Friday, March 26, 2010

Sex Abuse Goes Off the Rails

Burbank school teacher and police wife, Amy Beck, molested her 14 year old student.

There's something frightfully wrong with "organized religion," even if it's Buddhist. The Vatican is legion, preposterous, with homosexual child molestation and rape that are rampant and longstanding.

But any country that codifies a monastic system is taking a chance: As soon as it ceases to be voluntary and authentic, the world comes into the renounced life, and that life ceases to function.

If people want to have sex, that's great. If they want to be gay, why not? If they want to renounce and meditate, that's out of this world! But try to have all three, and that's a dismal and disillusioning catastrophe in the making.

Unlike Catholic priests, Buddhist monks who engage in sex automatically excommunicate themselves in the process. (The Vinaya, or monastic code, considers the offense a "defeat" tantamount to murder, theft, or making false claims about spiritual attainments).

What the Buddha Never Taught documents a story of misconduct in Thailand. Canadian Tim Ward wrote about a close encounter between a Westerner and a Buddhist novice (not a monk or priest, but rather one who has taken on ten training rules). The story is about masturbation, not assault. But is assault ever too far off once one heads down that road? A visitor to a Thai temple in Illinois found out recently as a Buddhist monk [is] accused of fondling man before services.

Church confusion over celibacy
The continuing exposure of sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests has been the occasion for some critics to charge that such actions result from the church's rule of celibacy. Reliable research, however, indicates no significant difference between the percentage of priests who engage in sexual abuse of minors and that of the general public. Moreover, the argument makes the strange assumption that priests prohibited from open sexual relationships with women will substitute secret relationships with children or youth of their own sex. The Roman Catholic Church's sexual requirements for its priesthood have a long, complex history. The earliest requirements were those of the monastic orders beginning [only] in the third century...

The World Off Its Rails

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