The problem is multi-denominational

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Timreason

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Nov 20, 2021, 1:40:07 PM11/20/21
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Not just the RCC and Anglican Communion churches, but just about any
denomination or sect has had abuse issues.

For example, in Australia:

https://abuseguardian.com/seventh-day-adventist-sexual-abuse-lawyer/

If it can happen there it can (and probably has) happened in the UK, too.

Some recent comments in this group have pointed out that, whereas
children and the vulnerable MUST be protected, the vilification of
people who are unfortunate enough to experience such attractions means
that they keep very quiet about it and are driven 'underground'. That
is, even if they would NEVER act out on those attractions in practice.

If, OTOH, they felt they could confide in others, and in that way enlist
help to ensure they will never harm a child, that would be a good thing,
would it not?

I don't know what would be the best approach, but ISTM that vilification
is perhaps one of the *worst* approaches. Indeed, should we as
Christians vilify *anybody*? TBH I'm not sure.

But I do believe that (a) harming others for personal gratification or
gain is contrary to Christian teaching, and (b) that the abuse of
children does them very significant and lasting harm.

But what IS the best pastoral approach to this issue?

Tim.



Kendall K. Down

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Nov 20, 2021, 4:10:05 PM11/20/21
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On 20/11/2021 18:35, Timreason wrote:

> Not just the RCC and Anglican Communion churches, but just about any
> denomination or sect has had abuse issues.

Absolutely - which is why I do not support those who single out the
Catholics for their "paedophile priests"; every church - probably every
organisation - has its sexual deviants.

> I don't know what would be the best approach, but ISTM that vilification
> is perhaps one of the *worst* approaches. Indeed, should we as
> Christians vilify *anybody*? TBH I'm not sure.

There may be a fine line here - one man's legitimate rebuke is another
man's "vilification"

> But what IS the best pastoral approach to this issue?

There are several things which I think should be done. The first is to
train the clergy to recognise child and marital abuse and the legal and
ethical responsibilities if they spot it. Many clergy are completely
unaware of what goes on in the world and are either shocked rigid by
something that is harmless or fail to notice abuse happening right under
the noses.

A second thing is that clergy should address these issues in their
sermons - once a year might be about right - because sometimes the
congregation can be as ignorant as the clergy. An abused woman may not
realise that she is the victim of abuse and "coercive control"; a child
may have been deceived into thinking that "all fathers do this".
Obviously care has to be taken over the setting for such a sermon and
the way in which it is phrased.

A third thing is that pastors must visit their flock. If you only meet
your members at church and interaction is limited to shaking hands after
the service, you are not going to spot problems. Visit them in their
homes, observe, be alert for unspoken clues, and sometimes a private
word may be better than a sermon from the pulpit.

A good shepherd does not just pose in green pastures in front of his
flock for Instagram pictures; he spends time taking burrs out of their
wool, checking for bot-fly infestation, stones in hooves, and hordes of
other un-glamorous things.

God bless,
Kendall K. Down



Timreason

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Nov 21, 2021, 4:20:07 AM11/21/21
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On 20/11/2021 21:02, Kendall K. Down wrote:
> On 20/11/2021 18:35, Timreason wrote:
>
>> Not just the RCC and Anglican Communion churches, but just about any
>> denomination or sect has had abuse issues.
>
> Absolutely - which is why I do not support those who single out the
> Catholics for their "paedophile priests"; every church - probably every
> organisation - has its sexual deviants.
>
>> I don't know what would be the best approach, but ISTM that
>> vilification is perhaps one of the *worst* approaches. Indeed, should
>> we as Christians vilify *anybody*? TBH I'm not sure.
>
> There may be a fine line here - one man's legitimate rebuke is another
> man's "vilification"
>

Really, I suppose this is the crux of the matter. It's one thing to
vilify someone who HAS committed an offence against a child or
vulnerable person, it is quite another to vilify them because they have
an unwanted attraction to children.

Here, it comes down to what we believe about human nature. (I'm NOT
getting into discussion here about other issues, BTW, please just keep
the discussion to child abuse and how best to prevent it).

I believe that people who have an attraction to prepubescent children
(rather than children who are just legally under age) have no choice in
the matter. You, however, seem to apply this criterion, that "The poor
dears can't help the way they are" is, in fact, untrue. However, I
believe it is true, they can't help the way they are. They are attracted
to prepubescents and there is nothing they can do to change that fact.

Of course, what they CAN do (MUST do, I'd say) is to totally avoid
harming any child, either directly, or vicariously by watching child
porn etc. What they must NOT do is attempt to justify any act that harms
a child, by claiming the child 'consents', 'enjoys it', or whatever.

So, beginning from the assumption that they CANNOT help how they are,
THEN we come to considering what is vilification, and what is rebuke. It
is IMO totally wrong to vilify them for how they are, because they have
no choice. Rebuke should only happen where there is an error, such as
perhaps trying to get close to a child when that would put them under
greater risk of temptation. (If they break the law, such as by looking
at obscene images, it then becomes more problematic.)

Personally, I think that if the law has been broken, it would be wrong
to cover it up, but I quite understand why well-meaning people might be
tempted to do so. The trouble is, it will then put other potential
victims at risk.

But basically, IMO it is far better that a person who experiences these
attractions can seek help to avoid abusing, without fear of vilification
or rebuke for something which (I firmly believe) they cannot help.

They can't help how they are, but they can be helped with avoiding
causing harm.

(Rest of Kendall's reasonable comments snipped for brevity.)

Tim.





Kendall K. Down

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Nov 21, 2021, 3:30:07 PM11/21/21
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On 21/11/2021 09:16, Timreason wrote:

> I believe that people who have an attraction to prepubescent children
> (rather than children who are just legally under age) have no choice in
> the matter. You, however, seem to apply this criterion, that "The poor
> dears can't help the way they are" is, in fact, untrue.

No, I am asserting that it is not a reason to excuse their behaviour.

> Of course, what they CAN do (MUST do, I'd say) is to totally avoid
> harming any child, either directly, or vicariously by watching child
> porn etc. What they must NOT do is attempt to justify any act that harms
> a child, by claiming the child 'consents', 'enjoys it', or whatever.

Agreed.

> So, beginning from the assumption that they CANNOT help how they are,
> THEN we come to considering what is vilification, and what is rebuke. It
> is IMO totally wrong to vilify them for how they are, because they have
> no choice.

I have just replied to Madhu on this very point. I may not have a choice
about having a bad temper but I think we all agree that if I were
perfect, I would not have a bad temper. In other words, having a good
temper is the ideal and lacking it detracts from the imagio dei in me.
Whether that is cause for repentance I think might be a play on words,
but it is certainly a cause for regret.

Likewise with paedophilia; having that tendency is a bad thing which
detracts from the imagio dei. It may (depending on your theology) be a
cause for repentance, it is certainly a cause for regret.

> Personally, I think that if the law has been broken, it would be wrong
> to cover it up, but I quite understand why well-meaning people might be
> tempted to do so. The trouble is, it will then put other potential
> victims at risk.

The law is clear: all professionals (including clergy) have a duty to
report instances of child abuse to the police.

> But basically, IMO it is far better that a person who experiences these
> attractions can seek help to avoid abusing, without fear of vilification
> or rebuke for something which (I firmly believe) they cannot help.

I agree that if someone approaches a professional (and I am thinking
particularly of clergy) to confess an inclination - whatever it may be -
and seek help, the proper response is sympathy and support.

Timreason

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Nov 21, 2021, 5:30:07 PM11/21/21
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On 21/11/2021 20:24, Kendall K. Down wrote:
> On 21/11/2021 09:16, Timreason wrote:
>
>> I believe that people who have an attraction to prepubescent children
>> (rather than children who are just legally under age) have no choice
>> in the matter. You, however, seem to apply this criterion, that "The
>> poor dears can't help the way they are" is, in fact, untrue.
>
> No, I am asserting that it is not a reason to excuse their behaviour.

We know that we are all tempted to sin, and we will all be tempted in
different ways, according to how we happen to be made. The form the sins
would take if committed will do greater or lesser harm to others,
depending on which form they take. The form of the potential sin of
someone attracted to prepubescent children is of course particularly
abhorrent.

As a person on the autistic spectrum, I can perhaps more readily accept
that we ALL have differences that we can't help. Whether my autism makes
me more likely to be tempted to sin in some ways, I don't know. Perhaps
it does.

