Media Blinders on the Church Abuse Cases

Contradiction is no stranger to the mainstream media, and it is on full display in their treatment of the Catholic priest sexual abuse story. Normally, the media take pains to point out that transgressors should not be used to typify the group with which they're associated. For instance, when terrorism is covered, we're told that the jihadists of the world constitute just a small group of "extremists" and do not represent Islam -- that is, when the media can't manage to identify such people only as "youths" and must actually address the issue in the first place. Yet with the Church matter, they have no problem blaming the Church as a whole, tarnishing the reputations of the institution, Catholics in general, and all priests through gratuitous, slanted coverage.  

But there is one group in this story that not only isn't painted with a broad brush, but it's whited out entirely: homosexuals. Claim that the abuse was homosexual in nature, and you'll hear accusations of intolerance, bigotry, and backwardness. "Don't be ignorant," say the apologists. "Haven't you heard about psychology and the 'determination' that homosexuality and pedophilia are completely different things?" Well, I will ask if they've heard about word definitions.

If these critics are so enamored of specificity and categorical rectitude, they should know that the abuse in question is not pedophilia. This is because pedophilia refers to sexual relations with prepubescent children, and virtually all the victims in the Church scandal were adolescents.  Thus, it is correctly classified as ephebophilia (attraction to older adolescents) or hebephilia (attraction to pubescent children). If you're going to embrace psycho-babble, then babble correctly.

This is no minor point. It is the height of silliness to scream about incorrect labeling and feign intellectualism and then yourself apply a word wholly inappropriate to the transgression. Of course, though, such contradiction is understandable. Those guilty often don't know the facts about the abuse and/or don't know esoteric labels such as hebephilia and ephebophilia (which, of course, belies any claim of intellectualism). Yet there can be another motivation: If you aim to demonize a target, nothing quite packs the rhetorical punch of "pedophilia." And people thus driven cannot plead ignorance -- they are liars.

As for me, I'm a simple sort, a man with little use for newly-minted psychological terminology. And I'll provide my perspective: Regardless of a boy's stage of development, he is undeniably male -- the same sex as the priest abusers. And most of the abusers targeted only members of the same sex. Now, what do you call same-sex attraction?

For those scratching their heads, I'll expand on the point. When late homosexual congressman Gerry Studds had an affair with an adolescent male page, did anyone say it wasn't a homosexual relationship? If it wasn't, then his good constituents in Massachusetts must have overlooked his "pedophilia," as they reelected him six more times before his retirement.

Of course, some may point out that the kid Studds got Spartan with was 17, and the age of consent in Washington, D.C. is 16. OK, this is a good starting point. It then follows that the priests who had affairs with boys of legal age are homosexual. But this leaves us with an interesting question: What if a man has relations with a boy one day less than legal age? What about two days less? A week? A month? At what point does the man cease being a homosexual and suddenly become an "ephebophile" who, for some strange reason and in a thoroughly non-homosexual way, targets only male adolescents?                        

Now let's take it further. When singer Jerry Lee Lewis married a 13-year-old girl and director Roman Polanski forced himself on one, did anybody say the fellows weren't heterosexual? When men are arrested for statutory rape after having relations with 15-, 16-, and 17-year-old girls, do we say they are not heterosexual? When men marry teenage girls -- common for most of history and in many parts of the world today -- do we view it as examples of that contradiction in terms called non-heterosexual marriage? And in all the reportage of the cases involving female teachers who have affairs with 13- and 14-year old boys, did anyone stamp his foot and proclaim, "Do not call these women heterosexual, you soft-science Luddite! Psychologists tell us otherwise!"? Not only did no one do so, but we didn't even discuss the matter. This is because the obvious doesn't warrant discussion -- that is, until there is a strong reason for denying the obvious.

