CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

On the Child Abuse Inquiry

Nov 16, 2012

Julia Gillard has announced a Royal Commission into child abuse. On the one hand we all can say ‘amen’ and wish it well. All child abuse is horrific and appalling, and anyone guilty of committing such crimes should be punished with the full weight of the law.

Now that could be the end of my article. However, many questions arise here, and one needs to look at things much more closely. Sadly, many things done by politicians tend to be done for political advantage, and only secondarily because they are right.

One could ask therefore about the timing of all this. Child abuse – and our knowledge of it – has been around for ages. Why did the Labor government pick this time to finally decide to look into it? Why not sooner? Could part of the reason for the delay be the fact that another Labor scandal was just erupting, this time in NSW with the Eddie Obeid affair?

How convenient of her to announce an inquiry at the same time another potentially damaging Labor scandal had just broken out: a great way to minimise any fallout from what is happening with the former Labor powerbroker. But I guess we should not be surprised here.

Dennis Shanahan points out some inconvenient truths here. Last Friday both Gillard and Bill Shorten had announced there would be no such inquiry, yet 48 hours later they did a complete flip-flop. Moreover, there are many other worthy subjects for such inquiries:

“Calls for royal commissions – from union leaders mostly – into the alleged misuse of Health Services Union funds and alleged fraudulent misappropriation of more than $600,000 from an Australian Workers Union slush fund have fallen on deaf ears.”

And one has to also wonder just how much politics is involved with this anyway. The focus has of course been on the Catholic Church, but the inquiry will look at other abuse. Given that Julia has a tough enough time to keep going, and somehow manage to win the next election, it may seem fitting to try to smear Catholic Tony Abbott with some of this mud along the way.

Piers Akerman puts it this way: “It is about another Labor Party effort to smear the Opposition leader Tony Abbott, a practising Catholic, and to paint him as a member of an organisation which turned a blind eye, at the least, to child abuse. The ALP knows a lot about child abuse, a number of its former MPs are in prison. But it knows more about the dark tricks needed to smear opponents and it is now playing one of those with its media mates.

“For weeks now there has been a concerted effort to link Abbott with scandals associated with Catholic organisations. Labor’s strategists – the same people who attempted to catch Abbott in a race riot of their own construct in Canberra last Australia Day – hope that the media will pummel Abbott over his Catholicism in coming months and that voters will believe that he has somehow been engaged in the most disgraceful behaviour the commission uncovers. That’s what the timing of this is all about. That’s why it has no framework, no commissioner, nothing but the ABC trying to point a bone at a particular church.”

Even a non-Catholic and non-religious writer like Andrew Bolt can see this, warning it can become “an anti-Catholic crusade. Many in the largely anti-clerical media want to use this excuse to smash a church which lectures on modesty, duty, faithfulness and other fun-killers.

“On ABC TV, columnist Joe Asten put the main lines of the media attack: ‘It’s quite clear that almost exclusively this is an issue within the Catholic church. A lot of this goes down to outdated practices in the Catholic church, the celibacy of priests.’ And already we have journalists and politicians demanding priests betray the confessional if they hear someone admit to child abuse.

“It would be a tragedy if the Catholic Church was to be broken by this inquiry. There are few, if any, organisations that have inspired so many Australians to build and run schools, hospitals, hospices and services for the homeless. Destroy this church, the one that has best survived the decay of faith, and I doubt the Greens will pick up the slack and tend to the sick or minister to the poor.”

Child abuse of course can occur anywhere: in schools, in homes, in the Boy Scouts, in sporting groups, and so on. The idea that one church is especially to blame here is quite ludicrous. And the data shows that the great majority of priests have not been involved in this:

“According to a survey by the Washington Post, over the last four decades, less than 1.5 percent of the estimated 60,000 or more men who have served in the Catholic clergy have been accused of child sexual abuse. According to a survey by the New York Times, 1.8 percent of all priests ordained from 1950 to 2001 have been accused of child sexual abuse.”

Sure, any abuse is too much, but the way the MSM is running with this, you would think the only abuse is taking place in churches (abuse also takes place amongst some Protestants of course). But it is always so much easier to pick on the churches than to focus on other more politically correct areas.

Indeed, when will we talk about something the MSM will almost certainly refuse to discuss, along with the inquiry? We know that given how few homosexuals there are, the amount of abuse children experience at their hands is rather high. But chances are we will hear nothing about this at all.

I have documented all this in my book, Strained Relations. There, with complete references, I offered research such as the following: “Homosexual pedophiles victimise far more children than do heterosexual pedophiles (150 to 20). One research project discussed the ‘high prevalence of homosexuality in pedophiles (25% in this study)’. The researchers went on to say that ‘the prevalence of homosexuality is about 10 times higher in pedophiles than in teleiophiles [those attracted to adults]’.

There is plenty more such data which could be examined. I wonder if this inquiry will even go there however. And consider the high amount of abuse children experience in Aboriginal communities. As Bolt remarks: “Churches no longer are – if they ever were – where the worst child sex abuse occurs. Aboriginal communities are. The Australian Institute of Family Studies in June noted: ‘Inquiries into child sexual abuse in Western Australia, New South Wales and the Northern Territory have concluded that the sexual abuse of Aboriginal children was common, widespread and grossly under-reported’.”

