At a meeting we were discussing the topic of homosexuality. One guy came with an argument against homosexuality that bothers me to this day. His conclusion was that if he accepted homosexuality (or the intercourse part) then pedophiles should also be accepted (and also their relationship with children). Homosexuality is accepted (he kept going on) because of the fact that they have a relationship built on equal partners etc., etc. So for him this was a human reason and not a biblical one. As I was thinking about this the more it bothered me. If I make a comparison between a homosexual and a pedophile maybe this will make it more clear to what I want to point out.
— We are both different in our sexual orientations
— God made us both as who we are ( most pro-gay Christian people say this) But we can have relationships, but pedophiles cannot all because of the fact that we don’t hurt anybody.
My point is that we are much like the pedophiles in being different but we have the advantage of acceptance. Not that I am for accepting pedophile relationships. But what does one say to a pedophile? God made you for who you are, but you may and cannot have a relationship? So everything that we as GLBT people say to lift our spirits out of the oppression is not applicable to pedophiles. Society doesn’t accept such relationships.
So, for my friend he saw both homosexual and pedophilic behaviour as deviant and just because we have equal partnership relations he couldn’t accept that being gay was all right (because society says so).
So my question is what makes us different from pedophiles except that we have relationships with people our own age?? Did not God create pedophiles also?
I must tell you that I don’t think pedophiles and homosexuality are in the same ball park. First of all 95% of all pedophiles are straight. Second, a pedophile’s behavior when it comes to sex has more to do with power and control issues. Take the encyclopedia Britannica definition:
pedophilia: Psychosexual disorder in which an adult’s arousal and sexual gratification occur primarily through sexual contact with prepubescent children. The typical pedophile is unable to find satisfaction in an adult sexual relationship and may have low self-esteem, seeing sexual activity with a child as less threatening than that with an adult. Most pedophiles are men; the condition is extremely rare in women.
Frequently the sexual encounter stops short of intercourse, the pedophile obtaining sexual gratification through fondling the child and sometimes through genital display alone. Reactions of the child victim can range from fright, particularly if force or violence is involved, to bewilderment or passive enjoyment. Although some children seem more upset by previous parental warnings than by an actual encounter, the sexual encounter can often be quite traumatic to them, especially if there is associated violence. There is also evidence that children who have been sexually victimized are more likely to be troubled adults. Studies have determined that boys who were sexually abused are more likely to become adult sex offenders. Sexually abused girls more frequently respond by self-destructive behaviours such as substance abuse or prostitution.
Legally, pedophilia is considered in most Western nations to be one of the most serious of sexual offenses. In general, the younger the child and the greater the disparity in age between pedophile and victim, the more severe the penalty. Most severe penalties are usually reserved for pederasty, sexual contacts between adult males and young boys. More than half of those arrested for pedophilia are friends, relatives, or acquaintances of the child.
This explanation coupled with the fact that “gay” relationships happen between consenting adults empowered to make an informed decision as to whom they will share their bodies in a loving and uplifting way make the argument that pedophilia and homosexuality are the same thing a real stretch. Anytime we assert ourselves upon a person who cannot make an informed choice concerning sexual relations it is wrong and should be considered immoral and harmful to the recipient.
Editor-in-Chief of Whosoever and Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta, Rev. Paul M. Turner (he/him) grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994, have been in a committed partnership since the early 1980s and have been legally married since 2015.