persisting in their depravities. Like I said, I don’t see prudence or respect in correcting them when they’re born-of-righteous-anger wrong. But only up to a point. Mrs Foster held a banner describing St Patrick’s as a “crime scene” at a protest gathering this week. That was beneath her. The Cathedral is a haven for Catholic everyman and everywoman; a place of inspiration, desperation, refuge, connection, healing and grace. Disgraced priests of yesteryear do not constitute the Church and do not encapsulate the spirituality of a people or a place. Nor is there any merit in Mrs Foster’s plea for lawyers to banish from their culture the enlightening Christian wisdom expressed to them at the Red Mass. The world has seen that bifurcation before. It ends in the jurisprudential enthronement of man himself and the Reign of Terror. From cathedras and benches both, let us prefer instead the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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71 Responses to On Her Red Mass Polemic: A Response to Mrs Foster

  1. Mique

    Bravo. Notwithstanding the noisy media applause for her statements, the validity of Mrs Foster’s arguments is neither established nor enhanced by the horror of her children’s experience. Neither she nor the media can be excused of their own blatant bigotry. The laws are a dead letter.

  2. Roger

    Judiciously written, CL.

  3. Lee

    Proportionately, however, ministers and personnel of the Uniting Church (including its antecedents) were easily the worst offenders in this criminal category.

    The Uniting Church is probably the most left wing church in Australia.

  4. FelixKruell

    I agree with most of that.

    But I have no issue with the law itself – it’s unlikely to be used, but in theory the same disclosure requirements that apply to others (like teachers and lawyers and doctors) should apply to priests. The church has lost its legal and moral right to supersede secular laws when in conflict with religious laws.

  5. Entropy

    Why the heck would anyone support a law “ that is unlikely to be used”?
    There is far too much of that shit already.

  6. Roger

    The church has lost its legal and moral right to supersede secular laws when in conflict with religious laws.

    Do you mean to say that the state has the right to dictate doctrine and practice to churches?

  7. Tim Neilson

    Why the heck would anyone support a law “ that is unlikely to be used”?
    There is far too much of that shit already.

    Absolutely.

    It’s all part of bureaucratic totalitarianism.

    Just create a situation where there are so many regulations that everyone is guilty of something, justify the most obviously oppressive or impractical laws with “don’t worry, we’ll only enforce them in serious cases”, then dissenters can be crushed at will with a veneer of the rule of law.

  8. FelixKruell

    Entropy:

    Why the heck would anyone support a law “ that is unlikely to be used”?
    There is far too much of that shit already.

    Support it, yes. Advocate for it to be introduced, no.

  9. FelixKruell

    Roger:

    Do you mean to say that the state has the right to dictate doctrine and practice to churches?

    No, the state just has the right to enforce secular law, even if it offends the doctrine and practice of churches.

  10. pete m

    Roger, our laws are above sharia law, traditional law and catholic law.

  11. Old Lefty

    Mostly spot on, but you are too kind to the Gillard-McClellan royal commission. The former priest who swore the affidavit that he had confessed 1500 times and only ever been told to go home and pray is still alive. Why wasn’t he questioned before they used his ludicrously implausible account to buttress their shockingly flippant recommendation to outlaw the seal of confession? The answer is obvious: putting him on the stand might have undermined there ideologically preconceived plan.

    Second, Foster’s use of the alleged statistics from the RC is, like the R C itself, downright dishonest. Buried in the RC recommendations is the observation that we still lack a rigorous empirical study of the historical incidence of abuse cases, and that the government should think about funding one. As Gerard Henderson asked, is that what we get for five years and two billion dollars? Why didn’t they commission it themselves? Again, I can only surmise that some solid empirical statistics might have got in the way of their ideological hit job. The John Jay study in the US estimated clergy abuse as 0.42 per cent of the total, and found, as other US studies did, that public schools were worse (as did Justice Wood in NSW, whose report has been flushed down the memory hole).

