Unspeakable Matters

By Richard Nelson

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April 29, 2015

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There are some topics that are so unbelievaly heinous, they probably don't even deserve mention. When they pass from taboo into the realm of public policy, however, they must be dealt with. Last week, lawmakers in Denmark approved a law banning people from having sex with animals. The vote was not unanimous, passing by a margin of 91-75, with five abstentions. Incredibly, Denmark's Animal Ethics Council had opposed the law, arguing that existing laws which allow bestiality except in cases where the animal can be proved to have suffered were sufficient. The most disturbing aspect of this story, however, is not so much in what is being said than in what is not being said. Arguments both for and against the law focused on the rights of the animals, with little to no mention of basic human morality. Why should this matter to residents of the United States? Mainly because issues of human sexuality are rapidly passing from common decency to psychological justifications. In an opinion piece written for the Los Angeles Times in 2013, Alan Zarembo wrote that many experts now view pedophelia as “a sexual orientation as immutable as heterosexuality or homosexuality.” The crux of these behaviors is not how they damage animals or even other people; it is how they damage society as a whole. The fact that issues such as these are now even open to debate is a disturbing trend, and they should concern everyone, no matter where in the world we may be.

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