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CD Richards

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RE: We Always Said Merry Christmas
Reply on December 3, 2017 04:15 PM << Modifed December 3 at 4:34PM >>
Hi Ingrid,

To answer your question, no I was never personally sexually abused by clergy, nor was anyone I know - to the best of my knowledge.

I was, however, physically and mentally mistreated by a person in a similar position of trust and authority (a school teacher) as a boy around ten. I think the feelings of outrage and despair such abuse creates in the individual are similar, whether the violence is of a sexual nature or not, and the most alarming aspect from my point of view is the feeling of helplessness it creates. When I was at school, I saw things done to boys that would without question land the perpetrators in gaol today - and no, I don't mean just a regular strapping or caning.

In my mind, however, given the extraordinary claims of religious institutions, the abuse is so much worse when it comes from them than say, for example, a public school.


Whether it has anything to do with being beaten up by a teacher as a prepubescent boy or not, I seem to have developed what some probably see as an unreasonable sense of outrage at the abuse of the powerless by the powerful. And it's by no means limited to abuse of the human species, as many will know.

So, thanks for asking :)



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RE: We Always Said Merry Christmas
Reply on December 3, 2017 04:28 PM << Modifed December 3 at 5:58PM >>

I did understand your point, CD, and we can see that quite clearly...the past is full of abuse by religious leaders in any denomination one wants to mention...that's why I prefer to speak concerning individuals ...I do believe most organizations of a religious nature, would be against such heinous behavior but once we think about it..its the individuals that want to cover it up...You see I respect the religious traditions that I know about...and in the same breath I can say, in my own congregation two members was recently disfellowshipped because of their extra marital relationship...both members are gone.

Perfection is not possible...and as long as I know there are decent people, here, there, and everywhere I can be content..

Just Some Thoughts1


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RE: We Always Said Merry Christmas
Reply on December 3, 2017 05:38 PM
We're talking hypocrisy and abuse of power. It's impossible to extricate religion from this discussion because it is central to the Judge Moore dilemma.

Washington Post article

"As he fights to save his candidacy, Moore has sought to demonstrate that his religious base is sticking with him. His campaign this week published a list of more than 50 Alabama pastors who still support him. Several ministers on the list have said that they were not asked for permission to use their names, but many confirmed that they still back Moore.

"The Bible definitely explains that people ought to choose men of upstanding character," said Terry Batton, who heads Christian Renewal and Development Ministries in Georgetown, Ga., but who has long been active in Alabama politics, running tea party groups there and supporting Moore's campaigns. "With Roy Moore, if he's guilty of what they're talking about, the question is, has he repented of that? If he has, it should be forgotten."

If Moore is guilty and he vehemently denies having even so much as met these women ever in his entire life, let alone sexually molested them, then he hasn't repented at all has he. He plans to sit in judgement over people with his position in the senate.

I think most people are about forgiveness, but it's impossible with what is going on with the far-right Evangelicals and their support of Moore.

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RE: We Always Said Merry Christmas
Reply on December 3, 2017 06:30 PM


It may not be possible for you, gloria, but it is most certainly possible for me...not for one moment do I believe moore cares who supports him, if it was the devil, he'd agree with that train of thought...those religious leaders stand alone in the religious community...so of course he would prefer agreeing with those that will vote for him.

It seems that the media doesn't speak to the many religious leaders that do not wish to vote for moore...that do not respect him as a human being, nor consider him in positive light...

One of the main concerns his followers do not believe in, is the right to have an abortion...and as long as he goes along with that he will have their support...
moore has a past, filled with bias, self interest and I believe he did abuse those woman...

Just as people will always stick by trump, so they will for moore...in my mind it has little to do with religion, but more to do with the prejudices people have for others...no one forces anyone to have an abortion, and yet that's one of the main concerns the evangelical groups have...also...there are concerns under discussion in recent times, about the idea of the the separation of church and state...and the money that these groups are keeping...it would be a good thing for those groups to have someone in the congress that would speak up for their interests...should the need become clear...if one would research moore's history it certainly doesn't show him to be a man so concerned with how he treats people, and what rights he would like to be eliminated... in my mind he's a phony, no different than so many other politicians.

Just Some Thoughts!




CD Richards

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RE: We Always Said Merry Christmas
Reply on December 3, 2017 07:01 PM << Modifed December 3 at 7:04PM >>
It has long been the case that for mainstream denominations where sexual abuse is rife, they seem to take the attitude that it's a matter for God to deal with, and if they don't actually go so far as saying it, many make it obvious by their disdain for what everyone else says that they think the secular world should just butt out. The arrogance and contempt for the legal system and the victims which clergy in this country have shown demonstrates they think they are above the law.

Unfortunately for them, they are no longer in a position to threaten the rest of the world with dire consequences if they don't do as they are told, and secular society is now of the opinion that these people have to answer to other mere mortals for their actions.

The good pastor to whom Gloria refers seems to adopt this attitude. Hopefully he, along with Moore, will be told in no uncertain terms to go to hell. And kudos to the seemingly few clerics who have actually had the guts to stand up and say as much.