Getting back to the defense of Islam I mentioned earlier, truth be known, it makes more sense than saying that men who target teen boys aren't homosexual. After all, some might mention that Islam, like all religions, must espouse certain dogma; thus, if terrorism were contrary to Islamic dogma, then terrorists could not truly be Muslim, despite their claims of piety. Yet one could even more credibly use this argument to claim that the Church transgressors are not really priests. What I mean is that unlike Islam, Catholicism has a teaching body -- the Pope and Magisterium -- that defines Catholic doctrine; therefore, unlike in Islam, it isn't a matter of which cleric you choose to believe. And to say the least, the transgressing priests did great violence to Catholic teaching, thereby rendering themselves something less than priests in spirit. Yet facts are stubborn things, and the fact is that the abusers were ordained as priests in the Catholic Church, and no one seems to have trouble accepting that reality. We do not hear anyone say, "No! They aren't priests! The definition of a priest involves being celibate, and these men were anything but." Well, there is another fact here: They not only are/were priests, but they also happen to be (or have been, in the cases of the deceased and defrocked) homosexual priests. And to say otherwise is to be guilty of selective specificity. Just as critics recoil at the supposed intellectual sloppiness of labeling the abusers homosexuals but will then most sloppily call them pedophiles, they will identify them as "Catholic" and as "priests" but not as homosexual. Why is this? Is it just a coincidence that every example here of selective specificity, sloppiness, and hypocrisy serves to either protect the reputation of homosexuals or damage that of the Church?

There, reason is not hard to discern. While the abuse in question is a problem of homosexuality, homosexuality is never a problem for our abusive media. The truth is that if the Church were actually a homosexual organization, with positions aligned with leftism, there could have been twice the abuse and there would have been 0.2 percent the coverage. As with the cases of the Duke University academic who adopted two black boys and habitually molested them and Jesse Dirkhising, a 13-year-old boy who was tortured and murdered by two homosexuals in Arkansas, it would be buried faster than a mafia snitch in New Jersey. 

This is why I have said before that the coverage of the Church scandal has nothing to do with concern about youth -- it has nothing to do with Truth. It is simply a hammer with which the media can attack religion, something they hate more than the worst child molester.

Pushing back the frontiers of oxymoronic moronity, the left has added to "non-heterosexual marriage" and introduced the concept of non-homosexual same-sex relations. It's the kind of lunacy you disgorge when trying to cloak a truth hiding in plain sight.

Unfortunately, something that is not an oxymoron, but a redundancy is "deceitful mainstream media." And just imagine -- these are the same people who accuse the Church of and condemn her for "covering up" a damning reality.

Contact Selwyn Duke
Contradiction is no stranger to the mainstream media, and it is on full display in their treatment of the Catholic priest sexual abuse story. Normally, the media take pains to point out that transgressors should not be used to typify the group with which they're associated. For instance, when terrorism is covered, we're told that the jihadists of the world constitute just a small group of "extremists" and do not represent Islam -- that is, when the media can't manage to identify such people only as "youths" and must actually address the issue in the first place. Yet with the Church matter, they have no problem blaming the Church as a whole, tarnishing the reputations of the institution, Catholics in general, and all priests through gratuitous, slanted coverage.  

But there is one group in this story that not only isn't painted with a broad brush, but it's whited out entirely: homosexuals. Claim that the abuse was homosexual in nature, and you'll hear accusations of intolerance, bigotry, and backwardness. "Don't be ignorant," say the apologists. "Haven't you heard about psychology and the 'determination' that homosexuality and pedophilia are completely different things?" Well, I will ask if they've heard about word definitions.

If these critics are so enamored of specificity and categorical rectitude, they should know that the abuse in question is not pedophilia. This is because pedophilia refers to sexual relations with prepubescent children, and virtually all the victims in the Church scandal were adolescents.  Thus, it is correctly classified as ephebophilia (attraction to older adolescents) or hebephilia (attraction to pubescent children). If you're going to embrace psycho-babble, then babble correctly.

This is no minor point. It is the height of silliness to scream about incorrect labeling and feign intellectualism and then yourself apply a word wholly inappropriate to the transgression. Of course, though, such contradiction is understandable. Those guilty often don't know the facts about the abuse and/or don't know esoteric labels such as hebephilia and ephebophilia (which, of course, belies any claim of intellectualism). Yet there can be another motivation: If you aim to demonize a target, nothing quite packs the rhetorical punch of "pedophilia." And people thus driven cannot plead ignorance -- they are liars.

As for me, I'm a simple sort, a man with little use for newly-minted psychological terminology. And I'll provide my perspective: Regardless of a boy's stage of development, he is undeniably male -- the same sex as the priest abusers. And most of the abusers targeted only members of the same sex. Now, what do you call same-sex attraction?

