I have read a few articles this summer concerning the attempt by some lawmakers in New York state to pass the Child Victims Act. The bill would give victims of abuse up to the age of 28 to file a criminal complaint, 50 for a civil suit, and create a one year window for past victims to initiate lawsuits. Under current laws the statute of limitations is the age of 23. Anyone who reads or watches the news would know that many victims of childhood sexual abuse do not come forward until well into adulthood, for various reasons, be it the stigma, repressed memories or even efforts by the offenders to obscure and obfuscate the facts.
It would seem to make sense that the statutes be revised to allow a little more time and really – really – why should there be any limitation? Why give sexual predators a window that closes, thereby allowing them to breathe a sigh of relief and not have to worry about the weight of the law coming down upon them? I mean, if the guy in the blue jumpsuit down the street had fucked me in the ass when I was seven I would like to think that I could exact legal justice at any time. Provided I had the proof and could persuade a jury, of course. Otherwise, I would probably just kill the motherfucker myself and call it even. Of course we all know that many victims are never whole no matter what and a large number of them end up psychologically damaged beyond repair, drug addicts/alcoholics or even abusers themselves.
The New York bill was first introduced over a decade ago and has never even made it to the floor for a vote in the state senate. Why? Because there are some organizations that oppose it vehemently. Who, you might ask, would oppose a bill making it easier for victims of childhood abuse to receive justice?
Well, indirectly. The Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church are the institutions that object to the law. Both have lobbied hard against the bill and the New York Catholic Conference has spent over $2 million since 2007 to make sure the bill dos not become law. So why do these two groups in particular oppose the bill? Some say they are afraid such a bill would bankrupt them. A spokesman for the Catholic League put his foot in his mouth when he claimed that it’s a vindictive bill pushed by activists and lawyers to rape the Catholic Church. Ouch!
So, who in the government would want to block such legislation? That’s where the Republicans come in. Although they won’t spell out exactly why they oppose it, it doesn’t take much of a stretch to intuit that 1) they are conservative brethren and 2) that the money paid to kill the bill did not go in to fliers and buttons.
Am I the only one who finds it ironic that the party that whines, cries and wrings their hands over abortion and the sanctity of life does nothing to protect the rights of people abused as children? Of course I would not be the first to point out that once a child leaves the womb they pretty much don’t give a rat’s ass about them. It’s not that they don’t like children, necessarily, it’s just that they don’t like women. (Or minorities. Or anyone who is not a white wealthy man. But that’s a story for another day.)
I was a Boy Scout and a Catholic. I seceded from both organizations at my first opportunity. The Boy Scouts because I had nothing in common with the other boys in my neighborhood that enjoyed collecting merit badges and going to jamborees. The Catholic Church because I don’t believe in God and Heaven, the biggest fraud perpetrated on mankind. I never experienced anything bad, other than being surrounded by nerds, on the one hand, or blind faith in a myth on the other. (Not to mention confirmation anxiety!) Thank………….goodness, I guess, that I lived in a relatively idyllic neighborhood free of any sexually dysfunctional perverts. That I know of. There was that Mormon lady a few houses down who was spied in a no-tell motel, but that was purely adult on adult heterosexual lust. Her husband was a bit of a square peg and she was certainly hot.
I have to say, said it before, that I don’t understand why the Catholics haven’t stormed the gates of the Church like the mob going after Frankenstein’s monster. The fact that priests have abused for decades and the Church has been complicit in covering it up is appalling and I have no respect for those who would turn a blind eye, tithing and praying for their own salvation while ignoring the horrific crimes visited upon so many innocent children. Recent developments in the Vatican prove that even at the highest levels the Church is unwilling or unable to address the issue. Lurid, drug fueled sexual trysts by clergymen in Rome and an Australian Cardinal’s sexual assault charges only help to exacerbate and highlight the dysfunction rampant in the church.
Equally ironic is the vile spewed at the Islamic religion by some members of the Catholic Church – many Christians actually – while ignoring their own religion’s transgressions. If these are supposed to be the people who adhere to the teachings of a Christian God that supposedly taught love, compassion, morality, ethics, and respect for others, then Heaven help them all.
Believe what you will, but I’m telling you that it’s a good thing there is no Hell. It would be awfully crowded.