Tue 21st Oct 2014 | Last updated: Tue 21st Oct 2014 at 16:13pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Comment & Blogs

Does the evil of bad men nullify all the good?

The crimes of Jimmy Savile raise some difficult questions

By on Thursday, 18 October 2012

Sir Jimmy Savile claims

I listened to The Moral Maze on Radio Four yesterday evening by candlelight, as we had a power cut in our village. Given that the subject was the late Sir Jimmy Savile and the debate concerned the question of demonising him and conducting a witch-hunt after his death, I felt the atmosphere was appropriately charged by my “bell, book and flickering candle” scenario. What came up time and time again in the debate was the nature of the “blood money” involved, in other words the millions Savile had raised for charity and the problems caused for his charities now that his name and reputation have been permanently tarnished.

Journalist Melanie Phillips, whom I often agree with, although not on this occasion, seemed hell-bent on a one-woman crusade against the evils of modern society; her voice quivering with indignation, she appeared fixated by Savile’s alleged crimes and the abhorrence we should all feel about them. She gave the impression that even to engage in a calm and rational discussion about his behaviour was itself a betrayal of Savile’s victims. Being “calm” is, of course, not Melanie Phillips’ strongest suit; sometimes her righteous anger serves her well – but not in this case. It simply reflected the hysteria that the media has been engaged in for the past few weeks, ever since the first allegations of Savile’s proclivities were aired in the press.

Claire Fox, the other woman panellist (whom I often disagree with) who is director of the Institute of Ideas, came across as the moderate voice. She appealed for a sense of proportion. She wisely pointed out that we cannot know all the complex motivations behind a person’s behaviour (a point also made by William Oddie in his latest blog on this subject) and that Savile was not “uniquely evil”. Michael Buerk, chairman of the discussion, mentioned Eric Gill, who sculpted the beautiful Stations of the Cross at Westminster Cathedral, yet who was also later discovered to have committed incest regularly with his daughters. For Fox this only illustrated how complicated people are. She also rejected Phillips’ belief that the money Savile raised for charity was permanently tainted by association with him; “Philanthropists have done weird things” she commented.

One of the witnesses summoned by the programme supported Fox’s attitude. She had been sexually abused by her step-father, a music teacher, yet he had also provided for her welfare and a stable life when she was growing up. Therefore, she felt, to throw around words like “monster” or “evil” did not help victims of incest, where motivations, behaviour and responses are generally very confused. Life is not black or white.

Naturally, none of the panel made the theological point: that good can come from evil. Yet this is intrinsic to Christianity, almost its foundation stone. As I listened to the reasonable voice of Fox or the angry voice of Phillips, I thought of the brave and life-affirming testimonies of women born of rape or women who have conceived through rape. This is a category which is always exempted when the debate arises about lowering the gestational age for abortion – because, it is reasoned, rape is so evil that a mother cannot possibly wish to give birth as a result of it.

But this is not true. LifeSiteNews includes an item for the 9th October by a woman “who has made it her life’s mission to reach out to women victimised by rape and to protect unborn babies conceived by rape and incest from the injustice of abortion.” Juda Myers was conceived after her mother, walking home one night, was attacked by eight young men. Her mother has subsequently forgiven her attackers and Myers wants “other people to know the joy I have in living.” This, of course, does not lessen the horror of rape or pretend that forgiveness is easy. Not everyone can do it. Simon Wiesenthal, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, who subsequently spent his life tracking down ex-Nazis in order to bring them to justice, could not forgive them for what they had done to his people. In the case of Savile, Melanie Phillips, who hails from a Jewish background, appears to share some of Wiesenthal’s implacability. But this is not the Christian way. I live near Stoke Mandeville Hospital, one of the institutions closely associated with the late disc jockey. The spinal unit there, built largely through Savile’s fund-raising, has done immense and lasting good to spinal patients. Is this now to be discounted because of the unit’s close association with him?

I agree with Claire Fox. We need a sense of proportion. But more than this, we almost need a “ritual of exorcism” in this affair – something the Church well understands – to cleanse the tainted millions, to bring healing to Savile’s victims and to expiate the past. Otherwise what are we left with? Bitterness, recriminations, a continual orgy of press revelations and the unproductive anger of a Melanie Phillips.

