Monday, March 26, 2007

Men of the Cloth

That figures of the cloth have been associated with prosecutorial misconduct and the passions of the mob is one of this case’s many ironies. Rev. William Barber presides over the state NAACP, which posted an inaccuracy-laden “memorandum of law” on the case. The four-term former head of the Durham NAACP, Rev. Curtis Gatewood, contended that North Carolina Bar aided “the lynching mobs in Durham who have verbally lynched and sought to politically assassinate DA Mike Nifong,” and described the ethics charges against Nifong as part of a “conspiracy to disrupt justice in this Durham case.” At the April 11 NCCU forum, Pastor John Bennett proclaimed that he would lead a protest outside 610 N. Buchanan every week until the suspects were not only arrested but led away in handcuffs. A week later, Nifong obliged.

Alas, such behavior is not confined to religious figures outside of Duke. On April 2, Duke Chaplain Sam Wells opened his sermon by noting that President Brodhead “has consistently reminded us to be patient and withhold judgement until the facts are forensically established.” He then—Group of 88 style—placed the allegations in “a disturbingly extensive experience of sexual violence, of abiding racism, of crimes rarely reported and perpetrators seldom named, confronted, or convicted, of lives deeply scarred, of hurt and pain long suppressed.”

Wells implied that the lacrosse players had broken the “law” of the university. He placed their actions in a “subculture of reckless ‘entitlement’, sexual acquisitiveness and aggressive arrogance goes against every aspect of this law. It commodifies and consumes the bodies of others, with no generosity, no patience, no searching for truth or beauty, and no regard to its social significance. It undermines the university because it corrupts the imagination on which the whole university rests. It breaks the university's law. It debases desire.”

“The last week,” he contended, “has exposed the reality that sexual practices are an area where some male students are accustomed to manipulating, exploiting and terrorizing women all the time—and that this has been accepted by many as a given.”

Wells concluded by thanking the campus protesters—who were, of course, the potbangers and their student allies who had blanketed the campus with vigilante posters, and who had held daily rallies proclaiming the players guilty. These protesters, he noted, “have responded with an extraordinary outbreak of loving attention, generous dialogue, deep respect, a quest for goodness, and an acute regard to the wider social affects of their actions. Duke has, tentatively, been articulating more of what it means for a university to have a law.”

In an e-mail last fall, Wells told me he didn’t consider his sermon to be about the case itself, and that his most inflammatory remarks dealt with the broader issue of sexual violence. Yet he said something different in a May 6 interview with the Herald-Sun, noting that he had shelved his planned sermon, since everyone else was talking about the case. In any event, he allowed the sermon to appear, without any qualifications, as an op-ed under his name in the Herald-Sun the following week. And his performance as a member of the CCI did little to calm doubts about his judgment.

Wells was not the only Duke figure of the cloth to deliver remarks that failed to stand the test of time. One year ago today—March 26, 2006—Fr. Joseph Vetter, Duke’s Catholic chaplain, addressed the lacrosse case in his sermon. He opened with a comment that people have become “desensitized” to crime and violence because of video games and other cultural trends saying that “violence is OK.” “I want you to think about how desensitized we are now.”

Vetter than discussed the issue frankly (44.37, at this link): “All of us are very much aware with what is going on at Duke this week, how Duke is in the news in an unfavorable way. As I was going to mass this morning, going down Buchanan Blvd., there were 100 people out in front of this house, where this incident took place with the Duke lacrosse team, or at least some of the members of the Duke lacrosse team that live in that house.”

Vetter was referring here to the potbangers’ infamous Sunday morning vigil, at which they carried their “castrate” and “measure for measure” banners. Like most people at Duke, he appeared to have no problem with the activists’ rush to judgment. At least—unlike the Group of 88 or Rev. Wells—he didn’t thank them. Vetter continued:

And we don’t fully yet know what happened, and no one is guilty—everybody is innocent until they’re proven guilty—but it seems pretty apparent that something was going on there that was pretty bad the other night.

In an earlier portion of his sermon, speaking of both underage drinking and the hiring of strippers, Vetter had said, “I know that’s not uncommon.” Did listeners interpret his “pretty bad” comment as referring to something else? Vetter, in any event, left little doubt that his presumption of innocence was in name only:

(46.02) But, you know, we become desensitized. We think that [drinking] becomes normal. When we get caught up in patterns like that, sometimes it gets really out of control. And apparently something happened the other night where it really got out of control. At least the person claims that she was raped, that she was beaten, that she had racial slurs used against her. And if all that’s true and if the people that were involved are convicted, then some young people are going to go to jail and pay some really serious penalties for those crimes.

That’s really tragic, because I’m sure that none of those people who were involved in that incident had any idea that something like that was going to happen. Nobody would set that up. Nobody wanted that to turn bad—but it did.

One lacrosse parent who attended the service approached Fr. Vetter afterwards, reminded him of the presumption of innocence, and said that part of the priest’s job was to minister to Catholic players on the team.

Vetter’s response? “Tell them to confess their sins first.


GPrestonian said...

Is it OK to call men of the cloth scum? I mean, at least some of them?

Anonymous said...

Keep after 'em, KC. However, I sadly suspect that almost no one learned, or will learn any lessons from this tragedy.

Anonymous said...

