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.
You see, Bob, this is exactly what I mean - this man has obviously spent a great deal of his time putting together facts and sources in an effort to debate you (and I suspect, to prove you wrong)
Obvious because he's longwinded? OK, OK, I typed out a longwinded reply to him. Feel better now?
I don't mind if you choose not to engage, @arch, in favor of clipping your toenails or any other thing you prefer. Know that I'm not indifferent, and I'll drop by occasionally to continue the conversation in case you get to the point where you want to engage with the views of a real-life intellectual theist instead of the made-up straw men and odd fringe views that are so common here.
@Arch - That'll be that Christian humility, then ^^
I'll drop by occasionally to continue the conversation in case you get to the point where you want to engage with the views of a real-life intellectual theist instead of the made-up straw men and odd fringe views that are so common here.
Cool, Arch! So Robert actually knows one of these real-life intellectual theists. He's going to bring him along next time and introduce you! Awesome!
Does that mean he's going away? Was it something I said?
If I'd only known, I'd have said it sooner --
Clergy are mandated in just 22 of the remaining 34, compared with medical, education, and child care workers, who are mandated in all 34.
This is true, but not proof of your claim. As I have said before, historically as well as in the agency guidance under CAPTA, clergy were not included because (1) they were not licensed by the state, and (2) they were not professionally trained in recognizing the signs of child abuse or neglect. Just as sports coaches are not included as mandatory reporters, for similar reasons. So this does not support your claim of special religious privilege.
The reporting exceptions granted to clergy for "religious communications"
The quote here is improper. When you read the statutes directly instead of summary documents, exemptions are granted typically for sacramental confession or the equivalent, not for religious communications more generally. This is a First Amendment protection in the U.S., in the same way we also had altar wine during Prohibition. So sure, I'd say in U.S. law, religion in general is protected by the free exercise clause of the Constitution from some infringements by the state. Again, that does not support your claim of corruption/influence. As I mentioned previously, that also was irrelevant for the Bernard Law affair, because his communications as bishop were not sacramental confession, and would not fall under the exemption in any of the states.
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.
Your link here is self-referential, so it's impossible to know what you're talking about. I think you must be referring to parental rights laws which allow parents to choose not to vaccinate their children or otherwise decline medical treatment. In many states where providing children with alcohol or drugs is defined as child abuse, this exemption also allows for kids to participate in seder or native American youth to participate in native customs. It allows Muslim children to participate in Ramadan. There are non-religious exemptions as well. The exemptions in the law are meant to balance parental rights and the state's interest, and define the scope of the intended law.
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.
Oh, I don't know. Many states allow corporal punishment in the schools, which is an exemption for education to what would ordinarily be considered battery committed against a child. Coaches in most states are provided a limited exemption to hazing laws for athletic events. Child care facilities are generally accorded limited custodial responsibilities and rights under the law, which allow them to do things like forcibly restrain a child that would be a crime for any ordinary person to do. The point is that all these "exceptions" are really just a part of the law defining its scope.
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.
It's not that simplistic. The laws do exist, but they don't support or establish your claim.
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.
Well this was quite a non-sequitur. There are more youth killed every year in sports than in church. Plus debilitating bone and joint injuries, permanent brain injury. No criminal prosecutions either. I guess I would also point to many riots resulting in death or injury that occur almost monthly. This week, wasn't it a soccer referee who was murdered and quartered by fans? Not to mention plenty of drunkenness and related shenanigans.
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.
Nope, you missed the point. The point was that for you to support a claim that religion exerted such a powerful influence, you have to establish that everyone else who had extensive youth contact - coaches, band directors, youth theater groups, robot club leaders, scoutmasters - were mandatory reporters, and only the special influence of religion kept clergy exempt. In legalese, it's the "but for" test. "But for the special influence of religion, everyone would be a mandatory reporter." You can't show that. LOTS of people with far more youth contact than a typical priest are not mandatory reporters. So your claim fails. There is a different, more plausible explanation, which I provided above.
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.