But I know I regret it deeply, when I fail and do something wrong. What
tends to happen is my autism tends to make me a victim, or at least to
perceive myself as a victim. The latter may be because I can
misunderstand others at times, although without a doubt I feel they
sometimes *intend* to be nasty, and that I detest. Then I'm tempted to
"Give Some Back", to be nasty in return. That would be unfortunate if no
nastiness had been intended by the other party, but I might not realise
that. Autism means I can sometimes perceive the words of others differently.

But the main thrust of what I'm saying is that all people have
characteristics they cannot help. That applies to you as well as me, and
indeed everyone else.

I believe a person attracted to prepubescents can no more help that
trait, than I can help my Asperger's.

But all people should try to do what is right, and surely our duty as
Christians should be encouraging and supporting one-another to do what
is right. As a person who suffered a lot of bullying when I was younger,
I feel strongly that it is very wrong to vilify people for traits they
cannot help. Of course, I acknowledge that having those traits doesn't
excuse bad behaviour, it only might decide the type of temptation people
experience.

>
>> Of course, what they CAN do (MUST do, I'd say) is to totally avoid
>> harming any child, either directly, or vicariously by watching child
>> porn etc. What they must NOT do is attempt to justify any act that
>> harms a child, by claiming the child 'consents', 'enjoys it', or
>> whatever.
>
> Agreed.
>
>> So, beginning from the assumption that they CANNOT help how they are,
>> THEN we come to considering what is vilification, and what is rebuke.
>> It is IMO totally wrong to vilify them for how they are, because they
>> have no choice.
>
> I have just replied to Madhu on this very point. I may not have a choice
> about having a bad temper but I think we all agree that if I were
> perfect, I would not have a bad temper. In other words, having a good
> temper is the ideal and lacking it detracts from the imagio dei in me.
> Whether that is cause for repentance I think might be a play on words,
> but it is certainly a cause for regret.

TBH I feel that some of your posts in response to me in the past have
caused me harm. I accept that is probably because of my vulnerabilities,
that is, history of being bullied and being autistic. I like to think
you didn't INTEND to harm my mental health, but it did exacerbate
problems I was already having. I hope you weren't, but if you were being
deliberately nasty, I hope you do regret it. I regret responding badly
as well, which I could try to excuse as 'self defence', but really I
should be better than that.

>
> Likewise with paedophilia; having that tendency is a bad thing which
> detracts from the imagio dei. It may (depending on your theology) be a
> cause for repentance, it is certainly a cause for regret.

None of us perfectly reflects our Maker's Image. We are all cracked and
broken to a degree. Knowing and understanding that should make us behave
better and with more tolerance for one-another.

>
>> Personally, I think that if the law has been broken, it would be wrong
>> to cover it up, but I quite understand why well-meaning people might
>> be tempted to do so. The trouble is, it will then put other potential
>> victims at risk.
>
> The law is clear: all professionals (including clergy) have a duty to
> report instances of child abuse to the police.

Of course.

>
>> But basically, IMO it is far better that a person who experiences
>> these attractions can seek help to avoid abusing, without fear of
>> vilification or rebuke for something which (I firmly believe) they
>> cannot help.
>
> I agree that if someone approaches a professional (and I am thinking
> particularly of clergy) to confess an inclination - whatever it may be -
> and seek help, the proper response is sympathy and support.

Agreed.

Tim.

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 22, 2021, 12:50:08 AM11/22/21
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On 21/11/2021 22:20, Timreason wrote:

> I believe a person attracted to prepubescents can no more help that
> trait, than I can help my Asperger's.

But if such a person offends, you will inevitably see the defence lawyer
stand up in court and offer some version of "He can't help it, that's
the way he's made" and equally inevitably, the judge will give a reduced
sentence in consequence (or even no sentence at all).

> TBH I feel that some of your posts in response to me in the past have
> caused me harm.

They may have caused you annoyance, but they did not cause you harm.
That is "snowflake" talk.

Incidentally, did you see that some university has decided that the term
"trigger warning" is offensive and might cause "harm" to its snowflake
students? It is now going to label such warnings "guidance notes". The
battle to keep up with snowflake language is never-ending.

> None of us perfectly reflects our Maker's Image. We are all cracked and
> broken to a degree. Knowing and understanding that should make us behave
> better and with more tolerance for one-another.

Agreed.

Timreason

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Nov 22, 2021, 3:00:07 AM11/22/21
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On 22/11/2021 05:49, Kendall K. Down wrote:
> On 21/11/2021 22:20, Timreason wrote:
>
>> I believe a person attracted to prepubescents can no more help that
>> trait, than I can help my Asperger's.
>
> But if such a person offends, you will inevitably see the defence lawyer
> stand up in court and offer some version of "He can't help it, that's
> the way he's made" and equally inevitably, the judge will give a reduced
> sentence in consequence (or even no sentence at all).

That's how you perceive it. Personally I doubt it. The aim of the
defence should be to get them some form of help not to reoffend, rather
than just 'get them off', although of course they will aim to get
shorter sentences just as the prosecution will press for longer. A judge
should be ensuring that the law is properly applied, and in the best way
for society and all concerned.

>
>> TBH I feel that some of your posts in response to me in the past have
>> caused me harm.
>
> They may have caused you annoyance, but they did not cause you harm.
> That is "snowflake" talk.

There you go! That's exactly it. What you've said here shows you do not
understand, and you are stating something that is your opinion as 'fact'.

The fact is, I'm in a far better position to know, and I know that I was
not annoyed, I was harmed. I am not of the 'snowflake' generation, they
are younger. So I'm sorry to tell you, if you believe you only 'annoyed'
me, you are much mistaken.

I am generous enough to accept you did not intend harm, and I accept
that you couldn't have known about the mental health problems I was
having, which were already exacerbated by the pandemic 'lockdowns', as
they were also for many others.

>
> Incidentally, did you see that some university has decided that the term
> "trigger warning" is offensive and might cause "harm" to its snowflake
> students? It is now going to label such warnings "guidance notes". The
> battle to keep up with snowflake language is never-ending.

You'd be surprised to know I actually agree with you! But you do not
seem to understand how the original intention of things like 'PC' and
'WOKE' was to protect vulnerable people from harm. I think the reason
you don't understand is that you are both robust and strong with regard
to mental and emotional matters. That's something you should thank God
for, but I pray He will open your eyes to see that not everyone is as
robust as you are, and you need to learn to be kinder.

Tim.

Jason

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Nov 22, 2021, 2:30:16 PM11/22/21
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How would you apply that with regard to someone in a 'confessional'-type
setting?



Jason

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Nov 22, 2021, 2:30:37 PM11/22/21
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On Sat, 20 Nov 2021 21:02:39 +0000, Kendall K. Down wrote:


> There are several things which I think should be done. The first is to
> train the clergy to recognise child and marital abuse and the legal and
> ethical responsibilities if they spot it. Many clergy are completely
> unaware of what goes on in the world and are either shocked rigid by
> something that is harmless or fail to notice abuse happening right under
> the noses.
>
> A second thing is that clergy should address these issues in their
> sermons - once a year might be about right - because sometimes the
> congregation can be as ignorant as the clergy. An abused woman may not
> realise that she is the victim of abuse and "coercive control"; a child
> may have been deceived into thinking that "all fathers do this".
> Obviously care has to be taken over the setting for such a sermon and
> the way in which it is phrased.
>
> A third thing is that pastors must visit their flock. If you only meet
> your members at church and interaction is limited to shaking hands after
> the service, you are not going to spot problems. Visit them in their
> homes, observe, be alert for unspoken clues, and sometimes a private
> word may be better than a sermon from the pulpit.
>
> A good shepherd does not just pose in green pastures in front of his
> flock for Instagram pictures; he spends time taking burrs out of their
> wool, checking for bot-fly infestation, stones in hooves, and hordes of
> other un-glamorous things.

Surely the key problem that this overlooks, is that in the case of many
of these religious-based abuse scandals, is that the clergy are
*precisely* the problem (either as the perpetrator or involved in the
cover up). I'm not sure that such clergy giving sermons or being trained
or whatever will help as much as you think. Your opening paragraph seems
to think of clergy as 'naive Godly creatures, shocked and surprised by
the sinful world around them'. There may be some like this (like
caricatures in an Agatha Christie novel), but I'm not sure it's
commonplace.....



