Sunday, February 02, 2014

Binding with briars this meditative Sunday ...

(Above: click to enlarge. As compensation for reading about the Pellists and the Jensenists, why not a little William Blake?)

It turns out that the Pellists never let actual studies get in the way of a good prejudice.

So it was and is with climate science, and so it is and was with families that differ from the Pellist norm.

Yet what's the chief obstacle children in such families face?

Yep, it's the irrational discrimination and prejudice offered up by the Pellists and assorted like minds. No doubt they enjoy the work of bullying in the playground.

You see, each time a child and a family cop this sort of guff in the Daily and Sunday Terror, the least trusted newspaper in the Australia, they're getting boxed around the ears by the likes of the Pellists:

Sorry, but that juxtaposition of dangerous lesbianism and Pellism was irresistible.

Hey nonny ning nong and never mind the nong of Pellism, on we go, to that header The facts prove kids do better.

Yes that's what it actually says, as meaningless as the blather that follows:

Was this a truculent Murdochian subbie giving Pellism reductio ad absurdum treatment?

It's certainly a pointer to the way Pellists mishandle and abuse the facts, as you can note by doing a compare and contrast with the University of Melbourne's press release, Children of same sex attracted parents score high on health and wellbeing.

Since the pond just loves dot point findings - oh lash us with your PowerPoint baby - let's have a few interim results from the study:

Interim results revealed: 
 • Children aged five to 17 years with same-sex attracted parents showed a significantly better score on general health and family cohesion when compared to Australian children from all backgrounds and family contexts. 
 • For all other health measures there were no statistically significant differences 
 • 80 per cent of respondents were female parents and 18 per cent were male parent, with two per cent of parents being of other gender. 
 • Ninety-three per cent of parents are currently in a relationship. 
 • Australian children with same-sex attracted parents and their families continue to face discrimination in a variety of contexts.

There's more of course, but that last one is a doozy. The real problem that children in same-sex families face is the sort of ongoing discrimination and bile prejudice offered up by the likes of the Pellists and Cory Bernardi.

There's also plenty of other research on the subject, as you can find by heading off to Same-sex marriage and children's well-being: Research roundup.

As for Cory Bernardi and Obama being on the same page with statistics and attitudes?

Well as the pond has pointed out before, Bernardi left out a key aspect of Obama's speech - it wasn't about children, especially boys, at large in the general community, it was about a particular demographic when Barack Obama back in the summer of 2008 gave a Father's Day sermon at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago. He was actually addressing the black community:

 ... if we are honest with ourselves, we'll admit that what too many fathers also are missing - missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it. You and I know how true this is in the African-American community. We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled - doubled - since we were children. We know the statistics - that children who grow up without a father are rive times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.

What Pell does is perpetuate the same shameless, shameful misrepresentation, taking data in relation to a community with significant and special disadvantages, and using it as if it says something about society at large.

But why is the pond surprised? As one of the world's leading climate scientists, Pell regularly cherry picks his way through life.

As for the US study cited by Pell, this has become a favourite of the right wing, though its relevance to children in same sex marriages is minimal - the findings concern single parents with a live-in partner - and there are a host of complicating factors before you can derive significance or right wing comfort from the data.

What's Pell really on about? Well the people tarnished here are single parents and the kids they've raised. Like Antony Albanese (single mother), and to keep it apolitical, Malcolm Turnbull (father). And who can forget Warren Entsch sounding off in Liberal MP Warren Entsch attacks Cory Bernardi on 'gay obsession'.

Most of the moderate Liberals doing the rounds - hell even Tony Abbott sending a child out for adoption - knew it was wise to distance themselves from Bernardi. But not the Pellists. Fundamentalists flock together like starlings ...

So how do the Pellists get around offending the particular with their sweeping generalisations?

We all know children from unfortunate and imperfect backgrounds who have grown up well - usually because they were well loved by their single parent and step parent. 
However, these children do not constitute a majority.

Pell provides no statistical data for this assertion, though it has to be said that the Labor party recently helped him in his slur by attacking the government support base for single mothers.

It is however decidedly quaint. Here's a man who has chosen to be barren (notch one up for Julia Gillard) and to avoid the institution of marriage (except by getting hitched to an invisible notion), and who has presided over a church riven with child sex abuse scandals, turning around and lecturing the world and single parents on their unfortunate and imperfect backgrounds.

