In my most recent episode of the "Consider This!" podcast, I discussed how polygamy is beginning to get mainstreamed, with major newspapers asking the question; why is 2 some magic number for marriage? Why not "three, four, or 17"?
The website Gawker is now giving press (and rather disturbing press, frankly; the beginning of the article is not for the squeamish) to guys like Dr. Hubert Van Gijseghem (pronounced HI-sheh-hem), who is retired from the University of Montreal, and who testified before the Canadian Parliament’s "Committee on Justice and Human Rights." In part, he said:
[I]t is a fact that real pedophiles account for only 20 percent of sexual abusers. If we know that pedophiles are not simply people who commit a small offence from time to time but rather are grappling with what is equivalent to a sexual orientation just like another individual may be grappling with heterosexuality or even homosexuality, and if we agree on the fact that true pedophiles have an exclusive preference for children, which is the same as having a sexual orientation, everyone knows that there is no such thing as real therapy. You cannot change this person’s sexual orientation.
And if they’re "born this way" (to steal from a Lady Gaga song title), who are we to judge? I’m not saying that some of the things done to pedophiles is justified (the harassment they receive), because we are to love the thief, the murderer and the pedophile as Christ would love them. I completely denounce harassment, but words mean things, and this is a big step in the cultural normalization process.
At the moment, there is still some sanity on the subject. One group in Germany attempting to counsel pedophiles uses the phrase, "You are not guilty because of your sexual desire, but you are responsible for your sexual behavior. There is help." This is true of all of us. We all have our weak points of temptation, but it’s how we act (and, as Jesus pointed out, how we fantasize) that is the problem.
However, consider how homosexuality was viewed just a generation ago and how it’s been so normalized that some states allow same-sex marriage. The biggest argument that the homosexual crowd put forth was that this was something in their genes, and therefore was nothing more than being left-handed or blue-eyed. If we consider pedophilia just another sexual orientation, then, while the act may still be frowned upon for the moment, the foundation has already been laid to normalize pedophilia.
Now, I know slippery slope arguments can be…well, slippery. They involve a bit of prediction. If A happens, B will happen next. It’s easy to dismiss these sorts of arguments are mere guesses. However, when initial predictions become true, and when you have so much history to look at and see that it has been indeed happening, it’s time to take the arguments more seriously. I am very supportive of efforts to counsel pedophiles before they act on their thoughts. However, the change in terminology can and does change the culture and the views. Whether or not Dr. Van Gijseghem means it to, this change can easily be taken up by others to slip us further down the slope to … well, who knows where.