Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Normalizing pedophilia: The next stop on the Free-Love Train


It seems to me that the culture is ripe for the eventual normalization of pedophilia. As I see it, there are three conditions necessary for that normalization to occur; the first is practically a lock already, the second is becoming more mainstream by the day, and the third is on the horizon and making gains.

1. The belief that sex is simply for pleasure

The Planned Parenthood Secular Left tells us time and time again that sex is certainly not primarily about making babies. It is primarily about pleasure, very much like indulging in a delectable ice cream sundae. And if one is not pleasuring oneself alone (with or without the aid of pornography), then the pleasure might be accompanied by a sense of communication and bonding and fun -- with one, two, or even a dozen others of any or all genders. Sex is casual and it is free. It is not bound by the natural or moral law, and its purpose and meaning and application is utterly subjective. The right to sexual pleasure and orgasm is so paramount that it even supersedes the right to life of an "unwanted" child who may be conceived in its pursuit. Simple.

2. The belief that children are sexual beings with sexual rights

The Planned Parenthood Secular Left teaches our children that they are "sexual beings" from birth, and that they have a right to sexual pleasure (see #1). Just this year, International Planned Parenthood Federation released a long and detailed pamphlet detailing the "sexual rights" of "young people" (i.e., children) around the globe, which includes the following principles (all emphases mine):

Young people are sexual beings. They have sexual needs, desires, fantasies and dreams. It is important for all young people around the world to be able to explore, experience and express their sexualities in healthy, positive, pleasurable and safe ways. This can only happen when young people’s sexual rights are guaranteed.

Sexuality and sexual pleasure are important parts of being human for everyone -- no matter what age, no matter if you’re married or not and no matter if you want to have children or not.

Sexuality and sexual pleasure are important for all young people, irrespective of reproductive desires.

No ambiguity there.

3. The belief that ages of consent are problematic

There are intelligent people advocating for a lowering of the age of consent as we speak. This move to give children more sexual freedom is at work everywhere that the Planned Parenthood mentality exists. Let's check International Planned Parenthood's manifesto again:

[S]triking the right balance between protection and autonomy is a complex process that requires looking at the individual capacity of each young person, rather than focusing on someone’s age.

Since each young person develops at their [sic] own pace, there is no universal age at which certain sexual rights and protections gain or lose importance.

In all situations, the evolving capacities of young people to autonomously exercise their rights must be recognized.

Who are we to say when any particular child has the "evolved capacity" to engage in the fun and pleasure of sex? If you object and say that children clearly cannot "consent", then perhaps you are not forward thinking. As Planned Parenthood insists:

We must approach young people’s sexual rights in a progressive way.

What can that mean but to give children more room to explore and express sex openly, with fewer restrictions?

So let's recap: If sex is for pleasure and fun, if children are sexual beings with sexual rights and autonomy, and if ages of consent are problematic and not in keeping with "evolving capacities", then why shouldn't children be able to express their sexuality with the adults whom they love or admire? And why would an adult be prohibited from helping that child explore his or her sexuality in a "progressive" way?

Now, of course most of us recognize that adults having sex with children is an abomination and beyond the bounds that any decent society would accept. Such activity harms children in myriad ways. But there are entire groups out there who argue that it is only societal taboos and stigmas that cause harm to youngsters involved in adult-child relationships. If we rid ourselves of such damaging societal constructs, they say, all the negatives would disappear; it's the stigma that is the problem.

After all, lots of things that we accept and embrace now used to be seen as abominations, rejected by decent society. Once upon a time, contraception was seen as a horrible degradation of marriage. Then suddenly it wasn't. For a while after that, abortion was still an unthinkable crime. But then that became acceptable, too. Premarital sex and promiscuity was taboo, immoral. Now, it's a healthy expression of sexuality. And until just a few years ago, homosexual unions were unspeakable and shameful. Now, there is a push for gay "marriage" and we see millions cheering it on or at least asking, "What's the big deal?"

And yet in light of this, for some odd reason, everyone* who now promotes and exults in the once-disgraceful acts of contraception, abortion, fornication, homosexuality, etc., mocks and dismisses the idea that pedophilia might be the next taboo to fall.

My question to them is simply and sincerely: Why?

*Well, not quite everyone, as the normalizing of pedophilia has already begun. Read more here and here and here and here and here.



  1. Good Post!

    I posted a post with the same title a while back: mine was focussed on the 'academic conference' being run with the same objective. Your readers may find it interesting and relevant: http://ccfather.blogspot.com/2011/08/normalising-paedophilia.html

  2. http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/09/12/if-there-is-no-transcendant-moral-law-asking-us-to-submit-to-it-is-a-bad-idea/

    From Uncle PZ

  3. I'm sorry, Zach, but where did Leila say anything about a transcendent moral law in her post?

    Can you respond to and/or refute any of her actual points?

  4. Joanna,

    Leila doesn't need to spell it out explicitly in this post for me to know her ideas and positions. And frankly, I don't need to refute points. Just because I'm secular doesn't mean I'm with planned parenthood.

    Just linking to a recent opinion that's relevant. Secular thought is not hegemonic.

  5. Planned Parenthood is disgusting. The lengths they will go to in order to increase profits are criminal. Where is the outrage????

  6. It's unbelievable to me that time and again, after showing certain people that a public school is more likely to abuse children than a Catholic priest, they still revert back to this argument...and why wouldn't they? They've got the media on their side. Yawn.

  7. Disgusting. When I first saw this, I was really hoping there would be more vehement backlash against it. There are no circumstances under which I could conceive of child rape being okay. That's what this is, rape.

    Nevermind that I know plenty of teenage girls and college aged women who run into a lot of problems after having pre-marital sex, this is just not an acceptable progression of events. I remember watching Law & Order: SVU when I was younger and aspiring to be the ADA whose job it was to put pedophiles in jail. Now, if that day ever comes, I can only hope we will still be putting pedophiles in jail.

  8. Ben, thank you! Very succinct and helpful!

    Zach, of course you don't agree with pedophilia. That is sorta my point. You and others are still horrified by it. But why? What is sex for? Why are you horrified by it? My question was "why" do you dismiss the idea that pedophilia is the next taboo to fall? Pedophiles use the exact same arguments homosexuals used to find acceptance, and even the APA has almost changed the idea of pedophilia as a disorder, more than once!

    So, I am not getting why you won't just answer with something logical.

    Although am I hearing you are disavowing the filth of Planned Parenthood? That would be awesome! Those are some messed up, twisted folks.


  9. My academic and professional passion is the interior and spiritual life of children and, indeed, what could be called progressive ideas about the special rights of the child. I believe that our view of children is going to change as we discover just how philosophically aware they are even from birth.

    Yet, I have come to the opposite conclusion as Planned Parenthood, and find their view reprehensible. Do people under eighteen have romantic feelings and physical attractions? Of course; this is, indeed, a part of a growing person's life. Who among us doesn't remember a first crush? It is how the human person develops. I am appalled, though, that Planned Parenthood's response to acknowledging this vulnerability is done in the way that begs for exploitation.

    I have had the good fortune to come into contact with a number of professors and researchers who manage to weave a seamless ethic of both understanding childhood in a deeper - and maybe even more progressive way - with an undeniable call for MORE protection of a child's vulnerability, MORE protection against exploitation of children while they are putting together the fascinating pieces of their physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual growth, and MORE deep, authentic love and nurturing - most critically, of course, from the family.

    Please don't think that everyone who has a mind to change how we think about children is doing so in a way that's as absolutely dehumanizing as Planned Parenthood. In fact, I hope that more research done in this field can fly in the face of their conclusions.

  10. In fact, where I said, "from birth," I should have said "from conception." I'm so used to writing for academic contexts at a public university that it just rolls off my fingers. Mea culpa!

  11. Mrs. M,

    We don't have time to wait for "more research". Planned Parenthood is being publically funded by our federal tax dollars and our children are their targets. They are being touted by our "progressive" president as a necessary good in our society.


  12. Manda, I agree wholeheartedly with you that it doesn't require more research to see that it's a moral crisis when groups start advocating for more - and not less - exploitation of children's vulnerabilities.

