Pedophilia. Such an ugly word. People everywhere are quick to close their ears, shut their eyes, and seal their lips at the mere mention of the word. At times I believe that some people (including me for a little while?) would rather see an innocent man in jail "just in case" rather than take the time and the trouble to look at the facts of a case such as Fr. Gordon MacRae's with clear and unbiased eyes. There is so much evidence pointing to this man's innocence and yet he still sits in jail after 17 years. I ask, for the sake of truth and justice, that those who visit here take the time to read this article by Ryan A MacDonald. It (along with his other articles) shows how easily lies can steal a man's freedom.
Where is the public outcry? Why aren't people demanding that this case be reviewed? Where is the outrage over the imprisonment of a man who may very well be innocent?
I just don't get it. Even when speaking of myself. If you've read my previous post (see here too) about Fr. MacRae you'll see what I mean. Are we so blinded by the ugliness of pedophilia that we would cast a good man to the wolves "just in case" rather than peel back the scales from our eyes and admit that "just maybe, just maybe...an innocent man may be falsely imprisoned?"
It crossed my mind that if Fr. MacRae had been accused of murder and that if there was as much proof pointing to his innocence as there is in his case...he would have been out of jail years ago. Actually, no, I take that back...he would never have been convicted. It is only because of the type of crime he was accused of that he was convicted. Had it been a murder trial it would have been tossed out of court in a heartbeat.
If I'm being completely honest:
For a short while there was a little part of me that just wanted to close my eyes and seal my lips and ignore the fact that an innocent man may be in jail for a crime he didn't commit. All because of one word...pedophilia. After reading about the case I just couldn't do it though. I hated that part of me that would even consider such a thing in the first place. What ugliness was there in me that I would even consider turning a blind eye to an innocent man's plight? What does that make me?
Sometimes it's hard to look at myself in the mirror. This was one of those times. I like to believe that people are basically good... but maybe the truth is that we are very often selfish and if something doesn't directly affect us we have a tendency to ignore it? After all, a man sitting in prison for 17 years doesn't directly affect me, does it? What? Am I my brother's keeper? So he lives and dies in a jail cell for a crime he didn't commit? What can I possibly do about it?
Except...it does matter. Letting a man rot in jail and not speaking up if I believe in his innocence says a lot about a person's integrity. None of it good. It shows a heart completely lacking in compassion. It shows a heart of stone.
Sometimes stone walls do a prison make.