Friday, January 17, 2014

Liberalism and Pederasty

A comment cited in a VP post the other day led me to wonder. The comment was a snide remark about Catholic priests and their affinity for sex with boys. Many of these sorts of remarks, as well as serious moral condemnations of pederast priests, are made by people who are politically liberal which is what I found puzzling.

Why, I wondered, do liberals condemn priests who prey upon boys? Why do they think such behavior should be illegal? It would seem to me that such predilections and practices are perfectly consistent with mainstream liberal assumptions.

For example, the thinking can't be that guilty priests are to be mocked and punished because of their attraction to males. That, of course, would be absurd given liberal attitudes toward homosexuality and homosexual marriage.

Nor can the reason for liberal contempt for the offending clerics be that these older men are sexually attracted to younger boys. What, on liberalism, is wrong with that? If the priests are born with a disposition toward boys how can a liberal say the disposition is wrong? And if the liberal maintains that the attraction is not a genetic condition but rather a choice for which the offender is morally responsible then why does not the same response apply to homosexuality in general?

Evidently, the liberal believes that the moral culpability of the pederast lies in the fact that he, an adult, is imposing his will on weaker children, often to their hurt, who are relatively powerless and uncomprehending. In other words, the immoral aspect of pederasty is that it exploits and often harms the unwilling weak for the benefit of the powerful, but, if so, how can a liberal condemn that?

That's precisely what happens in an abortion, the right to which is almost sacramental in liberalism. Unwavering support for the right of the powerful to harm the weak, via abortion, without the consent of the weak is the sine qua non for membership in good standing among the liberal elite. No one who opposes that right would ever win the nomination for president in the Democrat Party. How then can the same people who affirm the goodness of such a right then turn around and condemn those who use their power to abuse boys?

Perhaps it might be replied that whereas the unborn child is in the mother's body, over which she has ultimate authority, the pederast's victim is not similarly situated and therefore not subject to the abuser's authority over his own body. Perhaps, but one's sovereignty over one's body can only extend to the point where another person's body is involved. I can perhaps do whatever I wish with my own body, but I haven't the moral right to do whatever I wish to the body of another person, regardless of where the other person is located. To argue that one has a right to evict an unwanted person from one's body by killing it makes no more sense than arguing that one has the right to evict by killing it an innocent child who has accidentally wandered into one's home.

So maybe I'm missing something, but it seems to me that if one is in favor of abortion on demand in general, and late-term abortion in particular, one has no basis for condemning those who sexually molest young boys, whether the molesters are Catholic priests or anyone else.