Jason

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Nov 22, 2021, 2:30:58 PM11/22/21
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On Mon, 22 Nov 2021 05:49:27 +0000, Kendall K. Down wrote:

> On 21/11/2021 22:20, Timreason wrote:
>
>> I believe a person attracted to prepubescents can no more help that
>> trait, than I can help my Asperger's.
>
> But if such a person offends, you will inevitably see the defence lawyer
> stand up in court and offer some version of "He can't help it, that's
> the way he's made" and equally inevitably, the judge will give a reduced
> sentence in consequence (or even no sentence at all).

Well, that *is* the defence lawyer's job!! There is of course a concept
in law of "mitigating circumstances" (e.g. you would like to think that a
woman who whacked her husband with a frying pan after suffering years of
abuse might be treated differently to a bloke who wanders into a
playground and randomly whacks a child). I don't think judges are so
dumb as say "Well, if the defence lawyer says ABC, case closed!". That
said, I'm sure certain breeds of newspaper can trawl up suitable stories
for their front pages by carefully selecting their quotes from the court
transcripts....



Timreason

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Nov 22, 2021, 2:50:09 PM11/22/21
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I would like to think that, at the very least, the priest would
encourage the confessor to turn themselves in. Other than that, I'm
'High Anglican' rather than Roman Catholic, so I don't know what they
recommend.

Tim.




Kendall K. Down

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Nov 22, 2021, 3:00:07 PM11/22/21
to
On 22/11/2021 07:56, Timreason wrote:

> That's how you perceive it. Personally I doubt it. The aim of the
> defence should be to get them some form of help not to reoffend, rather
> than just 'get them off', although of course they will aim to get
> shorter sentences just as the prosecution will press for longer. A judge
> should be ensuring that the law is properly applied, and in the best way
> for society and all concerned.

Indeed that is what a judge should be doing, though I might query
whether the judge has any duty towards the offender (other than a fair
trial). In my opinion the judge's duty is towards a) the innocent
victims, b) society at large.

> You'd be surprised to know I actually agree with you! But you do not
> seem to understand how the original intention of things like 'PC' and
> 'WOKE' was to protect vulnerable people from harm. I think the reason
> you don't understand is that you are both robust and strong with regard
> to mental and emotional matters. That's something you should thank God
> for, but I pray He will open your eyes to see that not everyone is as
> robust as you are, and you need to learn to be kinder.

That may have been the intention, but the fact that acceptable words
have to keep changing shows that renaming difficulties is not the
problem. I can assure you that one can put just as much contempt and
distaste into "Down's Syndrome" as one can into "Mongol"!

What is needed is a change in attitude - and once attitudes have
changed, it won't matter whether the person is called "spastic" or
"epileptic" or "movementally challenged".

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 22, 2021, 3:10:04 PM11/22/21
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On 22/11/2021 11:48, Jason wrote:

> That
> said, I'm sure certain breeds of newspaper can trawl up suitable stories
> for their front pages by carefully selecting their quotes from the court
> transcripts....

If cases exist then it is legitimate to report them. Or are you claiming
that certain newspapers publish fiction?

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 22, 2021, 3:10:05 PM11/22/21
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On 22/11/2021 11:38, Jason wrote:

>>> The law is clear: all professionals (including clergy) have a duty to
>>> report instances of child abuse to the police.

> How would you apply that with regard to someone in a 'confessional'-type
> setting?

That law makes no distinction. If a priest becomes aware of child abuse
he has no option than to report it to the police. Perhaps Mike can tell
us how Catholics harmonise canon law and civil law; I believe the
Catholic church protested vigorously over the requirements (on the basis
of confessional secrecy) but my understanding is that it has agreed to
abide by the law.

God bless,
Kendall K. Down

P.S. I don't think the Catholic church attempts to maintain the idea
that as soon as the priest leaves the confessional his memory is wiped
clean and he *cannot* recall what was confessed to him.



Kendall K. Down

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Nov 22, 2021, 3:20:06 PM11/22/21
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On 22/11/2021 11:33, Jason wrote:

> Surely the key problem that this overlooks, is that in the case of many
> of these religious-based abuse scandals, is that the clergy are
> *precisely* the problem (either as the perpetrator or involved in the
> cover up). I'm not sure that such clergy giving sermons or being trained
> or whatever will help as much as you think.

I think it would be difficult for a priest to get away with preaching
that doing X is wrong and then actually doing X with a member of the
congregation. I'm not saying it would be impossible, just difficult.

Many of those abused by clergy say that at the time they did not realise
that what was happening was wrong.

> Your opening paragraph seems
> to think of clergy as 'naive Godly creatures, shocked and surprised by
> the sinful world around them'. There may be some like this (like
> caricatures in an Agatha Christie novel), but I'm not sure it's
> commonplace.....

I wouldn't like to speculate on what percentage of clergy are as
described, but my experience is that the proportion is closer to above
50% than below. Godly men, mind you, who can parse a Greek tense to
perfection and quote German theologians by the yard, but who wouldn't
recognise a paedophile grooming children right under his nose.

Timreason

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Nov 22, 2021, 3:50:07 PM11/22/21
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On 22/11/2021 19:54, Kendall K. Down wrote:
>
> What is needed is a change in attitude - and once attitudes have
> changed, it won't matter whether the person is called "spastic" or
> "epileptic" or "movementally challenged".
>
> God bless,
> Kendall K. Down
>
>

Yes, I agree that continually changing terms is unhelpful. But more
importantly, I believe that Christians should try to be kind and
considerate. Kindness and politeness costs nothing. But these days I'm
unsure how I should speak as it's become a minefield! Is it OK to refer
to a person as 'Black', 'A person of colour', etc.

The most recent instance has been (over the recent 'racism in cricket'
issue) not using the "P Word" to describe a person of South Asian origin.

At first, I thought it was odd. I've no objection to being called "A
Brit" for example, or even "A Limey" or "A Pommie". I don't take offence
at the terms.

So I had to look into it, find out WHY "The P Word" is unacceptable.

It turns out (not surprisingly) that I misunderstood. Because I thought
that the name Pakistan meant "Land of the Paki people", or, in other
words I mistakenly thought that it was a land of an ethnic group named that.

It turns out that Pakistan actually means something like "Land of the
Pure", and is a part of former India that contains many different ethnic
groups of people. So (perhaps like many other Brits) I thought calling
someone "The P Word" was only like them calling me "A Brit".

So it shows how it can be all too easy to be offensive accidentally.

Tim.



Kendall K. Down

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Nov 23, 2021, 12:10:07 AM11/23/21
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On 22/11/2021 19:42, Timreason wrote:

> I would like to think that, at the very least, the priest would
> encourage the confessor to turn themselves in. Other than that, I'm
> 'High Anglican' rather than Roman Catholic, so I don't know what they
> recommend.

I *think* that the priest offers to either accompany the person to the
police station or offers them a short period of time to go to the police
voluntarily before the priest reports the matter. Neither option is
ideal from the "confessional secrecy" point of view, but are, I think,
inevitable if you are to comply with the law.

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 23, 2021, 12:10:07 AM11/23/21
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On 22/11/2021 20:49, Timreason wrote:

> It turns out that Pakistan actually means something like "Land of the
> Pure", and is a part of former India that contains many different ethnic
> groups of people. So (perhaps like many other Brits) I thought calling
> someone "The P Word" was only like them calling me "A Brit".

Hmmmm. It is true that there is no people-group called "Paks" or
"Pakis", but then, there is no people group called "British" - we are
English or Scottish or Welsh or Irish (and many English would desire
even more detailed divisions - Yorkshireman?)

Calling someone a "Paki" after their national origin is no more
offensive than calling someone a "Frenchie". The problem comes if you
call an Indian "Paki", or if you use the term and intend it to be
derogatory.

That, of course, is the rational and lexical view of things. It may be
that people of Pakistani origin have a particular sensitivity to the
term - a pity our friend nobody isn't here to give the insider view.

Incidentally, in the Lord's Prayer, we say "tere nam pak mano jai" for
"hallowed be Thy name", so "Pak" is a bit more than "pure".

Timreason

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Nov 23, 2021, 3:10:07 AM11/23/21
to
Yes, I'm still wondering why the 'P' term is so offensive, whilst 'Brit'
is not. I'm English by birth, with English ancestors going as far back
as I've been able to research so far. Yet I self-identify not only as
English, but also British and European. I have no objection whatsoever
to being referred to as a 'Brit'.

So, I suppose someone from Pakistan can be called a 'Pakistani' but the
term cannot be abbreviated, whereas a British person can be called a 'Brit'?

Nope, still can't work it out! I can understand why the 'N' word is not
acceptable, but this one seems more difficult to understand.

Tim.




