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My blood pressure is so high up at this moment. I just read an outrageous article by the AP.

NY priest pleads guilty to raping 3 teenage boys

A Franciscan priest admitted raping 3 boys in the 70s and 80s. BOSTON - A Franciscan priest from New York pleaded guilty to raping three teenage boys during overnight trips to Boston in the 1970s and 1980s and was ordered Tuesday to serve time on probation.

The Rev. Frank Genevieve avoided prison time as a Suffolk Superior Court judge sentenced him to a suspended sentence of eight to 10 years, with five years' probation.

Where is the fucking justice?

I recently read Richard Dawkins :The God Delusion," which has made me rethink some things.

Dawkins questions why we treat questions of religion with such kid gloves. I realize that writing about a rapist priest is picking the low-hanging fruit, but this sentence is just OUTRAGEOUS. I know caps are frowned upon by the literati here. Sorry.

Three rapes of three teenage boys. All had come forward and were willing to testify.  Why such a light sentence?

At first I thought because the statute of limitations had expired, this had an impact on the sentence, but no:

Genevieve was indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury in 2006. Prosecutors said that because Genevieve returned to New York after each visit to Boston, the Massachusetts statute of limitations did not expire.

I can only find the AP story, and I can't find the name of the judge who came up with this abonimation. A district attorney named Conley seemed satisfied with the sentence. Why? Because he won't rile up his Boston Catholic base?

Rape is rape. Rape of minors by trusted adults is especially ugly.

Back to Dawkins: I was raised a Catholic; later evolved into a sort of Taoist idea, without a personal God or God figure of any kind. Dawkins is often asked why he is so "hostile" toward religion. His answers are the usual: cause of much wars and "othering." Cause of Book-sanctioned violence toward children, women, and other religions. But he also hates teaching children to take things that make no sense "on faith." The Three Gods in One of the Holy Trinity, for example (never could quite wrap my head around it).

Here's one that makes no sense to me: a man admits to raping 3 minors and gets a suspended sentence. Should I believe that God works in mysterious ways or that religion has bound our hands when it comes to justice, because politicians are so afraid of angering their constituencies?

If he'd been a Muslim cleric or a black man in Boston court, I doubt they'd have been so lenient. Then again, the Muslim cleric might have gotten the same light treatment somewhere in the Middle East.

I have to say when Obama talks about God it makes me ill.  It's pandering of the worst sort for the worst reasons.  I know he supports giving more money to  faith-based social services  only if "they separate their faith out of their services." But why the hell should we be paying religious organizations to provide services the government should be providing? Either you believe government exists to serve the people, or you go through the backdoor and pay churches and temples and, maybe, mosques (but maybe not too many mosques, and certainly not Wiccans). Because all religions are equal but some are more equal than others.

By george, Barry Goldwater had him some cajones:

On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.
    I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C" and "D." Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism."

Being a conservative in America traditionally has meant that one holds a deep, abiding respect for the Constitution. We conservatives believe sincerely in the integrity of the Constitution. We treasure the freedom that document protects....
    By maintaining the separation of church and state, the United States has avoided the intolerance which has so divided the rest of the world with religious wars. Throughout our two hundred plus years, public policy debate has focused on political and economic issues, on which there can be compromise....
    The great decisions of government cannot be dictated by the concerns of religious factions. This was true in the days of Madison, and it is just as true today. We have succeeded for 205 years in keeping the affairs of state separate from the uncompromising idealism of religious groups and we mustn't stop now. To retreat from that separation would violate the principles of conservatism and the values upon which the framers built this democratic republic.

I am made so sick by this sentence.  Can we get any Democratically elected politician to decry it?

The priest was also ordered to have no contact with the victims, no contact with minors, and to wear a GPS anklet at all times to monitor his whereabouts.

Originally posted to MmeVoltaire on Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 02:19 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Don't forget that one of the roles of the current (4+ / 0-)

    Pope before he became Pope was to PLAY DOWN the importance of the Church's pederasts. Now he is apologizing for it.
    Earlier on, he was against taking the confirmed pederast priests out of contact with church-goers.

  •  Reality Check (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wings Like Eagles

    Picking out random criminals in any field are not a representation of that entire field.