    I did not, however, say that more research was necessary to come to a conclusion. I said that such research is happening, and my hope for the future is that it continues to refute Planned Parenthood's conclusion. I know that there is an immediate need for action, but this doesn't mean that everyone involved in research should just quit his work, right?

    Let me put it the following way. What I don't want Planned Parenthood and its ilk to ever be able to do is say, "We have the only modern, rigorously researched view of childhood. The last good research that's advocated for protection of children of vulnerable to exploitation was written in 1985. It's outmoded." Catholics aren't afraid of science, including social science. Science helps to reveal the truthful workings of the world and helps us to have enough information to make precise moral decisions. It would be disastrous for Catholics and other people who support human dignity to stop participating in ethically run social research, actually, because then those who oppose human dignity would have a monopoly on new evidence and theory.

    We're on the same side, I assure you.

  13. Thank you for writing this Leila. PP's words make my stomach turn.

    I think about my 9 year old son who is just expressing to us about his first crush, and the thought of allowing him to act on his (very natural) emotions, in fact encouraging him to do so, is more than disturbing. It's neglectful of a parent's duties to protect their children and abusive in that it leads them into a sexualized lifestyle before they are ready.

    What exactly does PP mean by "young person"? Boy, that's very vague. I like to consider myself a young person!

    Marriage and sex have a purpose, and they go hand in hand. But PP doesn't connect that at all. In fact, they disconnect it. Very sad.

  14. Okay, Zach, I read the lovely PZ's article. What the heck? What is his point? That Hitler appealed to God? Ummm, no. Hitler believed in a master race, as in a sort of "survival of the fittest". Not a Christian philosophy, not a Christian fellow. And, this idea that religion is somehow claiming to "suppress" the natural inclination to rape children. Ummmm, again, no. Most adults don't want to have sex with children, just as most adults don't want to have homosexual sex. But that isn't the point! The point is that for those who do have such inclinations (maybe it's inborn, maybe it's a "gift"), then based on the three points above, why not let them? Who are you or anyone (including the lovely PZ) to say they are wrong?

    And really? PZ is claiming to make laws and life better for all? Isn't he the one who laughingly, mockingly called aborted babies "just dead meat" and "I'm not afraid of meat"?

    Really, what relevance does that post have on what I said, above? I'm not getting the connection at all.

  15. Mrs. M and Manda, you are both spot on. We have to act now and we must meet them on their own turf, and not let them reign academically without challenge. I am so glad there are women warriors out there like both of you! :)

    And what a great article by Simcha Fisher. She is my new fave!

    SC, I think I remember that "young person" goes from ages 10+ in their view, but no doubt that can change (why not??).

    Christina, exactly! All misuse of sex causes horrible pain and suffering (my secular Jewish neighbor was surprised at the thought but agreed with me years ago when I mentioned that all the greatest wounds seem to be sexual wounds: abortion, affairs, being used and abused as a teen or older, STDs, divorce, rape, pornography, molestation, etc.). And yet sex is only for fun, right? Why not let kiddies have that pleasure, too? That experience of the "delectable ice cream sundae"?

    But of course, I'm way out of line. ;)

  16. Zach, I'm troubled that you think PZ Myers is worth listening to in the first place. You've stated before that you oppose homophobia, but why do you support theophobia? Shouldn't you be opposed toward hatred and bigotry of all kinds, regardless if it is directed toward homosexuals or Christians?

    Unless Myers believes in the aims and goals of NAMBLA, he does adhere to a moral code and believes that others should adhere to it as well. The question is, why is his moral code superior to anyone else's, regardless of its basis? If he is trying to say that we should all adhere to our own individual moral code, then he has no right whatsoever to condemn members of NAMBLA or, for that matter, pedophile priests for following their own individual moral codes.

    (As an aside, I can't believe Myers claims that Hitler was a Christian. Um, Hitler was a Christian in name only, if even that. He identified as a Christian only when it suited his political purposes (sadly, this seems to be the norm for a lot of politicians), but his unChristian actions spoke far louder than his words. Many non-theists recognize this; see, for example, this article from The Straight Dope. My favorite excerpt: "...you could certainly make the argument that [Hitler] was a firm believer in God, if by 'God' you mean 'Adolf Hitler'.")

    Once again, Zach, it saddens me to see you support hatred and bigotry against anyone, given that you say you have been a victim of hatred and bigotry.

  17. Hey, I have an idea. My hubby has always loved cars. He seems wired to be an expert on cars. He wanted to drive as young as 5. What he would have given for his dad's car keys! How dare his father deny that desire until he was 16. That was part of his identity!!! We need to have a progressive attitude towards driving. Each child is different, after all.

    Okay the analogy isn't perfect because honestly, a healthy child should not desire sexual activity or experimentation at five whereas an interest in cars at five is healthy. But still... why is it that it's PC to acknowledge the developmental stages of childhood and to protect the innocent in every other aspect EXCEPT the sexual realm???? Why can we run ads on drunk driving and smoking but sex - which carries equal if not MORE health risks - is supposed to be a free for all for our kids???

    The sexualization of children has been happening for some time, and it's highly disturbing. I was taught all these wonderful things in teen magazines and in sex ed back in the 90's (the need for experimentation, how it's an important aspect of "youth", etc). It's so irresponsible for any person of "authority" to teach this tripe. It wasn't healthy in the 90's, and it's not healthy now.

    Even if most progressive folks recoil at the idea of pedophilia, as a society, we're fostering an environment where we're only making it easier for these sick people to function. Get a girl pregnant? Cover it up with an abortion. Not to mention encouraging kids to engage in behavior that puts them at risk.

  18. I don't want to get embroiled in a never-ending argument on this, because I don't have much time, so I'll probably just say this and leave it at that. But like I and others have said every single time this gets brought up, until a certain age, kids' brains simply do not function as adults' brains do. That's why we can say with certainty that pedophilia is wrong.

    Kids aren't able to reason fully, fully understand consequences and responsibility, etc. That's why minors are tried in court differently than adults - it's understood that they aren't necessarily fully responsible for their actions. That's why it's considered rape for an adult to have sex with a minor. If pedophilia is going to be normalized, as you suggest, it has a hurdle to jump that promiscuity, premarital sex, and homosexuality did not: it necessarily involves one person that's under the age of consent. You do see the difference, right? Unless society does away with all distinctions between minors and adults - kids of all ages will be tried in court as adults, babies can vote, etc. - I can't see how pedophilia could ever become mainstream.


  19. Michelle, research also indicates that the adult brain -- specifically the section that inhibits risky behavior -- is not fully developed until age 25.

    Do you think that people should abstain from risky behaviors until age 25, when their brains are fully developed?

  20. Michelle, I beg you not to duck and run. No one ever answers these questions. Or they answer one but don't stay for the follow up.

    JoAnna poses a great question.

    Also, if you could answer this: If sex is about pleasure, what does it matter what a child's brain is like? If we give children (even babies!) ice cream cones, why not give them sexual pleasure, too? Or do you want to say that sex is about something other than pleasure? If so, please tell me, what is it about? Why can't children partake?

    Help me out. It's not a trick question. I am trying to understand how the left can logically, reasonably have it both ways. You don't wait till there is certain brain development to give a baby an ice cream cone, after all, so please explain your philosophy.

  21. it necessarily involves one person that's under the age of consent. You do see the difference, right?

    My point in #3 is that many on your side of the spectrum wish to lower or do away with ages of consent for sex. You don't address that. They are here now, but can be gone tomorrow… They are man-made.

  22. JoAnna, what's your solution? I assume you agree with me that certain things should be allowed only once someone hits a certain age (driving, drinking, sex, voting, etc.). Also, something to keep in mind is that engaging in risky behavior isn't necessarily an indicator of your ability to reason fully, so I'm not sure this study is looking at exactly the same thing we're discussing.

    Haha, Leila, if I'm ducking and running this time, it's only because I have things I actually need to accomplish! I'll do my best, but if I disappear it's because the part of my brain that's capable of making fully rational decisions will have told me to go back to my homework. :)

    If sex was only about pleasure, I'd agree - let anyone have sex with anyone, no big deal. But there's an undeniable element of bonding and trust, and of course, biology, and it's a question of whether kids and adolescents are able to make decisions regarding those elements.

