In the current age of political correctness, some sects of society know no limits as to how far they will go to force acceptance to avoid offending others. In one extreme case of forcing such political correctness, Salon magazine implies that society must be accepting of pedophiles. In two separate articles, Salon refers to pedophilia as an ‘alternate sexual preference’ and suggests that society should embrace these differences by insinuating that this poor man is just misunderstood.
The article and video on Salon deal with pedophiles known as ‘non-offending’ — meaning while these individuals admit they are sexually attracted to prepubescent children, they claim they’ve never acted on it. However, the subject of one Salon article, Todd Nickerson admitted to seeking out jobs as a babysitter and noted that he “fell in love” with a five-year-old whom he babysat.
While Nickerson admits that he left town before he could ‘offend,’ seeking a job as a babysitter to specifically target a small child for his own personal adult attraction, is sick and potentially victimizing, regardless of sexual contact.
Salon goes on to make a euphemism toward homosexuality by using certain language implying that he “came out” to his family as a pedophile — as if ‘coming out’ as a pedophile is akin to coming out as a homosexual. Even Nickerson draws a parallel between homosexuality and being a pedophile.
Many gays begin to recognize their sexual preferences sometime around puberty, if not before. For me it was the same. I was about 12 when the first inklings of a sexual preference bubbled up in me, though at the time I thought little of it. As I turned 13 it occurred to me that what I initially took as a phase had begun to solidify into something more troubling. Even so, at this point I could still convince myself that I was within the realm of normalcy. Then something happened that all but removed my ability to continue this self-denial: my Eureka Moment.
One day, as I was sketching in my grandparents’ living room, a neighbor of theirs came to visit with his seven-year-old daughter in tow. At first I hadn’t noticed her because she was quiet. I only heard my grandpa and his neighbor chatting in the kitchen while I sketched. Soon the little girl walked into the dining room and stood at the archway entrance to the living room, watching me draw. I can still see her today in my mind’s eye: dressed in blue jeans and a nearly matching denim jacket, with pristine blue eyes and a halo of wispy blond curls framing her face. She seemed somehow larger than life and almost ancient in the way she stood so perfectly still. Then, just like that, she was gone; she and her father left. That singular moment, though it could scarcely have lasted more than a few minutes, has become seared into my memory.
Here at the Free Thought Project, we feel that tolerance for individuals who cause no harm, no matter how much you disagree with them, is the key to a peaceful society.
Tolerance does not mean that you have to accept someone that you disagree with, it just means you have no justifiable right to physically act on that feeling. In this sense, tolerance simply means that you will not employ force or use the force of the state to implement your will upon a peaceful person just because you disagree with their lifestyle or the way they think.
The lynchpin to this philosophy of tolerance is the idea of non-aggression, or, in a biblical sense — do unto others as you would have them do unto you, otherwise known as the Golden Rule.
Even though we may not agree with it, the Free Thought Project supports the right of any individual or group to engage in any voluntary and consensual act, no matter how it is perceived by society, so long as there is no victim. That being said, informed consent is the key to these voluntary actions.
There is no informed consent in an act of pedophilia, which means there is always a victim.
While a 5-year-old child can certainly consent to want a lollipop, the idea of a child consenting to a sexual relationship with an adult is inconceivable. It is because of this inability of a child to make an informed decision about having sexual relations with an adult, that society finds pedophilia vile and repugnant — and rightfully so.
For Salon to imply that pedophiles are somehow victims in today’s society and that we must accept them, is a dangerous notion and based on politically correct asininity. It’s a slippery slope that will lead to people being labeled as oppressive for condemning an individual who only wants to act out on who they are — even if that means being a pedophile.
That being said, pedophilia is most certainly something that should be studied as a mental illness, and people like Nickerson, in spite of his despicable attraction toward children, can lend to that understanding — so that it can be stopped.
Of course, if all pedophiles were ‘non-offending’ ones, this would be an easier issue to deal with. However, that is not the case, especially among those in positions of power.
All too often society tends to rely on black and white solutions of state violence or imprisonment to handle their problems. Instead of trying to understand why a person murders, society locks them in a cage with other murders and never gives it another thought.
Of course, people who harm others should be locked away, but it shouldn’t just end there.
The same philosophy, or rather lack thereof, is applied to pedophiles. However, these solutions of merely removing these individuals from society do nothing to address the reason why it happens in the first place.
Nickerson coming forward and openly declaring his feelings of pedophilia is repulsive and for good reason. However, it can prove to be beneficial in understanding how to reverse or treat those who have these revolting thoughts and prevent future instances of sexual abuse.
Acceptance of Nickerson’s pedophilia, however, is neither necessary nor warranted for such potential prevention of future abuse.
Salon implying that it’s our politically correct duty to accept pedophiles is downright foolish. However, as Aristotle said, it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. And, only through seeking a lesser ignorance will we ever understand why such horrendous acts take place at all — so that one day, we will be able to prevent them.