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intaglio

(8,170 posts)
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 07:05 AM Nov 2013

Religiously enabled Child Sexual Abuse is not just a Christian problem

Links and excerpts about 2 stories regarding this.
First a case relating to Judaism. A message from Tzedek Founder & CEO Manny Waks

As many of you would be aware, I was sexually abused as a child while a student at Melbourne’s Yeshivah College and a member of the Yeshivah community.

/snip

My major grievances are directed solely at the Yeshivah leadership, past and present. They failed then, and are failing now.

How does it make sense that the Yeshivah leadership that was in place during much of the abuse and cover-ups, and among other things:
was directly responsible for shipping off a perpetrator (former Yeshivah teacher David Kramer), who went on to re-offend overseas (please read the powerful Victim Impact Statement written by one of Kramer’s victims and read out by me in court on their behalf);

despite the many allegations that were brought to their attention, allowed Cyprys to remain in charge of security until the mid-2000s;

despite the many allegations that were brought to their attention, allowed Cyprys to attend Chabad Summer Camps;

despite the many allegations against Cyprys, placed a student in his care whom he repeatedly abused;

asked a victim to leave the school for daring to speak out and take action regarding his abuse by Cyprys;

was publicly criticised by Victoria Police in court for not cooperating with them in these investigations; and
includes a senior member whose testimony was described by the Magistrate as being “unfathomable”;


Tzedek (Hebrew for Justice) is an Australian-based advocacy group for Jewish victims/survivors of child sexual abuse—promoting their needs and interests and offering them and other relevant stakeholders a range of services.

Second, (with a trigger warning) a story told to the Birmingham Mail by Nabila Sharma (that's Birmingham UK).
My Imam abused me nearly every day for four years at the local mosque
17 Mar 2013 09:10
Midland Muslim woman was sexually assaulted regularly between the age of 7 and 11.

I WAS abused almost every day between the ages of seven and 11.

My abuser was the leader of my mosque, the Imam.

One day, he asked me to come to his room, as he lived at the mosque.

I found this strange, but he said I could read to him and get ahead with my prayers before the others arrived.

Inside his room, he began touching my face and stroking my hair, telling me what a pretty little girl I was.

I was only seven, I didn’t understand what he was doing other than I knew I didn’t like it. It made me uncomfortable.


Third, (trigger warning) Hinduism is not immune witness this story from the Vancouver Sun-Sentinel.
Drum teacher at Hindu temple sentenced to life in prison for child sex abuse
A religious guru and music teacher was legally declared a sexual predator and sentenced to life in prison Thursday afternoon for repeatedly abusing a 10-year-old student during her weekly drum lessons.

/snip

The girl, now 14, testified that Munshi, 49, molested her, forced her to perform oral sex and masturbated in front of her.

Before the judge imposed the mandatory life sentence, prosecutor Mary Ann Braun read a letter from the victim's family: "You are a far cry from the word guru [religious teacher]. Words cannot describe the pain, agony and mental torture you have brought upon my family and most of all a happy-go-lucky, beautiful and loving child."


Other cases are recorded by the Muslim Womens Network for for abuse of Asian women and girls and by Failed Messiah. Please note that Failed Messiah is, despite being written by Jews for Jews, regarded by some in the Jewish community as a hate site.
34 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Religiously enabled Child Sexual Abuse is not just a Christian problem (Original Post) intaglio Nov 2013 OP
not limited to religious leaders.. pipoman Nov 2013 #1
This post is specifically about one area of the child abuse problem intaglio Nov 2013 #3
In each of the cases I cited pipoman Nov 2013 #8
Please check my post #7 on response to rug intaglio Nov 2013 #10
Also a problem especially for those who are convinced skepticscott Nov 2013 #12
The difference is skepticscott Nov 2013 #6
As stated above.. pipoman Nov 2013 #9
Which does not address my point skepticscott Nov 2013 #11
This is true. rug Nov 2013 #2
Check my reply #3 n/t intaglio Nov 2013 #4
Ok. rug Nov 2013 #5
In this case it is the reinforcement of trust intaglio Nov 2013 #7
+1. It will be interesting to see what kind of a response you get, if at all. cleanhippie Nov 2013 #15
Or maybe I'll just make some indirect commoents about you to another poster. rug Nov 2013 #16
Turkey is fitting. cleanhippie Nov 2013 #21
The case that religious scripture approves child sexual abuse is quite weak. rug Nov 2013 #17
The text with which we are both most familiar is the Bible intaglio Nov 2013 #18
There's no derailment at all. You received a direct response, rug Nov 2013 #19
I have deliberately avoided saying something "unique and peculiar" intaglio Nov 2013 #20
You have, however, implied that there is something about religion that makes it worse than elsewhere rug Nov 2013 #22
No, I have said that those who claim moral superiority intaglio Nov 2013 #24
Do I understand you to say that the incidence of CSA is the same in religions as it outside? rug Nov 2013 #25
I made no claims about incidence or frequency compared to other groups intaglio Nov 2013 #30
I get you. rug Nov 2013 #33
Police seem to do better when their actions are constantly recorded. We ought to adapt that system dimbear Nov 2013 #31
Did you ever hear of a sting tape? rug Nov 2013 #32
I see the value of that, but it's one sided. The constant surveillance works both ways, it dimbear Nov 2013 #34
And yet it's still a HUUUUUGE christian problem. Iggo Nov 2013 #13
I think it is because there is more publicity about the Christian side of things intaglio Nov 2013 #14
Here's how it boils down. Religious folks trust their leaders too much, don't keep tabs on them, dimbear Nov 2013 #23
And why do they trust their leaders too much? skepticscott Nov 2013 #26
No doubt about it. dimbear Nov 2013 #29
No, it's not. Sexual predators, especially the ones who prey on children, Warpy Nov 2013 #27
sorry to say every religion does this DonCoquixote Nov 2013 #28
 

