Are There Enough Morally Sound Liberals Left to Keep Pedophilia Illegal?

Tuesday, August 27, 2019
By Paul Martin

By Christopher Skeet
August 27, 2019

By all accounts, Jeffrey Epstein was an unrepentant sex criminal who maintained (until his suicide by security camera malfunction) that he did nothing wrong. During an interview with the New York Times last year, Epstein described the criminalization of sex with teenage girls as a “cultural aberration.” He justified this by noting that such behavior has been acceptable at different times in history and by pointing out that homosexuality is still considered a crime punishable by death in some countries. His claim was that societal sexual mores are completely subjective, differing from one cultural value system to the next, and constantly modifying within each value system.

In other words: Who are you uppity bourgeois prudes to impose your suffocating morality on me? And why are you so opposed to consensual people loving each other? What are you, some kind of bigot?

This reasoning isn’t new, nor has it been legally unsuccessful. It has been used to justify every slackening of sexual morality in recent memory. From cheap and widely available contraception to prostitution to abortion on demand to premarital sex to civil unions to redefining marriage and to human-animal marriage (you read that right: it’s no longer just for Sudanese progressives), the assertion is that the government should “stay out of the bedroom.” I am not arguing for or against any of these institutions (I must confess my hamster spouse Ta-Nehisi is quite the pleaser), but only observing that conservatives’ counterargument that our society should retain a standard of sexual decency other than “anything goes” has a dismal track record both in the courts and in public opinion.

The next logical target, currently being implemented, is the sexualization of children.

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