Excuse-Making for Pfleger Illustrates Gulf Between Media and Normal People
Article first appeared on Ammoland.com
U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)-“Two brothers on Monday detailed sexual abuse they say they suffered at the hands of the Rev. Michael Pfleger more than four decades ago, with one saying the abuse ‘destroyed my life,’” the Chicago Sun-Times reports. “But attorneys for the longtime St. Sabina Church pastor have blasted the accusations as ‘false attacks . . . motivated by greed.’”
This is a significant update to a story discussed on AmmoLand Shooting Sports News earlier in the month, naturally of interest to gun owners since Pfleger is a longtime vocal and persistent opponent of the right to keep and bear arms. By bringing forth not just one accuser, but two, the dynamics of the case and public perception of it just intensified.
It’s ironic that Pfleger has spent a career assuming his countrymen are the ones who, by default, can’t be trusted to act lawfully. Without knowing a thing about you or me as individuals, he would have the state deny us our rights simply because some, disproportionately concentrated in the area he “serves,” have proven they cannot exercise freedom responsibly.
In case of the accusations against him, we need to acknowledge a couple of things, starting with a word of caution: If Pfleger can have his reputation destroyed by anonymous accusations, what’s to stop your and my enemies from doing the same thing to us? I also note the story makes mention of statements and news conferences, but nothing about submitting formal and actionable sworn depositions that would carry criminal penalties if proven false. Add to that, so far there has been a request for money and an attorney’s hope for a settlement that will make a lawsuit unnecessary.
On the flip side, the archdiocese certainly knows who the accusers are and if their recollections track with where Pfleger was and which boys he had access to at the time of the allegations. That the older brother is reportedly “an Air Force veteran and former Texas police officer” will sway some opinions, right or wrong. That is probably not an insignificant consideration to church attorneys, especially if any thought of settling out of court is being entertained as the most expedient way out.
What’s revealing is how Pfleger supporters have gone to automatic “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” mode, and with no more evidence than we see here in vehemently defending their priest. They are also angrily attacking accusers who may, in fact, be telling the truth, may in fact have had their innocence stolen from them, and may in fact have suffered grievous emotional and spiritual wounds rendering them damaged goods for life.
Or they could be crazy people and opportunistic liars. We don’t know. Still, it’s fair to ask, does advocating for #MeToo only apply to some? Note Gabby Giffords, pictured with Pfleger above, didn’t let sex abuse accusations deter her from supporting Joe Biden for president.
What’s even more revealing is an excuse-making Chicago Sun-Times editorial purporting to unpack the latest developments for us. What it really does is get us to look at this as if such accusations should be analyzed through a filter of “moral relativism” that could best be described as “depraved.”
“But I will say that even if the accusations are true, if anybody has redeemed himself through a life well-lived, that would be Michael Pfleger,” columnist Neil Steinberg hideously advocates. “Father God I ask you to keep your arms around our Pastor and to give him the strength he needs to sustain his faith in you…”
Even if they’re true? Why would anyone write that?
And why would he then go back in and revise his article to take that part out without notice? So much for journalistic standards. I took a screenshot, Neil. The internet is forever:
What about the brothers, Neil? No prayers to Father God for them? Since you brought it up, why does a line from the Book of Matthew about making a big show of praying come to mind? And since we only recently heard about the allegations, what proof do you have — if Pfleger’s accusers are telling the truth — that there haven’t been more unreported incidents over the years?
You get the feeling that if the archdiocese did settle, with binding nondisclosure agreements, of course, Steinberg and the St. Sabina apologists would be quick to make the meme “Exonerated!!!” go viral while dismissing all charges as “baseless.”
There really is only one way to lawfully settle this. Conduct an exhaustive investigation. Get it into court. Get everyone involved under oath. And assign honest reporters and commentators to the case — as opposed to someone with the type of twisted worldview who would declare there’s a redemption upside to a trusted protector raping defenseless and emotionally vulnerable boys…
Right now, Pfleger is legally presumed innocent. If the brothers are proven to be lying, charge them criminally and throw the book at them. If they’re telling the truth, I’d like to say there will be one less “prohibited person” on the streets of Chicago, but the accusations predate Illinois’ statute of limitations on child sex abuse crimes elimination bill.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.