Most of the major denominations have long since abandoned Gospel for PC victimology. The result....drastically plummeting membership, and schisms within those few that remain such as the current Episcopalian-Anglican conflict.

My personal belief is that all the cowards who took Divinity School in the sixties to dodge service in Vietnam have finally percolated to the top of their churches and are now showing their true PC stripes.

As for the clergy of the NAACP, what can you say of the likes of Jesse Jackson who uses organization money to fund housing for the mother of his love child?

These people are no more "men of the cloth," than is an old college buddy of mine who paid his $10 for an ordination by the Universal Life Church, so he could marry people with no interest in a religious ceremony but who were philosophically opposed to having the government marry them through a Justice of the Peace.

For these people, "the cloth" is just a flag of convenience they fly. Their allegiance is to political correctness and professional victimhood.

Anonymous said...

Some thoughts for Duke and Durham's hypocrites of the cloth:

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you." Matthew 7:1-2

"Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.... "And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye." Luke 6:35-37, 41-42

"But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: 'As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God." So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore...." Romans 14:10-13

Joe T. said...

Those rats provide more proof to never be taken in by a title like "Rev." (or any other religious title). The title alone merits no respect. It's the integrity of the man or woman that counts when it comes to religious or moral leaders.

Anonymous said...

They will learn lessons if they are called to account. This is what Professor Johnson is doing. Civil lawsuits will take care of some of the remaining problems. Meanwhile, the absurd charges remain against three lacrosse players. Cooper continues to play politics while the families' legal bills mount. Write and call the U.S. Justice Department.

wayne fontes said...

Wells concluded by thanking the campus protesters—who were, of course, the potbangers and their student allies who had blanketed the campus with vigilante posters, and who had held daily rallies proclaiming the players guilty. These protesters, he noted, “have responded with an extraordinary outbreak of loving attention, generous dialogue, deep respect, a quest for goodness, and an acute regard to the wider social affects of their actions. Duke has, tentatively, been articulating more of what it means for a university to have a law.”

The "extraordinary out break of loving attention" apparently had yet to reach CGM who was working the VIP room at the Platinum club during the protests. Standing in front of someones house with 200 other mob members under a castrate banner as Timothy Tyson did falls a little short of a Socratic dialogue. But Wells got one thing right. I certainly think the protesters "an acute regard to the wider social affects of their actions". Gotta keep the eye on the prize.

rrhamilton said...

I am reminded of an exotic dancer whose story is told in the Gospels. She danced for the evil King Herod and demanded as payment the head of John the Baptist.

So has the exotic dancer in the present case demanded the heads of Evans, Finnerty, and Seligmann. Do these Christian ministers not understand that they are playing the roles of the drunken guests at Herod's party?

Anonymous said...

What a disgrace!! And Wells like the 88, Brodhead and Steele still have a job at Duke. Barber is a 600 lb eating machine-What to do? No wonder the blacks of Durham thought this hoax was for real - with people like Barber, Cash and the NAACP leading the lies. This is why people need to work on their spiratal life and forget the organized religion.

Anonymous said...

12:19 Right on Brother.

rrhamilton said...

btw, 12:19:

It could not be better said. I only wish I had said it first.

Folks, we have to understand that we are no more dangerous to the Leftist Leviathan that is crushing American higher education that a single Liliputian(sp?) would be against Gulliver.

I am not sure how we can fight back, though I think the first target may be the apartheidic college admission policies. They amount now to a white (and Asian) quota policy. I recall a Jewish professor at the University of Texas law school who supported segregation in admission because otherwise the law school would be "lily-white". I wondered how he would've felt in 1930's New York with the "Jewish quotas" there.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Durham County Commissioner Rev. Philip R. Cousin, Jr. who is Senior Pastor at Saint Joseph's A. M. E. Church

He welcomed the radical New Black Panthers who had a private meeting with DA Nifong, something that the defense attorneys couldn’t get. They would proclaim loudly that they had convicted the defendants of rape.

"A "town hall" meeting is also planned at 6 p.m. Monday at St. Joseph's African Methodist Episcopal Church on Fayetteville Street. Shabazz is set to be the keynote speaker. The Rev. Philip R. Cousin Jr., the minister of the church and a Durham County commissioner, did not return calls about the event. Representatives of the NAACP and the Nation of Islam are also expected to attend."

Anonymous said...

Of all the people in the world a Catholic priest should know the danger of jumping to conclusions based on an allegation. Pedophile priests have ruined many lives and brought the church to its knees financially. But by the same token, false allegations have ruined the lives of innocent priests. He should have known better.

hman said...

I continue to hear echoes of jealosy in the remarks of so many of the hoax enablers. It seems that the image of elite athletes with (supposedly) abundant sexual opportunities has driven all sorts of middle aged losers stark raving mad. That they are clergy does not seem to matter.
These people so plainly WANT these charges to have been true because that would validate so much of their world view. And since their world view is hardly ever validated by real events, the hunger they feel for validation is therefore intense. For example, white on black gang rape, as an actual event(as opposed to a symbol) comes around only a few times per generation. Somewhere in their guts they must have known to hold on to this hoped-for-example because they might not live long enough for another case to come around.
And think of this: What if the simple truth is that these type folks (clergy for example) have chosen mostly low paying careers for the sake of promoting ideals that they have trouble believing in? That they have chosen clergy pay for the sake of a faith they do not hold? And to add to that, there is this image in front of them of these LAX guys headed to Wall Street after years of effortless "hooking up". It seems to be enough to have filled their hearts with hate.
There is a sort of justice here, imho. These folks are smart enough on the inside to be aware of just how stupid they appear nowadays.

