Former atheist turned ‘super-religious’ arrested for molesting foster children.

Now here’s an interesting twist on an all too familiar story…

The Seattle Times: Local News: Child-sex case jolts family, small community

TACOMA—Ronald Harold Young, the Pierce County foster parent charged yesterday with 44 crimes of child pornography and rape involving six boys in his care, gave his family the impression that taking in broken children was his personal “ministry.”

Young, 41, became “super-religious” about two years ago, said his 25-year-old niece, who only gave her first name as Bev. She said Young presented himself as “a good, God-fearing Christian of all things, super foster dad.”

For most of his adult life, he told family members he was an atheist, said a woman who identified herself only as Young’s sister and Bev’s mother. One day, she said, “he started wearing a cross and preaching.”

Neither Young’s sister nor his niece knew what caused the transformation.

About that time, in July 2002, Young and his wife received a license to become foster parents.

So this guy was an atheist for most of his adult life, decides to become a Christian and dedicate his life to caring for foster children, and ends up molesting them. Interestingly enough, this guy has already raised two boys of his own who are adults now and haven’t indicated that they were ever victims of sexual abuse at the hands of their father nor does Young have any pre-existing criminal record.

It’d be very cynical, not to mention a perfect example of the cum hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, to suggest his conversion to Christianity is responsible for his becoming a pedophile. Still, it does leave one to ponder why Young converted to being ‘super-religious’ before his pedophilia came to the surface or why it took so long for this problem to come to the forefront.

If we’re to believe, as David has suggested in the past, that atheists aren’t trustworthy because we have an ever-shifting moral base as opposed to the rigid foundation being a Christian supposedly gives you, then why wouldn’t Young’s perversion come to the forefront during his time as an atheist? You’d think it would be easier for an atheist with no fixed moral foundation to rationalize away molesting small children than it would be for someone following a specific religious system.

The one logical possibility that comes up is that Young took on the airs of a religious person to cover up his crimes, but that seems like the sort of thing you’d do after you’d been engaged in the activity and thought folks might be catching on to throw them off the trail. I suppose it’s also possible to assume that the switch to being religious made it much easier to gain the trust of the authorities as well as the community.

Ultimately, it demonstrates why folks shouldn’t assume that a seemingly pious individual should be given any more trust than any one else. Of course, if that much isn’t obvious after the Catholic Priest Child Molestation scandal then there’s little reason to think that this latest example will sink in.

17 thoughts on “Former atheist turned ‘super-religious’ arrested for molesting foster children.

  1. My guess is that the religious “conversion” was a cover-up.  It might even have been his idea to become a foster parent, and the whole thing might have been premeditated.

    But I wouldn’t count his sons as being completely out of the fray; they might be keeping silent out of loyalty or fear.  This might have been going on a long time and he might just have decided to start up a “business” once the boys were grown and had moved away.

  2. I agree 100% with your notion that he took on airs of being super-religious in order to cover his crims (hoping the neighbors would say, in the event he was ever exposed, something along the lines of “He’s a wonderful, God-fearing man.  I’m certain he would NEVER do this sort of thing to a child.”)

    However, I woulnd’t find it too odd if he never molested his own sons.  Maybe in his demented mind he felt the need to protect them since they are his own flesh and blood.  Who knows… it’s all very sad.

  3. P.S. I’m not sure how the little winking smiley got into my post, but I do apologize.  Purely accidental (and terribly inappropriate!)

  4. At the risk of being an(other) armchair psychologist , my wild-ass guess would be that he started feeling these “urges,” turned to religion (with a fervor) to try to hold them off, but started molesting anyway.  Indeed, his Christianity may have been so “super-religious” in reaction to his growing self-loathing over the matter, his fervid need to believe in divine forgiveness.

    Or maybe he’s just an evil asshole.  That works for me, too.

  5. There’s a software bug that causes a winky smiley whenever you follow up more than one period or quotation marks with a parenthesis.  It’s annoying, and I keep forgetting to add an extra space before the paren to keep it from happening.

  6. It’s those evil Little Smiley Face God Icons, I’ve been warning you guys about. They’ll bite you every time.

    Can’t we all just get along without Little Smiley Face God Icons?

  7. My name mentioned in the opening of a topic… are cats and dogs living together, is the end near?

    I think you may mistake my meaning though. Since Young professes faith, in addition to being accountable to the law of the land, he’s accountable to his professed belief. A codified, published, best seller, that you could read as easily as I could. A person who lacks integretiy doesn’t gain it by claiming conversion to Chrisitanity.

    Prior to claiming to be a Christian, when he was a proclaimed atheist, had he been caught molesting children, do you think he’d have even made the local news? It’s the fact that he claims the standard that makes it newsworthy.

    Lastly, you should know that claiming Christianity does not make it easier to adopt children. Most state adoption agencies will automatically ask any couple who is Christian if they plan on using spanking for discipline. Any couple who says yes for any reason will not be adopting a child. Anyone who says no is either lying or is interpreting the Bible in an interesting way.

  8. Lastly, you should know that claiming Christianity does not make it easier to adopt children. Most state adoption agencies will automatically ask any couple who is Christian if they plan on using spanking for discipline. Any couple who says yes for any reason will not be adopting a child. Anyone who says no is either lying or is interpreting the Bible in an interesting way.
    Here you go, David.  I suspect you meant “interesting” in a negative, dismissive sort of way, but this is a quote from William Sears, a noted Christian pediatrician:
    Don’t use the Bible as an excuse to spank. There is confusion in the ranks of people of Judeo-Christian heritage who, seeking help from the Bible in their effort to raise godly children, believe that God commands them to spank. They take “spare the rod and spoil the child” seriously and fear that if they don’t spank, they will commit the sin of losing control of their child. In our counseling experience, we find that these people are devoted parents who love God and love their children, but they misunderstand the concept of the rod.

