The right argument on Paedophilia
It’s always mildly enjoyable watching the liberal left come face to face with the inherent contradictions in their dogmas – and then fall abjectly silent, rather than deal with them honestly and robustly. The subject of the Himalayan antics of the poet Cathal O Searcaigh provide a case in point.
On the one hand, he presses most of the right-on buttons in Irish life. He is a poet! He is a gaeilgeoir of humble stock! Best of all, he is gay! He is, therefore, above just about all criticism!
Certainly, it places him beyond any target practice from a monoglot middle class, English-speaking, heterosexual male such as myself; not that I would want to join the lynch-mob which has gathered around the fellow’s body in the past few weeks.
And, to be fair to her, the filmmaker Neasa ni Chianain – who told the tale of the O Searcaigh Nepalese rollicks – is not part of that lynch-mob either. She was merely well-placed to relate the story. Moreover, she is a filmmaker, a woman and a gaelgoir – triple qualifications which I lack and which protect her from the accusations of ‘homophobe’.
So, I decided not to write about this issue. But once politicians in both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail began to declare that Cathal O Searcaigh’s poems be taken off the Leaving Cert, silence was no longer possible.
Are such dolts completely ignorant of what Oscar Wilde was doing? He was having sex with teenage rent-boys in precisely the same way that O Searcaigh was, and in very similar economic and cultural circumstances. It goes against the Hibernian grain to admit that Wilde was an Irish grandee exploiting working-class English youths: the national narrative much prefers to see the Anglo-Saxon exploiting the poor Gael.
The truth is that, like Roger Casement, he used his position to get sex from the lesser breeds. Moreover, Wilde, having repeatedly and flagrantly broken the law, then invited ruin on his silly head by suing the Marquess of Queensbury for libel.
So, he really deserves very little of the pity which has been lavished on him ever since.
But that, of course, is beside the point.
His jewels form an imperishable part of English literature (and not Anglo-Irish: an entirely different canon). It would be as absurd to remove his works from any syllabus as it would to remove the Caravaggio from the National Gallery because the artist was both a sodomite and a murderer.
Now, I’m not going to say anything about the relationship between the life of an artist and his work, for this is an area already steeped in the most insufferable pretension – with Wilde himself being a prime offender. Moreover, if I have any major regret in life, it is that I was not the customs officer in New York to whom Wilde declared: " I have nothing to declare but my genius."
At which point, I would simply have broken his nose.
As for O Searcaigh’s poems, I haven’t read any. Can’t. However, if they were good enough to be on the syllabus yesterday, then they are good enough to be on the syllabus tomorrow; and there’s an end to it.
But there is the larger aspect, touched upon by both Wilde’s conduct and O Searcaigh’s: the behaviour of some male homosexuals with teenage boys.
The ‘gay rights’ activist Peter Tatchell recently wrote: "Isn’t it time the lesbian and gay community said, loud and clear, that the under-16s also have sexual rights? Don’t we have a responsibility to defend the right of under-age queers to make their own free, informed choices about when they are ready for sex?"
He clarified that later by saying that yes, 14-year-old boys should, if they want, be allowed to have sex with 40-year-old men. Well, sorry, no.
Any heterosexual male who proposed such a notion for 14-year-old girls would be hounded into extinction; but Tatchell remains the hero of the left-libertine classes.
And that rather summarises the cultural and political power of the gay lobby.
A legal apartheid now means that homosexual men are allowed ‘freedoms’ denied the rest of us.
Entire parklands in British cities have now been requisitioned by what Tatchell calls ‘queers’ for nocturnal, casual sexual encounters.
And much the same is true of Dublin’s Phoenix Park.
I loathe both this, and many of the practices associated with the gay ‘scene’, (as indeed do many homosexuals themselves).
There are many depraved, disgusting practices, about which I reserve both the right to have an opinion and also to express it. And so, if there is any good to come from the entire O Searcaigh affair, it is that the rest of us may now finally speak our minds.
Now Lisa’s response (like many of us) is that 14yo / 40yo sex is wrong, but I want to be provocative and ask my readers a simple question. Why? I’m not interested in the social arguments – what I want is a clear Biblical answer (i.e. something definitive). It worries me that our thinking is this area is less Scriptural and more kneejerk reactionary.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think the idea of a 14yo having sex with a 40yo is terribly clever, but I want more than just, "well that’s just sick".