Monday, June 7, 2010

Ron Johnson gets Sucked into the Catholic Church Abuse Scandal

So the big news from Daniel Bice this morning is Ron Johnson's remarks against a piece of legislation that would have extended the statute of limitations on child abuse cases related to the Catholic church. From the article:

Prodded by a Catholic official, the Oshkosh businessman earlier this year jumped into the controversy over legislation aimed at making it easier for victims of childhood sexual abuse to sue their abusers.

Johnson, a Lutheran, sided with Catholic Church leaders in opposing the so-called Child Victims Act before a state Senate committee in January. The bill failed to win approval.

Here was the heart of his testimony:

"I believe it is a valid question to ask whether the employer of a perpetrator should also be severely damaged, or possibly destroyed, in our legitimate desire for justice."

Johnson had little to say about the victims of sexual abuse in his testimony. His was largely a financial concern.

He followed that up with this suggestion.

"This bill could actually have the perverse effect of leading to additional victims of sexual abuse," he argued, "if individuals, recognizing that their organizations are at risk, become less likely to report suspected abuse."

There are a number of things that could be discussed in this passage, but we're going to focus on just one: was Johnson speaking on behalf of the Green Bay Diocese when he made his statement to the committee or was he speaking as a private individual?

A little later in the piece a comment Johnson makes seems to suggest that he was acting as a spokesman:

[Johnson] wanted to emphasize that he has no sympathy for clergy sex offenders.

"Actually, had I not been put on the clock (in the state Senate), I would have made another statement," Johnson said. "I can't think of a penalty that would be too harsh for these guys. I don't think people that prey on children deserve a second chance. I guess God can give them one, but I sure don't think our courts and legal system should."

That sounds like a complete contradiction of the testimony he gave to the state senate. If pedophile priests don't deserve a second chance then Johnson should have no problem getting rid of the statute of limitations and allowing for a full accounting of past crimes. Instead, he argued that doing so might actually lead to more abuse.

By the way, this kind of article really should come with a link or a transcription of Johnson's remarks, if they're available (which they should be) so that everyone can read them and make up their own minds.


Anonymous said...

Papal Bull said...

I'll guess that he wasn't at all concerned about the Catholic Church. My guess is that he (and probably some other business morons) got scared that a decision like that would set a legal precedent that would then be applied to business.

And that he/they were afraid that they as business owners would become MORE liable to victims of any harm their (management?) employees perpetrate on others, whether customers or lower employees etc.
Businessmen are already SUPER hostile to sexual harassment/discrimination type lawsuits. Like irrationally so.
I think he was worried about his own ass.
Maximize the distance between the guy who does bad deeds on the job and the guys in the corner office.

THAT sounds like Ron's mentality.He doesn't give a fuck about the priests. And as a former "whistle blower" I can tell you, there's no way in HELL that a "victim" will be less likely to report because they are all concerned that their employer will suffer. Lulz.
You don't report because you fear reprisals, and with good reason 99.999 percent of the time.
Most employers and organizations with problem employees already have a real clue about the person and are in denial just like a "dysfunctional" family because it serves their short term goals and doesn't fuck with the comfort zone.
Maybe if we don't talk about the Asshole priest/employee it will all go away.

Or, more common yet, the Priest/employee is actively protected (they know that's how it works too) because people get this insane delusion going that any "bad news" will reflect poorly on the larger Org.
Kinda like party member feels so much pressure to never (no matter how big the asshole has been) say anything but good about another party member. People could say "we don't accept that behavior here" but more common is to gloss it over. "Perps" know all this and play the system.
Ron doesn't care about kids, victims, pain, suffering, justice, morality, or what Barack says to Michelle when the light are out- he just doesn't wanna have to pay damages.
As the Pope goes, so goes American Business

Jb said...

Many thanks, 5:27, for the link.

Anonymous said...

RE: The link.

Anytime. Call me 8:13.