Herbert and Catherine Schaible asked God to heal their 8-month-old baby son with magic while he spent days struggling to breathe. He died last week. They were still on probation for manslaughter after letting their two-year-old son die of pneumonia in 2009 under similar circumstances: they sought the aid of supernatural beings with magical powers rather than doctors with medical degrees. 

Imagine Herbert and Catherine Schaible had killed a toddler in 2009 with a savage beating or by neglecting it in favor of watching Star Trek DVDs for a week straight while it coughed itself to death. Would they have gotten probation for that or would they still be sitting in prison today? How likely is it that, once placed in the hands of a jury, Herbert and Catherine Schaible will ever spend time in prison for killing the second of two small children with religiously motivated medical neglect?

You might want to Google similar cases before you post your thoughts on the matter.

Tags: medical, motivated, neglect, religiously

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Let's be honest about the data, @Gallup's Mirror.  A few clergy in the Catholic Church engaged in such things.  The scale of abuse cases was on the order of those that occur in the general population worldwide, among coaches and teachers and others.

Splendid, Robert.

You can start being honest by examining the John Jay Report. Before you begin any caterwauling about bias: this is an official report commissioned and approved by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

You mentioned the scale of the abuses? The report found, as of 2008, over 11,000 allegations had been made against 4,392 priests in the USA alone. That is 4% of all Catholic priests who served in the US from 1950–2002.

Let's also be honest about what most of these 11,000 cases mean, Robert. Clergy orally, vaginally, and anally raped children. If a superior found out he transfered the offender to another parish or diocese. Few of these men ever went to prison. Mind you, these are just the reported cases.

Once you've been honest about the Catholic Church in America, be honest about the Catholic Church in Ireland. Read the Ryan Reports.

Let's skip to the highlights.

The commission report concluded the entire Catholic Church-run system all throughout the country treated children like prison inmates and slaves. Rapes. Ritual beatings. Clergy that operated amid a "culture of self-serving secrecy". I'm sure you'll find it of special interest that government inspectors knew and failed to stop the abuses. These were not "a few" isolated cases. The report mentions 25,000 children went through the system during the relatively short survey period, and uses adjectives throughout including: "systemic, pervasive, chronic, excessive, arbitrary, endemic".

And of course none of the Priests, Brothers, Sisters-- I mean: child rapists, child abusers, and child batterers-- involved have been prosecuted. You don't suppose their status as clergy in overwhelmingly Catholic Ireland have anything to do with that?

If that's still not honest enough, try reading the Pope's official apology for what "a few Clergy" did. 

But here's the really wacky part. I started the thread stating that religious people commit terrible crimes because of their religion or by using their religion as a cover. But that's old news. The point was that often they get away with their crimes because other religious people-- even those who would not commit the same crimes-- rush to defend, excuse, and shield them.

And you, in attempting to refute that point, not only demonstrated it perfectly with your own behavior in defending the baby killers, but went on to underscore my point by downplaying the massive Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal: which was largely covered up and to this day has gone largely unpunished.

That's so perfectly ugly it's beautiful. You fascinate me, Robert.

Of course I've read the Jay Report, and I at least have some familiarity with the Ryan Reports.  Have you actually read the full text?

Next you need to dig into it a bit.  An allegation of abuse is not the same thing as being guilty of rape.  Some allegations are false.  Many allegations are for things like an unwelcome hug or a spanking (recognizing that while corporal punishment is no longer common in schools, it was at the time, and still is in some public schools).   So when you distill down the credible cases of actual molestation, they are consistent with those reported in the general population.

That doesn't make it right.  It doesn't make it any less than evil for anyone trusted with a child to do such things.  It should be condemned.  I generally agree that prosecutions and punishments for these crimes should be more severe than they are, and that being otherwise respected or upstanding citizens (clergy, sports coaches, teachers, parents, etc.) should not get them more gentle treatment.

It's a different thing, though, to cast aspersions on a whole group of people for the sins of a few.  Lots of atheists are murderers, after all; more still are no doubt on the receiving end of allegations of wrongdoing.   That does not mean that it's fair to condemn atheism as a mode of thought based solely on that statistic.

