I posted below about an interview on medieval inquisitions. The story was supposedly about one the greatest injustices in the history of human life on Earth, but it included this triviality:
CULLEN MURPHY: In the 13th century, the church was faced with a huge upsurge in heretical activity, you know, activity by sects of believers that departed radically from what the church wanted people to believe. And it was not just a spiritual conflict, there was also a political conflict. This had real implications for the papacy, which was trying to centralize itself and assert its authority.If I got caught in some 13th political crossfire and I was accused of being a religious heretic, I would say that I got off easy if I just had to wear a yellow cross for a year.
So the Inquisition begins then, when the pope pretty much deputizes various clerics, mainly Dominicans, to go out into some of these regions to - you know, they would come to a town, they would announce that they were there. They would begin to question people. Sometimes they would use harsh methods, you know, enhanced interrogation as the Bush administration would call it.
They would try to get a handle on what people were thinking in this area, who was infecting who, who the ringleaders were, and they would conduct tribunals, and they would sentence people to various punishments, and sometimes it was relatively mild, you know, you went around wearing a certain kind of garment...
GROSS: A garment that labeled you a heretic.
MURPHY: That's right. They were white garments with a yellow cross on them, and you might have to wear that for a year as you went about your business, you know, whether you were a miller or a baker or whatever.
So are my complaints like those of some medieval man who had to wear a yellow cross?
Here is what I think makes my case unusual.
I am a model citizen who doesn't smoke, drink, use drugs, lose his temper, have a personality disorder, or anything like that.
I was thoroughly involved in every aspect of my kids' lives, including 4 years of joint custody.
No one was ever able to identify any wrongdoing on my part.
No one could ever figure out what my ex-wife, Julie Travers, was complaining about.
The closest anyone got to identifying wrongdoing was Judge Heather Morse, who wrote in her decision:
such as enrolling them in a math test which was reportedly way above their abilities; and resetting their alarm clock which prevented them from being prepared for school.But in fact the math test was not above their abilities and no one ever testified that it was above their abilities. The only testimony was that the test was above grade level for one of them. The girl is still in a math class that is two grades above grade level.
The school said that the kids always prepared for school. The accusation was that the kids felt rushed in the morning if they only had an hour to get dressed and eat breakfast. That's all.
The court-appointed psychologist looked at all of this, and testified that he could find nothing wrong with anything I did. He did say that the court had mishandled the case. He never figured out what my ex-wife was complaining about. He justified his recommendation by saying that he was continuing the status quo (or what he mistakenly thought was the status quo).
The extreme outcome is that I do not see my kids at all. Julie Travers has been given discretion over the matter, and she does not permit it. For 4 years, the court has issued a series of temporary orders giving her temporary sole custody, but it has never found me unfit or determined that I could improve my parenting practices at all. There is no substance to the case against me.
The dads who face some complete bogus domestic violence or sexual abuse charge can end up a lot worse off. I cannot deny that. But in those cases, the judge can at least argue that action would be appropriate if the charges were true. In my case, there are not even any accusations that make any sense. There are no grounds for court intervention even if everything my ex-wife said were true. My case cleanly exposes the evil and corruption of the court.
The system is evil. I am going to continue complaining about it. Keep reminding me that others have it worse.