Killing the bad guy

It’s so appealing. It’s part of out culture, perhaps part of our humanness. We’ve killed bad guys as long as we’ve been killing. David walloping Goliath is a classic Good Guy/Bad Guy story – and Goliath wasn’t even all that bad, as I can remember. He was just big and on the other team. In the US today, we also have the pleasure of joining our forebears in celebration the killing of Bad Guys by doing it ourselves, as a society. We take the bad guys, put them in prison for a long time, then finally knock ‘em off.

 

Killing is a hard habit to get out of. Remember that Jesus guy that people get all excited about? He said something pretty clear about how we shouldn’t kill people. His dad had his bearded mountaintop secretary write the same thing in stone. We kept killing. When Rome decided to become Christian there was a whole heap of issues that had to be worked out – one of the big ones being the philosophical and theological contortions the churchmen had to twist themselves into in order to turn a peaceful religion into the state religion of a pretty scarily warlike people. Soldiers marching under Jesus had to have a reason to ignore the central tenets of their faith – and those early church leaders did such a bang-up job of it we ended up with crusades, inquisitions, sectarian wars… and the ‘pro-life’ executioners and war-mongers who wave the big Cross today.

 

We like killing. I ain’t going to go all Konrad Lorenz and discuss the nature of it and all. I just think it bears saying.

 

All I’m getting to is that if we like killing, and we especially like killing bad guys, the probability of Terry Williams’ execution is just a bit too darkly ironic. We, as a society, will kill a bad guy for killing a bad guy. When we do it – it’s fine. Their guilt is Beyond Reasonable Doubt (how wrong that has proven to be of late). We KNOW they were bad, so we knock ‘em off.

 

However – it seems that Terry Williams would also have known Beyond Reasonable Doubt what those men had done to him. Years of abuse by power figures fucking him – until his anger exploded? YES it is wrong. YES I think it is bad to kill. But how dare we kill him for doing exactly what we are doing in turn?

 

I’m a bit triggered by all this. Not so good at the words and thoughts thing right now. So fill some in for me, willya?:

 

Pedophile

Pennsylvania

Sandusky

What have we learned?

“They should kill the fucker”

Black 18-year-old

Justice, justice, justice.

 

 

 

Terry Williams

Well – this one raises some issues.
My friends – if you feel that you can lend your voice to this campaign, please do. Go visit http://www.terrywilliamsclemency.com/ for more information
Pennsylvania is preparing to execute Terrance “Terry” Williams, a man who suffered years of physical and sexual abuse by older males, eventually killing two of his abusers while in his teens. 
 
Mr. Williams, known to his friends and family as “Terry,” is on death row for a crime he committed three and one-half months after his 18th birthday. On that tragic day, Terry and another teenager killed a man. As the sentencing jury heard, Terry also committed another killing five months earlier at the age of 17. What the jury did not hear was that both of the men had sexually abused Terry, and both crimes directly related to Terry’s history of sexual abuse by older males, which began when he was six years old.
 
Terry suffered extreme physical and sexual abuse
 
Terry’s abuse continued throughout his adolescence. One of his abusers was his former public schoolteacher. That abuse caused Terry such intense pain and confusion that he began cutting himself and engaging in other acts of self-mutilation.
 
Widespread support for clemency in this case
 
Terry’s case has been the subject of an unprecedented outpouring of support from prominent groups and individuals across Pennsylvania. Child advocates, victims’ rights groups, former prosecutors, former judges, faith leaders, mental health professionals, law professors and others have expressed their support for commuting Terry’s sentence to life without parole.
 
What the jury didn’t know
 
The jury that sentenced Terry to death never heard that both of the men who Terry killed, like other sexual predators, were significantly older men who used their positions of power and authority to prey on vulnerable underage boys. Terry was one of those boys. In fact, the night before he committed the crime for which he was sentenced to death, Terry was violently sexually assaulted by the man he killed – a man who had been sexually abusing Terry for years, and who used his position in the local church to prey on other boys.
 