I say that each jurisdiction defines "persons responsible for the care of a child" for the purposes of their child abuse and neglect laws, and that only those persons can commit child abuse under the law. As you read through the laws of many states, you'll note that most limit this group to people who are legal guardians or custodians, or (in some jurisdictions) people acting in a custodial capacity on a temporary basis. This would generally not include clergy, unless they were running a resident camp or somesuch. So in those jurisdictions, the issue is not the crime of child abuse, which has reporting obligations and protections, but other crimes like sexual assault, which do not.
Suspicion of child abuse can be reported confidentially. However, if the reported crime falls outside of the scope of child abuse as defined by statute, Children's services will instruct you to call law enforcement as it is outside of their scope. Criminal complaints to law enforcement are not anonymous in any state I'm familiar with.
You're wrong because information readily available and published by the US government and all fifty states says you are wrong.
Being right or wrong is not determined by reference to authoritative documents, though you would make a great fundamentalist. Right or wrong is determined by an understanding of all of the issues in general, and experience in applying the principles to particular cases correctly.
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
Number 11 referenced a document on YesICan, a special interest lobbying site. It's a simplified informational document that does not pretend to do what you claim. It's interesting that #1 says "not every state has a statewide reporting hotline" which contradicts your claim above.
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.
Random ad hominem.
Given the longevity and high visibility of this thread, I hope no actual child abuse ends up going unreported
I'll agree with that much. I'm a firm believer, though, in the notion that people should really understand the way things work, not rely on law or authority to tell them what to do. I think informed citizens will generally do the right thing, and that they deserve to be informed.
This is not good advice.
It's not good advice to contact an attorney with respect to a legal matter? That's not actually what you're saying, is it?
The interpretation of "immediate" in every state I'm aware of is within 6-24 hours, with a follow-up written report within 72 hours. Case law determines, though consulting with one's attorney is always reasonable. If you're broke, many/most attorneys will provide pro bono brief consultation in a case like this.
My advice: if you have evidence that a child has been sexually abused, protect the child and any physical evidence, and call law enforcement immediately using your real name and real phone number so that they can do the necessary follow-up and investigation. Have the courage to make a real report and sign your name to it. Agree to appear as a witness. Step up to your responsibilities to protect children and don't hide behind anonymity.
If you have suspicion that a child is being hurt by a non-custodial person outside of the statutory definition in your state, tell the child's parent or guardian. Don't hide behind anonymity, share your concerns and suspicions. The parent or guardian is in a much better position to protect the child going forward than you are.
If you have suspicion that a child is being hurt by a custodial person within the statutory definition in your state, call your state Child Services agency. File a full verbal report, and follow up with a full written report. Do not make it anonymously. Have the courage to leave your name and contact information so that the investigating social worker can speak to you in person as part of the investigation. What you know or have witnessed may really matter.
For context: My claim is that double standards exist in the law for the reporting of child abuse and for other crimes against children, that they have existed for decades, that they apply to religion and clergy alone, and they are desired products of the influence that religion has upon the state.
Robert denies it.
Gallup: 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. 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. The reporting exceptions are granted to clergy for "religious communications" in 30 of the mandated reporting states.
Robert: This is true, but not proof of your claim. As I have said before....
Gallup: The reporting exceptions granted to clergy for "religious communications"
Robert: When you read the statutes directly instead of summary documents... This is a First Amendment protection in the U.S., in the same way we also had altar wine during Prohibition.
You're a liar, Robert. You've completely fabricated another round of bullshit, this time about confessions being a protected First Amendment right. They are not.
I read the relevant statutes directly. You obviously have not. The document at the link above includes all of them from every state. You provided the top-level link to the site yourself, remember? It's your own data source for fuck's sake!
Confessions are NOT a first amendment right. The states decide which communications are protected and which are not. Most states grant the privilege (note that it is a 'privilege', not a 'right') but a few deny it completely.
"As a doctrine of some faiths, clergy must maintain the confidentiality of pastoral communications. Mandatory reporting statutes in some States specify the circumstances under which a communication is “privileged” or allowed to remain confidential. Privileged communications may be exempt from the requirement to report suspected abuse or neglect. The privilege of maintaining this confidentiality under State law must be provided by statute. Most States do provide the privilege, typically in rules of evidence or civil procedure. If the issue of privilege is not addressed in the reporting laws, it does not mean that privilege is not granted; it may be granted in other parts of State statutes.