Anonymous said...

As it turns out, the Finnerty family was a major donor to the Catholic Student Center. Early on, this was used against them by wackos who were trying to dig up whatever they could -- this showed they had means.

Does anyone know what Fr. Joe has had to say about things since?

12:33: great insight!

Anonymous said...

the New Panthers are a black separatist militia founded in 1990 by Khallid Muhammad, who was removed from a top leadership post at the Nation of Islam after Louis Farrakhan reportedly found his statements against Jews, Catholics and homosexuals too radical.

Shabazz became the group's leader in 2001, after Muhammad's death. He has drawn media headlines in recent years for claiming that Jews were evacuated from the World Trade Center before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and voicing support for Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called "20th hijacker" who was found eligible for the death penalty this month for his role in the Sept. 11 plot.

I followed the link on the NBPP -- others should do the same if the excerpt above comes as a suprise.

Joe T. said...

It's easy enough to google up the email addresses of Vetter and the Duke Chapel staff. Some polite questions as to Vetter's statements and why the rest of them haven't spoken up in the Duke 3's defense might be in order. (Hey, religion is not supposed to be a cutesy-dutesy comfortable calling, if you're sincere in your beliefs).

Anonymous said...

In Sparta all people answer for their words. Too bad we can't mete out some Spartan justice on these fools.

Joe T. said...

P.S. : Mr. Finnerty would have been better off putting his donations into a genuine charitable cause (like St. Jude's Childrens' Hospital), instead of a "status" thing like the Duke Catholic Center. I guess some of us have to learn the hard way.

rrhamiton said...

First, to 1:03 Anonymous, thank you. Isn't it interesting that the Bible has a parallel to the Duke case?

Actually, the Old Testament has a similar example; I wish I could remember it better. It involved a false allegation of rape.

Clearly we must help inform these ministers that they are not only on the Devil's side of this case, but on the Devil's side of religion. God said, "Thou shalt not bear false witness." When will they speak out for God?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the other story is that of Potiphar's wife, who falsely accused Joseph of rape?

Anonymous said...

JLS says....

As bad as the non-Duke examples were, they were of men of the cloth acting in secular rolls, ie head the state NAACP etc. So to me it is the Duke men of the cloth using their time to teach people in their sermon about the religion they represent to intrude on politics that is worse.

And I am not one of those people who constantly harps about religion mixed with politics. I do not mind Pat Robertson any more than I objected to Martin Luther King Jr. involving themselves in politics. Religious people and their leaders have every right to engage in politics. But to engage in politics from the pulpit, I have to wonder about that.

I was about to give Vetter more of a pass than the other Duke man of cloth until his pathetic private remark to the Duke parent was revealed.

Anonymous said...

How about proposal to change Durham's name to Salem?

Anonymous said...

Father Vetter: REPENT!

hman said...

When the history books are through with this episode, the churches these people represent will have been permanently linked with the pure sociopath Nifong - who tried to ruin the lives of 3 men he knew were innocent for a better pension for himself, and the DPD - apparently a gang of primitive thugs, and CGM - a drug addled prostitute.
Is that what they wanted? Who cares, it is what they are going to get.

Anonymous said...

Truly pathetic. What a bunch of ethical failures. And a perfect argument for agnosticism.

Tall T

Deklan Singh said...

What a surprise! A Catholic priest is an ignorant, myopic hypocrite. You'll excuse me if I'm not in any way shocked.

Anonymous said...

I was there for Father Joe's sermon. The point wasn't to place guilt regarding the rape allegations. The idea was to draw attention to their moral failings. And yes, as a Catholic priest, he's allowed to describe his moral views to his congregation. At that time I believed that the lacrosse players were innocent of sexual assault, but Father Joe's words never seemed inappropriate. He just wanted to point his flock towards the straight and narrow, pointing out that by breaking the law and interacting with troublemakers, it threw their character into question.

gwallan said...

Men of the cloth have a fine track record when it comes to witch hunts and inquisitions.

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear from Father Guido Sarducci on this thread.

A fictional character made famous by American comedian Don Novello. Sarducci, a chain-smoking priest with tinted eyeglasses, works in the United States as gossip columnist and rock critic for the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.

Father Guido Sarducci's 5 Minute University

Anonymous said...

The law maketh men high priests which have infirmity. (Heb. 7:28)

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and
offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

(Romans 16:17-18)

Lonetown said...

From Vetter's sermon:
"When we get caught up in patterns like that, sometimes it gets really out of control. "

From RRHamilton comment:
"Do these Christian ministers not understand that they are playing the roles of the drunken guests at Herod's party? "

World class irony, no?
So many good comments.

bill anderson said...

The vaunted "men of the cloth" also forgot that under the Hebrew law of the Old Testament, a false accuser would have to receive the same punishment as those who were falsely accused were to suffer.

There was a real story here, and that was the state was able to take a lie and use it to press false charges and to rob people of their freedom, their property, and their very lives. Oh, I forgot. These "ministers" and "priests" thought that was just fine.

You see, they did not want to be confronted with the truth, as they already had made up their own truth. They are despicable people and have nothing to offer anyone except lies, lies, and lies.