    Also, saying "your side of the spectrum" sets up an "us vs. them" sort of thing that in this case is really not necessary or true. I - and most atheists - am just as much against pedophilia as you are.

  23. Not to mention that the age of consent differs from state-to-state, let alone country-to-country.

    For example, the current age of consent in Arizona is 18. In Alaska, however, the age of consent is 16. Is there something special about the Alaskan air that makes teenagers magically able to consent to sexual intercourse two years prior to their counterparts in Arizona?

    If there is scientific evidence of a specific age of consent, what is this evidence and why isn't there a federal age of consent based upon it? Why isn't the age of consent 25, based on the NIH studies the article I linked to cited? After all, premarital sex can be defined as risky behavior, given that all forms of contraception have a failure rate.

  24. JoAnna, what's your solution?

    Well, not encouraging children as young as 10 years old to engage in sex would be a GREAT start, contrary to Planned Parenthood's opinion.

    Also, something to keep in mind is that engaging in risky behavior isn't necessarily an indicator of your ability to reason fully...

    Are you saying that reasoning doesn't play a part in deciding whether or not to engage in risky behavior?

  25. JoAnna, no, I definitely agree that reasoning has something to do with engaging in risky behavior. I'm just not sure that it's safe to use risky behavior as a metric for determining reasoning capability, since I think there are elements of reasoning that have nothing to do with risky behavior. And is risky behavior a sign that someone doesn't understand the consequences of their actions? I'm sure a lot of risky behavior occurs while the person is fully aware of and understands the impact of the consequences. Do you see what I mean? I'm not really disagreeing with you, just questioning whether risky behavior is the best way to judge reasoning capabilities.

    And, of course, I agree that 10-year-olds shouldn't be encouraged to have sex. I guess what I was more asking was, what do you do about the issue of ages of consent? Say it was shown that people are not able to reason fully until they hit 25 - would you push for legislation that would make the driving, voting, drinking, and consent ages higher? I don't mean this as a challenge; I'm mostly just curious as to what your thoughts are on this. Leila's post doesn't give much by way of solutions to the problem (which I don't think is anywhere near as much of a problem as Catholics like to think it is - NAMBLA and their ilk are far, far, far from most people).

  26. This scares me so much. There's no way any of my Kids will be participating in a sex ed program.

  27. Unless it involves Theology of the Body and they're 18.

  28. And is risky behavior a sign that someone doesn't understand the consequences of their actions? I'm sure a lot of risky behavior occurs while the person is fully aware of and understands the impact of the consequences.

    Here's where we disagree. I don't think that most teens -- and many adults, for that matter -- fully understand the consequences of potential risky behavior, especially when it comes to sexual intercourse. They may understand it on an purely intellectual level, but not on a personal level (the "It could never happen to ME!" syndrome).

    The problem is (in this case) Planned Parenthood is sending a message wholly different from yours, Michelle. Planned Parenthood is ENCOURAGING children AND teenagers to engage in risky behavior, and covering it up with a veneer of, "as long as you use protection"! Well, "protection" is also not without its own risks, and all methods have a failure rate. When those methods fail, as they inevitably do, then they encourage children and teens to undergo even riskier behavior (chemical or surgical abortion) to "fix" the problem.

    A better solution would be for PARENTS (not public schools!) to teach their children about the seriousness of sexual intercourse, why it is best saved for marriage, the potential risks of extra-marital sex, etc. I plan to start teaching my daughters NFP when they start menstruating because I don't want them to be as ignorant of their body's menstrual cycles as I was at that age (no thanks to - surprise! - public school sex ed), and I'll work sex education into that as well.

    Regarding changing current laws regarding drinking, smoking, etc. - I do think it's ridiculous that the drinking age is 21 and the age for practically everything else is 18... you can legally inhale carcinogens, vote for elected officials, operate heavy machinery, work full-time, and fight and die for your country, but you can't drink? I was old enough to get married at 20 without consent of my parents, but I couldn't legally drink champagne at my own wedding reception! Seems logically inconsistent to me. However, rather than going off on that tangent, I'd rather stick to the topic as discussed in the OP.

    (which I don't think is anywhere near as much of a problem as Catholics like to think it is - NAMBLA and their ilk are far, far, far from most people).

    Actually, Michelle, the problem is much more widespread than YOU seem to believe. Please check out some of the evidence Leila provided in her original post, especially this link. A serious consideration to remove pedophila as a disorder from the DSM-V must have more support than just a couple of crackpots, wouldn't you agree?

  29. Michelle, take your time, I understand.

    I am sorry if I seem dense, but I really don't get this (or, could you elaborate?):

    If sex was only about pleasure, I'd agree - let anyone have sex with anyone, no big deal. But there's an undeniable element of bonding and trust, and of course, biology

    What does this mean? What is this "element of bonding and trust"? I know that the hook-up culture is very much a part of college campuses, and do you think there is bonding and trust involved in those ten minute anonymous sessions? Are you saying that the free-love sexual revolution mentality is bad and should be rejected? Or are you a fan of Planned Parenthood and its comprehensive sex ed? I think you are trying to have it both ways, but I am not sure? What is sex about? Bonding and pleasure? So, let the children bond with the adults. What is wrong with that? I am still not getting how your philosophy precludes that.

    Planned Parenthood Internation is no fringe group. It's well funded and very influential. Do you repudiate it, or stand by it? When I say those on your side, I mean those with the Planned Parenthood agenda (abortion on demand and free love). I assumed from our previous discussions that you are philosophically supportive of Planned Parenthood. Are you not? Would you like to see them defunded?

    Anyway, disjointed comment due to baby, but if you could tell me how bonding over sex is different from bonding over ice cream, I'm seriously interested.

  30. There's a great deal of talk in the comments about consent. PPI is very interested in "balancing protection and autonomy" - autonomy, I believe, here interchangeable with consent.

    When we start talking about consent and morality, we get further and further away from the point. People are able to consent to all kinds of things that are ethically wrong, ruinous for society, dehumanizing, and in violation of the rights of the human person. If I wanted, I could consent to have a foot bitten off by a tiger for a group of spectators in exchange for a million dollars - that doesn't make anybody involved in the spectacle in the right.

    As dramatic as the tiger example it, it's the same principle as the one at stake in these arguments: usury of the human person. The Catholic ethic of life - and indeed social justice - is so consistent on this that it makes me swoon with admiration. Usury denies the full humanity of someone else, and preys on a few gratifying aspects alone. To act with usury on someone who is vulnerable, who has a special right (as does a child) - is especially heinous. Young people can't give away their own sexuality to someone else because it's a gift they themselves have not received in full - it can, however, be interrupted and stolen by someone who intercepts it, so to speak, such as a pedophile.

    While this may sound like I'm actually joining in the conversation about consent and risky behavior, I'm not. Talking about consent and risky behavior make it seem as if a young person already has this gift in full, but just isn't rational enough to give it away yet. This is what PPI and their friends want us to think, because that's step one to normalizing the reprehensible view of children as in possession of exchangeable, actionable sexualities.

    Even if we keep the legal age of consent as a barrier, we are in big trouble as a culture if we start looking at youth as a location of sexualities that are ready to be exchanged or acted on. Laws alone cannot even begin to make up for what a culture lacks.

  31. Leila,

    EXCELLENT, irrefutable points. Some people can see into the dark future because they have headlights on. Some people can't see past the nose on their face.

    That very last link made me want to vomit.

  32. Leila, what are you getting at? I know you know there's a difference, and I know you know what bonding and trust mean. There is a difference between mature adults (or nearly-mature adolescents) making sexual decisions among themselves and immature children making sexual decisions that they don't fully under. You know that, and I know we agree. I'm not sure what your point is, honestly.

    Also, being in support of abortion (and the other services PP provides) doesn't mean I agree with everything they do. And disagreeing with one aspect of what they do/believe doesn't mean I would have them defunded.

    I don't want to seem like I'm avoiding questions, but I think I'm going to drop out of the discussion. I think we're really mostly in agreement here, so arguing will be especially futile. Sorry!

