Response to Thomas Sowell on pedophile priests
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Response to Thomas Sowell on pedophile priests

From: Rick Rosendall
Sent: Sunday, June 30, 2002 6:44 PM
Subject: Reply to Thomas Sowell

Dear Editor:

Thomas Sowell's attempt to blame the gay community for the pedophile priest scandal ("Pointedly missed features," June 29) is a mass of distortions and slanders.

The falsehood of Sowell's characterization of the evidence is exemplified by the Family Research Council's study, "Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse." A researcher cited in the study, A. Nicholas Groth, has asked FRC to remove his name from the report, claiming that the group "misrepresented" his work.

In a June 10, 2002 letter to FRC, Groth wrote, "[M]y studies have indicated that homosexual males pose less risk of sexual harm to children (both male and female) -- from both an absolute and a percentage incidence rate -- than heterosexual males." This is diametrically opposed to the conclusions reached by FRC. It is not surprising that the FRC study is biased, unscientific, and filled with distortions, considering that its author, Dr. Timothy J. Dailey, is a doctor not of medicine or psychiatry but religion.

Sowell's claim that pedophiles get "a free pass in the mainstream media" ignores the overwhelming condemnation that pedophiles have received, including in the gay community.

In 1994, while Bernard Cardinal Law was concealing the crimes of pedophile priest Paul Shanley, the International Lesbian and Gay Association voted by 89 percent to expel the North American Man/Boy Love Association and other pedophile groups. It has been suggested in the Regent University Law Review that this vote was taken for purely political purposes, but I was there and I witnessed a strong, impassioned, and eloquent defense of children.

Contrary to Sowell's claim, pedophiles are treated as pariahs by mainstream gay groups. They have been condemned in the gay press, including by me. Gay communities across America have established service organizations to protect at-risk youth rather than exploit them. Gay adoptive parents provide loving homes to the least desirable orphans -- the sick and disabled children that other people have thrown away. In short, we do not deserve Mr. Sowell's calumnies. We love our country and our families as much as he, and we will not be silent in the face of his scapegoating.

Sowell's invocation of the ills of academia, totalitarianism, and the media is hard to swallow in that he himself presents discredited notions as "inconvenient facts," and uses the media himself. He also decries the epithets directed at the anti-gay right, as if gays were not defending themselves against epithets from people like him. But unlike the anti-gay right, gay activists like myself do not seek to deny anyone the equal protection of the law. Totalitarianism in the last century was characterized by the use of the Big Lie, a technique with which Sowell appears all too familiar.


Richard J. Rosendall
Washington, DC

Copyright 2002 by Richard J. Rosendall. All rights reserved.