Anonymous said...

You also need to include Rabbi Shumley Boteach for his outrageous
comments concerning the Duke lacrosse players. He wrote an article entitled "Asexual men and the Creeps Who Live on Campus". This article can be viewed on the World Net Daily website at:

Anonymous said...

i do not remember seeing a passage in the bible that approves of hiring young women to perform sexual acts in the nude or that approves of verbally both and allegedly physically assaulting or raping one of them and that encourages interests in sodomy with a broomstick,pornographic filth like American Psycho or approves of drunkeness. In the bible, such things are condemned so good luck in bringing ministers to court for disapproving of the LAX team. they were no angels and the ministers have a right to comment on their behavior. As to the lax parent being offended, that is just tough, if they had raised their kids better and disciplined them when they got into minor trouble, this whole incident might not have happened.

Anonymous said...

Sanctimonious hypocrites! Of late, it seems all you get from "men of the cloth" is more PC crap. I don't bother going in a church any more because I don't tolerate hypocrisy very well.

Anonymous said...

What do you expect? The black community is filled with these so called leaders who's sole leadership trait is the spread of victimization.

Remember Bill Cosby's example. He was excoriated by the black community for telling the same black community that many of the problems they were facing were their own fault.

I was pleased to see Obama Barrack's comments on the Duke case.

Anonymous said...

Can I start a petition to stop capitalizing duke and durham.

Neither place deserves a capital letter.

Small letters for smaller people.

scott said...

With regards to people who claim to be "men of the cloth" ...

... if it doesn't walk like a duck and doesn't quack like a duck, it isn't a duck.

Wells joins the cadre (Lubiano, Holloway, Selena Roberts of the NYT and others) who claim their remarks were focused on bringing attention on the "broader social issues" of racism, sexism, classism, and sexual violence that supposedly prevail at Duke University.

Isn't it ironic that all of these people decided to speak out on that topic within a brief one week period during late March and early April, 2006, when not one of them is on record as to having spoken out on the topic before (or since except as it relates to the Nifong Scandal Case).

You people -- hypocrites all -- are not fooling us. We know exactly why you spoke out when you did. It has nothing to do with broader social issues. None of you would know one of those if it hit you in the ass. You saw blood in the water and, like the sharks that you are, went into a frenzy.

gak said...

RE: 1:01 am
As far as the low paying job, Jerry Falwell openly stated on TV some years ago he was bringing down in excess of 100k per year.

It would be nice to know how they speak about this these days. As I read the article, I got the impression that these comments were unless otherwise noted, about a year old or so.

Its reading like this that make it that much more clear to me that organized religion is BS INHO. I'm sure that will offend some, but how can you not come to that conclusion just in reading about this case, leave alone the NBC scandal of a few years ago and the ongoing troubles of the Catholic Church...

Anonymous said...

Ever notice how the same radical elements who occasionally associate themselves with religious or "moral" causes can often be found trashing religions or decrying any sort of legislated limits on behaviors?

Michael said...

re: 1:32

The false rape example in the Old Testament is of Potipher's wife in Genesis 39:1.

As for the Catholic Church: the Boston Archdioceses fell into bankruptcy from lawsuits from victims that were assaulted by priests. You can take a look at the public statements by former Cardinal Law at An evolving response which details the public side of from 1992 to 2004 when he resigned.

The Old Testament also provides that those that have been accused should be protected from revenge. The scriptures are Numbers 35:6-12. The reference here is for murder. Israel was to set aside six cities under the Levites (the priesthood tribe) that were a refuge for those accused of murder until trial.

I find it pretty disgusting that these supposed representatives of God have no working knowledge of the Scriptures and no concern for justice and fairplay. How many of these men of the torn cloth gave a sermon on false accusations after the hoax was revealed? None to my knowledge. It's not like it's hard to find one premade using Google.

On the other hand, we do have:

“Knowing Reade Seligmann as well as we do here at Delbarton, I believe him
innocent of the charges,” said the Rev. Luke L. Travers, headmaster at
Seligmann’s $22,500-a-year high school. “The hearts and prayers of our
community go out to Reade and his family, the woman who made the
accusations, the players on the Duke lacrosse team and all their families.”

Duke suspects had privileged upbringings

Anonymous said...

I trust these devotees of decency will be sermonizing about the sin of false accusation as soon as the charges are dropped. (/sarc)

Somehow, I think they should be familiar with that phrase about not bearing false witness against thy neighbor. Similar enough concept.

Anonymous said...

They had women like CMG is Biblical times.

Genesis 39

39 1And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hand of the Ishmaelites, that had brought him down thither. 2And Jehovah was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3And his master saw that Jehovah was with him, and that Jehovah made all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4And Joseph found favor in his sight, and he ministered unto him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. 5And it came to pass from the time that he made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that Jehovah blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of Jehovah was upon all that he had, in the house and in the field. 6And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not aught that was with him, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was comely, and well-favored.

7And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. 8But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master knoweth not what is with me in the house, and he hath put all that he hath into my hand: 9he is not greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? 10And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. 11And it came to pass about this time, that he went into the house to do his work; and there was none of the men of the house there within. 12And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. 13And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, 14that she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in a Hebrew unto us to mock us: he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:

15and it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment by me, and fled, and got him out. 16And she laid up his garment by her, until his master came home. 17And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, whom thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me: 18and it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment by me, and fled out.

