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Thomas J Donegan
Thomas J Donegan
Born January 22, 1958 Graduated 1976 Lawrence County Vo-Tech U.S.Navy, 11/76 - 10/82 Cryptologic Technician M-branch Graduated 1989 Slippery Rock University B.S. Mathematics, minors: Philosophy, History U.S. Government 1990 -2001 Various private sector Electrical/Electronics jobs 2001- present
 

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Posted in Science / Social Sciences / Sociology

SPOTLIGHT, the Movie and related matters

Aug. 2, 2017 12:20 pm
Keywords: None


Been meaning to write about this for quite awhile… We rented and watched the Spotlight movie – 4 times, each time intending to write about the topics addressed within the movie, but have allowed ourselves to be distracted by other things... Note that this writer is a Roman Catholic, no agenda. Jesus Christ says: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10: 37-38. The point of quoting Christ? The Lord is making the point that fidelity to Him (the Truth), takes precedence over everything else. Certainly the clergy involved in any - and all - aspects of sexual-abuse of children are opposed to (betray) Christ, and opposed to (betray) his Bride – the Church! The Church should have handed these offenders – immediately over to legal authorities! Any tolerance for such activities was/is a betrayal of these children, their parents, the Church and Jesus Christ!

The Boston Globe is possessed of an investigative team (the Spotlight team) which focuses its energies on a particular issue. In 2001 the Boston Globe – hired as Executive Editor Marty Baron. Baron requested/directed Spotlight to investigate allegations of Catholic clergy’s sexual abuse of children. The Boston Globe ended up exposing abuse of children – not only in Boston – but throughout the Catholic Church.

What the movie did not do (as William Donahue points out in his essay: Shining the light on “SPOTLIGHT”), was to shine its light on the society as a whole; pedophilia is not confined to Catholic clergy. Another point that Donahue makes in his article - and one which my son and I discussed as we watched the movie – is that the movie makes the claim the pedophilia is unrelated to homosexuality, but a fair judge would conclude that homosexuality predominated the cases of pedophilia… Donahue indicates that the predators were almost all homosexuals, but doesn’t indicate why; we intend to address why…

The movie wants the audience to know that Baron is a non-Catholic, and Jewish. Why? We guess to establish the predicate that Baron was not tied/restrained – as a Catholic may be - and therefore able to act more boldly than his Catholic predecessors, and contemporaries; moreover the movie makes a point to indicate that Baron isn’t a baseball fan (One wonders how the paper’s readers would have reacted if Baron was a Yankee fan?)…

Baron is played by Liev Schreiber (Saber-tooth from the X-Men, and others action characters), and plays the role in a reserved and objective manner i.e., the consummate Newsman. The Spotlight team (4 reporters): Michael Keaton plays Walter ‘Robby’ Robinson (Robinson lead the Spotlight team); Rachel Mc Adams plays Sacha Pfeiffer; Brian d’Arcy James plays Matt Carroll and Mark Ruffalo plays Mike Rezendez. In addition to these characters Ben Bradley jr. – played by John Slattery - the immediate editor to which Spotlight reported; Stanley Tucci plays Mitchell Garabedian (Attorney representing the molested, as individual clients; he did not seek a class-action); Cardinal Law is played by Len Cariou (Tom Selleck’s father on Blue Bloods)…

The movie opens sometime in the 1976 in Boston, MA with a priest being picked up – from the jail where he was “arrested” for molesting a child – by a member of the Assistant District Attorney. A cop on duty asks the Sergeant in charge about whether the priest will be arraigned and the Sergeant in charge responds sardonically: “What arraignment?” The movie then fast-forwards to July 2001 as Marty Baron is taking over the position as the Globe’s managing editor…

A quick sequence of events:

1.) The movie open in 1976; this establishes that the problem was decades long…

2.) The movie advances to July 2001, and Baron’s predecessor is retiring; Baron will be arriving in a day or two.

