TOUGH QUESTIONS: Sep 05, AU Edition

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IAN WISHART
Child abuse and the nature of evil
Surveys show around 90% of Australians and New Zealanders have a spiritual belief. Many people as part of that belief acknowledge the existence of spiritual evil, whether in the new agey “bad karma” sense or in the traditional Christian, Islamic or Jewish view of evil personified in satanic form. In Europe, however, belief in God is dropping away rapidly as Europeans see themselves as enlightened social liberals. In France, in particular, belief in the existence of the Devil is held by only 17% of the population, compared with 65% in the US.
Is it possible that by abandoning belief in God, people can leave themselves wide open to genuine spiritual evil? That is the question ultimately thrown up by last month’s convictions of 62 people in a French village for “raping, prostituting, molesting or failing to protect 45 children as young as six months old,” as the Belfast Telegraph succinctly summed it up.
The accused villagers, aged between 27 and 73, including 26 women. These people were the parents and grandparents of 45 children from 23 families. As the newspaper notes: “They took part in the sexual assaults themselves or accepted small payments, including cigarettes, drink and food, for the use of their children.”
Some people would have us believe that sexual orientation is something we’re born with. What are we to make of the news that the inhabitants of an entire village were born paedophiles? Do we believe this is a random fluke of nature, or is the cause of this infestation more likely to be a direct result of the culture and belief systems our generation is creating in the West? Like the eagerness of Germans to round up “subhuman” Jews for the final solution, or the speed with which otherwise civilised Los Angelenos descended into brutal bloodlust, rape and riot, burning their central city in 1991; I’m far more inclined to believe that evil is not a “natural” genetic flaw, it is a path we choose. Remember those cartoons with the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other? What happens when the person in the middle no longer believes in angels – where then does their advice come from?


The answer can be seen in the French town of Angers.
The mastermind of the Village of Paedophilia was a 37 year old with previous convictions, and four children of his own were repeatedly raped and abused by strangers. One 12 year old girl was said to have been raped 45 times.
A mother, Patricia, was found guilty of raping her own daughter, and prostituting 11 neighbourhood children.
The abuse took place in properties owned by the local council, and 21 of the 23 families were under the “supervision” of social workers. In fact, fifteen social workers had been rostered to look after Patricia’s family. Several witnesses testified they saw Patricia’s husband Frank raping his own children, even though one was yelling out, “stop daddy, you’re hurting me”.
One factor that researchers have long known is that people who are sexually abused as children are more likely to become abusers as adults. Patricia and her husband had both been molested as children.
In Christian theology, there is a reason for this: demonic transference. Several times in the New Testament, Christ talks about people possessed by demons, and how unless a person changes their bad habits, the spiritual baggage they cast out will come back: “It goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go and live in there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.”
In the book of Matthew, 8:31, Jesus comes across a possessed man and casts demonic spirits out of him: “The demons begged Jesus, ‘If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs’.” And
he did.
Christ treated demons, or dark angels, as real creatures, albeit invisible to the eye. If they left a place, they had to go somewhere else. And they had the capacity to invite their mates around for a few cold ones and blue movies.
There have been several Hollywood movies on the premise of demons leaping from victim to victim, and the spiritual sickness in the French village of Angers is stark testimony. Is there a better explanation for why 62 residents of a village should suddenly take up child molestation on masse, passing their own kids around to other villagers and watching six month old babies being sexually violated?
A random fluke of nature or genetics just doesn’t explain it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exculpating these scum by suggesting they’re not really guilty because “the devil made me do it”. The devil planted the idea, but they chose to act on it.
Which brings me to Graham Capill and other men of the cloth, Protestant or Catholic, who have turned out to be child molestors. While it is true that there are infinitely more cases of child abuse outside the church, it is those within the clergy who gain the most media attention.
The reason is simple, in my view. If personal evil exists in the world, and I am convinced it does, then it is entirely logical to expect that Evil to attack those professing to follow the good. Look at the accusations of hypocrisy leveled at Capill by New Zealand’s atheists and secular humanists as a general tarnish against Christianity. Sure – Capill was a personal hypocrite. But what he said publicly about the dangers of pornography and social liberalism is correct. Clearly his message was not hypocritical, unless atheists would now have us believe that child abuse must be alright (some, in fact, do argue this) and Capill was a hypocrite for arguing the contrary. For all I know, Capill’s journey began with pornography or abuse as a child. Maybe in offering the warnings he was in fact speaking from personal knowledge, from what was left of his conscience while he let the darkness consume him.
Whatever, the media frenzy around Capill, whilst justified on one level, was equally hypocritical – given the media’s role in selling sex, liberalism, violence and other nasties to the wider community. There was an element of spiritual cannibalism going on here. Or Pot calling the Kettle black.
If Christ could spend his days on earth being shadowed by Satan, indeed, having the devil offer him every worldly pleasure possible in a bid to tempt him off course, is it any less likely that Satan is doing the same thing to otherwise good people worldwide, every day?
If life, as Omar Khayyam proffered, “is but a chequerboard of nights and days, where Destiny [the final outcome of the battle between good and evil] with Men for pieces plays”, is it really a surprise that some fall by the wayside, taken out of the game because they’ve compromised themselves or their team?
In the West, we’ve been far too quick to abandon belief in not just spirituality, but specifically the Light and the Dark. Even many Christians now believe only in the Light, and don’t think the Dark is real.
Explain that to the 45 abused children in Angers. Tell them that they were mere victims of coincidence, that their parents didn’t really succumb to the darkness. Then click the heels of your nice red shoes and take a trip to Kansas.

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