1st May 2012

“Clerical culture attracts, cultivates, promotes and protects psychosexually immature men.”

Richard Sipe

13 Responses to “1st May 2012”

  1. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Highly religious people are less motivated by compassion than are non-believers

    Face it religious people are just f-ups

  2. The Heretic Says:

    I don’t know about immature men, but deviants certainly. It is a sexually repressed society cloaked in secrecy. The perfect hiding place.

  3. Xhim Says:

    It’s probably less repressed than you think. And it’s not a hiding place any more if it ever was, because of public suspicion. You wouldn’t believe the rules in place in my denomination for protection, like, in the nursery you can’t change a diaper without a second adult present.
    But it does attract deviants, because (even with all the protections in place) it offers access to children in a way hardly anything else does, except maybe parenthood itself. Even in schools it’s much harder to get a kid alone than in a church environment. A perp disguised as a cleric or ‘youth pastor’ can always choose to bypass the regs.

  4. Xhim Says:

    I should add about the nursery, you have to have 2 adults in any youth activity, but if one goes to the bathroom, you wait until he’s back to change the diaper.

  5. Xhim Says:

    Sinjin, this study is based on “three experiments.” It looks like it will definitely need additional verification. But even if it proves correct (I’ll be surprised) the absolute likelihood of a religious person being generous if still much higher than that of a non-religious person.

  6. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Xhim to your first point about “hiding places” today’s quotation does say that Clerical culture attracts and you address that in your comment but it also says “cultivates, promotes and protects “.

    Understand thisdefinition of Psychosexual development:
    A series of stages from infancy to adulthood, relatively fixed in time, determined by the interaction between a person’s biological drives and the environment. With resolution of this interaction, “a balanced, reality-oriented development takes place”; with disturbance, fixation and conflict ensue. This disturbance may remain latent or give rise to characterological or behavioral disorders.

    Disturbance, as is the case of the clergy, does indeed give rise to disorders: Psychopathy for one.

    Now review this definition of Psychopath:
    A person with a mental disorder characterized by the conspicuous disregard for the rights and needs of others, the lack of remorse and the lack of empathy for others.

    Remembering that today’s quote was about clergy culture and I hope you can agree there is a real problem with clergy culture, the probelm is systemic. To deny this is what enables the abuse.

  7. Xhim Says:

    Sinjin, I would say the “clergy culture” that I am familiar with does not fit this description. But in fact, there is no such thing as one monolithic “clergy culture.” That of a fundamentalist Baptist is radically different from that of an Orthodox priest, which in turn has very little similarity with that of a Unitarian. So I can’t say that there is no “clergy culture” that fits the bill. There may well be. But not all of the widely diversified “clergy cultures” do.

  8. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Xhim it sounds as if you are suggesting the clergy sexual abuse is bound by denomination? Ot that your (differences) are some how mitigating the widespread facts regarding clergy abuse and its prevalence among all faith.

    The problem is inherent in the concept, the problem is created when you elevate any person to a position of authority (think power corrupts absolutely).

    What is relevant to clergy culture is how this power manifests itself: pedophilia.

    John Edwards, the former Presidential candidate, was an immature person just as the priests and preachers are. His disease manifest differently, but he was just as corrupted.

    When elevated to god’s representative on Earth how long before you are tempted to exercise the power?

  9. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    As for religious people being more generous one must remember that religious charities are among the very most corrupt, some examples:

    Victorious Christian Living International

    Administrative expenses: 46.0%

    Based in Phoenix, Arizona, VCLI is one of the smallest organizations on the list, as well as being one of the least efficient. With a budget of only around $100,000 in fiscal year 2007, the group spends almost half on administrative expenses stemming from the operational costs of running offices in Illinois, Alabama, Guatemala, and Cuba in addition to its headquarters in Arizona. The organization, led by the charismatic Ray L’Amoreaux (whose $24,000 salary represented 2.24% of expenses in 2007), seeks to help churches further their efforts to recruit more committed followers of Jesus.

    Changed Lives

    Administrative expenses: 47.4%

    Changed Lives is a Christian organization based in Tennessee whose message of Biblical values is broadcast streaming over the internet to followers around the world. Carried by speaker Ben Haden, who began his broadcasting career at NBC in 1967, Changed Lives features video lectures on a number of spiritual topics and distributes Bibles and other religious literature for free to its supporters. While the organization’s revenues have increased over the last three reported years, its overhead has more than kept pace, pushing administrative expenses to over 47 percent of the group’s 2008 budget of around $790,000.

