Rape Case Reward

Below is an article about a man who gave a crucial tip in a rape case that led to the arrest of the rapist in a particularly brutal attack. The tipper received 10k for his assisting the police and decided to give the money to the victim to rebuild her life. I nearly cried when I read the article and watched the clip. I think his attitude is fantastic and just simply… right.

BBC Article

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We can haz separshun of Church & State naow pls?

Ah lolcatz.

But seriously.

Ireland. Church and State. All mixed up in bed together.

I was raised in a country where church and state are separate. School was secular. Your parents were in charge of your religious indoctrination… I mean education. We learned ABOUT world religions but we weren’t taught them as fact. Not unless you went to a Religious School specifically, anyway.

Here? Not so much. My child goes to a Protestant school because I signed her up before I became an apostate. Also, having been indoctrinated into the idea that Catholics were just one more herd of people in need of salvation who did sacrilegious things like worship/pray to Mary, pray to Saints, really did think they were literally eating part of Jesus and drinking his blood at Mass… yeah I wasn’t too keen on sending the progeny to a Catholic school. That’s not even touching the horrific sexual, physical and emotion abuse stories I had heard about the Catholic run schools. See me later, I’ll share.

So. Protestant school. After abandoning The Myth, I still figured it was my best option and I had heard lovely things about this school. And to be fair it IS a lovely school. Outside the indoctrination aspect. And believe me – it’s there. “God created the WHOLE WORLD!” I was informed one day. Huh. Fascinating. Wonder how they are going to accurately teach Science and the Theory of Evolution without looking like they are contradicting themselves, I thought. I asked what her thoughts were on the subject. “Everyone believes in God so I am going to too so they don’t laugh at me.” Wow. I still feel sick when I remember her saying that.

Believe or face ostracism. Believe or be an outcast. Believe to fit in. Accept “hive mind” or else. BS. I nipped that one in the ass right quick.

Teacher is not always right. Teacher does not know everything. Question everything. Think for yourself. Do not accept everything you are told simply because it comes from an authority figure. Not even me. Not. Even. Me. (Respect? Yes. Accept? No.)

Teachers are gonna LOVE me.

When I realized the SCHOOL was teaching my child Christianity as FACT, I won’t lie – I curled up in the fetal position on my couch and bawled while my partner looked on in shock and somewhat abject horror.

You see I naively believed school would teach my child objectivity, critical thinking and with impartiality. Oh silly optimistic me.

Which brings me to my point. They fucking well SHOULD teach that way. There should be options for NON religious education in this country. Not everyone here is a Christian or a Catholic (if you see a difference between the two). And to be brutally honest, it is unacceptable that mandatory education only comes in a school that indoctrinates from day one.

The problem? Our government literally cannot afford to run all the schools in the country and the two factions of Christianity pay for the majority of education at a primary and secondary level in this country. And whoever pays the bills makes the “facts”.

I want this to end. I do not want to have to un-indoctrinate my child when she comes home every day. I do not want to constantly contradict her teacher. Is she allowed to learn about religion? Of course. All of them. In context. Right along side the fact that there are certain religions that are prevalent in certain areas of the world and the only reason why Christianity is pushed here is because of where we live. If we’d been born in the Middle East, it’d be Islam as the dominate religion. (Yeah, I actually marched her to her world map in her room and told her that, pointed to the areas and named the dominate religions.)

Another reason I want separation of Church and State is because, let’s face it, the Church doesn’t have a good track record of having the child’s well being first and foremost in mind. Not to mention the lack of age appropriate education. Call me a sensitive but I am not of the opinion that my childs very first school trip was to church where she learned about dying bloody Jesus on the cross where he died for her sins was quite age appropriate. Especially when she came home saying “Some kids were scared, but not me Mum.” Nice. Did they forget one child had nightmares about Ants when they were teachings the letter “A”? Dead bloody Jesus might have been a stretch.

Shall we address the GLARING problem of the Catholic church being directly involved in the vast majority of Irelands primary and secondary schools when they have a world wide track record of sexually, emotionally and physically abusing children? Or how about it’s particularly bad in Ireland? How very few (if any) were ever brought before a court of law and held accountable for their actions? How are people not up in arms in the streets over this institute still being in charge of their children?

It leaves me baffled. I wanted an education based on objectivity, critical thinking and teaching my child how to think for herself, to question, research, dig deeper and never accept anything at face value. That’s what she is getting taught at home and no I am not abdicating my parental responsibility to the school to teach her these things – I want them to ENFORCE these things. Otherwise, what’s the POINT?

I have no idea what the solution to this problem is. We’re switching schools before she enters the next grade due to a move and unfortunately the choices are Catholic (apparently very laid back and non-indoctrinating) or Protestant (apparently very indoctrination oriented). Wonderful choice, eh? Child molester sanctuary or indoctrination central? Oh and even better, when I enforce my right to keep her exempt from certain activities, it alienates her and makes her “other than”. I don’t think that’s a BAD thing, but I am painfully aware how hard that can be as a child.

