By Rev. Renee

You may have noticed something about my writing by now. I tend to be pretty unsympathetic in the way I refer to the abusers and psychopaths I write about. A little graphic, perhaps even a bit harsh, you might say. When you deal with the havoc wreaked on innocents by human garbage that I deal with every day, you start to get a little testy about it- and yes, a little ANGRY. I sometimes use names that you might not hear too many other Christians, much less pastors, use. I tend to call a snake a snake, if you will. And my attitude is pretty much this- if a pervert doesn’t want to be called a pervert, then maybe he ought to stop molesting children. Till then, I’m gonna call him a pervert, because that’s what he IS.

If you know me personally, you know that I’m a little rough around the edges. I make no apologies for this. Probably a product of my Brooklyn upbringing, to a great extent. We old-school Brooklynites have a certain colorful way of expressing ourselves. But more to the point, I’m a product of my abusive upbringing. When you live with a predator, you learn never to appear weak. You learn to act tough, even if you don’t always feel tough, because any sign of vulnerability or softness will be seen as weakness and an invitation to an attack. After decades of living under seige, it’s pretty much ingrained.

Along the way, I also developed an “advocate/activist” mentality. My birth-mother used to say I always defended the underdog, even if that meant taking the brunt of the attack upon myself. In our toxic household, the “underdog” was HER, according to her, and it was my job to protect her, diverting my birth-father’s rage away from her and onto me. That, too, became an ingrained part of my personality, and I went on to spend 20 years of my life advocating for Vietnam vets. Another layer of toughness, standing up for justice, and telling it like it is, added to the previous ones. And now, the Lord has taken the sum of all these life-experiences and led me in another direction- to advocate for those who are being abused by the families they love- children and adult children alike.

Does it seem harsh or un-Christian-like to you to refer to a child rapist as a pervert and a dirtbag? Or to call someone who would terrorize her own 2-year old to the point that he can’t catch his breath and is gasping for air, and then laugh at his panic, a sadist and a sociopath? Or to call a mother who stays married to the pedophile who raped her child, fails to do anything to protect that child, and then tops it all off by babysitting OTHER PEOPLE’S children and leaving them alone with the pervert so he can (and did) rape THEM too, a lowlife who belongs in the cell next to him? Is calling a baby-killer a “murderer” going to hurt his poor widdle feelings? Is there even a name bad enough, or should I say “descriptive” enough, to call a mother who would set up her own child to be raped repeatedly by her husband, to keep him from focusing his attention on HER? What about a father who pimps out his children to his friends for money and beer? Or the jackass who has a fight with his girlfriend and then beats their 5-week old baby to death for spite- to get back at her? Or the parents who lock their child in a room for seven years, make her use a litter box for a bathroom, and starve her so badly that she weighs only 35 pounds when she finally dies?

Hey, they are what they are. I’m not here to help them feel good about themselves. Seriously, what else would you call them? What would be the politically correct way to refer to scum like this? “Slightly irresponsible”? “Child torture-challenged”? “Having low self-esteem which results in unintentional acting-out of their frustrations and beating the baby”? “Having boundary issues with sexually touching children”? “Being a little temperamental- sometimes resulting in accidentally going too far and killing a child ”? Oh, pull-eeze. Enough, already.

Someone who LIKES to see pain and gets their jollies by making a helpless victim suffer IS a sadist. That’s the definition of the word “sadist.” A person who remorselessly and brutally inflicts his malice and violence on an innocent target, has absolutely no conscience or compassion about it, and in fact often then tries to use what he did to elicit sympathy for HIMSELF, IS a sociopath. That’s what a sociopath IS. No, really. Look it up. Let’s not disrespect the victims and minimize their experiences and pain by making up more pleasant sounding euphemisms to cover up their abusers’ true natures. That sends a false message to victims and to the world- that what was done to them wasn’t really so bad. But it WAS, so let’s stop beating around the bush. Let’s stand up and make our disapproval of and contempt for their abusers loud and clear. Tell it like it is.