"This privilege, however, is not absolute. While clergy-penitent privilege is frequently recognized within the reporting laws, it is typically interpreted narrowly in the context of child abuse or neglect. The circumstances under which it is allowed vary from State to State, and in some States it is denied altogether. For example, among the States that list clergy as mandated reporters, Guam, New Hampshire, and West Virginia deny the
clergy-penitent privilege in cases of child abuse or neglect."
Here is the statute from the state of New Hampshire, which requires a priest, minister, or rabbi to report the abuse or neglect of a child even if learned through the context of privileged "communications".
Gallup: 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.
Robert: Your link here is self-referential, so it's impossible to know what you're talking about.
Except that the quote above says exactly what I'm talking about and leads to another post that explains in more detail, and includes a link to the source of the information. (You do understand about citing your sources, right, Robert? I mean, you didn't post any sources this time around and here you are moaning about mine.)
Also, the post at the link above came from a conversation I had with you, which you skulked away from when you couldn't refute it at that time either. I guess it's that darned amnesia of yours again, isn't it?
*Sigh* If only it were possible for you to know what I'm talking about instead of impossible. Hey, wait! Maybe you could ask that real-life intellectual theist friend of yours to help you figure it out!
Gallup: 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.
Robert: Oh, I don't know.
Of course you don't. Like you said, the link above is self-referential (except where it's not) so it's impossible for you to know what I'm talking about.
You have to ignore, deny, or cry foul at the part where religion is a defense for crimes committed (mostly against children) in 46 states, DC, and federally. That's the part where you lost the argument. Well, that part and the part where mandated reporting for clergy gets exceptions in 30 states for pastoral communications.
Thank your imaginary God for wilful ignorance, Pinocchio. It's your favorite form of dishonesty. Thusly equipped with impossible-to-know-what-I'm-talking-about, you can protest! Gallup, your claims that religion has a powerful influence are completely unsupported! And in 46 states, DC, and federally, no less!
\/-------From the post Robert found impossible to figure out-----\/
States with religious exemptions in their civil codes on child abuse or neglect. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia.
States with religious defenses to felony crimes against children: Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
States with religious defenses to misdemeanor crimes: Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, and South Dakota.
States with a religious defense to MANSLAUGHTER: Idaho, Iowa, and Ohio
State with a religious defense to MURDER OF A CHILD AND CHILD NEGLECT RESULTING IN DEATH:
^^----From the post Robert found impossible to figure out---^^
The point was that for you to support a claim that religion exerted such a powerful influence, you have to establish that...
I have to establish WHAT? Who are you, Perry Mason? Don't be ridiculous, Robert.
What I must do (and have done) is reasonably support the claim I made:
Double standards exist in the law for the reporting of child abuse (supported) and for other crimes against children (supported), that they have existed for decades (supported), that they apply to religion and clergy alone (supported), and they are desired products of the influence that religion has upon the state (supported).
You're focusing on the last one, so let's do that.
What do I mean by desired products of the powerful influence of religion? I mean things are this way because religious people want it this way and wherever they have the means to do so-- which includes all 50 states in one form or another-- they get what they want.
So really, Robert. What sort of voter do you think legislators are appealing to with laws like the "impossible" ones above? Atheists like me? No.
They're giving religious folks what they want. They want religion to be a defense for praying their kids to death instead of taking them to a hospital. They want confessions to be protected communications in states where clergy are mandated reporters.And speaking of that.
A moment ago you fabricated a legal protection-- claimed the sacrament of confession is a Constitutional right in all fifty states-- and now, on the heels of that hallucination, you want evidence to support a claim that religion exerts a powerful influence.
Look in the mirror, Robert. It does: on individuals like you, on populations like the United States.
To conclude that religious interests have a powerful influence over legislators even in matters of criminal law is perfectly reasonable. Denying that is completely unreasonable (but quite funny, Robert). So that's why you ignore it instead and talk about sports and karate instructors.
Gallup: 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.
Correct: "A priest, being non-custodial, cannot commit child abuse, and therefore none of the mandatory reporters are obligated by law to report."