Will this be looked into as well? It remains to be seen. At the end of the day, if this inquiry can actually result in there being less child abuse, that will be a very good thing. But such possible good results should not blind us to the fact that there seem to be a lot of political games being played here.

www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/tale-of-two-royal-commissions/story-e6frg75f-1226517698242
blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/piersakerman/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/child_abuse_a_tool_of_political_abuse/#.UKHIIpbsWyw.facebook
www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/beware-an-anti-catholic-witch-hunt-in-the-royal-commission/story-e6frfifx-1226516898647
www.catholicleague.org/sexual-abuse-in-social-context-clergy-and-other-professionals-2/

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63 Responses to On the Child Abuse Inquiry

  • Ah yes, Julia…such a champion for the little children. 100,000 little children aborted every year.
    Anna von Marburg

  • Yes quite so Anna – that is the ultimate child abuse and Julia and Co are fully behind it.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill,

    There is a much more sinister element to this whole thing, and it is being completely overlooked in commentaries on the government’s inquiries into the affairs of the Church. The question is of jurisdiction. When Jesus was asked if Peter should pay the two-drachma tax or not (Matthew 17:24-27), Jesus said that the sons of the Kingdom are free. The civil order is NOT to be over the Church. The members of the Church are sons of the Kingdom of God.

    Paul rebukes the Church leaders for failing to grow up, understand the nature of right and wrong according to God’s holy Law, and deal with offenders in the ranks of the Church in the context of Church courts (I Corinthians 6:1-20); especially in the context of sexual sins.

    By failing to properly discipline sinners in Church leadership, defrocking them, excommunicating them, and handing them over to civil authorities, the apostles and prophets of the Church in Australia have opened the door for civil authorities to legislate in matters that are not the proper jurisdiction of civil leaders.

    The Church is not to rule over the State, but equally, the State is not to rule over the Church. They are two separate spheres, with their own sphere law.

    The fault of this imposition by the State lies squarely at the feet of the leaders of the Church in Australia – there has been a failure to properly exercise required Church discipline.

    The lesson to be learned is that if we fail to apply God’s Law, as the Church, then God will curse us with tyrants who will force their law upon us. God abhors a lawless vacuum. In fact, sin is lawlessness (I John 3:4).

    To unwind the horrendous tyranny over the Church that will be the ultimate outcome of this current course of events will take a very long time, indeed. Our lawlessness derserves the judgment of God.

    Lance A Box

  • I am very glad that you have written this article. There is much more going on than what appears on the surface.

    David J Smith

  • As a former Member of the Labor Party I have to wholeheartedly agree with you Bill, that this is nothing more than a dirty tricks campaign. This is what is termed as collateral damage control taking the emphasis of their own political woes by seeking to associate Tony Abbott somehow with the Child Abuse occurring in the Catholic Church or any other Church. Labor is trying to taint Tony Abbott with the title the Blackbird in the pie which is totally unfair and has the least shred of truth to it.

    I resigned from the Labor Party when they took on board same sex marriage as a platform and as time moves on I have become more disgusted with Labor’s politics and pandering to minority groups and views.

    Leigh Stebbins

  • Big talk from a guy who thinks children should be hit with sticks. I bet you wish you’d never put that in writing, you disgrace to Christianity.

    Jill Ryan

  • Thanks Jill

    Wow, talk about a non sequitur! So, in the interests of extending this conversation, please provide us with a few answers here:
    -Are you claiming to be a Christian?
    -If so, do you affirm what the Bible says about the loving discipline of a child?
    -And just what are your views on abortion?
    -Finally, just how is it that upholding the teachings of Christ and Christianity make one a disgrace to Christianity?

    We eagerly await your responses.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • “Why did the Labor government pick this time to finally decide to look into it?”

    My question is about Constitutional jurisdiction.

    Isn’t child protection a State matter? So why is there to be a Federal Royal Commission?

    If the Federal government (aka in this case the er, “kitchen cabinet” who actually decided this) seriously wanted to deal with cross-border activities, they could have referred material and supplied evidence to State Commission/s already in place, and required Federal bodies to submit to Commission procedures.

    John Angelico

  • Lance Box, you said:

    “The question is of jurisdiction. When Jesus was asked if Peter should pay the two-drachma tax or not (Matthew 17:24-27), Jesus said that the sons of the Kingdom are free. The civil order is NOT to be over the Church. The members of the Church are sons of the Kingdom of God.”

    But legally, that is not the situation in Australia. According to past cases (Grace Christian Church, in SA, I think) civil law trumps church morals – no church can uphold a doctrinal or moral standard which is lower than the civil and criminal law.

    For a fully functional Christian denomination that should not be a problem, but in the past, sects have been caught out (and I might say, happily so, from my perspecitve) on this point.

    Sectarian practices like theft, child neglect, abuse, educational neglect and more have all become the subject of court action.