19And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. 20And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. 21But Jehovah was with Joseph, and showed kindness unto him, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. 23The keeper of the prison looked not to anything that was under his hand, because Jehovah was with him; and that which he did, Jehovah made it prosper.

Haywood Patterson

Anonymous said...

Heck, even Dante had women like CGM pegged.

Poetry of Dante Alighieri
The Divine Comedy - Inferno

Inferno: Canto XXX

And I to him: "Who are the two poor wretches
That smoke like unto a wet hand in winter,
Lying there close upon thy right-hand confines?"

"I found them here," replied he, "when I rained
Into this chasm, and since they have not turned,
Nor do I think they will for evermore.

One the false woman is who accused Joseph,
The other the false Sinon, Greek of Troy;
From acute fever they send forth such reek."

Haywood Patterson

Anonymous said...

Men of the cloth? Based on his weight, I would assume that Rev. Barber needs about 20 or 30 yards of cloth to cover his morbidly obese body. What a rank slob. Dude - mix in a waddle to the salad bar!

I assume he must make a lot of money - you can't get to 5 bills by taking a vow of poverty.

gak said...

Commentor Michael posted a link to an article about the accused having a privileged upbringing. A glaring problem in that article which still appeared to be a statement on behalf of the accused is that the finnerty house is a multimillion dollar house among a town of multimillion dollar homes. I come from GC. The average home price in that town is high, but multi millions of dollars. Its about 450k to about 900k when I last checked RE prices a few years back.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
(I Corinthians 13:1 KJV)

brittany said...

KC has posted this great article Because he made this posting, I believe it is finally OK for me to make these comments.

I was told by those very close to the case that 80% of the Duke Lax team is Catholic. Catholic masses are held at 9PM every Sunday at Duke Chapel. On March 26, 2006 protests were held in front of 610 Buchanan. That's when potbangers and castration signs appeared. Three members of the lacrosse team decided to attend Mass at Duke Chapel that evening. I am not sure which three, but it doesn't really matter. They went to mass to pray, to find some peace and solace from the insanity. Unfortunately, these days not too many kids go to mass when away at school, so it obviously was important to them. There was Father Joseph Vetter, giving a sermon that night condeming the lacrosse team and saying they should confess. It is beyond shocking. Vetter along with Wells should be removed.

Anonymous said...

Why spend time thinking about spirituality and morality when you can jump right into a socially sanctioned mugging and lynching of your own students!

These local clergy would have spat upon Jesus and pelted him with stones as he carried the cross.

sic semper tyrannis

Anonymous said...

That “Tell them to confess their sins first” thing may have been taken out of context.

If you ever tell a catholic priest that that he should be ministering to some other person, the priest is quite likely to say “Tell him to confess his sins, and I'll minister to him.” That's what catholic priests do. It doesn't necessarily imply that the priest thinks the other guy is a rapist.

If someone (let's say it was one of the 5 to 9 DNA donors) confessed to said priest that he was the "real rapist," the priest wouldn't turn hum in to the cops, he would minister to him.

Have you communicated directly with Fr. Joe to find out if he regrets the parts of his sermon that, the their bald text and absent his tonation and body language, did indeed seem to imply guilt regarding the rape allegations?

cobraxus said...

Vetter ought to realize that:1)Catholic Priests can be held accountable for the actions under civil law.2)Men(of the cloth)in glass houses(of God)shouldn't throw stones.
Frankly,if I were that parent he lipped off to I'd have smacked him.

hman said...

To 6:47
For most of us here, the important aspects of this story are the extreme misconduct of the prosecutor, the mountain of evidence that no crime occurred, and the weirdly persistent efforts by some folks to deny these facts.
You, however, seem to see the important facts to be that under-aged drinking occurred and some young men were set to see some women dance naked.
For you,apparently, the routine and essentially harmless frolicing of young men is of more interest than a frontal assault on the US Constitution made by a high ranking public official.
As I have asserted several times before; a lot of you hoax enablers are simply eaten up with sexual jealosy. And when you try to cover that up with a transparent layer of piety the result does not get any prettier.

Gary Packwood said...


I didn't realize that late night political science workshops were available for the clergy.

Is their a script available for us to study?

Perhaps this section of the script is titled ...capitalizing on alleged boorishness in your community.

What next?

Anonymous said...

There is a reason that mainstream Protestantism is in decline.

It would be more honest if many of the clergy threw away their collars and went to work for Leftist groups. But, doing the religion thing is a steadier gig since they can feed off of the bequests of long dead people who are probably rolling over in their graves.

The RC church would be toast if it were not for Latino immigration.

My guess is, on a per capita basis, there are more atheists and agnostics in seminaries than anywhere else in America.

Anonymous said...

We were at the Easter Mass at Duke, the day before Reade and Colin were indicted by the GJ. My recollection of Fr. Vetter's sermon that day was quite different from what he said on March 26. I remember being pleased that he did not say anything to condemn the players. Rather I believe he was calling for people to remember that people are innocent until proven guilty. By that time, however, the DNA had come back negative, so there was more doubt about the accuser's story.

