Virtuous Peds?

“My sexuality has never been the central part of my life,” says Devin. “It kind of remains in a box inside my head but never controls me, and I go about my life.”

 These are sad and lonely words, the words of a man who admits to a lifelong sexual attraction to children.  I read the pull quote above and assumed they were written by someone with “same-sex attraction.” I was shocked to discover that Salon.com was running a feature not on “chaste gays” but on “virtuous pedophiles.”  What a concept: a class so feared and vilified is reaching out in an apparently positive way, and (more shocking) they can get coverage in a national outlet like that. 

It will twist your brain in knots if you keep reading into the comments.

“I would like ask the question of what is normal … Homosexuality used to be stigmatised and called “the gay” like it is something you could catch.”

 In the same vein, one of the men interviewed in the article itself says:

“Regarding the therapist, one of the problems we face is that we are scared of seeking out therapists, who may report us to authorities just for our feelings. Being ‘outed’ can be devastating. The second problem is that many therapists see us only as potential abusers and not as people who need to build a decent (celibate) life.”

“Outed”?  Do they realize that they are using the exact same kind of rhetoric that the homosexual community used and continues to use?  How does anyone not expect that one day pedophiles will receive exactly the same kind of acceptance that homosexuals are now enjoying?  Return to the first commenter above and read it again. 

While sites like anonymous go on crusades and shut down pedophile file-sharing sites today, at the same time the state of California is trying to illegalize SSA therapy for minors—they don’t want parents to “harm” their children by treating SSA as an illness.  I won’t link to them, but the Salon article (or a quick google search) can point you in the direction of many completely open hubs for those with attractions to children.  Normalcy is just whatever we get used to.  “BoyLove” and “GirlLove” are just someone’s preference.    

In the other corner, there are a number of commenters whose reaction to this article is both aghast and visceral.  Many express a desire that all pedophiles be “cut up for parts” and similar expressions.  Amidst the violent comments this calm woman caught my eye:

 “I’m down on the idea of a public association for pedophiles. The existence of civil associations like this comes from a particular history of rights groups: they were organized by groups like gays, women, and people of color who were oppressed by society. But pedophiles are stigmatized, and rightly so, because sex acts with children is criminal and amoral.”

Is there a dichotomy here or what?  A sex act with a child is criminal and immoral.  Does this commenter know that, for now at least, the code which governs the behavior of military personnel forbids not only sodomy, but adultery as well?  They are both crimes.  Who decides that it stops at pedophilia? 

Where does it end?  For a Catholic reader, you could read this, walk away, think “eew” a little, and be done.  After all, we’ve enjoyed reading blogs and essays recently by those with same-sex attraction, who discuss their sorrow at a condition they would rather not have—and we pray for their continued success in living a life of holiness.  This sounds similar, right?  Let’s pray for these people that they are helped to always be stronger than temptation.

But for the modern world, especially for the militant “tolerance” society of Western culture in general, they are twisting themselves in painful, tortuous contortions.  Most want this to be wrong, to be wiped off the face of the earth, and many express violent and hateful thoughts toward pedophiles.  But others get excited by the possibility of creating virtual (i.e. computer-generated) child pornography and making it widely available to those with sexual attractions to children, saying, “One criticism of ‘ordinary’ adult porn is that men come to prefer it to sex with real partners. That would be a fantastic result when it comes to child porn!”  At this point, they have removed the rug from beneath their own feet by preaching tolerance, by refusing to accept the limits which wisdom and very long tradition had placed on sexual behavior.

Fundamentally, it all comes down to a lack of belief in chastity itself.  No one can imagine being chaste, “waiting,” staying a virgin, celibacy, or even abstinence within marriage for any reason.  If a gay person cannot imagine being chaste, no wonder they are repulsed by pedophiles—its assumed to be only a matter of time before they act on their inner tendencies.  The entire contraception debate centers on a lack of belief in the idea of chastity—contraception is “preventative” precisely because no one can fathom persons simply, well, going without sex.  (“Abstinence isn’t preventative, “ they say,  “its imaginary.”) 

What do you do in a world like this?