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.

Warren Jeffs, incarcerated leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), is believed to have ceremonially raped young girls while his congregation watched. During the penalty phase of Jeffs’ trial for sexually assaulting two girls, aged 12 and 15, his nephew testified to having been raped since the age of 5; Jeffs’ niece testified to having been raped since the age of 7 [10].

Jeffs, who had over 80 wives and still advocates polygamy, also, assigned girls below the age of consent as wives to the male members of his congregation.

The FLDS continues to have loyal followers.

OVERCOMING THE WORLDCHRIST’S SACRIFICE

The disparity between Christ’s actions, and those of certain church members (supposedly in His Name) is striking. How many sincere churchgoers may have lost their faith or simply turned away from organized religion in disgust, we cannot know.

However, the Bible warns hypocrites and the self-righteous claiming to be followers of Christ’s for their own ends that He will not acknowledge them at the judgment. “[A]nd He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers’ ” (Luke 13: 27).

The Son of God took on a human nature for the purpose of atoning for the sins of mankind. Though sinless, Christ paid the price for wars, persecution, and crime throughout the ages – for sin in every form, open and covert. Included in that tally was child abuse.

Christ gave His life for the sake of abuse victims.  So great was His love.  Inconceivable as it may seem, He gave His life even for the sake of predators…in the process defeating sin and death, and restoring mankind’s relationship with God.

This is what is meant by Christ overcoming the world.

“ ‘I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world’ ” (John 16: 33).

Part 2 – Polygamy as Abuse in the series Overcoming the World is scheduled to post 3/23/14. Part 3 – Pedophilia Redefined is scheduled to post 3/30/14.

[1] US News, 2/6/14, M. Alex Johnson, “Parents Arrested After Allegedly Forcing Girl, 5, to OD on Soda,” http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/parents-arrested-after-allegedly-forcing -girl-5-od-soda-n24111.
[2] US News, 2/13/14, Source: Reuters, “Doctor convicted of endangering stepdaughter in ‘waterboarding’ Trial,” http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/doctor-convicted-endangering-stepdaughter-waterboarding-trial-n29891.
[3] US News, 2/7/14, © Associated Press, “Couple Arrested for Enslaving Teen Girl,” http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Couple-Arrested-for-Enslaving-Teen-Girl-244239641.html?partner=xfinity1.
[4] Time, 2/13/14, “Dylan Farrow’s Child-Abuse Accusations: What We’ve Learned About When and How Children Should Confront Abuse,” http://healthland.time.com/2014/02/04/dylan-farrows-child-abuse-accusations-what-weve-learned-about-when-and-how-children-should-confront-abuse.
[5A] It is often said this abuse charge was first made in the context of an acrimonious custody dispute with Mia Farrow.  An extensive Canadian study found that only 11% of such claims could be fully substantiated. Another 70% though were considered credible and/or made in good faith.  See, Time Ideas, 2/13/14, “Woody Allen, Feminism, and ‘Believing the Survivor,’ ” http://ideas.time.com/2014/02/12/woody-allen-believe-the-victim-and-feminism.
[5B] Woody Allen did not file for custody of Dylan Farrow until after being informed of her abuse allegation. http://www.slate.com/articles/life/culturebox/2014/02/woody_allen_and_dylan_farrow_digging_deeper_into_misleading_coverage.html.
[6] OTRC.com (On the Red Carpet), 6/23/11, “Woody Allen on marriage to Soon-Yi: ‘What was the scandal?’ ” http://www.ontheredcarpet.com/Woody-Allen-on-marriage-to-Soon-Yi:–What-was-the-scandal-/8209443.
[7] New American, 1/24/13, Alex Newman, “After Exposure of Pedophile BBC Star, Probe Widened to UK Parliament,” http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/14306-after-exposure-of-pedophile-bbc-star-probe-widens-to-uk-parliament.
[8] Fox Sports on MSN, 2/14/14, Source: Associated Press, “Darren Sharper connected to a total of seven rapes in four states,” http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/darren-sharper-charged-with-rape-in-california1-021414.
[9] PBS, Frontline, 2/25/14, “Secrets of the Vatican,” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/secrets-of-the-vatican.
[10] Wikipedia, “Warren Jeffs,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Jeffs.

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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7 Comments

Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

7 responses to “Overcoming the World, Part 1 – Fame and Systemic Abuse

  1. Its very sad seeing stories of those that could make a difference, making a difference in the wrong way and then not getting punished for it. I remember years back seeing the Woody Allen story on the news and thinking this guy is going to prison for a very long time but no they left him to his vices, that vice being the daughter of his girlfriend. There is just no excuse for looking over this kind of behavior. None. Not money, not reason.

  2. Thank you for speaking out, Kerri. Your support means a great deal, not just to me but to the many victims whose stories go untold.

  3. These stories are heartbreaking as are the stories of Canada’s indigenous children. They were forced to leave their families and attend residential schools led by various churches. Young children were routinely physically and sexually abused. Priests, If found out, were not punished, only moved to another school. Power corrupts. ~ Dennis

  4. While we still have breath the burden is on us to shed light on these abuses. God will deal harshly with those who have harmed children, especially those within the church (Matt. 18: 6, 1 Tim. 3: 2-5).

  5. Some very good points made here, Anna, along with an informative look at how wide spread and ugly abuse is. You are right that people should not be giving up their faith over this topic. God holds us accountable on an individual basis. We must still love and trust in Him to make things right…and He most certainly will!

    Very good post…

    Steve

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