April 2nd, 2010
So let’s recap a bit. Thousands of children in the United States and Europe have been molested by their pastors, who, when their crimes were found out, were shuffled from parish to parish by their bishops who hoped the whole problem would somehow magically disappear without anyone noticing. But not all the bishops — some of them (Archbishop Weakland in Milwaukee, and now we learn also about the late Bishop Moreno in Tucson) begged the Vatican office headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (today’s Pope Benedict XVI) to have those monster priests defrocked, except now we discover that Ratzinger either dragged his feet or refused outright to allow the canonical trials against the priests to proceed. And those revelations come on the heals of other credible allegations of Ratzinger having covered up similarly abominations when he was bishop of Munich.
So let’s take a moment and just try to imagine the spiritual carnage wrecked for thousands — maybe millions? — of young boys throughout the world. Imagine the devastating effect that massive abuse had on the psychological, spiritual, moral, and even physical foundations of these young boys just as they were preparing to mature into young adulthood. Imagine the general fucked-upness they must have felt as they tried to make sense of themselves (Am I to blame? Am I really that screwed up? Why me?) as their self-worth, their sense of right and wrong, their personhood, their humanity, their dignity, even their sexuality — the most private of spheres in human relations — all of this and more had been stolen from them by their spiritual “father.”
It’s a lot like a holocaust of sorts, isn’t it? Maybe? Sure, not a genocidal Holocaust, not a wipe-a-people-off-the-face-of-the-earth Holocaust that we write with a capital “H.” I’m speaking of a spiritual and moral holocaust, using a word that we derive from the Greek á½Î»ÏŒÎºÎ±Ï…ÏƒÏ„Î¿Î½ (holÃ³kauston), which means wholly burnt. Does that not describe the interior devastation that so many of these victims experience? We talk about having been burned by a bad experience, but rape and sexual molestation doesn’t leave one just burned. It leaves them wholly burnt. It leaves them “holocausted,” to coin an adjective.
While I think that the generic word holocaust is a good one to use here, I’m firmly against making direct comparisons to the capital “H” Holocaust. (Update: Anytime we’re not talking about a network of rail lines and concentration camps and a policy calling for the literal incineration of more than ten million people who were deemed to be subhuman, comparisons to that big “H” Holocaust simply don’t apply.) But a Vatican priest delivering a homily before Pope Benedict XVI at a Good Friday service today, reflecting on the unspeakable horrors of the unfolding worldwide scandal, was moved to draw comparisons between today’s unfolding horror and anti-Semitic persecutions of the past century:
Speaking in St. Peter’s Basilica, the priest, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, took note that Easter and Passover fell during the same week this year, and said he was led to think of the Jews.
“They know from experience what it means to be victims of collective violence, and also because of this they are quick to recognize the recurring symptoms,” said Father Cantalamessa, who serves under the title of preacher of the papal household. Then he quoted from what he said was a letter from a Jewish friend he did not identify.
“I am following the violent and concentric attacks against the church, the pope and all the faithful by the whole world,” he said the friend wrote. “The use of stereotypes, the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt, remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.”
That’s right. Seeking to hold powerful religious leaders accountable for the rape of untold multitudes of children entrusted to their spiritual and moral care is exactly like the “more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.” How could I have missed that?
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.