Author Topic: Why Trump?  (Read 4758 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Why Trump?
« Reply #75 on: December 12, 2017, 11:45:52 AM »
I'm a bit confused.  Are you suggesting that while the accusations were proved to be false it was a good thing that action was taken - forfeiture of matches, firing of coach, etc.? 


Sometimes organizations have to sin boldly in order to protect further offenses.

Quote
The problem with all of this is that one simply may make an accusation and the accused is guilty.  Our system of justice is our protection against such a notion.  With an irresponsible 24/7 news media and politicians out to make points for the next election (whatever that may be) it is hard to know if the allegations are true or false and that is a tragedy for women who are true victims of abusive situations. 


Do you think that church bodies were right in the past to just move pastors/priests who were accused of misconduct because they weren't convicted in a court of law? What responsibility does the church (or a school or a business) have to protect other people from possible misconduct? Just recently, a police officer in town shot and killed a suspect. Two members of my congregation who had been in law enforcement (a county sheriff and a chief of police) talked about how they had to place any officer who killed another person on leave until the investigation would conclude that the shooting was warranted. They admitted that it felt like they were punishing the officer for doing his/her duty; but that's the procedure when there was a fatal shooting.

Quote
Imagine if this happens in the church - well, it already has.  I know of pastors and I'm sure you do as well who were 'retired' early due to allegations, many of which were denied and never had any real proof - but the accusations were out there.   In one or two cases I found the allegations not to be credible, but the church lost two good pastors.  Due process isn't Gloria Allred appearing on the evening news.


There's even more cases of the church (especially in the past,) overlooking such accusations and just moving pastors/priests to another parish where they continued to abuse parishioners. A friend served in a parish where an abuser had been moved to - and abuse continued - but there had been a code of silence. The former pastor was a friend of the bishop. The new pastor, who was also a lawyer, decided for the sake of the victims and their recovery, that the abuse had to be exposed. We even have a term, "after pastors," for clergy who follow an abuser and need to rebuild trust in the pastoral office.

I know that in our system, if an accused pastor is not willing to go through therapy, even if he claims the accusations are false; they are more likely to be removed than one who claims his innocence but won't see a counselor. This also happened to a member who refused to go a counsellor because he said that would be admitting guilt; so the judge sentenced him to prison. Also, as I noted before, if the accuser is found to have given false testimony, charges can be filed against him/her. There are consequences for making false accusations.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 11:51:53 AM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Terry W Culler

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Re: Why Trump?
« Reply #76 on: December 12, 2017, 03:03:33 PM »
Yes, it is so much better that some innocents get punished than that some guilty might go free.  Oh, wait a minute, that was the Nazi theory of justice wasn't it?
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Eileen Smith

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Re: Why Trump?
« Reply #77 on: December 12, 2017, 03:10:51 PM »
I'm a bit confused.  Are you suggesting that while the accusations were proved to be false it was a good thing that action was taken - forfeiture of matches, firing of coach, etc.? 


Sometimes organizations have to sin boldly in order to protect further offenses.

Quote
The problem with all of this is that one simply may make an accusation and the accused is guilty.  Our system of justice is our protection against such a notion.  With an irresponsible 24/7 news media and politicians out to make points for the next election (whatever that may be) it is hard to know if the allegations are true or false and that is a tragedy for women who are true victims of abusive situations. 


Do you think that church bodies were right in the past to just move pastors/priests who were accused of misconduct because they weren't convicted in a court of law? What responsibility does the church (or a school or a business) have to protect other people from possible misconduct? Just recently, a police officer in town shot and killed a suspect. Two members of my congregation who had been in law enforcement (a county sheriff and a chief of police) talked about how they had to place any officer who killed another person on leave until the investigation would conclude that the shooting was warranted. They admitted that it felt like they were punishing the officer for doing his/her duty; but that's the procedure when there was a fatal shooting.

Quote
Imagine if this happens in the church - well, it already has.  I know of pastors and I'm sure you do as well who were 'retired' early due to allegations, many of which were denied and never had any real proof - but the accusations were out there.   In one or two cases I found the allegations not to be credible, but the church lost two good pastors.  Due process isn't Gloria Allred appearing on the evening news.


