Bill Blankshaen: gays are like pedophiles.

Bill Blankshaen has a post up comparing homosexuality to pedophilia.  Apparently two adults deciding who to consensually love is indistinguishable, in his mind, from adults who want to be allowed to have sex with kids who have yet to reach puberty.

Oh boy.

No one’s being harmed. Not really. They can’t help it. Not really. And look at how many closet paedophiles may be out there — 1 in every 5 men! Maybe. Maybe that science is flawed. I’m just saying. And if two people love each other, who are we to say…. I would like to know how our culture can, let alone will, respond to such arguments.

Yes…how will we ever respond to that argument?  It’s so novel and new that 30 seconds on google probably wouldn’t have provided an answer.

Well Bill, we don’t allow adults to date children for the same reason we don’t allow adults to sell them cars or alcohol: they are not at a point where they have their faculties sufficiently in place to enter into contracts and to make adult decisions.  They are more easily coerced, and thus need protection.

Adults are not like that.  If straight adults are capable of deciding who they wish to date, why not gay adults?  The obvious answer  (obvious to everybody but Bill Blankshaen) is that the difference between children and gay adults is that…wait for it…gay adults are…adults.  Crazy.

For me, this issue is a simple one. As a Christian, I seek to see the world through the lens of our Creator’s written revelation.

Which is fine.  The problem is where you demand that everybody else to organize their lives your holy book.

But we live in a post-Christian culture, one in which it is anathema to call upon a Biblical view of the word for fear of trampling someone else’s self-proclaimed right to autonomy. I don’t like it, but that’s where we are.

Yes, what a bummer people are allowed to not let you and your faith lord over them.

We seem to derive our moral standards these days based on public consensus rather than an appeal to objective truth.

Or based on what causes harm, which is objective truth.  And it takes a lot of balls to be the guy in the conversation who believes in someone rising from the dead, walking on water, and a global flood to chastise others for lack of concern for objective truth.

As a pluralistic, post-Christian culture here in the US, what is our moral argument against legalizing paedophilia?

I’d like to hear the arguments against it. I’m having trouble imagining them, most likely due to my own narrow addiction to divine revelation and absolute truth.

Yes, without god telling Blankshaen that having sex with a child is bad, he’d be a-ok with it.  It wouldn’t occur to him, on his own, that protecting children from being used by adults would be a concern.  This is the man who presumes to call others immoral.  It’s not a concern for harm that makes morality, but arbitrary rules handed down from god.

But maybe it’s not just me that thinks boundaries are a good thing:

Boundaries are a great thing sometimes.  Some boundaries are terrible (we could both agree that a boundary prohibiting eating would be a bad thing).  It all depends on what good the boundary is serving.  Boundaries should be set up to protect people within reason (the “within reason” is important, since some risk is acceptable – we let people drive despite the fact that some people die in car wrecks, for instance).  But boundaries that hinder happiness for no good reason?  No, those boundaries suck.

So a boundary that protects kids from coercion?  Awesome!  A boundary because “god says so” that actually keeps adults from being as happy as they might be?  No, that’s a cruel and foolish boundary.

But freedom always has a price. Part of that price is recognizing our need to limit our own freedoms and passions for the good of others and the culture at large. Those who refuse to do so imperil the very culture that enables them.

How would allowing gays to marry imperil the culture at large?  What harm would come from that?

And first it’s “god doesn’t like it, so we shouldn’t allow it, because ‘there is no harm’ isn’t good enough”.  Now it’s “it shouldn’t be allowed because it will imperil culture”.  Fucking pick one.

Indeed, I think this underlying issue may be the one which most threatens the future of ours or any republic:

Cicero was equally emphatic about the internal danger. Probably his most quoted lines are from the opening words of his attack on the Cataline conspiracy: O tempora! O mores! (Oh the times! Oh the ways of life!) In that speech to the Senate at the trial of Rabirius, he declared bluntly, “No external or foreign threat can infiltrate our Republic. If you wish Rome to live forever and our empire to be without end, if you wish that our glory never fade, we must be on our guard against our own passions, against men of violence, against the enemy within.” ~ Os Guinness, A Free People’s Suicide [emphasis mine]

Holy shit, one guy says we must “guard against our passions” and that’s good enough for Bill to conclude that homosexuality will lead to the collapse of nations.  Supposedly, even though there has been homosexuality in every society, both successful or not, all the way back through human history, isn’t important.  As long as we keep them as secondary citizens, their kissing and such won’t kill the stock market.  Forget the fact that states and countries that have legalized gay marriage are doing just fine on the whole.

I also love the implication that homosexuality contributed to the fall of Roman Empire, as if there wasn’t homosexuality throughout the life of the Roman Empire.  You might as well have blamed buildings for the fall of the Empire.  If homosexuality was a causal factor in fall of the Roman Empire, how come the Roman Empire was doing just fine up until gay-hating Christianity got legalized?  (Thanks, eric)

~509 BC: Roman monarchy overthrown, Republic period begins. Rome slowly grows into the most powerful geopolitical unit on the planet.
~50BC to 30 AD: Republic era ends (depending on how you count). But Rome continues to be the most powerful geopolitical unit on the planet.
~313 AD: Constantine legalizes Christianity.
~395 AD: Eastern and Western empires divide
~410 AD: Rome sacked.
~455 AD: Rome sacked again
~476 AD: Western Roman empire dissolves

Strange, that.  It’s like all of the evidence is against that idea, and Bill Blankshaen is just pulling stuff straight out of his ass to make a correlation = causation argument when, in fact, there isn’t even much of a correlation.

Some will decry my use of absolutes and apocalyptic language, but I prefer to think of it as just thinking ahead.

More will decry your terrible arguments that compare normal people to those who would abuse children.  We’ll also point out the irony of someone who worships the ultimate child abuser (the one who impregnated a virgin and only told her about it afterward, and who also planned for his son to die a gruesome, unnecessary death) making those arguments.

How will we as a church and a culture answer this question about paedophilia.

The culture will note the obvious differences between adults and children and continue to care about what produces happiness and alleviates suffering.  The church, at least the ones that share Bill Blankshaen’s immunity to the obvious, will continue to grapple with the question of comparing gays to pedophiles as though it’s a perplexing piece of theology.

I, for one, prefer to answer it while we still have time to think.

Yes, because it takes a Herculean application of one’s intellect to identify the differences between gay adults and children.

Or will we wait until we can no longer avoid the issue, speak up without much thought at all, and be accused of being a bunch of hurtful, hateful creeps who just want to spoil all the fun?

That’s exactly what you are, Bill.  You don’t care if loving who they choose makes particular adults happy.  You are out to spoil the fun.  You don’t care if you hurt those people, and that is the very soul of hatred.  You want to be able to dictate how other people live their lives, and you want to take away love from them (at least, if it’s expressed to an adult who your church does not care for).  And you don’t feel the least bit bad.  Hell, you probably feel good about it.  That’s hate, and it’s ugly.  Your church, which has that exact type of hate running through its veins, is equally ugly.

And what will the new label be then for such haters? Paedophilobic?

I’m not sure what we call people who hate pedophiles.  For those who hate the people who abuse children, whether it’s a Catholic priest raping them or someone cheating kids out of their money, I suspect we call those people “compassionate”, because that is what we call people who disdain suffering and who value happiness in others.

But when it those who hate gay people, with no regard for the happiness of others in that case, in the United States we almost universally we call them “Christians”.

And now, welcome Bill’s blog to this folder in my bookmarks.

A picture of my bookmark folders with "Whipping boys/girls" circled.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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