The jury never heard that, like so many other children, the physical and emotional abuse Terry suffered at the hands of his mother and the abandonment he felt from the father he never knew made Terry an easy target for sexually-predatory older men. The jury also never heard how the sexual and psychological traumas that Terry suffered directly impacted his thinking and actions at the time of the killings, throughout the trial, and to this very day. As Dr. David Lisak, a nationally recognized expert on child sexual abuse, explained, “Terry Williams suffered a succession of sustained traumas over the course of his childhood that utterly undermined his development and were directly related to the crimes for which he is now incarcerated. His mother brutally abused him, both physically and emotionally, and so damaged [him] that he desperately sought the attention and approval of an older male, someone who could replace the father he never knew. His desperate need was a vulnerability that drew sexual predators to him. From the age of six Terry was systematically abused and sexually assaulted by a succession of sexual predators, including one of his teachers. He felt intense shame and disgust, and loathed himself. And over time, some of that hate began to turn towards the men who [were] preying on him.”
 
Terry’s experience and current cases of child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania
 
In recent years, Pennsylvanians were horrified to learn that so many young people were sexually assaulted by clergymen. The horrors of child sexual abuse in this state continued when former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was charged and convicted of sex crimes against young boys. Without intervention, the effects of childhood sexual abuse can have lasting, profound, and tragic consequences to the victims and those around them. Prosecutors, judges, legislators, and our Governor Tom Corbett have all rightfully acknowledged that much more could and should have been done to prevent the physical and psychological trauma wrought upon the victims abused by the clergy and Sandusky. Terry Williams never received any counseling or mental health treatment to deal with the effects of the abuse he suffered. No one – not a parent, not a teacher, not a doctor or clergy person – came to his aid. Instead, many of the people who should have helped Terry continued to prey on him.
 
​Like so many adolescent victims of sexual abuse, Terry felt intense shame that kept him from talking about what had happened to him. Terry’s history of sexual abuse was not presented at his capital trial because Terry’s lawyer failed to conduct any meaningful investigation into Terry’s background and ignored obvious evidence of abuse. While courts agreed that Terry’s lawyer failed him, those courts also said that evidence of sexual abuse would not have made a difference to the jury. However, in sworn affidavits, jurors who sentenced Terry have acknowledged that they would not have voted for a death sentence had they known about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child, the abuse he suffered at the hands of the men he killed, and the psychological impact of that abuse. In addition, several jurors have stated that they voted for Terry to be put to death only because they mistakenly believed that if they did not sentence Terry to death he would later become eligible for release on parole. In truth, both now and at the time of his sentencing, a life sentence in Pennsylvania meant that Terry Williams would never have been eligible for parole. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is the only state in the country that does not require the judge to instruct the jury that a life sentence means life without the possibility of parole, and no such instruction was given in Terry’s case.
 
The victim’s widow supports clemency for Terry
 
In addition to the jurors, the victim’s widow does not want Terry executed for her husband’s killing. She has stated that she supports commuting his death sentence to life without the possibility of parole.
 
Terry is deeply remorseful for his actions. There are no excuses or justifications for the crimes he committed. Nonetheless, the abuse he suffered provides significant insight into the betrayed, traumatized, and impaired thinking that led him to commit those terrible crimes. Pennsylvania should not execute Terry Williams because:
 
– Terry suffered horrific sexual and physical abuse during his childhood and no one intervened to get him help when he was boy;
 
– The jury did not know about his history of childhood sexual abuse and trauma;
 
– The jury did not know that the men he killed were his abusers;
 
– Terry was only 18 years old at the time of the crime for which he was sentenced to death and the jury did not know about the psychological impact of sexual abuse on someone as young as Terry;
 
– Jurors did not know that he would never be eligible for parole;
 
– Jurors have stated that they would not have voted for death if they had known about his sexual abuse and ineligibility for parole; and
 
– The victim’s widow does not want Terry executed for her husband’s killing. 
 
