Saturday, May 19, 2007

Buddhist thought of the day...

Buddhism teaches that the human mind is adroit enough to conclude that there is no person or thing in this universe that can really change anything meaningful. When your actions are in accord with the inevitable they are irrelevant, and when they are not they are like the fluttering of a bird's wings against the bars of its cage. Once you see this, then you can have peace.

- Paraphrasing 'All Else is Bondage; Non-Volitional Living' - Wei Wu Wei

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Suffer the little children?

I use Google's portal as, among other things, a news bank. It allows me to quickly check what's going on in several areas of interest. One being general headlines and, those often being driven by sensationalism, I very often see stories of young children missing and only slightly less often read of the terrible fates they endured when their little abused bodies are found abandoned, and analyzed.

Every time I read of the missing I say a prayer for the safety of that child, and every time I read of the grieving family I say a prayer of condolence for the family. The few times I hear of a safe recovery I whisper a prayer of thanksgiving to God.

For the vast majority of us, our brains can do nothing but see the pure beauty in a child. In all their innocence and energy, they represent nothing but the future. Our brains evolved to protect them from harm, especially when our genes are part of their makeup.

But for a few who have seemingly fallen into an abyss of sexual selfishness that could only be described as monsterous, children represent an opportunity for gratification that they cannot pass up at nearly any cost. Why can we not see that this is an illness whether or not it is also a crime? Why do we let people go free who possess so dangerous a tendency? Would we allow a person who is incapable of restraining his or her anger to buy a gun? <--oops, I guess we do in Virginia.

Human sexuality is a wonderful thing, but in the possession of a chronic, irrepressible, apparently unrestrainable desire, it is also a weapon. And since we criminalize sexual violence, it is a weapon that is used in crime, which means a society has at least some obligation to control it. More, in the case of child molestation, it's a weapon that only attacks two classes of individual - one that is entirely incapable of protecting itself and the other that is apparently incapable (the child and the pedophile). And in this case, without the weapon (the chemicals that allow body to fulfill the desire of the mind), the criminal is as helpless to commit the crime as he or she (let's face it - its most always a he) is uninterested in committing it.

It is legal for me to possess a gun because I can be trusted to use it. But a gun isn't part of my anatomy and so we cross a threshhold of property freedom that is indeed sacrosanct when we suggest that society should be able to take away that weapon. But we castrate hopeless sexual criminals today, so it's not a boundary we haven't already crossed.

In Sin City, when the hero removes the child molester's weapons ("both of them"), the audience cheers. Twice. And they don't cheer for the raw violence, they cheer because of their innate sense of justice that has just been satisfied before them. I suggest its time to consider lowering the criteria with which we medically remove the sexual ability of people who demonstrate even one time the willingness to victimize a child for their sexual pleasure.

If we don't act ourselves then all we have is my prayers. And so far, frankly, their track record is just awful.

Xan Shui,
Philosophic Philanthropist, Honest Man