By Patricia Paddey
The more I read, the worse I felt. But I couldn’t put down the bag of potato chips until I felt truly nauseous.
This was an interviewer I admired, and his was a show I enjoyed. As a Christian journalist I have learned and been inspired from his skill. I appreciated his velvet voice, his way with his guests, the scope of his subjects and the obvious depth of research that went into each and every interview. So I read his Facebook confession, and several hundred of the responses from fans that followed.
And as I glimpsed a virtual outpouring of support for the man in the wake of his revelations, I felt disturbed, heartbroken. I had the sense I don’t belong – in this country – in the 21st century – any more.
Our society seems to have moved to the point where – for many people – character no longer matters. I’m not talking about unproven allegations. I’m talking about what the man publicly admitted in his Facebook post. Because, yes, the quality of a person’s character encompasses what they do in secret, and the degradation of another human being should never be called good.
Bondage, domination, sadomasochism – these things ought never to be normalized as if they were just alternate expressions of healthy sexuality.
But based on the outrage expressed over this man’s firing, and the calls for his reinstatement, they are things that no longer shock or disturb us. The real crime today is to judge such behaviour.
The former radio host claims all of his bedroom activities with young women were consensual. He insists that made them all right.
According to a report in The Globe and Mail, the Supreme Court of Canada “has said a person cannot consent to an assault that causes them bodily harm.”
But Christians believe human beings are more than bodies. Our souls, our spirits are mysteriously and beautifully interrelated with our bodies and are a part of what make us uniquely human.
Degrading sexual acts not only degrade bodies, but souls as well. Not all bruises are visible. Why would we – as a society – sanction something that derives pleasure from causing such harm?
Patricia Paddey is a senior writer at Faith Today.