    And I’m getting sick of Foster for other reasons. I am happy to be corrected, but she has never to my knowledge expressed the slightest interest or concer for the victims in government schools and institutions (just Google Robert Leonard Morris , Vincent Reynolds and Cromer High); nor of course does the ABC, and McClellan’s lack of interest in them was a scandal.

  12. Boambee John

    Lee at 1923

    The Uniting Church is probably the most left wing church in Australia.

    Indeed. And which political party in Australia has produced the most politicians convicted of child s3xual assault? Hint, neither Liberal nor National.

  13. jupes

    Excellent article C.L.

    In my eyes, you are fast becoming one of the best writers in the country.

  14. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    I really can’t understand how anyone maintains any association with the Catholic Church. But I don’t care that they do.
    I do think it should have no public funding for schools and preferably lose any right to operate schools.
    The argument above is about cover up.

  15. Suburban Boy

    Felix, lawyers are not required to report suspicions of child abuse.

    Further, any confession of child abuse they receive while advising a client cannot be passed on to anyone. Just as was the case with priests until the other day.

  16. Mique

    The law will never be enforced, unless there is a drastic revision of Church policy. This current Pope is more likely than not to fall in line, because he’s an idiot but, if he does, paedophiles will no longer confess if they ever have. Two prominent Catholic priests, Gerard Brennan and the Archbishop of Sydney have both declared that they had never heard such a confession in their many years in the priesthood. The Elderly White Man needs a sense of proportion transplant, if he cannot recognise that whatever bad things have been done by the RC Church or by individuals under its name, they pale into insignificance when compared with the good.

  17. Old Lefty

    And journalists still have their precious right to protect their sources. The ABC is still concealing the identities of Richard Neville’s p3d3rast mates from 2975, not to mention Bill Hurrey’s accomplices in the ‘parties’ at the ABC studios in Toowong, the Jon Stephens case, etc, etc.

  18. Old Lefty

    And what does Elderly White Male have to say about Justice Wood’s report or the Teachers’ Pet series? On his logic, they would be grounds for shutting down state schools. Hence, of course, the ABC and Fairfax never report on them.

  19. Peter O'Brien

    Regarding McArdle, why would he routinely confess to sexual abuse other than to obtain forgiveness? But as a priest he would have known that Catholic doctrine is that in order to obtain forgiveness he would have had to genuinely repent. It is God from whom forgiveness comes, not the priest who is merely the conduit. McArdle clearly did not repent so he could not have been forgiven by God. He would have known this. So his story does not make sense. He would be committing the sin of presumption. The absolution conferred by the priest would be meaningless.

  20. FelixKruell

    Suburban:

    Felix, lawyers are not required to report suspicions of child abuse.

    I believe they are required to report confessions of child abuse, if future harm is on the cards. And breach client confidentiality if necessary. But happy to be corrected.

  21. Up The Workers!

    Regardless of the religious or political backgrounds of the perpetrator, if an adult commits an act of child abuse, they deserve exposure; an appropriate level of punishment and the utter disgust of all decent people.

    I cannot help wondering though, how the statistics of identified child abuse would have been materially skewed if Julia Gillard had not nobbled the Royal Commission into Institutional Child abuse, by exempting her own Party from the terms of reference (home to such notables as Milton “The Molester” Orkopoulos, Keith Wright, Bill D’Arcy, Terry Martin, Bob Collins and Bull Shitten, amongst others) as well as her favourite Musbyterian “religion” which allows for marriage and sex with minors as a “religiously approved” thing.

    The whole disgraceful episode was merely an extension of Dodgy Dan’s “Get Pell Squad” activities to vilify the Catholic Church.

  22. dover_beach

    Very well put, C.L.

  23. jupes

    Tomorrow’s date is 02 02 2020.

    Confucius say palindromic date is sign of end of times. Spooky.

  24. notafan

    Bravo CL.

    I agree wholeheartedly that those few priests are not the Church.

