Commentary on social and moral issues of the day

The Abomination of Child Molestation

Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky

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"But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depths of the sea" (Matthew 18:6)

Through the millennia and the translations from Aramaic through Greek and into English, the force of our Lord's admonition glares through. Can you see His eyes in your mind's eye as He declared that indictment? "It would be better for him": perhaps not in this lifetime, but in the afterlife. What would He say about a culture such as ours, where child molestation is endemic and where we have gone Sodom one better in perversity? In that weird city it was homosexuality that cried out to heaven as an abomination. Despite contemporary "theologians," those scriptural defense attorneys for Gay Rights advocates who skew the obvious as though the sin of Sodom was lack of hospitality to strangers, at least the sexual congress there was among adults. Here in our enlightened times we have to deal with the imposition of adults upon innocent children.

The renowned case of Jon Benet Ramsey still continues to haunt and mystify our society more than a decade after her murder. The beautiful child in heavy adult makeup wearing gaudy costumes and made to parade across stages at beauty contests in order to please her mother and win the prize of Queen, only to be found trussed, gagged, and molested in her basement home on Christmas night of 1996. The lurid details are known and need not be rehashed. But the case is not closed, and perhaps in a way, it's better unsolved. We have a way of finding killers and after the trials considering it behind us. Abominations such as this are better left as reminders that it's not one murderer to blame. It's our entire system that must be brought to justice. We are guilty of pandering to the sexual fantasies of America's population, terming it a sexual revolution, ignoring the revolting underside of what has been unleashed in the name of liberation.

Take into account the bizarre near-solution of the Ramsey episode in our social history, the return of the pathological liar, John Mark Karr from Thailand after he "confessed" to having killed the child only to be revealed that he had a perverse fantasy passion for Jon Benet. How did it enter his ghastly imagination if not for the culture that encourages mothers of young girls to display themselves as nymphs, which then play to the dark obsessions of people like Karr?

We wonder why we Americans are loathed by various groups, mostly Moslems, around the world. Maybe it's because of our present government's myopic unqualified support of Israel and our inability to consider the plight of Palestinians, and maybe there's a bit of envy of our great wealth and position among the nations on the globe; but it has a great deal to do with the flagrant abuse of the fundamental social standards of any religious culture. It's said that in the recent elections Democrats won because Evangelical Christians supporting Republican candidates had been disappointed at the failure of the administration to fulfill the promises made to them for their political support. Compromise on family values, on anti-abortion laws and other such conservative causes were ignored or patronized by the Bush government. But these causes are not only Evangelical -- they are Roman Catholic, Orthodox Christian, fundamental Judaism and include many serious Americans who despite their religion or lack thereof have come to realize that certain basic ethical and moral standards underlie every civilization that has ever existed. America is no exception. Empires end not only from outside attack, but from inner rot.

Read the entire article on the Orthodox Church of America website (new window will open).

Posted: 23-Jan-07

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