Just Plain Human
Michael Jackson's destruction wasn't a revealing documentary, but setting himself up as an idol to be worshiped.
This article first appeared on Beliefnet in February, 2003.
Michael Jackson has endured many scandals in his career, but none like the one he is enmeshed in now. While accused of child molestation in 1993, he was never arrested, charged, indicted, or convicted. But now he has gone on international television and announced that he regularly invites children into his bed. I have seen Michael around children, including Gavin, the innocent young boy tragically stricken with cancer who was featured in the recent documentary, on countless occasions. I have no reason whatsoever to believe that he has ever abused a child. But that doesn't excuse the preposterous act of an adult inviting someone else's child into their bed, however innocently.
Two years ago, Michael and I delivered lectures together at Carnegie Hall, Oxford University, and other places, as part of an effort to get parents to take a more active role in nurturing and raising their children. During the time that I spent in Michael's company, we spoke often of his need, after the '93 allegations especially, to preserve the highest standards of propriety with regard to children. Michael understood and agreed, which is why I was shocked and saddened by his appalling revelation. I passed along a message to Michael last week through a close mutual friend, that rather than defending the practice, or attacking the reporter Martin Bashir, which seems to be Michael's current strategy, he should admit to just how misguided he has been and immediately stop. As a marriage counselor I have been asked many times by husbands whether it was OK to share a bed with another woman, a platonic friend, when there was absolutely no possibility of sex taking place. I made my absolute revulsion for such practices clear. The same is true when it comes to children, if you are not the parent.