Being from Guam, we are usually protected or sheltered from the harsh realities of the world. Today, this reality chooses to hit home with the abduction and rape of a 15 year old girl. Not only on our island but about 5 minutes away from my home. I would be lying if I said that this is the first case of such magnitude. But, the reality of the situation is that many of our people are in such a rush to be caught up with the continental United States. But, when a situation like this hits home, we are quick to blame other cultures. Outsiders who have moved here and now call our island "home" are on the top o our list of suspects.

We are so quick to judge these men. I admit, there is no excuse for a man to abduct and rape a 15 year old child... or anybody, for that matter. But, we must remember that we, as a community, need to pull together to protect our children. To protect the innocence of our island. Instead, we choose to condemn these men to death. To kill them with our thoughts and our words.

At times like this, I can't help but remember the life of Sta. Maria Goretti. Maria Goretti was a child - only 12 years old - who was attacked, raped, and stabbed 14 times. She was an innocent child who loved her family and was obedient to her faith. Through her attack, she fought to defend her innocence and the innocence of the man who attacked her. On her death bed, she forgave this man and prayed for his soul.

We are so unlike Maria Goretti in this matter. Instead of praying for the healing of the victim and for the salvation of the men who attacked her, we condemn the men and seek revenge for the girl. If this world were so dead set on seeking revenge, where would we all be today? It is said, "An eye for an eye". In the words of Gandhi. "An eye for an eye will make the world blind."

We have to remember, these men will have to answer for their deeds at the final judgement. We are not God. We are not called to be the judge. I am in no way condoning the actions of these men or of any other people who choose to offend the law. But, there are systems that have been set forth that address these matters. We are in no position to do so ourselves.

Instead, as an island community, we need to pull together. We need to work as a unit to protect our island and our people. We must educate our people. We need to open our eyes and realize that these offenses exist. We are not so sheltered anymore. We should be more watchful of our children and the youth of the community. After all, it takes a village to raise a child, right?

My prayers are with you all. :)

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