FWIW, when I was covering religion for the Guardian ca 2010 I looked into this as best I could and the nearest to an objective comparison between the Catholic church and other bodies was the differing rates offered by US insurance companies against law suits for sex abuse. As I remember, the RC church was not an outlier in terms of religious bodies. Lutherans of some sort or another had the most expensive insurance. There were also some very shocking statistics from the (secular) Swedish child care system. I came to the depressing conclusion that defenceless and unwanted children will be abused under any system and not many outsiders will care.

This isn't strictly relevant to the figures for US public school teachers, I know. But I understand why some Catholics felt they were being unfairly singled out. There was an enormous complicity of indifference from the outside world.

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These things are extremely hard to count in any meaningful way, and harder to draw grand conclusions from other than “this happens more than it should,” but I have to admit a bit of frustration here. What’s the point of this question?

If more priests molest kids than teachers does that have some kind of outcome on the culture war? I’m getting the sense that’s why people ask this. Like, are we implying that if teachers molest less frequently than priests that the liberal worldview is better since they more often tend to be democrats? Not accusing you, Jesse, but I’m catching a whiff of that from this one.

This is what frustrates me about our society. We immediately see a chance for a tit for tat exchange and instead of saying “hey, we might have some opportunities to create standards around institutions which cater to children let’s make a list of practical things we can do and test them out” we pour our energies into culture war bullshit.

How about places that care for children have minimum surveillance standards? Kept in a lock box outside the institution and accessed if someone makes an accusation so it’s not just hearsay and the institution can’t put up roadblocks? Or what if we said we need two adults in a room with any single child? But nope. It’s kids being used to tally up who is better, liberals or conservatives.

No one really cares about this except for how it reflects on them. I mean, in Afghanistan we fought and killed people to make them accept female representatives and then said “just keep the Bacha bazzi stuff on the low down.” Sorry to be cynical, I’m usually not, but that has been my experience.

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As to the Bill in FL, I support it. The issue is not "don't say gay". It should be "don't talk about personal stuff, whether you are gay, straight, whatever." I don't remember knowing ANYTHING about the personal lives of any HS or MS teachers. Did they have children? Were they married? Did they have pets? Were they Christian? I knew none of this, and that is what we should hold up as a standard. Teachers are there to teach, not tell us how often they engaged in what sexual activity.

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Bottom Line: there is no good reason for any adult to be "teaching" children ages 4 thru 8 about sexual orientation or gender identity.

Most of the people opposing the "Don't Say Gay" bill have no idea what the bill actually says.

But once again, Democrats have thrown themselves onto the sword held out by the GOP & will lose elections they could win if they ran on economically progressive issues.

The Dems are now the "Party of Stupid".

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I’d never seen a reference to that “Rubber Room” article before and now I’ve seen it linked in two substack posts in one day.

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Of course, the debate is not really about the numbers -- the numbers are just a crutch. The real debate is the duty of care accepted by each group and the betrayal of the trust that society places in them. The numbers can be high or low, that doesn't matter. What matters is the betrayal we feel, by even a handful of cases.

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Hi Jesse, in the past I have contributed a very few dollars to Rufo's work.

I forwarded your twitter thread to his assistant detailing that I am subscriber of yours and the honesty and integrity of your work.

I hope there is a clarification from him and the Manhattan Institute. Thank you......

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"Everything I’ve ever read about sex abuse suggests men are much, much more likely to be perpetrators than women"

I believe you, but I've been shocked how often women teachers are arrested for having sex with their students. There is one in the paper nearly every day.

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Another complicating factor would be the inclusion of nuns into the analysis. Nuns are also members of the church even if they cannot say mass. You could focus your analysis by only comparing the male/male abuse or just adding nuns to the figure. Another interesting comparison point would be checking on the differences between catholic schools v. public schools. In some catholic schools, there is going to be a fair amount of overlap in the category of priest/teacher and nun/teacher.

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"None of this means these right-wing beliefs are entirely false."

It's like you knew what I was going to copy, paste, and complain about.

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The Fifth Column podcast episode with Rufo is one of the best they've ever done. He made some good points, but you can tell he expected a friendly, fawning interview and was caught off guard by tough questions.

I can't say I'm surprised to see Rufo on the express train to Lindsayville these days.

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