    Hate speech is not acceptable.

  •  I want to live in a world where... (5+ / 0-)

    ...religion didn't exist.

  •  I've retitled diary... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    njgoldfinch

    Don't mean to single out Catholic priests. My anger is directed at the preferential treatment given clerics, and especially clerics of favored religious groups. (In Boston, this would be Catholics; in secttions of Detroit, it would be imams; in parts of New York City, it would be rabbis.)

    •  I think in this case (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tinfoil Hat, snootless, blueoasis

      it was accepted by the victims that to have the priest admit his guilt and to not have to go through a trial was worth the reduced sentence.  I don't know if it was preferential treatment for the priest or a result of the extensive time lapse and the desire of those involved to avoid a trial.  Priests are not the only ones who recieve plea agreements based on admission of guilt.

      •  I considered what you said (3+ / 0-)

        and a relatively short sentence would not have surprised me.

        But no jail time at all for 3 violent crimes against minors still seems appalling. I think the DA could've done better for the boys. Would the priest really have risked a trial and 5 or 10 years in jail over a year or so in jaill?

        No jail time for violent crime, especially against minors, just doesn't seem reasonable to me.

        •  He's now a confirmed sex offender (0+ / 0-)

          and the civil suits can start because he openly admitted it.

          It's not perfect, but there is no perfect justice for rape.  These cases can be difficult to prove after so many years have passed.  Now this guy is permanently prevented from contact with young people, a registered sex offender, and will get therapy and oversight.  

          •  there might be factors (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MmeVoltaire

            there might be factors that would have made conviction unlikely, but unless we are aware of them, that's hypothesizing.

            rape is a criminal offense, not just a civil one.

            that priest deserves to be in jail as well as civil court.  (and i understand you are not necessarily in favor of no jail time.)

            cheers --

  •  Another way to look at this (4+ / 0-)

    I keep wondering why Religion cannot be discussed logically by sane people in this country.  I personally am not an atheist, but I have no belief in the inerrancy of ANY so-called holy book.  I keep wondering why people's lives are made nothing but pure shit throughout the world due to these holy books and yet they can't be put up against historical knowledge and proved to be creations of human beings publicly.  

    I read voraciously about how very human people created the Bible, and why.  It has given me great comfort and helped me foster a more firm belief in the wonders of the universe.  I have lost so much internalized fear from my childhood through real knowledge of how the Religion of my ancestors came about.

    But you don't get to see books about how man created Christianity being discussed on C-SPAN.  Nor does this topic ever come up when discussing equal rights for women or gays.  We do NOT get real information that could set people free, due to the absolute moratorium on discussing the realities of Religion (and lack thereof).  This leads to conversations with people that end abruptly with "well, if you believe the Bible you must believe....." and no way out, because you have no clue what happens if you look at that person and say "I don't believe the Bible."  It just isn't accepted in polite conversation, and it needs to be.

    Fox news: Even better than meth!

    by get the red out on Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 03:13:14 AM PDT

  •  A few quibbles with your arguments (0+ / 0-)

    There is little doubt the sentence for child abuse and rape was wrong. However, the gist of your argument is that all religion should be judged by this injustice, which was perpetrated by the judge. The priest violated everything he claimed to believe by his actions. By the same token, people like Martin Luther King, Jr, and Mother Theresa dedicated their entire lives to compassion and fighting injustice in society, fulfilling the teachings of Jesus.

    When religious leaders clamor to break down the walls between religion and state, they are lusting for power. Jesus ridiculed the religious authorities of his day as hypocrites, vipers, crypts covering rot, and yeast infections. He also pointedly argued for the separation of religion and state (render to Caesar that which is Caesar's and render to God that which is God's).  There is NO way a particular set of religious beliefs can be given preference without violating the command to love others as you would wish to be loved. What you object to originates in the ambitions of people calling themselves religious rather than religion per se.

    As a person of faith, I see nothing wrong with Obama talking about his faith, but get uncomfortable when he advocates faith-based initiatives. Religious organizations should not barred from accepting grants and contracts from the government, but must be held to the same hiring and employment standards as every other organization, provide services to all, and not use government funds to proselytize.  In other words, no special treatment, exceptions, or exemptions for faith-based organizations.

    Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by DWG on Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 03:34:05 AM PDT

    •  I don't think that was the gist of my argument... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      njgoldfinch, snootless

      I will admit, it's a bit confused.  What I was getting at was my perception that what Dawkins calls our kid-glove treatment of religious matters results in injustice. I don't know how many ministers and priests I've seen get light sentences, much lighter sentences than others would get for their crimes. Think of all the financial and sexual crimes committed by famous televangelists and ordinary ministers. In June, for example:

      Rev. Phillips avoids prison in plea deal
      He'll have to pay back $500,000 in fraud case

      http://www.rockymountainnews.com/...

      http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/... has stories about rabbis who have escaped prosecution for crimes against minors.

      The kid gloves with which the Rev. Al Sharpton was handled after the libels he spread in the Tawana Brawley case.

      It's easy for liberals to decry the preferential treatment the rich get from the justice system.  But where are the voices who point out that our justice system often deals lightly or not at all with religious figures because of our fear of offending religious groups?

      I also in my essay, such as it was, did nowhere attack the varying accounts of Jesus's life and ideas written long after his death by people who did not know him.

    •  mother teresa's religious principles (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MmeVoltaire

      some of mother teresa's religious principles caused suffering.

      her rabid pro-life stance, which included being against contraception, contributed to disease and overpopulation.  this is generally overlooked because she fits the saint archetype so well (which is a comment about society, not about her).

      cheers --

  •  Too bad about that SC decision. (0+ / 0-)

    It wouldn't trouble me for him to be executed.

  •  I don't believe in the death penalty (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    njgoldfinch

    But I don't believe in a suspended sentence for a multiple rapist  of minors, either.

    From the Center for Sex Offender Management
    http://www.csom.org/...

    Reliance on measures of recidivism as reflected through official criminal justice system data obviously omit offenses that are not cleared through an arrest or those that are never reported to the police. This distinction is critical in the measurement of recidivism of sex offenders. For a variety of reasons, sexual assault is a vastly underreported crime. The National Crime Victimization Surveys (Bureau of Justice Statistics) conducted in 1994, 1995, and 1998 indicate that only 32 percent (one out of three) of sexual assaults against persons 12 or older are reported to law enforcement. A three-year longitudinal study (Kilpatrick, Edmunds, and Seymour, 1992) of 4,008 adult women found that 84 percent of respondents who identified themselves as rape victims did not report the crime to authorities. (No current studies indicate the rate of reporting for child sexual assault, although it is generally assumed that these assaults are equally underreported.) Many victims are afraid to report sexual assault to the police. They may fear that reporting will lead to the following:

    further victimization by the offender;
    other forms of retribution by the offender or by the offender's friends or family;
    arrest, prosecution, and incarceration of an offender who may be a family member or friend and on whom the victim or others may depend;
    others finding out about the sexual assault (including friends, family members, media, and the public);
    not being believed; and
    being traumatized by the criminal justice system response.
    These factors are compounded by the shame and guilt experienced by sexual assault victims, and, for many, a desire to put a tragic experience behind them. ...This complex of reasons makes it unlikely that reporting figures will change dramatically in the near future and bring recidivism rates closer to actual reoffense rates.

    Several studies support the hypothesis that sexual offense recidivism rates are underreported. Marshall and Barbaree (1990) compared official records of a sample of sex offenders with "unofficial" sources of data. They found that the number of subsequent sex offenses revealed through unofficial sources was 2.4 times higher than the number that was recorded in official reports. In addition, research using information generated through polygraph examinations on a sample of imprisoned sex offenders with fewer than two known victims (on average), found that these offenders actually had an average of 110 victims and 318 offenses (Ahlmeyer, Heil, McKee, and English, 2000). Another polygraph study found a sample of imprisoned sex offenders to have extensive criminal histories, committing sex crimes for an average of 16 years before being caught (Ahlmeyer, English, and Simons, 1999).

    There has been considerable research on the recidivism of rapists across various institutional and community-based settings and with varying periods of follow-up. A follow-up study of sex offenders released from a maximum-security psychiatric institution in California found that 10 of the 57 rapists (19 percent) studied were reconvicted of a rape within five years, most of which occurred during the first year of the follow-up period (Sturgeon and Taylor, 1980). These same authors reported that among 68 sex offenders not found to be mentally disordered who were paroled in 1973, 19 (28 percent) were reconvicted for a sex offense within five years.

