Dog bites man, women and children hardest hit
January 19, 2018 § 133 Comments
Apparently an attention starved Catholic mommy blogger wrote a hit piece against Christendom College. I won’t link to the two part article itself because I’m not interested in driving traffic to trolls; but what follows is easily verifiable. As usual with hubbubs like this I have a few specific things to point out, and no intention of addressing everything that everyone is saying on the subject.
The central ‘stage setting’ incident in part one of the hit piece took place in 2009. Apparently a young female student drove herself (she was the driver with the car keys) and her boyfriend away from the college, past the local town with its hundreds of businesses and thousands of residences, deep into the Shenandoah mountains, to an isolated location in a national park. A year and a half later she was talking about it with a professor and claimed she now realized that she was raped, in a classic “he said she said, long after the fact” scenario.
I find this story perfectly plausible. It is also manifestly unverifiable.
By all accounts the college did everything it could do in as professional, compassionate, and (nontrivially) legal a manner as anyone could reasonably expect. The young man was investigated and punished for actually verifiable behaviors on campus, etc — the details (putative and otherwise), again, are available elsewhere so there is no need to rehash them here.
At least one of the individuals cited in the article series claims, in the combox, that the blogger’s citation is a tendentious misrepresentation of what was said in the interview. So the veracity and fairness of the article is publicly disputed by one of its own sources. But even if we grant the entire factual situation as reported, the articles are a complete hash of emotive nonsense. The young woman who claims she was raped explains, as paraphrased by the blogger using her as clickbait:
But several former and current students say the school’s sheltered, highly structured campus culture actually facilitates sexual assault …
She says that the rules against romantic public displays of affection were so restrictive, it drove couples off campus.
So the central point of the article (its very title is “Are Women Safe in Christendom’s Bubble?”) seems to be that the College does such a great job enforcing decent behavior on campus that this forces students to go off campus to drink, engage in sexual debauchery, etc. Horrors! Christendom is so well-governed that it is virtually impossible, certainly in comparison to most colleges, to sexually assault women on campus!
And apparently in this specific case the mere proximity of the campus was so oppressive that it was necessary for the alleged victim herself – again she was the driver – to motor, not just a few miles into the nearby town, but to far off in the isolated Virginia mountain wilderness. How else to fully escape the aura of moralistic oppression at Christendom and make possible the campus rapeyness that everyone in the Current Year has come to expect?
The logic doesn’t get any better as the lengthy articles progress. The young woman’s father complains that students are punished for being drunk on campus but are not punished for “being a rapist” on campus:
“I always find it interesting they always try to punish students for drinking off campus, if you come back to campus drunk,” [the father] said. “I say, if you rape off campus, when you come back to campus, you’re still a rapist.”
In case the category error isn’t obvious, consider a different situation — streaking, say. Nobody would fault the college for punishing a student caught running around naked on campus. Everyone with any modicum of sanity would fault the college for punishing Student A with no evidence other than that Student B unverifiably claims to have seen Student A streaking deep in the Shenandoah wilderness after she drove him there. (“But women very rarely lie about streaking” come emotion-laden shrieks from the Estrogenic Cloud).
A commenter suggested that the risk men bear of being falsely accused of sexual assault or rape is analogous the risk that women bear of getting pregnant: that this somehow balances things out (which is the important thing). The obvious difference is that a man can be falsely accused of rape even if he did nothing wrong at all; whereas pregnancy only comes about in a very specific, concrete, well understood way. No woman needs to adopt the (at this point well vindicated) Pence rule to refrain from sexual intercourse and avoid pregnancy. But any man who doesn’t follow the Pence rule is taking on the risk of being falsely accused of sexual harassment or worse.
The question of actual evidence and its relation to “victim blaming” gets to the heart of the matter. If this young man in fact legitimately raped this young woman, as demonstrated by actual solid evidence, by all means punish him in the harshest manner as a rapist. There is no statute of limitations on rape, and nobody is responsible for an act of rape itself except the rapist.
But punishment in this case – indeed public rendering of the truth at all – is not (as reported at least) possible, because there isn’t any evidence. The only people who actually know what actually happened are the two people who were there at the time: he said, she said.
A more pertinent question then is, who is responsible for there not being any evidence? Who put us in this situation? Was it Christendom College with its overbearing and oppressive institutional success, when compared to pretty much all colleges everywhere, in keeping rapeyness and even consensual debauchery off campus; or was it someone else?
The most proximate person responsible for the impossibility of determining the truth in an objective, public way is the person in the literal driver seat who chose to drive the two of them, alone, deep into the Virginia wilderness. And in close proximity to that person – perhaps carrying the greater responsibility, because responsibility comes along with age, wisdom, and authority – are parents who give driver’s licenses to young women and send them off to college hundreds of miles distant without any inkling that a seventeen year old driving deep into the wilderness with a random boyfriend is every bit as imprudent as a ten year old getting into a car with a stranger offering candy.
Close behind are trolling mommy bloggers who write self-serving hit pieces against an obviously well managed Catholic college precisely because of that college’s undeniable success, versus all of its peers, in keeping rape at the status of an off campus problem rather than an on campus problem.
The thing that happens now is this, using a similar dynamic to that of the right-liberal/left-liberal mambo that Zippy has chronicled.
You may like this particular mommy blogger and the treatment of the Christendom incident in her expose, or, you may not like her. That doesn’t really matter. What matters, and what everyone is now going to be addressing, is “What are we going to do about this sexual assault epidemic at traditional Catholic colleges?”
It also appears that Christendom college has a curfew, requiring all students to check in to their dorms at night, presumably to help avoid situations such as this. I don’t think people really understand or would appreciate the level of invasion that would be required by Christendom college in order for them to do what they are asking them to do. Of course, that particular mommy blogger has a reputation.
From the Remnant article, it begins already…
Before addressing [the mommy blogger]’s article, I want to make a few points clear. First of all, sexual assault is an extremely serious matter, and those found guilty of it by proper authorities should be punished according to the full extent of the law.
The terms have been set, and you will abide by them in discourse. Or expose yourself as a victim-blaming rape apologist.
The best defense is an all-out attack. Christendom College, and all other Catholics, need to lead the charge to DESTROY THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION. It is clear from all sides that the sexual revolution is nothing but horrible in all its expressions and results.
About the sanest commentary I have read on this sordid affair. I notice that the blogger and so-called rape victim have not named the perp. I dare them to do so. Are they afraid of being sued. I guess it’s easier to blame a college.
[…] Source: Zippy Catholic […]
Perhaps easier. Almost certainly more lucrative is perhaps the more pertinent point, however.
That just made my day!
Knocked it right out of the park, Zippy.
” A year and a half later she was talking about it with a professor and claimed she now realized that she was raped”
How does one realize such a thing only after the event is a year and a half in the rear window?
Well, I did google the info to see which Catholic mommy blogger… Oh, it’s her. I stopped reading her blog a *long* time ago.
Two words (one name): Eric Jenislawski.
And that’s all I got to say about that.
I hope Damien sees this. He’s the one feeding his wife’s massive fake news appetite.
