Looking at this picture, the question, "Are werewolves monsters?" seems like a silly question. Yes, that is definately a monster. But what if I posted another picture of "him" in his human form?
|US National Archives|
Now we see just a "nice old man", not a monster, right? This could be your neighbor, your Uncle Stuart, or your child's soccer coach.
I recently read an editoral that talked about this very problem. It said that almost all adults say that they would speak up if they thought a child was being harmed And yet statistics show that they don't. Why is that?
They said it is because too often, particularly when we are thinking about abuse, we think in black and white, good and evil, and we are reluctant to switch Uncle Stuart from good to evil. So we make excuses and we do nothing. The article suggested that it would help if we change our thinking to recognize that sometimes "good people" can do bad things.
I think this editorial was spot on, because how many times have you heard it on the news...someone is arrested for whatever reason, and the new station interviews the neighbors who say, without fail, "I don't believe it. He is such a nice guy."
Well, sometimes "nice guys" do bad things.
Sometimes "bad guys" are teenagers. The average age most offenders start molesting is 14 yrs.
I work with teenage sex offenders, and they are not monsters. (I work graveyard, I don't actually do any kind of "therapy" with them, as you can imagine that would be quite impossible for me right now.) I wake them up for school, I joke with them, and I am genuinely pleased when they do well in the program. They are "offenders" for certain, but they are not monsters.
Most offenses are committed by someone the victim knows. So imagine that you notice that cousin Stuart is exhibting suspicious behavior...wanting to shower with your child, or spend time alone, sleep in the same bed...what should you do?
You don't have to move Cousin Stuart to the "evil" catagory. You can tell yourself that he is a good guy with a problem if that helps. But then you must act to help the child and to help Cousin Stuart...or Uncle Stuart, Grandpa Stuart or Coach Stuart....whomever it is.
- First we must protect his potential victims. Did you know the average "coach offender" molests 100's of boys? Stop and take a moment to think about that...100's of lives damaged. Hundred's of boys going through the same kinds of things you have read here on my blog. We have to say something.
- You will be helping "Stuart" by bring attention to his actions. If he is truly innocent, then he needs to stop exhibitng risky behavior. If he is offending he needs to stop. Christians are sometimes reluctant to pursue prosecution because they want to be "forgiving". To them I say "mercy cannot rob justice". It would be better for him to be stopped from sinning, and deal with the consequences here, than in the next life...
I hope you will stand up and say, "Not on my watch." Let's protect the children from the