Thursday, April 14, 2011

When the time does not fit the crime

Today I became a firm believer that sometimes justice just isn't served. There was an article on Stuff.co.nz which illustrated this perfectly. The article was about a Belgian bishop who abused his two nephews , one for thirteen years, and discussed his complete lack of remorse.

What struck me was when it described the punishment that he could face, the only punishment listed was he MAY be stripped of his priesthood, and even that was almost an afterthought at the end of the article. Also, this is after he has confessed on live television. Which made me wonder, why are some people apparently exempt from the laws that govern society?

This has been widely debated in many cases involving the Catholic church, where people's abuse of children was covered up and condoned for decades. I have always been under the assumption that there is a definite separation of church and state in most countries. Maybe I have been misinformed.

Before you think I am against the Church, I am not. I believe the church has done many good things for society, including helping the poor and disenfranchised within society. What I am against is a group of people being able to not be punished under the same law as everyone else.

It's not just churches where this is happening. There has become even more cases of celebrities behaving badly and getting away with it. Cases of drug abuse, domestic violence and other crimes which go unpunished and, by a cruel twist of fate, seem to make them more money.

So what makes priests and celebrities above the law? Why are they any different than you or I? Are we so blase about these groups of people that we condone child abuse, violence, theft and other crimes because of purely who they are? If that is the society we have become, then something is drastically wrong. Something which needs to be fixed now.

I have always believed that we, the people, have the say in what happens in our own backyard. We can trigger change and have done so before with things we have found unjust and unfair. So, as a society, have we accepted that there are groups in our society which are above the law? I would like to think not, but with example after example of people being let off for crimes, maybe we have.

So where do we go from here? How do we bring about change?

This would have to involve a chunk of society and they would need to be prepared to protest in person, in writing and through other mediums. They would need to be dedicated to bringing about a change which says 'everyone is to be treated the same by the law'.

I'm game. Are you?

1 comment:

  1. I'm always game for stirring up shit, you should probably know that. And when it's something that actually warrants stirring up, then I'm doubly in for it.

    It pisses me off that all these people keep getting just a slap on the wrist because of their position in society and yet Joe Blow off the street does the same thing and gets punished to the full extent of the law.

    Perhaps if more of our celebs, politicians, priests etc were punished the right way, it would have more of an impact on the rest of the world?

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