It should come as no surprise that Rush Limbaugh said something disgusting and repulsive on his radio show yesterday. We're all pretty used to this blathering bunch of vocal cords making highly offensive remarks to attract attention. On a normal basis, I advocate ignoring his noxious gas. But every once in a while, he says something so despicable that I feel like we need to address it.
Yesterday, Rush postulated that liberals are trying to "normalize" pedophilia, just like they apparently did with gay marriage. According to the conservative talk show Godfather:
There is an effort underway to normalize pedophilia. It has two aspects to it. One is that sex with children doesn't hurt them. Kids like it and so do adults, and there's nothing wrong with it....
Rush goes on to mention an article published by the Guardian that examined medical and academic research about pedophilia, from the 1970s through present-day. One would assume, given Rush's argument that we are just now attempting to "normalize" pedophilia, that the article determines that present-day thinking is more accepting of adults having sex with children. Of course, that's not what the piece actually states. It talks about the more lax view of medical experts and researchers regarding pedophilia that was promoted in the 1970s.
It does, however, suggest that those who are attracted to children have a different "sexual orientation." Academics argue that people who are attracted to children are responding to their own natural feelings, and that we need to pay more attention to the actions they can control. One researcher explains:
"Adult sexual attraction to children is part of the continuum of human sexuality; it's not something we can eliminate. If we can talk about this rationally – acknowledge that yes, men do get sexually attracted to children, but no, they don't have to act on it – we can maybe avoid the hysteria. We won't label paedophiles monsters; it won't be taboo to see and name what is happening in front of us."
No where does she actually claim that we should allow adults to have sex with children. She simply advocates acknowledging the impulse, so that people can talk about their issue and learn to control it.
Even more than what the article itself says is the fact that Rush Limbaugh is trying to pretend that a group of people in the US are attempting to "normalize" the sexual abuse of children based on a single story in a British newspaper about differing academic viewpoints on the subject.
Rush's only other piece of "proof" is vague references to Kevin Clash and his recent sex scandals.
So why is Rush concocting imaginary plans to "normalize" pedophilia? (I cannot help using quotes. The whole thing is just too awful to type without them.) The real reason he's bringing up this random article and pop culture story is because he wants to compare gay marriage to pedophilia.
Rush asks his audience to think back to the first time they heard about gay marriage. He suggests that they felt the very same reaction to that idea that they do to the idea of pedophilia being acceptable. By the way, the idea that people would get the same reaction from hearing that two grown adults would like to commit themselves to each other for life and from hearing about adults who wish to have sex with children is just plain depressing.
“They want us to all think that pedophilia is just another sexual orientation. You know who’s gonna fall right in line is college kids, just like they have on gay marriage, just like they do on all other revolutionary social issues. Their own definition of the cutting edge, civil rights, freedom, understanding, tolerance. So I’m just warning you here. You think it can’t happen. ‘Impossible! Don’t be nutso and wacko on us, Rush.’”
This idea, and the fact that Limbaugh would attempt to mislead and corrupt the minds of all his listeners, is just disgusting beyond words. There is absolutely no attempt by anyone to normalize pedophilia. I am as liberal as you can possibly be, and I would never suggest that the sexual abuse of a child is in some way acceptable or that it doesn't cause harm.
Rush isn't concerned with providing accurate information. It's a scare tactic. And a deceitful way of smearing gay marriage, of promoting homophobia.
There is absolutely no link between gay marriage and pedophilia. One is the practice of two consenting adults deciding to spend their lives together. The other is child abuse. Rush Limbaugh knows this. And he knows that no one would ever suggest that sex with children is appropriate unless they were mentally unstable. This is just a disgusting man attempting to spread fear and bigotry. We shouldn't stand by and let it happen.