We need to condemn not as an act of hypocrisy, but as an act that seeks to remind us to always guard our own conscience from being desensitized to what is inherently evil, or morally incomprehensible.
For man are fallible, but some are simply incorrigible.
Take this case for example.
It happened in HK. A former cop, 61, was jailed for 16 years and 8 months for sexual assaulting his two young daughters.
It all started in 2013.
It started innocent enough. As a father, he was playing with them. Then, possessed by a depraved compulsion, he tried to rape his elder daughter, then 12. But she resisted.
So, the father turned his attention to his younger daughter, then only 10.
It reports that the father recounted in court of "how his daughters were laughing at the time as he did not explain to them what he was doing."
So for three years until 2016, he was emboldened as his victims (his biological own) were vulnerable, and trusted him.
In one incident amongst many, as reported, his elder daughter "had tried to resist by locking her bedroom door but her father would enter with his key. She tried to twist and turn in bed to avoid him but he pinned her down."
The father confessed that "he liked to watch pornographic movies depicting incest and had been watching them before he raped his daughter."
He was arrested when his elder Daughter suffered from severe stomach pain and was found to be 30-week pregnant.
At the sentencing, Judge Brian Keith said that the case was "a breach of trust of the very worst kind."
He added: "Incest is one of our society's great taboo...It strikes at the very fabric of family life, especially when there is, as here, such a disparity of age between you and your daughters."
Taking note of his previous run-in with the law like dangerous driving and overcharging passengers when he quit the force in 1984 and became a cab driver, and his background as a divorcee, remarried (and had the two daughters), and all four of them living on monthly Comprehensive Social Security Assistance of HK$8,000 (S$1,300), the judge sentenced the father to 16 years and 8 months because he had pleaded guilty, thereby sparring his daughters from the repeated trauma of testifying in court.
This is what he has to say in his mitigation: "I was wrong, I had done something very wrong and made her pregnant."
Let me return to what I wrote at the start of this post, "condemnation is not all that bad. It has its redeeming quality too."
Now, don't get me wrong, I too believe in mercy, repentance and forgiveness. But let's not get too fuzzy wazzy over those highfalutin concepts that work in perfect synchronicity in a parallel universe far away from where everyday-living stands, and struggles.
In reality, when you have to lock your door every night to prevent a sex depraved man who watches pornographic videos of incest so he may be given courage, and be properly tutored in ways to destroy your life completely, and he also happens to be your father, whom you cannot help but put your trust, faith and hope upon on those days when his broken conscience appears restraint, the concepts of mercy, repentance and forgiveness remain a big blur for the most understandable reason.
It reports that "the judge, citing a psychological report, said that the impact on the two daughters was beyond estimation" and while the "younger daughter, now 14, has refused to talk to a clinical psychologist, the elder sister spoke little of what happened."
FYI, the child is healthy and has been given up for adoption.
In the father's own admission, he said he was wrong and had done something very wrong and made her pregnant.
My god, that's not even a fraction of what is "very wrong" as he'd admitted.
To be fair, that may just be an extract of his mitigation plea. But based on those words, that pithy admission, what is "very wrong" has little to do with the pregnancy.
If anything, the pregnancy is his ensnarement (his long overdue comeuppance) to finally end the impunity he thought he could perpetuate to give him unlimited access to commit his unspeakable transgression.
What is in fact "very wrong" about his actions has no labels, name or even shame. It is something to be condemned without any thought because it is well captured in the words of the judge, "a breach of trust of the very worst kind."
And since there is no report of any psychological or psychiatric issues, I would assume the father is able to control his actions.
His will-power is therefore not impaired in any way. That adds to (or aggravates) what makes it the "very worst kind".
Let me just end (even words seem hard to dispense) by reminding fathers (especially me) that fatherhood is not rapehood. It is not abusehood, and not even ventilation-hood.
If you have a son, teach him to love his wife, protect his daughter, respect the opposite sex, and sacrifice for what is chivalrous, honourable and noble. Don't just open doors for the love of his life, but guard the door to her heart with his.
But first, set the example yourself, in your household, as you honor your vows, uphold your marriage, repent in earnest for you are only human, and in all things, as a father, let love discipline, let love correct, let love grow, and let love heal.
And if you happen to have daughters, to be blessed with them for a lifetime, love them with all your heart, soul and mind.
Assure them every night that not a blade shall touch their body without a thousand first making their way through yours.
And promise them every morning that as long as you, their father, lives and breathes, you will never cease to protect them, celebrate with them, go through the worst with them, suffer with them, and most of all, whisper in their little ears daily that daddy is here, no one will harm you. Cheerz.