3.) Baron arrives and meets first with Robby Robinson; this is followed by Baron meeting the papers staff; staff is worried about staff reductions. Baron questions the staff about the pedophile cases (Father Geoghan was accused of molesting 80 kids) at their first meeting. Baron indicates that they need to look into the case… The staff, as Catholics - even though a number are “fallen-away”- are somewhat resistant, but Marty Baron sees a story that needs given proper

4.) Baron meets with Robinson and Ben Bradley Jr. intimates the paper is remiss in their responsibility to more fully vet the pedophile case that recently appeared in a competitor paper. Baron asks Bradley and Robinson to drop their current Spotlight assignment and to turn their light-on the pedophile priests investigation, and the investigation begins…

5.) The Spotlight crew are all in, but others at the Globe and affiliates of the Globe are taken aback by them going after the Catholic Church.

6.) Baron & the Boston Globe sued the Diocese of Boston to open their records.

7.) As the Spotlight people dig the number of pedophile priests grows from 3 to 6 to 13 to 45 and then to an estimated 90 in the Boston Diocese; in the end there are 86. Spotlight discovered that the Diocese removed pedophile priests from their Church, counseled them (for whatever time they determined was necessary to rehab them? The period of time they were counseled was designated “sick-leave”), and then assigned them a new Church.

8.) The Globe reporters get help from attorney Mitchell Garabedian; it turns out that he had filed a motion to depose a priest and the motion was opposed by a Church attorney; Garabedian had to justify why he needed to depose the priest, and he attached 14 of the most damning sealed documents as justification, that action made the sealed documents open to the public; So Rezendez says to Garabedian: “Then I can get the documents?” Garabedian says: “No, they are not there; agents (people acting to protect he Church reputation…) removed the documents from their file…” Rezendez checked and the file folders are empty; Garabedian informs him that he can re-file the documents, which will result in copies of the files, in the Court House; this will allow Globe reporters access to the files…

9.) The Globe has to delay its Spotlight report due to the September 11, 2001 attacks, and so the report was published early in 2002, viz: January 6, 2002. The movie ends with a list of all of the cities and States in the United States which had cases of pedophile clergy, and also all of the countries which suffered this perverse plague.

Our interest in writing this is not to address the two points which William Donahue touches on (Donahue calls them two Scandals in his 9 page essay titled: Shining the Light on “SPOTLIGHT.” If one googles “shining the light on spotlight” one will get Donahue’s article), but our perspective is not argued from statistics, or any metric as is Donahue’s… Donahue argues statistically regarding whether the Scandal 1 – “the Church driven Scandal;” has the abuse has ended i.e., has the Church become responsible in turning allegations over to authorities to have them properly investigated? Statistically, yes, it has! And Scandal 2 – the “cherry-picking old cases by rapacious lawyers and vindictive victims’ groups.” The second scandal Donahue asserts is aimed at harming the Church both financially, but most especially harming the Church in the public-mind. Donahue notes that those coming forward with remembrances – following ‘repressed memories’ are only manifesting themselves in the Church; those molested by “ministers, rabbis, teachers, psychologists, athletic-coaches, and others, were not also remembering what they had “repressed.” Donahue is arguing that attorneys, Hollywood, activists, victims’ groups’ et al, had a number of interests to continue to go after the Catholic Church, beside money e.g., reflexive resentment for the Church because of the Church’s moral teaching… Donahue makes another claim, viz: “The scandal has been portrayed as merely and generally a pedophile scandal i.e., that the victims suffered from heterosexual and homosexual abuse (note that the movie makes that point…); Donahue argues it is a scandal of homosexual pedophilia i.e., pederasty. Those are Donahue’s arguments – we do not disagree with what he claims! Donahue doesn’t treat why the abuse is predominantly homosexual, this we think can be explained, and that is our aim…

Our interest is in what moral restraint exists within the heterosexual vs. the homosexual…

