A U.S. jury convicted former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on 45 of 48 counts in a child sex abuse case that shocked the nation and rocked the university. And U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “Today it is estimated as many as 27 million people around the world are victims of modern slavery, what we sometimes call trafficking in persons. The end of legal slavery in the United States and in other countries around the world has not, unfortunately, meant the end of slavery.”
“Those victims of modern slavery are women and men, girls and boys, and their stories remind us of the kind of inhumane treatment we are capable of as human beings,” said Clinton. The UN crime-fighting office announced that 2.4 million people across the globe are victims of human trafficking at any one time, and 80% of them are being exploited as sexual slaves. Two out of every three victims are women and only one out of 100 victims of trafficking is ever rescued.
Meanwhile the Vatican’s doctrinal office denounced an American nun, who taught Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School, for a book that attempted to present a theological rationale for same-sex relationships, masturbation and remarriage after divorce. The book, she said, offers “contemporary interpretations” of justice and fairness in human sexual relations, moving away from a “taboo morality” and drawing on “present-day scientific, philosophical, theological, and biblical resources.”
The formal censure came only weeks after the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a stinging reprimand of the main coordinating group of American nuns, prompting many Catholics across the country to turn out in defense of the nuns with protests, petitions and vigils.
The statement took Sister Farley to task for writing that same-sex marriage “can also be important in transforming the hatred, rejection, and stigmatization of gays and lesbians.” She wrote that “same-sex relationships and activities can be justified according to the same sexual ethic as heterosexual relationships and activities.” “This opinion is not acceptable,” the Vatican statement said.
Sister Farley writes that female masturbation “usually does not raise any moral questions at all.” She adds that “many women” have found “great good in self-pleasuring—perhaps especially in the discovery of their own possibilities for pleasure—something many had not experienced or even known about in their ordinary sexual relations with husbands or lovers.” The Vatican said this assessment contradicted church teaching that “the deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.”
And if you really are a strict Catholic it means sex for procreation only! And one has to try not to enjoy it too much while you are doing it! Unfortunately the story of religion is in part the story of men and their abuse of women and children. That tradition continues to this day and we see this in child sexual abuse, rape, child adult weddings, the genital mutilation of young girls, and the denial that goes on at the highest levels that sexuality is a serious problem for human beings. And as we see at the close of this essay, even circumcision is a form of sexual violence.
Sexual abuse is much worse than you can possibly imagine and who do you think buys many of these sexual slaves? We are a demented race and even the priests of the Catholic Church get away with abusing the young as a matter of course—such is the legacy of celibacy and other Catholic doctrines.
Pope Benedict XVI says the Catholic Church must reflect on what is wrong with its message and with Christian life in general that allowed for the widespread sexual abuse of children by priests. Benedict said the church must better train priests so that such abuses never occur again and must figure out how to help victims heal. He says this but we all know they’re not likely to do anything effective about any of this. Perhaps a slap on the hand to these priests and then they will just move on, which of course does not do anything to correct this long standing problem.
Pope Benedict XVI begged forgiveness from abuse victims for the sins of priests and promised to “do everything possible” to ensure that Roman Catholic clerics don’t rape or molest children ever again.
There are just certain kinds of things we cannot talk about, things about our inner worlds, because doing so steps on religious shoes. Much of human insanity comes from our misguided concepts, many of them traceable to ancient books. But it does not matter. What we really need to understand, as Clinton is hinting at, is to understand the nature of human vulnerability and how easily one person can cause great suffering in another. Rape and child sexual abuse, which do violence not only to a person’s sexuality but also to their entire being, demonstrates the hurt humans are capable of dishing out to others without remorse.
Rape envelops the victim’s entire world; it turns their world into a living hell. There are no words strong enough to describe the way rape victims feel. They are locked in a nightmare that has little relevance to the outside world. Having had their bodies violated and their minds tortured, it is almost impossible to communicate feelings to others who have no real perception of the depth of physical and psychological abuse they have suffered.
From puberty and before, sexuality is a force that either shapes or dents our life, bringing us to cliffs of shame and guilt or to a heaven of ecstasy and love. Many children have been deeply scarred and carry penetrating wounds that keeps them from being able to experience deep and meaningful love in their adulthood.
People who have been severely abused and hurt describe the abuse as a defining feature of their lives. Between long pauses and deep breaths one woman struggled to describe the depression that began in adolescence when her father started molesting her. “He used to say, ‘You’re a worthless piece of garbage; you’ll never amount to anything’,” she said. While children are resilient, the phrase “sexual abuse” does not fully convey the mix of fear and betrayal an abused child may feel, especially because the abuser is typically someone he or she knows and trusts—a cousin, an uncle, stepfather, or even her own father or a trusted friend.
“There’s nothing I can think of that so betrays the experience of safety and care and relationship,” said Peter Fraenkel, a clinical psychologist who teaches at City College in New York. He often hears how a child’s abuser is the very person who is supposed to protect the child. Oftentimes a mother does not believe their child so she does not protect her child from a father or stepfather—this abandonment and betrayal does deep and terrible ruin.
