When “inclusion” and incompetence fail children
Adults and authorities abandoned their duty to protect two traumatized boys
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A Georgia couple was recently sentenced to nine consecutive life sentences for sexually assaulting and prostituting their two sons.
The parents, gay men named Zachary and William Zulock, adopted their sons, now 11 and 9 years old, in 2018. As evidenced by the men’s social media activity, the Zulocks are enthusiastic LGBTQ activists and advocates for left-wing causes. Many of their posts also describe their desire to become fathers and their belief that children deserve loving homes.
In June 2022, the couple was arrested and charged with forced sodomy and the prostitution of minors. Robust evidence obtained by law enforcement demonstrated years-long sexual abuse of the Zulocks’ young boys, which included creating and distributing photographs and videos of the men raping their sons and soliciting other men in their area to do the same. I’ll spare you further details. Suffice it to say: this case is as evil as it gets.
The Zulocks adopted their victims from a now-defunct special needs adoption agency, All God’s Children Inc., which claimed to be a Christian organization. According to Townhall’s exclusive reporting, the couple enjoyed a “faster than expected” adoption process, despite one of the men having been charged with the rape of a minor in 2013. Neither the former agency nor the Georgia Department of Human Services, with whom All God’s Children worked closely, could confirm whether Zachary Zulock’s rape charge was taken into consideration when the young boys were placed with the men.
It’s a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking story of the sexual exploitation of vulnerable children by men who promised to offer them love and stability. The brothers had been in and out of the foster care system for years after the state removed them from the home of their heroin-addicted parents. It’s hard to imagine the pain they’ve endured in their young lives.
Every adult, even those who professed to be Christians, abandoned their duty to protect these children and instead enabled or perpetrated their abuse. The boys’ biological parents failed them when they chose addiction over the wellbeing of their kids. The adoption agency, which purported to uphold Biblical values, failed the boys in two ways: by failing to check the background of the adoptive parents thoroughly and by placing the boys with two men in the first place. While any kind of couple can and does perpetrate abuse, if the agency had first abided by the Biblical principle that a family consists of a dad, mom, and children, this case would never have materialized.
Law enforcement failed them when they failed to pursue rape charges for Zachary Zulock that could have barred him from abusing more children. Likewise, the state of Georgia failed the boys when they assisted All God’s Children in handing them over to their abusers.
A mixture of toxic tolerance, incompetence, and evil created a recipe for disaster for these children, who will suffer the consequences of adults’ dereliction of duty for the rest of their lives. And their story is likely just a drop in the bucket. Naomi Riley’s book, No Way to Treat a Child, documents the systemic corruption and abuse within Child Protective Services and the foster care system. Too often, adults’ wishes, diversity and inclusion efforts, and pure laziness take precedence over the needs and wellbeing of children.
A low view of children is not new in global history. In fact, it’s been the norm in many societies. It was not until Christianity emerged in the ancient pagan world that the view of children shifted from objectification to appreciation, from exploitation to compassion. Due to their physical weakness and likelihood of dying before adulthood, children were not valued but were often used for labor and sexual gratification. Historian O.M. Bakke argues that Christianity essentially made children people for the first time, popularizing the Biblical ideas that all humans are made in God’s image and that the most vulnerable—the elderly, the poor, the sick, and children—deserve special care.
We are stunned that anyone could victimize children as brutally as these adopted boys were victimized, and we should be stunned. But, tragically, such abuse is a tale as old as time. It is Christianity, and only Christianity, that serves as a true antidote to this kind of evil. Only the doctrine that everyone is made in God’s image and is equally lost in sin without Christ and, by the promise of the gospel, equally saved in Christ is an adequate basis for human rights and the obligation to protect the most vulnerable (Genesis 1:27, Ephesians 2:1-10). Only Christians willing to stand up for the truth about God’s definition of the family—unlike the Christian-in-name-only adoption agency at the center of this report—will serve as beacons of clarity and refuges of protection for children who become prey to our society’s sexual revolution. It will be Christians, and only Christians, who have the power to infuse the light and goodness necessary to banish the darkness in these institutions.
It’s easy to get demoralized by these kinds of grotesque stories. But let the reminder of evil—especially that inflicted on children—encourage us to double down on our efforts to speak the truth and fight for vulnerable children: in how we give, how we volunteer our time, how we use our voices, and even in how we vote. If there is any group worth fighting for, it must be defenseless children.
These daily articles have become part of my steady diet. —BarbaraSign up to receive the WORLD Opinions email newsletter each weekday for sound commentary from trusted voices.