Timreason

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Nov 23, 2021, 3:20:04 AM11/23/21
to
Yes. Although I don't practice using the 'Confessional' myself, it is
something available to us 'High Anglicans'. (I don't think many do
practice Confession that way, in our church.) I cannot imagine that our
vicar would not report a serious offence, I think he would do much as
you say above, that is, either accompany the person as they report their
crime to the authorities, or give them a set time to do so themselves,
before he reports it.

Tim.




Mike Davis

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Nov 23, 2021, 8:00:06 AM11/23/21
to
For obvious reasons, it's not something I discuss much with the clergy.
I'm certainly aware that (when confession-going was more frequent than
it tends to be today) most priests were unaware of the individual on the
other side of the curtain*. One priest recounted an occasion when his
mother was a bit 'odd' with him when he visited her for lunch. It turned
out that she was embarrassed because she'd confessed to him earlier!! He
had not recognised her, nor, of course, was able to recollect what she'd
said!

However, I can't imagine that a priest would not recall a really serious
(& criminal) sin being confessed. So the onus would now fall upon the
priest to identify who it was - regardless of the conversation within
the confessional. Would it be a criminal offence (or even collaboration)
for the priest to neglect this? But if he reports it to the police -
they'd come and look at the security cameras etc.

* Personally, I prefer to have a general chat with the priest about
matters of spiritual direction, during with I would confess and receive
absolution. It's much more comfortable in the presbytery than in the
box!!!

Mike
--
Mike Davis


Mike Davis

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Nov 23, 2021, 8:30:06 AM11/23/21
to
I knew one parish priest a generation older than me, who came from a
large Irish family, and who was much more comfortable with his
compatriots than an 'intellectual Londoner' like me. He was most relaxed
with children (7-12 yo) and used to take small groups camping (with the
full permission of their parents, of course). He used to let them visit
him and 'have the run of the presbytery'. I had warned him that he was
in danger of being accused (truly or falsely) of inappropriate
behaviour; but that was just another example of my being awkward!

Eventually, some girls reported him for inappropriate behaviour (eg.
touching & stroking). He was eventually acquitted - mainly (I think)
because a young lad (an altar server) added a complaint that he'd been
anaesthetised by the priest in the sacristy & at the trial demonstrated
that he didn't even know the layout of the sacristy!

I personally think that he was technically guilty, but that he was only
behaving as he did with his nephews & nieces in Ireland in the presence
of their parents.

Understandably, he chose that time to retire back to his sister's family
in Ireland.

But the real problem was that he put himself in temptation's way, not to
mention risking the inevitable outcome. Nowadays we are swinging the
opposite way, of not getting too close, in case of false accusations.

Mike
--
Mike Davis


Jason

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Nov 23, 2021, 3:49:40 PM11/23/21
to
Absolutely it's legitimate to report them. But all news sources have a
bias, and there can be a tendency to over-egg the pudding and make
something sound far more common and/or outrageous than it really is.

To keep with the example I was using, if a paper simply reported that a
woman had bludgeoned someone to death with a frying pan the story would
be completely true, but at the same time would not really paint an
accurate picture. Likewise, any story in the Guardian is likely to blame
everything on Brexit by hook or by crook. Provided we are aware of these
news source biases and account for them, we won't go far wrong.



Jason

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Nov 23, 2021, 3:49:58 PM11/23/21
to
On Tue, 23 Nov 2021 08:09:16 +0000, Timreason wrote:

> Yes, I'm still wondering why the 'P' term is so offensive, whilst 'Brit'
> is not. I'm English by birth, with English ancestors going as far back
> as I've been able to research so far. Yet I self-identify not only as
> English, but also British and European. I have no objection whatsoever
> to being referred to as a 'Brit'.

I'm absolutely not an expert in this, but I would imagine it's simply
because someone has used that word in a derogatory sense about a
particular group of people historically. As far as I know, "Brit" (or
"Pom" or whatever) has never been used in such an offensive way so that
it doesn't carry this baggage. If a word (no matter what it is) has been
historically used to separate "us" (those with the power and authority)
from "them" (those who might as well live in the gutter) then the term
will surely be thought of by the object of the word as offensive.

Many such terms exist for people of different race, disability, gender,
sexuality etc (roughly all the things that have ended up being legislated
against), simply to separate 'us' and 'them'.


Kendall K. Down

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Nov 23, 2021, 4:20:12 PM11/23/21
to
On 23/11/2021 08:09, Timreason wrote:

> Nope, still can't work it out! I can understand why the 'N' word is not
> acceptable, but this one seems more difficult to understand.

Personally I think it is just people looking to be offended.

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 23, 2021, 4:20:13 PM11/23/21
to
On 23/11/2021 16:20, Jason wrote:

> I'm absolutely not an expert in this, but I would imagine it's simply
> because someone has used that word in a derogatory sense about a
> particular group of people historically. As far as I know, "Brit" (or
> "Pom" or whatever) has never been used in such an offensive way

You have never visited Australia, then.

> Many such terms exist for people of different race, disability, gender,
> sexuality etc (roughly all the things that have ended up being legislated
> against), simply to separate 'us' and 'them'.

I doubt it. There is already an "us" and "them" situation if you are X
and I am not. Whether it is given a name or not or given a new
"inoffensive" name, the divide is still there.

Anyone who tries to deny that there are differences between blacks and
whites is a fool; (just look at the skin colour for the most obvious
difference). Anyone who makes those differences a reason for
discrimination is a knave - whether a landlady who won't let blacks into
her boarding house or a social worker who won't let a white person adopt
a black child.

And, of course, don't forget that white people are not the *only* ones
to be racists - as a recent cricketer has reminded us, bleating on about
how dreadfully he was treated by Yorkshire only to have his own racist
remarks brought up.

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 23, 2021, 4:30:06 PM11/23/21
to
On 23/11/2021 16:26, Jason wrote:

> To keep with the example I was using, if a paper simply reported that a
> woman had bludgeoned someone to death with a frying pan the story would
> be completely true, but at the same time would not really paint an
> accurate picture. Likewise, any story in the Guardian is likely to blame
> everything on Brexit by hook or by crook. Provided we are aware of these
> news source biases and account for them, we won't go far wrong.

Indeed.

Kendall K. Down

unread,
Nov 23, 2021, 4:30:06 PM11/23/21
to
On 23/11/2021 12:58, Mike Davis wrote:

> For obvious reasons, it's not something I discuss much with the clergy.
> I'm certainly aware that (when confession-going was more frequent than
> it tends to be today) most priests were unaware of the individual on the
> other side of the curtain*.

Pull the other one! Unless he was new in the parish and had a vast flock
with whom he was unacquainted, he would recognise the voice.

> One priest recounted an occasion when his
> mother was a bit 'odd' with him when he visited her for lunch. It turned
> out that she was embarrassed because she'd confessed to him earlier!! He
> had not recognised her, nor, of course, was able to recollect what she'd
> said!

Which merely proves that he wasn't really listening but was thinking
about something else and just muttered "ego to absolvo" to end each session.

> However, I can't imagine that a priest would not recall a really serious
> (& criminal) sin being confessed. So the onus would now fall upon the
> priest to identify who it was - regardless of the conversation within
> the confessional.

Indeed.

> Would it be a criminal offence (or even collaboration)
> for the priest to neglect this? But if he reports it to the police -
> they'd come and look at the security cameras etc.

Yes it would, whether or not there were security cameras.

> * Personally, I prefer to have a general chat with the priest about
> matters of spiritual direction, during with I would confess and receive
> absolution. It's much more comfortable in the presbytery than in the box!!!

Sounds sensible.

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 23, 2021, 4:30:07 PM11/23/21
to
On 23/11/2021 13:24, Mike Davis wrote:

> But the real problem was that he put himself in temptation's way, not to
> mention risking the inevitable outcome. Nowadays we are swinging the
> opposite way, of not getting too close, in case of false accusations.

A sad story - and I agree with your final comment.

I remember reading an opinion piece in some newspaper many years ago in
which the writer spoke of seeing his neighbour's daughter trudging home
through pouring rain and driving past her without stopping to offer her
a lift - as he might have done twenty or thirty years previously.

"It is a sad world in which I would be foolish to offer her a lift and
she would be even more foolish to accept it."

I've never forgotten those words.