Child abuse is a fact—a hideous, foul fact that traumatizes our culture just as it traumatizes individual victims. We are incredibly vulnerable with our sexualities because they involve every level of our being. And yet that is not appreciated because vulnerability is not understood or cherished in modern society. Attacking a person through their sexuality gives a person access to the unspeakable. It gives them access to the absolute center of a person’s vulnerability.
Sex is beautiful as God is beautiful and to think otherwise diminishes God.
The reason sex drives itself so deeply into our soul nature is: first, we were created with and by it, and second, we were given it not only as the base of our creative energy but as a natural path to love and union. So when a person’s sexual vulnerability gets abused, the deepest part of their nature is hurt, often it seems, beyond repair. Sexual violence turns the basic universal energy back in and on itself in a way that twists the soul, our very essence, and this closes down the heart, the vibration of vulnerability and being.
Circumcising young boys on religious grounds leads to grievous bodily harm, a German court ruled in a landmark decision that the Jewish community said trampled on parents’ religious rights. The regional court in Cologne, western Germany, ruled that the “fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents.”
The case was brought against a doctor in Cologne who had circumcised a four-year-old Muslim boy on his parents’ wishes. A few days after the operation, his parents took him to hospital as he was bleeding heavily. Prosecutors then charged the doctor with grievous bodily harm.
“The body of the child is irreparably and permanently changed by a circumcision,” the court said. “This change contravenes the interests of the child to decide later on his religious beliefs.”
The head of the Central Committee of Jews, Dieter Graumann, said the ruling was “an unprecedented and dramatic intervention in the right of religious communities to self-determination. Circumcision of newborn boys is a fixed part of the Jewish religion and has been practiced worldwide for centuries. This religious right is respected in every country in the world.”
Graumann is absolutely correct. This form of sexual violence is part of ancient Jewish laws on sexuality, which are exceptionally violent and cruel. Graumann obviously would have this perpetuated on the human race for eternity. Jewish and thus Christian ideas on sexuality are based on a sickness of mind and heart that has caused immeasurable suffering for thousands of years.
Pinchas Goldschmidt, Swiss-born chief rabbi of Moscow, said, “Circumcision represents the basis for belonging to the Jewish community. It has been practiced for 4,000 years and cannot be changed.” This is the main problem with the world’s religions—nothing can be changed and this is absurd in a universe where everything is changing and evolving. It is an affront against God since God created a constantly changing universe.
Rabbi Natan Sega writes, “The patriarch Abraham was 99 years old when he made the covenant (hebrew: Brit’) with Yahweh. He circumcised himself. And we know that it was a small symbolic cut, the removal of the tip of the foreskin that hung over the glans. In the second century, the Jews at this time wanted to participate in the Greek and Roman Olympics but they competed in the nude. The Greeks and Romans only allowed ‘intact’ males as they celebrated the human form in its wholeness and completeness. So, if a Jewish man wanted to compete he would hang some weights from his existing foreskin and ‘restore’ himself. The Rabbis of this era did not take kindly to this practice of physical assimilation so they instituted two new rituals into the circumcision procedure. 1) Periah, which is the complete removal of the foreskin, exposing the glans, and in some cases, the removal of the frenulum (the extra-sensitive band of tissue on the underside of the penis), and 2) Metzitzah, the sucking of the blood from the cut penis. These two procedures are still performed among Orthodox Jews worldwide. So, from a simple snip at the time of Abraham, we now have a major blood-letting ceremony, complete with blood sucking. This has got to stop.”
Prior to Moses, Egyptians worshipped the masculine phallus and were contemptuous of the feminine equivalent. They practiced—and still do—upon children, the most terrible repression of infantile sexuality that can be imagined. Circumcision predates the Jews, coming as it does from the ancient Egyptians. Moses is said to actually have detested the practice and that original authentic Judaism was born in reaction to circumcision.
If one buys into this view (revision of Genesis 17 counts the setting of circumcision back into practice by the Egyptians upon children. Abraham was forced to obey but a strong resistance developed within the people because the circumcision of babies in doubtful hygiene conditions provoked numerous deaths) then it seems that modern Jews and Moslems don’t really know what they are talking about or what they are defending in this barbarous practice.
Medicine & Circumcision
Holm Putzke, a criminal law expert at the University of Passau, told the Financial Times Deutschland that the ruling was “enormously important for doctors because for the first time they have legal certainty.” The court specified that circumcision was not illegal if carried out for medical reasons.
Dr. Robert S. Mendelsohn weighed in heavily on this subject saying, “The bris is performed on the eighth day of life by a trained mohel who uses the same technique that has withstood more than 4,000 years of use. Ten men stand by to make sure he does it right, too. Modern medicine’s routine circumcision, however, takes place on the first or second day of life, when blood loss can be especially dangerous. It’s performed by a surgeon, or an intern, or a medical student using the “latest” technique. Where the bris ceremony includes pouring some wine in the infant’s mouth, no anesthetic at all is used in modern medicine’s ritual.”
Modern medicine has copied and mirrors the violence of religion, loving, as they all do, the abuse of highly vulnerable and innocent children. The ugliness of feminine clitoral mutilation is found in male circumcision but humans will have their way until the end of time, which is assured as a just reward for our brutality against children. The ancient prophets were not blind and saw way ahead of time where humanity was heading.