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Children are physiologically different from adults. It's not just that they are smaller and weaker, but also that their brains are not fully developed, even welll into adolescence, and therefore are not fully responsible for their actions in the way that adults typically are (though of course here there are equally exceptions, and when there are exceptions we also tend to call these exceptions "vulnerable," in need of protection, in the same way we think of children).

I'd point out that if you are going to try to excuse the German Greens' paedophilia problem "back in the day" (and of course this also means DCB) on the basis of shifting moral environment at the time, you'd do well to consider that the environment for the Roman Catholic Church was also shifting, do not forget that the 70's were a time of liberalisation in the church in the wake of Vatican II, this is the period when Liberation Theology was becoming a force for good. It was a time before the repression of the latter movement, by John Paul II, assisted by the future German pope (who directed the actual dirty work), which resulted in the much more reactionary church we have today.

What I am saying, I guess, is that if you are going to employ moral relativism as an attitude with respect to DCB and other german greens, perhaps you should consider that there are other logical extensions of this same tendancy to moral relativism.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jun 12th, 2013 at 10:02:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
um, are you suggesting that
  1. there was a particular upsurge in paedophilia in the catholic church during the 60s-70s period
  2. this was theorised by paedophile priests as a matter of sexual liberation?

These would be two extraordinary claims... Data will probably be hard to come by for the first; but for the second, if anything was ever published on the subject, it should be easy.

I think the reality is that paedophilia was always, until very recently, considered a very minor misdemeanor by the church hierarchy.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jun 12th, 2013 at 10:27:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
just suggesting that if one is going to employ moral relativism for one set of people, it follow others could benefit, as regards our judgment of them, from moral relativism of the same kind and degree

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Wed Jun 12th, 2013 at 10:38:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... in which case, it's a shame you picked such a threadbare example. If you were to have mentioned a catholic priest who publicly advocated paedophilia, then that would be comparable.

Or is your intention to "bury '68", à la Sarkozy? Or just to have a drive-by dig at DCB?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jun 12th, 2013 at 10:50:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
paedophilia. It was (some) german greens. Others, like DCB, were far more ambiguous in their statements on this subject than they ought have been.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Wed Jun 12th, 2013 at 11:01:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And you failed to own a very bad analogy.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jun 12th, 2013 at 02:21:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While I see your point and agree with your perspective, I would like to notice a big difference:

It seems to me that the Greens where trying to have an honest discussion on the subject. A discussion made in public arena. At a time that we all agree it was fluid.

Catholic priests were doing things in the hide, going against their own supposed morality about sex. Doing it against targets at their weakest: not only children, but children with a disrupted family background where the family would not complain.

I particularly dislike DCB (I could go on and rant about his pseudo-cosmopolitan pseudo-green view of the world - but that would be off-topic), furthermore I agree with your view on the subject at hand about children protection. But I would be inclined to give DCB a pass here: He was having (and the "greens") an honest public discussion about the subject, at a time where that discussion was understandable. This is a completely different affair of abusing, in the hidden, of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

I do not think your comparison is fair.

by cagatacos on Wed Jun 12th, 2013 at 12:00:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course the comparison isn't fair. Nor is his bracketing of the German Green paedophilia advocate with DCB.

In my opinion, independently of the German activist's right to advocate a change of law, he should have been investigated by the police for his "lifestyle", and probably jailed, if the obvious inference turned out to be true. The same applies of course to DCB... except that they would have come up empty-handed.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jun 12th, 2013 at 12:08:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Children are physiologically different from adults."
Yeah, I know that children are physiologically (and psychologically) different from adults. I informed myself on the subject when I had to decide on a party programme. Before those conferences I didn't know it. Actually that is my point.

" the German Greens' paedophilia problem "back in the day""

You have perhaps the wrong idea of what a party conference adopting a programme does. There wasn't a paedophilia problem. There was a discussion about lifting all bans on sexual behaviour that all participants had consented to. Which automatically led us to the question if children can consent. So what you call "the German Greens' paedophilia problem" in reality was a debate instead of automatically deny this question by reflex.

Since the child abuse scandal of the Catholic Church and some other institutions and persons is in the open, we have heard many victims, young ones and old ones who now can speak of it for the first time. They have given evidence of suffering and of betrayal of trust and power. There has been nobody who accused DCB. Nevertheless you equate the two "cases". I object to that (can't surprise you).

by Katrin on Wed Jun 12th, 2013 at 12:27:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
as I too object to it.

But, we're talking about DCB, and there is a golden opportunity to impugn his name, so I can't help myself, I just can't stand the bastard.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jun 12th, 2013 at 12:41:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's just the end justifies the means by other words. And you also talked about the German Greens.

The direction this discussion could have been taken is how there reform was implemented elsewhere: who pushed for change, who had the serious debates on what sexual behaviour should and should not be permitted, how and why did the main parties come around. Can you tell us at least how things developed in the PCF? (After all, the members of the Internationale weren't exactly progressive on sexuality for a long time.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jun 12th, 2013 at 02:28:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dany the Red is peddling policies (austerity pact) which are killing people, I figure what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

PCF history on this as regards being retrograde is as old as the hills...before my time, and I am not young. As far as the narrative (which in this case is accurate), it boils down to Thorez and especially his wife (Vermeersch) who took the lead on social issues, and she (supported by Thorez) was dead set against birth control (bourgeois tool to turn working class women into whores, a not unreasonable claim when one recalls French society at the time, women from the countryside moving to cities to be secretaries, or maids, and be vulnerable to male employers unwanted but casually accepted by societies advances)...In this way, PCF under Thorez was very much against population control, seeing it as a bourgeois tool to keep working class population under control and thereby control the working class with greater ease. Morale of the story for me is that cults of personalities and assimilated are undesirable, as this was clearly what was at work in the party at the time, as evidenced by what happened once Thorez was no more.

Once Thorez was gone (dead before I was born, I think the coins were still minted from silver back then) things evolved quite quickly, and PCF support for birth control and abortion was immediate, and Vermeersch resigned from her leadership posts (but not from the party, which she never did). Openness to homosexual rights came much later, as it did for everyone, but the PCF was in this case well ahead of everyone.

As regards DCB of course, Georges Marchais had some very choice words for Mr Cohn-Bandit, way back in the beginning, along the lines that he wasn't real lefty, that once he grew up he'd turn out to defend the interests of his upper bourgeois family, and here as usual Marchais nailed it well before his time (as he did, in amusing ways sometimes, less amusing others, on a number of subjects, Afghanistan coming to mind..)

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Jun 13th, 2013 at 03:48:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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