Ashley Madison, the adultery website recently hacked by “The Impact Group” leaving 25 gigabytes of user information released to the public is offering a reward to anyone who can track down these hackers. They clearly are hoping to head off, “further victimization,” of their clients.
Planned Parenthood continues to paint themselves as the victims of radical extremist's videos likes of whom are responsible for shooting abortion providers in their churches, clinic bombings and more. Stating, “The group behind these videos has close ties with organizations and individuals who have firebombed abortion clinics and threatened the physical safety of doctors who provide abortion.”
Interestingly both these groups maintain that they, or their clients, are the victims of these undercover exposés.
This reveals something about our cultural understanding of victimization. Victimization is now understood by the feeling of shame and guilt, not innocence and injustice.
In one instance we see babies either being torn apart so that their organs can be harvested and sold, or moving in a metal bowl awaiting this fate. In the another we have 33 million user accounts, presumably all of whom are looking to have an affair with someone.
The true victims in these exposés are the spouses of the 33 million and the babies crushed.
While the ethics of undercover videos and hacked websites can be debated, what has been discovered is uncovering the true meaning of who is actually a victim and who is actually a perpetrator.
To use another recent example, Vester Lee Flanagan (AKA Bryce Williams) shot and killed reporter Alison Parker and videographer Adam Ward during an on-air interview. A few hours after killing the pair Williams committed suicide.
Now, if the reasoning of Planned Parenthood and Ashley Madison were applied to this case, Williams would be the victim driven by guilt and shame to suicide because of the deaths of Ward and Parker.
Of course, thinking this way about Williams seems ludicrous. But this is the danger: many in the public will believe the rhetoric of Planned Parenthood and Ashley Madison.
The Church stands up for the innocent and seeks to see repentance, reconciliation, and redemption in the life of the perpetrator.
Shame and guilt do not equal a victim, innocence and injustice do.