Potentially. Everybody’s a paedophile potentially.
That slogan has been adopted lustily in Merrie Olde England. The beauty of it, as I have often maintained, is that it is a true statement. It really is the case that everybody is either a paedophile or they are not.
Ordinarily, tautologies like our slogan are acknowledged to contain no information. To say that “Joe either is or is not a paedophile” tells us just as much about Joe’s criminal behavior as does the true statement “Joe either has a pound in pocket or he does not”, or “there will be a sea battle tomorrow or there won’t.”
But ignore the emptiness of the tautology and focus on its gut wrenching, horrifying overtones. Hone in on the potential of the first part, and forget the nullification of the second part. Once you allow yourself this leeway, you can suddenly see the darkness, and any restriction of adult behavior that seemingly protects children becomes allowable.
Keep adults away! As far away from the kids as possible for, of course, those adults might be paedophiles. Don’t let possibly nefarious grownups drive kids to the football game, because they might have more on their minds than just chauffeuring. Ban Teacher from patting Junior on the back, just in case that quick tap has a double meaning.
And whatever you do, keep parents from bringing their own kids to playgrounds, because, of course, those parents might be paedophiles!
Don’t scoff. The town elders in Watford, England recently discovered, to their horror, that actual parents were bringing their kids to local playgrounds. This fact is almost frightening. Luckily, it becomes downright terrifying when we marry it with the national slogan. Then we arrive at the inescapable fact that those parents might be paedophiles!, and therefore they have no business on the playground. This is logic and there is no counter-argument.
The Watfordian elders aren’t entirely heartless. They are considering allowing parents to submit to a criminal background check. If they pass this check, parents will be allowed to hover in the vicinity of their children—under the watchful eyes of “Play Rangers”.
Nobody has said, but I can only guess that these Rangers are eunuchs. For how else can their purity be guaranteed?
Actually, even this isn’t enough. It’s true that those Rangers have passed criminal background checks. But those investigations only uncover if somebody sinned in the past. They cannot—they very obviously cannot—predict whether somebody will sin in the future.
Pay attention, Watford! If you had reason to worry and fret and wring your hands before, what I’m going to tell you now will freeze your blood. Those Play Rangers might still become child abusers. All Play Rangers might become abusers or they might not. The only sensible thing to do, therefore, is to ban them, too. Remember, you were warned!
And if that argument works for the Rangers, it works for the parents who pass the background checks. Passing a check only tells you that the parent hasn’t abused in the past. They still might in the future. No possible method on Earth exists that can guarantee that those parents will remain forever pure.
Therefore, you should ban not just the Rangers, but the parents, as well.
But why stop at the playground? Think about all the evil that can take place behind closed doors. It is a fact that nearly all parents in England have not undergone criminal background checks. Can you really allow parents to keep children hidden inside given that they might be criminals? Anything might happen!
Further, most parents are not experts. They are not up on the latest educational and psychological theories of aberrant behavior. And, let’s be honest, most of them aren’t equipped to understand their intricacies. At the very least, a national program of mandatory education on How Not To Be A Paedophile is in order. Demonstrated competency in non-abuse must be a minimum requirement for parenthood. After all, it’s for the good of the children—the future leaders of the country!
For those parents that don’t pass the test—and those that pass, too, because they still might turn into abusers—some sort of program is needed to remove their children from potentially dangerous situations. A centralized location for child rearing is the only solution. Here, kids will be deposited in an certified abuse-free setting until they come of age.
Guards for this benevolent orphanage are problematic. After all, they might be paedophiles. Adult visitors might be, too, so they’re out. We have no choice but to seal the place off and disallow any contact with the outside world. Then—and only then—can we be certain sure that those kids won’t be abused.
Footnote: if we don’t take action now, all kids in England might turn out like these fellows.