Jesus certainly didn’t pull any punches when he called the Pharisees just about every name there was in the book at the time. Hypocrites, snakes, brood of vipers, unclean, greedy, whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones, blind fools, full of wickedness, sons of hell (Matthew 23: 13-33). He used the strongest possible language of his day to denounce them. He made an example of them. He spoke, not just directly to the Pharisees, but for the benefit of everyone else within earshot. Do you think the people who heard him got his point? Evil is evil. It is never un-Christian-like to tell the truth, nor is it un-Christian-like to use strong language when you tell it.

This is not a subject we need to be wishy-washy, calm, or easy-going about. We don’t need to phrase it kindly lest we insult a dirtbag or offend his partners-in-crime. Using strong language to describe abusers and their enablers serves a purpose. It gets people’s attention. It underscores for them just how disgusting, shameful, and, yes, EVIL, the behavior of these so-called “parents” is, and how disgusting, shameful, and EVIL the parents themselves are. It says if you protect an abuser by tolerating or minimizing abuse, then you are just as guilty as he is. It brings things that are often hushed-up or whispered about out into the open, and gives others the courage to stand up and tell it like it is, too. It makes a big deal out of something that many people would just as soon pretend isn’t happening or isn’t really that bad. It makes it UNACCEPTABLE to ACCEPT abuse. It drives home the point that abuse, and enabling abuse, is NOT “accidental.” It is NOT something “they can’t help.” It is NOT a “mistake” or a “misunderstanding.” It is DESPICABLE. It is INTENTIONAL, DELIBERATE, and supremely SELFISH. Abusers victimize others to get their own needs met, and their enablers allow it, and even encourage it, to make their own lives easier and to get their own needs met. It’s a sick, twisted dynamic.

And they continue until they are exposed, or better yet, arrested. They continue until the silence is broken. They continue until we stop circumventing the issues, molly-coddling them, walking on eggshells around them, and talking about them in nice, mild, smiley-face terms- terms that are vague, deceptive, and fail to present the TRUE picture and emphasize the gravity of it to the listener. It’s not OUR fault if the truth is ugly.

They continue until they are embarrassed and shamed. Until someone stands up and shouts the truth about them from the rooftops. They continue until the people who know them stop sugar-coating their behavior, sweeping it under the rug, and making excuses for them, and start looking at them with the appropriate revulsion and loathing. They continue until nobody wants to be associated with them anymore, until others start avoiding them like the plague, and warning everybody else to stay away, too. In the Bible, this is referred to as “shunning”, and it’s meant to produce shame and repentance. They continue until it gets through, not just to them, but to everyone around them, that what they are doing is WRONG, wicked, evil, and bad, bad, bad. Until we make our opinions of their behavior so crystal clear that there can be no mistaking our repulsion and condemnation for anything even slightly milder. They continue until we start forcing them to OWN what they are- degenerate, sadistic, sociopathic, psychopathic, low-life, dirtbags.

As for me, believe it or not, I do try to tone it down a bit. Imagine what my ramblings would sound like if I didn’t! But I am what I am, too. I don’t believe in pussy-footing around with stuff like this. My calling is to minister to the VICTIMS, not the abusers. Victims need to know that other people support them and agree that what was done to them was terrible, and that the lowlifes who did it are terrible. Survivors need to know that we validate them and their experiences. I’m here to help victims heal, to give them a voice, a nice, BIG voice- not to help abusers gloss over, justify and feel okay with, or even good about, what they’ve done. Abusers don’t deserve the privilege of being able to walk among the rest of us with their heads held high. I believe in letting the dirtbags live with the consequences of their own actions- including shame, embarrassment, and the disgust of good people everywhere. That’s the way God made me. And I believe in keeping it up, relentlessly, until MAYBE, just maybe, they’ll repent of their evil ways, turn to the Lord, and be saved.