How Victimology Can Become a Religion | Voice
After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, God came to call them into the garden. God knew what they had done, but He gave them the opportunity to take responsibility for their wrongdoing and to confess after Adam inadvertently admitted his nudity.
“Who told you you were naked?” the Lord asked Adam.
Adam replied, “The woman you gave me gave me the forbidden fruit, and I ate. Adam blamed God and his wife for his predicament.
Eve was no better. When the Lord asked her what she had done, she said, “The serpent seduced me and I ate. In other words, she was saying that it was not her fault, but the serpent that had charmed her in the transgression.
Thus was born the secular religion of victimology.
Recently a colleague of mine pointed out to me an interesting article by Michael Shellenberger titled: Why Everything We Thought About Drugs Was Wrong.
In the article, Shellenberger said that in the 1990s and early 2000s he was a passionate advocate for drug decriminalization, harm reduction and criminal justice reform. He has worked with progressives such as Democrat MP Maxine Waters on needle exchange programs so heroin users do not contract HIV / AIDS.
Shellenberger says: “Our intentions were good. We thought it was irrational to criminalize the distribution of clean needles to drug addicts when it had been shown to save lives. “And we thought the approach taken by European countries like the Netherlands and Portugal to decriminalize drugs and expand drug treatment was the right one. But it is now evident that we were wrong. “
Shellenberger points out that over the past 20 years, the United States has significantly liberalized its drug laws.
He adds: “During this period, the number of deaths from illicit drugs increased from 17,000 to 93,000. Two and a half times more people die from illicit drug use than from car accidents; five times more people die from illicit drug use. drugs than homicides. “
What is more, many of these people “are homeless and die in hotel rooms and apartments donated as part of the ‘Housing First’ approach based on reducing the harm to homelessness.” Others who perish, he said, “are children found dead by their parents on their bedroom floors.”
Regarding mass incarceration for drug-related offenses, Schellenberger argues that perspective is essential to understanding: “It is true that almost half of the people in federal prisons are there for non-drug offenses. violent. But there are eight times more people in state prisons than in federal prisons, and only 14% of those in state prisons are there for non-violent possession. Half of the state prisoners are there for murder, rape, theft and other violent offenses.
Schellenberger adds that he and his progressive and libertarian friends have always maintained that the government has no right to tell people what drugs they can put in their bodies. Those in government custody “are destroying families, disproportionately African-American and Latin-American families.”
But he reiterates: “Our views were too simplistic and wrong. Many things plague families and communities of all stripes long before anyone was incarcerated, including drugs and the crime and violence associated with them. And, violent communities are more attractive to drug trafficking. that drug trafficking makes communities violent, find both academics and journalists. “
So what’s the real problem? It’s our culture of victimology, says Schellenberger.
“Victimology takes the truth that it is bad for people to be victimized and distorts it by going further. Victimology asserts that victims are inherently good because they have been victimized. It deprives individuals of their free will and creates double standards that frustrate any attempt to criticize their behavior, even if they behave in a self-destructive, anti-social manner … Such reasoning is obviously wrong. He purifies the victims of all wickedness. But by appealing to emotion, victimology takes precedence over reason and logic.
“Victimology appears to be increasing as traditional religions decline. Unlike traditional religions, many non-traditional religions are largely invisible to those who hold them most firmly. A secular religion like victimology is powerful because it responds to the contemporary psychological, social and spiritual needs of its followers, but also because it seems obvious to them, not ideological… The defenders of the “centering” of victims [because of their trauma], granting them special rights and allowing them to behave in ways that undermine urban life, I do not believe, in my experience, that they adhere to a new religion, but rather that they are more compassionate and more moral than those who hold more traditional views.
“Progressive supporters and policymakers blame the war on drugs, mass incarceration and drug prohibition for the drug addiction crisis and overdoses, even though the crisis is the result of liberalized attitudes and drug laws … This point of view is, on the one hand, a defensive and ideological reaction, but it is also an abdication of responsibility.
“What kind of people moralize their superior treatment of the poor, people of color and drug addicts while allowing and subsidizing the conditions of their death? “
Schellenberger’s assessment is powerful. However, I am afraid I disagree with him on one small point. Victimology is not a new religion. It’s as old as it was when Adam and Eve didn’t want to acknowledge their sin, but blame it for it. It has been practiced in thousands of ways for thousands of years. Today it is ubiquitous, not only in the realm of drug-related issues, but on countless personal and social levels.
When will we see the old lie come in a new package? There is no substitute for acknowledging and repenting of sin, and the cure is never to lower the standard or the penalty for righteous living.
Both will only get us kicked out of Eden.
Reverend Mark H. Creech is Executive Director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc. He served as a pastor for twenty years prior to this post, having served five different Southern Baptist churches in North Carolina and one independent Baptist. in upstate New York. .