Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pod pedophiles and a culture fit to live

One of the oddest phenomena I witness as I grow older is that certain changes suddenly start cropping up everywhere like the “pod people” in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. For example, when Walgreen’s started building stand-alone stores in the 1990s, it seemed I couldn’t drive anywhere in Omaha without seeing yet a new Walgreen’s being thrown up; it was as if the corporation were trying to make up overnight for all the years the stores had filled bays in strip malls.

Cue the sinister music: The same thing seems to be happening with pedophilia.

Just last week I wrote a couple of pieces on new efforts to “normalize” pedophiles and pedophilia. The first, posted on The Impractical Catholic (“How do you normalize pedophilia?”), jumped off from a Daily Caller news story about a conference in Baltimore sponsored by B4U-ACT, a group of pro-pedophile mental health professionals and sympathetic activists. The other (“Pedophilia: the one boundary progressives can’t push?”), started from the recent flap over Vogue Paris using ten year old Thylane Blondeau as a “cover girl”.

You’d think more than a week would go by before the subject would have a chance to come up again. But no-ooo-o! Now, according to Susan Brinkman OCDS at Women of Grace, a French lingerie designer — what is it with the French, anyway? — has a new line of age-inappropriate underwear called Jours Après Lunes (Days After Moons), supposedly aimed at the four-to-twelve bracket, featuring “a range of very adult-looking panties, bras, camisoles and lace-edged t-shirts.”

Oh, it gets better: “Even more disturbing than the line itself is how the line is marketed on the website, with little girls wearing skimpy underwear who are heavily made-up with bright pink and red lipstick, their hair in Amy Winehouse-style beehives, and toting Jackie-O sunglasses.”

This story was released on August 18. Just yesterday, pro-family advocates who had attended the B4U-ACT conference released their reactions. “As a former law enforcement officer I’ve dealt with situations involving suicide, homicide and other violence. That said, I’ve never felt the level of spiritual oppression and evil that I felt in that room,” said  Liberty Counsel Action Vice President Matt Barber.

But wait! There’s more!

Speakers addressed the around 50 individuals [wow, what a turnout; I’m surprised they didn’t stop traffic] in attendance on themes ranging from the notion that pedophiles are “unfairly stigmatized and demonized” by society [au contraire … the demonization is fair; I just wouldn’t connect it with stigmata] to the idea that “children are not inherently unable to consent” to sex with an adult [no, they’re not “inherently unable to consent”; they’re just prone to physical and psychological damage from having sex that young]. Also discussed were arguments that an adult’s desire to have sex with children is “normative” [uh, no it isn’t] and that the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) ignores the fact that pedophiles “have feelings of love and romance for children” in the same way adult heterosexuals and homosexuals have romantic feelings for one another [because it isn’t relevant to whether sexual attraction to children is psychologically healthy].

Here’s the thing: If — and that’s a very big “if” — all we were talking about were recognizing that people afflicted with sexual attraction to young children do suffer and need support for treatment and counseling to avoid acting on that attraction, I would have absolutely no qualms offering my sympathy. BUT, if LSN’s reporting is anywhere close to accurate — and I’m neither imputing nor excusing any potential confirmation bias on the part of the pro-family advocates who attended — then the B4U-ACT conference was little more than a dress rehearsal for the “flowery, euphemistic psychobabble” which will soon start to infiltrate public discussion.

Particularly objectionable is the attempt to describe pedophilia as a “sexual orientation”. This should immediately raise red flags: the pedophile activists are attempting to put sexual attraction to minors in the same social and legal box as homosexuals. Ironically, pedophilia is in the same psychological and biological box as homosexuality; that is, it’s a symptom of severe emotional damage and a genetic trait that acts against genetic survival (which I discuss more fully here). But “sexual orientation” makes pedophilia sound like an “alternative lifestyle choice” no more intrinsically wrong than preferring brunettes to blondes; in fact, if pedophilia is worse than homosexuality, it’s because we presume of homosexuals the capability of informed, mature consent.

In discussing pedophilia with an agnostic who frequently comments on Impractical Catholic, “Mike” brought forward the hope that pedophilia would be one issue that believers and unbelievers alike could lock arms on. As a Catholic and an amateur student of natural law, I should hope so as well. As C. S. Lewis demonstrates in the appendix to The Abolition of Man, the protection and fostering of children is a duty of the cuor gentil, the civilized man, in most known cultures and societies, even those without a God who takes an active interest in the affairs of Homo sapiens.

But, as Lewis said earlier in the work:

Unless you accept [the moral principles of what Lewis calls the Tao] without question as being to the world of action what axioms are to the world of theory, you can have no practical principles whatever. You cannot reach them as conclusions: they are premisses. … If nothing is self-evident, nothing can be proved. Similarly if nothing is obligatory for its own sake, nothing is obligatory at all.

And that’s why I believe more evidence is beginning to pop up like the pod people: once we started kicking over the more obvious sexual restrictions as “subjective”, it was inevitable that restrictions we thought were self-enforcing would start to collapse. Eventually, I’m morosely certain, the commercial world will find a business case for catering to the fantasies of pedophiles as airheaded Hollywood activists make Chester the Molester their mascot and “child-loving” a cause célèbre.

And that will spell the end of Western civilization. A culture that won’t protect its children is not a culture fit or deserving to live.