Of course I've read the Jay Report, and I at least have some familiarity with the Ryan Reports. Have you actually read the full text?

Yes, Robert. I've read the full text of the Jay Report and the Ryan Reports, unlike you. I've followed the Catholic Church abuse cases in depth since the beginning, unlike you.

Next you need to dig into it a bit.

You see nothing ironic in telling me to "dig into" these reports after admitting you haven't read them? Since you couldn't be bothered, let's do some simple math. One child in the Irish system for a single year, physically abused daily: 365 crimes. Multiply that by a thousand children. Rapes, assaults, and official cover-ups by the orders that committed the crimes. Systematic and pervasive throughout the country, going as far back as the survey period extended: decades. How many crimes is that, Robert?

An allegation of abuse is not the same thing as being guilty of rape. Some allegations are false. Many allegations are for things like an unwelcome hug or a spanking (recognizing that while corporal punishment is no longer common in schools, it was at the time, and still is in some public schools). So when you distill down the credible cases of actual molestation, they are consistent with those reported in the general population.

You're straining rather hard to miss the point, Robert. We will never know if these clergy are guilty or not. When a teacher is accused of raping a child, the teacher's superiors report the teacher to the police. The police conduct an investigation. If reasonable suspicion is found, the teacher is arrested, prosecuted, and if found guilty the teacher goes to prison.

Do you know how many clergy were reported to the police by their superiors in these scandals, Robert? Do you know how many of the superiors ever answered for the crime of obstruction of justice or criminal conspiracy? Do you know how many were ever investigated criminally, let alone prosecuted, or ever spent a single day in jail? Even after the Ryan Reports came out, shocked the world, and prompted the Pope himself to apologize? No? 

What a pity.

Ah, careful about assumptions, @Gallup.  I said I had read the full Jay Report.  I had also been peripherally involved in some of the follow-up, especially in the Archdiocese of Boston.  I have not read all the Irish materials, however.

Yes, the cases are awful.  Yes, clerics and some religious superiors should go to jail.  Yes, those who perpetrated or abetted such acts committed grave sins which we would consider "mortal".  Absolutely, 100% on board with all of that.  So is everyone on the planet.  Your outrage is old hat.  Most of us were there long before you, and were far more outraged than you, because these were "our" kids.

What you haven't done is made a case that the incident rate was higher for the Catholic Church than for any other youth-serving organization.  Yep, the numbers are big in Ireland, but then there are an awful lot of Catholics in Ireland, aren't there?  

When Jerry Sandusky was accused of raping a child, his superiors didn't report him to the police.  Here in the U.S., we still don't have mandatory reporting for such things in most states, and if you believe that schools and sports programs have been perfect or even good about reporting for "decades" with no reporting law in place you are just being naive.   The prevailing norm until relatively recently was to try to protect the child from public exposure, and just quietly force the resignation of the perpetrator. 

By all means, condemn pedophiles and those who abet pedophiles.  That is right and just.  To claim a particular religious group is uniquely responsible for pedophiles, however, is just bigotry.

To claim a particular religious group is uniquely responsible for pedophiles, however, is just bigotry.

Another dodge, Robert. Where did I make this claim? Show me.

What you haven't done is made a case that the incident rate was higher for the Catholic Church than for any other youth-serving organization. 

Where did I say the incident rate for abuse was higher for the Catholic Church? Quote me.

I said clergy and the religious are prosecuted less often for the crimes they commit.

I said clergy and the religious are prosecuted less often for the crimes they commit.

A claim.  Now provide evidence and reasoning.

At the start of this exchange, I wrote, and you quoted to respond: "The scale of abuse cases was on the order of those that occur in the general population worldwide, among coaches and teachers and others."

Since you now say that you make no claim to disagree with that statement, we're on the same page.  That was my only point.

I'd gently suggest, though, that if someone were to write repeatedly and at length and with animus about how the Jews are guilty of particular crimes, even though others are also guilty of those crimes at the same incident rate, that's bigotry.

No different if it's Catholics.

"The scale of abuse cases was on the order of those that occur in the general population worldwide, among coaches and teachers and others."

A claim. Now provide evidence and reasoning.

