The description of the acts which brought charges against two thirteen year old Oregon boys six months ago is appalling.
The charges were dismissed recently, with the boys being required to apologize, pay cash to their female classmates, and attend an educational class to learn about "boundaries." Apparently they poked, slapped, imitated intercourse, and basically mauled the girls after watching the R-rated movie Jack***.
Nobody, including the victims, wanted to see the boys go to prison or labeled as sex offenders so the charges were dismissed. I'm not arguing for or against that, but I was struck by their so-called apologies.
It is widely reported that the boys said:
"I never intended to hurt you in any way."
"I hope we can still be friends."
Are these remorseful words that reflect an understanding of the depth of the cruelty of such immoral actions? Do these words reflect acceptance of responsibility?
These are the words of emptiness. Perhaps the boys did feel remorse, but these words do not express it. These perfunctory words are the lowest expression of sorrow and guilt.
The hard work towards forgiveness and healing will hopefully be guided by the adults in their lives, whom, we can only hope, do not feed the emptiness, but fill it.