Mike Davis

unread,
Nov 23, 2021, 5:00:08 PM11/23/21
to
On 23/11/2021 21:24, Kendall K. Down wrote:
> On 23/11/2021 12:58, Mike Davis wrote:
>
>> For obvious reasons, it's not something I discuss much with the
>> clergy. I'm certainly aware that (when confession-going was more
>> frequent than it tends to be today) most priests were unaware of the
>> individual on the other side of the curtain*.
>
> Pull the other one! Unless he was new in the parish and had a vast flock
> with whom he was unacquainted, he would recognise the voice.

Prior to lockdown our average Sunday mass attendance (3 services) was
around 950. Because of the reasons you give, many Catholics go to a
'strange' church for their confessions. For the record, in the rare
cases when I do use a confessional, I always introduce myself. If the
priest knows me the chances (with God's grace) are more likely to be
helpful Spiritual direction.
>
>> One priest recounted an occasion when his mother was a bit 'odd' with
>> him when he visited her for lunch. It turned out that she was
>> embarrassed because she'd confessed to him earlier!! He had not
>> recognised her, nor, of course, was able to recollect what she'd said!
>
> Which merely proves that he wasn't really listening but was thinking
> about something else and just muttered "ego to absolvo" to end each
> session.

Not at all; it's not the priest's job to try to guess who's on the other
side of the screen, but to listen to what is said and respond accordingly.
>
>> However, I can't imagine that a priest would not recall a really
>> serious (& criminal) sin being confessed. So the onus would now fall
>> upon the priest to identify who it was - regardless of the
>> conversation within the confessional.
>
> Indeed.
>
>> Would it be a criminal offence (or even collaboration) for the priest
>> to neglect this? But if he reports it to the police - they'd come and
>> look at the security cameras etc.
>
> Yes it would, whether or not there were security cameras.
>
>> * Personally, I prefer to have a general chat with the priest about
>> matters of spiritual direction, during with I would confess and
>> receive absolution. It's much more comfortable in the presbytery than
>> in the box!!!
>
> Sounds sensible.

Blessings

Mike
--
Mike Davis


Kendall K. Down

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Nov 24, 2021, 2:20:08 AM11/24/21
to
On 23/11/2021 21:58, Mike Davis wrote:

>> Pull the other one! Unless he was new in the parish and had a vast
>> flock with whom he was unacquainted, he would recognise the voice.

> Prior to lockdown our average Sunday mass attendance (3 services) was
> around 950. Because of the reasons you give, many Catholics go to a
> 'strange' church for their confessions. For the record, in the rare
> cases when I do use a confessional, I always introduce myself. If the
> priest knows me the chances (with God's grace) are more likely to be
> helpful Spiritual direction.

So obviously I am not the only person to doubt your claim that the
priest in his box doesn't recognise the person on the other side of the
grill.

>> Which merely proves that he wasn't really listening but was thinking
>> about something else and just muttered "ego to absolvo" to end each
>> session.

> Not at all; it's not the priest's job to try to guess who's on the other
> side of the screen, but to listen to what is said and respond accordingly.

And you seriously believe that he could really listen and not recognise
his mother's voice?

Timreason

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Nov 24, 2021, 4:00:11 AM11/24/21
to
On 23/11/2021 16:20, Jason wrote:
Yes, that's how I perceive it. The problem is, we end up not knowing
which words are deemed offensive and which are OK. It's changing all the
time.

When I was a support worker, we had some training on equality,
inclusion, etc. One thing I remember was that we should try to put the
person first in the way we word things, rather than call them the
'label'. Such as, "A person with learning difficulties", "A person with
sight impairment", etc.

Some things, however, were totally accepted at one time, such as the
term 'Spastic', which is a medical term referring to a range of medical
conditions associated with cerebral palsy. I think there part of the
problem was the dehumanising of the person by calling them the 'label',
such as "A spastic" rather than "A person with cerebral palsy".

I think that is sensible, since putting the person first helps stop the
dehumanising effect of defining the person by that one aspect, rather
than recognising them as a complete human being.

In the subject of this thread, when we refer to someone as a
'Paedophile' it carries the baggage of implying that they, of necessity,
ARE child-abusers, rather than people who could possibly be tempted to
abuse children. I think it's been said before on this newsgroup that
almost certainly there are far more people out there who experience
those sort of attractions than actually go on to commit offences against
children.

So, maybe it is better to word it such that they are "People who
experience erotic attraction towards prepubescent children" or
something. That is, of course, much more of a mouthful than just one
word. However, it then portrays them as people with a horrible problem
who may need help, and from whom it may be necessary to protect children.

My point is, it is better if they feel they can come forward and enlist
the help and support of others in resisting any temptation to act on
those feelings, than it is for them to keep quiet for fear of being
reviled and ostracised (when they haven't actually done anything wrong).

Otherwise, trying to fight it alone, they may well be more likely to
fail and harm a child.

Tim.




Timreason

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Nov 24, 2021, 4:00:12 AM11/24/21
to
On 23/11/2021 21:12, Kendall K. Down wrote:
> On 23/11/2021 08:09, Timreason wrote:
>
>> Nope, still can't work it out! I can understand why the 'N' word is
>> not acceptable, but this one seems more difficult to understand.
>
> Personally I think it is just people looking to be offended.
>

There is probably a degree of that. But I do think racism is horrid and
needs to be opposed.

Tim.

Mike Davis

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Nov 24, 2021, 8:40:08 AM11/24/21
to
On 24/11/2021 07:13, Kendall K. Down wrote:
> On 23/11/2021 21:58, Mike Davis wrote:
>
>>> Pull the other one! Unless he was new in the parish and had a vast
>>> flock with whom he was unacquainted, he would recognise the voice.
>
>> Prior to lockdown our average Sunday mass attendance (3 services) was
>> around 950. Because of the reasons you give, many Catholics go to a
>> 'strange' church for their confessions. For the record, in the rare
>> cases when I do use a confessional, I always introduce myself. If the
>> priest knows me the chances (with God's grace) are more likely to be
>> helpful Spiritual direction.
>
> So obviously I am not the only person to doubt your claim that the
> priest in his box doesn't recognise the person on the other side of the
> grill.

Clearly! ;-) I don't think I said 'never'!
>
>>> Which merely proves that he wasn't really listening but was thinking
>>> about something else and just muttered "ego to absolvo" to end each
>>> session.
>
>> Not at all; it's not the priest's job to try to guess who's on the
>> other side of the screen, but to listen to what is said and respond
>> accordingly.
>
> And you seriously believe that he could really listen and not recognise
> his mother's voice?

The point is, that the guy is listening to what's being said, not who's
saying it. I'm only reporting what he told me!

Mike
--
Mike Davis


Jason

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Nov 24, 2021, 3:40:04 PM11/24/21
to
On Wed, 24 Nov 2021 08:55:13 +0000, Timreason wrote:

> On 23/11/2021 21:12, Kendall K. Down wrote:
>> On 23/11/2021 08:09, Timreason wrote:
>>
>>> Nope, still can't work it out! I can understand why the 'N' word is
>>> not acceptable, but this one seems more difficult to understand.
>>
>> Personally I think it is just people looking to be offended.
>>
>>
> There is probably a degree of that. But I do think racism is horrid and
> needs to be opposed.

Agree with both of these. Often, I think it is not so much the people
themselves that are looking to be offended, but third parties who've
almost made a business out of being offended on behalf of other people,
even if said others would not be offended at all.



Jason

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Nov 24, 2021, 3:40:27 PM11/24/21
to
On Tue, 23 Nov 2021 21:19:22 +0000, Kendall K. Down wrote:

> On 23/11/2021 16:20, Jason wrote:
>
>> I'm absolutely not an expert in this, but I would imagine it's simply
>> because someone has used that word in a derogatory sense about a
>> particular group of people historically. As far as I know, "Brit" (or
>> "Pom" or whatever) has never been used in such an offensive way
>
> You have never visited Australia, then.

It's all about the way it is used. You're right, I've never been to
Australia so I can't comment on the situation there, but I have shared a
house as a student with some Aussies, and he'd refer occasionally to
'poms', but there was never any malice in it. For me, malicious intent---
why have you used this word?---is the important thing.

Sometimes people *deliberately* select particular words *in order* to be
offensive. That's a far cry from accidentally saying something
accidentally in general conversation which has now fallen out of use for
one reason or another.

>> Many such terms exist for people of different race, disability, gender,
>> sexuality etc (roughly all the things that have ended up being
>> legislated against), simply to separate 'us' and 'them'.
>
> I doubt it. There is already an "us" and "them" situation if you are X
> and I am not. Whether it is given a name or not or given a new
> "inoffensive" name, the divide is still there.

