Until recently, I thought there still was one area on which we all could agree: pedophilia.
We could disagree on politics, religion, sports, the proper way to hang a roll of toilet paper.
But, at the end of the day we all could agree that the sexual exploitation of children is every shade of wrong.
Now, it’s apparently acceptable to excuse or trivialize child sexual abuse as a means of political and social expedience.
From the Senate race in Alabama to the Kirk Humphreys kerfuffle, we’ve reached a topsy-turvy realm in which it’s OK to turn a blind eye to child sexual abuse, or draw a moral equivalence between pedophilia and anything you dislike, as best meets your political or social needs.
Alabama voters, led by minorities and women, collectively rejected accused pedophile and dramatic equestrian Roy Moore.
But, unfortunately, we’re left with the fact that roughly 650,000 people still thought his overt racism and alleged predation of children are OK — at least when weighed against the horrible specter of electing a moderate Democrat.
More than a few voters and public officials went on the record to say they’d vote for Moore even if the allegations were true.
Is Roy Moore a pedophile? It’s likely we’ll never know the answer for sure.
But, what is sure: A significant number of voters and party leaders effectively said “He may be, he may not — either way, we don’t care.”
In this argument they made a false equivalence of importance between the issues of child sexual assault and winning a Senate seat.
I’m all for being passionate about the political process and doing your best to get your horse across the line first.
But, let’s clear up one point: there is no office that is more important than protecting children from sexual predators.
OU Regent Kirk Humphreys made sure not all the national limelight went to Alabama this week when he said that “if (homosexuality) is OK, then it’s OK for everybody and quite frankly it’s OK for men to sleep with little boys if it’s OK.”
I strongly disagree with Humphreys’ views on homosexuality. But, that’s not really the core issue.
The issue is that he equates consensual adult sex with sexual attacks on children — two very different issues on completely different moral planes.
There is no unified “Christian perspective” on LGBT issues and sexuality in general.
And, I’m sure Humphreys believes he’s speaking from a Christian perspective on the issue of same-gender relationships.
From my Christian perspective I’ll offer only three points: 1) We’re all sinners; 2) God didn’t leave it to us to judge our neighbor or prioritize sins based on our preferences; 3) None of us are worthy of salvation, and yet God, out of love, offers it to all.
But, even if you believe homosexuality is inherently sinful (and I do not), there’s still no rational, religious or empirical basis for equating a consensual relationship between two adults with the sexual victimization of children. To make such an equivalence cheaply vilifies our LGBT neighbors (who God calls us to love) by equating them to pedophiles — a link debunked by every credible study of the issue.
Perhaps more damning, Humphreys’ equation of homosexuality and pedophilia trivializes the victimization of children by sexual predators.
By saying one is as good (or bad) as the other, Humphreys effectively lifts child sexual abuse from heinous crime to alternative lifestyle.
No matter how you feel about LGBT issues, no one — gay or straight, Christian or non-Christian — deserves to have consensual adult sex mixed up with crimes against children.
I get that our differences of opinion have become quite passionate. I get that it’s human for us to want to score points in these disputes.
But, whatever you may think of whatever social, religious or political issue, I pray we all get back to common ground when it comes to the sexual victimization of children. That’s not a partisan or denominational issue. That’s a human decency issue, and it’s one on which we all should agree, regardless of our other differences.