Well, hold on to your britches, because I am about to post a commentary here. I have avoided blogging about too many hot topics, but there is just something that keeps coming up that I am not sure what I think about. If you know me, you know that I am a social worker and for seven years I worked with abused children. I became quite the expert on child abuse through a ton of training and experience. There's a little quip that I would hear from time to time that goes something like this: "Not everyone who was abused grows up to abuse but those who do abuse were abused." That is now shortened in words but expanded in areas of pain to be: "Hurt people hurt people." Now on the one hand, as a Christian and social worker and MOTHER, I want to get a full grasp on that little phrase. I teach my kids that when people are ugly, hateful, or hurtful....truly they are miserable and rather than feel hurt by them, feel hurt for them....maybe even pray for them. THAT is even more important when the one doing the hurting is family. And I am mostly talking about hurting with words, as that is how most people lash out.
Now on the other hand, there is the side of me that hurts for the victims and wants to not feel any kind of sympathy for the perpetrator. Yesterday, I was able to attend the second day of a Crime Victim's Conference in a neighboring town, and I got to hear Mark Lunsford, father of Jessica Lunsford. You may recall that Jessica was abducted, raped, and buried alive a couple or three years ago. The man responsible is sitting right where he should be, on death row in the state of Florida. And because of the system, which seems to be more FOR the criminals than the victims, he will probably sit there for 13 years. Jessica only lived 9 years. I digress...
I think sometimes hurt people hurt people. And I know that I am human and have "participated" in my fair share of hurting people. However, there are those who go far beyond hurting people. Also, a few years ago, I heard Jan Hindman speak and she was phenomenal. She has done research that included some studies on why offenders offend and it may surprise you that when given a polygraph and immunity, very few abusers that were researched were actually abused. Another study of hers showed that a more common trend is that the abused grow up to be helpers....like police officers, therapists, and social workers. She theorized that the average person would RATHER believe that abusers were abused and that abusers figure this out and LIE to us....it softens the blow just a bit when we feel sorry for them.
Unfortunately, when we feel pity for the perpetrator, they don't suffer the consequences they need to in order to protect the public, including our children. Back to Jessica Lunsford: If you are familiar with her situation at all...her murderer was a CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER. Why would he be free??? If he had his little hind end in prison, Jessica would still be here. You can learn more about better legislation here. Incidentally, it is not JUST legislation that is needed. Funding is needed. The president signed the Adam Walsh Act in 2006 and the dollars have not been provided to train and implement the child protection and safety spelled out in the act.
It wasn't really my intention to get political, but I guess when I get passionate about children (YOUR children and MY children), I get a little carried away. I really wanted to talk about "hurt people hurt people." And I am expanding that hurt all the way to abuse and murder...because another common quip is: "sin is sin is sin" or "God doesn't classify sin." Knowing what I know about how abusers aren't necessarily abuse victims, I am not sure I want to ALWAYS accept that "hurt people hurt people." Of course, the first hurt isn't always abuse either. They could be hurt by neglect. Another topic I get really passionate about is attachment, which Dr. Karyn Purvis has been a HUGE teaching tool for me, and perhaps I will blog about this issue at another date. But lack of attachment can lead to survival techniques which can hurt others.
So....how do I make sense of all of these feelings? I want to feel compassion for my fellow man but I personally want to put a limit on it, almost as if some of those out there hurting were not human. And that is another theory: that Satan has his demons walking around with skin on perpetrating some of these heinous acts. And perhaps that is true. I am just being honest with my struggle here. I think deep down I know that it is not up to me to decide WHY these folks act the way they do. And there is a good reason that God is God and I am not, because He can love His children better than I can. He can show mercy and grace, when I don't have to. Still...I wonder....doesn't He want me to love my neighbor? I just know I read that somewhere :-)
Well, there you have it: my somewhat political, yet honest, and even a bit weak on the controversial stuff post. Any thoughts?