I am dismayed to hear about his comment to one of the player's parents. We have liked this priest, and the Newman Center at Duke is very active in community servic in Durham.

michael said...

re: 9:48

That was the first article that I came accross with the quote I wanted. I looked around for quotes supporting Collin from the priest that is a friend of his father but ran out of time looking for it.

In the context of rich vs poor, though, we have:

Exodus 23
Laws of Justice and Mercy
1 "Do not spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a malicious witness.

2 "Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, 3 and do not show favoritism to a poor man in his lawsuit.

Lev 19:
15 " 'Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.

Deuteronomy 16:18-20

18 Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. 19 Do not pervert justice or show partiality.

(NIV used throughout)

gwallan said...

Anonymous @6:47AM said...
i do not remember seeing a passage in the bible that approves of hiring young women to perform sexual acts in the nude or that approves of verbally both and allegedly physically assaulting or raping one of them and that encourages interests in sodomy with a broomstick,pornographic filth like American Psycho or approves of drunkeness. In the bible, such things are condemned so good luck in bringing ministers to court for disapproving of the LAX team. they were no angels and the ministers have a right to comment on their behavior. As to the lax parent being offended, that is just tough, if they had raised their kids better and disciplined them when they got into minor trouble, this whole incident might not have happened.

Glad to see you remembered to slip the word "alleged" in there. Personally I consider most of the Bible to be "alleged" but nevertheless find it to be a much more astute and honest meta-narative than many I've seen in recent times.

A clergyman who implies the guilt of a third party to a congregation, particularly one consisting of potential jurors, is absolutely engaging in perverting the course of justice. Whether it's possible to charge or sue said clergy is irrelevant. It is digusting behaviour.

I see the parents are now being blamed. Could I recommend to you, anonymous, and the rest of the potbangers, this article which may help you come to understand your own behaviour.

And stop blaming everyone else because you're gullible enough to get sucked in by a liar. You have nobody to blame but yourself. This goes to all hoax enablers and believers.

gak said...

is the putts in the Duke Mass video the same one that told a mother to have her kid confess first???

Anonymous said...

Shame, shame, deep shame on them.

I cannot even say, "Bless them, for they know not what they do."

They know.

Anonymous said...

rrhamilton at 12:33, you should send a greeting card with exactly what you posted to both of them.

A stellar observation!

Anonymous said...

The commentary on this thread is some of the best I've ever read.

Anonymous said...

6:47am, you might have a point if the drinking and stripper-hiring was the source of the clergymen's lambasting, but it wasn't.

Please strive to at least be accurate in detail when you're wrong in substance.

Anonymous said...


I think Michael's point was to highlight Fr. Luke Travers immediate support of Reade. Not all men of cloth are the same.

Anonymous said...

GAK - clever golf reference there. Or else bad spelling of "putz".

Anonymous said...

"Deep respect" and a "quest for goodness" is an interesting interpretation of that "Castrate" banner.

As a Catholic, I'm most disappointed in Father Vetter though. Oh Father. You should have offered them comfort and prayer.

Dear God, give me courage,
for perhaps I lack it more than anything else.

I need courage before men against their threats
and against their seductions.

I need courage to bear unkindness,
mockery, contradiction.

I need courage to fight against the devil,
against terrors and troubles, temptations,
attractions, darkness and false lights,
against tears, depression, and above all fear.

I need Your help, dear God.

Strengthen me with Your love and Your grace.

Console me with Your blessed Presence
and grant me the courage to persevere
until I am with You forever in heaven.

Anonymous said...

As a Catholic and the husband of one of Reade Seligmann's teachers at Delbarton, I am disappointed at what I have read about Fr. Vetter's March 26, 2006 sermon. His stated belief that "something bad happened" sounds far to much like the rushes to judgment that characterized most of the commentary on the Duke Lacrosse incident early on. Additionally, in light of the mob mentality that characterized much of the approach to the incident, the "tell them to confess their sins first" remark was, to put it charitably, beyond harsh. By the same token, from the excerpts from Father Vetter's sermon cited by KC Johnson, I don't see the kind of PC idelogically driven response I see, for example, in Canon Wells' statements. Indeed, Fr. Vetter seems to have absolved most, if not all of the team of any bad motive. Rather, he seems to have concentrated on the connection between alcohol and sexual misconduct and/or abuse. You don't have to be either PC or a leftist to see the connection. I am glad that Fr. Vetter seems to have backed off on his March 26, 2006 statement by Easter. I only wish he had handled the earlier sermon better, especially since a fair number of the Lacrosse team were (and maybe still are) his parishioners. I also hope that KC contacted Fr. Vetter to see if he regrets what he said. He seems to be more open to discussion and revision than many of the PC commentators on the Duke affair. As to those folks, it would be easier to reason with a petulent three year old.

Soobs said...

6:47 - pornographic filth like American Psycho

Wasn't that "pornographic filth" required reading in a class taught by one of the Group of 88? Wasn't that "pornographic filth" foisted upon Duke students, by their "progressive" professors?

I'm tired of hearing about how "evil" these boys were, for drinking, and watching strippers. I am a mother of three boys. If that is the WORST they do, in college, I'll survive. THESE boys didn't assault this "woman." How many boys actually WERE underaged, at that party? Does anyone know?

Anonymous said...

Men of the cloth indeed. Robert Mugabe is a man of the cloth. Jean-Bertrand Aristide was a man of the cloth. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are men of the cloth. Is anyone in Durham acting inconsistently with these precedents?

