Monday, January 18, 2010

Jordan is a sore loser, and something fishy happened in the trial of Paul Shanley


Jewish date:  3 Shevaṭ 5770 (Parashath Bo’).

Today’s holiday:  Monday of the Second Week of Ordinary Time (Roman Catholicism).

Topic 1:  “Anything but Jewish”:  This post does a good job covering the recent claim made by Jordan that it owns the Dead Sea Scrolls and severely criticizes an article by Daoud Kuttab rationalizing that the Scrolls are Jordanian/“Palestinian” and as much Christian and Islamic as Jewish.  Who wrote the Scrolls?  Jews.  Were there Christians, Muslims, Jordanians, and “Palestinians” alive when the Scrolls were written?  No.  Where were the Scrolls found?  Qumran, in what is now Israeli territory.  How attached have Muslims and Christians been to the Scrolls?  They wanted to make them into sandals and sold them for profit.  Not to mention there is the persistent issue which Muslim countries always gloss over:  if you attack another country without provocation (and merely existing is not a provocation) and you lose anything, it is no longer yours.  That is the way war works.  The Scrolls are Jewish and in Israeli hands, and if the Jordanians do not like it, then it is their problem.

Topic 2:  I am very confused by this article:  “Mass. court denies ex-priest's bid for new trial”.  The Catholic ex-priest in question, Paul Shanley, was convicted on the basis of “repressed memories” claiming abuse 20 years ago.  This is very disturbing because repressed memory therapy does not actually recover memories not conscious remembered; it creates memories of things that did not happen by building upon or altering existing memories or fabricating them from scratch.  Because “repressed memories” are false, people believing they are true can hurt individuals, families, and communities by making damaging accusations.  Families have been destroyed and innocent people thrown in jail because of “repressed memories”.  I therefore assumed that Shanley is totally innocent of the charges.  But then I noticed this paragraph near the end:
Shanley, now 78, was known in the 1960s and 1970s as a "street priest" who reached out to Boston's troubled youth. Internal records showed that church officials were aware of sexual abuse complaints against him as early as 1967.
More digging turned up this paragraph (including a reference) in the Wikipedia article on him:
According to Leon Podles in his book Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, "In late 1993, Shanley was sent to the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut, for evaluation. The Boston archdiocese has refused to release this evaluation, but other released files show that Shanley admitted to nine sexual encounters, of which four involved boys, and that he was diagnosed as 'narcissistic' and 'histrionic'. Shanley admitted that he was 'attracted to adolescents' and on the basis of this confession, the Boston archdiocese secretly settled several lawsuits against Shanley. The archdiocese of Boston in 1993 had to admit to the diocese of San Bernardino part of the truth about Shanley, and the bishop of San Bernardino immediately dismissed him."
So…  If this information is correct, then Shanley is an admitted pedophile.  Presumably there is something more than hearsay and mere accusation going on here since he admitted something happened.  Even if he lied and did not do the crimes (which, strangely enough, people occasionally do), something must have happened to make him do so.  If one is going to convict someone of a crime, one wants to do it on the strongest possible evidence.  So why was Shanley convicted on completely invalid evidence when presumably there is something more substantial out there?  Something fishy is going on here; that’s for sure.

Topic 3:  For today’s religious humor:  “Basement cat pozing fur movie posterz”:
funny pictures of cats with captions


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