Correct: "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 [child abuse] crimes more generally."
Gallup: You're wrong because information readily available and published by the US government and all fifty states says you are wrong.
Robert: Being right or wrong is not determined by reference to authoritative documents...
In the case of whether or not laws exist, of course they are.
Number #11 referenced a document on YesICan, a special interest lobbying site. It's a simplified informational document that does not pretend to do what you claim. It's interesting that #1 says "not every state has a statewide reporting hotline" which contradicts your claim above.
I claim it's a list of links and phone numbers to report child abuse in all 50 states and that all 50 states offer anonymous reporting. That's exactly what it is, and that's exactly what they do. Click the links below and see for yourself.
Number 1 says: "Not every state has a statewide reporting hotline."
Number 11 says: "Remember you can report anonymously, if you are not a mandated reporter (someone who is required by law to report child abuse)."
Explain the contradiction between the two statements, oh real-life intellectual theist. While you're at it, explain the contradiction between number 11 and number 2 as well!
Number 2: "Not every state hotline will be accessible 24/7"
Alabama - Report by County - 334-242-9500
Alaska - 907-269-3400(out of state) or
Division of Family & Youth Services Regional Office 800- 478-4444 (in state)
Arizona - 888-SOS-CHILD - 888-767-2445
Arkansas - 800-482-5964
California - Report by County Los Angeles 800-540-4000 (in state)
916-445-2832 (out of state)
Colorado - Report by County
Division of Child Welfare Services 303-866-5932
Connecticut - 800-842-2288
800-624-5518 (TDD/hearing impaired, in state)
Delaware - 800-292-9582
302-577-6550 (out of state)
District of Columbia - 202-671-7233 (nationwide)
Florida - 800-962-2873 (nationwide)
800-453-5145(TDD/hearing impaired, in state)
Georgia - Report by County Division of Family & Children Services DCFS
706-227-7000 (Clarke County) 478-553-2350 (Washington County)
Hawaii - Report By Island
808-832-5300 Child Protective Service Hotline
Idaho - Report by Regional Office Child Protective Services
Care Line 860-926-2588 (business hours)
TDD hearing impaired 208-332-7205
Illinois - 800-252-2873 (in state)
217-524-2606 (out of state) TTY Hearing impaired 800-358-5117
Indiana - 800-457-8283 (in state) 800-800-5556 (24 hour)
317-233-0800 (all counties)
Iowa – Child Abuse Hotline 800-362-2178
Kansas - 800-922-5330 (24 hour hotline)
Kentucky - 800-752-6200 Child/ Adult Abuse hotline
Louisiana - Report by Parish/County
225-342-6832 (business hours only)
State Office of Community Services 225-342-2297
Maine - 800-452-1999
Maryland - 800-332-6347 (in state, Report by county)
410-361-2235 ( Baltimore 24 hour)
410-822-3107 (State Police)
Massachusetts - 800-792-5200
Michigan - 800-942-4357
Minnesota - Report by County 651-291-0211
Mississippi - 800-222-8000
601-359-4991 (out of state)
Missouri - 800-392-3738
573-751-3448 (out of state)
Montana - 866-820-5437
406-444-5900 (out of state)
Nebraska - 800-652-1999
402-595-1324 (out of state, business hours only)
Nevada - 800-992-5757
775-684-4400 (out of state, business hours only)
New Hampshire - 800-894-5533 / 800-852-3388
603-225-9000 (out of state)
New Jersey - 800-792-8610 (nationwide, 24/7)
800-835-5510 (TDD/hearing impaired)
New Mexico - 800-797-3260 (24/7)
505-841-6100 (out of state, 24/7)
New York - 800-342-3720
518-474-8740 (out of state)
North Carolina –Report by county- Raleigh 919-733-3055
Stokes County 336-593-2861, Emergency 800-627-2851
North Dakota - Report by Regional Office
West Central Human Service Center 701-328-8888 or 888-326-2662,
24 hour crisis lines 701-328-8879 or 888-326-2112
Prevent Child Abuse Alliance 701-222-6622
Ohio - Report by County
Franklin County 24 hour child abuse hotline 614-229-7000
Oklahoma - 800-522-3511 (nationwide, 24 hours)
Oregon - 800-854-3508 ext.2402 (in state, business hours only)
503-378-5414 (TTY, hearing impaired)
503-378-6704 (nationwide, business hours only)
Pennsylvania - 800-932-0313
717-783-8744 (out of state)
Rhode Island - 800-RI-CHILD (800-742-4453) (nationwide, 24 hours)
South Carolina - Report by County (in state)
