Is your trust in science based on faith or based on science?

What I mean is this: how much do you actually know about the science most atheists parrot? Most atheists know as little science as most Christians know as little theology. Just as a Christian trusts his priest to tell him what he believes, an atheist trusts scientists with a Ph.D. tacked to their name to tell them what they believe. But how many times have the scientists turned out to be wrong? I only ask this because it seems this is central to the problem that most atheists have. They are repulsed by the phrase “believe” – they are addicted instead to the phrase “know”. But honestly, do you really know, or are you just believing what you’re told? I would like to remind you that in the 1970′s the scientists of the day were seriously concerned that we were about to enter an ice age, and less than 30 years later they are now convinced Earth is about to turn into a desert.

Unless you’ve observed something yourself, or observed and interpreted the evidence yourself and drew your own conclusions, you are just as guilty as faith as any religious person.

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Hmm,  I had him with a Scottish accent.

If only my accent was that cool.

@Dave - are you one of those who turns 1-syllable words into two: yea-yus, Ji-yum, etc?

Thankfully, no. My accent is mostly non-existent, due to being a blend of multiple places. Ohio, Georgia, Kansas, Panama, multiple Army bases, and now Hawaii. I do say y'all now and then, however. A souvenir from my time in Georgia.

In your comment to Strega: "If only my accent was that cool," I took it to mean that it was something abysmal.

y'all is a very useful term and there is no other which does the job.  I picked it up in Raleigh NC.  My speech is a strange mish-mash of all kinds of influences. 

In England - Liverpool - they say you's which I don't like as much. 

Well, the photo was taken at Adventure World in Disney. Which is also where I got the hat.

BUT - you got the hat --

@Gallup, all this is just chasing your tail.  The fact is that Bernard Law was not a mandatory reporter, because under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that were in force at the time, (1) child abuse could only be committed by a guardian, and (2) only professionals in child care as defined by the statute were mandatory reporters.  Besides, failure to report is typically a misdemeanor.

What it all does is falsify your statement: "Even today, child abuse and neglect in most states can only be committed by a parent or other legal custodian, and only child abuse is subject to reporting requirements. Citizens, supervisors, employees are not, in U.S. law, required to report crimes more generally."

And likewise it falsifies your statement: "A priest, being non-custodial, cannot commit child abuse, and therefore none of the mandatory reporters are obligated by law to report."

Failure to report is a felony or misdemeanor in 46 states and a punishable offense in all 50 states.

In two-thirds of US states, anyone may be charged with child abuse-- not just caregivers-- and that includes priests. In those states all of the mandatory reporters are obligated to report.

So we are done here. You are wrong.

So there wasn't a legal case to be made, and the reason had nothing to do with some vast imagined conspiracy.  It had to do with how child abuse was treated historically under the law everywhere.

I didn't say it is a conspiracy. I said it is corruption resulting from the influence of religion.
I mentioned that starting in the 1970s state legislatures began enacting reporting requirements that mandated "professional persons" to report suspected child abuse to child welfare agencies or law enforcement. They typically defined professional persons as "individuals who encounter children through their professional capacity".
The list of "professional persons" identified by lawmakers at the link above is extremely broad and includes: teachers, child care workers, judges, magistrates, attorneys, law enforcement officers, clergy members, employees of state agencies that deal with children and families, physicians, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, dentists, surgeons, osteopaths, and (in 18 states) the general public.
Clergy have been on the list all along, Robert. Kids encounter clergy (as pastors) in their professional capacities more regularly throughout their lives than any other professionals on the list except for teachers and child care workers.
Take another look at the RAINN document, which lists 54 states and territories. In 20 states and territories, everyone is a mandatory reporter. Clergy are mandated reporters in just 22 of the remaining 34, compared with medical, education, and child care workers, who are mandated in all 34 of the remaining 34.
There's no question, though, that the trend is toward increased mandated reporting, and both statutes and case law are in flux many places.
Yes. Note the underrepresented clergy indicated in the section above reflects the trend to include clergy in mandated reporting which began after the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal broke in 2002. So the history of clergy as mandated reporters prior to that year is even more scant. Note also that the legislatures which are still excusing clergy from reporting include those in religiously conservative Kansas, South Dakota, Iowa, Georgia, Alaska, and Virginia. Or in states with powerful and diverse religious populations, such as New York.
Of course the influence of religion is responsible for the exceptions granted to clergy, Robert. It's certainly not the doing of irreligious folk or the secular state institutions.
You said: "The civil justice system failed."
That is nonsense. These outcomes are not the results of failure but of intent. The legislatures did not sit down and say, "How can we design mandated reporting laws that include all professionals that have contact with children?" Then, after it was all done and signed into law for the last four decades, somebody slapped his forehead and said, "Jeepers! We overlooked the clergy!"

No, they are the results of the influence of religion on lawmakers and on the religious voters who put them into office. Clergy are every bit as prominent in their communities as the teachers, doctors, and lawyers who must report, but only the clergy are granted privileged exceptions from reporting. That is no accident. That is no failure.