There's even more cases of the church (especially in the past,) overlooking such accusations and just moving pastors/priests to another parish where they continued to abuse parishioners. A friend served in a parish where an abuser had been moved to - and abuse continued - but there had been a code of silence. The former pastor was a friend of the bishop. The new pastor, who was also a lawyer, decided for the sake of the victims and their recovery, that the abuse had to be exposed. We even have a term, "after pastors," for clergy who follow an abuser and need to rebuild trust in the pastoral office.

I know that in our system, if an accused pastor is not willing to go through therapy, even if he claims the accusations are false; they are more likely to be removed than one who claims his innocence but won't see a counselor. This also happened to a member who refused to go a counsellor because he said that would be admitting guilt; so the judge sentenced him to prison. Also, as I noted before, if the accuser is found to have given false testimony, charges can be filed against him/her. There are consequences for making false accusations.

We're always more safe when those who commit crimes, most especially violent cries, are punished.  By your reasoning why not just lock up anyone accused.  A young man in our congregation stopped at the drive-through at a local eatery and was car-jacked.  After hours of being with this criminal we are all very thankful that he was able to get away.  This young man now has to testify at his trial.  Why bother?  The young man made the accusation.  Wouldn't we all be more safe if this person was simply given a sentence? 

There was a time I might have agreed wholeheartedly with some of your reasoning; that is, zero tolerance.  And yet.. it disturbs me after several cases where the accused were cleared of charges.  At one cost, one wonders - not only emotional but material as well.  With social media and the attention this is getting, don't we need some sort of mechanism so that one doesn't simply be guilty be presumption. 

We have a system of justice.  When do we ignore it - when do we implement it?


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Re: Why Trump?
« Reply #78 on: December 12, 2017, 04:17:07 PM »

I know that in our system, if an accused pastor is not willing to go through therapy, even if he claims the accusations are false; they are more likely to be removed than one who claims his innocence but won't see a counselor.

Who is this "our" to whom you refer?  And FWIW, I'm asking as a fellow ELCA pastor who knows nothing of this.

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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Why Trump?
« Reply #79 on: December 12, 2017, 05:33:15 PM »
There was a time I might have agreed wholeheartedly with some of your reasoning; that is, zero tolerance.  And yet.. it disturbs me after several cases where the accused were cleared of charges.  At one cost, one wonders - not only emotional but material as well.  With social media and the attention this is getting, don't we need some sort of mechanism so that one doesn't simply be guilty be presumption.



The cost of allowing a possible molester to be in situations to continue molesting is a worst cost than perhaps putting a temporary black mark on someone's career. Part of our training involves avoiding situations where charges (even false ones) could be leveled against us. We need to protect ourselves.

Quote
We have a system of justice.  When do we ignore it - when do we implement it?


We are also about protecting one another. We let the accused have a day in court. They remain only "accused" until declared guilty or not guilty. In the meantime, we need to protect others.


When a pastor is accused of misconduct, he is not locked up in prison; but for the protection of other people, and the good of the office, he may be asked to leave the ministry for a period of time. He may be asked to go through counseling. In some cases, a bishop may allow him to stay in his call, but have weekly oversight.



"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Why Trump?
« Reply #80 on: December 12, 2017, 05:40:06 PM »

I know that in our system, if an accused pastor is not willing to go through therapy, even if he claims the accusations are false; they are more likely to be removed than one who claims his innocence but won't see a counselor.

Who is this "our" to whom you refer?  And FWIW, I'm asking as a fellow ELCA pastor who knows nothing of this.

Fraternally, Steven+


This is exactly what happened to a colleague in a synod I was in. Charges were filed against him. He maintained his innocence. The bishop asked him to go through counseling if we wanted another Call. He refused. He never got another Call and was removed from the roster. Another friend was accused of improprieties, the bishop investigated, found that the charges weren't severe enough to remove him from the Call or the roster, but still asked him to go through an evaluation with professional counselors. He did. He remained on the roster. My hunch is that if he refused to go to the psychologists, the outcome would have been different.


Often, when the discipline is less than removal from the call of roster, it is kept in confidence.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Eileen Smith

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Re: Why Trump?
« Reply #81 on: December 12, 2017, 07:26:29 PM »
There was a time I might have agreed wholeheartedly with some of your reasoning; that is, zero tolerance.  And yet.. it disturbs me after several cases where the accused were cleared of charges.  At one cost, one wonders - not only emotional but material as well.  With social media and the attention this is getting, don't we need some sort of mechanism so that one doesn't simply be guilty be presumption.



