ARLINGTON, VA. — ARLINGTON, Va. -- If Michael Jackson did, in fact, as it is alleged, have sex with a minor boy, what's wrong with that?
The question is not meant to be cute; I am serious. If a male child was fondled or sodomized by Michael Jackson, why shouldn't he and the boy be allowed the orientation of their choice? If you disagree, who are you to impose your morality on them?
Are you outraged by this? Do you think we have gone too far? Not far enough, some say. Yesterday's unacceptable (divorce, premarital sex, abortion, homosexuality, group sex, domestic partnerships and, soon, same-sex marriage) are today's acceptable. It's just a matter of conditioning. Groups exist that promote adult-child sex. Expect an alliance -- composed of academics, theologians and cultural commentators -- to ram this home through the media, crushing whatever resistance remains.
Nothing shames us. In pursuit of freedom we have embraced license and now licentiousness, throwing off all restraint.
The Abercrombie & Fitch Christmas Field Guide magazine, targeted to 10- to 13-year-olds, contains 45 specific portrayals of sexual imagery in the first 120 pages, according to Kevin McCullough, who counted them for an essay on WorldNetDaily.com. The images, he writes, "include overt portrayals of group sex, lots of teen and young adult nudity, men kissing and teens/young adults frolicking in a river engaging in sexual activity in multiple group settings." The company now markets thong underwear to girls between 8 and 10 years old.
Should we be surprised when some people act on the permission the media give them? Have you seen those Calvin Klein underwear commercials featuring children in poses appealing to pedophiles?
The early sexualization of children has produced ever-earlier sexual activity (and pregnancy) among those children.
Professional organizations are trying to catch up in the race to normalize what we once called "depravity." The American Psychiatric Association (APA), which declared homosexual practice normal, has recently entertained the notion of similarly downgrading pedophilia.
The APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) once contended that merely "acting upon" one's urges toward children was enough to generate a diagnosis of pedophilia. But in the revised DSM, a person who molests a child is considered psychiatrically sick only if his actions "caused clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning."
That seems to mean that if the molester is OK with it and the child doesn't complain, it's healthy. It can't be wrong if it feels so right, right?
The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) challenged the APA's stand. Writing on NARTH's Web page, Linda Ames Nicolosi notes that a different organization, the American Psychological Association, has published the study led by Bruce Rind, which downplays the effects of man-boy sex.
Rind supported the "finding that quite a few of the boys remembered their childhood sexual experiences positively," she writes. The association later apologized for the study and then seemed to backpedal. But then it issued a surprisingly unscientific statement that no matter what the research might show about the psychological effects of pedophile relationships (and there is plenty of other research that shows extremely negative consequences), pedophilia remains, in its opinion, "morally wrong." Since when did science concern itself with morality?
The sexualization of children is supported by state governments, many of which mandate sex education as early as kindergarten. School nurses dispense contraceptives and abortion advice without parental knowledge or approval. Teen magazines such as Cosmo Girl and Seventeen promote sexual activity for minor children. A British charity publishes a children's sex guide, Say Yes, Say No, Say Maybe, that explains various positions and the excitement of intercourse.
English philosopher Roger Scruton has written, "The hysteria over pedophilia is indicative of a society that has come to the brink of self-destruction and stands there accusing the void. People reach for their old certainties: Words like pervert and perversion suddenly seem right to them; they look round for the culprit with a view to shaming, humiliating and ostracizing him.
"And they recognize the vastness of the evil that is around them and within them, an evil they only imperfectly confess to."
It's too late for any of that now. For some, Michael Jackson, if guilty, is not a pervert but a pioneer.
Cal Thomas' syndicated column appears Wednesdays in The Sun.