Paranoid Priests Perjure Possible "Pervs"
This blog has reported on the various sex panics that pervade Christian, mainly Protestant, cultures such as the US and the UK. The result is a plethora of laws meant to "protect" the population from the ever expanding category of people deemed to be "sex offenders." Never mind that the laws are now so broadly defined as to be entirely worthless. Sorry, I misspeak, the laws are not worthless, which implies they have no net value at all. They are worse than worthless, they impede the ability of police to actually protect people by mandating that they waste mountains of time keeping track of the people on the list: which can include someone who pissed at the side of the road because they couldn't wait to get to a toilet, teens who have consensual sex with one another, or a high school boy who shows a Playboy magazine to another boy.
The UK may be near Europe but it is infected more with American-style paranoia than the more traditional European laissez faire attitude. That paranoia bubbled over at Gloucester Cathedral and the victims of this panic were a dangerous group of potential perverts—the Flower Guild, a group of mainly elderly ladies who arrange flowers in this monument to superstition. I guess if you can buy into virgin births and resurrections you can buy the claim that a group of old ladies are potential sex offenders out to molest little boys. Absurd? Of course, but absurdity and Anglicanism go hand in hand.
Yes, the Cathedral dreads that these dangerous old women might be out to molest boys—certainly that privilege is reserved to the priests. Or is that Catholicism? Sorry, I get them all confused. The Cathedral is demanding that all the old women have police checks run on them. Why? The London Telegraph gives the answer:
"At issue seems to have been a bizarre fear that because the women shared a toilet with choirboys, there was a risk that paedophiles could infiltrate the flower guild. A vetting system that was set up to protect children and vulnerable adults thus appears to have mow down a cohort of mostly retired women, average age 70, who represent the backbone of Britain's voluntary movement."
These loving Christians who run the Cathedral are a suspicious lot and demanded that all members of this criminal gang, known as the Flower Guild, be subjected to a police check. When several of them refused the Cathedral threw them out on their ears, a reward for loyal service to the Church. Five of the 60 volunteers have been dismissed to teach this dangerous gaggle of grannies not to mess with the Church.
The chairwoman of the Flower Guild, also know in police parlance as the "gang leader," is Mrs. Annabel Hayter. She adamantly refused to go through police checks and was fired. Five of the other "gang" members resigned in protest and the Telegraph reports others are sure to follow. Another possible sex fiend, Nancy Selwyn, 75, said: "I've had enough. I've told the canon to take me off the list. These checks are absolute rubbish." Potential criminal Marjorie Corley, worked as a flower arranger at the Cathedral for 7 years and 12 years leading tours. She points out: "What makes this all the more absurd is that the choirboys are at school when we are working at the cathedral so even if we did pose a threat we would never see them."
Even if one of the grannies wanted to play Humbert to a choirboy's Lolita it just isn't going to happen. They aren't in the Cathedral at the same time using the same toilet. Given that elderly woman, even when given the opportunity, are not likely to molest choirboys the whole panic is misplaced. But such is the nature of panics.
The local minister, with an extremely pretentious rank, the Very Reverend Nick Bury, told the women they needed to be vetted by the police lest they try to get into the pants of young boys. Hayter was fighting the absurd requirement quietly but when she finally went public the canon of the church said she could no longer be trusted. Apparently the church doesn't trust its own congregation even when they are obediently silent since it is requiring police checks.
The Very Moronic Nick Bury "retired" in September and the sect's bureaucracy is still working on his replacement, perhaps a trained baboon would do. But the Cathedral can be emailed here: firstname.lastname@example.org. Note this is the secretary of the Cathedral Dean and she is not responsibility for asinine church policies, so if you protest (as you should) remember she is not responsible and keep it polite.
Before my American readers get too uppity about the absurdity of British overreaction remember that millions of Americans are being sexually fondled by TSA thugs because of "terrorists." In politics "terrorists" and "pedophiles" serve similar roles: scare the ignorant and get them to obey authoritarian over-reaching bureaucrats in the name of "protecting" everyone and everything, except individual rights and liberty, of course.