  33. JoAnna,

    I'm starting to think that people who push the sexual agenda get so angry because they know that no matter how much they push to change laws, or even succeed, they will NEVER change the truths we teach our own children in our own homes. They can't touch that.

  34. Also, being in support of abortion (and the other services PP provides) doesn't mean I agree with everything they do.

    But don't you see how their underlying philosophy regarding the sexual exploitation of children leads directly to a greater profit margin for their organization? (More kids having sex, more kids on contraception, more kids getting abortions when contraception fails...)

  35. Michelle, just when I am getting close to an answer, you bow out. I don't think we do come close to agreement. I cannot see why you can support Planned Parenthood on abortion and contraception alone, but not see that they are giving these abortions and such to children whom the educate in public schools, in the way that everyone I've ever talked to on the Left seems to be okay with. What part of their philosophy do you disagree with, and how can it be separated from the rest? I think they are being very consistent.

    As for "bonding and trust"… I'm desperately trying to get any liberal to admit that there is something fundamentally different about sex than any other pleasurable activity. You seem to understand that innately (natural law/conscience), but you have yet to tell me what is different about sex. What is different about sex from eating an ice cream cone, Michelle? You are this.close. You are on the verge of something. But I want to challenge you to flesh it out….

  36. I know you know there's a difference, and I know you know what bonding and trust mean.

    But why does sex include bonding and necessitate trust, but eating an ice cream sundae together doesn't?

    What is different about sex?

    Any other secular atheist or anyone on the left want to answer? I am trying to get clarity.

    And can you think of any other organization besides PP which should continue to be funded even though it sexualizes children?

  37. "But why does sex include bonding and necessitate trust, but eating an ice cream sundae together doesn't?"

    You don't eat ice cream together completely naked. There's some amount of trust needed to completely expose yourself- both literally and metaphorically?

    Oh and, there's no way lowering the age of consent is a good idea. Way too many headcases to worry about. They're thinking of going at it on a case by case basis? You know how LONG that would take. Way too many possibilities for failure and mental damage.

  38. Andrew, I am sure many a sex act (and a violation) has taken place with clothes on. Would that make it okay? Just like eating ice cream?

    What is sex for? Why is it different?

  39. And Andrew, IPPF is, I believe, suggesting that basically the children around the globe should themselves tell their parents when they want to have sex, and there should be very little restriction or guidance from the parents. PP is not into parents' rights at all. It doesn't seem like they believe in consent laws at all. Read the pamphlet (vomit-inducing) and you will get a better picture.

  40. That IPPF pamphlet reminds me of "Brave New World" where kids had sex play outside during play time.

  41. I told you what was different about sex - it involves bonding and trust. For some people, sure, it doesn't involve bonding, but there at the very least tends to be an element of trust. I don't know if this helps explain it, but say someone grabbed you and forced you to eat ice against your will. Other than being silly and a bit absurd, you wouldn't come out of it traumatized. You wouldn't press charges, you wouldn't be left wondering if you could trust anyone ever again, you wouldn't be stuck with any sorts of consequences other than maybe some slight brain freeze. If someone forces you to have sex against your will? You press charges, lose a lot of trust in people, and you could be left with life-long consequences. So, while sex can be pleasurable under the right circumstances, it's not the same as eating ice cream. We agree on that, and I really shouldn't have to explain it.

    And can you think of any other organization besides PP which should continue to be funded even though it sexualizes children?
    When the sex abuse scandal happened in the Church, did you turn away from it entirely, and say that everything about the Church must be denounced because something happened within it that you knew was wrong? I see that PP provides valuable services to society. I'm skimming through this "manifesto" and I'm not seeing it as all that objectionable. I'm not sure what your guys' idea of sexualizing children is, but I'm not really seeing it here. Assuming, though, that PP is telling 10 year olds to go out and have sex (highly doubt it - anyone have a source?), then that's wrong. But that doesn't mean that everything they do is wrong.

    The point of what I was saying originally, though, is that for pedophilia to be normalized, society will need to have an enormous, illogical shift in how we view youth - and we'll need to ignore the obvious, unchanging fact that children are simply not as mentally mature as adults.

    JoAnna, here's an article that may be of interest: http://discovermagazine.com/2011/mar/24-the-brain-the-trouble-with-teens/article_view?b_start:int=1&-C=

    Okay. I really do have things I need to do. I'm pretty sure we've discussed most of this before (feels quite familiar), so I think I'm done here.

  42. When the sex abuse scandal happened in the Church, did you turn away from it entirely, and say that everything about the Church must be denounced because something happened within it that you knew was wrong?

    The irony is, many atheists chastise Catholics for NOT denouncing and abandoning the Church in the wake of the scandals...

    That was an interesting article, Michelle. I especially found this fascinating: "Until it catches up, teenagers are stuck with strong responses to rewards without much of a compensating response to the associated risks."

    It seems to me that PP's worldview encourages this mindset -- going for the rewards without giving any serious consideration to the risks involved.

    This was interesting too: "But with access to modern dangers like illegal drugs and fast cars, the human risks have increased. Evolution does not operate quickly enough to have reacted to such factors."

    Damn that evolution. Guess it's not perfect after all! (:-P)

  43. Michelle, but no one is talking about forcing sex or forcing ice cream. The proponents are talking about sex as a natural part of a child's expression. Sexual rights, sexual pleasure, all for the taking, when a child decides it's time. My point is: Why is sex different from any other type of pleasure. Not is it different (we both understand that it is, thank goodness). But why is it different? Why do bonding issues come up with sex acts, but not with eating ice cream? Why do trust issues come up, but not with eating ice cream? What makes sex different? If you say it's because of "risks or consequences" then I would say that Planned Parenthood and others have ways to deal with those: Condoms for disease, pills for pregnancy, abortion if those don't work. PP is all about "protection" and so there should not be a problem if the child/adult sex is done responsibly, right? Isn't that their message about sex in general? It's all fun and games, just so long as you are "protected" with a condom.

    If you don't see much to object to in that document, then we are indeed worlds apart. It is nauseating.

    By the way, when pedophiles in the Church abused children, it was in complete and utter contradiction to the Church and her teachings on morality. With PP, the stuff you say you disagree with is actually part of its stated purpose and philosophy.

    But now it seems like you are backtracking, and you are okay with what PP is proposing for children after all? I'm a bit confused.

  44. This is such a depressing topic.

    A child is not put on the earth to be abused.

    There's nothing parental about planned parenthood.

  45. Michelle:

    We've talked a lot about sexualizing children as it applies to children, but I think we're missing a huge corollary about how this kind of position is telling adults that it's all right to view children in a sexual way.

    The comparison between letting kids drive cars or drink whiskey in kindergarten seems apt, at first, but it's not. Neither a car nor a bottle of whiskey actively preys on children. Neither a car nor a bottle of whiskey forms a society. However, adults do prey on children, and do they help to shape our societies.

    Let's say that a man came to you for moral advice. He says he's thirty-five, and every day he walks past a group of high school juniors and he thinks to himself that, potentially but not certainly, some of them, at sixteen or seventeen, are prepared to enter into a relationship with him. He thinks it's too bad that the letter of the law prevents him from getting to know one of them better and discerning if she's among the kind of girl who is ready at a younger age than some of her peers. "Is this kind of thinking healthy? Is it moral?" he asks you. What would you say?

    I'd say no, and recommend that he get into therapy as fast as he could. According to the writing in the PP materials, they would tell him that he was right to assume that it's possible that some, even if not all, girls at sixteen or seventeen are ready for a relationship with him, and that he was thinking correctly and well.

    Which is right, in your opinion?

    By the way, I am a huge advocate for viewing children, especially in places around the world far different from the U.S., as needing more rights and power, but I want to point out that often that is best manifested in more protection. For instance, the right to education is both giving children more rights and more power, but it best manifests itself in legal - and cultural - protection.

  46. I just don't understand why you don't focus your energy on de-legitimizing divorce, since that is what got us down this path in the first place. I mean, really - to follow your logic, sex should only be had in marriage, so marry young. And if you have sex, then you should have (be open to) children. And if you have children, then by all means don't get divorced. Really - you wanted sex, so you got married, and you knew what was going to happen, right? So no divorce is allowed.

