Do Most Pedophiles Use Religion as Their Cover?
As children, we were always taught not to accept candy from strangers and not to ride with strangers. However, it seems that the danger most always comes, not from a stranger, but from someone the child knows.
One day we headed to the school bus stop knowing we were 'almost' late. We waited and waited. A man pulled up in a car and told us the school bus had already gone and that we had missed it, but that he would give us a ride to school. I would not even get close to his car but my brother was talking to him in spite of me trying to pull him away.
My brother said "I know him. That's Mr. Smith. He was my Sunday School teacher last year." I said "Well, I don't know him and I am not going. And you better not either." My brother had been going to church semi-regularly for awhile with friends. (I did not go. It wasn't my thing and my family were never church-goers. So there was no way that I knew this man.)
We argued a few minutes, while the man sat in his car and called out "Come on, or you're going to be more late!"
I was the oldest and it was my responsibility to get us off to school as my mother was most often hung over and asleep. She never saw us off in the morning. My dad worked a night shift and would not be home for a couple of hours. There was no way to ask permission to ride with this man. Waking my mother up would invoke a horrid wrath. My brother reminded me that we would probably get a beating if we woke her up and another beating if she knew we had missed the bus. Plus, we knew what her driving was like when she was drunk or hung over. She took down a lot of the neighbor's mailboxes in her path!
Even though I tried to physically pull him back, my brother shoved me and went with the man. I continued to wait for the bus a while longer, perhaps out of disbelief. Finally I walked back home.
My point in posting this is because I wonder if this is a common tactic of these type people to follow slightly behind school buses and approach children who have missed the bus? Today I notice that there is usually some parental supervision at many bus stops. It was not like that when I was growing up. And often, kids had to walk a couple of blocks from home to catch the bus.
I wonder, too, if statistics were known, how many pedophiles hide behind a church affiliation or some position in the church? And is this "godly authority" what frightens children into silence? My brother was an adult before he ever told anything about what happened that day and he never went into detail.
your post reminds me of a discussion I had a few years back with a Church of England Reverand and his wife (a scholarly couple devoted to writing Church sponsered theological works).
When I bought up the subject of evil lurking in religion he wasn't surprised at all but was mildly amused at my naivety to think it might be any other way.
He went on to say "what better place for evil to hide than under a cover of righteousness and piety."
There was a link on another thread here to an article that showed many pedos were becoming priests etc. some years ago because the info had gone around the pedo network that you could get away with anything hiding behind a dog-collar.
I reckon that they still give out the info that if you can stick it, then the WT is still an easy place for a paedophile to operate with virtual impunity.
I can see where a spooky black uniform would be intimidating. The dress of clergy in Catholic religion is foreboding. But this molester I am referring to was from a Baptist church and nothing to distinguish himself as far as authoratitive clothing. Only the title and status as "Sunday School Teacher" and making himself known as having some weight around the community.
My brother told me that the only reason he kept his mouth shut was because this man told him that if he talked, he would get our dad fired from his job and it would be my brothers fault. He also told him scary stories that if my dad lost his job we would all get taken off to an orphanage and separated. So all those years, he carried this burden, thinking his silence was to keep the family from suffering repercussion.
There are normally 4 ways that an abuser will justify their actions:
Minimization - This is the "it was nothing" or "no one was hurt" or "they were willing" routine.
Compartmentalization - They have the ability to section it off from everything else. They know it is wrong but its not part of them.
Denial - It never happenened
Religious - Justification by religion
Be it any form of abuse these are the most common ways an abuser will justify their actions and usually they push this view on to their victim.
Religion is bad due to the the fear of god or an all mighty being who you are taught to be subservient to and then also those in a position of power such as clergy or elders should also be given the same respect. As a child, vunerable or a god fearing person, the last thing you want to do is make him mad.
Add into this that abusers (mental, physical,, sexual alike) tend to pick on impressionable or in someway vunerable people, it may not be obvious to the average person but to the abuser it is like a giant sign.
Be aware that this type of behaviour isn't just used against kids, but all ages and sexes.
I think pedophiles just like to get into postitions where they have acess to children. In our locality we have seen public school teachers, boy scout troop leaders, tennis coach, etc. prosecuted for child molestation. These people like to get a job where they have authority over children. For them it doesn't matter whether it is religious or secular, it's the power they wield over children.
I think it behooves all religions to pay attention to how their insular structure can be manipulated by predators where children are concerned.
I see no issue whatsoever for a requirement of a criminal background check for any religion's leaders that would have access to children alone.
Regardless of where one stands on the theist/atheist debate, we know that religion isn't going away. It would be good for all religions to not be naive to the fact that religions offer unique opportunities to exploit children, and do their best to protect them.
As to most pedophiles using religion? Many do. Most though? I am not sure.
Religion absolves their guilt in the eyes of society. If they love Jesus and Jesus has forgiven them, no Christian cannot also forgive them...
Of course, I think this is one of the many instances where our gut feeling cannot be resolved with Christian thought.
I think religion is a great cover for pedophiles. I mean were else would they have access to trusting parents and tons of little kids. Not to mention the single mothers who enjoy a fellow believer showing interest in their children and offering much needed help :(
I hope that in today's world parents will make their children aware that it's not just "stranger danger".
I don't know the statistics, but from what I see and hear it is more often someone who is associated with the child or the family in some way---not a total stranger.
Parents need to remind younger children often what is proper, what is allowed and what is not. Kids forget. You can't just say it once and expect them to remember.