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RE: We Always Said Merry Christmas
Reply on December 3, 2017 07:43 PM



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RE: We Always Said Merry Christmas
Reply on December 3, 2017 07:44 PM
Craig, Survivors often develop the outrage--one I am totally familar with. Let me say...there is no competition with the level and nature of abuse...none. Pain and suppressed rage tends to build up on our scar tissue. The more we see others suffer, the more likely we are to go into warrior mode. If only someone would have listened or cared...way back then.

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RE: We Always Said Merry Christmas
Reply on December 4, 2017 12:33 PM


What exactly is abuse...is it only sexual? or is that the only kind of abuse we are speaking about here...I know of situations where children were exposed to abuse having nothing to so with sex...all abuse is serious, all have results , some lasting a long time...

I've seen it in schools, in families, and yes, in religious areas...on the other hand what one sees, at least to me, has something to do with one's own perception of what life is all about...it can make one overly careful, as to what kind of person they really want to be...I've seen students react fearfully when they see abusive behavior...and becoming afraid to show their true feeling...not everyone can intervene, or takes sides...and I'm not surprised by that...

Verbal abuse can be just as effective as sexual abuse in that it takes away the person's ability to protect themselves...both physically and mentally...I can remember wishing my mother would take the strap to me, instead of giving me a lecture..I didn't like being scolded...words can hurt terribly...even when they are deserved.

I don't believe we can overlook the sexual abuse of churches, and religious organizations...If they want to take their cases to their God...fine!...but they also have a responsibility to obey secular laws...priests, ministers, elders, and every other religious leader in any church setting, if found guilty, should to go to Jail...its as simple as that...

Just Some Thoughts...


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RE: We Always Said Merry Christmas
Reply on December 4, 2017 03:10 PM
I read somewhere that the Catholic church has kept a record, going back centuries, of abusive priests. Generally, as Craig says, they would be moved on to other parishes, usually after the allegations had been denied, and the victims shamed.

Mostly, people were too afraid to say such a thing about a priest anyway. Anyone daring to speak up would find themselves ostracised. But the church knew. Perhaps (though I don't know) when it comes to Catholic priests, part of the problem is the enforcement of unnatural celibacy having a warping effect, but that doesn't make it, or the responses to it, any less wrong.

I don't think members of religious groups are any more likely to become paedophiles because of their religion, but it is their religion, and their position within it as a member of the clergy which enables them to gain the trust of their victims, and also to place fear, shame and guilt on to the victims. School teachers are also in a similar position. Although things have changed a lot now, I remember a time when teachers were always believed over students, and the teachers would protect their own. A teacher who was inappropriate with students at my school had taught my sister five years before me. He was inappropriately touching students then, and was still doing it when I got there. It continued to be a source of class room talk (creepy Mr Hartley and his wandering hands) through my five years there, but he did not lose his job over it until some ten years after I'd left, and even then he wasn't really fired, as such, just 'let go' and never faced any criminal charges.

This sort of quiet brushing under the carpet of people in positions of authority and trust abusing others in sexual and non-sexual ways wasn't uncommon in a variety of public organisations, including government.

Given that, in my country, the physical and mental abuse (non-sexual) of children was considered part of school life by many, and the wildly inappropriate use of corporal punishment (my husband was slippered because it was his birthday by his games master) continued until as late as 1986, it's no wonder historic abuse cases keep turning up. Though it is generally felt that children aren't disciplined enough these days, in the early part of my youth, children were almost treated as somehow inhuman, requiring the kind of abuse masquerading as 'correction' that one would not dream of visiting upon an adult, resulting in the general view that you could do what you liked to a child and get away with it.

Interestingly enough, corporal punishment was outlawed in prisons over twenty years before it was outlawed for children in schools. So, running in the hallway got an eight year old a punishment that wouldn't be given to a murderer. Go figure.

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RE: We Always Said Merry Christmas
Reply on December 4, 2017 03:15 PM
When required, victims of abuse ban become extremely articulate about the damage inflicted by someone of authority. Yes, I'm sure you saw victims of abuse in your classroom more often than not, but the PERCEPTION of abuse of that era did not encourage any interference in domestic matters. It was a time when women and children were regarded more as chattels than individuals with any personal rights,.

Teachers were not empowered nor legally protected to report cases of abuse. Police took the stand--as did much of the public--that what happens in a MAN'S home is none of anyone's business. I suspect had you intervened, you likely would have lost your job.

Children had no one to turn to outside of the family. Their only choices beyond family was a teacher or pastor. But, we knew--no one would do anything.

Usually, I prefer not to be graphic, here's a single example of abuse including sexual, emotional and physical abuse. Judge for yourself which adjective left a deeper scar.

When I was eleven years old I woke up with my father's fingers in my vagina. I ran to my mother and she blamed me for going to bed without underwear and told me I was a slut. When I tried to talk about it again the next morning, she whipped me to punish me for my filthy mouth.

No, the label doesn't matter unless we are talking about litigation. For victims, particularly children, it's a life-time sentence. Should we sit back, even decades later, and allow these men to represent us in government? I'd wager Alabama will 'forgive' Roy Moore and send him off to the senate. The irony is his stand on pro life issues--yes, as well as his condemnation of the LBGQT communiity. It see,s the folks in Alabama can forgive Moore--those that believe the women--but hold others in contempt. You show 'em Alabama!





   
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