Ain’t that the Truth?

Porn Makes Men Molest Children

That is, according to a Catholic Bishop.  Bishop Felipe Arizmendi of Mexico is of the opinion that Priests who molest children are victims themselves – victims of the salacious images they see on television and via the internet. 

It seems that once viewing this material, priests lose all of their free will and are compelled to commit unspeakable crimes against children, over and over and over.  His excuses recall the spectre of similarly themed, yet equally baseless hysteria like Reefer Madness. Porno Madness?

“With so much invasion of eroticism, sometimes it’s not easy to stay celibate or to respect children,” Bishop Felipe Arizmendi said during an annual meeting of Mexican bishops near Mexico City on Thursday. 

“If on television and on the Internet and in so many media outlets there is pornography, it is very difficult to stay pure and chaste,” said Arizmendi, an influential bishop from the colonial town of San Cristobal de las Casas in southern Mexico.

“Obviously when there is generalized sexual freedom it’s more likely there could be cases of pedophilia,” he added.

His flawed logic is a striking attempt to move blame away from the Catholic Church and even the priests themselves in favor of the media, society, technology – what the hell, anything as long as it takes the heat off the Roman Catholic Church, right?

First, his explanation doesn’t account for the thousands and thousands of children affected by pedophilic priests fifty or a hundred years ago when pornography, while existant, was hardly available with the ease it is now.  Pornography, in some form or another, has existed practically as far back as we could scratch nude figures on cave walls, but live streaming XXX video on demand is a far cry from etched cave drawings. Fifty – even 25 years ago, one had to leave the home and actively seek out pornography or have it mailed to you, which are both rather conspicuous.  Now it can be accessed with a few clicks of the mouse, but sexual abuse of children doesn’t seem to be increasing anywhere close to the meteoric rise in the availability and variety of internet porn leading me to believe that while child molesters may indeed view obscene images, porn is not the cause of their deviance.

Second, his reasoning does not explain why the millions and millions (and millions!) of men and women who partake in occasional pornographic naughtiness do not suddenly feel the need to serially grope underaged youth.  Let’s be honest – most people have seen some porn, read some erotica, viewed iffy images on Cinemax after midnight, yet they are fine – mentally healthy, even.  His logic, again, falls flat.

Lastly, the Bishop attributes sexual abuse by church officials to “generalized sexual freedom” when as a practical matter, Catholic priests have nothing of the sort.  How can it be the cause of their actions when priests have no sexual freedom whatsoever?  To this I would add that lifelong celibacy is neither natural, normal, nor mentally or physically healthy and I would seriously question the state of mind of anyone signing up for such a requirement.  In fact, while many many priests seem well-enough adjusted, I would propose that someone suffering from personal demons in the form of unnatural urges might run as far as possible from those urges – right into the priesthood.  Should there be better screening procedures in place?  Probably, but even that is not foolproof.  Further, given the current shortage of priests, I wonder if their standards for joining are even as high as they have been in the past.

I have thought a lot about this topic, but mostly, I’m just disgusted.  Disgusted at the abuse in the first place, but even moreso, disgusted with the systematic cover-up and regular protection of these predators.  I don’t know what the cause is – most likely it’s a combination of several factors including the absence of any risk of getting prosecuted or even demoted, but I do know what the cause is not:  the cause is not an adult male viewing a little prurient material in the comfort of his own home.

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