Rev. Pat Robertson has reached a stage in life where, if I were at that position, I’d hope my family would ask me to stay upstairs when company is over. You can’t blame everything he says on advancing age, because he’s always been slightly nutty. Even as a middle-aged buffoon, he was predicting that Disney Gay Days would increase the ferocity of hurricanes striking Florida.
His latest nugget of ignorance, that relaxing the Boy Scouts ban on gays would attract pedophiles to become scout leaders,1 is disappointingly tame for Pat. I fully expected him to call on God to hit the next Scout Jamboree with a force 5 tornado.
There are of course a few technical issues of fact with Pat’s prognostication:
- Homosexuality and pedophilia are two entirely different phenomena. Pedophiles who target boys will often identify in their adult life as straight men, having wives and children. They show no interest in men their own age.
- As a result, the people who are successful at sexually targeting children tend to be regarded as non-threatening, often pillars of the community whom we would never suspect of such behavior.
- Which is to say, pedophiles don’t need the BSA to relax its ban on gay scouts and leaders to target its members. The pedophiles look and talk just like the people opposing the BSA’s proposed move. They quote the Bible and attend church. If a scout accused them of something inappropriate, your first instinct would be to disbelieve that such an upright, god-fearing person could do such things.
Given how often we see openly homophobic religious folk taken down in gay sex scandals, I’d suggest that anyone who seems overly invested in demonizing pedophiles should be watched closely when children are around.
- “Pat Robertson: Boy Scouts Gay Ban Lift Could Mean Pedophiles As Scoutmasters,” Huffington Post, Andres Jauregui, 2/6/2013 [↩]