Posts Tagged “sexual assault”
I blogged a short while back about how Scotland’s Roman Catholic Cardinal, Keith O’Brien, had resigned his office in the wake of allegations made against him by four erstwhile seminarians, three of whom are currently priests in good standing. It turns out the allegations were substantial. The BBC reports O’Brien admitted wrongdoing and apologized for it (WebCite cached article):
Cardinal Keith O’Brien has admitted that his sexual conduct has at times “fallen beneath the standards expected of me”.
In a statement, he apologised and asked forgiveness from those he had “offended”.…
The statement issued through the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland read: “In recent days certain allegations which have been made against me have become public. Initially, their anonymous and non-specific nature led me to contest them.
“However, I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.
“To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness. To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologise.
“I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland.”
The cardinal — who initially said he was taking legal advice when the allegations against him were made public — had been due to retire later this month when he turned 75.
Note how O’Brien’s putative “apology” is, in reality, no such thing! It is, rather, an example of the “non-apology apology.”
Consider: He said he’d first disputed the allegations because they were “anonymous and non-specific,” and only acceded once he knew who was behind them and what their details were. Excuse me? Did his guilt somehow, magically, change once the names and details became known? Did he not recognize his own past behavior in the allegations, while they were anonymous? Was he unable to connect the dots between his assaults on seminarians and the merely anonymous and generalized initial reports?
I seriously doubt it worked that way. He had to have known where the allegations came from, and to which events they referred. He must have. Nothing else makes any sense.
Also, O’Brien did not apologize to the seminarians he’d assaulted. Rather, he apologized only “to those I have offended.” Excuse me? How, exactly, is assaulting people merely “offending” them? Why is he equating a physical attack with mere “offense,” such as insulting someone? Seriously, Cardinal … WTF?
Put these together and it’s apparent that O’Brien does not really understand what he did, what he was accused of, or the severity of it all. Despite the appearance of having apologized for it, he’s done no such thing, and I don’t see any evidence that he accepts the reality of what he did.
Which, of course, is typical of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. They accept responsibility for nothing, and never admit guilt. Anything and everything but them is responsible for everything the Church does wrong.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Tags: archdiocese of st andrews and edinburgh
, cardinal keith o'brien
, cardinal o'brien
, catholic church
, keith o'brien
, non-apology apology
, roman catholic
, roman catholic church
, sexual assault
2 Comments »
No sooner had I blogged about a report of a military chaplain declaring that a soldier’s rape is “God’s will” and that she could get over it by worshipping the deity who ordered it to happen to her, I read about an outspoken Religious Rightist giving her (yes, her!) stamp of approval on the sexual assault of CBS reporter Lara Logan during a post-revolution celebration in Cairo (WebCite cached article). Here’s what the ferocious religiofascist Debbie Schlussel had to say about it (cached article):
As I’ve noted before, it bothers me not a lick when mainstream media reporters who keep telling us Muslims and Islam are peaceful get a taste of just how “peaceful” Muslims and Islam really are. In fact, it kinda warms my heart. Still, it’s also a great reminder of just how “civilized” these “people” (or, as I like to call them in Arabic, “Bahai’im” [Animals]) are
To Schlussel, this attack on Logan is acceptable, because of what’s been dished out to her:
Hey, sounds like the threats I get from American Muslims on a regular basis. Now you know what it’s like, Lara.
Of course, death threats that are made but never carried out are a far cry from an actual physical attack. But Schlussel just conflates it all into the same thing and — using “two wrongs make a right” thinking — says it’s great that Logan was attacked.
In an update to her post, Schlussel simultaneously claims moral rectitude and that she never expressed approval of the attack:
The reaction of the left to this article is funny in its predictability. Sooo damn predictable. Of course I don’t support “sexual assault” or violence against Lara Logan, and I said that nowhere here.
Schlussel must be right, you see, because she’s been widely criticized. (In the religious mind, criticism is equated with persecution which in turn is equated with veracity.) She also claims not to have supported sexual assault, but her support for the attack was clearly implied in what she originally wrote, which included (emphasis mine):
… it bothers me not a lick when mainstream media reporters who keep telling us Muslims and Islam are peaceful get a taste of just how “peaceful” Muslims and Islam really are …
Schlussel clearly stated that she was “not bothered” by the attack. Thus, her attempt to backpedal, by saying she never stated that she supports sexual assault, fails miserably.
Way to go, Ms Schlussel. Thank you for displaying your (total lack of) character. Please, by all means … keep it up! I couldn’t possibly ask for any better confirmation of the moral abyss which is the Religious Right.