It's not whether the divide exists or not, it's a put down to emphasise
to someone else that they do not belong. To use (what I think is a
neutral term!) 'disabled' in the context of providing parking provision
or wheelchair access, or braille signs or whatever is fine, but to use it
as a call-out implying "you're inferior to me" is not fine.

> Anyone who tries to deny that there are differences between blacks and
> whites is a fool; (just look at the skin colour for the most obvious
> difference). Anyone who makes those differences a reason for
> discrimination is a knave - whether a landlady who won't let blacks into
> her boarding house or a social worker who won't let a white person adopt
> a black child.

Again, it's not trying to pretend there are no (physical in this case)
differences. It's about rubbing the noses of people in those differences
in the way you describe above.

> And, of course, don't forget that white people are not the *only* ones
> to be racists - as a recent cricketer has reminded us, bleating on about
> how dreadfully he was treated by Yorkshire only to have his own racist
> remarks brought up.

Absolutely true. And of course 'race' isn't the only trait people use to
put down others.


Jason

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Nov 24, 2021, 3:41:00 PM11/24/21
to
On Wed, 24 Nov 2021 08:52:41 +0000, Timreason wrote:

> On 23/11/2021 16:20, Jason wrote:

>> Many such terms exist for people of different race, disability, gender,
>> sexuality etc (roughly all the things that have ended up being
>> legislated against), simply to separate 'us' and 'them'.
>>
> Yes, that's how I perceive it. The problem is, we end up not knowing
> which words are deemed offensive and which are OK. It's changing all the
> time.
>
> When I was a support worker, we had some training on equality,
> inclusion, etc. One thing I remember was that we should try to put the
> person first in the way we word things, rather than call them the
> 'label'. Such as, "A person with learning difficulties", "A person with
> sight impairment", etc.

Yes, this can be a minefield. As I mentioned in another post, in this
case I think the changing 'acceptable' language is due in large part to
well-meaning people, pre-emptively trying to prevent others from being
offended. I laud this effort, and appreciate that people are trying to
minimise any offence, but it can lead to very awkward phrasing.
>
> I think that is sensible, since putting the person first helps stop the
> dehumanising effect of defining the person by that one aspect, rather
> than recognising them as a complete human being.

I think you've used the perfect word there, 'dehumanising'. That's
exactly what I was trying to get at in an earlier post. This is exactly
how some people use particular words to refer to others.

> In the subject of this thread, when we refer to someone as a
> 'Paedophile' it carries the baggage of implying that they, of necessity,
> ARE child-abusers, rather than people who could possibly be tempted to
> abuse children. I think it's been said before on this newsgroup that
> almost certainly there are far more people out there who experience
> those sort of attractions than actually go on to commit offences against
> children.

Agreed. For me the key part of handling any of these difficult cases
should be to try and prevent any further harm to children by future
offending. People should be allowed to discuss and debate the best ways
to achieve this without all kinds of ignorant accusations being thrown at
them.

> My point is, it is better if they feel they can come forward and enlist
> the help and support of others in resisting any temptation to act on
> those feelings, than it is for them to keep quiet for fear of being
> reviled and ostracised (when they haven't actually done anything wrong).
>
> Otherwise, trying to fight it alone, they may well be more likely to
> fail and harm a child.

Completely agree. It would be a similar problem with things like
Alcoholic's Anonymous: if you're likely to get a brick thrown through
your window (or worse) simply for being seen entering a meeting, you'd be
far less likely to seek help, inevitably leading to future problems for
you and everyone around you.


Kendall K. Down

unread,
Nov 24, 2021, 4:00:06 PM11/24/21
to
On 24/11/2021 08:52, Timreason wrote:

> Some things, however, were totally accepted at one time, such as the
> term 'Spastic', which is a medical term referring to a range of medical
> conditions associated with cerebral palsy. I think there part of the
> problem was the dehumanising of the person by calling them the 'label',
> such as "A spastic" rather than "A person with cerebral palsy".

So what's wrong with "a person who is a spastic"?

> So, maybe it is better to word it such that they are "People who
> experience erotic attraction towards prepubescent children" or
> something.

That just isn't going to happen - life's too short!

> My point is, it is better if they feel they can come forward and enlist
> the help and support of others in resisting any temptation to act on
> those feelings, than it is for them to keep quiet for fear of being
> reviled and ostracised (when they haven't actually done anything wrong).
> Otherwise, trying to fight it alone, they may well be more likely to
> fail and harm a child.

There is something in that - not much, but something. I chuckle over all
those celebrities caught in the wrong bed or some other sexual
misdemeanour who immediately rush to put themselves in "therapy" for
"sexual addiction", in the hope that it will help them beat the rap. I
can see paedophiles doing the same.

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 24, 2021, 4:00:06 PM11/24/21
to
On 24/11/2021 16:41, Jason wrote:

> It's all about the way it is used. You're right, I've never been to
> Australia so I can't comment on the situation there, but I have shared a
> house as a student with some Aussies, and he'd refer occasionally to
> 'poms', but there was never any malice in it. For me, malicious intent---
> why have you used this word?---is the important thing.

1. You are correct - and there is no reason why the term "paki" cannot
be used in the same way.

2. But in Australia you are likely to find the adjective "whinging"
linked with "pom".

> It's not whether the divide exists or not, it's a put down to emphasise
> to someone else that they do not belong.

Yes, I would agree with that.

> Absolutely true. And of course 'race' isn't the only trait people use to
> put down others.

I remember one of my professors remarking, "If we were to wake up
tomorrow and everyone was the same colour, had the same culture, spoke
the same language with the same accent, had the same income, wore the
same clothes ... by noon we'd have found something else on which to
discriminate."

Kendall K. Down

unread,
Nov 24, 2021, 4:10:07 PM11/24/21
to
On 24/11/2021 16:55, Jason wrote:

> Agreed. For me the key part of handling any of these difficult cases
> should be to try and prevent any further harm to children by future
> offending. People should be allowed to discuss and debate the best ways
> to achieve this without all kinds of ignorant accusations being thrown at
> them.

I have a friend in America whose husband has gone public as a
paedophile. He insists - and she believes him - that he has never
touched a child inappropriately and never intends to, but he is being
honest that he is attracted sexually to children.

The trouble is that I am not aware of any good resulting from his honesty.

Kendall K. Down

unread,
Nov 24, 2021, 4:10:08 PM11/24/21
to
On 24/11/2021 16:44, Jason wrote:

> Agree with both of these. Often, I think it is not so much the people
> themselves that are looking to be offended, but third parties who've
> almost made a business out of being offended on behalf of other people,
> even if said others would not be offended at all.

Like councils banning Christmas "lest is offend Muslims", despite
Muslims queueing up to insist that they are not offended.

(Mind you, I don't see councils rushing to ban Ramadan in case
Christians are offended!)

John

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Nov 24, 2021, 7:50:07 PM11/24/21
to
On 24/11/2021 08:52, Timreason wrote:

> In the subject of this thread, when we refer to someone as a
> 'Paedophile' it carries the baggage of implying that they, of necessity,
> ARE child-abusers, rather than people who could possibly be tempted to
> abuse children. I think it's been said before on this newsgroup that
> almost certainly there are far more people out there who experience
> those sort of attractions than actually go on to commit offences against
> children.

And herein lies the problem, whether you're calling someone a spastic, a
paki or a paedo. They all have derogatory terminology, but were
(certainly in the case of the first and third) once acceptable.

Spastic became a word aimed at those who had learning difficulties or
were a bit thick,

I was at a football match last night and a section of the away fans had
targeted someone in the home crowd and were chanting paedo repeatedly.

In particular, paki seriously offends those in the pakistani community,
because it has long been used as a slur against them.

https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/politics/article/britain-racism-paki-word




John

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Nov 24, 2021, 7:50:07 PM11/24/21
to
On 23/11/2021 21:12, Kendall K. Down wrote:
> On 23/11/2021 08:09, Timreason wrote:
>
>> Nope, still can't work it out! I can understand why the 'N' word is
>> not acceptable, but this one seems more difficult to understand.
>
> Personally I think it is just people looking to be offended.

Well all I can say is count your blessings you're not a pakistani. The
word is offensive to them with good reason.

https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/politics/article/britain-racism-paki-word


Kendall K. Down

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Nov 25, 2021, 1:00:07 AM11/25/21
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On 25/11/2021 00:45, John wrote:

> In particular, paki seriously offends those in the pakistani community,
>  because it has long been used as a slur against them.
> https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/politics/article/britain-racism-paki-word

An interesting article, but it shows how the term can be used in an
acceptable way as well as in unacceptable ways. The incident where a
child offers comfort to the author by asking, "You ok, Paki?" is, to my
mind, acceptable. He doesn't know the girl's name, so he uses a nickname
- which she only later decides is offensive.

I have, perhaps, a different view on this. I was brought up in India by
missionary parents and although I never viewed myself as Indian, India
and Indians were normal. Unconsciously I adopted Indian attitudes and
ways of doing things. I have been told that I "walk like an Indian" -
whatever that means. In addition, I tan easily.

The result is that when we lived in London I had people yelling "Paki"
after me in the street, I have been spat on as a "f****ing Paki" and
even told to "go back to where you came from".

Now of course I am not Indian or Pakistani. I can trace my lineage back
to William the Conqueror who gave the manor of Tavistock, in Devon, to
an ancestor. I have an inherited coat of arms on my living room wall (a
bit out of place, perhaps, in a former council house!) so you might say
that I can more easily shrug such things aside. Possibly.

Yet such experiences, intended as insults, merely made me pleased and
proud. I love India (or at least, the India in which I grew up. I'm told
that it has changed unrecognisably in 50+ years) and am not at all
ashamed of being thought Indian[1]. So why do real Indians not feel the
same?

It really does seem to me that the problem lies in the individuals, not
the words. If *you* regard a certain term as offensive, you will be
offended by it. If *you* don't, you won't.

God bless,
Kendall K. Down

Note 1: Sometimes the mistaken identity takes curious forms. The wife of
a good friend (and I like her as well) once said to me, "You're not
English, are you." I admitted the charge (I'm Australian by
nationality). "No," she said. "I thought not. You speak English too
well." Hmmmmm.)


Kendall K. Down

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Nov 25, 2021, 1:00:07 AM11/25/21
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On 25/11/2021 00:48, John wrote:

> Well all I can say is count your blessings you're not a pakistani.  The
> word is offensive to them with good reason.

See a previous post in reply to you.

Timreason

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Nov 25, 2021, 3:00:07 AM11/25/21
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On 24/11/2021 20:59, Kendall K. Down wrote:
> On 24/11/2021 08:52, Timreason wrote:
>
>> Some things, however, were totally accepted at one time, such as the
>> term 'Spastic', which is a medical term referring to a range of
>> medical conditions associated with cerebral palsy. I think there part
>> of the problem was the dehumanising of the person by calling them the
>> 'label', such as "A spastic" rather than "A person with cerebral palsy".
>
> So what's wrong with "a person who is a spastic"?

It's just as easy to say "A person with cerebral palsy"!

That aside, the main difference is it would be like saying the person IS
cerebral palsy, rather than HAS cerebral palsy. It would be rather like
saying a person IS cancer, rather than a person HAS cancer.

>
>> So, maybe it is better to word it such that they are "People who
>> experience erotic attraction towards prepubescent children" or something.
>
> That just isn't going to happen - life's too short!

I think they do say something like "Prepubescent-attracted", but even
so, I agree the wording of these things quickly becomes awkward and clumsy.

>
>> My point is, it is better if they feel they can come forward and
>> enlist the help and support of others in resisting any temptation to
>> act on those feelings, than it is for them to keep quiet for fear of
>> being reviled and ostracised (when they haven't actually done anything
>> wrong).
>> Otherwise, trying to fight it alone, they may well be more likely to
>> fail and harm a child.
>
> There is something in that - not much, but something. I chuckle over all
> those celebrities caught in the wrong bed or some other sexual
> misdemeanour who immediately rush to put themselves in "therapy" for
> "sexual addiction", in the hope that it will help them beat the rap. I
> can see paedophiles doing the same.

Possibly, but to keep to the subject of this thread, surely you agree
that it is better if the "Prepubescent-attracted" feel they can come
forward to get support in avoiding offending against a child?

Tim.

Timreason

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Nov 25, 2021, 3:10:07 AM11/25/21
to
On 25/11/2021 00:48, John wrote:
Yes, Mohammed (the former poster to this group) has sent me a long and
detailed response which has explained it all very well.

Incidently, I do remember one occasion on which I was referred to with a
derogatory racist term. I was in Florida, and wanted to find the way
somewhere, so I asked a couple of young women (they were Black). Their
response: "We don't talk to you, you're a cracker! We don't talk to no
crackers."

Anyhow, I was totally unfamiliar with the term and wasn't even thinking
about racial difference at all. So I asked them what on earth they
meant. They said "You're a cracker" again, so I said, "Well how do you
know that?" That's when they said, "Well, you're White". "What's that
got to do with anything?", said I, "Where I come from it makes no
difference whatsoever." "We don't talk to no crackers."

Turns out it was a reference to slave owners cracking whips. It was like
blaming me for the slave trade! It also felt like, as I wasn't racist,
they wanted to MAKE me racist.

Tim.




Adam Funk

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Nov 25, 2021, 4:20:07 AM11/25/21
to
I don't think that necessarily comes from ordinary people, though, but
from authorities. Jane Eliot's eye colour experiment (segregating a
class of white pupils by brown or blue eyes in order to teach them a
lesson) showed how easy it is to do that.

It's often in politicians' interests to have an out-group (Jews,
Hispanics, immigrants) that a majority can be encouraged to blame
their problems on in order to distract them.


--
Thinking about her this morning, lying in bed, and trying to get my
thoughts on the right track, I reached into the drawer of the bedstand,
and found the Gideons' Bible, and I was going for the Psalms, friend, honest
I was, but I found the Song of Solomon instead. --- Garrison Keillor


Adam Funk

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Nov 25, 2021, 4:20:08 AM11/25/21
to
On 2021-11-25, Timreason wrote:

> On 25/11/2021 00:48, John wrote:
>> On 23/11/2021 21:12, Kendall K. Down wrote:
>>> On 23/11/2021 08:09, Timreason wrote:
>>>
>>>> Nope, still can't work it out! I can understand why the 'N' word is
>>>> not acceptable, but this one seems more difficult to understand.
>>>
>>> Personally I think it is just people looking to be offended.
>>
>> Well all I can say is count your blessings you're not a pakistani.  The
>> word is offensive to them with good reason.
>>
>> https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/politics/article/britain-racism-paki-word
>>
>
> Yes, Mohammed (the former poster to this group) has sent me a long and
> detailed response which has explained it all very well.
>
> Incidently, I do remember one occasion on which I was referred to with a
> derogatory racist term. I was in Florida, and wanted to find the way
> somewhere, so I asked a couple of young women (they were Black). Their
> response: "We don't talk to you, you're a cracker! We don't talk to no
> crackers."

It's also used by northerners as a derogatory term for white
southerners. It's not common any more --- how long ago did you get
that?


> Anyhow, I was totally unfamiliar with the term and wasn't even thinking
> about racial difference at all. So I asked them what on earth they
> meant. They said "You're a cracker" again, so I said, "Well how do you
> know that?" That's when they said, "Well, you're White". "What's that
> got to do with anything?", said I, "Where I come from it makes no
> difference whatsoever." "We don't talk to no crackers."
>
> Turns out it was a reference to slave owners cracking whips. It was like
> blaming me for the slave trade! It also felt like, as I wasn't racist,
> they wanted to MAKE me racist.

I don't think the whip-cracking etymology is right.

<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cracker_(term)>


--
And remember, while you're out there risking your life and limb
through shot and shell, we'll be in be in here thinking what a
sucker you are. --- Rufus T. Firefly


John

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Nov 25, 2021, 5:30:07 AM11/25/21
to
On 25/11/2021 05:57, Kendall K. Down wrote:
> On 25/11/2021 00:45, John wrote:
>
>> In particular, paki seriously offends those in the pakistani
>> community,   because it has long been used as a slur against them.
>> https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/politics/article/britain-racism-paki-word
>
> An interesting article, but it shows how the term can be used in an
> acceptable way as well as in unacceptable ways. The incident where a
> child offers comfort to the author by asking, "You ok, Paki?" is, to my
> mind, acceptable. He doesn't know the girl's name, so he uses a nickname
> - which she only later decides is offensive.

So, had the child been African would it have been equally acceptable to
say you ok, nigger?

> I have, perhaps, a different view on this. I was brought up in India by
> missionary parents and although I never viewed myself as Indian, India
> and Indians were normal. Unconsciously I adopted Indian attitudes and
> ways of doing things. I have been told that I "walk like an Indian" -
> whatever that means. In addition, I tan easily.

Well, I suppose it's better than walking like an Egyptian :-)

> The result is that when we lived in London I had people yelling "Paki"
> after me in the street, I have been spat on as a "f****ing Paki" and
> even told to "go back to where you came from".

<snip>

> Yet such experiences, intended as insults, merely made me pleased and
> proud. I love India (or at least, the India in which I grew up. I'm told
> that it has changed unrecognisably in 50+ years) and am not at all
> ashamed of being thought Indian[1]. So why do real Indians not feel the
> same?

There you go then, do you not see how offensive that would be to someone
who had come over to our Country, to live a better life etc, to be
called a f***ing paki and told to get back to where you come from?

We're now into the second, even third, generation of Pakistani's who
were born here. Why should they be marginalised because of racist bigots?

You may have been able to wear the badge with pride, but you are
English, I would hope you would have a different perspective if you were
born in Pakistan.

> It really does seem to me that the problem lies in the individuals, not
> the words. If *you* regard a certain term as offensive, you will be
> offended by it. If *you* don't, you won't.

And that makes it ok I suppose?


John

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Nov 25, 2021, 5:40:08 AM11/25/21
to
First time I've heard that word used as a reference to white people, but
they were the racists in that instance.


Timreason

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Nov 25, 2021, 5:50:08 AM11/25/21
to
On 25/11/2021 09:00, Adam Funk wrote:
> On 2021-11-25, Timreason wrote:
>
>>
>> Incidently, I do remember one occasion on which I was referred to with a
>> derogatory racist term. I was in Florida, and wanted to find the way
>> somewhere, so I asked a couple of young women (they were Black). Their
>> response: "We don't talk to you, you're a cracker! We don't talk to no
>> crackers."
>
> It's also used by northerners as a derogatory term for white
> southerners. It's not common any more --- how long ago did you get
> that?
>

It was 2003, so admittedly 18 years ago now.

>
>> Anyhow, I was totally unfamiliar with the term and wasn't even thinking
>> about racial difference at all. So I asked them what on earth they
>> meant. They said "You're a cracker" again, so I said, "Well how do you
>> know that?" That's when they said, "Well, you're White". "What's that
>> got to do with anything?", said I, "Where I come from it makes no
>> difference whatsoever." "We don't talk to no crackers."
>>
>> Turns out it was a reference to slave owners cracking whips. It was like
>> blaming me for the slave trade! It also felt like, as I wasn't racist,
>> they wanted to MAKE me racist.
>
> I don't think the whip-cracking etymology is right.
>
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cracker_(term)>

From that page:

"It has been suggested that white slave foremen in the antebellum South
were called "crackers" owing to their practice of "cracking the whip" to
drive and punish slaves.[13][14][15] Whips were also cracked over pack
animals,[16][17] so "cracker" may have referred to whip-cracking more
generally. According to An American Glossary (1912):[18]

The whips used by some of these people are called 'crackers', from their
having a piece of buckskin at the end. Hence the people who cracked the
whips came to be thus named." [End quote]

So it seems it's one of several possible explanations for the term.

Tim.


Timreason

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Nov 25, 2021, 6:00:07 AM11/25/21
to
Agreed.

Tim.




steve hague

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Nov 25, 2021, 8:10:04 AM11/25/21
to

>
> We're now into the second, even third, generation of Pakistani's who
> were born here. Why should they be marginalised because of racist bigots?
>
> You may have been able to wear the badge with pride, but you are
> English, I would hope you would have a different perspective if you were
> born in Pakistan.
>
>> It really does seem to me that the problem lies in the individuals,
>> not the words. If *you* regard a certain term as offensive, you will
>> be offended by it. If *you* don't, you won't.
>
> And that makes it ok I suppose?
>
That is seriously unfair. Ken, like the rest of us may have many faults,
but claiming a false nationality is not one of them. He's an Australian
national, brought up in India and currently residing in Wales.
Steve Hague



John

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Nov 25, 2021, 12:10:07 PM11/25/21
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On 25/11/2021 13:00, steve hague wrote:
>
>>
>> We're now into the second, even third, generation of Pakistani's who
>> were born here. Why should they be marginalised because of racist bigots?
>>
>> You may have been able to wear the badge with pride, but you are
>> English, I would hope you would have a different perspective if you
>> were born in Pakistan.

Actually, I should have said if you were a Pakistani.
>>
>>> It really does seem to me that the problem lies in the individuals,
>>> not the words. If *you* regard a certain term as offensive, you will
>>> be offended by it. If *you* don't, you won't.
>>
>> And that makes it ok I suppose?
>>
> That is seriously unfair. Ken, like the rest of us may have many faults,
> but claiming a false nationality is not one of them. He's an Australian
> national, brought up in India and currently residing in Wales.


I never said he was claiming a false nationality, nor did I think that.
But he isn't Indian, and he certainly isn't Pakistani.

I referenced him being English because he said he could trace his
ancestors back to Tavistock during Oliver Cromwell's lifetime. My
apologies to Ken if I got that wrong. However replace Australian for
English and my point doesn't change. Ken thinks Pakistani's shouldn't
be offended by a racial slur, saying you're only offended if you want to be.


Jason

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Nov 25, 2021, 3:35:44 PM11/25/21
to
On Wed, 24 Nov 2021 21:02:58 +0000, Kendall K. Down wrote:

> On 24/11/2021 16:44, Jason wrote:
>
>> Agree with both of these. Often, I think it is not so much the people
>> themselves that are looking to be offended, but third parties who've
>> almost made a business out of being offended on behalf of other people,
>> even if said others would not be offended at all.
>
> Like councils banning Christmas "lest is offend Muslims", despite
> Muslims queueing up to insist that they are not offended.

Yes, exactly!

> (Mind you, I don't see councils rushing to ban Ramadan in case
> Christians are offended!)

This perhaps isn't a good example though, unless Ramadan in your neck of
the woods gets a muuuuuccchhh higher profile than it does round here,
where it passes by almost without a whisper. Even when I lived in
Bradford, it wasn't nearly the three month long extravaganza that
Christmas has become......


Jason

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Nov 25, 2021, 3:36:34 PM11/25/21
to
Yes, I'm sure that's also true.



Jason

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Nov 25, 2021, 3:37:16 PM11/25/21
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On Wed, 24 Nov 2021 20:55:38 +0000, Kendall K. Down wrote:

> On 24/11/2021 16:41, Jason wrote:
>
>> It's all about the way it is used. You're right, I've never been to
>> Australia so I can't comment on the situation there, but I have shared
>> a house as a student with some Aussies, and he'd refer occasionally to
>> 'poms', but there was never any malice in it. For me, malicious
>> intent---
>> why have you used this word?---is the important thing.
>
> 1. You are correct - and there is no reason why the term "paki" cannot
> be used in the same way.

I can't comment on that, because I don't know if that term comes with
baggage for certain groups where it has been used as a put-down.
Certainly as I was growing up in the 70s the term was used commonly and
in a completely innocent way. If others feel they are harmed by it
however, who am I to argue and therefore I would avoid the term.

> 2. But in Australia you are likely to find the adjective "whinging"
> linked with "pom".

That's true, but in my experience it's not generally used in a nasty
way. I personally wouldn't feel offended in the slightest if someone
called me a "whinging pom", but if someone threw me out of their shop
while spitting that expression in my face that would be different. More
so if they discriminated against everyone from the UK with the same
retort.

>> Absolutely true. And of course 'race' isn't the only trait people use
>> to put down others.
>
> I remember one of my professors remarking, "If we were to wake up
> tomorrow and everyone was the same colour, had the same culture, spoke
> the same language with the same accent, had the same income, wore the
> same clothes ... by noon we'd have found something else on which to
> discriminate."

Sadly I think that's true. The 'troubles' in Northern Ireland are often
labelled using religious language, but I don't suppose for one minute it
was about the precise nature of the Real Presence or the validity of
women's orders.


Kendall K. Down

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Nov 25, 2021, 3:50:07 PM11/25/21
to
On 25/11/2021 09:06, Adam Funk wrote:

> I don't think that necessarily comes from ordinary people, though, but
> from authorities. Jane Eliot's eye colour experiment (segregating a
> class of white pupils by brown or blue eyes in order to teach them a
> lesson) showed how easy it is to do that.

Certainly various authorities have acted as you suggest, but I think
ordinary people are quite capable of discrimination.

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 25, 2021, 4:00:05 PM11/25/21