In response to the article "Not an Oxymoron":
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of dealing with pedophiles is the almost automatic rejection people feel when confronted with the issue. Logical thinking is replaced with deeply held convictions that death is the only solution for one who is attracted to children.
On the other hand, it is my conviction that to affix the label "pedophile" or "ephebophile" to an individual is essentially branding that individual, and even in today's medical community that translates into a death sentence no change is possible. Additionally, the individual bearing such a label rationalizes that there is no other choice in terms of sexual fantasy. In short, the label is for some tantamount to a note of permission.
While some might say that I am playing with semantics, it has been my experience personally and as one willing to support others that the sooner one discards the label "pedophile" in favor of admitting that one is dealing with pedophilic issues, the more hope there is for altering what seems to be unalterable. In other words, the problem is not my identity but rather something I deal with in my life.
The naysayers might convict me of denial, might tell me that I am just sidestepping my true identity. But I firmly believe that I was not created an ephebophile (one interested in pubescent males) and that makes all the difference. I once smoked quite heavily and my language was rather coarse, but I no longer do either. At the same time, I still remember how to do both, but I choose not to do them. Is my identity still labeled that of a smoker or one who uses profane language?
Granted, we are not talking a simple transition, but we are also not admitting that the change I seek is impossible. It is the belief that I can take my place as an adult among adults in all respects that I find so encouraging. As I write this, I could not imagine returning to those days when my focus was on teens to the exclusion of adults.
The difference is, I will admit, not by my will but by the love God has for me. Some might say that they have prayed and have not changed . . . therefore God created them as they as are and the world simply doesn't understand. I have come to understand that God doesn't love me more than others, nor does He ask me to make promises to avoid past behaviors and feelings. What He does ask is that I accept within my heart the promises He has already given me.
Bob Van Domelen
It will be most appreciated if you will correct the error that relates to Fritz Clapp. Mr. Clapp is, in fact, the CPAC's attorney. As had been related in response to questions you presented (to the CPAC November 29, 1998): CPAC is Mr. Clapp's client, and is not his organization.
Anne M. Cox
Greenbelt Interfaith News apologizes for the error. —Editor
World: "Not an Oxymoron": Christian Pedophiles Form Online Support Groups. By Heather Elizabeth Peterson. Those who share their faith believe they can't be Christian. Those who share their sexual desires believe they shouldn't be Christian. But Christian adults who are attracted to minors are seeking new ways to support each other in their struggles with faith and sexuality. (December 1998)
© 1999 Heather Elizabeth Peterson