    As for McArdle.

    He would say that.

  25. Cui Bono

    Anything that helps lawyers learn truth and justice gotta be a good thing.

  26. BorisG,

    whatever bad things have been done by the RC Church or by individuals under its name, they pale into insignificance when compared with the good.

    This is like suggesting that a person who did a lot of good (say a war hero) should not be punished for child sexual abuse, or any other serious crime, for that matter. Sorry it does not work that way.

  27. BorisG,

    McArdle clearly did not repent s

    Maybe in his own eyes he did. And then sinned again? That’s not unusual.

  28. BorisG,

    I am conflicted on the substance of this. On one hand, everyone should be equal before the law. On the other hand, as many said, the result will probably be that abusers will never confess to a priest. In all likelihood, if they did confess and there wasn’t such a law, the priest will look for means to persuade the perpetrator to go to police etc. the possibility is effectively removed by new law. Which may do more harm than good to sexual abuse victims.

  29. BorisG,

    I believe they are required to report confessions of child abuse, if future harm is on the cards.

    Yes if imminent.

  30. Up The Workers!

    To BorisG at 4.48am:

    “This is like suggesting that a person who did a lot of good (say a war hero) should not be punished for child sexual abuse, or any other serious crime, for that matter. Sorry it does not work that way.”

    Or alternatively, a former bulbous-headed, Union-goon Federal Parliamentary Leader of the A.L.P., perchance?

  31. Crossie

    Suburban Boy
    #3309942, posted on February 1, 2020 at 9:35 pm
    Felix, lawyers are not required to report suspicions of child abuse.

    Further, any confession of child abuse they receive while advising a client cannot be passed on to anyone. Just as was the case with priests until the other day.

    ————-

    Good to know that lawyers are the new clergy.

  32. Entropy

    This is like suggesting that a person who did a lot of good (say a war hero) should not be punished for child sexual abuse, or any other serious crime, for that matter. Sorry it does not work that way.

    The people doing good are also the rock spiders? Really.

  33. dover_beach

    whatever bad things have been done by the RC Church or by individuals under its name, they pale into insignificance when compared with the good.

    This is like suggesting that a person who did a lot of good (say a war hero) should not be punished for child sexual abuse, or any other serious crime, for that matter. Sorry it does not work that way.

    Very poor analogy. But it does suggest that the motive of this change in the law is to punish the Church, not protect the innocent.

  34. Iampeter

    We have already dealt with one of the new year’s most disgraceful examples: feminists wanting Bettina Arndt “stripped” of her Order of Australia. On Thursday I discussed how other leftists want Margaret Court’s name “stripped” from the tennis arena named in her honour.

    Yea, if only they were Christians making bogus complaints about religious discrimination and dragging their employers to FWA. Then you’d be saying the exact opposite and gleefully engaging in vilification of anybody who isn’t favored by the noisy and histrionic mobs you arbitrarily support.
    Sorry CL, but neither you nor most Cat posters have a shred of credibility on these kinds of issues as you routinely engage in the most shameless leftist identity politics when it suits you.
    You even do it in this very post of yours which has no business on what is meant to be a capitalist, right wing blog.

    I dealt with these hateful laws in November.

    If by “dealt with” you mean completely ignored the fact that you support laws exactly like this as we saw with Folau, for example, and therefore your post makes no sense whatsoever.

    From cathedras and benches both, let us prefer instead the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    If you preferred the truth you wouldn’t be supporting any religious organization for that reason alone.

  35. min

    Unless new information has been gained on what was called sexual deviancy, when I trained in treatment of the condition we were taught based on research that nothing would change the behaviour. They have a high rate of recidivism and one thing all have in common no empathy and the belief what they did was not wrong,. Therefore highly unlikely that a pedophile would confess.
    Research was done in prison system in America where there was mandatory reporting. Demographics of the perpetrators would be interesting . However what Dr Joseph Lo piccolo who conducted the research told us was that perpetrators put themselves in positions of trust with access to victims such as church, schools children’s sport groups etc but then again I still contend that most happened within family environment . surely this was known when the guidelines for the RC were set.

