Foley op-ed was sadly misguided

by Beacon Staff • October 18, 2006

When I turned to the opinion page of last week's issue, I thought someone had switched my Beacon with a pamphlet from NAMBLA (The North American Man/Boy Love Association).

While I agree that the Mark Foley scandal has little impact in the lives of individual Americans, it is not "puritanical," as Phil Primeau wrote, to say that congressmen should not be having sexual contact with their pages.,Dear Editor,

When I turned to the opinion page of last week's issue, I thought someone had switched my Beacon with a pamphlet from NAMBLA (The North American Man/Boy Love Association).

While I agree that the Mark Foley scandal has little impact in the lives of individual Americans, it is not "puritanical," as Phil Primeau wrote, to say that congressmen should not be having sexual contact with their pages.

Citing examples from millennia past, Primeau justifies Congressman Foley's actions by explaining that Greeks, Romans and Japanese Samurai practiced pederasty (man-boy love). Not only are these justifications hopelessly out of date (and thus irrelevant), but they define pederast as man-boy love, not man-boy rape.

If the molested page loved Mark Foley, why did he submit their e-mails and instant messages to the authorities? Surely he knew that the exchanges were a smoking gun, and that Foley would be brought to justice.

When Mark Foley himself was sexually assaulted by a priest in his youth, was that pederasty? Was that love too?

No. These instances are clearly sexual assault, and are wildly inappropriate and egregious in even the most open-minded of social atmospheres. But this is not a question of openness; this is a question of right and wrong.

If the "puritanical straight jacket of Judeo-Christian morality," as Primeau puts it, tells me that sex between a congressman and a teenage boy is wrong, I suggest we all wear that straight jacket.

-Chris Girard

Freshman Political communication major