Since you now say that you make no claim to disagree with that statement, we're on the same page.  That was my only point.

I said no such thing. You're still on the wrong page. You're still avoiding the point. 

LOL.  Well, I think I have lost the point entirely, I'm afraid. 

I thought you said you read the Jay report, which goes into some detail about abuse allegations across various youth serving organizations and provides substantial evidence for my claim.

@Heather is exploring the comparison with the Boy Scouts of America above.  Follow along.

Your outrage is old hat. Most of us were there long before you, and were far more outraged than you, because these were "our" kids.

One more thing, Robert.

Did you know anyone personally who was sexually molested by a Catholic priest?  Someone who was first made to put her hand on the bastard's crotch. Then after a while down his pants. Then he started putting his dick in her mouth and called it "fireworks"? Sometimes while mom was at a prayer meeting right in the next room? And the fireworks went on for years?

Ah, careful about assumptions, @Gallup.

You don't know what outrage is, Robert. It never gets "old hat".

"I said clergy and the religious are prosecuted less often for the crimes they commit." - Gallup

A claim.  Now provide evidence and reasoning.

Exhibit A:  The Ryan Reports of Ireland - Child sexual abuse, physical abuse, and other mistreatment spanning decades, rampant throughout the country's Catholic-run system, routinely covered up. Number of resulting criminal investigations, prosecutions, and days in jail served by the clergy: 0. 

Exhibit B: The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1996 defines failure to provide medical care as the crime of child neglect but grants the religious a free pass: “Nothing in this Act shall be construed as establishing a Federal requirement that a parent or legal guardian provide a child any medical service or treatment against the religious beliefs of the parent or legal guardian.” Thus the federal government exempts the religious from criminal prosecution for the crime of child neglect and deprives the children of the religious from the same legal protections it gives to non-religious children.

Exhibit C: 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. 

Exhibit D: 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

Exhibit E: 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.

Exhibit F: States with a religious defense to MANSLAUGHTER: Idaho, Iowa, and Ohio

Exhibit G: State with a religious defense to MURDER OF A CHILD AND CHILD NEGLECT RESULTING IN DEATH:
Arkansas

Exhibit H: Female Genital Mutilation. Religiously-motivated non-medical mutilation of the genitals performed on millions of girls under the age of 15 in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. FGM is outlawed in most countries where it is practiced yet it persists and prosecutions are rare.

Sources and listing of numerous examples

I'd gently suggest, though, that if someone were to write repeatedly and at length and with animus about how the Jews are guilty of particular crimes, even though others are also guilty of those crimes at the same incident rate, that's bigotry. No different if it's Catholics.

Nobody repeatedly mentioned the Jews with animus. And YOU made this about the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal. I was talking about parents getting away with religiously-motivated medical neglect of their children.

If you don't want to talk about pedophile priests don't bring them up and then whine about how persecuted you are because we're talking about them.

And YOU made this about the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal. I was talking about parents getting away with religiously-motivated medical neglect of their children. If you don't want to talk about pedophile priests don't bring them up.

I think if you look back in the thread you'll find that it was @JimmyRussell and yourself that brought it up, actually.  It seems to be a favorite whipping horse here that comes up in many threads on unrelated topics.

Did you know anyone personally who was sexually molested by a Catholic priest?

Yes, sadly.  And by a family member, and another by a teacher/coach, and by a lay married couple who seemed to like doing sex ed with a number of children in their youth group.

I take it I now know another?

I myself was never molested, however.  Quite the contrary, my personal relationships with priests and nuns while growing up were enormously positive, and still are. So I cannot begin to understand the pain and betrayal of a victim of one of these heinous crimes.

You sound as though your personal experience was different than mine, and if that is the case I can only express my deepest, deepest sympathy and solidarity.  You have my support, if you ever need it.  You have my prayers, for what they're worth.    Others will help, if you reach out, and I would encourage you to do so.

Please forgive me for bringing an academic discussion to a situation which may be deeply personal.  Anyone who has been a victim of such things is entitled to be angry, and indeed such anger is a necessary part of healing.  They don't need a silly old professorial type droning on.  My sincerest apologies.

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