    Allowing divorce is what got us going down this liberated path in the first place. Divorce, sex for pleasure only, homosexual marriage, normalizing pedophilia. Focus your energy at the beginning!

  47. That's an excellent point, MaiZeke! You'll be happy to know that Catholics ARE working hard to promote healthy marriages and heal marriages in crisis. See, for example, the Marriage Encounter and Retrovaille programs. Many Catholics, such as my husband and I, volunteer for their parish's marriage preparation programs so as to strengthen marriages from the outset.

    And, of course, the Catholic Church has spoken out against no-fault divorce since its inception.

  48. MaiZeke, actually it was contraception that said "sex is for pleasure only" and that is what "got us going down this liberated [?] path in the first place", but I definitely agree with you about divorce. The Church is against divorce, and against the disastrous no-fault divorce laws that began with Reagan (I like Reagan, but NOT that decision!!). No-fault divorce is one of the worst things that ever happened to women and children.

    I am involved with marriage prep in our diocese and believe me, the Church is working hard to prepare couples to make that lifelong commitment.

    Like I said, we are against divorce as Catholics. Divorce and remarriage is not allowed, by the explicit words of Jesus Christ. (I plan a series explaining annulments in the near future).

    But here's how I see it, culturally. We can at least all agree (in theory) that divorce is bad, not something we like. As for contraception, fornication, homosexual sex…. my goodness, we are open-armed, saying, "Bring on the goodness of all that!" Most Americans love their contraception, but an ever-growing segment of Americans are embracing fornication, and gay sex. Like, as a good. I don't think Americans see divorce as a positive "good", even though they take advantage of it all the time.

  49. that is what got us down this path in the first place

    MaiZeke, do we at least agree, then, that we are going down a bad path?

    Have we found a point of agreement that we are going in the wrong direction with the desacralization (or the "baseness") of sex?

  50. Sharon is having trouble posting, and she asked me to post this comment for her:

    I think that what we are witnessing here is what happens to a society that has turned its back on God. I know, all those atheists out there don't believe in God, and don't want to believe in Him. Ok, let's live as if He doesn't exist. In fact, in our society in general, we already do live that way. So let's acknowledge where it's taking us, because it's reality, and it's here, and it is getting very, very ugly.

    Without God, we are all free to create our own moral code. Crazy world one ends up with there, because if I can create my own moral code, so can you. And I have no right to tell you that your moral code is deficient. If you love children, and want to express your "love" to them sexually, who am I to say you can't? There is no basis for me to say that you have to follow my moral code. In fact, let's stop pretending that our society, in general, really believes in a moral code, because as the author of What We Can't Not Know points out, a moral code is something we are supposed to follow whether we want to our not. And who want to live under THOSE restrictions? Forget the moral code thing. "Imagine", if you will, that there's no moral code. Imagine all the people living exactly as they want to.

    Well you won't have to imagine for very long. Because the logic of our society leaves no way for us to prevent other people from doing whatever they want to do, no matter how sick we might think they are. Michele can say she disagrees with parts of PP's philosophy, but PP could not possibly care less about her opinion. They will do what they want, and they will do it with the $1,000,000 in taxpayer money that they receive every day and that Michele is loathe to take away from them. Not to mention all that money they get from doing abortions and mammogr.. wait, they don't do mammograms. Abortions and other forms of "comprehensive" care for women.

    The reality we are witnessing is this. Evil, in the form of PP or anything else, does not share power. Not with you, not with me, not with Michelle. We will at least attempt to live within the reality that there is a moral code outside of ourselves (and that it comes from SOMEWHERE, and that we disobey it at our own peril), or we accept the fact that anything anyone wants goes, and we have no basis to stop it - not even when evil begins to target the most innocent of already-born children. We will have no choice but to live under the tyranny of evil. In fact, to a great extent, we already do.

    (Of course I give my hearty "amen" to that.)

  51. Well said, Sharon! With no moral code, might makes right!

  52. Leila, you are awesome! I wish I had more time to read through all the comments. I am baffled by PP and all they stand for and horrified by where their notions of sex lead us. What a slippery slope. It is a battle for our children's souls!

  53. Sharon (through Leila,)

    Michele can say she disagrees with parts of PP's philosophy, but PP could not possibly care less about her opinion.

    You believe in an objective moral code; I believe in a subjective code of ethics on which I will act with the same conviction as you act on your moral code. We disagree on whether X should be legal or illegal.

    Can you tell me how the fact that you believe in objective morality would help us, as a two-person society, resolve this situation?

  54. I think Michelle's points, which I have mentioned before, about our entire society's legal framework being molded around the idea that an individual is not able to give consent, nor function like an adult, until they are 18, are central to this discussion.

    Sex involves two parties, and in order for it to be "OK", those two parties must be able to give consent. We also do not allow people to have sex with mentally handicapped persons, people in comas, people with dementia, animals (as far as I know) etc. We also consider prostitution to be a crime. That is, it is illegal to buy someone's body, as that implies that the person is not really "consenting" but that they are coerced in some fashion to get money.

  55. Sex involves two parties, and in order for it to be "OK", those two parties must be able to give consent.

    Mary, but why? That is the question no one will answer for me. WHY is sex different from any other form of pleasure? Why?

    I'm asking everyone to dig a little deeper.

  56. That is, it is illegal to buy someone's body, as that implies that the person is not really "consenting" but that they are coerced in some fashion to get money.

    BTW, I disagree. I think it's entirely possible to give full consent to sell one's body. I don't believe that's why it is illegal. Many on the left don't think it should be illegal at all, and they are at least consistent.

  57. Can you tell me how the fact that you believe in objective morality would help us, as a two-person society, resolve this situation?

    I'll let Sharon answer, but I'll throw in my two cents:

    If you don't submit to a moral code outside of and bigger than yourself, then I guess you will win if you are stronger than Sharon. Might makes right in the "subjective morality" world. Whoever has the biggest guns wins.

  58. "I mean, really - to follow your logic, sex should only be had in marriage, so marry young."

    MaiZeke - first, as Leila said, the Church is against divorce and remarriage and works hard to prepare couples to make that lifelong commitment.

    But what I really wanted to address was that comment above. Why marry young just because sex is reserved for marriage? This to me sounds like the PP mentality that we all have some sort of "right" or need for sex. But a person can go their entire lives without having sex and live a very fulfilling life (hard for us Americans to grasp that, but in some cultures, celibate religious life is highly desired OVER marriage). So... what's needed isn't necessarily early marriage but a strong sense of chastity and virtue no matter what course your life may take.

  59. Just a quick comment on Michelle's point that sex involves "trust and bonding issues" and therefore it's not for children. Let's take the "trust" thing first and discuss another risky activity, skydiving. Let's say a fourteen year old girl goes skydiving with an instructor who takes her down once. She has to trust him, for sure. She experiences the pleasure of that first jump and then wants to go again. The instructor tells her he's not going to be taking her down again, but that she can feel free to go with another guy, over there. He can do the same thing for her. He's off to lunch, and will never see her again.

    I'm pretty sure the girl will not be damaged, wounded, and left with a broken heart or feelings of worthlessness that she will try anything she can to heal. So, there is something "different" about sex as a pleasurable activity than anything else. What is that difference?

    I'm trying to get at it with anyone on the left who will take up the question.

    As for bonding: I didn't think sex was about bonding, necessarily, in the left's eyes? I thought that one could have free and casual (but alway "safe"!) sex and then move on? I thought that this idea that sex was about commitment is a throwback?

    But maybe you will say that "bonding" can occur for even a short time, and it's all good? So what... "bonding" is for a ten-minute romp? I would think that's the opposite of bonding.

    And I haven't heard why any of this is okay for adults but not for children?

    Anyone? Make it make sense for me, please!

  60. Mary,

    There are a lot of comments here, but if you have time, I'd be interested to see what you think of my question posed to Michelle in a post I left yesterday at 5 (to help you find it).

    Let's pretend for the sake of argument that we know for sure that laws will never change: adults having sexual contact with people under 18 will always be illegal because of the issue of consent.