That is corruption and it is real. You have ignored this aspect since the beginning of our exchange. As I said: reporting exceptions are still granted to clergy even in Massachusetts today, even in the wake of what Cardinal Law and his predecessors did, even after they got away with it for over sixty years, even after the law was changed specifically because of what they did. But the law wasn't changed enough to prevent a similar cover-up of child sexual abuse from ever happening again and from such a cover-up still being perfectly legal.

Would you call that quite intentional loophole another "failure" of the state? Or do you think the Church would support a law that makes confessions and "similar religious communications" subject to mandated reporting?

Gallup: read this summary of mandatory reporting requirements for child abuse

Robert: Which you conveniently neglect to admit goes on for 5 paragraphs about exceptions and limitations. 

Take it from the top, Pinocchio!  "I've got no strings..."

It says in two-thirds of the states, the statutes specify circumstances under which child abuse is a reportable offense irrespective of the defendant’s relationship to the victim.

None of the five paragraphs of exceptions and limitations describe priests as being granted an exception from being child abusers the way you claim they are, so you're falsely accusing me of omitting information as though I am being misleading.

The information amounts to exactly what I said it does: priests can commit child abuse in those states. Falsely attacking my honesty does not reverse our positions and make your statement true and me the liar, although it does entertainingly reinforce your now self-associated satirical nickname.

Priests can commit sexual battery, gross sexual imposition, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, etc.  We are talking legal definitions here, and "child abuse" has a different legal meaning than colloquial meaning in many jurisdictions.

Yes and in two-thirds of US states priests can commit child abuse, based on the legal meanings of child abuse statutes in those states.

Gallup: The reports may be made public (unless a judge says otherwise) but the information in the reports may be provided to police and child welfare agencies confidentially. The employee may figure it out, but then it's up to the employee to prove the employer went to the police or child protection agency.

Robert: No, that's not the way it works.  The childrens' services agency only has jurisdiction as defined by law, and only childrens' service agencies have legally mandated protections for reporters.   For any crime outside the jurisdiction of childrens' service agencies, like rape, law enforcement agencies have sole responsibility, and in the ordinary criminal justice system those are public records because defendants have a right to confront their accusers.

Yes, that's exactly the way it works. Anyone except a mandated reporter can report child abuse anonymously (see #11) and mandated reporters have legal protections against liability suits. A defendant has the right to confront his accusers and the evidence against him if he is brought to trial, not if he is under investigation by the police.

What Bernard Law did was horrendous, but according to the chief law enforcement official of the state it was not provably illegal.  So if you're mad that he's not in jail, blame the state.  If you're mad that he's an ass, blame him.

What is truly irrational is to blame a worldwide church community who happened to share his religious philosophy.  That worldwide church community is what "Catholic Church" means

Example 1: A man tells his psychiatrist during a therapy session that he raped a child, the psychiatrist does not report it, and the child is raped again. The psychiatrist is partly responsible for the rape of that child. Under the law in Massachusetts right now this a crime.

Example 2: A man tells his priest (or rabbi, or minister) during a confession (or religious counselling session) that he raped a child, the clergyman does not report it, and the child is raped again. The clergyman is partly responsible for the rape of that child. Under the law in Massachusetts right now this is NOT a crime.

Why do think that is, Robert? I'll tell you why. If they made confession and religious counselling reportable, then legions of religious crackpots like you would raise no end of outrage about the intrusion of the state into the realm of their imaginary God. Therapy of mind? Reportable. Therapy of magic? Secret. That's why the clergy has still got its loopholes. And what's a little thing like child rape compared to the value of your hocus-pocus?

What is truly irrational Robert is that you wilfully ignore these obscene double standards in the law, which have existed for decades, and have applied (and still apply) to clergy alone. Instead you vomit the utter falsehood that the privileged legal status of clergy are the result of failures of the secular state, rather than desired products of the enormous influence that your worldwide religions intentionally have upon that state.

I didn't say it is a conspiracy. I said it is corruption resulting from the influence of religion.

The problem is that there's no evidence for that theory, other than that you want to believe it to be true.   Are you believing in doG again?  Rejecting reality and substituting your own?

It was the evil religious who kept themselves from being mandatory reporters... no wait!  "Clergy have been on the list all along!".  No wait!  Clergy get special status!

No, wait!  It is corruption resulting from the influence of sports that must be keeping coaches and karate instructors off the mandatory reporter list!  Because surely only corruption could result in somebody not being required to report on their neighbors when they have suspicions! 

No wait!  Only religious people, because I don't like them.

Too funny.

Much as I would like to further your education in citizenship and legal theory, somehow I suspect that even if I went through state by state with a detailed explanation you would write 20 paragraphs about how I was wrong because #11 on some random website you googled said so.

Just do me one favor.  If you or anyone you know ever find yourself in a position where this matters, consult with a competent attorney in your state.

No wait!  Only religious people, because I don't like them.

Too funny.

More humor.

The problem is that there's no evidence for that theory, [of double standards in the law, which have existed for decades, apply to religion and clergy alone, which are desired products of the enormous influence that religion has upon the state] other than that you want to believe it to be true.  

