NOTE: Gawker is pre-mainstream, but just barely — sort of a feeder stream…
Leslie Walker, a prisoner’s rights activist, told James, “[Child sex offenders] are at risk of being murdered, having their food taken, having their cells defecated and urinated in. Their life is truly a living hell.” Good, most people will say. But there is a growing number of researchers, many of them out of Canada, whose work suggests that pedophilia is an illness deserving of the public’s sympathy the way any brain disorder is. Some of the scientists say pedophilia is a sexual orientation, meaning that it’s unchangeable, regardless of how much jail time or beatings or therapy someone is dealt. Others have reason to believe that pedophiles are born that way, and that some of them will suffer through entire lives without hurting a single child. If this research proves to be correct, it should help shape both our public policy and our public attitude, so that we’re protecting kids while also protecting pedophiles from angry mobs, cellmates, and themselves. (…)
The old adage is that the true mark of a society is how it treats the weakest in its ranks. Blacks, women, Latinos, gays and lesbians, and others are still in no way on wholly equal footing in America. But they’re also not nearly as lowly and cursed as men attracted to children. One imagines that if Jesus ever came to Earth, he’d embrace the poor, the blind, the lepers, and, yes, the pedophiles. As a self-professed “progressive,” when I think of the world I’d like to live in, I like to imagine that one day I’d be OK with a man like Terry moving next door to me and my children. I like to think that I could welcome him in for dinner, break bread with him, and offer him the same blessings he’s offered me time and agin. And what hurts to admit, even knowing all I know now, is that I’m not positive I could do that.
Expect the Tony-winning Broadway musical about the tragic and loveable child molester within two years.