  • Kevin

    cleanse the tainted millions

    Millions of what? Tainted how?

    I am not sure anyone would agree with the apparent moral juxtaposition of an alleged criminal doing a lot of work for charity and a victim of crime (i.e. rape) giving birth to the child.

    This is a confusing article that appears to be infused with a “ledger” view of morality: it is OK to commit crime as long as you chalk up some wins on the plus side. Gangsters probably reason this way.

    There is a chronological order to personal redemption. For example, after the scandal that bears his name John Profumo is said to have lived an exemplary private life. I know nothing of Savile’s history other than headlines, but it is not the Christian way to schedule redemption for each weekend after a Monday to Friday of planned depravity.

  • Woodie

     well said. William the Conqueror used to have cathedrals and monasteries built inb order to pay for his terrible sins

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    I think the answer to the question will be known by every single one of us without exception within minutes of our deaths.

    May God forgive us all our sins and bring us to eternal life.

  • Lukewarm9901414

    The Institute of Ideas, by the way, is an organisation chiefly made up of former members of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and is involved in large part in marxist entryism tactics.

  • Nat_ons

    No; but doing ‘good’ things does not mean one is good i.e. as God is good – nor can it ever mean one is thereby ‘saved (even if one might like to believe so .. let the mega-rich do-gooders take note).

    “It firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the catholic church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the catholic church before the end of their lives; that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the catholic church.” Council of Florence, Bull of Union with the Copts, 1442.

    Attending the Holy Liturgy daily is not to persevere in the bosom and unity of the catholic church, good though that attendance is – only a state of grace abides in the church’s sacraments.

    P.S. It is not Jimmy Saville’s sinfulness that worries me, we are all sinners – though I trust not so wedded to mortal sin .. and civil crime .. as he seems to have been. What must bother any Christian soul, but especially the Catholic, is the content of his confession of sin, crime and guilt. So terrible an end awaits the wilfully obdurate soul in love of sin that it cannot but disturb the path laid out for the easy-life mind – set on doing whatsoever pleases, all-guilt-free – what must disturb most, then, is not a man’s crime but his penitence .. and thus his Confessor (and how he treats the sickness of addiction to wrongdoing).

    “For if we wilfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgement, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” Heb 10 : 26-27.

  • paulpriest

    Romans 8
    Councils of Arles, Quiercy, Valencia, Nancy & Trent.

    It is intrinsically impossible for sin to annihilate one’s human dignity

  • Tom Dawkes

    St Paul (!Corinthians 13:3) has something relevant: “And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor…  and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” 

  • Rizzo the Bear

    Melanie Phillips was right to be angry and upset.

    There are people at the BBC who suffered in silence all this time – not just with the Jimmy Savile stuff – who are angry, upset and frustrated.

    A good friend of mine said something very comforting and encouraging when my fiance and I went through hell because of someone not much unlike Savile in their attitude:

    Almighty God sees all and misses nothing.

  • awkwardcustomer

    Is Francis Phillips seriously suggesting that Simon Wiesenthal should have forgiven the Nazis for their horrendous crimes?  It seems she is. Unbelievable!  And is she also suggesting that Melanie Phillips’ Jewish background is a factor in her attitude towards the ghastly Jimmy Savile?  It seems she is, too, or else why mention it?  Again, beyond belief.

    But it is the smug ‘This is not the Christian way’, that irritates me the most.  If anyone is wondering why so many people turned a blind eye to Savile’s behaviour then they should examine the attitude in Francis Phillip’s article.  In a nutshell – Jimmy Savile does so much work for charity, he’s a big star, he isn’t all bad, nobody’s perfect, don’t rock the boat. 

    If Jimmy Savile used his charity work to present an appearance of goodness while he sought out victims, then that makes him a deceiver as well as an abuser.   

  • awkwardcustomer

    Could you provide specific quotes here?  Human dignity, as I understand it, can be explained as having two components – ontological dignity and operative dignity.

    Ontological dignity derives from the fact that we are created in God’s image and this cannot be destroyed.  But operative dignity is related to the actions of a human being and reaches its greatest potential when that human being adheres to Truth and abhors sin.  Thus the negative actions of a human being can seriously affect the operative dignity of that person.

