The case between Will Lynch and a priest has been widely discussed and viewed differently by moralists and ethical experts. Some people believe that Will's action of beating the priest in revenge was not justified. Will Lynch was to be charged savagely for having beaten a priest, Reverend Jerold Lindner, who abused him as a child. Lynch said that the priest molested him severely as a child (Carmen, 2006). His action of beating the priest can be seen as revenge. Revenge is justified in this case between the victim and the priest. In this paper I take a moral decision on this situation: 'Will Lynch charged with assault when he beat the priest who abused him as a child.' This will present a personal argument on how the situation should have been morally handled.
Revenge is Justified
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Revenge is the act of punishing someone for a wrong done to the person undertaking the act. Different people view this act differently with some believing in it while others see it as an unethical practice. The act is done as a form of compensation in search for equality and balance of ability and power (Fletcher, 1998). Will Lynch decided to beat the Reverend for abusing him as a child. He was charged for beating the Reverend severely and has since then been struggling in court in challenge the priest and also shame him for his actions and misconduct.
Lynch, who is 43 years of age, made his very first appearance in court in Northern California whereby he accuses the 65-year-old priest for having sexually abused him together with his younger brother in the year 1975. This was during one of the camping trips over the weekend in the Santa Cruz Mountains. At the time of the assault, the two boys were in their 7th and 4th years of age respectively. Lynch has been claiming that, together with his younger brother, they were forced to have oral sex with one another and eventually raped in front of the Jesuit priest (Lindsay & Thomson, 2005). This has become a widely debated issue because it touches both moral and legal aspects.
Another interesting part of the story is that the priest, Lindner, has severally denied of the alleged abuse and because of this he has never been charged through the criminal justice system. Although the priest has severally denied of the act, and has said he does recall neither Lynch nor his brother, it is stated that the siblings in 1998 received a confidential amount of $625,000 in settlement with the Priest for this abuse (Fletcher, 1998). Lynch has indicated severally that the memories of the Reverend have greatly tormented him for very many years and he has heavily struggled through depression, alcohol abuse, nightmares and even divorce. He also indicated that he tried to commit murder twice and at times contemplated of confronting his abuser hence leading to the beating.
According to me, I believe strongly that Lynch's actions are justified and many people would act similarly when in a similar situation. Sexual assault is something painful and results in the greatest pain both physically, emotionally and even psychologically. Lynch has undergone through pain, depression, anxiety and nightmares. Different authorities have suggested say Will Lynch acted on the prolonged fantasy and psychological trauma when he was attacking the priest. This happened after priest did not recognize him during his Sacred Heart retirement home situated in Los Gatos. Today Reverend Lindner has fully recovered from Will's attack (Fletcher, 1998).
It is true that the assault must taken Will's innocence at such a delicate age. This act took his worth, sense and strength from him hence making it hard for him to live a normal life. Lindner caused great trauma to Lynch and made his life totally unbearable (Lindsay & Thomson, 2005). It is also notable that Lindner completely changes Lynch's life and fate. This priest raped him together with his brother, he tortured him severely and also he violated his rights as a human being. This changed his destiny, ruined him and eventually made his life very unbearable.
Faced by a similar situation and having lived with the pain, trauma and depression for all those years, any other person would do a similar thing and the reason we have to agree that Will Lynch acted appropriately and revenged against a Jesuit and a merciless oppressor. Investigators have severally indicated of strong evidence proving that Lynch was molested sexually hence resulting in the beating (Lindsay & Thomson, 2005). Another notable thing is that about ten people have also accused Reverend Lindner of similar molestation with some including members of his family. This makes us believe that the priest must have committed the molestation against Will Lynch and his brother at such delicate ages.
Despite whatever the law suggests, it is necessary to think of Will's cause of action from the right angle and consider what any other person would have done. Although the law states that one should revenge against a person or assault somebody who presumably did something wrong to another within a time period exceeding thirty five years, whatever Lynch did is permissible and appropriate (Lindsay & Thomson, 2005). The society did not protect him together with his younger brother and therefore he did something that is in order and proves that he underwent immense pain and torture as a child.
There have been numerous allegations against the Reverend and are very well-documented. These allegations and evidences show the kind of man Lindner is and therefore there is the need to investigate him and know how such a man can be dealt with. Will was acting from pain and trauma and revenged for a serious trauma and pain caused by the priest. Child abuse is something very serious and causes traumatic and psychological effects to the person. This is what Will had to go through and therefore he decided to go ahead and search for justice. This action would also make the public realize the seriousness of the case and how it pains to be abused sexually. After Will's case of beating the priest, other similar cases have been filed whereby the same priest abused other people during the same camping trips (Lindsay & Thomson, 2005). This is a clear prove that the priest remained a child abuser, and the acts remained unmentioned for all those years.
Within the ethical and moral frameworks, we can say that revenge is not good and may not even be justified. This should on the contrary be resolved through forgiveness which is one of the greatest virtues and should also be practiced by all people. However, depending on the nature of the situation and the moral systems, there are a number of situations in which revenge should not be justified but be demanded. This is the exact thing with Lynch's case (Gilbert, 2008).
Among all societies, failure to avenge for issues such as murder or rape is something very bad and should be allowed. Revenge should be justified when someone acts in a manner which ruins someone's life. According to me, Will Lynch was very right to do so, and this should be permitted because it treats the person much better and makes him feel closer to justice (Gilbert, 2008). Why does this situation deserve to be taken revenge against, and why should people take revenge? This is something which results in personal contentment and satisfaction as well. Depending on the moral or ethical situation, it is always necessary to examine the need for revenge and how is can result in one's contentment.
I believe that a person feels rightly served and contented after revenging against a person who has wronged him. My argument is that revenge is needed when something like molestation, murder of a close friend or member of a family, or injustice has been done to somebody. This should be done to serve everyone right and also make sure a balance has been maintained between the two parties. Someone carrying out revenge does so depending on the nature of the situation and the pain caused (Gilbert, 2008). Lynch was molested and this made his life difficult, unbearable and full of depression and haunted. It is only through revenge that justice can be met between Lynch and his molester.
Some people will argue that revenge should not be justified but it is necessary that we look at the situation whereby revenge is an option. Some people will argue that we should not revenge because whatever we done will also be done unto us. Although they may be right, they also fail to examine and understand that no one revenge without a concise reason behind the decision (Lindsay & Thomson, 2005). With a case like Will Lynch's, revenge is justified and the reason he decided to beat the Reverend who failed to recognize him after molesting and sexually abusing him together with his younger brother.
So the fact is that there is need to revenge because the person who has been wronged lived a tormented life while the culprit goes free enjoying the fruits of ingratitude and oppressiveness (Carmen, 2006). However, I would propose to simply let everything pass when the issue is very small but revenge whenever something big like sexual molestation is done. This is comparable to murder and should be avenged if the law does not help. This is the only approach towards realization of justice between any two parties. This is being ready to face reality and making sure everyone is served right for his or her own actions.
The facts of the case is that the priest molested Lynch together with his younger brother at the ages of seven and four respectively. This saw their lives disoriented and unable to live to their dreams and achievements. Instead they grew up into wasted, depressed and traumatized persons later in their lives. It is necessary to view Lynch's actions as right and justifiable because he was tortured for no apparent reason and this was the only way he could achieve contentment and inform the public how the issue was very serious (Lindsay & Thomson, 2005). Revenge is therefore justifiable in accordance with the rules of equality, justice and morality.
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