Monday, December 07, 2009

The connection between gay rights groups and pedophiles: It ain't about psychology

Jonathan Rowe at Positive Liberty issues a rhetorical harrumph about anyone who wants to "tar" homosexual groups with any of the stigma of pedophilia. He complains that those advocating gay rights inevitably hear NAMBLA (The North American Man/Boy Love Association) invoked by detractors during debates over gay rights:
Like Godwin’s law, this is a constructed rule of logic — an observation — that when debating the political and civil rights of gays with an anti-gay religious conservative, the chances that the anti-gay side will invoke NAMBLA to try and poison the gay civil rights well is one.
He first argues that if someone of a traditional religious bent is going to argue on the grounds of nature that there is some inherent connection between homosexuality and pedophilia, they're going to have to deal with the fact that the only distinction nature draws between children and adults is that of puberty. On that basis one could only argue that pre-pubescent sex is unnatural. I don't disagree with him on this. Modern laws have drawn the line in age of consent laws around age 16. But the justification for these laws in not necessarily on the basis of nature, but on sociology.

We live in a society in which adolescence is continued for far longer than it once was. In traditional cultures males are usually ready to support a family by age 16 or 17, and girls were mature enough to have children at a younger age. That was why people married younger. Today, however, circumstances are quite different. For today's males (if you pay any attention to pop culture), adolescence seems to have been extended well into the 30s.

The reasons for age of consent laws being set as they are are largely sociological, not simply biological. Rowe's point that there are no Biblical strictures that comport with where we set our age of consent laws is accounted for mostly by these sociological facts.

But Rowe's real concern is with the argument that there is some strong connection between homosexuality and pedophilia. This position is simply one that a person is not allowed to utter in politically correct society. You can find disturbing statistics in this regard, but most can be legitimately be dismissed as special pleading, since they largely come from partisans in the debate. What is interesting, however, is the lack of such statistics at all. Why have more studies not been done on this issue? If this argument really needs to be debunked, why not put some elbow-grease into it? Possibly it is because the places in which they would normally be done, colleges and universities, it is not even polite to ask such a question.

It makes one wonder what they're afraid of. But a suspicion is not a proof.

But then Rowe says this:
If you try to tar the GLBT social group with this crap, we’ve got more than enough ammo to kick the ball in your court and tie traditional Judeo-Christian morality with that.
No. Sorry. Whatever the connection between homosexuality and pedophilia as pathologies, there is little doubt about one thing: Gay rights groups marched shoulder to shoulder (literally) in political activist causes with NAMBLA for years. Gay rights groups not only tolerated them within their movement, they belonged to the same organizations and marched in the same parades. Despite repeated calls to disassociate themselves from groups like NAMBLA, it took some gay rights groups as long as a decade to do anything about it. It was only when it got too hot politically that they gay rights groups did the right thing.

Why did the larger community have to pull teeth to get gay rights groups to disassociate from NAMBLA?

Homosexuality may or may not be medically or psychologically associated with pederasty, but that point is irrelevant to the larger and more important issue of the extent to which they're organizations have been politically and culturally connected with it. The biological age of puberty has nothing to with it. Neither does the Bible's seeming lack of interest in the question.

It's a matter of historical record. Check it out.

10 comments:

Art said...

And the Catholic Church even today harbors, shelters, protects, and enables pedophiles.

Your point, Martin?

Martin Cothran said...

Art,

I think my point is fairly clear. In regard to the Catholic Church, you have bishops who have been complicit in doing just what you said, and they are being cleared out of the church. And the church bureaucracy that let it happen is culpable.

I don't know how it is in other places, in the case in our nearby archdiocese, the culprit was a very liberal bishop. He's out now, thank God.

As far as I'm concerned, any member of the church bureaucracy that was involved in facilitating it or covering it up ought to face criminal charges, and most of the conservative Catholics I know feel the same way.

Now maybe I just haven't noticed, but maybe you could point out the gays who would say the same thing about their own leaders who harbored, sheltered, protected, and enabled groups like NAMBLA.

Martin Cothran said...

Oh, and maybe you could point out where the Catholic Church officially allied itself with pedophile groups.

Art said...

Um, Martin, the Catholic Church is a pedophile group. They hire pedophiles, they protect them after they commit crimes, they fight any and all attempts to right wrongs, and they only show concern for the effects of these actions on the public perceptions of the Church (and most certainly not on the victims of the Catholic priesthood).

So, you seem to be saying that the Catholic Church is not allied with itself. A most curious stance.

A couple of tidbits:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/aug/17/religion.childprotection/print

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/11/catholic_hypocrisyof_course.php

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/05/father_ted_they_werent.php

Thomas said...

Art,

You might as well say the same for public schools. They've covered up when teachers abused students, and moved them to other schools when they get complaints. Public schools are pedophile institutions!

You wouldn't even have to cite blogs as factual sources; there are plenty of court cases about it. You could start with Randi W. v. Muroc Joint Unified School District -- it's a fairly famous case.

Thomas said...

Oh wait, I should have gone through your analysis.

Public schools

(1) hire pedophiles
(2) protect them after they commit crimes
(3) fight any and all attempts to right wrongs
(4) and only show concern for how the public image of the schools are affected.

Art said...

Hi Thomas,

Somehow I don't think you're getting it. But you're helping nonetheless.

Thomas said...

It's called a reductio ad absurdum argument argument. It shows flawed reasoning by applying it to a circumstance where it yields absurd results.

If you don't find it absurd to say that the public school system is a pedophile group, I could find other examples. Perhaps I should look into the frequency of such cases in higher education. Maybe higher education as a whole is, by your reasoning, a pedophile group. Or, remembering the Foley incident (which isn't the only one), perhaps Congress is a pedophile group.

Art said...

Thank you, Thomas, for a comment that should have been made, say, 8 comments ago.

Martin Cothran said...

So are there any non-pedophile groups left now? I'm losing track.