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SexDaniel Johnson Salem-News.com
Sex is not going to go away.
(CALGARY, Alberta) - There’s a storm of righteousness brewing across Canada right now over a convicted pedophile named Graham James.
James was a junior hockey coach who abused some of the young players in his charge. He was convicted in 1997 of abusing the young men from 1984 to 1995 and sentenced to three and half years in jail.
It was learned only recently that in 2007 he had applied for and was granted a pardon which means his criminal record is basically expunged. Anyone can apply for a pardon three to five years after completion of a sentence. Last year the Parole Board granted 98% of 39,628 applications. The only crimes that are not pardoned are the most serious, like murder.
What James did to his young players was horrific and he scarred their lives in many ways. The federal Conservative government and James’s victims are outraged that he was given a pardon, even though there was nothing out of the ordinary that went on in the process.
No one knows where James is today. He was last heard of a few years ago when he was coaching hockey in Spain. It is believed he is no longer in Canada (or even the U.S.), but that’s all that anyone seems sure of.
There’s another storm brewing, this across much of the world over the cover-up and dismissing of pedophilia by Catholic priests. This has been known about for decades and has certainly been going on for centuries. Writing in the NYT, Maureen Dowd says:
“The church is dying from a thousand cuts. Its cover-up has cost a fortune and been a betrayal worthy of Judas. The money spent came from social programs, Catholic schools and the poor. This should be a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance.”
Wondering if she had only a female perspective on the scandal, she asked her brother Kevin, a conservative Catholic who wrote to her:
“In pedophilia, the church has unleashed upon itself a plague that threatens its very future, and yet it remains in a curious state of denial. The church I grew up in was black and white, no grays. That’s why my father, an Irish immigrant, liked it so much.”
I have always wondered about the vow of celibacy in the Catholic Church. Sex is such a natural part of life that if you deny it in males, there should be no surprise that it generates aberrant behaviour. It was put in place originally because the Church did not want heirs making claims on money and land. Instead, the claims against the Church are moral and legal.
Our society is permeated with sex. I would be challenged to come up with a list of more than a handful of products or services where sex isn’t a major component of its marketing and sales.
Early in the Eisenhower 1950s Hugh Hefner in Chicago, invented sex. Working at his kitchen table, he put out the first issue of Playboy in December 1953 with Marilyn Monroe as the first centrefold (the pose had been for a calendar, not exclusively for Playboy). The issue had no date on it because there was no certainty that a second issue would be printed. But, from there, Hefner never looked back as he expanded his empire into Playboy Clubs all over the world. He had a Playboy jet (a converted DC-9) and lived in the Playboy Mansion. It was hedonism all the way.
Down from the Playboy Empire's peak in the early seventies, Playboy is still the best-selling men’s magazine, with circulation of about 2.6 million/month in the U.S. (The highest selling Playboy edition was November 1972, which sold 7,161,561 copies.) There are also nation-specific editions for many other countries. (Can you just imagine the Afghanistan edition? If such existed.)
The sex industry expanded from there and, with the invention, first of video tapes, and later the internet, sex is available 24/7 online and through DVDs.
And yet, in Puritan America, (not so pronounced here in Canada) sex can bring the highest people down. Bill Clinton almost lost his presidency over it. Gary Hart, because of an alleged affair, never even had a chance to run. And let’s not forget what happened to John Edwards. These examples only scratch the surface of the number of individuals who have been politically wiped out.
A good example is that of Claude Pepper, Democrat of Florida who, after 14 years in office, was defeated in 1950 by George Smathers who said as often as he could, that Pepper’s sister was a thespian and that, before his own marriage, Pepper had practised celibacy.
What would be the fate if some candidate were accused today of being a carnivore heterosexual biped who had caused his wife to undergo parturition?
The last (actually only) major sex scandal I recall in Canada was the so-called Munsinger affair. Reputedly an East German prostitute and Soviet spy, she had affairs with several high ranking cabinet ministers in the late 1950s. The government was able to keep the whole thing quiet by deporting her to her native East Germany in 1961, and at least one minister quietly resigned, until it was brought up in parliament in 1966 when the whole affair became public. She denied being involved in espionage. Overall, this was less an issue around sex, than around a fear of communism.
Sex is not going to go away.
Sexual Puritanism and religion go hand in hand. America, being the most religious of Western nations, correspondingly has the most dysfunctional and hypocritical views about sex—next to the Islamic nations.
One of the craziest ideas I’ve run across is a fatwa against nudity during sex, issued in 2006 by the Egyptian cleric Rashad Hassan Khalil a former dean of Al-Azhar University’s faculty of Sharia. He said that “ being completely naked during the act of coitus annuls the marriage.”
Al-Azhar’s fatwa committee chairman, Abdullah Megawar did not go so far as Khalil, but did say that couples should not look at each other’s genitals and should cover themselves with a blanket during intercourse.
In all seriousness, there are couples I have seen, clothed, and come to the self-evident conclusion that prohibiting nakedness is sometimes a good thing.
Daniel Johnson was born near the midpoint of the twentieth century in Calgary, Alberta. In his teens he knew he was going to be a writer, which is why he was one of only a handful of boys in his high school typing class — a skill he knew was going to be necessary. He defines himself as a social reformer, not a left winger, the latter being an ideological label which, he says, is why he is not an ideologue. From 1975 to 1981 he was reporter, photographer, then editor of the weekly Airdrie Echo. For more than ten years after that he worked with Peter C. Newman, Canada’s top business writer (notably on a series of books, The Canadian Establishment). Through this period Daniel also did some national radio and TV broadcasting. He gave up journalism in the early 1980s because he had no interest in being a hack writer for the mainstream media and became a software developer and programmer. He retired from computers last year and is now back to doing what he loves — writing and trying to make the world a better place
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