For those scratching their heads, I'll expand on the point. When late homosexual congressman Gerry Studds had an affair with an adolescent male page, did anyone say it wasn't a homosexual relationship? If it wasn't, then his good constituents in Massachusetts must have overlooked his "pedophilia," as they reelected him six more times before his retirement.

Of course, some may point out that the kid Studds got Spartan with was 17, and the age of consent in Washington, D.C. is 16. OK, this is a good starting point. It then follows that the priests who had affairs with boys of legal age are homosexual. But this leaves us with an interesting question: What if a man has relations with a boy one day less than legal age? What about two days less? A week? A month? At what point does the man cease being a homosexual and suddenly become an "ephebophile" who, for some strange reason and in a thoroughly non-homosexual way, targets only male adolescents?                        

Now let's take it further. When singer Jerry Lee Lewis married a 13-year-old girl and director Roman Polanski forced himself on one, did anybody say the fellows weren't heterosexual? When men are arrested for statutory rape after having relations with 15-, 16-, and 17-year-old girls, do we say they are not heterosexual? When men marry teenage girls -- common for most of history and in many parts of the world today -- do we view it as examples of that contradiction in terms called non-heterosexual marriage? And in all the reportage of the cases involving female teachers who have affairs with 13- and 14-year old boys, did anyone stamp his foot and proclaim, "Do not call these women heterosexual, you soft-science Luddite! Psychologists tell us otherwise!"? Not only did no one do so, but we didn't even discuss the matter. This is because the obvious doesn't warrant discussion -- that is, until there is a strong reason for denying the obvious.

Getting back to the defense of Islam I mentioned earlier, truth be known, it makes more sense than saying that men who target teen boys aren't homosexual. After all, some might mention that Islam, like all religions, must espouse certain dogma; thus, if terrorism were contrary to Islamic dogma, then terrorists could not truly be Muslim, despite their claims of piety. Yet one could even more credibly use this argument to claim that the Church transgressors are not really priests. What I mean is that unlike Islam, Catholicism has a teaching body -- the Pope and Magisterium -- that defines Catholic doctrine; therefore, unlike in Islam, it isn't a matter of which cleric you choose to believe. And to say the least, the transgressing priests did great violence to Catholic teaching, thereby rendering themselves something less than priests in spirit. Yet facts are stubborn things, and the fact is that the abusers were ordained as priests in the Catholic Church, and no one seems to have trouble accepting that reality. We do not hear anyone say, "No! They aren't priests! The definition of a priest involves being celibate, and these men were anything but." Well, there is another fact here: They not only are/were priests, but they also happen to be (or have been, in the cases of the deceased and defrocked) homosexual priests. And to say otherwise is to be guilty of selective specificity. Just as critics recoil at the supposed intellectual sloppiness of labeling the abusers homosexuals but will then most sloppily call them pedophiles, they will identify them as "Catholic" and as "priests" but not as homosexual. Why is this? Is it just a coincidence that every example here of selective specificity, sloppiness, and hypocrisy serves to either protect the reputation of homosexuals or damage that of the Church?

There, reason is not hard to discern. While the abuse in question is a problem of homosexuality, homosexuality is never a problem for our abusive media. The truth is that if the Church were actually a homosexual organization, with positions aligned with leftism, there could have been twice the abuse and there would have been 0.2 percent the coverage. As with the cases of the Duke University academic who adopted two black boys and habitually molested them and Jesse Dirkhising, a 13-year-old boy who was tortured and murdered by two homosexuals in Arkansas, it would be buried faster than a mafia snitch in New Jersey. 

This is why I have said before that the coverage of the Church scandal has nothing to do with concern about youth -- it has nothing to do with Truth. It is simply a hammer with which the media can attack religion, something they hate more than the worst child molester.

Pushing back the frontiers of oxymoronic moronity, the left has added to "non-heterosexual marriage" and introduced the concept of non-homosexual same-sex relations. It's the kind of lunacy you disgorge when trying to cloak a truth hiding in plain sight.

Unfortunately, something that is not an oxymoron, but a redundancy is "deceitful mainstream media." And just imagine -- these are the same people who accuse the Church of and condemn her for "covering up" a damning reality.

Contact Selwyn Duke