What Good Does It Do?

There are only a couple people I have ever met who I have wanted to actually kick.

I say a couple in case I am missing someone.

The one person I know I wanted to kick was my adopted son after I found out he had molested children.

We took him in.

We cared for him.

He violated children.

How do you get past that?

You don’t.

You go through it, and it changes you.

I did not kick him. No one did. In fact, very, very, few people confronted him at all.

It is hard to confront evil.

The other day I was standing in a beautiful place surrounded by people I admired, listening to the blast of a radio station–the foulest, most misogynistic rap I have ever heard.

How could someone write, “sing,” produce, edit, air, or listen to such explicit “music?”

Outside of hell. Each “song” seemed to be reminiscent of the soundtrack of hell.

Literal hell.

I was once chided for objecting to a hip-hop song with lyrics about infanticide- my fault for listening to the words in the first place?

As though it were a moral ideal to simply avoid the existence of evil.

I write all of this because it is worth pondering what exactly Jay-Z did to incite his sister-in-law’s wrath.

I have lots of family members who are real weenies but I don’t want to kick them.

You want to kick someone when they really hurt someone you love.

Do you love Adrianna Waller? Do you even know her story?

Can you face the pain she faced alone? A helpless baby.

Can you face the man who tortured her to death? Or the inevitable waves of pain, grief, and anger his actions unleashed in the lives of every single person who had to live past his aggression?

Can you reckon with his unrepentant soul?

Can you factor in the role of pornography in his premeditated rape of a baby? Or the pain and confusion of her agonizing death?

I cannot.

For the first month after I found out that my adopted son had molested children I cried. I yelled, ranted, grieved.

I will never even be able to reckon with his unrepentant soul.

And so far, his victims have survived his evil–scarred but whole. Lonely and aggrieved, but alive.

If we cannot face evil, how can we begin to overcome it?

And if we do not overcome it: what good do we do?

Atonement

This weekend my glasses snapped–broken down their center line.

My friend helped fix them temporarily with a bit of purple tape. It was not my most fashionable weekend.

But I was catching glimpses of the crucifixion–reading chapters from the gospel. Little snapshots–Jesus betrayed, Jesus beaten, Jesus mocked, scorned, tried.

At what point would he have lost his glasses? I do not believe he needed them, let us be clear, but the question lingered–at what point did the story of the death of Christ become unbearable?

Pretty early on.

Jesus suffered agony and humiliation in my place. He took on more pain than we can bear to even contemplate.

Our mistake. We should.

Because the Cross was agony we have the glimpse and promise of heaven.

Jesus paid it all.

For us, with the rank winds of hell at our backs.

Bryan Singer: compromising positions

When I first read about the accusations against Bryan Singer I thought–why does a grown man party with teens? Alcohol? Drugs? Young men?

But I also acknowledged that the alleged victim was waging an uphill battle. The gold standard for predators is they have a modus operandi. And modus operandi means multiple crimes.

In this case–multiple victims.

Now that a second young man is alleging abuse, the Bryan Singer story should be big news–criminal charges big news.

And yet it is not. Cutesy stories about celebrity posturing dominate the news, while all the usual suspects look the other way and assiduously avoid asking the obvious questions–is Hollywood populated with older men preying upon the young and vulnerable for sex?

‘Cause that kind of sex has a name–rape.

Sir Young, Judge Howard, and the myth of the “atypical” rapist

This one is a doozy– a female judge in Texas sentences a man who sexually assaulted a teenager to a laughably light sentence that included volunteering at a rape crisis center!

This is Texas, people, and just like the affluenza case, it happened in Wendy Davis’ stompin’ ground.

And it is an affront to us all.

Not only is Sir Young a very typical and completely excuseless sex offender, the mythology of any of these losers being somehow “not your typical” rapist is an atrocious fiction.

An atrocious fiction that hides an egregious truth: in Texas and all over this country rapists and pedophiles are getting light-to-no punishment for rape, not just because of shoddy law enforcement and incompetent judges. No. They are dodging sentences, jail time, and felony convictions simply because the states, counties, and local jurisdictions do not want to be responsible for the cost of their incarceration and supervision.

We need to clean house and make the perps pay the legal price for rape. The perps, not their victims.

Charles Frederick Warner’s Legal Rights

I believe anyone who is fighting for Warner’s right to life should have to read his trial record. We have seen massive media attention playing up the inhumane factors in death by lethal injection, but few people are willing to print the whole truth–millions of dollars have been spent trying to protect the life of a man who raped and murdered a baby. Little or nothing has been done to heal the wound this man left in the world.

Killing Charles Frederick Warner will not remedy his monstrous crime, nor will it restore the life of his primary victim. A playful little baby was turned into the recipient of unimaginable violence and premeditated rape.

One has to wonder about all the “good people” who defended this man–he did not file legal motions by himself. He had a mess of defense witnesses. Who are these people? What is their motivation?

Have we created a partisan team mentality that parses out the egregious crime and unrepentant criminal from the desire for safety for our babies?

Adrianna deserved to live. And once that right was taken from her she deserved justice.

The Abuse of Clayton D. Lockett

I was re-reading about the sentencing of Lockett for a night of abduction, felony assault, rape, and murder.

The story is as hard to read as any such crime spree–the action of violence spiral out from a center of evil. And we have to face that evil was unleashed by a very deliberate man.

Lockett’s original defense called people to testify that he had been abused and abandoned as a child and was subjected to “homosexual rape.”

They called upon a caseworker to testify that when children are subjected to this kind of abuse they usually suppress rage that leads them to become abusers.

Wow.

Ironically the court record regarding Charles Warner alleges that he physically abused his children.

Are we really to assume these victims of rape and abuse are ticking bombs who will eventually become violent criminals themselves?

No.

It is one more heartbreaking example of the way we fail to protect our children or help them heal when things go wrong.

The vast majority of people who survive child abuse and sexual assault live with the scars and the silence, but they are good people, good parents, normal and law-abiding.

The myth of the psychopathic rape survivor is one more act of shame done unto them, forcing victims into a silent margin.

Lockett was responsible for his crimes. And he had so many other roads he could have taken instead of leading Stephanie Neiman to a agonizing death.