Truth to tell, in the pond's experience, the most unfortunate and imperfect background imaginable is to be made to suffer Catholic ideology and theology as a child, and learn guilt in the way that only Catholics can manage. Oh and in the process suffer this sort of blather:

Political decisions and public policy should be evidence-based and the evidence shows that the traditional family of mother, father and their children works best. 
This is not a judgment against single mothers or of parents in blended families, who deserve our respect and support. It is a plea for policies which help all children to become happy parents in a lifelong union.

Of course it's a judgement, a judgemental judgement by a man who should stick to mucking up the facts of climate science.

The pond has its own plea. Think twice before you allow your children to be embraced by the Catholic church. Only the long absent lord knows the suffering and the peculiar thinking that will surely follow ...

Meanwhile, it's been another bad week for institutional Christianity, with the quasi-militarist, uniform and brass band strutting Salvation Army being exposed, in stories like Boys' carers at Salvation Army home, 'they were cruel bastards'.

Just as the Pellists took care of their own, and to hell with the children, so the Army showed a singular inability to deal with the issues that were well known within the organisation, such that only two days ago the ABC was updating Salvation Army suspends officer John McIver over child sexual abuse royal commission.

But that's too sombre a note on which to end a meditative Sunday.

Why, you could also get angry about the angry Sydney Anglicans and the latest result of their support of fundamentalists in the Anglican church in Africa, with the fallout continuing, as noted by the BBC in Uganda archbishop responds to Welby on anti-gay laws.

No, we have a right to a little comedy on a Sunday - it's in the constitution - and so the pond commends Phillip Jensen's farewell to Pete Seeger in Seeger: The Seeker?

What a hapless Sydney Anglican he is, writhing and rolling around and getting agitated about communism and atheism, while guiltily enjoying Seeger's music in his youff.

Poor old Pete is assigned the status of a humanist atheist, when in old age he became something of a pantheist:

“I feel most spiritual when I’m out in the woods. I feel part of nature. Or looking up at the stars. [I used to say] I was an atheist. Now I say, it’s all according to your definition of God. According to my definition of God, I’m not an atheist. Because I think God is everything. Whenever I open my eyes.” (and more quotes here)

Perhaps because of his sentimental attachment to Seeger in his youff, the Jensenist decides to aim both barrels at Lee Hays. Somehow the Jensenist derives this:

Lee Hays, his friend, fellow band member, and Communist colleague with whom he wrote: "If I Had a Hammer", died back in 1981. Just before his death he wrote a poem entitled: "In Dead Earnest". It shows the ultimate emptiness of atheistic optimism and morality. It confirms that existential pessimism and amorality are a better fit for the atheist. His ashes were mixed in with his compost heap.

From outrage at this:

So let's just go through that check list one more time, with a Seegerish twist:

Complimentary and complementary loathing of rights for women?
Hostility to gays and their rights?
Fellow travellers with the obscene fundamentalism of the African church?
Absolute lack of irony and sense of humour?
Not the first clue what Seeger and Lee Hays were on about? ✔

All present and correct, suh ...

(Below: a little more William Blake, click to enlarge. Clearly Blake knew a Jensenist or Pellist or three in his own day)



    "In fact, in its coverage of the study, the Los Angeles Times noted that the results “defy stereotypes about black fatherhood” because the CDC found that black dads are more involved with their kids on a daily basis than dads from other racial groups"
    "The Pew Research Center, which has tracked this data for years, consistently finds no big differences between white and black fathers'


  2. Blake - hhmm.

    "All religions are one" should get a few short hairs curling.

  3. Two can play the game of statistics. Here are some for the Pellists:

    I will present selected data from the Abel and Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study to support my argument that if a man is religious and married then the likelihood of a child being molested is extremely high for Abel and Harlow found that:

    1. People with pedophilia molest 88 per cent of child sexual abuse victims
    2. The overwhelming majority of molesters (68%) sexually abuse children in their own families
    3. 77% of the male molesters were married or formerly married
    4. 93% of molesters were religious

    On these figures I think we should prohibit marriage and religion.

  4. Isn't it funny that when the heat is turned up on religious groups, particularly conservative Christian ones, about child abuse, that Pell starts sinking the boot into decent families?
    It's almost like he is trying to distract us from his Church's grotesque dereliction of its duty of care, isn't it?


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