I have not written a Pastoral Message in a few months for a number of reasons, primarily because I have not had a burning desire to write. However, something happened recently that has compelled me to communicate with you this month.
On Sunday, March 17, two high school football players were convicted of raping a 16 year-old girl after attending a party where alcohol was being used/abused following a football practice game. The crime came to the attention of the world after photos and video footage was posted online. As I have read blog posts and watched pundits on TV talk about the case, I have been thinking about how this tragic event will impact the lives of all the young people who were present during the criminal act of rape; the perpetrators/predators, those who participated by watching, and the girl who was the victim. Sadly, this painful story is just the latest one in the news involving the gang rape of a female while others watched.
I have written in the past about bullying, an epidemic problem in our country that all of you are aware of: either as victims, perpetrators or bystanders. It appears that the tear in the cultural fabric that has always been present is now being exposed by technology that makes it easy to record and post online man’s inhumanity against those who are weaker.
The strong preying on the weak (survival of the fittest) is nothing new. Whether it is getting worse or not is a matter of opinion. With this sad reality in mind, I want you to process the questions below in your faith community and role play different scenarios so you will be empowered to live our first and second Unitarian Universalists principles (to affirm and promote “the inherent worth and dignity of every person and justice, equity and compassion in human relations”) in every aspect of your life.
- How do you prevent yourself, family members and friends from becoming a perpetrator, victim or bystander when someone is being abused?
- What are some actions you can take?
As always, I would love to hear from you. You can message me on Facebook at Monica Cummings, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment for me on the Living Mosaic blog at http://uuyayaoc.blogs.uua.org/.
I Love You,