On January 11, 2022, USA Today, once a reputable, mainstream national paper, ran an opinion/analysis piece by Alia E. Dastagir, who covers culture for USA Today, restating the argument made by Allyn Walker, that not all pedophiles (also known as “Minor Attracted Persons”) are sexual predators.
Her essay, “The Complicated Research Behind Pedophilia” is a part of a broader movement which seeks to normalize pedophilia and pederasty. Like Walker, Dastagir argues that pedophiles are “misunderstood,” which adjective she uses in the first paragraph. The astounding claim is that pedophilia is a neurological disorder. In short, people are born that way. More experienced readers will remember that the same arguments were once made for homosexuality. This is the “go-to” explanation so that we do not have deal with the reality of a pervasively corrupt and corrupting sexual culture in the decadent, post-Christian West. As with the apologists for homosexuality, the premise and claim is that “this is not something that people choose.”
Nowhere in the essay does the word unnatural occur and little attention is given to the reality (as cops and other know) that those who have been sexually abused are more likely to become abusers. Instead of the fear of God and the magistrate as constraining factors, the piece appeals to empathy but admits that some pedophiles are sociopaths, the definition of which includes the inability to empathize. The author seems not to recognize the incoherence in her approach. Dastagir makes utilitarian arguments. A normative morality has been abandoned and without it, the line between civilization and chaos is about as robust as a rusty cyclone fence.
We see the agenda of the essay when the author turns to “destigmatizing” pedophilia. This is necessary, proponents argue, in order to encourage access to therapy, which is the only way to keep pedophiles from become child molesters:
There is growing support in the field for Walker’s point of view. While Cantor said there’s no treatment that can turn a pedophile into a non-pedophile, pedophiles can be taught self-control and compensatory strategies, which he said is more likely if they’re under the care of a professional. He argues that pedophiles need to be able to access therapy, which can be difficult since those afflicted may be ashamed to seek help or worried about being reported to the authorities if they do.
The advocates of this approach seem to think that pedophiles “in therapy” do not offend. This is a strange way to think especially pedophiles are told that they are “born this way” and that there is nothing they can do to change. How long will people stay in therapy when they are told that their case is hopeless? The deterministic message will breed hopelessness and a reaction among pedophiles. How long before there are associations of pedophiles marching in the streets (have you ever seen a Gay Pride parade?) demanding acceptance? How long after that until they are a protected class? Why is this the likely outcome? Because this is what happened when the mental health establishment gave into to the gay lobby in the early 70s. The science had not changed but the politics had.
Such a future is sobering but it be more than that. It should alert you that the culture around us is shifting dramatically and that we need to respond appropriately. If the culture is headed in this direction, and it is, then it will not be long before people in the church (first the evangelicals and then the more broad P&R types) begin to baptize and parrot this sort of language and thinking. Further, those on whom one might have depended (e.g., teachers, administrators, prosecutors, judges etc) to keep children safe and to think sanely about pedophiles and sexual predators, to the degree they become influenced by this sort of thinking, may no longer be reliable protectors of children.
The largest confessional Presbyterian denomination in the USA is seriously debating whether same-sex attracted persons who do not act on their impulses (i.e., the so-called Side B view), should be admitted to her ministry. She already has one such openly Side B Teaching Elder in her ministry. Had someone told me, in 1984, when I entered seminary, that this would be a serious debate in 2022, I would have laughed. How long before we are debating the Side B version of MAP/pedophilia. Ridiculous? That is what some said when I started pointing out the slippery slope in 2013 (see the resources below). Who would have thought, in 2013, that USA Today would be running stories advocating the normalization of pedophilia? Sometimes we just have to wake up and smell the coffee when it is being poured in our laps.
Honest, experienced counselors will tell us that the LGBTQ community is full of the victims of abuse. This is almost certainly the case for MAPs. We are facing a multi-generational cycle of neglect, sexual abuse, and other sorts of harm to children and young people which is producing bad fruit (e.g., LGBTQ, and MAPs). Even from the perspective of evolutionary biology, the turn to LGBTQ and/or MAP identities and behavior makes no sense. These orientations and behaviors do not preserve the species. Why then is the percentage of young people (especially females) who identify as lesbian increasing? Biology does not explain it. Sociology does.
The LGBTQ movement is actively recruiting children primarily because the movement is full of hurt people who need affirmation and secondarily, that is how the movement grows. The principle interest is emotional/psychological but it becomes sexual. In some circles, a young person who expresses doubt about his or her sexuality is immediately channeled to the Gay-Straight Alliance even in elementary schools. Further, as Milo Yiannopoulos admitted, it is considered a feature not a bug in the LGBTQ culture to groom young people to join the community. They think that they are doing that young person a favor.
There are abused children and young people in our churches. In order to interrupt the cycle pastors and parents need to talk plainly to their children about abuse. Victims need compassionate, patient, gentle help to recover. A deviant sexuality is not a necessary outcome of abuse or neglect. Caregivers (e.g., nursery workers, Sunday School teachers, catechism teachers etc) need to become more aware of the signs of neglect and abuse in our congregations. Parents need to think and pray long and hard about how and where their children are educated. As was illustrated just today, there are organized programs in public schools across the country to groom children, to capitalize on natural questions, and to channel children to the LGBTQ movement. Many public school employees are ideologically committed to this program. Some are practically committed to it since teachers, administrators, and staff are arrested every day in the USA for committing sex crimes against children.
©R. Scott Clark. All Rights Reserved.
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- If It’s News Is it Still A Slippery Slope? (2013)
- Half Way Down the Slippery Slope (2015)
- In The Middle Of The Slippery Slope (2015)
- Pay No Attention To That Slippery Slope Behind The Curtain (2015)
- It Was A Slippery Slope (2015)
- Removing The Stigma From “Minor Attracted People”?
- The Normalization Of Pedophilia Approaches
- Resources On LGBTQ And Revoice
- If Everything Is A “Construct” To Be Deconstructed Then Why Not Pedophilia? Leading Deconstructionists Approved Of It