    Now I know that in the area of home education over-zealous officials have commenced action for such things without a proper basis of evidence, and families have been torn apart, but when the facts are there, then there should be no gainsaying the operation of the law.

    John Angelico

  • Do the terms of reference include abuse of children in the womb?

    John Bennett

  • Wow, Jill, smacking a child with a wooden spoon for open defiance (for example) is somehow equivalent to or worse than rape? Wow. Just, wow.

    Thanks for this, Bill. A very helpful article indeed.

    And I think Lance might be onto something – Churches should have a very high standard of justice – much higher than the pagan courts. I do think we have some work to do there.

    Louise Le Mottee

  • What seems to be conveniently ignored by those pursuing this agenda at present is that, in the main, the homosexual brigade have infiltrated the Church, indulged their lusts, and then conspired with their accomplices in the media to castigate the Church.
    Disgraceful behaviour!
    Dunstan Hartley

  • There are contemporary political advantages to this investigation but the Left has always used the sex abuse scandals as a pretext to attack the Catholic Church. Harping on horrid incidence that occurred before the 90’s yet ignoring similar abuse that occurs in other institutions like public schools still to this day.

    “Just weeks ago in April, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released its annual audit of compliance with the 2002 Dallas Charter, the landmark initiative by the bishops to deal with accusations of abuse by priests.

    The report concluded that in 2011 there were a mere seven credible abuse accusations against Catholic priests in all of the United States involving minors.

    While any number greater than zero is upsetting, the report demonstrates that no other organization is striving to make itself a safe environment for children more than the Catholic Church in the United States. Between annual audits, diocesan review boards, abuse prevention training, millions spent every year on therapy and settlements for victims, and more, the Catholic Church has taken unprecedented steps to keep the children in its care safe.

    Yet you would never know this from reading some of the nation’s leading opinion-makers.

    According to a recent editorial in the Washington Post, the Church still “protects abusers” and “remains focused more on safeguarding its image than protecting victims.”

    The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd claims the Church is “more offended by nuns’ impassioned advocacy for the poor than by priests’ sordid pedophilia,” while the Boston Globe’s Joan Vennochi would have you believe that Pope Benedict himself “tolerates” a “worldwide network of priests” that enables child abuse.”

    www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/1403/continuing_double_standards.aspx

    Damien Spillane

  • The homosexual movement knows it can have no acceptance or celebration in a society that discourages sex outside of natural marriage. Therefore it fosters hostility toward the main opponent of promiscuity, the Christian church.

    What a coup for the gay movement if it can leverage the vile deeds of gay priests in order to turn public opinion against the church.

    The media talks about ‘paedophile priests’, but ignores the fact that paedophilia involves pre-pubescent children. The pro-gay media paints itself into a corner with this, for in order to maintain that all homosexual attraction is healthy, they must deny that male priests who abuse young men are motivated by such attraction.

    Michael Watts

  • The difference is Bill that the Catholic church holds itself out to be the custodian of the moral order and its members to be beyond reproach – and then this. Whatever you might think the motivation of the PM to be, at the end of the day the behaviour of some Catholic bishops has been intolerable. In any event which is worse, the ulterior motives you level at the PM or the ulterior motives of certain Catholic bishops. You don’t post my stuff because I criticise my church – what you are doing seems to me to be feeding into this archaic myth that the Catholic church can do no wrong. You make the Church out to be the instrument of the PM’s cheap political advantage and use this as a weapon against her, attributing to her only one motive – yours. Could you consider the possiblity that among the PM’s several motivations is a sincere compassion for those suffering the effects of this evil. If the bishop won’t protect the children in their care someone else must.

    B T Walters

  • Thanks BT

    A few replies if I may:

    1. I do require full names as my commenting rules clearly state.
    2. With 36,000 comments, I certainly am not aware of where most folks are coming from. I tend to not allow sectarian fighting on my site. Thus I look down on Prots attacking Caths, and Caths attacking Prots. But if you are a Cath who wants to bash Caths, that is up to you.
    3. This is the first time in my entire life that I – a Protestant – have been accused of saying Catholicism can do no wrong. I got a real good laugh out of that one.
    4. If you really believe that Julia is doing this for the best of intentions, well good luck to ya pal. I prefer to keep my feet on the earth thanks.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Well said Bill! I prefer to keep my feet on the earth too!
    God bless you and your clever mind!!

    Mrs Jane Byrne

  • Thanks Bill. I appreciate reading and refering this article to others.

    Cheers,
    Christopher McNicol

  • As a practicing Catholic I believe that priest who commit such crimes against children should face the full force of the law.
    Reflecting upon the situation in America, the end result showed that on the list of child abusers, Catholic priests did not make the first 20 on the list. This does not and can never excuse their crime. Homosexual priests were represented in far greater number as abusers than pedophiles.
    As always, an excellent article Bill. Thank you.

    Madge Fahy

  • Hi John Angelico

    Thanks for your response to my comments above. When you say:

    “But legally, that is not the situation in Australia. According to past cases (Grace Christian Church, in SA, I think) civil law trumps church morals – no church can uphold a doctrinal or moral standard which is lower than the civil and criminal law.”

