Thursday, June 20, 2002

Scouting boys

This post is rated R.

From a collection of smutty limericks:
From the depths of the crypt at St Giles

Came a scream that resounded for miles.
Said the vicar, "Good gracious!
Has Father Ignatius
Forgotten the Bishop has piles?"
Yes, people have joked about homosexuality in the priesthood for some time. But we haven't seen anything like the recent scandals, pitting gays against the Roman Catholic Church.

Gays have a formidable lobby and some gay groups have shown themselves to be particularly nasty protesters. They also are strong in the media and have managed to spin many stories in their favor or suppress them entirely. Now we are seeing attempts to present the molestations of boys by priests as something other than homosexuality.

It always seemed plausible to me that closeted gays would head for a seminary - they'd have to hide their sex life anyway, and they wouldn't have to explain not being married. Likewise it always seemed plausible to me that gays would be more likely to prey on the young than straights, if only because by being gay in the first place they had already demonstrated a willingness to buck strong social taboos.

But I had no statistics. I don't know where the following writers got theirs, but it seems I was on the right track. According to Eric Raymond, gays are 3 to 10 times more likely to have sex with children than straights are. Then after a long passage he offers this:
Here is where the question becomes practical: were the Boy Scouts of America so wrong to ban homosexual scoutmasters? And here we are with a crashing thud back in the realm of present politics. After the numbing, horrifying, seemingly never-ending stream of foul crimes revealed in the scandal, even staunch sexual libertarians like your humble author can no longer honestly dismiss this question simply because it's being raised by unpleasant conservatives.

The priestly-abuse scandal forces us to face reality. To the extent that pederasty, pedophilic impulses, and twink fantasies are normal among homosexual men, putting one in charge of adolescent boys may after all be just as bad an idea as waltzing a man with a known predisposition for alcoholism into a room full of booze. One wouldn't have to think homosexuality is evil or a disease to make institutional rules against this, merely notice that it creates temptations best avoided for everyone's sake.
That must have been awful hard on him - his email ought to be a real trip after this. But he takes pains to say that the issue is not pederasty per se, but whether it was consensual.

I don't have a scientific answer. But it's clear that various gays (who might represent the tiniest of fringes) have been moving to make pedophilia acceptable. Some have even succeeded in introducing gay sex education in schools to the point where we're teaching kids "fisting". And they have a history of harassing the Boy Scouts of America for their policies of banning gay Scoutmasters, in terms that suggest that there is a civil right to be a Scoutmaster. And as Raymond notes, less radical gay groups don't attempt to distance themselves from groups such as the North American Man-Boy Love Association.

What makes me laugh are the efforts to represent priestly celibacy as the real problem. Yeah, that's it. And the next time there's a mad dog bomber in Israel, let's blame it on the Bahais. What, you've found evidence of cannibalism? Round up the vegans. You heard a joke? It must have been the feminists. Stop it, we're not all that stupid.

Thomas Sowell sounds off too.

Is this post anti-gay? That's your call. But don't tell me to deny the obvious - there's some things I just can't swallow.

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