For all these reasons, we urge the members of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, and Governor Tom Corbett to commute Terry’s sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

in the beginning…

Here’s another essay that’s getting published elsewhere soon… it grew out of a discussion I had with a great bunch of high-school actors in San Diego last year. But it also seems appropriate for this forum. So here ’tis:

 

 

 

Possibly the most oft-quoted line of the bible is the opening salvo, launching us into that confoundingly complex and conflicted book of Genesis. You know it – the magical, pregnant-with-possiblity phrase is in your head whether you are a devout Baptist or an avowed Atheist:

 

 

In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth

 

 

You may know it slightly differently. He may just create ‘the world’. There are different versions, anyway – the King James version prefers a singular Heaven (and I prefer the King James), but most modern editions like the plural. Minor details aside, it’s so simple, so familiar that you’ll always get the gist.

 

 

I could get into a discussion on the nature of the cosmos, the ineluctable advance of the Human organism toward discovery, the massive complexity and reach of the scientific project which is in a way a pure expression of Humanity’s human-ness… but that is all by the by. Creationist, Darwinist, Paleobotanist, Orthodontist – I don’t really care. What sings out to me in that astonishing claim is not the bit that, since Georgius Agricola began to age the earth, has been the center of such controversy. Fact or opinion, the origin of the Universe is a bit much for a small mind like mine to contemplate. But if you remove the specific and limiting what out of it all, if you kick the Object – that pesky, defining noun group at the end of the sentence – to the kerb, you end up with a simple statement of profound beauty:

 

 

In the beginning, God created.

 

 

The matter of what  he created or how he created or how long it took is the concern of the rest of the sentence and the rest of Genesis: a tribal history, an attempt by an ancient culture to explain their surroundings and make sense of their history. Dwell, instead, in the sheer beauty of that simple, elegant, and profound notion: in the beginning, God created.

 

 

When I say it to myself it bounces around in my mind like a ping-pong ball on an uneven floor, or whirrrrs with the anticipatory glee of a silver ball racing around the banked sides of a Roulette wheel.

 

 

God, you see, could have done anything. God could have gone for a stroll, or taken a nap, or scratched her tummy, farted, and settled down on the sofa to watch an episode of Real Housewives. But instead, God did that thing that makes God, God. Creating. If God never created anything, there would be no Epsilon, Psi or Delta between the Alpha and Omega. God would be a beginning and end with no middle, just a timeless, formless Everything; indeed, without time and form God would really be a Nothing.

 

 

The essential nature of God is to create. That is the sole defining characteristic of Godliness. If God intervenes or doesn’t intervene in human lives, if God wears a fiery breastplate, hurls lightning bolts, has six arms – or if God has no form at all – it is the Creating that makes God so. Those who follow no religion, but consider themselves spiritual, will, for fear of mistakenly saluting the Divine with the wrong name, instead address their higher power as “Creator”, figuring that that is the only foolproof way of getting a prayer delivered through the Celestial postal service. Without Creation, God is meaningless.

 

 

Is money godlike? Is sport godlike? Are cars and houses and political parties and ideologies godlike? Absolutely not. Is Love godlike? I don’t know. Some sects believe in a loving god. Some believe in an angry one. And although love is a fairly good spur to creativity, in the end, Love is not a necessary component of God. I can imagine a god that has no love. The only necessary component of the Divine is Creation.

 

 

But what does that mean for us mortals, wandering around on this flat disc of earth, as it rests on giant pillars supported on the back of the Great Eternal Turtle, swimming blindly through the cosmos?

 

 

Well – it follows that to create, whether you are a believer or not, is to participate in the only divine and God-like act we humans are capable of. To err is human, sure. But so is forgiveness. It’s moral. Relative. Human. -As are other forms of creation: biological creation may be miraculous (or miraculous-seeming), but the gestation and excretion of life is no more god-like than the gestation and excretion of poop. The involuntary accumulation of biomass is organic, a biological fact shared by all mortals, be they humans or horses. In fact, biological reproduction is probably our LEAST godlike trait. The Christian God, for one, is so incapable of autogenesis that he had to delegate to a mortal woman the task of creating Him in human form.