    I still hold to the position of separate jurisdiction. Just because the Church fails to rise to its moral responsibility of disiciplining its members, does not mean that the State should take over the Church’s role. It is essential that we beg the Church to deal with its own transgressors in a Biblical way – requirement of restitution, excommunication, de-frocking, shunning, delivery over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. In many cases, there is no Church discipline of members, because leaders are guilty of the same sins. The Church in Australia needs a fresh visit by the Holy Spirit, bringing conviction of sin, of righteousness and of judgement to come.

    Senior Church leaders are talking about automatic reporting to State authorities the substance of confessions. This means that people will be incriminated on the basis of self confession – a position, in the past, which lead to the use of torture to obtain confessions. Without the confession of sin, there can be no absolution. But who will want to confess if there is a knowledge that confession will lead to automatic incrimination?

    “For a fully functional Christian denomination that should not be a problem, but in the past, sects have been caught out (and I might say, happily so, from my perspecitve) on this point.”

    Historically, many so-called ‘fully functional Christian denominations’ began as sects (I think of the Baptists, Petecostals, Salvation Army, Lutherans, etc.). In some cases they separated because of the moral laxness of the recognised Church of the day. It was the fact that there is a clear distinction between the jurisdiction of the State and the jurisdiction of the Church that enabled the Sects to form, and then grow into a Denomination. Blur this jurisdictional demarkation, allow the State to rule over the Church, declare Caesar to be Lord over Christ, and the ability of the Church to deal with its sins will be diminished. In fact, the Church will be driven underground, and suffer enormous persecution to simply exist.

    “Sectarian practices like theft, child neglect, abuse, educational neglect and more have all become the subject of court action.”

    Theft, child neglect, child abuse, educational neglect, etc. are not the sole provence of sects, they are the actions of criminals, lawless sinners. Such need the grace of God to repent, or the full force of the law to bring justice upon their heads. Each in its proper jurisdiction, not a confused hybrid.

    Regards,

    Lance A Box

  • I wonder if Jill is going to reply to the question about abortion. As Anna pointed out in the first comment, investigating child abuse whilst condoning abortion is acutely hypocritical.

    Mark Rabich

  • Dear Bill, Thank you for the article. Apparently Julia Gillard has some skeletons in her closet. As for child abuse, a certain former M.P. for Capricornia was in jail for child abuse when he was a school teacher. The local A.L.P. members were embarrassed and disgusted with him after the facts came out into the public. Let us hope this Royal Commission does not only target the Catholic Church,
    regards,
    Franklin Wood

  • B T, if Julia cares about children why doesn’t she call a royal commission into an organisation that has high levels of sexual abuse occurring it like the public schools (a simulacrum of the left), or aboriginal communities (where pedophilia is occurring at epidemic levels)? In fact members of the Watchtower society (Jehovah’s witnesses) have been found to abuse children at higher percentages than Roman Catholic or Protestant clergy, with much of their abuse being incestuous in nature.

    Joel van der Horst

  • Thanks Joel

    Better, yet, if Julia cares so much about children, why is she so pleased to allow 100,000 of them to be slaughtered each year? Anyone who actually thinks that the childless, fornicating, socialist, Emily’s Lister cares about children must be living on another planet than the one we are on.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hey Jill, since when is theological orthodoxy a standard for measuring one’s being a disgrace to Christianity??

    Joel van der Horst

  • The biblical standard is simply this. Anyone who hits a child with a piece of wood is a terminal sadist and should be treated as such. People like you and Ms Le Mottee should be put behind bars for a long stretch.

    Jill Ryan

  • Thanks Jill

    Of course all you have told us so far is that you know nothing of the biblical standards, or that you have simply chosen to reject them. Yet you intend to set us all straight on what the Bible says – amazing! While there are many passages which speak about loving, biblical discipline of children, including Proverbs 13:24, most parents I know tend to use an open hand done in love as a last resort, especially to prevent a toddler from coming into real danger. Yet people from the tolerance brigade, such as yourself, would throw us all in jail for doing this. Ya gotta love how the totalitarian left operates.

    And it is very telling indeed that you have refused to answer my direct questions as to whether you claim to be a Christian, and what you think of abortion. Your silence certainly speaks volumes here.

    Oh, and one last question: do you have any children of your own? Or is this yet another case of a childless “expert” lecturing parents on how to parent?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hey Jill, please exegete for me some biblical texts that oppose spanking a child?? I’m open to being persuaded, please convince me of your position…

    Joel van der Horst

  • Jill, your words are garbage – what, you still think giving a child a smack (not a beating – a smack) on the butt with a wooden spoon is morally equivalent or worse than rape?

    Are you serious?

    Louise Le Mottee

  • The difference is Bill that the Catholic church holds itself out to be the custodian of the moral order and its members to be beyond reproach

    Arrant nonsense as ever was talked. If the Catholic Church claimed that its members are beyond reproach, then why does it have Confession? Perfect people wouldn’t need Confession would they?

