Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Religious Social Conservatives and Pedophilia

In my online explorations, I hear different reactions to virtuous or celibate pedophiles.

One group whose voice I sometimes hear online are serious Catholics. Here's an example of such a group. Some other Christians feel similarly. Their religion tells them not to hate sinners, so they spare us the "bullet to the head" vitriol. And while they have no tolerance for child sex abuse, it is one element of a much larger group of sexual practices they oppose -- everything but sex inside a heterosexual marriage. They obviously know secular society doesn't work that way at all, so they seem somewhat resigned. As a result, their rage against child sex abuse seems to also be muted.

It has another curious effect, though. Given how limited the realm of proper sexual activity is, they think it is natural, right, and feasible for a good person to resist sexual temptation. So when they hear of the concept of celibate pedophiles, they believe us -- yes, anyone is capable of lifelong celibacy.

In contrast, the rest of society sees this as a very difficult thing to do. Our supporters think we deserve respect and congratulations to commit to celibacy and follow through. Our detractors think it means most of us will abuse kids eventually if we aren't already doing so.

Like most Christians, these conservative Catholics believe that thoughts can be sinful, so they also oppose thinking of oneself as a pedophile and certainly oppose entertaining erotic fantasies involving children.

This viewpoint is something of a small detail among pedophile-related issues, but as I've said before, I've covered the big issues as I see them and do not feel inspired just now to argue them again.

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