Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sacrifice in action

Look at this title:

"Did Bethany church assign pedophile to kids program to 'help' him?"

What could possibly make anyone think that giving someone like this a 'second chance' would give him an opportunity to 'redeem' himself?

Of course, even asking such a question is already going against the doctrine of altruism. The point - to people in charge of such situations - is not whether a proven pedophile will act on his potential and prove himself all over again - he is, after all, a sinner. He is expected to sin. The point - as awful as it may seem - is the opportunity it provides for the innocent to sacrifice themselves to him. To such authorities - who believe in Original Sin - both are equally complicit: an equivocation which enables them to elevate compassion above justice. Personal responsibility is thereby undermined even by those who may pay the loudest lip-service to it.

Of course, a person who stands up for a value is a person who refuses to sacrifice it. In their eyes, such a person is the equal of those who sacrifice the values of others - possibly even lower. I have seen this time and time and time again. This is how the idea of sacrifice really does work in action. This is how the innocent and just are sacrificed to the monstrous and vicious. This is how people in positions of authority who practice altruism - in any kind of situation - destroy justice.

Of course, compassion demands that the truth be whitewashed. How many people can stomach a system which not only enables the vicious - even treating viciousness as a virtue - but condemns the innocent for being innocent?

And, of course, it also absolves those in authority of responsibility by enabling them to whitewash their own motives: they were, after all, just trying to 'help' him.

Thu April 24, 2008
Did Bethany church assign pedophile to kids program to 'help' him?
By Nolan Clay
Staff Writer

Five victims of a former youth minister in prison for molestation are suing the Nazarene Church, saying warning signs about his behavior were ignored.

"This is about what the church knew, what the church did about it and, more specifically, what the church didn't do about it,” their attorney, Jason Stephens, said Wednesday.

The victims — all girls — sued Tuesday in Oklahoma County District Court.

The defendants are the Nazarene Church, its northwest Oklahoma district, Bethany First Church of the Nazarene, Southern Nazarene University, former and current pastors, and a university counselor.

Stephens is a Texas attorney who won an almost $37 million verdict against the Lutheran Church in 2004 in a similar lawsuit.

Attorney Kirk Olson, who also represents the victims, said the families decided to sue to force the Nazarene Church to make changes in its policy. Olson said the decision to sue was made after much prayer.

Ryan Martin Wonderly, a former youth minister at Bethany First Church of the Nazarene, was sentenced in 2005 to 35 years in prison for molesting girls at the church.

He left the church in February 2003.

Among the allegations in the lawsuit are that Wonderly's roommates at Southern Nazarene University discovered he had been looking at child pornography on a computer, and the university allegedly recommended him for an internship as an elementary pastor at the Bethany church "as part of his program of getting ‘help.'”

Church officials declined comment Wednesday.