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On Getting Appropriately Angry by Kristyn Komarnicki I’ve been listening with horror but also with great interest to the voluminous responses to revelations about sexual abuse of boys on Penn State’s campus. Most encouraging is the widespread outrage. I even heard an NPR commentator say, “Mores change, but wrong is still wrong! ... [This abuse] is clearly wrong!” It’s unusual to hear that level of moral clarity these days, given that we live in a culture that tolerates such high levels of child abuse. We do this in a number of ways. One is the common acceptance of and respect granted the “work” of Alfred Kinsey, who was, in fact, a pedophile. Dr. Judith Reisman has researched Kinsey extensively. What she found will knock your socks sideways. I suggest you start with this interview with her. Reisman has been bravely shouting about the normalization of child sexual abuse in her exposes of Kinsey and of NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association) for several decades now. (Read a review of her latest book, Sexual Sabotage, from the Sept/Oct issue of PRISM.) Another way that we tolerate the sexual abuse of children is how we sexualize children. Consider TLC’s reality show “Toddlers & Tiaras,” where mothers parade their preschoolers dressed like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and Dolly Parton. Then there’s Fox’s new animated “Allen Gregory,” where crude sexual innuendo between a 7-year-old and his school principal is considered entertainment. It’s a breath of fresh air when people actually take notice, especially when they connect the dots between abuse and the way our culture greases the slippery slope. Here’s an article that does precisely that: “What the Jerry Sandusky Scandal Tells Me about Village Voice Media.” Lisa Thompson of the Salvation Army’s National Initiative Against Sex Trafficking lauds its author, Sean Keeley, for the following reasons: 1) Keeley perceives a connection between events at Penn State and the fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children; 2) he gets that Village Voice Media has 22 million reasons (that is $22 million) to dismiss commercial sexual exploitation of children; and 3) he acknowledges that the heart of the issue is that the degree to which our society stands up for decency and fights abuse on behalf of children is the degree to which our society still has heart and soul. Let’s prove that the body of Christ, at least, has heart and soul. There are concrete ways to speak out and make a difference. We can hold networks and advertisers accountable for the trash they try to sell us. We can vote with our dollars and our voices when irresponsible toy makers try to foist inappropriate play things on our children. We can get educated about how to spot predators and protect our kids. We can ask our supermarkets to keep trash out of the eye space of young shoppers (here’s a good

sample letter). We can sponsor an educational billboard in our community. Let’s get started! Please commit to just one action today. Together we can ensure that child abuse remains a crime that is “clearly wrong.”

On Getting Appropriately Angry