  36. BorisG,

    Very poor analogy. But it does suggest that the motive of this change in the law is to punish the Church, not protect the innocent.

    I did not draft the law and do not support it (as detailed above). However the question was raised by church supporters that church should be left alone as it its failures pale in comparison with lots of good it has done.

    I don’t know if church as such should be punished but I can completely understand if people condemn the church for its failings, especially the coverups,

  37. Lee

    I really can’t understand how anyone maintains any association with the Catholic Church. But I don’t care that they do.
    I do think it should have no public funding for schools and preferably lose any right to operate schools.
    The argument above is about cover up.

    Even the RC found that the incidence rate of these crimes was actually higher (percentage-wise) in a number of other denominations.
    How good a job those churches must have done of “covering” it up?
    This is more about anti-Catholic bigotry.
    And I am neither a Catholic, nor a church-goer.

  38. anonymous

    Perhaps Mrs Forster s continued outrage against the Catholic church stops her from looking into her own heart and asking herself the real question ” Did I fail to protect my daughters?’

  39. Roger

    Roger, our laws are above sharia law, traditional law and catholic law.

    But they are not above God’s law.

    In the event of a clash the church must resort to civil disobedience or defile its conscience and betray its cause.

    An example: a turning point in the Protestant church’s struggle with Nazism was the imposition of the Aryan Paragraph into church statutes in 1933. This required the churches to treat ethnic J3ws who had converted to Christianity as J3ws & not Christians. This contradicted Christian doctrine, which teaches that in Christ – through baptism – there is neither J3w nor Gentile, but a new creation. Thereafter, the likes of Niemoller, Barth, Bonhoeffer split from the compromised ‘German Christians’ and defied the Nazis.

  40. Roger

    Roger, our laws are above sharia law, traditional law and catholic law.

    But they are not above God’s law.

    In the event of a clash the church must resort to civil disobedience or defile its conscience and betray its cause.

    A large paragraph I wrote about the Protestant church struggle from 1933 against N a z i racial policy which contradicted Christian doctrine has gone into the spaminator, so I’ll simply refer you to the story of the Confessing Church.

  41. Iampeter

    But it does suggest that the motive of this change in the law is to punish the Church, not protect the innocent.

    Why would a state that let the Church get away with, according to it’s own RC, thousands of cases of abuses, together with thousands of perpetrators, suddenly be seeking to punish the Church?

    How good a job those churches must have done of “covering” it up?

    About as good as everything else they covered up, I imagine.

    But they are not above God’s law.
    In the event of a clash the church must resort to civil disobedience or defile its conscience and betray its cause.

    If you honestly believed that then you would already be flying planes into skyscrapers.
    Even in our mixed economy, semi-liberal society, our laws are as in conflict as they can be with “God’s law.”
    I would also expect that readers of Australia’s Leading Right Wing site would also be advocating for even more capitalism, which means more respect for reason and for individualism, which means moving even further away from any religious laws.

  42. Gyro Cadiz

    Excellent piece of work, CL.

    Thank you.

    I see that it has also brought out the Christophobic bigots, which is entertaining.

  43. feelthebern

    State school teachers have fvcked more kid than all the religious combined.
    I support the above arguments for shutting down the state schools.

  44. feelthebern

    Norm Macdonald on teachers fvcking more kids than priests.

  45. Gyro Cadiz

    whatever bad things have been done by the RC Church or by individuals under its name, they pale into insignificance when compared with the good.

    Of course: anyone can be redeemed by true repentance, payment of the price for the acts committed, and this includes good works. St Moses the Black was a bandit (a thief, probably worse), perhaps you might read his story.

    BG:

    This is like suggesting that a person who did a lot of good (say a war hero) should not be punished for child sexual abuse, or any other serious crime, for that matter. Sorry it does not work that way.

