A recent news story from England highlights the sickness at the very core of our “liberated” society. It seems that a 21-year-old Canadian man had contacted young girls in the English county of Kent, via the Internet, and had managed to persuade several of them to commit sex acts live in front of their webcams for him. It is certainly shocking that these girls, some as young as nine, could be cyber-molested in this way by a pedophile living more than three thousand miles away, but almost as shocking was the woeful response of those commenting on this rise in techno child abuse.
The main concern expressed by police and media alike was that parents should be made aware of the dangers of leaving their children alone in their rooms with such invasive technology. This is fine, so far as it goes. Parents are obviously leaving their children in peril if they fail to monitor their access to the Internet. It seems, however, that the more important and more perniciously pervasive issue is not being addressed. Why is it that children as young as nine could be seduced in this way? What does it say about the society in which we live that nine-year-olds should be susceptible to the whims of pedophiles?
The answer lies in the new religion: the worship of Eros. The erotic gospel is omnipresent on the radio, on television, and on the Internet. Children are being evangelized with it every time they turn on one of their innumerable gadgets. Rap music makes a virtue of the pimp and the prostitute, MTV serves as the visual propaganda of this pimp-prostitute culture, and nobody in the corridors of power seems willing to address this perverting of the imagination of young children by self-professed “gangsters” who boast of their drug-pushing and their possession of women for prostitution.
And even this is but the tip of the iceberg. So-called teen magazines are really targeting children as young as eight or nine, playing on the desire of the young to be grown-ups. When Liesl and Rolf in The Sound of Music desired to be grown up, they spoke of being sixteen going on seventeen, or seventeen going on eighteen. Today it seems that children are six going on sixteen. The danger is starkly obvious. As innocent as Eve, these defenseless girls are unwittingly susceptible to the serpent’s temptation that they should take the forbidden fruit. It is for this reason that nine-year-old Eves in England succumbed to a serpentine pedophile in Canada. But before this particular snake had slithered onto the scene, they had already been seduced by the serpentine beguilements of teen magazines and the more overtly satanic expostulations of “gangsta” rappers. Having taken the forbidden fruit themselves, they become the forbidden fruit, ripe for the picking by perverted prowlers.
And speaking of growing up, part of the problem lies in the fact that we live in a world where real grown-ups are an endangered species. If children are six going on sixteen, adults are sixty going on sixteen. The sad fact is that teenagers no longer have parents and grandparents to guide them, because their parents and grandparents want to be teenagers. It is all part of what the poet Roy Campbell called the Peter Panic. And, as this most recent cyber-pedophilia demonstrates, Peter Panic leads to Peter Pandemonium and the sacrificing of children on the altar of Eros.
(Access contributors’ biographies by clicking here .)