Monthly Archives: March 2014

Overcoming the World, Part 3 – Pedophilia Redefined

A change in the latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) heralds a trend towards destigmatizing (and ultimately legalizing) pedophilia.

Those who are sexually attracted to children but have not yet acted on their desires are no longer classified as having a psychiatric condition [1].  Only if such persons prove harmful or dangerous will they be diagnosed as having “pedophilia syndrome”.

This raises the possibility that molested children will soon have the legal burden of proving they suffered any harm from the abuse. In fact, it foreshadows a time, not so far in the future, when child molesters will not be prosecutable at all. The stomach roils in disgust.

Vernon Quinsey (professor emeritus in psychology at Queen’s University, Ontario) and Hubert Van Gijseghem (psychologist and retired professor from the University of Montreal) are two of the “experts” who have advised legislators that pedophilia is a sexual orientation, comparable to heterosexuality and homosexuality [2].

Russia has considered outlawing this reclassification, in an attempt to sidestep the controversy [3]. Iran has meanwhile legalized pedophilia [4]. A new law there permits stepfathers to marry their adopted daughters as young as age 13.

Tragically, this is not the full extent of the evil now taking hold in the world.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Co-President of the Greens/European Free Alliance in the European Parliament, is promoting pedophilia as a part of his political agenda. Continue reading

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Overcoming the World, Part 2 – Polygamy as Abuse

The line between right and wrong is rapidly being blurred. Make no mistake.

The Urban Dictionary already defines polygamy favorably:

“A serious trusting relationship with multiple partners…The reason the government rejects polygamy as a way of living now is because…[t]hey are still forcing religious views and beliefs upon all the citizens, to try and keep everyone stupid, unable to think for themselves and unable to act on their own…”

By the time this is posted, TLC will be hosting two so called “reality” series painting a rosy picture of polygamy: “Sister Wives” and “My Five Wives”. The first of these families has four wives and seventeen children; the second has five wives and twenty-four children.

The commercials for these programs suggest there is nothing out of the ordinary about polygamy, and nothing harmful to children.  No mention is made of the frequent expulsion of teenage boys from polygamous sects [1] or the inherent inequity toward women.

Polygamy (primarily expressed as one man with multiple wives) necessarily creates an imbalance in the number of marriageable males versus females.

To decrease the competition between teenage boys and older men for wives, it is not uncommon for such boys to be abandoned: unsupported, uneducated, unskilled, and emotionally traumatized.  Diversity Foundation and New Frontiers for Families are two of the non-profits dealing with these discarded teens. Continue reading

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Overcoming the World, Part 1 – Fame and Systemic Abuse

What a world it has become.  Headlines scream off the page at us:

Parents Arrested After Allegedly Forcing Girl, 5, to OD on Soda [1].

Doctor convicted of endangering stepdaughter in “waterboarding” Trial[2].

Couple Arrested for Enslaving Teen Girl[3].

FAME

Certainly, fame and affluence do not assure the safety of children.  Melvin Morse – the doctor mentioned above – had appeared on “Oprah” and “Good Morning America”. Fame may, in fact, foster a sense of entitlement on the part of some predators. They come to believe the prohibition against abuse is for lesser mortals.

And fame seems to provide an exemption of sorts from basic standards of morality.

Woody Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, continues to maintain that the filmmaker sexually assaulted her, some two decades ago [4]. Allen was never prosecuted [5A] [5B].

Woody Allen, you may remember, was, also, involved sexually with Soon-Yi Previn, 35 years his junior. Soon-Yi (whom Allen later married) was another adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, a woman with whom Allen had a longterm relationship. Allen has been quoted as saying, “What was the scandal?…There was no scandal…” [6].

Overseas, BBC star Jimmy Savile was repeatedly investigated, but never prosecuted either. Only after his death was it revealed that Savile had abused a staggering 400 children or more, often while they were hospital patients [7].  The possibility of a wider British pedophile ring with influential members protected from prosecution is still being explored.

The California trial of ex-football player Darren Sharper for rape should be instructive. Sharper is under investigation for a total of seven rapes in four states [8]. Assuming the allegations against him to be true, Sharper felt no compunction about drugging women in order to have sex with them.

SYSTEMIC ABUSE

Systemic abuse may be even more appalling. The public is by now familiar with the Catholic Church sex scandal. In “Secrets of the Vatican,” the investigative program, Frontline, recently exposed the culture of corruption which allowed sexual perversion to flourish [9]. But the Catholic Church is not alone in this.

Continue reading

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In Esther’s Shoes

“ ‘For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise… from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’ ” (Esther 4: 14).

The historic events on which this passage from Scripture is based exemplify courage for me. The verses have been an inspiration, over the years, helping me to overcome real and imagined shortcomings.

Esther, you may remember, was a young Jewish woman selected to marry Persian King Xerxes. When an order for the destruction of the Jews came down, Esther was urged by her cousin Mordecai to ask the king that it be rescinded. Though fearing for her life, Esther did speak out. Her intervention saved the Jewish people [1].

As child abuse victims we were powerless. Even as adults, we cannot help but recall the traumatic experiences we were forced to endure.  That fear is, in some sense, still with us.

Rather than a mark of shame, however, the scar is a mark of courage. At our most vulnerable, we somehow survived. That is an enormous achievement.

We stand today in Esther’s shoes.  We have the right to speak out; the right to tell our story, even shout it from the rooftops, if we like.  Secrecy be damned.

We have the right to take back our lives.

[1] Purim, the holiday celebrating Esther’s courage and the triumph of her people, falls on March 14 this year.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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Fate of the Predator

“Well, I was there and I saw what you did.
I saw it with my own two eyes.
So you can wipe off the grin. I know where you’ve been.
It’s all been a pack of lies…
Well, I remember. I remember, don’t worry.
How could I ever forget?…
The hurt doesn’t show; but the pain still grows.
It’s no stranger to you or me.”

In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins

Justice demands that predators – those who harm children for their own pleasure – be punished for their crimes, and prevented from harming additional victims. But the justice system necessarily has limitations.

Proof can be difficult to come by.  A child may not survive the abuse or may not be able to speak of a violation for years.  Parents may choose that their child not undergo the rigors of a trial. Predators may be institutionally shielded (as by the Roman Catholic Church), may relocate, assume a new identity, or even pass away, in the intervening years.  Supportive evidence can be lost.

This does NOT warrant vigilantism. Whatever the temptation, we cannot ally with evil. The end does not justify the means.

What then is the fate of pedophiles? Recidivism is a grave concern.  There are predators whose conscience is seared to such an extent that it no longer functions. One study, however, found that suicide among non-violent child sex offenders is 183 times more common than in the general public [1].  There are, of course, victims who commit suicide, as well.

In the end, our fate is not dependent on the fate of the predator.  That bears repeating.  Justice matters.  But our fate is not dependent on the fate of the predator.

Whatever the outcome in a particular case, we can trust that there will be perfect justice in the next world, if not in this. “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice…” (Deut. 32: 4).

[1] Differential Suicide Rates in Sex Offenders, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16040578.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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