No evidence except for what you've been wilfully ignoring all along:

  • In 20 states and territories everyone is a mandatory reporter. Clergy are mandated in just 22 of the remaining 34, compared with medical, education, and child care workers, who are mandated in all 34. Clergy are not mandated in mostly Bible Belt states.

  • The reporting exceptions granted to clergy for "religious communications" in 30 of the mandated reporting states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Utah, and Wyoming.

  • The laws in 46 states, Washington D.C., and at a federal level which allow 'religion' as an exemption or as a defense to child abuse, child neglect, felony crimes against children, misdemeanors, manslaughter, murder of a child, and child neglect resulting in death.

  • The laws in ZERO states which allow 'education' or 'child care' or 'legal practice' or 'scout mastering' or 'coaching' as a defense to any of the crimes listed above. The exceptions apply to religion, religious communication, religious people, and to clergy ALONE, Robert.

But according to you: there is no evidence. None of this is happening, none of these laws exist, and if they do it's because the states have failed us, not because of the influence of religion.

Are you believing in doG again?  Rejecting reality and substituting your own?

The list above is the reality, Pinocchio. It's you who persistently rejects and denies that reality and then attacks me falsely for doing the same.

It was the evil religious who kept themselves from being mandatory reporters... no wait!  "Clergy have been on the list all along!".  No wait!  Clergy get special status!

Exactly, only I didn't say religious are evil, and I said they get loopholes in the reporting mandates in most places where they weren't excluded from them entirely.

Legislatures made health and education professionals mandatory reporters 100% of the time, but made clergy mandatory reporters just 64.7% of the time wherever the general public was not mandated to report. Mind you, that figure does not reflect the exceptions legislatures made for "religious communications" in 30 states where clergy are mandated to report.

That IS a special status, Robert. Even the documents found at the link you yourself posted refer to these exceptions as "privileges". Call them what you will-- special status, special privileges-- but don't tell me they don't exist.

And no, I don't think this happens because religious are evil. I think it's because religious generally see the clergy and themselves as acting with supernatural backing. Thus a doctor or teacher or lawyer surely needs the guidance of a law to tell him what to do. But a clergyman and the religious man who follows him? His imaginary God is telling him what to do, so he doesn't need any law getting in the way of that. That's not evil, but it can be harmful.

No, wait!  It is corruption resulting from the influence of sports that must be keeping coaches and karate instructors off the mandatory reporter list!  Because surely only corruption could result in somebody not being required to report on their neighbors when they have suspicions! 

Show me a state with a 'general public' reporting mandate where "communications during karate instruction" are exempted from mandated reporting the way "religious communications" are exempted from mandated reporting for clergy in 30 states.

Show me a list of states that allow 'karate instruction' as a defense to child abuse, child neglect, felony crimes against children, or child neglect resulting in death.

Show me a list of the acts of terror, war, genocide, conquest, and state that have been committed in the name of sports throughout human history.

Show me evidence like that and I'll believe your theory that sports wields such a powerful influence over the thinking and perspectives of legislators and voters that it is keeping karate instructors off the mandatory reporting lists.

Otherwise, I'm inclined to think legislators decided karate instructors aren't typically confided in about child abuse or personal lives the way clergy, educators and mental health professionals are, or have the medical expertise to recognize the physical symptoms of child abuse the way health professionals do. Of course, all of this is aside from the 20 states where legislators did set a mandate for karate instructors (and all of the general public as well).

Coaches, wherever they are physical educators in schools, are on mandatory reporting lists already.

Much as I would like to further your education in citizenship and legal theory, somehow I suspect that even if I went through state by state with a detailed explanation you would write 20 paragraphs about how I was wrong because #11 on some random website you googled said so.

You say that priests cannot commit child abuse, none of the mandatory reporters are required to report it, citizens are not required to report child abuse, and that child abuse cannot be reported anonymously. 

You're wrong because information readily available and published by the US government and all fifty states says you are wrong. I simply posted it here. So as I said before, we're done.

Number #11 simply referenced what is common to the entire list of official links and phone numbers to report child abuse in all 50 states: they ALL offer anonymous reporting, Robert. You're not wrong about that because I say so. All 50 states say so.

You haven't provided any "education" in legal theory, Robert. You've produced the most grotesque pack of lies, distortion, and falsehood you've ever uttered on this site, and you'd rather defend it for the sake of your undeservedly massive ego than show enough good character to admit you were the slightest bit wrong about any of it.

Given the longevity and high visibility of this thread, I hope no actual child abuse ends up going unreported on your false say-so that it doesn't have to be reported or can't be reported anonymously. One might think the risk of that is very low given your poor credibility among the TA community, but I shudder at the thought of your fellow religious crackpots who might come through here one day and swallow your legal "education" for solidarity's sake.

Just do me one favor.  If you or anyone you know ever find yourself in a position where this matters, consult with a competent attorney in your state.

This is not good advice. What if you live in a state where the reporting requirement is "immediate"? What if it's a Saturday night and you can't reach a competent attorney? What if you're broke and can't afford an attorney?

My advice: if you have a reasonable suspicion that a child has been sexually abused, use the anonymous reporting resources in your state to report it anonymously and immediately.

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