 

 

REAL creation is both more simple, and vastly more complex, than that. To create is to partake in the most mystical activity – to actively and consciously make something that was previously unmade. The divinity is the same whether the end result is a French genius’ vast oil painting of a pond with waterlilies, or a child’s poorly glazed, lumpen coffee-cup made in an after school pottery class. One may be more aesthetically pleasing and more artistically daring and complex than the other, but both are expressions of the same divinity. Both are created. Both are Godlike.

 

 

The writer Elizabeth Gilbert talks beautifully about creativity. She appreciates the divinity of the act, goes so far as to almost have an animist view of creation: that songs and poems and paintings are already ‘out there’ in the universe, and need us as Artists to give them a chance to take form. And I love her view. I love her stories of Tom Waits talking to his songs, cajoling them, bribing them, threatening them into existence. I love the notion that people used to talk of having a genius (think: genie), not being a genius. And I have come to share her conclusions – that we do not own what we have made, that the created work has its own independent existence. She adds a layer of spirituality to this quest that complements the essential divinity of the act of creation itself.

 

 

But what does this mean? I’m getting all airy-fairy and talking about God farting for what?

 

 

Simple. If Art is divine. I’m saying that Artists are the highest priests of my faith. The simple act of whistling a made-up tune draws us into the presence of God. Even composing a filthy limerick is a pure form of worship.

 

 

Perhaps God made mankind as a vast mini-god project: that our whole purpose on this plane of existence is to make Art, to create, to combine our individual creative, godlike output with the godlike output of others, and that in so doing we are erecting a vast, gorgeous temple of mad, random beauty that is truly built in God’s likeness.

 

 

Go on, then. Create. Make something, write something, grab a book of poems from the shelf and read one aloud. Sing ‘Since U Been Gone’ at the top of your lungs. Perform. Build. Paint. Knit. These small acts of devotion are worth more than all the moral posturing, or liturgical tongue-wagging in the world. And in the darkest moments, when God or ‘god’ is absent from our lives, the act of creation brings divinity into the world.

 

 

I suppose I should finish with:

 

 

amen

 

 

A story

A story:

During a winter I spent in Moscow, in 2000, I befriended an old Jewish guy who would rock up to anyone who looked foreign and tell them a joke in whatever language they spoke (I think he spoke 7 or 8 languages – he had once been a professor of something). The joke was a Soviet-era ‘Popov’ joke (I won’t go into detail – it was a trope, and none of them were funny). And after he told the unfunny joke, he would explain it. And then ask for money.

 

 

One day we ran into each other in Gorky Park, a frozen waste with closed-down carnival rides, grey skies, and a small stand selling chips, packets of cigarettes, and half-litre bottles of vodka, so I bought us two of each and sat down on a bench to smoke, munch, and get pleasantly hammered. And he told me his life story. Of course, booze isn’t too good for the memory; so while I remember it all in essence, I have forgotten most in detail – apart from one story:

 

 

During the Red Army’s headlong race to Berlin in the late winter and spring of 1945 – when they were traveling so fast that brigades of soldiers were marched abreast across minefields in order to clear any explosives, since their heavy armour and minesweepers simply couldn’t keep up – they started to come across factories staffed with Russian women and girls who had been captured by the Wermacht in their Eastward push, enslaved, removed to the rear and forced to work.  Now, according to Soviet propaganda, anyone who was giving assistance to the Nazis was a traitor and collaborator, so the dormitories where the girls were kept became instant rape camps for the Red Army soldiers; here were pretty Slavic girls who spoke the same language, who could ably fill in for those girls remembered from back home, if only for an afternoon… I remember a few years ago reading an account by one of these women where she laughed – laughed – at her silliness in resisting the first rape.  It wasn’t until the second, and third, that she realised that it was better to just give in and save herself extra violence.

 

 

And let’s face it. Armies always were, with rare exceptions, up until very recent history all pretty much swarms of rapists. Sex is one of the few consolations of war. Let’s not hide our faces and pretend that we have suddenly evolved in the last fifty years into a species where violence and the urge to subjugation is a rare, isolated aberration in our new genetic code. It’s what we do best as a species…

 

 

I digress. Back to the story: my sozzled old Shtetl buddy told me about his best friend in the War, a towering blonde Slav farm-boy from a small village somewhere south-east of Moscow. They had somehow, miraculously, survived several months of fighting together: both had been too young to fight in the charnel-houses of Stalingrad, and had really only been pressed into duty once the Germans were in retreat – although the killing was still being done at a furious pace (German officers who had fought on both fronts used to call battles with the Western Allies ‘maneuvers with live ammunition’ in comparison to the fury of the Eastern front – and if anyone is in doubt about who ‘won’ WWII, bear in mind that 9 out of 10 Germans killed in the war were killed by Russians)

 

 

So our two friends were surviving in this hell, and one warmish March day the tall blonde friend was allowed to take an afternoon’s R&R in one of the russian rape dormitories. I’ll allow your imagination to fill in those details.

 

Later that evening and into the night, a spring blizzard moved through the area. The temperature plummeted, men looked for warmth in whatever shelter they could find – and when morning came my Jewish friend went searching for his buddy, only to find his body in a haystack, frozen to death. He had removed his greatcoat and wrapped it around an orphaned young Polish farm girl, and held her tight in the cold so that she could survive the night.

 

 

In a matter of a few hours, this man had gone from mindless depravity to self-sacrificing nobility.  He had been a monster and a saint. And in doing so, he had merely been a human being in an extraordinary circumstance. We ALL have the capacity for utmost nastiness and utmost good. We just need the circumstance to be right for us to express it. Good people, teachers and doctors, will head up ethnic cleansing squads. For every Oscar Schindler there is a neighbor, the one who lent you their lawnmower, who will burn your house to the ground with you in it. Your brother-in-law will drag you from your bed and hack you to pieces with a machete. Or a cop with a spotless record, charged with defending civil law, will shoot you when you try to cross a bridge to flee the flooding in your New Orleans parish. These people aren’t ‘evil’. That implies a diabolical, a supernatural element. They are infinitely human, in thrall to impulses and doctrines of hate, anger, and murder.

 

 

I recently watched a 20/20 item from a few years ago, where a guy was emotionally and physically abusing his wife so badly he was sentenced to 36 years in jail. He had his 13-year-old son document his ‘punishments’ on the wife, with a home video camera, so when he played it back to her she could see how her behavior warranted his reaction. That footage was played in court, and in the piece: at one point, he drags her off a bed where he has shoved her, onto the floor. She is covering her face, trying to be as still and passive as possible to avoid inciting him further, trying to protect herself. And as he slaps and pokes her you could hear the rage in his voice taking over, barely contained – yes, he was violent, but inside that voice, at one particular moment, I could hear the true rage that he was actually holding down, the impulse to close the hand into a fist; I could hear the tension in his body as the muscles required to pull the blows back warred with the muscles that wanted to release their full energy into her curled body; I could hear the homicide trying to rip itself up to the surface. That the woman in the video is alive today is a kind of miracle, I believe.

 

 

I believe we all have that voice in us. I think that that husband got the sentence he got because the Judge heard himself in that voice, and realised how scary and how dangerous that it is, how powerful and all-consuming.  We are at our worst when that voice starts to come out.  We are at our best when we have the guts to recognise the Bad in ourselves.

 

If we deny that it is there, how can we ever fight it?