LaxParent said...

I am not sure if another Lax Parent approached Fr Vetter after his sermon 1 year ago, but I was one who did and can tell you that the exchange was completely unsatisfactory. During the sermon my son put his head in his hands and rocking it from side to side muttered faintly “No, No, No.” He was obviously in pain at having to listen to Joe's accusations. He had come to church with us to seek guidance from a church elder, not to be tried and convicted in front of his fellow students and visiting parents. After communion I waited in the hall (outside of the auditorium where church is held on East Campus) to be the first to speak with the Father after the blessing. I was able to visit with Joe before the masses crowded around him immediately following the service. I told him that I was a Lacrosse parent, that I knew the kids on the team, had spoken with many of them about the evening in question and with their parents and certain administration officials. I told him that I was very familiar with the boy’s side of the story and that it was entirely different from what was being released by the Durham thugs from downtown. I told him that what he accused the kids of never happened and could never happen; that in time the facts would come out exonerating them. I told him that his sermon was inappropriate and was totally out of line, that the kids needed the church now more than ever and that his actions pushed those that would have otherwise sought his council away. My own son has found a different church in Durham to attend and will never attend another mass where Fr Vetter presides. Fr Vetter told me that something had to have happened in that house, that someone was going to jail and that I needed to reevaluate my point of view. He was obviously irritated with me for questioning his authority as he walked away. I reminded him that by walking away he had already condemned the Lacrosse team, a position totally out of line with church philosophy not to mention the letter and spirit of the law. He just kept walking.

Joe T. said...

Just my opinion: None of us should rest until Vetter is tossed out of Duke (and hopefully the priesthood) on his butt. He has failed in the basics of what his job calls for. Keep emailing that Duke chapel (though the staff seems like another bunch of useless "religious" leaders) and demand answers. (Google "Vetter" and "Duke chapel" for the email addresses). Then go beyond that, folks, and email Church officials in N.C. These useless malicious people have to be disinfected with sunlight.

Anonymous said...

I would be careful in condemning Fr. Joe Vetter for a sermon on March 26, 2006, especially when it appears that KC has not had any communication with him about whether his opinion of the matter has evolved (as have most of ours) over the past year.

Let's not act like a mob of Nifongs and unfairly tarnish this man with anonymous allegations of statements made a year ago.

Anonymous said...

KC's comments regarding these "men of the cloth", and especially all of the mean-spirited comments, are sad, and a distraction from the real issues raised in this matter. Will you condemn another for a rush to judgment, based solely on short fragments of sermons, taken out of context and out of time?

Are we the potbangers now?

KC Johnson said...

I listened to the entire Vetter sermon; I read the entire Wells sermon. I do not think my post took the remarks of either man out of context.

Anonymous said...


Stop trying to provide cover for these frauds who use religion to cover up for their hatred.

They are evildoers!

You get it?

Joe T. said...

Anon 7:54: Then why hasn't Vetter made any public statements about the lax case since then? About Nifong's lies? About the "castrate" sign calling for mutilation? About the Wanted and Vigilante posters? About the threats made to Duke students? (And why haven't any of the staff of the Duke Chapel made statements?) How would Vetter like to be blamed for other Catholic priests who have been convicted of child molestation? That seems to be how he treated every lax member, even though not every lax member even hired a dancer to begin with. All I can conclude is that, in the midst of this very serious issue, the Duke Chapel has turned out to be useless and Vetter is a useless clown in a collar.

Anonymous said...

I would think anyone who is truly a man of the cloth would be compelled to seek forgiveness. Even if they really believed they hurt others only inadvertently or by being wrong in trusting the authorities to not misrepresent the facts, they must realize that they did cause harm to others.

With such a realization, Christian teachings are pretty clear on this point: there are things they must do. If they can't see that they caused harm, they should pray for understanding or for help in finding the words to clear up any misunderstanding -- again, this is not something to be finessed.

I agree that Fr. Joe was far from the worst -- but he had clearly judged the players and the parents and this is another point where Christian teachings are very clear. His position and the great need of those of his flock who were essentially being publicly stoned greatly magnified the harm.

If he would stand up and preach about how many people were wrong, himself included, he could help with healing and set a good example. It will be a real shame if all the men of the cloth wind up dealing with these issues in the same way. Can no one admit wrong? Are the players to be the only ones in all of this who admit there actions and try to make restitution?

What lessons are people to draw from this? One would be that putting yourself in a bad position can lead to great trouble, often far beyond anything you may actually do. But this can't be the only lesson -- this is basically blaming the victims.

Anonymous said...

Father Vetter has nothing to apologise for! He is a priest and he will not comfort the doers of evil unless they are contrite and ask for forgiveness and CONFESS THEIR SINS. You cannot have comfort and forgiveness without awknowledging your sins in Catholicism but that is the problem here in this case: no one on the Duke 3 side has admitted wrongdoing in this case. The Lax team has acted as if the strippers flagged them down and imposed themselves on the party and began x rated antics and that is not the case. The team invited the women in, period. The parents of these little angels, who had been disciplined more than any other team at Duke and had both criminal and school complaints againist many of them, have also taken a holier than thou attitude and did little to police these young men before the serious trouble happened. The drinking, racial slurs, sex show, threats to sodomise the young women, the sadistic email, etc have all been excused as if this kind of thing is ok WHEN IT IS NOT OK on any moral level.

