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After the symposium, B4U-ACT released a report. “Dr. John Sadler (University of Texas) argued that diagnostic criteria for mental disorders should not be based on concepts of vice, since such concepts are subject to shifting social attitudes and doing so diverts mental-health professions from their role as healers,” it said. The report further referred to pedophiles as “minor-attracted people” and that “concerns” about them can be “resolved” with “accurate information.” Richard Kramer, who represented B4U-ACT at the event, contended listing pedophilia as a disorder stigmatizes the “victims” of the lifestyle choice.
Thus for progressives, the term “lifestyle choice” becomes a viable substitute for moral depravity. And once “criminals” become “victims,” we are well along the path to where such victims eventually become “disabled.”
Peter Spriggs of the Family Research Council was asked if pedophilia could be classified as a disability. “Even if you are approaching pedophilia from the perspective of it being a mental illness, that still doesn’t make it a disability,” he contended. “A disability usually involves something that interferes with being able to perform the daily tasks of life…this is a pathology that leads to crime, but it is not a disability.”
Yet Spriggs recognizes the insidious nature of incrementalism. Asked if a law similar to the one in Greece could be enacted in the United States, he said he “wouldn’t be all that surprised.” “While pedophilia has not been normalized there are forces seeking to normalize it,” he noted. “If you think it through to the extreme, this actually could actually create a perverse incentive, since you’re actually subsidizing people who have an inclination toward, or who engage in this criminal behavior, then you could actually be creating an incentive for somebody to become a pedophile, or pretend to be a pedophile, simply in order to get a government subsidy.”
Whether one is living in Greece or America, the argument regarding government subsidies of the social safety net remains the same: who is a genuine victim requiring government intervention, and who is merely gaming the system for personal gain? It has been said that Greece, and its fiscal recklessness, is a cautionary tale for America whose own debt level just reached 100 percent of GDP.
Yet such cautionary tales are not limited to the fiscal arena. Greek progressives have now classified pyromaniacs, compulsive gamblers, fetishists, sadomasochists, exhibitionists, kleptomaniacs and pedophiles as disabled. On December 1st, an “informal discussion letter” was posted on our own Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) website. It noted that a high school diploma can only be required by employers if it is “job-related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.” It further noted employers could be in trouble if a diploma “‘screens out’ an individual who is unable to graduate because of a learning disability that meets the ADA’s definition of ‘disability.’”
One can only imagine what that definition is. One might also be inclined to wonder what other definitions of “disability”–egged on by progressives and enforced by the heavy hand of government–are forthcoming in the future.
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