The Virginia college professor who made headlines in early November for suggesting sexual attraction to minors isn’t immoral, so long as it isn’t acted upon, has resigned.
Dr. Allyn Walker, a sociology and criminal justice professor at Old Dominion University who identifies as “nonbinary trans,” was placed on administrative leave in mid-November, following an interview during which the professor stated “there is no morality or immorality attached to attraction to anyone, because no one can control who they’re attracted to at all.”
As Faithwire previously reported, Walker also argued it is stigmatizing to use the term pedophiles. Instead, those sexually drawn to children under the age of 18, the instructor said, should be referred to as “minor-attracted people.”
While Walker said “child sexual abuse is never, ever OK,” the professor asserted it’s wrong to “categorize people with these attractions as evil or morally corrupt,” because pedophiles are dealing with “an attraction that they didn’t ask for.”
Soon after the educator’s interview with the Prostasia Foundation was published on YouTube, ODU placed Walker on administrative leave. In addition to the backlash Walker faced online, students at the Norfolk-based college expressed concern over the instructor’s comments.
Content warning: The subject matter of the below video may disturb some viewers
One day ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the university announced Walker was resigning. The professor claimed there have been “multiple threats … made against me and the campus community generally,” according to the Associated Press.
“Ideally, we would be able to debate even the most challenging issues without disruption or threats of violence, but that is not the world we live in today,” said ODU President Brian Hemphill, adding Walker’s resignation “is the best way to move forward.”
Elizabeth Letourneau, director of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, told the AP Walker “is not the first person to turn their attention to that type of work,” noting, “Several others in the field have been working with people with sexual attraction to children who are committed to not offending.”
“It’s the way of the future,” she added, arguing non-offending pedophiles can help academicians and researchers determine the best coping mechanisms to prevent abuse.
“We all want children to grow up free from abuse,” explained Letourneau. “The trick is recognizing how do we do that? If we just wait for an offense to occur and put everything into the criminal justice system, we’re never going to get there.”
As for Walker, the embattled professor is claiming to have been “mischaracterized by some in the media and online, partly on the basis of my trans identity.”
What does the Bible say?
There is no doubt people dealing with pedophilic attractions should receive help — and just punishment, if those attractions are acted upon — but it’s counter-biblical to suggest such feelings are in any way morally acceptable.
During His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declared “anyone who is angry with his brother or sister will be subject to judgment” and “anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:22, 28).
The metric for sinfulness isn’t whether a thought is acted upon. Our hearts are “deceitful above all things” and in desperate need of divine redemption (Jeremiah 17:9).
We do not have to act upon our sinful desires in order for them to, in fact, be sinful. Our mere inclinations — our thoughts about wrongful actions — are already immoral. That is the human condition: We are predisposed to sin and incapable of redeeming ourselves. We need Jesus’ redemptive sacrifice on the cross, which paid the debt for our sinfulness, and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, who reforms our thoughts and actions to be more like Christ.
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