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With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90  days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.

19 March 2013

Reading Mariechild Together: No One Has The Right

Today's teaching and reflection is about men abusing women and women's response. To me, the most important sentence -- or at least the thought that needs to be first and foremost -- is this one:

"No one has the right to cross our boundaries in this way."
Our ability to believe and hold to this clear sense of our boundaries is essential for us and for our daughters. We must know this in our depths and teach it to our daughters' depths. And if we don't have daughters, we must teach it and uphold it where and when we can.

Even more, we must uphold the right of all children, boys and girls, to trust adults not to cross their boundaries into sexual abuse. There is no more important consideration than that of our vulnerable little ones and minors.

Sandy Boucher writes about pointing out injustice without rancor; she desires to remain  --

"...grounded in the compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity that are the heart of this spiritual path."

I admit to having a terribly hard time staying thus grounded when reading or hearing about the abuse of children by priests, ministers, coaches and teachers. And I have an equally hard time remaining calm when I hear them defended or their actions explained away by adults who have other matters at stake such as loyalty to a church or a team.

We have no more important job as a society than protecting our children. No church is more important; no doctrine. No sports team takes precedent. No person with authority over children, however famous, or successful, or beloved by others, has a reputation or life work that should be of stronger consideration than the well-being and emotional health of our little ones.

To me that means that justice demands the utmost of condemnation of abuse perpetrators and of anyone -- boss, superior, principal -- who has protected them. Until children are safe, priests and bishops must be de-frocked; coaches and administrators must lose their jobs; teachers and principals must be fired.

As long as sexual abuse remains rampant, I don't know that I can let go of my outrage about it and get to the place Boucher describes. I think that I just don't want to; as long as I hear of abuse and listen to or read the abusers and others who could have stopped the abuse being defended, outrage is all I feel. Until we have ensured that abuse of children is so wrong, so punishable to the ultimate extent of law and moral understanding, so much more important than a man's reputation or an institution's viability; until then, all I have is my outrage.

I would love to hear from you. Please click on Comment, below, or email me at carold.marsh@gmail.com. Thank you.

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