Sunday, April 18, 2010

Naïveté

These men really have no idea how sexuality works, do they?
A prominent Roman Catholic bishop in Mexico blamed eroticism on television and Internet pornography for child abuse by priests, in the latest incendiary comments on sex scandals in the church.
"With so much invasion of eroticism, sometimes it's not easy to stay celibate or to respect children," Bishop Felipe Arizmendi said during an annual meeting of Mexican bishops near Mexico City on Thursday.
"If on television and on the Internet and in so many media outlets there is pornography, it is very difficult to stay pure and chaste," said Arizmendi, an influential bishop from the colonial town of San Cristobal de las Casas in southern Mexico.
"Obviously when there is generalized sexual freedom it's more likely there could be cases of pedophilia," he added.
No. No. No. It just doesn't work that way. And the fact that they still think it does shows how out of touch they are, which makes it really hard to respect them. If they haven't bothered to learn all this even in the face of the crisis, is it even possible to explain it to them? Their thinking on the matter is adolescent at best, and at worst makes it sound like the pedophile priests are simply the victims of an oversexualized culture. And, more troubling, makes it sound like they still think that increased strictness and repression is the cure for it all rather than openness.
Update: Check the comments thread, where I explain more fully the problem of the hierarchy seemingly viewing this as a question of lust rather than of victimization, concentrating on the sin against chastity rather than the crime against justice.

5 comments:

Pater, O.S.B. said...

"Obviously when there is generalized sexual freedom it's more likely there could be cases of pedophilia," he added.

Again, the truth of this statement depends on what is meant by pedophilia. Not all pedophiles are necessarily psychopathic sexual predators. Alas, I am not convinced that sex with children as young as 10 is not part of a subculture within the gay subculture. Remember NAMBLA and the nonsense that went on in the Netherlands.

A Sinner said...

Even were that true, generalized sexual freedom has nothing to do with it.

These people especially are not going to be stopped by mere social taboos. It's still illegal and generally looked down upon with disgust, so obviously that isn't stopping them.

I see no causative connection between the normalization of promiscuous sexuality, and the illegal and widely condemned sexual abuse of non-consenting minors. Adult men and women are having sex outside marriage more...and so that somehow is causing priests to rape boys? I just don't follow that logic.

To be honest, no one ever was stopped by mere taboos: women were stopped by fear of pregnancy, men by the reluctance of women. It was The Pill that facilitated the loss of moral values, not the other way around.

Speaking of the evils of "sexual freedom" is ridiculous; everyone has always been free in private.

Pater, O.S.B. said...

"I see no causative connection between the normalization of promiscuous sexuality, and the illegal and widely condemned sexual abuse of non-consenting minors."

It is widely condemned for NOW. Sodomy used to be similarly widely condemned and illegal. The normalization and INCREASE of promiscuity (yes, as well as the pill, and I don't think the bishop was arguing this wasn't involved) have been beneficial to the increased acceptance of homosexual behavior. We cannot forget that proponents of man-boy love were big in the early 'gay civil rights' movement, and were only later sidelined out of embarrassment. Check the references on Wikipedia.

A Sinner said...

I don't see any evidence, however, that there is any more sodomy going on today just because of the normalization. It's just more publicly acknowledged. Or if there is more, it's only because the secrecy in the past made it somewhat harder for interested people to find it.

But that's not even the point. The point is that child molestation isn't a question of "sexual morality". The fact that the hierarchy seems to still view it that way is a big part of the problem, as that one article I posted about Newman discussed (and as this Mexican example shows).

Child Molestation is a question of VIOLENCE against a child, not a matter of "sexual morality." It's in a different conceptual category entirely.

All manner of perversion may become acceptable (they already are, really)...but victimizing someone against their will is a different question totally. Some people may like rape of adults too, and they can have their fantasies...but that doesn't mean the action is ever going to be "normalized" just because other immorality is.

Because it is a question of crimes, of violence, of violations of justice. It's really not at all an issue of sexual morality or a sin against chastity (which the sex-obsessed hierarchy keeps apparently viewing it as).

It's a sin of violence, a sin against justice. No one is angry at the lust or perversion, which is really no one's business if it stayed inside their heads. We are angry at the violence against a non-consensual victim!

Except the hierarchy seems to keep thinking about it in terms of lust or perversion rather than victimization. As a sin against chastity rather than as a crime against someone else's rights. Which really shows where their heads are.

I'd be inclined to legalize every "victimless" sin. It's not the State's job to make people virtuous. But sins against Justice, that is to say crimes, with victims...that is a different matter entirely.

A Sinner said...

Actually, as I've said before, I think part of the reason that abortion was able to be legalized, and why it is still accepted today, is because (at least subconsciously) a lot of people still think of it as a question of "sexual morality" akin to contraception, as merely a sin against chastity or something, rather than as Murder, rather than as an act of violence.

Emphasizing that, no, it is murder, a sin against justice, has been a strength of the pro-life movement. Just like speaking of it as an issue of "reproductive rights" and sexual freedom has been deviously ingenious on the part of the pro-abortion crowd.

But I get a sense that many pro-life (or, rather, anti-abortion) folk only use the murder line of argument because it is convenient, and deep down for them it is really still a question of lust and women's sexuality that scares them.

And, sadly, as long as that dynamic remains in play, abortion will remain legal.

Society is perfectly willing to protect victims from victimizers, to enforce justice, if that is how the issue is framed. They are not, however, willing to legislate on "morality". And perhaps rightly so. But as long as that is how abortion is viewed by many people (and as long as that is how child abuse is viewed by the hierarchy) there will be a problem. These need to be understood as questions of victimization, not "morality".