September 3, 2018 – It was a short “filler” story on the KRGC-TV’s website. I did not hear about this on the local television news in central Missouri.
“Co-founder of Christian school in Kansas City suburb charged with child sex crimes.” The title of the column intrigued me to read and research.
To make a short story shorter, Dennis and Robin Creason started a pre-K through 6-grade religious school in Shawnee, Kansas in 2003. Dennis is now accused of molesting three students between January 2015 and August 2018. His bond has been set for $1 million.
This is just another in an ongoing run of ministers and priest pedophiles. It may also be the reason why many are leaving their religious communities and marking “None” on surveys concerning their religious affiliation.
This is not the main reason for the growth of agnosticism and atheism in the United States, but one of the underlying effects of the root – evil among those who “we” place in high authority. We have seen this in the Catholic Church and evangelical ministries.
Missouri’s Attorney General, Josh Hawley, has been invited to conduct reviews of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Kansas City and Jefferson City records to determine if there is a cause for criminal prosecution. If there is, the case(s) would be handed over to a local district attorney for review and prosecution.
Why such a small column concerning such devastating violations of trust? Why aren’t we hearing about these allegations every time they occur? I have two theories concerning this question.
First, the occasions of pedophilia by the clergy has become so common that reporting on them would take up the entire news segment on television and in the papers. Like car accidents, unless the incident is local or there has been a death or the incident is so devastating that it cannot be ignored. Much like the 300 Catholic priests accused of sexually molesting 1,000 children in Pennsylvania.
Second, I believe that the news media is genuinely afraid of the wrath of the Church or churches if such stories were made prominent. I believe they fear the loss of readership or viewers and, thusly, a loss of advertising revenue.
Of course, these are my opinions and I have little supporting evidence that either suggestion is correct. However, I have one more theory to propose.
Attorney General Josh Hawley is now running against Senator Claire McCaskill for her Senate seat. There have been a number of commercials by third-party organizations touting Hawley as a crime fighter. I believe that Hawley is going to use these “reviews of records” of three of the four Archdioceses in Missouri for his political advantage, despite McCaskill’s career as a prosecuting attorney, and a law and order candidate.
The Christian Science Monitor reported that only 75 priests and ministers have been arrested and only 70 convicted of child molestation charges between 1985 and 2002. Why so few? The CSM has some answers.
First, the statute of limitations is relatively short in many states to afford a prosecution of a child molestation charge.
Second, the CSM reported that most child victims come from broken homes, like this is an excuse not to pursue a criminal complaint.
Third, churches have been reluctant to report cases of possible abuse to the authorities.
The CSM continued, “Others have observed … patterns of reluctance to testify, priests being moved out of state, and denial that clergy could be guilty.”
Have times changed since 2002? I believe they have. Fewer millennials go to or are affiliated with a church. Some of these young men and women are today agnostics or atheists, but most are just not taken in by the propaganda of the Christian ministries.
There are also the “movements” concerning sexual abuse by men and some women of authority and individuals are finding the courage to speak out against those who otherwise would hide behind the curtain of “authority.” As more and more men and women “come out” and claim abuse, more will follow.
A grand jury of 20 men and women in Pennsylvania produced a “nearly 900-page document (which) implicated more than 300 priests and their superiors in the dioceses of Pittsburgh, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Allentown, and Scranton.” The conclusion: over 1,000 individuals were molested by priests over a 70 year period.
It is not just ministers and priests. When a Google search was done concerning sexual misconduct by rabbis, over 26,000 news articles were produced. These were mostly local stories and some seem to indicate that the abuser was never reported to the authorities.
The only conclusion I can make is that, regardless of denomination or creed, abuse of children and parishioners is more common than we want to believe. Causation is not witches or the devil, and it is definably not a homosexual conspiracy. It is men and women put into places of high authority and reverence, who have a proclivity towards the sexual abuse of children and adults.
For a comprehensive listing of clergy in trouble in civil or criminal cases, join the Freedom From Religion Foundation and subscribe to their newspaper, Freethought Today.