    Still, does this make it good and moral thinking when a grown man says to himself, basically, "I bet some of those high school juniors are totally ready for me. Too bad about the laws, but I'll follow them."

    Is that right? Would you tell him to seek help, or agree with him?

    Also, prostitution is not uniformly illegal, even across the U.S., just to set the record straight.

  61. Sean,

    I am still unable to post on my own. Maybe one of this length will go through but I'm not that succinct!

    I have a reply all ready to go and will try again later to send it.


  62. Ok, that worked, so I will try responding in two parts:

    Well, what if we use an example? We would certainly have a problem if your moral code stated that you could, say, sexually harrass me. In fact, according to your moral code, your behavior might be what most women, you think, would find flattering. As your employee or coworker, without the protection of the law I would be at your mercy. I could try various options such as getting a different job - where I might run into another man who thinks his behavior, too, is flattering, and I might just have to settle for working in an oppressive atmosphere. How would you resolve that difference? (I see that this doesn't fit your two-person scenario. Under that condition, we couldn't even have a vote on how I should be treated. That leaves me with trying to figure out some way to force you to treat me with dignity - refusal to cooperate with you, perhaps, with the hope that your moral code wouldn't allow you to kill me for it. If I couldn't accomplish that, I would hope that your subjective moral code did not allow for rape, and that once I died, at least no one else would be left to suffer under you.)

    Or what if you did decide that you could kill me at will? If I were, say, your slave, or if I were your unborn child? The slave can at least attempt to escape or revolt. The child doesn't have any options. How would you resolve that difference?

    The people at PP are on your side. They want to make the rules as they see fit. Naturally, they chose rules that give them maximum financial benefit (they encourage early and frequent sexual activity, then happily provide the birth control, abortions and STD treatment that their beneficence makes necessary. No psychological treatment, though. That would involve admitting that their Utopia doesn't really make people happy.)

  63. FYI, everyone - through trial and error I have discovered that Blogger has a comment character limit of 4,096 (that includes spaces, html code, etc.). Strangely enough, they don't seem to have told anyone about this.

    So, if you have a long comment, try posting it in two parts.

  64. Part two:

    I don't think, Sean, that all the laws that a society should have can be determined by a quick look at an objective moral code. I realize that discussions and debate have to take place to determine what should be covered by law, and to what extent. See... there is no tyranny in this scenario. Compare that to what we are already experiencing. US administration officials have suggested that if a person has a problem with abortion, perhaps that person should stay out of the medical field. Judges in CA have ruled that teachers in that state must present homosexuals in a positive light to young school children. Teachers are not allowed to simply remain silent on the matter, because the judges said that silence indicates disapproval (Thomas More would disagree.) So, if one's moral code finds the judge's ruling problematic, one can also avoid becoming a teacher. That's tyranny. And priming children sexually so that they are available to be abused by pedophiles, which is what the PP program really does, is tyranny for the children. Fortunately, while they are at a disadvantage on their own, there are still people out there, including people like Mrs. M, who have every intention of using their positions to help protect children.


  65. Mrs. M,

    You raise a good point about the man thinking about the sixteen or seventeen-year-olds. But! For the record, I do not find it weird that a 35 year-old man would be sexually attracted to girls that age. I would tell him he is thinking incorrectly, in that they are not mentally mature enough to give true consent, and I would think he had some serious maturity issues, but I would not put him anywhere near the classification of a person who is sexually attracted to six-year-old girls.

    The fact that someone is sexually attracted to a pre-pubescent child, means that that person is turned on by body features that have not been sexualized or developed. That is quite odd. To me, it demonstrates a clear cognitive problem....something gone wrong.

  66. Leila,
    I can think of another kind of entertainment that seems like sex, in the way we protect children from it. That would be violent or scary movies/books/songs. We, as a society, obviously like to scare ourselves silly with horror, but we have decided that young children's brains are not ready for such material, and that it is wrong to subject them to it. Why? I would say, that we understand that a child cannot process such information (thus they cannot really give true consent to be exposed as they cannot truly discern fantasy from reality). Graphic violence the same.

  67. Also! I think people should go to the B4UACT website and make their own judgements about the point of that organization. It seemed to me, that they were working towards helping people with attractions to children get help before they acted. It was addressing the fears and issues related to the reluctance and inability of many practitioners to work with these people to help them reduce or eliminate their urges.

    I think, that as Christians we should feel strong compassion for people afflicted with these desires, and want very much to help them overcome them, or at least, not act on them. It seems they are the ultimate "lepers" or "tax collectors" in our society today.

  68. The fact that someone is sexually attracted to a pre-pubescent child, means that that person is turned on by body features that have not been sexualized or developed. That is quite odd. To me, it demonstrates a clear cognitive problem....something gone wrong.

    Why? It just seems illogical to me that one would view a man being attracted to another man (who has a penis, chest hair, etc.) as fine and normal and wonderful, yet find the attraction to someone with pre-pubertal features as "odd." I mean, evolutionarily speaking, neither attraction promotes sexual reproduction, so shouldn't they BOTH be considered "odd"?

  69. I would add that we must want to help people, but not be naive about the harm they can do to children.

  70. @ Zach et. al.

    If a child can't give true consent to a sexual act with another child because their brains are not developed enough . . . what is the right environment to facilitate the development of that child's brain to the point it can make the most informed and full consent?

    Raising a child in a homosexual household? Two men, or two women for parents?

    Or raising a child in a heterosexual household, where there are two parents of opposite sex? A household where the parents are both keen on raising their children much like a carpenter teaches others to be carpenters, a man teaches a boy to be a man, and a mother teaches her girl to be a woman, and all the dignity and greatness that accompany both sexes?

    Which household has the better chance of properly forming the judgement of those children as their brains develop to the point that they are able to fully judge for themselves?

    After all, biological development of an individual is not without external circumstances influencing the final character of the natural outcome of our growth into adults.

  71. Just curious. Not to totally jump off the current train of thought, and return to earlier comments.

  72. Mary, you almost answered my question, but not quite. I didn't ask about being attracted to the bodies of the hypothetical high school juniors. That's a separate and long argument. This may seem like hairsplitting, but it's not. I asked you if you thought it was a good idea to say to a 35-year-old man that he would be correct in thinking, "Some of those girls may want me and be ready for a relationship with me. I'll obey the law, but it's too bad I have to, for my sake as well as theirs." This is what PP is saying: that, hypothetically, some of those girls would be ready for him, that, hypothetically, some of them have a "need" for sex already. Is this good and right?

    I agree with you that people who suffer from pedophilia need help and that if we want to fix this problem we need to get them help. A part of this help will involve telling them about the nature of childhood. Shall we tell them that some children "need" access to experimentation, as PP claims? Would this be "helping" pedophiles to overcome their cognitive problem and instead begin to view the child in a nonsexual way?

    Is PP's view the truth and the correct conclusion about the nature of childhood, do you think? Do you think it's possible to acknowledge that children's sexualities begin to develop early in life without coming to conclusion that PP did - do you think that the sexual portion of a person's psyche and spirit is complete and exchangeable before adulthood?

  73. We, as a society, obviously like to scare ourselves silly with horror,

    I don't think that horror and graphic violence are considered "pleasurable" in the sense that I am talking about. In fact, there's a great argument to be made that horror is not holy or good for anyone.

    So, I'm not sure that's a great analogy. Also, a pedophile would say that what he is doing is "loving" a child. Not showing horror films or any graphic violence. They would say it's an expression of love, just like between adults who love each other.

    PP says that children have a right to sexual pleasure and that it is a part of their very being, by the way. I am not sure they would argue that children have a right to view horror and graphic violence.

  74. And also, you won't find any laws on the books saying we can't show our 6-year-old a horror movie. But we do have laws on the books saying we cannot sexually molest a six-year-old. Why do you suppose we put the weight of the law behind it? What is different about sex (which is just about pleasure, after all…)?