    This comment is asinine and logically incorrect, and it’s the purest driven Stalinist evil. Only in an evil framework does it “not work that way”.

    For this is the doctrine of collective guilt. According to you, 100% of the good done over the last 2,000 years by billions of Catholics is rendered worthless by one person’s sin or crime irrespective of when the sin or crime was committed.

    Wow, you must REALLY hate Muslims then…..

    Mr G, if you believe that the crimes of your groups are also yours, you can only be a monster deserving of immediate execution. In fact, you are saying that so is every human being, even a newborn babe.

    You merely re-state: “Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.” – Lavrentiy Beria. That’s evil.

    As a thought-experiment, let us hypothesise that you are named ‘Boris Godunov’ and are of Russian ethnicity. Under your doctrine, YOU are responsible for and guilty of the Katyn Wood massacre and millions of murders in the gulags and under the evil reign of two of history’s worst mass-murderers, Lenin and Stalin. You’re a blood-soaked soulless mass murderer…

    …not.

    In fact you personally bear zero responsibility for these crimes against humanity. You did not do them, you were not even alive, and that fact that they were done by fellow Russians (remember in this thought experiment you are assumed to be ethnic Russian) has nothing to do with you.

    What you have done is reveal yourself to be a bigot, though, and a pretty dumb one who is trying very stupidly to score the cheapest of points..

  46. Kneel

    “Roger, our laws are above sharia law, traditional law and catholic law.”

    Well then, when mooselimbs are regularly punished for contempt of court for refusing to stand as the judge enters, I may reconsider.

    But even then, I won’t support it because doctors, lawyers and priests all require full knowledge of your actual circumstances to correctly do their job – doctors to look after your physical health, lawyers to provide the best legal defense they can, and priests to tend to your immortal soul. Each one swears an oath to do as best they can for you in their chosen profession, without fear or favour. Nor does it matter if you believe in an immortal soul, as a significant proportion of the population does believe it. None of those should ever be compelled to report illegal activity. Any that does should be stripped of their right to practice their profession and charged with perjury (that is: lying under oath).

  47. Kneel

    “If you honestly believed that then you would already be flying planes into skyscrapers.:
    As a Christian, never. As a mooselimb, certainly.

    “…which means moving even further away from any religious laws.”
    OK, better start at the top then – murder, IIRC.

  48. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Lee: percentages sound fine if you ignore the scale. The Catholic numbers are by far the largest. The problem was systemic and the coverup persisted to the last inch.
    Old Lefty: State schools are subject to accountability. If there was ever an instance where teachers were abusing kids then we expect immediate action. Catholic schools have no accountability but the Church, which covers up abuse.
    This is not a religious issue. It is an organisation issue. If another business took public funds to provide services to kids and was found to have routinely allowed abuse, took no action and played hard ball with families over the incidents, we would have shut them down.
    Catholics rely on religion to exempt their business from community obligations and the law. The people behind all this are not Christians. They are creeps.

  49. Lee

    Lee: percentages sound fine if you ignore the scale. The Catholic numbers are by far the largest. The problem was systemic and the coverup persisted to the last inch.

    You can’t ignore scale, but do you really think that, say, if 3 in 1000 Catholic priests are molesters, but that 2 in 500 priests of the “True Believer’s” church is better?

    Why is it only the Catholic church singled out?

    As others have said, the rates of molestation, and actual numbers in other institutes and churches is much worse (and even worse, ongoing – whereas the Catholic crimes are historic despite your insinuations), but nobody in authority (and most of the public) wants to know anything about them.

    Catholics rely on religion to exempt their business from community obligations and the law. The people behind all this are not Christians. They are creeps.

    What an incredibly bigoted and libellous statement about the vast majority of decent Catholics.

    Apart from cases of molestation – which are truly evil – cite examples of Catholics “exempt[ing] their business from community obligations and the law.”