pipoman

(16,038 posts)
1. not limited to religious leaders..
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 07:24 AM
Nov 2013

Teachers, cops, day care providers, doctors, and thelist goes on...predators seek opportunity..any place children are put under adult supervision there is opportunity..

intaglio

(8,170 posts)
3. This post is specifically about one area of the child abuse problem
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 07:58 AM
Nov 2013

It is not about the entirety of that problem. That is why this post is in "Religion" and not GD.

Those who are supposed to provide moral leadership to the faithful are sometimes guilty of these crimes but even those who would never commit such acts enable those who do. We are all aware of the abysmal record of the Catholic hierarchy in this respect and the marginalisation of those who make similar complaints against protestants. For Christians, beyond the sexual aspect, the physical abuse of children is regarded as biblical or canonical and thus receives approval and support from certain areas in the Christian community.

Abuse, both physical and sexual, is sometimes justified as traditional practice by those religions that depend upon such traditions like Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. There is a culture that does not allow the the so-called "dirty washing" to be aired in public and not just where the religion involved is in a minority or oppressed. The evidence is that where a faith has large political presence such crimes are covered up or excused even more effectively.

 

pipoman

(16,038 posts)
8. In each of the cases I cited
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 10:52 AM
Nov 2013

there is egregious abuse of authority...all sinister and reprehensible in their own way..each with a tendency to cover the problems for the good of the profession..

I didn't look at the group this was in..

intaglio

(8,170 posts)
10. Please check my post #7 on response to rug
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 10:57 AM
Nov 2013
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1218101434#post7

I have stated precisely why it is a problem for religions to face whereas those others have multiple layers of control lessening (but not eliminating) the chance of such abuse.
 

skepticscott

(13,029 posts)
12. Also a problem especially for those who are convinced
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 11:01 AM
Nov 2013

that their ultimate authority comes from gawd.

 

skepticscott

(13,029 posts)
6. The difference is
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 08:06 AM
Nov 2013

that teachers, cops and day care providers are not trying to dictate morality to everyone else and to control and restrict other people's rights based on what they claim to be their higher moral authority. The Catholic Church and other religious organizations are even though their systematic coverup and enabling of child rape shows they have no such authority.

 

pipoman

(16,038 posts)
9. As stated above..
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 10:53 AM
Nov 2013

all abuse a trust or authority given them by others...each is inexcusable in its way..

 

rug

(82,333 posts)
2. This is true.
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 07:28 AM
Nov 2013

it seems to be a problem with many large institutions, secular or religious, that deal with children. Some handle it better than others.

 

rug

(82,333 posts)
5. Ok.
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 08:02 AM
Nov 2013

Which would you say are the bigger factors, trust and authority or religious belief and practice?

intaglio

(8,170 posts)
7. In this case it is the reinforcement of trust
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 09:19 AM
Nov 2013

and the assumption of authority by leaders on the basis of religious belief and practice. There is no rational reason to trust such figures or to give them such authority, be they rabbi, priest, imam or guru, except to assume that their training (if any) will have weeded out the abusive or that, in the few cases where such mechanisms exist, a superior will act to report and remove the criminal. Unfortunately we know that the training does not do such weeding and, in the religions where there are command structures, those with that responsibility are reluctant to even acknowledge the problem.

