. . .was not supposed to mean “let the children suffer.”
What is it about these men
Hell-bent on winning souls—
Or football games? When
Do they start becoming blind,
Deaf, derelict and craven:
Transfixed by what they find?
Our children deserve better.
We owe them our vigilance.
So predators aren’t spawned
By power and our silence:
We’re complicit: we fawned.
And thus a child is pawned.
Is it the satin shimmer
Of vestments on our clerics?
Is it the glitter of the return
On investments in athletics
That makes it so hard to discern,
Our duty to the child, not the abuser?
It isn’t something to debate. Look
It up: statute and scripture too.
It’s children first, by every Book.
Besides, shouldn’t simple decency
Prompt a man to put a name
To every child whose pain
Tugs at the cloak of his fame?
How much more
If you’re a living legend
Like Joe Paterno,
Or anointed to forgive sin
And lead the faithful
Like Bishop Robert Finn?
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 18:10
Excellent analogy, Dawn. The church pedophile scandal adds more dimension to this insanity. I’m hoping that Penn State i losing today. The whole university looks like a heap of losers.
Hi Pat: This is so hard to fathom–and impossibly gut-wrenching–that so many would look away and go about their lives knowing a child–children–had been abused by someone they worked with daily.
My heart has been so heavy since this news broke. When I have more time, I’ll send you my thoughts. In the meantime, your poetry expresses this horror in a way that only you can.
I would dare anyone who knows how to appeal to the mentality that drives this sort of vast coverup and implicit okness to do a simple (that means some serious research and financial knowledge) comparison/contrast of what these institutions make in money to the money involved in fixing up lives or lost in lives that become entangled in these coverups.
For every boy, for example who gets molested, what is the cost financially to get “fixed” in therapy , what cost to him if he now becomes a pedophile if he gets no help, what cost to him if he cannot marry or cannot do right by his children if he has any, what cost to our society if he kills himself…….since money seems to speak to those who admire power and control as their God…….I would challenge someone to figure it out financially what is lost…and compare this to the gain for each game….each time the basket gets passed in the churches……
Secondly, I would ask for more press details to the ignorant out in the masses who want to continue to compare homosexuality to pedophilia as one and the same. Hello, we are in 2011.
Lastly, oppression is oppression is oppression. To violate the body of a child and trample the child’s soul where basic trust and love resides…..requires us all to learn that we have to offer redemption to those who do this to another human being. If a rapist, pedophile, or sexual violater believes in thier own hearts that they will never be forgiven in the bigger picture of God’s forgiveness, then they will continue to do this over and over again. We have so much information and research done already about how to work with oppressors…with violaters, with those who take and cannot give……we have to use it with great intention and we have to educate the public about this work. Forgiveness is not an excuse, is not a let’s pretend it will go away…real forgiveness begins when anyone owns up to the responsibilty of the crime and asks for mercy. Perhaps mercy comes in jail sentences, in rehab programs, in banishment to places no one can harm a child again.