You all now are trying to denigrate Father Vetter because he is not a moral relativist like you all are and like you have raised your children to be. He is a priest and if you check the Bible, there are a lot of moral absolutes, not relative postitions on what is right or wrong. Drunkeness, lewdness, foul language, rape, fornication, sodomy, sadism,voyeurism, etc are all condemned in the BIBLE and you all are crazier than I thought if you think a priest is going to act like that stuff is ok and is going to comfort the people perpetuating that sort of thing without an act of contrition. But I shouldn't be surprised; you all support the doers of evil and therefore you are not knowledgeable about the ways of the LORD and his followers.

KC Johnson said...

To the 12.51:

The captains apologized for holding the party in meetings with the Athletic Department (March 24), President Brodhead (March 28), and a public statement (March 28). Dave Evans apologized for it in his 60 Minutes interview.

Ryan McFadyen apologized for his e-mail in a May 3 meeting between Brodhead and the lacrosse team.

Anonymous said...

Are all men of the cloth cut from the same cloth? We have examples of those who are very far from Christian teachings who cloak themselves with the mantle of a cleric. I don't think Fr. Joe has put himself in this same catagory but he could certainly do something to help heal the many hurts that have been visited on the duke community in the past year.

In the first place, the players have apologized. In the second place, an objective evaluation of the facts in evidence strongly suggests that most of the offenses you list didn't happen and of those few that did, the three who were charged were not the ones who seem to have committed the offenses. Thirdly, the expectation was that the players confess to the accusations, not the actual offenses -- the gap here was wide.

The "doers of evil" here are only the boys? Are you the same person who suggested God was punishing people like Ed Bradley by killing them? Are you Victoria Peterson? Don't get anywhere near Nofing -- forcast calls for a boly of lightening from the blue to vaporize him at any moment!

In all seriousness, think about who has visited the many hurts. Even if Fr. Joe has nothing to atone for and nothing to say on a personal level, don't you think something ought to be said? Why then is it that exactly that -- nothing -- has been said?

Joe T. said...

And, again, 12:51, not every member of the lax team had anything to do with a party or hiring strippers or whatever. Yet they were all slapped up there on the posters, weren't they? And not only for supposedly hiring strippers, but for false accusations of a rape. If we follow your logic, Vetter should be plastered on a poster over other priests that have been accused of child molestation.

Anonymous said...

[There was an error while I was posting, if this is a duplicate, please discard this.]

Also, I have never known anyone to interpret Scripture as teaching that it is OK to refuse to minister to anyone who is less than perfect. Your argument conflates granting absolution with deigning to speak with those in pain, simply because they have some affiliation with a group that has had dispersion cast upon them by other, fallible humans.

This strikes me as the height of hypocrisy. This is one thing that runs through this entire affair -- it has exposed so much hypocrisy. It is as if people can weave reality simply by forming the words. So many people have constructed their own, artificial realities because of inconvenient truths and so many others have chosen to believe in these lies.

We have seen illusion take form and engulf reality for a year. I appreciate that, at the time, it was a difficulty situation to deal with. It is not for me to find fault, yet it is so very striking that, as the facts have become obvious and have painted a picture so very different than that shown to us a year ago, the best we get is people trying to act as though the past year simply hasn’t transpired.

More often, we still see blaming the victims: “They were not perfect, they deserved everything they got.” I just cannot make sense of this coming from anyone who holds that they are Christian, that they are enlightened, that they are to be trusted, that they have the best interests of Duke at heart, or any of the other variations on “you’re not listening, this is my spin on things: accept it because my worldview is the one true way.”

That the same people who castigate the players embrace (or at worst, ignore) CGM, Nofing, Gottlieb, G88, etc. destroys their credibility with me – as surely as Nofing and CGM destroyed any shred of credibility in the allegations, quite apart from the cold, hard facts exonerating the boys of anything approaching the things they were charged with.

Anonymous said...

I do not remember anything of the sort on 60 minutes; I distinctly remember Evans making a lot of statements about how the woman had disgraced the team, how she did this, etc and exhibiting a lot of self righteous anger( he gets his holier than thou and smug attitude from his odious mother Of "he chose the wrong families" fame apparently) but nothing in which he admitted he was culpable for what happened to his coach, his team or his university. I suggest you check the transcript again and you will see he did not apologise.

Funny, but despite his self righteousness and his "fantastic lies" speech, the circumstantial evidence looks the best on Evans: he did not leave the party early like the other two and he is in a photo pictured watching another player load the limp stripper into the car. Strangely, in all the versions of the stripper's tale, she has maintained Evans is the last alleged assailant and that the last guy allegedly helped her dress and get into the car and voila, there Evans is in the last photo of her, the last of the Duke 3 still present, helping the other player put her in the car. He is also the one with semen at the scene in a towel and the partial DNA mix on the fingernail. Despite being home, he also left his home in the middle of the night or did not answer the door for law enforcement, take your pick.

Anonymous said...

12:51 I am late in the game - "Judge not, that you be not judged" You remember this don't you. How about "treat others the way y0u want to be treated/" With all that is evil in this country and the world - like abused and hungry children - strippers, public urination and taking a drink of alcohol just ain't making it in the real world. These elephants parading as Men Of The Cloth are and disgrace and will explain their actions to their maker,