Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Amanda Marcotte on the "Wide View" of the Catholic Sex-Abuse Problem in the U.N. Report

At Slate, Amanda Marcotte explains why the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child took a "wide" view of the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic church, one that addresses questions about sexual orientation and gender: it's because the committee's charge is to protect rights. Of children. Of all children.

And to address whatever threatens to abrogate the rights of children, in any organization or social group that happens to be under consideration by the committee at the moment. Of any and all children.

Marcotte writes:

While it's true that the report did take a (welcome) wide view of the sex-abuse scandal, the problem, if you want to call it a "problem," is not that it's biased against the church. It's that it's biased in favor of human rights and the well-being of adolescents and children. This is a human rights committee. When Catholic doctrine comes into conflict with human rights, it is the U.N.'s job to prioritize human rights. Since this is children we're talking about here, it's especially important that the U.N. not hold back on their support for human rights to protect the sensitivities of the Vatican. 

As I maintain in the discussion of the U.N. report in this Bondings 2.0 posting that asks whether the U.N. took an approach to its charge that is too wide,  it continues to interest me that there are hidden commitments and presuppositions about gender and sexual orientation in the critical discussion of the U.N. report. Is it beside the point, I wonder, that Amanda Marcotte, who defends the "(welcome) wide view" taken by the U.N. report is a woman--while the three critics of that wide view cited by Bob Shine are all men?

I myself don't think so.

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