It is a fact that the vast majority of the abuser priests -- more than 90 percent -- are accused of molesting teen-age boys. Indeed, the overwhelmingly homosexual nature of the abuse prompted The New York Times to engage in its classic "Where's Waldo" reporting style, in which the sex of the victims is studiedly hidden amid a torrent of genderless words, such as the "teen-ager," the "former student," the "victim" and the "accuser."
Meanwhile, no spate of sex scandals is engulfing the Boy Scouts of America. Inasmuch as the Boy Scouts were not taking risk-assessment advice from Norman Mineta, they decided to eliminate a whole category of potential problems by refusing to allow gay men to be scout leaders. Perhaps gay scout leaders just really liked camping. But it was also possible that gay men who wanted to lead troops of adolescent boys into the woods were up to no good.
For their politically incorrect risk-assessment technique, the Boy Scouts were denounced as troglodyte bigots in all outlets of appropriate liberal opinion. Cities and states across the country dropped their support for the scouts. The United Way, Chase Manhattan Bank and Textron withdrew millions of dollars in contributions.
And hell hath no fury like a New York Times editor spurned. The Times denounced the Supreme Court decision merely permitting the Boy Scouts to refuse gay scoutmasters as one of the court's "lowest moments." The Times "ethicist" advised readers that pulling their sons out of the Boy Scouts was "the ethical thing to do."
Since liberals categorically reject the notion that homosexual conduct is often correlated with homosexuality, they have responded to the gay sex abuse crisis in the priesthood by blaming Catholicism. In particular, liberals have identified the church's celibacy requirement as the root of the problem.
There is absolutely no logic to this theory. It is nothing more than liberals reacting to the concept of sexual restraint like "The Exorcist's" Linda Blair did to holy water. If they had succeeded in turning the Boy Scouts into a gay rights re-education camp, we'd be reading that camping causes sodomy now.
Even in the midst of the Catholic Church's current scandals -- including decades-old cases -- the Catholic clergy has about the same percentage of perverts as the Yale faculty. There are more than 45,000 priests in America and, so far, 55 exposed abusers. There are 836 tenured professors at Yale, and one proved child molester -- convicted just last month.
That's still a higher percentage than the Boy Scouts, but the point is: It's not going to be easy to blame celibacy.
Moreover, when did celibacy become a gay-magnet? It may lack the Boy Scouts' direct approach, but the church isn't exactly passing out Liza Minnelli posters by demanding sexual abstinence.
Most stunningly, if celibacy is to blame, this is a show-stopping, Nobel Prize-winning discovery overturning years of liberal claptrap. In all other circumstances, it is punishable by death to suggest that sexual behavior is not determined at birth or that gays can be "cured." Now liberals are hawking the idea that gay priests could have been cured by marriage!
It's nice to see liberals becoming such big marriage-boosters. Too bad their newfound respect for marriage -- an eminently dissolvable agreement, rescindable by either party without cause or notice -- is limited to gays and priests.
Blaming celibacy is not only contrary to various liberal dogmas, but contrary to all known evidence about any vice. Total avoidance, not limited temptation, is the only hope for controlling weakness. Alcoholics cannot have a drop of alcohol. Former smokers cannot have just one cigarette. Problem gamblers must avoid the racetrack.
Only in the case of sex do liberals refuse to countenance abstinence. Small doses of sex are supposed to provide a needed "release." The "release" theory is disproved every time a child molester's home is searched, invariably unearthing enormous stockpiles of child pornography. None of this ever gives liberals pause. Celibacy is always bad, sex is always good.
The Catholic sex scandals have also prompted liberals to drop their demand that no discussion of a crime occur until there has been a final conviction proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt after a full trial. We had witnesses, gifts, phone records, White House logs and taped evidence on Bill Clinton. But still NBC's Matt Lauer shouted "Allegedly! Allegedly!" at any suggestion that Clinton had, in fact, had sexual relations with "that woman."
Indeed, most of the allegations against the priests do not even constitute "sexual relations" on the Democratic Party's definition.
At least we finally have The New York Times on record opposing sexual activity between men and boys. Evidently the only men the Times thinks should not be fondling teen-agers are those who purport to believe in God.