I love all the complaints that a college president doesn’t have an instantly connected hotline for adult-attention-starved mommy bloggers. Obviously this means the college has Something to Hide!!!!!!!!
Yes, one problem with things like this is that folks who ought to see it as the ludicrous hit piece it obviously is make the mistake of treating it as something to be taken seriously — as “opening up an important conversation” or whatever — thereby degrading themselves in the process and degenerating our public discourse one more step.
Yeah, but Jenislawski is the one still offering candy to the impressionable 19 year-olds. Jenislawski has to go.
I have no idea what you are talking about.
Jenislawski is the professor who told her she’d actually been “raped.”
Maybe she was raped. If what she described to him was rape (prescinding from the factual accuracy of that description) then he’d be nuts to do otherwise. Even people who have no legal duty to report open themselves up to all sorts of trouble if they don’t respond to these kinds of allegations very carefully.
He told her she was raped in a conversation *between him and her*, Zippy.
That isn’t his place – to tell her what happened “to” her in a given scenario. Yoy know that as well as I do. Send her to a priest or whatever, but he knows (or should know) that there is *always* at least two sides to every story.
I guess I am not as willing to accept at face value a cartoon picture of the mommy blogger’s citation/paraphrase of the alleged victim’s report of a private conversation which happened seven years ago about events which allegedly occurred a year and a half prior to that conversation. Maybe you know far more actual facts about this situation and the particular individuals, their histories, their relationships, etc than I do.
I’ll point out two things about my own post above:
1) It is a critique of the irrationality/viciousness (in the literal sense of objectively manifesting vice[*]) of the mommy blogger’s clickbait articles — which anyone can easily Google and read right now. I can come up with all sorts of cartoon pictures in my head of what the actual facts might be, but I am not under the delusion that I know which if any of those cartoons correspond with actual reality.
2) I carefully avoided names in my own piece, precisely to avoid this kind of horseshit.
[*] I make no claims whatsoever about what the rationalization hamsters in blogger’s minds might be chattering on about when it comes to their own motivations.
Well, no, I don’t. I just “know” what I have read. Your point is well taken, though.
Another ridiculous aspect of this affair (EDIT: as Edward Peitler points out upthread) is the criticism of the college for not at least scarlet-lettering the alleged perp … by bloggers who in their own pieces for some unfathomable reason decline to actually name the alleged perp.
Lawsuits and scandal and accusation-without-evidence for thee, but not for me, I guess.
I read a significant portion of Christendom’s official school code of conduct. I don’t know what it is actually like on campus, but in the hit piece it was claimed that couples have to go off campus just to hold hands, while the school code of conduct explicitly allows handholding. The school code of conduct also keeps men and women on separate sides of campus at night and prohibits being out of the dorms after midnight (unless explicitly given permission). The code of conduct really is extremely level-headed and level-handed.
The other aspect of this I find ridiculous is that, even after her parents were informed of her side of the story and believed that to actually be the case, they allowed her to go back to campus where her alleged rapist still was. What parent allows their daughter to leave their protection to go to a place where she will have to attend class with her alleged rapist?
I realize the second point is orthogonal to the OP, but there are just so many ridiculous (as in literally worthy of ridicule) things about those blog posts.
Even the title of the article angers- “Are Women Safe…”. It seems to be questioning if this college had some systematic conspiracy enabling men to rape women with impunity. What motivation would lead someone to hash out such a serious accusation leveled at a Catholic college in so public a forum? I just don’t understand. And the idea that maybe “things are moving in the right direction now” because there apparently is training campus wide about sexual abuse and what not. Is that really progress? Was that the goal? I’m overly sensitive to this because – having been involved with parochial education my whole life – I know things like this can cause real harm. Even to the extent of bankrupting a college. And for what? So we can be on the right side of #metoo history? So we can “take back the night”? I get the article is annoyed that male administration who presumably don’t know what it’s like “in the real world” of youthful male/female relationships are supposed to at the same time know how to use the real world’s verbiage concerning sexual abuse. But who in the world thinks this mess will make their daughters safer?!?
As with so much of this situation we can only speculate. But one avenue of speculation involves considering the context of a blog with lots of clicky ads and self-promotion as a writer and speaker.
It’s amazing how a woman can instantly suspect she was robbed if her purse is emptied, but it can take her nearly half her time at a college to figure out an act was rape.
Also, cases like this are why the left loses its mind when Trump laments the lack of strong defamation laws. The left’s favorite tactic is character assassination and strong defamation laws would turn that into bring a knife to a gun fight against their (usually right wing) targets.
I see that the lunatic mark Shea has picked this story up. What else do you need to know.
I haven’t regularly read Mark’s stuff in years, but he stayed at my house twice back in the day. He was a fun and entertaining houseguest. We took a ride in my airplane (I used to own a Cirrus SR22), actually circled the Christendom campus a few times in the air. The Shenandoah mountains are spectacularly beautiful at general aviation altitudes.
Later that day I drove him to Christendom since he was doing a talk there. That was the first time I ever saw the campus.
He seems to be pretty polarizing, people love him or hate him as a blogger. Many of his books are excellent, his trilogy on Mary especially.
The mommy blogger who (apparently with her husband, but it is her blog) wrote the hit piece I don’t know. I’m vaguely familiar with her name.
But it doesn’t matter who wrote it. The piece itself is an irrational, unreasonable, calumnious pile of viciousness.
During the Roy Moore election, I posted on Shea’s blog that I didnt’ find the allegations of sexual assault credible. Shea said I was a liar and a support of pedophila and of course banned me. He has some sort of problem – most of the stories he likes to don’t support his claims.
I haven’t regularly read Mark’s stuff in years, but he stayed at my house twice back in the day.
Should we take it as a sign of integrity that he hasn’t doxxed you (that I am aware of)?
Sure you can, Mark would never doxx me precisely because of his personal integrity.
People create cartoon pictures of other human beings from online interaction. (I’m not immune to this myself, but I do try very hard to stay focused on content). The very conditions of modernity are dehumanizing — in traffic we see other cars not other persons, as just one example among countless.
The Mark I know in person is a good man. He is also a very effective and knowledgeable author, based on the content of his books.
The mommy blogger hit piece against Christendom is inexcusable and should be retracted by its authors, with an unequivocal public apology to the college. That would go quite a way toward restoring their own public reputation (as I said, I have no personal knowledge of these people and have never been a regular reader of mommy bloggers in general, let alone this one).
It’s a shame that if it is as you say that there appears to be no one in his life who can evaluate his writings and seriously challenge him on whether that is how he wants to be seen. Whenever I’ve noticed a blog post or something like that of his that others have pointed to, the impression I’ve gotten is of a man who’d rather be around an openly gay group and BLM than sane, mainstream folks.
General discussion of Mark Shea is now closed, unless there is something specifically on-topic or at least directly related to the topic.
One consistent thing I’ve seen in the commentary on this situation is the notion that the administration – as distinct from the faculty and student body – could or should have done better, by being more solicitous, compassionate, quicker on the draw with new policies and procedures, less willing to spend on fountains and PR with more spent on carpets, etc. I don’t recall seeing a single person dispute this or call it into question.
