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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mailvox: answering the inevitable response

Some atheists appear to view homosexuals as comrades in the great struggle against Christianity. In light of this, MD wonders if Christians can be similarly considered to harbor disproportionate inclinations towards pedophilia on the basis of the Catholic priest abuse scandal:
Hmmm. Wonder what proportion of Christian clergy molest children cf general population? . . . Conclusion: Christians more likely to molest children?
To some extent, the answer depends upon your definition of clergy. But in the end, the inescapable conclusion by MD's metric is not only that Christians are less likly to molest children than the general population, but that gays should not be permitted in the clergy. Now, there are three significant caveats here which I will point out afterwards, but consider:

Clerical abuse
- 4,392 priests and deacons were accused of engaging in sexual abuse of a minor between 1950 and 2002.
- The Jay Report stated there were 10,667 reported victims of clergy sexual abuse younger than 18 years during this period. The RCC victims per abuser rate was 2.43
- The 4,351 priests who were accused amount to 3.97% of the 109,694 priests in active ministry during that time.
- There were 28,700 active priests in 2005. The historical/current rate is 3.72.

Teacher abuse
- It is reported that 290,000 students experienced some sort of physical sexual abuse by a school employee from 1991-2000.
- This indicates an estimated 1,508,000 cases of school children being abused by school employees between 1950 and 2002.
- There were 3.8 million school teachers in 2010. Multiplied by the 3.72 historical/current rate, we estimate 14.1 million teachers active from 1950.

Dividing the 14.1 million historical teachers by the 1.51 million victims, then dividing by the 2.43 victim/abuser rate, this means school children have a 4.4% abuse per teacher rate compared to 4.0% per Catholic priest.

Now, the three problems. The first is that this includes the abuse by school employees who are not teachers without including the non-teachers. Currently, teachers only make up half of the PUBLIC school employees in the country, but that number was historically much lower. Nevertheless, we can safely assume that teachers historically made up about three-quarters of the school employee total, which would lower the teacher abuse rate to 3.3 percent. However, we don't know if teachers have a higher rate or a lower rate of abuse than janitors, counselors, and administrators. I suspect it is higher, due to low average teacher IQ and the larger amount of contact with children intrinsic to the job, but I simply have no information on this.

Second, the RCC abuse numbers include the victims of priests and deacons, but don't include the number of permanent deacons. This is because there were only 41 deacons accused of the 12,500 ordained during the period concerned. This gives a total of 122,194 clergy and reduces the RCC abuse rate to 3.6 percent.

And the third problem. 81 percent of the RCC victims were male. All of the abusers were male. This is an astonishing statistical outlier, since in the general population, girls are sexually abused three times more often than boys. The heterosexual abuse rate was therefore 0.7 percent for the clergy compared to 2.5 percent for the teachers.

The conclusion, therefore, is that Christian clergy are 3.6 times less likely to abuse children than the general population unless they are homosexual. The larger part of the clerical problem is not the Church, but Teh Gay. In fact, four-fifths of the sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests could have been avoided simply by barring homosexuals from the clergy, just as Christian doctrine has always deemed necessary. And the increasing restrictions on homosexual seminarians is the obvious reason why the rate of clergy abuse has been significantly dropping since the 1980s.

However, due to the increased embrace of homosexual clergy by the Episcopalian and Lutheran churches, we can safely conclude that the chickenhawks will be gravitating to these organizations as well as to other gay-friendly institutions that are actively involved with children. It should therefore be no surprise that the Sandusky scandal took place on a college campus and concerned a children's organization; twenty years before, Sandusky might well have decided he was "called" to the priesthood instead of setting up a "children's charity".

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