CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

September 6, 2010

Must we Yield to the Force of Inappropriate Touch?


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

MUST WE YIELD TO THE FORCE OF INAPPROPRIATE TOUCH?

Have We Lost Our Common Sense?

SCRIPTURE: Galatians 3:11     Clearly no one is justified before God by the law because, “The righteous will live by faith.”  (NI)

REFLECTION: Our world has been turned upside down. Signs should be posted.

AFFECTION BANNED:

YIELD TO THE FORCE

OF INAPPROPRIATE TOUCH

     That is, do not hug children. Any physical show of affection is risky and can result in child abuse charges. You must bear the consequences of the actions of child molesters.

     This paranoia is fed by media emphasis on abusive behavior. Although the education for protection from abuse is good, and necessary, the resultant mis-application of rules appears to me to be Pharasitic in nature.

     The action of a kindergarten child kissing another child’s cheek is deemed “sexual harassment;” child care workers hugging their little charges threaten child molestation charges; a student offering a friend an aspirin for a headache is suspended; a senior cannot participate in her graduation ceremonies because a kitchen knife fell unknowingly into her car during a family move. And more recently Roman Catholic bishops attending a conference wouldn’t endorse the common practice of holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer—church leaders are concerned about “inappropriate touching.”

     When Jesus came to turn the world upside down, I don’t think it meant to go for zero-tolerance and the elimination of common sense and good judgment. Rather, he spoke against Pharisitic legalism. He promoted the great commandment: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all your heart soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself.

     Is it truly loving to withhold love from a child and to discard compassion mercy and common sense from normal human interactions? Where does one draw the line to protect the vulnerable in our midst and still allow the healing of love to be present?

     Actual abuse incidents, especially those in schools and churches, raise this question daily. We as Christians must struggle for answers to difficult issues in our search for compassion, mercy, protection and justice.

     Would you dare to hug a hurt child in your Sunday school class? Or would you withhold the comfort out of fear of lawsuit charges and/or legal consequences? Where do you draw the line?

PRAYER: Lord, help us maintain a sense of balance in this world of turmoil in human relationships. Help us work through the field of weeds to find the flowers. Amen.

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ADDITIONAL READING:

Breaking the Cycle of Abuse: A Devotion

Characteristics of and lures used by child molesters

CHILD ABUSE AND SCRIPTURE

CHILD ABUSE DEFINITIONS

DUST MOTE

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