Few things upset me more than hearing a child was abducted, sexually assaulted and killed. In the case of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, the crime was committed by a registered sex offender who failed to report that he relocated as required by law.
What’s worse, this repeat offender reportedly made it no secret that he was unable to control his depraved urges. His 24 arrests spanning 30 years and his rap sheet practically guaranteed his days of predation would continue.
Just about the same time this story aired, I saw a segment on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” warning of the predator-like nature of child molesters. It showed an interview with a pedophile who told of the premeditated nature of his crimes. He specifically told how he manipulated his young victims to trust him.
After the interview, Oprah herself related pieces of her own story.
She was molested by an uncle when she was a young girl. It wasn’t until she was in her 40s that her father asked for the details of what happened. Her response to her father and the viewing audience was that no matter what happened, she was violated by her uncle and her uncle alone “was responsible.”
Oprah said (and I paraphrase), “Even if I approached him naked and sat on his head, he had the responsibility to tell me to go home, put my clothes on or walk away. He was the adult, and I was the child.”
I couldn’t agree with Oprah more. I strongly suspect that most of the millions of women watching her program also agreed.
So the question is: “Why don’t we better protect our children from and more aggressively pursue sexual predators?”
The answer, in part, is because as a society, we glamorize and promote sex through every possible venue. Selling sex is a multi-billion dollar industry. It is integral to mainstream media, available through the Internet and sold through billboards, bookstores and supermarkets. We not only expose adults but also our children to every form of sexuality, including information on alternative lifestyles in grade school.
We treat children as though they are capable of adult sexual relationships when they are not. Proof can be seen almost any night in prime-time television programming, which has the impact of making both victims and predators of our children.
Just last week, a local prosecutor, told me of one of his cases in which a 14-year-old boy molested his 4-year-old cousin. While no penetration took place, the boy’s goal was to ejaculate. When asked what prompted his behavior, the boy simply replied “TV,” specifically programming he watched on HBO.
Common sense tells us that children should not be having sex with each other or adults. So it should be deterred, not encouraged or condoned. Yet as a society, we promote it and then lash out against those who attempt to shield or protect our children from such abuses.
Pornography, X-rated television programming and Hollywood films are all protected through a distorted exercise of free speech and the First Amendment. Now, sexual predators ironically are being protected through the right of privacy – the same grounds used by the Supreme Court in 1973 when discovering a constitutional right to abortion.
Consider that in Kansas and Indiana the states’ chief law enforcement officials have decided to pursue and prosecute child molesters by searching medical records for evidence of rape and child abuse.
Specifically, in Indiana, Attorney General Steve Carter and his Medical Fraud Control Unit want to search the medical records of 12- and 13-year-olds who were victims of child abuse. (In Indiana, anybody under the age of 14 who has sex is, by law, a victim of abuse.)
In Kansas, Attorney General Phill Kline has subpoenaed medical records in an investigation of abortion clinics regarding child rape and illegal late term abortions. (Under Kansas law, when a girl under 14 is pregnant, she has been raped.)
Attorneys General Kline and Carter obviously recognize their duty to investigate such criminal activity to protect the children of their respective states. They also recognize their duty to expose and prosecute those who routinely cover up such crimes.
As you might expect, Planned Parenthood is denouncing the efforts to seize patient medical records from clinics, calling the actions “a coordinated attempt to intimidate health-care providers and patients.” In each case, abortion rights advocates object on grounds of privacy.
Ironically, that means the rapists go free under the veil of women’s sexual freedom and right to abortion. So instead of protecting the very people the organization supposedly exists to serve, Planned Parenthood is protecting men who abuse women and young girls.
Truth is the reaction of Planned Parenthood isn’t a surprise. The surprise is that the so many millions of men and women can be alarmed and outraged by the sexual assault and murder of a 9-year-old little girl like Jessica and not see their contribution. It lies in society’s tolerance and individual support of abortion and sexual promiscuity in its myriad forms. In the end, it makes us all partly to blame for what happened to Jessica Lunsford.