Possibly the reason is that the administration really should have done better. But I have yet to see anyone question this assertion (and the administration itself is not commenting, for obvious reasons).
Folks who say this sort of thing may not be giving full consideration to the policy, precedent, financial, and legal minefield in our litigious and PC society. It is remarkably easy to get sued, even with Title IX exemption. Too much partiality in what is legally an evidence-free situation could easily end up destroying a small college of 400 students. Those of us who have run small organizations, faced lawsuits, had to keep the cash balance up enough to pay salaries, etc perhaps have an appreciation for these things that others don’t.
Everyone is a critic. Lots of people have opinions about how things ought to be run; few have the attributes required to actually run things.
The real question is why are the “muh rape culchah” shriekers not blaming the US Park Service instead of Christendom College since the former is the jurisdiction that failed by not having park rangers combing the woods looking for women not perfectly consenting.
The young women of Christendom College are showing this particular mommy blogger the meaning of feminine dignity in the combox of her most recent post on the matter.
It’s amazing how every woman is to be valued and believed and given a voice. Except those who decline the Women’s March. Those women are brainwashed cultish idiots. The irony.
What you are seeing is the Low Man dynamic, taking place in the discussion itself. It simply cannot be the case that these young women who reject the slander against their school exist at all, unless they are pathetic brainwashed cult members. If they could just be deprogrammed they would agree that Christendom is obviously a misogynistic bubble which puts women in danger.
Projecting derangement, mental illness, cult programming, misogyny, etc is necessary because rational disagreement with the foregone conclusion is impossible.
As usual the people who act as if they are God’s gift to women and female equality against the terrible patriarchy don’t see the very people they propose to “help” as fully human, with their own agency, etc. On opposite day folks like yours truly, who presume women to be fully human moral agents, are the misogynists.
The young women of Christendom College are showing this particular mommy blogger the meaning of feminine dignity in the combox of her most recent post on the matter.
These Christendom women commenting in the mommy blogger’s combox are commendable in their solidarity and loyalty. I could wish it weren’t so that pretty much all of their comments weren’t something to the effect of, “I don’t know about men in other places, they probably suck, but at Christendom we’ve got em trained right.”
With respect to the “the administration should have done better” unquestioned assertion, it seems as though it’s acceptance is a requirement for not being slandered yourself in the conversation, as well as a motte and bailey tactic.
It is also interesting that after one of their sources (and her sister) claim to be quoted out of context, as well as being pressured to say something negative about the Christendom administration, Damien Fisher doubled down, saying he stands by his notes and that the source’s (and her sister’s) account is false.
There are a lot of accusations that seem to be being made, and very few of them are verifiable. He said she said is all over the place, not just with the rape accusation, but with simple things like what a source actually said or what Christendom college actually told the fishers about a meeting with their President.
It is also interesting that they are acting like a big newspaper competing with other newspapers for the publicity that comes with being first on a big scoop, complaining that they had to sit on the piece for a few days because they couldn’t get in contact with President O’Donnell exactly when they wanted to, even though they have apparently been investigating for months.
What you are seeing is the Low Man dynamic, taking place in the discussion itself. It simply cannot be the case that these young women who reject the slander against their school exist at all, unless they are pathetic brainwashed cult members.
I was a college freshman when 9/11 happened and about a year or two later had a Poly Sci class where a few leftists wanted to argue something similar about the hijackers. It was bewildering to them when I pointed out that most of Al Qaeda’s operatives and leadership were substantially better educated and wealthier than them. “We need to educate them? You’re a 20 year old undergrad, most of them have Masters Degrees from elite universities. There is no way nor any reason for them to respect you lecturing them.”
Seems like a reasonable enough conclusion to draw given that part of the mission at Christendom is, in fact, or so I take it, to train them (young men, as well as young women) right. Or at least to continue the right-training they presumably received in their respective homes and communities.
By comparison to Christendom, men “in other places” probably do, on the average, “suck,” being, as they are, part and parcel of their sucky environments and training elsewhere. The irony in all of that is that a certain element (mommy bloggers and such) wish to bring Christendom down to the level of everyone else’s suckyness. At least that way we’re all “equal.” Equally sucky.
If they didn’t, then no one could tell those women were “traditional” or “conservative” women. That’s the hallmark. The Mommy Blogger is out in front right now, but the others will catch up soon.
The idea that bad sexual and violent behavior is the same everywhere, and especially in those awful patriarchal traditional Christian communities, is a dogma of the modern secular religion.
Is that the dogma, or is the dogma that it’s actually *worse* in those awful patriarchal traditional Christian communities? Not to quibble or anything, but the latter seems more accurate to me.
The dogma is that everywhere is equal, and traditional Christian places are worse.
Ah, nice! Touche`.
This whole sorry affair puts me in mind of the *adolescent* female mindset (of 15-17 year-old silly girls, and unfortunately of their mothers more often than I care to get into) who make the argument that “if you would just let me get myself into more trouble, then I wouldn’t want to get myself into bad situations so much.” Or something like that. If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it at least a hundred times.
I have worked in higher ed and on discipline boards and this type of thing happens all of the time. Student Life offices have a constant stream of girls who accuse boyfriends of rape. It’s always a he-said-she-said situation between the two and even between eyewitnesses. There are also recantations from accusers quite regularly, once they are pressed with some questions. I tend to believe the accuser, but like any other legal matter, with no evidence there is no case and Christendom would be foolish to try to create one unless they like being sued. It’s really sad to see some true rapists get away with it and it’s sad to see attention-seekers do everything in their power to ruin someone’s reputation (and then admit to it). These are the temporal punishments for sin. I find it laughable that Simcha go after Christendom for a few such accusations over their entire history when larger colleges have this type of thing happen literally every week. Oh and Christendom would say this type of thing can send you to hell while other institutions would say that Hell is empty. Go figure.
Your statement of modern secular dogma is too generous because it (“bad sexual and violent behavior is the same everywhere, and especially in those awful patriarchal traditional Christian communities”) at least isn’t nonsense even though it is false. Nor is it made nonsense by the truth, facts, and reality that a woman student chaperoned a male peer out into a remote wilderness and had sex with him while he was under her power both emotionally and materially.
But Mommy Blogger’s case IS nonsense. To my eyes, modern secular dogma isn’t what the accused young man is up against. He’s fighting woman worship–and that is ancient. Mommy Blogger’s blog even has the ancient symbol of it on her masthead.
I am well aware of your “everything is just as bad everywhere” schtick. You and the mommy blogger should collaborate.
It’s not clear from my blip of a comment, but I don’t object to the identification of problems among the male population as a whole, but rather the apparent obliviousness to problems rampant among members of the sex to which the commenters belong. If this were kept in perspective, the whole conversation that’s being had now at mommy blogger’s (MB) is a non-starter, for both MB and those who are opposing her at her website.
I see this (and this may be getting a bit internecine for any non-Catholics reading here) as an obsessive personalism that has metastasized. “Objectification” and “Dignity” are just a couple of the meme words that, when raised among much of the serious Catholic population (including pretty much every one of the Christendom women commenting at MB’s), we just automatically think it is women’s issues being addressed (i.e./e.g., “Objectification” on the ground means that only women are being evilly objectified as a matter of any consequence; “Human Dignity” on the ground means something we need to be careful to recognize in women who are the only ones in danger of being unjustly deprived of it). I don’t see the problem as something inherent in personalism itself, but rather personalism infected with strains of liberalism, feminism I suppose, to be more precise.
