Victims of priestly pedophilia have tough time in Michigan

November 17, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Because Michigan has one of the most restrictive statutes of limitation on charges of child molestation, the state is one of the toughest in the nation for victims of sexual abuse by priests to get justice in the courts. The Detroit Free Press reports:

Victims of childhood sexual abuse by Catholic priests have a harder time getting justice or compensation in Michigan courts than in other states.

Although several states have relaxed their statutes of limitations, Michigan’s remains one of the most restrictive.

Sexual abuse victims have until their 19th birthday to file a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages in Michigan for past abuse. Catholic leaders in the state have continuously opposed legislation that would relax the statute.

“It’s a difficult state for the victim. It’s a great state for the perpetrator,” said Marci Hamilton, a professor at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law at New York’s Yeshiva University.

A bill to extend the statute of limitations was submitted in the Michigan legislature early in the currently expiring session but it never was put up for a vote.

Michigan Messenger

Gay Marriage, Homosexuality, Bestiality, Pedophilia. Yeah, There’s An App For That

November 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Post image for Gay Marriage, Homosexuality, Bestiality, Pedophilia. Yeah, There’s An App For That

They say, keep your friends close and your enemies (oh, apologies, as President Obama meant to say, “opponents,”) closer, so what could be closer than your iPhone? If you’re like me, mine is never more than a foot or two away. So now, while texting, tweeting, checking the market, emails, blogs, and the Times, I can check up on that nefarious hate group, the Christian Coalition. Yes, indeed, there’s an app for that.

Now, for those of you who might not remember, the Christian Coalition was founded by Pat Robertson. You remember Robertson, don’t you?

Watch: Pat Robertson Tells Millions Of Catholics In Haiti They Deserve It, “Made A Pact With Devil.”

Or, this gem from Robertson:

“But if we take biblical standards away in homosexuality, what about the other? And what about bestiality and ultimately what about child molestation and pedophilia? How can we criminalize these things and at the same time have constitutional amendments allowing same-sex marriage among homosexuals. You mark my words, this is just the beginning in a long downward slide in relation to all the things that we consider to be abhorrent.”

So, it turns out, the Christian Coalition’s iPhone app lets you “get connected, take action and stay informed on the critical issues that face our country.”

Like, no doubt, same-sex marriage, homosexuality, bestiality, child molestation and pedophilia.

Since Robertson left the helm of the Christian Coalition in 2005, they’ve become more politically-focused. Now, you can use their iPhone app to, “Help Us Defend ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” “Contact Your Congressman as Soon as Possible To Oppose The ‘DISCLOSE Act,’” or read how “Democrats Vow To Ignore Voters.” It’s kind of like a dose of religious zealotry-cum-politics in the palm of your hand.

Christian Coalition iPhone App

Christian Coalition iPhone App

Oh, for all you separation of church and state buffs, like me, there’s this, via Wikipedia:

“In 1990, the national Christian Coalition, Inc., headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia, began producing “non-partisan” voter guides which it distributed to conservative Christian churches, with 40 million being distributed in the 1992 and 1996 presidential election years. Complaints that the voter guides were actually partisan led to the denial of the Christian Coalition, Inc.’s tax-exempt status in 1999. In 2000 the coalition moved from its long-standing base of operations in the Chesapeake Bay area to an office on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. where they continue to be a major force on Capitol Hill.

“In 2005, the Coalition concluded a settlement agreement with the Internal Revenue Service, ending its long-running battle with that agency regarding its tax exempt status. As a result, the IRS has now recognized the Coalition as a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization, the first time in the Agency’s history that it has granted a letter of exemption to a group that stated in its application that it would distribute voter guides directly in churches. The consent decree enforces limitations on the terminology that may be used in the Coalition’s “voter guides”.”

Yeah, there’s an app for that…

Related posts:

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The New Civil Rights Movement

Amazon pulls pedophilia manual after protest

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 


Amazon has apparently conducted an about-face over its sales of a book that allegedly promotes pedophilia after a national outcry over its policy. ABC News reports now that the book, while still listed at Amazon, no longer can be purchased through the website after its controversial position was widely criticized by its customers. ABC earlier [...]

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Hot Air » Top Picks

Amazon Pulls E-Book Promoting Pedophilia After Protests

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Controversy erupted yesterday when it was discovered that was selling an e-book that purported to offer advice to pedophiles: Inc. is selling a self-published guide that offers advice to pedophiles, and that has generated outrage on the Internet and threats to boycott the retailer.

The availability of “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover’s Code of Conduct” calls into question whether Amazon has any procedures — or even an obligation — to vet books before they are sold in its online stores. Amazon did not respond to multiple e-mail and phone messages.

The title is an electronic book available for Amazon’s Kindle e-reader and the company’s software for reading Kindle books on mobile phones and computers. Amazon allows authors to submit their own works and shares revenue with them.

Amazon issues guidelines banning certain materials, including those deemed offensive. However, the company doesn’t elaborate on what constitutes offensive content, saying simply that it is “probably what you would expect.” Amazon also doesn’t promise to remove or protect any one category of books.

After initially saying that it would not remove the book from it’s catalog due to concerns about ‘freedom of expression,’ the company decided to pull the book yesterday after a firestorm had erupted on the internet: appears to have pulled “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure” a day after the Kindle e-book’s listing on the shopping website ignited anger from hundreds of customers.

The controversial book was available for purchase Wednesday through the Seattle-based online retailer, but a click on any link to the book’s listing on Amazon directs to a page that says “We’re sorry. The Web address you entered is not a functioning page on our site.”

Amazon officials were not available to comment about the book  Thursday morning.