Given activist’s homosexual, and otherwise, characterize opponents i.e., those which argue in a manner contrary to the activist, we address - before-hand - their well-worn vacuous claims, which they render to distract, thus changing the subject whereby they never need to address the inherent weaknesses of their view/position. Thus:

1.) “Homophobia” (i.e., the irrational fear of homosexuals; question: “How can one differentiate rational from irrational fear? Answer: If you disagree with the advocates of moral decay i.e., the Leftist social-political activist then you do so out of an irrational fear and inveterate hatred for any unlike yourself; thus say the social-political activists of the Left to include most of the vocal social-“scientists” whom are ideologues first, 2nd, 3rd…) drives individuals to make claims about homosexuals which do not cast homosexuals in virtuous light. First we point out that “homophobia” is not a clinical/scientific term of the “social-scientist,” although the term may be uttered by a social-scientist, but not as a scientist, because it is scientifically empty i.e., meaningless! The term “homophobia” is actually a term of the social-political activist; the term would indicate that the homophobe is possessed of an irrational-fear of homosexuals. What is the “metric” by which one can/may determine what is rational fear, and how is that demarcated from irrational fear? What is the “metric” by which one can differentiate visceral disgust (the visceral reaction one may undergo upon seeing acts of coprophagy i.e., eating feces ew-eeh! some humans do! Then there is copraphilia i.e., sexual-excitement from feces…) from irrational fear? It would seem that any that find feces disgusting – viscerally disgusting – may have an accompanying fear (would it be rational, or irrational?) of shaking hands, or being touched by a coprophagous (one that ingests feces… ew-eeh, again!)… How many would like to dine at the table of known coprophagous? Particularly if your olfactory nerves were not up to par…? And on the menu: Beef tips on mashed potatoes & gravy… mmm!? Dig-in, you bet!

Needless to say most would be utterly appalled/disgusted at the prospect of being a dinner guest! We think it much more likely that the bulk of heterosexuals erstwhile* reaction to homosexuality was a visceral disgust, rather than any irrational fear! The very fact that known homosexuals e.g., Barney Frank (Former Democrat Massachusetts Congressman; retired) would utter: “I wouldn’t choose to be a homosexual!” – as Frank was trying to argue: “God made me this way” – indicated Frank’s self-loathing…

* Before the entire culture was gradually mobilized to alter/condition the heterosexual reaction, and promote the acceptance of homosexuality and sundry mental-illnesses/perversities as alternative lifestyles… Yes, “normal” is an empty term (scientifically) unless one argues in terms of standard deviations, so argue the social-scientist that have cut humans down to size by omitting any part of what a human is that cannot be quantified…

2.) Then the social-activist (homosexual, or homosexual apologist) likes to intimate that objections to the acceptance of homosexuality is because the objector may secretly have homosexual inclinations, the old: “Me thinks thou protest too much!” William (Bill for short…) Shakespeare was a smart guy, but the logical structure of such an argument seems to be suspect. The easy test of establishing whether the logical necessary condition of an argument (i.e., the structure of the argument) has been met, is to replace the premises/intimations with others and see if the claims still seem sensible. As an example, one could claim that parent objecting strenuously to pedophiles – as teachers, may indicate that the parents actually want to molest their own children…? And the Jew that objects to a Nazi running a nursing home for retired Jews, is actually indicating his/her secret affinity with Nazi practices of torturing and murdering Jews…? Seems like Shakespeare is/was great poet/playwright, but not such a great logician… Or that the social-activist twist what they may to advance their irrational agenda…

Now those are the two major “arguments” employed – by social-activists, to advance their interests… If any others are offered we will attend to them as they come… Oh, one other (which would be # 3): “Hatred of homosexuals!”

