Saturday, January 20, 2007

Cultural Barometers: The Pedophile

Frequently I run across items in the news that the average American will read without seeing the implications behind the story. For instance, in today's news in our local paper's "Local" section is the story of a sheriff in a near-by small town being sentenced to prison for possessing and distributing child pornography and attempting to set up a meeting with what he thought was a 14 year old girl. This is not an isolated event but a "barometer" of the condition our nation finds itself in due in part to one expression of "freedom" of the press we call pornography. I say "due in part" because there is a deeper cause to such behavior and such desires.

Our freedoms in America often work directly against the laws that we have found necessary to legislate in order to prevent criminals such as pedophiles and drunks, from abusing our freedoms, e.g., pornography and the freedom to drink in neighborhood bars and restaurants. The freedom of the press that purports to allow the printing and dissemination of pornography serves to nourish the baser instincts of sinful and dangerous humanity. Given the freedom of pornographers to publish their filth and the freedom of anyone of age to buy it, we cannot pretend to be shocked when pedophilia reaches the pandemic proportions it has in our time (and since when has an "age limit" prevented teenagers or younger from accessing anything?). This local sheriff is one of many thousands in the US who have been arrested in the last two years on the same charges. Adult pornography and child pornography are not one in the same, of course, one is legal and the other is not. But the billion dollor industry of adult pornography has emboldened the sick purveyors of child pornography to ply their highly profitable trade as well, as risky as they know it to be. The goal of the child-pornographer is not necessarily to make a profit through his use and dessimination of his particular brand of smut, but to enjoy vicariously the thrill of knowing that another pervert is viewing his trash.

Pedophiles like for others to think like they do. They want us to believe as they do that little girls are trying to seduce them, that little children are "acting" seductively. They want to think that young girls will find them attractive and desirable thus they communicate over the 'net with their victims. They want to believe that little children think the way they think and that little children are as eager for encounters as they are. And child pornography, though usually portraying children who have been enslaved and forced to perform, encourages such thinking. The pedophile lives in a sick dream world. If there has ever been a reason to believe in evil and a personal and literal devil, the pedophile is it.

The pedophile and child pornographer are extreme examples of cultural barometers, indicating the rampaging fever in which our world finds itself suffering. But they are like a cancer that has metastasized; they are quickly spreading extremes. These spreading extremes will never become normalized as adult pornography has, thank God. But they will continue to spread.

Our laws are instituted to prevent pedophiles from doing what pedophiles do and when they do what pedophiles do and get caught, they are supposed to be appropriately punished. The pitiful thing about laws is that they do not really serve to prevent people from breaking them and so protecting the public from these criminals. They serve rather to punish the guilty after they have commited their crimes. Crime is a fact of life for all of us and a way of life for some of us. The ambulance isn't called until after the accident; the police aren't called until after the crime.

The friends of this sheriff were shocked when he was arrested several weeks ago and charged with these unbelievable charges. He just didn't seem like someone who would do such things; they seldom do. And this is why I say that his behavior is a barometer of our culture and is not an isolated event (many will read this article about the sheriff and never put two and two together and conclude that this is a far-spread problem in our nation. They will say that stuff like this has always gone on, it's just that today with our news media we hear about it more. This attitude is also an accurate barometer of the state of our nation; a state of denial and willful ignorance and just outright stupidity). The sheriff's crimes are more common than most of us care to admit. According to the National Sex Offenders Registry there over 550,000 registered sex offenders in the United States alone (and those are just the one's who have complied with the law and actually registered). The sheriff's name will now be added to that infamous list.

The NSOR gives the following stats:

One in six boys will be molested before their 18th birthday.

One in five girls will be molested before their 18th birthday.

Over 1,000 registered offenders report an address change every day.

One of five children has been propositioned for sex over the internet.

2 of 3 sexual abuses are against teenagers or younger.

The median age for child molestation victimes under 18 is 9.5

90% of the molestors know the families of their victims.

There are over 400,000 new cases of sexual assault reported each year. (This number in my opinion may be inflated, I hope so).

Over 100,000 known predators have failed to register their whereabouts.

This sheriff is a "good ol' boy" in his neighborhood and as far as his closest friends knew just as normal as the rest of us; the scarey thing is, he is just as normal as the rest of us. His picture has been plastered on tv news and in the printed media; he looks like you and me. He has successfully functioned as a law enforcement officer for almost thirty years. We need to pay attention to our barometers. The NSOR very wisely suggest that all parents sign up for their "alerts" that can come straight to your home when a sex offender registers in your community. The rising barometer in our nation demands that every parent take this step.

When our culture feeds and nourishes pedophilia through its freedoms we need to understand that all freedoms provided by our Constitution are abused and broken and we need to appreciate the laws of our great nation that help prevent our slipping into anarchy due soley to the very nature of mankind (this is the deeper cause of our crimes) taking advantage of his so-called freedoms. And we do take advantage of our freedoms often to the point of abusing them thinking this is really what it means to be "free." But certain law-breakers call for a closer watch than others, pedophile/predators being one of them.

Next, I want to examine another barometer in our nation that is rising so quickly that if we miss the cause of this rise, our freedoms that we appreciate and abuse will be on the line.