The list of things for which I'm grateful this year probably deserves a post of it's own, but one of those things also deserves a post of it's own. Put simply, I am grateful for people who do the important work of supporting and defending those others won't help, especially those from whom many turn away reflexivly in fear or disgust. I am grateful to those who stand up and fight against moral panics and the way they undermine freedom through fear.
Thus I am especially grateful for the National Center for Reason & Justice. NCRJ serves people falsely accused or wrongly convicted of crimes against children and does educational work to fight the irrationality and panic - and the consequent violations of people's rights - that too often characterize the investigations and prosecutions of those cases.
Click here for information about the cases NCRJ currently supports.
Below is some information I've excerpted from an NCRJ letter highlighting a few of their successes and explaining their need for your help. I truly hope you can share some holiday generosity with them, and through them with those who have lost their freedom and gained the stigma of child predator unjustly. Please keep reading, or if you are convinced already, please click here to help NCRJ with its important work.
Thomas Beckett: Archbishop of Canterbury and Justice in America.
Does a question generally considered to speak to Church and State have any connection with jurisprudence and concepts of equal justice?
In the 12th Century, Henry II ruled an empire from England across the south and west of what is now France (Aquitaine). By Divine Right, this King of England was the law in every aspect of life. Every aspect save one. The other power in this empire was the Catholic Church.
Henry II ruled with the able hand of his lifelong friend and Lord High Chancellor Thomas Beckett. Even these two powerful men could not hold sway over the dominion controlled by the Church. Crimes and misdemeanors committed in the realm met with the justice of Henry’s court; unless a person holding office within the Church committed that crime. In that case, the Church held authority. More, Henry ruled every aspect of his own life, until it crossed a line of sacrament. There, Henry’s primacy bowed to the primacy of the Church.
The New York Times reports today on research that demonstrates a very high correlation between use of child pornography and the actual molesting of children. The Times did a good job of reporting why it is so important to be cautious about interpreting a study like this one. And it also does a good job of reporting on the need for continued research on child molestation.
Because of the tremendous moral panic risks that are attached to publishing anything about htis kind of research I am going to focus entirely on the cautions. There will be lots of voices out there focusing on the tentative conclusions of the study itself, so here lets just focus on the limitations:
1. Remember when thinking about these results that they were produced using only already-incarcerated men convicted of child pornography charges. These men may well not be representative of all people who have ever downloaded or viewed child pornography.