3.) One of my cousins – back in the early-1970’s was a seminarian to be a Catholic priest, but he never completed his vocation (he was also my 7th grade Sunday school teacher; I couldn’t quite understand what Paul McCartney’s bare-feet on the cover of Abbey Road had to do with Sunday school; nor could I understand why Jean Paul Sartre novels should be being read to us in Sunday school class? My cousin was losing/had lost his faith, but I was a dumb kid, and didn’t understand any of that…Neither did I know my cousin was a homosexual…); this cousin moved – sometime in the 1980’s to Florida and took up residence with another man (Note: Once upon a time my Uncle was outraged by one of my letter’s-to-the-editor, because I discussed a number of moral issues, including homosexuality; at that time we did not know his son was a homosexual…); my cousin died of complications – related to HIV (think it was pneumonia?) - not too long before (in the late 1990’s) the Globe story broke… I happen to know of 3 other cousins that are homosexuals; do I love (i.e., do I seek/desire their well-being) my cousins? Yes! Is homosexuality natural? No! Does the social-“scientific” community have it right about homosexuality? Absolutely not! They argue ideology dressed in the “clothes of science”… If my unit of measure, or instrument of measure is tendentious then my measures reflect the method of measure, and are not objective, and therefore not scientific!

Once upon a time – before the Psychologists were lobbied by homosexuals (See Paul C. Vitz Psychology as Religion 2nd Edition pages 142-143), homosexuality was understood as a mental illness, like coprophagy… Note that today – post mapping of the human genome there haven’t been any revelations of genes which make one a homosexual! Although, some may assert that “Billy-boy jeans” may have been outed (Pardon; we can’t resist fun, when available…). Once the APA (American Psychological Association) became pro-homosexual (1990 Bryant L. Welch, J.D., PhD as Executive Director of the APA’s Professional Practice claimed that any attempt to “repair” homosexuality – even if requested by the client – is the result of heterosexual bias; he sought to make such treatment a violation of ethical standards. This post lobbying from homosexual-activists…), many social-restraints fell by the wayside. Once “science” removed the social-injunction from homosexuality, marketing firms kicked in to exploit the new customer base, and Hollywood – an ostensible haven for homosexuals, pedophiles and sundry hedonistic perversities – too began promoting alternative lifestyles, as such were pushed through the University and public schools (outcome-based education/value-free education), thus the culture was being conditioned for accepting what was formerly understood as perverse, as alternative. The Church was – more-or-less – like Uncle Remus’s “tar-baby,” it say: “Nuttin!” or next to nothing… Why? We argue at least two reasons…

1.) We think (conjecture) – the Church, in cowardly fashion, largely fell silent in the face of a possible showdown with “science;” the Church not wanting to repeat the error of opposing another Galileo (Should the genome have had revealed homosexual genes, the Church would have looked even sillier…). The Showdown that never materialized heretofore would have been settled in favor of the Church, since science hasn’t demonstrated, and homosexuality is anything other than an epigenetic phenomena – which is to say environmentally determined mis-wiring of the mind/soul; which is what the Church has always maintained; the Church teaches that the soul is disordered. The Church wasn’t silent – completely – Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzinger (i.e., Pope Benedict XVI) certainly were vocal, and both wrote on the topic, and on the moral purpose of sexuality, but the parish priest – taking direction from their Bishops began to largely fall silent on morally controversial issues, to include abortion. And then there is the second reason:

2.) We believe that it may have been the case that many homosexuals – at one time – when the worldview was Christendom - wed themselves to the Church, because they believed – as nearly everyone believed, viz: this life is a prelude to eternity; lived in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ – as articulated by the Church – one would obtain Heaven; lived in contrary manner, one would likely suffer eternal damnation; eternal separation, and burn in the fires of Gehenna. Such beliefs dominated people’s lives and circumscribed their daily activities; thus sexuality too was reduced to the moral imperatives of the natural law, and the Church’s teaching which reflected that law. Actually, there was something of a hand-shake between Church teaching and natural reason regarding teleology which is the natural law.