  50. Cassie of Sydney

    “anonymous
    #3310500, posted on February 2, 2020 at 12:47 pm
    Perhaps Mrs Forster s continued outrage against the Catholic church stops her from looking into her own heart and asking herself the real question ” Did I fail to protect my daughters?’”

    Hear hear…..I think there is a lot of guilt there on the part of Mrs Foster.

  51. Roger

    If you honestly believed that then you would already be flying planes into skyscrapers.

    Thou shalt not murder.

  52. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Lee: I was talking about victim numbers, not % of monks. And on the “Catholics” remark I was only talking about child abuse. That’s the point.
    It’s an appalling scandal and the Catholic institution still gets to run schools with huge amounts of public funds.

  53. Roger

    It’s an appalling scandal and the Catholic institution still gets to run schools with huge amounts of public funds.

    I’d aver that’s not as dangerous to our society as allowing the Marxist teachers’ unions to run schools with huge amounts of public funds.

  54. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Roger: “not as dangerous”? You mean child sexual abuse is not as bad as having a shit teacher?

  55. Iampeter

    State school teachers have fvcked more kid than all the religious combined.
    I support the above arguments for shutting down the state schools.

    But not the Catholic Church?

  56. Iampeter

    “If you honestly believed that then you would already be flying planes into skyscrapers.:
    As a Christian, never. As a mooselimb, certainly.

    That’s because as a Christian you don’t take religion seriously these days.
    Thanks god for that…

    “…which means moving even further away from any religious laws.”
    OK, better start at the top then – murder, IIRC.

    You don’t recall correctly and this is another example of the non-serious nature of Christian religiosity.
    In our society murder is illegal because it’s a rights violation.
    According to religious laws, murder is routinely used, not only for genocidal slaughters, but also for transgressions such as worshiping idols, or refusing to follow arbitrary commandments from authority, or turning away from god, etc, etc.
    There’s no freedom of speech, no freedom of religion, no freedom of any kind, and murder is the punishment for violations.

    So, like I said, religious laws have nothing to do with the laws of our civilization. Quite the opposite in fact.

    Thou shalt not murder.

    Oh yes thou shalt. See above.

  57. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    And ion this morning’s news:

    Sex-offence allegations against 21 Jesuit priests and lay staff have been unearthed in an independent review into the society’s ­duplicitous handling of serial pedophile and former brother Victor Higgs.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/review-unearths-years-of-sex-abuse-by-jesuits-priests/news-story/b7500a93e102bc257627adc48ce5323d

  58. Tim Neilson

    That’s because as a Christian you don’t take religion seriously these days.

    Bullshit.

    Come on you dissembling sack of shit – explain why any Christian would be justified in committing murder.

  59. Tim Neilson

    You don’t recall correctly and this is another example of the non-serious nature of Christian religiosity.
    In our society murder is illegal because it’s a rights violation.

    Bullshit you dissembling sack of shit.

    Murder is illegal as a consequence of the common law, and has been well before any libertarian ideas came into existence.

  60. Tim Neilson

    You don’t recall correctly and this is another example of the non-serious nature of Christian religiosity.

    According to religious laws, murder is routinely used, not only for genocidal slaughters, but also for transgressions such as worshiping idols, or refusing to follow arbitrary commandments from authority, or turning away from god, etc, etc.

    Poor old conceited stupid ignorant Iamashiteater – too stupid to distinguish between his own generalisation about “religious laws” and the specifics of Christianity (about which he is of course totally ignorant).

    What a pathetically risible intellectual failure he is.

  61. bespoke

    C.L.

    Iv been reading your opinion on this topic for years and as a victim it must have contributed to my conclusion that it is justice not revenge that is needed. Thank you sincerely.

  62. C.L.

    No, thank you, bespoke. That means a lot to me.

