It all began when CharismaNews, a mainstream Christian publication, jumped on an error in the American Psychiatric Association’s update to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which classified pedophilia as a “sexual orientation” rather than a mental illness.
The American Family Association wasted no time in reporting that the APA had officially classified pedophilia as a sexual orientation. CharismaNews, of course, echoed the “information” in a scathing article, quoting Fox News contributor and head of the American Family Association’s radio station, Sandy Rios:
“Just as the APA declared homosexuality an ‘orientation’ under tremendous pressure from homosexual activists in the mid-’70s, now, under pressure from pedophile activists, they have declared the desire for sex with children an ‘orientation,’ too. It’s not hard to see where this will lead. More children will become sexual prey.
The APA has issued a statement, assuring that there was simply an error in wording, and that it will be corrected soon. “Sexual Orientation” should have read “Sexual Interest.” The intent was to clearly define the distinction between pedophiles, who have a sexual interest in children but do not act on it, and those with “pedophilic disorder,” who act on their urges.
The Illinois Review not only continues to peddle the misinformation, but adds fuel to the fire:
The APA has lost credibility with this recent blunder over the classification for pedophilia. The APA has become co-opted by a political agenda. It is hard to see the APA any other way. The implications of reclassifying natural law, whether it is for same-sex marriage or adult-children relationships, are far-reaching.
Some right wing bloggers are even drawing the conclusion that, just like when homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness, this is simply part of a worldwide effort to create a liberal sexual paradise in which we can institutionally oppress minors (no, that is not a joke.)
Others are saying that the change was real, that the APA was aligning itself with a sick liberal agenda, and that the “error” was a result of pressure brought about by the heavy reporting of a change they hoped would be unnoticed.
Charisma News initially reported, after the correction, that “some are disputing” the American Family Association’s claim, but later reluctantly admitted that there had been a mistake.
No matter what, this will be a lie that many right wingers will believe for years down the road–because, as they have very well demonstrated, the facts do not matter to them.