Contact Us    
The Silence of the Lambs

Column debut.

by Barnabas
May 8, 2002

Bookmark and Share

The Silence of the Lambs_Barnabas-Column debut. “Catholics Torn by Emotional and Theological Turmoil,” declares the headline as though it were news. But buried in the salacious stories about men seducing boys—stories giving permission to the media to be at once both pornographic and responsible—is an ethical problem that has nothing to do with sexual misbehavior and everything to do with truth and honor. I am referring to settlements made under the condition that the victims remain silent. There is no repentance in such a settlement, because repentance is unconditional. “We’ll be sorry, if you will shut up,” tempts the victim into the moral equivalent of blackmail.

This is not Catholic bashing. I’ve been aware of such deals among Protestants for some time: We belong to the same fallen race as the Catholics and we hire the same advisors. We hate to give anything away without some sort of return. So, “We’ll pay you off if you will stop making trouble” becomes a part of the routine. We’ll turn our fault into your problem. We’ll pay you not because you deserve redress for what was done to you, but because it will be best for us if we can buy your silence.

It must work sometime, because the attempts continue; it also falls apart regularly because it is fundamentally dishonest and cynical. If I am falsely accused and make a deal, I am enabling the accuser and encouraging false accusation. If I am guilty and make a deal I am admitting that I have no right to your silence. I am admitting that your silence protects me from further punishment or embarrassment. Together we are putting a stumbling stone in the path of justice and a true resolution.

But Mr. Curmudgeon, you are confusing religion and law! You are expecting the churches , when they enter the legal arena, to be ethical in the ordinary meaning of the word!

Well, I guess I am, because churches happen to be religious. So what’s your point?

Post a Comment

Send Us Your Opinion
(Comments are moderated.)
Your Name:*

Your E-Mail Address:*
(Confidential. Will not be published.)


Note: In order to control automated spam submissions, URLs are no longer permitted in this form.

Please type the letters you see above.


Bookmark and Share

Sign up to receive an e-mail notice when new articles by this author are published. Your address remains confidential, and you may cancel at any time. A confirmation email will be sent.

Your e-mail address:
The Silence of the Lambs
po Books
Now Available!

Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.

A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.

More Information.

More by Barnabas
Barnabas Says Goodbye
Moving on, not moving out.
by Barnabas, 1/19/05
Seats on the Fifty-Yard Line
Yet another American value.
by Barnabas, 1/12/05
Ethical Endgame
When children become sexual slaves.
by Barnabas, 12/15/04
Eighteen Years on Death Row
We have redefined 'speedy trial' and 'cruel and unusual.'
by Barnabas, 12/8/04
Hard on Drugs, Soft in the Head
Legalizing marijuana.
by Barnabas, 12/1/04
Wesley and Wal-Mart
Destructive competition as a stinky enterprise.
by Barnabas, 11/24/04
The Mandate to Govern
Third party time.
by Barnabas, 11/17/04
» Complete List (137)

Recently Published
View Article A Borderline Disorder
A prayer for our gun-crazed culture
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/16/18
Divided Loyalties
Our right to votes unites us as Americans
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/9/18
Violence in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
Protesting the synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/2/18
Responding to Those Who Suffer
Lessons from Job when tragedy strikes
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 10/29/18
Grieving for a Friend
Mourning the death of Pastor Eugene Peterson
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 10/26/18
The Death of a Trailblazer
Remembering my neighbor Paul Allen
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 10/18/18
Be Sure Your Sins Will Find You Out
The transgressions of youth and social media follow us
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 10/12/18

Get the Partial Observer's
'recently published' headlines via RSS.

RSS Feed for Recently Published PO Articles    What is RSS?

Reproduction of original material from The Partial Observer without written permission is strictly prohibited.
The opinions expressed by site contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the editors.
Copyright ©2000-2018 partialobserver.com. All rights reserved.
Home · Site Map · Top