The case in the news today (for details, see http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/08/10/us/AP-US-Priest-Abuse-Lawsuit.html?_r=1&ref=us)concerns an abuse case dating from the 1970's and gives hope to survivors of decades-old abuse: An Illinois man has received a $6.33 million settlement for abuse he suffered at the hands of a parish priest over the course of five years. Another black eye for the Catholic Church, especially since this case involved the hiding of the priest's misbehavior and the way the Church "quietly shuffled him among parishes."
Yesterday's news was even more significant: Warren Jeffs, the leader of the breakaway of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (also known as the FDLS) was sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting one of his child brides, in this case a twelve-year old girl. Please read the full article (http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/08/09/us/AP-US-Polygamist-Leader.html?ref=us) to get a fuller picture of this bizarre case. This case shows how the so-called marriage of grown men (often old enough to be the grandfathers of their victims) to children exists in this country. This cult, like so many others,is led by a charismatic leader who takes their money, controls their most intimate activities, and insists that he is divinely inspired.
Put a pajama-style outfit on this man and change his religion, and Jeffs would be comfortable as a tribal leader in Afganistan or Pakistan. Put the priest, who got away with abusing his young parisher without any punishment for 40 years,in a saffron robe, and you have a swami or another cult leader who sexually abused minors and now sits on a throne-like chair, dispensing moral precepts to his gullible followers. Worse, many cult survivors are expected to simply "forget" about their abuse by family and friends, most of whom might wonder why the victim has trouble with dating and is often a loner. It is just wonderful to see that this man, now undoubtedly middle-aged, finally has been compensated for his suffering. $6.33 million for abuse that occurred "dozens of times in five years" seems hardly enough, but it is a start. May the girls who were robbed of their childhoods in the FLDS case get enough money to bankrupt that corrupt parody of the Christian religion and wipe it off the face of the Earth.
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