Ravenschildís Words of Wisdom

" Good verses Evil "

In many spiritual belief systems there is a common belief that there must be a balance within the universe of both Good and Evil, a universal law that states, that neither can exist without its counterpart to allow for this balance. Perhaps this is the reason for the fact that both have existed in the universe since before the creation of humanity. Although I will never claim to have all the answers for every question put to spiritual philosophy; I do feel that I can offer some light on why this is considered to be a universal law of spirituality in many systems.

One explanation for this could be population control. It is a well-established fact that the earth often becomes over populated. Evil has a way of decreasing the population by such means as influencing people to commit murder, suicide and declarations of war, which is of course just another form of murder.

The second possibility for this belief being such a common one could be that if there was no concept of good, everything that could be thought of would be considered evil. In retrospect, if there were no concept of evil in the universe, those actions, which to humanity are considered clearly evil, would be seen as good and harmless. If there was only one concept or the other, there could be no way to choose which way of life to follow; there would be no free will.

This brings us to yet another common belief in reference to deity and why it allows many destructive consequences at the hands of its own creation. It is commonly believed that deity wants only goodness to reside within the universe; but deity wants goodness to be a chosen way of life for its creation rather than one that is forced upon it. This is where the concept of free will comes into play. God does not destroy or hurt people; people destroy and hurt people. Humanity is destructive because it chooses to be destructive and God allows that choice to be made by us every day. God does not destroy us by giving us the right to destroy ourselves. We can chose to do Good, or we can choose to do Evil; God will not force us to do either. Whatever the consequences for our actions, God does dot hurt us; we hurt ourselves and others.

There are often, however extenuating circumstances which do surround and influence the decisions we make both as children and adults. For example, I have had throughout the course of my life people of various backgrounds placed in it whom there was no other explanation for me to find for them being there other than, that God wanted me to see more clearly just how much I truly did not want to be anything like them at all. Some of these individuals were practicing pedophiles whom, had already gone to prison for their offenses against children, still when they came outside again; continued to reoffend.

One of these such individuals whom I had made the attempt of giving the benefit of the doubt, and tried to give him a chance to redeem himself by putting my trust in him that he would not reoffend did so again. When he did he did so in my apartment and in my bed with a 10 year old boy. I felt very responsible for that horrible situation taking place. The man in question told me that this child was his nephew. Naively, I thought he would surely not do something like that to a child in his own family. I have since come to realize that pedophiles generally pick children in their family in that they have already gained the trust of those children with little or no effort. I found out, however that this child was not in fact his nephew, but a child our neighborhood whose parents were also quite naive. They barely new him and still they trusted him enough with their son to allow him to stay the night with "this man". Let it suffice to say that, when I confronted the child due to a strong sense that he had been sexually harmed, as soon as I was able to get the boy to tell me that he had been hurt; I held him close in the arms of safety and I told him that; we had to tell his parents so that they could make sure that this "man" would hopefully not get the chance to do this again to any other child. I called the police after taking the child home and telling his parents what had happened. They impounded his vehicle and arrested him on charges of first degree sodomy when he came to retrieve it from the lot. I saw him again years later when working at the "Super America" at Bardstown Road and Grinstead Drive, I couldn't make up my mind if I pitied him or hated him for what he'd done to that innocent child, not to mention betraying my trust and putting me in danger by doing it in my apartment. I have since come to be glad that if it had to happen; it happened where I was able to help that poor child through that horrible time. I told him that he did nothing wrong. He did not ask for what was done to him. He was a child; his abuser was a grown man who knew better, than what he was doing. I also told that sweet little boy that he was not to blame anything; he was a victim in the truest sense of the word. He was a scared little boy who had also been threatened, that he and his parents would be hurt if he told anyone. I assured him that, with that pervert in jail; he would harm no one.

A few years ago a 14 year old boy asked me to do a survey for him that he was conducting for an extra credit assignment in school. It became quite obvious after the first ten or more questions that he was leading this survey to asking me if I would be interested and willing to partake in sexual activity with him. I told him he had no business trying to have sex with adults. He could get them into too much trouble weather they took him up on his offer or not. I told him about the Louisville Youth Group. I let him know that they were listed in the phone book and that if he could find a way to get to their meetings; he could get to know guys his own age and probably be sexually active with them if he felt he had to do so that bad. I told him that I knew what it was like to know that there had to be other boys in his school who had the same feelings he had, but not knowing how to approach anyone to find out without being afraid that they may tell everyone in school. At that age even a lot gay boys will harass a boy that they know is gay to keep from being harassed themselves. It is a sad fact. I know because they often did the same to me in school. I don't know if he ever went to the youth group or not, but I hope he did.

That situation could have been handled far less appropriately by my self or anyone else. I will not lie and say that that was an easy way to handle that because it wasn't; he was a very attractive young man. It was only by the grace of God that I found the resolve within my self to just simply talk to him and try to help him understand what the consequence of his actions could become. I can forever, however look back on that situation with pride and self respect, knowing that I did not allow myself to succumb to the inappropriate temptation which I must admit did befall me. I had a choice to make and I chose to do what I knew was right, good and safe for both of us. I personally can attest to the fact that one does always have a choice if one knows better.

There are however those whom do not know better. I know a man personally who was abused by many people throughout his childhood. His mother knew about everything that was being done to him and didn't bother to lift a finger against her son's perpetrators. Under such circumstances as those; how could he grow into manhood not thinking that this was the way adults show their love for children? There was for him no way of understanding this truth. No one including his own mother had ever bothered to teach him better. Because of these circumstances he spent most of his adult life behind prison bars. He did fortunately come to understand that what was done to him was wrong as it could be, as was what he'd done to the children he'd harmed.

In a culture where children are usually taught that these actions are highly inappropriate to engage in the psychological affects of damage can be irreparable. They often are! I do feel it is at least possible that in a culture where such goings on are common place and thought nothing of due to the fact that these things are not considered abuse; there may or may not be very much if any emotional and mental damage to those children. In those cultures few if any parents teach their children that these situations are inappropriate in which to engage. It does no good to do so in that; there are no laws against these activities and no legal age of consent. In Thailand for example, (although I don't understand how anyone could do this) parents are legally allowed to sell their own child of 4 or 5 years to a brothel or bordello after having schooled that child themselves in the arts of pleasuring adult men. Some do so to pay debts that they would otherwise be imprisoned for not repaying; others do so just for the money that they can receive in return.

Thailand is not the only culture where such actions are justified under the law. I will never agree that such actions should be allowed any where in the world, still where they are allowed, it does make me wonder if where such actions are "legal" and considered "normal" do these children suffer the same emotional and mental damage that an American child would being taught so differently in reference to these issues. Perhaps what our legal system should begin doing is sending child sex offenders out of the U.S. to live in one of these countries like Thailand rather than let them out into American society again taking such a great risk that they will hurt another child in a culture where this is not considered acceptable; which most of them often do. Perhaps our government should simply send second time offenders to places like Thailand. At any rate every possible precaution should be taken in this country to see to it that our children remain safe from abuse of any kind.

Contact the Rev. Patrick E. Ravenschild

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