Monthly Archives: June 2014

Dead Babies

They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood” (Ps. 106: 37-38).

This seems to be the season for dead babies. That is not intended as a callous remark, merely a sad observation.

• A 15 month old Georgia baby named Emily somehow crawled 300 yards from her home through woods to the edge of a nearby highway [1]. Thankfully, she was rescued in time by a passing motorist. Although the baby had fallen down an embankment, she was unharmed.

• Another Georgia baby, 22 month old, Cooper, was left by his father for 7 hours to die in a hot car. A troubling search was conducted on the family computer re: how long it would take for an animal to die in similar circumstances. The father is said to have gone out to the car at lunch without assisting the child [1A].

• Anna Marie was not lucky either. The 9 month old was left for nearly 4 hours by her father in the back of his truck [2]. The baby’s core temperature was 109 degrees when examined by Florida emergency personnel. She was long dead by that point.

• In Iowa, a 4 month old boy named Gabriel was found dead after having been left for an hour with his 17 y.o. father [3]. The baby had been adopted but returned to his 16 y.o. birth mother, at her request.

Last year, 44 babies died of heatstroke. So far, 12 have died this year. A parent or guardian is charged with neglect in about half such cases.

Most of us find events like this shocking. But these numbers do not begin to scratch the surface. Some 1600 children will die from abuse in the USA this year [4]. Another million will be denied life while still in the womb [5].

How is it we cannot manage to take better care of our children? Continue reading

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Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion


Reports have been made of abuse by priests, abuse in residential boys’ schools, abuse in church-operated Magdalene laundries, abuse by pediatricians, abuse by police, abuse by politicians shielded by police, abuse by the committees formed to investigate abuse.  The list goes on and on.

Abuse is widespread, generational; the number of victims, staggering.

It is essential that light be shed on this perverted behavior.  It is not necessarily wise, however, that victims focus on the reports of abuse. The sheer numbers can be overwhelming.

We have enough reminders of our brush with evil. The scars of abuse may include perfectionism (and the reaction to it, workaholism), anxiety, depression, sexual difficulties, and weight issues. These pose challenges to many of us on a daily basis. Continue reading


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

Toxic Families

Since this is Father’s Day, many will be spending time with their families of origin. Not all families, however, are healthy and supportive.

This is a short excerpt from an insightful post on dysfunctional families at KerriChronicles titled “Toxic Family Members – 10 ways to Rescue & Save Yourself”.  You can find the full article at:  Many thanks to Kerri McKenna!

“…[N]ot every family is built on love, support, and stability. Sometimes family simply means that you share a bloodline…

A family member making you feel unloved, unwelcome, and ashamed for someone else’s behavior towards you, like rape (child molestation\sexual abuse\incest), is not acceptable treatment. Rejection, abandonment, someone…trying to diminish your accomplishments, or someone who is hypercritical of you…

These negative experiences can and will jade you for a lifetime, ruining your life, shifting your existence, changing the way you walk in the world, haunting your days, sometime even making you a product of their environment, repeating these toxic behaviors so it’s a must that you do whatever it takes to get yourself into a positive, nurturing environment, surrounded by loving, affirmative, true God-fearing people…

1. If it’s possible, move out and move on without them… Toxic people share the characteristics…of essential dishonesty and unwillingness to accept any responsibility for their behavior, therefore repairing relationships with toxic people is challenging at best, and often impossible…

2. Forgive. This is not for them, it’s for you. Don’t give them anymore of your life than they’ve already taken.

3. Accept your parents and family members for who they are and accept limitations. Know that you don’t have to repeat their behavior…

4. Allow yourself to get angry… Anger is…a part of the healing process so be angry at your losses but don’t seek revenge, God handles that for us…

7. Set healthy boundaries and stop pretending their toxic behavior is okay and hold them accountable… Constant drama and negativity is never worth putting up with…

10. Take charge of your life and your happiness. Do good things for you and speak up… Do things that build your self-esteem. Do things you enjoy, things that make you feel good and things that you can be proud of. Invite others that love you along and allow them to share in your new experiences and happiness…”



Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse

In Plain Sight

Earlier this year, Brian Fanelli, a 54 y.o. suburban police chief, was charged with distributing child pornography [1]. While the charges are being contested, the prosecutor indicates over 800 pages of evidence have been obtained, as well as several videos with sexually explicit images of underage girls.

Fanelli, who is married, is alleged to have confessed that he was first drawn to child pornography while doing research on sexual abuse. The former police chief at one time taught abuse awareness to children. Fanelli was initially suspended from his post. He has since resigned.

The lesson is one we have encountered before. Predators are not easily identified. They do not all wear dirty raincoats. Too often, they can be respected members of the community, hiding in plain sight…priests, police officers, politicians.

We must be vigilant in guarding our children, yet not give way to paranoia. Unfortunately, there is no formula for this.  All we can do is remain attentive to our children’s needs, and sensitive to changes in their behavior.  And love them.

[1] CBS NEW YORK, “Former Mount Pleasant Police Chief Faces 10 Years on Child Porn Charges,” 5/20/14,



Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Justice, Law, Sexual Abuse

Juvenile Justice

According to Mark Twain, “There are three kinds of lies:  lies, damned lies, and statistics.” To most of us, statistics are drier than dust. But numbers can be revealing.

• Earlier this year, the Coalition for the Homeless reported a record-high number of 53,000 homeless regularly spending the night in New York City shelters [1]. Nearly half are children. In March, conditions at two city shelters were found to be so horrific that 400 of these homeless children had to be removed for health and safety reasons.

• Using the “zero tolerance” policy toward school violence as a basis, then popular Pennsylvania judge, Mark Ciavarella, sentenced over 2000 high school students – some without benefit of counsel – to incarceration for offenses as insignificant as swearing at another student’s mother, and creating a false MySpace page. Once in the criminal system, some remained imprisoned for years. At least one committed suicide [2] [2A]. Continue reading

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Filed under Abuse of Power, Justice, Law, Politics, Poverty