And while the morons at the Cathedral were worried about flower ladies diddling choir boys the New York City police were arresting men for fondling their bishops. And, no, that isn't a euphemism. The NYPD sent in a team of cops in bulletproof vests to arrest a group of elderly men playing chess in a city park.
The park has "chess tables" set out for the public to use, but that was in the olden days before fear dominated American politics. Now the panic-mongers are worried that the chess tables are close to the playground and that means close to children and that means potential molesters could hang out, and that means, why, that means, well.... it's just too horrible to contemplate. Cue scary music!
It sure is a good thing the park doesn't have a Flower Guild, the chess-players are scary enough. The chess tables were built in an area that is now "reserved" for children and where all adults are banned unless accompanied by a child under the age of 12. (I am unsure of why they assume that kids are safer if the "molester" is accompanied by a child—I thought that was what they were trying to prevent.) But, according to the New York Post, "Police said the rule protects kids from pedophiles or others who might want to harm them."
Let's be clear about something, "stranger danger" is mainly a myth. The typical molester of a child is not some man in a raincoat with a pocket full of sweets but a male relative of the child, usually a father, step-father, or the mother's live-in boyfriend. They tend to act in isolation, not in gangs of men with chess boards. And they usually only molest children when there are actually children around—oh, I forgot to mention that the men were in the park during school hours and that NO children were present!
Not only do both these cases represent fear-driven overreaction to protect kids from mostly "imaginary monsters" but in both cases they are protecting imaginary kids. The choirboys were in school away from the Flower Guild and similarly the men playing chess were in an empty park!
The New York police responded with the typical lament of the fear-driven bureaucrat: "It's the broken windows theory... small things can turn into bigger things. Some citizens may see it as police harassment, but God forbid something happens to a child, people would be complaining., Why didn't the police enforce these rules? That's what they would be griping about." Truly this cop doesn't need a lobotomy—it would be redundant.
Remember there were NO kids present when the men were playing chess. Remember that "child predators" really don't travel in gangs. And none of the men have any criminal record for diddling with kids. One had a criminal record (which given the over-reaching nature of the law, doesn't mean much). He was previously charged with drug possession (which could be marijuana), reckless endangerment and larceny. But NONE of them pose a threat to children. And if he were accompanied by his own child he would be allowed in the park no questions asked.
These assaults on liberty are often overlooked because the imbeciles implementing them invoke "the children" as the excuse for the policy. But they all ignore the real threats to kids in order to concentrate on imaginary monsters that, while not protecting kids, do enhance the power of the idiocracy and the idiocrats that are now regulating every inch of America life.
Yes, there are real threats to kids. But the reality is that the threats are far more likely to be at home than on the playground. Yes, some people sexually fondle children. But the reality is that it is more likely to be done by the priests at the Cathedral than by the flower ladies. Yes, there are terrorists who will blow up planes, but fondling old ladies and children is not the way to stop them.
The political classes use fear to intimidate the voters in giving away freedom and rights. And as long as the Boobus Publicus respond in some Pavlovian fashion the politicians and bureaucrats will continue to exaggerate threats in order to enhance their own powers. And this is precisely why I don't laud the Tea Party Movement. The typical member of that group is fear-driven, not rights-driven. You can stampede the Tea Party types into the Big Government corral by waving the red flags of immigrants and gay marriage at them. If you do there will be the thudding sound of millions of metal walkers hitting the ground as the Tea Party types demand Big Brother to save them.
FDR was not my favorite president, though he looks better with each election. But he was right when he said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Fear-driven politics is used to stampede us toward the omnipotent State. Be if terrorists, pedophiles, or global warming, fear pushes us into making irrational decisions. We overreact, pass stupid and counterproductive laws, and regulate ourselves into oblivion, all in the name of seeking that illusionary goal of perfect safety.