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Comment by Joan Denoo on March 7, 2013 at 1:18pm

Chris Breman, it is interesting to observe patterns of truly sick leaders and their sick followers. Is there hope? yes, I think there is; it requires awareness of dysfunction, desire to build healthy relationships, and the courage and stamina to make it happen. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 7, 2013 at 1:16pm

Tom Sarbeck, I like your comment and question. Dysfunctional systems enable dysfunctional families and wounded children. My focus, at least in my family, is to develop healthy interpersonal skills so that each generation has something of value passing on to the next. I observe my great-grandchildren and they have caught the healthy bugs. I look back three generations and forward three generations and I think the chain of domestic violence is broken. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 7, 2013 at 1:11pm

Loren, I like The Thinking Atheist; however, I missed this particular one The Thinking Atheist. Thanks. 

My most recent rants, especially as I look back on grandmas and mom and my early struggles, we were not heard. 

You heard me from my very first rant on A/N. Thanks, dear friend. In addition, I always feel heard by you. Sorry I am still inflicting my vitriol on you. 

Comment by Plinius on March 7, 2013 at 1:51am

The need for bodily contact, made worse by celibacy, I'd think, Tom. Again made worse by the clerical arrogance. I've read a few histories of sects; they all have in common that the 'leader' establishes his position and immediately starts to have sex with whoever he chooses - all others are forbidden to have sex. So having sex is a way to underline a higher position.

Comment by tom sarbeck on March 7, 2013 at 12:11am

With Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs in mind:

I do what I do in order to satisfy my needs. (No one else is required to cooperate.)

With reference to the behaviors mentioned in recent posts, what kinds of needs are people (usually but not always men) trying to satisfy?

While in college I met people who grew up in families very different from mine.

I gave a lot of thought to my parents' occasional violence. I gave a lot of thought also to their need for silence in the family. Answers came after they'd died.

During my years at SF Sex Information (, a wonderful remedy for twelve years in Catholic schools), conversations with other volunteers led me to ask "What kinds of needs are pedophiles trying to satisfy?"

For one, I figured, an inability to relate to adults.

Remedies: Lynching? Chemical castration? Registration as a sex offender? Other?

Revenge might feel good but it's Old Testament thinking.

What might have caused someone to feel the need?

Your thoughts?

Comment by Loren Miller on March 6, 2013 at 8:25pm

I hear you very clearly, Joan.  Indeed, I spent a part of this afternoon, listening to The Thinking Atheist podcast, its topic being Islam & Women ... and reminding myself that neither christianity nor islam have any corner on stupidity and presumption in their treatment of women.

I post it here for you or anyone who may be interested.  It's not short, but it is worth your time.

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 6, 2013 at 6:02pm
Seventy + years ago I observed my grandmother crying for relief from abuse. Fifty + years ago I watched my mother seek protection from domestic violence. Thirty eight years ago I pleaded for help to stop assaults. No one heard any of us. Well, now I am 77 years old, violence in the home continues to be tolerated or ignored, rape of women and men in the military continue without recourse. Priests and religious protect their members from prosecution, leaving victims to figure out what happened.
Well, silence does not help; expect to hear my creaky old voice as I challenge decent men and women to stand against such assaults. It will not end as long as the general public remains silent and tolerant. Tolerant? of Intolerable behaviors?
Comment by Grinning Cat on March 6, 2013 at 5:43pm

People are entitled to be polygamous and polyandrous if they want to, but let's pay attention to what our public claim is.

A strong secular "Amen" ("what she said!") to that!

Comment by Loren Miller on March 6, 2013 at 5:20pm

I have no problem with what you just said, Joan, quite the opposite.  The priests and hierarchy of the catholic church have made claims to piety and goodness and righteousness (whatever the hell that is), and those claims are called into severe question by actions which belie them.  These same men of the cloth seem to think they deserve a pass as part of their dues in the "Good Ol' Boys Club."  They need to learn that they are badly mistaken, and they need to learn that the hard way, learn it so thoroughly and vividly that they are completely disabused of such a notion.

The problem is that we're up against a long-standing pattern of both behavior and expectation of treatment, two elements of social inertia which must be overcome in order to effect change.

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 6, 2013 at 5:12pm

I feel very strongly that known sex offenders, whether priests, popes, religious people, politicians, business people ... whatever ... must be held accountable. 

When I was on the mayer's task force on issues of prostitution, the judges wouldn't cite prominent men for soliciting. Our task force asked why and the judges said making them public would hurt their reputations. We insisted that was the point. The men who solicited not only betrayed their families, perhaps exposing them to pests and diseases, but they betrayed their public vows of monogamy. For every prostitute cited, every solicitor had to be cited as well.

I am not saying men and women cannot be polygamous and polyandrous;  I am saying that the vow stating monogamy is the wrong vow. People are entitled to be polygamous and polyandrous if they want to, but let's pay attention to what our public claim is. 

Oh! I can hear the howls already! Go ahead, have your shout out; I stand on what I wrote. 


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