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As if that makes it okay

May 6, 2011

I had a friend who sexually molested a 7-year-old girl and justified his behavior by asserting that they had been married in a previous life. His beliefs were not grounded in reality, but in fantasy, and the result was morally repugnant behavior.

No, he wasn’t a Catholic priest—he didn’t ascribe to any particular religion—but his actions were based on belief in the supernatural, namely the existence of spirits and in reincarnation. The dangers of holding to a supernatural worldview is that beliefs guide your actions. In many cases, supernatural beliefs result in treating others kindly—most religious people are good people—but belief in the supernatural can also be used to pernicious ends.

I didn’t know this girl, but his disclosure to me required that I become an advocate for her. I reported him to the police and he is now serving time in prison. Needless to say, he is no longer a friend, but last week I wrote him a short letter anyway, letting him know I hoped he was being treated well, had plenty of books to read, and to let me know if he needed anything.

His one sentence reply was, “Don’t ever contact me or anyone I know again.”

Poor man. He probably blames me for his incarceration, but he’s a victim of his own actions, and perhaps he is also a victim, in part, of a larger society that accepts belief in utterly unsubstantiated claims.

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2 Comments
  1. Okay, this is completely messed up. I’m usually overly wordy, but I have no words for this post. How about these? What the HELL is wrong with people?!?!?!?!?!?! Congrats on sending a delusional narcissistic child molester to jail. You are my new hero today. Don’t waste another neuron thinking of this person. To him? I’d just say, “Karma.”

  2. Kale permalink

    I hope it was good to get a response, even one such as this. I’m sorry for your loss of a friend.

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