    But of course it is the custodian of the moral order in its teachings – which modern people hate, because they just love to sin so much. Modern people want to fornicate and fornicate and fornicate and not do anything else much as far as I can tell, except perhaps agitate to put people like me behind bars!

    Louise Le Mottee

  • This is what you wrote in a letter to the Melbourne ‘Herald Sun’ on 19 October 1998. It was reprinted in the ‘Salt Shakers Newsletter’ in November 1998:
    ‘Suggested legislation which would ban the smacking of children, except with an open hand, is counterproductive … (T)here is wisdom in using an object, e.g., a wooden dowel. First, it disassociates the punishment from the parent. Otherwise the hand of the parent might become an object of fear, instead of love and affection. In the same way animal trainers recommend using an object instead of the hand …’
    This completely contradicts the ridiculous ‘saving a toddler with a smack’ notion you put forward here. Anyway, you should be pulling the toddler out of the way, not smacking him or her.
    What will happen is this. As soon as the Royal Commission calls for public submissions, this quote of yours will be sent straight to them with a strong recommendation that you be investigated and, if necessary, prosecuted and jailed.
    Jill Ryan

  • Thanks again Jill

    I of course fully stand by the contents of that letter, as would millions of other Australians – all of whom you so passionately despise and hate. However, since you are so keen on quoting me, let me offer my entire letter here:

    Suggested legislation which would ban the smacking of children, except with an open hand, is counterproductive. In addition to turning hundreds of thousands of parents into petty criminals overnight, such legislation, if enacted, would further undermine parental authority.

    Moreover, there is wisdom in using an object, eg., a wooden dowel. First, is disassociates the punishment from the parent. Otherwise the hand of the parent might become an object of fear, instead of love and affection. In the same way animal trainers recommend using an object instead of the hand. Second, it allows a cooling off period. The minute or so needed to fetch the object may help defuse the parent’s anger. So there is a place for using an object instead of the hand.

    All punishment, whether corporal or not, must be proportionate to the crime or wrong committed. We already have laws outlawing physical abuse. To call smacking “violence” is to both distort the meaning of the term and to undermine the collected wisdom of the ages that said “spare the rod, spoil the child”. Just as one can lovingly administer a slap on the bottom, so one can unlovingly refuse to discipline a child. A question of balance is the key. A child that receives a smacking, when necessary, in the environment of a warm and loving relationship with its parents is the better for it. A child that receives no discipline – whether in the form of a smack or some other fashion – will certainly be the worse off.

    As to your silly threat, well yes, we all know this is just how you guys operate. In Nazi Germany and in Stazi East Germany for example there were all sorts of people turning in their neighbours and even family members for so-called “crimes against the state”. That is how all fascist tyrannies operate, and it is so refreshing to see you admitting to the same ugly totalitarianism.

    And if a toddler is about to put a hand in an open flame, the most loving thing any parent will do is quickly smack the hand to prevent great harm. But by now it is absolutely clear that you never had a child in your life, that you are not a Christian, and that you have no clue what is in the Bible. And wow, talk about holding a 15-year grudge! You might need to get some help on that one.

    And I see you still refuse to answer our questions. In which case why should we pay the slightest attention to what you have to say, since you cannot even be forthright with us? Typical, sadly, of how your side operates: the rather ugly face of the totalitarian and deceptive secular left in action.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I’m glad to know that by Jill’s standards every abortionist should be in jail. The instruments they use are significantly more lethal than “a piece of wood”.

    Mark Rabich

  • Yes quite right Mark. I too so look forward to having Jill tell us how many abortion mills she has targeted, consumed as she is with a very real hatred of genuine child abuse. We can then all applaud her in her passion to shut down these demonic mills where children are torn limb from limb, burned alive, or have their brains sucked out.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Lance Box, there is much I agree with in your follow up post.

    Sorry can’t spend a lot of time on it today. Will come back to it soon as I can.

    John Angelico

  • Anyone can see that this is a clumsy attempt to attack the Catholic Tony Abbott, it has nothing whatever to do with protecting children, which is a state, not a federal matter.
    Someone should explain to Julia Gillard that Catholics make up a quarter of the population of this country, and that Tony Abbott would be the 6th Catholic Prime Minister, not the first.They were James Scullin, Ben Chifley, Joseph Lyons, Frank Forde and Paul Keating. If you count the two who were born Catholic and changed denominations (Billy McMahon and Kevin Rudd), he would be the 8th Catholic Australian Prime Minister.
    The last time a Welsh Prime Minister tangled with the Catholic Church in Australia it ended badly – with Billy Hughes and Cardinal Mannix. Nearly a hundred years later Julia Gillard is making the same incredibly stupid mistake. It shows her ignorance of the electorate.

    Nina Blondel

  • Hey Jill, I thought you said the “biblical standard” was opposed to spanking a child? But you’re yet to show this theologically or exegetically… you haven’t even attempted to offer an argument. Perhaps this suggests you don’t have a case? With all due respect, this is the position I’m compelled to take in light of your overwhelming silence on this matter.