The cost of allowing a possible molester to be in situations to continue molesting is a worst cost than perhaps putting a temporary black mark on someone's career. Part of our training involves avoiding situations where charges (even false ones) could be leveled against us. We need to protect ourselves.

Quote
We have a system of justice.  When do we ignore it - when do we implement it?


We are also about protecting one another. We let the accused have a day in court. They remain only "accused" until declared guilty or not guilty. In the meantime, we need to protect others.


When a pastor is accused of misconduct, he is not locked up in prison; but for the protection of other people, and the good of the office, he may be asked to leave the ministry for a period of time. He may be asked to go through counseling. In some cases, a bishop may allow him to stay in his call, but have weekly oversight.

I really don't disagree with you but there has to be some sort of investigation and discernment.   When one talks with psychologists about abuse, they will first and foremost look for patterns.  This isn't a one-time act.  I'm speaking more to these high profile allegations that have come out.  Are they really true and how do we know.  As well, what constitutes abuse?    Is it always physical?  Is it emotional?  Is it what some might deem innocuous such as an off-colored joke. 

Let's take a moment to look at today's news.  There's really no defense of Trump's tweeting, and why he needed to go back to Kirsten Gillibrand is beyond me.  That being said - how often does one use the phrase, "she'll / he'll do anything..."  It may be related to getting a job or obtaining something material.  I, in no way, think this is a sexual comment and yet Gillibrand seems to have taken it that way as has Elizabeth Warren, who called it 'slut shaming.'    Has Trump abused her?  Is his behavior (tweeting aside) inappropriate.  Have we returned to the days of women being so delicate that one must watch their speech so has not to incur vapors? 

It's a very complicated issue and much needs to be defined as well as a system of discernment. 



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Re: Why Trump?
« Reply #82 on: December 12, 2017, 07:36:02 PM »
Timing and context also matters, Eileen. Given the news, the various people involved, the main topic of discussion today, and his own background, how can we not think that the President's tweet had a sexual meaning?
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Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Why Trump?
« Reply #83 on: December 12, 2017, 07:39:18 PM »
Not only that, but if one had even the hint of a monitor, proof reader, sounding board before one tweets... one could avoid innocent mistakes as well as intended double entrendre and out and out character slashes. 
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Why Trump?
« Reply #84 on: December 12, 2017, 07:52:11 PM »
There was a time I might have agreed wholeheartedly with some of your reasoning; that is, zero tolerance.  And yet.. it disturbs me after several cases where the accused were cleared of charges.  At one cost, one wonders - not only emotional but material as well.  With social media and the attention this is getting, don't we need some sort of mechanism so that one doesn't simply be guilty be presumption.



The cost of allowing a possible molester to be in situations to continue molesting is a worst cost than perhaps putting a temporary black mark on someone's career. Part of our training involves avoiding situations where charges (even false ones) could be leveled against us. We need to protect ourselves.

Quote
We have a system of justice.  When do we ignore it - when do we implement it?


We are also about protecting one another. We let the accused have a day in court. They remain only "accused" until declared guilty or not guilty. In the meantime, we need to protect others.


When a pastor is accused of misconduct, he is not locked up in prison; but for the protection of other people, and the good of the office, he may be asked to leave the ministry for a period of time. He may be asked to go through counseling. In some cases, a bishop may allow him to stay in his call, but have weekly oversight.

I really don't disagree with you but there has to be some sort of investigation and discernment.   When one talks with psychologists about abuse, they will first and foremost look for patterns.  This isn't a one-time act.  I'm speaking more to these high profile allegations that have come out.  Are they really true and how do we know.  As well, what constitutes abuse?    Is it always physical?  Is it emotional?  Is it what some might deem innocuous such as an off-colored joke. 

Let's take a moment to look at today's news.  There's really no defense of Trump's tweeting, and why he needed to go back to Kirsten Gillibrand is beyond me.  That being said - how often does one use the phrase, "she'll / he'll do anything..."  It may be related to getting a job or obtaining something material.  I, in no way, think this is a sexual comment and yet Gillibrand seems to have taken it that way as has Elizabeth Warren, who called it 'slut shaming.'    Has Trump abused her?  Is his behavior (tweeting aside) inappropriate.  Have we returned to the days of women being so delicate that one must watch their speech so has not to incur vapors? 

It's a very complicated issue and much needs to be defined as well as a system of discernment.


