Jonathon Van Maren is already mad. Every June the batshit becomes volcanic
Jonathon Van Maren | via YouTube

Not just stupid but functionally illiterate.

These folks are baffled by any written material outside of
scripture and the catechism.

Jonathon Van Maren has not come to my attention since June. The batshit Catholic literalist has exceeded expectations with: Transgender professor advocates for pedophilia: ‘Sexuality can be fluid.’

That headline is false. Stupidity? Confusion? Illiteracy? Does it really matter? The intent is to characterize a transgender person as an ally of pedophiles because that person is transgender. Van Maren does not approve of transgender people.

According to Mr. Van Maren:

Allyn Walker’s recent book aims to normalize what she calls ‘minor attraction,’ which is pedophilia.

That is incorrect. Pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder defined by intense urges to have sex with prepubescent children that have either been acted upon or which cause the person with the attraction distress or interpersonal difficulty.

There are people who are attracted to children who never act in accordance with that attraction. Moreover, with therapy they are neither distressed nor have interpersonal difficulties due to the attraction.

Allyn Walker is a biological woman who identifies as a transgender male, and she is an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Her recent book — released in June — aims to embark on the cultural mission of “destigmatizing” pedophilia — although she refers to it as “minor attraction.”

“There is no reason whatsoever to shame ‘non-offending minor-attracted persons.'”

Dr. Walker has a PhD from John Jay College, the nation’s most prestigious academy of criminal justice. Yes, Allyn Walker is a transgender man which seems much more to the point and less wordy than the conservative Christian version which is “a biological woman who identifies as a transgender male.”

Perhaps they are trying to suggest that being transgender is a whimsical choice. Indeed, Dr. Walker probably woke up one morning and said to himself “today I will be a man.” Who would not want to be the object of ridicule and religious opprobrium? Who could resist that temptation? I will get to the “destigmatizing” part of this shortly.

Van Maren offers the right quote but fails to appreciate its significance:

The publisher’s site describes Walker’s book as follows:

Challenging widespread assumptions that persons who are preferentially attracted to minors — often referred to as “pedophiles” — are necessarily also predators and sex offenders, this book takes readers into the lives of non-offending minor-attracted persons (MAPs). There is little research into non-offending MAPs, a group whose experiences offer valuable insights into the prevention of child abuse. Navigating guilt, shame, and fear, this universally maligned group demonstrates remarkable resilience and commitment to living without offending and to supporting and educating others. Using data from interview-based research, A Long, Dark Shadow offers a crucial account of the lived experiences of this hidden population.

Unlike Jonathon Van Maren, most rational people do not live in a world where everything is cause for either guilt or shame. There is no reason whatsoever to shame “non-offending minor-attracted persons.”

“Van Maren is not terribly original or inventive …”

  • Remove the shame and we can learn things from this population as Dr. Walker points out.
  • Remove the shame and these people are encouraged to get therapy and join support groups which helps to ensure that they never do offend.

Dr. Allyn Walker is an expert in this area of criminal justice. Jonathon Van Maren’s expertise is limited to the catechism of the Catholic Church. Furthermore, in this case Van Maren is clearly out of his depth.

That is understandable because Mr. Van Maren is not concerned with the fate of minor-attracted persons. His agenda is to find cause to smear every transgender person that he becomes aware of. Van Maren is not terribly original or inventive so he is often joining a chorus of other conservative Christians. In this case, van Maren is parroting a blog post by Rod Dreher.

Van Maren cannot help himself:

The interview was conducted with a group called Prostasia, which advocates for legalizing child sex dolls in order for pedophiles to have an outlet for what they insist is a form of sexuality. According to the media outlet 4W, B4U-Act “was founded by convicted multi-child rapist Michael Melsheimer for the explicit purposes of normalizing pedophilia and distracting from prevention efforts. In Melsheimer’s own words, he wanted to ensure B4U-Act was never associated with the ‘prevention of offending.’”

4W is not a media outlet. That is a lie. 4W is an anti-transgender website. “Mr. Melsheimer’s own words” come from 4W as well. If Melsheimer is still around, he is nearing 80 years of age. Melsheimer was convicted of sexual assault in the 1970’s in New Jersey and served three years in prison. Thereafter he was in therapy.

“Van Maren doesn’t offer any better ideas. Nor does he cite any expert opinion (other than that of Dr. Allyn Walker).”

The Prostasia Foundation is a small nonprofit located in San Francisco. There is some evidence that child sex dolls might be useful in the fight against pedophilia.

On the medium rare bullshit menu is this (from the quote above): “B4U-Act was founded … for the explicit purposes of normalizing pedophilia and distracting from prevention efforts.” Here is a real quote from Melsheimer:

Maryland lacks a comprehensive list of services and treatment programs, for prevention and intervention, and has no money available for outreach efforts.

[…]
Unless there is dialogue, you will never solve this problem. People don’t think we want to do anything about this problem, but many of us do. The state deals with offenders after someone is hurt, but it never does anything for prevention.

This is bolstered by the mission statement of B4U-ACT. The focus is on providing resources for treatment as a means of prevention.

Misgendering Dr. Walker out of respect no doubt:

(Dr. Walker’s preferred pronouns are “they/them.”)

She does, however, cozy up to the concept, noting that “on one hand, just because someone has attractions to children, doesn’t mean that they will never experience attraction to adults as well, or even that their attractions to children will persist for their entire lives … Sexuality can be fluid, and there are many MAPs who have a range of attractions to both children and adults.”

I cannot find the source of that quote. However, noting that sexuality can be fluid has absolutely nothing to do with removing the stigma from minor-attracted persons. The “…” within the quote is in the original text by Van Maren.

At Amazon.com there are a bunch of one-star reviews. None of them are from verified purchasers.

“Unlike Jonathon Van Maren, most rational people do not live in a world where everything is cause for either guilt or shame.”

Van Maren eventually concludes:

Without apology, and without nuance. This is grotesque, and if we ever lose the ability to recognize that and say it loudly, God help us.

“This” is an effort to destigmatize non-offending minor-attracted persons. That, in turn, will cause more of those people to seek treatment and non-offender support groups. That, in turn, is the best means of prevention.

Van Maren doesn’t offer any better ideas. Nor does he cite any expert opinion (other than that of Dr. Allyn Walker). What is “grotesque” is using any excuse imaginable to smear transgender persons. Bigotry is “grotesque.”

By the way, I read Dreher every day. He is usually intellectually honest. In this case he is hampered by preconceived notions of minor-attracted persons. Dreher doesn’t posit any ideas either.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.