I received this story today in an email from a friend and I have to admit, it pissed me off.
From what I gather, a man in Oregon was sexually molested in the 1980’s by his Mormon home teacher. So naturally, with all of the therapy bills, a life of shame and agony, $45 million dollars will make it alllllll go away. Give me a freaking break. Could part of the issue be that the respond ant is worth more money than God? Just because the home teacher was performing his calling (presumably to get close to his victims?) doesn’t mean that the Mormon Church should be forced to pay this man an ungodly, obscene amount of money. The perpetrator should be prosecuted, and that’s it.
I am a firm believer in choice. I believe that one can suffer things as a child, and after a certain point, one can choose how one wants to deal with his or her past. What would happen if we decided to sue everyone that ever hurt us as children? Children suing parents, people suing school districts because a bully picked on little Billy…when does it end? The litigious nature of this society propagates the victim-consciousness of our whole country, and it’s never OUR fault; no it’s their fault, and we’re gonna make ’em pay.
The difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful person is as follows: an unsuccessful person has never made a mistake, and it’s everyone else’s responsibility to make them happy. A successful person has made mistakes, many, and is unashamed to share their foibles and how they were able to learn from them; they take full responsibility for their own happiness–or unhappiness. They don’t sue a church for the actions of an individual member in that church. What would that look like in real terms? If a person is molested by a man who works for Chrysler as a salesman and that’s how he got to his victims, would Chrysler be sued for the injustice? Of course not, that would be ridiculous. But because of the precedent set by the Catholic priest mess a few years back, (and I agree that the Catholic Church should be held accountable because the priests were reported and the CC covered it up and propagated the abuse by protecting the offenders) now everyone thinks they can sue for abuse.
Abuse is heinous and tragic. Lives can literally be ruined. But there comes a point when we have to stop and ask ourselves if we are going to allow our past to continue determining our present and future. I didn’t have a Cleaver-esque childhood, believe me. It was as dysfunctional as they come. So do I write about that often? No, you don’t see a lot of those posts, do you. Why? Because it’s OVER. I have looked back on my childhood and I have decided to see it in a different way. I stopped being a victim to it. Every once and a while, my mother will creep up on me, but I notice and own it.
Now, the facts haven’t been made altogether clear with this Oregon case. Did the youth report the abuse to Church officials at the time? Was it covered up or did it go unreported? If so, then yes, I can see the Church being sued for complicity, but to have to pay $45 million bucks? Again, are you kidding me? I see this as a matter of greed, not a matter of justice.
On the other hand, I wonder at the Church’s propensity for hiding their wealth. Is it to keep this kind of thing from happening all the time? Is it to protect themselves from other litigious people who decide to blame them because maybe a LDS Church steeple blocked their view of the mountains, and they were traumatized by it? Or is it because they are embarrassed that they spend billions of dollars a year on buildings and much less than that on charity? Is it because the LDS Church makes money from land, commerce and stocks and yet they are a tax-exempt entity? Hmm.
The point is, when are we going to take responsibility for ourselves? How much money does it take to buy back your innocence, your lost childhood? I don’t think you can put a price on it. So the Oregon man is going to try by asking for $45 million. I wonder if he will be at peace then? I wish I could ask him. I’d really like to know.
repost from Ravings of a Mad Woman