    Joel van der Horst

  • I guess there’ll always be some political games in any big issue – that can be pretty well taken for granted, especially in a matter of national significance (and Tony Abbott has backed the PM for a “wide-ranging” royal commission); but, if the games help get the results viz., the removal of an all-pervasive culture of child abuse across a very broad canvas: in churches, in Aboriginal communities, in government agencies and institutions, ‘in schools, in homes, in the Boy Scouts, in sporting groups, and so on,’ then let the games begin!
    David Cowley

  • May I say that Jill Ryan come across as one of these do gooders who invariably by forcing others to accept their political correctness do more harm to our Society than any Parent who wishes to righteously discipline their Children

    I for one grew up being disciplined just about every day for flagrant abuse of wise rules. It never hurt me, in fact in the longer run help to shape me into a better more rounded person with a better regard for Moral and Civil Law. At 62 yrs of age I have only been into a Court Room twice. The first was a Coroner’s Court giving evidence into my Father-in-Laws suicide and the Second time was in the Family Law Court again giving evidence. I don’t see how my disciplining from my Parent’s caused me irreparable damage. I rest my case.

    Leigh Stebbins

  • Thanks Leigh

    It is not just that they are do-gooders: they are totalitarian do-gooders. They are coercive utopians. They are quite happy to force everyone to bow down to their whacko schemes and visions. They are the same ones who give the thumbs down and cheer as Christians are burned at the stake. They are the same ones who are quite happy to ransack houses, confiscate Bibles, and burn them in the streets. These PC Nazis never sleep nor rest. We need to learn the lessons of history here.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Yes David C to some extent there is the element of a game in the whole thing. But what is easily overlooked is that many catholics have been ‘absolutely gutted’ by all this. The pain and confusion some experience is clearly beyond description. Those who have experienced the pain of betrayal by a loved and trusted one will have some idea of this. They know that there is a time to ponder and to argue and to seek justice but there is also a time to turn to our loving creator God; a time to cry. We take comfort in knowing that many of our non-catholic sisters and brothers share our pain and cry with us.
    B T Walters

  • In this matter, Gary North argued that the biggest loser is the family. The only entity that can stand between a totalitarian state and the family, is a Christ-honouring Church. When the Church is weak, then the family is exposed – witness the threat to have Bill jailed for defending the family’s right to its God-given ultimate sanction, the rod of correction. The Church in Australia is weak because it has failed to wield its God-given ultimate sanction, ex-communication. Some of the so-called Church leaders should have been ex-communicated long ago for their continued heretical stance on various issues. The weakness of the Church exposes families to great danger. I am glad that the State in Australia does not have access to its God-given ultimate sanction – the death sentence. However, when the Church has been cleansed and restored, and the family has been restored and affirmed, then may the Lord fulfil His word: “… wrongdoers … will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb … evildoers shall be cut off … the wicked will be no more … the Lord laughs at the wicked, for He sees that his day is coming. … the arms of the wicked shall be broken, …the wicked will perish; the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish–like smoke they vanish away. … those cursed (by the Lord) shall be cut off. The wicked watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death. The Lord will not abandon (the righteous) to his power or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial. … transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the future of the wicked shall be cut off [Psalm 37].

    I plead with all men and women to make peace with the Lord Jesus Christ. “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry (with you), and you perish in the way. (However,) Blessed are all who take refuge in Him” (Psalm 2:12).

    Lance A Box

  • Thanks guys

    Of course a major problem of child abuse in the Catholic Church involves homosexuality and homosexual paedophilia. That especially must be tackled. As one insider says, we must deal with the homosexual culture there.

    “A gay culture is growing among clergy of the American Catholic Church that receives support from members of the hierarchy as well as from those directly involved in the training of priests, according to a Catholic priest-theologian….In an exclusive interview with WorldNetDaily, an influential Catholic priest, author and lecturer opens up the murky underworld of the homosexual clergy, its recruiters and its protectors. The Rev. Charles Fiore, a Catholic priest for 42 years, has fought the homosexual influence in the clergy almost from the date of his ordination. With degrees in philosophy and theology, as well as clinical training at Menninger’s and the State Hospital in Topeka, Kan., Fiore has both condemned the actions of homosexual priests and counseled the victims of their abuse.”

    www.wnd.com/2002/03/13248/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Prov. 23;:13 and 14 are probably the most explicate verses on how discipline is to be administered, certainly with a rod and it points out the child will not die, but the soul will be saved.
    As to Jill’s “biblical understanding”, “the tender mercies of the wicket are cruelties” comes to mind here.
    I have much respect for catholics in the areas of faithfulness and duty, but wonder how you can expect good things to come out of an unbiblical expectation of celibacy – Paul calls it a deceiving spirit when you forbid to marry. – I don’t know.
    If the foundation stone is crooked, surely the wall built upon it is crooked. I hope I am not being accused of denomination bashing, but would hope that any unbiblical practice wold be refuted by someone on biblical grounds.
    I do believe though that other organisations will be included in the royal commission, or at least that is what I have heard.
    In the letter to the Philippines, Paul commended the preaching of the gospel even from wrong motives. If truth is being exposed about these matters, praise the Lord, no matter how wrong the motives were and I would certainly prefer a royal commission into this area rather than merely financial embarrassment, though that is important too. But I agree, it should include public schools and the aboriginal community if facts on what happens there are already out.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • In 1985, D.G. Sturgess, Queensland’s then Director of Prosections released his report, An Inquiry into Sexual Offences involving Children and Related matters, Queensland Government, 1 March 1985. During the course of research for a submission to a federal parliamentary enquiry into the liberalisation of classification of so-called non-violent hard-core pornography around 1987, I consulted Mr Sturgess’s report.

