Letters to the Editor for Nov. 1, 2013

Threat will never occur

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Barb Anderson’s letters of Aug 9 and Oct. 4. To adequately cover important issues requires more than a sound bite. I apologize ahead of time for the length of this letter. But I ask that you read the entire letter. Otherwise it is best to not read it at all.

I am glad to report that we agree on something, Mrs. Anderson. An adult having sex with a minor should never be made legal.

This includes adult males having sex with minor females, adult females with minor males, and any other situation.

In my Aug. 30 letter I wrote that if I ever met someone who advocated in favor of pedophilia I would turn his or her name over to law enforcement and encourage them to keep an eye out on this person. I have done so by contacting the FBI regarding people associated with NAMBLA. Regarding your spurious attempt to associate the American Psychological Association with pedophilia by citing a single study published in a single journal, I believe licensed psychologists in every state are mandated to report abuse of a minor, including pedophilia.

Where we differ is that I do not lose any sleep worrying that our country will legalize pedophilia. We hear people say outlandish things every day. Does that mean their outlandish demands have a real chance of getting into law? I have complete confidence that Americans will never legalize pedophilia. Mrs. Anderson do you honestly believe Americans will allow sex between an adult male and a 10- or 11-year-old girl to become legal?

Please remember that if legalization of homosexual pedophilia were to occur, pedophilia would also have to be legal between heterosexual adults and heterosexual minors. Everyone, including you, Mrs. Anderson, knows this will never happen. Yet you shamelessly insist on wasting the public’s time by attempting to frighten and alarm people about a threat that will never occur in our legal system.

Even more shameless is that you raise pedophilia to put forth your basic argument that allowing homosexual citizens to be treated as equals to heterosexuals will lead down a slippery slope to legalization of pedophilia. If I went to the prison in St. Peter I’m confident I could find 10 heterosexuals who believe there should be a right to engage in sex with minor girls. Based on this, would it make sense for one to conclude that heterosexuality is disordered? Of course not.

You are trying to make the claim that because bad things can sometimes be done by some homosexuals this means homosexuality is inherently disordered, bad and wrong. Let’s take a step back.

Does it make any sense to draw the following conclusion? Because heterosexual acts lead to unintended and unwanted pregnancies and sometimes to abortions – therefore heterosexuality is inherently disordered, immoral or bad. Remember, never in history has an unwanted pregnancy resulted from homosexual acts. How much sense would it make to jump to such a conclusion?

Heterosexuals have had the right and benefits of societally sanctioned marriage for millennia – and yet the divorce rate is close to 50 percent in the US. With your twisted logic the solution is to deem heterosexuals disordered, bad, and immoral, and to ban heterosexuality. That’s how much sense your self-appointed approach makes.

Let’s focus on the big picture and look at another slippery slope scare tactic you and your PAL colleagues have tried. You expended much time, energy and words attempting to ensure that the following could never occur in Minnesota: Jim comes home from work, and says to his husband, “I really had a tough day at work. It’s so good to come home to my husband.”

It is ironic and telling that you want to prohibit two adult gays from committing to a lifetime marriage – perhaps the furthest thing from pedophilia. Do you honestly believe that this scenario of committed love will somehow lead to a slippery slope increase in pedophilia in our state? If LGBT adults are allowed to marry, LGBT adults in Minnesota will rampantly have sex with minors?

Scaring people about such false boogeymen in order to gin up hatred for LGBT citizens appears to be your agenda. That is a threat and I feel obliged to vigorously call it out.

Furthermore, in your Aug. 9 letter you try to make a case that sexual orientation is a choice for each of us; never an inherent or fixed orientation. You wrote: “Sexual orientation is a contrived term used to legitimize an individual’s choice to act on biologically aberrant, morally deviant sexual acts.”

Mrs. Anderson, when did you choose to be heterosexual? Did you choose this on a particular date? Did this choice take conscious effort? Do you wake up every day and have to decide to be and act as a heterosexual? Are you aware that Exodus International, the most prominent organization promoting “gay conversion” approaches has recently apologized for the harm they admit doing to LGBT persons, and have denounced such practices?

I’d like to make a prediction of where you will go next in your arguing. You will cite some sort of “research” that gay men engage in pedophilia at higher rates than heterosexuals.

First, remember, the larger truth is that, when consenting adult LGBT citizens in Minnesota asked to commit to lifelong marriage relationships you worked hard to shut the door to that institution. I’m guessing, like most people, you see lifelong, committed, loving marriage as one of the furthest things from pedophilia. And yet in your command and control approach you even want that banned for every LGBT person.

Second, the anti-gay junk science on this topic from discredited psychologist Paul Cameron has been debunked repeatedly and very publicly. The fact is that the American Psychological Association has stated “homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are.”

You want to scare us into concluding that, if some gay men engage in pedophilia, this means all LGBT persons are inherently disordered, bad, and immoral. If your conclusion about all LGBT persons is true, how have my Uncle Tom and Uncle Jim maintained their committed loving relationship for 28 years, if they are inherently disordered, bad and immoral?

Finally, I want to invite you to get to know my older son, who happens to be gay. I’m guessing he’d be glad to meet with you over coffee some time in his Minneapolis home. If you’d like, you can bring Bryan Lindquist and Laurie Thompson.

As you would when getting to know anyone else you can ask questions like, “What do you like to have for dinner? What are your dreams and hopes? What are your fears and worries? What are you most proud of?” etc.

And then after you have gotten to know my son you are welcome to know my Uncle Tom and Uncle Jim, together as a couple for 28 years. The ABC Newspapers editor has my e-mail address, and you may contact me to arrange for this.

In anti-LGBT letters here in the ABC Newspapers I see frequent reference to Christianity. From my perspective, central to Christianity are Jesus’ love commandment and the Beatitudes. I deeply believe that Jesus showed us that to truly love others requires that we commit ourselves to truly understand the other first. That’s hard and we all fail at it. But almost all the anti-LGBT letters I read here appear to be rooted in pre-judging first, leaving little or no room for the understanding part.

I have a strong suspicion that deep down you really want LGBT citizens to just go away to some sort of permanent holding cell. But I maintain a flicker of hope that you can open your heart to get to know some of those you would otherwise banish.

Dan Rebek
Coon Rapids

Thanks to districts

To the Editor:

I would like to thank Anoka-Hennepin District 11 Community Educaiton and Spring Lake Park Schools Community Education for hosting the Camp Invention program this summer.

Camp Invention allows children to transform their natural curiosity into big ideas by presenting real-world challenges that require them to use creativity, innovation, problem-solving skills and teamwork.

This summer, 81 local elementary students at Anoka Middle School for the Arts – Fred Moore Campus and 40 at Northpoint Elementary School, Blaine, joined over 77,000 students nationwide in exploring STEM concepts through exciting, hands-on problem-solving activities.

I especially want to thank the Camp Invention directors Julia Wippler and Ben Haensel, the talented local teachers and youth staff for inspiring the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park students, who displayed amazing creativity and resourcefulness throughout the week.

Susan Z. Clarke
Regional consultant for Camp Invention

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