    In a study of 231 sex offenders placed on probation in Philadelphia between 1966 and 1969, 11 percent were rearrested for a sex offense and 57 percent were rearrested for any offense (Romero and Williams, 1985). Rice, Harris, and Quinsey (1990) conducted a more recent study of 54 rapists who were released from prison before 1983. After four years, 28 percent had a reconviction for a sex offense and 43 percent had a conviction for a violent offense.

    I don't care if he's getting therapy. He should be in jail. I believe Alice Miller's repetition compulsion theories about abusers--that they wwere abused themselves and are acting out their stories. But while that may go partway toward explaining something, it does not excuse it.

    These three came forward and went through the hell of disclosing their stories. And this is the justice they got.

  •  Warren Jeffs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MmeVoltaire, snootless

    Warren Jeffs and some of his underlings are now indicted on child abuse charges.  I imagine the apologists for freedom of religion will be crawling out of the woodwork now to once again complain about how evil Texas is, and how oppressive those horrible "Baptists" are down there for trying to prevent the rape of young girls.

    Of course, those girls' (and boys') minds have already been stolen, they will never know what it is to have a real life and have any sort of self-esteem.  But that doesn't count.  Religion must trump physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the women and children that are the property of the powerful males.

    The Gretta show on Fox will once again roll out their pundit lawyers to say how there is no reason to prosecute these poor men for simply following their beliefs.  May God bless them and their holy quest to deflower 14 year old virgins and kick out their brothers onto the street, it is freedom of religion after all, and by God this is America where people have rights guaranteed by the constitution (unless they are women and children born into certain religious sects that is, they have no rights in this country.)!

    When I look at how Religion is used to abuse people with impunity in this so-called land of the free, I just want to scream.  No recourse against this monster, no democracy or constitution on Earth can protect people.  That's been proven.

    Fox news: Even better than meth!

    by get the red out on Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 04:06:49 AM PDT

    •  one of the reasons for those prosecutions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MmeVoltaire

      one of the reasons for those prosecutions is that the overall religion of those individuals is not mainstream.  if it were, i suspect we'd have seen something more along the lines of what happens when a priest or rabbi commits a similar act.

      cheers --

      •  I want them prosecuted (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        njgoldfinch

        badly.  But they will end up still being able to go along their merry way, the cult ruining countless lives.  I am sick of them being defended because they are "poor little non-mainstream cultists".  That is no excuse for the countless women who are mentally conditioned from birth to live lives of slavery with no way out and no legal system that can protect them.  A few of the top guys of this cult might serve a little time, but the whole miserable system of abuse will continue protected by the law in this country as it has for over a hundred years.  No offence, but to say they are being prosecuted because they aren't mainstream is another appologist gimic, not that you meant it that way, but I have seen that used to defend the crimes of this cult so many times.

        I agree with you about mainstream religious people getting too many breaks.  One thing though with people living at least somewhat in the "mainstream" is that victims can more easily escape and get help.  Of course children cannot escape if their parents are in full flight from reality, but they are permitted as adults to leave behind the untouchable mythological system that made their abuse possible in the first place.  Cult victims' minds will never be their own.  And the law itself seems to conspire to give them no escape at any point in their lives.

        All of this abuse needs to stop.  I have just about given up on any real advocation for people abused by religion, in all its many untouchable forms, until we are willing to look at what Religion is right in the face, no appologies, look at the truth.  I want more public discussion on how this stuff is used to harm people, and how there is no logical basis for any of it, yet it can be used to injure and deny human rights in so many ways.  When it becomes ok to discuss this, then we may finally see some advocation for the victims, now all we get are the appologists clinging to "freedom of religion".  But we all know if some dude from the "hood" somewhere did any of the things we see so many "religious authorities" do with impunity his ass would be UNDER the jail with no excuses made for him by anyone.

        Fox news: Even better than meth!

        by get the red out on Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 06:30:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  well-written, but revise your poll (0+ / 0-)

    well-written, but please revise your poll to include some legitimate choices, not just "protest choices."

    cheers --

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