Oh and before you ask, homeschooling is a piss poor alternative in this country with little to no guidelines, support or anything that resembles either… which might work out in my favor if I can’t hack, and decide to flout, the educational system :p

I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know how to rally the government to change their educational system. I do not know how to get religion out of education in this country. I only have a plan to subvert it all at home.

What I do know is that in this day and age having a dominate religion deeply entwined in the state is not a healthy or progressive option. No. Not at all. In fact it’s assbackwards and keeping us chained to some really medieval laws and mindsets in this country. Want a list?

  • Divorce was only made legal in 1996. Despite the fact that it is legal now, once separated a couple has to wait 4 years before they can fully divorce. No re-victimization there at ALL when it comes to ending abusive marriages.
  • Abortion is still illegal.
  • The legal sale of Condoms was only allowed in 1978. Advertising them after that point still had severe legal restrictions though.
  • From ’73-’79, despite the Church AND State objections, contraceptives could be given out at family planning clinics but not sold. In 1979 they were legally allowed to be sold, but the sale of them was not widespread.
  • Gay marriage is still illegal.
  • A new Blasphemy Law passed in 2010 (that’s right – 2010) making it illegal to Blaspheme in Ireland. Is your mind blown yet? Mine still is.

So. Go go Roman Catholic Church and State! Possibly NOT the best organization to be in charge of our children and their education after all.

Rape Culture 101

This is a fantastically articulate article about Rape Culture I came across on a blog called Shakesville.

Seeing how April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), I thought it fitting to raise some awareness about why rape is so prevalent in our society and why victim blaming like seen in Listowel mentioned in my previous article is so common place.

Hopefully some awareness can be raised this coming month. I’ve started inundating my FB with links and information and while I am sure I am annoying the fuck out of some people who’d rather stick their heads in the sand, I’ve seen reposts and that’s good news.

Dawkins & The Pope

“Ratzinger is the perfect pope

No, Pope Ratzinger should not resign. He should remain in charge of the whole rotten edifice – the whole profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gorging, truth-hating, child-raping institution – while it tumbles, amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and preposterously crowned virgins, about his ears.”

(Source)

Dawkins usually isn’t my cup of tea – at all. This article however? Yes. Very Much Yes.

Abuse enabler says sorry and shockingly, it means nothing.

I’ve recently subscribed to Feministing which focused my attention on the Catholic Church, specifically in Ireland – my adoptive country.

You’d have to have your head pretty far up your arse to not realize the prolific world-wide sex scandals that have been rocking the church for nearly a decade now.

Having said that even I had no idea how far-reaching the rape and abuse was within the church. The pressure about the revelations has forced a response by the Pope. The same Pope who, himself, was involved in the move of a priest accused of molesting boys to seek therapy in another area but never notified authorities of the allegations of abuse, allowing the accused to subsequently molest more children. Whoops! Dropped the ball there Rottweiler.

How the fuck is an apology from a man who negligently moved and hid an accused pedophile and molester supposed to carry any weight within the church or to the victims? How the fuck is an apology with NO MOVE to provide justice for the victims supposed to carry any weight? Why are the accused routinely protected, re-located and in many cases allowed to re-engage with children in different areas, while the victims are ignored, shut up, shamed and silenced? How does “I know some of you find it difficult even to enter the doors of a church after all that has occurred.” and “submit yourselves to the demands of justice, but do not despair of God’s mercy.” even come close to being acceptable responses to the rape and abuse of children world-wide?

Cardinal Sean Brady, head of the Irish church, read the letter the Pope issued with the apology out in church even though he himself was involved in forcing 2 children to sign secrecy oaths back in ’75. All together now! WTF is THAT? You’re basically mocking the realities of the abuses happening within the church and showing the apology to be the load of steaming horseshit that it is. Why the fuck are these two abuse enablers leading members of the Catholic Church (one as the fucking POPE HIMSELF) when they themselves should be removed from leadership and preferably convicted for being accomplices in rape, molestation and abuse? Cardinal Brady said he would resign if the Pope asked him to… because that’s going to happen when the douche bag himself sheltered and enabled a molester. Clever, that.

And where are the authorities? Why are these pedophiles not being brought to justice in a court of law?

Good question.

I can’t speak for the rest of the worlds justice systems, but looking at my own adoptive country I cannot ignore the shockingly low conviction rate for rapists; as low as 1-2% back in 2003. Or the fact that they get suspended sentences or over turned convictions. It’s appalling – especially when rape has such far-reaching and horrific effects on the victims.

Apparently this Island either can’t or won’t face the realities of abuse and rape and prefers to ignore it or cover it up. The shocking victim blaming attitude so many Rape Victim Advocates speak of was demonstrated in a stunning response to the conviction of a rapist in Listowel earlier this year. That’s right, people lined up in sympathy of the rapist to shake his hand and console the sick fuck over his sexual assault conviction. Thankfully on social networking sites groups supporting the victim sprung up instantly and many spoke up in rage and indignation of such a sickening response and the local rape crisis centre in Listowel was inundated with support for the victim. And too right, too – that girl is being shunned in an assbackwards town for being violated.

