Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sexual Crimes and Gifts from God

I am angry. Here are pictures of Shasta and Dylan Groene, the two children who watched their brother, their mother and her boyfriend being murdered and then endured weeks of sexual and emotional abuse before Dylan was also killed.

Shasta says that Duncan showed them the hammer with which he beat their mother to death as he bragged about his actions and intimidated them. Can you imagine?

I want to remember those precious heart is aching for little Shasta, who was only recently told that her 8-year old brother was dead. Poor little girl, what an enormous amount of pain and shock and grief she will have to deal with. It is truly unthinkable and more than I can comprehend. As for the perpetrator, Joe Duncan III, I took a look at his blog. A brief look.

What has me writing this is not his comments. He's a clearly sad, confused, twisted and evil man, who was apparently the victim of numerous incidents of sexual abuse and rape in his childhood. Wiser heads than mine have pondered the ins and outs of sexual deviance and pedophilia in particular. I'm not going to try to do that. I hope the day comes when we understand and can help more than seems currently possible.

As a prison chaplain's wife, I probably have had more interaction with convicted felons than most people. I do see them as people who are loved by God, and I do understand that Duncan is quite correct when he says the "system" is deeply flawed. No kidding. Futrthermore, if I ever cease to believe that humankind still contains, however dimly, the image of God in which we were created and that Jesus Christ came "to save sinners," as the Apostle Paul said, I'll have to turn in my clergy card and go sell insurance or something. Paul was ever mindful of his dark past and very grateful to God for rescuing him from that darkness.

Nonethelses, it is the comments section on Duncan's blog that has me shaking my head in disbelief and dismay. Christian people can be SO unbelievabley foolish and inane. Duncan apparently had at least some realization of his messed up (to put it mildly) state. He speaks of demons, and of confusion and of prayer and of crying out to God. He was on the run from the law towards the end for sexual actions with a child (before stalking the Groene family). Why did no Christian urge him to stop running turn himself in to the police before worse happened? Now, I don't know what drove him, or seems to have destroyed his mind and spirit and conscience, but I know this much--it is stupid to say to such a twisted and tormented man, "Just ask God to help you," or even worse, "God will never give you more than you can handle." Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!

May I have chapter and verse for that one, please? (Hint: Don't bother looking. It aint in the Bible.) That non-existent Bible verse has been quoted to me more times than I can say. I never can resist saying (hopefully graciously) that there is actually no such scripture.

Whatever causes us to believe that GOD gives torment? What a horrible picture of God! Such misery does not come from God! What the scripture does say is that every good gift comes from God. Not confusion. Not lies. Not narcissistic drivel. Not evil. Not torment. Not abuse, not using people as our playthings, not murder, not hatred, not total disregard for human life, not scarring an innocent child, nor plunging a family into unimaginable grief.

Please, fellow followers of Jesus, don't make Christian people look like idiots! How does God stand humanity sometimes? I really do find God's love quite inexplicable!

Which, in the end, makes me ever more grateful for what scripture actually does say -- which is that with temptation God will provide a way of escape. I often wonder if people look for it. No excuse for Duncan. None. I'd end my own life (not something I approve of or recommend) before disregarding other human beings in the manner he did.

To those who are not Christians who may read this, not all believers in Jesus are Bible quoting (misquoting) saps. Really.

God, help us, your well-meaning and often misguided children to be loving and kind and gentle without being fools.


Anonymous said...

I've been thinking along those lines for a while. Whenever someone lays that line on me, I want to let them have it. Maybe it wasn't God who allowed certain things to happen which really are more than some people can bear. I'm sure not going to blame Him for things like sexual abuse or terrorism.

Anyway, nice to get a little pastoral validation :)


D. P. said...

Thanks, SingingOwl. I hate that line--and the theology that comes with it. Are we so fatalistic that we fail to understand that there really are forces in this world that are opposed to God and accomplish things of which God does not approve?! Is all that "spiritual warfare" stuff in the Bible just window dressing?

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

That fatalisim, boy, that gets to me! Why pray "your will be done" if everything that happens is God given! Another one that people keep saying these days, as if everything is always just peachy keen is, "Everything happens for a reason." Whatever happened to "study to show yourself approved unto God..." We are woefully short on "study" and woefully long on spiritual-sounding drivel! Ah, don't get me started again...sigh.

D. P. said...

"Everything happens for a reason." Yep, Satan hates you and has a horrible plan for your life...