That is a mischaracterization of what I said. Feeling lazy today?
Modern secular dogma, or something like it, is out there and pervasive. It is a contributing factor in this case; like a feature of the cultural environment that Mommy Blogger is leveraging in war on Christendom College. It gives her the high ground, so-to-speak. However, the accused has actually been attacked for making a woman unhappy by doing what said woman wanted, and by a mommy blogger who openly harks back to a goddess cult. The accused is up against what T. Morris described perfectly:
Whether you like it or not: That’s not an exhibition of modern secular dogma. That’s just women left feral because men don’t want to make them feel bad, and that ain’t modern.
Same topic but different subtopic: I note that the accuser smokes, and that reminded me of my father’s warning, “If she smokes, she pokes.”
The sorry thing to see is that Christendom seems to have fallen nicely into the trap, evidenced by their responses at various levels from both administration and students. To MB’s ridiculous assertions about the oppressiveness of Christendom to women in particular, and any iterations of traditional Catholic society in general, their responses are along the lines of “You’d think wouldn’t you? But let me show you how Christendom breaks free of its oppressive mold.” The tenuousness of the defense at MB’s is painful, even if admirable. You get the clear picture that the only thing the defense is hanging upon are a string of personal anecdotes by (necessarily) women. (“I’ve always felt safe as a woman at Christendom…” “As a woman, I’ve always felt respected by men at Christendom…”) Of course no one else will be given the microphone, except maybe a Christendom man who (as I read in the MB combox) defends that it’s ridiculous to say that any faculty member at Christendom ever held that women shouldn’t have the vote.
It’s understandable unfortunately. How is Christendom supposed to defend itself when these are the only terms that are bequeathed with the status of intelligibility?
Here you demonstrate that your methods, at least, are precisely the same as the mommy blogger’s methods: talking out your ass about a particular situation (people, community, events) of which you are completely ignorant, other than the sparsest possible set of abstract facts (most of which are merely ignorance-confirming facts), for the sake of pushing a particular ideological template.
Good points, all. Still, a bunch of basically young kids publicly upholding chastity, modest dress, etc – the woman’s side of the ‘chivalry’ bargain – against a vulgar potty-mouthed Catholic mommy blogger is encouraging to see.
The problem is that now you are making unverifiable assertions. We really don’t know what happened between the accuser and the accused, and I highly doubt that his actions can be reduced to just doing what she wanted.
No. All I’ve assumed is true, is this:
Her search for a romantic getaway. Her car. Her keys. Her choice. And Mommy Bloggers statements that the accuser suffered because of a lack of space and time for whatever sexual activities the accuser wanted at the moment.
I think some might be confused by the mommy blogger’s estrogenic cloud (great term) assertions that:
1) A woman kidnapped herself into the wilderness and was raped instead of romanced.
2) That the college’s ban on PDA forced the rapist to act out off campus where he couldn’t be expelled.
3) Her complaint is that what the campus needs is more sexual activity on campus when a woman wants, and how a woman wants.
It gets lost with words like “intimacy” and “privacy”, but the fact is that Mommy Blogger states that it was the accuser who was looking for a place for sexual activity; the kind of activity that Christendom’s College forbids. (The accuser therefore wasn’t looking to hold hands or exchange pecks.) At the same time though: Mommy Blogger asserts that the trip was the accused’s idea, and so logically she must say Christendom’s no PDA policy caused the accused to rape off-campus instead of on-campus.
Even though that is what MB says, I can’t believe that it says what she wants to say. So much so that I can’t believe the accuser’s story according to MB. It’s not plausible to me at all. The accused may be guilty of something; perhaps even rape. I don’t know. What I know is that the supposed story (as told by MB) and the proposed solution are false, and that the only clear takeaway from MB’s posts are that she believes schools should do whatever women want.
I agree that you’ve captured the MB’s narrative.
The difference between she and thee is merely in what each of you do and do not approve of in the narrative.
The difference between you and me is (among other things) your willingness to accept the narrative as true.
To show an argument as false by its own premises is a dead-standard tactic. It is not necessarily an endorsement of the argument; usually it isn’t.
Was it my plain statement that I don’t believe her or the story that confused you?
You’re reflexive and cranky today. Try more fiber.
Right. The sources are accurate when they support the Narrative, and are liars when the very same sources call the Narrative into question.
Having dealt with real journalists before I can attest to the fact that the Fishers do indeed seem to be attempting to carry out “real journalism”. This is reinforced by the sense of entitlement about getting an interview with the college president at all, let alone on a timetable dictated by self-important click-seeking bloggers.
Is that a retraction of this statement:
… or was it never your intention for that statement to be taken as factually serious about the actual parties and events involved?
It wasn’t my intention for that statement to be taken for how it seems to have been taken.
The accuser–according to the multiple statements including in MB’s post and the disciplinary letter sent to the accused for harassment–took herself and the accused far off college grounds so that they could engage in whatever sexual activity she wanted without fear of condemnation or discipline from the college. She may never have wanted to engage in penetrative sex. Only she is to say. And that’s just the way she set it up: So that no meddling authority could have any say. That’s what I meant by “However, the accused has actually been attacked for making a woman unhappy by doing what said woman wanted”. What the accuser wanted was ambiguous sexual activity with plausible deniability. Well, she got it. Now she’s crying about it.
This account is in accordance with all the evidence that I have seen from the posts, attached documents, statements from the college, the NV Daily column, and my experience of this world. It’s why the college didn’t pursue the case against the accused, why he is not pursued for an alleged despicable crime, and why his name hasn’t been revealed by any of the concerned parties. The real goal here isn’t justice, or even punishment. The goal is browbeat men into catering to women’s whims because of women’s supposedly obvious superiority.
What has become clear is that we need a bull$hit-free definition of rape that boils down to the idea that if you are conscious, and he isn’t threatening or using violence to make you perform sex, you have’t been raped. If you can push him off and drive off without a credible threat of being beat up or killed, it isn’t rape.
Also, we should probably do away with the idea of sexual assault once making out has started. Anyone who thinks that it’s unreasonable for a man to grope a woman once they’re passionately making out is building laws for aliens.
That statement – specifically the “and the disciplinary letter” part – is false. Again you grant factual credence to the MB’s narrative where I do not. (If I missed where this is in one of the PDF letters by all means point it out to me).
You do raise a reasonable point about authority, similar to the one I made in the OP about knowledge. However that point doesn’t really hold up.
The reason we have no reliable knowledge of the actual events – that nobody except the couple themselves have any objective verifiable evidence of what actually happened – is because the young woman chose to drive her boyfriend to an isolated place where there would be no such evidence. The lack of verifiability is most directly a consequence of her choice.
