One of the things that I’m dealing with in my past is sexual exploitation and the abuse of power from people in positions of trust. Based on my experiences as a child, I believed that all persons of authority would abuse given the chance. I also learned that you can’t trust people who are supposed to protect you. Often times they’re too wrapped up in their shitty lives to look at what’s happening and what they’re doing to the children around them.
The Mark Foley scandal has really made the topic of child exploitation hit home for me. The priest who abused him essentially said, “He liked it, so it wasn’t molestation.” Often times child molestation and exploitation is discussed within the context of forced sexual contact such as rape. But many children are violated by people in authority. When a child trusts someone, force isn’t necessary.
Ted Haggard is in the middle of a scandal right now because a guy is accusing him of engaging in homosexual sex. Haggard is the pastor of a megachurch and president of an Evangelical group. He appeared in the movie Jesus Camp, which is all about adults exploiting children. After the movie was released he denounced it because he thought the producers made him and other Evangelicals look like nut jobs.
My experiences have taught me that nothing is as it seems. People are not the people they pretend to be. I don’t know how it’s possible to trust anyone, and I don’t know how it’s possible to protect your children.