    Vision New England

    Administrative expenses: 48.7%

    Another evangelical organization, Vision New England works with a network of over 5,000 churches to advance its goal of supporting and improving upon pastors’ efforts to increase bring more New Englanders to faith in Jesus. It does this through seminars and prayer groups throughout the region. The group’s $1.4 million budget in 2008 was significantly lower than the previous two fiscal years, but a significant rise in administrative costs during that same period brought overhead costs up to 48.7 percent of total expenses.

    Union Rescue Mission, Little Rock

    Administrative expenses: 62.1%

    Arkansas’s Union Rescue Mission is the first charity on the list whose administrative expenses reached over 60 percent of total expenses for the last reported year. The Mission’s goals are of the highest importance, targeting hunger, victims of abuse, and people struggling with addiction in Arkansas and her neighboring states, which it pursues through the efforts of a few key Baptist reverends. The massive increase in administrative costs in fiscal year 2008 over the previous year, according to Executive Director William Toffett, were due more to accounting issues than operational costs, suggesting that the group’s recent poor performance is not indicative of fundamental inefficiencies in the mission itself.

    Remember passing food aid, medical aid, caring for the sick and dying are charitable acts. Passing out bibles and advising people that condom use is the fast path to hell isn’t charity.

  10. Xhim Says:

    Well, Sinjin, the clergy you know sure have a lot more power and authority than the clergy I know. The vast majority of pastors serve congregations of fewer than 50 people, and work on the side – sometimes full time – in order to put food on the table. A lot of them enjoy the respect and appreciation of their flock, few of them have much power. The final say in most protestant denominations (I’m not that familiar with the structure of the Orthodox or RC) is the church board or equivalent. In many denominations the pastor must be subject to an annual or bi-annual vote of confidence from the congregation. 50% or less, and he’s gone by the end of the month. Doesn’t sound like exorbitant power to me.
    Yes, some do rise to positions of power, but it is not simply given to them on the basis of their ordination. And some of those abuse that power in disgusting and even criminal ways. But generalizing like you tend to is simply not reality-based.
    As to the corrupt religious charities, it doesn’t surprise me that you found three that I have never heard of. It also doesn’t surprise me that you found some. There are scams in any undertaking that involves money, so of course unscrupulous people are more than happy to set up a “charity” or “non-profit” that feeds on the more credulous of the religionistas – or the more credulous of any demographic group. That’s why it is always good to do a little homework before giving away your money.
    Passing out Bibles (or at least, the activity that example represents) isn’t a charitable act? From your perspective obviously not. But if that is part of the process of helping a crack addict break his habit, or an abusive father to begin loving his family, or a self-deprecating woman discover her own self-worth, why isn’t it? Like I say so often, these are the people I am constantly in contact with. While I am convinced of the truth of my belief system, even if it is untrue I would hate to see the condition of a world without its positive effects.

  11. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Your argument is then “few bad eggs”? I guess that has been working for a long time so continuing to go with it must seem reasonable to you.

    I’m afraid for me the number of bad eggs is too many, so many that I think it is time to call a spade a spade.

    Rather than a few bad eggs, today it would seem there are only a few good eggs.

    How many examples of poorly run Christian charities do you require? I gave you 4 by the way, a cross sectional example, not because I could only find 3. Were I to give you say 38,000 would that be enough?

    “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still” Don’t worry, I don’t actually believe I’ll ever convince you.

  12. Xhim Says:

    Nor me you, Sinjin. You are, however, a stimulating ‘opponent.’ I fear, tho, that I enjoy the exchange more than you do.
    BTW, is 38000 an actual number, or a rhetorical estimate? If real, the next question is: does poorly run = evil? If so, can we apply the same criteria to government?

  13. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Yes the same criteria could be applied to government.

    Yes poorly run is a bad thing: bad and evil? Well neither are something we want to propagate or otherwise support.

    No 38,000 is not a real number. It was a set up to lure you in. I was going to spring the following quotation on you had you taken the bait:

    Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.
    Albert Einstein

    In addition to my interest in advancing our understanding of life, living, and what is real I also enjoy language.

    If you will take a moment to consider Einstein’s quote I think you will see how it fits in with the previous quotation “…convinced against his will…” which is most often attributed to Benjamin Franklin.

    I will relent on this, all religion/religious people are not evil. My chief concern is not with the people who believe, but the leaders who are all too often corrupt. It doesn’t seem to matter which sect/cult/denomination, where there is leadership there is corruption, deviance, and dishonesty.

    I’m glad you find security in your space within this, but I think you should consider yourself very fortunate: Across the globe are ugly influences that far outweigh the supposed good.

    War, occupation, undermining sovereign authority and governments, at the direction of religious forces call into question the goodness of faith.