Religion, Zeal

Bad Religion

God forsaken: When will people understand that there is proof that the various religions are just so much made-up bull designed to explain our situation here on this planet and a way to assuage our guilt as humans for being such assholes ("Peace-Monger," Tony Ortega, February 13)? The "leaders" in our world have always known this and cynically use our various beliefs to confuse and control us. This is not going to stop until we all recognize that all religion is just so much claptrap. That's why this country's constitution is so unique. Our founding fathers (and mothers) knew the falsity of religion and designed the first government on the face of the Earth to have separation of church and state! This feature is what makes the U.S. unique, and Bush and the religious right will do anything they can to remove this. If you want to worry about something, worry about the Bush family's ties with the Masonic "religion." That's even more apocalyptic.

James Bailey

Flaw and Disorder

An ounce of prevention: My appreciation and respect go to New Times for its courageous look at pedophilia ("Very Bad Thoughts," Susy Buchanan, February 6). Reading about Derek's rape fantasies puts a chill into the heart of every parent. Even those who cannot find it in their hearts to feel compassion for tormented individuals like Derek should be able to see the great importance of providing treatment and support for him and others like him. Derek plainly points out the lack of and need for resources for preventing child sexual abuse when he says, "We do nothing to prevent child abuse. You have to treat the cause, not just the end result. All these laws are only good if someone gets hurt, and then it's too late."

I think it was inaccurate and unfortunate, however, that Derek compared pedophilia to homosexuality, and hoped that pedophilia would be accepted in the future as homosexuality is now. Homosexuality is an activity between consenting adults, which is obviously not true of pedophiles who act on their desires. I was similarly disturbed by Lester Welch's description of himself when he said, "I'm not a pedophile; I'm a human who yielded to temptation." This evidence of flawed thinking by both Derek and Welch, however, only strengthens the argument in favor of the need for continuing treatment for both of these men, and all who are similarly afflicted.

Laraine Sands

Sick mind: Your article shocked me. It's clear to see that Derek is seeking sympathy. I have no sympathy for him. A pedophile is a pervert, and perversions are a lifestyle choice, an acquired taste, not an illness. Certainly, they may become out-of-control obsessions, which then are a form of mental illness.

He blames his perversion on having been raped as a child. As a rape victim myself and the daughter of a woman who was repeatedly molested as a child, I can tell you that neither one of us has developed any perversions from what happened to us! I don't fantasize about raping someone and neither does my mother. I also know of other men who were molested as children and none of them grew up to be pedophiles!

Derek should not be out walking the streets. He should be institutionalized, or at the very least, castrated. Chemical castration is a joke; who is going to ensure that he takes his medication? I think the good old-fashioned method is best cut it off!

Derek is a sick puppy who refuses to take any responsibility for his "problem." He blames a teacher for raping him, yet refuses to report that teacher despite the fact that he's probably twice the teacher's size now and no longer needs to fear him. Maybe his "rape" was just another one of his fantasies and never actually occurred. He also wants the government to declare him disabled and pay for his therapy. I don't mind them paying for therapy if he agrees to be castrated, but disability? He isn't disabled, he's sick! And he wants to stay sick! He's proud of it or he never would have agreed to this article.

Name withheld
by request

Love Fest

Something to sink your teeth into: The Bite Me column is totally fabulous! I read the column as soon as it's posted on the Web, and then savor it in print. Keep it.

Don't give in or give up like you did with Savage Love. But that's syndicated (or whatever you call it in the print media) anyway.

And as a lesbian who lives very close to Portland's, I can especially relate to this week's column! Real!

Thanks for the verve.

Name withheld by request

Editor's note: Savage Love by syndicated columnist Dan Savage can still be found in every issue of New Times. It's generally tucked in among the adult entertainment ads in the back of the paper.

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