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Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Shame Game


I am assuming that all of you have heard of NBC’s “To Catch a Predator”. Taryn and I found ourselves watching another installment last night, and have now seen this show twice. While millions of viewers flock to watch this “humilitainment”, I have to admit that I have a hard time watching.

I had once heard that shame is the primary ingredient for change.

If that is the case, then this show may be affective. Is there anything more shameful than driving 90 minutes from upstate NY to New Jersey to elicit sex from a 13 year old only to find a plate of stale brownies and a Chris Hanson of Dateline NBC? Probably not. Shame in this case may lead to change. Worldwide humiliation is a great tactic to encourage change. Agreed. But is it necessary?

Is there not a greater shame? Does not the Gospel show us that real shame is in turning the other cheek? Is there no greater shame than love granted by an enemy?

But what does that imply? Am I suggesting that the sting operations halt, and awareness of online pedophilia come to a close? If we were to “love our enemy” in this case, does that mean that these men go free? Should we even be “turning the other cheek” to legal infringement?

I wrestle with this. To ignore it is flight. To confront it is fight. To turn the other cheek gives a different tactility. But what does that look like in this case? Is there not a better way to shame these men without ruining their families and careers while intitiating a change in heart?


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