Sunday, December 30, 2012

India's "treasure" dies 13 days after a brutal gang rape

India's "Treasure"

Some media members have named her "Amanat", meaning treasure. Some protestors  have named her "Damini", the Hindu word meaning lightning which was also adopted by a 1993 Bollywood film which fights for the character of a housemaid that was a victim of rape. Whatever you call this 23 year old female, who died on Saturday early morning in a Singapore hospital,  her nomenclature will be a symbol of light to illuminate the dark injustice of rape worldwide. 

 India's "treasure" was riding on the public transport of New Delhi with her male companion, when she was brutally beaten and raped by six men and then thrown from the bus to die along the roadside. I wonder how many times these men had raped before? I wonder what caused them to believe that it was within their rights to treat a young woman with such primal ruthlessness? Could it be that female infanticide continues to be so prevalent in India that the UN named India the most dangerous place to be as a girl?  Or maybe it is due to the barbaric bride burning practice in the case of dowry deaths? Despite the 1961 law forbidding dowries, the cultural practice remains and the statistics continue to rise with an estimated bride burned every 90 minutes. Even if demands of payment by the groom's family are met initially, the demands may continue after marriage and the young bride's children will be abused as a form of torture and coercion to the mother. The laws were changed in 1986 to include any bride burned within 7 years of marriage as a murder because so many young women were "catching on fire in the kitchen".

According to statistics, there is a rape is reported every 18 hours in New Delhi, and as is well known, many more rapes go unreported. New Delhi leads the nation of India for reported rapes and the number of reported rapes has increased 17%  from 2007 to 2011 according to Government data. India's Seema Sirohi, who represents the Indian Council on Global Relations says that despite the laws existing, the police do not enforce the laws and states it is very difficult to be a woman in India.

On the heels of the death of India's "treasure",  a 17 year old girl, who reported being raped by two men and a female accomplice,  committed suicide when her "demand(s) for justice" appeared  futile to her.  She was brutalized on November 13 during the Hindu festival of Diwali. Ironically Diwali, the festival of lights, depicts the victory of light over darkness, good over evil. When seeking justice through the local police she was harassed and humiliated. She poured out her injustices on the bleak lines of her tear stained suicide note before she ingested poison, taking her life.

 An American Woman is Sexually Assaulted Every 2 Minutes.

Do the injustices of women stop at the borders of India, sadly no my friend. The injustices of women are even on the most liberal feminine shores of America. Here in our progressive society that taunts female liberties to the rest of the world a sexual assault occurs approximately every two minutes.  Again, keep in mind about 54% of sexual assaults go unreported.

The Bondage of Silence

The bondage of silence is a paralytic parasite. When a woman can finally break the bonds in her own mind to speak the unspeakable, it is often met with an admonition of  "not to tell". This comes from well meaning family members, friends, school officials, workplace bosses and even law officials.

2 Sam 13 tells of the story of Tamar, the daughter of King David, attending to her brother Amnon while he faked an illness with the intentions of raping his sister. Afterwards she was so ashamed, and so distraught that she ran out, ripped her robe and placed ashes on her head crying bitterly. Her brother Absalom came to her and perceiving what had happened told her to hold her peace, this was her brother after all. What was the end result of holding her peace, she remained desolate, or in our words depression overtook her.

"And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? but hold now thy peace, my sister: he is thy brother; regard not this thing. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house." 2 Sam 13:20

What is one to do?

Well Judges 19 tells of a brutal attack on a Levite's concubine that was raped and abused all night. She crawled back to the door of the house that they had spent the night in and grabbed the threshold of the door until she died. In the morning, the Levite spoke to her to get up, and when he realized she was no longer speaking because her soul had succumbed to the vicious and vile atrocity. He picked up her body, took it home, cut it into 12 pieces and sent a piece to each leader of the tribes of Israel and said...."consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds".

This woman, along with India's treasure have died.  One thing that these woman had in common was the number 13. One assault occurred on Nov 13, India's "Treasure" lived for 13 days after the assault, and Tamar's assault occured in Chap 13 of 2 Sam. This coming year is 2013, is there a connection? Regardless of the numerical coincidence, their blood echoes from the ground. Their tears have salted  the silent souls of others that have suffered a sexual assault. The violence against virginity  reverberates across the nations to protect our daughters. 

Consider of it, take advice and speak your minds.

Monday, December 24, 2012

.....and shalt call his name JESUS

Do you believe in the possibility of an impossibility?

The Holy Spirit posed that question to me a few years ago as I was in the middle of a never ending struggle of a faith walk. As I pondered on this it was brought to my remembrance the many impossibilities that had been made manifest in my life. The most obvious miracle was the finding of my father after 30 years of separation. That is an undisputed miracle in my life. Yet despite the obvious I still struggle with faith. Christmas time though, that is the time to believe in miracles.....

My daughter-in-law was so excited yesterday. She is getting acclimated to her new life in Germany and she had $150 Euro, but since she was on the PX she needed to have US dollars. She was having this explained to her as she sat with her cart full in the check out line. She said the next thing she knew a lady who was in the next aisle told her to give her the euros and she paid for her whole purchase which was actually $410, about $300 more dollars than the euros she had. She turned to explain to the woman the difference, to thank her and settle the difference and the woman was gone in an instant. She believed she was a Christmas angel sent to them.

Every day we realize the miracles of God. Being a nurse, I realize that the very breath of life takes a series of miracles. The biggest miracle starting at the very conception of life. What an amazing miracle for Mary when she was found to have favor from God to be the chosen vessel to conceive of the Holy Ghost. 

I cannot imagine what would be going through her mind. An angelic visitation that would reveal to her that she was chosen as a virgin to conceive the King of Kings. This was an impossibility. This would bring great shame and reproach upon her. This would put her relationship with her beloved espoused Joseph in great peril. Favor isn't fair! Mary was chosen for a reason, and despite all these realizations Mary replied," Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word."

The impossibility of the immaculate conception was achieved through the yielding will of the  virgin Mary. Seminaries are struggling still with this nugget of faith. The very existence of our faith is based on believing the possibility of an impossibility. Once I realized this, I had an easier time with faith in general. For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Have a Merry Christmas as you take the opportunity to 


celebrate Jesus with others!

26And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. Lk 1:26-38