Hat tip: Romenesko blog.
Photo credit: Village Voice.
, debbie schlussel
, lara logan
, religious right
, sexual assault
, two wrongs make a right
, two wrongs make a right fallacy
1 Comment »
I’ve never quite understood why it is that so many religions have such a hard time accepting that women — who are half the human population — are human beings, too, just like men. It seems rather obvious to me that both women and men are equally human … but hey, what could a cynical, God-hating agnostic heathen possibly know about such important things as institutional misogyny?
I blogged a while ago about how the Roman Catholic Church teaches that pregnant women’s lives are forfeit, and expect their hospitals to comply with this doctrine. But it’s not just the Catholic hierarchy that believes women are lesser beings whose welfare is secondary to theology. In a lawsuit filed over how the Pentagon mishandled sexual harassment, assault, and rape in the military, one story claims that an Army chaplain said something unconscionable to an Army sergeant who had been raped (WebCite cached article):
In February of 2009 SGT Havrilla reported for four weeks of active duty training. During this training, she saw her rapist in the shopette on Fort Leanard Wood. Upon seeing her rapist, SGT Havrilla went into shock. She immediately sought the assistance of the military chaplain. When SGT Havrilla met with the military chaplain, he told her that “it must have been God’s will for her to be raped” and recommended that she attend church more frequently (#46, page 10).
Definitely, that’s what every victim of rape needs — to bow and scrape and worship the vast cosmic deity whose will it had been for her to be raped. Why, of course! It’s the obvious remedy!
Now, I have no idea what the religious affiliation of the chaplain in question is. The military does have non-Christian chaplains. But the odds are, this chaplain was a man, ordained by some Christian denomination. So I’m assuming (at the risk of being wrong, I admit) this denigration of women must be something Jesus taught … right?
Well, I’ve just scoured every Bible I could get my hands on, but have never found “Thou shalt treat women like trash and abuse them as thou wilt” anywhere in it. Maybe one of you Christians out there (I know you read this blog!) can point me in the direction of it.* If you can’t find it, then maybe — just maybe! — it’s time to stop fucking acting as though he did. OK?
Hat tip: Friendly Atheist.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.
* In fact … I dare you to point it out! Please post the chapter and verse in the comments. Thank you.
, donald rumsfeld
, jesus christ
, military chaplain
, military chaplains
, robert gates
, sexual assault
, us army
, us military
4 Comments »
This story is simultaneously shocking — in its scariness — and unsurprising, given how things are in this country. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on this (WebCite cached article):
A district attorney is telling Juneau County schools to abandon their sex education courses, saying a new curriculum law could lead to criminal charges against teachers for contributing to the delinquency of minors.
Starting in the fall, the new law requires schools that have sex education programs to tell students how to use condoms and other contraceptives. Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth said such education encourages sex among children, which is illegal, and could lead to charges against teachers.
The new law “promotes the sexualization – and sexual assault – of our children,” Southworth wrote in a March 24 letter to officials in five school districts. He urged the districts to suspend their sex education programs and transfer their curriculum on anatomy to a science course.
It’s not clear to me how following an explicit state statute can also be a crime that Southworth could prosecute, but I’m not sure that little things like that really matter to him. He’s been brainwashed by the usual Religious Right spew on the matter:
“Forcing our schools to instruct children on how to utilize contraceptives encourages our children to engage in sexual behavior, whether as a victim or an offender,” he wrote. “It is akin to teaching children about alcohol use, then instructing them on how to make mixed alcoholic drinks.”
Southworth claims, rather incredibly, that he’s not motivated by religion:
“If I’d wanted to be ideological, I would have said in the letter you shouldn’t have sex before marriage because that’s the Christian perspective. I’m an evangelical,” Southworth said.
Sorry but this isn’t going to fly. Not with me anyway. When you do something that just happens to coincide with your own religious dogma, you can’t argue you weren’t motivated by that dogma, merely because you didn’t throw in something additional which is also derived from your dogma.
If you want to read his ridiculous letter, I’ve got a copy of it for you to read … in all its sanctimonious, hyperreligious baselessness.
OK, residents of Juneau county who elected this guy your district attorney … what have you got to say for yourselves? And when do you plan to start the process of removing him from office? Or are you going to approve of what Southworth has done, by choosing to do nothing about him?
Hat tip: Religion Dispatches.
, christian right
, evangelical christian
, juneau county
, juneau county WI
, mauston WI
, public school
, public schools
, religious right
, scott harold southworth
, scott southworth
, sex education
, sexual assault
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