    As I recall it, the trigger event for the Queensland Government enquiry conducted by Mr Sturgess was the case of a prominent Queensland public servant who committed suicide when inescapable evidence of his sexual abuse of minors became known.

    The Sturgess report did include reference to certain persons whose custom it was to seek the sexual favours of male minors in similar fashion to the clients of more “conventional” female street prostitutes.

    Googling the Sturgess report this morning, I came across a postgraduate thesis from Griffith University which states that “No official public action resulted” from Des Sturgess’s report [G.A. Pitman, Police Minister and Commissioner Relationships , Ph.D. thesis submitted Nov. 1998, Faculty of Commerce and Administration, Griffith University, p.20] !

    It’s one thing to have a Royal Commission. It is another to ensure the result is the effective protection of minors from adult sexual predators who often position themselves in positions where they attract the high regard of the general public.

    The exposure of the Christian faith community to the present Royal Commission brings to mind the words of St Peter: “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God…” (1Pe 4:17).

    John Wigg

  • Thanks Bill for your clarity on this issue. Folks like Jill Ryan would be cheering on the Gestapo on this issue, dragging the righteous from their homes and burning bibles in iron bins in streets in 1940s wartorn Europe whilst we would be on the side of the Allies knowing truth, justice and Christ will prevail. As for the inquisition, I have heard from a reputable Catholic bishop that gays dating back thirty years, since after the ludicrously ill-advised Vatican II, have been infiltrating the church with the express intention of touching up children and bringing a moral institution down. Why else do we see gays laughing until they weep at the capsizing of the Catholic Church? The bishop tells me even Ratzinger himself isn’t faultless here. Despite his hard line now he’s said to have aided and abetted the movement of many homosexuals within the church. The only way to righteousness and purity is to weed them out, identify the gays, force them out, re-establish Christ’s kingdom here on earth and ensure those who want no part of it are kept outside the gates of paradise.
    Let us claim the West for Christ and let the nay-Sayers perish. Who’s with me?
    Richard O’Sullivan

  • Well said Richard O’Sullivan!

    Steve Davis

  • I have much respect for catholics in the areas of faithfulness and duty, but wonder how you can expect good things to come out of an unbiblical expectation of celibacy – Paul calls it a deceiving spirit when you forbid to marry. – I don’t know.

    No one is compelled to be a priest and therefore no one is compelled by the Church to be celibate, nor can anyone just marry whenever they want to – they have to find someone who wants to marry them. Honestly, the remarks about [priestly celibacy that one reads are just ridiculous.

    Louise Le Mottee

  • In his book, “By What Standard: An Analysis of the Philosophy of Cornelius Van Til”, R J Rushdoony wrote a chapter called, ‘Behold, it was Leah’. The thrust of the chapter is that the outcome of a specific position may not be obvious in the dark of application, but in the light of unfolding consequences sometime later, the true nature of what was applied is inevitably revealed. Such fruits may take hundreds, or even thousands of years to be fully revealed, but revealed they shall be (I Corinthians 4:5).

    When God says, “husband of one wife” as a pre-requisite for church leadership, that is exactly what he means. He does not mean an unmarried man, an untested neophyte, an unmarried woman, or even a married woman. He means, a married man with children, who has proven character over time. All kinds of exegetical contortions have been applied to wriggle out of the clear statement of God’s pre-requisites for Church leadership (see I Timothy 3:2; 3:12; Titus 1:6 – out of the mouth of two or three witnesses shall everything be established Deuteronomy 19:15).

    And so, after the Council of Nicea of 325 AD, the experiment in requiring Church leaders to be celebate has revealed that it is a Leah, not a Rachel. Also, down the track, the experiment in ordination of women will equally prove to be a Leahic devolution.

    God will not be mocked. Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil shall always result in death, both temporal and eternal.

    Lance A Box

  • Sounds nice, Lance, but I don’t believe things merely because a Christian says “this is what God means.”

    St Paul argued that believers should remain single, ideally.

    Even if you’re right, however, I was arguing against Ursula’s comment in supposing that the Catholic Church mandates celibacy.

    Louise Le Mottee

  • Ursula, which is the verse about a spirit of deception re: the forbidding of marriage?

    Louise Le Mottee

  • So do I have this straight? If you oppose the beating of children with sticks, you are a totalitarian?

