Since the Sandusky/Penn State scandal broke, I’ve been waiting for it.
As everyone knows by now, former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky snagged a lot of his victims by way of a “troubled youth” camp that he ran for young boys. Not only did Sandusky lather up in the showers with the kids of his “Second Mile” program, he also took in foster kids.
I don’t understand why it took so long for someone to make that tried and true “connection” that the Jesusistanis love to harp on, but it’s finally been made. The only surprise (for me, at least) is who made the connection this time. I was really expecting Robertson or Hagee to do it.
On today’s edition of nationally syndicated Public Radio International program To The Point, host Warren Olney chose to tackle the Penn State child rape scandal by devoting an entire show to the subject of whether or not gay and lesbian couples would make fit foster and adoptive parents.
Right off the bat, this topic made me feel incredibly uneasy, for obvious reasons. Linking pedophilia to homosexuality is a tried-and-true tactic of bigots, just one example in a long line of history’s unliked minorities being stereotyped as representing a threat to the majority’s most vulnerable members. That the show spun the question in gays and lesbians’ favor — i.e., “Shouldn’t we reexamine attitudes towards allowing homosexuals access to children, seeing as how ‘macho’ [and Olney did use that word] Sandusky wound up defying stereotypes and raped them anyway?” — didn’t really help matters. For starters, what does Sandusky’s “macho-ness” have to do with the fact that he is a child predator? Where are these ridiculous “connections” being defined, except in Olney’s own mind? That the debate was being had at all — and To The Point prides itself, to a fault, in offering ample airtime for every side of an “issue” to make its case — made it offensive.
I agree with Gawker; the fact that this long-disproven Jesusistani slur was brought up at all is both offensive and a clear-cut case of getting the slur out there via a back-door kind of method. I won’t bother to wait for NPR to ask whether or not we should send our sons to Boy Scouts, even though there is incident after incident of Scoutmasters and their assistants being charged with crimes against children, nor will I wait for a program devoted to whether or not church camps ought to be banned because of the disturbing number of assaults on children that are perpetrated by preachers and “youth counselors.” Those shows will never air, because the Boy Scouts and the church camps don’t fit into the Jesusistani dogma. They are only interested in “protecting children” from people who are open about who they are. Those who hide in Scout uniforms or behind collars are of no concern to these “child protectors.”
It’s 2011. I am sometimes stunned that we’re still having these discussions, but I guess I shouldn’t be. After all, religion is still a big thing in Uhmuhricuh.