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I have been silent awhile. But I have a good excuse – PTSDs – several of them. Y’all know I am a Yankee, Rebel, Italian, WASP. What you don’t know is that I was molested by six people when I was growing up. Between the news about the Duggar family, blacks murdered in a Charleston church, removing confederate flags, and legalizing gay marriage, I am a basket case.

I tried so hard to write something in support of the Duggar family, but my PTSD got in the way. Meanwhile, the wacko shot all those people at a Bible study, and my southern friends came under fire. I am asking my Civil War history buff husband to list all the Confederate statues in all the states, so we could start a petition to destroy them. I hear the KKK is growing, but I am not sure if tearing down all the statues will fix that.

What about legalizing gay marriage? My Church Lady libertarian solution would be to delegalize all marriage and make all taxes equal, married or single. That way anyone who wants to can make a lifetime commitment to someone. Forget about government approval or disapproval. Only about fifty percent of legal marriages hold up for a lifetime, so let’s get the government out of our private affairs. They only want our money. Our commitment should be to another human being, not the United States tax coffers.

What is the Christian solution to predators, rebel flags, LGBTs (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgenders)? People change when we love them and reach out to them. This is true if we molested someone when we were a teenager, if we hated some group such as Jews, Italians, Christians, Muslims, gays. You name it. Get to know someone in those categories. If the person is an evil creep you may still hate him or her. But you may be the power for good in that person’s life. Remember Jesus? He loved the sinners.

But even Jesus could not help all of them. He wasn’t so kind and forgiving toward the sinful, cheating tax collectors. He didn’t forgive all his enemies. Well, he did forgive HIS enemies – the ones crucifying him – just not those who were harming others. But even a cheating tax collector, Matthew, changed because Jesus reached out to him. Only 15% of teenage child molesters continue to molest children. All of us need forgiveness and a second chance to change our hurtful behaviors.

This brings me to a personal note. Can I forgive the six people who molested me? Two I did, and even lived to have a close, compassionate relationship with them. These two changed for the good. Four I did not. I never had the chance or the power to forgive those four. I don’t hate them. I picture them in my hands raised up to God, and I say, “God, you give them what they deserve – perhaps forgiveness, perhaps hell. I am not the judge. Here they are. I place them in your hands.”

Will gun control end the violence? Will mental health services? Taking down offensive symbols? These actions might help, but President Obama said it best when he sang “Amazing Grace” at the Clementa Pinckney funeral in Charleston, SC.

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