Something is gravely amiss in our culture today. Every day there’s a new headline that, no matter how carefully crafted, simply cries out, “HELP!”
The public was stunned and outraged last year when David and Louise Turpin of Perris, California, were arrested for the longterm abuse and neglect of the majority of their 13 children, ranging in age from two to 29.
It’s the kind of abuse that is frankly unconscionable to most people in modern-day America. To think that anyone of sane mental status could torture their own children in such a cruel and grotesque way is impossible to comprehend. The couple was recently sentenced to 25 years to life, after their children read prepared statements that were a curious cocktail of shame, forgiveness, resolve, and resilience.
Now another California couple is in the news for keeping their 22-month-old twin boys locked in stacked cages (actually, modified cribs) that were secured to the wall. The couple, Ramon Zendejas and Mercadies Williams, were arrested last Friday on weapons charges, in addition to charges of child endangerment, drug possession, and manufacturing a controlled substance. Authorities later dropped the child endangerment charges, reportedly because they believe the the couple was actually trying to protect their 22-month-old twin boys from the dangerous items all over the house.
Both these cases are alarming in their own right. But one must wonder how many similar situations are never discovered. Which brings up the obvious question: how can this happen?
Granted, these two cases are different in many ways. But they are alike in that they should drive us to carefully consider what we can do to help prevent these kinds of egregious offenses.Continue reading “The quest for community”