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News of the Day

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
By now, we've all heard the news concerning the terrible tragedies at the Amish school in Pennsylvania and the scandal surrounding Congressman Mark Foley.

Now if you follow the news like I do, you can start to see a pattern in both of these situations. The media and others are taking the position that these incidents are the result of earlier abuse in the lives of the guys at fault. In the case of the murderer in Pennsylvania, Mr. Roberts claims in his suicide note that he abused young girls when he was ten or eleven years old and was consumed by guilt which turned into anger which led him to enter a one room Amish school house and shoot a number of innocent girls, killing five as of this morning. I can see how this relates. Yeah, right.

So, let's see I do something really rotten years ago, but never attempt to seek any help for this and never tell anyone about what I did or how I feel, so that somehow gives me license to grab up a ton of guns and ammunition and storm into a school house and murder people who weren't even alive when I did whatever it was that I did?

Take this guy Foley. He now claims that some member of the clergy abused him when he was a kid. So, now he's gay and an alcoholic and has been discovered doing nastiness with teen-age boys assigned to the page internship program at the House of Representatives. I find his comments very confusing. He claims he was drunk when he made these luring e-mails to these young boys. He claims he never let his sexual activities get in the way of his responsibilities as a congressman. However, in one e-mail released yesterday he claims to have left the floor of the house during a vote to have cybersex with some young page.

Was he drunk at this time?

Was he supposed to be voting at this time?

Now, he is saying that he is a victim and that the clergy who abused him when he was just a kid is at fault. I ask you this. If he was abused, why didn't he tell someone when it happened so that the person who abused him could be removed or confronted? Why not tell someone right then and there to prevent abuse from happening to someone else? Why wait for years and then after you get caught, blame some incident or some person for something that you were a part of in the far distant past?

Both of the incidents turn my stomach, as they should yours as well. What kind of a society are we living in, in which no one takes any sort of blame for his or her actions? How sick is it to say that just because something bad happened to me, then I have the right to inflect bad on you or others?

I find myself searching for an answer for these questions and keep coming up short. One thing I do notice which may be part of this dilemma and that is what we see on our televisions. There is a new show coming out called…"Ugly Betty". It's a series about a overweight, unattractive young girl and her trials and tribulations with her new job.

This is supposed to be funny.

I am telling you the truth folks when I say that our young kids have enough bad stuff in their lives every day without what I consider to be 'put down' shows. Our kids, our friends, our families need encouragement and positive talk from us, not negative comments that tend to lower someone's self esteem.

What little they have.

We have made a mockery of our family lives through sit coms that portray the father as a stumbling, bumbling fool incapable of running his own household, much less being a role model.

Our political system allows for two distinct classes, them and us. We read about it each and every day and still those of us in the trenches pick up our shovels and head off to the mines singing…"Hi, ho…hi, ho ..it's off to work we go." As if nothing was wrong in the world.

Folks, I am telling you that we must wake up and smell the dog poop. There is something rotten in our land and I'm afraid it is us. We must snap out of our collective revelry and watch for the bad guys, no matter how good they seem. We are living in a world in which our children and future children are being abused by wolves in sheep's clothing.

My prayer is for all of us to listen to our children, talk to our children, watch our children. If they seem disturbed, find out why. Who wants to be the parents of either a Charles Roberts or a Mark Foley?

© Peary Perry
Letters From North America >

October 5, 2006 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to www.pearyperry.com
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