It's almost taboo to say. Love the people who use and abuse our children? Extend mercy? Forgive…? Absolutely not! That would be a betrayal of our children's trust. It turns the universe on its head. It smothers justice. In fact, if some of us had our way, we would take these vermin out behind the barn and end the problem with a well-aimed bullet behind the ear.
Every time and culture has had their outcasts that are persecuted to the utmost extent of the law… and beyond. Women, children, people of colour, people of disease, people of religion… today, in our society, it is child molesters. We declare our righteous intentions, and many of those intentions are truly right. Children are precious gifts worthy of our protection, security and love. No one has the right to touch them or hurt them or abuse them in any way, shape or form.
Many researchers and law enforcement officials would say one form of sexual predation (the most commonly known one) — pedophilia — is incurable. If someone is born this way, there is no hope for that person to change or heal. And yes, while most identified pedophiles are male, there are female pedophiles and research suggest that they are grossly under-identified. There are other forms of predation but people seem to use the term pedophilia loosely to cover all forms of sexual predators/pornographers. There are methods of treatment, but no one can take the urges for children away. No one.
Believers have fallen prey to the world's wisdom on this one. There is ALWAYS hope. But we scream for blood just as loudly as the rest of humanity. It feels good. We have a right to it. We are protecting our children, just as the Bible tells us to.
Even after man's justice is served and the people who abuse children are behind bars, they live at the bottom of the food chain. I'm the daughter of a retired deputy prison warden. I know what goes on in jail. Once word is out someone's a kiddie hustler, that person is in for a life of living hell.
And what about after these people get out? Sex Offender Registries, announcements to communities that a pedophile is moving to town, stigma, fear, isolation. And because rehabilitation is thought to be impossible, the tag will never die.
But what about redemption?
I'll be honest… when I'm confronted with the lust of people over kiddie porn or see how people in developed nations travel the world with impunity to buy sex from children as young as 3, I seethe with rage. And I believe Christ does as well. When I see little girls lining the Romanian highway through the Carpathians, I want to drag by the hair the people forcing such abuse on young ones. I itch to pick up the sharpest of stones along with the rest of the angry world.
But true love casts out all fear. Not anger. Not vengeance. Not righteous indignation. Love. And I'm not talking sappy love. I'm talking tough-as-nails love. Love that had to die to pay for ALL sin… once FOR ALL.
I cannot dictate the anger and pain victims of sexual abuse and slavery have gone through and have to live with for the rest of their lives. I cannot imagine the pieces their families have to pick up and cut themselves on as they struggle to put some semblance of reality back together. I do not know if sexual predation is 'incurable' or not.
But if we continue to live in hatred and fear of these people, all we will breed is more fear and more hate. And there will no chance for redemption for those who prey on children. Yes, justice must be served. Children must be protected. Sexual exploitation of anyone is utterly unacceptable. But in that stand, will we be steered by fear?
Or will we lower the daggers and be steered by love?