Are you raising your child in a religious authoritarian culture?

As I stress in my book, Breaking Their Will, children are at most risk for being religiously abused or neglected when they are raised in religious authoritarian cultures. These cultures are homes and communities in which members strongly identify themselves by their faith. And, as in any authoritarian community, people care more about meeting the needs […]

Is Bishop Finn above the law? Some Catholics say yes.

Why is it when religious leaders are accused, or even convicted, of abusing or neglecting children, the devout rush to defend them? Take the case of Bishop Robert Finn of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese in Missouri. On October 14, Finn and the diocese were indicted for failing to report a priest who allegedly […]

You know a tragedy has reached epidemic proportions when we start joking about it

A friend and child advocate recently emailed me a 2002 article that appeared in the satirical newspaper The Onion. The headline reads: “Pope Forgives Molested Children.” I get it. And, yet, I wish there wasn’t something to get. After all, the reason why it’s sickeningly funny is due to the fact that untold numbers of […]

The Abuse of Forgiveness

According to mental health experts, forgiving someone who has wronged us can improve our emotional well-being. Acts of forgiveness can have even more far-ranging societal benefits. For example, the Rwandan gacaca genocide trials have relied on a system of forgiveness, allowing defendants who confess to receive lighter sentences. Part of the reason for adopting this system is […]