But while it is true that Christendom does not have the authority to itself criminally prosecute anyone at all, whether for actions on or off campus, it is not true that Christendom doesn’t have authority to punish students and employees for their off campus actions. This is very much as it should be. Some time ago we discussed a similar case here, and I actually linked to one of the posts in that discussion in the OP.
tl;dr: If you are under the impression that an institution has no authority to punish verifiable off campus behavior, just ask Matt Prill.
Simcha Fisher? She jumped the shark a long, long time ago. She’s the E. Michael Jones of “liberal” “pro-life feminist” Catholic bloggers. Looking for integrity in her reporting is something like looking for Catholic apologetics in a blog by Jack Chick.
[…] Christendom did not have a vested interest in sweeping sexual assault under the rug, it sure does now. It takes a very long time to build a good reputation, and it takes a very long time to rebuild a […]
It’s a case of the dog that didn’t bark, and piecing together the timeline from the letters sent to and from Christendom College. The exception to the source of these dates is the incident at Shenandoah itself, which is alleged to have occurred Oct. 2, 2009. I see no reason to dispute that sexual activity of some kind occurred between Miss Smith and Mr. X on that date, in Shenandoah National Park.
Nov 24, 2009 Mr. X placed his hand on Miss Smith’s knee, and harassed Miss Smith to slap him. He also told peers that Miss Smith had seduced him prior to his harassment. (He confessed these actions in a July 28, 2011 disciplinary hearing, according to the sanction letter. More later.)
April 1, 2011 Miss Smith’s parents meet with her dean Mr. Dorman to demand that Mr. X be expelled for the alleged rape of Miss Smith. This was after a phone call from the Smith’s to Dean Dorman. It is unclear what is said when, but we know by April 1, 2011 that college officials are aware of the Oct. 2, 2009 incident, and Miss Smith has formally made allegations of rape against Mr. X; according to a May 26, 2011 letter from Mr. Smith to Mr. O’Donnell.
May 16, 2011 Mr. Smith sends letter to Mr. O’Donnell about the whole affair.
May 23, 2011 Mr. O’Donnell responds to Mr. Smith with a letter.
July 19, 2011 Mr. X is formally charged with harassment for provoking Miss Smith to slap him, putting his hand on her knee, and telling peers that she seduced him.
July 28, 2011 Disciplinary Conference of Mr. X occurs. He admits to the harassing actions, and says they were in response to Miss Smith’s rejection of him after a “prior incident”. The “prior incident” is referred to by all parties, but nowhere does Christendom portray it as a rape; almost 4 months after we know the Smith’s made a formal complaint.
August 8, 2011 Mr. X is sanctioned for his Nov. 24, 2009 harassment, and that alone. The only allusion to the Oct. 2, 2009 “prior incident” is the harassment as attempts “to deal with her frustrations with you”.
More than four months after Christendom received a formal complaint of rape against Mr. X, there is no mention about an on-going investigation, and as far as I can glean from the documents: No rape charges are pursued against Mr. X either by the college or police. Despite the fact that all parties discuss a prior incident. The letters contain references to an investigation earlier. Specifically, Mr. O’Donnell wrote that by the date of his letter May 23, 2011, Dean Dorman had interviewed multiple people whose names Miss Smith had provided as corroboration, and was “completing his investigation”, and that the next step was for Adele to provide Dean Dorman with access to her psychologist Dr. Divietri. Towards the end of the letter Mr. O’Donnell wrote that, “it is my understanding that Dean Dorman is close to finishing his investigation, and I expect to discuss the matter with him in the near future.” By August charges of rape were dropped and never resumed; as far as I can tell.
I suppose it is theoretically possible that the allegations of rape and the discussion of a “prior incident” were never joined, but I cannot believe it.
I’m not sure what you’re getting at here. The law may allow this or that discipline. I’m not an expert. The limitations of Christendom’s ability to discipline to which I referred are the same ones that Mr. O’Donnell referred to in his May 23, 2011 letter to Mr. Smith; the same limitations that anyone who is trying to subvert the rules would assume. Basically: If the crime (in this case sexual activity against Christendom’s rules) is done in secret and kept secret, then there will be no discipline of it.
I agree. And it’s often difficult to weigh the merits of mentioning anything that detracts from even little signs of encouragement in these days when encouragement is often hard to come by. And it also feels a little lowdown to take the opportunity of unjust criticism coming from one angle to express my own criticism from another angle, however well-founded it may be.
You claimed that your statement:
… was backed by “multiple statements including in MB’s post and the disciplinary letter sent to the accused for harassment“.
This is false. As in, it is a factually false claim. Untrue. Not the case. It is false even if you meant one of the other letters, not the disciplinary letter.
In your quest to get to a particular narrative you are making verifiably false statements. Probably this is just carelessness on your part, but it doesn’t help your argument.
If you say so. You have cited no facts whatsoever about either party’s (at the time) state of mind, motivations, expectations, hopes, dreams, delusions, prior history, reasons for going off campus (sexual or otherwise), what actually happened off campus, etc from any document other than the mommy blogger’s posts.
You also said:
What she may or may not have wanted is not something for which you (or I) have (or at least have shown) any evidence whatsoever outside of the mommy blogger’s account. Like the mommy blogger and, to be fair, most people, you are not really making factual statements about the actual people and actual events. Indeed you have to all appearances fully accepted the MB’s narrative about motives, conditions, etc and are simply applying a different template of approval/disapproval to it.
Furthermore – and this was the specific point of my last comment – the reason the college in particular qua authority could have no say is not because the college has no authority, in general, to punish off-campus behavior (by, say, expelling someone for off-campus theft). Institutions punish people for off-campus behavior all the time — especially crimes for which they are convicted. If the young man had been convicted of an off campus crime I have little doubt that he would have been expelled.
The reason the college’s options are limited is not because it has no authority pertaining to off campus behavior, but because the way she (and he) set it up no authority at all could have any verifiable objective knowledge of what actually took place.
No. I did not say “backed”. What I said was “according to”, and similar variations of the word “accord”. Perhaps you and I use these words differently. I meant they fit together and did not contradict each other.
But I take your point. Aside from MB’s post we don’t have evidence that Miss Smith drove herself to Shenandoah National Park. We don’t have evidence that she drove the alleged rapist to the Shenandoah National Park. We don’t have evidence for why either one of them chose to go to the park, or evidence that either of them even chose to go there.
However, I don’t see how this statement from your OP is any different:
Apart from MB’s post, do we know that Miss Smith was the driver? Why even question an intention “to fully escape the aura of moralistic oppression” unless you are–for the sake of argument–assuming at least some of MB’s narrative? Otherwise, what other activities would necessitate the escape from moralistic oppression? Of those other potential activities, which ones fit–which ones are in accordance with–the rest of the allegations, confessions, investigations, and disciplinary records?
The context you are missing is this part of the OP:
In the OP I stipulate the MB’s narrative and criticize its unreasonableness even as stipulated, etc.
So to make this even clearer:
Maybe the young woman thought they were going on a hike, as a factual matter about her expectations and motovations. The reason we suspect a sexual tryst with ambiguous limits (as opposed to one limited by the college’s PDA rules) is because the MB says so.
There’s no going back now.
The “pathetic” and “despicable” needles just redlined.