Yes, I agree that it is complicated. And yet, if a "victim" feels threatened, harassed, abused, regardless of what the the other intended, e.g., teasing; then it is behavior that should be called out and stopped (at least for that person). I had a member who had been a survivor of abuse, she made it clear that even walking up behind her too quietly felt like a threat to her - and no touching - not even a tap on the shoulder. Generally, those aren't actions of abuse; but in her case, and the information she gave me, those innocent actions were crossing her boundaries.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: Why Trump?
« Reply #85 on: December 12, 2017, 08:48:39 PM »
There was a time I might have agreed wholeheartedly with some of your reasoning; that is, zero tolerance.  And yet.. it disturbs me after several cases where the accused were cleared of charges.  At one cost, one wonders - not only emotional but material as well.  With social media and the attention this is getting, don't we need some sort of mechanism so that one doesn't simply be guilty be presumption.



The cost of allowing a possible molester to be in situations to continue molesting is a worst cost than perhaps putting a temporary black mark on someone's career. Part of our training involves avoiding situations where charges (even false ones) could be leveled against us. We need to protect ourselves.

Quote
We have a system of justice.  When do we ignore it - when do we implement it?


We are also about protecting one another. We let the accused have a day in court. They remain only "accused" until declared guilty or not guilty. In the meantime, we need to protect others.


When a pastor is accused of misconduct, he is not locked up in prison; but for the protection of other people, and the good of the office, he may be asked to leave the ministry for a period of time. He may be asked to go through counseling. In some cases, a bishop may allow him to stay in his call, but have weekly oversight.

I really don't disagree with you but there has to be some sort of investigation and discernment.   When one talks with psychologists about abuse, they will first and foremost look for patterns.  This isn't a one-time act.  I'm speaking more to these high profile allegations that have come out.  Are they really true and how do we know.  As well, what constitutes abuse?    Is it always physical?  Is it emotional?  Is it what some might deem innocuous such as an off-colored joke. 

Let's take a moment to look at today's news.  There's really no defense of Trump's tweeting, and why he needed to go back to Kirsten Gillibrand is beyond me.  That being said - how often does one use the phrase, "she'll / he'll do anything..."  It may be related to getting a job or obtaining something material.  I, in no way, think this is a sexual comment and yet Gillibrand seems to have taken it that way as has Elizabeth Warren, who called it 'slut shaming.'    Has Trump abused her?  Is his behavior (tweeting aside) inappropriate.  Have we returned to the days of women being so delicate that one must watch their speech so has not to incur vapors? 

It's a very complicated issue and much needs to be defined as well as a system of discernment.


Yes, I agree that it is complicated. And yet, if a "victim" feels threatened, harassed, abused, regardless of what the the other intended, e.g., teasing; then it is behavior that should be called out and stopped (at least for that person). I had a member who had been a survivor of abuse, she made it clear that even walking up behind her too quietly felt like a threat to her - and no touching - not even a tap on the shoulder. Generally, those aren't actions of abuse; but in her case, and the information she gave me, those innocent actions were crossing her boundaries.

But do you see the difference in the scenario you put forth and what I've been writing. That is, the woman who suffered from abuse advised you of her boundaries.  She took control.  She didn't suffer, allowing you to walk behind her, or touch her on the shoulder and then come out and accuse you of inappropriate behavior.  Her communicating her boundaries to you allow me to think of her as a strong woman.  I advocate strength in women.  We do have some control over our own behavior and even how others may act toward us.  I don't particularly enjoy off-color humor.  When I'm in the presence of it I simply don't acknowledge it with a laugh.  It stops.   But I also can see where we'll get to a point where we won't be communicating at all if we have to watch every word we say in fear that it will come back to us.   It does lead me to ask, do some of these people (whomever they maybe) so easily offended ever watch TV or go to a movie, a play, or listen to some forms music.   

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Re: Why Trump?
« Reply #86 on: December 12, 2017, 09:27:16 PM »
Timing and context also matters, Eileen. Given the news, the various people involved, the main topic of discussion today, and his own background, how can we not think that the President's tweet had a sexual meaning?

By taking your mind out of the gutter?
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Re: Why Trump?
« Reply #87 on: December 12, 2017, 10:21:55 PM »
Timing and context also matters, Eileen. Given the news, the various people involved, the main topic of discussion today, and his own background, how can we not think that the President's tweet had a sexual meaning?

By taking your mind out of the gutter?

I would agree and suggest that Gillibrand is using this as fodder to ramp up the issue.  Sarah Sanders answered the question appropriately.