There is even a case to be made that religions approve such behaviour. Physical abuse of children is receives the deity's stamp of approval in the Bible, the Koran, the Haddith and the Torah; man/girl rape can be excused in all those texts; man/boy rape is rationalised by the prohibition (biblically) being against man "lying" with man. Add in the layers of customary law that have attached to such faiths and you are left with a hodge-podge where religious leaders can do nearly anything without question or fear of reprisal.

Contrast social workers or the police or medical practitioners or teachers; in all cases not only are there specific management structures but also there are professional bodies, and statutory oversight mechanisms. Even these systems fail at times but there is a far greater chance that the deliberately abusive will be stopped by them before massive damage occurs.

cleanhippie

(19,705 posts)
15. +1. It will be interesting to see what kind of a response you get, if at all.
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 01:12 PM
Nov 2013

It's likely that if you do get a response, it will not address the specific points you raised, and instead deflect to some tangentially related obfuscating nonsense. Or it will be a question that impugns your motives or character. Or both.


 

rug

(82,333 posts)
16. Or maybe I'll just make some indirect commoents about you to another poster.
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 02:00 PM
Nov 2013

Or eat turkey.

I'm flattered you wait with bated breath.

 

rug

(82,333 posts)
17. The case that religious scripture approves child sexual abuse is quite weak.
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 02:10 PM
Nov 2013

Religions that are global have varying rates of abuse depending on the culture. The scripture is the constant but the society is the variable.

As to teachers and police and the like, the problem persists there despite statutory and regulatory oversight. Not to be anecdotal, but in even a cursory perusal of GD, you'll see frequent incidents of police sexual abuse (currently at motor vehicle stops in Texas) and teachers' arrests (the current reportage often highlights female teachers abusing male students).

As I said, some organizations do a better job than others but the case that this is endemic to religions primarily is simply not made.

intaglio

(8,170 posts)
18. The text with which we are both most familiar is the Bible
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 03:44 PM
Nov 2013

and, although CSA is not given overt approval, there is a body of teachings and parables that allow marriage to any woman "of child bearing age" i.e. when they commence their menses. There are also examples where God gives permission for the forced marriage of soldiers with their prisoners of whatever age, the approval of the use of prisoners as sexual slaves. Add in the teaching that a rapist can avoid punishment for their rape by marrying the victim whatever that victim's age. Then consider the sickening tale of Lot and his daughters and the approval for incest that that gives.

Now you say, rightly, that there are cases of modern authority figures committing CSA but that is not the object of this post, the object, which I state again, is the discussion of child abuse of whatever type by members of non-Christian faiths. This abuse can be given a cachet of approval by religious leaders due to the direct teachings in holy text or by the customary accretions to that faith. If approval is not given then it seems to be concealed by such faiths and sects to avoid the opprobrium that such revelations cause.

Your continued attempt to derail this into a different discussion indicates either blindness as to the stated purpose of this thread or a deliberate attempt to avoid criticism of the faithful by moving into a more general discussion of CSA. Remember also that the statement "... but everyone does it!" does not excuse such acts and, given the claims to moral superiority made by all faiths, completely negates that claimed superiority.

 

rug

(82,333 posts)
19. There's no derailment at all. You received a direct response,
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 03:50 PM
Nov 2013

You assert there is something unique and peculiar to religions, all religions, that promotes and abets child sexual abuse.

I disagree. Pointing out the shortcomings of that claim is a far cry from the words you put in my mouth, "... but everyone does it!" (For future reference, I rarely use exclamation points.)

intaglio

(8,170 posts)
20. I have deliberately avoided saying something "unique and peculiar"
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 04:01 PM
Nov 2013

I have stated, again and again, that this discussion concerns the relationship between faiths and child abuse and specifically that Christianity is not alone in the problems raised by the relationship between child abuse and the attitude of both religious leadership and holy teaching.

You however have insisted that this either become a discussion of specifically the CSA problem in the wider world or that, somehow, the existence of CSA elsewhere excuses those who claim moral authority and their cover-ups, or participation in, child abuse.

 

rug

(82,333 posts)
22. You have, however, implied that there is something about religion that makes it worse than elsewhere
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 05:09 PM
Nov 2013

intaglio

(8,170 posts)
24. No, I have said that those who claim moral superiority
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 08:05 PM
Nov 2013

because they are religious have to answer hard questions given the incidence of child abuse and the known evidence of attempted cover up within these faiths. Other groups where abusers have been found do not make these claims of moral superiority and in the main have attempted to address the problem with management awareness, professional oversight, statutory oversight, robust insistence on reports to the investigating agencies, training emphasising the importance of continual self monitoring and early assessment of those entering these jobs.