It doesn’t matter though; mommy blogger is investigating seven more cases of rape at Christendom (and if they are anything like the others, they will be equally unverifiable). It won’t matter how much they do, they will go until someone is fired.
Until people are fired and Christendom becomes a feminist SJW breeding ground.
Christendom revised its protocols in recent years and is constantly reviewing these protocols to ensure they are effective…
Reformed and always reforming. With the obligatory “oh but there’s yet MUCH to be done.” I don’t know the college at all, but is there no consideration for the students who came to its defense? I’m also no lawyer but this seems like a precarious statement.
This is an excellent point. Completely threw those students under the bus.
“In his recent comment in Chile on Bishop Barros and his denouncing Barros’ accusers of being callumnious liars, the Pope quite rightly says bring me evidence and I will act; proof is just and innocence should be presumed.”
Why is evidence suddenly so unfashionable? Does due process simply waste too much time between accusation and punishment? I know nothing of the situation with this Chilean bishop other than what has been written after the Pope’s controversial comment, so maybe the Pope is uninformed or lying when he claims there is no evidence against this bishop. But giving his holiness the benefit of the doubt, this is another example of prejudice. Furrowing the brow and stroking the chin are square! Pitchforks and screaming are hip! Don’t ask why.
I thought you might want some facts to go along with all this nonsense.
I am not giving people like you, guilty of calumny and detraction against good people and a good institution whom you know nothing about, access to another forum. Your comments here will not be approved.
Ah well, back to digging eh, Zippy?
There are already calls for O’Donnel’s resignation. The combox over at Patheos is an excellent example of why the kinds of accusations the Fishers are making are so dangerous. The minimum requirements to even discuss the topics are admit that the accused should be punished in some way and that the school was negligent.
Right. The mere suggestion that the college did and does a pretty reasonable job – not perfect of course, but better than, well, almost every other college on earth – is either outrageously misogynist or is evidence that the person doing the suggesting has been brainwashed by a cult.
And the result is that no discussion of reasonable improvements can be had; the well’s been poisoned. The position of those criticizing the college is pretty much one of unconditional surrender, which generally isn’t achieved without some number of innocent casualties.
Seems to me like much of the Catholic blogoshpere (ugh) started veering into nuttiness of several varieties five or six years ago. Looking down Dale Price’s blogroll, I find myself muttering “don’t read anymore” to the majority of the entries. It’s a shame, but maybe some good will come out of it – more time to read actual spiritual writing instead?
To be honest, this is starting to sound like a situation described in: https://www.amazon.com/SJWs-Always-Lie-Thought-Justice-ebook/dp/B014GMBUR4/
I don’t think the book is necessary, per se – the college should stand up for itself and beyond that, realize that apologizing is not the greatest idea, given who is demanding the apology.
Fortunately, since Damien isn’t a dishonest bag of dirt, there will soon be a substantive response to the points raised here posted on mommy blogger’s website. Something other than the word “nonsense.” Right? Damien?
From a new organization called the Christendom Advocacy and Support Coalition, the president of which is Adele Smith:
I’m really speechless; this has devolved so rapidly that it’s now not even a question of whether there was a cover-up, it’s just how bad the cover-up was, and how much can we change everything at Christendom that we don’t like.
Smith is climbing the victim-status ladder, but needs funding. Best if she can talk the college into funding its own destruction.
Calumny and detraction is moving on to extortion. That is the price of negotiating with terrorists.
As is touched on, more than once, what you are seeing is the effects of sin.
As time goes on I am more and more convinced that the top two ways modern Liberal thinking actively destroys is by rejecting legitimate authority and sins against honor.
The core problem is that the bloggers are combining:
-the repetition of hearsay and rash judgment to detract the reputation of others
-when they have no authority to do anything to change the university even if they had all the facts.
And isn’t that very telling? The putative sin was between 2 people years ago far from the campus, yet the focus is on changing an institution they have no authority over.
“If we can vote for president, why, enough of us agreeing with each other should be able to tell anyone what to do!
“So let us use emotion, hearsay, and such to generate enough shame that our “votes” control others….”
I think a serious problem mixed in with this is that liberal egalitarianism has been a real boon to allow the socio-sexual dregs of masculinity (ie gammas) to enter the hierarchy on an equal (and often advantaged) footing compared to normal and above average men. It’s a common refrain that conservatives practically #$%^ themselves in terror at the thought of being defamed. Defame an alpha/VD beta/”leading man” and you’re more likely to get pummeled than a submissive posture, but the values we have have enabled lesser men to easily compete their way into undue positions of power. So as a result, these institutions are effectively lead by men who are so naturally weak that they function as single points of failure for their institution.
* Note: irrespective of politics, that is precisely what a lot of voters liked and do like about Trump. A Mitt Romney would constantly live in fear of “golly gosh, do they think I’m just a… swell guy” whereas Trump is more likely to amuse himself with the anguished cries of men like Schumer than worry if he thinks well of him.
You must not know the level of contempt I have for the ‘alpha/beta/etc’ pseudo-science nonsense.
A person’s reputation is innately important as a matter of honor. In the incoherence of Democracy it becomes overly important as a matter of influence. In contemporary times I believe that a surprisingly large number of people make the mistake of thinking that not just their reputation but also their character is defined by words. It appears as an outside observer that Mr. Trump is not subject to this fallacy, yet understands how to take advantage of it in others. In my opinion this seems to occur often for people without actual accomplishments in the material world who also spend a great deal of time “wordsmithing” (academics, entertainers, politicians, certain classes of bloggers, some micronationalists, etc.). This is why they think making a speech about something defines them as “good” when their actions are evil, etc.
This is also why they think writing a 40 character tweet with a hashtag is, somehow, an action that ‘fights evil’ even as their own actions are evil.
This is also why Trump confounds some; like any healthy person he has contempt for people who malign him or cannot follow an argument.
You must not know the level of contempt I have for the ‘alpha/beta/etc’ pseudo-science nonsense.
Likewise, feminists are similarly contemptuous of the idea that “standards of beauty” reflect truth about the human male’s natural desires.
That aside, if we admit that most people are fools it stands to reason that this problematic:
In contemporary times I believe that a surprisingly large number of people make the mistake of thinking that not just their reputation but also their character is defined by words.
The reason mass defamation works is not that most people are lazy (that is a factor). It’s that they are neither intelligent enough nor rational enough to weigh the accusation and hold it critically against what they know and even ask “cui bono?”
So for such people, a not insane accusation is effectively fungible with a truth claim with evidence until proven otherwise. So they live in fear of such accusations because it is in their nature to be part of the believing crowd.
This is also why Trump confounds some; like any healthy person he has contempt for people who malign him or cannot follow an argument.
I think it’s deeper than that because Trump also fights with both fists swinging and doesn’t lose confidence when people pile on. Many normal men feel contempt for being aligned, but won’t adopt that “I’m surrounded, good, now the f#$%ers can’t get away” mentality that he demonstrates all the time. I also doubt they really could unless the stakes were so high that absolute destruction of everyone and everything they love was the price for not even trying. (And even then…)
I’ve met a small handful of men like that IRL. I’m sure you have as well. They’re very different creatures from typical men because their enemies get that vibe “I truly have zero f#$%s to give you and your opinion.”