 

 

Ohhhhh… I know I shouldn’t, but…

It was recently brought to my attention that the name I give to my frisky-fingered no-good boy-lovin’ godfather in this blog, ‘El Pedo’, when translated into Spanish means “The Fart”. And there is just something so comforting, so perfect in that name… the puffed-up red-cheeked bag of wind could have no more felicitous appellation unless I had unwittingly come up with some harmless moniker that, in Nkosa, translates directly as “The Cunt”.

 

So, in honour of The Fart, I have decided to just have a bit more fun mocking. I shall occasionally feature my favourite pop-culture pedos (Oooh – more Gary Glitter)… or things that are just questionable, such as:

 

 

Before you get upset and yell about how Wham Bam You Are A Man and that the song is sexy and all, but not pedo-sexy … I KNOW Giorgos Michaelopolous is gay, I KNOW he’s not a pedo, I KNOW the song means something else (does it?) but…

 

I will be your father figure
Put your tiny hand in mine
I will be your preacher teacher
(Be your daddy)
Anything you have in mind
I will be your father figure
I have had enough of crime
I will be the one who loves you –
Until the end of time
That’s all I wanted
But sometimes love can be mistaken
For a crime

 

 

Yeah. George just want’s to be the one who loves you like a father – even though SOME people may think that that particular kind of father-love is criminal.  And probably is.  Technically.  Under Federal law.

 

Oh – and by the way: anyone who says they want to be your preacher-daddy is probably not good relationship material.  Next thing they’ll want to do is get all R Kelly and piddle on you.  Or put you in a well in their cellar and get you to rub lotion on your skin under threat of a good hosing.

 

Next week: How Chantilly Lace And A Pretty Face With A Ponytail Hanging Down is step one on the short journey to a statutory rape charge.

 

Your own personal Jesus

Here’s a recent quote from US evangelical Christian leader Pat Robertson that has lit a wee fire of soul-searching and condemnation from many in the Christian world. Robertson was responding to a woman’s question about a boyfriend who didn’t want to marry her because she had kids she had adopted from orphanages overseas. He had said that if they were her kids, that would be a different story. Robertson’s response was:

 

“A man doesn’t want to take on the United Nations, and a woman has all these various children, blended family, what is it – you don’t know what problems there are. I’m serious. I’ve got a dear friend, an adopted son, a little kid from an orphanage down in Columbia. Child had brain damage, grew up weird. And you just never know what’s been done to a child before you get that child. What kind of sexual abuse has been, what kind of cruelty, what kind of food deprivation, etc. etc. You don’t have to take on somebody else’s problems. You really don’t. You can help people – we minister to orphans all over the world, we love helping people. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to take all the orphans around the world into my home.” 

 

You see – children are a bit like used cars. You want to know their history. You want their records of service. But even with all that, you don’t know how aggressively they’ve been driven, how rough the previous owner has been on the gearbox or the chassis, how swiftly problems have been addressed. It’s a risk. Better to get a new one.

 

(It brings to mind a conversation I mentioned in an earlier post, when I met a guy with spina bifida who was well into his fifties, slaloming down an alleyway in an electric wheelchair. As spina bifida is a disorder that can be detected in utero, many parents-to-be now opt to abort fetuses who test positive… Fair enough – God knows how difficult it would be to raise kids with physical or mental disabilities. But either way, the chilling fact remained that this happy, funny, intellectual and outgoing guy may never have existed if his parents had that option open to them.)

 

But back to Robertson. Now – if he was saying that there is no law or moral code saying that the boyfriend has to marry her and has to take on the kids that would be one thing. Of course your partner’s children must be considered when marriage is on the cards. But instead of saying hey – it’s a big step,  find out what these kids need, and if you feel like you can’t fulfill that role, then yeah, maybe you aren’t suited to be their new father. He’s saying whoa! No way – you don’t want to get involved in that shit. `Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

 

(I’ll not mention the “United Nations… blended family” comment that smacks just a little of racism. Won’t mention that at all)

 

In making his point Robertson takes the trouble to point out that his mob love helping people and orphanages around the world. But obviously, that help must be administered at an arm’s length. Actually stepping in, making a difference, rescuing children from poverty, abuse, war, disease… meh. You don’t really want to encourage that behavior now, do you? That involves action and risk, whereas helping from a distance just feels gooooooood…

 

This guy doesn’t know if the children have any disorders, he just thinks that because they may have been abused in some way, that means they may be a little weird in some way. Why bother finding out? Toss ‘em away! Bruised apples are only good for the compost heap.

 

What really bugs me is this idea that people who are in some way not whole, who are battered, bruised, and a little bit broken, that they are a little off. That carrying a scar or two through your life makes you less desirable as a person. That if you have been fucked up you aren’t worth fixing because you’ll never really run properly again.

 

I’m even bugged by the idea that people who “run properly” are desirable in the first place. Or that they even fucking exist.

 

Look – I’m not much of a christian at all. In the words of my favorite theologian, Mr. Nick Cave: “I don’t believe in an interventionist God”. I haven’t been – as a smart person once put it – ‘blessed with the gift of faith’.  My saints are the rugby player Michael Jones, and Johnny Cash – one because he walked the walk, the other because he limped the limp. The Jesus I look forward to meeting is the one who went to the poor parts of town, the one who was raised by an adoptive father, the one who… (what’s your phrase Mr Robertson?)… grew up weird as a child, the one who picked fights with bankers and with the heads of the Church, who liked to hang out with foul-mouthed fishermen, who had a girl-Friday who was a hooker, the Jesus who opened his arms to the sick, the poor, the lame and the needy and told the rich to either fuck off or get rid of all their wealth, all their material fixations before they could follow him. I believe in the Jesus who will take the little kid that I was, confused, hurt, angry, and will clean away all the shit that was done to him, and not reject him as unworthy because of it. I believe in a god who is Love.

 

Love is a big thing missing from Mr Robertson and his ilk. Love makes spina bifida man (Spina Bifida Man!!! Able to… umm… able to…)… Where was I? Yes – Love makes him happily slalom his wheelchair down the alleyway. To tease me because my wheels weren’t motorized (I was on a skateboard). Love is what makes every injury we bear worth bearing – because those injuries are sometimes the things that make us most worthy of love.

 

Look – I posted a link to a Paralympics ad the other day. I’m going to be watching all I can. Because when those athletes take to the track, the things that slow them down are the things that make them worth watching. The injuries, the disabilities – it’s the rising above that makes that shit compelling.

 

I read an online comment (why? God knows) where a woman said that everyone should watch the Paralympics – that they’ll all shut up about their own problems. But I disagree. I don’t think the Games are there to say hey – your problem isn’t important so shut up about it, but to say hey – look at what they can do. Can you do it too? Isn’t that why we use the word inspiration?

 

 

You see – children who have been messed up and abused may struggle. They may never escape, but then again, they may soar. Their chances of the latter are greatly enhanced if we look beyond trauma and see the soul within – to find out what they need and see if we can provide it for them. Don’t dare toss them aside because they may be broken. Seriously, Mr Robertson –  go on and ask yourself “What would Jesus do?”

 

You sad, old, worn-out, self-obsessed, bag of shit.

raped, pregnant and ordeal not over: a re-blog

Not much I can add to this. Sexual crimes, like all crimes of power, violence, violation, live on with us for years after the ‘event’. This is worth reading.

Morven's Blog

Despite the recent ignorant comments of Rep. Todd Akin, the act of rape can and does result in pregnancy.  Imagine having survived a brutal rape, only to find out that you are pregnant as a result of that rape.  Nine months later you give birth to a perfect little girl, and you fall in love with her the moment you see her.   (Research shows that 30% of women who are raped and conceive as a result of that rape, choose to keep their children.)  The “mother bear” inside you growls ferociously, as you are determined to protect this precious little one from anyone who could bring her harm.

Then imagine learning that your offender – yes, the man that raped you – has legal rights as the father of your child!   He can co-parent her!

This was the experience of an incredibly gutsy woman named Shauna Prewitt, who…

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