  63. Old Lefty

    Just a footnote to min’s post yesterday on what she was taught. As I understand it, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the psychiatrists’ ‘bible’) was for much of the 60s and early seventies under the influence of Freud, the Kinseys (those repulsive intellectual frauds) and RD Laing, and basically said this stuff was no big deal for perpetrators or victims – which Deakins also said about his own school experience until he saw an opportunity to bash the clergy). Hence the radical chic surrounding this type of transgressivity – which definitely reached Australia with Mr Neville and the ABC, and with others such as Dowsett of Latrobe. Get hold of Alan Lansdown’s documentation of the left’s support for p3d0 activity in Quadrant, September 1984; all that, if course, has been flushed down the PC memory hole.

  64. dover_beach

    Lee: percentages sound fine if you ignore the scale. The Catholic numbers are by far the largest. The problem was systemic and the coverup persisted to the last inch.

    The Catholics numbers are the largest only because they provide the largest service, so the percentages tell us the real story, not the absolute numbers. As for the cover-up, was their any difference between it and the other institutions, and as for the last comment, that is clearly false because it was the first institutional to address the problem of child abuse out of any public or private insitution.

  65. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Dover: when you say “provide the largest service” do you mean to say that child sexual abuse is a service? I don’t imagine so. The numbers of kids abused by the Catholic system are by far the largest and are still being revealed. The cover up has never really stopped.
    When you “addressed” the pr0blem, you clearly don’t mean stopped the abuse. You mean they set up a means of silencing complainants.

  66. Kneel

    “You don’t recall correctly and this is another example of the non-serious nature of Christian religiosity.
    In our society murder is illegal because it’s a rights violation.”

    First commandment is: Thou shalt not kill. So I think I remembered correctly.
    If you would like to suggest that there are some religious based laws that are “wrong”, say, blasphemy, while others like not knocking off your neighbour because he farts too much, are OK, then fine.
    You are seriously deluded if you think our laws are NOT based christian principles – check history. At one time, blasphemy was illegal, divorce was nearly unheard of except for very particular circumstances and so on.

    And if you wish to continue pushing “rights”, then start talking about “duties” as well – I might have the “right” to government support when I am unemployed, but I have a duty to try and find work and not bludge off of taxpayers. The focus on “rights” and the complete disregard for duties is why the place is such a mess – politicians are the worst in this respect!

  67. Iampeter

    First commandment is: Thou shalt not kill. So I think I remembered correctly.

    No, the first commandment is something like “I am your lord god.” It’s the assertion of authority from a supernatural dictator. Thou shall not kill comes much later, but like all commandments, it is arbitrary and with no context, so is not the basis for our laws against murder. It’s also contradicted by the routine commands to kill as already explained.
    So no, you did not remember correctly and it’s not clear what point you’re trying to make.

    If you would like to suggest that there are some religious based laws that are “wrong”, say, blasphemy, while others like not knocking off your neighbour because he farts too much, are OK, then fine.

    All religious laws are wrong because they are arbitrary and irrational. They are not really even “laws” in the proper sense. They only modern equivalents that they are the basis for are murderous dictatorships.

    You are seriously deluded if you think our laws are NOT based christian principles – check history. At one time, blasphemy was illegal, divorce was nearly unheard of except for very particular circumstances and so on.

    Yea…those were Christian dictatorships which are not the basis for our laws.

    And if you wish to continue pushing “rights”, then start talking about “duties” as well

    Rights don’t have anything to do with duties, you very confused leftist and authoritarian.

    The focus on “rights” and the complete disregard for duties is why the place is such a mess – politicians are the worst in this respect!

    It’s the exact other way around. Forcing duties on everyone in violation of their rights is what leads to all the messes in the world.

    I have no idea why so many clueless leftists, authoritarians, historical and political illiterates, all spend so much time on Australia’s Leading Right Wing Blog.

    But you are certainly very entertaining.

    I recommend you check out VoxDay. Or InfoWars. That’s more what you’re looking for.

  68. Kneel

    “All religious laws are wrong because they are arbitrary and irrational.”

    “…is illegal because it’s a rights violation.”