  75. Why are you trying to equate sex with pedophilia, rape etc?????? Adults are using an act to control the child using their bodies as weapons. A child does not asked to be molested or raped. But if you keep equating sex with pedophilia and rape they will feel ashamed and won't tell you when they have been hurt. Maybe just maybe if parents would take the time to teach their children about sex there wouldn't be a need for planned parenthood. But you would rather your children be unprepared for the good and the bad.

  76. Sharon, you're missing the point. The content of our moral codes doesn't matter at the moment. Your contention is that society will normalise child abuse because too few people believe in an objective moral code. As I was trying to point out, that's irrelevant. What you really mean is that not all of society has the exact same moral code as you, because the fact that you subscribe to a moral code which claims objectivity does not make any difference whatsoever when it comes time to decide how a diversely opinionated society should govern itself.

    You believe in an objective moral code; I do not. We're at a stalemate, and would still be at a stalemate even if I believed in a moral code which claimed objectivity but had a differing moral character - let's say, for example, that I subscribed to a different religion which nonetheless claimed the existence of objective morals. Clearly, the presence or lack of a belief in moral objectivity is not the problem here. Rather, the problem is that not everybody thinks the same way on moral issues.

    What you now have to do is demonstrate that the people who feel differently from you on moral issues - regardless of whether they believe in moral objectivity - possess beliefs which will inevitably lead to the legalisation of sex between adults and children. If you don't understand why, I'll be happy to explain it again.

  77. It's funny because I do think the horror analogy (or violence)is good. I cannot stand either, and never could as a child. I would agree that those genres seem unholy, but I know many many others who disagree wholeheartedly (some are very religious). They LOVE those types of media. My own sister used to get a huge kick out of slasher films as a teen. I could not understand it. Well, we do have laws that graphic violence and horror films to have a rating system and movie theaters do not admit youngsters into rated R films.

  78. Mrs. M.,

    Thanks for your reply. I forgot to say that I think the Planned Parenthood agenda is terrible, and do not agree with it. I do not agree with kiddie pageants, or advertisement campaigns that sexualize children at all. I do not agree with dressing your thirteen-year-old girl in a Brazilian bikini either, which seems to be all the rage around here.

    To your hypothetical man, who reasoned as such: "I'll obey the law, but it's too bad I have to, for my sake as well as theirs." I would say, "You are right that some of those girls might have urges of attraction to you, but, it is not in their interest to act on those urges, as they are not ready to handle the consequences, and it is not in your interest to act in such a way, as it would reinforce your mental immaturity."

  79. Sean, I'm trying to express myself in fewer words but I'm not doing well, so this is also broken into two parts:


    You said,

    "Your contention is that society will normalise child abuse because too few people believe in an objective moral code. "

    If a person has a "code" that is changeable, it is not a code based on reality, because basic reality does not change. That is, a human is a human, and WHAT a human is doesn't change, and a human's right to be treated with basic dignity doesn't change.

    But if we cannot have a basic moral code, remembering that we cannot change the code on our own whim, then there is no basis to stop anyone from following any rules by which he wants to live. I can hope that society in general has a high standard that will help to protect my rights, but if society will not hold to a high enough standard, and I do not believe that our society does, then it will allow my rights to be violated. And when the standard is lowered enough, then there is no basis to stand up against the violation of children's rights.

  80. It is possible that a society could go wrong in areas other than sexuality, in which case sex between children and adults may not be the ultimate result. But that would not be our society. I would like to think that our sex-saturated society could say, "We will violate these standards but not that one." Is that possible? Philosophically, I don't think so. And philosophy, moral codes, or any other standard aside, I can certainly look at the sex-saturated society we live in and acknowledge that forces that want to extend that sexual behavior to young children are already in place and are already making progress.

    I'm afraid that if I am missing your point, I'll have to ask you to use some examples.

  81. lilminx, could you actually address the points made in the post, rather than just throw out an unrelated comment? I wrote the post deliberately, step by step, and I think it has merit. If you see a flaw in the argument, please let me know where and address it specifically.

    And, I do not "equate" pedophilia or rape with sex. But are you saying that pedophilia and child rape is unconnected to sexual acts and the misuse of human sexuality? It's using sex to violate someone after all.

  82. Mary, still not getting the analogy. Horror (when it's from the safety of a movie theatre) can bring pleasure, but in the sense that it is indirect pleasure (adrenaline rush of fear, then giddy joy for feeling that, but still being safe). If the man on the screen actually were doing the things to you for real, there would be no pleasure, only…. well, horror. And only a smallish portion of the population gets thrilled by slasher films. So, I don't know how exactly to equate that to the pleasure and goodness of sex. I promise I tried!

  83. Sean, what do you think of Planned Parenthood's stance on children and sexuality? And, do you consider International Planned Parenthood to be influential at all? And the APA?


    And as for what everyone thinks, regardless of objective moral code or not, I wish you would read this review and read the book:


    Or anything by this author about the natural law.

  84. Sean, I am guessing you dismiss slippery slope arguments, correct?

  85. First of all, Planned Parenthood should just change their name to something like, "Ending Parenthood".

    Second, I still act like my paternal grandparents did to me to my own children, and I always will. If we're at Walmart and they have to use the bathroom, let's say the boys and for obvious reasons (I'm a girl) I can't go in w/ them. We do the drill of what to do if anyone comes near them.

    I haven't had to take a plane for a long time but I've even had a talk with my hubby about how to handle if our children had an inappropriate pat down in the air. No one touches the children, no one!!!

  86. Sean, I just read a short article by a priest back east who said some things that made me think of this discussion you are having with Sharon:

    Moral relativism denies that any action is always wrong; moral choices are mere expressions of one’ s feelings about certain behavior. Thus, actions that in previous generations were condemned as sinful are in our time considered a matter of personal preference, above all in the area of sexual morality.

    Moral relativism puts an end to moral dialogue since moral judgments are only expressions of one’s feelings.

    Much more good stuff about what our Pope (when he was a cardinal) called the "dictatorship of relativism". It's on page twenty, here:


    Ultimately, no one has a sense of sin anymore, since modern society rejects natural law (the universal moral law which applies to all). No sense of sin? No need to repent. No need for a savior.

    I guess I don't ask this enough of atheists and secularists: Do you sin, Sean? Do you have a sense of sin in your own life, in your quiet moments alone, even?

  87. Mary, you made a comment amount B4UACT. I'm not able to paste it here but you said something about helping pedophiles reduce or eliminate their urges. Actually, I went to the home page and the policies page and I didn't sense that sentiment. I definitely did not see those words.

    In fairness, I thought that the website would be as you said, urging pedophiles to get help before a terrible incident ruined the life of an innocent person ( perhaps the same kind of incident that caused them to have these tendencies.) but they are only offering to help them stay within the law. Would you be satisfied if the bishops in the 50's - 80's advised pedophile priests to be sure they "stayed within the law?" Sadly, the bishops themselves were "within the law" at the time if they didn't report these men to the authorities.

    Psychologists failed children while the sex scandal was taking place. Bishops, at least some, were sending priests for counseling and were told that the priest was ok. The truth is, pedophilia is very hard to cure. But psychologists still must try, and surely we need to pray for these people who must be terribly tormented by their illness. I don't see that the founders of B4UACT would agree with me. If you did see something that I missed I would appreciate having it pointed out.

  88. Ah, Sharon, what is wrong with helping people not offend? I would be very happy if all pedophiles learned not to break the law, as acting on your pedophilic urges necessitates breaking the law. It seems this site is acknowledging that people do have these urges and that many of them are tormented by them and do need counseling, but cannot get counseling because of stigma, so they are prone to offend.

    I don't think there is anything sexual you can do with a child that is within the law, so how is this not a right way to proceed?

    It would be nice if the site also tried to help them get some spiritual help, by pointing them to prayer or a priest as well, but it appears to be a secular site.

  89. I will say, that I am utterly disgusted and dismayed by the fashion spread Leila linked to with the French girl posing like a woman. I am also totally horrified that the kiddie pageants are not considered child abuse. These mothers and fashion designers have lost their minds and should be prosecuted.

  90. Mary, you said,

    "It seems this site is acknowledging that people do have these urges and that many of them are tormented by them"

    Mary, I have now done as thorough a review of the site as I can, and I am just not seeing this. Can you please provide a quote from the website to support that statement? I honestly think you are projecting your own desire to help pedophiles onto the website. Please show me if I am wrong.

