Brad Keena examines the devaluation of children in society.
Last week at New York's JFK Airport, a small 5-year-old girl emerged from a commercial flight arriving from Colombia. Traveling alone, the little girl lugged two suitcases through customs before an inspector took her aside to perform a routine check. The officer discovered more than a kilo of heroin packed in her suitcases.
"Sending a 5-year-old girl alone on a plane to smuggle heroin represents a new low - even for drug traffickers," Customs special agent Joe Webber said.
The little girl - believed by U.S. customs to be the youngest child discovered smuggling drugs - is now in the care of a Child Services agency. [By the way, they don't charge tiny children for these crimes. They try to find out who would stoop so low as to send an innocent little child alone to do such an evil task.]
This week, the Pope summoned each of the U.S. Cardinals to the Vatican to remind them there is "no place" for child molesters in the priesthood. That they needed a swift kick to inspire a determination to fight a scandal that has left the church reeling is odd enough. That it took this long for these crimes to come before the light of public scrutiny is a scandal by itself.
Child sexual abuse is "an appalling sin in the eyes of God" and "rightly considered a crime by society," the Pontiff told the Cardinals. "There is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young."
In the West Bank, Palestinian children have been conned into believing there is some type of spiritual value to strapping on bombs and ending their lives killing other children, labeled "Israelis."
"One who blows himself up among those [Israeli] aggressors is a martyr, martyr, martyr, and whoever says otherwise is a ... liar," Egypt's top Islamic cleric, Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, told worshippers earlier this month. Two days later, Tantawi conceded the practice of killing children might not be very "manly."
2002 is not exactly the year of the child. Whether abused by illegal drug profiteers, clerical sex addicts, and those intoxicated with hatred and vengeance, children have become the modern foot soldiers of adult evil around the world. In many ways, the treatment of young children is a reliable barometer of the declining spiritual condition of the world.
In the U.S., children enter a world in which the value of life has been brought low. In a land where abortion is a "right," Congress has failed in attempts to pass a partial birth abortion ban. States are struggling with the federal bench over local attempts to outlaw assisted suicide. Research on human embryos has become a promising new industry. Under Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) the Senate has yet to even vote on legislation that would ban human cloning.
Meanwhile, this month the University of Minnesota is taking well-deserved heat for its plans to publish a book that questions taboos against pedophilia. Worried about the normalization of perversion against children, Concerned Women for America rightly calls the book an "academic cover for child molesters."
Here, the line must be drawn. As a society, we should err on the side of protecting children - and life - over and above those who claim some "right" to do otherwise. That news linking clergymen to acts of pedophilia generated strong public outrage is a good sign. It is equally heartening that nearly four out of five people in the U.S. oppose cloning, according to a recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
"See that you do not despise one of these little ones," Jesus said. "For Isay to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven."
In New York, authorities can't even find the parents of the little girl who arrived alone in the U.S. with suitcases full of heroine. Her safety was never a concern to the people who arranged for her to deliver the goods. After all, what is the value of one small five-year-old to the lucrative international drug trade? But she has untold value before God, and as long as we still call ourselves Americans, so should every other little one - born or unborn - under the law.
This article can be found on the Free Congress website. © Free Congress. Reprinted with permission.