Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Infuriating

For the last couple of days I have felt physically ill when I've thought of the shootings in Pennsylvania and the whole Mark Foley deal. When I think about those poor children in Lancaster my eyes fill up with tears, and when I think about Mark Foley my blood pressure shoots up to about 490 over 380, so I probably shouldn’t think about him for very long lest my heart explode.

Normally I don't mention anything to do with politics on my blog because, well, who really cares what I think? There are all sorts of pundits on TV and on the internet who can weigh in sixty five times a day on eleventy billion issues, so my two cents is pretty much worth, you know, nothing.

But I do want to say something about the Mark Foley stuff and then I’ll never mention him on this blog again. And keep in mind that I’m just venting. VENT-ING. Because it’s my blog and I can.

So. Here I go.

When a clergyperson or parent or teacher or coach or political figure or whathaveyou uses his or her power and influence and authority to interact inappropriately with a minor - whether it’s by instant messaging or emailing or engaging in activities that are far worse and far more emotionally scarring than anything I care to put into words - then that person should go to jail.

Not rehab. Not counseling. JAIL.

Because the exploitation of children and teenagers is disgusting, it's reprehensible, and IT IS CRIMINAL.

Congressman Foley says he was abused as a teenager by a clergyman and that while the abuse is (obviously) not the reason why he acted inappropriately with young boys, it is the reason he's been plagued by shame for many years. I can’t imagine enduring something so horrific, and my heart really does go out to him for suffering as he must have done and as he must continue to do.

No one should ever have to endure such abuse.

No one deserves it, no one asks for it, no one chooses it. Period. As a survivor of abuse, Congressman Foley should know that better than anyone.

And I think that's my biggest problem with the whole ordeal: Mark Foley DOES know firsthand the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional torment that victims of inappropriate relationships have to endure – and for him to PERPETUATE that? For him to POLITICIZE that? And then for other people to remain silent - even though they knew that he'd targeted young boys - because they were afraid THEY’D LOSE A SEAT IN CONGRESS?

It's deplorable.

Because while Mark Foley's career may be ruined, his victims' lives will be forever affected by his behavior. But as far as I can tell, very few of Congressman Foley's colleagues - on either side of the aisle - seem to be as concerned with the victims as they are with spinning this scandal as a means to a political end.

And that, my friends, is a travesty in and of itself.

It makes me sick.

It makes me angry.

And it breaks my heart - for the victims and for their families.

I'm done now.

I don't feel any better.

But I'm done.


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