Southern Religion

Lie to me (my parents did)

An adult survivor of childhood abuse responds to Lying as parenting. He begins gently by way of reference to a Fox television show:

For adults molested as children by a trusted caregiver, the attraction of Lie to Me is a promise:

There is someone to tell who will recognize your truth as you tell it and believe you, no matter how innately horrific the details of the account. Because the endless refrain of the molesting caregiver is “No one will ever believe you,” sung and hummed while they apply all of their power as trusted adults to ensuring that you are not believed. Like killer whales playing toss with baby seals before eating them, they’re doing what is for them entirely natural. … [so you can see that] … for adults molested as children by a trusted caregiver, scientific findings that most parents lie to their children for purposes of their own and without apparent remorse, aren’t news.

Read on. It’s brief and it’s here.

September 29, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Cultural, Health | 1 Comment

Put celluloid pastor/priest Polanski in prison [Addendum]

Original poster for the 1968 film "Rosmary's Baby," directed by Roman Polanski

A celebrity then as now, three decades ago Roman Polanski drugged and raped a protesting 13-year-old girl during a photo session a lesser artistic light might not have been able to arrange.

Polanski fled to France in 1978 on the day of his sentencing, was arrested in Switzerland on Saturday and is predictably the focus of special pleadings on his behalf. For example, the French who protected him for years now argue that there is a case for mercy based on Polanski’s “exceptional artistic creation and human qualities.” Polish Filmmakers Association chief Jacek Bromski told the Associated Press that Polanski had paid for his crime “by not being able to make films in Hollywood.”

They sound like Southern Baptist ministers seeking special treatment for a clerical sexual predator or star believer at sentencing time while the predator is in denial. Thomas J. Reese, S.J. at On Faith indicates the appropriate reaction:

Imagine if the Knight of Columbus decided to give an award to a pedophile priest who had fled the country to avoid prison. The outcry would be universal. Victim groups would demand the award be withdrawn and that the organization apologize. Religion reporters would be on the case with the encouragement of their editors. Editorial writers and columnist would denounce the knights as another example of the insensitivity of the Catholic Church to sexual abuse.

And they would all be correct.

And I would join them

As should we all. Special pleadings for Southern Baptist sexual predators, Catholic priest sexual predators and Academy Award winning director sexual predators are all “elite deviance” and when those pleadings succeed, their success tends to foster repetition of the kind of crime involved.

Sociologists Anson D. Shupe, David G. Bromley define elite deviance as:

…illegal and/or unethical acts committed by persons in the highest corporate and political strata of society who run little risk of exposure or serious punishment, even though their deviance poses danger to the well-being of many others.

The film industry and the French should fall into shamed silence and Polansky should go to prison. There is no special standing which should be permitted to excuse use of one’s celebrity, authority as an adult and ability to manipulate to rape an adolescent who was placed in one’s care.


Mollie at GetReligion conducts an arch survey of the blog duel over Polanski’s fate.

Along the way we were reminded that Polanski’s plea bargain, three decades ago, was itself a clear example of “elite deviance.” Polanski was to be allowed to plead guilty to one of six charges – unlawful sexual intercourse – and have his sentence commuted to time served.

Polanski fled when the judge indicated he might reject the plea bargain – a worthwhile thought given Polanski’s forcible rape of a 13-year-old – and sentence Polanski to prison.

September 29, 2009 Posted by | Catholic, Churches, Crime, Cultural, Religion | , , | Comments Off on Put celluloid pastor/priest Polanski in prison [Addendum]