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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Of all the sins known to man, I believe lust is the most prevalent, the most triggering and the most excused.

In Gainesville, there are 270 registered sexual offenders. Think about that number. You could fill the Reitz Union’s Grand Ballroom with this number of offenders. 270. There are probably more offenders in Gainesville than there are students in your favorite class.

And these are just the registered offenders. These are the offenders of the men and women who were brave enough to report their abuse.

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police, and 97% of rapists will never spend a single day in jail.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey for the years 2008 through 2012 reported that there is an average of 237,868 victims of rape and sexual assault each year.

You’d think that, with numbers these significant, lust would be a sin treaded lightly.

Instead, despite the drop in sexual abuse in recent years, we live in a culture that glorifies and validates rape.

Popular artists like Lil Wayne, Robin Thicke and even Justin Bieber shamelessly write and perform songs that portray women as beings to be conquered. Don’t believe me? Take a listen to Lil Wayne’s “Every Girl,” Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” or Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and A Beat.”

Now, I know not every song by any popular artist is a vendetta against the value of women, but I am disgustingly surprised at the prevalence of those songs that are undeniably obscene.

And I know you mean nothing of it when you listen to this music. You might just be into the artist’s vocals or the catchy tunes. Just be considerate of those around you. While you might not be listening to the lyrics, there are plenty of people who aren’t capable of blocking those words out of their minds. And those words are offensive to women everywhere.

Also, (this goes for men and women everywhere), quit blaming sexual assault on the victims. No, she was not “asking for it.” Walking down the street in daisy dukes and a tank top is not an invitation for sexual assault. In fact, walking down the street naked still doesn’t make it okay for you to lay a judging eye or a roaming hand on a person.

Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault, and we all ought to know better than to try and validate a rapist’s acts. It’s insulting to the victim and to the predator.

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You are calling this predator so weak and empty of self-control that he or she simply could not resist ravishing another human being. You are taking away that predator’s ability to reason, and that predator is taking away the victim’s right to his or her own body.

This world is consumed with enough issues and sins. Nothing positive comes from denying the evils of lust that cloud a sexual offender’s judgment.

So think before you speak, and think before you touch.

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