[Pretext] Bad Faith Arguments | Harper's Magazine

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[Readings]

Bad Faith Arguments

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From explanations given by priests as to why sexual abuse was acceptable, as described in Pennsylvania’s “Fortieth Statewide Investigating Grand Jury Report.” The report, which was released in August, examines seventy years of abuse in six dioceses by more than three hundred priests. Identifiable victims exceed one thousand.

Touching is a priestly duty
Priests are instruments of God
God wants it
God loves all children
Convent recruitment requires kissing
Jesus says kissing is a sign of special friendship
Otherwise the child is gay
These are free-spirited times
Anything goes
Touching is necessary to bless children’s organs
Fondling detects cancer
Penetration saves mothers’ souls
Mary licked Jesus after he was born
Parentless children need their sense of self-worth affirmed
Naïve children need to be educated
Roughhousing with boys is normal
Sex with boys isn’t sinful
Touching builds trust
Everybody does it
There is no hell