There I was minding my own business, innocently scrolling through Facebook, in search of funny memes and cute babies, when I came across a horrendous news article detailing (thankfully not too detailing) the recent delivery of a baby to an un-expectant mother. That’s nothing new, you say. So what’s the shock factor in this story (in case you missed it), you may ask? Well, the woman who had the baby was in a vegetative state!
Here’s the original story.
A person in a vegetative state is awake but shows no signs of awareness. I’ve heard some people describe it as “the lights are on, but nobody’s home.” Perhaps not the most sympathetic definition, but accurate in the fact that a person in a vegetative state doesn’t show any meaningful responses, such as following an object with their eyes or responding to voices. They also show no signs of experiencing emotions nor of cognitive function (brainfoundation.org).
Yeah, so as you can imagine a person in this state can in no way consent to sexual intimacy. It was rape plain and simple.
I read that particular article not long after seeing another about a gentleman caught in a public bathroom bouncing a baby girl on his lap. Well, he wasn’t just bouncing her. Much like the unfortunate woman who was impregnated in a long-term care home, this toddler did not consent to her abuse either. Despicable!
So what does raping babies and women in vegetative states say about our society as a whole?
Not as much as our response to it.
I mean, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to describe what such atrocities say about the world. They say that evil exists, that it’s real, and it walks amongst us. These horrendous acts remind us to watch our children, be vigilant, and stay alert to those we allow close to us and our families. Sadly, they make it hard to trust strangers, and they force us to make decisions for our children that our parents may not have been compelled to make. It’s like helicopter moms appeared when kids started popping up on milk cartons. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
So, it’s not so much what these troubling acts of sexual violence say about us, but what we don’t say that speaks the loudest.
I actually first heard about the article above before I read it. Someone at work mentioned it, and when they did my response startled me. Or rather my nonresponse. Like, it didn’t surprise me at all. I wasn’t shocked. I mean, it was terrible, but it wasn’t unheard of. Even the article of the child in the bathroom, while unspeakable, it wasn’t a new thing. Seriously, if I had a dollar for every article that crosses my newsfeed that tells the story of some girl’s boyfriend raping her baby to death, I would have enough money to purchase something very spectacular with which to castrate these pitiful excuses for men.
My point is, we as a society are overcome and overwhelmed with bad news. It floods our newsfeeds and news channels daily. It’s a reason most folks don’t watch the news anymore, for if they did they’d likely be led into a pool of melancholy and hopeless depression, being only fed the worst of what happens in our world. We are a society that is so accustomed to the horrible crimes committed against the innocent that we have (out of necessity) lost the shock factor. We’re no longer surprised when women prostitute their little girls or stepdads use their daughters for their own satisfaction. Rape stories don’t cause us to shed a tear [as] they should, and child abuse, while terribly sad, no longer surprises us. Neglect is commonplace, and violence is not “sensational” news. It’s old news to our hardened hearts, hearts made like stone to an ever-present evil among us. I wish it wasn’t so.
I wish that child abuse wasn’t so ordinary that it didn’t surprise us. In fact, I wish that it made us stand up in outrage, but most of the time it doesn’t. We’ve become numb to the ugly, and we go right on scrolling. Back at it in search of funny memes, cute puppies, and videos of laughing babies. Heaven help us!
Evil has become so normal that it even disguises itself as entertainment. The movie industry and the Internet is flooded with nudity and pornography, so it’s no wonder that sexual crime is on the rise. Now don’t misunderstand me! There is never an excuse for sexual abuse, whether it’s against children, elderly, someone in a coma, or any single woman or man who uses the word “no”! But I do find it peculiar that while sexual novels and porn is on the rise, so is sexual crime. Coincidence? I think not. We’ve become complacent to the onslaught and over/abundance of sexual crime, but so too have we become complacent to allowing sex to sale. Just saying.
You know what? Evil does walk among us. It’s everywhere. But we are just as guilty. We’re guilty because we let evil into our homes. We let it in little by little, so slowly that we hardly notice. Then crime rates rise. And we hate it. We shake our heads at the evil among us, but we never think to imagine that we’ve let it happen. We’ve pushed God out, and we’ve instead welcomed “progress” (in the wrong direction), “equality” (sprinkled with hate), and “freedom of speech” (for some). Or whatever you want to call it. It’s wolves in sheep’s clothing, most of the time, and it’s not until the wolf devours an innocent child or woman in a coma do we notice. And sometimes even then, we don’t blink an eye.
Now, what does that say about our society?