Child abuse scandal: Why did no one speak out?

When faith and religious views are used to justify morally repugnant acts of cruelty, something has tragically gone wrong

One would simply imagine that the choice to report the abuse and neglect of a child should be a simple one.

As this article points out, sometimes it's not so. Moral and ethical views clash with the law, which causes confusion and hesitation about how to act.

Many of us are members of a religious group and attend a place of worship regularly. We go there to be with those who share similar moral views and perspectives about faith.

Through our sharing, we build a community that provides friendship, solace and comfort that is part of our community's foundation. From that strength, faith groups can, and often do, perform wonderful acts that help those less fortunate.

But when faith and religious views are used to justify morally repugnant acts of cruelty, something has tragically gone wrong.

Certainly in this case, there were many people in this worship group who had the training and knowledge to report cases of child abuse. Yet it appears that none did.

While most of us will shake our heads and wonder why no report was made, it's clear that somehow the group thinking process behind closed doors outweighed the otherwise obvious moral, ethical and legal choice in this situation.

I have no doubt that the folks involved have a great sense of shame of what happened. But that's just not enough punishment for such a significant societal crime such as child abuse. We will have to wait and see what plays out.

About the author

Art Hsieh, MA, NRP teaches in Northern California at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. An EMS provider since 1982, Art has served as a line medic, supervisor and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook writer, author of "EMT Exam for Dummies," has presented at conferences nationwide and continues to provide direct patient care regularly. Art is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Contact Art at and connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

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