Response to Hate Comments
edited: Friday, March 06, 2009
By Linda Settles
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Posted: Sunday, January 18, 2009
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I read an article on another site that incited hate comments from both sides of a sensitive issue.
In doing research for my Phd. classes and a for a book I am working on, I have found a number of aritcles out there that were disturbing. So many peope don't understand the dynamics of trauma, especially trauma resulting from childhood sexual abuse and/or incest.. Worse yet, I ran into an article on a publishing site (one that I have recently published a few articles on) that minimized the damage done to thousands of sexual abuse survivors in our society, referring to the (slowly) awakening social conscience about the ramifications of the crime as 'hype.' The writer mourned the loss of jobs and privileges a sex offender must face when convicted of his crime. Sadly, reader response to her article probably reinforced her defensive stance on the subject as angry comments poured into her inbox. I cringed at the hate mail posted in her comment box, vicious statements and derogatory references to the writer herself were in the majority--comments posted, most likely,by survivors and those who love them. There were a few posts that agreed with the writer, affirming the position that 'its mostly a bunch of hype and blame shifting.'
My heart was saddened by both responses. While it is true that the sexual offender is a human being made in the image of God, what he (or she) has done is highly offensive to God as well as to the rest of us. It was Jesus who said, "Woe to he would offends (harms) one of these little ones. It would be better for him to have a millstone hung about his neck and be cast into the depths of the sea..." And yet we all know that every sexual offender was once 'one of these little ones.' Nothing that the abuser has experienced in any way justifies the henious crimes they have perpetrated against a child, but it may give us better understanding of how to help the perpetrator and thus limit his continued criminal activity. Does he deserve forgiveness? Certainly not. But then, neither do we. Forgiveness is freely given by the One who died in our place, bore our sin and our sorrow, and paid a debt we could not pay so that we could go free. Will he forgive the sexual offender who has violated one or more children by his sin? Yes, he certainly will.
If the offender truly repents, he will be forgiven. The challenge for those whose compassion leads them to offer the gift of salvation to a sexual offender is to hold him fully accountable for the depravity of his behavior while introducing him to the Amazing Grace of God--promising him forgiveness if he is willing to acknowledge his sin and face the extremity of damage his behavior has done. Only by facing what he has done to another human being will he have opportunity to deal with what was done to him long before he began to re-enact the trauma of his own abusive past.
I suspect that not all abusers were victims of sexual abuse themselves as many people believe. Pornography has been long recognized among law enforcement officers for its role in leading men (and some women) down the path of child molestation. Like any other addiction, sexual additcion has an insatiable appetite. It thrives on venturing into previously unknown perils--the excitement of crossing boundaries. I believe pornography may be responsible for more crimes against women and children than a history of prior abuse. In either case, the offender has tried to fill a vaccumn in his soul--often one created by trauma in his own tender years--by indulging in soul numbing sin that leads down a path of destruction to himself and others.
By Linda Settles, MA Christian Counseling
Candidate for Phd Counseling, Louisiana Baptist University
Author of: Redeeming Our Treasures/Finding Joy in the Shadows of an Abusive Past
Web Site: Redeeming Our Treasures
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|Reviewed by Cynthia Buhain-Baello
|Your article shows the dilution of what the majority today view as "right" and "wrong". The proliferation of nude and semi-nude music videos, video games, and movies have remarkably anesthetized the public and child molestation no longer shocks, pedophilia, child porno, incest, they are all "addictions" and social irritants, not CRIMES. A child sexual offender is always prone to repeat the offense and there's no way of monitoring his recovery progress, if there is one. Some who send comments of "compassion" and forgiveness should measure the sincerity and resolve of these offenders before they are even allowed back into society. I've seen hate mail and it can character assassinate a writer out of context, it gets personal in the end, vile, vicious, and full of malice.
|Reviewed by J'nia Fowler
|Here, here. Bravo to you dear girl. I don't mind stating it here that I accused my father of torture, the selling of us into child porn sexual molestation and more. I hoped he would ask for forgiveness and repent but he held fast to his dieing day that we were all nuts, all crazy and cruel for going after such a dear sweet innocent man. Is this what he told his maker when he came before the Judgment Seat of Christ? Don't know, but he did do a bit of time.
|Reviewed by Flying Fox Ted L Glines
|"I read an article on another site that incited hate comments from both sides of a sensitive issue" -- All too common. Hate-mongers. I personally believe we should have a social stigmata for "Registered Hate-Mongers" -- that might slow them down a bit. If there is an externally applied "cure" for child molesters (and other sex criminals), we need to find it and apply it. But, like most other criminal inclinations, the real solution must come from within the offender via a personal decision to QUIT DOING THAT (the only proved method of rehabilitation). Does pornography cause adults to molest children, or do molesters cause a market to exist for pornography? My schooling in human development leads me to believe that the needs of humans are what drives the market; creating a need for the market; demand driving a need for supply. We have archeological evidence that pornography existed in ancient Egypt. Nothing new.
"Like any other addiction, sexual addiction has an insatiable appetite. It thrives on venturing into previously unknown perils--the excitement of crossing boundaries." -- Here is where you are spot on. The inner-driven desire for excitement; and "forbidden fruit" is exciting enough to cause a human to act out in unacceptable ways.
Methinks that solving the problems of humans will demand a serious look inside the humans -- once we realize that external "causes" are only excuses.
|Reviewed by * Starman * *
They say there is no cure for pedophilia or child abusers, except chemical castration, and then they still think about it. So, what about therapy? There are laws on the books that require therapists, medical staff, etc, to report any abuse. This is creating a whole closet society of people who cannot reach out for help without risk of incarceration. The problem is therefore pushed even deeper underground and only those at the end of their rope, or those that get caught will come forward under such risks, EVEN IF THEY WANT TO GET HELP AND DO BETTER!
The social stigma alone would be enough to prevent many from seeking help in the first place. People hide their illnesses and addictions out of shame for much less offensive crimes. Many consider child abuse as bad or worse than murder because, unlike murder, it effects the living generations and even the as yet unborn, by creating new victims out of the old. This happens even though there is no statistical way to properly measure it, because people don't won't come forward due the consequences of being revealed in their sickness. Life for these like others suffering in silence, offers no hope. We all suffer for it. Prison means only more human death and life destruction. The redemptive power of Jesus Christ and eventual release from sweet death are the only ways out. No one learns or benefits from any of this under our present societal conditions, and therefore no one is saved. I suggest the recidivism is so high because there is no way out for the offenders, short of the "firing squad, which is fine by most people I suspect. People can't get help anonymously like with other things. So society, for whatever good intentions they may have had in doing so, has made the problem worse.
|Reviewed by Marion Dollar
|Well said, excellently written and hits the nail exactly on the head. Kudos to you my friend.