You ready for the kicker? One of the men who defended the rapist as having nothing but respect for women? A priest. Who then shook his hand after the conviction was handed down. Father Sheehy has since resigned – thankfully, because anything less would be a mockery of the victim. Or wait – he already did that by defending her rapist. Good on ya, Father.

If Ireland wants to be taken seriously as a modern and progressive country, this attitude of blatant disregard for the victims of violent sexual and physical abuse not only needs to end but do a complete turn about and start bringing the offenders to proper justice. A sorry just doesn’t fucking cut it.

My inability to stfu.

Why am I here?

I am here because of my inability to keep my mouth shut anymore.

Ten years ago this month I made a commitment to Jesus. I became a born again Christian. I went to church and soaked up the welcome.

Previous to this I can wholeheartedly say I was no where near a path to Christianity. In fact I was on a path to becoming a fierce little activist. Now I can clearly see I would have been on a path to becoming a feminist and fighting for social justice.

What happened? I have no fucking idea.

I think ultimately I got discouraged from being told I was too mouthy, too opinionated, too argumentative, that I thought too much or was too contrary. I was 16, a baby and sadly saw acceptance in group think and off I went. I mourn that decision and the lack of strength and support I had.

However. Water under a fucked up bridge.

Fast forward ten years and I’ve been through a LOT of stuff. An abusive marriage. Both physical and that sickeningly insidious emotional stuff. Birth Trauma. Ill health. Rape. Divorce.  Depression. Bulimia.

Omfg that list is enough to make anyone cringe.

All of those things occurred in my life while I followed the Son of God. I accepted many of them under horseshit spiritual guises. God was trying me. God was testing me. God was only giving me as much trials and tribulations as I could handle. I accepted the rest because of fear and insecurity. I thought to myself, it isn’t THAT bad. I must have done something to deserve it. My suffering is nothing compared to x, y and z. I must submit! I must pray harder.

Bla bla fucking bla.

The things we tell ourselves in a desperate attempt not to face the truth in life.

When I was raped I didn’t call it what it was for over a year. After a year I only whispered it to 3 people. 3 years later if I hear a rape joke I am apt to tell you “Hey, that’s not fucking funny. Why? Because I was raped. Is it funny now?”

When I was abused, I fell silent. I did not speak out. I did not fight back. I didn’t think what was happening was right but I was so isolated I felt I had no other choices. When I was physically attacked I knew every god damn thing every pamphlet I had ever seen told me to do in case of physical abuse, but I didn’t. Because of fear. Because of spiritually submitting to my husband. For fear of besmirching his name. For fear of retaliation. For fear of losing my child.

When I was spiritual abused… I was already starting to snap. In fact it could have been the straw that broke the camels back. I was told as a divorcee even though God didn’t blame me for the divorce nor hold it against me (gee, thanks!), I could never remarry as I would be committing adultery. Fabulous. So single struggling mother who must not only spend a life alone after being abused but be condemned to a poverty trap and a social outcast. Gotcha. Fanks Jesus.

I began to question. Everyone had a different story. Which was true? I went to the beginning. Was the Bible the Word of God? That’s where I got stuck. After a year of research and deep deep contemplation I realized I, personally, could not accept the Bible as the infallible word of God. And if I couldn’t accept it as the Word Of God then I was bullshitting myself by calling myself a Christian anymore. I adopted the title of Agnostic. An apostate.

Suddenly I was free. Free to question. Free to ask all the questions I had been ignoring while I reveled in my cognitive dissonance. Free to reject. Free to dig deeper. Free Thought. What a gift.

I also had to face the discriminations and abuses I ignored or justified away while following Jesus. Discrimination against the LGBT community. Against those of other faiths. Against… fuck I am ashamed. There are too many. Awhile ago I reposted this and was like… soooo everyone… this is what I wish I could write as elegantly. Read This

And that brings me why I am here. I am here because I refuse to allow cognitive dissonance in my life anymore. I am here because as much as I deeply believe in self sustainability and eco-friendly and organic and family and bla bla bla I also believe in social justice, feminism, equal rights/human rights, etc. I always did. I just lost my god damn voice along the way and I am ashamed of myself for that. And so now, I refuse to STFU. I want a life ideology that is whole. Whole for my family, whole for me, whole for my community, whole for the world. I am still sorting through this but basically that wholeness means standing up against inequality, against sexism and racism and against so many -isms, against the destruction of our earth, against corporate greed, against discrimination, against people dying in a war for oil, against patriarchy, against bullshit and tyranny and abuse and lies to keep the sheeple docile and in line while we all suffer so a tiny portion can profit (and forfeit their souls). And for family and for individuals rights and for REAL education and for choice and for communities and for justice.

Why blogging? Because it’s what I can do right now. With limited options and the responsibility of raising a child, this is what I can do right now. So I am doing it.

I am opinionated. I will question. I will debate. I do think too much. I will learn. And I’m doing it all out loud and refusing to stfu anymore. The topics will be far reaching and varied. Lets hope it makes some kind of difference.

~GP

In which she begins…

Stay tuned. We’re on our way now.