  • awkwardcustomer

    If that is true then it explains a lot, in view the hightly successful Marxist endeavour to dismantle Traditional morality in the West  Think I’ll check it out.

  • Realist

     Not to mention Henry VIII who left thousands of pounds (millions today) to have Masses said for his soul.

  • aearon43

    The doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church is that a soul in the state of grace at the time of death will not be condemned to hell. It would certainly be interesting to see how this particular person approached the sacrament of confession, but it is not our place to have such insight. But to answer the question, no, no such nullification occurs. All good comes from God in the first place. There is no nullification or balancing of good acts vs. evil. (Although there are Protestants, apparently, who believe such things.) Either your sins are confessed and forgiven, allowing you to be in a state of grace, or else you have not made a good confession, and remain outside of God’s grace.

  • Peter

    It all depends on whether Savile, despite his terrible sins, harboured a genuine love for those on whose behalf he was raising money, and a genuine remorse and compassion for those he abused.

    As St Peter says, love covers a multitude of sins, and according to St John of the Cross, in the end we will be judged on love.

    If he was a practising Catholic it is hard to imagine that he went to his grave with his sins unconfessed, especially since he died an old man, which means that he no longer carries the guilt.

    However, justice will demand temporal punishment in purgotary and such temporal punishment can be reduced by good works in this life if they are accompanied with love.  

  • Jonathan West

    You don’t discount the bad against the good. The good work (such as that of the Stoke Mandeville spinal injuries unit) continues, and you find ways of learning from the bad so that as far as possible it can’t happen again.

    One of the most obvious lessons we can draw from the Savile affair is that many people knew or sort-of knew what was happening, but didn’t know what to do with that knowledge, and so were powerless to stop Savile. We have stories from within the BBC, of nurses within hospitals, of teachers at schools all witnessing or being told of abuse and nothing getting done.  

    Of course, Savile is by far from being the only such case, in the last 12 months The Times has reported the convictions of four teachers for child sex abuse in schools – Father Nicholas White, Stephen Skelton, Nigel Leat and Bruce Roth. In all four cases, concerns about their behaviour had come to the attention of management and were not passed on to the authorities, and in all four cases the abuser was able to go on to commit further serious crimes after their behaviour had first been flagged as a matter for concern. In one case, the headmaster knew that the abuser had sexually assaulted a pupil, and still reported nothing.

    If the reports on Savile had promptly gone to the authorities, then he would have been brought to justice years or decades ago, and much suffering prevented. That is why I and 31 others have today written to The Times calling for a law on mandatory reporting of known or suspected child abuse in all environments where adults act in loco parentis.

  • karlf

     Yes. Almighty God saw it all happening – he knew all along, but did nothing.

  • Cjkeeffe

    Here, Here, whislt we can judge actions. Only the Father in Heave can judge the heart and soul. If proven this man’s actions are repugnant, he has dodged temporal human punishment. But he will face the face of the father and have to account for his doings as we all will.

  • Mr Grumpy

    Where does the writer say or even imply that it is ever OK to commit crime? That’s a serious charge: an apology would be in order if you can’t substantiate it.

  • Mr Grumpy

    Well said, and if there was indeed genuine love and compassion motivating his fundraising work, I for one am not going to presume on my getting into Heaven before him.

  • Mr Grumpy

    Whilst I frequently disagree with Claire Fox et al, I see little evidence that they are still Marxists.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7UO272UB3UDIPP7X6QIHGDIEK4 Herman U. Ticke

    The English Saville  War;  continued.

    If the question means 
    “can I live with somebody to whom I am not married 
    and make everything all right by giving some money to Oxfam 
    and doing some charity work”, the answer is no.  (pace the Novus Ordo.)

    As for the question of Mr Savile’s activities being “alleged”, 
    I can only refer you to his autobiography.
    (An autobiography is a book that someone has written about
     himself, what he has done, what he thinks.)
    In his autobiography Mr Saville tells us that the is happy 
    to fornicate at every opportunity and sees nothing wrong in doing so. 
    It is interesting to observe that in the eyes of both commentators and columnists
     (all those which I have read anyway.), only those acts of fornication of Mr Saville
     which involve a possibly unwilling partner, 
    or an underage partner, constitute wrong doing. 
    These attitudes unintentionally reveal minds, 
    conformed entirely to the spirit of the age. 

