Honestly, my own life and the lives around me keep me anxious enough that I rarely watch or follow the news.
When my husband told me last night as we were falling asleep that the Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty is never a valid option in cases of child rape I immediately thought to a passage I just read this week in A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit:
“Tocqueville, who famously wrote that the “chief cause of the extraordinary prosperity and growing power of [America] was…due to the superiority of their women,” also observed that the virtue of the American woman was protected by punishing rape by death —
‘American legislators, who have made almost every article in the criminal code less harsh, punish rape by death; and no other crime is judged with the same inexorable severity by public opinion. There is reason for this: as the Americans think nothing more precious than a woman’s honor and nothing deserving more respect than her freedom, they think no punishment could be too severe for those who take both from her against her will. In France, where the same crime is subject to much milder penalties, it is difficult to find a jury that will convict. Is the reason scorn of chastity or scorn of women? I cannot rid myself of the feeling that it is both.’
“This is why ‘In America a young woman can set out on a long journey alone and without fear.’ How strikingly different is our present set of affairs, when young women are cautioned not to set out alone, lest they be treated to a whole host of indignities.”
What an even sadder state of affairs are we in when children are not protected by the highest court of the land? Please note that the Supreme Court is not simply protecting rapists from automatically getting the death penalty — it is ruling that the death penalty is NEVER an option. That’s insanity.
Apparently the court also ruled that the death penalty is not an option for any single crime against another unless that crime is murder, but it IS still a valid choice for those who’ve committed “crimes against the state”! What a topsy-turvy world we live in when betraying the government is a worse crime than raping a child.
I think I’ll go back to burying my head in the sand for awhile.