Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Who'd a thunkit?

It's been a while since we've gotten anything juicy from the media about child sex abuse at churches.  It seems that the RCC has managed to calm things down a bit in recent months.

But wait!  What's that I see on the horizon?  Dimly, a bit fuzzy, not exactly major fare for the mainstream media in the US, but - yes!  Yes, it IS!

MORE child abuse scandals!  But, hang on, it's getting a bit clearer, lemme see, just a moment...

Oh!  This time, it isn't the Catholics!  Wow!  I can't believe it!  It's... it's...


I know, that first paragraph was just a bit harsh on the RCC.  I mean, they've kissed and made up... I mean, they've ...

Oh.  You mean they didn't?  Rats.

Ok, look.  Seriously.  This business of child abuse in churches IS serious.  And it isn't just a Catholic problem.  I did at least one post a while back that documented dozens of child abuse cases around the world, including all the major religions and a few of the minor ones.

Also, no, it isn't just a religious problem.  Children are abused at home, at school, in church, at the ball park, in the day care, at Aunt Martha's house, at the gym, the dance school - in short anywhere children are left by their parents under the care of some trusted adult they suppose will care for and protect their offspring.  Except that often, those "trusted" adults don't deserve the trust we place in them.

The reason that churches get the attention is that many people are beginning to understand that churches have gotten a free ride - a free pass from the scrutiny we often force on other less trusted venues.  I mean, church leaders - ministers, priests, etc., especially, are supposed to be above reproach.  Men of God.  Geez, if God can trust them, why can't we?

We are beginning to realize what we should have been remembering all along - they are human.  they have human faults, prejudices and desires, and often, those things can harbor darkness and evil.

Even preachers can be evil and/or do evil things.  Not all by any means, don't get me wrong.  I'd be willing to bet that the incidence of child abuse in churches is probably about on a par with that in other similar venues here children are left in the care of adults not their parents.

I have focused on it in the past because so many people give religion a pass.  Men Of God aren't supposed to be human, they aren't supposed to have carnal desires and certainly aren't supposed to harm children!

But, sometimes, they do.

So, what do we do?

Treat them like other professionals we wouldn't leave our kids alone with.  Insist on at least two adults being present at functions where a minister is left with children in his/her care.  Drop in sometimes unannounced.  Watch your kids for sudden changes in behavior.  Ask questions about their activities and watch for vague unexplainably evasive answers.  Don't let your routine become too routine and predictable.

BE INVOLVED!!  An involved parent is the best protection your kids can have.  Against just about anything, not just abusers.

No comments: