There is a lot of bad in the world right now, no one will dispute, but yesterday a “fake” news story came across my FB feed that brought me to my knees. I call it “fake” because Snopes said it was fake but several news sites, two that I trust, carried it. If you missed it, Brad Pitt was quoted as saying there are pedophile rings in Hollywood that are going to come to light as more people have access to information and the internet makes it much easier to out someone, basically. He said he knew those involved but would not name names as their day was coming. Shocking and tragic and completely believable. I don’t know if Brad Pitt actually said this. I do know that several former child stars have vocalized this in the past, telling their own stories of abuse and the aftermath it had on their lives, so yeah, I believe it.
I also believe it to be more wide spread and pervasive than we normal people think it is. In Savannah there is a very publicized case much like what Mr. Pitt describes, a ring of powerful, connected men who abuse teenage boys for sport and get away with it. One of them sits on our City Counsel and makes light of the allegations over 30 young men have brought against him. It makes me sick to the core of who I am. I want these evil men and women brought to justice and punished. Heck, the book that helped make Savannah into the tourist destination it is today, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, is a story about just that, an older man taking a young teenage boy into his home and it turned into murder. You could say Savannah has a history of looking the other way when rich, powerful men decide they want to have boy toys. I used to love the book, now I am pretty disgusted that this city that I love celebrates the notoriety it brought, along with all the tourists, but does nothing to clean its squares and neighborhoods of this evil. Maybe the book glossed over the fact that it was a teenage boy and a grown man but read it again with the lens of that fact and see why the book was aptly named.
Last night as I was doing our bed time ritual with BD, I was flooded with empathy for these children that have suffered this incredibly scaring and soul damaging abuse. It was after story time and on song number 2, “Jesus Loves The Little Children” when I just lost it and could sing no more as tears were flowing thinking about these beautiful children that Jesus does love but that evil people use and abuse. Ugh. Gut wrenching.
You can see the ravages in our society. It is no wonder there are epidemics of drug abuse, people who are wounded so deeply just want to stop feeling and drugs and alcohol can do that. I don’t have answers, I just have empathy. And a renewed desire to protect BD with everything I have from any further trauma in her life. I am sure most parents feel this way but why don’t all? Why don’t all parents get this worked up about protecting their child from the evil that exists in this world? Why do some parents inflict this kind of harm on their own child?
Clearly this fake news story has me twisted in a new and powerful way. I have no answers but I do know this, it has driven me to my knees to pray for my current child, my past and future children and the children of this world. I heard a preacher say the other day that people are becoming bolder in their sin, wearing it on their sleeves or tattooing it on their skin. He’s right. It feels a lot like the darkness is overtaking the light. My hope remains constant however. I read the book, so I know the good guy wins in the end but man, this dark season we are in now is frightening, especially when you look into great big baby blues sipping a bed time bottle and rocking in your arms and reflect on the “fake” news of the world. I am thankful she has not experienced this kind of pain, and determined to prevent it with everything I have in me.
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”