And we think it likely that those which may have been homosexuals (we think it likely that sex and sexuality – before modern times – were not so omnipresent i.e., people had many more pressing demands placed on them due to the survivalist culture in which they found themselves; sexuality is a multi-billion dollar industry today, and it is ubiquitously promoted, thus we think human appetites are encouraged today, in contrast to the former multifarious discouragements other than within the privacy of the Catholic home, between husband and wife; thus sexuality was outside the public mind…) chose to marry the Church rather than woman… So many homosexuals may have become priests/clergy and remained celibate and lived faithful lives as believers in Jesus Christ and the Church he established whereby Peter was made the first Pope before Christ was crucified. Now once the worldview supporting the Church became tenuous (See this writers blog-post: “Chestertonian Heresy, American Jurisprudence and the End of the Age”) – this would have begun in the University; since the dominant University view frames the culture, to change a culture, change the University worldview… Thus, what was to follow - as far as the wide-culture was concerned – Christendom (the former dominant worldview; the view upon which the University, and Western culture ascended) as an inhibiting restraint upon human appetites (to include sexuality) was reduced to a tenuous remnant, and people began to be more inclined towards sensuality; both heterosexuals as well homosexuals. So we opine, that homosexuals - that became priests in the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s, et al, - had their greatest restraint/inhibitor of acting upon their proclivities severely attenuated, if not eliminated, as the culture-of-death began its siren-song to these clergymen whom – by evidence of their actions – had lost the intellectual mooring of their faith, maintaining but an emotional bond with Jesus Christ and His Bride - the Church. And now we address why homosexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to engage in sex with children…

Because the heterosexual’s inclinations accord with the natural law understanding (i.e., male equipment is made for and is completed by coupling with female equipment; this is a clear case of the formal and final causes; and it is common-sense…), heterosexuals generally possess a reflex (this means they unconsciously live many aspects of their lives doing what they were intended to do…) towards natural law morality (We do not argue heterosexuals consciously embrace the natural law, we argue they “live” the natural law in the manner they breathe; without thought!), and thus, even in the midst of moral decadence they are inclined towards what has historically been understood as normal social mores. Thus, we find heterosexual men pursuing women and heterosexual woman pursuing men; without any thought of anything else (although the “cultural-conditioners” have been working to change that) and thus heterosexuals would not be inclined to the contemplate “alternate” (perverse) lifestyle behaviors, and much less to have any interest in them. We argue that heterosexuals are even possessed - as an intuitive corollary - a disinclination towards pedophilia (there is an innate moral repugnance and outrage at even the suggestion of the violation children which animates the heterosexual; again the social-activists/engineers are working to overcome that reflex). The exception among heterosexuals - vis-à-vis pedophilia - would be the hedonist… The only thing which would restrain a true hedonists is the fear of punishment for violating the positive-law, and a lack of interest! Moral injunctions – for the hedonist – are a contradiction of the concept of hedonism… Homosexuals – we suggest – are viscerally rather unrestrained, unlike their heterosexual counterpart, and are much like the hedonist in their rejection of natural law restraint/s; the homosexual’s appetite – similarly with any perversity - is more-or-less an a posteriori rejection of natural law, which - via reflection upon their inclinations - would almost manifest in an a priori sentiment that the natural law is a chimera – as intimated by the modern psychiatric “sciences”…

And this we argue makes the homosexual more inclined (less viscerally inhibited) to pederasty, than a heterosexual towards pedophilia! And we note - again - the exception a hedonist would have the same tendency towards pedophilia as the homosexual does toward pederasty. And this accounts why most of the sexual abuse which took place in the Catholic Church was male adult molesting male child… William Donahue provides the statistics – quoting the John Jay College of Criminal Justice studies – indicating most of the molestation was homosexual abuse of male children i.e., pederasty, and we suggest the reasons why such is likely to be the case whether in the Church, or in the wide-culture.

Note that a number of threads – related topics – were touch upon, but only in passing; this writer fully intends to develop each threat down the road…

Thomas J. Donegan

guildma@msn.com

 
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