I Can Only Hope God Has Mercy on Sex-Offending Clergy

Huffington Post

Diane Weber Bederman

We all have a bit of Cain in us. The part of us that is still connected to the animal emotions within that have not been filtered by our more mature moral pre-frontal cortex. We’ve seen it in Rob Ford: that bare-naked uncontrollable rage against someone, against the world.

I know that feeling all too well. It comes over me when I read about child abuse, especially child sexual abuse, especially committed by clergy.

I envision myself in front of the abuser, military weapon in hand, the kind that shoots out gazillions of bullets per nano-second. And I just fire away slicing the creature in half. These hateful, angry feelings had once led me to believe in capital punishment because I did not believe these monsters had the right to breathe the air we share.

It’s those emotions deep within my amygdala that make me thankful for my belief in the God of justice and mercy. I feel His hand on my shoulder reminding me that “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.” I can let go of the hate and remind myself again that I do not believe in capital punishment. That I don’t want the state taking life. I leave that in the hands of God. It is our responsibility as citizens to rage against these heinous acts.

We’ve witnessed sexual abuse by priests and the cover up. Now we face sexual abuse, rape, of children in ultra-orthodox Jewish communities around the world, with its attempted cover up. Orthodox Jewish groups instruct “their” Jews they may only report allegations of child sexual abuse to district attorneys or the police if a rabbi first determines the suspicions are credible. There are in these cloistered communities those who believe the secular court system is unreliable and “allegations” must be reviewed by a rabbinical court system.

No. We must never be so tolerant of any religious group they feel they’re separate and protected from the laws of the land. Spanking a child can lead to a visit from Children’s Aid. Why do these religious cults get a pass?

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