The book, described on Amazon by its author, Phillip R. Greaves, is an “attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles … by establishing certain rules for these adults to follow.”

The listing said the book was published for the Kindle, Amazon’s popular e-reader device, on Oct. 28.

Greaves’ book garnered more than 3,000 comments while it was available for sale, and  commenters gave the book an average rating of one star.

For those who aren’t avid users of Amazon’s site, one star is the lowest rating one can give to any product.

This is about the outcome that I expected would happen when I first heard about this story yesterday. While its initial statement that it “believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable,” the fact remains that Amazon is a business that thrives on attracting mainstream users, including parents. Once this story that a book about pedophilia was available for sale on the site (and it’s still unclear how it got there) became an internet firestorm, simple corporate public relations mandated that the publication be sacrificed for the sake of the public image of

As is usually the case with these types of situations, though, most of the comments about the case reveal widespread misconceptions about the First Amendment and freedom of expression. Amazon’s decision not to sell the book would not be censorship. Amazon is a private company and therefore isn’t bound by the First Amendment in any respect. For that reason it’s unfortunate that the first public statement they issued made reference to “censorship” struck me as not only wrong, but also completely missing the point of the objections that people were raising to the publication. Clearly, Amazon doesn’t sell every publication or movie available. If it did, you’d be able to buy hardcore pornography there. The fact that you can’t is a result of a business decision that Amazon has obviously made. It isn’t censorship, and Amazon was wrong to try to cast the calls for them to take a second look at this product in such a way.

At the same time, though, it’s not entirely clear that the publication itself, although it’s subject matter is offensive, is illegal in any respect:

The fact that a book advocates criminal behavior — however vile — does not mean it falls outside the First Amendment. Consider, for instance, Brandenburg v. Ohio, standing for the general proposition that “the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

However, the First Amendment status of a book that explains how to get away with criminal behavior is more complex. A full discussion of that is beyond the scope of this post. Eugene Volokh’s exceptional article Crime-Facilitating Speech discusses it at length. It appears from some reports that the book includes at least some advice about getting away with pedophile conduct; I haven’t bought the book and am not going to, though.

Which leads us to the second lesson that can be drawn from this story.

As Ken over at Popehat (who I quote and link above) points out, before this story went viral yesterday morning, this e-book had sold one copy since it had been listed for sale. By the time Amazon had deleted the page from its site, it had made it onto the Top 100 list for the day. Granted, many of these sales were probably to media outlets and the like, but it’s still the case that thanks to the Outrage-of -day viral mentality, hundreds or maybe even thousands of copies were sold at $ 4.00 copy. Obviously, the author had a very good day yesterday.  As Ken says:

In other words, assuming for the moment that the book actually contains non-obvious suggestions on how to get away with molesting children, the OUTRAGE mob has just lifted the author from complete obscurity, given him a chunk of money, and ensured that his previously obscure child molestation suggestions are now known, widespread, and widely available.

Oh, well done.

So, what lessons can we learn from this ? Well, nobody understands the First Amendment, Amazon has a fairly bad crisis response team, and catapulting a creep to internet fame usually just ends up being to his benefit.

All in a day’s work, I suppose.

Outside the Beltway

Dallas Pastor Defends Claim That Islam ‘Promotes Pedophilia’ (VIDEO)

September 7, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Prominent Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas gave a sermon a few weeks ago saying, among other things: “The deep, dark, dirty secret of Islam: It is a religion that promotes pedophilia - sex with children. This so-called prophet Muhammad raped a 9-year-old girl - had sex with her.”

Now Jeffress has doubled down on his claim in a sermon on Sunday, responding to a column by Steve Blow in The Dallas Morning News that condemned the pastor’s remarks. “It is our love for Muslims that demands we speak the truth about Islam,” Jeffress said Sunday.

Here’s what happened:

First Baptist’s Sunday evening service on August 22 featured an “Ask the Pastor” segment, in which Jeffress called Islam “oppressive” and violent.” He also said that “around the world today, you have Muslim men having sex with 4-year-old girls, taking them as their brides, because they believe the prophet Muhammad did it.”

“I believe,” Jeffress added, “as Christians and conservatives, it’s time to take off the gloves and stand up and tell the truth about this evil, evil religion.”

Here’s the full segment:

This past Sunday, Morning News columnist Blow wrote: “It’s hard to know where to start in expressing dismay with the Rev. Robert Jeffress — for being uninformed, un-Christian or un-American.”

Blow also talked to Robert A. Hunt, a professor of theology at Southern Methodist University and an Islam scholar, who said there was no evidence “whatsoever” to support Jeffress claims about widespread pedophilia.

While Muhammad did marry a 9-year-old as one of his wives, Hunt said it is unfair to apply modern Western standards across cultures and centuries.

Islamic tradition holds that the girl was chosen by God. She became an important religious figure in Islam as a trusted source of sayings from Muhammad.

“Uninformed, I am not,” Jeffress said in his sermon on Sunday as a response.

“It does incite violence. It is used to oppress women around the world,” he added, continuing that he “was not talking about this country” when referencing pedophilia. But, Jeffress said, “the worst thing about Islam is that it is a deception that leads people from the true God.”

Jeffress contended that “we do not hate Muslims” and noted: “I have a very good friend here in Dallas who is a Muslim.”

Watch the full sermon:

Jeffress is well known for his controversial remarks, in several instances decrying former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) for being a Mormon:

Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Even though he talks about Jesus as his Lord and savior, he is not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. Mormonism is a cult.

Islam - Religion and Spirituality - Muhammad - Pastor - Invitation to Islam


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