The recent disclosures at Penn State University about the coverup of paedophilia have brought some interesting reactions. The professional chattering class has unanimously condemned what happened, while always remarking how “sad” a situation it is, unlike, of course, how similar revelations in the Catholic Church were greeted with a barely disguised feeling of schadenfreude.
The prole class, however, doesn’t seem to feel the same way, as the student riots demonstrated. Apparently, the moral dimension is lost on those addicted to bread and circuses, which American football has become. This reaction is not unlike that of the defenders of Michal Jackson. The peccadillos of the rich and powerful are overlooked. The coverup at Penn State makes us think that this phenomenom may be more common than we think, even among athletes.
Imagine, however, if a coach had sexually harassed Erin Andrews in the locker room, or made a racial or anti-Semitic slur. There would be no cover up, the outrage would be immediate, and the coach dismissed on the spot. However, the catamites have no spokesman and no pressure group; thus they are voiceless. Even the sting operations often seen on American television involve an older man seeking out younger pubescent girls. No one speaks up for the boys.
Thus far, defenders of Jerry Sandusky have maintainted a respectful silence. I suspect, however, that the vast publicity surrounding these events will lead to more public discussion. Given contemporary understanding of “natural” as whatever happens in nature, the practice of catamites cannot be regarded as unnatural. It was accepted in pre-Christian times, even institutionalized in Sparta. Today, it is a common and open practice in Afghanistan, a nation the West is trying to “save”. In the West itself, it is still closeted, but for how many more years?
Thomas Aquinas points out that sins of impurity have the most deleterious effects on man’s higher faculties, that is, his intelligence and will. The sexual drive is so strong that even the threat of prison and public humiliation do not act as a deterrence. Thomas lists the effect on the intelligence as a form of mental blindness leading to lack of reflection, acting out of impulses, and fickleness. Its effect on the Will is to lead to willfulness without any sense of transcendence; any consideration made to a cosmic order is described as “life-denying”, prudish, and an obstacle of the pursuit of happiness.
When mans discovers that all the freedoms and material goods provided by the modern world still do not make him happy, what will he pursue in the future?