    Why did he do it.? Some people seem to think that there is an obscure
     mystery of his psychology and mental state. 
    He did it because he chose. He was in a situation where he
     had to choose and he chose. 
    Just like you; just like me.
    No mystery.

  • Lukewarm9901414

     Have they recanted? No. Fox steers clear of it, but many former members – including the Furedis, who are vehement pro-abortionists – still write for “spiked online”, which explicitly views itself as the successor to ‘Living Marxism’, the magazine of the RCP.

  • Mr Grumpy

    Unfortunately vehement support for abortion is not confined to Marxists. “spiked online” is contrarian as much as anything, and regularly challenges the Left’s received wisdom.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    ” … didn’t know what to do with that knowledge”.

    What baloney. 

    We all recognise evil when we see it and the clear answer is to report it. 

    If they did not, fearful for their own careers, then they are accomplices in evil and they know it. There are, no doubt, many colleagues and friends of Savile who are right now very aware of their own guilt, even if they have never heard of the word “conscience”. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Aeron43, why do you anonymize your posts so often?

  • Lstan

    A catholic supporting an entertainer who sexually abused kids? I really don’t think thats the message you want to put out. people have a right to be angry about this-this article is as insulting as it is disgusting.

  • Lstan

    Saville is dead, God will be giving him the punishment in the afterlife that he should have been given on earth by people.

  • Peter

    The BBC – at the forefront of accusing the Church of covering up clerical abuse in Ireland – has itself been caught systematically covering up the sexual abuse of minors for decades!   

    How many more TV personalities are involved which the BBC has know about for years?Heads must roll, and not just careers.  Perhaps custodial sentences are in order.

    London has turned into a den of iniquity.  

    Greedy bankers fiddling the interest rates and laundering criminal money, trillions being hived of into tax havens by the super rich while the small man is burdened with tax, and now the major broadcaster in the country has been covering up for decades the sordid paedophile activities of goodness knows how many TV personalities.

  • Lstan

    Very true Peter-but two wrongs dont make a right-there is no excusing saville’s actions regardless of the amount of charity he did.

  • karlf

    How do you know that?

  • From The Horses Mouth

    FROM THE MOUTH OF MR SAVILLE HIMSELF An extract from “A Winters Tale”, the autobiography of  David Winter, BBC Head of Religious Broadcasting during Savile’s broadcasting career.  ISBN No 0745950000.  Publisher Lion Books.
     
    “I worked a few times on a programme called Speakeasy”  (Savile’s “religious” radio programme, 1969 to 1973).  “I once listened bemused as Jimmy Savile expatiated at length in the BBC canteen on the reasons why St Peter wouldn’t dare bar him from heaven.  “What to you mean he’s led an immoral life?” God would say to him.  “Have you any idea how much money he’s raised for charity?  Or how many hours he’s put in as a porter at that hospital? Get them doors open now, and quick!”It has been suggested that Mr Savile’s “charity” work was a front.  With the benefit of hindsight, to some observers it could look more like a thoroughly thought through “Modus Operandi”.

  • Peter

    Nor the actions of those other TV personalities whose sexual exploits have been covered up by the BBC.

    Perhaps if the BBC had acted when it ought to have, when instances came to light, Savile and the others would not have continued offending and minors would not have continued to suffer abuse.

    The BBC is just as much to blame.

  • Parasum

    Metaphysically, the idea that evil can nullify good is absurd. 

  • Jonathan West

    I would be grateful if you would tell that to Rt. Rev Dom Martin Shipperlee, Abbot of Ealing. Before becoming Abbot, in 1993 he was appointed headmaster of the junior school at St Benedict’s School as the successor to Father David Pearce, who had “retired” because of allegations of child sex abuse. It is inconceivable that Shipperlee did not know the nature of the mess he was being appointed to clear up. And yet Shipperlee lived under the same roof as Pearce for a further 15 years, until Pearce was  arrested for the abuse of another boy.

    Shipperlee was appointed to that role by the then Abbot, Rt Rev Dom Laurence Soper, who is now on the run from the police and wanted in connection with other child sex abuse allegations. Shipperlee was elected Abbot as Soper’s immediate successor in 2000, and Soper immediately decamped to Italy where he lived until he disappeared.

    Shipperlee gave evidence under oath in defence of Pearce in a civil action brought by a former pupil of St Benedict’s in 2006, who alleged that Pearce had sexually abused him, and as chairman of trustees authorised the cost of Pearce’s legal defence to be paid for out of charitable funds. Pearce and the abbey lost the case and the boy was awarded £43,000 in damages. Only then did Shipperlee place Pearce on restricted ministry, stating that this was “to protect Father David from unfounded allegations”.

    Pearce abused again in 2007 while on restrictions being supervised by Shipperlee, and the boy concerned reported it. At the time, the abbey was already under investigation by the Charity Commission regarding its safeguarding arrangements, specifically its supervision of Pearce, and finally a report was made to police and social services, and Pearce was arrested and convicted, pleading guilty in 2009 to 11 crimes over a 36-year period and was sentenced to five years in prison.

    So if anybody needs to be taught about being an accomplice in evil, I think that he stands about at the front of the queue

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Couldn’t agree with you more on this Jonathan. Certain Churchmen HAVE covered up for these wicked men, and I for one would like to see them, a rope and a lamp-post in close proximity. And add to that a good few Bishops, Archbishops and the odd Cardinal too.

    The impurity of many in the Church starting in the late 1950′s and the whole of the 1960′s and 1970′s is clearly evident now. I must say over the last couple of years that reading your posts here in in the Telegraph has played a part in my own education in the subject. 

    My own take on the causes may though be rather different to yours, I don’t know. But I fully concur that this filth has to be identified, prosecuted and cleared out of the Church (and wider society) with a degree of urgency that one thus far (although this may only be a perception) has not seen. 

    There are those Fatima experts whose deep research on the subject of the Third Secret strongly suggests to them that this scandal is therein mentioned. I for one wouldn’t be surprised at all.

  • Jonathan West

    I hope then that you will support the aims set out in the letter to The Times on Friday signed by me and 31 others, calling for a change in the law so that the management of schools and other institutions who act in loco parentis will in future have a statutory obligation to report allegations of abuse to the authorities.

    Unbelievably, in Britain there is no obligation to report abuse at present. A headmaster can know that one of his staff has sexually assaulted one of his pupils, and he has no obligation to report anything to anybody. This actually happened at Downside school, where Father Nicholas White assaulted a pupil. All that was done was that he was moved up from teaching the youngest children. He went on to abuse another boy. As a result he was sent away from the monastery for a time and returned some years later on “restricted ministry”, but the authorities were never informed. The matter didn’t come to their knowledge until years later. White was imprisoned.

    By the way, I know that some people believe that I am motivated by anti-catholicism in my child protection campaigning. They might like to take note of the fact that on the same day, the Times also published an article concerning the BBC’s child protection policy, in which I am quoted as saying that “it is a comprehensively useless document”, and explaining what is wrong with it.

    Also, the child abuse scandal didn’t start in the 1950s. The earliest account I have of abuse at St Benedict’s dates from about 1948, there are accounts described in the various reports in Ireland that date from the 1930s. Before that, there are few survivors able to describe their experiences, but that doesn’t mean that abuse wasn’t happening. It is just that it was such a taboo subject until recently that few people spoke of it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Frankly, I find it astonishing that there is no compunction on a Headmaster so to report. Or perhaps I should say it differently: I find it astonishing that any Headmaster or cleric or anyone with similar authority WOULDN’T report such an incident even without any legal requirement to do so. 

    But perhaps I am just an innocent. Having said that, given the knee-jerk reaction of some parts of the British bureaucracy (there are many, many appalling cases where Social Services have removed children from parents on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, for instance) and perhaps the Police too, I would want very careful drafting of such legislation. 

    On the dating of the scandal, it’s been with us since Year Dot. There are papal pronouncements against homosexual clergy grooming adolescents from the 16th century I think I read, and no doubt further back too.

    Yet the evidence from the Congregation of the Servants of the Paraclete, who had offenders referred to them by American Bishops suggests anyway that the real boom in such cases was from the middle to late ’50′s.

  • Lstan

    because that what it says in the holy book-you get punishment in the next life not in this one. 

  • Lstan

     I dont disagree.

  • Jonathan West

    Is that a boom in referrals, or a boom in cases? You see, it might be that the boom in referrals results in a change in behaviour in recognising the problem, not a change in behaviour in terms of increased abuse.

    To sort out the cause of the boom in referrals would require much study, and the data probably simply isn’t available to draw certain conclusions.

    Moreover, there’s not much that can be done about abuse that happened before (say) the 1930s, because almost all the abusers and most of the victims are now dead.

    So, now that we are aware of the problem, we need to decide how to combat it today. On these pages I’ve heard all sorts of wild and weird theories as to the cause of abuse within the Catholic Church. It seems as if anybody who disapproves of some aspect of the church can say that it caused the increase in abuse. Vatican II, the saying of mass in the vernacular, saying of mass with the priest facing the congregation, homosexuality, responses to secularism, and probably a couple of dozen other causes have been put forward, as if turning the clock back in this or that aspect of the world would automatically cure the problem.

    Well, it won’t, or at least there is no evidence that it will. With our present knowledge, the one thing that will have an effect is vigilance, reporting of all allegations to the authorities, and never believing anybody to be above suspicion. That won’t cure the problem, but it will minimise the harm done by abusers. It’s unspectacular, it doesn’t involve a new form of prayer, or even a reversion to an old form of prayer, it is profoundly unreligious, and treats the catholic church (in this respect at least) and just one more imperfect human organisation. As such, the idea seems to be profoundly unpopular among the hierarchy, who keep making promises that they will take action, but it never seems to translate into them doing anything.

    So if the abuse crisis in the church is going to come to an end, it is going to have to happen as a result of action by the laity to demand effective child protection measures in parishes and catholic schools.

  • TreenonPoet

     Is that how you know that the Earth is flat?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Oh, I DO think the relaxation of discipline and morals that swept through the Church after Vatican II contributed very greatly to what was a real spike in incidence of this crime, especially when at the same time you have a general revolution in morals outside the Church too. There is a connection. There must be, for the believer, as this physical world is entirely subordinate to the invisible. 

    Sin always exists of course, but I am firmly convinced that the world is more sinful now than it was. The acceptance of the murder of the unborn as a “human right” is one of many proofs. 

    But whatever: you’re right of course in saying that it has to be dealt with now. Given that the moral climate is likely to grow even worse before it gets better (especially as the Church has gone entirely to the dogs), then other measures have to be considered – statutory reporting maybe being one of them.

    I am just concerned about the prevalence of false accusations, which have certainly been seen in the US and here, and which may well happen more if such a law was passed. Great difficulties would be faced by an accused person in proving his innocence when the atmosphere has become so poisoned. 

  • karlf

    Typical! – just another excuse for God not being seen to do anything

  • Rizzo the Bear

    ‘For all the evil in the world to prevail is when good people do nothing.’ Edmund Burke.

  • Rizzo the Bear

    And your point is?

  • Rizzo the Bear

    You don’t say!

  • DavidHamilton1

    This is a lot of facile and confused points rolled together.  The way the writer tries to say that people are complex as if it were justification is ludicrous.  It is the act that is wrong and it is wrong because it harms another for purely self gratification without care for the harm being done to the other. 
    The catalyst for this dressing up of evil as reasonableness is that bad nullifies the good one had done. No it does not but the good does not excuse the evil. Contemporary Christians nor promote evil under the guise of reasonableness.

  • TreenonPoet

     It was known that the Earth is round at least a few hundred years BCE, but it seems that if word did reach the writers of the books of the New Testament, they preferred to believe the Old Testament. I suppose it was obvious to them that people would fall off a round Earth.

  • Jonathan West

    In terms of child sex abuse, false allegations are pretty rare, because the children in most cases don’t know enough about sex to be able to make it up, it wouldn’t occur to them.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Would be interested to know the age-range stats for those cases where there has been a conviction. But your point seems entirely reasonable.