FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Michael Jackson as Sexual Pervert

US Congressman Peter King of Long Island  is playing to the basest inclinations of the country in publicly trashing Michael Jackson as a sexual pervert. His charge is not based on any established fact. He is playing to the mob, a poisonous act. Certainly, the public data suggests that Jackson’s psycho-sexual development might have been arrested somewhere in pre-adolescence, and his affinity for young children, especially boys, would make any parent uneasy. But no one has made public any evidence of real harm Jackson has done to any child. A mature man sleeping with a young boy – merely sleeping – is neither a crime nor prima facie evidence of evil influence.

Congressman King’s calling attention to Jackson’s sexuality is worse than an unfair and sleezy accusation. It distracts from the more serious moral issue that Jackson’s life presents. His life represents a sacred cow of American social and economic life: the right to live an unrestrained life of self-indulgence without even the obligation to pay a fair share in support of the public welfare. Only his gaudy and idiosyncratic life style made Jackson different from so many others among the super wealthy.

A sacred tenet of American life is that the extremely wealthy should be relatively unfettered by tax burden’s and social responsibility. Michael Jackson is not the only American who ran through countless millions – maybe billions – simply to find pleasure for himself.

The communal life of the nation, if it has one, is poisoned when a very few have most of the excess wealth of the community, and when any proposal to levy fair taxes on their wealth is dismissed without discussion. So while the nation’s infrastructure disintegrates, public transportation deteriorates, millions go without health care, and most of the world’s population makes do on a dollar or two a day, the very few indulge themselves without limit. Michael Jackson is like many other self-indulgent multi-millionaires except that he was hanging it all out in public. He was more transparent and in that sense more honest.

The dream of some of the early settlers in this country was the creation of a commonwealth in which every citizen had a fair share in land’s bounty. That dream has been replaced with the vision of a nation that protects the right of any citizen to become excessively wealthy and to have that wealth secure for private self-indulgence.

Jackson may or may not have abused children. Since we don’t know we ought to withhold judgment on the matter, and presume him to be innocent. But he certainly set a poor example in the use of his massive excess wealth for his own self-indulgence. A community that lives by such ideals and permits such profligacy will not likely prosper for long.

Raymond J. Lawrence is an Episcopal cleric, recently retired Director of Pastoral Care, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and author of numerous opinion pieces in newspapers in the U.S., and author of the recently published, Sexual Liberation: The Scandal of Christendom (Praeger). He can be reached at: raymondlawrence@mac.com
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

RAYMOND J. LAWRENCE is an Episcopal cleric, recently retired Director of Pastoral Care, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and author of numerous opinion pieces in newspapers in the U.S., and author of the recently published, Sexual Liberation: The Scandal of Christendom (Praeger). He can be reached at: raymondlawrence@mac.com

Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
David Yearsley
Bollocks to Brexit: the Plumber Sings
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail