Putting our children at risk

David Webb
The Rare Reporter

Child sexual abuse a concern for everyone, especially LGBT parents

Most people would probably agree there is no resource that a society cherishes more than its children. So it is hard to fathom how sexual predators manage with such apparent ease to carry out horrendous, undetected assaults on children practically under the noses of their families and others who are charged with their protection.

As horrific as the crime of child sexual abuse is, there are no firm estimates of its prevalence because it often goes undetected and is seriously underreported, according to agencies that study child abuse.

Less than 100,000 crimes of sexual abuse are reported each year because children fear telling anyone, and adults who become aware of the activity are often reluctant to contact law enforcement agencies, even though there is usually a legal requirement to do so.

With so many LGBT households now raising children, it is obviously vital that all parents be aware of the tactics used by sexual predators to seduce children without arousing the suspicion of their families, and aware of the symptoms victims of child sexual abuse exhibit.

The critical need for sustained intervention into child sexual abuse recently gained national attention following a grand jury’s indictment of retired Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on 40 counts of child sex abuse involving eight victims over a 15-year period. The victims reportedly came into contact with the now 67-year-old, married Sandusky in connection with the Second Mile, a children’s charity the former football coach founded.

Although Sandusky denied, this week in an NBC interview, engaging in any type of sexual activity with the pre-pubescent boys, he acknowledged showering and “horsing around” with them after exercise. He also admitted hugging young boys and putting his hand on their legs when they sat next to him.

His admissions shocked viewers and confirmed in many minds what was already suspected — Sandusky is most likely a pedophile that has taken advantage of young boys with the unwitting complicity of their families.

It is a devastating scandal that will likely rival the one that rocked the Catholic Church a decade ago when it became known that untold numbers of Catholic Church priests sexually abused young boys and violated the trust of their families.

If the charges against Sandusky are true, the accounts by the victims portray a classic pattern of enticement and betrayal practiced by the former football coach in his pursuit of the young boys. Likewise, the lack of action by those who knew about Sandusky’s alleged criminal activity parallel what often happens when the abuser commands power and respect in a community.

Much of the difficulty in combating child sexual abuse can be attributed to its relative youth in terms of public awareness about the crime. The first studies on the molestation of children began in the 1920s, and the first estimate of the prevalence of the crime was reported in 1948.

In 1974 the National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect was founded, and the Child Abuse and Treatment Act was created. Since then, awareness about the problem has grown dramatically, and much more is known about deterring the crime and assisting victims of it.

Children’s advocates have identified “red flags” to help parents and others protect children from sexual predators. They warn parents to be wary of someone who wants to spend more time with their children than they do, who attempts to be alone with a child, who frequently seeks physical closeness to a child such as hugging or touching, who is overly interested in the sexuality of a child, who seems to prefer the company of children to people their own age, who lacks boundaries, who regularly offers to babysit,who often gives presents or  money to children, who frequently walks in on children in bathrooms or locker rooms, who frequents parks where children gather, who makes inappropriate comments about a child’s appearance or who likes to photograph children.

Signs of possible sexual abuse in children include a fear of people, places or activities, reluctance to undress, disturbed sleep, mood swings, excessive crying, fear of being touched, loss of appetite, a drastic change in school performance, bizarre themes in drawing, sexually acting out on other children, advanced sexual knowledge, use of new words for private body parts and a reversion to old behavior such as bedwetting or thumb sucking.

Aside from the moral responsibility to protect children and other weaker members of society that all people share, it is essential to intervene in child sexual abuse because of the long-lasting psychological damage it usually causes. The problems can include feelings of worthlessness, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and distorted views of sexuality.

Also, victims of child sexual abuse tend to become sexual predators as adults, making it a crime that begets more crime.

The Sandusky scandal will undoubtedly lead to devastating repercussions for Penn State, for the Second Mile charity with which the former football coach is no longer affiliated and for law enforcement and university officials who became aware of concerns about the former football coach’s activities and failed to act on them.

But the real tragedy — if the allegations are true — will be the lasting impact upon the victims.

David Webb is a veteran journalist who has covered LGBT issues for the mainstream and alternative media for three decades. E-mail him at davidwaynewebb@yahoo.com.        

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 18, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Fundies warn that if Prop 8 is struck down, an earthquake will take out California

My West Coast peeps, be prepared for a wild ride courtesy of the Man Upstairs — based on the prayer alert detailed by fundies Cindy Jacobs and Chuck Pierce. Apparently the Heaven Hotline they are privy to has death and destruction on the way based on a possible earthly legal ruling (via Right Wing Watch). Please protect thy keyboards…

Yesterday, January 4th, I was called by a key intercessor in Santa Ynez. (Please note as you proceed, yesterday was the same day prop 8 was sent to the California Supreme Court) She reported two visions from separate individuals in the area:

A pastor of a large Nazarene Church had a dream of a very large earthquake on the central coast. He shared this at the Christmas gathering for all the Santa Maria Pastors and 5 cities area. Because of the destruction and intensity of the quake he thought he should tell the Pastors so they could pray into it.

Another intercessor in the area had a dream and saw a map of California. She noticed on the map how Pt. Conception juts out into the water. As she looked she saw an 8 with a circle beside it in the waters off Pt Conception.

Regarding these dreams the issue of 8 is significant: Yesterday, January 4th, Prop 8 went to the California Supreme Court … Prop 8 is a foundational covenant issue, i.e. issue of marriage, in the state. If the state supreme court does not uphold it, a covenant issue is broken with God. Judgment is looming. Also, of note yesterday it was announced on the radio and sent to me by another intercessor that in San Diego, there is a Korean war memorial. A judge has ruled that a cross that was dedicated in the 1950′s, cannot be there, as it is, because it stands for the the government embracing “a religion”. The implication was that it had to be “modified”. She stated in her note to me, “the MOMENT I heard this I had a “sinking feeling” in my heart and said out loud in my car. God will not contend this any longer, judgment is coming.”

Many are feeling the weight of this hour and time. There has been a very real assignment of death and destruction as many have faced health issues, even serious ones. We are at a critical “hinge point” and much will depend on our prayers and actions now. An earthquake from Point Conception would divide impact the state in three major fault lines and could potentially divide the state in half. We pray this stirs your hearts towards God’s purposes. Our hope and trust is in Him.

Have they telephoned Gov. Brown to put out a warning to residents yet? FYI, Cindy Jacobs also claims to be able to cast out “gay demons.”

During an October 7, 2008 evening ceremony at the conference Jacobs conducted a mass exorcism, casting out not only “spirits” of homosexuality but also spirits of pornography, addiction, lust, bisexuality, and perversion. [below: exorcism of "homosexual spirits" begins 40 seconds into video]


Pierce, on the other hand, claims even greater powers. Apparently he and other “prophetic interceptors” were key players in the capture of Saddam Hussein, documented in his book “The Future War of the Church: How We Can Defeat Lawlessness and Bring God’s Order to the Earth.”
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

If the tea party isn’t racist, why warn against racist behavior?

A link to this WaPo piece by David Weigel came bumping along my twitter trail today.  “Five myths about the ‘tea party’” challenges the notion that “The tea party is racist”, saying

It’s a phenomenon that some activists call “nutpicking” — send a cameraman into a protest and he’ll focus on the craziest sign. Yes, there are racists in the tea party, and they make themselves known. But tea party activists usually root them out. …

Liberal critics of the tea party argue that conservative opposition to social spending is often racially motivated. That’s not new, though, and it’s not the basis for the tea party.

I was just mulling over the “logic” of how the purported economic basis for the tea party movement could somehow magically rule out an increased presence of racists when the following email arrived in my mailbox.  It’s from The Tea Party of Spokane (WA).  I’ll highlight the interesting part.

Subject: Tea Party ~ Obama coming to Seattle. Action Alert

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2010

Bothered by Patty Murrays Policies!

Date: August 17, 2010

Time: 10:00am – 2:00pm

Westin Hotel, 1900 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA

President Obama is coming to Seattle to fund raise for Patty Murray and “the People” will be there to protest Patty’s re-election .Please remember this protest is against Patty and her economic policies so keep your signs related. Don’t give the media any reason to racially profile us. Do not engage hecklers, please ignore them.  Above all be safe! Take pictures and video of any trouble for evidence! …

For the sake of Liberty,

The Tea Party of Spokane

and Volunteers

Now David Weigel might respond by saying “see, they’re weeding out the racists among them!”.  But I’m not so sure it’s that simple.  I think that if you have to remind your whole membership not to carry signs that are racist, it’s a tacit admission that there’s plenty of racist propensity in the ranks.  I’m not saying that all tea partiers are racist, but what I have seen of the local t.p. tells me that the economic complaints are partly genuine, partly a proxy reason to rail away at the black man who has usurped the Office of President.  But that’s just my take on the local manifestations of the party.  Maybe it’s all interracial brotherhood where you are.  You know, those local tea party groups whose black, Latino and Asian membership equals or exceeds the population percentage?  Yeah.  Right.

A reality check from Think Progress is after the fold.
Unlike Mr. Weigel and myself, who are relying on opinion or personal non-randomized observation, several research groups have gone out and methodically polled tp-ers.  Think Progress gives us a synopsis of the results.

National surveys of the Tea Party have found that explicit racist sentiment is a strong component of the tea-party make up, in addition to economic conservatism and strong Republican partisanship. The April, 2010 New York Times/CBS News national survey of Tea Party supporters found that they are:
  • More than twice as likely as the general public (25% vs 11%) to believe that “the policies of the Obama administration favor blacks over whites.”
  • Half as likely as the general public (16% to 31%) to believe that “white people have a better chance of getting ahead in today’s society.”
  • Almost twice as likely as the general public (52% to 28%) to believe that “too much has been made of the problems facing black people” in recent years.

  • In a broad study of adults in Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and California conducted between February and March, the University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Sexuality (WISER) asked a number of questions about “racial resentment” – such as whether blacks don’t try hard enough or have gotten more than they deserve. Conservatives are 23 percent more likely to be racially resentful, and Republicans 15 percent more likely than Democrats. However, the institute found that this racial sentiment isn’t simply a byproduct of white conservativism:

    [E]ven as we account for conservatism and partisanship, support for the Tea Party remains a valid predictor of racial resentment.

    It is untrue, as political commentator Dave Weigel argues, that racism in the Tea Party is merely reflective of its conservatism. The WISER study found that compared to other conservatives, Tea Party supporters are:

  • 25 percent more likely to have racial resentment.
  • 27 percent more likely to support racial profiling.
  • 28 percent more likely to support indefinite detention without charges.

  • Tea Party supporters are also significantly more likely to hold racial stereotypes, with a majority believing blacks are not hard-working, intelligent, or trustworthy.

    But there is a silver lining on this dark cloud.  The tp-ers have finally transcended the old American black-white dichotomy!  ”Their fear of others transcends race, however – the WISER study found that a majority of tea party adherents distrust Latinos, Asians, and other whites as well.”  This is progress, right?  Right?  Oh.
    Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

    —  John Wright