Of Sexual Predators and Their Enablers : Tony Perkins Indicts Family Research Council ?
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 01:00:24 PM EST
On October 2, 2006 Tony Perkins wrote, on the Family Research Council website:

Democrats seeking to exploit the resignation of Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) are right to criticize the slow response of Republican congressional leaders to his communications with male pages. But neither party seems likely to address the real issue, which is the link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse.

Down the slippery slope of moral dissolution, Perkins reinforced that attempted point the same day, on CNN and, in doing so, inadvertantly indicted himself and his own organization:

[ CNN, October 2, 2006 ]"there's no defense of this behavior. It's outrageous, it's shocking. But it shouldn't be totally surprising when we hold up tolerance and diversity as the guidepost for public life this is what you end up getting. A congressman chasing 16-year- old boys down the halls of Congress, it's a shame. It's a tragedy and it does need to be addressed but not just the symptoms here.

We need to go to the source of the problem. And if the leadership was negligent, it should be dealt with and it should be dealt with in the most severe way possible."

Mr. Perkins, on national television, has damned his own organization - because the complicity of those who enable sexual predators is the real problem, and Mr. Perkins - along with the Family Research Council - is now complicit as well.

Sexual predators come in both sexes and they are both gay and straight. They come from all walks of life - the ranks of Congress or, for that matter, probably from the- incudling Family Research Council itself, and their enablers can be Popes, US speakers of the United States House, or GOP potentates profiting from a regime of forced abortion in the Marianas Islands garment industry. Organizations and leaders on the Christian right who are trying to spin the Foley scandal as a problem resulting from tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality are themselves becoming complicit. By trying to shift the focus, they are making the work of sexual predators easier.

Tony Perkins, The Family Research Council he heads, and the entire echo chamber on the US and Christian right that's trying desperately to spin the Foley scandal are themselves becoming drawn into the pathology of denial that helps to enable the work of sexual predators in the first place. They are becoming "Liars For Jesus but not really - in fact they are merely becoming liars for politics and shills for ideology.

But, that's not news. It's a tale of human moral corruption as old as the hills.

While I am am concerned about the actions of Mark Foley with regard to the young boys he was trying to entice into his fantasy (or reality), I am equally concerned about how we as a society failed Mark Foley and many others like him.

I suspect that the entire time Mr. Foley was engaged in this compulsive behaviour he was kicking himself in the butt, knowing it was wrong, but unable to do anything about it. I'm sure he was wallowing in a sea of guilt, but his compulsion drove him forward. How might this story have been different if, when he recognized this compulsion  he had had someone to go to, someone who would not be judgemental, but who would work to help him?

I don't know the answer to this problem, but I suspect it's better to provide people afflicted in this way with a safe place to go to attempt to work through, or at least create, a management plan for their obsessions and compulsions rather than drive them underground for fear of punishment for something they can't help and don't know how to control. How would any of us react if we found ourselves either admitting  our pedophilia, knowing it would destroy any chance of a normal life or career, or attempting to deal with it in the depths of our own darkness? How Mark Foley must have loathed himself! But what was he to do? Drink it away? Try to force it back under the rock? How truly lonely he must have been.

Yes, Mark Foley and the Republican leadership failed the affected pages, but we failed Mark Foley.

by GeneG on Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 07:09:34 PM EST

I am working on the assumption that Foley was interested in recently pubertal boys and not prepubertal boys (pages were all 16 or older).

I suppose the urge to boink recently pubertal and presumably healthy fertile youth is biologically inscribed in a fair percentage of humans, but most humans have learned to curb that impulse in normal times. My guess is that Foley might have been able to redirect his sexuality to men closer to his own age, but for the fear of being exposed. Boys are less likely to want to blackmail (especially the presumably idealistic types that would apply for page jobs), more likely to believe promises of Hill jobs,  more likely to hero-worship, than adult men. Foley probably was attracted to these boys by the control. Plus, being deep in the closet is not exactly a trait valued by out adult gay men, who not surprisingly might want to attend gay-themed parties, public functions, and generally have uncomplicated lives.

Career ambition, sexualization of power, the deep closet, absence of a lover/partner/spouse who could knock sense into him, absence of trust in family and in colleagues, unwillingness to fight for himself and come out at least a bit , complete hostility of the public political subculture (with apparent "tolerance" in the don't ask, don't tell way in private), and probable fear of Hell from childhood religious training  - it is a tragedy for Foley.

by NancyP on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 09:17:36 PM EST

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