“On the seg”, the segregation unit in prisons where sex offenders and others are kept for their own safety, ordinary decent rapists despise the pædophiles. Outside, if they are known, they are driven away with violence.
I met one, who had served seven years in prison for “USI”. I needed the abbreviation explained- “underage sexual intercourse”. He was a broken man, old before his time, and I felt revulsion merely talking to him. He had a keyring with several fobs, each with a picture of a child, and I had to ask him to put it away, I could not look away from it or bear to look at it while I saw it.
Then he phoned me and complained for twenty minutes about dreadful things which had happened to him, but I could not get a handle on what exactly had happened or why. I asked him, “What do you want me to do?” He said,
“I want you to make it so I don’t have to fear any more.”
My heart went out to him. I wished I could do that for him.
Pædophiles have a unique place for our society. Their every act is tainted by that evil, so Jimmy Savile’s charitable work is mere hypocrisy, a shield for his perversions. I understand they themselves compartmentalise their lives, separating the evil out. But- we all do that, making excuses for our bad acts, which are not the true Me anyway. The evil sits in the darkness, unacknowledged, projected onto others. Pædophiles make such a wonderful scapegoat. Everyone may despise and loathe them.
In part, I sympathise because I, too, make a good scapegoat, a cat to kick. I am minding my own business and a man passing hisses, “fucking nonce”. Where did his anger come from? Nothing to do with me, I am just convenient for displacing it, making him feel righteous and powerful. Ordinary decent thieves and murderers “pay their debt to society” and go free. Ordinary decent people without a criminal record- perhaps through luck alone- muddle through, somehow.
We are all such a mixture, courage and cowardice, sensitivity and coarseness, strength and weakness. O God, let me know my own hate and anger, so I may not trip over it. This is the truth behind the need to love everyone, to have no-one beneath the level of compassion, beautifully illustrated here. If we can love the unloveable, we may even be able to love ourselves. Hat tip to j.
‘This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’
Why? Because we cannot love ourselves if we see others as unloveable. This is not God being vindictive, but the natural consequence of our attitudes. The moment of opening my heart to Everyone is the moment of opening my heart to myself.