By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith
“For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets.” (Jeremiah 9:21)
We have been taught that children are a gift and a reward from God (Psa. 127:3). But we do not treat them as if they were a valued gift, we treat them as if they were trash, things to be discarded at will.
Everywhere we look we see our children being abused, destroyed in one way or another or killed.
We see how the Roman Catholic Church has allowed pedophilia to become an accepted element of their church culture. The report just released in Pennsylvania listed the fact that 300 priests had sexually abused over 1,000 children over the past 70 years. And not only had the church’s leadership been aware of the sexual abuse by these renegade “priests”, the authorities had written the church a ready plan on how to deny the truth. The report says one event of abuse happened while a child was hospitalized. What kind of human being would do that? From the unspeakable to the blaspheme.
The Papacy has reacted to the report as it always has when sexual abuse cases involving priests and children become public. The office issues a letter of apology, speaks of the church’s determination not to let this happen again and of their deep sympathy to the victims. That may not be enough this time. I certainly hope not. The question becomes how many more times is this going to happen and how long will the church allow it to happen? Allowance is not too strong a word. We read how priests known for their sexual abuse with children were transferred all over the Catholic world. Even worse, no one ever warned the places they were being sent about what was coming. Those priests were allowed to continue destroying the innocence of children in whatever way they pleased. The report says these pedophilic priests had their own network.
We watched as a child’s body was discovered on a compound in Arizona after being killed by religious extremists of some sort. During an exorcism ritual of some sort, the adults in the child’s life believed the child was possessed by evil spirits of some kind. There was indeed a possession by evil spirits, but it wasn’t the child who was possessed. It was the adults.
For a number of parents, we dream of our son or daughter receiving an athletic scholarship to a major university. We’re thinking they will enhance their chances at having a good future because of graduating from college. In addition there is the possibility they will play so well, they may become a professional athlete,- but we’re learning that road has its own dangers to our children as well. The University of Maryland is showing us just how dangerous it is. One of our young men died after football practice very recently. The cause was dehydration, exhaustion and most of all a lack of medical care. This doesn’t read as an accident, it reads as a coach believing this young man was chattel and he could treat him as he pleased. If this was the coach’s idea of being tough, it didn’t work on the young man. It killed him.
Finally, there is this: a father and husband killed his two young daughters and their pregnant mother last week. He buried them, then went on television, cried fake tears, afterwards confessing to the crimes. I cannot help but wonder what were those children thinking as their father squeezed away their lives? Where, they must have wondered was their mother? What thoughts of sadness, confusion and pain they must have had, and what were the last thoughts of their mother about her babies and this awful man that was killing them all?
These must be the Biblical last days. How else can we explain the horror of these times we live in?.