    Do you know that this group not only wants pedophilia removed from the DSM as a mental illness, but in an ironic (or just crazy) way provided this talk at the conference ""Decriminalizing Mental Disorder Concepts — Pedophilia as an Example". So, is it a mental illness, or not? Mental illnesses are not against the law, nor should they be! So what are they trying to decriminalize? The only thing that is currently criminalized is the behavior, so they could not possibly be referring to anything else. Are you ok with that?

    Mary, if a pedophile priest was at your parish, would you be ok with him being the youth minister, as long as he was committed to remaining "within the law"? Would it be ok with you if your pastor knew he was sexually attracted to your children but kept this information from you since he also believed the priest would remain within the law? If the behavior were decriminalized, would you allow that priest to train your children to be altar servers, knowing he was a law-abiding pedophile?

    I admire you desire to see pedophiles helped, Mary, but this is not time to give credit where credit is not due. Please help me see if I am not giving B4UACT the credit they deserve.

  91. Dear Sharon,
    Go to: http://www.b4uact.org/perspectives.htm. and watch the slideshow. It describes the torment.

    I would not want a minor-attracted priest working with any children, but I guess I would assume that part of helping them "stay within the law" would be to counsel them to remove themselves from temptation, and find work away from minors.

    I cannot imagine any reputable therapist telling a minor-attracted priest that it was OK to spend time with young children.

    Anywhere on the site does it seek to affirm that minor-attracted persons have the right to exercise their desires? I don't see that.

  92. Mary, I can't see the video On my iPod so I will have to check later, but it is 13 minutes long and I don't know if I can take 13 more minutes of these people. Mary, did you catch this in the intro to the video? It says that they interview "minor attracted youth".

    Mary. Does this raise red flags for you at all?

    Also, Could you answer this question: Do you agree that pedophiles, and please God, the CHILDREN who are supposed to be the ones who really matter here, would benefit if pedophile behavior were decriminalized? Yes, or no?

  93. Sharon!!!! I do not believe it should be decriminalized! More later.

  94. Ok.... since I asked you to show me where they say that these people are tormented, and you sent the link, I went there. I maybe made it halfway through. The piece obviously is designed to make us feel sorry for pedophiles, not because of what they might do to our children, but because (often unsourced - as in "a treatment program in Texas" - but I am not about to do more google searches on pedophilia to attempt to verify what they are saying) people essentially say mean things about them.

    Mary, I think the things said were cruel, too. I might say the same things if they victimized my children, but in reality, I don't want to look at anyone that way. I believe that everyone can be redeemed. We all need Divine intervention to turn from our sins, but I don't think pedophiles can ever be made healthy without intense Divine intervention. B4UACT is not interested in making them healthy. They are interested in getting you to feel sorry for pedophiles.

    The point, Mary, is that if you are reading B4UACT and thinking, aw, they just want us to be nicer to pedophiles and they want to help pedophiles, then the site is an enormous success. That is the kind of sympathy they are looking for in the general public. You say things like, "I guess I would assume" and "I cannot imagine". The people at B4UACT are happy to let the average person think exactly like that. They are preying on you because they know what kind of person you are. You "assume" that most people are as decent as you are. You "cannot imagine" that someone would actually encourage a pedophile not to seek to change, but to seek to accept himself and look for acceptance in the community - as a pedophile.

    That is exactly how B4UACT wants you to think.

    If you think the behavior that tempts pedophiles should remain criminalized, then you disagree with the academics at B4UACT. These are not good people, Mary.


  95. You neglect to mention that the Catholic church has done more to normalize pedophilia than any other institution in America, or have you not been watching the news these past 10 years? How else to explain why molesting priests were moved from diocese to diocese by their superiors - to spread the message of pedophilia course.

  96. Gosh, Thomas, that's strange, because actually, the Catholic Church is unequivocal in teaching that pedophilia is a mortal sin, i.e., worthy of HELL.

    So, nice try. I do hope that you drop in on public school teachers' blogs and accuse them and the public schools of promoting pedophilia and "passing the trash", as the incidence there is estimated to be 100 times (not percent, times) that of Catholic priests.

    I did already address your concerns in a previous post (well, two posts), so please make your way there and read the following. I would love to hear your response:


  97. Interesting that you speak in terms of numbers instead of percentages in making that point considering that there are probably more than 10,000 times more public school teachers than there are Catholic priests in this country. One thing we would probably agree on is that these pedophile priests are worthy of HELL.

  98. Thomas, then praise God we agree! I'm glad you agree with the Church on this moral issue.

    And, I'm only asking that you have integrity. If you want to slam the Church for a tiny percentage of offending priests, then you need to be equally vocal about slamming the public schools and tarring all teachers with the name "pedophile".


  99. So what you're asking from me then is a more balanced approach? That's ironic considering you start your post by saying "The Planned Parenthood Secular Left tells us time and time again that sex is certainly not primarily about making babies. It is primarily about pleasure, very much like indulging in a delectable ice cream sundae." Where's your integrity? You seem pretty comfortable yourself lumping together those who don't share your religious views into one category.

    Also, I get the impression that comparing sex to a 'delectable ice cream sundae' is more a product of your own private imagination than it is a public statement from the left.

  100. Okay, I'll bite, Thomas… what does Planned Parenthood think sex is for? And what are the parameters for its use?

  101. By the way, Thomas, just to help you formulate an answer, here is an excerpt from a Planned Parenthood brochure called, "Happy, Healthy and Hot" aimed at girls ages 8 to 16:

    “Sex can feel great and can be really fun! Many people think sex is just about vaginal or anal intercourse… But, there are lots of different ways to have sex and lots of different types of sex. Sex can include kissing, touching, licking, tickling, sucking, and cuddling. Some people like to have aggressive sex, while others like to have soft and slow sex with their partners. There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself!”

    “Improve your sex life by getting to know your own body. Play with yourself! Masturbation is a great way to find out more about your body and what you find sexually stimulating. Don’t stop there: find out how your partner’s body works, what makes them feel good and what gives them pleasure. Talking with your partner about what you each like and what feels good is the best way to have great sex.”

    “Your skin is the largest erogenous zone on your body, and your mind plays a big role in your desire for sex and sexual pleasure. Caress and lick your partner’s skin. Explore your partner’s body with your hands and mouth. Mix things up by using different kinds of touch from very soft to hard. Talk about or act out your fantasies. Talk dirty to them. Tickle, tease and make them feel good.”

    Sounds a bit like eating ice cream to me!

  102. Correction: "Healthy, Happy and Hot".

    What fun!

  103. While I agree this is a very troubling trend that should not at all be promoted, I would say that there is a difference between promoting youth sexuality and pedophilia.

    They are both wrong, and may have some overlap, but there are also differences.

  104. Actually, looking through more of the comments, I am aghast! O.o

  105. Nicholas, if kids can have sex with each other because it's "fun" and "pleasurable" and it's their "right", then why would that preclude sex with adults? Again, it's like eating ice cream. A kid can eat ice cream with kids or adults. What's the big deal, if that is now our view of sexuality?

  106. Well, first let me state I am condoning neither :-p

    But don't we typically as a society look at pedophilia as some kind of terrible predatory derangement?

    Not that encouraging kids to have sex at a young age because it feels good is in any way defensible. But I would simply categorize that differently. Neither would be excusable.

    I can see where you are going with the analogy, but "normalizing pedophilia next stop" is a stretch.

    Maybe I am overly optimistic.

    Why is it that you can make these issues appear so clear? Why hasn't the US Council of Bishops hired you to run their PR?

  107. Nicholas, ha ha! That would be awesome!

    I was once told by a college professor that my writing was so clear as to almost be "sing-songy". I think it's that my brain just neeeeeeeeeds clarity and simplicity.

    I've said before that while people and emotions and circumstances are complicated, ideas and truths and principles are not.

    I wish people had explained things to me clearly as a youth, and so I guess it's my mission to do that with others.

    Thanks for jumping in to all the convos! You will be a good addition to the Bubble (just don't burn out too soon!).


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