Sunday, January 23, 2011

Childrens Rights... Womens Rights... Universal Declaration of Human Rights... Pope... Vatican.... SNAP... Christopher Hitchens... Justice Antonin Scalia... Sojourner Truth... More

Not long ago, I put up some videos, from You Tube, addressing the increasing incidence of human traffiking in Upstate New York.  Shocking.  Frightening.  And, I would think - for most of us - particularly parents:  horrifying.

Thus, I was happy to see the following two articles:

1.  "Roundup nets 127 mob suspects" ["Daily Freeman"; 1/21/2011; p. B1]; and

2.  "Prosecutors seek restitution for victims in child porn cases" [" Daily Freeman"; 1/18/2011; p. B4].

That said, I feel I need to go head to head with the Catholic Pope, who recently, according to another article, "argued that the scandal [within the Catholic Church / Hierarchy; see videos below...] had to be seen in its correct social "context," one in which many people see child pornography, drug use and human trafficking as perfectly acceptable..." ["Pope Benedict:  Church Must Reflect on Sex Abuse Scandals"; 12/20/10; AOL.News;]

"Perfectly acceptable" ?????

One would certainly hope that reflection on this issue does not - for some - lead to such a conclusion - Eh?

From the already cited article,  "Prosecutors seek restitution for victims in child porn cases":

Assistant U.S. Attorney William Pericak:  "I would say in our closed inventory, there are hundreds of cases.  They've been convicted, sentenced and their conviction has been affirmed upon appeal" [Assistant U.S. Attorney William Pericak is the "deputy chief of the criminal devision... that stretches from the mid-Hudson Valley to the Canadian border and west to Syracuse and Binghampton".]

The good news in said article, besides the convictions, is that "Federal prosecutors intent on stemming child pornography and helping care for its victims are increasingly going after the assets of offenders... meant to deter sharing images of exploited children and to help pay for their later psychiatric or other treatment, authorites said."

The bad new, in relation to what I have to say here is:

1.  Apparently the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is still choosing - in house - to cover up for child sex offenders --- despite all civil laws to the contrary; and

2.  Apparently this is not going to change until enough people make it an issue and demand that justice - for child victims - be upheld.

Now, some of my readers are aware that I am married to a man that formerly served as a Catholic Priest; which might lead one to wonder if he - or his experiences - has influenced my focus on this topic... 

The answer is no.  In fact, he has asked me why I am focusing on this topic; to which I must answer:  My personal history (which had very little to do with the Catholic Church) and research; accounts (as published on this blog, here and below...) that I have stumbled upon recently; and my concern, overall, for the welfare of children.

I have - and those of you who have followed my blogs from the onset are aware of this - spent time addressing sexual abuse in other instances - and in other religous bodies - and cults - as well.  In fact, I started this latest blog, "Flinging Towards the Sun", after being subjected to some harrassment (on "Spreading Our Wings") by some folks that were apparently alligned (?) with a particular organization / situation that I was (then) addressing.

So be it.

In this case, I offer up the following videos (from You Tube) for you to evaluate (should you so choose) on your own time; stating that from my perspective (and yes, I know this is "tender" territory) that there appears to be some major problems with this picture...

["Abused deaf children, the Pope & Boulder Junction, Wisconsin"; as submitted to You Tube by mnsnap;]

["Vatican Had Halted Trial for Accused Priest"; as submitted to You Tube by the Associated Press;]

["Christopher Hitchens Slams Vatican, Pope Over Sex Abuse Scandal"; as submitted to You Tube by Tar7i;]

In addition to which I would refer you to the following video [very important, me thinks...; but the embedding feature has been disabled...] on You Tube:
"ABC World News with Di... Berlusconi:  Harsh Words from Pope Benedict"; 1/21/11;]

Adding an "I wonder why..." to the fact that Vatican City still hasn't:

1.  Raised the "age of consent" from 12 or 13 (still very much a child in my eyes) years old?

2.  "Allowed" ["Should that word even be a factor in light of the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights"?] women into the priesthood...

3.  "Allowed" [Ditto...] priests [whilst preaching "family values"] to marry...

4.  Etc. [I could go on...]

In an aside, we also have the case of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia [a far right Catholic Conservative, to my understanding (?)] --- stating that the "14th Amendment" does not prohibit "discrimination on the basis of sex." 

In Justice Scalia's words:  "Nobody ever thought that that's what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don't need a constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box. You don't like the death penalty anymore, that's fine. You want a right to abortion? There's nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn't mean you cannot prohibit it. Persuade your fellow citizens it's a good idea and pass a law. That's what democracy is all about. It's not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society" ["The Originalist"; "California Lawyer" (a "Daily Journal" publication);  1/2011;]

Which is beginning (ya' think?) to sound like "Pandora's Box" - 2011 Style - all wrapped up in pretty pink and blue (excuse my sarcasm...) "blows."


I think all of this could use a little scientific and logical and [utilizing the proper legal authorities] in depth investigation...

Don't you?
In case you did not (ahem) know this:

"Child sexual abuse is nowadays outlawed in almost all countries,[1][2] generally with severe criminal penalties, including in some jurisdictions, life imprisonment or capital punishment...

An adult's sexual intercourse with a minor below the legal age of consent is defined as statutory rape,[3][4] based on the principle that an abusing adult is a criminal deviant who takes advantage of a minor, who is not capable of consent, and that any apparent consent by a minor could not be considered legal consent.The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is an international treaty that legally obliges states to protect children's rights...  

Articles 34 and 35 of the CRC require states to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. This includes outlawing the coercion of a child to perform sexual activity, the prostitution of children, and the exploitation of children in creating pornography. States are also required to prevent the abduction, sale, or trafficking of children.[5]

As of November 2008, 193 countries are bound by the CRC,[6] including every member of the United Nations except the United States and Somalia.[7][8]"
1.  Levesque, Roger J. R. (1999). "Sexual Abuse of Children: A Human Rights Perspective". Indiana University Press. pp. 1,5–6,176–180. "The world community recently has recognized every child's fundamental human right to protection from sexual maltreatment. This right has been expressed in recent declarations, conventions, and programs of action. Indeed, the right to protection from sexual maltreatment is now entrenched so strongly in international human rights law that no country can relinquish its obligation."

2.  "United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child". Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 1989".  "States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse... States Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. For these purposes, States Parties shall in particular take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent: (a) The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity; (b) The exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices; (c) The exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials."

3. "Statutory Rape Known to Law Enforcement" (PDF). U.S. Department of Justice - Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention":

4. "Black's Law Dictionary 8th Edition. child, "at common law, a person who has not reached the age of 14." See also definition under rape "carnal knowledge of a child is frequently declared to be rape by statute."

5. "United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child."

6.  "United Nations Treaty Collection. Convention on the Rights of the Child."
7.  "Child Rights Information Network (2008). Convention on the Rights of the Child."

8. "Amnesty International USA (2007). Convention on the Rights of the Child: Frequently Asked Questions."

[The Above is from:  "Laws regarding child sexual abuse"; "WIKIPEDEA The Free Encylopedia";]


Related sources:
"Ages of consent in North America - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia":


"Ages of consent in Europe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia":

"New Zealand Conservative Vatican City and Age of Consent":

BTW, Since religous orders and thier respective properties are generally tax exempt, whom do you suppose pays when a religious organization is successfully sued by a child victim? 

The taxpayer?

[All bold and colored print reflects my emphasis]
I end with this...  A favorite video of mine:
["Alice Walker reads Sojourner Truth"; as submitted to You Tube by arnove; ] 

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