Whatever the case, it is clear that we are moving away from a system of masculine, evidenced-based justice and toward a system of effeminate, gossip-based “justice.”
Since this is such an obvious hatchet job, what’s the mommy blogger’s motivation? Can’t be just attention seeking, she’s way too triggered for that. Perhaps this: the mere existence of traditional Catholic morality, strictly enforced, is a stinging rebuke to those within the Church who love holding hands with sexually liberated modernity; to say nothing of those who, under cover of darkness, like to drive it out to remote locations in the mountains. Light came into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. Thus, they cannot help but attack that which so keenly pricks the conscience.
This post and the accompanying situation has led me to reflect on the situation with St. Maria Goretti and her attacker, Alessandro Serenelli.
IIRC, the other time this particular mommy blogger came to my attention was when she attacked veneration of St. Maria Goretti as martyr for sexual purity. It is reported that on social media (which I don’t use) she called veneration of St. Goretti – specifically as defending her virginity – a “hymen fetish” or something like that.
The article that brought this to my attention is here:
And we discussed it again here:
I’ll just suggest that contempt for virginity as something worth physically defending seems likely to be connected to the wildly irrational attempt to portray Christendom College’s success in keeping on-campus behavior chaste as somehow the cause of inchastity and alleged rape off campus.
Whatever else may be the case it is clear that the alleged victim is blaming the college for the consequences of something that she herself did: that is, creating a “he said she said” circumstance outside the reach of the college’s material capacity to do anything to protect and foster the moral character of the environment she is in. If she was in fact raped then the (only) person responsible is the person who did it. And the (only) persons responsible for the impossibility of making an objective third party judgment based on evidence is the two of them, she who drove and he who was the passenger whom she drove back after the alleged incident.
Why blame the college? If adult students get drunk off campus and get into a car crash, is the college to blame?
The whole setup involves the failure of accusers to take responsibility for their own part in things. The college is just a scapegoat for the accusers, someone to blame besides themselves for the circumstances of the alleged incidents; and the whole affair is obviously self promotion, ad clickbait, virtue signaling, and some sort of weird sexual hangup about chastity on the part of the mommy blogger.
Whatever the case, it is clear that we are moving away from a system of masculine, evidenced-based justice and toward a system of effeminate, gossip-based “justice.”
This. Our society also cannot accept that rape is almost impossible to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” in most cases where fornication is not scandalous misconduct. Most of the time it boils down to the woman’s word and the fact is that a woman is willing to have sex with men other than a very long term boyfriend (effectively a common law marriage) or a formal marriage has already demonstrated that she has the capacity to have sex with men without de facto or de jure commitment. Ergo, you are trusting her word that she wanted it those times, but not this time, when there is no evidence of violence nor is there some sort of independent witness or recording.
And the fact is that without corroborating evidence, an accuser’s word should generally be considered defamation per se because it’s really nothing else to third parties.
IIRC, the other time this particular mommy blogger came to my attention was when she attacked veneration of St. Maria Goretti as martyr for sexual purity
I was just about to ask if this was the same mommy blogger that sneered at the idea of St. Maria Goretti’s sainthood due to choosing death rather than consent in very teeth of explicit Church statements that she did.
I stopped reading many Catholic blogs, so I miss all the fireworks, but I don’t really miss it if you know what I mean.
Way OT: I was in a game/comic store and found an Iron Maiden comic with Eddie as a kind of superhero. Have you seen it?
Dear God, that St. Maria Goretti business is just staggering. This woman has a deranged hatred of purity. She needs to lay off the Freud and Kinsey.
An important point. Marriage makes consent to sex a public, verifiable matter. Otherwise it isn’t. Kristor made the interesting suggestion that marriage – publicly ratified affirmative consent to sex as a social institution – is what even the sexual revolutionaries naturally and ultimately tend toward:
I haven’t seen it. But I did see the Book of Souls show on their DC stop last summer. Same venue where we saw Final Frontier with you.
Marriage makes consent to sex a public, verifiable matter.
It did until the age of marital rape laws where it was declared that marriage is no legal statement on anything in this regard. A woman can now legally marry with no intent to ever engage in sexual activity period and prosecute her husband for not respecting that. That’s one of the many reasons conservatives were idiots for supporting such laws. For all of their “ermagerd, da fags gonna destroy our understanding of marriage,” the real destruction of the common understanding of the nuances and purposes of marriage happened well before the Stonewall Riots.
[…] decisions about what to do; or a banana republic in which public justice is carried out based on unverifiable gossip. It is indeed a weakness of evidence based justice that some people get away with wrongdoing; […]
How ironic, guess the shoe is on the other foot?
On the one hand, in the case of a woman accusing a man of rape a year and a half after the fact, and with no publicly verifiable facts to support her allegations since no one else was there, we should automatically believe the accuser and attack the institution to which the alleged rapist belonged for not having acted on her say-so.
On the other hand, in the case of an interviewee accusing an interviewer of misrepresentation within say, a week of the interview, also with no publicly verifiable facts to support the allegation since no one else heard the interview, the blogger in question would presumably say we should not automatically believe the accuser, and we should not say, exhort WordPress (or whatever platform hosts the interviewer’s blog) to suspend the interviewer’s blog.
I guess the difference between the two cases is who, whom?
I find this story surreal: so some obscure, amateur blogger brings a college to its knees and is able to win major concessions from it? Strange world.
Makes me think that a legal ban on blogging might not be a bad idea. The spiritual dangers are legion.
Christendom actually made concessions? Good grief, I hope they didn’t give anybody money – it’ll never end then.
Yeah, somehow I missed the irony there. Women never lie about, misrepresent, or inaccurately recall years-past alleged sexual encounters. But the poor dears just can’t keep an interview from last week straight in their estrogenically-impaired heads.
And who is the misogynist, again?
The college apologized and agreed to meet with people claiming victim status. As a reward for this generous spirit the primary accuser doubled down and insisted that as part of this Christendom should agree to pay for travel and hotel for anyone who claims to be a victim. No mention was made of massages and spa time, but of course a flea-ridden Holiday Inn would be an insult to the poor victims.
That was the last bit that I read.
Zippy: don’t forget the childcare expenses.
[…] a man and a woman meet privately they often come away giving different accounts, to the rest of us, of what happened in the […]
I just read the article by she who must not be named that elicited the Crisis article that you linked to. She writes:
Except by refusing his sexual advances, her attacker grew enraged and murdered her. Had she instead submitted to his advances, he would have been guilty of rape, but not murder. Last time I checked, murder is still worse than rape. Therefore, if her primary concern was the state of her attacker’s soul, she should have submitted once it became clear he was serious about murder.
But she didn’t. So, maybe St. Goretti was more concerned with ‘abstract virtue’ than with the state of her attacker’s soul, after all?
MB, thy name is oblivious-to-irony.
I find everything about the Maria Goretti and Alessandro Serenelli story to be encouraging and heartwarming.
