Posts tagged: Catholic Church

Bill Maher: “When Men Are Just Among Men, They Just Do Stupid Things”

By , November 17, 2011 1:23 am

When Bill Maher* appeared on “The View” Tuesday, everyone talked about his very uncomfortable exchange with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. (His joke may have been bad, but she took it more personally than she admitted. And worse, she was a bad host.)

But what may have gone overlooked was what Maher said before things got awkward with Hasselbeck. Co-host Joy Behar asked Maher about what he thought about the child sex abuse charges against former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Maher: Well, you know, I uh.. you’d like this, ’cause I said on my show Friday night, that any institution where there’s no women around, like the church, like football, like the Middle East, like fraternities, it just goes to hell. You do need..

Behar: Boys are bad.

Maher: Well, you do need women as a moderating influence. I mean, when men are just among men, they just do stupid things. That’s really true.

Is Maher on to something? Are individuals in those institutions and others more likely to do bad things? Does something happen when men get together that cause bad things to happen? And if so, what can we, as a society, do to change that?

Was he right that women have a moderating influence on men?

Watch the video and leave your comments below.

(The exchange begins at about 0:46.)

*Disclosure: I work for HBO who airs his weekly show.

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Penn State Child Sex Abuse Opinion Wrap-Up

By , November 10, 2011 6:00 pm

All forms of media are blowing up with reaction to the firing of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, the rape and sex abuse charges against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, and the blind eye so many at Penn State turned to it. There’s a lot going on here: idolatry; the culture of college sports; people within institutions not holding themselves and their institutions accountable.

This story is multi-faceted with so many different angles, causes and repercussions, I wanted to put some them together to try to find some context.

First, let’s call these alleged crimes at Penn State what they are writes Tommy Christopher at Mediaite:

The nomenclature surrounding “sex crimes” is already hopelessly sterile, and the media routinely refers to cases of rape and sexual assault as “sex scandals,” but that makes it no less important to call them out every time they do it.

Sandusky is not accused of “having sex” with little boys, he is accused of raping them. In our civilization, “sex” with a child is not possible, since a child cannot consent to sex. As I half-listened to the news all day today, then, and I heard repeated references to “the Penn State sex scandal,” it pissed me off. It made my blood steam a little bit, like a hot cup of coffee.

(I would apply this criticism to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn alleged sexual assault which was often referred to as a “sex scandal.”)

Many have made the connection between the cover-up at Penn State and the Catholic Church’s cover-up of child molestation. Maureen Dowd made it in her Tuesday column in the New York Times:

Like the Roman Catholic Church, Penn State is an arrogant institution hiding behind its mystique. And sports, as my former fellow sports columnist at The Washington Star, David Israel, says, is “an insular world that protects its own, and operates outside of societal norms as long as victories and cash continue to flow bountifully.” Penn State rakes in $70 million a year from its football program.

Lawrence O’Donnell also discussed the failure of institutions and the people within them with with filmmaker Michael Moore on The Last Word.

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There was a lot of reaction on Twitter last night as protesters and rioters took to the streets at Penn State in support of Paterno.
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