They are perpetrators but they are also victims of a society which has removed value and meaning from something very beautiful and taught them to abuse it, themselves and others. How can they ever expect to form a normal relationship if they cannot see anything other than their own gratification? The only problem highlighted in this probing and honest documentary was consent - but how can anybody be so naive and ridiculous as to suggest this is at the root of the problem? The actions of these gangs is a result of a view which encourages and enables young children to engage in adult relationships - telling them that this is a normal part of growing up. It has no meaning beyond that of 'acting out'. As a result of this view, many of these attacks remain unnoted and are put down to 'experimentation'
I know this seems like a common rant on this blog but working with young people and seeing all the good they do, and are capable of, it makes me so sad that we encourage and allow some of them to waste their potential because they have so little value for themselves and others.
This documentary showed what exists at the extreme end of social policies that do not make clear what right and wrong actually are. That constantly preach of human rights and diversity but deny a generation the right to the view that some things are reserved for a sacred bond between two loving people. We have created an ethical code which is built on the shaky ground of moral relativism. Most of the boys in this program no longer had fathers or a good role model in their lives. I am not suggesting that every child who does not have a father will use and abuse people in this way but why have we undervalued the role of the family and father so much? It obviously does matter - yet in order not to offend anybody we insist it doesn't matter when the statistics make it clear that the opposite is the case.
When I was training to be a teacher I was told I was entering this profession at a time of a TIDAL social change. Children will, on average, see four partners pass through their mothers home in their life time. The result? more behavioural and social difficulties than ever before. The two are directly linked and there is a lot of evidence to suggest and support this but no one is willing to use it. We were told that even though this was the case we were never allowed to say this. There are obviously situations where a one parent family is necessary or the result of complex circumstances - these differ greatly. However, the truth is that often children are being taught that relationships are not built to last, that we are worth no more to each other than temporary fulfilment allows.
What value can we expect them to have for themselves if this is true?
We can't say -'do what you want' in one breath and 'how on earth could you do that?' in the next.
I want to make clear that I understand that this documentary was dealing with a vast minority and that it was looking at the extreme end of this problem. However, this makes it no less significant. The Catholic Church is constantly criticised for its stance on contraception and sexual ethics because it is argued that it damages people. The documentary I watched last night suggests otherwise. A casual, flippant attitude towards the use of another person to fulfill your needs is clearly far more damaging to all than a document which suggests the value of each human being from conception to death. If we were able to have, EVEN THE IDEAL, of stepping back and really see another persons humanity, as well as our own, then we would be in a good position- that is all the Catholic Church has ever asked of us and that is exactly where we have failed to help these particular kids. So I would say to anybody who aims to criticise the Pope for his stringent views to look in their own back garden and see what ludicrous liberalism has done to destroy the bodies and souls of those living next door to them in a country where contraceptives have been thrown at kids like sweets and only produced emotional and psychological pain and the spread of infection and disease.
Tell me, which policy is more damaging?