1. Encouraging because St. Maria Goretti defended her purity while threatened with death, and I surrendered my own purity years ago under much slighter provocation. I’ve since learned that heroic virtue is possible with the help of the Sacraments found in the Catholic Church. This is as long as we have the correct dispositions since the Sacraments are not magic and wont help us if we don’t want to be helped.
2. Encouraging because she forgave her attacker IMMEDIATELY to the point of saying she wanted him to be in heaven with her right after the attack. One commenter at those attached articles called her willingness to forgive “miraculous” but I don’t think that’s the proper term. I think it is just supernatural and something that we’re all called to do WITH THE HELP OF GRACE. We ask for this every time we pray the Our Father – forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. One major problem in the whole MeToo campaign seems to be that women are actually encouraged not to forgive or at least to take their time forgiving. That’s nonsense – if we die without forgiving someone who harmed us then we will go to hell (at least that’s how I understand it). It’s especially difficult to forgive when the effects of being harmed linger for some time afterward but still it must be done. We have St. Maria Goretti’s example to urge us toward true and lasting forgiveness, even in the face of horrible consequences.
3. Encouraging because of Alessandro Serenelli’s story – seemingly he acknowledged his guilt, had true contrition, changed his life, performed penance, and accepted his jail sentence as justice. He seems like a great role model for all criminals.
4. And this is just a general speculation of mine, but I think another major contrast between St. Maria Goretti and many others who are attacked or harmed in some way, sexually or otherwise, is that Maria Goretti was pretty clearly in a state of sanctifying grace when she was attacked. Without sanctifying grace, heroically abiding by God’s commandments and forgiving those who wrong us is not really possible. Maybe that’s the reason why some people don’t like to hear the story of
St. Maria Goretti – it’s hard to avoid seeing one’s own lack of innocence in comparison.
St. Maria Goretti, pray for us.
Not to mention, Serenelli attended St. Maria Goretti’s canonization Mass with her mother:
Attacking the purity aspect of this great saint’s story is ludicrous — but nevertheless is popular among certain people who don’t (for whatever reason) see sexual purity as something of mortal importance.
I agree, everything about it is inspiring.
By the way, this raises a question for me: are we supposed to forgive someone who sins against us before that person repents?
And I know this should be pretty basic, but I don’t think I’ve ever understood precisely what forgiveness means: it doesn’t mean forgoing punishment (e.g., a mother might still punish her child for wrongdoing, while at the same time forgiving him), it doesn’t necessarily mean reconciling completely with the person (a woman could forgive a boyfriend who she found out was seeing someone else behind her back, but she might still decide to stop dating him on account of it). Does it just mean willing the good for someone? But we’re supposed to do that for everyone, regardless of whether they sin against us or not.
God and I have a deal. We made this pact some time ago. At least I think it is a two-way pact, and I’ll assume so until He tells me otherwise.
On my own behalf, I will never accuse anyone else of any wrongdoing aganst me before the Divine Throne. Ever, at all, period.
The way I see it, if an offense against me personally was a one-off, well, we may as well let it go.
And if it is a pattern of behavior then any offense against me personally isn’t going to make any difference. I’m just not that important.
Before the Divine Throne I’ll answer any factual question honestly to the best of my ability, when asked. But I won’t voluntarily accuse anyone of wrongdoing, period.
That’s my own “solution” to the justice-mercy puzzle. I don’t claim that it is a good one, but it is the one I proposed to God. And unless He commands me otherwise, I’m sticking to it.
Ian, I’m no expert, and even struggle with it personally. But here are my thoughts/opinions.
Justice seems to actually facilitate forgiveness, so no it doesn’t mean forgoing punishment. But only God can and will mete out perfect justice at each and every person’s particular judgment and at the general judgment. This makes it easier to forgive – God, who knows everything, will administer justice to everyone so we shouldn’t be inordinately attached to justice in this life.
A great example of what it means to forgive is Maria Goretti – I want him in heaven with me forever. Like all the Saints, her example is just a small reflection of Jesus Christ who is the best example of forgiveness.
So willing the good of someone, especially their supernatural good, is a good sign that we have forgiven someone. And when the lingering effects of someone’s harming us come up again, that is a new opportunity to renew our act of forgiveness. Similar to how thoughts of our past sins can help us to renew our act of contrition for that particular sin.
Zippy and MMPeregrine,
So, to make things more concrete in the here and now, if someone sins against me, I should follow St. Goretti’s example (and well, Christ’s on the cross) and forgive him immediately, even if he is not repentant? I guess I’ve tended to view forgiveness sans repentance as a modern distortion of Christianity into sentimentality, but the examples of Christ and the saints seem to argue against my interpretation. On the other hand, John 20:23 seems perhaps to imply that there are times when you needn’t forgive, though I suppose that passage is speaking of the Church rather than of individuals.
Occasionally, you’ll see some grieving Christian parent in the news whose daughter (or whomever) has just been murdered. Sometimes that parent will say he forgives the murderer. That usually makes me cringe. Part of my reaction might be because it’s not really the parent’s place to forgive (he can only forgive for the loss he experienced; he can’t forgive the murder itself – only the daughter could do that). On the other hand, maybe the problem is with me.
Zippy’s approach seems good for when I meet my judgement: anything someone has done to me is trifling compared to how I’ve offended Christ.
Ian, yes I believe we are supposed to forgive immediately someone who wrongs us, even before any sign of repentance from the perpetrator whatsoever.
My understanding is that Jesus forgives us for our sins before we repent and is the cause of our movement to repent (Actual Grace). Here is at least one pertinent verse from Sacred Scripture – LK 22:61-2
And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘ Before a cock crows, thou wilt deny me three times.’
And Peter went out and wept bitterly.
So Jesus seems to forgive Peter before he gave any sign of repentance for his apostasy. It is the look from Jesus that moves Peter to repentance. We are called to imitate Jesus Christ. And it seems that Maria Goretti forgiving Alessandro Serenelli was a reflection of Jesus’ willingness to forgive him as well.
I think JN 20:23 is specifically referring to the Apostles and their successors for granting / withholding absolution in the context of sacramental confession. So a sinner (for mortal sin) cannot receive absolution (or forgiveness) until he acknowledges his sin, has supernatural contrition, explicitly confesses it, performs the prescribed penance, and has the intention to avoid the sin in the future. The retention of a sin would be if those conditions are not met.
That’s as I understand these things.
And this link provides a pretty good explanation of justice in the afterlife
No gossip-based justice there, only the real thing. And real mercy too.
I think the justice – mercy connection is probably similar to the nature – grace connection. Grace builds on, elevates and perfects nature; grace does not replace nature.
On the subject of false accusations. Please see thesestonewalls.com I first read it skeptically, but have since come to see the authors case and the problems inherent in prosecuting sexual assault cases years after the fact.
[…] This image was allegedly posted in a Facebook advocacy group started and governed by the very same young woman who accused her ex-boyfriend of rape (a year and a half after the alleged incident), a case we discussed here. […]
[…] Christendom college and other backward troglodyte institutions – those which still require actual evidence before taking punitive action against students accused of committing sexual assault – really need to get with the #metoo program. Everyone knows that very few rape accusations are false. Modern research proves it. And how could the experts possibly be wrong? […]