Letter: Not just another movie

Dear Editor,

Not just another movie; on Friday evening, July 28, Haven of Rest Ministry on North Avenue in Owego hosted the movie the Sound of Freedom. This was a gift from Pastor “Bob” Harris and his wife to our community. A much needed and welcomed movie that, hopefully, was deeply appreciated by all in attendance as it was attended to near the Sanctuary’s capacity.

It is unfortunate that in today’s societal minds the movie for some will be just that – a movie – that is no different than watching a Netflix or HULU action film or even a History Channel study on past atrocities. But the movie is not a made-up plot or a review of past events. It is of an ongoing “business” that thrives, even here in our country, and is perhaps emboldened under the current migrant influx.

As is noted in the movie’s opening frames, it is based on a True Story that gives the viewers an undeniable awareness of the atrocious and insidious business of Pedophilia that is one of humanity’s greatest evils and firmly anchored in our so-called civilized societies. The sad truth is that nearly all of us are, or should be aware of it at some level, and whether due to weak or indolent minds choose to ignore it. 

In a conversation the following day regarding the movie the comment came, “Yeah, it’s like that rich Epstein guy and his girlfriend honcho.” The girlfriend / honcho / Chief procurer being referred to is of course Ghislaine Maxwell. But therein lays part of the problem of ambivalence and “it’s just another movie” mindset for some.

We see and hear of atrocities on a daily basis and become inured / numb to them. It’s just another story we give a passing glance or skip over. But in doing so we not only further the evil, we embolden and empower the Pedophilia and sexual depravity “business.”

The Owego Village Board passed legislation to offer protection to our children, youth, and our most vulnerable citizens. However, New York State said, “Nope. No can do. Sexual offenders of all levels and persuasion are under NYS jurisdiction, so hands off.”

The law is still in the Village books, but the state prohibits enforcing it.

So why the reference to the Village local law? It is, hopefully, to cause us to question why would a State or Federal government prohibit a municipality from trying to protect their most vulnerable citizenry? The argument heard before was that even sexual offenders have rights under NYS laws. But apparently there is no right to safety, especially if you are a child.

Although it is a business that serves and profits off a perversion that harms innocents, the problem cannot just be just viewed as bedded in wealthy or connected, such as Epstein. We should also consider the enablers, those holding high office of political power, financial leverage, judicial policy decisions, perhaps with a sympathetic ear to such businesses. If so, then why would they want any interruptions to a business – even a business that profits from a child’s misery. 

Back to the movie and, I believe, the importance of it being viewed by as many as it can be made available to. It is my fervent hope that “all” of the Churches in the Village of Owego and surrounding areas follow Pastor Harris’s example. Secure and show this movie to their congregations and maybe we can help ensure that at least some innocent children will be saved from this evil and truly know the Sound of Freedom.

Earl Hartman

Owego, N.Y.

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