803-898-7318 (out of state, business hours only)
National child abuse hotline 800-422-4453
South Dakota - Report by County
Local toll 605-773-3227
Tennessee - Report by County
Toll free 877-237-0004
Texas - 800-252-5400
512-834-3784 (out of state)
512-832-2020 (after hours)
Utah - 800-678-9399 (nationwide)
Vermont - Report by County (business hours only)
DFC Central Office 802-241-2131
802-863-7533 (out of state, after hours)
800-649-5285 (in state, after hours)
Virginia - 800-552-7096
804-786-8536 (out of state)
Washington – toll free 800 END HARM or 800-363-427
West Virginia - 800-352-6513
Wisconsin - Report by County
608-266-3036 (nationwide, business hours only)
Wyoming - State Department of Family Services 307-777-3570
Prevent child abuse 307-637-8622
Gallup: 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.
Robert: Random ad hominem.
You are in fact not an educator on legal theory and are in fact spreading misinformation that could be potentially dangerous. You have repeatedly lied, distorted, or pretended to knowledge about everything from priests not being able to commit child abuse, to citizens not having any legal mandate to report child abuse, to citizens not being able to report child abuse anonymously, and now to confidential Catholic confessions being a Constitutional right. I have established by any reasonable standard that none of those claims are substantially true. You've ignored this utterly, granted nothing, continued to argue anyway, and have maintained an air of superiority nevertheless.
I'm saying you're a lying egotist. And you are. That's not ad hom. That's an accurate assessment of your behavior based on the truth.
I think informed citizens will generally do the right thing, and that they deserve to be informed.
But "citizens" do not deserve to be misinformed which is what you've been doing, and which is the reason I've cited my sources in falsifying your claims. Misinformed citizens may do the incorrect things and someone may be harmed as a result.
It's not good advice to contact an attorney with respect to a legal matter? That's not actually what you're saying, is it?
Your advice was: "If you or anyone you know ever find yourself in a position where this matters, consult with a competent attorney in your state."
That's not good advice universally for "you or anyone you know" who is ever in a position where this matters, no. That's a huge range of possibilities.
A 15-year-old kid reporting his dad molesting his sister. An employer without mandated reporter protection in fear of the liability suits you mentioned. A kid away at summer camp spots warning signs she saw in an educational video at school. Say someone at a highway rest stop passes a camper van, spots something odd and drives off in enough doubt to take down the plate number. A doctor at her office.
It all matters. So they all contact competent attorneys first thing? The employer and the doctor might. But all of the rest? Not so much.
So as the most general (but not necessarily exclusive) advice: use the anonymous reporting resources in your state to report it anonymously and immediately. You don't have to stay anonymous if you don't want to.
@Gallup - That would be brilliant - yet another theist who this time might actually be an intellectual - now, that would be a change.
@Bob - A joke for you, Bob, knowing what a sense of humour you have -
While they waited for their loaves and fishes, Mary, mother of jesus, came out with her hair teased up all big-like and her blouse tied up in front and entertained the crowd, which was most appreciative, bein' mostly men and all.
@Bob - I thought one of the funniest things I have got from the bible, was when a group of boys made fun of a bloke with a bald head, so God sent in a couple of bears to maul them - that is just so funny, I just rolled on the floor laughing.
Or how about the one where god killed all the first born males of Egypt - then the reallly funnny punch line is when theista justify the murder of babies, I just fall off my chair laughing.
I call that story "Baldilocks and the 42 Bears". It is from 2Kings2:24 and very few theists know of it. I use it when the debate gets to me being told I have no moral code without the Bible.
Hey, the sign clearly read: "Do Not Feed the Bears!" - somebody shoulda listened, that's all I'm sayin' --