    OK, so you are a full-on secularist.
    And your “rights” come from.. where?
    Quote the US constitution perhaps? “… God given rights…”. Gak! It mentions God, can’t be THAT!
    So, must come from men, then.
    So, all your “rights” come from some authoritarian deciding what is good and proper and there is and can be no argument. And that’s significantly different from claim against religious laws being “arbitrary and irrational” how exactly? Because of who says it?
    And if “rights” come from men, not God, then what is wrong with suggesting that duties are a prerequisite for certain rights, if that’s what I want to do?
    How is it leftist to say “something for something, nothing for nothing”? Because you are saying the reverse – that your “rights” are unconditional; you get something for nothing.

  69. Iampeter

    OK, so you are a full-on secularist.

    It’s not about being secular, it’s about being rational. Having thinking skills. This in turn will lead you to secularity, but that’s not the fundamental.

    And your “rights” come from.. where?

    Comments like this mean you don’t know what rights are which is a show stopping problem for discussing politics.
    Rights “come from” the same place “your” arithmetic comes from. Or your thermodynamics. Or your insert-any-concept-here.
    Rights are a concept. Specifically an ethical concept that serves as a bridge between ethics and politics. They are the principle that individuals need to be free from coercion in order to think and act in a social context.
    You figure this all out just like you do any other concept by applying your mind to dealing with reality. This is called reasoning.
    In short, there’s a whole science to the subject of politics that you should actually look into learning a bit about if you’re actually interested in it instead of just trying to virtue signal the pretence of knowledgeability like everyone else.

    Quote the US constitution perhaps? “… God given rights…”.

    There is no such quote in the US Constitution. The word “god” doesn’t appear in any founding document. Neither does “Christianity” or “Christ” or anything of the sort btw.
    I think you mean The Declaration, but that also has no such quote.
    The Declaration mentions “creator” which is the deistic term for nature, not the supernatural dictator that cares about human affairs.
    In any case, appealing to the authority of the Founders, who also weren’t able to rationally explain rights despite coming damn close, is not an argument.

    And if “rights” come from men, not God, then what is wrong with suggesting that duties are a prerequisite for certain rights, if that’s what I want to do?

    Saying rights come from god is the same thing as saying rights come from men. Or the state.
    You’re appealing to authority and don’t understand the actual concept of rights.

    Btw I don’t say this to pick on you.
    Most professional political commentators are this uninformed on this subject. Least of all conservatives, which is why I’m so derisive of them.
    This is also why I consider politics to be an even more dead science than economics.

  70. Kneel

    “Rights are a concept.”
    A human concept, no doubt. With all the concomitant caveats, misunderstandings etc. Righto.

    “Saying rights come from god…”
    I didn’t say that.

    “I think you mean The Declaration [of Independence]…”
    Ah yes, quite so. Not an exact quote to be sure, but I believe an accurate interpretation of the meaning at the time – would anyone say “evolution endowed me with inalienable rights”?

    “Saying rights come from god is the same thing as saying rights come from men. Or the state.”
    No, it’s not.
    If rights come from God, they are perpetual and fixed. If they come from man (“the state”, “reason”) then they are malleable and subject to the fickles of the day.

    “You’re appealing to authority…”
    By questioning the status quo and your, umm, “position”, such as it can be inferred, on rights?
    Making you defend your position and pointing out alternative explanations is an appeal to authority? Could you be more wrong? (not a request – I feel confident you actually can be, you’ve already demonstrated your tenuous grasp of logic & reality multiple times)

    “…why I consider politics to be an even more dead science…”
    Politics was never a science, any more than “interpretive dance” is a science. Yeah, it’s the moniker given to those who attempt to influence representatives and voters with their own cleverness, but it’s not, and never will be, “science”.

    BTW, it is customary to capitalise the first letter of the word “God” as well as the first letter of pronouns referring to Him. That’s not a religious thing, it’s a grammatical thing.

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