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Posted by MountainLaurel in Religion/Theology
Fri Mar 24th 2006, 09:48 AM

Roman Catholic Church officials are putting a full-court press on Maryland legislators to reject bills that would extend the time allowed for victims of childhood sex abuse to file lawsuits against abusers and their employers.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of the Washington archdiocese and Cardinal William H. Keeler of the Baltimore archdiocese have gotten involved, expressing opposition to the bills to House Judiciary Committee members directly or through intermediaries. The archdioceses also have hired a prominent Annapolis lobbying firm, Schwartz & Metz, to supplement the efforts of the Maryland Catholic Conference, their regular lobbying arm.

"Almost everyone on the committee has acknowledged to me that the church has called them or called their ministers about the bill, and they are meeting with every member of the committee, including me," said Del. Pauline H. Menes (D-Prince George's), the bills' principal sponsor.

Del. Carol S. Petzold (D-Montgomery) described the church's lobbying as "just short of frantic. It appears to be a very high priority with them."

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Posted by MountainLaurel in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Fri Mar 17th 2006, 09:34 AM
And I think you're dead on. I was pondering this issue the other day and realized that most liberals' exposure to the religious reich is seeing quotes from Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the TV news. They see Robertson making comments about the evils and feminism and think "What a loon." That sort of knowledge is a far cry from that of liberals who, say, grew up in Lynchburg (Falwell's theocratic kingdom) and know precisely what these people are capable of, how they seized control and how they rule their dominions afterward, what their ultimate goals are, and what happens to people who oppose them. This latter group does not pooh-pooh the fundamentalists or laugh at their seemingly crazy antics: They fear them, as they should.
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Posted by MountainLaurel in Feminists Group
Tue Mar 14th 2006, 10:37 AM
I wanted to add this so that everyone could see KB's great essay.

It is time for an honest discussion in this country about the social conditions that allow rape to flourish and how we can change this country so American women do not have to live with constant fear.

It is past time for this discussion. Some groups are already having it: There's an organization in DC that comes to mind that focuses on what men can do to stop rape. The question is how do you get men to partake in this discussion when 9 out of 10 of them either don't see it as a problem or react with that defensiveness you mention earlier.

He told me he had never thought about it like that.

That's so often the case, isn't it? My husband has had similar epiphanies in discussions we've had about how women are always considering their surroundings when they're out by themselves in terms of safety and even restrict their activities on that basis as well.

We give our little girls toys that teach them to be pretty and subservient and tame, and then we are surprised when they are abused by men when they enter the real world. And we wonder why men abuse them, all the while ignoring the fact that we have taught our sons that doing this is okay.

Hammer, meet nail head. That statement is so perceptive and boils down the issue to its root. It's no coincidence that girls who are raised to have confidence in their own selves and their own activities and not to calculate their own value in relation to a male partner are less likely to become victims of abuse.

When a boy hits a little girl on the playground, and she comes to tell us, we laugh and tell her it’s okay and it “just means he likes her.” This response trains our daughters to believe that violence from men is fair-play, and that if men are violent with them, it means that they are loved.

This reminds me of a statement someone on another board made once regarding tickling. Think about a grandparent playfully ticking his granddaughter who continues even as she begs him, crying, to stop. Isn't that basically telling her that her body is not her own to control? That someone bigger and stronger or in a position of power of you really has the ability and right to do to you as they want?

By joining together, we can stop this cycle that teaches young boys how to “be men” by being aggressive and violent and through this, we can seriously reduce the incidence of sexual assault in the United States. We can stop teaching our daughters that violence is acceptable and that their interests should revolve around cooking, cleaning, and child rearing.

Once again:

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Posted by MountainLaurel in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Tue Mar 14th 2006, 09:33 AM
Because they are unwilling to track information by patient name, as opposed to using anonymous identifiers. I put this in GD because it seems like a larger issue impacting more than just two localities, touching on matters of medical privacy, discrimination against HIV positive individuals, and medical ethics. Is anyone else bothered by this development?

The District of Columbia and Maryland may lose millions of dollars in federal AIDS grants if they do not agree to have local health departments collect and record the names of people with newly diagnosed HIV infection.

The two jurisdictions are among about a dozen in the country that collect data about new HIV cases using coded identities, not names -- a strategy adopted two decades ago when HIV infection was untreatable and highly stigmatizing.

Many jurisdictions have since switched from "code-based" to "name-based" reporting of new cases. A name-based system is already used everywhere for AIDS, the advanced stage of HIV infection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says universal name-based reporting for all HIV cases -- not just AIDS -- is essential for tracking the epidemic in the United States. Having such a system is likely to become the key determinant of how $2.2 billion a year in federal AIDS grants is distributed to cities and states under the Ryan White CARE Act.
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