    Rod verses - what they really mean. The following are the biblical verses which have caused the greatest confusion:

    “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” (Prov. 22:15)

    “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” (Prov. 13:24)

    “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.” (Prov. 23:13-14)

    “The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to itself disgraces his mother.” (Prov. 29:15)

    At first glance these verses may sound pro-spanking. But you might consider a different interpretation of these teachings. “Rod” (shebet) means different things in different parts of the Bible. The Hebrew dictionary gives this word various meanings: a stick (for punishment, writing, fighting, ruling, walking, etc.). While the rod could be used for hitting, it was more frequently used for guiding wandering sheep. Shepherds didn’t use the rod to beat their sheep - and children are certainly more valuable than sheep. As shepherd-author Philip Keller teaches so well in A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23, the shepherd’s rod was used to fight off prey and the staff was used to gently guide sheep along the right path. (“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

  9. The weird part is I didn’t have a macro defined for a winkie smilie that used double quotes.

    Still, I’ve fixed it. Now any smilies will have to include the nose (hyphen) to be translated. Or, alternatively, you can use the word for the smilie between colons to insert one. I’ll update the key to make it easier to see what the hell I’m talking about.

  10. Geekmom, no I meant what I said. Note that your “expert” even admits that at first glance, these verses seem to advocate spanking. Which means he had to come up with an interpretation other than a staight-forward one-one interpretation.

    While the rod could be used for hitting, it was more frequently used for guiding wandering sheep. Shepherds didn

  11. This man could be nominated for the priesthood! But, seriously I to think his relgious conversion was just a coverup, something along the lines of convicts in prison. But something like this kind of puts a new meaning to Jesus loves the little children.

  12. You know, I was kinda thinking the same thing.  Perhaps (and this is a real longshot) he was TRYING to deface CATHOLICISM by trying to demonstrate religious people molesting little boys (i.e. the priesthood)!

    Or maybe he’s just a sick fuck.  Probably that.

  13. Did the article mention any form of head trauma to the perp? A form epilepsy has been found to cause profound religious-like experiences. A NOVA program a month ago covered the case of a young man who would experience religious ecstasy interspersed with depression. He had suffered a head injury in an accident of some sort. He was interviewed during a moment of rapture and was very convincing in describing the sensation.

    I wonder if this guy experienced something similar but with an ufortunate twist. Here’s an article from the BBC describing this phenomena:

  14. David, I read the quotes I posted as Sears saying it might LOOK that way, but that people were misinterpreting it because they didn’t understand the real meaning(s) of the word “rod.” 

    But it doesn’t surprise me to hear you declare him flat-out wrong.  I guess without knowing anything about him or his faith, you’re sure you know what the Bible means much better than he does. 

    And this is how those weird ideas get propagated …

  15. Where did I say his interpretation was wrong? Different than mine, yes, but wrong? And you’re the first to accuse me of thinking anything different or new is bad. *sigh*

    In and by themselves, I might interpret those verss the same way he does. But those are hardly the only verses in the Bible that refer to child rearing. I disagree with his interpretation, but I don’t think that makes his wrong, just different. And since his interpretation does reach beyond what one would call a straight and simple one, I find it interesting. I usually find, unless there is some reason to think otherwise (ie, other verses that conflict or raise quoestions with it) that the simplest interpretations are most likely the correct ones. Sometimes a dream is just a dream - and it proably usually is.

    I also would point out that in my previous post I showed that his interpretation doesn’t exactly conflict with mine either. Looks to me that he recognizes that sometimes the rod is used as a device for punishment, and sometimes as a device to guide. It looks like more a matter of degree, than diametrically opposed views.

  16. christianmolesting
    This man clearly has no sincere beliefs,he adopted a pious outlook to decieve and gain access to his victims.
    This is and has been a common method for years and has reached alarming levels at times,often with the aid of government agencies.
    Forced emigration of orphans in the uk took place after ww2 their destination Australia their carers/abusers roman catholic brothers.Systematic abuse over decades has since come to light
    The uk govnmt may not have been the abusers but their motivation for this badly concieved and implemented scheme was equally ? horrible,in collusion with the australians their objective,
    to help keep australia white
    This tendency to trust someone wearing the right uniform a dog collar crucifix doctors stethascope or a business suit and tie is well known,its a little bit of placebo, plus a little bit of our insane desire to unload our responsibilities onto the first conman who comes allong wearing the right uniform spouting the rhetoric we want to hear
    You have taken it to another level in the USA now all one has to do is phone in and say i am a policeman,doctor or lawyer and you bend over!
    I will look out for this in the UK,since British sheep tend to follow american rams
    How to prevent these people, I think agood start can be made if we take on the responsibities of life instead of handing it over to the slick willies of this world.We should judge people by their actions not their uniforms,its not easy,not every policeman is racist facsist,not every priest is paedo (stupidity is not unique to USA
    in the UK during a recent child abuse scandal a mob of neanderthal knuckle scrapers attacked the home of a peadiatrician,well it looks similar don,t it )I sincerely hope that people can be enlightened about their responsibilities for each other their communities,countries and ultimately the planet.But ifear this may not be the case,it frightens me that a country that has a majority that believes in Amageddon also has the means(nuclear arse—nel)to bring it about.
    sincerely n

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