Compare and contrast. Imams, Rabbis, Rebbes and Guru often do not have even the minimal oversight provided by the few Christian hierarchies. There is also a culture of unthinking obedience to these spiritual authorities solely because they have a deeper understanding of holy writ. These cultures often insist that what happens within the faith not be reported to the temporal authorities because that would damage the faith in the wider world.

My OP raised the point that too often attention has been focused on the failures of Christian faiths and that the failures we see there seem to be replicated in other faiths; this was the reason for my quoting of the examples in the OP.

 

rug

(82,333 posts)
25. Do I understand you to say that the incidence of CSA is the same in religions as it outside?
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 08:18 PM
Nov 2013

And that your objection is they have less supervision and more coverups than outside?

intaglio

(8,170 posts)
30. I made no claims about incidence or frequency compared to other groups
Fri Nov 29, 2013, 02:43 AM
Nov 2013

My claim is that, as far as religions go, attention has been focused on Christian child abuse including CSA whilst ignoring the idea that it may be a much wider problem. I have suggested that submission to authority and the exclusivity claimed by faiths enables abuse and CSA; this is much as a culture of celebrity and the pampering of "stars" in the entertainment industry enabled CSA.

dimbear

(6,271 posts)
31. Police seem to do better when their actions are constantly recorded. We ought to adapt that system
Fri Nov 29, 2013, 06:37 AM
Nov 2013

for members of the clergy. After some initial reluctance, the recording devices wouldn't seem intrusive at all, and would come to reify the ancient idea of an overseeing angel.
As a practical matter, the expense would be trifling compared to the present spate of lawsuits and penalties.
Win win.


 

rug

(82,333 posts)
32. Did you ever hear of a sting tape?
Fri Nov 29, 2013, 10:17 AM
Nov 2013

It's sometimes called a pretext call.

The way it works is the victim, or someone who the suspect trusts, calls the suspect and talks about the incident.

After a complaint is made, the police will record the phone call (after following the legal procedure in the jurisdiction) while the caller attempts to get the suspect to make an admission. If he or she does make an admission, the evidence is devastating.

dimbear

(6,271 posts)
34. I see the value of that, but it's one sided. The constant surveillance works both ways, it
Fri Nov 29, 2013, 07:16 PM
Nov 2013

protects the innocent on both sides, and as a bonus to that essential purpose punishes the guilty. That's why the police who were first reluctant are by and large now enthusiastic about dashboard cameras, et al.

There's little question the police then behave better.

This actually taking place WRT clergy would not jar me.

Next up: physicians. We go from just taping the operating room to taping everything.





intaglio

(8,170 posts)
14. I think it is because there is more publicity about the Christian side of things
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 12:59 PM
Nov 2013

If you check out the link to Failed Messiah you will see a large number of posts about abuse in the Judaic world. In the UK there has been much publicity about under-age forced marriage for Islamic and Hindu girls, though that might be prejudice driven.

dimbear

(6,271 posts)
23. Here's how it boils down. Religious folks trust their leaders too much, don't keep tabs on them,
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 07:55 PM
Nov 2013

predators are evil, not stupid.
Hence the problem.

 

skepticscott

(13,029 posts)
26. And why do they trust their leaders too much?
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 08:24 PM
Nov 2013

Couldn't be because they've been brainwashed from a very young age to think that their leaders are doing the work of "god" and that their moral authority comes from him, could it? After all, what sane and sensible person would question something that came from an actual god?

dimbear

(6,271 posts)
29. No doubt about it.
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 09:01 PM
Nov 2013

Here and there folk seem to be becoming more alert; Ireland, Australia for two examples.


Warpy

(110,486 posts)
27. No, it's not. Sexual predators, especially the ones who prey on children,
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 08:25 PM
Nov 2013

want to seem as above reproach as they possibly can. Religion is one of their favorite places to hide.

ETA: the US is a majority Christian country and that's why the stories of sexual predators usually involve Christian clergy.

DonCoquixote

(13,610 posts)
28. sorry to say every religion does this
Thu Nov 28, 2013, 08:29 PM
Nov 2013

Because every religion tries to get control of people's sexuality. Even supposed "Atheist " Communism was notorious for this. If all human religions were replaced tomorrow, all of them would have the clergy that would not only be direct abusers of children, but be the defenders of it, passive or not.

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