    Clare Tavish

  • Thanks Clare

    Of course you don’t have this straight – not even close. So let me straighten you out here.

    Here is the scoop: when you want a parent – who applies loving discipline to their child, usually as a last resort, done in love, usually with the flat hand, to prevent harm or to correct bad behaviour – to be locked up for life by the PC thought police, then you are a totalitarian, pure and simple.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • You shouldn’t even be discussing matters like the beating of children here. This is level 5 child pornography and I’m reporting you to the police and the Australian Classification Board.

    Clare Tavish

  • Thanks again Clare – thanks for so perfectly illustrating my point. Saves me a lot of time when you guys come and make my case for me.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Of course to those like Clare, they want to place an only-just-hard-enough physical smack in the same category as true violence against children.

    But with that kind of logic, 5km/hr is dangerous speeding the same as 150 km/hr.

    Not even close, Clare. Who in their right mind would think there was any equivalence between the two? One is done for the child’s own socialisation and long life, the other usually specifically seeks to do harm as an end in itself.

    Mark Rabich

  • Louise Le Mottee,

    the Scripture you are requesting is found in I Timothy 4:1-3 (ESV) “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods (such as meat on Fridays) that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”

    The KJV refers to the forbidding of marriage as a “doctrine of devils”

    The Apostle Paul’s reference to remaining single was in the context of extreme persecution (I Corinthians 7:26 ff.) “I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is … Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned, … Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that [i.e. spared the extra burdens of caring for a spouse in the context of present distresses associated with persecution. This is not meant to be a norm, or preferred way of life under normal circumstances]” In fact, as stated above, Paul goes as far as saying that to press the point about not marrying as being a more spiritual expression of Christian living is a demonic teaching. Hard, but true, for a whole lot of reasons: when not married there is an increased temptation to fornicate when dealing with others; experience in solving the challenges of marriage and family life enables proper counsel to others (based in experience, not just academic conjecture); marriage is a type of the relationship between Christ and the Church, and successful marriages (with resulting families) are the clearest declarations of the Gospel, and are important in effective evangelism.

    Some who have made comments earlier in this debate speak as those who have not been married, and have not had to raise children. I am married, I have raised children, and as an educator I have to deal with other people’s undisciplined children on a daily basis. From bitter experience, I can testify that those children who are lovingly raised with a rod are far more adjusted, secure, happy and able to accomplish in life than those who are denied restraint to their foolishness that God says is bound up in their heart.

    Lance A Box

  • In all of this I hope all church leaders will humbly acknowledge the grave sins of the past and, from here onwards, put the defence and protection of the least and littlest before every other consideration. It is deeply saddening to see, in some, an attitude that could so easily be interpreted as defensive and self-exculpatory. I pray this government initiative will be honest and just and will add to the good work already being done throughout the church to end this horror and prevent it happening to any more of God’s little children. Like many of us, I have been praying for the purification of the church for a long time. Perhaps this royal commission can assist with one aspect of the purification so greatly needed. Perhaps then the media will give some publicity to the public works of mercy, so heavily dependant on voluntary Christian staffing and funding, without which governments would struggle to care for those in genuine need.
    Anna Cook

  • Hi Louise Le Mottee.

    I believe Ursula is referring to the following:

    1 Timothy 4: 1-3; 1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

    2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

    3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats (certain foods), which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (KJV)

    Matthew Henry explains it this way:

    “The Holy Spirit, both in the Old and the New Testament, spoke of a general turning from the faith of Christ, and the pure worship of God. This should come during the Christian dispensation, for those are called the latter days. False teachers forbid as evil what God has allowed, and command as a duty what he has left indifferent. We find exercise for watchfulness and self-denial, in attending to the requirements of God’s law, without being tasked to imaginary duties, which reject what he has allowed. But nothing justifies an intemperate or improper use of things; and nothing will be good to us, unless we seek by prayer for the Lord’s blessing upon it.”

    The Catholic Church does forbid it’s priests to marry (but, granted, not the general congregation), contrary to the biblical standard.

    Mick Koster.

  • Anna,

    it is a stated aim of communism that the Christian family and the Christian Church be destroyed to enable the objectives of socialism/communism to be accomplished. The socialist media will not be looking for ways to celebrate the accomplishments of the Christian Church, which are so legion it would be impossible to cover them on any given day. The socialist media will continue to look for excuses to extinguish the light of the Gospel completely. After the Royal Commission the persecution will not abate, it will accelerate, until Christians universally embrace the spirit of Athanasius “contra mundum.”

    Lance A Box

  • So now you’re a level 5 child pornographer Bill. I don’t even know how she came to the conclusion that corporal punishment is pornography but we’ll add it to your list of sins including standing up for the unborn shall we?
    Luke Belik

  • Thanks guys

    The sad truth is, the comments of those two PC women are so utterly bizarre, that we may best conclude that they are either deluxe trolls, or deluxe fruit loops – in either case they are best ignored.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I imagine that the Royal Commission won’t even touch the mental child abuse that occurs in public schools when children are made to listen to stories promoting homosexual unions.

    Mario Del Giudice

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