Ok, ok, my friends and family seem to be on sabbatical; no, it’s just that probably no one can keep up with my insatiable desire to know! everything! now! Or at least to read! something! now! So, I was lurking on some other blogs, and reading some (necessarily) disturbing posts about what ped*ph*les can do with your family pictures if you post them on the web. (you put in the * so the bad men — assume they are male? — cannot google you that way). Some women have had horrible experiences with harassment; this was aimed at their professional blogs.
The scariest and most convincing post I read was on Rocks in My Dryer, a great blog by a self-described “Bible-believin’, Jesus-lovin’, pew-sittin’, Holy-Spirit-claimin’, hymn-singin’ child of the King,” who also happens to be very blog-savvy and a good mom (I gathered a lot from my 30 minutes on her blog). But one commenter on that disturbing post (linked in the above paragraph), Her Bad Mother, made some good points about the sheer number of images out there and the need to create “art” regardless of what some sickos might do. Not that my photographs are art (or that she was saying mom blogs are “art,” but, you get the idea).
The entire situation is so disheartening. Why is the world — why are there people who would think of behaving with such depravity?
That said, I wonder what harm it does to our children if someone far, far away copies an image from a blog and possibly photoshops it and then uses it for evil purposes? Emotion aside, and assuming no physical threat (any hint of credible, physical danger is a different matter entirely), how can that hurt my child? Does/can the evil of one affect the virtue of another?
This reminds me of one of my pet peeves about the Book of Mormon* (I confess, I have more than one — number 1 being the scarcity of women’s voices, names and stories; the sincerest form of flattery is caring enough to get upset, right?). But the one to which I refer is (hopefully) just a rhetorical device or semantic misunderstanding. In Moroni 9:9, the bad Nephites deprive the Lamanite daughters of “that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue.”
I think the writer is trying to condemn the offenders in the harshest language possible and in the starkest terms appropriate for a volume of scripture. (In the next verse the murder of these women is reported — that would make life less precious than “virtue”?). I don’t think he intends to say that virtue is something that can be taken by another. If virtue is something that anyone can take, by force, then of what value is it to me? Why should I guard my virtue if it can be so callously, casually stripped from me? Is virtue a physical or spiritual quality?
If virtue and chastity are meant to be synonyms of virginity, the scripture works in a physical-literal sense. But it is still problematic; how can virginity be the most precious and dear of things when it is rather a barrier (for most of us) to the old “multiply and replenish” commandment?
As I sit writing this, two volleys of gunshots have been fired on my block. Dick called the police, and hopefully they will show up sometime. Our house has been shot into and major drug busts have occurred, twice, in the house 10 feet from our house, in the past two years that we’ve lived here. And yet, we still live here; we’re trying to remedy that situation, but, it is hard to do, honorably.
I want to keep my kids as safe as possible, both physically and spiritually. Can’t argue with other mothers who want the same for their kids. But for now, our pictures stay up.
*Mitt Romney, smarmy candidate of the month, was asked what his favorite book was. After embarrassedly back-pedaling from his off-the-cuff choice of Battlefield Earth, he said the Bible. I don’t know if I hope he was lying or if I hope he was telling the truth.